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Chapter treated in the same manner as if he had been guilty of a
similar contempt to the house itself. Witnesses, however,
st and records
A select committee on a bill, having power to send for persons, papers, and records, can only take evidence concerning that bill, unless the scope of its inquiries be enlarged by an instruction. A select committee have no power to send for any papers Where
ho papers rewhich, if required by the house itself, would be sought by! address (see p. 536). In such cases, the chairman may address. either move an address in the house, or communicate with the secretary of state to whose department the papers relate, who will lay them before Parliament if he thinks proper, by command of his Majesty. The papers, when received, will then be referred to the committee by the house. Nor is a committee at liberty to send for any papers which, according to the rules and practice of the house, it is not usual for the house itself to order. In the committee on the Thames Embankment, in 1871, objections were raised to the production of a case laid before the law officers of the Crown, on the ground that such a document was not usually required to be produced by the house itself (see p. 338): but when it appeared that the opinion formed upon the case had been presented, the production of the case, upon which that opinion was founded, could not be resisted, and it was presented to the committee.*
In 1858, the select committee on the Boundaries of Special inBoroughs had leave to receive and call for maps, memorials, 90
| Army (India and the Colonies) committee, 1867, &c.
2 104 C. J. 75.
3 190 H. D. 3 s. 1869.
Minutes of the committee, pp. iv.-vi.
reports, papers, and records concerning the said boroughs, Chapter and to confer with the boundary commissioners, and those employed under them in their inquiries, and with the members of the counties and boroughs affected.
The select committee of the Lords on the Sweating System was empowered by a resolution of their house to employ a gentleman to visit the localities where the existence of the system was alleged, and to examine into
the evidence proposed to be submitted to the committee.? Appoint- Orders for the appointment of select committees are See motions ment dis
I made withcharged." occasionally discharged ; 8 and other committees, with ou different orders of reference, appointed.4
p. 244. Presence of During the sitting of a select committee of the Lords,
agers. under standing order No. 56 strangers may be excluded. All lords Any lord is entitled, by standing order No. 55, to attend
ne, the select committees of that house, and is not excluded but not
from coming in and speaking, but he must not vote, a
privilege that does not extend to a secret committee.
exclusion, however, may be ordered at any time, and
right of being present, as well during the deliberations of
1 123 C. J. 183. : 120 L. J. 455.
3 93 C. J. 265; 99 ib. 300; 108 ib. 487; 109 ib. 251; 147 ib. 214, 223. For an instance of the discharge of the order for the committal of a bill to a select committee, see 150 C. J. 213.
4 Conventual, &c. Institutions,
1870, 125 ib. 169.
s Any member of a select committee has a right to have the room cleared if he wishes to take the opinion of the committee upon any matter arising, select committee on Lands Acts (Ireland), Parl. Paper, No. 310, sess. 1894, pp. xxix. and XXX.
Chapter that the committee, in case of their refusal, have no power
_ to order them to withdraw.
On the 24th April, 1626, Mr. Glanvyle, from the select Precedents. committee on the charges against the Duke of Buckingham,
", against the stated that exceptions were taken by some members of the Duke of
Buckinghouse against the examinations being kept private, without ham. admitting some other members thereof, and desired the direction of the house. It is evident from this statement that the committee had exercised a power of excluding members ; and though it is said in the journal that much dispute arose upon the general question, “whether the members of the house, not of a select committee, may come to the select committee," no general rule was laid down : but in that particular case the house ordered
“That no member of the house shall be present at the debate, disposition, or penning of the business by the select committee: but only to be present at the examination, and that without interposition." I
An opinion somewhat more definite may be collected from East India the proceedings of the Indian Judicature committee, in 1782.J In that case the committee were about to deliberate upon Mr. Barthe refusal of Mr. Barwell to answer certain questions; and on the room being cleared, he insisted upon his privilege, as a member of the house, of being present during the debate. The committee observed that as Mr. Barwell was the party concerned in that debate, they thought he had no right to be present. Mr. Barwell still persisted in his right, and two members attended the Speaker, and returned with his opinion, that Mr. Barwell had no right to insist upon being present during the debate ; upon which Mr. Barwell withdrew. Here the ground taken by the committee for his exclusion was that he was concerned in the debate, and not simply that, as a member, he had no right to be present at their deliberations. The house soon afterwards ordered
“ That when any matter shall arise on which the said committee wish to debate, it shall be at their discretion to require every person, not being a member of the committee, to withdraw."
