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Chapter that the office of postmaster-general should not be deemed
a new office, disqualifying the holder from being elected, or
1 For similar provisions in later S. 8 (1) (president of the board of statutes see 34 & 35 Vict. c. 70, s. 4 education). See also amendment (president of the local government of 7 Geo. IV. c. 32 (president of board); 48 & 49 Vict. c. 61, s. 3 board of trade) by 51 & 52 Vict. c. (secretary for Scotland); 52 & 53 57. Vict. c. 30, s. 8 (president of board ? 2 Hatsell, 63, n. of agriculture); 62 & 63 Vict. c. 33, 3 174 H. D. 3 8. 1218. 1231, &c.
five secretaries or under-secretaries are returned at a general Chapter
number may be limited by statute.
apply to the acceptance of other offices of state, by gentle-
treasurer being executed by commissioners, it was customary
examples may be mentioned that of Sir R. Walpole in 1716,
See offices without salary, p. 650.
12 Hatsell, 47.
2 2 Lord Colchester's Diary, 214. 215. Lord Eldon wrote, 25th Dec. 1809, “I think Mr. P.'s seat is not void by any acceptance of any office
of profit since his election. The Act has not said that if the king gives an increase of profit to a person already holding an office of profit, his seat shall be void, but only that if any
Chapter lord of the treasury, further assumed the office of chancellor
of the exchequer. Controversy ensued as to the legal con-
By the 6 Anne, c. 41, s. 27, the receipt of a new or other New army
commands. June, 1733, General Wade having accepted the office of governor of the three military forts in Scotland, it was resolved that the acceptance of such an office by a member, being an officer in the army, did not vacate his seat. The acceptance of a commission in the militia does not vacate the seat of a member.? It has always been held that the Ambasoffice of ambassador, or other foreign minister, does not disqualify, nor its acceptance vacate the seat of a member: but the acceptance of the office of consul or consul-general has been deemed to vacate a seat, though the member was
person accepts an office of profit his seat shall be void."
“I think with you," wrote the Speaker, " that under the statute of Anne, there must be the concurrence of office and profit conjointly in the new grant, which is to vacate the seat; to reaccept the same office under a new commission has never, in practice, been held to vacate a seat; and the acceptance of a new annexation of profit to an office already in possession, has been considered equally free from the same consequences," 2 Walpole, Life of Spencer Perceval, 51–54.
Lord Selborne's Memorials (Part 2), i. 326.
? “The receipt of any new com-
22nd June, 1742, 24 C. J. 284.
6 22 ib. 201.
considered to be re-eligible. By 22 & 23 Vict. c. 5, it was Chapter declared that persons holding diplomatic pensions were not
disqualified from being elected or sitting and voting in the
In January, 1821, Mr. Bathurst held temporarily the
presidentship of the board of control, without its emolu-
place before the determination of his claim : but it was re-
1 2 Hatsell, 22. 54; 106 C. J. 12 (Dungarvan writ).
2 3 & 4 Vict. c. 108, s. 66; 45 & 46 Vict. c. 50, s. 163. New writs issued on acceptance of office, 125 C. J. 412; 148 ib. 392. 615: 150 ib. 3.
3 3 Lord Sidmouth's Life, 339. * 15th and 28th April, 1887, 313 H. D. 3 s. 888. 1003 ; see also n. 1 p. 648. In 1881 and 1906 new writs were issued in the cases of Mr. Herbert Gladstone and Mr. Fuller, who had accepted lordships of the treasury, without salary. A new writ was not issued in the case of a member, who having accepted a
lordship of the treasury without salary before his election, was subsequently made a lord of the treasury with salary, 152 Parl. Deb. 4 s. 97. See also the answer to a question, 21st January, 1897, as to a member of the house acting as a commissioner of assize and also the personal explanation of the member himself, 45 ib. 196, 200.
5 21 C. J. 135; 2 Hatsell, 73. It seems also that a person returned for one place may petition for another, Rogers on Elections, part ii. (17th ed. revised 1900), p. 178.
Chapter to be to allow him to make his election for which place he
would serve, in the same manner as if he had been returned Members
for both places at a general election." returned for two Whenever any question is raised, affecting the seat of a Questions places, see
affecting p. 652. member, and involving matters of doubt, either in law or the seat of
fact, it is customary to refer it to the consideration of a members. committee.
Before the year 1770, controverted elections were tried Trial of and determined by the whole House of Commons, as mere verted party questions, upon which the strength of contending election. factions might be tested. S
In order to prevent so notorious a perversion of justice, Constituthe house consented to submit the exercise of its privilege comme to a tribunal constituted by law, which, though composed under the of its own members, should be appointed so as to secure Act. impartiality, and the administration of justice according to the laws of the land, and under the sanction of oaths. The principle of the Grenville Act, and of others which were passed at different times since 1770, was the selection by lot of committees for the trial of election petitions. Partiality and incompetence were, however, generally complained of in the constitution of committees appointed in this manner; and in 1839, an Act was passed establishing a new system, upon different principles, increasing the responsibility of individual members, and leaving but little to the operation of chance.
This principle was maintained, with partial alterations of Present the means by which it was carried out, until 1868, when *** the jurisdiction of the house, in the trial of controverted
This point was considered in 1849, when such a case seemed likely to occur; but there have been no precedents.
2 Case of Mr. Wynn (Stewardship of Denbigh), 94 C. J. 58; of Mr. Whittle Harvey, registered hackney carriages, ib. 29 ; of Mr. Hawes (see p. 170); of Baron Rothschild, as a government contractor (see p. 32); of Sir B. O'Loghlen (see p. 641); of succession to a peerage (Earldom of Sel.
borne) (see p. 633, n.); of the holding of a single election in a case of two writs being issued (see p. 638); and of the grant of the Chiltern Hundreds to a member who has succeeded to a peerage (see p. 634, n.).
3 E.g. Sir Robert Walpole's resignation (1741) in consequence of an adverse vote upon the Chippenham Election petition ; see also 1 Cavendish, Deb. 476. 505; 1 May, Const. Hist. (7th ed.), 362.