Open main menu

Page:Catholic Encyclopedia, volume 17.djvu/299

This page needs to be proofread.


EKaiAKB 283 mxauMD

In all the great towns local business is administered Abmt an0 Navt. — The land forces of the United

by a municipal corporation, which derives its Kingdom consist of the regular army and the terri-

authority from charters granted by the Crown, torial army. The regular army is paid for by

There are three kinds of boroughs: coimty boroughs, the imperial exchequer (and by some dominions),

quarter session boroughs, and small boroughs of and serves both at home and overseas. The terri-

special and ancient jurisdiction. The first are out torial army serves only at home in peace time, but

of the jurisdiction of the countv councils, but all is liable to service overseas in time of war, subject

have a mayor, aldermen, and burgesses. The to the consent of Parliament. Only volunteers

ecclesiastical parish is now of slight importance in serve. For military purposes the kingdom is divided

the sphere of local government. The National into seven districts (commands), and the London

Assembly of the Church of England Act, however, district. The land forces are administered by an

conferred increased privileges on the lait^ and pro- army council presided over by the Secretary of

vided for the institution of a Parochial Church State for War; the territorial army to a large

Council, a Parochial Church meeting, and a extent bv county associations. The soldiers are

National Assembly of the Church of England. trained chiefly at the Royal Military Academy, the

Thb Government and the Was. — During the Royal Military College, and the Staff College. The

World War the Privy Council and Parliament both total personnel on 1 March, 1921, was 341,000, of

played an important part in the conduct of affairs, whom 201,0(X) were British troops, 55,600 emergency

Tbe whole administration was deeply affected. Acts soldiers, and 84,200 Indian and colonial troops. The

of Parliament were numerous as well as Royal garrison on the Rhine includes 15,0(X) men; 9300

Proclamations and Orders in Council. Legislative British soldiers are stationed in Constantinople,

action was necessary not only to secure success in 18,000 in Palestine. 77,000 in Mesopotamia. The

the field and on the seas, but also to preserve a home garrison numbers 140,500, the territorial army

national life immune from social and economic dis- 100,(X)0. In 1920 the estimated enrollment in the

turbance. New Duties were imposed on many old British navy was 127,500, as against 415,000 at the

established departments, and the policy of other date of the armistice on 11 November, 1918. The

departments considerably affected. A temporary administration of the navy is in the hands of the

mortatorium was authorized; a Currency and Bank First Lord of the Admiralty, a cabinet minister.

Notes Act, providing for the issue of paper bank In the Disarmament Conference of 1921-22 at

notes, was passed; also Acts for the control of Washington, United States, it was decided that the

foreign trade, the defense of the realm, trading limit of Britain's navy should be 22 major ships

with the enemy, hoarding of supplies, the estab- with a net tonnage of 580,458, but she was given

lishment of prize courts, an increase of the army the right to construct two new ships, provided she

to one million men, a new system of registration, scrap four old ones, thus making a total of 558,950

the restriction of the sale of liquor, compulsory tons to her credit after the new ships are com-

military service, and the creation of new ministries, pleted. The reorganization of a Far Eastern fleet.

In the meantime there was a remarkable series the East Indian Squadrod, and the Australian,

of developments in the British cabinet and ministry, Canadian, and New Zealand navies is in process,

involving not only many changes of personnel, but In May, 1912, the Royal Flying Corps came into

also fundamental changes in the constitution of existence. In 1918 an Air Ministry was formed,

the cabinet and its relation to Parliament. At the and the control of the air forces was vested in

outbreak of the war two members of the cabinet an Air Council. In April, 1921, a separate Secretary

and one under-secretary resigned because of their of State for Air was appointed. The Air Force at

objections to taking an active part in the war. In that time numbered 30^80 men, and the gross

Februaiy, 1915, action was taken which emphasized expenditure (estimated) in 1921 was £19,033,400.

the control of the cabinet over the proce^ings of Justice. — ^The different courts or sessions are

Parliament, for the government proposed taking graded according to the importance of the case

the entire time of the House of Commons for the with which they nave to deal. In criminal matters,

discussion of its measures, formally taking away beginning with the lowest, the gamut runs through

from the English Parliament the so-called '^Parlia- petty sessions, quarter sessions, high court, court

mentary initiative." The new cabinet was reor- of criminal appeal. Civil disputes between private

ganizecl into the new Coalition Cabinet, a total of citizens are tried at the county court, divisional

twenty-three members — something new in English court, the high court, or the court of appeal,

history. This, however, was not satisfactory, and Supreme above all other courts and able to hear

so there came into existence the War Cabinet of appeals from all is the tribunal of the House of

five members, which took over the active functions Lords, consisting of the Lord Chancellor, the Lord

of the old War Committee, and which was the Chief Justice, ex-Lord Chancellors, and eminent

superior deciding body over the whole group of peers holding life peerages only, and known as

ministers. The constitution of the Imperial War Law Lords. There are besides two other divisions

Cabinet may be taken as a formal recognition of the high court: the Court of Chancery, and the

of the equality of status between the various parts Court of Probate, Divorce, and Admiralty. There

of the British Empire. In July, 1918, the prime is in addition the Bankruptcy Court, and also

minister of each dominion was given the right to special commissions dealing with railways and

maintain a cabinet minister, either as a resident canals.

or as a visitor to London, to represent him at the Internal Communications. — ^The railwav mile- meetings of the cabinet held between the plenary age in 1919 was 23,725; total capital paid up at sessions. In 1919 the Standing Committee of end of year, £1,325,000,000; number of passengers Home Affairs" (established in 1918 to discuss ques- carried, 1,551,700,000; working eicpenses, £187,058,- tions of imperial policy and domestic questions 000; net receipts, £53,070,000. The Government requiring the co-operation of several departments) control of the railways as a war measure lasted and the War Cabinet was dissolved, and a full from August, 1914, to August, 1921. In 1918-19 cabinet of twenty members constituted. A meet- there were in the United kingdom 2720 miles of ing of prime ministers was summoned for June, tramwavs and li^ht railways open for public traffic, 1921, to act along the lines of the Imperial War of which 2647 miles were operated by electric trao- Cabinet and to deal with pressing problems. tion. Of the total mileage 1705 miles were worked