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VII.

general v.

on not

Chapter occasion, subjected to the decision of a court of justice. On

the 11th February, 1884, however, he voted twice during the
proceedings caused by the course that he had taken; and
an action was brought against him by the Crown, to enforce

the penalty consequent upon the vote of an unsworn AttorneyPenalties member,2 The Court of Appeal decided, 28th January, Bradlaugh. taking the 1885, that the parliamentary "oath must be taken by a 168.

1. member, with the assent of the house, according to the

requirements of the standing orders, and after he has been
called upon by the Speaker to be sworn.” The court also
decided that a member of Parliament who does not believe
in the existence of a Supreme Being, and upon whom an
oath has no binding effect as an oath, but only as a solemn
promise, is, owing to his want of religious belief, incapable
by law of making and subscribing the parliamentary oath ;
and that if he took his seat and voted as a member, although
he has gone through the form of making and subscribing
the oath appointed by those statutes, he would be liable,
upon information at the suit of the attorney-general,
to the penalty imposed by the Parliamentary Oaths Act,

1866, s. 5.3
Right cofa On the opening of the new Parliament, 13th January,
member to
take his" 1886, the Speaker, directly after he had taken the oath,

informed the house that he had received an appeal, in the
form of letters addressed to him by several members, sug-
gesting that the oath should not be administered to Mr.
Bradlaugh until the house had expressed an opinion on the
matter, in consequence of the decision by the Court of
Appeal, that Mr. Bradlaugh was incapable of taking an
oath. The Speaker then stated that no case had been cited
showing that a Speaker had, in the administration of the
parliamentary oath, taken upon himself original and inde-
pendent authority. If the Speaker had intervened in the
inatter, it was in consequence of the action of the house,

"A friendly suit was not tried to ? 12th Feb. 1884, the Chiltern test the legality of this act, as, in Hundreds granted to Mr. Bradthe judgment of the court, the laugh (see p. 645). pleadings were collusive. Gurney 3 Law Reports, 1885, part v. p. v. Bradlaugh, 1882.

667; 14 Q. B. D. 101,

160.

VII.

based on something that had occurred during that Parlia- Chapter
ment. On this occasion, however, the Speaker reminded
the house that they had met as a new Parliament. He
knew nothing of the resolutions of the past; those reso-
lutions had lapsed, and were of no effect. It was the
right, the Speaker stated, the legal, statutable obligation, of
members when returned to this house, to come to the table
and take the oath prescribed by statute; and that if a
member came to the table, and offered to take the oath,
the Speaker knew of no right whatever to intervene between
the member and the performance of a legal and statutable
duty; and that it would be his duty neither to prohibit
Mr. Bradlaugh from coming, nor to permit a motion to

be made standing between him and his taking the oath." Omission By the 30 Chas. II. stat. 2, 13 Will. III. c. 6, and 1 Geo. to take the I. stat. 2, c. 13, severe penalties and disabilities were inflicted Penalties. upon any member of either house who sat or voted without

having taken the oaths. By the 29 & 30 Vict. c. 19, any
peer voting by himself or his proxy, or sitting in the House
of Peers without having taken the oath, is subject, for every
such offence, to a penalty of 5001.; and any member of the
House of Commons who votes as such, or sits during any
debate after the Speaker has been chosen, without having
taken the oath, is subject to the same penalty, and his seat
is also vacated in the same manner as if he were dead.
When members have neglected to take the oaths from
haste, accident, or inadvertence, it has been usual to pass
Acts of indemnity, to relieve them from the consequences
of their neglect. In the Commons, however, it is neces- Exception

: in the case sary to move a new writ immediately the omission is discovered, as the member's seat is vacated.3

Salomons,

sec p. 162, 1 141 C. J. 5; 302 H. D. 3 s. 21. Gower); 1 Will. IV. c. 8 (Lord R. n 9th March, 1882, the Speaker Grosvenor); 5 Vict. c. 3 (Earl of tated that to object to any member Scarborough); Lord Plunket, 1880. taking the oath except on grounds 3 60 C. J. 148 ; 67 ib. 286; 69 ib. public or notorious, or within the 144 ; 71 ib. 42; 86 ib. 353. In Mr. cognizance of the house, would be Bradlaugh's case (see p. 165), he was simply vexatious, 267 H. D. 3 s. 442, allowed to accept the Chiltern Hun

? 45 Geo. III. c. 5 (Lord J. dreds (see p. 645). Thynne); 56 Geo. III. C. 48 (Earl

Mr.

of th:

may not

Chapter But although a member may not sit and vote until he has Members

ones entitled to m. taken the oath, he may vacate his seat by the acceptance or Acceptance of the Chiltern Hundreds, and is entitled to all the other before they

are sworn. Chiltern privileges of a member, being regarded, both by the house Hundreds p. 642. and by the laws, as qualified to serve, until some other dis

qualification has been shown to exist. Thus, on the 13th

April, 1715, it was resolved “that Sir Joseph Jekyll was An unsucorn capable of being chosen of a committee of secrecy, though member

je he had not been sworn at the Clerk's table."1 On the 11th
present a May, 1858, acting upon this precedent, the house added
petition,
see p. 530. Baron Rothschild, who had then continued a member for

eleven years without having taken the oaths, to the com-
mittee appointed to draw up reasons to be offered to the
Lords for disagreeing to the Lords' amendments to the
Oaths Bill,at a conference of which he was appointed one
of the managers. On the 11th May, 1880, Mr. Bright, who
had not yet made his affirmation, was appointed a member
of the Parliamentary Oath Committee, upon which he served
and voted, before he had made his affirmation.

