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Full text of "Political Science Of The State"

326                             POLITICAL SCIENCE.
having been elaborated during the long experience of the
Anglican race,  has passed  over  in  part to  other nations
which have come more lately into the possession of "par-
liamentary   government/'   and  is   of vast  importance   for
securing sober, quiet, and wise legislation.    Indeed, but-for
well digested rules, enforced by a speaker or presiding officer,
in whose hands a degree of arbitrary power   is necessarily
lodged, it is difficult to see how free governments could well
sustain themselves in times of great political violence.    An-
executive would have a pretext to disperse the members of a
tumultuary assembly, and the institutions of a country would
be in danger of falling into contempt.    When members of
such a body forget themselves and give way to outbursts of
passion, they can be reprimanded by the chairman, and it is
often in the power of a house to put a member under arrest for
an offence, as well as to expel him for crime. This is not prop-
erly punishment, but a means of preserving the order, digni-
ty and purity of the department.    Such a house has also
power over persons not members who are allowed  to be
present.    Unless the constitution prohibits, the proceedings
may be secret, and an audience be commanded to retire,
or particular persons may be arrested by the proper officer.
Debates  ought to be in  all  ordinary circumstances open,
and full reports of proceedings to  be permitted.    In some
countries, again, persons whose testimony is held to be im-
portant—for instance, on public accounts or when charges
of corruption are brought against members—may be sum-
moned to appear before the house, and although in our con-
stitution it is not expressly said that congress shall have such
a power, this seems to be implied in the very nature and ne-
cessities of the legislative function.    Refusal to appear is con-
tempt, and exposes to arrest by the officers of the legislative
body and to imprisonment.    In the exercise of these powers
the legislative department verges on the judicial.