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troduced it. 2 Grey, 113, 114; 3 Grey, 384. or may not be made, to be, that the preWhen the question was put in this form, vious question has been proposed from the "Shall the main question be put?” a de- Chair." But, as the rule is that the House termination in the negative suppressed the is in possession of a question as soon as it main question during the session; but is moved and seconded, it cannot be more since the words "now put” are used, they than possessed of it by its being also proexclude it for the present only; formerly, posed from the Chair. It may be said, inindeed, only till the present debate was deed, that the object of the previous quesover, 4 Grey, 43, but now for that day and tion being to get rid of a question, which no longer. 2 Grey, 113, 114.
it is not expedient should be discussed, Before the question “Whether the main this object may be defeated by moving to question shall now be put?" any person amend; and in the discussion of that momight formerly have spoken to the main tion, involving the subject of the main question, because otherwise he would be question. But so may the object of the precluded from speaking to it at all. Mem. previous question be defeated, by moving in Hakew., 28.
the amended question, as Mr. Hatsell proThe proper occasion for the previous poses, after the decision against putting question is when a subject is brought for the original question. He acknowledges, ward of a delicate nature as to high per- too, that the practice has been to admit sonages, &c., or the discussion of which previous amendments, and only cites a may call forth observations which might few late instances to the contrary. On the be of injurious consequences. Then the whole, I should think it best to decide it previous question is proposed; and in the ab inconvenienti, to wit: Which is most modern usage, the discussion of the main inconvenient, to put it in the power of one question is suspended, and the debate con- side of the House to defeat a proposition fined to the previous question. The use of by hastily moving the previous question, it has been extended abusively to other and thus forcing the main question to be cases; but in these it has been an embar- put unamended; or to put it in the power rassing procedure; its uses would be as of the other side to force on, incidentally well answered by other more simple par- at least, a discussion which would be betliamentary forms, and therefore it should ter avoided ? Perhaps the last is the least not be favored, but restricted within as inconvenience; inasmuch as the Speaker, narrow limits as possible.
by confining the discussion rigorously to Whether a main question may be the amendment only, may prevent their amended after the previous question on it going into the main question; and inashas been moved and seconded? 2 Hats., much also as so great a proportion of the 88, says, if the previous question has been cases in which the previous question is moved and seconded, and also proposed called for, are fair and proper subjects of from the Chair, (by which he means public discussion, and ought not to be obstated by the Speaker for debate,) it has structed by a formality introduced for been doubted whether an amendment can be questions of a peculiar character. admitted to the main question. He thinks it may, after the previous question moved
sec. XXXV.-AMENDMENTS, and seconded; but not after it has been pro On an amendment being moved, a memposed from the Chair. In this case, he ber who has spoken to the main question thinks the friends to the amendment must may speak again to the amendment, vote that the main question be not now Scob., 23. put; and then move their amended ques If an amendment be proposed incontion, which being made new by the amend- sistent with one already agreed to, it is a ment, is no longer the same which has fit ground for its rejection by the House, been just suppressed, and therefore may be but not within the competence of the proposed as a new one. But this proceed- Speaker to suppress as if it were against ing certainly endangers the main question, order. For were he permitted to draw by dividing its friends, some of whom may questions of consistence within the vortex chose it unamended, rather than lose it of order, he might usurp a negative on altogether; while others of them may vote, important modifications, and suppress, inas Hatsell advises, that the main question stead of subserving, the legislative will. be not now put, with a view to move it Amendments may be made so as totally again in an amended form. The enemies to alter the nature of the proposition ; and of the main question, by this maneuver to it is a way of getting rid of a proposition, the previous question, get the enemies to by making it bear a sense different from the amendment added to them on the what it was intended by the movers, so first vote, and throw the friends of the that they vote against it themselves. 2 main question under the embarrassment of Hats., 79; 4, 82, 84. A new bill may be rallying again as they can. To support ingrafted, by way of amendment, on the this opinion, too, he makes the deciding words “Be it enacted,” &c. 1 Grey, 190, circumstance, whether an amendment may I 192.
