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HALBAN, HEINRICH, RITTER VON:

Austrian statesman; born at Cracow 1846; died at Gastein Aug. 13, 1902. Halban, whose name was originally Blumenstock, studied law at Cracow, and went to Vienna some time before 1870, where he devoted himself to journalism. When Potocki became president of the Council of Ministers (1870) he appointed Blumenstock to a position in the press bureau, where he advocated in the Polish papers the policy of the government. He rose to great prominence under the ministry of Count Taaffe (1878), who made him a court councilor in 1885, and a year later appointed him chief of the Reichsrath's office, in which capacity he had the important task of representing the government in its transactions with the parliamentary parties. Blumenstock, whom Count Taaffe had ennobled with the title of "Ritter von Halban," rose to the height of his power under the ministry of his Galician countryman, Count Badeni (1895), and was considered the real leader in the government. After the resignation of Badeni (1897) he became very unpopular, and retired from public life in 1898. He had been converted to Christianity in the beginning of his career, and was married to a sister of the socialist deputy Victor Adler.

Bibliography:
  • Neue Freie Presse, Vienna, Aug. 14, 1902.
S. D.
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