§ LORD STANMORE
My Lords, at the request of my noble friend the Duke of Newcastle I beg to move the motion standing in my name. I am told by a high authority in your Lordships' House that this is practically a motion of form, and that the application which the noble Duke makes has in all similar circumstances been invariably granted.
§ Moved, That Standing Order No. XXXV. be dispensed with and that the Duke of Newcastle be at liberty to sign before the Prorogation of Parliament, the Protest entered against the Third Reading of the Bill, although he was not present when the question was put.—(Lord Stanmore.)
§ THE LORD CHANCELLOR (The Earl of HALSBURY)
I for one cannot accept this motion. Standing Order XXXV. of your Lordships' House reads as follows—Such Lords as shall make protestation or enter their dissents to any votes of this House, as they have a right to do without asking leave of the House, either with or without their reasons, shall cause their protestation or dissents to be entered into the Clerk's book the next sitting day of this House, before the hour of two o'clock, otherwise the same shall not be entered, and shall sign the same before the rising of the House the same day."…The Standing Orders have not been complied with in this case, and it seems to me that it would be stultifying all the reasons which we are in the habit of giving for adhering to our Standing Orders if we allow this motion.† The protests of early times are invariably prefaced by the memorandum that "before the putting of the Question" leave was asked and given to certain Lords to enter their dissents. The present Standing Order is (except as to the last fourteen words) identical with an Order made in 1641.—[ED.].
§ LORD STANMORE
I was informed by the Clerk of Parliaments that this request had been invariably granted, and I remember perfectly well that a motion for the rejection of the Ecclesiastical Tithes Bill was moved by my father and a protest put in by him which was signed afterwards by several noble Lords who had not been able to be present.
§ THE EARL OF HALSBURY
It is not a question of whether they were present when the question was put, but the Standing Orders of your Lordships' House provided a limit of time within which such a course as this proposed by the noble Lord should be taken.
§ EARL SPENCER
I think the noble and learned Lord on the Woolsack is right in saying that we should adhere as far as possible, to our Standing Orders. My noble friend has not said whether his distinguished father complied with the regulations as read by the Lord Chancellor.
§ On Question, resolved in the negative.