On New Year’s Day 1917, a new legislation concerning increased number of ministers in the Icelandic government was cabled to the Danish king who ratified it the next day… That was a beginning of the First Icelandic Government. FindYourStampsValue.com is glad to let our readers know that to celebrate the 100th anniversary of this important establishment Iceland Post with a special commemorative stamp.
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Until that time Iceland had had only one minister, Hannes Hafsteinn, but now they were three, Jon Magnusson, Prime Minister and Minister of Justice, Sigurdur Jonsson, Minister of Labour and Björn Kristjánsson Minister of Finance. Sigurdur Eggerz took office as Finance Minister later in 1917.
Since 1909 proposals of adding ministers to the govern ment had been put forward and in 1913, Parliament approved amending the number of ministers. Changes were not made until January 4, 1917 and the first Icelandic government was formed and started working. The new ministers were appointed in charge of three Government offices, later termed ministries. Each minister was empowered to rule on matters of his own ministry without the intervention of his coministers.
The Prime Minister conducted regular meetings, where governmental matters were discussed. Joint meeting of the king and the ministers was called the State Council. It was decided by royal decree on May 28, 1919, to form the Icelandic State Council, in accordance with Iceland’s sovereignty in 1918. With the establishment of the Republic on June 17, 1944, the President of Iceland replaced the King of Denmark.