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of these resolutions should be recorded. They were accordingly
agreed to by the House, on July 6, without a division, but after a
full debate. In the course of the discussion the following points
were strongly insisted upon. The first resolution, it was remarked,
seems to have been, copied from an ancient precedent on the Com-

It since appears that Lord Pal- ' done a useful thing ' in throwing out

merston himself though protesting this Bill. Martin, Pr. Consort, v. 5,

officially against the proceedings pp. 100, 132, 134.
was of opinion that the Lords had


mons Journals for 1692, the language whereof, though correct in Paper
the main, has been noticed by Hallam, in his Constitutional History, duties
as that which cannot be precisely vindicated or approved, for it
appears (however unintentionally) to deny the right of the Lords to
a free concurrence in matters of supply ; which is contrary to the
express admissions of the second resolution.* 1 It is well known that
the Lords have never formally acknowledged any further privilege
to the Commons than that of originating Bills of Supply ; and
although in practice they have for a long period acquiesced in the
claim of the Commons that they should not alter or amend any
Money Bill, yet their right to reject such measures as a whole is as
undoubted as their right to express agreement therein. It is granted
that the power of taxation is one that peculiarly appertains to the
House of Commons ; and that it is their privilege, in providing sup-
plies for the service of the year, should they think fit, ' to combine
the whole into one scheme,' that must be accepted or rejected by the
Lords, without any attempt to alter or vary the details of the finan-
cial arrangements composing the same. 6 Yet the propriety and
expediency of such a course, in every instance, may be seriously
impeached. We have already seen/ in the case of Palmer, when
the Commons proposed to grant a sum of money to a person whose
claims to compensation were open to dispute, that they included the
appropriation in a separate Bill, for the avowed purpose of affording
to the Lords an opportunity of considering that grant distinctly
from the other grants of the year. In like manner, in the immea-
^surably more important instance of the financial propositions of the
government, it properly belongs to the Lords to judge, not merely
of the general expediency of the proposed scheme, when regarded
as a whole, and of its probable results upon the country at large,
but also to consider the various questions of commercial legislation
and public policy that may be involved in its details. The House
of Lords has an onerous duty to perform in respect to every Bill,
financial or otherwise, that may be sent to it from the other chamber,
in submitting the same to careful revision, for the purpose of re-
straining hasty or improvident legislation, and sanctioning by its
wisdom, influence, and authority whatever may be necessary to pro-
mote the public good. This can only be adequately performed when
full opportunity is afforded for pronouncing an independent judg-
ment upon every separate question which the Lords may be called
upon to decide. 8

d Hans. D. v. 159, pp. 1419, 1487. See also Ed. Rev. v. 115, p. 211, &c.

e Ib. pp. 1389, 15G5. For a reference to ancient precedents,
f See ante, p. 703. and an able and ingenious argument
g In support of this view, see in opposition to the claims and pro-
Jurist. N.S. v. 6, pt. 2, pp. 235, 299. ceedings of the Lords on this occa-


Paper On July 17, Lord Fermoy moved the House of Commons to resolve

duties 'that the rejection by the Lords of the Bill for the repeal of the
paper duties is an encroachment on the rights and privileges of the
House of Commons ; and it is therefore incumbent upon this House
to adopt a practical measure for the vindication of its rights and
privileges.' He based this proposition on the erroneous construction
of the first resolution moved by Lord Palmerston, and which Hallam
by anticipation had condemned, and also on the alleged necessity for
following up the foregoing resolutions with some decisive action.
But the ministry opposed this motion, and the previous question was
proposed thereon and negativ~d. h

In the following session (1861), the chancellor of the exchequer,
conformably to the principle asserted in the third resolution afore-
said, embodied his whole budget propositions, including resolutions
for the repeal of the paper duty, in one Bill. Great exception was
taken to this course by a powerful minority in the House of Com-
mons, and it underwent considerable discussion on May 13 and 16.
It was urged that, although such a proceeding was undeniably in
accordance with some former precedents, and a strictly allowable
method of disposing of the financial measures of the year, yet that
the practice for the last thirty or forty years had been to insert the
propositions of the budget in several Bills ; that it was not desirable
to include multifarious matters, such as the repeal and the imposi-
tion of taxes in one Bill, even though the subjects were cognate ;
that the Lords have never formally abandoned their right to amend
Money Bills, though leading members of that House may have done
so, when speaking in its behalf ; that admitting such a claim to be
inconsistent with the privileges of the Commons in regard to supply,
yet that the balance of the constitution requires that the Lords
should possess a controlling power in all matters of legislation,
whether financial or otherwise, and that they ought not to be driven
to the alternative of rejecting the whole supplies for the year and
thereby jeopardising the public credit, the existence of the ministry,

sion, see various articles in Smith's propriation Bills should invariably

Parl. Remembrancer, 1800, pp. 123- be distinct and separate measures.

