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and the necessary supplies were voted by that House,
according to its discretion. This mode of procedure in
obtaining grants of money admitted of no exception.
It therefore left no opportunity to any private member
to introduce any scheme of his own whereby any
charges would be made upon the people. But in the
beginning of the last century a specious evasion of this
constitutional rule crept in. The wholesome system of
exchequer control in the custody of public moneys
which afforded protection alike to the crown and to the
Parliament against illegal appropriations was made
the occasion of attempts to induce the crown, by the

b Hats. Free. v. 3, p. 168. Hearn, Gladstone's speeches, Hans. D. v. 181,
Govt. of Eng. pp. 349-851, Mr. p. 1131 ; Ib. v. 182, p. 697.


exercise of parliamentary influence, to sanction expen^
ditures that were extravagant and unjustifiable. Find-
ing that there was generally a balance of public money
remaining in the exchequer, as yet unappropriated to
any specific service, there was a growing disposition
on the part of private members to regard this money
as available for any purpose they might be disposed to
favour. Petitions were presented to the House from orpeti-

, . . . ,. tions for

various persons claiming pecuniary assistance or relief ; pecuniary
which being often promoted by members who were
friends to the parties, and carrying with them the
appearance of justice or of charity, induced the House
to approve, or at utmost to be indifferent to their
success. By this means large sums were granted to
private persons improvidently, and sometimes upon
insufficient grounds. In the year 1705 this abuse
became so notorious, that early in the next session, on
December 11, 1706, before any petitions of this sort
could be again offered, the House resolved, ' That they
would receive no petition for any sum of money relat-
ing to public service, but what is recommended from
the crown.' This resolution was made a standing order
on June 11, 1713, and amended, June 25, 1852, to
bring it into conformity with existing practice, by the
substitution of a new order to declare, ' That this House or motions
will receive no petition for any sum of money relating ^Jf^f
to public service, or proceed upon any motion for en . ter -
granting any money, but what is recommended from
the crown. ' d

The House was informed by a member of the petitions com-
mittee, on March 20, 1866, 'that there was hardly a meeting of
that committee at which petitions were not rejected, on account

e Hats. Prec. v. 3, p. 242. Mr. to this rule, see Mir. of Parl. 1837

Ayrton's speech on proposing the new p. 259. Ib. 1837-8, p. 2026; 1839*

supply order, on March 20, 1866. p. 123. The standing order of June'

Hans. D. v. 182, p. 591. 1852, was extended to charges upon

d For cases illustrating the strict- the Indian revenues, by standing

ness with which the II. of 0. adheres order of July 21, 1856.

X Y 2


of their praying for a grant of public money, or some similar
informality. 6

The uniform practice of the House has construed
this rule to extend to any motion which involves the
expenditure of public money, even though it may not
directly propose a grant.*

And although the House is not precluded from
appointing a select committee to enquire into any
alleged grievance or matter of complaint against the
or reports government/ it has been held that a select committee
cannot recommend that public compensation should be
made to individuals for losses incurred, unless the same
had been previously sanctioned by the crown . h

In several similar instances committees have evaded the rule by
the use of general terms in favour of the relief they desired to
recommend. 1 But the rule does not apply to select committees on
public questions, appointed at the instigation, or with the consent,
of government. Such committees may recommend the adoption of
anything within their order of reference, notwithstanding that their
recommendations may involve the expenditure of money .J

This is a striking proof of the strictness with which
this rule is enforced ; as the mere report of a com-
mittee, though entitled to respectful consideration, does
not bind the House to anything, unless it be formally
agreed to by the House itself.

But while the House of Commons has invariably
maintained the principle embodied in the foregoing
standing order, so far as it was directly applicable, the
ingenuity of members has discovered a way of practi-

Hane D. v. 182, p. 601. v. 174, p. 1460. Baron de Bode's

' May, Parl. Prac. 1883, p. 652. case, post, pp. 697 and 705.

The recommendation of the crowo is h Fourdrinier's case, Com. Jour.

signified either by a message under June 15, 1837 ; and see liana. D. v.

the sign-manual, or by a formal uoti- 166, p. 710.

fication by a minister of the crown. ' May, Parl. Prac. ed. 1883, pv

Hans. D. v. ] 05, p, 471. 3 Hats. Prec. 662.

pp. 169, 196. J Rep. Sel. Com. on Dockyards.

