Minister of Customs

The office of Minister of Customs was a position in the Cabinet of the Government of Canada responsible for the administration of customs revenue collection. This position was originally created by Statute 31 Vict., c. 43, and assented to on 22 May 1868.

From 3 December 1892, the Minister's position was cancelled in favour of a Controller of Customs position which was treated as part of the Ministry, but not part of the formal Cabinet. A similar change was also made to the Minister of Inland Revenue portfolio at that time.

The Controller of Customs became part of the Cabinet on 24 December 1895 when John Fisher Wood became a part of the Privy Council. The position once again became known as Minister of Customs with the passage of Statute 60-61 Vict., c. 18 which was given royal assent on 29 June 1897. The same legislation also brought back the title of Minister of Inland Revenue.

The offices of Minister of Customs and Minister of Inland Revenue were replaced by a combined Minister of Customs and Inland Revenue, as mandated by Order in Council dated 18 May 1918.

Ministers and Controllers of Customs

Minister From To Ministry Comments
Samuel Leonard Tilley 1 July 1867 21 February 1873 1st
Charles Tupper 22 February 1873 5 November 1873 1st
Isaac Burpee 7 November 1873 8 October 1878 2nd
Mackenzie Bowell 19 October 1878 24 January 1892 3rd, 4th
Joseph-Adolphe Chapleau 25 January 1892 24 November 1892 4th
Nathaniel Clarke Wallace 5 December 1892 13 December 1895 5th, 6th
John Fisher Wood 14 December 1895 5 January 1896 6th Wood was interim Controller until his appointment was official on 17 December 1895. On 24 December 1895, the position was again made a formal part of Cabinet.
Frank Smith 6 January 1896 14 January 1896 6th Smith was a Senator who served as acting Controller.
John Fisher Wood 15 January 1896 8 July 1896 6th, 7th
William Paterson 30 June 1897 6 October 1911 8th Position's name reverted from Controller to Minister.
John Dowsley Reid 10 October 1911 12 October 1917 9th
Arthur Lewis Sifton 12 October 1917 17 May 1918 10th Sifton also held the Inland Revenue post. On 18 May 1918, the ministries were combined and Sifton continued as Minister of Customs and Inland Revenue.


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