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Proceedings in the which the group is composed. No uniform rule was adopted
by the committees, on the various groups of bills, during the sessions of 1845 and 1846, as to the order in which the bills referred to them were considered. Sometimes the unopposed bills were taken first, and the opposed bills afterwards, in the order in which they had been read a second time (z); but these rules were frequently departed from, whenever the committee considered it more desirable to adopt some other course of proceeding (a).
A question much discussed in the above-named sessions was, as to what constituted a locus standi before the committee, to be heard by counsel against a bill.
It seems, that all competing projects which have been referred to the same group, are entitled to be heard in opposition; and a company projecting a competing scheme, and who have applied to Parliament for a bill, may appear in opposition, although their bill has been dismissed in consequence of non-compliance with the standing orders.
Owners and occupiers of premises to be cut through, or otherwise actually damaged, or rendered less accessible, by the projected railway, have also a locus standi to be heard before the committee; but if a petitioner's property be only deteriorated, indirectly, through the loss of trade or other circumstances, then he has, it seems, no locus standi to be heard in opposition to the bill. And some committees have held that this rule extends to cases where public bodies, as corporations, petition against a bill upon the ground that their tolls, or other like revenues, may be affected by the formation of the projected railway (b). It is believed, how
(2) 1 Beav. & Wal. 18.
(a) 1 Beav. & Wal. 26. Suggestions on these points for the consideration of the select committees on railway groups were issued during the sessions 1845 and 1846. See Frere's
Practice, 80; Walford on Railways, Appendix, ccc., 2nd ed. In 1846, certain resolutions were also passed upon the motion of Mr. T. S. Duncombe; see 1 Beav. & Wal. xviii.
(b) This rule was acted upon in
ever, that the decisions on this last-mentioned point have Proceedings in the not been uniform (c).
The committee having determined to proceed with one
of the bills, the senior counsel for the bill opens the case, making particular reference to such provisions in the bill as are petitioned against; and, as the preamble to the bill is first considered, then, if the preamble be opposed, the observations are directed in support of the allegations contained in the preamble; but he is restricted to a statement of facts. Witnesses are also examined in support of the case which has been thus opened. This is also the period when evidence is adduced, to satisfy the committee upon all the points, on which the committee are required to report specially to the House (d). The witnesses may be crossexamined by the counsel who appear in support of petitions against the preamble, but not by the counsel of parties who merely object to certain provisions in the bill (e). The witnesses may afterwards be re-examined in the usual manner; and when all the promoters' witnesses have been examined, then, if counsel are heard against the preamble, the senior counsel opens his case, and his witnesses are called, crossexamined, and re-examined (ƒ); and the counsel who ap
the session 1845, by the Committee, Group K-Lord Sandon, chairman, and several other committees. There were, however, several instances to the contrary; as in Committee, Group L-Mr. Denison, chairman; and in Committee, Group SS-Lord Henry Vane, chairman. In the first case, the inhabitants of Southampton, and, in the last, the inhabitants of Nuneaton, were heard by counsel in opposition to the projected schemes, although it was not suggested that any direct damage could be inflicted on any property belonging to the petitioners. See also 1 Beav. & Wal.
2; Ibid. 48.
(c) On the subject of locus standi, with a collection of the cases, see Frere's Practice, 32; Walford on Railways, Appendix, cccxvi.; Riddell's Railway Parliamentary Practice, 185.
(d) See these points particularly set forth, ante, 25. As to the evidence necessary to shew a compliance with the standing orders, see Commons' S. O., Nos. 85, 86, & 87, post, 45.
(e) Halcomb on Private Bills, 113; May on the Law and Usage of Parliament, 424.
(f) In the session 1846, it was
Proceedings in the
for landowners, and other opponents, have the option pear of making their speeches either at the opening or close of their evidence. If the petitioner's counsel states facts, or calls evidence, the counsel for the bill is entitled to a reply on the whole case; otherwise the counsel for the bill is not entitled to a general reply. He may, however, comment on any cases cited in the argument on the other side. The committee then proceed to affirm or deny that the preamble has been proved. If the decision is in the affirmative, they go through the bill clause by clause, and parties who object to particular clauses, or who propose amendments, are heard (g). New clauses may also be proposed by the parties, or members of the committee, after all the clauses are gone through. The standing orders (h) point out the duties of the committee in recording their proceedings and reporting them to the House; and the bill having been reported (i), and the report agreed to, the bill is ingrossed, (Commons' S. O., No. 158, post, 56), and, if not again referred to the committee on standing orders (k), it is read a third time, and passed (7). The bill is now ready to be sent up to the House of Lords.
usual to require the promoters and
(g) Halcomb on Private Bills, 115.
