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(if any), soliciting a bill, are entered in the "private bill chapter

register," in the Private Bill Office, which is open to public

inspection.

Members Besides these regulations, there are certain disqualifica

and officers

of the tions for parliamentary agency. Members may not be qualified as agents; and, in compliance with a recommendation of a agenn. select committee of the House of Commons of 1835, no officer or clerk belonging to the establishment is allowed to transact private business before the house, for his emolument or advantage, either directly or indirectly.1

1 Parly. Bop. No. 648 of 1833, p. II. 878-9; and Beport, etc., (No.

9; No. 606, of 1835, pp. 17. 19. 360) of Joint Committee of 1876 on

Cf. also 85 C. J. 107; Clifford's Parliamentary Agency.
History of Private Bill Legislation

Chapter CHAPTER XXVII.

xxvrx

Table of

COURSE OF PROCEEDINGS UPON PRIVATE BILLS IS THE HOUSE

Contents, 0F COMMONS: WITH THE RULES, ORDERS, AND PRACTICE

see Intro-
duction. APPLICABLE TO EACH STAGE OF SUCH BILLS IN SUCCES-
SION, AND TO PARTICULAR CLASSES OF BILLS.

The proceedings in the House of Commons upon a private Progress of
bill will now be followed, step by step from its first intro- bills in the
duction into that house, precisely in the order in which Coramons-
particular rules are to be observed by the parties or
enforced by the house or its officers: but this statement of
the various forms of procedure may be introduced by a few
observations explanatory of the general conduct of private
business in the House of Commons.

It has been stated elsewhere, that the public business General
for each day is set down in the order book, either as notices private' °f
of motions or orders of the day: but the notices in relation busmess-
to private bills are not given by a member, nor entered in
the order book except in the case of any special proceed-
ings, but are required to be delivered at the Private Bill Notices of

_ motions,

Office, at specified times, by the agents soliciting the bills, etc. (pri-
These notices will each be described in their proper places: vate bl ^'
but one rule applies to all of them alike—they must be s. o. 247.
delivered before Bix o'clock in the evening of any day on
which the house shall sit; and between eleven and one on
any day on which the house shall not sit; and after any day
on which the house has adjourned beyond the following day,
no notice may be given for the first day on which it shall
sit again. If any stage of a bill he proceeded with when if »<>t duly
the notice has not been duly given, or the proper interval ceedings
allowed, or if notice be taken of any other informality, such TOld"
proceeding will be null and void, and the stage must be
repeated.1

1 100 C. J. 423; 101 ib. 167; 106 ib. 75; 107 ib. 157; 122 ib. 66; 133
ib. 61; 139 ib. 57, Ac.

Notices All notices are open to inspection in the Private Bill chapter the'votes? Office: but for the sake of greater publicity and convenience, XXYn they are also printed with the votes; and members and parties interested are thus as •well acquainted with the private business set down for each sitting, as with the public notices and orders of the day. What to be The time at which matters relating to private bills are private considered by the house has already been stated in the business. chapter describing the general transaction of business.1 To entitle a motion to be heard at the time of private business, it must relate to a private bill before the house, or strictly to private business in some other form. Motions for the amendment of the standing orders relative to private business, and matters indirectly connected with the private business of the house, are also taken into consideration at the time of private business.2 Conduct of The forms and proceedings in the offices of the house, members, connected with the progress of a bill, are managed by the agent (or by a solicitor who has entered his name as agent) for the bill, and by the officers of the house: but, in the house itself, orders upon a private bill are obtained by a motion made by a member and a question proposed and put, in the usual manner, from the chair; and, except when opposed (see pp. 235. 730. 835), motions relating to private bills are subject to the general rules of the house regarding motions (see p. 277). "Private Every vote of the house upon a private bill is entered in Registers." the votes and journals; and, in the Private Bill Office, s. 0. 227. Begisters are also kept, which are open tD public inspection

1 Supra, pp. 283-4. relate directly to the subject-matter

- 109 C. J. 396, &c.; and cf. infra, of private bills arid not to the genc

pp. 720-7. On the 30th April, 1895, ral conduct of the companies who

a proposed amendment to one of the promote the bills (33 Pari. Deb.

standing orders relative to private 4 s. 116-118). Similarly, a proposed

business was not permitted to be general instruction to all commit

moved at the time of private busi- tees on Railway Bills has not been

ness, on the ground that it dealt permitted to be moved at the time

simply with general questions re- of private business, on the ground

lating to the conduct of railway that the proposed motion raised a

companies, Mr. Speaker stating question of general policy (Mr.

that amendments to these standing Speaker's private ruling 26th March,

orders, if taken at this time, must 1895).