* Fourdrinier's Patent, Com. Jour. Com. Pap, 1864, v. 8 ; and see post,

v. 92, p. 309. Mir. of Parl. 1837, p. p. 698,

1888. Claims of J. Clare, Hans. D.


cally evading it. Of late years it has become customary Bill .s n
to permit the introduction of bills by private members public
which, though not professedly in the nature of money char s ea
bills, do yet necessitate, to a greater or less extent, the
imposition of new charges upon the people, the precise
extent of which cannot always be estimated at the out-
set. These Bills have been either for the construction
of certain public works, or for the establishment or
encouragement of certain new institutions, or they have
proposed to grant new salaries to officials to be ap-
pointed under the Bill, or to grant compensation or aid
to individuals, or associations for various causes assigned.
But whatever may be the precise object of these Bills,
inasmuch as they establish grounds of expense, they
are an evasion of the constitutional rule which forbids
the grant of money by Parliament, except at the appli-
cation of the crown. In order to admit of the pro-
posed grant without a direct violation of constitutional
practice, Bills of this description invariably contain a
clause to the effect that the necessary expenses to be
incurred thereby should be ' defrayed out of moneys to
be hereafter voted by Parliament.' The facilities attend-
ing the introduction of such Bills has frequently induced
ministers themselves to take advantage of this mode of
obtaining the sanction of Parliament to their legislative
measures. Moreover, under certain circumstances, and
with a view to facilitate the progress of public business,
Bills of this class have even been permitted to originate
in the House of Lords.

Provided that any clauses which infringe upon the Sugges-
privileges of the Commons are formally struck out of
the Bill before it is sent to that House. But for the
sake of convenience, and to make the measure intelli-
gible, such clauses may be either written, or printed in
red ink, in the copy of the Bill which is sent down from
the Lords ; in which case they are understood not to
form part of the Bill, but to be merely suggestions, to


Bills im- be offered for the acceptance of the Commons in com-
posing . k
public mittee.

While it is obvious that the introduction of such
Bills by ministers of the crown is not open to the same
objections as when they are brought in by private
members, yet it is most desirable that measures of this
description should be subjected to careful scrutiny, and
that the probable expense they would entail should be
duly estimated, and made known to the House by a
responsible minister, before it is called upon to sanction
them. 1 In 1862 two such Bills, brought in by ministers
of the crown, were rejected by the House of Commons,
on account of the excessive expenditure they would

have been But where such Bills have originated with private
of members, they have, as a general rule, been productive
f g reat abuse, by encouraging injudicious and extrava-
gant expenditure. If the principle of the Bill obtains
the sanction of Parliament, the faith of Parliament
becomes pledged to the outlay involved, and ministers
are obliged to include, in future estimates, distinct pro-
vision for the same ; and when the particular grant that
is required to carry out any such measure is brought
forward in committee of supply, any objection to its
principle is commonly met by the assertion that it is
useless, if not unfair, to oppose it at this stage, inas-
much as Parliament has already agreed that the pro-
posed expenditure ought to be incurred. So long as
private members are permitted to initiate measures
which involve the expenditure of public money without
the previous consent of the crown, it would be in vain

k See Rpt. of Joint Com. on Des- British Museum Bill, Smith, Parl.

patch of Business with Evidence. Rememb. 1862, pp. 25, 101. See the

Com. Pap. 1868-9, v. 7. And pro- debate in the Commons, on the

ceedings on Divorce Court Bill. Public Offices (Site and Approaches)

Hans. D. v. 160, pp. 1628, 1734, Bill, on March 7, 1865. See post,

1765. p. 699.

