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necessary an implication as may authorize the Secretary by inference to enter another vote: for two alternatives still remain, either of which may be adopted by the House.
SEC. XXXIX. THE QUESTION.
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 objections is expressed, and does not give them the trouble of putting the question formally. Scob. 22. 2 Hats. 87. 2, 87. 5 Grey, 129. 9 Grey, 301.
SEC. XL. BILLS, THIRD READING.
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. Hakew. 153.
The usage of the Senate is not to put bills on their passage 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.
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 reads 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,' &c.
But in the Senate of the United States, 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 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 2d, 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 a 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, 28.
It is with great and almost invincible reluctance, that amendments are admitted at this reading, which occasion erasures or interlineations. Sometimes a proviso has been cut off from a bill; sometimes erased. 9 Grey, 513.
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 ay,' 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,
SEC. XLI. DIVISION OF THE HOUSE.
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 in
different, and inattentive. Their general rule, therefore, is, that those who give their vote 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. 1 Rush. p. 3, fol. 92. Scob. 43. 52. Co. 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,*
Rejected after refusal to lie on
Referred to a Committee, or far-
To a Committee of the Whole,
Report of a bill to lie on table,
Be taken into consideration three
Amendments be read a second time,
For receiving a clause
*Noes. 9 Grey, 365.
Committees. That A. take the chair,' To agree to the whole or any part of report,
That the House do now resolve into Committee,
Speaker. That he now leave the chair, after order to go into Committee,
That he issue warrant for a new
Member. That none be absent with-
Witness. That he be further exa-
Messenger be received,
Adjournment. Till the next sitting Ayes. day, if before 4 o'clock,
That words stand Ayes.
If after 4 o'clock,
Over a sitting day, (unless a pre-Ayes. vious resolution,)
Over the 30th of January,
For sitting on Sunday, or any other
The one party being gone forth the speaker names two tellers from the affirmative, and two from the nega tive side, who first count those sitting in the House, and report the number to the speaker. Then they place themselves within the door, two on each side, and count those who went forth, as they come in, and report the number to the speaker. Mem. in Hakew. 26.
A mistake in the report of the tellers may be rectified after the report made. 2 Hats. 145, note.