CHAMBERS OF COMMERCE are voluntary associations formed to promote and protect general trade interests, as distinguished from trades of a particular class. In the United Kingdom they exist in all the important centres of commerce, and these local chambers are usually in federation with a general Association of Chambers of Commerce of the United Kingdom. The local chambers are also in touch with local societies connected with particular trades, and these societies are often directly affiliated with the local chambers. Not only do the Chambers of Commerce act as a medium: for intercourse between commercial men and for the general promotion and protection of their interests, but the Government itself takes advantage of their existence in order to obtain, as well as to disseminate, useful intelligence and advice. Chambers of Commerce are available for arbitration! in mercantile disputes ; they discuss commercial law and suggest reforms ;: promote commercial and technical education ; and _collect and distribute statistical and commercial information.
Glasgow was the first city to establish a Chamber of Commerce ; this was • in 1773, and since then their formation has become a matter of course wher-I ever there is a locality with trade interests of any extent to promote or protect. In France the Chambers of Commerce are not voluntary associa tions in the same sense as are the English ; they are rather departments of government activity. , Lord Chancellor occupies the oldest and most dignified of the lay offices of State ; to kill him is high treason. By virtue of his office, he is the king's principal legal adviser, and a privy councillor ; speaker, by prescription, of the House of Lords, whether he be a peer or not ; head of the profession of the law, and a member of the Court of Appeal. He has also a seat in the Cabinet, and usually takes an active part in political life. His title is Lord High Chancellor of Great Britain, and he ranks above all dukes not of the blood royal, and next to the Premier.
He is appointed by the delivery of the Great Seal into his custody, and may be dismissed by its resumption. Being, however, attached to a political party, he would resign therewith. He is conservator and justice of the peace throughout England by prescription ; is visitor in the king's right of all hospitals and colleges of royal foundation ; and patron of all Crown livings under the value of a year, according to the valuation made in the reign of Henry VII. He appoints all the judges of the High Court, except the Lord Chief Justice, and appoints and removes all justices of the peace, though at the recommendation of lord-lieutenants of counties. He issues writs for summoning parliaments, and transacts all business connected with the custody and use of the great seal ; is entrusted with care of infants and their property ; and has jurisdiction over lunatics and idiots. His salary is £10,000 a year.
The Chancellor of a Diocese is vicar-general to the bishop, holds his courts, and directs and assists him in matters of ecclesiastical law. He has a freehold in his office, and is not *necessarily an ecclesiastic. , The Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster presides either in person or by deputy in the Court of the Duchy in all matters of equity relating to lands held of the king as Duke of Lancaster.
The Chancellor of the Exchequer holds the seal of the Exchequer, and with that dignity combines the office of Under-Treasurer, the functions of Lord High Treasurer being now executed by the Lords Commissioners of the Treasury. He is the responsible finance minister of the Crown, and always a member of the Cabinet. Originally he discharged judicial func tions, and at a later period sat in the Court of Exchequer. At the present day his only appearance in Court is ceremonial, as when the sheriffs are nominated.