Norwegian Government Ministries 1814 - 1905

By royal decree of 30 November 1814 it was stated that six of the eight Norwegian councillors of state should head a ministry in Christiania (Oslo). The two remaining ministers should with the prime minister form the Norwegian Council of State Division in Stockholm.

Government work was now organised in this way:

 

Prime Minister


1st Ministry
Church and education affairs, cultural affairs, poor relief and benevolent foundations

2nd Ministry
Justice

3rd Ministry
Police affairs, prisons, travel service, roads, mail and medical service

4th Ministry
Interior affairs, taxation, agriculture and mining, forestry, fisheries, canals, harbours and regional economy

5th Ministry
Finance, trade and customs

6th Ministry
War administration, fortifications, lighthouses, pilot and signal service.

State Secretariat in Christiania with Division in Stokcholm

This ranking of ministries is the basis for later overviews of ministries in the period. However, the organising of government work has undergone several changes, partly through new distribution of responsibility, partly by reduction or increase in the number of ministries. The ranking of ministries established after 1814, is in this registry decided by the age of each ministry.

1815
By royal decree of 20 December 1814, a separate naval commission was established. By royal decree of 31 March 1815, a seventh ministry was established, for naval affairs. Naval affairs, lighthouses, pilot and signal service were transferred from 6th Ministry, which had its name changed from the Ministry of Military Affairs to the Ministry of the Army.

1819
By royal decree of 17 November 1818 the number of ministries was from 1 January 1819 reduced from seven to five. 2nd and 3rd Ministry (justice and police affairs) were merged, while the bulk of 4th Ministry’s affairs (interior affairs) were moved to 5th Ministry (finance service). Certain other changes were also made. Thus, on 1 January 1819 the situation was as follows:


Prime Minister

Ministry of Church and Education
Also medical affairs transferred from the Ministry of the Police.

Ministry of Justice and the Police
Affairs largely transferred from the Ministry of Justice and the Ministry of the Police.

Ministry of Finance, Trade and Customs
Affairs transferred from the Ministry of the Interior, except those taken over by the Ministry of the Navy.

Ministry of the Army
Unchanged field of responsibility.

Ministry of the Navy
Harbour and canal service transferred from the Ministry of the Interior. Quarantine service also transferred.

State Secretariat in Christiania with Division in Stockholm


1822
By royal decrees of 6 and 23 March 1822 a ministry of auditing was established. Accounting and auditing affairs were transferred from other ministries, in particular from the Ministry of Finance. Probate and public trustee accounts continued to be handledby the Ministry of Justice, while insurance accounts were handled by the Ministry of Finance.

By royal decree of 9 July 1822 the office as director general at the Norwegian Council of State Division in Stockholm, was changed into an office of state secretary; on level with the office as state secretary in Christiania. On 15 March 1841 the office in Stockholm was changed back into the office as director general.

1845
By royal decree of 16 July 1845, a ministry of the interior was established from 1 January 1846. The ministries were now:

Prime Minister and his Secretary

Ministry of Church and Education
Also responsible for museums, libraries, the Public Record Office, scientific associations, academies of art, hospitals, benevolent foundations, poor relief and welfare services.

Ministry of Justice and the Police
Also responsible for trustee accounts.

Ministry of Finance and Customs
Unchanged field of responsibility since the establishing of the Ministry of Auditing in 1822.

Ministry of the Army
Unchanged field of responsibility.

Ministry of the Navy
Field of responsibility also covering piloting, signal system, lighthouses, harbours, navigation marking, quarantine service and navigation schools.

Ministry of Auditing

Ministry of the Interior
Agriculture, industry, forestry and mining, fisheries, crafts, trade and shipping, provisions, medical service, post, transport, roads, canals, construction and fire services, measurements, insurance, municipal service, surveying, boundaries and the secular division of the realm, and statistics.

