- Francis Bell (New Zealand Prime Minister)
The Right Honourable
name=Sir Francis Henry Dillon Bell
Prime Minister of New Zealand
May 14, 1925
May 30, 1925
(First New Zealand born Prime Minister)
Wellington, New Zealand
Sir Francis Henry Dillon Bell, GCMG, KC (
March 31, 1851, Nelson, New Zealand– 13 March, 1936, Wellington, New Zealand) was the first New Zealand-born Prime Minister of New Zealand.
He was born in Nelson, the eldest son of Sir
Francis Dillon Bell. His mother was Margaret Hort (who was Jewish, but became a Christian).
Auckland Grammar Schooland Otago Boys' High School. At Otago Boys he was the Duxfor four years.
After finishing high school, he travelled to
Englandwhere he attended St John's College, Cambridge, receiving a BA in 1873. On returning to New Zealand, he began practising lawin Wellington.
He served as Crown Solicitor in Wellington from 1878 to 1911. He was a prominent member of both the local and national
law society. He served as the latter's President from 1901 to 1918.
His political career began with being elected
Mayor of Wellingtonin 1891, 1892 and 1897. In his first general election in 1890 he was defeated running as an independent for the seat of Wellington City. He was defeated again in a by-election. He finally entered Parliament in the 1893 election, serving for one term.
In 1912, the Reform Party came to power, and Bell was appointed to the Legislative Council and became
Minister of Internal Affairsand Immigration. In 1915 he became the Minister of Immigration. In 1918 he became the Attorney-General, a position he would hold until 1926. From 1923 he would also serve as the Minister of Foreign Affairs.
He represented New Zealand at the
League of Nationsin 1922. He would also attend the allied conferences at Genoaand the Hague.
In 1923 he was appointed a Knight Grand Cross of the
Order of St Michael and St Georgeand was appointed to the Privy Council.
On returning to
New Zealand, Bell became Acting Prime Minister while William Masseywas in London. Massey's health began to fail, and Bell took over most control of the government. He officially became Prime Minister on May 14after the death of Massey on May 10. He would serve as Prime Minister for the next 16 days. Bell declined the party's offer to become Prime Minister and was replaced by Gordon Coates.
After giving up his portfolios in 1926, he returned to the
League of Nationswith Coates.
He died in
Wellingtonon 13 March, 1936.
:*citation |first = William James |last = Gardner |title = 'BELL, Sir Francis Henry Dillon, P.C., G.C.M.C., K.C.', from An Encyclopaedia of New Zealand, edited by A. H. McLintock, originally published in 1966. Te Ara - The Encyclopedia of New Zealand, updated 18-Sep-2007 |url = http://www.TeAra.govt.nz/1966/B/BellSirFrancisHenryDillonPcGcmc/en |accessdate = 2008-04-28
:*"The electronic version of this article is the" third URL "in External links below."
:*citation |first = William James |last = Gardner |title = 'Bell, Francis Henry Dillon 1851 - 1936'. Dictionary of New Zealand Biography, updated 22 June 2007 |url = http://www.dnzb.govt.nz/ |accessdate = 2008-04-28
:*"The electronic version of this article is the" second URL "in External links below."
:*citation |first1 = William Downie |last1 = Stewart |title = The Right Honourable Sir Francis H.D. Bell, P.C., G.C.M.G., K.C. : his life and times |place = Wellington, [N.Z.] |publisher = Butterworth |year = 1937
* [http://www.primeminister.govt.nz/oldpms/1925bell.html Former PM's - Official website of the Prime Minister of New Zealand] . Accessed
May 16, 2005
* [http://www.dnzb.govt.nz/dnzb/default.asp?Find_Quick.asp?PersonEssay=2B16 "Dictionary of New Zealand Biography"]
* [http://www.teara.govt.nz/1966/B/BellSirFrancisHenryDillonPcGcmc/BellSirFrancisHenryDillonPcGcmc/en Biography in 1966 Encyclopaedia of New Zealand]
* [http://www.teara.govt.nz/1966/B/BellSirFrancisDillon/BellSirFrancisDillon/en Biography of his father, Sir Francis Dillon Bell]
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