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the Speaker deal with the first amendment as if it were a distinct question, and with the second as if it were an ordinary amendment. The original question is, indeed, for a time, laid aside; and the amendment becomes, as it were, a substantive question itself. Unless this were done, there would be three points under consideration at once, viz. the question, the proposed amendment, and the amendment of that amendment: but when the question for adopting the words of an amendment is put forward distinctly, and apart from the original question, no confusion arises from moving amendments to it, before its ultimate adoption is proposed.1
Where the original amendment is either simply to insert, add, or omit words, an amendment may at once be proposed
1 It appears, from a curious letter of the younger Pliny (Plinii Epistohe, lib. viii. ep. 14), that the Roman senate were perplexed in the modo of disentangling a question that involved three different propositions. It was doubtful whether the consul, Afranius Dexter, had died by his own hand or by that of a domestic; and if by the latter, whether at his own request or criminally; and the senate had to decide on the fate of his freedmen. One senator proposed that the freedmen ought not to be punished at all; another, that they should be banished; and a third, that they should suffer death. As these judgments differed so much, it was urged that they must be put to the question distinctly, and that those who were in favour of each of the three opinions should sit separately, in order to prevent two parties, each differing with the other, from joining against the third. On the other hand, it was contended that those who would put to death, and those who would banish, ought jointly to be compared with the number who voted for acquittal, and afterwards among themselves. The first opinion prevailed, and it was agreed that each question should be put separately. It
happened, however, that the senator who had proposed death at last joined the party in favour of banishment, in order to prevent the acquittal of the freedmen, which would have been the result of separating the senate into three distinct parties. The mode of proceeding adopted by the senate was clearly inconsistent with a determination by the majority of an assembly; being calculated to leave the decision to a minority of the members then present, if the majority were not agreed. The only correct mode of ascertaining the will of a majority is to put but one question at a time, and to have that resolved in the affirmative or negative by the whole body. The combinations of different parties against a third cannot be avoided (which after all was proved in the senate); and the only method of obtaining the ultimate judgment of a majority, and reconciling different opinions, is by amending the proposed question until a majority of all the parties agree to affirm or deny it, as it is ultimately put to the vote.—(Information supplied by the late Mr. Rickman.) Seo also Professor Long's Plutarch's Life of Pompey, p. 80.
to it, without reference to the question itself, which will be chaptei dealt with, when the amendment has been disposed of.'
Amend- The most difficult form, perhaps, is when the amendment proposed first proposed is to leave out certain words of the original ments question; and an amendment is proposed to such proposed leaving ont amendment, by leaving thereout some of the words pro
posed to be omitted, and thus, in effect, restoring them to the original question. In such a case a question is first put, that the words proposed to be omitted, stand part of the proposed amendment. If that question be affirmed, the question is then put, that all the words proposed to be omitted by the first amendment, stand part of the original question. But if it be negatived, a question is put, that the words comprised in the amendment, so amended, stand part of such original question.1 Leaving But where the original amendment is to leave out certain
words, in order to insert or add other words, no amendothers. ment can be moved to the words proposed to be substituted, until the house have resolved that the words proposed to be left out shall not stand part of the question. But so soon as the question is proposed for inserting or adding the words of the amendment, an amendment may be moved thereto.
A short example will make this latter proceeding more see also intelligible. To avoid a difficult illustration (of which there are many in the journals a), let the simple question be, "That this bill be now read a second time;" to which amend. an amendment has been proposed, by leaving out the word
"now," and adding "upon this day six months;" and let
1 27 C. J. 298; 89 ib. 842; 64 ib. tit. Amendments; 108 C. J. 516; 123
1 See Com. Gen. Journ. Indexes,
chapter months' stand part of the said proposed amendment." If _ that he affirmed, the question for adding "upon this day
six months " is put, and, if carried, the main question, so amended, is put, viz. "That this bill he read a second time upon this day six months." But if it be resolved that "six months " shall not stand part of the proposed amendment, a question is put that "fortnight" be added; and, if that be agreed to, the first amendment, so amended, is put, viz. that the words " upon this day fortnight " be added to the original question. That being agreed to, the main question, so amended, is put, viz. "That this bill be read a second time upon this day fortnight."1 Several amendments may be moved, in succession, to a proposed amendment—subject to the same rules as amendments to questions.2 An amendment to a proposed amendment cannot be moved, if it proposes to leave out all the words of such proposed amendment: but in such a case the first amendment must be negatived before the second can be offered.8 Sat Every amendment proposed to be made, either to a Ameud
«TOm»-««)Bquestion or to a proposed amendment, should be so framed ^fnteiH•et p. 383. tliat> if agreed to by the house, the question, or amendment g'bleas amended, would be intelligible and consistent with itself.
