When the committee are appointed they should at once retire and agree upon a report, which should be written out as described in § 53. During their absence other business may be attended to, or the time may be occupied with hearing addresses. Upon their return the chairman of the committee (who is the one first named on the committee, and who quite commonly, though not necessarily, is the one who made the motion to appoint the committee), avails himself of the first opportunity to obtain the floor,* [See Rules of Order, § 2.] when he says, "The committee appointed to draft resolutions, are prepared to report." The chairman tells him that the assembly will now hear the report, which is then read by the chairman of the committee, and handed to the presiding officer, upon which the committee is dissolved without any action of the assembly.
A member then moves the "adoption" or "acceptance" of the report, or that "the resolutions be agreed to," which motions have the same effect if carried, namely, to make the resolutions the resolutions of the assembly just as if the committee had had nothing to do with them.* [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), when the intention is only to have the report up for consideration and afterwards move its adoption.]
When one of these motions is made, the chairman acts as stated above when the resolutions were offered by a member. If it is not desired to immediately adopt the resolutions, they can be debated, modified, their consideration postponed, etc., as explained in §§ 55-63.
When through with the business for which the assembly were convened, or when from any other cause it is desirable to close the meeting, some one moves "to adjourn;" if the motion is carried and no other time for meeting has been appointed, the chairman says, "The motion is carried; --this assembly stands adjourned without day." [Another method by which the meeting may be conducted is shown in § 48.]
(d) Additional Officers. If more officers are required than a chairman and secretary, they can be appointed before introducing the resolutions, in the manner described for those officers; or the assembly can first form a temporary organization in the manner already described, only adding "pro tem." to the title of the officers, thus: "chairman pro tem." In this latter case, as soon as the secretary pro tem. is elected, a committee is appointed to nominate the permanent officers, as in the case of a convention [§ 47]. Frequently the presiding officer is called the President, and sometimes there is a large number of Vice Presidents appointed for mere complimentary purposes. The Vice Presidents in large formal meetings, sit on the platform beside the President, and in his absence, or when he vacates the chair, the first on the list that is present should take the chair.
47. Meeting of a Convention or Assembly of Delegates. If the members of the assembly have been elected or appointed as members, it becomes necessary to know who are properly members of the assembly and entitled to vote, before the permanent organization is effected. In this case a temporary organization is made, as already described, by the election of a chairman and secretary "pro tem.," when the chairman announces, "The next business in order is the appointment of a committee on credentials." A motion may then be made covering the entire case, thus: "I move that a committee of three on the credentials of members be appointed by the Chair, and that the committee report as soon as practicable;" or they may include only one of these details, thus: "I move that a committee be appointed on the credentials of members." In either case the Chair proceeds as already described in the cases of committees on resolutions [§ 46, (c)].
On the motion to accept the report of the committee, none can vote except those reported by the committee as having proper credentials. The committee, beside reporting a list of members with proper credentials, may report doubtful or contested cases, with recommendations, which the assembly may adopt, or reject, or postpone, etc. Only members whose right to their seats is undisputed, can vote.
The chairman, after the question of credentials is disposed of, at least for the time, announces that "The next business in order is the election of permanent officers of the assembly." Some one then moves the appointment of a committee to nominate the officers, in a form similar to this: "I move that a committee of three be appointed by the Chair to nominate the permanent officers of this convention." This motion is treated as already explained. When the committee make their report, some one moves "That the report of the committee be accepted and that the officers nominated be declared the officers of this convention."* [Where there is any competition for the offices, it is better that they be elected by ballot. In this case, when the nominating committee report, a motion can be made as follows: "I move that the convention now proceed to ballot for its permanent officers;" or "I move that we now proceed to the election, by ballot, of the permanent officers of this convention." [See Rules of Order, § 38, for balloting, and other methods of voting.] The constitutions of permanent societies usually provide that the officers shall be elected by ballot.] This motion being carried, the chairman declares the officers elected, and instantly calls the new presiding officer to the chair, and the temporary secretary is at the same time replaced. The convention is now organized for work.