The Legislative rule on this subject is, that any member may call for a division of a question, which shall be divided, if it comprehends questions so distinct, that one being taken away,the rest may stand entire, for the decision of the House. A motion to strike out and insert, are deemed indivisible ; but a motion to strike out being lost, precludes neither amendment, nor a motion to strike out and insert.
In Parliament, a question cannot be divided without the consent of the House, and this is doubtless the true rule. Hatsell, an able writer on Parliamentary precedents, observes - "For who is to decide whether a question is complicated or not? where it is complicated 1 into how many propositions it may be divided? The fact is, that the only mode of separating a complicated question, is by moving amendments to it; and these must be decided by the House; unless the House orders it to be divided. * * * Whenever there are several names in a question, they may be divided, and put one by one."
Mr. Sutherland favors the views of this author, and remarks that the usage in Congress, which is the same as that in our Legislature, leads to embarrassment.
Cushing's Manual says: "It is sometimes asserted that it is the right of every individual member to have a complicated question, (provided it is susceptible of division,) divided into its several parts, and a question put separately on each, on his mere demand, and without any motion or any vote of the assembly for that purpose. But this is a mistake; there is no such rule of parliamentary proceeding; a complicated question can only be separated by moving amendments to it in the usual manner, or by moving for a division of it in the manner above stated."
As the rule now is, in this state, when a division is called for, the Speaker must decide whether the question is susceptible of division - from which decision there may be, of course, an appeal. My own opinion is, that in all cases the Society should order the division, following the practice in Parliament.