1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Doumer, Paul

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DOUMER, PAUL (1857-  ), French politician, was born at Aurillac. He studied law and made his debut in politics as chef de cabinet to Floquet, when president of the chamber in 1885. In 1888 he was elected Radical deputy for the department of the Aisne. Defeated in the general elections of September 1889, he was elected again in 1890 by the arrondissement of Auxerre. As minister of finance in the Bourgeois cabinet (from the 3rd of November 1895 to the 21st of April 1896) he tried without success to introduce an income-tax. In January 1897 he became governor of Indo-China, where he carried out important public works. In 1902 he returned to France and was elected by Laon to the chamber as a Radical. He refused, however, to support the Combes ministry, and formed a Radical dissident group, which grew in strength and eventually caused the fall of the ministry. Doumer became a prominent personage in Paris and was elected president of the chamber in January 1905, being re-elected in January 1906. At the presidential election of the 17th of January 1906 he was a candidate in opposition to M. Fallières and obtained only 371 votes against 449; and the new chamber passed him over as its new president in favour of Henri Brisson. As an author he is known by his L’Indo-Chine française (1904), and Le Livre de mes fils (1906).