페이지 이미지
PDF
ePub

taken

chairman

ords

387.

Chapter challenge to Mr. Molyneux, a merchant, the house required

XII. his assurance that the matter should go no further. Words When disorderly words are used by a member in debate, Words taken doun upon the

* notice should be immediately taken of the words objected to Speaker's to ; ? and if a member desires that the words be taken direction, see p. 346. down, he must repeat the words to which he objects, and Report by state them to the house exactly as he conceives the words

* to have been spoken. Then the Speaker or chairman, if in not taken bis opinion the words are disorderly, having ascertained doron, see p.

the sense of the house or the committee, directs the Clerk
to take down the words to which objection has been taken.
Even the Speaker's own words have been taken down. The
Commons have agreed " that when any member had spoke
between, no words which had passed before could be taken
notice of, so as to be written down in order to a censure.” 6
And on the 9th April, 1807, the Speaker decided that
certain words could not be taken down, though a member
had immediately risen to order, and had objected to the
words used, because another member and the Speaker had
spoken to the question of order, before the house expressed
a wish to have the words taken down.? And again, when

objection was taken to words, after a question put from the
Vishe. chair, it was ruled to be too late. This rule applies, if
haviour in
the house, the member is permitted to continue his speech without
see P: 346 ; interruption; and in the Lords, also, the words are
and for the
suspension required to be taken down instanter.' If the words be
of members,
see p. 340.' taken down in a committee of the whole house, they are

reported forth with, to be dealt with by the house.10 Failing

i Private memorandum, 22nd Feb. 1849. But see 13 C. J. 444; also case when offensive language had been used, in the division lobby, concerning a speech delivered at a public meeting, 16th May, 1867, 122 ib. 221.

2 165 H. D. 3 s. 622; 268 ib. 196.

* Regarding the Speaker's discretion in giving the direction, see 2 Hatsell, 272, n. ; also 115 H. D. 3 s. 276; 235 ib. 1806.

+ 2 Hatsell, 269 ; 66 C. J. 391 ; 68 ib. 322; 247 ib. 1982; 270 ib. 365;

272 ib. 1563.

- 16th Feb. 1770, 1 Cav. Deb. 463. 62 Hatsell, 269, n. 19 H. D. 326. $ 205 H. D. 3 s. 403.

3 48 ib. 321, 17th June, 1839 (Beer Bill).

10 Case of Mr. More, 3rd June, 1626, 1 C. J. 866; of Mr. Shippen, 4th Dec. 1717, 18 ib. 653 ; of Mr. Duffy, 5th May, 1853, 108 ib. 461. 466; of Mr. Parnell, 25th July, 1877, 132 ib. 375; 3rd July, 1879;

the tender of explanation or apology, the consideration of Chapter the matter is appointed for the next sitting, and the – member incriminated is ordered to attend. Immediate complaint to the chair is, however, the most effective mode

of dealing with offensive words. Citing Another rule, or principle of debate, may be here added. documents

before A minister of the Crown is not at liberty to read or quote the house.

from a despatch or other state paper not before the house,
unless he be prepared to lay it upon the table. This restraint
is similar to that rule of evidence, in courts of law, which
prevents counsel from citing documents which have not been
produced in evidence. The principle is so reasonable that
it has not been contested; and when the objection has been
made in time, it has been generally acquiesced in. It has
also been admitted that a document which has been cited,
ought to be laid upon the table of the house, if it can be
done without injury to the public interests. The same rule,
however, cannot be held to apply to private letters or memo-
randa. On the 18th May, 1865, the attorney-general, on
being asked by Mr. Ferrand if he would lay upon the table
a written statement and a letter to which he had referred, on
a previous day, in answering a question relative to the Leeds
Bankruptcy Court, replied that he had made a statement
to the house upon his own responsibility, and that, the
134 C. J. 316: 235 H. D. 3 s. 1810; comments made upon this course,
272 ib. 1561. 1565 ; 148 C. J. 469. and precedents cited, 166 ib. 2128-31.

