United Kingdom. Treasury

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chancellor of the Exchequer. This office is held by the head of the Treasury. The critical changes were embodied in resolutions passed by the House of Commons in 1706 and 1713 that it would only consider proposals for public expenditure which came from the crown, endowing the executive with the sole authority to instigate financial initiatives. Together these decisions placed the Treasury under control of Parliament with its minister as a politician rather than an administrator. The subsequent growth of public expenditure and taxation, and the enhanced economic responsibilities assumed by government in the 20th cent., greatly increased the importance of the office.

Clive H. Lee

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Chancellor of the Exchequer British minister responsible for national finances. The office evolved from the 13th-century clerk of the court of exchequer, assistant to the chancellor. Until the mid-19th century, the office was departmentally inferior to the first lord of the treasury. Since Gladstone's tenure of the office in 1850s, it has become probably the second most high-profile cabinet office (after the prime minister).

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