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Chapter the committee on a private bill to make a special
XXVII. wanart 1

report.
If parties acquaint the committee that they do not desire Report that

“Parties
to proceed further with the bill,2 this fact is reported to the do not pro-
house; and an order is then made that the bill be with- ceea
drawn 2 or, merely, that the report do lie upon the table.
In 1902 a committee having thus reported that the
parties did not intend to proceed with their bill, notice
was given of a motion to recommit the bill; but Mr.
Speaker ruled that such a motion would be out of order,
on the ground that a private bill was the property of the
promoters and that the house could not compel them
to proceed with it against their wish.5

After the preamble of a bill has been proved, the

another bill; and they recommended, “That every facility, consistent with the forms of the house, should be given to such a bill during the present session," 101 C. J. 732.

In 1899 a select committee on certain Irish Railway Amalgamation Bills made a special report recom. mending that, owing to the late period of the session, a bill should be withdrawn, although the promoters were ready to proceed with it, 154 C. J. 373-4. 377.

1 The case of the London and Brighton Railway Bills of 1837 was of a very unusual character, and deserves particular notice. The bills for making distinct lines of railway to Brighton had been referred to the same committee, when an unprecedented contest arose among the promoters of the rival lines, and at length it was apprehended that the preamble of each bill would be negatived, in succession, by the combination of three out of the four parties against each of the lines in which the three were not interested, and on which the committee would have to determine separately. This result was prevented by an instruction to the committee “to make a special report of the engineering particulars of each of the lines, to enable the

house to determine which to send back for the purpose of having the landowners heard and the clauses settled." This special report was made accordingly: but the house, being unable to decide upon the merits of the competing lines, agreed to address the Crown to refer the several statements of engineering particulars to a military engineer. On the report of the engineer, appointed in answer to this address, the house instructed the committee to hear the case of the landowners upon the line called the Direct line, 92 C. J. 356. 417. 519. 529.

? In 1824 a report was made that from the protracted examination of witnesses, the promoters of the South London Docks Bill desired leave to withdraw their bill, and that the committee had instructed the chairman to move for leave (which was accordingly given) to lay the minutes of evidence before the house, 79 C. J. 445. 449.

3 105 C. J. 510; 131 ib. 372.

- 129 C. J. 98; 149 ib. 184; 157 ib. 443; 159 ib. 97. 123; &c.

5 London United Electric Railway Bill, 157 C. J. 443, and Mr. Speaker's private ruling 29th October, 1902. See also 150 Parl. Deb. 4 s. 329: and supra, p. 687.

of committees on

promoters have abandoned the bill rather than consent to Chapter

XXVII. the introduction of amendments insisted upon by the

committee.? All bills It is the duty of every committee to report to the house to be reported. the bill that has been committed to them, and not by long S. O. 149. adjournments to withhold from the house the result of journment their proceedings; and therefore it has been prescribed

by standing order that every committee on an opposed
opposed private bill shall report specially to the house the cause
bills to be
reported. of any adjournment over any day on which the house
S. 0. 126.

shall sit. If any attempt of this nature be made to
defeat a bill, the house will interfere to prevent it.
Thus, in 1825, the committee on a private bill having
adjourned for a month, was "ordered to meet to-morrow,
and proceed on the bill ; " 3 and again, on the 23rd March,
1836, the house being informed that a committee had
adjourned till 16th May, ordered them “to meet to-

morrow, and proceed on the bill.” 4
Adjourn . Whenever a committee adjourns, the committee clerk
ment of

is required to give notice in writing to the clerks in

the Private Bill Office, of the day and hour to which the 8. 0. 238.

committee is adjourned.
Com If a committee adjourn, without naming another day
mittees

for resuming their sittings; or if, from the absence of
a quorum, the committee be unable to proceed to business
or to adjourn to a future day, they have no power of re-
assembling without an order from the house, giving the
committee leave to sit and proceed on a certain day.5

committees.

revived.

