§ Mr. MacNEILL
asked the Prime Minister whether his attention has been called to the practice under which Bills proposing to modify or curtail the prerogative of 1209 the Crown in respect of the creation of peers belong to that class of Bills affecting the Royal prerogative to which it has been the usage to give the consent of the Crown signified by a Minister of the Crown before their passage through the House in which they originate, or for the Crown to place its interests at the disposal of Parliament in a communication which is signified in like manner by a Minister of the Crown, and in reference to which it has likewise been the usage when such consent has not been given or such communication made to drop such Bills and to declare the proceedings null and void when such Bills have been suffered through inadvertence to be read the third time and passed; whether he is aware that the consent thus given or the communication thus made is announced to Parliament by a Minister of the Crown, who is responsible to the House of Commons for advice tendered to the Crown and is acting on behalf of the Cabinet; and whether there is any intention of a departure from a practice which has been observed from the introduction of the Sunderland Peerage Bill in the House of Lords in 1719; and, if so, what are the reasons of this departure?
§ The PRIME MINISTER
Without pledging myself to the accuracy or completeness of all the particulars recited in the hon. Member's question, I am well aware of the usage to which he calls my attention. The latter part of his question asks for a statement of intention in regard to a contingency which, so far as I am aware, has not yet arisen.
§ Mr. JAMES HOPE
May I ask whether it is not competent for either House of Parliament to move an Address to the Crown praying the Crown to place its interests at their disposal, and whether, when such an Address has been moved, the Crown has ever consented?
§ The PRIME MINISTER
It is undoubtedly competent to either House to do so. I am not sufficiently acquainted with the precedents on this matter to say what answers have been given.
§ Mr. SWIFT MacNEILL
I think the only precedent is that of 1868, in reference to the suspension of the benefits of the Irish Church. In that case there was an Address moved, and is it not the fact that the Queen gave her consent to put her Prerogative at the disposal of Parliament only on the advice afterwards given of her responsible Minister, Mr. Disraeli, at the time?