Page images

Other Private Acts, as Estate, Divorce, Naturalization, &c. being solely of a personal nature, are not printed in the Statutes at large.



Bills for com

due to the Crown.


There are several other kinds of Private Bills which are not regulated by the same rules that apply to Private Bills generally, and which claim attention, viz:--Bills for compounding debts due to the Crown, Divorce, Estate, Naturalization and Name Bills.

1. Bills FOR COMPOUNDING DEBTS DUE TO THE Crown, pounding debts The Petition upon which bills of this description origi

nate must be accompanied by a certificate from the Officer at the head of that department of the Revenue concerned, stating the debt, what prosecutions have been instituted for its recovery; and setting forth how much of it the Petitioner and his security are able to satisfy (a).

The Petition will be referred to a Select Committee, to examine the proofs thereon, who will report to the House on the following day. The petition will then be referred to a Committee of the Whole, where alone a bill of this nature can originate (6). The day after the report, is the usual time for the House to resolve itself into a Committee on the Petition, and leave is then given to bring in the bill. The bill having been previously printed, is presented and read. After three days have elapsed, the bill, having been examined by the Clerks in the Private Bill Office, and certified by them to be duly prepared, may be read a second time, when it will be committed for the next day seven night, to a Committee of the Whole.

The Bill having passed the Committee, on the follow

(a) s. 0. 11. of C. 25 March, 1715. (b) Ibid. 29 March, 1707.
" adds) ego A. B. clericus parliamenti virtute brevis supradict dom. nos. reg. de
“ certiorand, mihi direct. et hiis annex certifico superius hoc scriptum verum esse
"tenor. act parl. supradict, in es brevi express. In cujus rei testimoniuin,” &c.-
D'Ewes. 36.



ing day their report must be prepared, with all the Com. mittee's amendments. The Chairman of the Committee on Ways and Means (which is a Committee of the Whole, see Chap. XII. On Committees), will then report it to the House, and the bill henceforward passes through both Houses as a Public Bill; and will be printed with the Public Acts by the Queen's printer. The Lords receiving it as a Public Bill, do not require any evidence in its support; but it will there also, be committed to a Committee of the Whole.

Before the bill is considered in Committee, in the House of Commons, it is the duty of the agent for the bill, or the Solicitor, to provide printed copies of it, for the Chairman and Clerk at the table, with all the blanks filled up. The agent must also supply printed copies of it for the use of the Lords. (c).

2. DIVORCE Bills.

All Bills of this discription, from their judicial nature, Divorce Bills. must originate in the House of Lords.

They originate upon a Petition presented to the House, Petition. signed by the party applying for the Divorce*, or, should he be abroad when the proceedings are instituted, by his attorney. The Petition must be accompanied by an official copy of the proceedings and of a definitive sentence of divorce, a mensa et thoro, in the Ecclesiastical Court (a), at the suit of the petitioner; the correctness of which must be certified upon oath at the Bar of the House.

When leave has been given to bring in the bill, it may Bill. be presented, read a first time, and ordered for a second reading on the next day fortnight. And orders may be then made for the required withesses to attend the House at that time.

The House of Lords have, on several occasions, shown themselves sensitively alive to the great increase of re(c) Dwar. 319, 320.

(a) 5.0. H. of L. cxli.—28 Mar. 1798. * For the form of this Petition, see Appendix XíX.

If the witnesses
are refractory,

the Petition

the Judges.

Who then report.

In case of the refusal of any witness to attend, or to produce any required documents before the Judges, recourse must be had to the House itself by petition (k).

The petitioner will generally be called to the bar to support his allegations upon oath. If satisfied, the House will give the necessary order, and cause it to be

enforced. Allegations of The next step is to get a meeting of the Judges, and to proved before attend with all the parties concerned, and the necessary

witnesses, to prove before them the allegations of the petition. First, the signature to the petition must be proved in the usual way; then all deeds and documents must be produced and proved by the subscribing witnesses; all haptisms, marriages and deaths be shown by the production of extracts from the Registers; and all other facts established in the regular way by legal evidence. When this has been done, the Judges, if satisfied of the facts, and approving of the bill, will make and sign a report,* and

sign the bill. Judges' Report. The report briefly states, that the Judges have been

attended by an agent of the petitioners, and have considered the several allegations and matters contained in the petition, and find the same to be true; that the facts have been proved before them to their satisfaction; that the only parties who appear to them to be beneficially interested in the consequences of the bill have signed the petition ; and that they (the judges) have perused and signed the

bill annexed to the report, which they conceive to be pro: : : : per for effectuating the purposes aforesaid. When the hill When an Estate Bill originates with the Commons, it Commons, the is read a first time in the Lords the same day it is sent up, the bill, and not and then immediately referred to the Judges for their the petition.

opinion. The witnesses being sworn at the bar of the House, the Judges receive and consider their evidence, and

has begun in the

Judges consider the bill, and not

(k) L. J. v. 31, p. 590. Ellis, 24. * See Appendix XIX. for Judges' Report, and Petition that must be made to

receive the same.

