HC Deb 09 July 1900 vol 85 cc939-40

Colonel GUNTER reported from the Committee on Group J of Private Bills, That Major Jameson, one of the Members of the said Committee, was not present during the Sitting of the Committee this day.

Ordered, That Major Jameson do attend the Committee on Group J of Private Bills upon Wednesday next, at half-past Eleven of the clock.

Report to lie upon the Table.


I have to call the attention of the House to an irregularity which has been committed in one of the Private Bill Committee rooms this morning, and to ask the House to validate the proceedings of the Committee notwithstanding that irregularity. Under Standing Order 118 it is necessary, before an hon. Member can serve upon a Private Bill Committee, that he should sign a declaration to the effect that neither he nor his constituents are personally interested in the Bill coming before the Committee. When Group J met this morning, only three out of the four appointed Members were present, the fourth not being in attendance and not having signed his declaration. It then became a question for the Chairman of the Committee whether they should proceed with the Bill or not. The Standing Order says that no such Committee shall proceed to business until the declaration shall have been signed by each of the said Members, but, as all the parties were present, the Committee decided, in the general interests of the progress of the private business, to proceed. They therefore proceeded, and what I ask the House to do is to validate the proceedings, notwithstanding that the Standing Order has been broken. With regard to the future, I do not ask the House to come to any decision. All I ask is that the proceedings of this particular Committee to-day shall be made valid notwithstanding the fact that one Member who was appointed to be present had not signed the declaration when the Committee sat. I beg to move.

Ordered, That the Proceedings of the Committee, this day, on Group J of Private Bills, be deemed to be, and be, valid notwithstanding that a Member of the said Committee had failed to sign his Declaration in accordance with Standing Order 118.—(The Chairman of Ways and Means.)

Report to lie upon the Table.