A Commissioner of Public Works and Mines was appointed in 1867 to superintend and manage government buildings and property and to regulate mines and mining. The department gradually became a general provider of services to government, including public printing. In 1921 the commissioner became a minister. Until 1926 Public Works and Mines was responsible for tourism, and until 1931 for public charities and social welfare. In 1939 the department was broken up, with Mines (later Mines and Energy) becoming a separate department and the Department of Highways assuming responsibility for public works.