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Rules Of Order | by Benjamin Matthias



A manual for conducting business in town and ward meetings, societies, boards of directors and managers, and other deliberative bodies based on parliamentary, congressional and legislative practice.

TitleRules Of Order
AuthorBenjamin Matthias
PublisherLindsay And Blakiston
Year1851
Copyright1851, Benjamin Matthias
AmazonRules of order

It is much more material that there should be a rule to go by, than what that rule is; that there may be a uniformity of proceeding in business, not subject to the caprice of the speaker, or captiousness of the members - HatselL

By Benjamin Matthias, A. M

Fifth Edition.

-Preface
The compiler's motive in presenting this little work to the public, is a firm conviction that it will be found extensively useful, especially to those who have not leisure to peruse and study more ela...
-Introductory
Like the common law of this country, which is based on that of England, the Rules of Order in our deliberative assemblies, are mainly derived from those of the mother country. Our national Congress, (...
-Mode Of Conducting Business In A Town Or Ward Meeting
The usage is now well established that no anonymous call for a Town or Ward meeting, is entitled to any attention whatever, from discreet and sober-minded citizens. Every call should have one or more ...
-Mode Of Conducting Business In A Town Or Ward Meeting. Continued
7. When the committee is announced, the gentleman first named will go to the Secretary's table, and obtain a copy of the names of his colleagues, and request them to accompany him to an adjoining room...
-Religious Public Meetings
In public meetings or anniversaries of a religious or a benevolent character, the custom in regard to resolutions is essentially different from that laid down in the foregoing. In these meetings it is...
-County Conventions
The organization of these bodies is managed, preliminarily, very much the same as that of a Town Meeting, excepting that the first organization is generally temporary. After this is effected, it is us...
-Mode Of Conducting Business In A Society, Board Of Managers, Etc
Promptly at the time named in the notice issued for the meeting, the President* should take the chair. The custom of permitting a delay, or allowing grace, as it is called, is rapidly falling into d...
-Mode Of Conducting Business In A Society, Board Of Managers, Etc. Part 2
In Congress and in our State Legislature, the Speaker, instead of naming the gentleman on the floor, says, the member from - naming the state or county he represents. This plan may be pursu...
-Mode Of Conducting Business In A Society, Board Of Managers, Etc. Part 3
If the minority are not prepared to report, a motion may be made to postpone the majority report until the next meeting, in order to enable the minority to get their report ready.* 6. When all the St...
-Adjourned And Special Meetings
An adjourned meeting is regarded simply as a continuation of a former meeting, and after roll call,* the business should be resumed, the same as if no adjournment had taken place. The President should...
-Of The President
The office of President is one of much responsibility. No one deficient in the qualifications of industry, application and energy, should accept it. The President is the master moving-spirit, and, by ...
-Of The Secretary
The duties of a Secretary are more mechanical than those of a President, but they are scarcely less important. The office requires a ready writer, and a shrewd, sprightly and intelligent man. A dull, ...
-Of The Treasurer
The duties appertaining to the office of Treasurer, though essentially the same in all institutions, vary, in detail, according to the character and purposes of the Society. In some they will necessar...
-Of Committees
It is elsewhere stated that the usual custom is, to make the gentleman upon whose motion a committee is raised, chairman of that committee. In all Legislative bodies, when standing or special committe...
-Reports Of Committees
All reports of committees should be signed by a majority of the members. Reports of committees are of two kinds. 1. They may contain simply a statement of facts, reasoning or opinion, and without rec...
-Of A Committee Of The Whole
Going into a committee of the whole is a matter of almost daily occurrence in all Legislative bodies. The leading advantages of so doing are, that the members may speak oftener than twice; that the de...
-Of Privileged Questions
As a general rule, the question first moved and seconded, shall be put first. But this rule gives way to what are called privileged questions. The usage in our State Legislature on this subject is, th...
-Of Adjournment
The simple motion to adjourn, being a privileged question, cannot be amended, and must be decided without debate. A motion to adjourn is not in order, 1. When a member is speaking. 2. When a vote is ...
-Of The Motion To Lie On The Table