1 The Kensington Koad Bill, and


to expect an economical administration of the public
funds. These considerations were brought under the
notice of the House of Commons by a private member
(Mr. Ayrton) on May 16, 1862, when, after a short
debate upon the subject, the chancellor of the exche-
quer promised that it should receive the attention of
government, and that hereafter a committee should be
appointed to review the whole question, and to recom-
mend rules to remedy the evils arising from this objec-
tionable practice. 111

The attention of the House was again directed to the injurious
consequences of this practice in a speech of the chancellor of the
exchequer, on May 22, 1865, in regard to a proposition emanating
from a private member, to transfer an annual expenditure of up-
wards of two millions on behalf of the poor, from local to public
revenues, and to provide that this enormous amount should be
thenceforth defrayed ' out of moneys provided by Parliament,' in-
stead of being chargeable upon parochial poor rates. 11

No such committee having been proposed, the sub-
ject was again brought up by Mr. Ayrton, on March 20,
1866. After adverting to the consequences which had ^ di
arisen from the introduction of this novel and uncon- orders to
stitutional practice, he proposed in the interest of previous 16
economy, and in order that ' the whole responsibility of ^
increasing the public expenditure should be thrown to such
upon her Majesty's ministers ' that ' The standing motions
order of June 25, 1852, relating to applications for
public money, be repealed, and, in lieu thereof, that
this House will receive no petition for any sum relating
to public service, or proceed upon any motion for a
grant or charge upon the public revenue, whether pay-
able out of the consolidated fund, or out of moneys to
be provided by Parliament , unless recommended from
the crown ' ; and that the further standing order of the
same date, relating to public aids or charges upon the

m Hans. D. v. 166, pp. 1839-1848. Gladstones speech, Ib. v. 181, p.
Ib. v. 179, pp. 665^696, Mr. 1132.


people, be repealed, and that, in lieu thereof, it be
resolved That if any motion be made in the House
for any aid, grant, or charge upon the public revenue,
whether payable out of the consolidated fund, or out
of moneys to be provided by Parliament, or for any
charge upon the people, the consideration and debate
thereof shall not be presently entered upon, but shall
be adjourned till such further day as the House shall
think fit to appoint ; and then it shall be referred to a
committee of the whole House, before any resolution or
vote of the House do rjass therein.' The proposed new
orders were thankfully accepted by the chancellor of
the" exchequer, on the part of government, approved of
by experienced members, and agreed to by the House.
Under these rules a Bill by which it is intended to
authorise a charge upon the public revenues may be
introduced upon -motion, provided that the money
clauses are printed in italics. Thus they form no part
of the Bill, but are treated as blanks. Before they are
discussed the Queen's recommendation must be signified,
and a committee of the whole House appointed to con
sider, on a future day, the resolution authorising the
charged But whilst private members are not precluded
from introducing Bills of this description, it is obvious
that it is most desirable that such legislation should, as
a general rule, be initiated by ministers of the crown. q
Practice And here it may be noticed, that the practice of the

of Lords House of Lords, in these particulars, is less stringent
less strm- than that of the House of Commons. There is no rule
or usage of the House of Lords to forbid the presenta-
tion, discussion, and reference to a committee of a
petition for pecuniary redress or compensation ; or for

Hans, D. v. 182, pp. 691-603. the standing order. See Hans. D. v

Notwithstanding the increased strin- 209, pp. 1966, 1996.

gency of these new orders, the in- v The Speaker, Hans. D. v. 209, p.

genuity of members has succeeded in 1952.

evading them by a form of motion q Hans. D. v. 218, p. 690 ; also Ib,

not directly contrary to the words of v, 220, p. 864.


the expenditure of public money in the construction of
particular public works, or for grants of money to par-
ticular institutions/ And although the House of Lords
have no right to initiate measures of taxation, or pro-
positions for increasing tne pecuniary burdens of the
people, yet they are not constitutionally debarred from
instituting enquiries, by their own committees, into
financial maitersfor into questions which involve the
expenditure of public money. 8 From 1691 to 1703 a
great controversy prevailed between the two Houses as contro-
to the right of the Lords to institute enquiries into the ^ht'of*
public accounts. The Lords stoutly maintained that the Lords
they had a right to take cognisance originally of public in^ex"
accounts, whilst the Commons denied that there was penditure.
any utility in such enquiries.* The consent of the
Lords is indispensable to every legislative measure,
whether of supply or otherwise, and it is desirable that
they should be prepared, by full investigation and free
enquiry, to give or withhold their assent intelligently. 11
The House of Lords are competent, moreover, to re-
commend questions involving the expenditure of money
to the consideration of the crown ; but such a recom-
mendation must be couched in general terms.

