Walter E. Harris was first elected to the Canadian House of Commons as the Liberal Member of Parliament (MP) for the Ontario riding of Grey-Bruce in the 1940 election defeating Agnes MacPhail. Despite being a newly elected MP, he enlisted in the military and served for four years, seeing action in France during World War II. Harris served as Minister of Citizenship and Immigration until 1954 when he was promoted to Minister of Finance. He was Finance Minister during a period of great economic growth. During his term of office, he introduced the regulations permitting "Registered Retirement Savings Plans", which have become a staple of the financial planning of millions of Canadians.