Talk:Extraterritorial Lands Bureau
As for Gardiners and its "Not Quite NAL" but also "Not Quite Independent" status, I wonder if it is on or has been on and off the Extraterritorial Lands Bureau list several times over the years. Certainly the ETLB would be an appropriate arm of the government for Gardiners to be associated with. Of all the territories of the NAL, Gardiners is the most "extra"territorial of all!
It does make sense that the ETB would be interested in Gardiners.
More like "mandated by the Convention". Their whole existence was to deal with all the bits and pieces that don't quite fit the normal structure of interdependent provinces. On account of those bits nòt being actual provinces. Gardiners certainly fits the description of nonprovincehood.
But I would not be comfortable having a Philadelphia appointee acting as Minister of the island.
The ETLB Ministers are not ministers òf territories. They're ministers of the Bureau.
Keep in mind that the ETLB doesn't actually rule anything. I think of it more like "ambassadors within the nation" (as opposed to ambassadors outside the nation). Their role is more to act as liason between Philadelphia and territories that are not ruled by Philadelphia. The ETLB's independence from the entanglements of Philadelphia allows it to pretty much allow its various territories to do what they want.
And you can rest assured that this is exactly the state of affairs the vast majority of the territories under the ETLB's auspices want. There are enough people in many parts of the Unincorporated Terriories, for example, and sufficient resources to carve up into several appealing provinces -- and Philadelphia has been sniffing around north of Les Plaines for a few decades now -- but the people of the UT have by in large been opposed to formally joining the NAL as a province. Their association with the Bureau has been their greatest guarantor of their liberty.
Gardiners couldn't be hurt by association within the Bureau. Do they think that if push came to shove, Queen Diana would intervene if her charter territory came under pressure by Castreleon New to be annexed?
Maybe a functionary in the ETLB office could have "checking in on Gardiners" as part of his portfolio -
That's basically what the Ministers do anyway!
for things like mapping, as you say. But when the National Trust began "supervising" the island in the 1960s, it was a substantial change. It did not simply take up a job that the ETB was already doing.
The ETLB's job has, since the 19th century, never really been anything more than liason between the federal government and the local government, which in this case would be his lordship himself. It's something like a buffer between two somewhat equal governments. The only reason why Gardiners might benefit is that the Bureau acts as a check against the Convention in places where it has no territorial jurisdiction (as of yet).
For example, what would stop Castreleon New from annexing the island outright if it makes a deal with Connecticut to take over that province's protectorate, then introduces legislation in the Convention to terminate direct land-grant territorial arrangements? Such a law would not affect the land-grant territories that exist in the UT, because those territories are outside the direct jurisdiction of the federal government; it would be tabled and basically disregarded by the local parliament and the ETB would be empowered to legally block the federal government from enforcing that law in the UT. A territory that is both non-provincial and unprotected by the ETLB has no real recourse. The new law would take effect and that would be that.
The only exception(s) to the above would be non-provincial territories that have no people living in them. There being no local government to serve as liason with, the ETLB's Minister becomes the de facto local government. This is the situation in the Dry Tortugas, which is a national monument (former Royal Navy installation) and ecological reserve, administered by the ETLB.
I would like to propose a suggestion that Gardiners is the ideal territory for the Extraterritorial Lands Bureau, overworked as it otherwise is, to have a relationship with. Gardiners is practically the archetype of an extraterritorial territory -- not exacly an independent country, not a province and yet not exactly an integral part of the NAL. It is tied to American territory by only the most tenuous of links. It's essentially a feudal state directly dependent on the English monarch. It shares a lot in common with several territories in the UT vis a vis its tenuous connexion to the rest of the NAL.
The Bureau's mandate anymore is to provide "general territorial oversight", which largely involves reminding the local government that they have to "recognise the NAL's sovereignty over all matters of national import". Given Gardiners's status as a Charter Territory (from the English monarch) rather than a provincial entity, the Bureau would be the natural and ideal bridge with Philadelphia, especially in handling any legal issues or provincial threats that might arise from time to time.
It wouldn't have to have a resident Minister (Ministers rarely "reside" in their territories); the Minister's duties would largely involve a tour of the territory and an inspection of the State Papers, to make sure they're minding their Ps and Qs. In other words, the Minister would be the government official responsible for the National Trust when it comes around to "monitor the island's governance, finances, and the care of the land".
That said, I agree that Gardiners was attached to the NAL before the Bureau was created, but that doesn't mean it should never have a relationship with that Bureau. Keep in mind that Beaver Island did not exist until the 1860s, and it would be at that time that it became attached to the NAL and the Bureau. After all, it is through the Bureau that all non-provincial and irregular territories interact with Philadelphia. I would also state that the Bureau has not ever ruled or administered Gardiners, the way Ministers might rule an otherwise insufficiently governed territory (like the Dry Tortugas). After all, Gardiners has its proper rulers in just sequence. All those functions that the Minister might do, would here be done by the local government. Elemtilas 02:35, 8 May 2010 (UTC)
- Reading your response on the message board, this makes sense. I think I was misled by the fact that the Unincorporated Territories' appointee is nicknamed the "Lord Governor" - I had thought there was an actual supposition of authority (even if there was little actual power to the position). If Ministers are more like diplomats than governors, then it makes sense for Gardiners to have one.
