Page images

for it were thought to outweigh the objection of form.-2 Hats. 99, 100.

A second bill may be passed, to continue an act of the same session; or to enlarge the time limited for its execution.-2 Hats. 95. 98. This is not in contradiction to the first act.



All bills passed in Senate shall, before they are sent to the House of Representatives, be examined by a committee, consisting of three members, whose duty it shall be to examine all bills, amendments, resolutions, or motions, before they go out of the possession of the Senate, and to make report that they are correctly engrossed; which report shall be entered on the Journal.-Rule 33.

A bill from the other House is sometimes ordered to lie on the table.-2 Hats. 97.

When bills, passed in one House and sent to the other, are grounded on special facts requiring proof, it is usual, either by message, or at a conference, to ask the grounds and evidence; and this evidence, whether arising out of papers, or from the examination of witnesses, is immediately communicated.-3 Hats. 48.



When either House, e. g. the House of Commons, sends a bill to the other, the other may pass it with amendments. The regular progression in this case is, that the Commons disagree to the amendment; the Lords insist on it; the Commons insist on their disagreement; the Lords adhere to their amendment; the Commons adhere to their disagreement. The term of insisting may be repeated as often as they choose, to keep the question open. But the first adherence by either, renders it necessary for the other side to recede or adhere also; when the matter is usually suffered to fall.-10 Grey, 148. Latterly, however, there are instances of their having gone to a second adherence. There must be an absolute conclusion of the subject somewhere, or otherwise transactions between the Houses would be endless.-3 Hats. 268, 270. The term of insisting, we are told by Sir John Trevor, was then [1679] newly introduced into Parliamentary usage, by the Lords-7 Grey, 94. It was certainly a happy innovation, as it multiplies the opportunities of trying modifications. which may bring the House to a concurrence. Either House, however, is free to pass over the term of insisting, and to adhere in the first

instance.-10 Grey, 146. But it is not respectful to the other. In the ordinary Parliamentary course, there are two free conferences at least before adherence.-10 Grey, 147.

Either House may recede from its amendment, and agree to the bill; or recede from their disagreement to the amendment, and agree to the same absolutely, or with an amendment. For here the disagreement and receding destroy one another, and the subject stands as before the disagreement.-Elsynge, 23. 27—9 Grey, 476.

But the House cannot recede from or insist on, its own amendment with an amendment, for the same reason that it cannot send to the other House an amendment to its own act after it has passed the act. They may modify an amendment from the other House by ingrafting an amendment on it, because they have never assented to it; but they cannot amend their own amendment, because they have, on the question, passed it in that form; 9 Grey, 353-10 Grey, 240. In Senate, March 29, 1798. Nor where one House has adhered to their amendment, and the other agrees with an amendment, can the first House depart from the form which they have fixed by an adherence.

In the case of a money bill, the Lords proposed amendments, became, by delay, confessedly necessary. The Commons, however, refused them, as infringing on their privilege as to money bills, but they offered themselves to add to the bill a proviso to the same effect, which had

no coherence with the Lords' amendments, and urged, that it was an expedient warranted by precedent, and not unparliamentary in a case become impracticable, and irremediable in any other way. 3 Hats. 256. 266. 270.271. But the Lords refused and the bill was lost, 1 Chand. 288. A like case, 1 Chand. 311. So the Commons resolve, that it is unparliamentary to strike out at a conference any thing in a bill which hath been agreed and passed by both Houses, 6 Grey, 274-1 Chand. 312.

A motion to amend an amendment from the other House, takes precedence of a motion to agree or disagree.

A bill originating in one House, is passed by the other with an amendment.

The originating House agrees to their amendment with an amendment. The other may agree to their amendment with an amendment; that being only in the second and not the third degree. For, as to the amending House, the first amendment with which they passed the bill is a part of its text; it is the only text they have agreed to. The amendment to that text by the originating House, therefore, is only in the 1st degree, and the amendment to that again by the amending House is only in the 2d, to wit, an amendment to an amendment, and so admissible. Just so when, on a bill from the originating House, the other, at its 2d reading, makes an amendment; on the 3d reading, this amendment is become the text of the bill, and if an amend

ment to it be moved, an amendment to that amendment may also be moved, as being only in the second degree.



It is on the occasion of amendments between the Houses that conferences are usually asked: but they may be asked in all cases of difference of opinion between the two houses on matters depending between them. The request of a conference, however, must always be by the House which is possessed of the papers.-3 Hats. 71-1 Grey, 425.

Conferences may be either simple or free. At a conference simply, written reasons are prepared by the House asking it, and they are read and delivered without debate, to the managers of the other House at the conference; but are not then to be answered.-3 Grey, 144. The other House then, if satisfied, vote the reasons satisfactory, or say nothing; if not satisfied, they resolve them not satisfactory, and ask a conference on the subject of the last conference, where they read and deliver in like manner written answers to those reasons.-3 Grey, 183.

« PreviousContinue »