Thursday, February, 10, 1658–9.
I came not till ten, and the House had been an hour in
debate whether there should be a previous vote.
Sir Arthur Haslerigge and Sir Henry Vane, and others,
strongly urged that the proper question was for commitment.
Mr. Bodurda. Let us not defeat one another. If any
question intervene, every man may speak again. I move that
we be ingenuous one to another, and not exclude our votes.
Every man agrees that it should be committed.
Mr. Knightley. I never knew commitment to lose a bill.
A man may lose his life by commitment. I am against the
Mr. Trenchard. There is a great difference between a
previous vote and part of a Bill. I would have the previous
Mr. Trevor. I find that either a Bill is so bad that it is
incapable of amendment, or so good that it needs none; and
so may go to engrossing; or else there are some faults in it,
that it stands in need of some amendments.
Mr. Hewley. You differ about the, method. Why need
we be so nice ? I cannot speak to the orders of the House,
but to right reason. It matters not which question goes first.
You are master-builders, and may lay which stone you please,
I see the doctors differ as to the orders of the House.
Colonel Birch. If the question pass for commitment, then
all the debate is excluded. The meaning is, to lose three
days' debate, if not the Bill.
Mr. Scawen and Mr. Hungerford never knew a previous
vote upon the commitment of a Bill. First commit it, and
then give your Committee directions, as most agreeable to the
orders of the House.
Mr. Fowell. The debate has always been upon the words
standing. If you agree not to this, I am against committing
it. In all your Bills formerly, in all Bills, for money, you
ever agreed for the sum and time of payment, before you
Mr. Francis Bacon. Your first vote must needs be, whether you will have a Protector, or not. If the question be
carried for a Committee, two or three days will be spent in
debating whether it shall be a Grand or Special Committee.
I doubt it will breed danger abroad.
Lieutenant-general Ludlow. I move against the previous
vote. I would not have us capitulate with them. I dare not
well trust them.
Mr. Starkey. I move for the words to stand in the Bill.
Mr. Scot. Qui bene distinguit, bene docet. True, a previous vote is proper upon a first reading; but not on a second
reading, in the case of money, as is moved. It is moved by
Mr. Francis Bacon that you swallow it without a debate,
either in a Grand or Private Committee. The proper question and best way to come to a right understanding is, to
commit the whole.
Colonel Fielder. This question was propounded yesterday. I would have it now put, whether it shall be put.
Mr. Chaloner. If you agree to this, there is nothing left
for your Committee to debate upon; unless a little about
the House of Lords.
Mr. Speaker. It is hard for me to understand your sense.
All agree about the commitment. If this were a previous
vote of itself, then it were another thing; but if you mean
this shall be a part of the Bill, then it will be part of the Bill.
There are divers exceptions against the Bill, in the words,
"lawful successor," and the like.
Mr. Knightley. Let both go together. If you pass this,
you pass the whole Bill. Divers young gentlemen came here
in 44, and said they had been at two hundred Bills, and never
Sir Henry Vane. You ought to direct us that the commitment should be first.
Mr. Goodrich. Here are two questions on foot; one for
commitment, and another for the previous vote. Out of these
results a third. Which of these questions shall precede?
Pray put it, which shall be first put.
Mr. Disbrowe. I never knew it, that a previous vote was
denied. I would have the arguments answered. If the question be for commitment, why may not all speak over again, to
direct your Committee?
All those reflections on former Parliaments might better
have been spared: better have covered your fathers' nakedness, for so I must honour them and call them.
Put the question, whether you shall put the question.
Mr. Pedley. You have a natural and a collateral question.
It cannot be denied but, sometimes, the collateral question
may precede. It has been always expected we are to put a
question for a natural question. I would have the question
put, whether this collateral question shall be first put.
Mr. Neville. It appears to me that as great a sense of the
House is for the natural question.
Captain Baynes and Mr. Weaver the same. Many things
were done precipitately, in the five months' Parliament; but
always, in that, the natural preceded the unnatural.
Major Ashton. This question has received many names.
I wish the unnatural name had been spared. My reason why
the natural question should not be put, is, because it would
unnaturally destroy the other question.
Mr. Steward. I cannot well distinguish between natural
and collateral. I suppose they may be both natural questions. It is very natural that before the first question be put,
the collateral should be decided.
Mr. Reynolds. It is time that makes a prescription. I
wonder how. gentlemen can. prescribe from 54. I have not
spoken to the merits. Let this question be put for commitment. You have but one question before you, naturally,
and put the next question, afterwards, when debated.
Mr. Hoskins. The proper question is for commitment;
but I never heard but other questions may intermeddle. Else
how came the debate ? Nothing so usual.
Sir John Northcote. I am sorry to see time squandered
away. When a Bill is but in the question, it follows naturally for commitment, and to give directions to your Committee. A previous vote never came; but always before the
Bill came in. You must needs put the natural question.
Mr. Hewley. I would have neither question precede; but
that they may be both put together.
Mr. Fowell. You turn the other question out of doors, if
you put that.
Mr. Knightley. The natural son ought always to precede
the adopted son. He that will ask me nothing, shall have
nothing from me.
Mr. Stephens. Jealousies amongst ourselves are the
cause of all this delay. Putting the natural question will be
most proper, but if that pass in the negative, I doubt you
will put a bar upon yourselves, as to the other.
Serjeant Seys. I thought to have sat still, and served, but
as the members find such differences—(used the words "illword, folly," &c. which was improper).
If the question pass for commitment we are locked up. It
is most fit to put the previous vote, before the Bill is committed.