This motion is not recognised in our State Legislature, the equivalent motion being to postpone for the present. I insert it here, because it is used in Congress, and in the Legislative bodies in th...
-Of The Motion To Commit
The motion to commit is sometimes made instead of the motion for indefinite postponement, because by referring a matter to a committee, or if it be a resolution from a committee, by re-committing it, ...
-Of Amendments
The fourth joint rule of the Senate and House of Representatives of this State, declares that no motion or proposition, on a subject different from that under consideration, shall be admitted under co...
-Of Debate
While the President is putting a question or addressing the meeting,* or while a member is speaking, none of the members should move from their seats, or entertain private discourse; nor while a membe...
-Of Questions Not Debatable
According to Legislative and Parliamentary practice, the motions not debatable areA motion to adjourn. A motion to lie on the table, when a privileged motion. A motion for the previous question. A ...
-Dividing A Question
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 ...
-Of The Previous Question
This motion was originally introduced in the House of Commons, in 1604, by Sir Harry Vane, and was designed to suppress questions which, if discussed, might involve in censure the government, or perso...
-Of Motions To Reconsider
In Congress, motions to reconsider are in order on the same day, or the day after, the passage of a motion, proposition or bill. In our State Legislature the time is extended to the six following days...
-Of The Motions To Rescind And Expunge
The motion to rescind is a very common one in many Societies, and in too many cases is rendered necessary by hasty and ill-advised action. The business of a Society should be so conducted as to render...
-Of Minorities
The rights of a minority are best protected by a rigid adherence to rule. As it is always in the power of the majority, by their numbers, to stop any improper measures proposed by their opponents, the...
-Of Motions
It is usual for the President, after a motion has been made, seconded, and stated from the chair, to give the floor to the mover, in preference to others, if he rises to speak. This is no more than p...
-Of Questions Of Order
On questions of order no debate is allowable, excepting on an appeal from the decision of the President, or on a reference of a question by him to the meeting, when no member shall speak more than onc...
-Of A Quorum
In Parliament, it is a breach of order for the Speaker to refuse to put a question which is in order. In our State Legislature and in Congress, a majority of the whole number of members is necessary ...
-Of The Yeas And Nays
In announcing that the yeas and nays are ordered to be taken, the President should say ; The yeas and nays are required by Mr. ------, and Mr. ----- . The Secretary will call the names of the member...
-Of The Election Of Officers
In Societies where an annual or semiannual election for officers is held, it is usual to provide in the by-laws that the old officers shall retain their places, until the new ones are regularly chosen...
-On The Adoption Of Rules Or By-Laws
In our State Legislature, rules for the government of each body are adopted at the commencement of the session. On the day of meeting it is usual to adopt the old rules, for the present, and then to a...
-On Punishing Disorderly Members
The rules of our State Legislature make no provision for punishing disorderly members, but usage has fully established the right. Disorderly or quarrelsome conduct in the House, contempt of the author...
-Peculiarities Of Parliamentary Legislation
In Parliament, the bills are engrossed on one or more long rolls of parchment, sewed together. When a bill is amended on third reading, if a new clause is added, it is done by tacking a separate piece...
-Peculiarities Of French Legislation
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,...
-Recommendations
From the Hon. William S. Ross, Speaker of the Senate of Pennsylvania, of the 13th Senatorial District, composed of the counties of Luzerne and Columbia. Senate Chamber, Harrisburg, April 22d, 1846. ...
-Recommendations. Part 2
I fully concur in the above opinion. J. Ziegler, Assist. Clerk of Senate. From the Hon. Findley Patterson, of Armstrong County, Speaker of the Pennsylvania House of Representatives. House of Repres...
-Recommendations. Part 3
B. Matthias, Esq. From Col. James Page, formerly Postmaster of Philadelphia. Philada., May 27th, 1846. My Dear Sir: - I have given your Rules of Order a careful perusal. The work is much needed, ...
-Recommendations Of The Press
It is recommended in the warmest manner by the Speakers of the Senate and House of Representatives of Pennsylvania, and by a number of the leading members of the Legislature. A more useful publication...









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