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to require official a
papers to be read
in the House.

not to withdraw until he knows the substance of the charge against him, and has been heard on the subject; then, and not till then, he is to withdraw; as in the case of Sir W.

Wyndham (w). How far Mem. When papers are laid before the House, or referred to be require official a Committee, every member has a right to have them

once read at the table, before he can be compelled to vote
thereon. But it is a great, though common error, to sup-
pose that he has a right, toties quoties, to have acts, journals,
accounts or papers on the table read, independently of the
will of the House. The delay and interruption which
this might be made to produce, evince the impossibility of
the existence of such a right. But the propriety of per-
mitting every member to have as much information as,
possible on every question on which he is to vote, is so
manifest—that when he desires the reading, if it be seen
that it is really for information, and not for delay, the
Speaker directs it to be read without putting the question,
if no objection be made. But if objected to, a question

must be put (y). Or to lay a paper. It is equally an error to suppose that any member has

iesch a right, without a question put, to lay a book or paper on of privilege, be- the Table and have it read, on suggesting that it contains fore the House.

matter infringing upon the privileges of the House (2)..

For the same reason a member has not a right to read a paper in his place, if it be objected to, without leave of the House. But this rigour is never exercised but where there is an intentional or gross abuse of the time and

patience of the House. A member has not even a right Or to read papers in his place. to read his own speech, committed to writing, without

leave. This is only to prevent an abuse of time, and therefore is not enforced but where that is intended (a).

Formerly, when papers were referred to a committee,

&c. containing an alleged breach

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Standing Orders.

they used to be first read in the House ; but of late, only the titles of them ; unless a member insists upon their being read, and then no one can oppose it (6). .

Any member may call for the execution of a subsisting Enforcement of order of the House, and in doing so he does not properly make a motion, but takes notice that the order is disobeyed; and if a member in his place take notice of there being strangers in the House, it is the Speaker's duty to order the Sergeant to clear the House immediately of all but the members, without permitting any question or debate thereon. Both Houses can enforce the attendance of their mem- Call of the

House. bers, and this is done by ordering a call of the House ** upon a particular day, and punishiug by fine or imprisonment such members as continue absent (c), see chap. VI. On the Proceedings in the House. "

No member shall depart until the end of the session de without having obtained leave of the House to do so, which must be entered on the Journals, for by such a proceeding he renders himself liable to be brought back by the Sergeant-at-arms, if on a call of the House, his absence becomes apparent.

No Member to depart until end of Session withs out leave.

(c) See Report of Precedents on this subject in L. J. 25 July, 1820.


On the
Presentation and Trial of Election Petitions.


· The form and manner of proceeding upon Election Petitions was regulated by the 10 Geo. III. ch. 16. commonly called the Grenville act, which has been amended by many subsequent statutes,* the provisions of which are. now consolidated into one, with considerable amendments, viz: 9 Geo. IV. ch. 22.7

The Colonial Practice in this respect is regulated by the statutes 4 Geo. IV. ch. 4. and 8 Geo. IV. ch. 5– which were inade perpetual by 2 Vict. ch. 3. These statutes were founded upon the British Acts, but having been. passed prior to the 9 Geo. IV. ch. 22– the many improvements introduced into the system by that enactment are not included in Canadian Election Law. This chapter, therefore, will treat of the Imperial usage, upon which the Provincial is founded, marking the difference which

* The following Special Acts have been passed, regulating the trial of Contested Elections, viz. : 10 Geo. III. ch. 16; 11 Geo. III. ch. 42; 14 Geo. III. ch. 15; 25 Geo. III. ch.84; 28 Geo. III. ch. 52; 32 Geo. III. ch. 1; 36 Geo. III. ch.59 ; 42 Geo. III. ch. 84; 47 Geo. III. sess. 1, ch. 1; 53 Geo. III. ch. 71; and 9 Geo. IV. ch. 22, which repeals all the foregoing, with the exception of 25 Geo. III. ch. 84, and the 31st clause of 28 Geo. III. ch. 52.

† By a recent Imperial Statute, 2 & 3 Vict. ch.38, an entirely new mode of trying Election Petitions is provided, and the operation of the Act 9 22, suspended for a limited time, in order that the new system may have a fair trial. But as there is a probability that it may not ultimately go into operation, at least without some alterations which may be found necessary by practice, and as it "completely differs from the present Provincial usage, I have not included its provisions in this Chapter. An abstract of its contents, however, will be found įn Appendix VI.

Members return1 ed, sitting Mem


exists between the two systems in Italics, which will be used to designate the latter.

The members first returned to Parliament are by Law, the sitting members, until the House, upon Petition, shall bers, until. determine otherwise.

The judicature by which petitions upon election matters are tried, is a Committee chosen by Ballot from among the members, who are required to report their decision to the House.

The Petition must set forth the specific grounds of The Petition. objection, and its allegations must be supported by proof. ·

Any person claiming to have had a right to vote at the By whom to be Election; or to have been returned; or alleging himself to have been a candidate, may present a petition complaining of an undue election; but one subscriber to the Petition must, within fourteen days, enter into a Recogni- Recognizances

required for zance, himself in £1000, with two sureties in £500, or Costs, &c. four in £250—to pay the costs of witnesses, clerks, officers of the House, &c. which costs are to be taxed under the direction of the Speaker in the manner hereinafter set forth.

By the Provincial Statute no Recognizance for the payment of costs is required, but they are ascertained and allowed as hereinafter described.

And by a sessional Resolution* of the House, the Peti- When Petition tion must be presented within fourteen days from the date of the Resolution, or within fourteen days after a new Return shall be brought in (a). The practice of Parliament with respect to the limitation of fourteen days is very strict. When a petition was delivered to the Clerk of the House on the evening of the day on which the fortnight

to be presented.

(a) C. J. 23 Nov. 1802. .* The Act 9 Geo. IV. ch. 22, says, on this head, that Petitions “shall be pre“ sented within such a time as the House shall from time to time a, point.” But the same limitation to fourteen days prevails in the Assembly of this Province, by. the authority of a Standing Order, see M.s.s. Journals, 1829, p. 746.

expired, but after the House was up, although there were very particular circumstances in the case, the House refused to relax the Rule' (b). But when the House has not sat on the fourteenth day, the Rule has received an equitable construction, and petitions have been received on the next day of its sitting (c). When the fourteen days expire during an adjournment, application is made to the House to extend the time, and receive the petitions. Petitions in such a case must be presented on the first day

of the meeting of the House after the adjournment. Renewed Peti-. If a Petition be not taken into consideration during the tions ; must be made in Canada. session in which it is presented, it must be renewed in the

next, and in every subsequent session, until it shall be tried (d). The renewed petitions must be the same in substance as the original petition, and must not contain any new allegations, or, it is supposed, receive any new signatures ; but signatures may be withdrawn. (e). If the Petitioners do not present a renewed Petition, as aforesaid, they forfeit the Recognizances they are required to enter into for the

prosecution of the contest. Not required in In the Consolidated Act, 9 Geo. IV. ch. 22, nothing is

said about renewed petitions, but it is provided in clause 56, that if the Parliament shall be prorogued after any Petition complaining of an undue election, &c. shall have been presented, but before it has been taken into consideration, the House shall, within two days after the next meeting of Parliament, appoint a day and hour for taking it into consideration. The law, therefore, which relates to renewed petitions, may be considered as no longer in force in Great Britain, since such petitions are not required by the new Act, but the House, of its own accord, must enter into the consideration of those that have been before presented (f). .

Imperial Parliament.

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