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Chapter

mi.

Proceedings on a ways and means bill, or pursuant to a Business standing order, or an Act of Parliament,1 are also perma- w's.'a i, nently exempt from interruption.

As tbe mo3t critical use of the closure motion arises closure, upon the moment for the interruption of business, a statement of the practice of the house under standing order No. 26 (closure of debate) shall preface the consideration of the treatment of questions pending at the moment of interruption (see p. 221).

Closure.—The method of procedure known as closure, which brings debate to a conclusion, and compels the house to decide upon the matter under discussion, was first authorized by the urgency rule of 3rd February, 1881 (see p. 342),2 and was permanently established by a standing order agreed to in the year 1882.3 By this standing order the

1 The principal proceedings under Acts of Parliament relate to draft orders in council, rules of court, and administrative orders and regulations presented to both houses as parliamentary papers (see p. 543), and required to lie upon tho table of both houses for a certain period. In some of these casos, such as draft orders in council for the holding of military manoeuvres, tho order in council cannot be mado unless both houses present addresses to tho Crown praying for the order to be made, 60 & 61 Vict. c. 43, s. 1 (3), 158 C. J. 181; in others, such as special orders and regulations relating to factories and workshops and orders in council relating to, and the rules of the Supreme Court of Judicature, the orders, <Sic., come into force from the date of their issue or a date fixed by the order, but may be annulled wholly or in part if an address or resolution of either house to that effect is carried within a period fixed by the statute under which the orders are made, 38 & 39 Vict. c. 77, a. 25; 1 Edw. VII. c. 22, ss. 84. 126 (3); 157 C. J. 348; while in other cases, such as statutes

of the governing bodies of some
universities and colleges, schedules
of documents in public offices which
it is proposed to destroy, and draft
certificates made by the Board of
Trade and relating to railways,
action on the part of the Crown in
issuing an order in council or on
tho part of tho authority making
the order is delayed for a certain
period, during which a resolution
of either house will abrogate the
orders, &c, wholly or in part, 40
& 41 Vict. c. 48, s. 50; ib. c. 55, s.
1. Such statutory proceedings if
taken within the prescribed period
are exempted from interruption
under standing order No. 1, but
this exemption does not extend to
the case of orders or regulations
such as minutes of the Board of
Education which may be required
to be laid before Parliament, but in
the case of which the statute under
which they are made does not pre-
scribe any proceedings of objection
or give any effect to the objection
taken by either house to the order
in question, 71 Pari. Deb. 4 s. 222;
06 ib. 1009.
'136 C. J. 57.

• Attempts made by the house to

house was enabled to vote forthwith upon a motion, chapter

• • VIII

"That the question be now put;" and the initiative in

the proceeding was entrusted to the Speaker, or the
chairman of ways and means, whilst the presence of more
than two hundred members was required to make the
vote effectual. These conditions in the application of the
closure were subsequently modified in the sessions 1887
and 1888.

Closure Pursuant to standing orders Nos. 26 and 27, whilst the Under a &cl26.27, Speaker, or the chairman of ways and means, or, when 'w^nf Appendix i. j.jje unavoidable absence of the latter has been announced, c'"s"r"

S 0 81 cannot oe

ib ' ' the deputy chairman, is in the chair, after a question has enforced,

..... see p. 381;

been proposed, if a member rising in his place moves, nor in a
"That the question be now put," that question must be ^mitte,-,
put forthwith without amendment or debate, unlessfCC P- 39c«
it appears to the chair that the motion is an abuse
of the rules of the house, or an infringement of the
rights of the minority; and if, when a division is taken,
it appears by the numbers declared from the chair,
that not less than a hundred members voted in the
majority in support of the motion, it is decided in the
affirmative.1

Closure may be moved, as the conclusion of a speech,*2
or whilst a member is addressing the house, and in the
latter case intercepts any motion which it was his intention
to move. The intervention of the chair regarding closure
is restricted to occasions when the motion is made in abuse
of the rules of the house, or infringes the rights of the
minority. A closure motion may therefore be sanctioned
by the chair, either immediately upon, or within a few

close debate in formor times are
traceable on the journals : 9th May,
1604, resolution that Sir R. Litton
should not speak any more; 31st
March, 1610, resolution to stay
further debate, 1 C. J. 205. 417. 968*;
and subsequently on the 20th June,
1880, the motion that Mr. O'Don-
nell be not now heard, 135 H. D. 3 s.
1902. 1917. The Speaker declined

to put a similar motion, 2nd Feb.
1893, 8 Pari. Deb. 4 s. 266; Cth
March, 1905, 142 ib. 438. See also
Mr. Speaker Brand's closure, 2nd
Feb. 1881, p. 286, n. 2.

1 A motion failed, insufficient
majority, 142 C. J. 506; 150 ib. 215;
160 ib. 149; another was negatived,
143 ib. 232.

12 Pari. Dob. 4 s. 790.

Chapter minutes after, the proposal to the house of the question to

be closed; as, in the discharge of the duty thus imposed

^a/so Upon him, the discretion of the Speaker or the chairman 326. of ways and means is absolute, and is not open to dispute.1

As—without some further provision, the house might, Further even with the help of the closure, be unable to complete based upon the matter then immediately in hand—directly after the Motion.8"6 m-istra- motion, " That the question be now put," has been carried, q^tt'£is and the question consequent thereon has been decided, p"'^'see without having recourse to any further closure motion,

the right is given to claim, subject to the discretion of the 8. 0.1.26,
chair, that any such further question be put which may be Apiwn<ll!!
requisite to bring to a decision any question already pro-
posed from the chair.2 The utility of this power is specially
proved by its application at the moment, when, pursuant
to standing order, an interruption of business, or the ad-
journment of the house, would otherwise immediately take
place.3

1 81st March, 1887, 313 H. D. 8 s. 177. Speaker's statements, 20th July, 1888, 329 ib. 57; 28th June, 1889, 337 ib. 1023; 354 ib. 431; 13th March, 1893, 148 0. J. 123; of deputy Speaker, 28th April, 1892, 3 Pari. Deb. 4 s. 1639. For cases in which the Speaker has explained his acceptance or refusal of a motion for closure after a short debate, see 89 Pari. Deb. 4 s. 1390; 90 ib. 760; 107 ib. 883; 119 ib. 54; 132 ib. 108. A question as to the time at which the closure will be moved is irregular, 89 ib. 1060; 141 ib. 781.

