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guised manner, and had collected changes in the constitution, by
recourse to extraordinary means, rious parts of the kingdom, to such as would infringe on the li. carry through sudden and extreme berty of the subject, or suspend for
a time the blessings of the constitu- ment has been common among the tion.
people of this country,-how few The pressure of manufacturing there are who can explain or underand commercial distresses and diffi- stand the forms of proceeding. culties still continuing at the be- In fact, the forms of proceeding ginning of the year 1817, and the in parliament are but little known violences at Spa Fields (detailed in comparison of other parts of our in our last volume) having been laws and institutions. They are recommitted after the close of the garded by many as mere arbitrary session of 1816, as well as manifes. ceremonies, the reasons for which, tations of a turbulent spirit having if they did not originate in caprice, displayed themselves in many parts have been now altogether lost, as of the kingdom, the session of the Turks show the same reverence 1817 was naturally looked for by uncovering their feet as we do ward to, with no common interest by uncovering our heads, and as and anxiety.
some of the South Sea islanders Besides these reasons for interest deem it as disrespectful to stand in and anxiety, there existed another, the presence of their superiors as which, however, operated less gene- Europeans do to sit down. It will rally than those which we have de- be found, however, on a little reflectailed ;-we allude to the financial tion, that those forms are of someimmeasures that the minister might portance, which keep up the distincbe supposed to adopt. The revenue tion between a deliberative assemduring the year 1816 had fallen of bly and a tumultuous meeting, and very considerably; and even had that the species of discipline is not it been as flourishing and produc- the least worthy of attention which tive as during the most favourable preserves order in a body of which year of the war, yet it could not all the members are equal in autho. possibly cover the peace expendi. rity. It is in fact by the strict obture and the payment of the in- servance of these forms, and by the terest of the national debt. Hence introduction of the system those who felt an interest in this sentation, or rather delegation, in branch of political æ :onomy were modern times, that all the objecanxious to learn in what manner tions to a popular government have the minister would extricate himself been done away.-An account of from the financial difficulties with some of the forms of proceedings which he was pressed ; and by what in the house of commons, and an magic he would render a revenue explanation of some of the terms scarcely equal in amount to the used in describing them, may be payment of the interest of the na- also of service to the readers of par, tional debt-equal not only to that, liamentary debates. but the defrayment of a peace ex- Time of meeting. The old parlia. penditure of nearly twenty millions. ment hours, as lord Clarendon tells
Such were the principal sources us, was from eight in the morning of that interest with which, among to twelve. The afternoon was remost classes and descriptions of per. served for the business of commit. sons, the session of 1817 was an- tees. At present the house of com. ticipated. It is surprising, however mons meets between three and four,
- when we consider how long the and prayers are immediately read reading of the debates of parlia- by the chaplain --The morning is
occupied by such committees as originated. The present practice happen to be sitting. As soon as is, that a member who has a propo. there are forty members in the sition to make shall put it in wrihouse, the speaker takes the chair ; ting: he reads it, and delivers it to but if, at four o'clock, there are not the speaker. When this “ motion" forty present, he adjourns the house is seconded, it is proposed by the to the next day of sitting. The speaker to the house. It cannot reason why this hour has been fixed then be withdrawn, except by the upon for an adjournment, is sup- leave of the house, at the request posed by Mr. Hatsell to be, that by of the mover; and, till it is agreed act of parliament (12th William) to or negatived, no other motion it is ordered that members who are can be discussed, with the following introduced for the first time into exceptions: 1st, A motion to adthe house shall take the oaths of journ—2d, A motion for reading supremacy, abjuration, &c. at the the orders of the day-3d, Or, for table, between nine and four. When the previous question-Or, 4th, the king or his commissioners sum. from an amendment on the motion mon the house to the house of peers proposed. This general rule, which to hear the royal assent given to confines the attention of the house bills, or for any other purpose, the to a particular subject, and that dispeaker, on his return, takes the gested into a regular proposition, chair without counting the house; is indispensably necessary to the disbut if any member demand that the patch of business; and it is to the house be counted, no business can want of such a regulation that much be done till it appear that at least of the disorder in inexperienced poforty members be present; and if pular assemblies, such as the nait happens, after four o'clock, that tional assemblies in France, and the there are not so many present, the cortes in Spain, is to be attributed. house is immediately adjourned. A practice has prevailed in those
In the house of peers three lords bodies (drawn from the practices make a house, and very often there of the French parliament, which are not more than three present were judicial and not legislative bo. while judicial business is transact-- dies) of collecting the opinion of ed; viz. the lord chancellor, the members, not simply by an aye or chairman of committees, and the no to any question, but in any manjunior bishop, who reads prayers. ner in which the individuals thought
Questions. When a proposition is fit to deliver them. The meinber submitted to the house by the delivering that opinion was called speaker, it is called “putting the an opinant. The inconvenience of question.” It was anciently—in this practice in a legislative assemtimes when the proceedings of the bly is, that, independently of the house must have been much less re- time consumed in the process, the gular than they now are—the prac. various conflicting opinions are so tice for the speaker to collect the numerous that no decision can be sense of the house from the debates, recorded, unless it be that--not of and thence to frame propositions. the majority, but of the greatest When he had done this, he used to number who are of one mind. The "put the question" to the house- opinants also frequently went, like that is, ask them did they agree to all other makers of speeches, into this proposition? Hence the name matters quite irrelevant to the sub.
