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Chapter 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.
Where the original amendment is either simply to insert, add, or omit words, an amendment may at once be proposed to it, without reference to the question itself, which will be Chapter
? It appears, from a curious letter of the younger Pliny (Plinii Epistolæ, lib. viii. ep. 14), that the Roman senate were perplexed in the mode 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 them. selves. The first opinion prevailed, and it was agreed that each ques. tion 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 butone 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.) See also Professor Long's Plutarch's Life of Pompey, p. 80.
dealt with, when the amendment has been disposed of. Amend The most difficult form, perhaps, is when the amendment ments to
first proposed is to leave out certain words of the original proposed amend.
question; and an amendment is proposed to such proposed
posed to be omitted, and thus, in effect, restoring them to
part of such original question.
ment can be moved to the words proposed to be substituted,
A short example will make this latter proceeding more See also intelligible. To avoid a difficult illustration (of which ifpo there are many in the journals ), let the simple question amer
monts to be, “That this bill be now read a second time;" to which amendan amendment has been proposed, by leaving out the word " “now," and adding “upon this day six months ;” and let the question that the word "now" stand part of the question, be negatived, and the question for adding “ upon this day six months,” be proposed. An amendment may then be proposed to such proposed amendment, by leaving out “six months,” and adding “fortnight” instead thereof. The question will then be put, “That the words 'six
1 27 O. J. 298; 39 ib. 842; 64 ib. 131; 134 ib. 136.
2 See Com. Gen. Journ. Indexes,
tit. Amendments ; 108 C. J. 516 ; 123
Chapter months' stand part of the said proposed amendment." If
that be affirmed, the question for adding “upon this day
ment must be negatived before the second can be offered.3 Not Every amendment proposed to be made, either to a Amendsecorded in committee;" question or to a proposed amendment, should be so framed more
eu be intellisee p. 383. that, if agreed to by the house, the question, or amendment gible.
as 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
ont of amendand, if no seconder can be found, the amendment is not me proposed by the Speaker, but drops, as a matter of course, and no entry of it appears in the votes.
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.
i Dublin Waterworks Bill, 27th Feb. 1849, 104 C. J. 98; 102 H. D. 3 s. 1314.
? 6th March, 1840 (Supply), 95 C. J. 153; 101 ib. 865; 134 ib. 136; 145 ib. 53.
; Education in rural districts (Mr. Pell and Mr. Wilbrabam Egerton), 2nd March, 1875, 130 ib. 70.
177 H, D. 3 s. 1528; 133 Parl. Deb. 4 s. 322; 147 ib. 1040.
THE SAME QUESTION OR BILL MAY NOT BE TWICE OFFERED Table of
Contents, IN A SESSION.
duction. Object of It is a rule, in both houses, which is essential to the due For applithe rule.
performance of their duties, that no question or bill shall this prin be offered that is substantially the same as one on which ciple to
* tions, &c., their judgment has already been expressed in the current see p. 278.
of the house discharged, notwithstanding a rule urged
motto to past de-
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, is by proposing another question, similar in its general purport to that which had been rejected, but with sufficient variance to constitute a new question; and the house would determine whether it were substantially the same question or not.
There is a difficulty in discharging an order for an address to the Crown, after it has been presented to his Majesty.
11 C. J. 306. 434. Cases when cation (Inspectors' Reports), 1864, 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.
31 C. J. 162. 2 Baron Smith, 89 C. J. 59; Edu
Chapter Thus, in 1850, an address having been agreed to for disX.
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, withoạt completely putting an end to the collection and delivery of letters. 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.?
Notice is required of a motion to rescind a resolution ; 3 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.
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 Dehate the same subject. Thus, a resolution having been agreed thereon, see p. 325.
to which condemned an official appointment, the house, by a subsequent resolution, withdrew the censure which the
previous resolution had conveyed.? See amend Again, the effect of a resolution, by which the house second determined that no legislation should be entertained, reading of a bill, p. 105 C. J. 383. 509.
of the People Bill on the “Votes," 473, D. 6. 2 111 ib. 272. 289, 298; 111 H. D. was brought forward without notice 3 s. 1404.
as privilege, 139 C. J. 324. 3 18th April, 1887, 313 ib. 1124. 3 253 H. D. 3 s. 644.
4 26th Feb. 1885, 294 ib. 1423; • 138 ib. 1307. 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.