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Thomas Clayton Davis

The Honourable Thomas Clayton Davis


1939 - 1948   Justice of the Court of Appeal

Thomas Clayton Davis came from an Irish family who initially settled just south of Sherbrooke, Quebec. His grandfather was a campaign organizer for Sir John A. Macdonald. His father moved from Quebec to Prince Albert, where he and a brother operated a general store and got involved in the freight business.

Thomas Davis earned his law degree from Osgoode Hall in 1909. He moved to Prince Albert to practice, becoming a partner with Frank Halliday. Mr. Davis served as Mayor of Prince Albert from 1921-1924. He was appointed Minister of Municipal Affairs in February 1926 and in December 1927, he became Attorney General. In the 1929 provincial election, Mr. Davis defeated John Diefenbaker in the Prince Albert riding by a small number of votes. After serving one term, he returned to private practice. In 1934, Premier James Gardiner reappointed him as Attorney General. Mr. Davis was a gifted politician. He had an incredible memory for names and paid close attention to the personal details of his constituents.

In June 1939, Mr. Davis was appointed to the Court of Appeal. His time on the Court of Appeal was brief. In 1940, Prime Minister Mackenzie King appointed him Deputy Minister of War Services. He then assumed the diplomatic roles of High Commissioner to Australia from 1942-1946 and Ambassador to China from 1946-1949. In 1948, Justice Davis resigned his seat on the Court of Appeal and became a permanent member of the Foreign Service, serving as Ambassador to West Germany.

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