Crucially, however, the granting of the Chiltern Hundreds remained discretionary for quite some time.
Indeed, the Chiltern Hundreds were denied as late as the mid-nineteenth century.
Since the middle of the eighteenth century, the primary office used for this purpose has been the stewardship of the Chiltern Hundreds. However, for a long time, the Chiltern Hundreds were not granted as a matter of course.
It is true, as we have seen, (128) that the power of granting the Chiltern Hundreds to members of the House of Commons lay with the chancellor of the exchequer, a Crown official.
(328) Whittemore sought to resign precisely to avoid being disciplined over his ethical lapses, and Henry Dawes, arguing against the right of resignation, told the House that "[i]f a member, when the Constitution clothes us with the power to punish a member for any offense here, can prevent us from discharging that duty by resigning, whether we will or not, the power of the House to control its own constitution is at an end." (329) We have seen a similar impulse in the House of Commons, where the Chiltern Hundreds was denied in the mid-nineteenth century to keep members from taking advantage of "corrupt compromises.
Indeed, even though the Chiltern Hundreds is never denied today, it is still a salutary fiction--or, put differently, a noble lie.
(23.) Betty Kemp, The Stewardship of the Chiltern Hundreds, in ESSAYS PRESENTED TO SIR LEWIS NAMIER 204, 205 (Richard Pares & A.J.P.
On becoming Steward of the Chiltern Hundreds, Mr Blair replaces former Labour MP Terry Davis, who stood down from his Birmingham Hodge Hill seat in 2004 to become Secretary General of the Council of Europe.
Upon receipt of an MP's application for the Chiltern Hundreds, a warrant of appointment is signed by the Chancellor and held in the Treasury.