Imágenes de páginas

Re. 27, Ho.
Reps. p. 74.

Committee when a messenger attends, the Speaker takes the chair to receive the message, and then quits it to return into Committee, without any question or interruption. [4 Grey, 226. ]

Messengers are not saluted by the members, but by the Speaker, for the House. [2 Grey, 253, 274.]

Joint Res.

If messengers commit an error in delivering their message, they may 1, 2, 3 & 4, be admitted, or called in, to correct their message. [4 Grey, 41. ]

p. 107.

Accordingly, March 13, 1800, the Senate having made two amendments to a bill from the House of Representatives, their Secretary, by mistake, delivered one only; which being inadmissible by itself, that House disagreed, and notified the Senate of their disagreement. This produced a discovery of the mistake. The Secretary was sent to the other House to correct his mistake, the correction was received, and the two amendments acted on de novo." *

Rule 46,

As soon as the messenger, who has brought bills from the other Senate, p. House, has retired, the Speaker holds the bills in his hand, and ac


quaints the House, 'that the other House have, by their messenger, sent certain bills,' and then reads their titles, and delivers them to the Clerk to be safely kept, till they shall be called for to be read. [Hakew. 178. ]

It is not the usage for one House to inform the other, by what numbers a bill has passed. [10 Grey, 150.] Yet they have sometimes recommended a bill, as of great importance, to the consideration of the House to which it is sent. [ 3 Hats. 25.] Nor, when they have rejected a bill from the other House, do they give notice of it; but it passes, sub silentio, † to prevent unbecoming altercations. [1 Blackst. 183.]

A question is never asked by the one House of the other, by way of message, but only at a conference; for this is an interrogatory, not a message. [3 Grey, 151, 181. ]

When a bill is sent by one House to the other, and is neglected, they may send a message to remind them of it. [3 Hats. 25. 5 Grey, 154. ] But if it be mere inattention, it is better to have it done informally, by communications between the Speakers, or members of the two Houses.

Where the subject of a message is of a nature that it can properly be communicated to both Houses of Parliament, it is expected that this communication should be made to both on the same day. But where a message was accompanied with an original declaration, signed by the party to which the message referred, its being sent to one House was not noticed by the other, because the declaration, being original, could not possibly be sent to both Houses at the same time. [2 Hats. 260, 261, 262. ]

The king, having sent original letters to the Commons, afterwards desires they may be returned, that he may communicate them to the lords. [1 Chandler, 303.]


† In silence.



THE House which has received a bill and passed it may present it for the king's assent, and ought to do it, though they have not by message notified to the other their passage of it. Yet the notifying by message is a form which ought to be observed between the two Houses, from motives of respect and good understanding. [2 Hats. 242.] Were the bill to be withheld from being presented to the king, it would be an infringement of the rules of parliament. [Ib. ]

When the bill is enrolled, it is not to be written in paragraphs, but solidly, and all of a piece, that the blanks between the paragraphs may not give room for forgery. [9 Grey, 143.]



Ir a question is interrupted by a vote to adjourn, or to proceed to the orders of the day, the original question is never printed in the journal, it never having been a vote, nor introductory to any vote; but when suppressed by the previous question, the first question must be stated, in order to introduce, and make intelligible the second [2 Hats. 83. ]

So also when a question is postponed, adjourned, or laid on the table, the original question, though not yet a vote, must be expressed in the journals; because it makes part of the vote of postponement, adjourning or laying on the table.

The first order for printing the votes of the House of Commons was Oct. 30, 1685. [1 Chandler, 387.]

Some judges have been of opinion that the journals of the House of Commons are no records, but only remembrances. But this is not law. [Hob. 110, 111. Lex. parl. 114, 115. Jourl. H. C. Mar. 17, 1592. Hale parl. 105.] For the lords in their House have power of judicature, the Commons in their House have power of judicature, and both Houses together have power of judicature; and the book of the Clerk of the House of Commons is a record, as is affirmed by act of parl. 6 H. 8, c. 16, 4 Inst. 23, 24, and every member of the House of Commons hath judicial place. [4 Inst. 15.] As records they are open to every per

Const. U.

