C ABINET is modern terminology for an ancient institution. A "cabinet" originates in the universal need on the part of any single Chief Executive to consult with others and draw upon the advice of others in exercising his political power. It persists as an aid to intelligent and informed decision-making. "It is already the practice of kings," writes Aristotle in the Politics, "to make themselves many eyes and ears and hands and feet. For they make colleagues of those who are friends of themselves and of their governments."1 Wherever a Chief Executive has a group of advisers identifiable by both a degree of intimacy and a degree of institutionalization, then the idea of a cabinet or a cabinet-like institution is present.
Etymologically, "cabinet" derives from the designation "Cabinet Council," first given to an inner circle of the Kings advisers in England in 1622.2 When the term "cabinet" was adopted in the United States it was intended to connote no more than an intimate and institutionalized advisory body to the Chief Executive. Insofar as the English Cabinet Council fits this description, the two cabinets could, at that time, bear comparison without violating the idea which the Americans had in mind. But the American Cabinet "was in no sense a conscious imitation of any organization in existence at the epoch of its creation."3 The American Cabinet was not a copied product. Its terminological affinity with the English institution should not be stretched to connote other