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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
by the part they take in debate, to be able to sit according
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
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.
opening of a new Parliament, the members for the city of Chapter
, members serving on select committees, must, pursuant to
desire to secure a seat until the rising of the house ; nor
attendance at prayers ; 4 and pursuant to resolution, 23rd
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
courtesy, and not of right.
obligation to attend the service of the house to which he
I Members thanked by the house, 3 20th April, 1866, 182 H. D. 3 s.
• See 20th June, 1867, 188 ib.
of Parlia. ment.
Captur use of this privilege has been discontinued (see p. 371). In
1. the House of Commons, the personal service of every member
summons (except he may reasonably and honestly excuse
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.
Call of the When any urgent business was deemed to require the Chapter
attendance of the lords, under a usage now in abeyance, an
imposed on such lords as should not attend the sittings of
beginning, according to ancient custom, with the junior
first, and the other lords follow in the order of their rank.
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.
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 names of members who do not answer when called, When
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.