The Political Background
This chapter describes the political party as a vital factor in the formulation of tariff policy. The Ministers of the government are the political heads of the State departments, and as such direct activities of the departments for which they are held responsible to the legislature. The revenue departments have the Lord Chancellor of the Exchequer as their political head. The Civil Service provides the permanent staff for the departments and remains anonymous behind the Minister. This staff is recruited almost exclusively by open competitive examinations held under the Civil Service Commissioners, an independent body first set up in 1855. The Lord Chancellor, who presides, is a Cabinet Minister; but although this is a political appointment it is by custom only given to a leading member of the legal profession. Delegated legislation has been dealt with rather more fully than other parts of the British political machinery because of extensive use made of it in tariff administration, particularly since 1932.