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Chapter
XVIII.

Such being the direct and formal communications between Responthe Crown and Parliament, it may be added that the presence su

sible minisof ministers, in both houses, maintains the closest relations both of the Crown with the legislature. The representation of every department of the state by members of Parliament, and the principles of ministerial responsibility, long since established in our constitution, bring the executive govern. ment and the legislature into uninterrupted intercourse and combined action. Where no formal communication between the Crown and Parliament is technically required, the introduction of a measure by his Majesty's ministers, attests the royal approval; and when amendments are made, by either house, which ministers accept instead of abandoning the measure, or resigning office, they are under an obligation to advise the King to signify his royal assent to the bill, when it has been agreed to by both houses. Again, when the measures or policy of ministers are condemned by Parliament, a change of administration restores agreement between the executive and the legislature. Ministers are responsible alike to the Crown and to Parliament, and so long as they are able to retain the con. fidence of both, the harmonious action of the several estates of the realm is secured.1

rs in

houses.

1 For further illustrations of the constitutional relations of ministers with Parliament, see 4 Macaulay, Hist. 430, et seq.; May, Const. Hist. chap. 7; 2 Todd, Parl. Government, (new edition, 1892) 25, et seq.; Bage

hot on the English Constitution;
Mr. Gladstone's "Kin Beyond the
Sea,” in North American Review,
Sept. 1878; Gleanings of Past Years,
vol. i.

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nature of a bill.

PROCEEDINGS OF PARLIAMENT IN PASSING PUBLIC BILLS. Table of

Contents,

see Intro General IF bills were not a more convenient form of legislation, duction

of both houses might enact laws in the form of resolutions, Ancient provided the royal assent were afterwards given. In the mode of

earlier periods of the constitution of Parliament, all bills
enacting
laws.

were, in fact, prepared and agreed to in the form of peti-
tions from the Commons, which were entered on the Rolls
of Parliament, with the king's answer subjoined ; and at
the end of each Parliament the judges drew up these im.
perfect records into the form of a statute, which was
entered on the Statute Rolls. This practice was incom-
patible with the full concurrence of the legislature; and
matters were often found in the Statute Rolls which the
Parliament had not petitioned for, or assented to. Indeed,
so far was this principle of independent legislation occa-
sionally carried, that, in the 13th and 21st Richard II.,
commissions were appointed for the express purpose of
completing the legislative measures, which had not been
determined during the sitting of Parliament. These usur-
pations of legislative power were met with remonstrances in
particular instances, and at length in the 2nd Henry V.,
the Commons prayed that no additions or diminutions should
in future be made, nor alteration of terms which should
change the true intent of their petitions, without their
assent; for they stated that they had ever been “as well
assenters as petitioners.” The king, in reply, granted
“that henceforth nothing should be enacted to the petitions
of the Commons contrary to their asking, whereby they

i Rot Parl. passim.

? 3 ib. 256 (13th Richard II.); ib. 368 (21st Richard II.); stat. 21st Richard II. c. 16.

3 3 Rot. Parl. 102 (5th Richard II. No. 23); 3 ib. 141 (6th Richard II.

No. 30); 3 ib. 418 (1st Henry IV.);
Hale, Hist, of the Common Law,
14; Reeves, Hist. of the English
Law; Pref. to Cotton's Abridgment;
Ruffhead's Statutes, Preface.

Chapter should be bound without their assent; saving always to
XIX.

our liege lord his real prerogative to grant and deny
what him lust, of their petitions and askings aforesaid.” 1
No distinct consequences appear to have immediately
followed this remarkable petition; and, so long as laws
were enacted in the form of petitions, to any portion of
which the king might give or withhold his assent, and
attach conditions or qualifications of his own, the assent
of the entire Parliament was rather constructive than
literal; and the Statute Rolls, however impartially drawn
up, were imperfect records of the legislative determina-
tions of Parliament.

But petitions from the Commons, which were originally Origin of
the foundation of all laws, were ultimately superseded; and system.
in the reign of Henry VI. bills began to be introduced, in
either house, in the form of complete statutes, which were
passed in a manner approaching that of modern times, and
received the distinct assent of the king, in the form in which
they had been agreed to by both houses of Parliament. It
is true that Henry VI. and Edward IV. occasionally added
new provisions to statutes, without consulting Parliament; 2
but the constitutional form of legislating by bill and
statute, agreed to in Parliament, undoubtedly had its origin
and its sanction in the reign of Henry VI.
Before the present method of passing bills in Parliament Similarity

se of practices is entered upon, it may be premised that the practice of in the Lords and Commons is so similar in regard to the several houses. stages of bills, and the proceedings connected with them, that, except where variations are distinctly pointed out, a statement of the proceedings of one house is equally de

scriptive of the proceedings of the other. For the

As a general rule, bills may originate in either house : Where practice re- but the exclusive right of the House of Commons to grant originate.

bills garding the Lords, supplies, and to impose and appropriate all charges upon and charges upon the the people, renders it necessary to introduce by far the people, see

te greater proportion of bills into that house.

both

p. 574.