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If it be proposed to amend by leaving not prevent a motion to strike out and in. out certain words, it may be moved, as an sert a different proposition, nor prevent a amendment to this amendment, to leave subsequent motion simply to strike out; out a part of the words of the amendment, nor shall the rejection of a motion simply which is equivalent to leaving them in the to strike out prevent a subsequent motion bill. 2 Hats., 80, 9. The parliamentary to strike out and insert.] question is, always, whether the words But if it had been carried affirmatively shall stand part of the bill.
to strike out the words and to insert A, it When it is proposed to amend by insert- could not afterward be permitted to strike ing a paragraph, or part of one, the friends out A and insert B. The mover of B of the paragraph may make it as perfect as should have notified, while the insertion they can by amendments before the ques- of A was under debate, that he would tion is put for inserting it. If it be re- move to insert B; in which case those ceived, it cannot be amended afterward, in who preferred it would join in rejecting A. the same stage, because the House has, on After A is inserted, however, it may be a vote, agreed to it in that form. In like moved to strike out a portion of the origimanner, if it is proposed to amend by nal paragraph, comprehending A, provistriking out a paragraph, the friends of the ded the coherence to be struck out be so paragraph are first to make it as perfect as substantial as to make this effectively a they can by amendments, before the ques- different proposition; for then it is resolved tion is put for striking it out. If on the into the common case of striking out a question it be retained, it cannot be paragraph after amending it. Nor does amended afterward, because a vote against anything forbid a new insertion, instead of striking out is equivalent to a vote agree- A and its coherence. ing to it in that form.
In Senate, January 25, 1798 a motion to When it is moved to amend by striking postpone until the second Tuesday in Febout certain words and inserting others, the ruary some amendments proposed to the manner of stating the question is first to Constitution; the words "until the second read the whole passage to be amended as Tuesday in February,” were struck out by it stands at present, then the words pro-way of amendment. Then it was moved posed to be struck out, next those to be to add, until the first day of June.” Obinserted, and lastly the whole passage as it jected that it was not in order, as the will be when amended. And the question, question should be first put on the longest if desired, is then to be divided, and put time; therefore, after a shorter time decifirst on striking out. If carried, it is next ded against, a longer cannot be put to on inserting the words proposed. If that question. It was answered that this rule be lost, it may be moved to insert others. takes place only in filling blanks for time. 2 Hats., 80, 7.
But when a specific time stands part of a A motion is made to amend by striking motion, that may be struck out as well as out certain words and inserting others in any other part of the motion; and when their place, which is negatived. Then it struck out, a motion may be received to is moved to strike out the same words and insert any other. In fact, it is not until to insert others of a tenor entirely different they are struck out, and a blank for the from those first proposed. It is negatived. time thereby produced, that the rule can Then it is moved to strike out the same begin to operate, by receiving all the prowords and insert nothing, which is agreed to. positions for different times, and putting All this is admissible, because to strike out the questions successively on the longest. and insert A is one proposition. To strike Otherwise it would be in the power of the out and insert B is a different proposition. mover, by inserting originally a short time, And to strike out and insert nothing is still to preclude the possibility of a longer; for different. And the rejection of one propo- till the short time is struck out, you can. sition does not preclude the offering a dif- not insert a longer; and if, after it is struck ferent one. Nor would it change the case out, you cannot do it, then it cannot be were the first motion divided by putting the done at all. Suppose the first motion had question first on striking out, and that nega- been made to amend by striking out "the tived; for, as putting the whole motion to second Tuesday in February," and insert the question at once would not have pre-ing instead thereof “the first of June,” it cluded, the putting the half ofit cannot doit. would have been regular, then, to divide
[The practice in the United States Sen- the question, by proposing first the quesate in this respect is now fixed by the 31st tion to strike out and then that to insert. rule, as follows: If the question in debate Now this is precisely the effect of the prescontains several points, any Senator may ent proceeding; only, instead of one mohave the same divided; but on a motion tion and two questions, there are two mo to strike out and insert, it shall not be in tions and two questions to effect it-the order to move for a division of the ques- motions being divided as well as the question; but the rejection of a motion to tion. strike out and insert one proposition shall When the matter contained in two bills
might be better put into one, the manner after having been decided on once before is to reject the one, and incorporate its mat- at the same reading, which is contrary to ter into another bill by way of amendment. rule. But the question must be on strikSo if the matter of one bill would be bet-ing out the last member of the section as ter distributed into two, any part may be amended. This sweeps away the excepstruck out by way of amendment, and put tions with the rule, and relieves from ininto a new bill. If a section is to be trans- consistence. A question to be divisible posed, a question must be put on striking must comprehend points so distinct and it out where it stands and another for in- entire that one of them being taken away, serting it in the place desired.
