MINISTER WITHOUT PORTFOLIO WHETHER A RESPONSIBLE MINISTER OF THE CROWN
In response to a further query from the Right Honourable the Prime Minister I may add that whether Mr Crooke(1) is entitled to be considered a responsible Minister of the Crown is a difficult question. As a member of the Cabinet he is responsible to Parliament since he leaves office with his colleagues so soon as they fail to command the confidence of the Victorian Assembly. This is his only responsibility except that of joining with his colleagues in tendering advice to His Excellency while they continue in office. On the other hand he does not challenge the approval of his constituents upon accepting office as his colleagues do. He has no department and is incapable of authorising the smallest expenditure or the most trifling ministerial action. His functions are those of an Executive Councillor simply. He only differs from others who retain that title in Victoria because he continues to be summoned by the Government. On the whole I do not think this is sufficient to constitute him a responsible Minister though probably it is enough to place him above all other Councillors notwithstanding their seniority if they have ceased to be called to His Excellency's Councils.
[Vol. 1, p. 218]
(1) Edward Jolley Crooke, Member of the Legislative Council of Victoria and Minister without Portfolio.