Thus, on August 4, 1842, a select committee of the House of
Lords on the ventilation of the new Houses of Parliament, recom-
mended that a sum of 86,OOOZ. should be provided to carry out a
plan proposed for that object. v

In 1852 the House of Lords appointed a select committee to _
enquire into the claims of Baron de Bode for pecuniary relief, in dents,
respect to a certain claim against the government as set forth in a

r Baron de Bode's case, infra, p. places ; and in 1860, on the levying

705. Hans. D. v. 173, p. 1622 ; v. and assessment of church rates.

174, p. 962. * Hats. Free. pp. 467-485, 495-

8 See May's Parl. Prac. ed. 1883, 516.

p. 647. Lords' Committees were ap- u See Palmer's case, post, p. 703,

pointed in 1847, to enquire into the Also paper duties case, post, p. 809,

receipts and charges of the post office, where the relative position of the

and into the manner of keeping the two Houses, hi regard to questions of

accounts thereof, and in 1858, on supply and taxation, is discussed,

spiritual destitution in populous T Lords Jour. v. 74, p. 509.


tions of
the Lords

petition from the Baron, which had been referred to the committee.
The committee reported favourably on the claim. In the following
year Lord Lyndhurst moved a resolution, based upon this report,
* earnestly recommending this claim to the favourable consideration
of the government.' The motion was negatived on its own merits, but
its regularity was not disputed. w In 1860, a Lords committee upon
floating breakwaters, &c. recommended 'that a sum not exceeding
10,000?. be placed at the disposal of the Admiralty,' to enable that
department to test any plans for the suitable construction of such
works.* On July 5, 1861, Lord Shaftesbury moved an address to
the Queen, in favour of the extension, throughout India, of the best
systems of irrigation and internal navigation. The previous ques-
tion was proposed on this motion, on the ground that the govern-
ment were themselves prepared to carry out the principle advocated,
as fully as possible, but would consider ' the adoption of such an
abstract resolution to be inconvenient.' y

In 1871 Mr. Gladstone claimed for the House of Lords an equal
right with the House of Commons to enquire into the finances and
financial administration of India. And though he abandoned his
proposal for a joint committee of both Houses on the subject, be-
cause it did not meet with general acquiescence in the House of
Commons, yet he protested against any attempt to narrow the
deliberative functions of the Lords, except on grounds of broad
constitutional principle. And subsequently the Duke of Argyll
declared that, ' should any suggestion emanate from the Commons
committee of which the government or the House of Lords might
doubt the propriety, it would be their lordships' duty to institute a
full enquiry before passing any measure founded upon it.' z

On May 9, 1871, a peer moved for an address to her Majesty, on
behalf of the widow of the late Captain JBurgoyne, R.N., with a
view to her relief from certain pecuniary liabilities incurred by the
loss of the ship commanded by her husband. The question was
debated on its merits, but ministers having stated that the presenta-
tion of the address could lead to no practical result, as it was not
competent for the House of Lords to originate motions with regard
to grants of money ; also, that the matter was under consideration
by government the motion was withdrawn.*

w Lords Jour. v. 84, pp. 221, 241.
Hans. D. v. 122, p. 488 ; v. 129, p.

' Ib. v. 167, p. 232.

i Ib. v. 164, pp. 394, 401. And
see a discussion m the H. of Lords,
on June 30, 1865, upon a peer calling
attention to the claims of naval cap-

tains on the reserved pay-list under
certain orders in council. Ib. v. 180,
p. 975.

Ib. v. 204, pp. 776, 1162.

Ib. v. 206, pp. 462-467. See
also proposed address for measures to
repressslave trade in Africa, / b. v.
212, p. 1608.


The House of Commons, in forbidding, by their Wise re -

_. , j / , , ,v stramtim-

standing orders and uniform practice interpreting the posedby
same, the reception of petitions for pecuniary aid, and JJcJS? 80
the presentation of reports from select committees re- monsupon
commending the expenditure of public money, have selves,
voluntarily assumed a restraint which goes beyond the
positive obligation of the constitutional rule that re-
quires all grants of money by Parliament to be made
only upon the application of the crown. Nevertheless,
they have wisely imposed upon themselves this restric-
tion, in order to guard against importunate demands
from without, and as a check upon the too easy liberality
of their own members. The responsibility of recom-
mending applications for pecuniary redress or relief to
the consideration of Parliament should rest solely upon
the executive government, who are strictly accountable
for every item of public expenditure, whose especial
duty it is, in the interest of the taxpayer, to oppose
all unnecessary outlay, and who possess peculiar facili-
ties for investigating into the merits of all pecuniary
claims. b And it is only a waste of time to encourage
premature debates in Parliament upon questions in-
volving a grant of money, whether for public or private
purposes, before the attention of government has been
directed to the merits of the application.

