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Chapter as having been guilty of forgery;of perjury;? of frauds
II.

and breaches of trust; 8 of misappropriation of public
money ; 4 of conspiracy to defraud ;5 of corruption in the
administration of justice, or in public offices, or in the
execution of their duties as members of the house ; 8 of
conduct unbecoming the character of an officer and a
gentleman ;' and of contempts, libels, and other offences
committed against the house itself.10
Where members have been legally convicted of any Evidence of

offences,
offences, it is customary to lay the record of conviction
before the house.11 In other cases the proceedings have
been founded upon reports of commissions, or committees
of the house, or other sufficient evidence.12 And it is
customary to order the member, if absent, to attend in his
place, before an order is made for his expulsion. Service
is made upon him of the order of the house for his attend-
ance; or evidence is furnished proving that service is
impossible. Lord Cochrane, imprisoned in the King's
Bench for conspiracy to defraud (see p. 116), was brought,
in deference to the order of the house, to the bar by the
marshal of the prison. Lord Cochrane was desired by the
Speaker to take his place, whence he addressed the house
in support of his innocence. In the cases of Mr. Verney
and Mr. Hastings, lying in prison under sentence for their
offences, a communication was made, through the Home
Office, of the order for their attendance, and of the intended
motion for their expulsion.18

Mr. Ward, 1726, 20 C. J. 702. 24; Sir J. Trevor (Speaker), 1694, ? Mr. Atkinson, 1783, 39 ib. 770. 11 ib. 274; 5 Parl. Hist. 900–910.

3 South Sea Directors, 1720, 19 Mr. Hungerford, 1695, 11 C. J. 283. ib. 406. 412. 413; Commissioners of Col. Cawthorne, 1796, 51 ib. Forfeited Estates, 1732, 21 ib. 871; 661 ; Mr. Verney, 1891, 146 ib. 208. Benjamin Walsh, 1812, 67 ib. 176; 272. 282. Lord Colchester's Diary, ii. 373; 10 1 ib. 917; 2 ib. 301. 537; 9 ib. Mr. Hastings, 1892, 147 C. J. 120. 431; 17 ib. 513; 18 ib. 411 ; 20 ib.

* Earl of Ranelagh, 1702, 14 ib. 391 ; 137 ib. 61. See also Report of 171; Mr. Hunt, 1810, 65 ib. 398. Precedents, 1807.

• Lord Cochrane and Mr. Cochrane 1139 C, J. 770 ; 67 ib. 176; 69 ib. Johnstone, 1814, 69 ib. 433.

433. 6 Sir J. Bennet, 1621, 1 ib. 588. 1: 11 ib. 283 ; 20 ib. 141. 391; 21

· Mr. Walpole and Mr. Car. ib. 870; 65 ib. 433, &c. bonell, 1711, 17 ib. 30. 97.

13 51 ib. 661 ; 65 ib. 399; 67 ib. * Mr. Ashburnham, 1667, 9 ib. 176; 69 ib. 433; 111 ib. 367. See

Members have also been expelled who have fled from Chapter justice, without any conviction, or judgment of outlawry. _ On the 18th July, 1856, a true bill was found against James Sadleir for fraud, and a warrant was then issued for his apprehension. On the 24th, a motion was made for his expulsion, on the ground of his baving absconded, which, being considered premature, the house refused to entertain. But on the 16th February, 1857, when the reports of the Crown solicitor and officers of the constabulary, showing the measures which had since been ineffectually taken to apprehend Mr. Sadleir, and bring him to trial, had been laid before the house, he was expelled, as having fled from justice.

Mr. Speaker's remarks (Mr. Verney's case), 12th May, 1891, 353 H. D. 3 s. 574.

1 143 H, D. 3 s. 1386; 144 ib. 702;

111 C. J. 379; 112 ib. 48. See also the case of Mr. De Cobain, 1891, 146 ib. 456. 469; 26th Feb. 1892, 147 ib. 67.

custom of Parliament

statute,

Chapter

CHAPTER III.
III.
Table of

GENERAL VIEW OF THE PRIVILEGES OF PARLIAMENT.
Contents,
see lotro-
duction.

Both houses of Parliament enjoy various privileges in their Privileges
collective capacity, as constituent parts of the High Court the law and
of Parliament; which are necessary for the support of their cu
authority, and for the proper exercise of the functions and by
entrusted to them by the constitution. Other privileges,
again, are enjoyed by individual members, which protect
their persons and secure their independence and dignity.

