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The Dictionary of Australasian Biography/Smith, Hon. (Arthur) Bruce

< The Dictionary of Australasian Biography

Smith, Hon. (Arthur) Bruce, M.L.A., is the fourth son of the late Captain William Howard Smith, of Melbourne, Vict., founder of the well-known ship-owning firm of Howard Smith & Sons. He was born in 1851, and in 1866 entered upon a mercantile career, which he followed until the year 1872. He then retired from commercial pursuits with a view to qualifying himself for the bar, and entered the Melbourne University, for which he had matriculated in the previous year. He remained at that university one year, after which he proceeded to London and entered as a student at the Inner Temple in Dec. 1873. being called to the bar in Jan. 1877. He returned to Victoria in 1878 where he practised at the bar for two years. In 1880 he was admitted to the New South Wales bar, and commenced practice in Sydney. Having turned his attention to politics, he was in 1884 elected to the Legislative Assembly as member for Gundagai, which constituency he represented till 1886. In 1889 he was elected for the Glebe, which he still represents in the Legislative Assembly. On Sir Henry Parkes' accession to power, in March 1889, he accepted the portfolio of Public Works, which office he retained till August 1891, when, on the retirement of Mr. MᶜMillan, he accepted the position of Colonial Treasurer, which he retained till the defeat of the Ministry in Oct. of that year. He is the author of a political treatise on the limit of State functions, entitled "Liberty and Liberalism."