By a ruling of the Speaker of the House of Assem-
bly of the Cape of Good Hope, on June 22, 1882, it
was decided that a select committee cannot recommend
a specific grant of land, any more than a grant of
public money, without the recommendation of the

Should any case arise wherein it may appear to be Resoiu-
the duty of the House to point out to the government SS^s of
public charges which ought to be incurred, they have * h House

MI ill in favour

still undoubted authority to do so, either by the ofapar-

Clode, Mil. Forces of the Crown, v. 2, p. 186.

ticular ex-


tions and
on issue of
public ex-

to origi-
nate in
tee of


adoption of a resolution, expressing an abstract opinion
in favour of a proceeding which will necessitate a future
grant of money, or by agreeing to address the crown
to incur certain expenditure, with an assurance of their
readiness to make good the same, the House is free' to
approach the crown with their constitutional advice in
this, as in any other matter of prerogative. An abstract
resolution does not finally bind the House to make the
grant, and it imposes upon the government the respon-
sibility of either accepting or rejecting the recommenda-
tion. But this is a right which the House exercises,
and should exercise, with very great reserve, and only
under peculiar and exceptional circumstances. More-
over, the adoption of an abstract resolution, for the
express purpose of evading a wholesome rule in matters
affecting the public expenditure, should be discouraged
as much as possible.

Addresses from the House of Commons to the crown,
requesting an issue of public money for some particular
purpose, with the assurance ' that this House will make
good the same,' are required, by standing order, to
originate in a committee of the whole house. d This
' ancient and truly constitutional method of expressing
the desire of the House, that some public charge shall
be incurred,' remains unimpaired, notwithstanding the
increased restrictions imposed upon the initiation of
money charges inj.866. e But such addresses are only
justifiable when there is no reason to apprehend that
the supposed advance would be disapproved of by the
other House of Parliament, whose concurrence is

See May (citing precedents),
Parl. Prac. ed. 1883, p. 654. Hans.
D. v. 197, p. 1807 ; v. 205, pp. 340,
663, 1871; v. 211, p. 1238. Also
Mr. Gladstone's speech on Mr.
Ayrton's motion, March 20, 1866.
Hearn, Govt. of Eng. p. 350. Also
ante, p. 411.

d May, Parl. Prac. ed. 1883, p. 691.

e Mr. Gladstone, Hans. D. v. 182,
p. 598. Address concerning transit
of Venus in 1874. Com. Jour. v.
124, p. 404. By the Brit. N. Am.
Act, 1867, sec. 64, the Canadian H.
of C. is debarred from adopting an
address for the advance of public
money without a previous recom-
mendation from the governor-general.


necessary to give legal effect to any measure of supply
or appropriation. Addresses have generally been
adopted upon occasions of urgency which have arisen
after the committee of supply has closed its sittings
as, in order to submit to the crown a proposal to confer
a pecuniary benefit on a particular person ; ortoshow
respect to the memory of some illustrious person lately
deceased, bv tne erection of a monument to his honour ;
or for the purpose of obtaining the co-operation of
the crown in a matter affecting the privileges of the

This mode of obtaining the issue of money is im- Wfien


properly resorted to when it is used for the purpose of objection-
escaping the necessity for appealing to the House of ^^
Lords for their concurrence, or to compel the govern-
ment, contrary to their own judgment, to incur expendi-
ture at the mere request of the House of Commons.
In such cases it is the duty of the ministry to interpose,
and, by asserting the prerogative of the crown, to pro-
tect the privileges of the House of Lords from violation,
and the public revenue from an unwarrantable outlay.

After the battle of Navarino, a private member succeeded in
inducing the House of Commons, notwithstanding the opposition
of the government, to pass an address to the king, that he would

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