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XXVII

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.

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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.

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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
in the affirmative or negative, as the case may be. Or,
where there are competing bills in the same group, the cases
are heard together, according to a long-established course
of procedure, and the decision of the committee is postponed
until after they have heard the evidence in support of all
the bills ;? and occasionally, where the subject-matter of

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

Clauses

considered.

of Proceedings, Group B, 24th April,
9th May, 7th, 8th, and 9th June,
1899).

In the last-named case, the com-
mittee, during their consideration
of the three bills, were empowered
by an instruction of the house
(passed on the motion of the chair-
man of the committee) to consoli.
date the bills; and accordingly,
having formally passed the preambles
of the three bills, they struck out
all the clauses, and proceeded to
consider a consolidated bill (against
which the parties petitioning against
all three bills were heard), and to
report this consolidated bill (Der-
went Valley Water Bill) to the
house, 154 C. J. 229. 267.

· Prior to 1897 it was not the prac.
tice to permit the counsel for the
second [or third] of two (or more]
competing bills to make more than
one speech. Cf. the Minutes of
Evidence, 11th of March, 1897, be-
fore the committee on the High-
land Railway (Inverness, &c.), In-
vergarry, &c., Railway, and North
British, &c., Railway (three com-
peting bills), Group 5, 1897; and the
Report of the Select Committee on
Private Business (H.C. Paper No.
378) of 1902, p. x.

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
XXVII.

with the rules of the house in committee in dealing with a
public bill, when all the clauses of the bill have been
disposed of, new clauses may be offered either by members
of the committee or by the parties.

An alternative clause prepared by petitioners is fre-
quently produced and considered in connection with a
clause which is formally before the committee, and which
may be amended or negatived in consequence; but if the
clause be negatived, the alternative clause strictly should
only be added when all the remaining clauses of the bill
have been disposed of. Counsel claim the right of reply
when they have brought up a new clause : but a distinction
should be drawn in this respect between a purely alterna-
tive clause and a new clause; such an alternative clause
is produced only in support of the argument against, and
is virtually an amendment to, a clause already formally
before the committee, and it should be treated as an
amendment only, without any right of reply; while
counsel proposing a new and substantive clause for the
consideration of the committee, when no other clause was
before it, would not be so limited.

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,
bill, by which the promoters appearances were entered. Cf.
might have been made acquainted also the Clapham Junction and
with the grounds of opposition Paddington Railway Bill, 1893
(Minutes of Committees on Op- (against which the Commissioners
posed Bills, 1858, I. 130). In 1872 of Works appeared in the ordinary
the Treasury obtained the insertion way on petition), &c. In some cases
of a clause in the International leave has been specially given by
Communication Bill providing ac- the house for departments (although
cess to Crown property; but on they had not presented a petition)
several government departments to appear by counsel, &c., before
applying by counsel to the com- the committee on a private bill, e.g.
mittee to be heard against the bill, to the Admiralty (South Eastern
the committee decided that it was Railway Bill (Group 17), 1865, 120
contrary to the practice of the house C. J. 303; Naval Works Provisional
to admit parties not appearing in Order Bill (Group 0), 156 ib. 234);
the usual way on petition (Minutes to the Board of Trade (North
of Group 2. 1872).

British Railway Tay Bridge Bill
In 1902 counsel informed the com- (Select Committee), 1880, 135 ib.
mittee on the Commercial Gas Bill 317); to the Commissioners of
that he was instructed to appear Public Works in Ireland (Canal
before them on behalf of the Board Rates, &c., Provisional Order No.
of Trade, and offered to call one of 11 Bill (Joint Committee), 1894, 149
the Gas Referees appointed by that ib. 301); to the War Office (Lee
department as a witness; but as Conservancy Bill (Group B), 1900,
there was no petition against the 155 ib. 106).
bill from the department or from In 1892 the committee on the
the Gas Referees, nor any direction Manchester, Sheffield, and Lincoln-
from the house with regard to call. shire Railway (Extension to Lon.
ing them, the committee declined don) Bill received a letter stating
to hear them (Minutes of Evidence, that the Department of Woods and
Group A, 13th and 14th March, Forests was interested in respect of
1902).

certain Crown lands which would be
In 1871 the Office of Works prejudicially affected by the bills.
appeared by counsel on their peti. The committee, in answer, stated
tion as landowners against the that it would be for the convenience
Metropolitan Street Tramway of the committee if a Report from
(Westminster and Battersea Park the Department were laid before
Extension) Bill, and the London them, and that they would be pre-
Street Tramways (Kensington, pared to afford the department an
Westminster, and City Lines) Bill opportunity of submitting its views
(Group 12). In 1873, the Post- as suggested; and the surveyor to
master-General petitioned against the commissioners accordingly at-
the Midland Railway Bill, but the tended for this purpose. And in
petition was afterwards withdrawn. many cases officers of public depart-
In the same year he also petitioned ments-the Board of Trade, the
against the Deal, Walmer, and Home Office, or the Local Govern-
Adisham Railway Bill, the South ment Board — have attended the
Eastern Railway Bill, the North committee on a private bill for pur-
Metropolitan Tramways Bill, and poses of reference in connection
the London and Aylesbury Rail. ' with their reports on the bill, and

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