MEMBER OF PARLIAMENT WHETHER MAY GO ABROAD BEFORE BEING SWORN . EFFECT ON PARLIAMENTARY ALLOWANCE . TIME LIMIT FOR TAKING SEAT
CONSTITUTION ss. 42. 48 : PARLIAMENTARY ALLOWANCES ACT 1907. s. 5
The Clerk of the House of Representatives asks for my advice on the following questions put by Mr Poynton, who wishes to go abroad immediately after the elections:
- Can I leave before being sworn in without invalidating my seat?
- Can'I obtain leave of absence without being sworn in?
- Would my leaving before being sworn in affect my parliamentary allowance?
My opinion upon the above questions is as follows:
- Yes, if leave of absence is obtained. Section 42 of the Constitution requires every member to be sworn in before taking his seat; but there is no period fixed within which he must take his seat.
- This appears to be entirely a matter for the House, and I am not acquainted with any precedent on the point.
- No, if leave of absence is obtained. Under the Parliamentary Allowances Act 1907, section 5, the allowance of a member of the House of Representatives is reckoned from the day of his election-not, as was formerly the case under section 48 of the Constitution, from the day on which he takes his seat.
[Vol. 7, p. 370]