Minister without Portfolio
Learn more about Minister without Portfolio
All but one Canadian cabinets have contained one or several Ministers without Portfolio.
While Minister without Portfolio is seen by some as a mere patronage appointment, it has been a role that numerous political notables have played over time, including recent Prime Minister Jean Chrétien, who filled the role in a Pearson cabinet in the 60s; John Turner also "kept a seat warm" in a Pearson cabinet. Notable Conservatives who filled the role include R. B. Bennett, and Arthur Meighen, however, Meighen served this role after he had been prime minister.
The title of Minister without Portfolio has been used off and on; however, in recent times the title has fallen out of favour, and the last minister without portfolio, Gilles Lamontagne, was promoted to postmaster general in 1978. The practice has continued under the guise of ministers of state without responsibilities in the ministers' title, with Rob Nicholson currently holding such a position (while concurrently serving as house leader).
Three "control ministers" served as Ministers without Portfolio during World War I.
After the Liberation of Denmark in May 1945, the first Danish included four Ministers without Portfolio, among these the Danish ambassador to the US Henrik Kauffmann who had refused to follow orders from Copenhagen as long as Denmark was occupied by a foreign power. Liberation of Denmark in May 1945. Kauffmann joined the Cabinet of National Unity and served in this capacity from May 12 to November 7 1945. Three other politicians had joined a few days before, Aksel Larsen (Communist Party of Denmark), Kr. Juul Christensen (Danish Unity) and Frode Jakobsen (Social Democrats).
Anders Fogh Rasmussen appointed Bertel Haarder to Minister without Portfolio but effectively Minister for European Affairs. Haarder served in this capacity from 27 November 2001 to 18 February 2005. The reason for appointing a minister without a ministry was due to the Danish European Union Presidency of 2002 and Haarder was considered the most experienced Danish politician on European Affairs.
Since 1949, a Federal Minister for Special Affairs (Bundesminister für besondere Aufgaben) is a member of the Federal Government that does not have charge of a Federal Ministry, although some have simultaneously been Chief of the Federal Chancellor's Office.
The Ministers and Secretaries (Amendment) Act, 1939 (Section 4) allows a member of the Government of Ireland to be assigned, but not having charge of a Department of State, such a person is referred to as a "Minister without portfolio" (Irish: "Aire gan ceannas Roinne"). This provision has rarely been used and when so only for short periods before been assigned in charge of a Department of State.
- Eamonn Duggan (1922)
- Finian Lynch (1922)
- Erskine Hamilton Childers (1959)
- Michael O'Kennedy (1972-1973)
- Martin O'Donoghue (1977)
A Minister without Portfolio in the Netherlands is a minister that does not head a specific ministry, but assumes the same power and responsibilities as a minister that does. The minister is responsible for a specific part of another minister's policy field. The minister for international development has always been a minister without portfolio. In the second Balkenende cabinet there are three ministers without portfolio: Agnes van Ardenne (Development Cooperation), Rita Verdonk (Integration and Immigration) and Alexander Pechtold (Government Reform and Kingdom Relations).
One of these posts is typically reserved for the chairperson of the important Council for Economic Development (經濟建設委員會), who is usually considered a cabinet member but not officially so, and so requires the post to have the actual powers of a cabinet member.
 United Kingdom
In the United Kingdom, it is often a Cabinet position, and is sometimes used to get people such as the Chairman of the Conservative Party or the Chair of the Labour Party into cabinet meetings (if so they hold the title of "Party Chair"). The sinecure positions of Lord Privy Seal and Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster can also be used for equivalent effect.
- The Duke of Portland (1805-1806)
- Lord Fitzwilliam (1806-1807)
- Lord Camden (1812)
- Lord Mulgrave (1819-1820)
- Lord Lansdowne (Apr-Jul 1827 and 1852-1858)
- The Duke of Portland (Jul-Sep 1827)
- Lord Carlisle (1830-1834)
- The Duke of Wellington (1841-1846)
- Lord John Russell (1853-1854)
- Spencer Horatio Walpole (1867-1868)
- Sir Michael Hicks Beach (1887-1888)
- Lord Lansdowne (1915-1916)
- Arthur Henderson (1916-1917)
- Lord Milner (1916-1918)
- Jan Smuts (1917-1919)
- Sir Edward Carson (1917-1919)
- George Barnes (1917-1920)
- Sir Eric Geddes (Jan-Oct 1919)
- Sir Laming Worthington-Evans (1920-1921)
- Christopher Addison (1921-1922)
- Anthony Eden (Jun-Dec 1935)
- Lord Eustace Percy (1935-1936)
- Leslie Burgin (Apr-Jul 1939)
- Lord Hankey (1939-1940)
- Arthur Greenwood (1940-1942)
- Sir William Jowitt (1942-1944)
- A. V. Alexander (Oct-Dec 1946)
- Arthur Greenwood (Apr-Sept 1947)
- Viscount Mills (1961-1962)
- William Francis Deedes (1962-1964)
- Lord Carrington (1963-1964)
- George Morgan Thomson (1968-1969)
- Lord Drumalbyn (1970-1974)
- Lord Young (1984-1985)
- Jeremy Hanley (1994-1995)
- Brian Mawhinney (1995-1997)
- Peter Mandelson (1997-1998)
- Charles Clarke (2001-2002)
- John Reid (2002-2003)
- Ian McCartney (2003-2006)
- Hazel Blears (2006-)
 See also
 External links
- List of Canadian Ministers Without Portfolio and Ministers of State (Parliament of Canada Website)
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