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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
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
Sometimes leave is given to lords to enter a protest
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
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.
votes by a
Chapter baving been expunged, the Duke of Somerset desired that,
as he had protested for those very reasons, he might have
Tbe distribution among members of a circular addressed Canvass for
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.
* 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
a motion to disallow the vote would be out of order.1
the vote of a member has been disallowed, upon a question
On the 3rd June, 1824, a division took place on a “ Bill
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.
Chapter in the form of a memorandum, states that an objection was
made to the numbers declared by the tellers, that certain
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
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.
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.