[ocr errors]

If they approve, they report favorably, but do not sign the bill.

report to the House. But in the above case, when the bill : itself, and not the petition, is submitted to them, it is usual for then, if they do not approve it, to make a.special report of their objections to the House, whether they are to the principle of the bill, or to any of its provisions: When the report is general and favorable, the judges state that they have perused the bill, and conceive it to be 15 proper for the purposes intended, and are of opinion that no it may be reasonable that the same should pass into a law, if their Lordships shall so please; but they do not sign the bill. The next point (1) requiring attention is the delivery of Report, &c. .

presented, and : a copy of the petition and the judges' report to the Chair- Bill ordered. ' man of Committees; without which no bill can be read a first time. The bill and report must then be presented to the House, with a breviate for the Speaker; and upon the Judges' report being read, if it be favorable, leave will be given to bring in the bill, and it will receive a first reading; and, if it be printed, which it usually is as soon as the Judges approve of it, may be read a second time the day following. But this can only be effected by the bill being sent to the press in sufficient time to enable the agent to deposite the prints with the Clerk of the Parliaments, to be laid on the table of the House for the perusal of the Lords, in sufficient time, on the day proposed for its second reading (m).

At the opening of every session, a day is named after Time for recei: which the House will not receive any report from the ports limited. Judges upon petitions for private bills. Indulgence, however, is often extended, and, on petition presented, with safficient cause shown, the Judges' report may be receive ed, though the time for receiving such reports has elapsed.

The provisions of the bill are, in a great measure, regu- Bill chiefly regulated by certain standing orders of the Lords. Thus by ing Orders.

ving Judges' Re

Provisions of ilio

lated by Stand

(1) S. O. H. of L. clxxv.

(n) 5. O. H. of L. xcvi.

Thus, the Com.

dered to see that the values are fully made out.

Settlement fairly niade.

And proper

duced for the purchase. . .

tlement of pur

a Standing Order of that House (n), substituted in lieu of:

a former order, “When a bill is brought in to empower mittee are or. "any person to sell or dispose of lands in one place, and

“to buy or settle lands in another, the Committee are in"structed to take care that the values be fully made out; “and if the bill shall not be for making a new purchase,

“but only for settling other lands in lieu of those to be 19 “sold, then provision shall be made in the bill, that such

“other lands be settled accordingly; but if the bill shall

“be to purchase and settle other lands, then the Commitagreement pro. "lee are to take care that there be a binding agreement

"produced for such new purchase; or if it shall be ..

made appear that such agreement or such purchase candefault. “not then be made or settled as desired by the bill, satisfuctory set-' « provision shall be made in the bill, that so much chase money in " of the money arising by sale of the lands directed the Bank, &c.

“to be sold, as is to be laid out in a new purchase, “shall be paid by the purchaser or purchasers into the “ Bank of England, in the name and with the privity " of the Accountant General of the Court of Chancery, to “ be placed to his account there ex parte the purchaser of “the estate of the person mentioned in the title of the "said bill, &c. without fee or reward, &c. and shall, when “so paid in, be laid out in Navy, Victualling, or Exchequer , ". Bills ; and the interest, &c. with the money received " for the same as they shall be respectively paid off by “governinent, shall be laid out in the name of the said

Accountant General, in the purchase of other Navy, or L'util a proper " Victualling bills, &c. all which said bills, &c. shall be found for the deposited in the Bank, &c. and shall remain there until

“a proper purchaser be found and approved, and until

" the same shall, upon a petition preferred to the Court of Provision for in- "Chancery, be ordered to be sold for completing such So hoced: onej “purchase : and if the money arising from the sale of such

"bills, &c. shall exceed the amount of the original pur(n) S. O, 11. of L. cliä. Enendut. I Mar. 1806.

same, or other. wise,

« PreviousContinue »