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Chapter business, or immediate influence upon the judgment of
XXV. Parliament.
In passing private bills, Parliament still exercises its legis- Its func-

,, tions in
lative functions, but its proceedings partake also of a judicial passing
character. The persons whose private interests are to be private
promoted appear as suitors for the bill; while those who partly
apprehend injury are admitted as adverse parties in the suit.
Many of the formalities of a court of justice are maintained;
various conditions are required to be observed, and their
observance to be strictly proved; and if the parties do not
sustain the bill in its progress, by following every regulation
and form prescribed, it is not forwarded by the house in
which it is pending. If they abandon it, and no other
parties undertake its support, the bill is lost, however
sensible the house may be of its value. The analogy which
all these circumstances bear to the proceedings of a court of
justice, is further supported by the payment of Fees 3 which
is required of every party promoting or opposing a private
bill, or petitioning for or opposing any particular provision.
It may be added that the solicitation of a bill in Parliament
has been regarded, by courts of equity, so completely in the
same light as an ordinary suit, that the promoters have been
restrained, by injunction, from proceeding with a bill, the
object of which was held to be to set aside a covenant; 4 or

judicial.

1 Cf. infra, p. 827, as to “ Parties not proceeding with their bill.” In 1828, the Manchester and Salford Improvement Bill was abandoned, in committee, by its original promoters; when its opponents, having succeeded in introducing certain amendments, undertook to solicit its further progress. But in another case, the committee would not allow this course to be taken (Minutes, 1859, iii. 84, Cork Butter Market Bill). And, in 1873, the committee on the Kingstown Township Bill, after the commissioners, under their corporate scal, had withdrawn from its promotion, refused to allow them to proceed with it, as individual petitioners (infra p. 819). In the Horncastle Gas Bill, 1876, the pro

moters and opponents agreed in
soliciting the bill in an amended
form (Minutes of Committee).

2 Cf. infra p. 827, n. 5.
3 See infra, Chap. XXXIII.

North Staffordshire Railway
Co., 1850; Stockton, &c., Railway
Co.v. Leeds and Thirsk and Clarence
Railway Companies; 5 Railway and
Canal Cases, 691. On the 27th May,
1869, the directors of the London,
Chatham, and Dover Railway Com-
pany were restrained by Vice-Chan-
cellor Stuart from further promoting
a bill, which had already passed the
Commons, and had been read a first
time in the House of Lords, and
from using the seal of the company
for any such or the like purpose
(Times, 28th May, 1869). But on

XXV.

which was promoted by a public body, in evasion of the Chapter
Towns Improvement Act, 1847.' Parties have also been
restrained, in the same manner, from appearing as peti-
tioners against a private bill pending in the House of
Lords. Such injunctions have been justified on the
ground that they act upon the person of the suitor, and
not upon the jurisdiction of Parliament; which would
clearly be otherwise in the case of a public bill. And
acting upon the same principles, Parliament has obliged
a railway company, under penalty of a suspension of its
dividends, to apply in the next session for a bill to autho-
rize the construction of a line of railway which the company

had pledged itself to make, and in good faith to promote it. ?
Principles This union of the judicial and legislative functions is not
by which
Parliament confined to the forms of procedure, but is an important
is guided.

principle in the inquiries and decision of Parliament, upon
the merits of private bills. As a court, it inquires into,
and adjudicates upon, the interests of private parties; as
· a legislature, it is watchful over the interests of the public.

The promoters of a bill may prove, beyond a doubt, that
their own interests will be advanced by its success, and no
one may complain of injury or urge any specific objection;
| yet, if Parliament apprehends that it will be hurtful to the
community, it is rejected as if it were a public measure, or
qualified by restrictive enactments, not solicited by the
parties. In order to increase the vigilance of Parliament,
in protecting the public interests, the chairman of com-
mittees in the House of Lords, and the chairman of ways
and means in the House of Commons, are entrusted with
the peculiar care of unopposed bills, and with a general
revision of all other private bills (see pp. 705-8, 753-4,
849); while the agency of the government departments is
also applied in aid of the legislature (see p. 754).
the 31st May, the lords justices dis- Kingstown Township Bill, 1873;
charged this order as not being see p. 819.
justified by the circumstances of the ? 100 H. D. 3 s. 784 (Hartlepool
case, while they acknowledged the Junction Railway).
authority of the court to make such 3 Infra, p. 817, n. 5 (South
an order, if the occasion should Western Railway, Capital and
warrant it, 5 Chancery Appeals, 671. Works Act, 1855).

