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Speaker, who declares the numbers, and states the determi- chapter
lers' nation of the house. If two tellers differ as to the numbers
talce'- on the side told by them, or if a mistake regarding the Clerical
J • o o error in
numbers be discovered, unless the tellers agree thereon, a division
(ists S6C D
second division must take place,1 when the numbers will be s69.'
Members occasionally remain in a division lobby uncounted by the tellers, and their votes are, by mutual agreement, included in the tellers' statement to the clerk at the table. If the tellers are not made aware that a member has remained uncounted in a division lobby, he can obtain the addition of his vote to the numbers in the division, according to the lobby through which he has passed, if, making an appeal to the chair, he can establish his right to vote, and raises the claim before the declaration of the numbers from the chair 4 (see p. 368). nbers in If a member, who, having heard the question put, goes Contrary
wrong practice in
1 The tumult in committee, 10th voice and vote in the last and valid"
May, 1675 (see p. 887), arose from a division. In committee on Parlia- sge ^£
difference among the tellers. On mentary and Municipal Elections
the 27th February, 1771, a stranger Bill, 13th April, 1872, 127 ib. 140.
having been told among the " noes," Also Roman Catholic Relief Bill, 8th
a second division took place, 2 Cav. Dec. 1847, 103 ib. 102; lGth June,
Debates, 332, 335. On the 30th 1860 (in committee), 115 ib. 332.
taken on the Expedition to the May, 1860,115 ib. 216; 13th March,
Scheldt, 65 C. J. 235; and again 1863, 118 ib. Ill; 13th March, 1882,
on the 26th June, 1860, in com- 137 ib. 98; 141 ib. 57. 103; 142 ib.
mittee on the Tenure and Improve- 506; 148 ib. 496; 151 ib. 187; 152
ment of Land (Ireland) Bill, 115 ib. 221; 154 ib. 146. 349; 156 ib.
ib. 332. In this case a question 240.
was raised privately, whether a 3 123 ib. 16; 128 ib. 223.
ayes in the first division, could after- the tellers in the lobby through
wards vote with the noes: but it was which the member has passed must
held that, as the first division had agree that he should be counted, 98
become null and void, the house ib. 1189.
could only deal with the member's
Chapter into the wrong lobby, through inadvertence,1 it is the rule 1111 in the Commons, in opposition to the practice of the Lords (see p. 359), to hold the member bound by the vote he has actually given, without regard to his voice on the question, or his own declared intention. On the 9th April, 1856, "one of the tellers for the noes stated that Mr. Wykeham Martin was with the noes, in the left lobby, but had refused to vote with them "—the fact being that he had gone into that lobby by mistake. As he had heard the question put, he was informed that, having gone forth into the left lobby, his vote must be recorded with the noes.2 Again, on the 21st June, 1864, Sir C. O'Loghlen, in committee on the Court of Chancery (Ireland) Bill, went into the wrong lobby, and carried, by his vote, the question that the chairman do leave the chair. He stated his case to the Speaker, when the house was resumed, but was told that, having heard the question put, there was no remedy for his error.8
As has been mentioned (see p. 288), the objection that a Time and member's vote in a division was contrary to the way in dealing which he had given his voice in the house must be taken J1^erro" before the declaration of the numbers of the division from ^vision, the chair4; and this rule is enforced regarding a demand to record his vote made by a member who, having heard the question put, may have remained in a division lobby, and who had not been counted by the tellers5 (see p. 362). Objection to The objection that a member whose vote had been taken
vote on the
ground of 'Members who find themselves in 5 245 H. D. 3 s. 919; 11th March,
perianal the wrong lobby may claim to have 1885, 140 0. J. 93; 19 Pari. Deb.
interest, the doors unlocked, in order that 4 s. 409. On the 7th May, 1895, two
see p. 373. ^ acrosg jnto the other members complained immediately
lobby, if the claim be made before after the declaration of the numbers
the. tellers begin to tell, 31st May, in a division from the chair that the
1889, 144 C. J. 225; 336 H. D. 3 s. tellers had left the door of the "aye"
1592. lobby before they had reached it.