162, 172, 179, 194. And see the See also the 'Correspondence,' and

speech of Lord 11. Montagu, in the ' Further Correspondence,' ' respect-

II. of C. March 20, 186*3, in refer- ing the non-enactment of the Appro-

ence to conduct of the II. of Ass y . of priation Act in Victoria,' presented

the colony of Victoria, in claiming to Parliament in 1866. And see

the right to tack a Tariff Hill to the ' Correspondence,' and ' Further Cor-

Appropriation Bill, with a view to respondence,' on a similar question of

compel the Leg. Council to accept difference between the two Houses of

tlus same, contrary to the instructions the Legislature in Victoria, presented

laid down by the sec. of state for to Parliament in 1878.
the colonies, that Revenue and Ap- h Hans. D. v. 159, pp. 2078-2106.


and the welfare of the state or of being obliged to agree to a Bill p a p e r
containing many distinct and separate provisions, all of which they duties
were not disposed to accept ; that while the extreme right of the case -
Commons may be held to justify the embodying of all the budget
resolutions in one Bill, yet that this power should not be exercised
except on extraordinary occasions, and that ordinarily no proceed-
ings should be resorted to that would deprive the Lords of the
opportunity of exercising a deliberate judgment on every distinct
legislative proposition, until after continued provocation, and the
repeated exercise, by the Lords, of their right to reject measures
forming part of the financial scheme agreed to by the Commons ;
which extreme right of the Lords ought to be reserved for rare and
exceptional occasions ; and, finally, that it was quite unprecedented
for a financial Bill which had been rejected by the Lords to be after-
wards embodied in another Bill, sent up and passed by them in that
shape ; so that, at all events, the course now proposed was prema-
ture, and ought not to have been adopted until after successive
failures to induce the Lords to agree to the repeal of the paper duty
in a separate Bill. Nevertheless, the Bill was sent to the Lords in
the shape it had been introduced by the government. Its second
reading was moved in that House on June 7. In the course of the
debate thereon, Lord Derby, while asserting that the Bill was open
to objection in point of form, did not attempt to dispute the strict
right of the Commons to include all the financial arrangements of
the year in one measure, alleging that the Lords could, if they
deemed it expedient, vindicate their privileges by dividing the Bill
into two or more parts. He also clearly showed that the Lords h'ad
never formally abandoned their right to amend a Money 'Bill," lind
that in the opinion of eminent constitutional authorities, they would
be warranted in such an act, should it be necessary to vindicate
their freedom of deliberation, and to prevent the enacting of a
measure which they regarded as objectionable. 1 He added that
there were ' repeated cases of financial measures being amended by
the House of Lords, and the amendments being accepted by the
House of Commons ' (after, of course, the formal assertion of their
privileges, by laying aside the Bill, and re -introducing it, as amended).
Notwithstanding these objections, no attempt was made to oppose
the passing of this Bill, or to introduce any amendments therein ;
its opponents contenting themselves with recording, in an able and
elaborate protest, all the arguments that had been adduced against
it.J Toulmin Smith, in his Parliamentary Remembrancer for 1861,
although he had sided against the Lords in the beginning of the

Hans. D. v. 163, p. 720.

