Abbildungen der Seite

tee on

6. In deliberate bodies composed of delegates, it is usual to effect a primary organization as above; then appoint a commit

permanent organization," who nominate permanent officers for the assembly; and a committee on credentials," who prepare a list of those entitled to take part in the proceedings.

7. Immediately before or after (usually after) the permanent organization there is appointed committees on order of business, resolutions, address, and such others as the case may require.


8. The presiding officer opens each sitting of the body by taking the chair and calling the members to order; he announces the business in order; receives all communications, messages, motions, and propositions; puts to vote all questions coming before the body for their decision; and enforces the rules of order. He may read sitting, but should rise to state a motion or put a question.

9. The secretary keeps a record of the proceedings of the body; reads all papers as ordered; calls the roll of members, and records their vote during a call for the ayes and nays; notifies committees of their appointment, and the business referred to them; and takes charge of all papers and documents belong. ing to the assembly.

10. The vice-president takes the chair in the absence of the presiding officer, or when he leaves the chair to take part in the proceedings of the meeting.

11. When other officers are chosen their duties are set forth in the resolution appointing them, or in the by-laws of the association.


12. In all assemblies any member may at any time rise to a point of order. He must distinctly state his question or objection, which the presiding officer will decide.

13. Any member dissatisfied with the ruling of the chair may appeal to the assembly; and the presiding officer may call upon the house to sustain him in preserving order. The decision of the meeting is final.

14. Every member must treat every other member with respect and decorum; and especially must he acknowledge the dignity of the body at large, and of the officers thereof.

15. The chairman of an assembly can not regularly speak to any thing but a point of order, or a question of fact.

16. In general the chairman has his own vote no more, but in primary meetings he is usually entitled to the casting vote.

[ocr errors]

17. If two persons rise to speak together, the chairman de termines which shall have precedence; it may, however, be referred to the house.

18. A person speaking can not regularly mention another member of the assembly by name.

He must describe him as the gentleman who has just sat down, “the gentleman on the other side of the question,” etc.

19. When a person rises to speak, he must address the presiding officer, who should call him by name, that the assembly may know who he is.

20. The person speaking should confine himself to the question under debate, and avoid personality. If he transgress the rules of order, be may be called to order by the presiding officer, or any member.

21. No one should be interrupted while speaking, except he be out of order, or to ask, or to make an explanation.

22. A speaker may allow others to ask questions or make explanations; but if he yield the floor, he can not claim it again as his right.


23. All business should be presented by a motion—and in writing, if so required—the motion to be made by one member and seconded by another.

24. A question is not to be discussed until it is moved, seconded, and distinctly stated by the presiding officer.

25. A question before the meeting can not be withdrawn, except by unanimous consent.

26. A motion should contain but one distinct proposition, or question. If it contains more than one, it may be divided at the request of any member, and the questions acted on separately.

27. A motion before the meeting must be put to vote, unless withdrawn, laid on the table, or postponed.

28. A motion lost should not be renewed at the same meet. ing, unless under circumstances of peculiar necessity.

29. While a motion is under debate, no other motion can be allowed, except


1. To adjourn.
2. To lay on the table.
3. For the prerious question.
4. To postpone to a day certain.
5. To commit or amend.

6. To postpone indefinitely. Which several motions shall have precedence in the order in which they are arranged; and no motion to postpone to a day certain, to commit, or to postpone indefinitely, being decided, shall be again allowed on the same day, and of the same stage of the proposition.

30. Motions to adjourn, to lay on the table, for the previous question, to commit, and to indefinitely postponė, are not debatable. But when they are modified by some condition of time, place, or purpose, they become debatable, and subject to the rules of other motions.

31. A motion to adjourn is always in order, except while the body is engaged in voting, on another question, or while a member is speaking

32. A body may adjourn to specified time. But if no time is mentioned, then it is understood to be adjourned to the time of its next meeting; or if it have no other fixed time for meeting, then an adjournment without date is equivalent to a dissolution:

33. Jf a meeting votes to adjourn at a specified hour, no vote is requisite when that hour arrives. The chair simply announces that the meeting stands adjourned.

34. By adjournment the condition of things is not changed; and when the body meet again, every thing is renewed at the point where it was left.

