Arthur Meighen was a Canadian lawyer and politician who served as the ninth prime minister of Canada from 1920 to 1921 and from June to September 1926.
50 Facts About Arthur Meighen
Arthur Meighen led the Conservative Party from 1920 to 1926 and from 1941 to 1942.
Arthur Meighen studied mathematics at the University of Toronto, and then trained to be a lawyer.
Arthur Meighen prominently served as solicitor general, minister of the interior, and superintendent-general of Indian affairs.
Arthur Meighen suffered a heavy defeat in the 1921 election to Mackenzie King and the Liberal Party.
Arthur Meighen lost his seat but re-entered Parliament through a 1922 by-election and remained Opposition leader.
Arthur Meighen soon lost a no-confidence motion and faced another federal election.
Arthur Meighen lost his own seat, and the Conservatives lost 24, as Mackenzie King's Liberals re-took power.
Arthur Meighen was appointed to the Senate in 1932, and under Prime Minister R B Bennett served as leader of the Government in the Senate and minister without portfolio until 1935.
In 1941, Arthur Meighen became leader of the Conservatives for a second time, following Robert Manion's resignation.
Arthur Meighen unsuccessfully attempted to re-enter the House of Commons in a by-election for York South and resigned as leader shortly thereafter.
Arthur Meighen was born on a farm near the hamlet of Anderson in Blanshard Township, Ontario, to Joseph Arthur Meighen and Mary Jane Bell.
Arthur Meighen attended primary school at Blanshard public school in Anderson, where, in addition to being the grandson of the village's first schoolmaster, he was an exemplary student.
In 1892, during his final high school year at St Marys Collegiate Institute, which later became North Ward Public School in St Marys Meighen was elected secretary of the literary society and was an expert debater in the school debating society in an era when debating was in high repute.
Arthur Meighen took first class honours in mathematics, English, and Latin.
Arthur Meighen then earned his teaching qualifications from the Ontario Normal College.
In 1904 Meighen married Isabel J Cox, with whom he had two sons and one daughter.
Early in his professional career, Arthur Meighen experimented with several professions, including those of teacher, lawyer, and businessman, before becoming involved in politics as a member of the Conservative Party.
In public, Arthur Meighen was a first-class debater, said to have honed his oratory by delivering lectures to empty desks after class.
Arthur Meighen was first elected to the House of Commons of Canada in 1908, at the age of 34, defeating incumbent John Crawford when he captured the Manitoba riding of Portage la Prairie.
In 1911, Arthur Meighen won re-election, this time as a member of the new governing party.
Arthur Meighen won election again in 1913, after being appointed as solicitor general.
Arthur Meighen served as solicitor general from June 26,1913, until August 25,1917, when he was appointed minister of mines and secretary of state for Canada.
Arthur Meighen was responsible for implementing mandatory military service during the Conscription Crisis of 1917.
Arthur Meighen's portfolios were again shifted on October 12,1917, this time to the positions of minister of the interior and superintendent of Indian affairs.
Arthur Meighen was re-elected in the December 1917 federal election, in which Prime Minister Robert Borden's Unionist government defeated the opposition Laurier Liberals over the conscription issue.
In 1919, as acting minister of justice and senior Manitoban in Borden's government, Arthur Meighen helped to subdue the Winnipeg General Strike.
Arthur Meighen was re-appointed Minister of Mines on the last day of 1920.
Arthur Meighen became leader of the Conservative and the Unionist Party, and Prime Minister on July 10,1920, when Borden resigned and William Thomas White declined the Governor General's invitation to be appointed Prime Minister.
Arthur Meighen's government cut spending, resisted regulation, and minimally intervened in the economy and employers.
At the 1921 Imperial Conference, Arthur Meighen successfully campaigned against the renewal of the Anglo-Japanese Alliance by citing that the alliance would alienate the United States and negatively affect Canada's relationship with the United States, which Canada depended upon for its security.
Arthur Meighen fought the 1921 election under the banner of the National Liberal and Conservative Party in an attempt to keep the allegiance of Liberals who had supported the wartime Unionist government.
Arthur Meighen was personally defeated in Portage la Prairie, with his party nationally falling to third place behind the newly formed agrarian Progressive Party.
Arthur Meighen continued to lead the Conservative Party, and was returned to Parliament in 1922, after winning a by-election in the eastern Ontario riding of Grenville.
Arthur Meighen looked down upon King, whom he called "Rex", and considered him unprincipled.
Arthur Meighen was left with a reputation as being blindly in favour of Britain's interests.
Arthur Meighen, having secured a measure of support from the opposition Progressives, was invited by Byng to form a government, which Arthur Meighen accepted.
King used the technique to mock the government and further his accusation that Arthur Meighen had acted irresponsibly by accepting Byng's appointment, attracting Progressive support to take down the fledgling government.
Arthur Meighen announced his resignation as Conservative Party leader shortly thereafter, though during his speech at the subsequent leadership convention it became clear he was attempting to rouse the floor to gain a new term.
Arthur Meighen served as Leader of the Government in the Senate and Minister without Portfolio from February 3,1932, to October 22,1935.
Arthur Meighen served as Leader of the Opposition in the Senate from 1935 until he resigned from the upper house in January 1942.
In late 1941, Arthur Meighen was prevailed upon by a unanimous vote in a national conference of the party to become leader of the Conservative Party for the duration of the war.
Arthur Meighen accepted the party leadership on November 13,1941, foregoing a leadership convention, and campaigned in favour of overseas conscription, a measure which his predecessor, Robert Manion, had opposed.
Arthur Meighen, lacking a Commons seat, resigned from the Senate on January 16,1942, and campaigned in a by-election for the Toronto riding of York South.
Arthur Meighen's candidacy received the improbable support of the Liberal Premier of Ontario Mitchell Hepburn; this act effectively hastened the end of Hepburn's Liberal Premiership, and did not in any case grant Meighen durable electoral support.
Federal Liberal support and rising CCF fortunes ensured that Arthur Meighen was defeated in the February 9,1942, vote.
Arthur Meighen continued to campaign for immediate conscription as part of a "total war" effort through the spring and summer, but did not again seek a seat in the House of Commons.
Arthur Meighen announced in his keynote address to the party on December 9,1942, that he was not a candidate for the leadership and the party subsequently chose Bracken as leader, and renamed itself the Progressive Conservative Party of Canada.
Arthur Meighen died from heart failure in Toronto, aged 86, on August 5,1960, and was buried in St Marys Cemetery, St Marys, Ontario, near his birthplace.
Arthur Meighen had the second longest retirement of any Canadian Prime Minister, at 33 years, 315 days, Joe Clark surpassed him on January 12,2014.