- There's no way it could be a full-time job, though. The place has a bit of a grandiose streak, but it's still small as can be. Benkarnell 04:34, 10 May 2010 (UTC)
- Yeah, "Lord Governor" is not exactly an official title! Bureau ministers have authority regarding the relationship between their appointed territory and the NAL and the amount of their authority is determined by treaty. So, if the NAL decided to impose a tax on the residents of the UT, the minister could check that, since the Convention doesn't have that authority without the consent of the Territories. If the Territories consented, the Minister could not stop them.
- As for the position being full time, you bet your sweet Long Island Sound the position is full time! Just because most of the time is spent away from Gardiners doesn't mean the Minister isn't always on call. Chances are good the Minister would only visit the Island once a year to make sure everything is copacetic. Otherwise, he'd probably be engaged elsewhere in the Bureau or teaching history in some posh New England college. Possibly in Connecticut or Massachusetts.
- Practically speaking, the role of the Ministers vis-a-vis their territories is governed by treaties made between the NAL proper and the territories they govern. In the UT, the "Lord Governor" has some limited real power: he is the Commissioner of the Unincorporated Territories and serves as its de jure "supreme executive". In reality, various treaties limit his authority within the UT and his assent to acts of the UT's parliament amount to rubber stamps. THe UT has the right to expand or contract his authority and scope of duty. The only way he could really countermand an act of the UT's parliament is if they tried to do something counter to national security.
- In the Dry Tortugas, the Minister has almost limitless authority, there being no local government at all. She could levy an income tax of 88 1/3% on all lobsters if she wanted to. There are also no permanent residents, so no harm, no foul. Up in New Zandam, the Minister there has essentially no authority at all except the "national security" veto, since the territory is privately owned and administered.
- How much authority the Minister to Gardiners would have would largely be up to the negotiating skills of the Lord Gardiner in charge back in the early 1800s. I suspect that the Minister to Gardiners would have very little real authority indeed. Mostly because he wouldn't need any -- like New Zandam, Gardiners is privately owned and administered, and his only concerns would be the maintenance of national security, historical and scientific research. Elemtilas 23:21, 10 May 2010 (UTC)
- Hm... after taking time to think, I can say that does not fit with what I wanted for Gardiners. Gardiners, at least according to what I have discovered and written so far, never made any treaties with the NAL as a whole prior to that National Trust arrangement a generation ago. Just about everything that the Bureau would have provided would have been handled by officials in Connecticut. Lord Gardiner did make a unilateral declaration to comply with the laws of the NAL, but it importantly he did not make any agreements to become NAL territory.
- I see! That would change things considerably -- after all, the Bureau was instituted to handle territories of the NAL! Such a (re)affirmation of non-Americanhood would never be compatible with the Bureau's mandate. Gardiners would be entirely outside of the legal scope and competence of the Bureau.
- As for transferring the "protectorate", or similar what-ifs - aside from the fact that I cannot imagine why Connecticut would do such a thing, I'm sure such an act would be in violation of the Solemn League itself. The relationship was made just before the SLC was created and so slipped through, but there must be a provision that the provinces canot make treaties.
- There are any number of reasons why they might. Just because the pact was made before the NAL came into being doesn't mean it couldn't be nullified later. The arrangement Ter Mair had with the crown of Kemr was altered. I suspect Gardiners simply slipped through the cracks and no one has seen any sense in changing what by now has existed since close to time immemorial. I'm sure there is a provision about provinces not making treaties -- any treaties so made would have been assumed by the NAL itself. Such a treaty còuld be renegotiated by the NAL, if they wanted to bother. I doubt that Gardiners would be a sufficiently big deal to bother with renegotiations. If anything, recent decades have demonstrated the value placed on this piece of history, what with National Trust involved. Given that its place is now so secured, I doubt if any but the stupidest elements of the American government would seek to upset matters.
- That's not to say the Bureau didn't try to make the NAL's relationship with Gardiners more normal. But the lords probably had no interest in making a treaty with the Bureau, and as long as they didn't raise a fuss when Solemn League Navy ships patrolled the bay, the Bureau probably didn't have much reason to apply any pressure. As for maps, Connecticut surveyors probably did some of that. It may well be that Gardiners was not mapped in the modern sense until the 60s - that would be an interesting factoid, anyway.
- Agreed. I suspect that early on, Bureau ministers would have tried to do that. Perhaps even later in history as well. But no territorial jurisdiction by the NAL means no intervention by the Bureau is possible.
- So to sum up, I see why the ETB would see Gardiners as its natural area of concern, but to me the interest of Gardiners is that it's Not Just Another Territory - it's a private colony that slipped through the cracks of history due to intertia and its own inconsequentiality. Benkarnell 21:26, 11 May 2010 (UTC)
- And I like that very much. While I'd argue that none of the Bureau's territories are "just another territory", it seems that Gardiners is more like Not Any Kind of Territory! Well, at least I got a lot of good information on the Bureau out of this! Elemtilas 22:05, 11 May 2010 (UTC)
- Then I'm glad I could help you learn more. I do like the idea of Bureau ministers teaching in New England colleges on the side. And I'm glad I could help clarify Gardiners' status - I would like to think some of the arcane political relationships you have described in the past helped inform those seen with the island. Another way to think of it: it's just another of Her Majesty's domains. The NAL just happens to be the nearest power to help take care of it. Benkarnell 01:00, 12 May 2010 (UTC)
Just wanted to say this seems all very okay by moi. Zahir 17:02, 13 May 2010 (UTC)