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CALL OF THE HOUSE.
ON a call of the House, each person rises up as he is called and | Re.62, 63, answereth; the absentees are then only noted, but no excuse to be made | H. Reps. till the House be fully called over. Then the absentees are called a || p. 85. second time, and if still absent excuses are to be heard. [Ord. H. Com. 92.7
They rise that their persons may be recognized; the voice in such a crowd, being an insufficient verification of their presence. But in so small a body as the Senate of the United States the trouble of rising cannot be necessary.
Orders for calls on different days may subsist at the same time. [ 2 Hats. 72. 1
WHEN but one person is proposed, and no objection made, it has not Cons. U. been usual in Parliament to put any question to the House; but without S. Art. 1,
Sec. 2. p.8. a question, the members proposing him, conduct him to the chair. 1
and Sec. 3, But if there be objection, or another proposed, a question is put by the page 9. Clerk. [2 Hats. 158.] As are also questions of adjournment. [6 Grey, 406.) Where the House debated and exchanged messages and answers with the king for a week, without a Speaker, till they were prorogued, they have done it dedie in diem* for fourteen days. [1 Chand. 331, 335. ]
Where the Speaker has been ill, other Speakers, pro tempore, have been appointed. Instances of this are 1 H. 4. Sir John Cheyney, and so Sir William Sturton, and in 15 H. 6. Sir John Tyrrel, in 1656. Jan. 27, 1658. March 9, 1659. Jan. 13.
Sir Job Charlton ill. Seymour chosen 1673, Feb. 18. not merely pro
ir Robt. Sawyer chosen, 1010, 1 temp. 1 Chand.
169, 276, 277.] Thorpe in execution, a new Speaker chosen, [ 31 H. VI. 3 Grey, 11, ] and March 14, 1694, Sir John Trevor chosen. There have been no later instances. 2 Hats. 161. 4 Inst. 8 L. Parl. 263.
A Speakert may be removed at the will of the House, and a Speaker pro temporet appointed. [2 Grey, 186. 5 Grey, 134. ]
* From day to day.
† For the occasion.
Joint Re. 11, p. 109.
A Joint address of both Houses of Parliament is read by the Speaker of the House of Lords. It may be attended by both Houses in a body, or by a Committee from each House, or by the two Speakers only. An address of the House of Commons only, may be presented by the whole House, or by the Speaker, [ 9 Grey, 473. i Chandler, 298, 301, ] or by such particular members as are of the Privy Council. [2 Hats. 278.]
STANDING Committees, as of Privileges and Elections, c., are usually
appointed at the first meeting, to continue through the session. The 87. Also il person first named is generally permitted to act as Chairman. But Re. 8, p. 69. this is a matter of courtesy; every Committee having a right to elect
their own Chairman, who presides over them, puts questions, and
At these Committees the members are to speak standing, and not
[D’Ewes, 630, col. 1. 4 Parl. hist. 440. 2 Hats. 77.] Rules 33, | Their proceedings are not to be published, as they are of no force 34, 35, U.S.
till confirmed by the House. [Rushw. part 3, vol. 2. 74. 3 Grey, 401. Sen.
Scob. 39. ] Nor can they receive a petition but through the House. [9 Grey, 712.)
When a Committee is charged with an inquiry, if a member prove to be involved, they cannot proceed against him, but must make a special report to the House, whereupon the member is heard in his place, or at the bar, or a special authority is given to the Committee to inquire
concerning him. [9 Grey, 523. ]
the service of the House. [2 Nals. 319. ]
each Committee acted integrally in the following instances : [ 7 Grey,
С0 мм ITTEE OF THE WHOLE.
THE speeches, messages, and other matters of great concernment, are
132, & 133, usually referred to a Committee of the whole House. [6 Grey, 311. ] | H. Repres. Where general principles are digested in the form of resolutions, which || pages 102, are debated and amended till they get into a shape which meets the approbation of a majority. These being reported and confirmed by the House, are then referred to one or more Select Committees, according as the subject divides itself into one or more bills. [Scob. 36, 44.] Propositions for any charge on the people are especially to be first made in a Committee of the Whole. [ 3 Hats. 127.] The sense of the whole is better taken in Committee, because in all Committees every one speaks as often as he pleases. [Scob. 49.] They generally acquiesce in the Chairman named by the Speaker; but, as well as all other Committees, have a right to elect one, some member, by consent, putting the question. Scob. 36. 3 Grey, 301. ] The form of going from the House into Committee, is for the Speaker, on motion, to put || Re. 125,
J|H. Repres. the question, that the House do now resolve itself into a Committee of 1;
lip, 101. the Whole to take under consideration such a matter, naming it. If determined in the affirmative, he leaves the chair, and takes a seat elsewhere, as any other member; and the person appointed Chairman seats himself at the Clerk's -table. Scob. 36.] Their quorum is the same as that of the House; and if a defect happens, the Chairman, on
Re. 126, & motion and question, rises, the Speaker resumes the chair, and the
p. 101. Chairman can make no other report than to inform the House of the cause of their dissolution. If a message is announced during a Committee, the Speaker takes the chair, and receives it, because the Committee cannot. [2 Hats. 125, 126.]
