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Chapter
XXVI.

In the case of a bill originating in the Commons this practice is greatly for the convenience of promoters. It enables them to give effect, during the progress of their bill through that house, to the observations of the Lords' Chairman and his Counsel; and, unless the bill be opposed, its subsequent progress through the House of Lords is at once easy and expeditious owing to the facilities thus afforded, before the bill has passed the Commons, of securing the insertion of amendments suggested by the authorities in the Lords. Another advantage of this mode of amending the bill, whilst it is still in the Commons, is that amendments may then be conveniently introduced, which could not be made by the Lords without infringing the privileges of the Commons. For many years after this supervision of private bills and (b) by

the Chairhad been instituted in the Lords, the House of Commons, inan of relying upon the aid which its legislation received from the Ways and other house, did not adopt any similar arrangement of its the

Speaker's own: but, as private business increased in importance, the Counsel. house gradually entrusted to the Chairman of Ways and Means many duties analogous to those performed by the Chairman of Committees in the House of Lords; and he is now charged with the supervision of all private bills. Under standing order No. 80% of the House of Commons, it s. 0.80 is his duty, with the assistance of the Counsel to Mr.' Speaker, to examine all such bills, whether opposed or unopposed, and to call the attention of the house, and also of the chairman of the committee on every opposed private bill, to all points which may appear to him to require it. To facilitate this examination, copies of every bill as originally deposited are required to be laid before him and Mr.

1 This officer was originally appointed to assist Mr. Speaker generally in any legal questions coming before him and to discharge certain other duties in accordance with the Report of a Select Com. mittee of 1838. But it was not until 1851, as a result of another select committee in that year, that he was

regularly associated with the Chair. man of Ways and Means to assist in the examination of private bills. Cf. Reports of the Select Committees (House of Commons) on Private Business 1838 and 1851, and Clifford's Private Bill Legislation II. 799.

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Speaker's Counsel not later than the day after the Ex- Chapter aminer of Petitions shall have indorsed the petition

XXVI. for the bill. And copies of every bill, and of amendments made or proposed to be made in it, are also required under standing orders Nos. 82, 84, 85, and 86,

to be laid before him and the Speaker's Counsel, at S. 0.81- various later stages in its progress. The Chairman's 86, 215, 216 (U.C.). duties and powers under these and other standing orders

(Nos. 81, 83, 215, and 216) will be noticed when these later

stages are described. His preliminary duty under standing S. 0.79 order No. 79, in determining the house in which each

private bill shall originate, is all that need be noted here. Division of Formerly, by far the greater number of private bills were bills be

necessarily introduced first in the House of Commons; as, two houses by the privileges of the Commons, every bill which involves before in- "

Yo P oco vivo
troduction. any pecuniary charge or burthen on the people, by way of

tax, rate, toll, or duty, ought to be first brought into that
house (see p. 574). But, in accordance with a resolution
which has been made a standing order, the House of Com-

mons does not now insist upon its privileges, " with regard S. 0. 226 to any clauses in private bills, or in bills to confirm any (H. C.).

provisional orders or provisional certificates, sent down
from the House of Lords, which refer to tolls and charges
for services performed, and are not in the nature of a tax,
or which refer to rates assessed and levied by local
authorities for local purposes ” (see p. 579). This relaxa-
tion of the privileges of the Commons has made it possible

tween

1 This resolution has been held to extend to turnpike, harbour, drain age, and other similar bills (Cf. Reading and Hatfield Road Bill 1858 ; Wexford Harbour Bill, 1861; Melton Mowbray Navigation Bill, 1877; Dearne Valley Water Bill, 1880); but not to "hybrid” bills (cf. Lee River Conservancy Bill, 1868). And it has been ruled not to extend to clauses in an improvement bill, which proposed to impose a tax upon all insurance companies having policies upon houses within the borough. On the 8th May,

1873, the Speaker called attention to clauses of this character in the Bradford Improvement Bill, which had been brought from the House of Lords: but “as the promoters were not responsible for the introduction of the bill into the other house, and had signified their intention to withdraw these clauses, he submitted to the house that this course would be sufficient, under the circumstances, to repair the irregularity.” And upon this condition the bill was allowed to proceed.

