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XI.

ser

Chapter mainly founded upon the understanding that the debates of

the other house are not known, and that the house can take
no notice of them. The daily publication of debates in
Parliament offers a strong temptation to disregard this
rule. The same questions are discussed by persons be-

longing to the same parties in both houses, and speeches
Personal are constantly referred to by members, which this rule
allusions,
. 333. would exclude from their notice ; 2 and although there are

few orders more important than this for the conduct of
debate, and for observing courtesy between the two houses,
not one, perhaps, is more generally transgressed. An
ingenious orator may break through any rules in spirit,
and yet observe them to the letter.

The same rule has been applied to restrain the discussion Debate on
of a bill which has been passed and sent to the Lords. On
the 4th April, 1876, when it was proposed that a motion for
an address to the Crown, on the Royal Titles, should be
considered on Friday next, the Speaker pointed out that
the Royal Titles Bill, which had passed the Commons, stood
for third reading, in the Lords, on that day, and that it
would be irregular to discuss the proposed motion until the
bill had been passed by the Lords. The motion was accord-
ingly appointed for the following Monday. In like manner,

the Lords.

i Lord Peterborough's complaint regarding words spoken in the Commons, 1641, 4 L. J. 582; 155 H. D. 3 s. 1121 ; 198 ib. 368.

? See Lords' Debates, 3rd April, 1845 (Lord Ashburton); Commons' Debates, 4th April, 1845 (Lord J. Russell), on the Ashburton Treaty; Commons' Debates (Mr. Ffrench), 21st and 23rd July, 1845 ; and Lords' Debates (Lord Brougham), 22nd and 24th July, 1845, on the Irish Great Western Railway Bill; Lords' Debates, 27th June, 1848 (Earl Grey); and Commons' Debates, 2nd April, 1852 (Mr. Cobden); Lords' and Commons' Debates, 26th Feb. and 1st March, 1858 (Sir R. Bethell and Lord Campbell), on the Conspiracy Bill, 139 H. D. 3 s. 4. 69; and 177

ib. 1557 ; 183 ib. 1098, as examples
of the violation of this rule. See
also 191 ib. 1786 ; Speaker's ruling,
19th March, 1891, concerning the
power of quotation from a speech in
the House of Lords, 351 ib. 1500,
and his declaration, 10th Aug. 1893,
that it was a very wholesome rule
of the house not to allude to state-
ments or debates of the current
session in the other house, as to do
so might bring the two houses into
collision, 15 Parl. Deb. 4 s. 1781.
See also 116 ib. 1354.

3 See discussions, 29th May, 1868,
192 H. D. 3 s. 1077; 208 ib. 1682;
and Speaker's ruling, 9th June, 1876,
229 ib. 1630; 231 ib. 749; 237 ib.
1262; 242 ib. 228.

+228 ib. 1183.

XII.

ings.

on an amendment to a bill in committee, which referred to Chapter
the provisions of a bill before the Lords, debate on the
details of that bill was not permitted,' and a member has
been restrained by the Speaker from commenting on the
provisions of a bill which was before the House of Lords,2
or upon the proceedings of the House of Lords in arriving
at the decision communicated in a message then under

consideration.3
Allusions This rule does not apply to reports of committees of the
to reports
or proceed- other house, even though the report has not been com-

municated to the Commons, according to a decision to that
effect by Mr. Speaker. Nor can the rule be extended to
the votes or proceedings of either house, as they are re-

corded and printed by authority.
King's (4) Treasonable or seditious language, or an irreverent
name used
in debate. use of his Majesty's name, would be rebuked by any sub-

ject out of Parliament; and it is only consistent with
decency, that no member of the legislature should be
permitted openly to use such language, in his place in
Parliament. Members have not only been called to order
for such offences, but have been reprimanded, or com-
mitted to the custody of the Serjeant, and even sent to

the Tower.6
To in The irregular use of the King's name to influence a

decision of the house is unconstitutional in principle, and
inconsistent with the independence of Parliament. Where
the Crown has a distinct interest in a measure, there is an
authorized mode of communicating his Majesty's recom-
mendation or consent, through one of his ministers (see
p. 447): but his Majesty cannot be supposed to have a
private opinion, apart from that of his responsible advisers ;
and any attempt to use his name in debate to influence

Auence a debate.

I Criminal Law Amendment (Ire land) Bill, 25th April, 1887, 142 C. J. 191.

26th April, 1887, 314 H. D. 3 s. 68.

3 105 Parl. Deb. 4 s. 732.
· 99 H. D. 3 8. 631.
5 Since 1860, the Lords' Minutes

have been placed upon the table of
the House of Commons, for refer-
ence, 159 H. D. 3 s. 856.

61 C. J. 50. 51. 104. 333. 335. 866; 9 ib. 760 ; 11 ib. 581 ; 15 ib. 70; 18 ib. 49. 54. 653 ; 4 Parl. Hist. 1385 ; 7 ib. 51, 511 ; D'Ewes, 41. 244 ; 3rd March, 1881, 259 H, D. 3 s. 168.

Chapter the judgment of Parliament, would be immediately checked

and censured.

On the 12th November, 1640, it was moved that some course might be taken for preventing the inconvenience of his Majesty being informed of anything that is in agitation in the house before it is determined ; and on the 16th December, 1641, the Lords and Commons tendered to Charles I. a remonstrance to that effect.

