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Chapter business, or immediate influence upon the judgment of
,, tions in
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 And, in 1873, the committee on the Kingstown Township Bill, after the commissioners, under their corporate scal, had withdrawn from its promotion, refused to allow them to proceed with it, as individual petitioners (infra p. 819).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
2 Cf. infra p. 827, n. 5.
North Staffordshire Railway
which was promoted by a public body, in evasion of the Chapter
had pledged itself to make, and in good faith to promote it. ?
principle in the inquiries and decision of Parliament, upon
The promoters of a bill may prove, beyond a doubt, that
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the Prowhich the necessity for private bills has, in numerous visional cases, been superseded by general laws.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).
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
Chapter system which it has established, will be more conveniently
dealt with later (Chapter XXXI.), after the method of
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.