De Meester was the son of Gerrit Abraham de Meester (1817–1864), who had been a member of the Dutch parliament for the Zwolle constituency from 1862 to 1864. A former administrator in the Dutch East Indies, De Meester's cabinet was inaugurated on 17 August 1905. It consisted of five Liberal, two Free-minded Democratic, and two non-partisan ministers. It had no majority in either of the two Dutch chambers, and earned the nickname Porcelain Cabinet. His government first resigned in December 1906, when the defence budget for 1907 wasn't approved by the Dutch senate. That resignation was refused by Queen Wilhelmina, but the government fell in December 1907, when the Dutch parliament disapproved the defence budget for 1908. The government remained as a demissionair until 12 February 1908.