In the Commons, every amendment must be proposed and seconded in the same manner as an original motion; seconding and, if no seconder can be found, the amendment is not me^Dd" proposed by the Speaker, but drops, as a matter of course, and no entry of it appears in the votes.4
Except in the case of amendments of which previous notice is required (see p. 289), an amendment of which notice stands upon the notice paper can be moved by any member entitled to speak to the question before the house, if the member who gave notice of the amendment does not rise and move the same.
1 Dublin Waterworks Bill, 27th * Education in rural districts
Feb. 1849, 104 C. J. 98; 102 H. D. (Mr. Pell and Mr. Wilbraham
3 B. 1314. Egerton), 2nd March, 1875, 130 ib.
'6th March, 1840 (Supply), 95 C. 70.
J. 153; 101 ib. 865; 134 ib. 136; « 177 H. D. 3 s. 1528; 138 Pari.
l*8 ib. 53. Deb. 4 s. 822; 147 ib. 1040.
THE SAME QUESTION OR BILL MAY NOT BE TWICE OFFERED Table of
IN A SESSION. see Intro
Object of It is a rule, in both houses, which is essential to the due For appii8 r" *' performance of their duties, that no question or bill shall Mt^ibe offered that is substantially the same as one on which t0^°' their judgment has already been expressed in the current aee P- 278session.1
Resolutions A. resolution may, however, be rescinded,2 and an order
of the house discharged, notwithstanding a rule urged
To rescind a negative vote, except in the different stages of bills, is a proceeding of greater difficulty, because the same question would have to be offered again. The only means, therefore, by which a negative vote can be revoked, t is by proposing another question, similar in its general
purport to that which had been rejected, but with sufficient
There is a difficulty in discharging an order for an address
1 1 0. J. 306. 434. Cases when cation (Inspectors' Reports), 1S64, the Speaker has intervened to en- 119 ib. 463; April, 1868,123 ib. 145; force this rule, 95 C. J. 495; 76 H. see also 2 Lord Colchester's Diary, D. 3 s. 1021; 201 ib. 824; 214 ib. 9.12.
287; 155 C. J. 139; 157 ib. 236. 3 1 C. J. 162.
2 Baron Smith, 89 C. J. 59; Edu
chapter Thus, in 1850, an address having been agreed to for dis
continuing the collection and delivery of letters on Sunday,
and for inquiry into the subject, another address was agreed to, some time afterwards, for inquiring whether Sunday labour might not be reduced in the post-office, without completely putting an end to the collection and delivery of letters.1 Again, in 1856, when an address had been voted on the subject of national education in Ireland, in which the majority of the house did not concur, instead of discharging the order for the address, a resolution was agreed to, for the purpose of qualifying the opinions embodied in the address; and her Majesty's answer was framed in the spirit of the resolution, as well as of the address.2
Notice is required of a motion to rescind a resolution;8 or to expunge or alter an entry in the "Votes and Proceedings." 4 This rule, however, was not held to apply to a motion to rescind a resolution which affected the seat of a member, as being a matter of privilege, and which arose out of the proceedings in which the house was then engaged:5 but under no circumstances is it competent for the house to rescind a resolution during the sitting when the resolution was agreed to.8
Sometimes the house may not be prepared to rescind a resolution, but may be willing to modify its judgment, by considering and agreeing to another resolution relating to Mm* the same subject. Thus, a resolution having been agreed p^325*' *" to which condemned an official appointment, the house, by a subsequent resolution, withdrew the censure which the previous resolution had conveyed.7 &* amend- Again, the effect of a resolution, by which the house sf:md determined that no legislation should be entertained,
a hill, p. i 105 C. J. 383. 509. of the People Bill on the "Votes,"
473, n. 6. t m ;b. 272. 289. 298; 111 H. T>. was brought forward without notice
3 s. 1404. as privilege, 139 G. J. 324.
• 18th April, 1887, 313 ib. 1124. 4 253 H. D. 3 s. 644.
« 26th Feb. 1885, 294 ib. 1423; • 138 ib. 1807.
27th June, 1884, a motion to omit 'Controller of the Stationery
"Nem. Con." from the entry of the Office, 16th and 23rd July, 1877,
third reading of the Representation 132 C. J. 345.367.