Ib. p. 11G6. Lords' Jour. v. 93, p. 378.


controversy, condemned the present proceeding of the Commons, as
betokening a lack of ' ordinary courtesy and self-respect,' ' really
amounting to a declaration that the House of Lords shall be over-
ridden, without scruple, whenever the Commons want to pass a Bill
that cannot be safely trusted on the stage of fair discussion.' k

commons Following the precedent so successfully established
include tne c l iance ll or O f the exchequer determined to introduce

the whole . L

budget the budget propositions of 1862 in one general Bill. 1
tfon S U ~ Leading members of the Commons strenuously protested
i?,? ne against this course, as being a serious restriction upon

Bill. . . . . .

the opportunities for discussing these important financial
measures, but without avail. This was probably the
largest 'Money Bill ' ever passed, as it dealt with between
twenty-two and twenty-three million pounds of public
taxation. It was commented upon somewhat severely
in the House of Lords on this ground, but the colonial
secretary (the Duke of Newcastle) contended that the
new practice of combining the whole budget resolutions
in one Bill was merely a resort to former constitutional
usage, and was sanctioned by high authority. Lord
Derby considered that this course was more open to ob-
jection on the part of the Commons than of the Lords,
inasmuch as it ' deprives the House of Commons of some
of the most valuable means which they have at their
disposal of duly debating and fully considering the
financial measures of the government.' So far as the
Lords were concerned, ' the one course interposes to
us no greater obstacle than the other ; because, as it is
perfectly within our province and our right to reject a
particular proposition in a single Bill, so it is equally
within our competence to reject that same proposition
when incorporated with others,' n and leave to the
Commons the consequences of their own proceeding.
After some further debate, the Bill was concurred in

k Parl. Remerab. 1861, p. 88 ; and ' Hans. D. v. 106, p. 772.
see pp. 100, 101, 118; also Martin, '" Ib. pp. 15G1-J5G7.
Pr. Consort, v. 5, p. .'Ml. n Ib. v. 1G7, p. 180.


without amendment. In like manner, the financial pro-
positions of government in each year from 1862 to
the present time have all been included in one Bill.
And in 1869 ministers persisted in the same course of
procedure, notwithstanding urgent representations by
Opposition members that it would greatly facilitate the
course of public business in the House of Commons if
the financial resolutions of that year were embodied in
two separate Bills. p

We will now proceed to consider the subject of Money
Money Bills, which are of three kinds, viz. Tax Bills,
Bills of Supply, and Bills of Appropriation. All these
Bills have a peculiar form ofpreamble, which intimates
that the revenue or grant of money is the peculiar gift
of the House of Commons, and such Bills are invariably
presented for the royal assent by the Speaker of the
House of Commons. q

Tax Bills, for raising revenues to be applied towards
.the services of the current year, are founded upon re-
solutions of the Committee of Ways and Means.

In like manner, Bills of Supply, or rather of Ways
~and Means, authorising an advance out of the Consoli-
dated Fund, or the issue of exchequer bills, towards
making good supplies which have been voted by the
House of Commons for the service of the year, emanate
from the Committee of Ways and Means, in the wav
which has been already described/

When the Committees of Supply and Ways and
Means have finished their sittings, a Bill is introduced, 3
which enumerates every grant that has been made

during the session, appropriates the several sums, as
voted by the Committee of Supply, wnicn shall be

Hans.D. v. 170, p. 851 ; v. 183, p. with considerable inconveniences.
1128 ; May, Parl. Prac. ed. 1883, p. P Hans. D. v. 195, p. 600.
650. On May 17, 1866, Mr. Disraeli Cox, Inst. 108.
took occasion to reiterate his convic- " See ante, p. 786
tion that thia course was attended s 'Ilans. D. v. 189, p. 1340.


issued and applied to each separate service, and directs
that the said supplies shall not be used for any other
than the purposes mentioned in the said Act. This is
known as the Consolidated Fund Bill, or, more generally,
as the Appropriation Bill. By this Act, which completes
the financial proceedings of the session, the supply votes,
originally passed by the Commons only, receive full
legislative sanction. The appropriation is always re-
served for the end of the session, and it is irregular to
introduce any clause of appropriation into a revenue
or~other BilljDassing thn5u^~^arlTament . _at an^earlier
period ; for the questions of ways and means and of
appropriation should be kept perfectly distinct. i
Duty of By constitutional practice, the Speaker of the House

speaker ^ Commons, as the guardian of its privileges, is required
in matters to take oversight of the financial proceedings of the
Dp3 ' House during the session, and it is his duty to ascertain
that every Bill for giving ways and means to the Trea-
sury is kept within the amount of the votes in supply
already granted. At the close of the session he checks
the final balance between the full amount of the votes in
supply and the ways and means previously authorised,
and limits the final grant of ways and means in the Ap-
propriation Act to that amount. 11