XXVI.

for many bills to be introduced into the Lords which would
formerly have had to be brought first into the Commons; and
Parliament is now able to ensure a more equal distribution,
between the two houses, of the private business of the session.
Under the division annually made by the two Chairmen and
their Counsel, the private bills proposed to be introduced
are now divided, therefore, as equally as possible between
the two houses. And it is usually arranged that bills
relating to the Metropolis or to the release of parliamentary
deposits forfeited to the Crown, and the majority of bills
relating to police and sanitary regulations, should originate
in the Commons: that bills, on the other hand, which deal
with the financial affairs of public companies, or with
patents, should be first considered in the House of Lords : 1
that competing bills should be introduced in one and the
same house so as to be considered together; and, generally,
that all the bills should, as far as possible, be allocated
with a view to convenience of handling.

The persons by whom the promotion of private bills, and
the conduct of proceedings upon petitions against such
bills, are actually carried out, are parliamentary agents;
and the conference between the two Chairmen or their
Counsel in January is attended by the agents concerned in
the bills proposed to be introduced into either house.

Upon all parliamentary agents various duties and re- Parliasponsibilities are imposed by the orders of both houses ; Agents. and in both houses the following rules are to be observed by the officers of the house, and “by all parliamentary agents and solicitors engaged in prosecuting proceedings in the House upon any petition or bill." 2

1. “No person shall be allowed to act as a parliamentary agent Declarauntil he shall have subscribed a declaration before one of the clerks in tion and

recogni

zance. 1 Name, Estate, and other “ Per- subsequently been revised, and they sonal” bills originate in the Lords are quoted here in the form in Cf. infra, p. 839, and Chapter XXIX. which they were issued (by Mr.

? These rules were originally laid Speaker in the Commons, and by down-by the Speaker by authority the Chairman of Committees in the of the Commons-in 1837 (92 C. J. Lords) in August, 1905. 113; and 91 ib. 819). They have

the Private Bill Office, engaging to observe and obey the rules, Chapter
regulations, orders, and practice of the House of Commons (Lords), and XXVI.
also to pay and discharge from time to time, when the same shall be
demanded, all fees and charges due and payable upon any petition or
bill upon which such agent may appear ; and after having subscribed
such declaration and entered into a recognizance or bond (if here-
after required), in the penal sum of 5001., with two sureties of 2501.
each, to observe the said declaration, such person, if in other respects
qualified to act as hereinafter provided, shall be registered in a book
to be kept in the Private Bill Office, and shall then be entitled to act
as a parliamentary agent : provided that upon the said declaration,

recognizance or bond and registry, no fee shall be payable.” Form.

2. “The declaration before mentioned, and the recognizance and bond, if hereafter required, shall be in such form as the Speaker sin the

Lords: the Chairman of Committees) may from time to time direct." One mem

3. “One member of a firm of parliamentary agents may subscribe ber of firm the required declaration, or enter into the required recognizance or may, sab- bond, on behalf of his firm; but the names of all the partners of such scribe declara- firm shall be registered with such declaration; and notice shall be tion, &c. given, from time to time, to the clerks of the Private Bill Office, of any

addition thereto, or change therein." No person 4. “No person shall be allowed to be registered as a parliamentary to be regis- agent, unless he is actually employed in promoting or opposing some tered

private bill or petition pending in Parliament.” unless actually 5. “When any person (not being a solicitor, or writer to the signet) employed. applies to qualify himself for the first time to act as a parliamentary Applica- agent, such application shall be made in writing, and he shall produce tion to act as Parlia

act to one of the clerks of the Private Bill Office a certificate of his mentary respectability from a member of Parliament, or a justice of the peace, agent. or a barrister-at-law, or a solicitor.” No person 6. “No person's name shall be printed on any private bill, as to print parliamentary agent for such bill, unless and until his name has been name on

e duly inscribed upon the register of parliamentary agents.” bill unless aury 18CTDE registered 7. “No notice shall be received in the Private Bill Office for any as Parlia- proceeding upon a petition or bill, until an appearance to act as the mentary agent.

