Ralph Webb

Last updated
Ralph Webb
Member of the Legislative Assembly of Manitoba
In office
1932–1939
31st Mayor of Winnipeg
In office
1925–1928
Preceded by Seymour Farmer
Succeeded by Daniel McLean
In office
1930–1934
Preceded by Daniel McLean
Succeeded by John Queen
Personal details
Born
Ralph Humphreys Webb

(1886-08-30)August 30, 1886
At sea between England and India
DiedJune 1, 1945(1945-06-01) (aged 58)
Ottawa, Ontario

Colonel Ralph Humphreys Webb DSO MC (August 30, 1886 June 1, 1945) was a soldier and politician based in Manitoba, Canada. A monarchist, he served as the 31st Mayor of Winnipeg from 1925 to 1927 and again from 1930 to 1934, [1] and also served in the Legislative Assembly of Manitoba from 1932 to 1941. Webb was a member of the Conservative Party.

Contents

Early life

Webb was born at sea, on a British liner bound for India. He worked as a deck hand on a whaling vessel.

Career

During World War I, he rose in the ranks of the army to Lieutenant-Colonel and commanded the 47th Battalion. He was awarded the Military Cross, the Distinguished Service Order, and the Croix de Guerre. [2]

Politics

He was a virulent opponent of the Winnipeg General Strike in 1919, calling for the deportation of "radical agitators" and urging "the whole gang be dumped in the Red River".

His tenure as mayor began in 1924, when he defeated the incumbent Seymour Farmer. Webb's candidacy was supported by the city's business community, and his support base was located in the city's wealthy south-end.

He served as mayor 1925-1927 and 1930-1934.

After a series of labour strikes in 1931, Webb urged the "deportation of all undesirables", including communists, from Canada. A few Communist leaders were put in prison, and many deportations, usually on grounds of being dependents of the state, did occur.

A staunch monarchist, he also attacked Chicago's Big Bill Thompson for his criticisms of royalty.

A flamboyant politician, Webb was known as a strong civic booster and an effective salesman of Winnipeg on the international stage. After several re-elections, he was finally defeated by John Queen in 1934.

Webb was first elected to the legislature in the 1932 provincial election, defeating a candidate of the Independent Labour Party in the constituency of Assiniboia.

He ran for re-election in Winnipeg in the 1936 campaign. At the time, Winnipeg elected ten members by a single transferable ballot. Webb finished third on the first count, and was declared elected on the second.

Retirement

Having served in opposition since 1915, the Conservatives joined an all-party coalition government in 1940. Webb briefly served as a government backbencher, but did not seek re-election in 1941. Webb died on June 1, 1945 in Ottawa, Ontario.

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References

  1. "City Government Mayors, Past and Present". City of Winnipeg. Archived from the original on 25 December 2008. Retrieved 27 March 2012.
  2. "Ralph Humphreys Webb (1886-1945)". Memorable Manitobans. Manitoba Historical Society . Retrieved 27 March 2012.