Lord Fairfax. I move that the question for commitment
Mr. St. Nicholas. There was a great deal of time, before
that proposition grew up to a question.
Mr. Turner. I have sat in three Parliaments, yet would
not venture to speak to the orders of the House, but that some
that never saw a Parliament before, speak to the orders. In
the turning of all the Instruments of Government that we
have been under, there were always previous votes. We differ
not in the substance, only in the modus agendi.
Mr. Barnham. It is your duty to put the question for
commitment, though all and every individual of this House
were for the other question.
Mr. Jones. You may divide any part of the Bill here. It
will be no way inconsistent to your Bill. The proper question is for the previous vote.
Mr. Jenkinson. The natural and proper question is for
Mr. Nathaniel Bacon. It was moved to debate it in parts,
beginning at "Be it enacted." If you determine not this, you
will commit it to a Committee that can do nothing with it.
All the preface may be mended. The substance lies in two
lines, in the latter end. Without this question I shall be
against the commitment of the Bill.
Mr. Manley. I hear nobody deny the single person to be
fitted to be Protector. Why need you then refer the question to a Committee ?
Mr. Speaker. I cannot yet see that the previous vote is fit
to be propounded. Two questions are before you, whether
the previous vote, or the commitment.
Sir Henry Vane. He mistakes the two questions:—
1. If the Bill shall be committed.
2. Whether that question shall be put.
Mr. Trevor and Serjeant Maynard. If either of those
questions be put, I am deprived of my vote which way soever
I give my vote, either to hazard the casting out the Bill, or
to lose the debate. Let us not lose our ingenuity in surprising one another into a question. The debate has been soberly
carried on hitherto.
Lord Lambert. The general sense of the House may be
put, yea or nay. The Bill shall be committed, for any thing
that is said; no votes shall be lost. There may be a great
want of ingenuousness on the other side. I believe if this
were referred to a Committee, I would be so understood, that
those that would now give their affirmative to the previous
vote would then give their negative to it.
Mr. Speaker. It is very natural to put the question, if
this shall be part of the Bill.
Lord Lambert. Upon the second reading, you cannot
speak to any part of the Bill; unless for rejecting it or committing it.
Mr. Solicitor-general. You may speak to any part of
the Bill. It is not so natural to commit a Bill. You may
pass a whole, or any part of a Bill. If this question be too
great for us, it is too great for the Committee. So that clearly it agrees with the orders of the House to pass any part.
I hear some except against the style, (fn. 1) that it is not grave
enough, or so Parliamentary. This is the work of the Committee. I am excluded of my vote if the question be for
commitment; but the other question every man is free to affirm or deny.
Sir Walter Earle. I have seen it done ten times; a previous vote after a Bill has been engrossed, I would not have
men to speak four or five times.
Mr. Reynolds and Mr. Knightley. Any gentleman may
speak to the orders of the House as often as he pleases. Sir
Walter Earle moved expressly against the orders of the
Sir Henry Vane. It seems it is long since any Bill passed
regularly. At the first reading no man can speak for a Bill;
but against it, he may. At the second reading he may speak
for, or against it, that is, against any part of it. The natural
orders will preserve you from rocks. In times when we had
kings, the House was surprised by previous votes. Our ancestors foresaw the necessity of committing a Bill. You
have not touched the question, if the question shall be put for
Mr. Attorney-general. I have always observed the rule
that what was the most agreeable to every man's sense was
the natural question, not to exclude any man's vote. I think
it too great for your Committee. I would have that question put which may save our time.
Colonel White. It is expedient to determine the debate.
Some say, per orders, the question; some, of another mind,
propose this, whether the House will take into consideration
a previous vote, before the commitment.
Mr. Knightley. I like the question well, for an expedient;
but doubt it will be dangerous to skip over the orders of our
ancestors, in Queen Elizabeth's and King James's times. I
have read journals before I was a Parliament man.
Sir John Maynard. If you cautionate it so that the previous vote shall be upon what is debated. By those intervening votes, I have often known the whole debate turned aside,
and both questions lost.
Sir Arthur Haslerigge. I hope we shall have ingenuousness on both sides, not to be jealous of one another. If I surprize any, I desire never to be heard again. If I see any
serpent under the green leaves, I will pull off the leaves,
though never so flourishing.
Mr. Bodurda. I observed Sir Henry Vane. He contended not for the precedency; but for the dangerousness of the
other question. I think it, on the other side, necessary that
you put no question that may put out of doors a question of
this concernment. This gentleman did move that the debate
go on upon this negative debate. I desire the question be,
that a previous vote, in order to this debate, shall be first
Sir Henry Vane. I agree that the question may be, if a
previous vote shall be before commitment.
Mr. Knightley and Mr. Reynolds moved that a question
should be put for a previous vote, to be before the Committee
Sir Walter Earle. That question is improper. You are,
part, for a previous vote before the Committee be named; and
you know not whether you will have a Committee, or not.
Mr. Godfrey. I agree this is impossible. I would have
the question: if a previous vote upon the matter debated
shall be put, before the Bill be committed.
The question was proposing.
Sir Henry Vane. Those that were naming a Committee
should be against this question. (Query, if ingenuously
The question being put in the affirmative;—
Lieutenant-general Ludlow stood up, and pressed that the
natural question might be put, for commitment.
The question being put, whether this House will take into
consideration a previous vote touching the matters here debated before the Bill be committed. The question being put
if that question shall be now put, it passed in the affirmative.
The main question being put, it passed in the affirmative.
The House rose at almost three.
The Committee of Privileges sat in the Star Chamber.
Serjeant Waller in the chair.