1847, as to railway bills, post, App. The bills as amended must be reprinted, see Ibid., No. 121, post, 50; and a breviate of the amendments made. Ibid., 130, post, 51.
(i) The reports on railway bills are considered on Tuesdays and Thursdays; Commons' S. O., No. 135, post, 51. As to amendments on the report, see Ibid., No. 154, post, 55.
(k) See Commons' S. O., Nos. 132, 133, 134, post, 51; Ibid., Nos. 61, 62, post, 42.
(1) As to the notice of the third reading, See Commons' S. O., No. 155, post, 55.
2. Progress of the Bill through the Lords.
In the House of Lords a committee for standing orders Preliminary nois appointed at the commencement of every session (m). When a railway bill is brought up from the Commons, whether opposed or not, it is referred to this committee before it is read a second time, and they inquire whether the standing orders of the House have been observed (n); parties who complain of a non-compliance with the standing orders may be heard, whereupon the committee make their report to the House (o); and if the report be favourable, and the principle of the bill is approved by the House, the bill is read a second time and committed.
The following are the standing orders, as amended on the 27th of August, 1846, which relate to the subjects inquired into before the Lords' committee on standing orders (p).
As to the notices required to be given before the meeting of Parliament in the public newspapers, Lords' S. O., No. 220, sects. 1, 2, post, 59.
As to their contents, Id., No. 220, sect. 3, post, 59; No. 223, sect. 1, post, 61.
As to notices to be affixed to the doors of sessions-houses, and to church-doors in Scotland, Id., No. 223, sect. 2, post, 61. As to the plans, sections, and books of reference required, and the manner in which they are to be made, Id., No. 223, sects. 3, 4, 5, post, 62; No. 227, sects. 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, post, 68.
As to deposit of plans, &c. with clerks of the peace, Id., No. 223, sects. 3, 6, 9, 11, post, pp. 62, 64; with parish clerks, &c., Id., No. 223, sects. 7, 9, 11, post, 64; with the
(m) Lords' Standing Ord., No. 219, post, 57.
(a) See these standing orders, Lords' S. O., Nos. 219, post, 57. (0) Lords' S. O., No. 219, post,
(p) By comparing these orders
with the Standing Orders in the
Preliminary No Board of Trade, Id., No. 227, sect. 1, post, 67; in the Parlia
ment Office, Id., No. 223, sects. 8, 10, post, 62, 64.
As to the deposit of plans and sections of alterations, and making the same known to owners and occupiers, Id., No. 223, sect. 9, post, 64.
As to the notices required to be given to owners, lessees, and occupiers, Id., No. 220, sect. 4, post, 60; No. 223, sects. 9, 12, post, 63.
As to lists of owners, lessees, and occupiers, and of assents, dissents, and neuters, Id., No. 220, sect. 4, post, 60. As to the deposit of a statement of the length and breadth of lands to be taken, and of dissents, or of any written objections to the railway, Id., Order of 1847, post, 74.
As to the deposit of a portion of the subscribed capital, Id., No. 224, sect. 4, post, 66.
As to the estimate and subscription contract, Id., No. 224, sects. 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, post, 65.
As to the delivery of copies of the same in the Parliament office, Id., No. 224, sect. 6, post, 66.
As to the delivery of a copy of the bill at the Board of Trade, Id., No. 227, sect. 2, post, 68; No. 234, sect. 4, post,
As to the service of notices, Id., No. 220, sect. 5, post, 60; No. 224, sect. 7, post, 67.
As to the notice required before a bill is read a second time, see Notice No. 4, post, 74.
As to the clauses and provisions which a railway bill must contain, No. 233, sects. IV, V, post, 71, 72, 73.
As to the matters to be inquired into and reported upon by the committee, Id., No. 233, post, 69.
As to petitions for non-compliance with the standing orders, Id., No. 219, post, 57.
As to petitions before the committee on the merits, Id., No. 219, post, 59; No. 234, sect. 2, post, 73. See also Notices Nos. 2 & 3, post, 74.