The New Student's Reference Work/Balfour, The Right Hon. Arthur James

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Arthur James Balfour

Balfour, The Right Hon. Arthur James, an English statesman and prime-minister (1902–05), was born July 25, 1848. He was educated at Cambridge University, and in 1874 entered parliament as a member of the Conservative party, and during 1878–80 he was private secretary to his uncle, Lord Salisbury. He was president of the local government board (1885), secretary for Scotland (1886) and chief secretary for Ireland (1887), and then filled the important position of leader of the Conservative party in the House of Commons. In July, 1902, on the retirement of Lord Salisbury, Mr. Balfour became prime minister, a post he held until the close of 1905, when he resigned the premiership and was succeeded by the Liberal leader, Sir Henry Campbell-Bannerman. He is a fine scholar, a man of letters, a metaphysician and a brilliant debater. He has shown himself cool, clear-sighted, quick to think, speak and act. He is the author of quite a well-known work called a Defense of Philosophic Doubt. Besides this work he has published (1905) a volume of essays and addresses. In the election .of 1906 Mr. Balfour lost his seat for Manchester, but now sits in the English House of Commons as a member for the city of London.