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arranged otherwise, in order to meet the convenience of Chapter counsel.” 1 Committees have also resolved that no counsel should be permitted to cross-examine witnesses, who had not been present during the examination-in-chief, nor to re-examine unless he had been present during the entire cross-examination ;? but in 1891, when (for the first time since the years 1847 and 1861) it was sought to make the first part of this rule effective, and the chairman of a committee proposed to enforce it, the proposal was not adopted, nor did it meet with the concurrence of the chairmen of other committees; the latter part of the rule, as to reexamination, has been more closely observed.
When the speeches and evidence in support of petitions against the preamble are concluded, the counsel for the bill replies on the whole case.4 If the petitioners have not called witnesses or put in evidence, the counsel for the bill has no right to a reply: but in some special cases, where new matters have been introduced by the opposing counsel (as, for example, Acts of Parliament, precedents, or documents not previously noticed "), a reply, strictly confined to such matters, has been permitted. Where there are numerous parties appearing on separate interests, the committee will make such arrangements as they think fit for hearing the different counsel. Any documents, or minutes of evidence on bills of a previous session, that may have been referred to the committee,' may be commented upon by counsel, and considered by the committee.
Suppl. to Votes, 1852, p. 287. ? Suppl. to Votes, 1847, vol. ii. pp. 1457. 1477; Resolutions of general committee of railway and canal bills, 1861.
3 City and South London Railway Bill, 1891, MS. Minutes of Evidence, 13th March, p. 7; Central London Railway Bill, 1891, ib. 4th March, p. 54.
• In 1853, on the Edinburgh, Perth, and Dundee Railway Bill, the committee held that the counsel for the bill was not entitled to a general
reply; but that his reply must be confined to the case of the only petitioner who had adduced evidence, Suppl. to Votes, 1853, p. 720.
o Great Western Railway, &c., Bill, Suppl. to Votes, 1854, p. 495, &c.
Suppl. to Votes, 1852, p. 288. In 1853, the committee on a group of (Severn Valley) railway bills decided to hear two counsel only on the whole case presented by several bills, Suppl. to Votes, 1853, p. 1031.
Supra, p. 791.
When the arguments and evidence upon the preamble Question
in : upon pre- bave been heard, the room is cleared, and a question is ambler
put, “That the preamble has been proved,” which is resolved
1 In the case of an omnibus bill, or bill for the authorization of several separate undertakings, it is usual to prove the preamble in sections, a question that “so much of the preamble as relates thereto" being put and decided by the committee with regard to each section.
• It may be convenient to state briefly the procedure followed in recent cases by committees who have had to consider two (or more] competing bills.
(1) The counsel for the first bill, -"Bill No. 1"-opens his case and calls his witnesses, who are subject to cross-examination by the counsel for the second (or the second and third] of the competing bills “ Bill No. 2" (and “ Bill No. 3"]— and by the counsel for any other parties who appear as petitioners against Bill No. 1.
(2) These petitioners against Bill No. 1 are then heard, their counsel making his speech, and calling the evidence offered in support of their case.
(3) Counsel for Bill No. 2 next opens his case in a statement explanatory of the purposes of his bill, and calls his witnesses, who can be cross-examined by the counsel for Bill No. 1 (and for Bill No. 3], and by the counsel for other parties appearing as petitioners against Bill No, 2; and
(4) The case of these petitioners against Bill No. 2 is then heard.
(Where there are more than two competing bills :
(4a) Counsel for Bill No. 3 here opens the case for his bill in a statement explanatory of its purpose, and calls his witnesses, who can be cross-examined by the counsel for Bills No. 1 and 2, and by the counsel for other parties appearing as petitioners against Bill No. 3; and (46) the case of these peti. tioners against Bill No. 3 is then heard. (4c) Counsel for Bill No. 3 is then heard to sum up in support of his bill as against the other competing bills, and in reply to the evidence
adduced in opposition to it.] (5) Counsel for Bill No. 2 is heard to sum up in support of his bill as against Bill No. 1 [and Bill No. 3], and in reply to the evidence adduced in opposition to Bill No. 2.
(6) Counsel for Bill No. 1 makes his general reply.
(7) The committee give their deci. sions on the preambles of all the competing bills, and subsequently consider the clauses of the bill or, bills of which the preamble is declared to be proved.
Cf. Thames Steamboat Trust Bill and Thames River Steamboat Service Bill (Group D), 1903; Cork City Railways, &c., Bill and Cork Link Railways Bill (Group 5), 1906; Kingscourt, &c., Railway Bill, Great Northern Railway (Ireland) Bill, and Newry, &c., Railway Bill (Group 5), 1900; Derby Corporation, Sheffield Corporation, and Leicester Corporation Water Bills, 1899 (Minutes
bills in the same group has been partly the same, com- Chapter
XXVII. mittees have heard the cases separately, but have deferred their decision till after the conclusion of the last case. In some cases, the committee have resolved that the clauses which the promoters had agreed with the opponents to insert in the bill, should be produced before they proceeded to decide on the preamble,
The committee call in the parties and acquaint them with their decision regarding the preamble; and, if the preamble be proved, they then go through the bill clause by clause. Where petitioners appear against a clause, or propose amendments, they are heard in support of their objections or amendments, as they arise ; or opposed clauses may be postponed and considered at a later period in the
of Proceedings, Group B, 24th April,
In the last-named case, the com-
· Prior to 1897 it was not the prac.
Where the same petition has been
presented against all of the competing bills, committees, instead of hearing the petitioners against each of the bills at separate times, have heard them against all the bills after the counsel for the last of the competing bills had made his opening statement and called his evidence, but before he proceeded to sum up his case in reply (Thames River Steamboat Service Bill and Thames Steamboat Trust Bill (Minutes of Evidence, Group F, 20th April), 1904 ; Invergarry, &c., Railway Bill and North British, &c., Railway Bill (Minutes of Proceedings, Group 5, March 11-22), 1897; &c.
It may be noted that, in considering competing cases, some committees, instead of following the order of procedure indicated above, have considered each bill separately, although deferring their decision on the preambles of each bill until the case on the last bill had been concluded. Cf. Proceedings of the Committees, in the Lords, on the London Electric Power Bills, 1905, and on the Penllwyn and other Welsh Railway Bills, 1906.
' North Metropolitan Railway Bill, Suppl. to Votes, 1854, p. 451.
Chapter proceedings, if the committee think fit. In accordance
with the rules of the house in committee in dealing with a
An alternative clause prepared by petitioners is fre-
It is at this time also that officers of public departments Clauses sometimes appear, to secure the insertion of clauses pro- public des tective of the property or interests of the Crown, or of navi-partments. gations, and tidal lands, or otherwise concerning the public interests. But, except in cases in which the consent of the i Crown may be withheld from a bill, government departments are without any means of enforcing the adoption of their clauses, either by the parties or the committee; and their relations to the committee and Parliament are often not a little anomalous. It has, indeed, been determined that public departments have no right to be heard, except) upon petition.
i This rule as to the hearing of counsel on an alternative clause has received the assent and approval of Mr. Pope, Q.C., and Mr. Pember, Q.C.
? Thus, in 1858, the Office of Works and Public Buildings was refused a hearing against the Victoria Station and Pimlico Railway Bill, as the board had not
What clauses ad missible.
It must be borne in mind that the committee may not Chapter
XXVII. de admit clauses or amendments which are not within the
deposited a petition against the way Bill; and in the two first cases,
British Railway Tay Bridge Bill
certain Crown lands which would be