Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
As a student Spry became an editorial writer at the Manitoba Free Press and was mentored by editor and Canadian nationalist Allan Dafoe . He attended Oxford University as a Rhodes Scholar. Upon his return to Canada he became Secretary of the Canadian Clubs and organised a nation wide broadcast to celebrate the fiftieth anniversary of Canadian Confederation. The accomplishement, achieved despite the lack of a national radio network, convinced Prime Minister William Lyon Mackenzie King to appoint a royal commission to make recommendations for radio broadcasting in Canada.
Following the defeat of King's government, Spry and Alan Plaunt fromed the Canadian Radio League to campaign for the implementations of the Commission's recommendation for a national public radio network. The League mobilised public opinion and convinced the Conservative government of R.B. Bennett to form the Canadian Radio Broadcasting Commission (which later became the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation).
A socialist, Spry cofounded the League for Social Reconstruction, contributed to the writing of the Regina Manifesto and purchased both the Farmer's Sun (publication of the United Farmers of Ontario) and the Canadian Forum to propoagate the LSR's views. He served as chairman of the Ontario Cooperative Commonwealth Federation from 1934 to 1936 and twice ran unsuccessfully for the Canadian House of Commons in a 1934 by-election and the 1935 Canadian election as a Cooperative Commonwealth Federation losing on both occasions to Conservative Tommy Church.
Unable to find work in Canada due to his socialist convictions Spry accepted a job offer from an old Oxford friend and served as a British based executive for Standard Oil from 1940 to 1946. From 1942 to 1945 he also served as personal assistant to Sir Stafford Cripps, a Labour minister in the wartime British cabinet.
After the war Spry was named agent-general of Tommy Douglas's CCF government representing the province of Saskatchewan in Britain from 1946 to 1968. As such, he played a crucial role during the Saskatchewan Doctor's Strike against Medicare by recruiting British doctors to move to the province. (see also Saskatchewan New Democratic Party)
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