the other may stand entire. But a proviso A bill passed by the one House with or exception, without an enacting clause, blanks. These may be filled up by the does not contain an entire point or propoother by way of amendments, returned to sition. the first as such, and passed. 3 Hats., 83. May 31.—The same bill being before the
The number prefixed to the section.of a Senate. There was a proviso that the bill bill
, being merely a marginal indication, should not extend-i. To any foreign and no part of the text of the bill, the minister; nor, 2. To any person to whom Clerk regulates that—the House or com- the President should give a passport; nor, mittee is only to amend the text.
3. To any alien merchant conforming
himself to such regulations as the President SEC. XXXVI.- DIVISION OF THE QUES- shall prescribe ; and a division of the quesTION.
tion into its simplest elements was called If & question contains more parts than for. It was divided into four parts, the 4th one, it may be divided into two or more taking in the words "conforming himself," questions. Mem. in Hakeu., 29. But not &c. It was objected that the words“ any as the right of an individual member, but alien merchant,” could not be separated with the consent of the House. For who from their modifying words, “conforming," is to decide whether a question is compli- &c., because these words, if left by themcated or not—where it is complicated selves, contain no substantive idea, will into how many propositions it may be di- make no sense. But admitting that the vided? The fact is that the only mode of divisions of a paragraph into separate separating a complicated question is by questions must be so made as that each moving amendments to it; and these must part may stand by itself, yet the House be decided by the House, on a question, having, on the question, retained the two unless the House orders it to be divided; (first divisions, the words “any alien meras, on the question, December 2, 1640, chant” may be struck out, and their modimaking void the election of the knights fying words will then attach themselves to for Worcester, on a motion it was resolved the preceding description of persons, and to make two questions of it, to wit, one on become a modification of that description. each night. 2 Hats., 85, 86. So, where When a question is divided, after the ever there are several 'names in a question, question on the 1st member, the 2d is open they may be divided and put one by one. to debate and amendment; because it is a
9 Grey, 444. So, 1729, April 17, on an known rule that a person may rise and objection that a question was complicated, it speak at any time before the question has was separated by amendment. 2 Hats., 79. been completely decided, by putting the
The soundness of these observations will negative as well as the affirmative side. be evident from the embarrassments pro- But the question is not completely put duced by the twelfth rule of the Senate, when the vote has been taken on the first which says, "if the question in debate member only: One-half of the question, contains several points, any member may both affirmative and negative, remains still have the same divided.”
to be put. See Execut. Jour., June 25, 1796. 1798, May 30, the alien bill in quasi- The same decision by President Adams. committee. To'a section and proviso in the original, had been added two new pro
SEC. XXXVII.--COEXISTING QUESTIONS. visos by way of amendment. On a motion It may be asked whether the House can to strike out the section as amended, the be in possession of two motions or proposi. question was desired to be divided. To do tions at the same time? so that, one of this it must be put first on striking out them being decided, the other goes to either the former proviso, or some distinct question without being moved anew? The member of the section. But when nothing answer must be special. When a question remains but the last member of the section is interrupted by a vote of adjournment, it and the provisos, they cannot be divided is thereby removed from before the House, 80 as to put the last member to question by and does not stand ipso facto before them itself; for the provisos might thus be left at their next meeting, but must come forstanding alone as exceptions to a rule when ward in the usual way. So, when it is in. the rule is taken away; or the new provi- terrupted by the order of the day. Such 803 might be left to a second question, other privileged questions also as dispose
the motion; and riba tion may be received to In fact
, it is not end it
, and black for the luced, that the male cu F receiving all the go rent times, and paten Lavirely on the langet
, you can
andil, atterite.com o it, then it come use the first motiu had d by striking on "k February, "and ine "the fint of June," egular , then
, to dritt sposing first the quatt d then that to me I the effect of the past 1, instead of one * 3s, there are two com tions to etat i d as well as the city
contained in two
of the main question, (e. g., the previous | 3d. To recede. You may then either question, postponement, or commitment,) 4th. To insist. insist or adhere. remove it from before the House. But it 5th. To adhere. You may then either is only suspended by a motion to amend,
recede or adhere. to withdraw, to read papers, or by a ques
You may then either tion of order or privilege, and stands again
recede or insist. before the House when these are decided.