ject. The exceptions to the general it be not now put," the original morule in the house of commons are tion falls to the ground; but the as necessary as the rule itself. mover is not precluded from bring
1. Adjournment.- Whatever sub- ing it forward at any other time, ject is under discussion, any mem
if he thinks fit. ber may move “ that the house do 4. An amendment may be pronow adjourn,” and this motion posed on any question ;--the form must take the precedence of every of determining on it is this: The other ; for as it cannot be calcu- speaker reads the original motion, lated at what time any emergency and states that an amendment has may render an adjournment ne- since been proposed; he then puts cessary, so the house cannot pre- the question
i that the words pro* clude itself from taking this step, posed to be left out,” or “ the words notwithstanding it may not have proposed to be inserted, stand out decided on any motion which has of the question.” If the house been proposed to it.-A motion for agree to insert or reject any words, adjournment may be repeated any he then reads the question soamend. nomber of times, and there was ed, and it is again put to the vote; an instance in the last session, when so that if the house, on hearing the Mr. Wynne moved the standing whole of the question, think fit to order for excluding strangers, that reject it, they may still do so. This Mr. Brougham moved an adjourn- regulation prevents the house from ment three several times, on each being taken by surprise, or from of which the house divided. admitting words which might, in
2. A motion for the orders of the combination with the rest of the day also takes the precedence of motion, bear a construction which other motions, and is employed to they might not agree to. get rid of any proposition to which It is also to be remarked, that if the house may not wish to give any question respecting the privieither an affirmative or negative. lege of the house, or the order of When a motion has been made, its proceeding, arise in the course any member may move that the of a debate, it must have the preorders of the day (that is to say, cedence of any other matter under the list of proceedings which have discussion. This rule evidently oribeen ordered to be taken into con- ginated at a time when the consideration on that day) be read. nexion between the house of comThe motion cannot be employed to mons and the ministers of the crown put off the discussion of any proposi- was less intimate than that which tion which is to be found among exists at present. As the king was the orders themselves.
always eagerly expecting the subsi3. A motion for the previous dies which the house of commons question may be made to get rid of might intend to grant, that body any other motion, whether it be found readily perceived that the best way in the orders or not. On any propo. to secure its privileges from any sition being submitted to the house, hostile encroachment, was to make any member may demand that the another business give way to the house shall first decide whether discussion of such subjects. Thus in “the question be now put,” (this 'the parliament which preceded the is called Moving the previous ques- long parliament (1640), the lords, tion), and if the house decide "that who were devoted to the crown,
took upon themselves to advise the (for which we are convinced we shall commons to proceed forthwith to receive the thanks of our readers) the business of a supply; but so far we shall now proceed to a detail of was this from answering the pur- the parliamentary debates during pose of those who proposed it, that the session of 1817. the commons immediately voted The session was opened on Tues. this a breach of privilege, and day, January 28, by the prince rewould proceed to no public business gent, who delivered the following till the journals had been searched, speech from the throne : and a protestation sent up to the My lords and gentlemen,-It house of peers, to be entered on the is with deep regret that I am again journals of that house.
obliged to announce to you, that no The mude of coming to a deci. alteration has occurred in the state sion on a question is this :—The of his majesty's lamented indispospeaker, having read the motion, de sition. I continue to receive from sires those who are of that opinion foreign powers the strongest assu. to say Aye; he then desi:es i rances of their friendly disposition who are of the contrary opinion to towards this countıy, and of their say No.' He then says he thinks earnest desire to maintain the gethe ayes (or the noes)' “ have it." neral tranquillity. The hostilities
. If no one contradict this declara- to which I was compelled to resort, tion, the vote is recorded; but if in vindication of the honour of the it be contradicted by any member, country, against the goverment of the house proceeds to a division. Algiers, have been attended with In the first place, all strangers are the most complete success. The ordered to withdraw; two tellers splendid achievement of his majes. are appointed from the Ayes, and ty's fleet, in conjunction with a squatwo from the Noes. The Ayes (or dron of the king of the Netherlands, the Noes) are ordered to go forth under the gallant and able conduct into an ante-chamber of the house of admiral viscount Exmouth, led called the lobby, the other party to the immediate and unconditional remaining in the house. One teller liberation of all Christian captives for each party counts the number then within the territory of Algiers, of those who remain in the house; and to the renunciation, by its gothe other two count those who went vernment, of the practice of Chrisforth as they return through the tian slavery., I am persuaded that door of the house : the numbers you will be duly sensible of the imare then reported by the tellers at portance of an arrangement so inthe table ; and if the numbers be teresting to humanity, and reflectequal, the speaker is called upon ing, from the manner in which it for his casting vote. It is to be re- has been accomplished, such signal marked here, that as the tellers are honour on the British nation. In chosen from both parties, they keep India, the refusal of the govern
each other, and it is ment of Nepaul to ratify a treaty necessary that they should agree in of peace which had been signed by their reports, otherwise the house its plenipotentiaries, occasioned a must be counted a second time. renewal of military operations. The
Having thus explained the forms judicious arrangements of the goof proceeding in parliament, and the vernor-general, seconded by the terms by which they are designated bravery and perseverance of his