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Chapter in the upper house, under standing order No. 4, " the Places in

the House 1. lords are to sit in the same order as is prescribed by the oi Lords.

Act of Parliament, except that the lord chancellor sitteth
on the woolsack as Speaker to the house."1 But this order
is not usually observed with any strictness. The bishops
always sit together in the upper part of the house, on the
right hand of the throne: but the lords temporal are too
much distributed by their offices, by political divisions, and

by the part they take in debate, to be able to sit according
Precedence to their rank and precedence. The members of the ad-
of lords
spiritual in ministration sit on the front bench, on the right hand of the
see p. 5,

woolsack, adjoining the bishops; and the peers who usually n. 7. vote with them occupy the other benches on that side of

the house. The peers in opposition are ranged on the
opposite side of the house; while many who desire to main-
tain a political neutrality sit upon the cross benches which
are placed between the table and the bar.2
If the eldest son of a peer be summoned to Parliament by Ancient

baronies.
the style of an ancient barony held by his father, he takes
precedence amongst the peers according to the antiquity of
his barony; whereas, if he be created by patent a baron, by
a new style or title, he ranks as a junior baron.3

In the Commons no place is allotted to any member: but Places by custom the front bench, on the right hand of the chair, i called the Treasury, or privy councillors' bench, is appropriated for the members of the administration. The front bench on the opposite side, though other members occasionally sit there, is reserved for the leading members of the opposition who have served in offices of state. And on the

in the Commons.

1 By 31 Hen. VIII. c. 10, the precedence of princes of the blood royal, and of the bishops, peers, and high officers of state, is defined. See also 1 Will. & Mary, c. 21, s. 2; 5 Ann. c. 8; 10 Ann. c. 4. Report from the committee of privileges on the place H.R.H. the Duke of Clarence and Avondale should occupy in the house, and similar report in the case of the Duke of York, 122 L. J.

361; 124 ib. 295.

2 The standing order was enforced, 20th Jan. 1640, 10th Feb. 1640, and 1st Feb. 1771 ; 25 L. J. 572. 593 ; 33 ib. 47; see also 69 H. D. 3 s. 1806.

3 Baron Mowbray, eldest son of the Duke of Norfolk, 32 Chas II., was summoned by writ, and sat as premier baron, West, Inq. 49; and Lord Stanley, in 1845, 77 L. J. 18.

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opening of a new Parliament, the members for the city of Chapter
London claim, and generally exercise, the privilege of_
sitting on the Treasury, or privy councillors' bench. It is
not uncommon for old members, who are constantly in the
habit of attending in one place, to be allowed to occupy it

without disturbance.
Secured at Members who enjoy no place by usage or courtesy, except
prayers.

, members serving on select committees, must, pursuant to
S. 0.82.83,-
Appendix I. standing orders Nos. 82 and 83, be present at prayers if they

desire to secure a seat until the rising of the house ; nor
may a member's name be affixed to a seat in the house
before the hour of prayers.? Attempts to secure a seat, by
placing cards on the seats before prayers, have been pre-
vented by order of the Speaker to the Serjeant.3 A member,
however, who remains within the precincts of the house,
may leave his hat or a card upon a seat, in order to indicate
his intention of acquiring a right to the seat by a subsequent

attendance at prayers ; 4 and pursuant to resolution, 23rd
Seats of March, 1888, a member serving on a select committee,
members
serving on Wall

whilst in attendance on the committee, may, without being select com- present at prayers, retain a seat in the house by affixing

thereto a card, which is delivered to him for that purpose
on his application. No seat can be secured by a card,
paper, or gloves, placed thereon, except as a matter of

courtesy, and not of right.
Service Every member of the Parliament is under a constitutional

obligation to attend the service of the house to which he
belongs. A member of the upper house has the privilege
of serving by proxy, by virtue of a royal licence which
authorizes him to be personally absent, and to appoint
another lord of Parliament as his proxy: but since 1868, the

I Members thanked by the house, 3 20th April, 1866, 182 H. D. 3 s.
by courtesy retain their seats, 2 1765.
Hatsell, 94.

• See 20th June, 1867, 188 ib.
2 Cards, with the words, “at 163; 2nd April, 1868, 191 ib. 698 ;
prayers,” printed on them, are upon 26th Jan. 1886, 302 ib. 427; 26th
the table, to receive the names of Feb. 1895, 30 Parl. Deb. 4 s. 1571 ;
members seeking to secure their 24th May, 1898, 58 ib. 558; 19th
seats, pursuant to the standing March, 1906, 154 ib. 100.
orders, by placing the card in the 562 H, D. 3 s. 489; 252 ib. 1200.
receptacle on the back of the seat.

mittees,

of Parlia. ment.

VII.

