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Drann buS. Catterson Smith _ Engraved lab.3.covery

Elizabeth, and that presuming him to be now expelled, the Honourable Member would, on his re-election, find himself not eligible to take his seat in the present Parliament. That, however, was, he repeated, a matter for future consideration. It had been made a question whether the 1st chapter of the 1st of William, or the 8th chapter of the same year, referred to Members of Parliament? The fact was, however, that they both related to Members of Parliament, and the 4th and 5th of Anne did not adopt them, but merely recognized the necessity of their being taken. At the present moment, however, the House had the power to dismiss the case, and so get rid of the necessity of considering the question of penalty, or of allowing any unhandsome advantage to be taken of their proceedings by persons out of doors. It was impossible, however, for any men, as lawyers, to differ upon the question of the Honourable Member's ineligibility to take his seat. They were asked to judge of the Act by its spirit, and by the intentions of the Legislature. The Act was as plainly worded, and applied itself as strongly and as deliberately, and in as business-like a manner to the work it had to perform as any Act which had ever received the sanction of that House, and throughout the preamble and in every clause was framed to apply expressly to the election of Members to serve in Parliament. In the consideration of such an Act it was the clear and settled rule, that although the preamble might direct you as to the meaning and intention of the clauses, it was never allowed to overrule the distinct and settled meaning of a clause. What then was the expression of the second clause ? - That from and after the commencement of this Act, it shall be lawful for any person professing the Roman Catholic religion, being a Peer, and hereafter returned as a Member of the House of Commons, to sit and vote in either House respectively.” Now it was impossible to contend that these words were not introduced for a specific purpose, and that the right there mentioned was intended to be made general as to the Peers, but limited as to the Commons. The oath was then prescribed, and the tribunal before which it was to be taken, the time, and the manner of taking it, distinctly pointed out. The Hon. Member for Clare had indeed done homage to one part of the Act, and acknowledged its authority, for he had gone before the Lord Steward and taken those oaths, which the Act declared to be necessary. For one, he should be very happy to see the Honourable and Learned Gentleman in the House ; convinced as he was, from the temper and ability which he had that evening manifested, that he would be a very valuable acquisition. For his conduct, under the circumstances of the case, he (Mr. Sugden) must pay him the tribute of his admiration; and he was quite persuaded, from his observation of that conduct, that the Honourable and Learned Gentleman would be found ready to pay implicit deference to the unbiassed and impartial decision of the House upon his case,

Sir James Scarlett followed; but the legal character of his speech, and the rapidity of bis utterance, render it impossible for us to give more than a very brief, and, we are sensible, imperfect sketch of the Honourable and Learned Gentleman's observations. He began by declaring his entire concurrence in the eulogy pronounced by his Honourable and Learned Friend who had immediately preceded him on the good temper and ingenuity which had marked the address to the House of the Honourable and Learned Member for Clare. It certainly would be a subject of great regret to him if the House should feel obliged, in the discharge of their duty, to vote the exclusion of so able a man. Notwithstanding that feeling, however, he was bound to look at the subject, divested of all personal feeling. It would, indeed, be most unbecoming to make it a party question; and he was sure that no one would think of so making it. He owned that he should be better pleased if he could be more completely satisfied with respect to the merits of the case ; but he could not refrain from saying, that he much doubted whether all the arguments of the Honourable and Learned Member for Clare had been met by his Honourable and Learned Friend. At the same time, looking at the whole case, he found it impossible to come to any other conclusion than to agree to his Honourable and Learned Friend's pro

position ; although the steps by which they both arrived at that conclusion were not precisely the same. Were he to be compelled to decide the question on Parliamentary authority, on the Resolutions and practice of the House, which had great weight with him, be was aware that it would be a hopeless task to attempt to maintain that the Statutes requiring the oaths to be taken by Members of the House, before the Lord High Steward, had been repealed. At the same time, and with the concession which he had just made with respect to the practice of Parliament, if he were called upon to pronounce judicially on the question, he must say that in his opinion they were repealed. He would shortly state why. As his Honourable and Learned Friend had observed, the 1st of William and Mary, cap. 1, in the Convention Parliament, was framed with a view to remove doubts respecting their own legality; and to reconcile their existence with the antecedent law of the land. They could take no oath of allegiance to James the Second, because he had abdicated; nor could they all take the Oath of Supremacy. Many of those Members who had rnost warmly aided in the Revolution must have been excluded from Parliament, if the oath of Supremacy had been left in its original form. The history of the Act to which he alluded was this :-It was sent down from the House of Lords to the House of Commons on the 22d of February, and read a first time. A great discussion then arose upon it. It was well known, that in the Convention Parliament there was a large party adverse to the new order of things, and inclined to throw doubts on the legality of that Parliament. That party had just before addressed the King and Queen to dissolve the Parliament, and to issue new Writs, for the purpose of assembling a Parliament of a legitimate character. The subject was much discussed by the lawyers of that day; and he was glad to say, that they all took the liberal side of the question. The Bill having, as he had already observed, come down to the House of Commons from the House of Lords, and been read a first time, it was on the following day read a second

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