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Appendix I.

Chapter two hours, and no report of the debates, during that time,
VII.

appeared in the newspapers. Strangers were readmitted
without any order of the Speaker. The revival of this
exceptional practice led to the appointment of a committee,
which unanimously declared against any alteration of the
rules of the house. It was not until the 24th May, 1870,
that strangers were again ordered to withdraw, in order to

avoid publicity being given to a debate upon the ConReporters, tagious Diseases Acts. This led to further discussion : but see p. 73.

the house still adhered to the old rule of exclusion, which
was again enforced on subsequent occasions. The incon-
venience of the rule prompted the house to agree to a
resolution, 31st May, 1875, now standing order No. 91, S. 0.91,
which provided that, if notice was taken that strangers were
present, the Speaker, or the chairman, should forthwith put
the question that strangers be ordered to withdraw; re-
serving to the Speaker, or the chairman, the power, when-
ever he thought fit, to order the withdrawal of strangers
from any part of the house.

An order for the withdrawal of strangers does not extend
to the ladies' gallery, which is not supposed to be within
the house. Ladies can therefore only be informed of the
subject of debate, and left to withdraw or not, at their own
discretion. Upon divisions of the house, strangers were Strangers

during a Procedure entirely excluded until 1853, but are now merely desired división. division, to withdraw from below the bar. see p. 355.

On the 3rd August, 1855, notice was taken that two Soldiers in soldiers in uniform, lately returned from the Crimea, had been refused admission to the strangers' gallery. The Speaker stated that there was no rule for their exclusion ; 5 and soldiers in uniform, but unarmed, have since been freely admitted.

A description may now be given of the forms observed

on a

uniform.

on the prorogation of Parliament at the close of a session. For further If his Majesty attends in person to prorogue Parliament Prorogaproroga. tions by 105 H. D. 3 s. 662; ib. 1320. ib. 651; 217 ib. 207 ; 223 ib. 1693. close of proclamı ? Parl. Paper, No. 498 (sess. + 230 H. D. 3 s. 1553-1555.

5 139 ib. 1748. 3201 H. D. 3 s. 1307. 1640; 203

session.

tion, see

1849).

P. 45.

VII.

at the end of the session, the same ceremonies are observed Chapter as at the opening of Parliament:' the attendance of the_v Commons in the House of Peers is commanded; and, on Assent

giren to their arrival at the bar, the Speaker addresses his Majesty, bills, see p.

510; to on presenting the supply bills, and adverts to the most supply

the important measures that have received the sanction of

notion of bills, see pp.

40 513, 596. Parliament during the session. The royal assent is then given to the bills which are awaiting that sanction, and his Majesty reads his speech to both houses of Parliament himself, or by his chancellor (see p. 172); after which the lord chancellor, having received directions from his Majesty for that purpose, addresses both houses in this manner: “My lords and gentlemen, it is his Majesty's royal will and pleasure that this Parliament be proroguel to” a certain day, “to be then here holden; and this Parliament is accordingly prorogued,” &c. When his Majesty is not present at the end of the session, Parliament is prorogued by a commission under the great seal, directed to certain peers, who, by virtue of their commission, prorogie the Parliament. The attendance of the Commons is desired in the House of Peers; and, on their coming, with their Speaker, the lord chancellor states to both houses, that his Majesty, not thinking fit to be personally present, has caused a commission to be issued under the great seal, for giving the royal assent to bills. The commission is then read, and the Speaker, without any speech, delivers the money bills to the Clerk of the Parliaments, who comes to the bar to receive them. The royal assent is signified to the bills in the usual manner; after which the lord chancellor, in pursuance of his Majesty's commands, reads the royal speech to both houses. The conmission for proroguing the Parliament is next read by the Clerk; and the lord chancellor, by virtue of that commission, prorogues the Parliament accordingly.

1 The last occasion, 12th Aug. 27 H. D. 466; 2 Lord Colchester's 1854, 135 H. D. 3 s. 1549.

Diary, 453-459. 483-496. ? See debate in 1814, on Mr. 3 For cases of prorogation without Speaker Abbot's speech, referring a King's speech, see 37 L. J. 383; to a bill which had not received the 53 ib. 764. 1 Creevy Papers, 341 ; assent of the house, 69 C. J. 203; 2 ib. 5.

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first day of

meecingine

HOUSE OF

171.

Table of

METHOD AND ORDER IN THE TRANSACTION OF BUSINESS Contents, see Intro

IN PARLIAMENT. daction.

Time of meeting.–The Lords formerly met, for despatch The session, see of legislative business, at five o'clock in the afternoon : but LORDS pp. 149,

on the 24th March, 1882, they resolved to meet at a quarter-
past four, and that the public business for the day should
commence at half-past four o'clock, in order to extend the
time for debate; 1 and this arrangement has since been
continued.

