1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Wekerle, Santor

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WEKERLE, SANTOR [Alexander] (1848- ), Hungarian statesman, was born on the 14th of November 1848 at Móór, in the comitat of Stuhlweissenburg. After studying law at the university of Budapest he graduated doctor juris. He then entered the government service, and after a period of probation was appointed to a post in the ministry of finance. He still, however, continued an academic career by lecturing on political economy at the university. In 1886 Wekerle was elected to the House of Deputies, became in the same year financial secretary of state, and in 1889 succeeded Tisza as minister of finance. He immediately addressed himself to the task of improving the financial position of the country, carried out the conversion of the State loans, and succeeded, for the first time in the history of the Hungarian budget, in avoiding a deficit. In November 1892 Wekerle succeeded Count Szapáry as premier, though still retaining the portfolio of finance. At the head of a strong government he was enabled, in spite of a powerful opposition of Catholics and Magnates, to carry in 1894 the Civil Marriage Bill. The continued opposition of the clerical party, however, brought about his resignation on the 22nd of December 1894, when he was succeeded by Banffy. On the 1st of January 1897 he was appointed president of the newly created judicial commission at Budapest, and for the next few years held aloof from politics, even under the ex-lex government of Fejérváry. On the reconciliation of the king-emperor with the coalition he was therefore selected as the most suitable man to lead the new government, and on the 8th of April 1906 was appointed prime minister, taking at the same time the portfolio of finance. He resigned the premiership on the 27th of April 1909, but was not finally relieved of his office until the formation of the Khuen-Hedérváry cabinet on the 17th of January 1910.