PRIME MINISTER, the title of the pre mier, secretary of state or other officer of state, who in most European countries, at the summons of the sovereign, has succeeded in forming an administration, of which he is the head and which may be named after him. Those who accept office under him are assumed to agree with his policy in the main. Though each member of the ministry administers his own department independently of his colleagues, all important departmental matters are submitted to him, the most important being brought be fore the whole ministry, and no appointment of moment is made or recommended to the Crown without his knowledge and concurrence. pis own patronage is very extensive. In form ing an administration, he selects all those who are to fill the various offices, though the ap pointments are subject to the sovereign's ap proval. In England it is on his advice that as vacancies occur the archhishops, bishops and deans and the highest judges are appointed and over 100 Crown livings are filled; and on his recommendation that the most en vied temporal titles and honorable distinctions — peerages, baronetcies and the Garter, for ex ample—are conferred and such high appoint ments as the lord-lieutenancy of Ireland, the viceroyalty of India, the principal ambassador ships and colonial governorships and lord-lieu tenancies of coiintries, are made by the Crown.
He is the leader of the House of Parliament, of which he is a member. Yet as prime min ister he enjoys no legal precedence over his colleagues, his official existence being indeed not recognized by statute. In European govern ments the prime minister, or premier, is usually charged with the management of diplomatic af fairs and in this respect resembles the Secre tary of State of the United States.