- Aug 8, 2014
Arthur Meighen was an excellent debater, skilled in analysis and knowledge of parliamentary rules, but his uncompromising stands on issues tended to alienate people. Meighen's most memorable accomplishments were achieved as a cabinet minister in the government of Sir Robert Borden, rather than as Prime Minister of Canada, and the legacy of some of those unpopular moves did not help him as Prime Minister.
Prime Minister of Canada
1920-21 and 1926
Highlights as Cabinet Minister
As a cabinet minister Arthur Meighen:
introduced the strategy of closure to force the Naval Bill through the House of Commons in 1912
created the 1914 Conscription Act and the Wartime Elections Act, which were detested in Quebec
as acting Minister of Justice, he was involved in suppressing the Winnipeg General Strike in 1919, which alienated a large part of the labour movement, and
he was responsible for the creation of Canadian National Railways.
Highlights as Prime Minister
As Prime Minister of Canada, Arthur Meighen tried unsuccessfully to revive the National Policy of high tariffs.
Birth and Death
Born June 16, 1874 in Anderson, Ontario
Died August 5, 1960 in Toronto, Ontario
BA Mathematics - University of Toronto
Lawyer in Manitoba
Ridings (Electoral Districts)
Portage la Prairie 1908-21, 1925-26
Political Career of Arthur Meighen
Arthur Meighen was first elected to the House of Commons in 1908.
He was appointed Solicitor-General in 1913.
He became Secretary of State in 1915.
He served as Minister of the Interior and Superintendent General of Indian Affairs from 1917 to 1920.
He was also Minister of Mines from 1919 to 1920.
In 1920, Arthur Meighen was elected Leader of the Conservative Party.
Arthur Meighen was sworn in as Prime Minister of Canada in 1920.
The Conservative government was defeated in the 1921 general election, and Arthur Meighen was Leader of the Opposition from 1921 to 1926.
In the 1925 election, the Conservatives won the most seats, but the Liberals led by Mackenzie King joined forces with Progressive Party members to form a government. In 1926, after a customs scandal, King resigned and Governor General Byng asked Arthur Meighen to once again form a government.
The Meighen government was defeated in the House four days later and lost the election that followed in September 1926. Arthur Meighen also lost his own seat. Mackenzie King was once again Prime Minister.
Arthur Meighen was appointed to the Senate in 1932 and remained a Senator until 1942.
He was a Minister without Portfolio from 1932 to 1935.
Arthur Meighen was persuaded to become Conservative Party leader again in 1941. He was defeated in a by-election and returned to a business career.