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of the Black Rod.
Besides the Clerks Assistant, there is a Reading Clerk, and a Counsel to the Chairman of Committees : Clerks of the Journals, Engrossments, Enrollments, &c., with Clerks under them in their respective Departments.
It is an order of the House of Lords (6), “ That the “Clerks and inferior Officers attending this House shall "not, at any time, be suspended or displaced from their "offices or employments without leave of the House.”
3. The Clerk of the Crown in Chancery* is an Attendant Clerk of the of the House of Lords, and is charged with all Parliamentary Writs, and Royal Pardons. His place is upon the lower bench, next to the Clerk of the Parliaments. As to the Judges, Masters in Chancery, &c. who are also Assistants and Attendants upon the Lords, 'see ante pp. 28, 70.
4. The Gentleman Usher of the Black Rod. This Gentleman Usher officer was anciently appointed by letters patent under the great seal, and he is still Gentleman Usher to the King. He attends the House of Peers during Parliament, sitting without the bar; and holding in his hand a black rod (from whence he derives his name), surmounted by a golden lion. This Rod hath the same authority as a Mace. To the custody of this Officer all Peers called in question for any crime, are first committed.
He belongs to the Garter; and the dress which he wears on state occasions is that of the Register of the Order, and Garter King-at-Arms; but commonly he is attired in a court dress. Whenever the King sends for the House of Commons to attend him at the bar of the Lords for the meeting, prorogation, &c. of Parliament, it is by this Officer; but when he has deputed a commission for that purpose, the Yeoman Usher (who waits at the door Yeoman Usher. within) is usually, though not invariably, the messenger.
(O) s. 0. H. of L. 6 Feb. 1723 ; 5 Feb. 1825.
By the 2 & 3 Wm. IV. ch. 111, this office is to be abolished after the death of the present occupier.
5. There is also a Serjeant-at-Arms in attendance ÓR the Lord Chancellor, whose duties are similar to those of
the like officer in the House of Commons, (see post p. 325). Chaplain. By the entries on the Journals of the House of Lords,
it appears that there was anciently a Chaplain, whose duty it was to read prayers each day, before the commencement of business; but there is no such.officer at present,
this solemn rite being performed by the junior Bishop. Crier and Door- There is a Crier and several Door-keepers in attendkeepers.
ance without; and it is provided by a standing order (e) that the Door-keepers be not allowed to enter within the doors, except upon business.
Of the House of
OFFICERS, &c. OF THE HOUSE OF COMMONS,* 1. The Clerk.-The office of Clerk of the House of Commons, (or, as he is more properly called, Under Clerk of the Parliamentst,) is granted by the King (d), by letters patent, for life, to be exercised by himself or deputy; with an ancient salary of £10, payable half yearly at the Exchequer. :
By virtue of his office, the Clerk has not only the right of appointing a deputy to officiate in his stead, but has the nomination of Clerks assistant, and all other Clerks without doors. His duties are comprised in the words of his oath, “ to make true entries, remembrances and journals, "s of the things done and past in the House of Commons;" but he must confine himself to taking notes of the orders and proceedings in the House. These he and his Clerks do in their minute books at the table, and from these
(c) S. O. H. of L. 14 Feb. 1703.
(d) See 6 Grey, 106. * For the amount of compensation paid to certain inferior Officers and Servants of the House of Commons, see Appendix XXV.
+ The reason given for this is, that when the Two Houses of Parliament first separated, and held their meetings apart,—which is said to have been on the 12th March, 1332,—the Under Clerk of the Parliaments went with the Commons; and he has been accordingly, from that time, styled in his letters-patent, and several public documents, “Under Clerk of the Parliaments, attending upon the Commons."
minutes the votes (which are ordered to be printed*,) are made up, under the direction of the Speaker.
The Book of the Clerk of the House of Commons, as the Journals were anciently termed, is a record fe), and as such is evidence in a court of law. As records, they are open to every one, to see and to publish therefrom (f); and a printed vote of either House on any subject is sufficient ground for the other to notice it. Either may appoint a Committee to examine the Journalst of the other, and report their proceedings upon the particular subject of enquiry, (see Chap. XII. On Committees, [Committee to inspect Lords' Journals).)
The Journals of the House of Commons commence in 1547,and continue down to the present time; but the course of entering the proceedings has varied from time to time, the entries being much more specific and detailed at some periods than at others. The Journals of the House of Lords commence in 1509, and are much more regular.
On information of a misentry or omission in the Journals, Misentry.
