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any other, can benefit by the experience of progressive business offices in simplifying and accelerating the routine of procedure.

Now the segregation of departments within the Ministry involves a certain danger of discord, or at least failure to preserve complete harmony; and here we approach the important subject of Co-ordination. The Minister must be in a position to drive his departments as a team, each doing its own share and making things easier for the others; and in this matter we may accept the principle formulated by Lord Haldane's Committee on the Machinery of Government, that Councils should be formed within at any rate the larger ministries, similar to the Army Council or the Board of Admiralty.* A Council of this kind serves a twofold purpose : it advises the Minister on policy during the stage of discussion, and it co-ordinates administration when the policy has been formulated; but its utility for either purpose will be greatly increased by the establishment of an Intelligence branch, charged with the systematic study of what other Ministries, and Ministries in other countries, are doing. Formerly an organised intelligence system was practically confined in this country to Defence administration ; but some years ago the Board of Education gave an admirable lead on the civil side; other Ministries followed during the period of the War; and Lord Haldane's Committee have recommended similar action in all but the smallest units, a recommendation which will be supported without qualification by the great majority of experienced administrators.

This recognition of the need for internal Councils and organised intelligence systems may be taken as a definite advance in administrative theory; the position in regard to the all-important subject of financial control is less satisfactory, for it is not yet possible to point to any system which can be recommended on a firm basis of experience. The principle is established that individual

* These Internal Councils must be distinguished both from the old Boards and from the new Advisory Councils. The Board was, in theory at least, collectively responsible to Parliament; the Minister is responsible individually, and must therefore be free to accept or reject the views of any Council, whether it be internal or external.


Ministries cannot be given an entirely free hand either to frame estimates of their expenditure or to spend the grants when allotted, and from an early stage of development we find powers of control in these matters assigned to a separate Finance Ministry, known in this country as the Treasury. Experience has, however, shown that, while this arrangement may secure momentary economy, it may be costly in the long run, because it may be so worked as to weaken the sense of financial responsibility throughout the administration as a whole.

A Ministry charged with certain services aims primarily at rendering those services efficiently; efficiency requires, or seems to require, money; and, when the sense of responsibility is weak, the estimates framed by the Ministry will inevitably tend to be maxima, since an administrator dreads nothing more than to be caught short of funds in an emergency, while money which has been granted will usually be spent lest subsequent grants should be curtailed. The Treasury, on the other hand, aims primarily at economy; and the conflict between these ideals tends to degenerate almost into a game. In order to safeguard itself against Treasury reductions the Ministry asks for more money than it actually needs; the Treasury knows that there is a margin for curtailment but has to guess at its extent; and the tendency is for that Ministry to be best provided with funds which is most importunate in pressing its needs upon the Treasury. The difficulty, which is rooted deeply in human nature, has been recognised by Lord Haldane's Committee, and their proposals are in accordance with theory, in that they aim at strengthening the sense of financial responsibility within the Ministry; but they cannot be regarded as a definite solution until more, experience of their practical working becomes available. I do not know of any country where the difficulty is not present in greater or less degree; and the only conclusion which can be offered is that the matter is one for wellplanned and sustained experiment.

The difficulty is perhaps greatest in regard to the strength and remuneration of the staff to be employed, a question which has of late been brought prominently before the public in this country. It is certainly asking too much of human nature to expect uncontrolled


Ministries to go on working with a minimum staff. Desire for efficiency, fear of being caught short in emergencies, reluctance to part with brains which may be wanted later, desire to offer terms of employment at least as good as those offered by competitors-all these motives tend towards inflation, and some measure of external control is indispensable. Suggestions which appear to be valuable have recently been put forward by Lord Haldane's Committee, and in greater detail by the Committee on Staffs, but their discussion would take us too far. In connexion, however, with the question of staff, a few words must be said regarding the mental attitude known as departmentalism. It is a fact of human nature that men who are working with a common object tend to develop a common spirit; and esprit-decorps is nearly the greatest asset a Ministry can possess. But it has dangers as well as advantages; and its degeneration into departmentalism is in the long run fatal to efficiency. The term scarcely requires definition. The public are quick to recognise the evil when the officials of a Ministry think first of themselves and their traditions, ignore outside opinion, and appear to act on the principle that the country was made for their convenience. The regulation of this corporate spirit and tradition is among the most important functions of the administrators at the top; the 'wise Chief' is eminently the man who knows how to direct it into the worthiest channels, and prevent its extension along dangerous lines. His action in this matter cannot be reduced to formal principles, but it is a matter of experience that departmentalism develops most readily in small establishments; and this consideration is of real importance in regard to the question of the proper size of individual ministries.

