Guide to Canadian Ministries since Confederation

The Ministries


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First Ministry

Liberal-Conservative 1
1 July 1867 - 5 Nov. 1873

Prime Minister
Honourable Sir John Alexander Macdonald 2

The Ministry
Position Title
NameService Date /
Termination Date
Minister of Agriculture3
Hon. Jean-Charles Chapais Senator 4 1 July 1867 - 15 Nov. 1869
Hon. Christopher Dunkin 16 Nov. 1869 - 24 Oct. 1871
Hon. John Henry Pope 25 Oct. 1871 - 5 Nov. 1873

Minister of Customs5
Hon. Samuel Leonard Tilley 6 1 July 1867 - 21 Feb. 1873
Hon. Charles Tupper 7 22 Feb. 1873 - 5 Nov. 1873

Minister of Finance8
Hon. Alexander Tilloch Galt 1 July 1867 - 7 Nov. 1867
Vacant 8 Nov. 1867 - 17 Nov. 1867
Hon. John Rose 18 Nov. 1867 - 30 Sept. 1869
Vacant 1 Oct. 1869 - 8 Oct. 1869
Hon. Sir Francis Hicks 9 Oct. 1869 - 21 Feb. 1873
Hon. Samuel Leonard Tilley 22 Feb. 1873 - 5 Nov. 1873

Superintendent-General of Indian Affairs9  10
Hon. Hector Louis Langevin 11 22 May 1868 - 7 Dec. 1869
Hon. Joseph Howe 8 Dec. 1869 - 6 May 1873
Hon. James Cox Aikins Senator - Acting Minister 11 7 May 1873 - 13 June 1873
Hon. Thomas Nicholson Gibbs 14 June 1873 - 30 June 1873
Hon. Alexander Campbell Senator 1 July 1873 - 5 Nov. 1873

Minister of Inland Revenue12
Hon. William Pearce Howland 1 July 1867 - 14 July 1868
Hon. Alexander Campbell Senator - Acting Minister 15 July 1868 - 15 Nov. 1869
Hon. Alexander Morris 16 Nov. 1869 - 1 July 1872
Hon. Charles Tupper 7 2 July 1872 - 3 March 1873
Hon. John O'Connor 13 4 March 1873 - 30 June 1873
Hon. Thomas Nicholson Gibbs 1 July 1873 - 5 Nov. 1873

Minister of the Interior10  9
Hon. Alexander Campbell Senator 1 July 1873 - 5 Nov. 1873

Minister of Justice and Attorney General14
Hon. Sir John Alexander Macdonald 1 July 1867 - 5 Nov. 1873

Minister of Marine and Fisheries15
Hon. Peter Mitchell Senator 1 July 1867 - 5 Nov. 1873

Minister of Militia and Defence16
Hon. Sir George Étienne Cartier 1 July 1867 - 20 May 1873
Hon. Hector Louis Langevin Acting Minister 21 May 1873 - 30 June 1873
Hon. Hugh McDonald 1 July 1873 - 4 Nov. 1873
Vacant 5 Nov. 1873 - 5 Nov. 1873

Postmaster General17
Hon. Alexander Campbell Senator 18 1 July 1867 - 30 June 1873
Hon. John O'Connor 1 July 1873 - 5 Nov. 1873

President of the Privy Council19
Hon. Adam Johnston Fergusson Blair Senator 1 July 1867 - 29 Dec. 1867
Vacant 30 Dec. 1867 - 29 Jan. 1869
Hon. Joseph Howe 20 30 Jan. 1869 - 15 Nov. 1869
Hon. Edward Kenny Senator 16 Nov. 1869 - 20 June 1870
Hon. Charles Tupper 7 21 June 1870 - 1 July 1872
Hon. John O'Connor 21 2 July 1872 - 3 March 1873
Vacant 4 March 1873 - 13 June 1873
Hon. Hugh McDonald 22 14 June 1873 - 30 June 1873
Vacant 1 July 1873 - 5 Nov. 1873

Minister of Public Works23
Hon. William McDougall 1 July 1867 - 27 Sept. 1869
Vacant 28 Sept. 1869 - 28 Sept. 1869
Hon. Hector Louis Langevin Acting Minister 29 Sept. 1869 - 7 Dec. 1869
Hon. Hector Louis Langevin 8 Dec. 1869 - 5 Nov. 1873

Receiver General24
Vacant 1 July 1867 - 3 July 1867
Hon. Edward Kenny Senator 25 4 July 1867 - 15 Nov. 1869
Hon. Jean-Charles Chapais Senator 16 Nov. 1869 - 29 Jan. 1873
Hon. Théodore Robitaille 30 Jan. 1873 - 5 Nov. 1873

