Acts and Ordinances of the Interregnum, 1642-1660. Originally published by His Majesty's Stationery Office, London, 1911.
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[19 July, 1644.]
Ordinance for regulating the Proceedings of the Committee of both Kingdoms, and the Oath of Secrecy.
Whereas, by an Ordinance, intituled, "An Ordinance for the appointing a Committee of both Houses, to join with the Committees and Commissioners of Scotland, for the better managing the Affairs of both Nations in the common Cause, according to the Ends expressed in the last Covenant and Treaty between the Two Nations of England and Scotland," it is among other Things Ordained, That the Committee of both Houses mentioned in that Ordinance are to observe such Orders as they, from Time to Time, shall receive from both Houses of Parliament: The Lords and Commons in Parliament assembled do, for the better Directions of the said Committee in their Proceedings, Declare and Ordain, That the said Committee, or any Six of them, whereof One Lord and Two Commoners, shall treat with the Committees and Commissioners appointed by our Brethren of Scotland, in such Things as shall by them be propounded from and in the Name of the Kingdom of Scotland, for the Ends in the said Ordinance expressed; as likewise propound to the Committees and Commissioners of Scotland whatsoever they shall receive in Charge from both Houses, and from Time to Time advise and consult concerning the same, and report the Results to both Houses; and further, the said Committee, or any Six of them, whereof One Lord and Two Commoners shall, as a joint Committee with the Committee and Commissioners of Scotland, advise, consult, order, and direct, concerning the carrying on and managing of the War for the best Advantage of the Three Kingdoms, and the keeping of good Intelligence between the Three Kingdoms, their Forces, Committees, and Counsels, and likewise hold good Correspondency and Intelligence with Foreign States, and further advise and consult of all things in Pursuance of the Ends expressed in the late Covenant and Treaty: And it is further Declared and Ordained, That nothing in the Ordinance beforementioned doth or shall authorize the Committee of both Houses thereby appointed, to advise, treat, or consult, concerning any Cessation of Arms, or making of Peace, without express Direction from both Houses of Parliament; and that the said Committee have, and shall have, only such Power and Authority as is herein expressed, limited, and appointed, and none other: And, for the better carrying on of this great Work, and to the Intent the Debates and Resolutions of that Committee may be proceeded in with Secrecy and Expedition, for the best Advantage of the Public, it is further Ordained, That all and every the Members of both Houses of that Committee shall, before One Lord and Two Commoners of that Committee, such as shall by the major Part of the Members of both Houses present, being of that Committee, be appointed, to take this Oath ensuing; and shall swear as followeth:
I A.B. do, in the Presence, and by the Name, of God Almighty, promise and swear, to be faithful in this Trust committed unto me; and that I will not reveal or disclose any Thing, in Whole or in Part, directly or indirectly, that shall be debated or resolved upon by this Committee, without the Command or Direction of those by whom I am intrusted, or without the Order of the major Part of this Committee, or of the major Part of them which shall be present at such Debates or Resolutions.
And the said Lord and Two Commoners are hereby authorized to administer the same to any of the said Committee: And lastly it is Ordained, That the said Committee are to observe such further Orders and Directions as they, from Time to Time, shall receive from both Houses of Parliament: Provided also, That this Ordinance shall continue for Four Months, and until both Houses shall take other Order to the contrary, and no longer.