1 Glasgow Waterworks Bill, 1848, 380 C. J. 474. (Minutes, p. 97); Plymouth Corpo 91 C. J. 195. ration Bill, 1903 (in House of Lords), Cf. also the debate on the in&c. And for a case where the pro- struction, 14th June 1887 (142 C. J. moters of an omnibus bill decided 292), directing the committee on not to proceed with one portion of the Manchester Ship Canal Bill to which the committee had found the report the bill before a specified day, preamble, proved subject to con. 316 H. D. 3 s. 24-34. ditions, see London and North 5 105 C. J. 201 (Minutes of ComWestern, &c. (New Railways) Bill, mittee on Tyne Navigation, &c., 1899, (154 C. J. 209)

Bills, 18th March, 11th April, 1850); ? Cf. e.g. Reports of Adjourn. · 106 ib. 280; 157 ib. 400. 440 (Group ments, 146 C. J. 371 ; 156 ib. 96; 12, 31st July and 20th October, 1902). 157 ib. 198. 83; 160 ib. 81 ; &c.

As to leave given to committees to

Chapter
XXVII.

1 the e of

In the case of a private bill that has been referred, Proceedin departure from the ordinary procedure, to a select ca committee nominated (like the committee on a “hybrid ” private

bills before bill) partly by the house and partly by the committee of select com

mittees. selection, or otherwise specially constituted (see pp.“ 749–751), the proceedings are generally similar to those of ordinary private bill committees. But in such a committee, the chairman—in accordance with a resolution of the house of 25th March, 1836, and with the established rules of Parliament regarding select committees 2—can only vote when there is an equality of voices, and its members do not sign the declaration required by standing order No. 117,3 nor are they subject to the requirements of the standing orders as to attendance on private bill committees. The practice of referring bills of a certain class, already mentioned, to committees so constituted, has of late years greatly increased. There are advantages attaching to such committees; but, on the other hand, the judicial character of the tribunal is impaired by the absence of those regulations by which the continuity and impartiality of the tribunal are preserved. sit on a day on which the house is of members), 155 C. J. 101 ; 80 Parl. not sitting, see supra, “Select Com. Deb. 4 s. 206. 900. 1053-59. mittees," p. 413; and 152 C. J. 337 - In the committee on South. (leave given to committee on ampton Docks Bill, 1892, one memGroup 9, 1897, to sit on a Saturday), ber was a director of the dock

company, and another held shares Such committees, in common in the South Western Railway Comwith private bill committees, have pany (the purchasing company): the power of examining witnesses but it was decided by the authorities on oath (supra, pp. 430. 431. 825.) of the house that the constitution ? Supra, p. 411.

of the committee was perfectly 3 Supra, p. 747.

regular. * Supra, p. 756.

In the London County Council In 1900, when certain electric (General Powers) Bill, and London power bills were specially com- Improvements Bill, 1893, a member mitted to a select committee of of the London County Council was seven members, nominated by the a member of the committee on both committee of selection, an order bills. See debate on the latter bill, was made by the house that the 14 Parl. Deb. 4 s. 30. 33-39. committee should be subject to the Cf. also the debate regarding the standing orders relative to the pro- committee on Electric Power Bills, ceedings of committees on opposed 1900, 80 Parl. Deb. 4 s. 1053-59. bills (except that fixing the number

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Every When the report has been made out and agreed to by the Chapter

XXVII. psixmatended committee, the committee clerk delivers in to the Private in com. Bill Office“ the committee bill,” being a printed copy of the be printed bill with the written amendments made by the committee, delivered. and with every clause added by the committee regularly

marked in those parts of the bill in which they are to be
inserted. In strict conformity with this authenticated copy,

the bill, as amended by the committee, is required by the 8.0. 214. standing orders to be printed at the expense of the parties.