In a Committee of the Whole, the tellers on a division, differing as to
e numbers, great heats and confusion arose, and danger of a decision by the sword. The Speaker took the chair, the mace was forcibly laid on the table, whereupon, the members retiring to their places, the Speaker told the House he had taken the chair without an order, to bring the House into order.' Some excepted against it; but it was generally approved as the only expedient to suppress the disorder. | And every member was required, standing up in his place, to engage that he would proceed no further in consequence of what had happened in the Grand Committee, which was done. [3 Grey, 128. ]
A Committee of the Whole being broken up in disorder, and the chair resumed by the Speaker without an order, the House was adjourned. The next day the Committee was considered as thereby dissolved, and the subject again before the House; and it was decided in the House without returning into Committee. [3 Grey, 130.]
No previous question can be put in a Committee; nor can this Committee adjourn as others may; but if their business is unfinished, they rise, on a question, the House is resumed, and the Chairman reports that the Committee of the Whole have, according to order, had under their consideration such a matter, and have made progress therein;
Re. 136) but not having had time to go through the same, have directed him to & 137, H. ask leave to sit again. Whereupon a question is put on their having Repres. p. \| leave, and on the time when the House will again resolve itself into a 103 & 101.
Committee. [ Scob. 38. ] But if they have gone through the matter referred to them, a member moves that the Committee may rise, and the Chairman report their proceeding, to the House; which being resolved, the Chairman rises, the Speaker resumes the chair, the Chairman informs him that the Committee have gone through the business referred to them, and that he is ready to make report when the House shall think proper to receive it. If the House have time to receive it, there is usually a cry of · Now, now,' whereupon he makes the report; but if it be late, the cry is .To-morrow, to-morrow,' or 'on Monday,' &c., or a motion is made to that effect, and a question put
that it be received to-morrow, &c. [Scob. 38. ] Re. 134, 1 In other things the rules of proceeding are to be the same as in the H. Repres. | House. Scob. 39. ] p. 103.
EXAMINATION OF WITNESSES.
Re. 141, COMMON fame is a good ground for the House to proceed by inquiry, H. Repres. || and even to accusation. [Resolution House Commons. i Car. i, p. 105.
1625. Rush. L. Parl. 115. 1 Grey, 16–22, 92. 8 Grey, 21, 23, 27, 45.1
Witnesses are not to be produced but where the House has previously instituted an inquiry, [2 Hats. 102, ] nor then are orders for their attendance given blank. [3 Grey, 51. ] ;
When any person is examined before a Committee, or at the bar of the House, any member wishing to ask the person a question, must address it to the Speaker or Chairman, who repeats the question to the person, or says to him, you hear the question, answer it.' But if the propriety of the question be objected to, the Speaker directs the witness, counsel, and parties to withdraw; for no question can be moved or put, or debated while they are there. [2 Hats. 108. ] Sometimes the questions are previously settled in writing before the witness enters. [ Ib. 106, 107. 8 Grey, 64. ] The questions asked must be entered in the Journals. [3 Grey, 81. ] But the testimony given in answer before the House is never written down; but before a Committee it must be, for the information of the House who are not present to hear it. [7 Grey, 52, 334.]
If either House have occasion for the presence of a person in custody of the other, they ask the other their leave that he may be brought up to them in custody. [3 Hats. 52. ]
A member, in his place, gives information to the House of what he knows of any matter under hearing at the bar. [Jour. H. of C., Jan. 22, 17445.1 : ,
Either House may request, but not command the attendance of a member of the other. They are to make the request by message to the other House, and to express clearly the purpose of attendance, that no improper subject of examination may be tendered to him. The House then gives leave to the member to attend, if he choose it; waiting first to know from the member himself whether he chooses to attend, till which they do not take the message into consideration. But when the Peers are sitting as a court of criminal judicature, they may order attendance; unless where it be a case of impeachment by the Commons. There it is to be a request. [3 Hats. 17. 9 Grey, 306, 406. 10 Grey, 133.]
Counsel are to be heard only on private, not on public bills, and on such points of law only as the House shall direct. [10 Grey, 61. ]
ARRANGEMENT OF BUSINESS.
THE Speaker is not precisely bound to any rules as to what bills or ) Re. 26, 27, other matter shall be first taken up, but is left to his own discretion,
p. 74, || unless the House on a question decide to take up a particular subject. [Hakew. 136. 1
A settled order of business is, however, necessary for the government of the presiding person, and to restrain individual members from calling up favourite measures, or matters under their special patronage, out of their just turn. It is usual also for directing the discretion of the House, when they are moved to take up a particular matter, to the prejudice of others having priority of right to their attention in the general order of business.
Const. U. In Parliament instances make order,' [ per Speaker Onslow, 2 Hats.
s. Art. 1. 141, ] but what is done only by one Parliament, cannot be called cus-1 Sec. 5. p.
12. tom of Parliament. [1 Grey, 52. ]