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respecting amendments from another house are, 1. To agree. 2. Disagree. 3. Recede. 4. Insist. 5. Adhere. 1st. To agree.

Either of these concludes the other 2d. To disagree. ) necessarily: for the positive of either

is exactly the equivalent of the negative of the other, and no other alternative remains. On either motion amendments to the amendment may be proposed, e. g. if it be moved to disagree, those who are for the amendment have a right to propose amendments, and to make it as perfect as

they can, before the question of disagreeing is put. 3d. To recede. You may then either insist or adhere. 4th. To insist. You may then either recede or adhere. 5th. To adhere. You may then either recede or in

sist. Consequently the negative of these is not equivalent to a positive vote the other way. It does not raise so necessary an implication as may authorise the secretary by inference to enter another vote: for two alternatives still remain, either of which may be adopted by the house.



The question is to be put first on the affirmative, and then on the negative side.

After the speaker has put the affirmative part of the question, any member who has not spoken before to the question, may rise and speak before the negative be put. Because it is no full question till the negative part be put. Scob. 23. 2 Hats. 73.

But in small matters, and which are of course, such as receiving petitions, reports, withdrawing motions, reading papers, &c. the speaker most commonly supposes the consent of the house, where no objection is expressed, and does not give them the trouble of putting the question formally. Scob. 22. 2 Hats. 79, 2, 87. 6 Grey 129. 9 Grey





To prevent bills from being passed by surprise, the house, by a standing order, directs that they shall not be put on their passage before a fixed hour, naming one at which the house is commonly full. llakew. 153. The usage

of the senate of the United States is not to put bills on their


till noon. A bill reported and passed to the third reading cannot on that day be read the third time and passed : because this would be to pass on two readings in the same day.

Every bill shall receive three several readings, previous to its being passed; and the second and third reading shall be on different days: and the third reading shall be on a day subsequent to that on which it has passed a committee of the whole house, unless the house unanimously direct otherwise. R. of A. 23.

The final reading of all bills which require the sanction of a constitutional majority, shall be had on Tuesday or Friday in every week, and on no other days, until otherwise ordered, except by unanimous consent. A. 49.

That hereafter, the final question on the passage of any bill appropriating the public monies, or property, for local or private purposes, or creating, continuing, altering or renewing any body politic or corporate, shall be taken by a division; and unless eighty-six members shall vote in the affirmative, the bill shall be declared lost ; and the speaker shall certify upon all such bills which shall so pass, that two-thirds of all the members elected to this house, voted in favor of the same. R. of A. 46.

That the final question on the passage of any bill, requiring a constitutional majority of this house, shall not be deemed to be decided, unless eighty-six members are present, and vote on the question. R. of A. 50.

At the third reading, the clerk reads the bill and delivers it to the speaker, who states the title, that it is the third time of reading the bill, and that the question will be whether it shall pass ? Formerly, the speaker, or those who prepared a bill, prepared also a breviate or summary

statement of its contents, which the speaker read when he declared the state of the bill, at the several readings. Sometimes, however, he read the bill itself, especially on its passage.

Hakew. 136, 137, 153. Coke 22, 115. Latterly, instead of this, he, at the third reading, states the whole contents of the bill verbatim, only instead of reading the formal parts, “ Be it enacted, &c.” he states that “the preamble recites so and so—

-the 1st section enacts that, &c.—the 2d section enacts that, &c.

But in the senate of the United States and in the assembly of New York, both of these formalities are dispensed with ; the breviate presenting but an imperfect view of the bill, and being capable of being made to present a false one: and the full statement being an useless waste of time, immediately after a full reading by the clerk : and especially as every member has a printed copy of every important bill in his hand.

A bill on the third reading, is not to be committed for the matter or body thereof; but to receive some particular clause or proviso, it hath been sometimes suffered, but as a thing very unusual. Hakew. 156. thus 27 El. 1584. a bill was committed on the third reading, having been formerly committed on the second, but is declared not usual. D'Ewes 337. col. 2, 414, col. 2.

When an essential provision has been omitted, rather than erase the bill, and render it suspicious, they add a clause on a separate paper, engrossed and called a ryder, which is read and put to the question three times.

Elsynge's Memorials 59. 6 Grey 335. 1 Blackst. 183. For examples of ryders see 3 Hats. 121, 122, 124, 126. Every one is at liberty to bring in a ryder without asking leave. 10 Grey 52.

It is laid down as a general rule, that amendments proposed at the second reading shall be twice read, and those proposed at the third reading thrice read; as also all amendments from the other house. Town. col. 19, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27,

It is with great, and almost invincible reluctance, that amendments are admitted at this reading, which occasions erasures or interlineations. Sometimes a proviso has been cut off from a bill; sometimes erased. 9 Grey


This is the proper stage for filling up blanks!; for if filled up before, and now altered by erasure, it would be peculiarly unsafe.

At this reading the bill is debated afresh, and for the most part is more spoken to, at this time, than on any of the former readings. Hakew. 153.

The debate on the question whether it should be read a third time, has discovered to its friends and opponents the arguments on which each side relies, and which of these appear to have influence with the house ; they have had time to meet them with new arguments, and to put their old ones into new shapes. The former vote has tried the strength of the first - opinion, and furnished grounds to estimate the issue; and the question now offered for its passage, is the last occasion which is ever to be offered for carrying or rejecting it.

When the debate is ended, the speaker, holding the bill in his hand, puts the question for its passage by saying, “Gentlemen, all you who are of opinion that this bill shall pass, say aye,” and after the answer of the ayes, “ All those of the contrary opinion say no.”Hakew. 154.

After the bill is passed, there can be no further alteration of it in any point. Hakew. 159.

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The affirmative and negative of the question having been both put and answered, the speaker declares whether the yeas or nays have it by the sound, if he be himself satisfied, and it stands as the judgment of the house. But if he be not himself satisfied which voice is the greater, or if, before any other member comes into the house, or before any new motion made, (for it is too late after that,) any member shall rise and declare himself dissatisfied with the speaker's decision, then the speaker is to divide the house. Scob. 24. 2 Hats. 140.

When the house of commons is divided, the one party goes forth, and the other remains in the house. This

has made it important which go forth, and which remain; because the latter gain all the indolent, the indifferent and inattentive. Their general rule therefore is, that those who give their votes for the preservation of the orders of the house, shall stay in, and those who are for introducing any new matter or alteration, or proceeding contrary to the established course, are to go out. But this rule is subject to many exceptions and modifications. 2 Hats. 134. I Rush. p. 3. fol. 92. Scob. 43, 52. C«. 12, 116. D’Ewes 505. col. 1. Mem. in Hakew. 25, 29. as will appear by the following statement of who go

forth. Petition that it be received,*

Lie on the table,
Rejected after refusal to lie on Noes.

the table.
Referred to a committee, or
farther proceeding,

} Ayes. Bill that it be brought in,

Read 1st or 2d time, Engrossed, or read 3d time,

Proceeding on every other

To committee of the whole, Noes.
To a select committee,

Report of bill to lie on table, Noes,
Be now read,

Ayes. Be taken into consideration 3

30 P. J. 251. months hence, Amendments be read a 2d time, Noes. Clause offered on report of

bill be read 2d time, Ayes. For receiving a clause,

334. With amendm’ts be engrossed,

395. That a bill be now read a 3d time, Noes. 398. Receive a ryder,

260. Pass,

Ayes. 259. Be printed,

* Noes 9 Grey 365.



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