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inefficiency can be supposed to keep in existence a grant discontinued fifteen years ago passes comprehension.1
Unnecessary and absurd, however, as this financial confusion must appear, its evils are less serious in practice than in theory. And from an administrative point of view the power to withhold grants has had the desired effect. England has obtained a generally efficient system of police without taking a single step on the road to a the road to a "Police State." Here, again, the central control which has been established is entirely in accordance with English conceptions and traditions, and is strictly measured by the practical needs of administration. The Home Office is in the position of an Inspector-in-Chief, who, by regular communications and correspondence with the local authorities, gets accurate information from all parts of the country, and by keeping in touch with actual administration becomes the adviser without becoming the dictator of local authorities. Here again the utmost that the English rule of law allows to a department of government is the financial pressure involved in granting or refusing taxpayers' money to the relief of local rates.
II. Board of Trade 2
The Council for Trade and Plantations was abolished in 1782, but in 1786 a new Committee of Trade and Plantations was established by Order in Council. Its functions were at first purely consultative; but, gradually-mainly in consequence of railway legislation-it came to be one of the most important administrative departments of the central government. Its popular title of the Board of Trade was first recognised by statute in 1862. Its chief is called the President.
The Board of Trade has no regular administrative connection with the local authorities as such. The principal
1 The above exposition of the police grants was contributed by my friend, Mr. Edwin Cannan, in a letter to the Speaker (29th November 1902). As the subject is not fully treated in any of the text-books, I asked his permission to reproduce his statement, and he most kindly consented.-F. W. H.
2 Cf. Traill, Central Government, p. 123. The principal Acts of Parliament affecting the constitution of the Board of Trade are 22 Geo. III. c. 82 (1782); 7 Geo. IV. c. 32 (1826), which assigned the President a salary of £2000; 24 and 25 Vict. c. 47; and 30 and 31 Vict. c. 72. See also article on Board of Trade in Encyclopædia of the Laws of England.
The Board of
Trade and local
function by which the Board of Trade is brought into relationship with local government is that of granting concessions or licenses authorising local authorities to undertake the supply of gas, water, tramways, or electric light in their districts. It may, by provisional order, authorise the construction of piers, harbours, etc. It is also the duty of the Board to superintend harbour authorities. Bye-laws framed by harbour authorities under the Petroleum Acts for landing cargoes of petroleum have to be confirmed by the Board, which has also to verify every apparatus used for testing petroleum. Another function has recently been conferred by Parliament on the Board of Trade by the Light Railways Act of 1896. By this Act a body called the Light Railways Commissioners has been established under the Board to examine and deal with all petitions made by towns, counties, and districts for authority to make light railways. The procedure is prescribed by the Commissioners, and any scheme approved by them is embodied in the form of an Order, and laid before the Board of Trade for confirmation. If the Commissioners refuse to grant an Order, the promoters may appeal to the Board, which may then itself make or refuse the Order. If the project is a very large one, or is likely to affect seriously the interests of existing railways, the Board of Trade may lay the Order before Parliament; otherwise an Order, once it has been made or confirmed by the Board of Trade, obtains the force of law without being laid before Parliament. This is a distinct innovation upon the law of English administration, and marks the highest point hitherto touched by Parliament in strengthening the powers of a central department. Private Bills affecting harbours, electric telegraphs, and other undertakings which are within the scope of the department are considered by the Board of Trade, and the Board may suggest amendments. Another illustration of the connection between the Board of Trade and local government may be found in the Municipal Corporations Act 1882 (sec. 214). Any scheme in connection with the grant of a municipal charter must be referred for consideration to the Board of
1 59 and 60 Vict. c. 48. The statute has been edited with notes by Brice in his Light Railways and Tramways, London, 1897.
Trade if it affects a harbour authority. The Board of Trade is divided into seven departments: (1) Statistical and commercial; (2) railways; (3) marine (merchant shipping, sea fisheries, etc.); (4) harbours; (5) finance; (6) fisheries; and (7) bankruptcy. Each of these departments is employed in carrying out a separate group of enactments.
