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1 Apr 1802
Dispensing power

Consider my Lord what would be the consequences if

In a word, so true is it that men may and
have been said ought to be punished for the putting a misconstruction
wrong sense upon the words of an Act of Parliament in such circumstances, that sense being
known by themselves to be a false one
but if the negative contrary were established; the
execution department would at once be paramount
to the legislative and the Constitution would be at Monarchy would be an
absolute one.
an end. A man would have but to say with the Duke of Portland this
is what I understand to be the object of Parliament the Act
and he would have it in his power and at the expence of this short phrase to always pursue
always with impunity and oftentimes to attain with success an
object dramatically opposite to that prepared by Parliament.
A certain form of words would come
to be introduced and on condition of using them by the help of that form
a Secretary of State or other Minister would not
only rescind any law that stood in his way, but
substitute to it establish in the stead of it any other that he pleased.

Thus when the dispensing power was set up by
James the 2d, the power of dispensing with such
of the penal laws as were an obstruction to his purposes stood in the way of his designs in favour of
a particular form of words was decreed employed for that purpose
with the words non obstante at the head of
it. James the 2d was a moderate man: his aim
went no further than to laws the unravelling of laws, and among laws those only of a particular
class – the penal laws. The Duke of Portland will ought not ratify I⊞1 ⊞1 The ambition of the Duke of Portland I beg his Grace's pardon – the ambition of Mr Baldwin had not such limits. The
power he has not only exercised, but it and what is much
more not only secretly exercised but opening assumed,⊞2 ⊞2 not only exercised in the dark with Mr Long, but assumed in the face of day and in black and white, with the hilt of Mr Baldwin and Mr King is
the power of doing by the laws of Parliament, by
all the laws of Parliament without restriction exception that were in his way what
the Board of Controul – under the authority of Parliament – the
do by the laws of the India House – annul or rescind them as
they think fit.

Identifier: | JB/121/364/001
"JB/" can not be assigned to a declared number type with value 121.



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1, 4



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Inessentialia? Dispensing power





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"Recto" is not in the list (recto, verso) of allowed values for the "Rectoverso" property.

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E4 / F34




Jeremy Bentham

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