Newspaper article from the Montreal Daily Star printed July 26, 1928 about R.B. Bennett visiting his hometown of Hopewell Cape, New Brunswick, where he delivered the inaugural speech of his cross-Canada speaking tour as the official Leader of the Opposition for Parliament.

An election in Canada not only marks the end of an election campaign, it marks the beginning of the next campaign. R.B. knew this very well and shortly after his assent to the leader of the opposition he set out on a cross-Canada speaking tour to lay out the new party platform. The first stop for this tour was his home, Hopewell Cape, New Brunswick. The location selected was the Hopewell Rocks, a spectacular natural location that showcases the tremendous power of the Bay of Fundy tides, the highest in the world. Between 4000 and 5000 people were on hand (Hopewell Cape's population was about 300) to hear R.B. speak. They were not disappointed. For that matter, R.B. was well received all across the country.

R.B. Bennett addressing a crowd

Circa 1930

Meanwhile party offices were being set up all over and the federal office in Ottawa was working hard to keep the momentum going. The Ottawa office gathered information as never before. Through interviews with members of the Conservative caucus information was compiled on the radio stations and newspapers and the political slant of each, economic and social conditions, a summary of the riding's history, and a list of voters that included names, addresses, known voting habits and organizations to which each belonged. The data was analyzed and the office came up with a mailing list of over 160,000 names. All of this effort was not possible without funding and the main source of money was R.B. himself.

Everything was going well for R.B., and the rest of Canada for that matter; then everything changed. October 29, 1929, will be a date that will forever darken the collective history of the world. The sudden evaporation of wealth had devastating consequences. Although estimates vary, it is generally agreed that by the end of 1929 Canada saw about five billion dollars simply disappear. The stock market crash was just the beginning.

It is interesting to note that within the six months leading up to the crash R.B. rearranged many of his investments and as a result he was not as badly affected financially as he could have been.

The economic leaders in Canada were not very concerned about the crash. For the most part they saw the situation as a necessary adjustment to the economy and they predicted that everything would be better soon. The unemployment numbers skyrocketed and were written off as just being a seasonal fluctuation. Prime Minister King chose to basically ignore the situation and did nothing. Besides, another election was coming soon.