Page images

varied. He is authorized by statute' to exercise the following


1. to establish and close post-offices and post routes,

[ocr errors]

2. to appoint postmasters, other than those appointed by the Governor-General, and other officers and servants, and to remove or suspend any postmaster or other officer or servant,

3. to enter into and enforce mail contracts,

4. to make regulations as to what is mailable matter; to restrict the weight and dimensions of letters and packets sent by post; and to prevent the sending of explosive, dangerous, contraband or improper articles, or obscene or immoral publications,

5. to establish rates of postage for mailable matter not being letters, and to prescribe the conditions on which such articles will be received,

6. to prepare and distribute postage stamps and stamped envelopes,

7. to make postal arrangements with other countries, 8. to make arrangements for refunding postage on H. M. Military or Naval Service,

9. to make regulations regarding money orders,

10. to make regulations regarding registered letters,


to decide what is to be decreed a letter,

12. to sue for money due,

13. to provide street boxes,

14. to grant licenses for sale of stamps,

15. to impose pecuniary penalties not exceeding $200 for contravention of regulations,

16. generally to make regulations for carrying on the work of the department.

In addition to the above powers relating to the ordinary business of a post-office the Postmaster-General has also power to establish a parcel post', and with the consent of the Governor-General a system of post-office savings banks3.

1 Ib. s. 9.

2 Ib. s. 41.

3 Ib. s. 65.



Duties of Minister as such.

The statutory duties of the Inspectors are' to

a. superintend the performance of the mail service,

b. instruct new postmasters in their duties,

c. keep postmasters to their duty of rendering accounts and paying over moneys,

d. inspect every post-office from time to time,

e. inquire into complaints and suspected cases of misconduct,

f. and generally to do all they are required to do by the Postmaster-General.

The Dominion entered into a postal agreement with the United States in 1875 by which a common rate of postage was adopted for the two countries, each country to return all money collected. At the second Congress of the General Postal Union held at Paris in May 1878, Canada was admitted into the Postal Union.

The Postal Union was in 1874 replaced by the Universal Postal Union formed at Berne, which now embraces all British Possessions except the Australian Colonies and South Africa.


By the 31 Vic. c. 39 a Department of Justice was constituted to be presided over by the Minister of Justice, who for the time being is to be ex officio Her Majesty's AttorneyGeneral for Canada. The Governor-General has power to appoint a Deputy and, subject to the Civil Service Acts, to appoint clerks and other officers in the department. A recent Act 50 and 51 Vic. c. 14 has made provision for the appointment of a Solicitor-General to assist the Minister of Justice.

The Minister of Justice as such is the official legal adviser of the Government, and is required to advise the Crown upon all matters referred to him by the Crown. It is his duty to see that the administration of public affairs is in accordance 1 R. S. C., s. 14.

with law, and to superintend all matters connected with the administration of justice in Canada and not falling within the jurisdiction of any province. He advises upon all legislative acts and proceedings of the Legislatures of the different provinces of Canada, and is charged with all duties assigned to him by the Governor-General in Council'.

As Attorney-General his powers and duties are as fol- Duties as lows:AttorneyGeneral.

(1) He is entrusted with the powers and charged with the duties, which by law or usage belong to the office of Attorney-General in England so far as the same powers and duties are applicable to Canada.

(2) He is entrusted with the powers and duties that by the laws of the several provinces belonged to the office of Attorney-General in each province up to the time when the British North America Act 1867 came into force, which laws under the provisions of such Act are administered and carried into effect by the Government of the Dominion.

(3) He has to advise the Heads of the several Departments of the Government upon all matters of law connected with such departments.

(4) He is charged with the settlement and approval of all instruments issued under the Great Seal of Canada.

(5) He has the superintendence of penitentiaries and of the prison system of the Dominion.

(6) He has the regulation and conduct of all litigation for or against either the Crown or any public department in respect of any subjects within the authority and jurisdiction of the Dominion.

(7) He is charged generally with such other duties as may at any time be assigned to him by the Governor-General.


A police force has been constituted for the North-West NorthTerritories, and at the present time it is under the control Mounted and management of the Minister of Justice. The force is


1 R. S. C., c. 21.


limited to 1000 men, and all appointments are made by the Governor in Council. It is under the command of a commissioner and assistant commissioners, who exercise all the powers of stipendiary magistrates. The Lieutenant-Governor of Keewatin has the local disposition of the force in that district subject to any order of the Governor-General, and the Governor-General is authorised to make arrangements with any province for the employment of the force in such province1.


This department was constituted by the 31 Vic. c. 53 and is presided over by the Minister of Agriculture. He is assisted in carrying on the work of the department by a Deputy and a staff of officers and clerks appointed by the Governor-General.

The duties and powers of the Minister extend to the execution of the laws of the Parliament of Canada and of the Orders of the Governor in Council relating as well to the following subjects as to the direction of all public bodies, officers and servants employed in the execution of such laws and orders':

1. Agriculture.


Immigration and Emigration.

3. Public Health and Quarantine.

4. Marine and Emigrant Hospitals of Quebec.

Arts and Manufactures.


6. Census Statistics and the registration of Statistics.

7. Patents of Invention3.

8. Copyright3.

9. Industrial Designs and Trade-marks3.


Experimental Farm stations.

1 See R. S. C., c. 45.

2 Ib. c. 24.

3 By the 50 & 51 Vic. c. 12, patents and copyrights may be transferred to the Department of the Secretary of State, and Industrial Designs and Trademarks to the new Department of Trade and Commerce.

Subject to the Minister, the Deputy has authority to The Deputy. oversee and direct the officers and servants of the department he has such powers and duties as are assigned to him by the Governor in Council, and in the absence of the Minister may suspend any officer or servant who neglects or refuses to obey his directions'.


This department was constituted by the 31 Vic. c. 57. It is presided over by the Minister of Marine and Fisheries, who is assisted by officers appointed by the GovernorGeneral.

The department has, subject to the Acts of the Parliament Duties. of Canada and of the Provincial Legislatures, the control, management and supervision, as well as the execution, of laws regulating the following matters:

1. Sea, coast, and inland fisheries and the management, regulation and protection thereof and anything relating thereto.

2. Pilots and pilotage and decayed pilots' funds.

3. Beacons, buoys, lights, and lighthouses and their maintenance.

4. Harbours, ports, piers and wharves, steamers and vessels belonging to the Government of Canada, except gunboats or other vessels of war.


Harbour commissioners and harbour masters.

6. Classification of vessels and examination of, and granting certificates to, masters and mates and others in the merchant service.

7. Shipping masters and shipping officers.

8. Inspection of steamboats and boards of steamboat inspection.

9. Inquiries into the causes of shipwrecks.

1 R. S. C. c. 24, s. 3.

2 Ib. c. 25.

« PreviousContinue »