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Chapter closely pressed and obliged to answer all the questions
relating to his interviews with Mrs. Clarke, and his objects
On the 19th June, 1857, a petition was presented, com-
committed power to order persons into custody for disrespect, or other by the breaches of privilege committed in his presence, without the per previous order of the house. Mr. Speaker Onslow ordered a man into custody who pressed upon him in Westminster Hall; and a case is mentioned by D’Ewes in which a member seized upon an unruly page and brought him to the Speaker, by whom he was committed prisoner to the Serjeant. In 1675, Sir Edward Seymour, the Speaker, seized Mr. Serjeant Pemberton, and delivered him into the custody of a messenger : but in that case Pemberton had already been in custody, and had escaped from the Serjeant-at-arms.3
· 12 H. D. 461.
? 146 H, D. 3 s. 97. In 1857, the Congress of the United States passed a bill making it a misdemeanour to refuse to answer questions put in
either House of Legislature.
32 Hatsell, 241, n.; D'Ewes, 629; 90. J. 351, 353; see also 1 ib. 157. 210. 972.
Inquiry In all these classes of offences, both houses will commit, Chapter
deavoured to impose restraint upon frivolous complaints of
Before the year 1845, it had been customary for the
in later cases, strangers have not been ordered to withdraw. Commons. In the Commons, under resolutions, 31st January, 1694,
and 3rd January, 1701, no person should be taken into
custody, upon complaint of breach of privilege, before the
“ That the said order is not to extend to any breach of
It is no longer the practice to refer such matters to the
See also Commons' resolution to 103 C. J. 139 ; 112 ib. 369. This the same effect, 11th Feb. 1768, 31 term is understood to comprise all C. J. 602.
members who, at the time, would be 2 Lord Hawarden's case, 31 Jan. qualified to practise as counsel, ac1828 ; 18 H. D.2 s. 69. The umbrella cording to the rules and usage of the case, 26th March, 1827, 58 H. D. 35. profession, whether actually prac3 11 C, J. 219; 13 ib. 648.
tising or not.
Chapter 1905 the committee was nominated and consisted of seven
members. Power to It is the present practice, when a complaint is made, to Proceed
ings upon tendence,
order the person complained of to attend the house ; 2 and on com. see p. 6t. his appearance at the bar, or, if a member, in his place, he is P Attention examined and dealt with, according as the explanations of in custody, his conduct are satisfactory or otherwise; or as the contrition see p. 97. Refusal of expressed by him for his offence, conciliates the displeasure se tress of the house. If there be any special circumstances arising before committees to out of a complaint of a breach of privilege, it is usual to questions, appoint a select committee to inquire into them, and the see p. 15. house suspends its judgment until their report has been Privilege committees presented ; 8 and although any member may bring the matter
en so reported before the house, it is usual to leave this duty
has been made that the incriminated person might appear
159 C. J. 258; 135 Parl. Deb. 4 s. 1502; 160 C. J. 60.
? 112 C. J. 231; 113 ib. 189, &c.
3 Rochdale Election case, 19th June, 1857, 112 C. J. 232; 146 H. D. 3 s. 97, &c.; Tower High Level Bridge Bill, 1879, cases of Grissell and Ward, 134 C. J. 326; Cambrian Railway case, see p. 128.
+ 4th April, 1892, 3 Parl. Deb. 4 S. 598.
22nd March, 1771, 33 C. J. 279. 6 113 ib. 189; 150 H. D. 3 s. 1022. 1063. An article complained
of (Times, 2nd May, 1887) was, by the Speaker's direction, circulated with the notice paper, 3rd May, 1887, 314 H. D. 3 s. 758.
: On the 4th April, 1878, Mr. Parnell, having complained of three newspapers, brought up to the table certain extracts pasted upon paper, and upon the Clerk calling Mr. Speaker's attention to the irregularity, further proceedings were at once arrested, 239 H. D. 3 s. 532536.
trifling with the house, and that he should therefore take Chapter
privilege, without further action.*
subject; 5 and where an apology or retractation is expected,
members, should proceed to the orders of the day.o
been committed in another In 1879, C. E. Grissell,
5 Mr. Sullivan and Mr. Lopes, · 104 H. D. 3 s. 1056.
12th Feb. 1875; 222 H. D. 3 s. 269; 3 59 ib. 507 ; 82 Parl. Deb. 4 s. Mr. Yorke and Mr. H. Gladstone,
15th March, 1883; 277 ib. 568. * Mr. Ferrand's case, 99 C. J. 235. 6222 H, D. 3 s. 1185. 239; complaint (Times) report of 21 L. J. 189; 15 C. J. 376. 386; committee of privileges, 109 ib. 318; 17 ib. 293 ; 20 ib. 549; 22 ib. 210; 136 ib. 272; complaint (Times), 148 Mr. Murray's case, 26 ib. 303. ib. 66; complaint (Daily Mail), 156 & 134 ib. 366. 432. 435. ib. 355.
Chapter the house was presented, when he was ordered to be sent
for in the custody of the Serjeant. Being taken into
It also appears that a breach of privilege committed
In all the cases that have been noticed as breaches of Differences privilege, both houses have agreed in their adjudication : but punisiein several important particulars there is a difference in their m
comment flicted by modes of punishment. The Lords have claimed to be a the Lords
and by the court of record, and, as such, not only to imprison, but to Commons. impose fines. They also imprison for a fixed time, and order security to be given for good conduct; and their customary form of commitment is by attachment. The Commons, on the other hand, commit for no specified period, and during the last two centuries, have not imposed fines (see p. 93).
There can be no question that the House of Lords, in its judicial capacity, is a court of record: but, according to Lord Kenyon, “when exercising a legislative capacity, it is not a court of record.” 3 However this may be, instances Fines imtoo numerous to mention have occurred, in which the Lords the Lords. have sentenced parties to pay fines. Many have already been noticed in the present chapter, as well as cases in which they have ordered security to be given for good conduct, even during the whole life of the parties. 4
The Lords hare power to commit offenders to prison for Commita specified term, even beyond the duration of the session ; 5 specified and thus on the 13th August, 1850, being within two days the
ment for a
1 135 C. J. 70. 73. 77.
? 1 ib. 925; 2 ib. 63; 13 ib. 735; see also Mr. Selden's statement, 1 Hatsell, 184.
3 Flower's case, 1779; 8 Durnf. & East, 314.
* Resolution, 3rd April, 1624, 3 L. J. 276; 11 ib. 554; 12 ib. 174; 14 ib. 144; 30 ib. 493 (Report of Precedents) ; 42 ib. 181; 43 ib. 60. 105 ; 39 ib. 331.
5 43 L. J. 105.