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of the statutes relating to aliens. He has full discretion over the grant of certificates of Naturalisation, and may refuse one even if the applicant has complied with the other statutory requirements. He supervises the working of the various Aliens Acts by which undesirable foreigners are excluded from the country. Where extradition of a criminal is demanded by a foreign state in order that he may suffer the punishment due for his crime, the Home Secretary determines whether the crime is of a political nature or not, and only in the latter case can the offender be surrendered. The Home Secretary also prepares the judicial statistics for England and Wales.
§ 85. The Duties of the Home Secretary (continued).Another class of duties for the due observance of which the Home Secretary is responsible is concerned with the industrial organisation and general well-being of the community. He appoints inspectors for mines, quarries, laundries and factories and workshops. He may declare any trade to be dangerous or injurious to health and lay down special regulations as to its conduct. He gives licences for the practice of vivisection and issues statistics with regard to it. His approval is required for housing schemes in the Metropolis, and he is the authority charged with the administration of the Burial Acts, the Acts relating to cruelty to animals and the preservation of wild birds. Open spaces, explosives and nuisances come within his cognisance. His approval is necessary for byelaws under various statutes relating to such varied matters as the employment of children and the exhibition of advertisements. It would be impossible to give a complete list of the various matters over which he has jurisdiction, but the above account will give an idea of the variety and complexity of his duties. In their discharge he is assisted by one permanent and one parliamentary under-secretary.
There is also an assistant under-secretary and a large staff of clerks and inspectors.
§ 86. The Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs, as his title indicates, is concerned with the relations of this country with others. Each nation appoints agents to represent it in foreign countries. The British representatives are appointed by the Foreign Secretary and receive their instructions from him. They also report to him. These representatives are of two kinds. Ambassadors and Chargés d'affaires are the channels through which diplomatic intercourse is carried on, while consuls have charge over the well-being of British subjects in foreign lands. The latter have also the duty of reporting to the Foreign Office as to the commercial opportunities in the country to which they are sent. Elaborate instructions are issued for their guidance. In the last few years a number of commercial attachés have been appointed to supplement the information supplied by the consuls. It is the duty of the Foreign Office to circulate the commercial intelligence thus obtained among the various Chambers of Commerce in the Kingdom.
The Foreign Secretary, acting in conformity with the wishes of the Cabinet, determines the policy of the country with regard to other states. All negotiations with and despatches to and from foreign nations are dealt with by his department. The more important despatches are submitted to the Sovereign, and the omission to comply with this rule led to the dismissal of Lord Palmerston in 1831. The making of war and peace and the conclusion of treaties fall to the lot of the Foreign Secretary, but in all important matters of this kind the decision is that of the whole Cabinet and the Foreign Secretary is only the person who carries that decision out.
$ 87. The President of the Board of Trade is a member
of the Government whose position has greatly increased in importance of late years. The Board of Trade was originally a committee of the Privy Council. Its history can be traced back to the formation of a Council for Trade in 1660. After various vicissitudes it became a permanent committee in 1786 and received its present name in 1862. The Board itself, which includes the principal officers of State and various members of the Privy Council of whom the Archbishop of Canterbury is one, never sits, but its work is done by the President, assisted by a parliamentary secretary and the permanent staff of the department.
It may perhaps be thought that a Board which never meets is of little use. This is to some extent true, but the fact that other persons are, nominally at any rate, members of the Board enables its work to proceed smoothly and without delay whenever there is no President or he is ill or away. These other members can then sign the orders of the Board. A similar remark applies to the other Boards of this type. It may also be again noticed that each of the five Secretaries of State can exercise the powers of any one of them. It is always unwise to condemn offhand as ridiculous any provision of the British Constitution. On investigation one usually finds that its presence is due to some contingency which would otherwise disturb the smooth working of that wonderful machine of government.
As its name implies, the work of the Board of Trade is chiefly concerned with the regulation of trade; it is distributed among a number of distinct departments. The functions of the Board may perhaps best be summarised under the following heads :-(1) Traffic by land and sea, (2) Commercial undertakings and information, and (3) Labour and Statistics. To each of these a paragraph will be devoted.
§ 88. British Traffic by Land and Sea is under the general control of the Board of Trade. The Board keeps a general register of shipping and seamen. Masters, mates and engineers of a ship are required to possess its certificates. It lays down strict rules for engaging and discharging the crew of a ship and generally superintends the relations between them and the master. Other rules deal with the amount of cargo to be carried, the load-line to be observed, the life-saving apparatus necessary and the general seaworthiness of vessels. The Board has power to detain ships which are undermanned or unseaworthy and it holds enquiries in the case of shipping disasters. It administers savings' banks for merchant seamen, and inspects boilers, anchors and chain cables. It has financial control over Trinity House, to which is entrusted the care of lighthouses and the examination of pilots. All pilotage authorities must make yearly returns to the Board of Trade. In it also is vested control and supervision over navigable harbours and channels, and the foreshore.
With regard to railways the Board has wide powers of inspection. No line can be opened before it has been passed by the Board's inspectors, and all subsequent additions and alterations require inspection. It enquires into all accidents, and all bye-laws need its approval. It can interfere to effect a reduction when the hours of any class of railway servants are too long. It administers the Light Railways Act and the Prevention of Accidents Act. Finally, in 1907 a temporary branch was formed to deal with questions relating to the traffic of London.
§ 89. The Commercial Functions of the Board of Trade are among its oldest and most important duties. The Commercial Intelligence Branch of the Board collects the commercial intelligence received by the various Government departments and disseminates it through the country.
It publishes the Board of Trade Journal every week, which contains information as to foreign markets and tariffs, and other matters of use to merchants. In 1902 the Imperial Institute was transferred to its care, and a good deal of research and other work with regard to Colonial and Indian products has been done in connection with this.
It has large powers of supervision and control over gas, water and electric lighting companies. It grants provisional orders and approves of bye-laws for such undertakings.
The registration of joint stock companies is part of the Board's work, and it has complete control over their winding up. In the administration of bankrupt estates it has a like control, and appoints the official receivers necessary for the work. The registration of limited partnerships is also a recent addition to its duties.
The Patent Office is under its superintendence, and it has the custody of the standards of weights and measures. § 90. The Labour and Statistical Departments of the Board of Trade disseminate a large amount of information. The former department has correspondents in the larger towns who inform it of the local movements of labour and industry. The Labour Gazette is published monthly and contains information as to trade disputes, rates of wages, prices and other matters of special interest to employers and workmen. Notices of all accidents in certain trades that are in any way serious must be given to the Board.
It has considerable powers with regard to intervention in industrial disputes. Its jurisdiction is voluntary and not compulsory, but it controls the action of conciliation boards which have been formed in certain industries. It may also itself take steps to bring about the settlement of disputes between employers and workmen, and may invite their leaders to a conference. A recent example of the use