III. The Board of Agriculture1
This department is a creation of the nineteenth century, having grown up out of various bodies. It was created for the purpose of looking after the general interests of agriculture in Great Britain. It superintends the improvement and inclosure of land, looks after markets and fairs, and takes precautions to prevent the spread of certain infectious diseases among cattle and other animals. In 1851 the Tithe and Copyhold Commissioners (1836) and the Inclosure Commissioners (1845) were merged. The department was reorganised in 1882 under the name of the of the Board of Land Commissioners. Finally, in 1889, a new Agriculture. department of agriculture called the Board of Agriculture was formed. To it the work of the Land Commissioners was transferred, as well as a number of functions exercised by the Local Government Board, the Board of Trade, and the Privy Council. Its chief, the President, is usually a member of the Cabinet, and always of the Ministry. At the head of the permanent staff are the Secretary, three Assistant Secretaries, and a Legal Adviser. Two other important officials attached to the Board are the Chief Veterinary Officer and the Chief Agricultural Analyst. In London the Board has two main offices. One is at Whitehall, its business being divided into the Animals Division (which has an indoor and an outdoor branch) and three branches for Intelligence, Education, and Accounts. The second office is in St. James Square, and may be described as the Land Division. It has to do with inclosures, commons, and many copyhold, tithe, and land Acts. It has also a statistical branch, a law branch, and veterinary department. The Ordnance Survey is also conducted by the
1 I do not know of any book on the Board of Agriculture.
Board, but the Survey has its headquarters at Southampton. The Board of Agriculture has administrative relations with the councils of counties, and of boroughs of more than 10,000 inhabitants under the Diseases of Animals Acts 1894 and 1896;' as well as many duties and powers under a variety of Acts passed to encourage and protect agriculture, which have to be carried out under, and in accordance with, its orders and regulations. Thus the Board issues Orders for the suppression of rabies and other diseases under the Diseases of Animals Acts 1894 and 1896, and also Orders under the Destructive Insects Act 1877. Of all the Acts administered by the Board, the Diseases of Animals Acts are the most important, and involve the largest amount of work. How great are its powers under them may be indicated by a reference to two sections of the Act of 1894, which consolidated previous law on the subject. By section 2"The local authorities in this Act described shall execute and enforce this Act and every order of the Board of Agriculture so far as the same are to be executed or enforced by local authorities." And section 34 (1) gives the Board the uttermost power which Parliament has ever given to a central department for the coercion of local authorities: When a local authority fails to execute or enforce any of the provisions of this Act, or of an order of the Board of Agriculture, the Board may by order empower a person therein named to execute and enforce those provisions, or to procure the execution and enforcement thereof." The Board has not yet made use of this section, and would probably be very reluctant to do so. The Board keeps in touch with the local authorities partly by means of special inspectors, partly by correspondence. Copies of orders made by County Councils and Joint-Committees have to be sent in certain cases to the Board of Agriculture. Apart from its sub-legislative powers, the main function of the Board is to collect and distribute agricultural statistics, to promote scientific methods of farming, to assist agricultural education, and to give advice and information upon questions of agricultural interest. Early in 1903 it was announced that the supervision of fisheries will be transferred to the Board of Agriculture.
1 With which must be read the Board of Agriculture Act 1889. See Diseases of Animals Act 1894, sec. 1.
IV. The Board of Education1
This is one of the youngest, though not the least important of the great government departments. At present the old division of the staff of inspectors is retained. For the purposes of elementary education the whole country is divided into about a hundred inspectors' districts, for each of which an inspector is appointed, with the title of His Majesty's Inspector of Schools. He is assisted by one or more subordinates, and there are about twelve Chief Inspectors. In addition to this there are in the office itself a number of first-class clerks called Junior and Senior Examiners. This larger branch of the Board has its office in Whitehall. The smaller branch has its office at South Kensington, and has a small number of examiners and inspectors. When a new building, now commenced, is completed, the two staffs will be amalgamated. The Board owes its present name and constitution to the Board of Education Act 1899,2 under which two large departments of education-formerly Committees of the Privy Council-named the Committee of Education and the Science and Art Department, Central super- were united into one Board, under a President and a Parliamentary secretary, who are members of the Administration and represent the Board in Parliament. Until 1899 the administrative relationship of the central to the local educational authorities was confined to elementary education; and central control here took the typically English form of central inspection, coupled with state grants-in-aid. For the purpose of encouraging local authorities this form was refined and elaborated, so that the amount of the grantsin-aid varied according to the standard of efficiency; and the central department of education was not driven, like the central police authority, to a bare choice between making and withholding the grant. But as regards elementary education, successive codes have reduced the limits of variation, until
vision of primary
1 Cf. The State in Relation to Education, by Sir Henry Craik, 1896; Graham Balfour, op. cit., and the Board of Education Act 1899 (62 and 63 Vict. c. 33), and also Traill, op. cit. p. 140 sqq. The best treatise on the law of education is by Sir Hugh Owen.
2 62 and 63 Vict. c. 33.