6 JULY 1867, Page 13


LORD DERBY'S third Administration came into power on the 6th of July, 1866, and has, therefore, been in existence twelve months. The anniversary of the transfer of the Seals of Office seems to be a suitable occasion on which to contrast the Government of to-day with that originally presented as claiming the confidence of the country.

In the selection of his Cabinet the Premier adhered to the number —fifteen—which had been adopted by Lord Palmerston and fol- . lowed by Earl Russell. The choice of Departments, however, slightly differed. The Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and the Postmaster-General were excluded, and in their room Lord Derby introduced the First Commissioner of Works and the Chief Secretary for Ireland. The first changes in the Cabinet took place eight months after its construction. On the 2nd of March, the Earl of Carnarvon, Secretary for the Colonies ; General Peel, Secretary for War ; and Viscount Cranborne, Secretary for India, resigned on account of their inability to assent to the Reform Bill. Lord Carnarvon's successor was the Duke of Buckingham, then Lord President of the Council. The post thus vacated was assigned to the Duke of Marlborough, and the office of Lord Steward of the Household, which that nobleman had held, was given to the Earl of Tankerville. General Peel was succeeded at the War Office by Sir John Pakington, and this rendered necessary the appointment of a new First Lord of the Admiralty. Mr. Corry, who then discharged the duties of Vice-President of the Council, was promoted to be chief in the department of Marine, and was replaced as Minister of Education by Lord Robert Montagu. Sir Stafford Northcote was moved from the Board of Trade to the India Office, and a successor was found in the Duke of Richmond, who, as the Earl of March, filled the post of Pre- sident of the Poor Law Board from April to June, 1859, on the promotion of Mr. Sotheron-Estcourt to the Home Office.

Thus reconstructed the Cabinet continued for a few weeks, when the Prime Minister lost the services of a fourth Secretary of State. The cares of office proving too heavy for Mr. Walpole, he resigned the seals of the Home Department. To him succeeded Mr. Gathorne Hardy, whose removal rendered vacant the Presi- dency of the Poor Law Board. The Earl of Devon was trans- ferred to this office from that of Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster, which, after some delay, was conferred upon Colonel Wilson Patten.

The legal department of the Ministry has witnessed several changes. Within three months after his re-election for Belfast, as Attorney-General for England, Sir Hugh Cairns received the appointment of Lord Justice of Appeal in Chancery, on the resig- nation of Sir J. L. Knight-Bruce. Michaelmas Term was not many weeks old when Chief Justice Erle retired from the Bench, and the Solicitor-General, Sir W. Bovill, took his place in the Court of Common Pleas. Sir J. Rolt and Sir J. B. Karslake, the present Law Officers of the Crown, were then selected to represent Equity and Law respectively. The former was re-elected for West Gloucestershire, the latter found a seat at Andover, where room was made by the withdrawal from Parliament of Mr. Humphery.

As in England, so in Ireland, the legal advisers of the Executive have ascended to the Bench, the chief taking an important position in a Court of Equity, and his colleague accepting a common law judgeship. Early in the autumn Mr. Walsh was appointed Master of the Rolls, on the death of Mr. Cusack Smith. Mr. Morris at once took the position of first Law Officer, and was succeeded in the Solicitor-Generalship by Mr. Chatterton. In March last, Lord Chancellor Blackburne, at 85 years of age, found himself unequal to the discharge of the additional duties cast upon him through the Fenian rising. He therefore surrendered the Great Seal of Ireland, which was confided to the care of Lord Justice Brewster. Mr. Justice Christian was promoted to the Court of Chancery Appeal as successor to Mr. Brewster, and the vacant seat in the Court of Common Pleas was taken by Mr. Attorney-General Morris. On Mr. Chatterton moving up to the Attorney-General- ship, he was succeeded as Solicitor-General by Mr. Warren.

Scotland has lost one of its Law Officers. When Lord Justice- General M'Neill was raised to the Peerage as Lord Colonsay, the vacancy in the Court of Session was supplied by Lord Justice- Clerk Inglis. Lord Advocate Patton succeeded Mr. Inglis, and on Mr. Solicitor-General Gordon taking the post of Lord Advocate, Mr. Millar was selected to be his colleague.

The alterations in the minor posts of the Ministry have not been numerous. The death of the Marquis of Exeter called Lord Burghley to the Peerage. His Lordship consequently resigned the Treasurership of the Royal Household, and to this Colonel the Hon. Percy Herbert, M.P., was appointed. On Mr. Earle relinquishing the post of Secretary to the Poor Law Board, it was given to Mr. Sclater-Booth, M.P. Within the past fort- night the gift of the Parliamentary Under-Secretaryship of the Home Department has fallen to the disposal of the Prime Min- ister, through the nomination of Lord Belmore as Governor of New South Wales. No one has yet been appointed to the vacant post.

The effect of the twelve months' changes has been that the Government has lost the services of the Earl of Carnarvon, General Peel, Viscount Cranborne, the Earl of Belmore, and Lord Burghley ; while it has gained the active co-operation of the Duke of Richmond, the Earl of Tankerville, Lord Robert Montagu, Colonel Percy Herbert, and Colonel Wilson Patten. Mr. Walpole, although no longer holding office, is still a member of the Cabinet, and in order that the number fifteen may not be exceeded, the President of the Poor Law Board is now excluded from the councils of that select body. Nine of its members sit in the Commons, and six in the Lords ; last year the proportion was ten to five. In the Upper House are the Premier, the Lord Chancellor, the Colonial Secretary, the Lord President, the Lord Privy Seal, and the President of the Board of Trade. In the Commons are the Chancellor of the Exchequer, the Home, Foreign, War, India, and Irish Secretaries, the First Lord of the Admiralty, the Commissioner of Works, and the Minister without Portfolio. Eight out of the fifteen departments in the Cabinet have changed their representatives within the year. The Ad- ministration now includes five dukes, one marquis, six earls, one viscount, eight lords (two peers and six known by titles of courtesy), and five baronets. But of forty-seven members of the Ministry only fourteen have seats in the Upper Chamber, while no fewer than thirty-three sit in the House of Commons. This is a large proportion, but it would be increased were seats found for the Scotch Law Officers and for the Irish Solicitor-General, neither of whom has been fortunate enough to get into Parliament.