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to the Commons. Wo
intends to speak upon a petition, usually gives notice of its Chapter
relate to proceedings of a judicial character.1
are chiefly addressed, and to them they are sent in such
tions are creased,” and the business of the house was so much inter received.
rupted by the debates which arose on receiving petitions, see p. 236. Petitions to that, under standing orders Nos. 76–79, adopted in 1842 and be opened 1853, a member, on the presentation of a petition, may read by mem bers. the prayer and make only a general statement regarding
n the source and nature of the petition; and every petition dix I. which conforms to the rules or practice of the house, is
brought to the table by the direction of the Speaker, who May be does not allow debate thereon, but the petition may be read
og the by the Clerk, at the table, if required. Clerk. Urgent In the case of a petition complaining of a present personal
grievance, calling, as an urgent necessity, for an immediate
remedy, the matter contained in such petition may be Petitions brought into discussion on the presentation thereof (see p. referred to 533). All other such petitions, when laid on the table, are on public
cases dis. cussed.
1 100 L. J. 138; 14 ib. 22; 74 ib. 1897, 56,910; in the five years ending 236.
1902, 35,646; and in the three years ? In the five years ending 1832, ending 1905, 16,826. Since 1833, 23,283 public petitions were pre 921,481 petitions have been presented to the House of Commons; sented. 33,742 petitions were prein the five years ending 1842, 70,072; sented session 1893-4, a number in the five years ending 1852, 62,248; only exceeded by the 33,898 of sesin the five years ending 1862, 63,003; sion 1843. in the five years ending 1867, 53,305; 3 In 1833 and 1834, sittings from in the five years ending 1872, twelve to three were devoted to pe101,573; in the five years ending titions and private bills. 1877, 91,846 ; in the five years ending “When a petition has been laid 1882, 72,850; in the five years ending upon the table, it is irregular for any 1887, 73,815; in the five years ending member to remove it, 105 C. J. 99. 1892, 50,141 ; in the five years ending
Chapter referred to the committee on Public Petitions, without any petitions ;
and in cer-. _ question being put, though if the petition relates to a subject tain cases Procedure with respect to which the member presenting it has given be printed.
in ordered to of Public Petitions notice of a motion, and the petition has not been ordered committee, see p. 534. to be printed by the committee, he may, after notice given, When the move that the petition be printed and circulated with the motion is made, see notice paper of the house.
Thus while a member may state the purport and material Debate on allegations of a petition, he is not at liberty to read the personal whole or greater part of the petition itself: but if he desires grievance).
s. 0. 78, that the petition should be read, the proper course is to Appendix I. require it to be formally read by the Clerk, at the table.
On the 14th June, 1844, it was ruled, by Mr. Speaker, that a petition of parties complaining of their letters having been detained and opened by the post-office, and praying for inquiry, was not of that urgency that entitled it to immediate discussion, especially as notice of its presentation had been given on the previous day, which proved that the matter was such as admitted of delay :but on the 24th June, 1844, a similar petition, of which no previous notice had been given, was permitted to open a debate. In the latter case, however, the complaint was that "letters are secretly detained and opened ;” and thus a “ present personal grievance” was alleged, while in the former case a past grievance only had been complained of. On the 5th July, 1855, a petition complaining of the recent misconduct of the police in Hyde Park, and of injuries personally sustained by the petitioners, was held not to justify a debate, as the grievance complained of did not demand an immediate remedy. On the same ground, the Speaker ruled that a petition presented 1st May, 1890, praying for the appointment of a commission to inquire into the municipal contracts of the borough of Salford, did not come within the operation of standing order No. 78.5 Neither, under cover of a motion for the adjournment
1 79 H. D. 3 s. 496; 106 ib. 300.
139 ib. 453.
of the house, will a member be permitted to bring under Chapter
member, which have been alluded to in a petition. Debates It will be observed that, although the standing orders Privilege upon peti.
restrict debate to urgent cases, that restriction does not tions, see
from percourse would be to appoint by order that the petition be sons com
mitted by taken into consideration on a future day, and be printed the house for the information of the house.*
see p. 93. Petitions A motion for printing and circulating a petition with printed the notice paper of the house, pursuant to standing order Notice of
home the motion No. 79, if unopposed, can be made before the commencement of public business (see p. 255). The proposal is not see p. 246. a matter of right, but is open to debate and objection like
any other motion.
grievance if dealt with under standing order No. 78, or a
with the votes.
1 7th July, 1856 (attorney-general and the Bedford Charities).
2 48 H. D. 3 s. 226; 109 ib. 235; and 7th July, 1856.
3 104 C. J. 302; 105 ib. 110 ; 112 ib. 231; 113 ib. 68; 114 ib. 357; 146 H. D. 3 8. 97; 168 ib. 1855; Royal Atlantic Steam Company 19th July, 1861, 164 ib. 1178; 116 C. J. 377. 381.
- 86 H. D. 3 8. 328; Lisburn Election, 18th April, 1864, 119 C. J. 173.
s Southampton writ, 97 ib. 329 ; 63 H. D. 3 s. 1057 ; 79 ib. 686. This order has been made regarding petitions presented in a former session, 102 C. J. 22. 203; 112 ib. 155; 113 ib. 331.
• 88 ib. 95.
Chapter which addresses are affixed, the general object of every Addresses petition, and the total number of petitions and the signa- titi?
of petures in reference to each subject; and whenever the peculiar arguments and facts, or general importance, of a petition require it, it is printed at full length in an appendix to the notice paper of the house, and is accessible by purchase to the public. In some cases, petitions have been ordered to be printed with the notice paper, with the signatures attached thereto,2 and in others for the use of members only. A petition has been ordered to be printed for the use of members only, with the names of the persons who had signed it. Sometimes petitions which have been already printed, have been ordered to be reprinted.5
1 Pursuant to Special Report, Public Petitions committee, 11th April, 1878, 183 C. J. 205, and to sessional orders. If the chairman of a public meeting signs a petition on behalf of those assembled, the fact is recorded in the report of the
3 100 ib. 538. 648; 101 ib. 1021: 105 ib. 45; 106 ib. 209; 116 ib. 377.
97 ib. 57. 598 ib. 216; 103. ib 30.
swant to atute, see
ACCOUNTS, PAPERS, AND RECORDS PRESENTED TO
duction. Returns by PARLIAMENT is invested with the power of ordering all docuorder and
ments to be laid before it, which are necessary for its in-
1: of papers should be borne in mind; as, on the one hand, it is before select irregular to order directly that which should be sought for com
see p. 406.
that public officers and departments, subject to his
Thus, returns from the Commissioners of Customs and of