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186   HISTORY OF CANADA.

service and how such money should be spent. In times long past, when the revenues from Crown lands and other sources sufficed to pay the various officials, English kings were able to govern without much regard for the wishes of parliament. But when (as frequently happened) they had to apply to parliament for money, the House of Commons was able to enforce the redress of grievances, to procure the dismissal of incompetent officials, or, in short, to insist on any line of public 'policy being followed as the price to be paid for the money. Taking advantage of the frequent necessities of the Crown, the House of Commons gradually secured complete control of the public purse. The heads of the chief departments, who formed the king's executive council or cabinet, had to be men possessing the confidence of the "people's house"; otherwise supplies for carrying on government might be refused.

The Colonies Governed from Downing Street.—For many years the British colonies were not looked upon as sufficiently important to need a special department in England to watch over their affairs. The Board of Trade and Plantations—often styled the Lords of Trade—was entrusted with this duty. In 1768, however, a Secretary of State for the Colonies, usually spoken of as the colonial secretary, was appointed. The office was abolished in 1782 (after the loss of the American colonies), but was revived in 1794. It at once became, and has-ever since continued, an active and important department of British government. So far as Great Britain was concerned, the government of her colonies was long looked upon as a part of her own executive government, and, though in many of them representative assemblies were established, all the officials, from the governor to the youngest clerk, were held responsible for the proper discharge of their duties only to the colonial office in Downing Street, London.

The Colonial Office.—The attitude of the colonial office toward the colonies may be shortly stated. To the very end of this period (1815-1840), there was an absolute refusal to admit that the officials in the colonies were answerable for their conduct to anyone but the colonial secretary. At the same time a strong desire was often expressed to remedy any and all abuses of which the colonists could justly complain. The colonial office said, in


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