1 111 C. J. 129. The chairman directed the tellers of
3 176 H. D. 8 s. 31. For similar that lobby to come to the table, and
cases, see 111 C. J. 129; 115 ib. 2291 having heard their explanation
119 ib. 359; 121 ib. 187; 137 ib- directed the clerk to alter the
172; 164 H. D. 8 s. 210; 142 ib- numbers by adding the names of
1814. the two members to the ayes, and
* See also 18th June, 1906, 158 then again declared the numbers as
Pari. Deb. 4 s. 1050-2. so corrected, 33 ib. 658.
in a division was not within the folding-doors of the house chapter
An error in the report of the numbers taken at a division
Precedents. The principle which guides a Speaker in giving his casting vote was thus explained by Mr. Speaker Addington. On the third reading of the Succession Duty on Real Estates Bill, there having been a majority against "now" reading tbe bill a third time, and also against reading it that day three months, there was an equality of votes on a
chapter third question, that the hill be read a third time to-morrow,
XIII • ■
L_ when the Speaker gave his casting vote with the ayes, saying "that upon all occasions when the question was for or against giving to any measure a further opportunity of discussion, he should always vote for the further discussion, more especially when it had advanced so far as a third reading; and that when the question turned upon the measure itself—for instance, that a bill do or do not pass— he should then vote for or against it, according to his best judgment of its merits, assigning the reasons on which such judgment would be founded."1
On the 24th February, 1797, Mr. Speaker Addington gave his casting vote in favour of going into committee on the Quakers Bill, assigning as his reason that he had prescribed to himself an invariable rule of voting for the further discussion of any measure which the house had previously sanctioned, as in this instance it had, by having voted for the second reading: but that upon any question which was to be governed by its merits, as, for instance, "That this bill do pass," he should always give his vote according to his judgment, and state the grounds of it.a
The course adopted by successive Speakers, in giving Casting their casting vote, can be traced in the following examples, muting a first, of the casting vote given so as to afford the house an ^further opportunity for a further decision: and secondly, of thedecision of
casting vote which decided the matter before the house, given upon the judgment which the Speaker formed upon the occasion which required his vote. Pnsent (1) In the proceedings taken against Lord Melville, 8th ^previous April, 1805, which resulted in his impeachment, the «« numbers were equal upon the previous question (moved in the form, " That the question be now put")—that question being the motion on which Lord Melville's impeachment was based—Mr. Speaker Abbot gave his casting vote in favour of the previous question, on the ground that "the
original question was now fit to be submitted to the chapter
judgment of the house."1 .
(2) On the 10th May, 1860, the numbers being equal upon an amendment to a bill, on report, the Speaker stated that as the house was unable to form a judgment upon the propriety of the proposed amendment, he should best perform his duty by leaving the bill in the form in which the committee had reported it to the house.2 A similar course has generally been taken on stages in the progress of bills —often witbout stating any reasons.3
(8) On the third reading of the Tests Abolition (Oxford) Bill, 1st July, 1864, an adverse amendment having been negatived by a majority of ten, a debate was raised upon the main question that the bill be now read a third time, during which many members came into the house; and upon the division the numbers were equal. Under these circumstances, the Speaker said he should afford the house another opportunity of deciding upon the merits of the bill, by declaring himself with the ayes, and the question that the bill do pass was negatived by a majority of two.4
(4) On the 3rd April, 1905, the numbers being equal upon an instruction to the committee on the London County Council (Tramways) Bill to omit certain tramways, the Speaker stated that in order that the matter might be considered by the committee and that the house might have a further opportunity of coming to a more decisive conclusion, he gave his voice with the noes.6 Casting (1) On a question for the appointment of a committee to TMh"h inquire into delays in the Court of Chancery, 5th June, 1811, matter * ^e Speaker voted with the ayes, it being upon a question before the "whether or not this house shall exercise its own power of inquiry into the causes of existing grievances." 8 (2) On the 26th May, 1826, the Speaker, the numbers being
1 60 C. J. 201; 1 Lord Colchester's 536; 96 ib. 344; 98 ib. 163; 102 ib.
2 115 C. J. 235. * 119 ib. 888.
May, 1828, 83 ib. 292; 28rd June, « 66 ib. 395; 2 Lord Colchester's