Imagens das páginas

1798, Jan. A bill on its second reading, being amended, and on the question, whether it shall be read a third time negatived, was restored by a decision to re-consider the question. Here the votes of negative and re-consideration, like positive and negative quantities in equation, destroy one another, and are as if they were expunged from the journals. Consequently the bill is open for amendment, just so fai as it was the moment preceding the question for the third reading. That is to say, all parts of the bill are open for amendment, except those on which votes have been already taken in its present stage. So also may it be re-committed.

The rule permitting a re-consideration of a question affixing to it no limitation of time or circumstance, it may be asked whether there is no limitation? If, after the vote, the paper on which it has passed has been parted with, there can be no re-consideration: as if a vote has been for the passage of a bill, and the bill has been sent to the other House. But where the paper remains, as on a bill rejected, when, or under what circumstances, does it cease to be susceptible of re-con sideration? This remains to be settled, unless a sense that the right of re-consideration is a right to waste the time of the House in repeated agitations of the same question, so that it shall never know when a question is done with, should induce them to reform this anomalous proceeding.*

In Parliament, a question once carried, cannot be questioned again, at the same session; but must stand as the judgment of the House.-Towns. col. 67; Memor. in Hakew. 33. And a bill once rejected, another of the same substance cannot be brought in again the same session.-Hakew. 158; 6 Grey, 392. But this does not extend to prevent putting the same questions in different stages of a bill; because every stage of a bill submits the whole and every part of it to the opinion of the House, as open for amendment, either by insertion or omission, though the same amendment has been accepted or rejected in a former

*This defect has been remedied by Rule 29, cited above, which ha been adopted since the original edition of this work was published

stage. So in reports of committees, e. g. report of an address, the same question is before the House, and open for free discussion. -Towns. col. 26; 2 Hats. 98, 100, 101. So, orders of the House, or instructions to committees may be discharged. So a bill begun in one House, sent to the other, and there rejected, may be renewed again in that other, passed, and sent back.-Ib. 92; 3 Hats. 161. Or if, instead of being rejected, they read it once, and lay it aside, and put it off a month, they may offer in another so the same effect, with the same or a different title.— Hakew. 97, 98.

Divers expedients are used to correct the effects of this rule; as, by passing an explanatory act, if any thing has been omitted or ill-expressed, 3 Hats. 278; or an act to enforce, and make more effectual an act, &c., or to rectify mistakes in an act, &c.; or a committee on one bill may be instructed to receive a clause to rectify the mistakes of another. Thus, June 24, 1685, a clause was inserted in a bill for rectifying a mistake committed by a clerk in engrossing a bill of reply.-2 Hats. 194. 6. Or the session may be closed for one, two, three, or more days, and a new one commenced. But then all matters depending must be finished, or they fall, and are to begin de novo. 2 Hats. 94, 98. Or a part of the subject may be taken up by another bill, or taken up in a different way.-6 Grey, 316.

And in cases of the last magnitude, this rule has not been so strictly and verbally observed as to stop in. dispensable proceedings altogether.-2 Hats. 92. 98. Thus, when the address on the preliminaries of peace, in 1782, had been lost by a majority of one; on account of the importance of the question, and smallness of the majority, the same question in substance, though with words not in the first, and which might change the opinions of some members, was brought on again

and carried: as the motives for it were thought to outweigh the objection of form.-2 Hats. 99, 100.

A second bill may be passed, to continue an act of the same session; or to enlarge the time limited for its execution.-2 Hats. 95, 98. This is not in con

tradiction to the first act.



ALL bills passed in the Senate, shall before they are sent to the ase of Representatives, be examined by a committee, consisting of three members, whose duty it shall be to examine all bills, amendments, resolutions or motions, before they go out of the possession of the Senate, and to make report that they are correctly engrossed, which report shall be entered on the journal.-Rule 33.

A bill from the other House is sometimes ordered to lie on the table.—2 Hats. 97.

When bills, passed in one House and sent to the other, are grounded on special facts requiring proof, it is usual, either by message, or at a conference, to ask the grounds and evidence: and this evidence, whether arising out of papers, or from the examination of witnesses, is immediately communicated.—3 Hats. 48.



WHEN either House, e. g. the House of Commons, sends a bill to the other, the other may pass it wich Amendments. The regular progression in this case



is, that the Commons disagree to the amendment; the Lords insist on it; the Commons insist on their disagreement; the Lords adhere to their amendment; the Commons adhere to their disagreement. The term of insisting may be repeated as often as they choose, to keep the question open. But the first adherence by either renders it necessary for the other side to recede or adhere also; when the matter is usually suffered to fall.-10 Grey, 148. Latterly, however, there are instances of their having gone to a second adherence. There must be an absolute conclusion of the subject somewhere, or otherwise transactions be tween the Houses would be endless. 3 Hats. 268, 270. The term of insisting, we are told by Sir John Trevor, was then [1679] newly introduced into Parliamentary usage, by the Lords.-7 Grey, 94. It was certainly a happy innovation, as it multiplies the portunities of trying modifications which may bring the House to a concurrence. Either House, however, is free to pass over the term of insisting, and to adhere in the first instance.-10 Grey, 146. But it is not respectful to the other. In the ordinary Parliamentary course, there are two free conferences at least before adherence.-10 Grey, 147.


Either House may recede from its amendment, and agree to the bill; or recede from their disagreement to the amendment, and agree to the same absolutely, or with an amendment. For here the disagreement and receding destroy one another, and the subject stands as before the disagreement.-Elsynge, 23, 27; 9 Grey, 476.

But the House cannot recede from or insist on, its own amendment with an amendment, for the same reason that it cannot send to the other House an amendment to its own act after it has passed the act. They may modify an amendment from the other House by ingrafting an amendment on it, because they

have never assented to it; but they cannot amend their own amendment, because they have, on the question, passed it in that form; 9 Grey, 353; 10 Grey, 240. In Senate, March 29, 1798. Nor where one House has adhered to their amendment, and the other agrees with an amendment, can the first House depart from the form which they have fixed by an adherence.

In the case of a money bill, the Lords' proposed amendments became, by delay, confessedly necessary. The Commons, however, refused them, as infringing on their privilege as to money bills, but they offered themselves to add to the bill a proviso to the same effect, which had no coherence with the Lords' amendments, and urged, that it was an expedient warranted by precedent, and not unparliamentary in a case become impracticable, and irremediable in any other way.-3 Hats. 256, 266, 270, 271. But the Lords refused and the bill was lost, 1 Chand. 288. A like case, 1 Chand. 311. So the Commons resolve, that it is unparliamentary to strike out at a conference any thing in a bill which hath been agreed and passed by both Houses, 6 Grey, 274; 1 Chand. 312.

A motion to amend an amendment from the other House, takes precedence of a motion to agree or disagree.

A bill originating in one House, is passed by the other with an amendment.

The originating House agrees to their amendment with an amendment. The other may agree to their amendment with an amendment; that being only in the second and not the third degree. For, as to the amending House, the first amendment with which they passed the bill is a part of its text; it is the only text they have agreed to. The amendment to that text by the originating House, therefore, is only in the 1st degree, and the amendment to that again by

« AnteriorContinuar »