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The 3d class is subject to the same observations ai the 2d.
The 4th class.-Amendment of the main question first moved, and afterwards the previous question, the question of amendment shall be first put.
Amendment and postponement competing, postponement is first put, as the equivalent proposition to adjourn the main question would be in Parliament. The reason is, that the question for amendment is not suppressed by postponing or adjourning the main question, but remains before the House wherever the main question is resumed; and it might be that the occasion for other urgent business might go by, and be lost by length of debate on the amendment, if the House had it not in their power to postpone the whole subject.
Amendment and commitment. The question for committing, though last moved, shall be first put; because in truth it facilitates and befriends the motion to amend. Scobell is express: "On a motion to amend a bill, any one may, notwithstanding, move to commit it, and the question for commitment shall be first put."-Scob. 46.
We have hitherto considered the case of two or more of the privileged questions contending for privilege between themselves, when both were moved on the original or main question; but now let us suppose one of them to be moved, not on the original primary question, but on the secondary one, e. g.
Suppose a motion to postpone, commit, or amend the main question, and that it be moved to suppress that motion by putting the previous question on it. This is not allowed; because it would embarrass questions too much to allow them to be piled on one another several stories high; and the same result may be had in a more simple way, by deciding against the postponement, commitment, or amendment.--2 Hats 81, 2. 3, 4
Suppose a motion for the previous question, or com mitment or amendment of the main question, and that it be then moved to postpone the motion for the previous question, or for commitment or amendment of the main question; 1. It would be absurd to postpone the previous question, commitment, or amendment, alone, and thus separate the appendage from its prin cipal; yet it must be postponed separately from its original, if at all; because the 8th rule of the Senate says, that when a main question is before the House, no motion shall be received but to commit, amend, or pre-question the original question; which is the Parliamentary doctrine; therefore, the motion to postpone the secondary motion for the previous question, or for committing or amending, cannot be received: 2. This is a piling of questions one on another, which, to avoid embarrassment, is not allowed: 3. The same result may be had more simply, by voting against the pre vious question, commitment, or amendment.
Suppose a commitment moved, of a motion for the previous question, or to postpone, or amend.
The 1st, 2d, and 3d reasons before stated, all hold good against this.
Suppose an amendment moved to a motion for the previous question? Answer: The previous question cannot be amended. Parliamentary usage, as well as the 9th Rule of the Senate, has fixed its form to be, "Shall the main question be now put?" . e., at this instant. And as the present instant is but one, it can admit of no modification. To change it to to-morrow, or any other moment, is without example and without atility. But suppose a motion to amend a motion for postponement, as to one day instead of another, or to a special instead of indefinite time. The useful character of amendment gives it a privilege of attaching itself to a secondary privileged motion. That is, we may
amend a postponement of a main question. So we may amend a commitment of a main question, as by adding, for example, "with instruction to inquire,' &c. In like manner, if an amendment be moved to an amendment, it is admitted. But it would not be admitted in another degree; to wit, to amend an amendment to an amendment of a main question. This would lead to too much embarrassment. The line must be drawn somewhere; and usage has drawn it after the amendment to the amendment. The same result must be sought by deciding against the amendment to the amendment, and then moving it again as it was wished to be amended. In this form it becomes only an amendment to an amendment.
When motions are made for reference of the same subject to a select committee, and to a standing committee, the question on reference to the standing committee shall be first put.-Rule 35.
In filling a blank with a sum, the largest sum shall be first put to the question, by the 13th Rule of the Senate, contrary to the rule of Parliament, which privileges the smallest sum and longest time.-5 Grey, 179; 2 Hats. 8, 83; 3 Hats. 132, 133. And this is considered to be not in the form of an amendment to the question, but as alternative or successive originals. In all cases of time or number, we must consider whe ther the larger comprehends the lesser, as in a question to what day a postponement shall be, the number of a committee, amount of a fine, term of an imprisonment, term of irredeemability of a loan, or the terminus in quem in any other case. Then the question must begin a maximo. Or whether the lesser includes the
* In filling up blanks, the largest sum and longest time shall be first put-Rule 13.
greater, as in question on the limitation of the rate of interest, on what day the session shall be closed by adjournment, on what day the next shall commence, when an act shall commence, or the terminus a quo il. any other case, where the question must begin a mi nimo. The object being not to begin at that extreme, which, and more, being within every man's wish, no one could negative it, and yet, if we should vote in the affirmative, every question for more would be precluded; but at that extreme which would unite few, and then to advance or recede till you get to a number which will unite a bare majority.-3 Grey, 376, 384, 385. "The fair question in this case is not that to which and more all will agree, whether there shall be addition to the question."-1 Grey, 365.
Another exception to the rule of priority is, when a motion has been made to strike out or agree to a paragraph. Motions to amend it are to be put to the question, before a vote is taken on striking out, or agreeing to the whole paragraph.
But there are several questions, which, being incidental to every one, will take place of every one, privileged or not; to wit, a question of order arising out of any other question, must be decided before that question.-2 Hats. 88.
A matter of privilege arising out of any question, or from a quarrel between two members, or any other cause, supersedes the consideration of the ori ginal question, and must be first disposed of.-2 Hats. 88.
Reading papers relative to the question before tho House. This question must be put before the principal one.-2 Hats. 88.
Leave asked to withdraw a motion. The rule cf Parliament being, that a motion made and seconded is in possession of the House, and cannot be with
drawn without leave, the very terms of the rule i:nply that leave may be given, and, consequently, may be asked and put to the question.
THE PREVIOUS QUESTION.
WHEN any question is before the House, any mem ber may move a previous question, "Whether that question (called the main question) shall now be put?" If it pass in the affirmative, then the main question is to be put immediately, and no man may speak any thing further to it, either to add or alter.-Memor. in Hakew. 28; 4 Grey, 27.
The previous question being moved and seconded, the question from the chair shall be, "Shall the main question be now put?" and if the nays prevail, the main question shall not then be put.—Rule 9.
This kind of question is understood by Mr. Hatsell to have been introduced in 1604.-2 Hats. 80. Sir Henry Vane introduced it.-2 Grey, 113, 114; 3 Grey, 384. When the question was put in this form, "Shall the main question be put ?" a determination in the negative suppressed the main question during the session; but since the words "now put" are used, they exclude it for the present only. Formerly, indeed, only till the present debate was over; 4 Grey, 43; but now for that day and no longer.-2 Grey, 113,
Before the question, "Whether the main question shall now be put?" any person might formerly have spoken to the main question, because otherwise he