11 C. J. 849.
The inference from this order must be that the committee Chapter would not otherwise have been authorized to exclude a
member of the house." King's
When committees were appointed to examine the physicians of King George III., in 1810 and 1811, the house also ordered, “ That no member of this house, but such as are
members of the committee, be there present." 2
committee, the Speaker stated, that although it had been
of the house; and the house acts upon this decision.3 General As members cannot be excluded from a committee room results.
by the authority of the committee, if the occasion should
be maintained, secret committees are appointed," whose
1 38 C. J. 370; see also Election the committee of secrecy on the Proceedings committee, 1842, 97 ib. Bank of England), Mr. Fox and 438.
Mr. Grey both stated distinctly and ? 66 ib. 6; 67 ib. 17.
expressly, and without contradic3 102 H. D. 3 s. 1183.
tion, that the nature of a committee + See Election Proceedings com- of secrecy was only that it excluded mittee, 1842, 97 C. J. 438; Army from their proceedings all strangers : before Sebastopol committee, 1st but that the members of the com. March, 1855, 137 H. D. 3 s. 18; Roch. mittee were not otherwise bound to dale Election case, 20th June, 1857, individual secrecy out of the com146 H. D. 3 s. 137; and Complaint, mittee, than as their own sense of 16th May, 1861, 162 ib. 2095. duty or propriety might suggest,
5 52 L. J. 115; 38 C. J. 430. 435; according to the nature and object 65 ib. 37; 66 ib. 6; 67 ib. 17; 72 ib. of their inquiry.”—Lord Colchester's 318; 92 ib. 26; 99 ib. 461 ; 112 ib. Diary, 9th March, 1797, i. 91. For 24.
a discussion as to the peculiarities 6 “In the course of the debate (on of a secret committee, see debates
Chapter Generally speaking, the proceedings of a select com- ProceedXV.
__mittee are assimilated, like those of standing committees, See also to those of a committee of the whole house.
mittees p. 395. In a select committee, however, the first proceeding is Chairman
chosen. to choose a chairman, who is ordinarily called to the chair by the general voice of the members present: but if a difference of opinion should arise, the choice is obtained by the procedure observed by the house in the election of
a Speaker.1 Members Members attending the sittings of a committee may sit Divisions. attending
or stand without being uncovered. Every question is
presumitur pro negante.” In the Commons, the practice in
mittees on bills, which ordinarily consist of four members, under private
bills. upon the budget and navy estimates, the majority: but at the next meet22nd Feb. 1848, 96 H. D. 3 s. 987. ing of the committee, Mr. Horsfall 1056; Bank Acts committee, 12th declined to resume the chair, and Feb. 1857, 144 ib. 596.
proposed that Mr. Cardwell should 1 Minutes of Committees; Sav take it,-bis object being to obtain ings Banks, 1849 ; Bills of Exchange a majority in favour of his own Bill, 1855; Rochdale Election, 1857; views. The matter being referred Tenure and Improvement of Land to Mr. Speaker, he expressed an (Ireland) Act, 1865; Railways, 1881; opinion that the course proposed Public Accounts, 1894.
was contrary to the spirit of parlia? 25th March, 1836, 91 C. J. 214. mentary proceedings, and Mr. HorsIn the committee on the Consolida fall resumed the chair: but a tion of the Customs and Inland committee so balanced being unable Revenue, 1863, Mr. Horsfall, the to agree, they merely reported the chairman, had prepared a report, evidence without any opinion.-Mr. which was negatived by a majority Speaker Denison's Diary, p. 145. of one. Mr. Cardwell then proposed 3 119 C. J. 460. a report embodying the opinions of