35. Immediate and decisive action, on any question, may be deferred by a vote to lay the resolution pending on the table, whence it can be ordered up when it suits the convenience of the assembly.

36. When any question is before the house, any member may move the previous question, which is: “Shall the main question be now put. If it pass, then the main question is to be put immediately, without debate or amendment; but if lost, then the main question is not put, and the discussion goes on.

37. À postponement to a day certain, is used when a proposition is made which it is proper to act on--but information is wanted, or something more pressing claims present attention.

38. An indefinite postponement is considered equivalent to a final dismissal of the question.

39. The ineeting may decide to take up some particular business at a special time. That business becomes the order of the day, and when the hour specified arrives the chair announces the order of the day and other business is suspended.

40. Questions relating to the rights and privileges of the meeting, and of its members, are of primary importance, and for the time take precedence of all other business, and supersede all other motions, except that of adjournment.

[ocr errors]

41. When a question has been decided it is in order for any member who voted with the majority to move at the same or next succeeding sitting of the body for a reconsideration thereof. A question reconsidered is placed again before the body for action.


42. All committees shall be appointed by the presiding officer, unless otherwise directed. If voted for by the body it requires a majority (in the absence of any other rule) of all the votes cast to elect.

43. The first one named in the appointment of a committee is, by courtesy, considered the chairman; but the committee have the right to appoint their own chairman.

44. Any subject in debate, or matter of business, may be referred to a committee, with or without instructions; the committee to report the result of their investigation to the meeting.

45. The report of a committee is accepted by a vote, which simply acknowledges the service of the committee, and places their report before the meeting for its action. Afterwards, any distinct proposition or recommendation contained in the report is separately acted on, and may be adopted or rejected.

46. A majority of a committee constitutes a quorum for business, who may meet where they please, but they can not act except when together; and nothing can be the report of the committee except what is agreed upon in committee.


47. Amendments may be made to motions by omitting, adding, or substituting, words or sentences, and amendments to amendments, are in order.

48. The amendment should be discussed and voted on first, and then the original resolution, as amended.

49. No amendment should be made, which essentially changes the nature or design of the original resolution.

50. But a substitute may be offered for any motion or amendment under debate, which may or may not change the design of the motion.

51. It is in order to move an amendment to strike out certain words and insert others; this being rejected, it is in order to move to strike out, and insert a different set of words; this being rejected, it is in order to move to strike out the same words, and insert nothing; because each of these is a distinct proposition differing from the others. But it must be recollected, that it is not in or.ler, if the motion to strike out and insert A. is carried, to move an amendment to strike out A. and insert B. To avoid this dilemma, the mover of B. must give notice, pending the motion to insert A., that he intends to move the insertion of B., in which case he will gain the votes of all who prefer the amendment B. to the amendment A., in opposition to A. But, after A. is inserted, it is in order to move an amendment by striking out the whole or part of the original paragraph, including A.; for this is essentially a different proposition from that to strike out A. merely.


52. In every constitutionally organized body there must be some number fixed which are sufficient to do business. This number is called a quorum, and is usually designated in the constitution under which the body acts. Sometimes a quorum consists of a definite number of members; sometimes of twothirds of all the members; but usually, as in congress, of a majority of the members.

53. When a quorum is necessary to do business, in general, the chair should not be taken by the presiding officer till that quorum is present. And whenever, in the progress of business, it is observed that a quorum is not present, any member may call for a count of the house; and a quorum being found wanting, business must be suspended.

54. In primary assemblies of the people there is, of course, no number requisite to constitute a quorum, and it frequently happens that a very small number of persons act for a large community.


55. The question is first put on the affirmative, and then on the negative side; till which, it is not a full question; but in the cases of small matters, such as receiving reports, petitions, reading papers, etc., the presiding officer may presume consent unless some objection be formally made; which saves the time of taking votes on matters of mere routine.

56. In putting a question the presiding officer declares whether the yeas or nays have it by the sound if he be himself satisfied; if he be not satisfied, or if any member express dissatisfaction, the body is divided, usually by rising. The ayes first rise, and are counted standing in their places, by the chair or by tellers, as the case may be, then they sit; and the noes rise, and are counted in the same manner.

57. If the result be a tie (unless the chair give the casting vote, or if his vote make the tie) the motion is lost.

« ZurückWeiter »