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Protest. In addition to the power of expressing assent or dissent by Chapter

a vote, peers have the right, without asking leave of the
house, to record their opinion, and the grounds of it, by a
“protest,” which is entered in the journals, together with

the names of all the peers who concur in it; and, pursuant to When to be standing order No. 35, the entry of a protest in the Clerk's entered.

book must be made on the next sitting day, before the hour
of two o'clock, and must be signed before the rising of the
house the same day.1

Sometimes leave is given to lords to enter a protest
against any vote of the house, some time after the period
limited by the standing order.2

When a protest has been drawn up by any peer, other lords may either subscribe it without remark, if they assent to all the reasons assigned in it; or they may signify the particular reasons which have induced them to attach their signatures:3 but, by the usage of the House of Lords, the privilege of entering a protest is restricted to those lords who were present and voted upon the question to which they desire to express their dissent. But leave is sometimes given to lords to sign the protest of another peer, although they were not present

when the question was put. Any protest or reasons, or parts expunged.

thereof, if considered by the house to be unbecoming or
otherwise irregular, may be ordered to be expunged. Pro-
tests or reasons expunged by order of the house, have also
been followed by a second protest against the expunging of
the first protest or reasons, by which the object of the house
has been defeated. On the 10th April, 1690, certain reasons

Protest

I As to dissents in judicial cases, see Macqueen, 28. 29.

2 101 L. J. 257. 480; 122 ib. 216.

3 Protests with reasons date from 1641, 2 Lord Clarendon, Hist. Reb. b. 4, p. 407.

• 101 L. J. 493, 10th Feb. 1823. “ The Duke of Somerset had not voted on the question for the ad. dress, but had nevertheless protested against it; and upon motion, his protest, he having been present at the debate, though he had not voted, was allowed to stand on the journal,"

55 ib. 492; 3 Lord Colchester's Diary, 273; see 87 H. D. 3 s. 1137, protest against Corn Importation Bill, when certain peers who had not been present, signed the protest; and again, 27th March, 1890, 343 ib. 8. 134.

516 L. J. 655. 757; 17 ib. 55 ; 19 ib. 220. 480. 481 ; 40 ib. 49 ; 43 ib. 82.

6 14 ib. 459 (8th and 10th April, 1690); 2 Burnet's Own Time, 41 ; 16 L. J. 655 ; 19 ib. 220; 21 ib. 695. 710; 22 ib. 73; 43 ib. 82.

withdrawn.

votes by a

Chapter baving been expunged, the Duke of Somerset desired that,
XIII.

as he had protested for those very reasons, he might have
leave to withdraw his name from the protest, which was
granted to him, and to any other lords who pleased. On the Protest
24th June, 1824, leave was given to the peers who had entered
a protest against the Earl Marshal's bill, to withdraw and
amend it, as it stated certain facts incorrectly.

Tbe distribution among members of a circular addressed Canvass for
to them by another member, asking for their vote in favour member.
of a motion which the member intended to move, or to state
whether their vote would be for or against the motion, was
condemned by the Speaker, as a proceeding “contrary to
the best usages and traditions of the house, and which
would detract from its character.” 8
In both houses, personal interest affects the right of mem- Personal

pecuniary bers to vote, in certain cases. In 1796, a general resolution interest was proposed in the Lords, “ That no peers shall vote who Peers. are interested in a question :" but it was not adopted. It is presumed, however, that such a resolution was deemed unnecessary; and that it was held that the personal honour of a peer will prevent him from forwarding his own pecuniary interest by his votes in Parliament. By standing order (Private Bills) No. 98, Lords are “exempted from serving on the committee on any private bill wherein they shall have any interest.”'

In the Commons, it is a rule that no member who has a Commons direct pecuniary interest in a question shall be allowed to vote upon it: but, in order to operate as a disqualification, thisinterest must be immediate and personal, and not merely of a general or remote character. On the 17th July, 1811, the rule was thus explained by Mr. Speaker Abbot: “This interest must be a direct pecuniary interest, and separately belonging to the persons whose votes were questioned, and not in common with the rest of his Majesty's subjects, or on a matter of state policy.” 5 This opinion was given upon a

| 14 L.J. 459.
? 11 H. D. 2 s. 1482.
3 16th March, 1888, 323 H. D. 3

s. 1439.

* 40 L. J. 640. 650. S 20 H. D. 1001.

motion for disallowing the votes of the bank directors upon Chapter the Gold Coin Bill, which was afterwards negatived with

mith XIII. Objections out a division. And on occasions when the objection of overruled by the

personal interest in a vote has been raised, which came Speaker.

obviously within the exemption from the application of the
rule, defined by Mr. Speaker Abbot, the Speaker or the
chairman has overruled the objection, or has decided that

a motion to disallow the vote would be out of order.1
Questions The only instance to be found in the journals in which
of public
policy.

