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OBITUARY

HON. A. D. M CLEOD

FORMER CABINET MINISTER

The death of the Hon. Alexander Donald McLeod, a former Minister of Lands, occurred at his home at Martinborough last night.

Mr. McLeod was one of the bestknown personalities in the Wairarapa, where he was born in 1872, the third son of the late William McLeod. His education was received at home, and in 1895, after serving an apprenticeship on his father's farm, Mr. McLeod took up sheep farming on his own. account. In the following year he was elected a member of the Featherston Road Board, and when the district was formed into a county he became

a member of the County Council until called in 1919 to the larger sphere of political life. Later he represented Wairarapa on the Wairarapa Hospital Board. Returning from a tour abroad in 1908, he began a campaign for the erection of bridges of the beam and slab type in reinforced concrete. In spite of opposition, he had the satisfaction two yei' j later, of seeing an up-to-date concrete bridge more than 700 ft long erected over the Ruamahanga River at Martinborough.

Mr. McLeod was a member of the producers' committee which the Rt. Hon. W- F. Massey consulted in regard to the setting up of the Meat Producers' Board, and was a North Island delegate to the special committee set up to investigate and bring down the preliminary legislation which led to the appointment of the board.

Mr. McLeod entered the House of Representatives in 1919 as Reform member for Wairarapa, and it was not long before he was singled out as one of the most progressive members of the House. In June, 1924, he was appointed Minister of Lands in the Massey Cabinet in succession to the late Hon. D. H. Guthrie, who at that time retired from public life. In May the following year he assumed also the portfolio of Industries and Commerce. In January, 1927, the Minister ordered a tribunal into the proposed operations in NeV Zealand of the Proprietary Articles Trade Association, the report of the Committee of Inquiry resulting in a settlement of the difficulties. Mr. McLeod represented New Zealand at the inauguration of the new Federal capital at Canberra, and the opening of the House of Parliament on May 9, 1927.

Mr. McLeod always identified himself with the welfare of the man on the land, and from the time of his assumption of Cabinet rank carried out a careful, yet vigorously progressive policy of land settlement. Included in the scheme he promoted was a State-assisted scheme for closer settlement of privately-owned lands, development of the clay and pumice lands, and provision of opportunities for what are known as part-time producers. An ardent apostle of the freehold principle, Mr. McLeod did much to provide the right of conversion to Crown leaseholders. He was also responsible for improving the lot of the Rangitaiki settlers and lightening the burden of the soldier settlers. The inauguration of the Hutt Valley settlement scheme also stands to his credit. Mr. McLeod retired from Parliament in 1935, when Mr. B. Koberts, the present member for the Wairarapa, was elected in the Labour interest.

Always keenly interested in sport, Mr. McLeod, before entering Parliament, held several positions on sports bodies, including the vice-presidency of a large number of Rugby football clubs in the Wairarapa. Up to the time of his death he was a steward of the Wairarapa Racing Club.

He leaves a widow and a grown-up family.

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Permanent link to this item

https://paperspast.natlib.govt.nz/newspapers/EP19381021.2.110

Bibliographic details

OBITUARY, Evening Post, Volume CXXVI, Issue 97, 21 October 1938

Word Count
583

OBITUARY Evening Post, Volume CXXVI, Issue 97, 21 October 1938

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