Appropri- The constitutional rule, now so well understood and
clauses in acknowledged, ' That the sums granted and appropriated
Bins of by f^ Commons for any special service should be applied
by the executive power only to defray the expense of
that service,' v although not wholly unrecognised in
earlier times, w was first distinctly enunciated and par-
tially enforced soon after the Eestoration. But it was
not until the Ee volution of 1688 that this great prin-

1 The Speaker, in Mir. of Parl. u Report on Pub. Moneys, Coin.

1841, p. 931 ; and see Hans. D. v. Pap. 1857, Sess. 2, v. 9. Mem. on

170, pp. 1897, 1914 ; and Earl Grey's Financial Control, pp. 5, 27, 76.

Colonial Policy, v. 1, p. 421. But v 3 Hatsell, 210.

this was not formerly the case : see w See Hargrave's Judicial Argu-

Parl. D. v. 9, p. 032. * ments, v. 1, pp. 397-402.


ciple was finally established and incorporated into the
system of parliamentary government/ At this epoch
Solicitor- General (afterwards Lord) Somers and Mr.
Sacheverel, by special direction of the House of Com-
mons, framed some appropriation clauses with great
care, which were included in the statute 1 Wm. &
Mary, s. 2, c. 1, and are given in full in Hatsell, vol.
iii. Appendix, No. 15. These clauses were not for-
mally repeated in subsequent Bills of Supply, but they
are referred to as to be ' put in force and practised ' in
various succeeding statutes. Thenceforth it became
the established and uniform practice, ' that the sums
granted by the House of Commons for the current ser-
vice of the year should, by a special appropriation,
either in the act for levying the aid or in some other
act of the same session, be applied only to the services
which they had voted.' This doctrine has been en-
forced, from time to time, by penalties imposed by Acts
of Parliament upon officers of the Exchequer and others
who should divert or misapply the moneys granted to
.any other purpose ; and a violation of the same is a
misdemeanour, that has been declared to be a sufficient
ground for a parliamentary impeachment/

The modern form of the appropriation clause, after Form of
enumerating the grants of the session, and applying priation
them to their respective services, is as follows : 4 That clause -
the said aids and supplies shall not be issued or applied
to any use, intent, or purpose, other than those before
mentioned, or for the other payments, &c. directed to
be satisfied by any Acts of Parliament, &c., of this
session.' A clause of this description was invariably
inserted in the annual Appropriation Acts up to the
year 1869. On two occasions, in 1857 and in 1859,
where two sessions were held in one year, it was

" 3 Hats. 202. Sees. 2, v. 9, p. 567 ; and see Hans.

* If). 206. Cases cited in Lord D. v. 164. p. 1740.
Monteagle's Report, Com. Pap. 1857,

VOL. I. 3 G



given to
use sur-
pluses of
army and
grants to
good de-

Subject to
of the
House of

omitted in the acts of the second session on technical
grounds, arising from the fact of two parliaments being
convened in each of those years. But, in point of fact,
it has been authoritatively stated, that though, as a
declaration of constitutional principle, the said clause
might reasonably be inserted in any Appropriation Bill,
yet that ' it was in point of law mere surplusage, be-
cause the government had no authority to appropriate
those moneys to any other purposes than those for
which Parliament had appropriated them.' z Accord-
ingly, since 1870, the clause has been omitted ; and the
Act itself materially simplified and abbreviated.

The Appropriation Act also contains a provision,
that the expenditure for navy and army services shall
be confined to those services respectively, but that ' if
a necessity shall arise for incurring expenditure not
provided for in the sums appropriated ' for the said
services, ' and which it may be detrimental to the pub-
lic service to postpone until provision can be made for
it by Parliament in the usual course,' application shall
be made to the Treasury, who are empowered to
authorise such additional expenditure to be temporarily
defrayed out of any surpluses which may have accrued
by the saving of expenditure upon any votes within the
same departments ; ' provided that the House of Com-
mons shall be duly informed thereof, in order to make
provision for such deficient expenditure as may be
determined ; and provided also, that the aggregate
grants for the navy and army services shall not be

The manner in which the observance of the Appro-
priation Act is secured, and the circumstances under
which any deviation from the strict rule of parliament-

* Mr. Gladstone, in Hans. D. v.
1G4, p. 1745. But the Treasury
may refrain from expending money

granted for a particular purpose, if 143, p. 563.
not satisfied with the propriety of

the expenditure. Ib. v. 204, p. 1069.
37 & 38 Viet, c. 56, 4 ; see
further, post, vol. 2. Hans. D. v.


ary appropriation is permissible, will engage our atten-
tion in the next volume.

