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(if any), soliciting a bill, are entered in the “private bill Chapter

XXVI. 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
house dis-
qualified as agents; and, in compliance with a recommendation of a
agents. 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

i Parly, Rep. No. 648 of 1833, p.
9; No. 606, of 1835, pp. 17. 19.

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

II. 378-9; and Report, etc., (No.
360) of Joint Committee of 1876 on
Parliamentary Agency.

Chapter

CHAPTER XXVII. XXVII.

- COURSE OF PROCEEDINGS UPON PRIVATE BILLS IN THE HOUSE Table of Contents,

OF 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.

conduct of

ivate

The proceedings in the House of Commons upon a private Progress of

private 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 commons. 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 of of motions or orders of the day : but the notices in relation business, to private bills are not given by a member, nor entered in the order book except in the case of any special proceedings, but are required to be delivered at the Private Bill Notices of

motions, Office, at specified times, by the agents soliciting the bilis. etc. (pri

vate bills). These notices will each be described in their proper places : but one rule applies to all of them alike—they must be s. 0.247. delivered before six 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 be proceeded with when If not duly

given, prothe notice has not been duly given, or the proper interval ceedings allowed, or if notice be taken of any other informality, such proceeding will be null and void, and the stage must be repeated."

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

deemed private business.

Notices All notices are open to inspection in the Private Bill Chapter printed in

XXVII. the votes.

Office : but for the sake of greater publicity and convenience,
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

considered by the house has already been stated in the
chapter describing the general transaction of business. 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 busi-
ness, and matters indirectly connected with the private
business of the house, are also taken into consideration at

the time of private business. 3
Conduct of The forms and proceedings in the offices of the house,
bills by
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
bill
Registers.” the votes and journals; and, in the Private Bill Office,
S. 0. 227. Registers are also kept, which are open to public inspection
I Supra, pp. 233-4.

relate directly to the subject matter 109 C. J. 396, &c.; and cf. infra, of private bills and not to the genepp. 726-7. On the 30th April, 1895, ral conduct of the companies who a proposed amendment to one of the promote the bills (33 Parl. Deb. standing orders relative to private 4 s. 116-118). Similarly, a proposed business was not permitted to be general instruction to all commitmoved 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).

XXVII.

1. main

the hill

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

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 Proceed-

ings on may be described, without interruption, precisely in the private

bills, order in which they usually occur.

Formerly-up to and including the year 1903—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

presented. endorsed the petition for a bill“ standing orders complied with," the bill itself is presented by being laid on the table of the house, 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 30th July, 1903, 158 C. J. 369. within the notices and petition for

? Although the order “That leave the bill--for which any such bill be given to bring in " a private bill provides.

0. 196.

VIL

orders

subsequent sitting; and in case the house should not sit on Chapter
the latest day allowed for laying the bill on the table, it is so
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 Com-

mittee, has given leave to the parties to proceed with the S. O. 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 Orders 1 is a sessional comcommittee. mittee, appointed by standing order No. 91 which proS. 0. 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. And the quorum of the committee is as a

rule reduced, late in a session, from five to three.
Examiners' To this committee are referred all the reports of the
reports
referred to examiners of petitions for private bills in which they
S. O. 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; &c. mittee in the House of Lords, cf. 3 149 C. J. 278; &c. infra, p. 841.

them.

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