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appointed to consider the inatter. Having examined Mr. Chapter V.
On the 28th November, 1888, under an attachment order
cation prisoned for contempt of court in appropriating and neglect- thereon, ing to pay into court money received by him as receiver see p. 118. appointed by the Court of Chancery.2
On the 9th June, 1903, Mr. Patrick Aloysius McHugh,
a member, was arrested and imprisoned under an attachDicHugh.
ment order for contempt of court made on the 19th April,
It must not, however, be understood that either house
In January, 1873, the Court of Queen's Bench fined Mr. Members Onslow and Mr. Whalley, two members of the House of fined for contempt Commons, for a contempt of that court, when Chief Justice
Cockburn took occasion to state that the court would not
1 157 C. J. 300; Report of select committee on Imprisonment of a Member, Parl. Paper, No. 309, sess, 1902. As to what is criminal contempt see 32 L. R. (Ireland) 220;
15 L. R., P. D. 59.
: Judge's letter to the Speaker, 143 C. J. 488.
3 157 C. J. 175; 158 ib. 219; 123 Parl. Deb. 4 s. 309.
Chapter V. have been restrained by privilege from committing these
members, if it had thought fit.
On the 24th March, 1880, application was made to ViceChancellor Hall for an order for the committal of Mr. Fortescue Harrison, a member, for contempt, in not having complied with an order of the court for payment of certain moneys, and the delivery of documents to the liquidator of a company. The vice-chancellor, however, held that privilege protected a member, except in cases of a gross character, and that the contempt, in this case, was not such as to justify the court in committing a member. On that same day Parliament was dissolved, and Mr. Fortescue Harrison did not seek re-election. On the 15th April, application was again made to the court for his commit
ment: but the vice-chancellor held that privilege extended Duration of to a period of forty days after a prorogation or dissolution see p. 110. of Parliament, and as that time had not yet expired, he
refused to entertain the motion, on the ground of
1 His Honour Judge Bayley (Westminster County Court) refused to grant an order for the committal of a member for non-payment of a judgment debt on the ground of privilege, Roport in Times, 10th
Feb. 1892; see also p. 119, n. 3.
? Times, 16th April, 1880.
3 Queen's Bench Division (Bankruptcy). In re Armstrong, ex parte Lindsay, Times, 8th Aug. 1891 ; Morrell, Bankruptcy Reports.
Privilege of As yet the personal privilege of members, and the ancient Chapter V.
and privilege of their servants, have alone been noticed. These others. were founded upon the necessity of enabling members freely
to attend to their duties in Parliament. Upon the same
serve to explain the nature and extent of this privilege.
and to parties, while their causes or bills were depending,
In 1640, Sir Pierce Crosbie, sworn as a witness in Lord
On the 12th May, 1624, the master and others of the felt. makers were ordered, by the Commons, to be enlarged from the custody of the warden of the Fleet, for the prosecution of a bill then depending, “till the same be determined by both houses." 3 In the same manner, privilege was extended to persons who bad petitions or bills depending, on 22nd
Chapter V. and 29th January, 1628, 23rd January, 1640, 3rd May,
1701, and 11th May, 1758.1 Numerous instances bare
The last case that need be mentioned is that of Mr.
ofwitnesses arrest while in attendance on Parliament, are further pro- and others
ta from suits tected, by privilege, from the consequences of any statements an
which they may have made before either house ; and any tation, Iwriminat- molestation, threats, or legal proceedings against them, will ing ques. tions put to be treated by the house as a breach of privilege. The Protection titnesses,
of witsee p. 87. House of Commons resolved, 26th May, 1818, “That all nesses, &c.
witnesses examined before this house, or any committee
thereof, are entitled to the protection of this house, in Clerks und respect of anything that may be said by them in their omoers of the house evidence; "5 and persons who punish, damnify, or injure er deace
be witnesses before committees of either house of Parliament
Wines without on account of their evidence may, under the Witnesses leare, see P. 431,
11 C. J. 921. 924 ; 13 ib. 512; 28 tection is given by courts of law, ib. 244; 2 ib. 72.
even in arbitration cases, to wit? 8 ib. 525; 9 ib. 20. 366. 472; 12 nesses, &c., Court of Q. B. in banco, ib. 364. 610; 66 ib. 226. 232; 90 ib. 7th Nov. 1857. 521.
• 48 C. J. 426. : 88 L.J. 189; 92 ib. 75. 76 ; cases 573 ib. 389 ; see also debate on of Mr. Gardener and of Mr. Douglas, East Retford Disfranchisement Bill 9 C. J. 472; 24 ib. 170; 26 ib. 797; (1828), 18 H. D, 2 s. 970. 27 ib. 447. 537. 548. Similar pro
(Public Inquiries) Protection Act, 1892, be convicted of a Chapter V.
On the 23rd November, 1696, “ A complaint being made
On the 8th April, 1697, the Lords attached T. Stone, for striking and insulting a witness, below the bar, who bad been summoned to attend a committee, and directed the attorney-general to prosecute him for his offence. On the 5th March, 1710, on the report from a committee that John
Hare, a soldier, was afraid of giving evidence, the Commons Protection resolved, “that this house will proceed with the utmost nesses, &c. severity against any person that shall threaten, or any way
injure, or send away the said J. Hare, or any other person
On the 28th February, 1728, it was reported to the house,
1 11 C. J. 591. 613.
16 C. J. 535 ; 18 ib. 371; see also Mr. Goold's case, 12th March, 1819, 74 ib. 223.