It only remains, in this branch of our enquiry, to
add a few remarks upon the progress of the Appropria-
tion Bill through Parliament.

The constitutional restrictions upon the grant of Proce-
money otherwise than through the Committee of Supply,
necessarily confine the action of the House of Commons P5Pr,

J tion Bill

in respect to money votes to the proceedings ot this at its
committee, and to the decision upon their resolutions,


when reported to the House. A motion to address the
crown, that a vote which had been reported from Com-
mittee of Supply, and agreed to by the House, should
not be expended, was declared by the Speaker to be
irregular and out of order. b Technically, such vote
could, of course, be struck out of the Appropriation
Bill. But in practice this Bill has been defined by
Lord Palmerston to be ' simply a form that is required
by the constitution, and not a Bill to give rise to any
discussion.' And while he did not ' dispute the power
-or right of the House to make any alteration it pleased
in a Bill as it passed through its several stages, it had
never been a custom, by alterations in the Appropria-
tion Bill, to rescind the previous acts and votes of this
House.' d Amendments which did not affect the deter-
minations of the Committee of Supply have, though
very rarely, been made in the Appropriation Bill during
its progress through the House. 6

No obstruction should be offered to the passage of
the Appropriation Bill through the House, except un-
der extraordinary circumstances. f Debates and amend-
ments upon the several stages thereof are governed by
the rules applicable to other Bills, and must therefore
be relevant to the Bill, or some part of it, and should

* Hans. D. v. 164, p. 1500. 176, p. 1866.

c Ib p. 1502. e See Com. Jour. July 22, 1858.

d Ib. pp. 1750, 1751 ; and see v. f Hans. D. v. 217, pp. 1257, 1358.

3 G 2



ment of
and ex-
for en-

not be allowed the latitude practised on going into
Committees of Supply and of Ways and Means. g But
this rule does not preclude a member from making
observations upon the general conduct of public busi-
ness or from bringing a question of foreign or domestic
policy before the House, upon the motion for going into
committee on this Bill, or upon the second or third read-
ing, if it be a question that ' arises out ' of any of the
votes thereby appropriated. 11

In 1863 the chancellor of the exchequer (Mr. Glad-
stone) introduced the practice of submitting to the
House, upon the third reading of the Appropriation
Bill, a rectified statement of the estimated revenue and
expenditure for the ensuing year. He pointed out the
alterations which had been made in the original esti-
mates since they had been introduced, in consequence
of certain items of revenue which had been asked for
by government not having been granted by the House ;
and noticed the effect of certain items of expenditure
which had been authorised pursuant to supplemental
estimates upon the general balance, as stated on the
opening of the budget. 1

In 1864 Mr. Gladstone made a similar statement,
upon the motion for going into committee on the
Appropriation Bill ; j but not in 1865. On July 23,
1866, Mr. Disraeli informed the House of the altered
position of the public finances since the budget of his
predecessor in office had been submitted. But these
have been exceptional cases ; as a rule it is now ad-
mitted that the government should make their budget
statement as explicit and accurate as possible, and not
so as to need subsequent rectification. 11

' Hans. D. v. 143, pp. 560, 641 ;
Ib. v. 180, p. 836.

h Ib. v. 143, p. 643; v. 176, p.
1859. Ib. v. 189, p. 1526 ; v. 213, pp.
644, 709 ; v. 226, pp. 652-683, 778 ;
v. 231, pp. 821, 1119, 1168.

! Ib. v. 172, p. 1268.

J Ib. v. 176, p. 1857.

k Sir S. Northcote and Mr. Glad-
stone in Hans. D. v. 226, pp. 513,


On account of the formal character of the Appro- A

-rv.'n , , , , . ,, ation Bill

Online LibraryAlpheus ToddOn parliamentary government in England : its origin, development, and practical operation (Volume 1) → online text (page 78 of 85)