The Dictionary of Australasian Biography/Bell, Hon. James
Bell, Hon. James, M.L.C., emigrated to Victoria in 1857, commenced business at Dunolly, and was one of the first representatives of the district, in the Legislative Council, when in 1881 the Reform Act included it in the North-West Province. In 1886 he opened a business in Melbourne. He accepted office without portfolio in the Gillies-Deakin Government on April 20th, 1886, and acted as Minister of Defence during Sir James Lorimer's absence in England, in 1887. He also assisted Mr. Dow in discharging the duties of Minister of Water Supply during Mr. Deakin's attendance at the Colonial Conference in London in that year. On the death of Sir James Lorimer, in Sept. 1889, he was appointed Minister of Defence, and retired with his colleagues in Nov. 1890.