i See motion of Mr. Adam, 4th Also statement of rule by Viscount March, 1808, to censure Mr. Canning Palmerston, 12th May, 1863; and for having read to the house de 176 ib. 962 ; 179 ib. 489; 235 ib. 935 ; spatches and parts of despatches, 319 ib. 1859. 1869; 336 ib. 651. See none of which had then been com. also debate, 11th March, 1903, municated to the house, and some when a minister quoted the evidenco of which the house had determined given before a military court of inshould not be produced, 10 H. D. 1 quiry, and the Speaker's statement, s. 898; 2 Lord Colchester's Diary, 16th March, that the rule of debate 141. Mr. Canning and Mr. Tierney, had been complied with by laying 11th Feb. 1818, 37 H. D. 338. De upon the table the evidence of the bate in committee of supply, 17th witness quoted, 119 Parl. Deb. 4 s. July, 1857 (Sir C. Wood); 146 H. D. 501. 570. 858. A minister, who 3 s. 1759. See debate, 23rd May, summarises a correspondence but 1862, on the Longford Election, in does not actually quote from it, is which Sir Robert Peel referred to not bound to lay it upon the table, information received by the govern. 151 ib. 814. ment without citing documents; and

Chapter documents he had referred to being private, he could not

lay them upon the table. Lord R. Cecil contended that the
papers, having been cited, should be produced: but the
Speaker declared that this rule applied to public documents
only. On the 10th August, 1893, the Speaker ruled
that confidential documents, or documents of a private
nature passing between officers of a department and the
department, cited in debate, are not necessarily laid on
the table of the house, especially if the minister declares
that they are of a confidential nature. Indeed, it is
obvious that, as the house deals only with public docu-
ments in its proceedings, it could not thus incidentally
require the production of papers which, if moved for
separately, would be refused as beyond its jurisdiction.
Members not connected with the government have also
cited documents in their possession, both public and
private, which were not before the house : but though
the house is equally unable to form a correct judgment
from partial extracts, inconvenient latitude has sometimes
been permitted, which it is doubtful whether any rule but

that of good taste could have restrained. Legal

The opinions of the law officers of the Crown, being conpresented, fidential, are not usually laid before Parliament, nor cited

in debate; and their production has frequently been
refused: but if a minister deems it expedient that such
opinions should be made known, for the information of the
house, he is entitled to cite them in debate. 4
Debate must cease on the question under discussion Debate

closed.
when the question has been “entirely” or “fully " put by
the Speaker of either house of Parliament (see p. 311), in
the Lords, pursuant to standing order No. 30, and in the
Commons, under established usage.
(9) The rules of Parliament are designed to afford every Obstruc-

opinions

see

[ocr errors]

tion. legitimate opportunity of discussion, to ensure reasonable

" 179 H. D. 3 s. 489 ; see Speaker's ruling, 282 ib. 2108.

? 15 Parl. Deb. 4 s. 1778.
: Debate, 8th March, 1855, on

naval operations in the Baltic, 137
H. D. 3 s. 261; 280 ib. 250.

- Riots at Belfast, 17th Feb. 1865,
177 ib. 354. 355.

XII.

delays in the passing of important measures, and to guard Chapter
the rights of minorities ;) and freedom of debate has been
maintained and observed by the rules and usages of both
houses, with rare patience and self-denial. But, of late,
these salutary rules have been strained and perverted, in
the House of Commons, for purposes of obstruction. Such
a course, if persisted in, would frustrate the power and
authority of Parliament, and secure the domination of a
small minority, condemned by the deliberate judgment of
the house and of the country. That it was unparliamentary
and opposed to the principles of orderly government was
manifest; and on the 25th July, 1877, it was declared by
the Speaker, “that any member wilfully and persistently
obstructing public business, without just and reasonable
cause, is guilty of a contempt of the house, and would be
liable to such punishment, whether by censure, by sus-
pension from the service of the house, or by commitment,

as the house may adjudge." 3
Suspension That a revision of the standing orders must be made to
of mem-

secure the due transaction of public business, and to main-
tain the dignity of the house, became obvious. The matter

was considered by a select committee in 1878, and a $. 0. 18, standing order was passed,4 28th February, 1880, amended Appendix I.

