Forms of Reports of Committees

29. Forms of Reports of Committees. The form of a report is usually similar to the following:

A standing committee reports thus: "The committee on [insert name of committee] respectfully report," [or "beg leave to report," or "beg leave to submit the following report,"] etc., letting the report follow.

A select or special committee reports as follows: "The committee to which was referred [state the matter referred] having considered the same respectfully report," etc. Or for "The committee" is sometimes written "Your committee," or "The undersigned, a committee."

When a minority report is submitted, it should be in this form (the majority reporting as above): "The undersigned, a minority of a committee to which was referred," etc. The majority report is the report of the committee, and should never be made out as the report of the majority.

All reports conclude with, "All of which is respectfully submitted." They are sometimes signed only by the chairman of the committee, but if the matter is of much importance, it is better that the report be signed by every member who concurs. The report is not usually dated, or addressed, but can he headed, as for example, "Report of the Finance Committee of the Y. P. A., on Renting a Hall."

Reception of Reports

30. Reception of Reports. When the report of a committee is to be made, the chairman (or member appointed to make the report) informs the assembly that the committee to whom was referred such a subject or paper, has directed him to make a report thereon, or report it with or without amendment, as the case may be; either he or any other member may move that it be "received"* [A very common error is, after a report has been read, to move that it be received; whereas, the fact that it has been read, shows that it has been already received by the assembly. Another mistake, less common, but dangerous, is to vote that the report be accepted (which is equivalent to adopting it, see 31), when the intention is only to have the report up for consideration and afterwards move its adoption. Still a third error is to move that "the report be adopted and the committee discharged," when the committee have reported in full and their report been received, so that the committee has already ceased to exist. If the committee however have made but a partial report, or report progress, then it is in order to move that the committee be discharged from the further consideration of the subject.] now or at some other specified time.

Usually the formality of a vote on the reception of a report of a committee is dispensed with, the time being settled by general consent. Should any one object, a formal motion becomes necessary. When the time arrives for the assembly to receive the report, the chairman of the committee reads it in his place, and then delivers it to the clerk, when it lies on the table till the assembly sees fit to consider it. If the report consists of a paper with amendments, the chairman of the committee reads the amendments with the coherence in the paper, explaining the alterations and reasons of the committee for the amendments, till he has gone through the whole. If the report is very long, it is not usually read until the assembly is ready to consider it [see 31 and 44].

When the report has been received, whether it has been read or not, the committee is thereby dissolved, and can act no more without it is revived by a vote to recommit. If the report is recommitted, all the parts of the report that have not been agreed to by the assembly, are ignored by the committee as if the report had never been made.