parliamentary agent upon the same shall have been entered in the Appeare Private Bill Office; in which appearance sball also be specified the name ance to be of the solicitor (if any) for such petition or bill." entered

1. 8. “Before any person desiring to appear by a parliamentary agent upon bills.

shall be allowed to appear or be heard upon any petition against a Appear. ance to be bill, an appearanco to act as the parliamentary agent upon the same entered on shall be entered in the Private Bill Office; in which appearance shall

also be specified the name of the solicitor, and of the counsel who against

appear in support of any such petition (if any counsel or solicitor are
then engaged), and a certificate of such appearance shall be delivered

to the parliamentary agent, to be produced to the committee clerk." I
One agent 9. “Except in cases where a bill is promoted or a petition is presented
only to
appear and

See infra, pp. 787 and 806.

petitions

bills.

Chapter by two or more companies bodies or persons separately interested, one be heard

on on behalf parliamentary agent or firm of agents only shall be allowed to appear

ut of proand to be heard in the proceedings on the bill on behalf of the pro- moters or moters or the petitioners.”

petitioners, 10. “In case the parliamentary agent for any petition or bill shall A fresh be displaced by the solicitor thereof, or such parliamentary agent shall on

hou appearance decline to act, the responsibility of such agent shall cease upon a notice of parliabeing given in the Private Bill Office, and a fresh appearance shall be mentary entered upon such petition or bill.”

agent. 11. “No written or printed statement relating to any private bill

et hiu No state.

ment to be shall be circulated within the precincts of the House of Commons circulated [Lords] without the name of a parliamentary agent attached to it, who without will be held responsible for its accuracy."

name of

parliamen12. “ The sanction of the Chairman of Ways and Means [in the tary agent. Lords : of the Chairman of Committees] in writing is required to Sanction to every notice of a motion prepared by a parliamentary agent, for notice for dispensing with any sessional or standing order of the house."

dispensing

with 13. “A parliamentary agent shall not divide with or pay to any orders. client, or any solicitor, clerk, officer, or servant of any client, any Agents pot moneys which the agent at any time receives in respect of his costs to divide charges and expenses in promoting opposing or otherwise dealing with

or pay

- commisany bill or Provisional Order, or give any commission or gratuity to sions. any person in respect of his employment as a perliamentary agent.”

14. “Every parliamentary agent and solicitor conducting proceedings Agents in Parliament before the House of Commons [Lords] shall be personally pe.

responsible, responsible to the house, and to the Speaker [in the Lords : the Chairman of Committees), for the observance of the rules, orders, and practice of Parliament, as well as of any rules which may from time to time be prescribed by the Speaker [the Chairman of Committees), and also for the payment of the fees and charges due and payable under the standing orders."

15. “Any parliamentary agent who shall wilfully act in violation of Speaker the rules and practice of Parliament, or of any rules to be prescriled mi

* misconby the Speaker [in the Lords: by the Chairman of Committees], or duct, prowho shall be guilty of professional misconduct of any kind as a hibit agent

from pracparliamentary agent, shall be liable to an absolute or temporary pro- tisir hibition to practise as a parliamentary agent, at the pleasure of the Speaker [the Chairman of Committees]: provided that upon the application of the parliamentary agent, the Speaker (the Chairman of Committees] shall state in writing the grounds for the prohibition.”

16. “No person who has been suspended or prohibited from practis- No person ing as a parliamentary agent, or struck off the roll of solicitors, or disbarred by any of the inns of court, shall be allowed to be registered pended, as a parliamentary agent, without the express authority of the &c., to act Speaker [in the Lords: of the Chairman of Committees].”

as parliamentary

agent. The name, description, and place of residence of the par- Registry liamentary agent in town, and of the agent in the country of agents.

has * been sus

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