22nd November, 1882, for the suspension of a member from
the service of the house, on question put forthwith, who
shall be named by the Speaker, or the chairman of a
committee of the whole house, whether he be the chairman

bers.

i Jeremy Bentham contrasts the three times, in resisting the punishliberal spirit of the English Parlia- ment of the printers of the debates; ment with the intolerance of revolu. and Burke said of these proceedings, tionary France. "In France, the “Posterity will bless the pertinacity terrible decrees of urgency, the de- of that day,” 2 Cavendish Deb. 377. crees for closing the discussion, may 395. well be remembered with dread; 3 132 0. J. 375. they were formed for the subjuga "Occasions when this standing tion of the minority-for the pur order was put in force : 136 ib. 31. pose of stifling arguments which 56. 111. 418; 258 H. D. 3 s. 69-88; were dreaded."-Political Tactics, 2, 137 C. J. 149. 322. 346. 395. 483; 271 Works, 361.

H. D. 3 s. 1127. 1262; 273 ib. 1280 ; 2 On the 12th March, 1771, the 151 C. J. 242; 156 ib. 62. 352. 355; minority divided the house twenty-.157 ib. 123. 437.

more mem

Chapter of ways and means or any other chairman,' for com.

_mitting the offence of disregarding the authority of the Chairman's chair, or of abusing the rules of the house by persistently report, see and

36.** and wilfully obstructing the business of the house, or Order for otherwise. Suspension under the standing order as of one or amended, 22nd November, 1882, lasted on the first

em- occasion, for a week; on the second, for a fortnight; and bers, see 8. 0. 18,, on any subsequent occasion, for a month; but these Appendix I.

periods of time were taken out of the standing order in the course of its amendment in session 1902 with a view to the substitution of other periods. As these however were not agreed upon by the house, the suspension of a member under the standing order continues for the session unless the house terminate it sooner. An amendment of the standing order made on the 7th March, 1901, provided that if through the refusal of a member who had been suspended to withdraw from the house the Speaker has to call the attention of the house to the fact that force was necessary to compel obedience to his direction, such member is thereupon without further question put suspended during the remainder of the session. Notices standing in the name of a suspended member are removed from the notice paper of each day as it is made out, as long as his suspension lasts. Suspension carries with it exclusion from the precincts of the house? (see p. 350).

1 332 H. D. 3 s. 991.

? The words, “or otherwise," apply to any form of disorder which it is the duty of the chair to restrain, 26th Feb. 1885, 294 ib. 1421; Mr. T. M. Healy, 142 C. J. 173. 407. The proceedings on such a motion would be exempt from interruption under the provisions of standing order No. 1, 103 Parl. Deb. 4 s. 237.

3 157 C. J. 63.

• 105 Parl. Deb. 4 s. 727; 157 C. J. 130. Although a motion to rescind the order for the suspension of a member or to terminate his suspension is not entitled to priority as a privilege motion, the Speaker accorded such priority on one oc

casion to a motion for rescinding the
suspension of a member under the
special circumstances of the case, as
it appeared that the member had
been reported in error for disobey.
ing the authority of the chair, 90
Parl. Deb. 4 s. 699. 831.

5 156 C. J. 67.
« 90 Parl. Deb. 4 s. 1048.

? When suspension is ordered on a motion not made pursuant to the standing order, withdrawal from the precincts of the house must be obtained by express terms in the resolution for suspension, 146 C. J. 481 ; 313 H. D. 3 s. 1417. For the extent of exclusion enforced in the case of Mr. Bradlaugh, when ordered to

« 이전계속 »