Again, on the 17th December, 1783, the Commons resolved

“That it is now necessary to declare, that to report any opinion or pretended opinion of his Majesty, upon any bill or other proceeding depending in either house of Parliament, with a view to influence the votes of the members, is a high crime and misdemeanour, derogatory to the honour of the Crown, a breach of the fundamental privileges of Parliament, and subversive of the constitution of this country.” 2

On the 26th February, 1808, in the debate on Mr. Canning's motion for papers relating to Denmark, Mr. Tierney said, “The right hon. gentleman had forfeited the good opinion of the country, the house, and, as I believe, of his sovereign.” This the Speaker held to be such an introduction of the personal opinion of the sovereign into debate, respecting the conduct of a member of the house, as justified Mr. Tierney's being called to order. On the 19th March, 1812, complaints were made, in the House of Lords, of the use of the Prince Regent's name in debate. The rule, however, must not be construed so as to exclude Expla

nations of a statement of facts, by a minister, in which the Sovereign's the rule. name may be concerned. In the debate on the Foreign Loans Bill, 24th February, 1729, Sir R. Walpole stated that he was “provoked to declare what he knew, what he had the king's leave to declare, and what would effectually silence the debate." Upon which his statement was called for, and he declared that a subscription of 400,0001. was being raised in England for the service of the Emperor. When he sat down,

110. J. 697.
; 2 ib. 27. 344; 39 ib. 842.
3 10 H. D. 757; 2 Lord Col-

chester's Diary, 139.

+ 22 H, D. 51, et seq.

XII.

Mr. Wortley Montagu complained that the minister had in- Chapter troduced the name of the king to “overbear their debates :". but Walpole replied that, as privy councillor, he was sworn to keep the king's counsel secret, and that he had therefore asked his Majesty's permission to state what he knew, which, without his leave, he could not have divulged ; and thus the matter appears to have ended, without any opinion being expressed by the Speaker or by the house."

On the 9th May, 1843, Sir Robert Peel said, “On the part of her Majesty, I am authorized to repeat the declaration made by King William," in a speech from the throne, in reference to the legislative union between Great Britain and Ireland. On the 19th, an objection was raised to these expressions: but the Speaker, after noticing the irregularity of adverting to former debates, expressed his own opinion

“That there was nothing inconsistent with the practice of the house in using the name of the sovereign in the manner in which the right hon. baronet had used it. It was quite true that it would be highly out of order to use the name of the sovereign in that house, so as to endeavour to influence its decision, or that of any of its members, upon any question under its consideration : but he apprehended that no expression which had fallen from the right hon. gentleman could be supposed to bear such a construction."

And Lord John Russell explained that “the declaration of the sovereign was made by the right hon. baronet's advice, because any personal act or declaration of the sovereign ought not to be introduced into that place;" to which Sir R. Peel added, “that he had merely confirmed, on the part of her Majesty, by the advice of the government, the declaration made by the former sovereign."2 On the 2nd May, 1876, the premier, Mr. Disraeli, said he had her Majesty's authority to make a statement on her part: but, as the name of the sovereign could not be introduced in debate, it rested with the house whether he should proceed. The Speaker observed that “if the statement related to matters of fact, and was not made to influence the judgment of the house, he was not prepared to say that, with the

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Chapter indulgence of the house, her Majesty's name might not be

introduced.” Mr. Disraeli then proceeded to make a state-
ment, on the authority of the Queen, in contradiction to
Mr. Lowe, that her Majesty had never made proposals to
any minister for a change of the royal titles.?

(5) It is obviously unbecoming to permit offensive ex- Words
pressions against the character and conduct of Parliament Parlia-
to be used without rebuke; for they are not only a contempt mene
of that high court, but are calculated to degrade the legis- house.
lature in the estimation of the people. If directed against
the other house, and passed over without censure, they
would appear to implicate one house in discourtesy to the
other; ? if against the house in which the words are spoken,
it would be impossible to overlook the disrespect of one of
its own members. If, when called to order, the member
fails to retract or explain his words, and make a satisfactory
apology, he may be punished by a reprimand or by
commitment, or under the standing order No. 18 or 20.3
It is most important that the use of such words should be
immediately reproved, in order to avoid complaints and
dissensions between the two houses.

In 1614, Dr. Richard Neile, Bishop of Lincoln, uttered some words which gave offence to the Commons, and they complained of them in a message to the Lords, to which they received an answer that the bishop protested, “upon his salvation, that he had not spoke anything with any evil intention to that house;" and they assured the Commons that, if they had conceived that the lord bishop's words meant to cast any aspersion of sedition upon that house, they would have censured the same with all severity.

Their lordships added that hereafter no member of their house ought to be called in question, when there is no other

1 228 H, D. 3 s. 2037.

? 31st March, 1887, 313 H. D. 3 s. 101 ; 12th Aug. 1887, 319 ib. 303 ; 28th June, 1889, 337 ib. 1104; 23rd June, 1892, 5 Parl. Deb. 4 s. 1842; 8 ib. 1780. The Speaker has condemned the use by a member of

improper language directed against the House of Lords, in giving notice of a motion, 290 H. D. 3 s. 691,

39 C. J. 147. 760; 10 ib. 512; 11 ib. 580. Mr. Duffy's case, 5th May, 1853, 108 ib. 461.

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