When printed, such bills must be delivered to the Vote
Office, for the use of members, three clear days at least
before the consideration of the bill, but not before the report
of the bill has been made to the house; and agents, when
they give notice at the Private Bill Office, of the day for
the consideration of the bill, must produce a certificate from
the Vote Office of the delivery of the amended printed bill

on the proper day.'
Bills with. In some cases, the alterations made by the committee
referred to

to have been so numerous and important, as almost to conexaminer stitute the bill a different measure from that originally port. brought before the house. In such cases, the house has

sometimes required the bill to be withdrawn, and another
bill presented, which has been referred to the Examiners.
Thus, on the 21st May, 1849, on the report of the Holme
Reservoirs Bill, notice being taken that almost the whole
of the bill as brought in had been omitted, and a new set
of clauses introduced, the bill was ordered to be withdrawn.”
But, unless the case be one of great irregularity, the later
and better practice has been to refer the bill, as amended,
“ to the Examiners, to inquire whether the amendments
involve any infraction of the standing orders." 3 If the

drawn or

after re

1 Order of the Clerk of the House, 30th March, 1844.

? 104 C. J. 320. 382.

3 As to the case of a provisional order bill referred as amended to the Examiners, see 156 C. J. 302. 307. 318; and infra, p. 894.

In the case of hybrid bills similar motions, to refer the bill as amended

in committee to the Examiners, have been made. In the case of the Smithfield Market Bill, 10th July, 1860, such a reference was refused (115 C. J. 370). In the case of the Metropolitan Cattle Market Bill, 1868, it was granted (123 ib. 223). In the case of the Toll Bridges (River Thames) Bill, 1876, the bill

XXVII.

Examiner reports that there is no infraction of the standing
orders, the bill proceeds without further interruption: but
if he reports that there has been such an infraction, his
report, together with the bill, will be referred to the stand-
ing orders committee who report whether the standing
order ought 1 or ought not to be dispensed with.
In some cases private bills, reported from a committee, Cases of

recommit-
have been recommitted ; and, unless the house has other- ment of a
wise directed, the recommitted bill has stood referred, in private
the ordinary way, to the committee of selection. Usually,
however, when any private bill is recommitted, it is
referred specifically “ to the former committee;” and no
member can then sit, unless he had been duly qualified to
serve upon the original committee on the bill.3 In some

underwent so many important alterations in committee as to be substantially a new bill, and its opponents urged that it ought to be withdrawn. But the second reading of the bill had been postponed, while a select committee was considering the whole subject matter of the bill; and when that committee had reported, the bill was read a second time and committed; and the report of the committee (together with other reports upon the same subject), was referred to the committee on the bill. These proceedings were regarded by the committee as in the nature of an instruction, and amendments had therefore been made, of a comprehensive character, founded upon previous inquiries and recommendations. Under these exceptional circumstances, the Speaker suggested that the house would pro. bably consider that the committee had not so far exceeded its powers as to require the withdrawal of the bill. But as private rights and interests were concerned in the bill, and in the amendments made by the committee, he recommended that it should be referred to the Examiners. This was accordingly

done; and though it appeared that in respect of some of the amendments the standing orders had not been complied with, the standing orders committee reported that they ought to be dispensed with ; and the bill was allowed to proceed through all its further stages (131 C. J. 354, &c.; 230 H. D. 3 s. 1679; Mr. Speaker Brand's Note-book ; and see supra, pp. 492, 499-500).

1 Dublin Central Tramways Bill, 1877, 132 C. J. 366. 378. 399; and Milford Docks Bill, 1874, 129 ib. 141. 142. 153 (in which case the bill was referred with an instruction to the Examiners to report whether a specified standing order had been complied with, in reference to clauses inserted in committee).

? Dublin Corporation Bill, 1896, (151 C. J. 406, 409, and see supra, p. 741). In this case the minutes of evidence before the former committee were referred to the committee on the recommitted bill.

3 Leave has been given in some such cases, for the committee to sit and proceed with two members (142 C. J. 166; 149 ib. 278), or with a quorum of two (111 ib. 256). On the Warrington, &c., Railway (recommitted) Bill, 1853, the

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