1 28th March, 1892, 3 Pari. Deb. 4 s. 138.

'On two occasions, since the introduction of closure, a form of motion, analogous to a closure motion, but not within the provisions of the standing order, was, with tho sanction of the Speaker, submitted to tho house. The first mot the case of an excessive number of amendments placed upon the notice paper on the

report stage of a private bill. The
motion moved and agreed to, on this
occasion, was, "That inasmuch as
this bill has been carefully con-
sidered by a select committee, this
house declines to entertain amend-
ments which ought to have been
brought before that committee, and
that the bill be ordered to be read a
third time." The second example
of an exceptional closure motion
was occasioned by an unprecedented
multiplication of instructions to the
committoes upon certain bills. It
assumed the form of an amendment
to be moved upon tho first instruc-
tion which stood upon the notice
paper, to the committee on Allot-
ments Act Amendment Bill, 1890,
to the effect " That this bouse de-
clines by any instruction to extend
the Bcope of the bill in question."
The amendment was not moved,
upon the understanding that it was
reserved for use, in case more than
one instruction to the bill was

Closure An analogous, but wholly distinct, power is also con- chapter

words of n

ferred by standing order No. 26, whereby, subject to the clause. discretion of the chair, when a clause is under consideration, motions may be made, to be acted upon forthwith— that the question, "That certain words of the clause " defined in the motion " stand part of the clause, be now put," or that the questions," That a clause stand part of (or be added to the bill), be now put." These motions, if the questions put thereon are carried, override all power of amendment to the words included in their scope: thus, for instance, in committee upon a bill, after certain additions proposed to subsection 8 of the fifth clause had been negatived, a member rose and moved, "That the question, 'That the word where'" (being the initial word of subsection 4) "stand part of the clause, be now put." The closure motion, and the question consequent thereon, were carried, and thereby all further additions to subsection 3 were excluded.1

The closure motions that certain words should stand part Uon'of" of a clause, or that a clause should stand part of a bill, closure aPPty a schedule as to a clause,2 and are in form and motions. use equally applicable when the house is in committee, and when the Speaker is in the chair. These motions also can be moved although closure has not been previously enforced during the consideration of the clause; nor is it necessary that closure should have been moved on the question last proposed from the chair. Thus on consideration of a bill as amended, no antecedent closure having been moved, a member rose and moved, "That the question, 'That certain specified words of a clause stand part of the bill,' be now put," and the question on the closure motion was put from the chair,8 while in committee on a bill, the motion, "That the question,

moved. 2nd July, 1888, 328 H. D. 1892, Clergy Discipline Bill, 147 ib.

8 s. 87; 2nd May, 1890, 844 ib. 18; 817; Army, Ac, Bill, 148 ib. 160.

see Addresses from Chair regarding !148 ib. 161; 151 ib. 122; 160 ib.

Instructions, Appendix II. 402, 151 Pari. Deb. 4 s. 588.

1 6th May and 9th June, 1891, 3 338 H. D. 3 s. 639. 644; 144 C.

146 C. J. 264. 344; also 2nd June, J. 843; 146 ib. 844.

Chapter 'That a clause stand part of the bill,' be now put," has
YXIX- also been allowed to be made, although no antecedent

closure had been moved during the consideration of the
clause.1

Questions pending at the interruption of business.—By a convenient, and indeed necessary, elasticity of practice, which arose in consequence of the introduction of fixed hours for the transaction of business upon Wednesdays, the standing orders which prescribe a limit to the time for the transaction of business are not so strictly enforced as to prevent the house from completing, when the fixed hour Question arrives, the proceeding on which a decision is in process of moment of being taken.2 Procedure thereon is, under this practice, 1t^nrr"p" extended, not only beyond the hour appointed for the interruption of business, but also beyond the hour appointed for the suspension of a sitting, or for the adjournment of Question the house. Consequently, whenever a question is under moment* decision, either by collecting the voices, or by a division, j°ur"fment at an hour appointed by the standing orders for a cessation in the transaction of business, or of the sitting of the house, the decision of the house is announced and acted upon after that fixed hour. Nor does the fact Closure at that the moment is passed when business should be Tnta?*ip! interrupted, or the house adjourned, prevent the proposal from the chair of the main, original, or any further questions consequent upon that decision of the house, and any such question may be decided, if necessary, by a division.3

If, however, when such a question is proposed from the Adjoumchair, a member rises to object to further proceeding, Or questions offers to speak to the question, his action converts the moment

of inter

1 97 Pari. Deb. 4 s. 1526; 166 C. J. consideration of the amendments by ruPtion

340. tho Lords to a bill, when a proposed

* Post-Office Balances, 29th July, amendment to a Lords' amendment 1873, 217 H. D. 3 s. 1230-1232; 128 was disposed of, proposed the quesC. J. 403; Land Tenure (Ireland) tion for agreeing to tho Lords' Bill, 21st March, 1877, 233 H. D. 3 amendment, at ten minutes past s. 306. midnight (19th March, 1891), 146

* The case is unusual, so it may C. J. 165. be mentioned that the Speaker, on

224.

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