1 4 Rot. Parl, 22, No. 10.
? Ruffhead's Statutes, Preface;

Cotton's Abridgment, Preface.

bills.

A bill which concerns the privileges or proceedings of Chapter either house, should, in courtesy, commence in that house to which it relates. But bills affecting privileges of the other house have, nevertheless, been admitted without objection. Amendments, however, concerning the privileges and jurisdiction of the Lords, have given rise to

discussions in both houses. S
Restitution The Lords claim that bills for the restitution of honours

and in blood should commence with them; and such bills
are presented to that house by his Majesty's command.4
The customary practice adopted by the House of Commons
in dealing with a restitution bill, is, on the receipt of the
bill from the Lords, to read the bill a first and second time,
and to commit the bill to a select committee, nominated
forth with, without previous notice of the names of the com-
mittee, the King's consent having been signified before
the first reading. On the report of the bill from the select

committee, the bill is appointed for third reading upon a Attainder future day. Bills of attainder, and of pains and penalties,

generally originate in the House of Lords, being of a
judicial character.

bills,

13 Hatsell, 69; 2 Stephen's Blackstone, 372.

2 Votes by Proxy Abolition Bill 1832; 11 H. D. 3 s. 1156; Election of Scotch Representative Peers Bill, 1869, 194 ib. 988; Members' Seats Vacating Bill (Lords), 8th June, 1832, 64 L. J. 286. Lord Radnor thought the other house "might take a technical objection to the measure, on the ground that it was one which ought not to have arisen in the House of Lords.” Lord Northampton did not think “the subject was one with which their lordships had a right to interfere," 13 H. D. 3 s. 611. 1086. Bishops in Parliament Bills, 1834, 1836, and 1837. The Irish bishops were excluded from their seats in the House of Lords, in 1869, by a bill brought from the Commons. Lords' Spiritual Bill, 1870, 125 C. J. 269.

: See debate in the Lords on the Court of Chancery Improvement Bill (then in the Commons), 23rd June, 1851, 117 H. D. 3 s. 1069; and debates in Lords and Commons in 1873 on amendments proposed to be made in the Commons to the Judicature Bill, by which appeals from the courts of Scotland and Ireland were to be withdrawn from the House of Lords, 217 ib. 10. 154.

4 Maxwell's Restitution Bill, 1848; Drummond's Restitution Bill, 1853; Lord Lovat's Restitution Bill, 1854; Carnegie's Restitution Bill, 1855.

5 Drummond's Restitution Bill. The signification of the Queen's consent being omitted, the proceed ings were declared null and void, 108 C. J. 576. 578.

6 Earl of Mar's Restitution Bill, 1885, 140 ib. 374. 381.

ce or

Chapter A bill for a general pardon, or act of grace, as it is com- Act of XIX. monly termed, originates with the Crown, and is read once

10° general only in each house, all the members being uncovered, after pardon. which it receives the royal assent in the ordinary form. Such a bill cannot be amended by either house of Parliament, but must be accepted in the form in which it is received from the Crown, or rejected. An act of indemnity, protecting persons against the consequences of any breach

of the law, is proceeded with as an ordinary bill, though, Bills being usually an urgent matter, the bill is passed through passed with erpedition all its stages at one sitting.” seesp. 516. Bills are divided into the two classes, of public and private Public and

bills. The former, relating to matters of public policy, are bills. introduced directly by members of the house, while the

latter are founded upon the petitions of parties interested. Procedure The greater part of these proceedings apply equally to both bills, see p.

P. classes of bills : but the progress of private bills is governed 672.

by so many peculiar regulations and standing orders, in
both houses, that an entire separation of the two classes
can alone make the progress of either intelligible.
In the House of Lords, any peer is at liberty to present Public bills

a presented a bill, and to have it laid upon the table, without notice. In the In the Commons, a member may either present a bill 4 or Lord

Presented move for leave to bring in a bill, but in either case due or ordered Motions notice must have been given. In making a motion for for leave

· leave to bring in a bill, he may explain the object of the nmence bill, and give reasons for its introduction ; but unless the ment of public motion be opposed, this is not the proper time for any business, see p. 257.

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in the

Commons.

1 14 L. J. 502.503 (1690) ; 25 C. J. Plunket), 1880; 254 H. D. 3 s. 646. 406 (1747); 4 Burnet's Own Time, 33 H. D. 24; 13 H. D. 3 s. 1188. 121 ; 3 Macaulay's Hist. 575.

By standing order, the name of the * Earl of Winchilsea's Indemnity lord presenting a bill is printed in Bill, 5th June, 1820, 75 C. J. 275. the minutes. 276; Lord Harborough’s Indemnity Notices of the presentation of Bill, 21st Aug. 1820, 75 ib. 478; bills without an order of the house Earl of Scarborough's Indemnity for their introduction are set down Bill, 6th Sept. 1841; Forsyth's In- on the notice paper at the comdemnity Bill, 1866; Lord Byron's mencement of public business, im. Indemnity Bill, 1880, 135 ib. 306; mediately before the notices of 254 H. D. 3 s. 646; 96 C. J. 542; motions that may be taken at that 121 ib. 239; 135 ib. 371 (Lord time.

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