State Secretariat in Christiania with Division in Stockholm


1853
By royal decree of 3 December 1853 it was decided that the chief of the Ministry of the Army should be chief of the General Staff and commander-in-chief of the Army in the King’s absence, while the chief of the Ministry of the Navy should be general aid-de-camp and commander-in-chief of the Navy in the King’s absence, if nothing else had been decided.

1860
By royal decree of 18 August 1860 it was decided that the Postal Directorate-General under the Ministry of the Interior (established in 1857) should form a new ministry until further notice led by the chief of the Ministry of the Navy. The Ministry of Postal Affairs also had the responsibility for telegraph and transport services transferred from the Ministry of the Interior. The Ministry of Postal Affairs had its own minister between November 1860 and October 1861.

By royal decree of 6 June 1861 the Ministry of the Navy and the Ministry of Postal Affairs were merged as of 2 October that year, as the Ministry of the Navy and Postal Affairs.

1873
Following the establishing of the office as prime minister in Christiania in 1873, the Council of State was extended from ten to 11 members. By royal decree of 3 January 1874 it was decided that this post until further notice should not be in permanent use. This limitation remained until 1879.

1878
By royal decree of 23 August 1878 a certain number of affairs were transferred from the Ministry of the Interior to other ministries:

- to the Ministry of Justice and the Police were transferred medical and quarantine services, legislation concerning trade and industry and civil and police matters, from 1 October 1878.

- to the Ministry of Finance was transferred forestry affairs from 1 October 1878.

- to the Ministry of Church and Education were transferred technical schools,
  handicraft schools, grants to technical periodicals, and the European      Measurement of Degrees.

- to the Ministry of the Army was transferred the Geographical Surveying from 1 October 1878.

1885
By royal decree of 30 July 1885 a ministry of public labour was established as of 3 August 1885. The Ministry of Labour had communication, insurance affairs and geological exploration transferred from the Ministry of the Interior, harbour services from the Ministry of the Navy, and technical schools and the European Measurement of Degrees from the Ministry of Church and Education.

At the same time the Ministry of the Army and the Ministry of the Navy’s naval department were merged to a ministry of defence. Furthermore, the Ministry of Auditing had school accounting transferred from the Ministry of Church and Education, the Ministry of Finance had the municipal taxation service transferred from the Ministry of the Interior, while the Ministry of the Interior had forestry and public real estate – except official residences – transferred from the Ministry of Finance, as well as the postal department transferred from the Ministry of the Navy and Postal Affairs. Before this the Ministry's postal departement was for some months in 1885 seen as a separate ministry of postal affairs

1890
By royal decree of 7 July 1890 the civil veterinary service was transferred from the Ministry of Justice and the Police to the Ministry of the Interior.

1900
By royal decree of 17 February 1900 a ministry of agriculture was established from 1 April that year. The new ministry had i.a. agriculture, public landed property, public landed property in Finnmark, severance services, forestry, hunting and fresh-water fisheries and various foundations transferred from the Ministry of the Interior.

1902
By royal decree of 9 September 1902 it was decided that the Ministry of the Interior as of 1 January 1903 should be renamed the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Trade, Shipping and Industry (Ministry of Trade). The Ministry of the Interior had been given a separate department of foreign affairs as of 1 July 1899.

At the same time, the Ministry of Justice and the Police had matters transferred from the Ministry of the Interior, among them: civil authority, the access of foreigners to real estate, municipal affairs, the magistrates and the civil organisation of the realm. Also, the Ministry of Agriculture had Sami affairs transferred from the Ministry of the Interior.


1903
On 1 January 1903 government work was organised as follows:

Prime Minister and his Secretary
Ministry of Church and Education
Ministry of Justice and the Police
Ministry of Finance and Customs
Ministry of Defence
Ministry of Auditing
Ministry of Trade
Ministry of Public Labour
Ministry of Agriculture
State Secretariat in Kristiania and Division in Stockholm