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Chapter request that their lordships will give leave to” the peer in
XVI.

question“ to attend, in order to his being examined” before
the house or a committee, as the case may be, and stating
the matters in relation to which his attendance is required.
If the peer should be in his place when this message is
received, and he consents, leave is immediately given for
him to be examined, if he think fit. If not present, a
message is returned on a future day, when the peer has, in
his place, consented to go. Exactly the same form is ob-
served by the Lords, when they desire the attendance of a
member of the House of Commons. A message is also sent
requiring the attendance of a member to be examined, when
the Lords are sitting on the trial of an impeachment :1 but
if the Lords be sitting as a court of criminal judicature on
the trial of a peer, they order the attendance of a member
of the House of Commons without a message. Whenever
the attendance of a member of the other house is desired
by a committee, it is advisable to give him private intima-
tion, and to learn that he is willing to attend, before a
formal message is sent to request his attendance. But these
formalities, though occasionally adopted,' are not usual or
necessary in the case of private bills, where the attendance
of members of either house as witnesses is voluntary. If
a member should be in custody when leave is given him to
attend the House of Lords, the Serjeant-at-arms is ordered
to permit him to attend, in his custody.5
The same ceremony is maintained between the two Officers of

either
houses in requesting the attendance of officers connected house.
with their respective establishments: but when leave is
given them to attend (see p. 431), the words “if they think
fit,” which are used in the case of members, are omitted
in the answer.6
1 12 L. J. 84; 16 ib. 33. 747. desired by the committee itself, and
: 3 Hatsell, 21, n.

not by the parties. 3 Liverpool Docks Bill (Lord * 3 Hatsell, 21. Harrowby), 103 C. J. 438; Salford 511 O. J. 296. 305; 15 ib. 376; Borough Bill, 108 ib. 434; Thames (Mr. W. S. O'Brien), 101 ib. 603. Embankment Approaches Bill, 1873 6103 ib. 658; 112 ib. 61 ; 113 ib. (Duke of Northumberland). In this 255. case the attendance of the duke was

XVI.

of Parlia. ment,

Peers

under

Peers, not · Whether a peer, who is not a lord of Parliament, may be Chapter being lords adorndt

as ordered to attend in the same form as a commoner, is a matter

upon which the two houses have not agreed, as although
the Commons have ordered such peers to attend,' the Lords,
in the case of Lord Teignmouth, maintained the privilege
of peerage as apart from the privilege of Parliament, by a
resolution to that effect, which, however, was not communi-
cated to the Commons.?

· In 1805, the Commons having sent a message to the accusation. Lords, desiring the attendance of Viscount Melville, to be

examined before the committee of Naval Inquiry, the
Lords acquainted them, at a conference, that the course
adopted by the Lords “has been to permit their members,
on their own request, to defend themselves in the House
of Commons on points on which the Commons have not
previously passed criminating resolutions against them, and
to give evidence before the house, or any committee thereof,
on those points only on which no matter of accusation is
depending against them ;” and within these limitations
they gave leave to Lord Melville to attend, though the

Commons did not think fit to examine him.3
Inquiry to Before any such message is sent to the other house, or
be pre-
viously

any witness is otherwise summoned, it is right that the ordered.

house should previously have directed an inquiry into the
matter upon which evidence is sought.

1 3rd May, 1779, Earl of Balcarras, 37 C. J. 366; proceedings regarding the attendance of Lord Teignmouth, sess. 1806, 61 ib. 374.

? 45 L. J.812 ; see 2 Hatsell, App. 9; 2 Lord Colchester's Diary, 69.73, 1st June, 1825. “The chancellor, by Mr. Cowper's advice, thought it necessary to have leave given by the house for the Archbishop of Dublin's attendance before the Commons committee, although, not being on the rota, he has no seat in the House of Peers, or duty to discharge there." -3 Lord Colchester's Diary, 394. . 3 60 C. J. 265. 272; 1 Lord Col. chester's Diary, 558; and see 4 Hat. sell, 485. By standing order No. 71,

“No lord shall either go down to the House of Commons, or send his answer in writing, or appear by counsel, to answer any accusation there, upon penalty of being committed to the Black Rod, or to the Tower, during the pleasure of this house."

- On the 31st March, 1813, a motion being made for a message to the Lords for the attendance of Lord Moira to give information concern. ing the Princess of Wales, the Speaker desired the attention of the house to the proceeding as novel and unparliamentary; "the rule being, according to all precedents, not to desire the attendance of witnesses of

Chapter These being the various modes of securing the attendance Mode of ex-
XVI.

of witnesses to give evidence before either house of Parlia-am
ment, the mode of examination is next to be considered.
Lords of Parliament, and peers not being lords of Parlia- Lords.
ment, and peeresses, are sworn at the table of the house,
by the lord chancellor ; ' and other witnesses who are to be
examined by the house, or by a committee of the whole
house, are sworn at the bar. An Irish peer, being a
member of the House of Commons, is sworn at the bar, as a
commoner.2 The Lords formerly claimed the privilege of
being examined upon honour, instead of upon oath. But
this supposed privilege has long since been abandoned, and
peers are everywhere examined upon oath, even in the
House of Lords itself. If counsel be engaged in an inquiry
at the bar, the witnesses are examined by them, and by any
lord who may desire to put questions. When counsel are
not engaged, the witnesses are examined by the Lords
generally. A lord of Parliament is examined in his place ;
and peers not being lords of Parliament, and peeresses,
have chairs placed for them at the table.