Consequently the negNone but the class of privileged questions
ative of these is not can be brought forward while there is an
equivalent to a positive other question before the House, the rule
vote, the other way. It being that when a motion has been made
does not raise so necesand seconded, no other can be received ex
sary an implication as cept it be a privileged one.
may authorize the Sec
retary by inference to SEC. XXXVIII.-EQUIVALENT QUESTIONS.
enter another vote; for If, on a question for rejection, a bill be
two alternatives still reretained, it passes, of course, to its next
main, either of which reading. Hakew., 141; Scob., 42. And a
may be adopted by the question for a second reading determined
House. negatively, is a rejection without further question. 4 Grey, 149. And see Elsynge's
SEC. XXXIX.-THE QUESTION. Memor., 42, in what cases questions are to The question is to be put first on the be taken for rejection.
affirmative, and then on the negative side, Where questions are perfectly equiva After the Speaker has put the affirma: lent, so that the negative of the one tive part of the question, any member who amounts to the affirmative of the other, has not spoken before to the question may and leaves no other alternative, the de- rise and speak before the negative be put; cision of the one concludes necessarily the because it is no full question till the negaother. 4. Grey, 157. Thus the negative of tive part be put. Scob., 23; 2 Hats., 73. striking out amounts to the affirmative of But in small matters, and which are of agreeing; and therefore to put a question on course, such ao receiving petitions, reports, agreeing after that on striking out, would withdrawing motions, reading papers, &c. be to put the same question in effect twice the Speaker most commonly supposes the
Not so in questions of amendments consent of the House where no objection between the two Houses. A motion to re- is expressed, and does not give them the cede being negatived, does not amount to trouble of putting the question formally. a positive vote to insist, because there is an. Scob., 22; 2 Hats., 87; 5 Grey, 129; 9 other alternative, to wit, to adhere. A bill | Grey, 301. originating in one House is passed by the other with an amendment. A motion in SEC. XL.-BILLS, THIRD READING. the originating House to agree to the To prevent bills from being passed by amendment is negatived. Does there re- surprise, the House, by a standing order, sult from this vote of disagreement, or must directs that they shall not be put on their the question on disagreement be expressly passage before a fixed hour, naming one voted? The question respecting amend- at which the House commonly full. ments from another House are—1st, to Hakew., 153. agree; 2d, disagree; 3d, recede; 4th, insist; The
of the Senate is, not to put 5th, adhere,
bills on their passage till noon.] 1st. To agree. Either of these con
and passed to the third sarily, for the positive third time and passed; because this would of either is exactly the be to pass on two readings in the same equivalent of the nega- day. tive of the other, and At the third reading the Clerk reads the no other alternative re- bill and delivers it to the Speaker, who mains. On either mo- states the title, that it is the third time of tion amendments to the reading the bill, and that the question will amendment may be pro- be whether it shall pass. Formerly the posed; e. g., if it be Speaker, or those who prepared a bill, premoved to disagree, those pared also a breviate or summary statewho are for the amendment of its contents, which the Speaker ment have a right to read when he declared the state of the propose amendments, bill, at the several readings. Sometimes, and to make it as per- however, he read the bill itself, especially fect as they can, before on its passage. Haker., 136, 137, 153; the question of disagree- Coke, 22, 115. Latterly, instead of this, he. ing is put.