It is usual for members who have not yet taken the
oaths, to sit below the bar; 4 and care must be taken that
they do not, inadvertently, take a seat within the bar, by
which they would render themselves liable to the penalties
and disqualifications imposed by the statute.
At the beginning of a Parliament, the Return Book, Certificate

é of a return. received from the clerk of the Crown (see p. 150), is sufficient evidence of the return of a member, and the oatlıs are at once administered. If a member be elected after a general election, the clerk of the Crown sends to the Clerk of the house a certificate of the return received in the Crown Office : 5 and the member must obtain a certificate

118 C. J. 59; Chandler's Debates; 7 Parl. Hist. 57; 2 Hatsell, 88, n.

• 113 C. J. 167; 150 H. D. 3 s. 336. 430.

3 113 C. J. 162.

• When, 18th May, 1849, notice was taken that strangers were present, Baron Rothschild retained his seat below the bar, although he had

not taken the oath; and Mr. Bradlaugh was present below the bar, during many divisions, while forbidden to take the oath.

5 During the session of 1889, the return of a member for Kennington, on Friday, 15th March, was not delivered at the Crown Office until the following Monday evening at nine

10 Clarlat

VII.

from the Public Bill Office of the receipt of that certificate Chapter
for production at the table, before the Clerk of the house -
will administer the oath. The neglect of this rule in
1848 gave rise to doubts as to the validity of the oaths
taken by a member. Mr. Hawes was elected for Kinsale
on the 11th March ; on the 15th, he was sworn at the table : Irregulari-

vities regardbut his return was not received by the clerk of the Crown inj rcturns,

see also p. until the 18th; and it was questioned whether the oaths 639. which he had taken before the receipt of the return, had been duly taken. A committee was appointed to inquire into the matter, who reported that the non-return of the indenture to the Crown Office cannot affect the validity of the election, nor the right of a person duly elected, to be held a member of the house. The committee, at the same time, recommended a strict adherence to the practice of requiring the production of the usual certificate.

On the 10th May, 1858, Baron Rothschild having been returned upon a new writ, and not having brought up the certificate of his return, the certificate from the clerk of the Crown was ordered to be read, before a motion was made

for adding Baron Rothschild to a committee.?
Subscrip- So soon as a member has been sworn, or has made his
oath and affirmation, he subscribes at the table the " test-roll,” which
affirmation, is a roll of parchment folded into the shape of a book,

headed by the oath and affirmation which he has taken or
made ; and the member is then introduced to the Speaker

by the Clerk of the house. New

Members returned upon new writs issued after the general members sworn after election, take the oath or make their affirmation in the general

same manner; and, under the resolution of the 23rd election.

February, 1688,“ in compliance with an ancient order and

tion of

o'clock. On the meeting of the
house on Monday, notice was taken
that the return was not in the
hands of the clerk of the Crown;

and the Speaker informed the house Sce, when that he would ascertain from the no return is clerk of the Crown the circumstances madı, p. of the case, and that action should 640.

be taken thereon, if necessary. The

delay in the delivery of the return had arisen in the post-office; and the member took the oath during a subsequent sitting, 334 H. D. 3 s. 53.

Parl. Paper, sess. 1848, No. 256.

: 113 C. J. 162.

Chapter custom, they are introduced to the table between two

members, making their obeisances as they go up, that they
may be the better known to the house: "1 but this practice
is not observed in regard to members who, having been
chosen at a general election, have established their claim to
a seat by an election petition ; 2 for they are supposed to Members

seated on have been returned at the beginning of the Parliament, petition. when no such introduction is customary.

Another difference of form is to be remarked, in reference to new members, and members seated on petition, when coming to be sworn. The former not being in the original Return Book, must bring with them, as already stated, a certificate of their return from the clerk of the Crown : but the latter having become members by the adjudication of an election judge, the clerk of the Crown amends the return by order of the house (see p. 658); and he does not certify to the house the return of such members. In the event of the demise of the Crown, all the members Demise of

the Crown. of both houses again take the oath. To return to the ordinary business of the session. When King's

speech, the greater part of the members of both houses are sworn, the causes of summons are declared by the king in person, or by commission. This proceeding is the commencement of the session; and in every session but the first of a Parliament, as there is no election of a Speaker, nor any general swearing of members, the session is opened at once by the King's speech, without any preliminary

proceedings in either house. Both houses usually meet at Reassembly two o'clock in the afternoon. In the Commons, prayers are of the Commons said before the King's speech, but in the Lords usually at four

not until their second meeting, later in the afternoon. The o'clock.. see p. 174,

110 C. J. 34. 18th Feb. 1874, Dr. order be dispensed with, on this Kenealy, a new member, came to the occasion. 130 C. J. 52; 222 H. D. table to be sworn, without the in- 3 s. 486. troduction by two members. The ? 2 Hatsell, 85, n. Speaker acquainted him with the 36 Anne, c. 7; 37 Geo. III. c. 137; order of the house, and, refusing to 92 C. J. 490, &c.; 156 ib. 5, &c. hear any comments from him, “When a prince of the blood is to directed him to withdraw; where- be introduced, prayers are said before upon the house resolved that the the sovereign's arrival.

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