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In pointing out this peculiarity in private bills, it must, Private however, be understood that, while they are examined and throughes contested before committees and officers of the house, like the same

stages as private suits, and are subject to notices, forms, and public

bills. intervals, unusual in other bills; yet in every separate stage, when they come before either house, they are treated precisely as if they were public bills. They are read as many times, and similar questions are put, except when any proceeding is especially directed by the standing orders; and the same rules of debate and procedure are maintained throughout. In order to explain clearly all the forms and proceedings Necessity

for private to be observed in passing private bills, it is proposed to bills superstate them, as nearly as possible, in the order in which they successively arise; but before doing so it is necessary cases (a) by

the general to advert briefly to the important modern legislation, by law; (6) by

the Prowhich the necessity for private bills has, in numerous visional cases, been superseded by general laws. As a result of

system; the policy pursued in this respect by the legislature, parties and () by are now enabled, for a large number of various purposes, Legisla

tion Proto avail themselves of the provisions of public general Acts, cedure instead of having to apply for special powers by the means of a private bill. This policy has been carried out (a) by amendments in the general law which have facilitated various kinds of objects or furthered particular classes of undertakings or interests ; () by the establishment and extension of the system of “Provisional Orders”; and (c) by the passing, in 1899, of the Private Legislation Procedure (Scotland) Act.

The following are some of the principal general Acts relating to matters which formerly have been the subjects of private Acts of Parliament, viz. the Tithe Commutation Acts, the Acts for the enfranchisement of copyholds, the Joint-Stock Companies Acts, the Acts for the regulation and management of railway companies, the Settled Estates

* Cf. for example, 160 C. J. 405, interruption of business, under 8th Aug., 1905, when the considera- Standing Order (relative to Public tion of the Lords' amendments to a Business), No. 1 (Sittings of the private bill stood adjourned, on the House).

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and Settled Land Acts, the Acts relating to entail in Scot- Chapter land, the Towns Improvement (Ireland) Act, the Incum

XXV. bered Estates Act in Ireland, the Endowed Schools Acts, the Naturalization Act, the Divorce and Matrimonial Causes Acts, the Education Acts, the Municipal Corporation Acts, the Local Government Acts for England and Wales, Scotland, and Ireland. . By the various statutes which authorize procedure by Provisional Order, many of the Government departments, and in some cases a local authority, are empowered to grant provisional orders, which are practically bills and which have only to be confirmed in an Act of Parliament in order to become law. In most cases, these orders confer powers or secure objects for which a private bill was formerly necessary; and in a later chapter (Chapter XXX.) it is proposed to summarize the purposes for which provisional orders may be granted, the statutes under which various authorities are empowered to grant them, and the procedure in Parliament upon the bills for their confirmation. It should, however, be observed here that, in addition to their powers of granting provisional orders, many government departments have also been invested with powers of administration in matters which otherwise would have been the subject of special legislation, and are empowered, in numerous cases, to grant orders which are not provisional, that is to say, which do not require confirmation in an Act of Parliament.

By the Private Legislation Procedure (Scotland) Act which was passed in 1899, parties have been provided with a new means of obtaining parliamentary powers in regard to almost every matter“affecting public or private interests in Scotland for which they are entitled to apply" by means of a private bill. The special machinery which has thus, in so large a class of cases, taken the place of procedure by private bill, centres in the powers conferred by the Act, upon the Secretary of Scotland, of granting orders which are subsequently confirmed by Parliament in a bill. The provisions of this Act, however, and the

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Chapter system which it has established, will be more conveniently
XXV.

dealt with later (Chapter XXXI.), after the method of
passing private bills has been described.

In the ensuing chapter it is proposed to describe the Proposed proceedings preliminary to the introduction of a private describing bill into either house, and the duties, with regard to all such the

gress of bills, of the Chairman of Committees of the House of Lords private

bills. and the Chairman of Ways and Means, who together determine in which house each private bill shall be first, introduced. The course of proceedings in the Commons upon a private bill will then be followed throughout from its first introduction in that house (Chapter XXVII.), and, subsequently, the course of proceedings in the Lords upon private (“Local”) bills (Chapter XXVIII.). Those private bills, such as Naturalization, Name, Estate, and Divorce Bills, which have usually originated in the Lords, and which are known as “ Personal” bills, will be more conveniently followed-in a later chapter (Chapter XXIX.) -in their course from the Lords to the Commons.

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