§ Mr. Halcomb
rose to move to be allowed time to deposit a particular of his qualification to be returned as a Member of the House, as required by a standing order of this House, dated 21st November, 1717, with the proper officer, till Monday next. He stated that having already complied substantially with the Standing Order, by handing in a full particular of his qualification to the clerk on taking his seat, he trusted the House would extend its indulgence to him for a single day. His failure to furnish the required document on the petition against him was entirely owing to misconception and accident. The fifteen days expired on the day before Good Friday; and as it was not expected that the House would sit upon that day, he had been thrown off his guard, and having received a sudden and pressing summons to go to Warwick, on the Wednesday he left town, and the matter escaped his memory. In conclusion he again threw himself on the indulgence of the House, to deal with him as it might see fit. He wished to be allowed to deliver a paper containing his qualification to the Clerk of the House on Monday.
must observe, that the indulgence requested was very unusual, and, he might say unprecedented; and, as he knew of no precedent precisely similar, he would recommend the adjournment of the debate upon the subject to search for precedents. The right hon. Gentleman concluded, by moving, as an Amendment, that the further debate on the subject be adjourned until Monday next.
§ The House divided on the Amendment:
§ Ayes 46;—Noes 54;—Majority 8.
§ The discussion on the original Question was resumed.
said, that the Committee which would have to try the Petition would not be bound by the Standing Order of the House, but by the provisions of the Act of Parliament; and must see that the hon. Member had complied with the latter. He was disposed to give his vote in favour of* Hansard, xxxiv. p. 1151.372 the extension of time sought for by the hon. and learned Member.
contended, that no sufficient grounds had been shown why the Standing Order should not be enforced. If the House had hitherto observed the Standing Order, it should continue to do so.
§ Mr. Philip Howard
contended, that in the case of the Marylebone Election, the House had, but a few days ago, decided against an extension of the time. He had heard nothing to convince him that the two cases were not, as nearly as possible, similar. The hon. member for Marylebone might well complain of being harshly treated, if this indulgence were granted at the suit of the member for Dover, which, in like circumstances, was denied to him, when the House, by a large majority, came to the resolution of abiding by its own standing order. He (Mr. Howard) moreover, thought, that they would be doing a great injustice to the petitioners, who were not present to defend themselves, if further time were granted in the present instance. Every consideration of consistency and of equity compelled him to oppose the Motion of the hon. Member.
§ The Speaker
said, that the non-compliance with the Standing Order was a question entirely between that House and the sitting Member. The petition under all circumstances, must go before the Commit" tee, and they would have to decide on the allegations made in it. It was for the Committee to decide on the question of qualification or no qualification. If the petitioners should think themselves prejudiced in any way by the Standing Order not having been complied with, they could appeal to that House, who would deal with the infraction of the Order as they should think fit.
§ The House divided—Ayes 36; Noes 54: Majority 18.