Walter Hauser (politician, 1837)

from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Walter Hauser

Walter Hauser (born May 1, 1837 in Wädenswil ; † October 22, 1902 in Bern ; resident in Wädenswil) was a Swiss entrepreneur and politician ( FDP ). The tannery that he took over from his father was one of the largest in Switzerland. From 1869 to 1881 he was the Zurich Cantonal , then seven years Regierungsrat . At the federal level he was a member of the National Council from 1869 to 1875 , and of the Council of States from 1879 . In December 1888 Hauser was elected to the Federal Council, to which he belonged until his death. With one brief exception, he was always head of the finance department. In the years 1892 and 1900 he was Federal President .


Profession and other activities

He was the second youngest son of the wealthy master tanner and chief of staff, Jakob Arnold Hauser, and of Emilie Theiler. After elementary school he attended the "Institut Heer" in Wädenswil, and later the grammar school in Zurich . Since he was interested in science, Hauser actually intended to become a pharmacist . But when his eldest brother died, he joined his father's company in his place in 1854. He completed an apprenticeship as a tanner and rose to become managing director and owner. His tannery was one of the largest in Switzerland. In 1865 he married Marie Sophie Wiedemann; the couple had four daughters, including the painter Sophie Hauser .

Hauser was an artillery officer in the army . In 1875 he was promoted to major , in 1880 to lieutenant colonel, and in 1888 to colonel . He was also the commander of the Wädenswil fire brigade and a member of the local gymnastics club. He was always open to technical innovations; he was one of the initiators of the left bank of the Zürichseebahn (1859), the Wädenswil-Einsiedeln-Bahn (1870) and the Wädenswil gasworks (1874).

Cantonal and national politics

At the end of the 1860s, Hauser began to become politically active and joined the left-liberal democratic movement that advocated direct democracy , social reforms and a centralized state. He appeared as a level-headed politician who skillfully fought against the political system ruled by Alfred Escher , but not in a reckless way. As a member of the Constitutional Council , he participated in the drafting of the new constitution for the Canton of Zurich in 1868 . A year later he was elected to the Cantonal Council, followed in 1881 by the election to the Government Council . In the cantonal government, he headed the finance department until 1887, then the construction department.

In the parliamentary elections in 1869 , Hauser ran successfully in the Zurich-South constituency . As a member of the National Council , he participated intensively in the debates about the total revision of the Federal Constitution . With factual arguments, he won respect and influence from his political opponents. He was against the subsidization of the Gotthard Railway by the federal government, as he expected greater advantages for the Canton of Zurich from a railway under the Splügen Pass . In 1875 he renounced a renewed candidacy and asserted health reasons for it; however, his opposition to the Gotthard Railway is likely to have played a role. After his friend Wilhelm Hertenstein was elected to the Federal Council in 1879 , Hauser took over its seat on the Council of States . In 1880 he sold his tannery so that he could devote himself entirely to politics, and in 1883 he was President of the Council of States .

Hauser had turned down a candidacy for Federal Council in 1881. After Hertenstein's death in November 1888, he was still considered the most promising candidate for his successor. On December 13, 1888, the Federal Assembly elected him in the first ballot with 117 of 174 valid votes. The Catholic-Conservative Johann Joseph Keel received 52 votes, and another five votes. On the same day he was assigned the military department.

Federal Council

In his new office, which he took up at the beginning of 1889, Hauser completed several projects started by his predecessor. This included the purchase of the infantry rifle in 1889 and the introduction of smokeless powder . The construction of the Gotthard fortress was also in full swing. From 1891 Hauser was head of the finance and customs department . In 1892 he was Federal President for the first time , but did not have to temporarily take over the Political Department in accordance with the usual practices , as Numa Droz firmly claimed this for himself. In Hauser's second presidential year 1900, however, this was not the case; after Numa Droz's death, he also headed the Political Department (Foreign Affairs) from 1900.

Hauser was considered a budgetary finance minister and benefited from his many years of experience as a councilor. Important reforms were initiated on his initiative, including the introduction of financial control . He was praised as the savior of the federal finances, whereby he also benefited from sharply rising customs revenues. Thanks to this he was able to provide sufficient funds for the upcoming nationalization of the railways. However, his project of a state bank at the federal level was unsuccessful. A corresponding constitutional amendment failed in a referendum on February 27, 1897. The Swiss National Bank was not founded until 1907 .

In the middle of his work, Hauser suffered a stroke on October 21, 1902 , which paralyzed him. He died the following day at the age of 66. In Wädenswil a monument and a street name remind of him.


Web links

Individual evidence

  1. ^ A b Ziegler: Das Bundesratlexikon. P. 189.
  2. ^ Hauser, Sophie, painter. In: Hermann Aellen (Hrsg.): Schweizerisches Zeitgenossen-Lexikon. Lexique suisse des Contemporains. Lessico svizzero dei Contemporanei. Gotthelf-Verlag, Bern / Leipzig undated (1932).
  3. The gymnastics club makes politics. Neue Zürcher Zeitung , January 5, 2011, accessed on April 16, 2019 .
  4. ^ Ziegler: The Federal Council Lexicon. Pp. 189-190.
  5. ^ Ziegler: The Federal Council Lexicon. P. 190.
  6. ^ A b Ziegler: Das Bundesratlexikon. Pp. 190-191.
  7. ^ Federal law on the establishment of the Swiss Bundesbank , result of the vote of February 28, 1897 on
  8. ^ Ziegler: The Federal Council Lexicon. P. 191.
predecessor Office successor
Wilhelm Hertenstein Member of the Swiss Federal Council
Ludwig Forrer