Open main menu

The New International Encyclopædia/Millerand, Alexandre

MILLERAND, mḗl'räN', Alexandre (1859—). A French Socialist, born in Paris, where he was educated at the Lycée Vanves and the Lycée Henri IV., and studied law in the university. He began to practice in Paris in 1881, was counsel to the striking miners of Montceau-les-Mines in 1882, and was elected to the municipal council in 1884 and in 1885, as a Radical Socialist, to the Chamber of Deputies. To this office he was elected again and again, first in 1889, when he carried on a vigorous anti-Boulangist campaign. In the same year he became proprietor of La Voix, which he made his personal organ. In the Chamber of Deputies Millerand urged many reforms, especially industrial, and came into prominence as editor-in-chief of the Petite République (until 1896) and as an impassioned orator. In 1899, as leader of the Parliamentary or Opportunist Socialists, he was made Minister of Commerce in the Waldeck-Rousseau Cabinet, and in this office procured, in October, the passage of an industrial bill assuring workmen one day's rest a week, only a certain percentage of foreign labor, a set rate, and a fixed day; in 1900 passed a law making ten hours the maximum day for women and children; and in general made many attempts to insure workingmen against loss and to procure the adoption of compulsory arbitration. In 1902, just before the Cabinet went out of office, a bill was passed making eight hours the maximum day for French miners. Consult Lavy, L'œuvre de Millerand (Paris, 1902).