Chapter daily, and in which all the proceedings, from the petition to

XXYI1, the passing of the bill, are recorded. The entries in these

Registers specify briefly each day's proceedings before the

Examiners, or in the house, or in any committee to which

the bill may be referred. As every proceeding is entered

under the name of the particular bill to which it refers, it

can be immediately referred to, and the exact state of the

bill discovered at a glance.

After these explanations, the proceedings in the house Proceedings on

may be described, without interruption, precisely in the private order in which they usually occur. bl"s*

Formerly—up to and including the year 1908 1—the petition for a private bill had not only to be deposited, as at present, in the Private Bill Office, but had also to be presented to the house by a member within a specified time after its endorsement by the Examiner. If the standing orders had been complied with, the bill was at once ordered to be brought in, and it was presented, not later than one clear day after the presentation of the petition, by being deposited in the Private Bill Office. If the standing orders had not been complied with, both the petition for the bill and the Examiner's report were referred to the Standing Orders Committee; and, if that committee reported that the standing orders should be dispensed with, the bill itself was similarly ordered to be brought in, and was similarly presented, not later than one clear day after the house (by agreeing to the committee's resolution) had given parties leave to proceed with the bill.

Now, however, in those cases where the Examiner has Private bill endorsed the petition for a bill " standing orders complied ^ *" "jgg" with," the bill itself is presented by being laid on the table of the house,2 not later than one clear day after such endorsement; or if, when so endorsed, the house should not be sitting, then not later than one clear day after the first

1 The alterations of the standing is not now made, the term order of orders regulating the presentation leave is still familiarly used to of private bills were made on the denote the purposes — comprised 80th July, 1908, 158 C. J. 369. within the notices and petition for

2 Although the order " That leave the hill—for which any such bill be given to bring in" a private bill provides.

subsequent sitting; and in ease the bouse should not sit on
the latest day allowed for laying the bill on the table, it is
to be so laid on the first day on which the house shall
again sit.

Where the Examiner has reported that the standing orders have not been complied with, his report is referred to the Select Committee on Standing Orders; and when this committee have reported that the standing orders ought to be dispensed with, the bill is presented by being laid on the table of the house not later than one clear day after the house, acting on the report of the Standing Orders Committee, has given leave to the parties to proceed with the s. 0.195. bill. On the day previous to the day fixed for their being laid upon the table of the house, all private bills must be deposited in the Private Bill Office; and they are laid on the table of the house by one of the clerks of that office.

standing The Committee on Standing Orders1 is a sessional corn-
orders

committee, mittee, appointed by standing order No. 91 which pro-
s' o. 91. vides that it shall consist of eleven members, who are to
be nominated at the commencement of every session, and
of whom five shall be a quorum. In practice, the number
of the committee is increased to thirteen members, under
an order annually made by the house when the committee
is nominated.3 And the quorum of the committee is as a
rule reduced, late in a session, from five to three.8
Examiners' To this committee are referred all the reports of the

reports _ _ *

referred to examiners of petitions for private bills in which they
s 0 93 report that the standing orders have not been complied
92, 99. with, whether the bills originate in the Lords or in the
Commons. And the committee have to determine and to
report to the house, in each case, whether such standing
orders ought or ought not to be dispensed with, and
whether, in their opinion, the parties should be permitted
to proceed with their bill, or any portion of it, and under
what (if any) conditions.
All special reports made by the Examiner are also

1 As to the Standing Orders Com- * 159 C. J. 26; &e.
mittee in the .House of Lords, cf. 3 149 C. J. 278; A'C.
infra, p. 841.

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