Secretary of State for the Provinces26  9  10
Hon. Adams George Archibald 1 July 1867 - 30 April 1868
Vacant 1 May 1868 - 15 Nov. 1869
Hon. Joseph Howe 16 Nov. 1869 - 6 May 1873
Hon. James Cox Aikins Senator - Acting Minister 7 May 1873 - 13 June 1873
Hon. Thomas Nicholson Gibbs 27 14 June 1873 - 30 June 1873

Secretary of State of Canada9  10
Hon. Hector Louis Langevin 28 1 July 1867 - 7 Dec. 1869
Hon. James Cox Aikins Senator 8 Dec. 1869 - 5 Nov. 1873

Footnotes

  • [1] Sir John A. Macdonald was formally commissioned by Lord Monck on May 24, 1867 to form the first Government under Confederation. On July 1, 1867 the First Ministry assumed office. By Order in Council dated July 1, 1867 the following ministerial offices were "constituted until Parliament otherwise provides": Justice and Attorney General, Militia Customs, Finance, Public Works, Inland Revenue, Secretary of State for the Provinces, President of the Privy Council, Marine and Fisheries, Postmaster General, Agriculture, Secretary of State of Canada, and Receiver General. During the following two years statutory provision was made for most of these offices.
  • [2] Macdonald was also Minister of Justice and Attorney General.
  • [3] The office of Minister of Agriculture was created by Statute 31 Vict., c. 53, and assented to on May 22, 1868.
  • [4] Chapais was appointed Receiver General on November 16, 1869.
  • [5] The office of Minister of Customs was created by Statute 31 Vict., c. 43, and assented to on May 22, 1868.
  • [6] Tilley was appointed Minister of Finance on February 22, 1873.
  • [7] Tupper was appointed President of the Privy Council on June 21, 1870; Minister of Inland Revenue on July 2, 1872; and Minister of Customs on February 22, 1873.
  • [8] The office of Minister of Finance was created by Statute 32-33 Vict., c. 4, and assented to on June 22, 1869.
  • [9] The offices of Secretary of State of Canada, Registrar General of Canada and Superintendent-General of Indian Affairs were created by Statute 31 Vict., c. 42, and assented to on May 22, 1868. By this Act the Secretary of State of Canada was to hold these latter two offices ex officio. By Order in Council dated December 8, 1869, pursuant to section 40 of the aforesaid Act, the duties and powers of the Superintendent-General of Indian Affairs were transferred to the Secretary of State for the Provinces and were exercised by him until July 1, 1873. See Minister of the Interior.
  • [10] The office of Secretary of State for the Provinces was abolished and the office of Minister of the Interior created by Statute 36 Vict., c. 4, assented to on May 3, 1873, and proclaimed in force on July 1, 1873. By this Act the Minister was to be ex officio the Superintendent-General of Indian Affairs. See Secretary of State of Canada.
  • [11] Langevin and Aikins both also held the portfolios of the Secretary of State of Canada.
  • [12] The office of Minister of Inland Revenue was created by Statute 31 Vict., c. 49, and assented to on May 22, 1868.
  • [13] O'Connor was appointed Postmaster General on July 1, 1873.
  • [14] The offices of Minister of Justice and Attorney General were created by Statute 31 Vict., c. 39, and assented to on May 22, 1868. By this Act the Minister of Justice was to be ex officio the Attorney General of Canada.
  • [15] The office of Minister of Marine and Fisheries was created by Statute 31 Vict., c. 57, and assented to on May 22, 1868.
  • [16] The office of Minister of Militia and Defence was created by Statute 31 Vict., c. 40, assented to on May 22, 1868 and proclaimed in force on October 1, 1868.
  • [17] The office of Postmaster General was created by Statute 31 Vict., c. 10, assented to on December 21, 1867 and proclaimed in force on April 1, 1868.
  • [18] Campbell was appointed Minister of the Interior on July 1, 1873.
  • [19] The portfolio of President of the Privy Council was not specifically created by statute, but was recognized by the Salaries Act (Statute 31 Vict., c. 33), and first assented to on May 22, 1868.
  • [20] Howe was appointed Secretary of State for the Provinces on November 16, 1869.
  • [21] O'Connor was appointed Minister of Inland Revenue on March 4, 1873.
  • [22] McDonald was appointed Minister of Militia and Defence on July 1, 1873.
  • [23] The office of Minister of Public Works was created by Statute 31 Vict., c. 12, and assented to on December 21, 1867.
  • [24] The portfolio of Receiver General was not specifically created by statute, but was recognized by the Salaries Act (Statute 31 Vict., c. 33), and first assented to on May 22, 1868.
  • [25] Kenny was appointed President of the Privy Council on November 16, 1869.
  • [26] The portfolio of Secretary of State for the Provinces was not specifically created by statute, but was recognized by the Salaries Act (Statute 31 Vict., c. 33), and first assented to on May 22, 1868.
  • [27] Gibbs was appointed Minister of Inland Revenue on July 1, 1873.
  • [28] Langevin was appointed Minister of Public Works on December 8, 1869.