the vote of a member has been disallowed, upon a question
of public policy, is the case of the votes of three members
given in favour of the grant in aid of a preliminary survey
for a railway from the coast to Lake Victoria Nyanza,
which had been undertaken on behalf of the government
by the British East Africa Company, of which two of the
members in question were directors and shareholders and
the third a shareholder. On the 1st June, 1797, however,
Mr. Manning submitted to the Speaker whether he might
vote, consistently with the rules of the house, upon the
proposition of Mr. Pitt, for granting compensation to the sub-
scribers to the Loyalty Loan, he being himself a subscriber.
The Speaker explained generally the rule of the house, and
Mr. Manning declined to vote. After the division, the
votes of two other members were objected to as being
subscribers : but one stated that he had parted with his
subscription, and the other that he had determined not
to derive any advantage to himself; upon which questions
for disallowing their votes were severally negatived. *

On the 3rd June, 1824, a division took place on a “ Bill
for repealing so inuch of an Act 6 Geo. I., as restrains any
other corporations than those in the Act named, and any
societies or partnerships, from effecting marine insurances,
and lending money on bottomry.” An entry in the journal,

i Speaker's rulings : 212 H. D. 3 s. 1136; 287 ib. 875 ; 334 ib. 732; 61 Parl. Deb. 4 s. 826; chairman's rulings : 206 H. D. 3 s. 1742; 345 ib. 1232; 137 Parl. Deb. 4 s. 910. 1305 (see also p. 376).

? 11th March, 1892, 174 C. J. 98. See also Report of Select Committee on Members of Parliament (Personal Interest), Parl. Pap. (Sess. 1896), 274.

3 33 Hans. Parl. Hist. 791.
4 52 C. J. 632.

Chapter in the form of a memorandum, states that an objection was
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made to the numbers declared by the tellers, that certain
members who voted with the ayes were personally interested
in the passing of the bill, as being concerned in the
Alliance Insurance Company: but it was decided that they
were not so interested as to preclude their voting for the
repeal of a public act. On the 10th July, 1844, on the
question for hearing counsel against a bill for suspending
certain actions for penalties under the gaming laws,
objections were taken to the votes of members who were
defendants : but one stated that it was not his intention to
take advantage of the provisions of the bill, and plead the
same in bar of such action; and the other that he had not
been served with any process. Motions for disallowing
their votes were, therefore, withdrawn. On the 11th July,
1844, the vote of a member upon the second reading of a
public bill relating to railways, was objected to upon the
ground that he had a direct pecuniary interest as tho
proprietor of railroad shares : but a motion for disallowing

his vote was withdrawn. Motions, The votes of members, who were subscribers to under- Private &c., mored by members takings proposed to be sanctioned by a bill,4 or who were

interested in private bills, have frequently been disallowed.

In 1800, the votes of three members were disallowed, as see p. 378.

having a direct interest in a bill for incorporating a company
for the manufacture of flour, wheat, and bread. On the
20th May, 1825, notice was taken that a member who had
voted with the ayes on the report of the Leith Docks Bill,
had a direct pecuniary interest in passing the bill : he was
heard in his place; and stated that on that account he had
not voted in the committee on the bill, and that he had
voted, in this instance, through inadvertence. His vote
was ordered to be disallowed. Instances, also, may be
given of motions to disallow the votes of shareholders in the
company which was the promoter of the bill on which the
1 79 C. J. 455.

5 35 Parl. Hist. 463-465 ; 1 al2 99 ib. 486.

pole, Life of Spencer Perceval, 76-78. 3 Ib. 491.

680 C. J. 443; see also ib. 110; + 80 ib. 110; 91 ib. 271.

91 ib. 271.

bills.

pers

interest

in a

QUI

division was taken, that have been negatived. And in Chapter like manner, on the second reading of the Birmingham and Gloucester Railway Bill, 15th May, 1845, objection was taken to one of the tellers for the noes, as being a landholder whose property would be injured by the proposed line ; while on the second reading of the London and North Western Railway Bill, 14th April, 1896, objection was taken to the vote of a member on the ground that he was a director of the company. In both cases the motion for disallowing the vote was withdrawn. On the 15th July, 1872, objection was taken to two of the tellers in a division, who had voted against the Birmingham Sewerage Bill, on the ground of personal pecuniary interest: but the Speaker stated that they had no such pecuniary interests in the bill as would disqualify them from voting against it.3

The extent to which the rule of personal interest in a vote given by a member against a private bill, which would create a project intended to compete with an undertaking in which he has a pecuniary interest, is as yet undecided. As the Speaker stated, 12th May, 1885, there is no rule of the house on the subject. He recommended that each member should be guided by his own feelings in the matter, and should vote, or abstain from voting, as he thought fit; though the Speaker added to his statement a reminder, that members should be aware that they ran the risk of having their votes disallowed by the subsequent action of the house.

On the 22nd February, 1825, a member voted against a bill for establishing the London and Westminster Oil Gas Company, and notice was taken that he was a proprietor in the Imperial Gas Light and Coke Company, and thereby had a pecuniary interest in opposing the bill. A motion was made that his vote be disallowed: but, after he had been heard in his place, it was withdrawn.5 On the 16th June, 1846, objection was taken to the vote

18th May, 1883, 138 C. J. 189; 1136. 11th March, 1884, 139 ib. 103.

4 298 ib. 342. ? 100 ib. 436; 151 ib. 144.

5.80 C. J. 110. 3 15th July, 1872, 212 H. D. 3 s.

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