S. Art. 1,
Sec. 7, p.


Joint Rs.

6, 7, 8, 9

& 10, pp. 108 & 109.

Const. U.

S. Art. 1,

Sec. 5, p.


Re. 44, Ho.
Rep. p. 79.

Res. 31

p. 130.

Where amendments are made to a question, those amendments are not printed in the journals, separated from the question; but only the & 32, Sen. question as finally agreed to by the House. The rule of entering in the journals only what the House has agreed to, is founded in great prudence and good sense; as there may be many questions proposed which it may be improper to publish to the world in the form in which they are made. [2 Hats. 85.]

Ho. Reps. page 68.

Rule 6, son, and a printed vote of either House is sufficient ground for the other to notice it. Either may appoint a Committee to inspect the journals of the other, and report what has been done by the other in any particular case. [2 Hats. 261. 3 Hats. 27-30. ] Every member has a right to see the journals, and to take and publish votes from them. Being a record every one may see and publish them. [6 Grey, 118, 119. ]

On information of a misentry or omission of an entry in the journal, a Committee may be appointed to examine and rectify it, and report it to the House. [2 Hats. 194, 5. ]

Const. U.

8. Art. 1, Sec. 5, P Res. 48 & 49, Ho.


Reps. pp. 80 & 82.

Const. U.

8. Art. 11, Sec. 3, p.




THE two Houses of Parliament have the sole, separate, and independent power of adjourning each their respective Houses. The king has no authority to adjourn them; he can only signify his desire, and it is in the wisdom and prudence of either House to comply with his requisition, or not, as they see fit. [2 Hats. 232. 1 Blackstone, 186. Grey, 122.]


A motion to adjourn simply cannot be amended as by adding 'to a particular day.' But must be put simply that this House do now adjourn?' and if carried in the affirmative, it is adjourned to the next sitting day, unless it has come to a previous resolution that at its rising it will adjourn to a particular day,' and then the House is adjourned to that day. [2 Hats. 82.]

Rule 11,


Where it is convenient that the business of the House be suspended Sen. page for a short time, as for a conference presently to be held, &c., it adjourns during pleasure. [2 Hats. 305.] Or for a quarter of an hour. [5 Grey, 331. j

If a question be put for adjournment it is no adjournment till the Speaker pronounces it. [5 Grey, 137.] And from courtesy and respect, no member leaves his place till the Speaker has passed on.



PARLIAMENT have three modes of separation, to wit: by adjournment, by prorogation, or dissolution by the king, or by the efflux of the term for which they were elected. Prorogation or dissolution constitutes there what is called a session, provided some act has passed. In this case all matters depending before them are discontinued, and at their

Joint Re.

next meeting are to be taken up de novo,* if taken up at all. [1 Blackst. 186.] Adjournment, which is by themselves, is no more than 20, p. 110. a continuance of the session from one day to another, or for a fortnight, a month, &c., ad libitum.† All matters depending remain in statu quo,‡ and when they meet again, be the term ever so distant, are resumed without any fresh commencement, at the point at which they were left. [1 Lev. 165. Lex. Parl. c. 2. 1 Ro. Rep. 29. 4 Inst. 7, 27, 28. Hutt. 61. 1 Mod. 252. Ruffb. Fac's. L. Dict. Parliament. 1 Blackst. 186. ] Their whole session is considered in law but as one day, and has relation to the first day thereof. [Bro. abr. parliament. 86. ]

Committees may be appointed to sit during a recess by adjournment, but not by prorogation. [5 Grey, 374. 9 Grey, 350. 1 Chandler, 50. ] Neither House can continue any portion of itself in any parliamentary function, beyond the end of the session, without the consent of the other two branches. When done, it is by a bill constituting them commissioners for the particular purpose.

When it was said above, that all matters depending before parliament were discontinued by the determination of the session, it was not meant for judiciary cases, depending before the House of Lords, such as impeachments, appeals, and writs of error. These stand continued, of course, to the next session. [Raym. 120, 381. Ruffb. Fac. L. D. Parliament.]



