The Governor General supervised and regulated everything concerning general
government matters, civil servants, applications to reside in the Indies, and
had the ability to arrest people presumed dangerous for public order. He had
authority on sea and land power and was also responsible for defense. Though
any action concerning relations with the local kingdoms had to be announced
to the council.
In general, the new colonial government not only continued the previous
administrative system by reviving organizations such as the Indies Council,
General Procurer, Financial Council, and Court of Justice but also made more
systematic and detailed organizational structures such as the addition
of irrigation system waterstaatreligious affairs (eeredienst)and postal
Establishment of the Algemene Secretarie
The Algemene Secretarie was a secretariat resulting from the merger of the Generaal
Secretarie, which was the secretariat for the Commissioners General, and the
Gouvernement Secretarie for the Governor General. The merger was formalized
by Commissioners General Decree 1 February 1819 Nr. 10.8 This organization
was headed by an Algemene Secretaris, with several Gouvernement Secretaris as
his subordinates. The first Algemene Secretaris was J.C. Baud, who was previously
Different from other organizations, this organization was not specifically
regulated in the Regeringsreglement (the colonial constitution), only the
mentioning of the Algemene Secretaris and Gouvernement Secretaris that
indicated that this kind of body existed.9 The existence of this organization was
indispensable, not a result from an intended plan but more to the inevitability in
which the Governor General, as the bearer of responsibility to represent the King
of the Netherlands, needed an organ where he could organize his duties—a special
bureau to assist him with administrative duties but also a body where he could get
expert advice to make decision.10 With a mass of duties which had been imposed
upon him, the Governor General brought important attachés to the General
Secretariat. Its members were not mere mechanical links between the Governor
General and his various officials, but independent agents, who gave not only
form but substance to the expressions of the government's will.11
The task of the General Secretariat cannot be separated from the existence and
the function of the Governor General as the highest authority in the colony. This
organization moved back and forth between Batavia (1816-1838, 1848-1888) and
Buitenzorg (1838-1848, 1888-1941), depending on where the Governor General
resided.12 The tasks included providing advice and information for the Governor
General, reviewing every incoming proposal by department chiefs according to
COLONIAL LEGACY IN SOUTH EAST ASIA -
THE DUTCH ARCHIVES
7 Regeringsalmanak van Nederlandsch Indie voor het jaar 1819.
8 Geschiedkundige Nota, 5.
9 Kleintjes, Staatsinstellingen van Nederlandsch-Indië, 307.
10 Kat Angelino, Staatkundig Beleid en Bestuurszorg, II, 63-64.
11 Day, The Policy and Administration, 416-417.
12 Geschiedkundige Nota.
13 Tempelaars and Kramer, Handleiding, 9.
14 Geschiedkundige Nota, 11.
15 Louter, Handboek, 194.