Captur use of this privilege has been discontinued (see p. 371). In

1. the House of Commons, the personal service of every member
Olligation is required. By the 5 Rich. II.c. 4, "if any person summoned
of attend.
ance, see to Parliament do absent himself, and come not at the said
P. 182.

summons (except he may reasonably and honestly excuse
himself to our lord the king), he shall be amerced, or other-
wise punished according as of old times hath been used to
be done within the same realm, in the said case.” And by
an Act, 6 Hen. VIII. c. 16, it was declared that no member
should absent bimself “without the licence of the Speaker
and Commons, which licence was ordered to be entered of
record in the book of the Clerk of the Parliaments appointed
for the Commons' house." The penalty upon a member for
absence was the forfeiture of his wages; and although that
penalty is no longer applicable, the legislative declaration
of the duty of a member remains upon the statute-book.
In 1554, informations were filed in the Court of Queen's
Bench against several members who had seceded from Par-
liament, of whom six submitted to fines. And numerous
orders are to be found in the journals, for summoning
absent members to attend the service of the house.
On ordinary occasions, however, the attendance of Attendance

of mem-
members upon their service in Parliament is not enforced bers.
by the house: but when any special business is about
to be undertaken, means have been taken to secure their
presence. In the upper house, a method formerly in use for Lords

summoned. obtaining a larger attendance than usual, was to order the lords to be summoned; upon which a notice is sent to each lord who is known to be in town, to acquaint him “ that all the lords are summoned to attend the service of the house" on a particular day. No notice is taken of the absence of lords who do not appear: but the name of every lord who is present during the sitting of the house, is taken down each day by the Clerk of the house, and entered in the journal.

11 Parl. Hist. 625; 15th Aug. 1643, 3 C. J. 206; 6th Feb. 1688, 10 ib. 20; 15th March, 1715, 18 ib.

401; 17th Dec. 1783, 39 ib. 841; 18th April, 1785, &c.

VII.

Hous Lords.

called.

Call of the When any urgent business was deemed to require the Chapter

attendance of the lords, under a usage now in abeyance, an
order was made that the house be called over; and this
order has been enforced by fines and imprisonment upon
absent lords. On some occasions the lord chancellor has
addressed letters to all the peers, desiring their attendance,
as on the illness of George the Third, 1st November, 1810.1
The most important occasion on which the house was called
over in modern times, was in 1820, when the bill for the
degradation of Queen Caroline was pending; and by a
resolution of the house, fines and imprisonment were

imposed on such lords as should not attend the sittings of
Order in the house. The lords were accordingly called over by the
which the
peers are Clerk on each day during the pendency of that bill,

beginning, according to ancient custom, with the junior
baron. The custom of beginning with the junior baron
applies to every occasion upon which the whole house is
called over for any purpose, within the house, or for the
purpose of proceeding to Westminster Hall, or upon any
public solemnity. But when the house appoints a select
committee, the lords appointed to serve upon it are named
in the order of their rank, beginning with the highest; and
in the same manner, when a committee is sent to a con-
ference with the Commons, the lord highest in rank is called

first, and the other lords follow in the order of their rank.
Call of the When the House of Commons is ordered to be called over, .
House of :
Commons. it is usual to name a day which will enable the members to

attend from all parts of the country, the interval between the order and the call varying from one day to six weeks. If it be intended to enforce the call, not less than a week or ten days should intervene between the order and the day named for the call. The order for the bouse to be called over is accompanied by a resolution, " that such members as

1 16 L. J. 16. 26. 31. 40, &c. All the cases in which this order has been enforced, and the various modes of enforcement, are collected in the 53rd volume of the Lords’ Journals, p. 356, et seq.; 18 H, D. 1.

: 53 L. J. 364. The house was last called over on the occasion of the trial of Earl Russell, 18th July, 1901, 133 L. J. 287.

3 77 C. J. 101 ; 87 ib. 311.

VII.

which

Chapter shall not then attend, be sent for, in custody of the Serjeant

at-arms."] On the day appointed for the call, the order of
the day is read and is dealt with at the pleasure of the
house. If proceeded with, the names are called over from Order in
the Return Book, according to the counties, which are names
arranged alphabetically. The members for a county are called.
called first, and then the members for every city or borough
within that county. The counties in England and Wales
are called first, and those of Scotland and Ireland in their
order. This point is mentioned, because it makes a material
difference in the time at which a member is required to be
in his place.

The names of members who do not answer when called, When
are taken down by the Clerk of the house, and are after- are absent.

members wards called over again. If they appear in their places at this time, or in the course of the evening, it is usual to excuse them for their previous default; but otherwise, no excuse being offered, they are ordered to attend on a future day. It is also customary to excuse them if they attend on that day, or if a reasonable excuse be then offered. Non-attendance, no excuse being offered, may be punished by committal to the custody of the Serjeant, and to payment of his fees. But, instead of committing the defaulters, the house sometimes names another day for their attendance, or orders their names to be taken down. The attendance of members is generally ample; and a call is

? 12 C. J. 552; 16 ib. 565 ; 17 ib. 181, &c. It was formerly the custom to desire Mr. Speaker to write to the sheriffs, to summon the members to attend.

• Who is senior member for a place! He who has sat longest in the house, or he who was returned at the head of the poll? This question arose in 1866, between the lord advocate (Mr. Moncrieff) and Mr. M'Laren, members for Edinburgh; and also between Mr. Hastings Russell and Colonel Gilpin, members for Bedfordshire. In each case the junior member, in point of service,

being returned at the head of the poll, was entered first in the Return Book. Earl Russell and the Speaker concurred in opinion that the member who stands first in the Return Book must be accounted the senior member. – Mr. Speaker Denison's Diary, p. 207.

3 80 C. J. 147; 84 ib. 106.

" Illness of the member or of a near relation, or public service, 80 ib. 130; absence abroad, 80 ib. 150. 153. 157; 90 ib. 132; 91 ib. 278; see also 1 ib. 300. 862; 2 ib. 294 ; 9 ib. 75.

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