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mits of the previous question. If it did not, it would have no means of preventing an improper discussion ; not being able,'as a committee is, to avoid it by returning into the House: for the moment it would resume the same subject there, the 28th rule declares it again a quasi-committee. 5. It would doubtless exercise its powers as a House on any breach of order. 6. It takes a question by Yea and Nay, as the House does. 7. It receives messages from the President and the other House. 8. In the midst of a debate it receives a motion to adjourn, and adjourns as a House, and not as a committee.



In Parliament, after the bill has been read a second time, if, on the motion and question, it be not committed, or if no proposition for commitment be made, the Speaker reads it by paragraphs, pausing between each, but putting no question but on amendments proposed; and when through the whole, he puts the question whether it shall be read a third time? if it came from the other House: or, if originating with themselves, whether it shall be engrossed and read a third time? The Speaker reads sitting, but rises to put questions. The Clerk stands while he reads:

* But the Senate of the United States is so much in the habit of making many and material amendments

*The former practice of the Senate, referred to in this paragraph, has been changed by the following rule:

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The final question, upon the second reading of every bill, resolution, constitutional amendment, or motion, originating in the Senate, and requiring three readings previous to being passed, shall be, Whether it shall be engrossed and read a third time ?" and no amendment shall be received for discussion at the third reading of any bill, resolution, amendment, or motion, unless by unanimous consent of the members present :



at the 3d reading, that it has become the practice not to engross a bill till it has passed. An irregular and dangerous practice; because, in this way, the paper which passes the Senate is not that which goes to the other House; and that which goes to the other House as the act of the Senate, has never been seen in Senate. In introducing numerous, difficult and illegible amendments into the text, the Secretary may, with the most innocent intentions, commit errors, which can never again be corrected.

The bill being now as perfect as its friends can make it, this is the proper stage for those fundamentally opposed to make their first attack. All attempts at earlier periods are with disjointed efforts; because, many who do not expect to be in favor of the bill ultimately, are willing to let it go on to its perfect state, to take time to examine it themselves, and to hear what can be said for it; knowing that, after all, they will have sufficient opportunities of giving it their veto. Its two last stages, therefore, are reserved for this, that is to say, on the question whether it shall be engrossed and read a third time? And lastly, whether it shall pass? The first of these is usually the most interesting contest; because, then the whole subject is new and engaging, and the minds of the members having not yet been declared by any trying vote, the issue is the more doubtful. In this stage, therefore, is the main trial of strength between its friends and opponents: and it behooves every one to make up his mind decisively for this question, or he loses the main battle; and accident and management

but it shall at all times be in order, before the final passage of any such bill, resolution, "constitutional amendment, or motion, to move its commitment; and should such commitment take place, and any amendment be reported by the committee, the said bill, resolution, constitutional amendment, or motion, shall be again read a second time, and considered as in committee of the whole, and then the aforesaid question shall be again put. Rule 29.

may, and often do, prevent a successful rallying on the next and last question, whether it shall pass?

When the bill is engrossed, the title is to be endorsed on the back, and not within the bill. Hakew, 250,


Where papers are laid before the House, or referred to a committee, every member has a right to have them once read at the table, before he can be compelled to vote on them. But it is a great, though common error, to suppose that he has a right, toties quoties, to have acts, journals, accounts or papers on the table, read independently of the will of the house. The delay and interruption which this might be made to produce, evince the impossibility of the existence of such a right. There is, indeed, so manifest a propriety of permitting every member to have as much information as possible on every question on which he is to vote, that when he desires the reading, if it be seen that it is really for information, and not for delay, the Speaker directs it to be read, without putting a question, if no one objects. But if objected to, a question must be put. 2 Hats. 117, 118.

It is equally an error to suppose that any member has a right, without a question put, to lay a book or paper on the table, and have it read, on suggesting that it contains matter infringing on the privileges of the House. ib.

For the same reason a member has not a right to read a paper in his place, if it be objected to, without leave of the House. But this rigor is never exercised but where there is an intentional or gross abuse of the time and patience of the House.

A member has not a right even to read his own speech, committed to writing, without leave. This also is to prevent an abuse of time; and therefore is not refused, but where that is intended. 2 Grey, 227.

A report of a committee of the Senate on a bill from the House of Representatives being under consideration, on motion that the report of the commit

tee on the House of Representatives on the same bill be read in Senate, it passed in the negative; Feb. 28, 1793.

Formerly, when papers were referred to a committee, they used to be first read: but of late, only the titles; unless a member insists they shall be read, and then no body can oppose it. 2 Hats, 117.


*While a question is before the Senate, no motion shall be received, unless for an amendment, for the previous question, or for postponing the main question, or to commit it, or to adjourn. Rule 8.

It is no possession of a bill unless it be delivered to the clerk to be read, or the Speaker reads the title. Lex Parl. 274. Elsynge, Mem. 85. Ord. House of Commons, 64,

It is a general rule that the question first moved and seconded shall be first put. Scob. 28. 22. 2 Hats. 81. But this rule gives way to what may be called privileged questions; and the privileged questions are of different grades among themselves.

A motion to adjourn simply takes place of all others, for otherwise the House might be kept sitting against its will, and indefinitely. Yet this motion cannot be received after another question is actually put, and while the House is engaged in voting.

Orders of the day take place of all other questions, except for adjournment. That is to say, the question

*This rule has been modified so as to specify the questions entitled to preference.

The rule is now as follows:

When a question is under debate, no motion shall be received but to adjourn, to lie on the table, to postpone indefinitely, to postpone to a day certain, to commit, or to amend; which several motions shall have precedence in the order they stand arranged, and the motion for adjournment shall always be in order, and be decided without debate. <

which is the subject of an order is made a privileged one, pro hac vice. The order is a repeal of the general rule as to this special case. When any member moves therefore for the orders of the day to be read, no further debate is permitted on the question which was before the House, for if the debate might proceed, it might continue through the day and defeat the order. This motion, to entitle it to precedence, must be for the orders generally, and not for any particular one; and if it be carried on the question, "Whether the House will now proceed to the orders of the day," they must be read and proceeded on in the course in which they stand: 2 Hats. 83. for priority of order gives priority of right, which cannot be taken away but by another special order.

After these there are other privileged questions which will require considerable explanation.

It is proper that every parliamentary assembly should have certain forms of question, so adapted as to enable them fitly to dispose of every proposition which can be made to them. Such are, 1. The previous question. 2. To postpone indefinitely. 3. Toadjourn a question to a definite day. 4. To lie on the table. 5. To commit. 6. To amend. The proper occasion for each of these questions should be understood.

1. When a proposition is moved, which it is useless or inexpedient now to express or discuss, the previous question has been introduced for suppressing for that time the motion and its discussion, 3 Hats. 188, 189.

But as the previous question gets rid of it only for that day, and the same proposition may recur the next day, if they wish to suppress it for the whole of that session, they postpone it indefinitely. 3 Hats. 183. This quashes the proposition for that session, as an indefinite adjournment is a dissolution, or the continuance of a suit, sine die, is a discontinuance of it.

3. When a motion is made which it will be proper to act on, but information is wanted, or something more pressing claims the present time, the question or

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