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Joint Addresses.

dental cause), then by such particular members as are of the Privy Council (a), or by the Speaker only (6). But addresses on unimportant topics are frequently presented by their drafters, who are generally the mover and second. er (c). If it be presented by the Whole House, the Speaker goes before, carrying the address, and preceded by the Mace,—the members following him in regular order*(d).

In the House of Lords, Addresses are presented by the Lords with White Staves.

A Joint Address of both Houses is read by the Speaker of the House of Lords (e). In cases of Joint Addresses, they are left with the Lords, as soon as agreed to, until that House have learnt at what time His Majesty will be pleased to receive the same, when they inform the House of Commons, by message, of the King's answer (f). The Houses then meet at the time and place appointed, and the Address is presented. It has sometimes happened, from the state of the King's health (g), or other causes, that it has been convenient, instead of the two Houses going up in a body (as is usual), for the Address to be presented by a Committee from each House; in this case the Commons appoint double the number of the Lords (h), or the Address is presented by the two Speakers only (i).

For forms of Addresses, see Appendix XXIV.

As to Addresses to the King for advance of Public Money, &c. ante p. 271.

(a) C. J. 11 March, 1789.

(6) 9 Grey, 473; 1 Chand. 298, 301. (C) C. J. v, 67, p. 391.

(d) C. J. 13 Feb. 1688. (e) C. J. 14 May, 1661.

(f) C. J. 26 & 27 April, 1751. (g) C. J. 27 Mar. 1673.

(h) C. J. 31 Mar. 1750. (i) C. J.27 July, 1708. * See Appendix XIV. Forms observed by the House of Commons in attending Her Majesty's Coronation.



On Messages..

1. MESSAGES FROM THE KING. A Message from the King to either House of Parlia- From the King. ment is sent by one of his Ministers, and from a Governor, in most cases, by his Secretary. When the subject of a Message is of a nature that can properly be communicated to both Houses, it is expected that this communication be made to each on the same day. But where the Message is accompanied by an original document, signed by the party to whom the Message refers, its being sent to one House has not been objected to by the other, because the document, being original, could not possibly be sent to both at the same time (a). But the King, on transmitting original letters to one House, sometimes desires that they may be returned, that he may communicate them to the other (6).

Messages on unimportant subjects are sometimes verbal, When written. but where the object is to desire from the Commons any proceeding on their part, (as an augmentation of the army or navy, the payment of the civil list debts, &c.) it is usual for the King to sent a written Message, signed with his own hand; and as soon as the Speaker has read the signature, the House has always paid that respect to the me King's Message as to be uncovered while it is reading. ver during their

But when the King (or Governor) desires the attendance of the Commons in the House of Peers, to receive Black Rod. : * his commands, the Gentleman Usher of the Black Rod

Members unco

Message by

(a) 2 Hats. 260-262; C. J. 12 May, 1794. (b) 1 Chand. 303.

Verbal Message stating arrest of Meniber.



comes with the Message, and as soon as he knocks at the door, all other business, of what kind soever, must immediately cease (c), and on the delivery of the Message, the Speaker, accompanied by the members, should proceed without delay or debate, to attend His Majesty in the House of Lords.

Whenever a member of the House is put under arrest, on account of the public service, a verbal Message from the King is delivered by a Secretary of State, Secretary at War, or Commissioner of the Admiralty, according to the department in which the proceeding arises (d).

11. MESSAGES BETWEEN THE TWO HOUSES. TWEEN THE TWO The ancient and accustomed form of sending a Message

from the Commons to the Lords, is by one member, who is, upon motion made and question put, named by the Speaker as the bearer of the Message. He must, how

ever, be accompanied by others : since the rule and pracLords' privileges tice of the Lords is, to receive no Message from the Com

mons, unless eight members attend it (e). For this purpose, when the Messenger takes his Message from the table, the Speaker always calls aloud to the House, “gentlemen, at“tend your Messenger.” There is scarcely ever a difference of opinion on the question of who shall be the Messenger; as he is usually chosen by the Speaker, either for having been the promoter of the bill, or for his known approbation of the subject of the Message. In bills that have passed the Commons with a general concurrence, and in other Messages where they desire an opportunity of shewing their approbation of the measure, it is customary for a great number of members to follow their Messenger to

the Lords. Message deli Having arrived at the House of Lords, the Gentleman

Usher of the Black Rod attending that House, announces

as to.


(c) C. J. 23 April, 1666 ; 16 March, 1741. Seo L. J. 24 June, 1701.
(d, C. J. 3 Dec. 1756.

(e) Hakew. 176.

at the bar their arrival. The question “ that the Messen-
“gers be called in,” is then put, and the Black Rod is
ordered to call them in. The Lord Chancellor leaves his
place on the woolsack, with the Great Seal, and attends
at the bar to receive the Messengers, who, accompanied
by the Black Rod, advance, making three obeisances, to
the bar, the principal Messenger being foremost. This
member, holding the bill in his hand says, “ The Commons
“ have passed a bill for, &c. (reading short the title) to
“which they desire the concurrence of your Lordships."
Or, if it be a returned bill, “ The Commons have agreed
“ to the bill passed by your Lordships, for, &c. without
“ amendment;” or “ with amendments, to which they de-
“sire the concurrence of your Lordships,” as the case may
be. The member then delivers the bill to the Chancellor
and the messengers, making three obeisances, withdraw(f).

If several bills are brought from the Commons at the same time, each bill is delivered in like manner, with a separate Message (g).

Such bills as have come down from the Lords, when Order in prereturned, are to be presented before any bills which ori, senting Bills. ginated in the Commons--next to them the public-and lastly, the private bills of that House (h).

The House will also, in like manner, send answers to Messengers from the Lords by Messengers of their own; accompanied by several other members of the House.

When the Lords send any Messages to the Commons it Messages from is always by two Messengers. These, in matters of great moment, are two of the Judges; at other times, the Messengers are the Master of the Rolls, or Masters in Chancery, and sometimes one Master in Chancery and the Clerk of the Parliaments (i). If the Message require an answer, the Messengers ought to wait in the lobby to carry

the Lords.

(f) D'Ewes, 19.
(R) C. J. 18 April, 1604.

(8) Bra. 145.
(i) 3. 0. H. of L, Xxxvi.

ceived by a Committee.




it back; which answer, as appears from the precedents, if the Commons immediately agree, is delivered to them : but if they differ, or the subject requires consideration, they are called in and informed that the House will reply

by Messengers of their own (k). Cannot be re- . When a Message is reported from the Lords, the Com

mons receive it, even if in the midst of a debate; and if in a Committee of the Whole, the House resumes on purpose (1); for it is an ancient order (m), that no Message be transmitted between the two Houses, except they be both sitting, with their respective Speakers in the chair.

Messengers are not saluted by the members, but, on entering they exchange obeisances with the Speaker, for the House (n).

If Messengers commit an error in delivering their Mes sages, they may be admitted, or called in to correct it(o). - As soon as the Messenger who has brought bills from the other House has retired, the Speaker, holding them in his hand, acquaints the House " that the other House have, by their Messenger, sent certain bills," and then reads their titles, and delivers them to the clerk for safe keeping till their reading shall be called up. (p).

It is not the usage for one House to inform the other Rules as to

by what numbers they have passed a bill (2). Yet they sometimes recommend a bill, as of great importance, to the consideration of the other House (r). Neither is it the practice when they have rejected a bill from the other House, to send notice thereof, but, to prevent unbecoming alterations, they let it pass sub silento (s).

A question is never asked by one House of the other by

Message reported.


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