The Lords, as a rule, adjourn over Ash Wednesday, and
Ascension-day : but if the Lords meet on those days, they
commence proceedings by attending divine service at
Westminster Abbey. The Lords also rarely meet, except
for formal business, on any Wednesday or Saturday.

Adjournment.-No hour is appointed for the rising of the house; and the adjournment cannot take place save upon a question proposed by the Speaker, and agreed to by the house under standing order No. 20.

Rules of procedure. Formerly, the pressure of business in the House of Lords had not been so great as to require strict rules in regard to notices: but by standing order No. 21, the following regulations are established :-

“All notices of proceedings on public bills, and of other matters, shall be inserted in the minutes of each day, according to the priority of every such notice, or as the lords giving the same may have agreed,

and the house shall always proceed with the samo in the order in Motions

which they shall so stand, unless the lord who shall hare given any moved, see p. 277. such notice shall withdraw the same, or shall, with the leave of the Debite, see P. 311. 1 267 H. D. 3 s. 1784.

Lords, on the second reading of the ? 2nd March, 1881; 27th Feb. Catholic Relief Bill, was adjourned 1884.

from two o'clock in the morning till 3 On Saturday, the 4th April, two o'clock the same afternoon. 1829, the debate in the House of

P.

house, consent to its postponement, or shall be absent at the appointed Chapter time after the house shall have entered upon the consideration of the VIII. said notices, in which latter case it shall be held to be a lapsed order, and not be proceeded with, until after the notice shall have been renewed.

“On all occasions notices to suspend any of the standing orders of the house, and notices relating to private bills, shall be disposed of before the house proceeds to the other notices.

“On Tuesdays and Thursdays the bills which are entered for consideration on the minutes of the day, shall, with the before-mentioned exception, have precedence of all other notices : but petitions relating to any such bill may be presented immediately before the motion is made to proceed with the bill.

"Any business for which notice is not required, and all proceedings relating to private bills, may be entered upon before the notices of the day are called for : but the house will proceed with the notices in preference to other matters at any time after half-past four o'clock, at the request of any lord who may have a notice on the minutes."

Precedence of adjourned business. By standing order No. 22, if procedure on business then in hand be adjourned, or if, the house being in committee, it is ordered that the house be resumed, it shall be lawful for the house thereupon, without notice given, to make further order that the business in question be taken first, either at some later hour of the evening, or on some future sitting day to be then fixed.

Quorum.—The upper house may proceed with business if only three lords be present, of whom one may be a lord attending to take the oath. If, however, on a division upon any stage of a bill in the house or in committee, it shall appear that thirty lords are not present, then by standing order No. 33, the Speaker, or the chairman, shall declare the question not decided. The debate thereon is accordingly adjourned to the next sitting of the house, or, the house being resumed, the committee is set down for the next sitting of the house.

Questions to ministers and others.- Questions are addressed, before the commencement of public business, to ministers of the Crown concerning measures pending in Parliament, or public affairs, or matters of administration, and to other lords who have charge of a bill, or who have given notices

used

Chapter of motions, or are otherwise concerned in some business
VIII. bofort

before the house. Interference on the part of the house
with these questions is of infrequent occurrence : but on
one occasion, 7th June, 1858, when a noble lord proposed Notice
to renew a notice of certain questions, the house resolved ““
" that the said questions had been sufficiently answered
and ought not to be renewed ;” and, accordingly, the
proposed notice was not received by the Clerk. And again,
12th March, 1883, notice having been given of certain
questions, it was resolved “that such questions be not
put."

In the Lords, debate is permitted in asking and answer-
ing questions, and in commenting upon them, without any
question being proposed. In 1867, the Lords' committee
on public business, while recognizing and approving this
practice, recommended that notice of questions should be
given in the minutes, except in cases of urgency. In con-
sequence, it was resolved, by standing order No. 21, that
where “it is intended to make a statement, or raise a
discussion on asking a question, notice of the question
should,” in that case, “be given in the orders of the day
and notices." 3 And under these conditions important
debates are frequently raised.

The meeting of the house.—The House of Commons formerly THE met at an early hour in the morning, generally at eight HOUSE o'clock, but often even at six or seven o'clock, and continued MONS.

till eleven, the committees being appointed to sit in the
Places of afternoon. In the time of Charles II., nine o'clock was the
members,
see p. 177. usual hour for commencing public business, and four o'clock

for its conclusion. At a later period ten o'clock was the
ordinary time of meeting; and the practice of nominally
adjourning the house until that hour continued until 1806,
though so early a meeting had long been discontinued.4

i Perhaps the earliest example of a question to ministers is to be found on the 9th Feb. 1721, when Lord Cowper asked a question of the ad. ministration, and was answered by the Earl of Sunderland, 7 Parl.

Hist. 709; 192 H. D. 3 s. 717.

? 14th Dec. 1847, 95 H. D. 3 s. 1052.

3 100 L. J. 103.

+ Vowell's Order and Usage of the Parliaments in England, 1572, 1

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