페이지 이미지
PDF
ePub

III.

Chapter closely pressed and obliged to answer all the questions

relating to his interviews with Mrs. Clarke, and his objects
in giving her advice as to her evidence. He appealed to
the chairman, whether he was bound to answer questions
to prove himself guilty of a breach of privilege. No actual
decision was given upon this appeal: but throughout his
examination, questions of that character had been addressed
to him."

On the 19th June, 1857, a petition was presented, com-
plaining that Peter Johnson had offered the sum of 501. to
Rothwell, a witness, who had been served with the Speaker's
warrant to attend before the Rochdale election committee,
to induce him to go abroad for the purpose of avoiding
giving evidence before the committee. Newall, the
petitioner, and Rothwell, being ordered to attend the house
forth with, were examined; and a select committee was
appointed to continue the inquiry, which resulted, however,
in no definite conclusion. Out of this case there arose, inci-
dentally, a question how far a person accused of a breach of
privilege is bound to answer questions tending to criminate
himself, on which considerable differences of opinion were
entertained.
When the Speaker is accompanied by the mace, he has Persons

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

ter.

· 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.

III.

Inquiry In all these classes of offences, both houses will commit, Chapter
into alleged or otherwise punish, in the manner described : but not with-
privilege. out due inquiry into the alleged offence.
Lords. The Lords, by standing orders Nos. 82 & 83, have en-

deavoured to impose restraint upon frivolous complaints of
breach of privilege.

Before the year 1845, it had been customary for the
House of Lords, when inquiring into an alleged breach of
privilege, to conduct the inquiry with closed door : 2 but,

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
Committee matter be first examined by the committee of privileges,
of privi-
leges. and reported to the house, though it was also declared,

“ That the said order is not to extend to any breach of
privilege upon the person of any member of this house." 3

It is no longer the practice to refer such matters to the
committee of privileges, although that committee is still
nominally appointed. Its appointment, at the commence-
ment of each session, was discontinued in 1833, together
with that of the ancient grand committees : but has since
been revived, pro formâ. It has not been customary, how-
ever, to nominate the committee : but in 1847, a complaint
having been made of the interference of a peer in the West
Gloucester election, the order for the appointment of the
committee of privileges was read, and the committee was
nominated, consisting of nine members, and of all knights
of the shire, gentlemen of the long robe, and merchants in
the house. In 1857, a committee, constituted in a similar
manner, was appointed to consider the oaths of members,
and consisted of twenty-five members, nominated by the
house, and all gentlemen of the long robe. In 1904 and

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.

III.

order at

ts.

anster

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
forthrith,
sec p. 246. to the charge of the chairman of the comunittee. An order

has been made that the incriminated person might appear
by counsel before the committee, on the consideration of
evidence given against him “upon all such points as do not
controvert the privileges of the house." 6
When a complaint is made of a newspaper, the newspaper Complaints

of news-
itself must be produced, in order that the paragraphs papers.
complained of may be read. And a member complaining
of the report of his speech in a newspaper, has been stopped
by the Speaker, when it appeared that he had no copy of
the newspaper on which to found his complaint.? Complaint
being made on the 23rd February, 1880, of a series of
articles in several newspapers, the Speaker said that if he
called upon the Clerk to read all those articles he should be

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
leave to depart from the ordinary course. The member
who makes the complaint must also be prepared with the
names of the printer or publisher ; ? and it is irregular to
make such a complaint, unless the member intends to
follow it up with a motion. But such a motion has been
confined to declaring the article, or letter, to be a breach of

privilege, without further action.*
Words ... Proceedings against a member have been occasionally
uttered by
a member. commenced by a question addressed to him upon the

subject; 5 and where an apology or retractation is expected,
a more formal proceeding may thus be averted. But
generally the most convenient course is to make the com-
plaint, and to found a motion upon it. The matter may
then be regularly discussed by the house. On the 4th
March, 1875, Dr. Kenealy having addressed a question to
Mr. Evelyn Ashley, and received an answer, proceeded to
give notice to bring the matter forward on the following
day. But Mr. Lowe rose to discuss it at once, in moving an
adjournment. Upon that question a debate ensued, and,
on the withdrawal of the motion, a resolution was agreed to,
that the house, having heard the explanations of the two

members, should proceed to the orders of the day.o
Offences in Either house will punish in one session offences that have
former

been committed in another In 1879, C. E. Grissell,
having neglected to attend the house to answer for a
breach of privilege (see p. 421), was ordered into the
custody of the Serjeant, but evaded the execution of the
Speaker's warrant, by going abroad, until two days before
the close of the session, when he was committed to Newgate.
On the 2nd March, 1880, a petition submitting himself to
I 135 C. J. 57.

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.

session.

1070.

III.

1 the

ment in

Chapter the house was presented, when he was ordered to be sent

for in the custody of the Serjeant. Being taken into
custody, he was ordered to stand committed to the Serjeant,
and to be brought in custody to the bar on the following
day; when, having failed to satisfy the house by his
apologies, it was ordered that “having evaded punishment
for his offences, until the close of the last session, he be
committed to the gaol of Newgate."1

It also appears that a breach of privilege committed
against one Parliament may be punished by another; and
libel against former Parliaments have been punished.2

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

Lords

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.

« 이전계속 »