Some privileges rest solely upon the law and custom of
Parliament, while others have been defined by statute.
Upon these grounds alone all privileges whatever are
founded. The Lords have ever enjoyed them, simply
because “they have place and voice in Parliament:" i but
a practice has obtained with the Commons, that would
appear to submit their privileges to the royal favour. At
the commencement of every Parliament since the 6th
Henry VIII., it has been the custom for the Speaker,

"In the name, and on behalf of the Commons, to lay claim by Speaker's humble petition to their ancient and undoubted ? rights and privi- petition,

leges; particularly that their persons and servants 3 might be free from Freelum of arrests and all molestations; that they may enjoy liberty of speech in spech, see all their debates; may have access to his Majesty's royal person whenP. 96.

ever occasion shall require; and that all their proceedings may receiro
from bis Majesty the most favourable construction."

To which the lord chancellor replies that
"His Majesty most readily confirms all the rights and privileges
1 Hakewel, 82.

first time on the 5th Nov. 1852. · See the protestation of the Com. The claim for servants was retained mons, in answer to James I., who until the 5th Aug. 1892, when the took offence at the Speaker's prayer claim was omitted, their privileges for their privileges as “their antient being wholly abolished (see p. 108). and undoubted right and inherit The officers of the house are still ance," 5 Parl. Hist. 512; 2 Proceed- privileged, within its precincts, ī ings of the Commons, 1620-1, 359. Parl. Deb. 18; 2 Hatsell, 225; Lord

3 The claim of privilege in respect Colchester's Diary, i. 64. of their estates was omitted for the

IN

which have ever been granted to or conferred upon the Commons, by Chapter
his Majesty or any of his royal predecessors."1
The authority of the Crown in regard to the privileges of
the Commons, is further acknowledged by the report of the
Speaker to the house, that their privileges have been con-
firmed in as full and ample a manner as they have been
heretofore granted or allowed by his Majesty, or any of his
royal predecessors.?

This custom probably originated in the ancient practice
of confirming laws in Parliament, that were already in
force, by petitions from the Commons, to which the assent
of the king was given, with the advice and consent of the
Lords.3

But whatever may have been the origin and cause of this custom, and however great the concession to the Crown may appear, the privileges of the Commons are nevertheless independent of the Crown, and are enjoyed irrespectively of their petition. Some have been confirmed by statute, and are, therefore, beyond the control either of the Crown or of any other power but Parliament; while others, having been limited or even abolished by statute, cannot be granted or allowed by the Crown.

Every privilege will be separately treated, beginning with such as are enjoyed by each house collectively, and proceeding thence to such as attach to individual members : but, before these are explained, two of the points enumerated in the Speaker's petition may be disposed of, as being matters of courtesy rather than privilege. The first of these is for freedom of access to his Majesty, and the second “that their proceedings may receive a favourable

construction.”
Freedom of 1. The first request, for freedom of access to the sovereign,
access for :

is recorded in the 28th Henry VIII. : “but,” says Elsynge,
“it appeareth plainly they ever enjoyed this, even when
the kings were absent from Parliament;” and in the

? 73 L. J. 571 ; 80 ib. 8, &c. case (p. 104), that their liberties and ? 112 C. J. 119, &c.

franchises had been confirmed to 3 See statement in the Commons' them by the royal authority, 6 Rot. petition, 17th Edward IV., Atwyll's Parl, 191.

the Com mons.

III

Chapter " times of Richard II., Henry IV., and downwards, the

_Commons, with the Speaker, were ever admitted to the king's

presence in Parliament to deliver their answers; and often-
times, under Richard II., Henry IV., and Henry VI., they
did propound matters to the king which were not given
them in charge to treat of."1 The privilege of access is not
enjoyed by individual members of the House of Commons,

but by the house at large, with their Speaker; and the only
Adir 85's occasion on which it is exercised is when an address is pre-
to the sote-
reign, see p. sented to the king by the whole house. Without this
452.

privilege, it is undeniable that the king might refuse to
receive such an address presented in that manner; and that
so far as the attendance of the whole house may give effect
to an address, it is a valuable privilege. Addresses of the
house may also be communicated to the sovereign by any
members who have access to him as privy councillors or as
members of his Majesty's household.

The only right claimed and exercised by individual mem

bers, in availing themselves of the privilege of access to the See p. 455. king, is that of accompanying the Speaker with addresses,

and entering the presence of royalty, in their ordinary attire.
Such a practice is, perhaps, scarcely worthy of notice, but
it is probably founded upon the concession to the House of
Commons, of a free access to the throne, which may be
supposed to entitle them, as members, to dispense with the
forms and ceremonies of the court.

Far different is the privilege enjoyed by the House of Free access
Peers. Not only is that house, as a body, entitled to free"
access to the throne, but each peer, as one of the hereditary
counsellors of the Crown, is individually privileged to have
an audience of the king (see p. 49).
2. That all the proceedings of the Commons may receive Favourable

construcfrom the king the most favourable construction, is con- tion of the ducive to that cordial co-operation of the several branches of Con

u proceedthe legislature which is essential to order and good govern- ings. ment: but it cannot be classed among the privileges of Parliament. It is not a constitutional right, but a personal

Elsynge, 175. 176. .

Bed

antin

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for Peers.

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