Formerly, every witness about to be examined before a Oaths ad-
select committee, was required to attend previously at the by Lords
bar to be sworn; but since 1858, by statute 21 & 22 Vict.com
c. 78, any committee of the House of Lords may administer
an oath to the witnesses before such committee. Witnesses,
however, in accordance with the resolution, 11th June, 1857,
“that select committees, in future, shall examine witnesses
without their having been previously sworn, except in cases
in which it may be otherwise ordered by the house," 5 have
only been sworn upon inquiries of a special character.

ministered

mittees.

any sort, excepting upon a matter pending in the house, and which the house had previously resolved to examine.” The motion was superseded by reading the order of the day, 68 C. J. 364; 2 Lord Colchester's Diary, 434.

1 38 L. J. 68. 69; 77 ib. 725; 87 ib. 213.

? Viscount Palmerston, 16th July,

1844.
324 L. J. 136 ; 14 ib, 18.

" 25 ib. 303 ; see also ib. 100; 38
ib. 69; 46 ib. 172. 189, where the
judges of the Court of Justiciary in
Scotland had chairs set for them at
the bar, to be examined.

689 ib. 60; Report on Oaths of Witnesses, 1857 (15).

committees.

Com

In select committees of the Lords, witnesses are placed Chapter mittees

in a witness-box or at the shorthand writer's table, to be -
examined: but members of the House of Commons are

allowed a seat near the table, where they sit uncovered. Oaths. Besides the infliction of punishment for perjury, false

evidence before the Lords, prevarication, or other miscon

duct of a witness, is punishable as a contempt.1 Oaths by The Commons, except during the Commonwealth, never Commons'

3 asserted the right of administering an oath ; though during

the seventeenth century they were evidently alive to the
importance of such a power, and resorted to various expe-
dients in order to supply the defect in their own authority.
1. They selected some of their own members who were
justices of the peace for Middlesex, to administer oaths in
their magisterial capacity. 2. They sent witnesses to be
examined by one of the judges. 3. They sought to aid
their own inquiries by having their witnesses sworn at the
bar of the House of Lords : and by examining witnesses on
oath before joint committees of both houses ; 3 in neither of
which expedients were they supported by the Lords. The

Commons also assumed a right of delegating to others a
To examine power which they did not possess. On the 27th January,
in the most
solemn

* 1715, they empowered justices of the peace for Middlesex
to examine witnesses in the most solemn manner before a
committee of secrecy; and the same practice was resorted
to in other cases. Between this time and 1757, several
similar instances occurred : 4 but from that year the most

important inquiries were conducted without any attempt Power of to revive so anomalous and questionable a practice. At administer,

the length, in 1871, in pursuance of the recommendations of
conferred, a select committee of 1869, Act 34 & 35 Vict. c. 83 was
by statute,
1871.

passed, empowering the House of Commons and its com-
mittees to administer oaths to witnesses, and attaching to
1 48 L. J. 371, &c.

521; 10 ib. 682; 10 ib. 415. 417; 8 2 See 6 C, J. 214. 451 ; 7 ib. 55. ib. 325. 327; 2 ib. 502; 8 ib. 647. 287. 484, &c.; see also 2 ib. 455. See 655. further the author's evidence before 18 ib. 353. 596 ; 19 ib. 301. The the committee on Witnesses (House committee on the South Sea Comof Commons), in 1869,

pany, 1721, 19 ib. 403; 21 ib. 851. 32 Hatsell, 151, et seq.; 9 C. J. 852; 2 Hatsell, 151-157.

manner.

ministered

writers.

witnesses.

Chapter false evidence the penalties of perjury. By standing .XVI.

_orders Nos. 86 and 87, oaths and affirmations, under the 8.0.86, Oaths Act, 1888 (see p. 160), are administered to witnesses, 87, Appendix I." before the house or a committee of the whole house, by a Oath ad.

clerk at the table; and before a select committee, by the by joint chairman, or by the clerk attending the committee. It committees, see p. 423 ; is not usual, however, for select committees to examine by private bill com- witnesses upon oath, except upon inquiries of a judicial or mittees, see other special character. p. 825. Offences against Parliament committed by those who with- Contu

macious hold or give false evidence are treated as a breach of witnesses. privilege (see p. 75). Though while the house punishes Protection

to wit. misconduct with severity, it is careful to protect witnesses nesses. from the consequences of their evidence given by order of Shorthand the house (see p. 125); and on extraordinary occasions, Indemnity where further protection has been deemed necessary to elicit to full disclosures, Acts have been passed to indemnify witnesses from all the penal consequences of their testimony. The practice of the house regarding evidence sought for Clerks and

officers of outside the walls of Parliament touching proceedings the house that have occurred therein is regulated by the resolution of session 1818, which directs that no clerk or officer of the without house, or shorthaud writer employed to take minutes of evidence before this house, or any committee thereof, shall give evidence elsewhere, in respect of any proceedings or

examination had at the bar, or before any committee of the Eridence house, without the special leave of the house. Accordingly before Parliament, see p. 427,

1 The committee on Foreign Gaming Transactions, 1844, 7 & 8 Loans in 1875 was the first to ex. Vict. c. 7. amine witnesses upon oath under 3 73 C. J. 389. Under sect. 24 of the Act; again by the committees the Election Petitions Act, 1868, the on Privilege (Tower High Level shorthand writer of the House of Bridge); Mr. Goffin's certificate, Commons shall attend to take notes 1879; Contagious Diseases Acts of the evidence before the election 1882. By an instruction, the com. judge. An order of the house is not mittee on London Corporation required to enable the shorthand (Charges of Malversation), 1887, writer who has attended a trial of were directed to take evidence on an election petition to give evidence oath, 142 C. J. 97.

thereon elsewhere, as the trial is not · 2 Election Compromises, 1842,5 a proceeding of the house (private & 6 Vict, c. 31 ; Sudbury Disfran. ruling, 7th Feb. 1873). chisement, 1843, 6 & 7 Vict. c. 11;

Yidence

eare.

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