at the third reading, states the whole con
tents of the bill verbatim, only, instead of When the debate is ended, the Speaker, reading the formal parts, “ Be it enacted,” holding the bill in his hand, puts the ques&c., he states that “preamble recites so tion for its passage, by saying, “Gentlemen, and so—the 1st section enacts that, &c.; all you who are of opinion that this bill the 2d section enacts,” &c.
shall pass, say aye;" and after the answer (But in the Senate of the United States, of the ayes,
All those of the contrary both of these forınalities are dispensed opinion, say no." Hakerr., 154. with; the breviate presenting but an im After the bill is passed, there can be no perfect view of the bill, and being capable further alteration of it in any point. of being made to present a false one; and Hakew., 159. the full statement being a useless waste of time, immediately after a full reading by
SEC. XLI.--DIVISION OF THE HOUSE. the C'lerk, and especially as every member The affirmative and negative of the queshas a printed copy in his hand.]
tion having been both put and answered, A bill on the third reading is not to be the Speaker declares whether the yeas or comniitted for the matter or body thereof, nays have it by the sound, if he be himself but to receive some particular clause or satisfied, and it stands as the judgment of proviso, it hath been sometimes suffered, the House. But if he be not himself satisbut as a thing very unusual. Hakew., 156. fied which voice is the greater, or if before Thus, 27 El., 1581, a bill was committed any other member comes into the House, on the third reading, having been former- or before any new motion made, (for it is ly committed on the second, but is de- too late after that,) any member shall rise clared not usual. D'Ewes, 337, col. 2; and declare himself dissatisfied with the 414, col. 2.
Speaker's decision, then the Speaker is to When an essential provision has been divide the House. Scob., 24; 2 Hats., 140, omitted, rather than erase the bill and When the House of Commons is divided, render it suspicious, they add a clause on the one party goes forth, and the other rea separate paper, engrossed and called a mains in the House. This has made it imrider, which is read and put to the ques- portant which go forth and which remain; tion three times. Elsynge's Memo., 59; 6 because the latter gain all the indolent, the Grey, 335; 1 Blackst., 183. For examples indifferent, and inattentive. Their general of riders, see 3 Hats., 121, 122, 124, 156. rule, therefore, is, that those who give their Every one is at liberty to bring in a rider vote for the preservation of the orders of without asking leave. 10 Grey, 52.
the House shall stay in; and those who are It is laid down as a general rule, that for introducing any new matter or alteraamendments proposed at the second read- tion, or proceeding contrary to the estabing shall be twice read, and those proposed lished course, are to go out. But this rule at the third reading thrice read; as also is subject to many exceptions and modifiall amendments from the other House. cations. 2 Hats., 13+; 1 Rush., p. 3, fol. 92; Town., col. 19, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28. Scob., 43, 52; Co., 12, 116; D'Ewes, 505, col.
It is with great and almost invincible 1; Mem. in Hakew., 25, 29; as will appear reluctance that amendments are admitted by the following statement of who go forth: at this reading, which occasion erasures or Petition that it be received...
Rejected after refusal to lie Noes,
further proceeding... Ayes. safe.
Bill, that it be brought in..... At this reading the bill is debated afresh, Read first or second time... and for the most part is more spoken to at Engrossed or read third time
Ayes. this time than on any of the former read
Proceeding on every ings. Hakew., 153.
stage..... The debate on the question whether it Committed .... should be read a third time, has discovered To Committee of the whole... Noes. to its friends and opponents the arguments To a select committee........ Ayes, on which each side relies, and which of Report of bill to lie on table.. Noes. these appear to have influence with the Be now read............
Ayes. House; they have had time to meet them Be taken into consideration with new arguments, and to put their old three months hence.. \ 30,P.J. 251. ones into new shapes. The former vote Amendments to be read a sehas tried the strength of the first opinion, cond time.......... Noes. and furnished grounds to estimate the is- Clause offered on report of bill sue; and the question now offered for its
to be read second time (Ayes. passage is the last occasion which is ever For receiving a clause.......
334. to be offered for carrying or rejecting it.
With amendm'ts be engrossed 396,