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Political Biography of John Milne Barbour (1868 - 1951)

Barbour was born in Lisburn and educated at Elstree School, Harrow School, Brasenose College, Oxford and Dannstadt, Germany. He was High Sheriff of County Armagh in 1905 and of County Down in 1907 and also served as President of the Belfast Chamber of Commerce in 1911. A member of Belfast Harbour Commissioners from 1914 until 1950, he also held the presidency of the Royal Victoria Hospital, Belfast. He twice was president of the Royal Ulster Agricultural Society; from 1925 to 1930 and then from 1931 until his death. He was a member of the Senate of Queen's University, Belfast.

A member of the Ulster Unionist Party, he was elected to represent Antrim in the Northern Ireland Parliament in the general election of 1921. He was also elected to the South Antrim seat in the 1929 general election. Barbour held both these seats until his death in 1951. During his career he was both Parliamentary and Financial Secretary. He was Minister of Finance from 7 June, 1921 until 22 April, 1937 and Minister of Commerce from 16 April, 1925 until 16 January 1941. Barbour returned to the office of Minister of Finance from 16 January, 1941 until 6 May, 1943. He was a member of the General Synod of the Church of Ireland.

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