(e) 6 Henry VIII. ch. 16 ; 4 Inst. 23, 24; C. J. 17 March, 1592. (f) 6 Grey, 118, 119.
* The votes and proceedings of the House were first ordered to be printed by a Resolution of the House on the 24th March, 1680-1; for about forty years prior to that time, it had been customary to order the printing of certain specific votes, but there was no general order for that purpose. Since then, however, the above Resolution has been renewed every session (with the exception of the year 1702 when it was for a short time suspended), and a Printer ordered to be appointed for that purpose by the Speaker; an occasional prohibition being added against all other persons printing the same. By the 42 Geo. III. ch. 63, Votes and Proceedings in Parliament may be sent to any part of Great Britain, postage free, by Members of either House, and certain public officers; and with a reduced postage, by all other persons.
† Although the order says “ Journals," it is stated by a Committee of the House of Commons, on the Publication of Printed Papers (8 May, 1837), that the Lords have invariably adverted to the Votes for any information they may have required. It is also stated (by this Committee), that " although the House of . Commons do not allow any reference to be made in Petitions to what passes in “ debate, or may be entered in the Journals, yet, consistently with the rules of " the House, matter stated in the printed Votes may be made the subject of “petition and discussion."
Entries in the
a Committee may be appointed to examine and certify it, , and
report to the House (g). The Clerk is to let no Journals, Records, Accounts or Papers be taken from the table or out of his custody (). The rules he should observe in making entries therein, are thus stated :
If a question be interrupted by a vote of adjournment, or to proceed to the orders of the day, the original question is never printed in the Journals, it not having been a vote, or introductory to a vote ; but when suppressed by the previous question the first question must be stated, in order to introduce and make intelligible the second (i).
So also when a question is postponed, adjourned or laid on the table, the original question, though not yet a vote, must be entered on the Journals, because it makes a part of the postponing, &c.
Where ainendments are made to a question, those amendments are not entered on the Journals separate from the main question ; but only the question as finally agreed to by the House. The rule of entering only what the House has agreed to is founded in great prudence; as there might be many questions proposed which it would be improper to publish to the world in the form in which they are made (k).
At the end of the session, it is the Clerk's office to see that the Journal of the session is properly made out, and fairly transcribed from the minute books, the printed votes, and the original papers that have been laid before the House; and that it is printed and distributed according to the established rules for that purpose*.
Other duties of the Clerk.
(8) C. J. 1 March, 1676.
(h) C. J. 10 Dec. 1641. (i) 2 Hats. 83.
(k) 2 Hats. 85. * By a Standing Order of the House of Assembly of this Province (see M. S. S. Journals, 1830, p. 194), the printed Edition of the Journals must be disposed of as follows, viz:
Three copies to each member. --One copy to each member of the Legislative Council. Six copies to the Lieutenant Governor.— Three copies to the Library any mem.
It is his duty also, to sign all bills which have passed the House, all addresses to the Crown, and all orders of the House.
It is also his duty to take down the words of ber, to which exception is taken as being irregular-on receiving the direction of the House to that effect, conveyed, in Hatsell's opinion (1), through the Speaker, as the mouth-piece of the House. But if any member has spoken between (as where a seconder had spoken two or: three sentences (m), and then sat down,) no words which have passed before can be taken notice of, so as to be written down by the Clerk, in order to a censure ; (see ante p. 98.), ; In Committees of the Whole, the Clerk Assistant offi- Clerk Assistant. ciates alone.
The salary of the Clerk of the House of Commons is Salary of the regulated by the 52d Geo. III. ch. 11. which provides Officers. That that Officer, together with the Clerks Assistant, Serjeant-at-Arms, &c. shall pay to certain commissioners appointed, to be called “the commissioners for regulating " the Offices of the House of Commons," all the salaries, fees, perquisites and emoluments, which they may receive, to be paid into a fund (called the “Fee Fund"), from which the said commissioners shall pay to each their respective salaries, as follows, viz:The Clerk of the House of Commons (first five years of service)
After which 3,500 Clerk Assistant (first five years' service)
After which 2,500 Second Clerk Assistant (first five years' service)
Clerk and other
1,500 After which 2,000
(1) 2 Hats. 257, 258.
(m) C. J. v. 68, p. 322. One copy (each) to the Governors, Legislative Councils and Assemblies of Lower Canada, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, and Prince Edward's Island.—Three copies to the Library of the Imperial Parliament.-Six copies to the Clerk's Office for the use of this House, and the remainder to such Members of the House of Commons of Great Britain, as the Speaker may direct.