Page:The English Constitution (1894).djvu/267
CHANGES OF MINISTRY.
for those whom I did not appoint. They did nothing for me, and I can do nothing for them.” And if the permanent clerk come to ask his help, he will say in decorous language, “I am sure that if the department can evince to the satisfaction of Parliament that its past management has been such as the public interests require, no one will be more gratified than myself. I am not aware if it will be in my power to attend in my place on Monday; but if I can be so fortunate, I shall listen to your official statement with my very best attention.” And so the permanent public servant will be teased by the wits, oppressed by the bores, and massacred by the innovators of Parliament.
The incessant tyranny of Parliament over the public offices is prevented and can only be prevented by the appointment of a parliamentary head, connected by close ties with the present ministry and the ruling party in Parliament. The parliamentary head is a protecting machine. He and the friends he brings stand between the department and the busybodies and crotchet-makers of the House and the country. So long as at any moment the policy of an office could be altered by chance votes in either House of Parliament, there is no security for any consistency. Our guns and our ships are not, perhaps, very good now. But they would be much worse if any thirty or forty advocates for this gun or that gun could make a motion in Parliament, beat the department, and get their ships or their guns adopted. The “Black Breech Ordnance Company” and the “Adamantine Ship Company” would soon find representatives in Parliament,