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OBITUARY

FORMER MINISTERS

SIR ALFRED RANSOM Sir Alfred Ransom, K.C.M.G., who represented the Pahiatua electorate in Parliament for the last 20 years and was twice Acting Prime Minister of New Zealand, died at Dannevirke this morning. He was 75 years of age and had been for some time in poor health, for which reason he announced in 1940 that he would not be a candidate at the next General Election. Sir Alfred was born at Lower Hutt, and was a schoolmate of Sir Thomas Wilford. ' For the past 62 years he had been closely identified with Dannevirke, where he entered into business. He was a former Mayor of the town, having occupied that position from 1910 to 1919. He was chairman of the Hawke's Bay War Relief Association (and chairman of the Dannevirke branch), chairman of the Dannevirke Power Board (a position he relinquished upon his. elevation to the Ministry), was the first president of the Dannevirke Chamber of Commerce, chairman of the Dannevirke Fire Board, a member of the High SchooJ Board, a member of the executive of the Farmers' Union,, and the Dannevirke A. and P. Association, besides holding many other position^. As a Liberal, Sir Alfred was returned to Parliament for Pahiatua in 1922, and he remained in Parliament to the time of his death. He held the seat under the Nationalist banner from 1925 to 1928, acting as one of the party whips. On the amalgamation of the Nationalists and the United group he was appointed Deputy Leader of the United Party for the North Island, and at the 1928 General Election was returned to Parliament as the United Party representative for Pahiatua. In

the Ward Government, Sir Alfred was Minister of Public Works from December, 1928, to May, 1930, and in the Forbes Government he was appointed Minister of Lands, Minister in Charge of the Valuation Department, and Commissioner of State Forests. He retained those positions upon the formation of the Coalition Government in September, 1931. During the absence of the Hon. G. W. Forbes at the Imperial Conferences in 1930 and 1935 Sir Alfred was' Acting Prime Minister and Leader of the House of Representatives. He retained the Pahiatua seat at the last General Election in 1938. In his younger days Sir Alfred played Rugby and tennis, and during the Boer War was officer in charge of the Ruahine Mounted Rifles. Since ' 1920 he had been sheep farming in the Akitio district. The funeral will take place at Dannevirke on Monday afternoon. MR. SYDNEY G. SMITH The death of Mr. Sydney George Smith, a former Minister of the Crown, is reported in a Press Association message from New Plymouth. Mr. Smith was Minister of Labour and Immigration in the Forbes Ministry, and a member of the Ward and Forbes Governments •in 1930-31. From 1934 to 1935 he was Minister of Education. During his Parliamentary career he also served as Chairman of Committees of the House of Representatives. His late father, Mr. Edward M. Smith,

was also a member of the House of Representatives for a number of years. Mr. Smith was known as "Sid" to a wide circle of friends. He was born at New Plymouth in 1879. For 20 years he was in the railways service, and for 13 years was an officer of the A.S.R.S. For a number of years he also held several offices in the trade union movement. From 1918 to 1925 he was M.P. for Taranaki, and for ten years from 1928 was M.P. for New Plymouth being defeated by the present member, Mr. F. L. Frost (Labour). Mr. Smith had a long association with education interests in Taranaki, and was also a member of the New Plymouth Borough Council. As a member of the old United Party he had the distinction of being the first Minister of Unemployment, and piloted j the first Unemployment Bill through the House. He. was one of the Mm

inters in the United Ministry who voluntarily retired to enable the formation of the Coalition Government to be carried out. In his youth Mr. Smith was a keen, Rugby player, and in his later years took an active part in the administration of the game in Taranaki. He is survived by his wife and three sons serving overseas, Captain E. G. Smith, who is a prisoner of war, Captain R. S. Smith, and Pilot Officer H. A, Smith. There are three daughters, Mrs. R. H. Turnbull (Stratford), Miss E. M. Smith, W.A.A.F., and Miss L. H. Smith, New Plymouth. The Prime Minister (Mr. Fraser) last night expressed deep regret at the death of Mr. Smith, recalling that he himself had entered Parliamant and been sworn in as a member of the House of Representatives on the same day as Mr. Smith. The Prime Minister said that Mr. Smith had given long service both as a private member and Minister of the Crown, showing practical knowledge and ability in the administration of the portfolio of Labour. Mr. Fraser expressed his sincere sympathy and that of the Government to Mrs. Smith and the members of the family.

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Permanent link to this item

https://paperspast.natlib.govt.nz/newspapers/EP19430522.2.62

Bibliographic details

OBITUARY, Evening Post, Volume CXXXV, Issue 120, 22 May 1943

Word Count
851

OBITUARY Evening Post, Volume CXXXV, Issue 120, 22 May 1943

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