TREATIES are legislative acts. A treaty is a law of the land. It differs from other laws only as it must have the consent of a foreign nation, being but a contract with respect to that nation. In all countries, I believe, except England, treaties are made by the legislative power: and there also, if they touch the laws of the land, they must be approved by Parliament. [Ware v. Hylton, 3 Dallas rep. 273.] It is acknowledged, for instance, that the king of Great Britain cannot by a treaty make a citizen of an alien. [Vattel. B. 1. c. 19, sec. 214. An act of parliament was necessary to validate the American treaty of 1783. And abundant examples of such acts can be cited. In the case of the treaty of Utretcht in 1712, the commercial articles required the concurrence of parliament. But a bill brought in for that purpose was rejected. France, the other contracting party, suffered these articles, in practice, to be not insisted on, and adhered to the rest of the treaty [4 Russel's Hist. Mod. Europe 457. 2 Smollet. 242, 246. ]

† At pleasure.

* Anew.

In their former condition.

[ocr errors][merged small][merged small]

Const. U.

8. Art. 111.

Sec. 2, P.


Const. U. S. Art. 1, Sec. 2, p. 8, and Art. 1, Sec. 3, p.

10. Also, Art 11. Sc. 4, p. 30.




The lords cannot impeach any to themselves, nor join in the accusation, because they are the judges. [Seld. Judic. in parl. 12, 63.] Nor can they proceed against a commoner but on complaint of the Commons, [id. 84.] The lords may not, by the law, try a commoner for a capital offence, on the information of the king, or a private person; because the accused is entitled to a trial by his peers generally; but on accusation by the House of Commons, they may proceed against the delinquent, of whatsoever degree, and whatsoever be the nature of the offence; for there they do not assume to themselves trial at common law. The Commons are then instead of a jury, and the judgment is given on their demand, which is instead of a verdict. So the lord's do only judge, but not try the delinquent. [Id. 6, 7.] But Wooddeson denies that a commoner can now be charged capitally before the lords, even by the Commons; and cites Fitzharris's case, 1681, impeached of high treason, where the lords remitted the prosecution to the inferior court. [8 Grey's deb. 325-7, 2. Wooddesson, 601, 576. 3 Seld. 1610, 1619, 1641. 4 Blacks. 257. 3 Sed. 1604, 1618, 9, 1656. ]

Accusation. The Commons, as the grand inquest of the nation, become suitors for penal justice. [2 Woodd. 597. 6 Grey, 356.] The general course is to pass a resolution containing a criminal charge against the supposed delinquent, and then to direct some member to impeach him by oral accusation, at the bar of the House of Lords, in the name of the Commons. The person signifies that the articles will be exhibited, and desires that the delinquent may be sequestered from his seat, or be committed, or that the peers wii. take order for his appearance. [Sachev. trial. 325. 2 Wood. 602, 605. Lords. Journ. 3 June, 1701. 1 Wms. 616. 6 Grey, 324.]

Process. If the party do not appear, proclamations are to be issued, giving him a day to appear. On their return they are strictly examined. If any error be found in them, a new proclamation issues giving a short day. If he appear not, his goods may be arrested, and they may proceed. [Seld. Jud. 98, 99. ]

Articles. The accusation (articles) of the Commons is substituted in place of an indictment. Thus, by the usage of parliament, in impeachment for writing or speaking, the particular words need not be specified. [Sach. tr. 325. 2 Wood. 602-605. Lords. Journ. 3 June, 1701. 1 Wms. 616.]

Appearance. If he appears, and the case be capital, he answers in custody: though not if the accusation be general. He is not to be committed but on special accusations. If it be for a misdemeanor only, he answers a lord in his place, a commoner at the bar, and not in custody, unless, on the answer, the lords find cause to commit him, till he find sureties to attend, and lest he should fly. [Seld. Jud. 98, 99. ] A copy of the articles is given him, and a day fixed for his answer. [T. Ray. 1 Rushw. 268. Fost. 232. 1 Clar. Hist. of the reb. 379.] On a misdemeanor, his appearance may be in person, or he may answer in writing, or by attorney. [Seld. Jud. 100.] The general rule on an

« AnteriorContinuar »