The French Chamber of Deputies have a full system of rules, embracing ninety-four articles, which, in their leading features, are the same with the English and American. Some of the peculiarities are, that for preliminary investigations, the whole Chamber is divided, by lot, into nine committees, of which the chairmen in every case form a committee of nine members, (a committee of chairmen,) which appoints one of its number to make report to the Chamber.
Private petitions are either wholly rejected, or delivered to the ministers for consideration.
Motions must be put in writing, read, and a day fixed for discussion. All who wish to speak, give in their names to the clerk, and the speakers are heard in turn. The members do not speak in their places, but from a sort of pulpit in front of the President's desk, but below it. No deputy can speak twice on the same subject. Most of the speeches are read.
The Chamber commonly votes by the members on one side of a question rising, and the others remaining seated, and the secretary decides on which side is the majority. But on the passage of laws, the main vote is always taken by balls, in which all the members are called by name; every one receives a black and a white ball, and rotes by casting one of them in an urn. The Chamber of Peers, on the contrary, votes by written yeas and nays.
The President keeps order by ringing a bell, and when the members get too disorderly, he puts on his hat. which act adjourns the Chamber for the time being.