Arthur Meighen

The Right Honourable Arthur Meighen, 9th Prime Minister of Canada.

Served:
29 June 1926 – 25 September 1926
10 July 1920 – 29 December 1921

Born: June 16, 1874 at Anderson, Ontario
Died: August 5, 1960, at age 86, in Toronto, Ontario
Resting place: St. Marys Cemetery, St. Marys, Ontario

 

Political parties:
Conservative
(1908-1917, 1922-1942)
Unionist
(1917-1922)
Progressive Conservative
(1942-1960)

He was a Canadian lawyer and politician.   He was also the first Prime Minister born after Confederation, and the only one to represent a riding in Manitoba. Both of his terms of office were brief. Meighen later served for a decade in the Senate of Canada, and failed in a political comeback attempt in 1941-42, after which he returned to the practice of law.

In public, Meighen was a first-class debater, said to have honed his oratory by delivering lectures to empty desks after class. He was renowned for his sharp wit.

The Liberal government of Mackenzie King was soon beset with scandals and corruption. Much of this was uncovered in a Royal Commission established to probe wrongdoing in Quebec, and in particular, in connection with the construction and expansion of the Beauharnois Canal, leading to the Beauharnois Scandal.  The Tories won a plurality of seats in the inconclusive election of 1925, but King was able to retain power until mid-1926 through an alliance with the Progressives. Meighen denounced King for staying in power, saying he was holding onto office like a “lobster with lockjaw.” Another corruption scandal, this time in the Customs Department, was soon discovered, making the Progressives even more wary of continuing their support for King.  For more about the scandals, you can find on my page at Prohibition and the Custom Scandal of 1926.

 On a personal note:
In 1904 he married Isabel J. Cox, with whom he had 3 children (two sons and one daughter).

 

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