Cab′inet, a committee of ministers, so called from the cabinet or room in which the ruler assembles his council. In the United States the cabinet is made up of the heads of departments; namely: the secretaries of state, of the treasury, of war, of the navy, of the interior, of agriculture; the attorney-general; and the postmaster-general. By the constitution the president has the power to require the opinion in writing of the heads of departments, on any subject relating to their special duties. Washington started the practice of consulting all the heads of departments on important measures, and later presidents have usually called them together in joint meeting for consultation, so that now they are expected to be present as a matter of course. The president presides at these meetings, and he is responsible for all the measures of the government. There is in this country no premier or chief member of the cabinet, though the position of secretary of state is generally regarded as the leading one. The president usually selects for his cabinet those who agree with his views. The word cabinet was first used as a political term in England. The modern British cabinet is made up of a variable number of ministers, usually about eighteen, among whom are always the first lord of the treasury (who is prime-minister), the lord chancellor, the chancellor of the exchequer, the president of the council and the five secretaries of state. The members have seats in Parliament.