So far we have dealt with the internal affairs of the Ministry; what can be said concerning its relations with the public? The old tradition is undoubtedly one of secrecy; and Never give your reasons' is a maxim

“ which must have been impressed on the majority of administrators. But this attitude may fairly be described as obsolescent. The transaction of business through elected agencies means that the action of the Ministry may have to be justified before the local public, while the Vol. 235,-No, 467,

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provision of advisory councils at headquarters, an innovation the extension of which is recommended by Lord Haldane's Committee, brings the general public in, and puts the Ministry in close touch with the knowledge and experience of those sections of the community which are most directly affected by its activities. Councils of varying types are common in several European countries; and it may perhaps be said that the principle of association between the public and the administration is well on the way to general acceptance, and that in future the absence of such association will have to be justified by special circumstances affecting a particular Ministry. It may be added that the need for association is probably greatest in the case of those Ministries which have to protect individuals against the action of powerful business combinations, a new branch of administration which is being pioneered effectively in the United States, and the need for which is just beginning to be felt in this country.

We have now to consider the relations between the Ministries, which have so far been treated as independent units. The time is past when a single Ministry could

. control the business of even a small State ; differentiation began at an early stage of development, and has proceeded sometimes at haphazard, sometimes on a more or less definite plan, until it has become possible to base on experience a statement of the principle on which the spheres of ministries should be distinguished. The discussion of this subject is one of the most interesting portions of the Report of Lord Haldane's Committee; and nearly every administrator of experience will accept the conclusion that the allocation of functions must be based on the services to be performed, rather than on the classes to be dealt with. The State requires a Ministry of Education, not a Ministry for Children; a Ministry of Employment, not a Ministry for the Unemployed.

Working on these lines the Committee reduce administrative activities to ten main heads : 1. Finance,

: 2. Defence, 3. External Affairs, 4. Research and Information, 5. Production, Transport, and Commerce, 6. Employment, 7. Supplies, 8. Education, 9. Health, and 10. Justice, though it is recognised that the volume of work may involve the formation of two or more Ministries under a

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single head. Any one who wishes to know what the haphazard growth of Ministries may involve need only read the Committee's account of the administration of justice in this country, with its lurid description of the functions of the Lord Chancellor. Organisation which is inefficient in this particular matter increases seriously the need for co-ordination between Ministries whose spheres either overlap or leave debateable ground unoccupied ; but, however perfect the allocation of functions may be, the need for co-ordination will still exist, and provision to meet it is an essential part of an administrative system. The principle may be laid down that the desired result should be obtained where possible by consultation; and the Report of Lord Haldane's Committee recommends in certain cases the creation of standing joint bodies for this purpose. Failing agreement, however, the co-ordination must be effected by superior authority; and, as things now stand in this country, this can be done only by the Prime Minister or by the Cabinet as a whole. The extent of the need may be studied in the Reports of the War Cabinet, which bring out very clearly the importance of the administrative functions of a body whose primary business is the formulation of policy.

We have thus arrived at the apex of the administrative pyramid, and we find ourselves confronted with the problem of the constitution of the ultimate organ of government, or, as we say in this country, the problem of the Cabinet. That problem has many sides, and all that can be attempted here is to state certain considerations of the administrative order which are relevant to its solution, but are not by themselves conclusive. In the first place it is generally recognised that an administrator differs from a statesman, not so much in specific quality as in emphasis. Given the requisite knowledge of the facts, it is easy to classify the great majority of public men on one side or other of the dividing line; and the growing complexity of affairs points to the need for some advance towards specialisation of function in accordance with this recognised diversity. In the second place, while each separate Ministry very properly claims a voice in the Cabinet or other ultimate authority, all are agreed in demanding from it a reasonable degree of

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