Minister for Iceland

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Minister for Iceland
Ráðherra Íslands
Before 1904:
Ministry of Justice of Denmark
Member ofBefore 1904:
Cabinet of Denmark
After 1904:
SeatBefore 1904:
After 1904:
AppointerMonarch of Denmark
Constituting instrumentBefore 1904:
Constitution of Denmark
After 1904:
Constitution of Iceland
PrecursorJustice Minister of Denmark
FormationIn Denmark:
5 January 1874
In Iceland:
1 February 1904
First holderIn Denmark:
Christian Sophus Klein
In Iceland:
Hannes Hafstein
Final holderIn Denmark:
Peter Adler Alberti
In Iceland:
Jón Magnússon
AbolishedIn Denmark:
1 February 1904
In Iceland:
30 November 1918
SuccessionPrime Minister of Iceland

Minister for Iceland (Danish: Minister for Island, pronounced [miˈnistɐ fɒ ˈisˌlænˀ]; Icelandic: Ráðherra Íslands) was a post in the Danish cabinet for Icelandic affairs.


The post was established on 5 January 1874 as according to the Constitution of Iceland the executive power rested in the King of Denmark through the Danish cabinet. The post as Minister for Iceland was a part of the post as Justice Minister of Denmark until 1904 as the Constitutional Act of Iceland of 3 October 1903 stated that the Minister for Iceland had to be a resident of Reykjavík and be able to read and write Icelandic, and the minister was made responsible to the Icelandic parliament and Iceland obtained extended home rule.

After agreement with the Social Liberal government in Copenhagen Jón Magnússon in January 1917 formed the first coalition government consisting of three ministers and with a majority in the Althing behind it. Parliamentarism was thus implemented in Iceland. Jón Magnússon got the title forsætisráðherra Íslands (Prime Minister of Iceland, but literally chairman or president of the ministers), while all three ministers were also formally members of the Danish cabinet each with the title Minister of Iceland.

In 1918, Denmark recognised Iceland as an independent and sovereign state in a personal union with Denmark—the Kingdom of Iceland—and the post was closed down on 30 November 1918.

List of ministers[edit]

Constitution (1874–1904)[edit]

No. Minister for Iceland Took office Left office Time in office Party Cabinet
Christian Sophus Klein [da]
Klein, Christian SophusChristian Sophus Klein [da]
14 July 187411 June 1875332 daysNational LiberalHolstein-Holsteinborg
Johannes Nellemann [da]
Nellemann, JohannesJohannes Nellemann [da]
11 June 187513 June 189621 years, 2 daysHøjreEstrup
Nicolai Reimer Rump [da]
Rump, Nicolai ReimerNicolai Reimer Rump [da]
13 June 189628 August 18993 years, 76 daysHøjreReedtz-Thott
Hugo Egmont Hørring
Hørring, Hugo EgmontHugo Egmont Hørring
28 August 189927 April 1900242 daysHøjreHørring
August Hermann Ferdinand Carl Goos [da]
Goos, August Hermann Ferdinand CarlAugust Hermann Ferdinand Carl Goos [da]
27 April 190024 July 19011 year, 88 daysHøjreSehested
Peter Adler Alberti
Alberti, Peter AdlerPeter Adler Alberti
24 July 19011 February 19042 years, 192 daysVenstre ReformDeuntzer

Home rule (1904–1918)[edit]

Minister Took office Left office Duration Party Cabinet
7 Hannes Hafsteinn.jpg Hannes Hafstein
1 February 1904 31 March 1909 5 years, 1 month, 30 days
(1,885 days)
Home Rule Party Deuntzer
J.C. Christensen I
J.C. Christensen II
Neergaard I
8 Bjorn Jonsson.jpg Björn Jónsson
31 March 1909 14 March 1911 1 year, 11 months, 14 days
(713 days)
Independence Party Neergaard I
Zahle I
Klaus Berntsen
9 Kristjan Jonsson.jpg Kristján Jónsson
14 March 1911 25 July 1912 1 year, 4 months, 11 days
(499 days)
independent Klaus Berntsen
(7) Hannes Hafsteinn.jpg Hannes Hafstein
25 July 1912 21 July 1914 1 year, 11 months, 26 days
(726 days)
Union Party Klaus Berntsen
Zahle II
10 Sigurður Eggerz.jpg Sigurður Eggerz
21 July 1914 4 May 1915 9 months, 13 days
(287 days)
Independence Party Zahle II
11 EinarArnorsson.jpg Einar Arnórsson
4 May 1915 4 January 1917 1 year, 8 months
(611 days)
Independence Party
12 1x1 placeholder.png Jón Magnússon
Sigurður Jónsson
Björn Kristjansson
(to 28 August 1917)
Sigurður Eggerz
(from 28 August 1917)
4 January 1917 30 November 1918 1 year, 10 months, 26 days
(695 days)
Home Rule Party
Progressive Party
Independence Party

See also[edit]


  • Dam, Poul (1996). Hvem var minister (3. edition). Aros. ISBN 87-7003-553-9. (in Danish)
  • Skou, Kaare R. (2005). Dansk politik A–Å. Aschehoug. ISBN 87-11-11652-8. (in Danish)
  • Sundbøl, Per (1978). Dansk Islandspolitik 1913-1918. Odense Universitetsforlag. ISBN 87-7492-246-7. (in Danish)