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arrangement of ministerial offices, he must make known his views to the Prime Minister. It is only the First Minister who can make changes in an Administration, subject, of course, to the approbation of the Queen. If he should vacate office, the Ministry is dissolved.
I have placed the Lord Chancellor second, instead of first, on my list of Cabinet ministers, because, though, in point of precedence, the Lord Chancellor is, with the exception of the Archbishop of Canterbury, the highest officer in the realm, yet the Prime Minister is regarded as the head of the Cabinet. The Lord Chancellor is a Privy Councillor by his office; a Cabinet Minister; and, according to Lord Chancellor Ellesmere, prolocutor of the House of Lords by prescription. To him belongs the appointment of all the justices of the peace throughout the kingdom. Being in former times commonly an ecclesiastic (for none else were then capable of an office so conversant with writing), and presiding over the royal chapel, he became keeper of the Sovereign's conscience; visitor, in right of the Crown, of all hospitals and colleges of the King's foundation ; and patron of all the King's livings under the value of £20 per annum in the King's books. He is the general guardian of
all infants, idiots, and lunatics; and has the general superintendence of all charitable uses in the kingdom. And all this over and above the extensive jurisdiction which he exercises in his judicial capacity in the Court of Chancery. In former times the Lord Chancellor was frequently Prime Minister. The Earl of Clarendon, in the reign of Charles II., was the last who occupied this position; but his successors in office have invariably been leading members of the Cabinet, and for this reason objections have often been urged against the union of judicial and political functions in the office of Lord Chancellor. But the advantage to the Cabinet in having the assistance of the highest equity judge is very great, whilst no injury has ever yet occurred to the interests of justice from the frequent changes of this functionary, which are incidental to parliamentary government. + The Lord President of the Council is an officer of great dignity and importance, though he no longer possesses the powers he anciently exercised. He presides over the department of the Privy Council, and has the patronage of its entire establishment. He sits next the Sovereign at the Council-table, to propose the business to be transacted, and to take her Majesty's pleasure thereupon. He has the general superintendence and control of the Education department (which I hope will soon have a special minister of its own), and has to frame minutes of Council upon subjects which do not belong to any other department of State. He is also responsible for appointing and summoning such special committees of Council as may be required from time to time, and for receiving their reports. Subordinate to his department are separate establishments in relation to public health, the cattle plague, and quarantine. The Lord President is generally a member of the House of Lords.
The office of Lord Privy Seal is one of great trust, though its duties are not very onerous, for they simply consist in applying the Privy Seal once or twice a - week to a number of patents. Ever since Henry VIII. the Privy Seal has been the warrant of the legality of grants from the Crown, and the authority of the Lord Chancellor for affixing the Great Seal.* All grants of the Crown for appointments to office, creations of honours,
* There are some important instruments, however, which pass under the Great Seal without warrants of Privy Seal-viz., pat. ents of appointments of various Common-Law Judges and officers, and commissions for opening and proroguing Parliament, and for giving the royal assent to bills in Parliament.
THE LORD PRIVY SEAL
patents of inventions, &c., must be made by charters or letters - patent under the Great Seal ; and the command of the Lord Chancellor to prepare such a document is by means of a writ or a bill sealed with the Privy Seal, because the Queen cannot herself make letters-patent except by means of her ministers, who act according to her legal commands. The Lord Privy Seal is always in the Cabinet, and as his official duties are light, he is at liberty to afford assistance to the Administration in other ways, and he often has to attend to matters which require the investigation of a member of the Government. With regard to this official, a daily paper remarks :-"He is, as a rule, a man who has served the State in other capacities, and is conversant with the duties of probably more than one department. Released from official routine, he is in the first place free to assist his leader of the Upper House in debate, and to master any subject likely to come up for discussion. But beyond this obvious work there is a large part of statesmanship which consists in confidential investigation and preparative study. While the ordinary executive work of the country accrues from day to day, requiring daily decision and daily despatch, the work of renewing and reforming our legislation also demands the time and thoughts of our Cabinet. If every member of the Cabinet Council were, like the Secretaries of State, abundantly occupied with urgent affairs arising day by day, there would be nobody to forecast the necessary legislation, to note the currents of public opinion, to observe the signs of the times, to perceive the new needs that arise in the 'stress and storm' of modern competition and the daily struggles of our mixed society and affluent national life. The Prime Minister of the day has this duty imperatively imposed on him, but he requires aides. He cannot ask men cumbered with the reading and answering of a hundred daily letters or a score of serious despatches, and with the governance of hundreds of thousands or even millions of men, to turn aside from such pressing work in order to assist him in some preparative task intended to lay the basis of legislation, perhaps this session, perhaps next year. He wants for such purposes accomplished and experienced men, with the full sense of responsibility, and with ample leisure. No head-clerk, however able, could fulfil these conditions; and hence the use of retaining such offices as that of the Lord Privy Seal and the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster, who may be in the Cabinet, but who have no heavy duties of