This section is from the book "Hill's Manual Of Social And Business Forms: A Guide To Correct Writing", by Thos. E. Hill. Also available from Amazon: Hill's Manual Of Social And Business Forms: The How-To-Do-Everything Book Of Victorian America.
8th. The question may be taken up at the next sitting or any subsequent meeting, and be reconsidered.
1st. The member introducing a question should have given. the matter very careful and considerate attention; being thus thoroughly informed concerning its merits, and consequently able to fully illustrate and represent the claims of the measure he advocates.
2d. Personal acquaintance, conversation, and explanation with various members of the assembly relative to the question to be brought forward, will aid much in securing favorable consideration of the subject.
3d. The introduction of the motion when adjournment is assemblies operating technically to suppress the main question for the day only, is, in general, merely to suspend the taking of the question for that day; either leaving the debate to go on during the residue of the day, or the subject to be renewed on the next or some other day. The operation of an affirmative decision is the same, in both countries, namely, the putting of the main question immediately, and without further debate, delay, or consideration." - Cushing's Manual.
not probable, and, if possible at a time when there is not a sufficient amount of business before the meeting to make an excuse for laying the question on the table, will aid in having it passed.
4th. The motion being seconded, the member introducing the same should then obtain the floor, and properly present the claims of the question to the members of the assembly.
5th. If the meeting is adjourned, the question laid on the table, or the consideration of the motion postponed to a certain time, the motion should be promptly brought up at the first opportunity.
7th. Should the question be so amended as to entirely change the character of the original question, and thus passed, the member may subsequently, under another name, introduce a question embracing essentially the same principles, indirectly, as the original question, and perhaps secure for the proposition favorable consideration.
8th. Another trial. Subsequent events may so change the opinions of members of an assembly as to induce them to vote favorably upon a question that they have before rejected.
Motions and questions while nearly synonymous in parliamentary usage, are somewhat different in meaning. To move that an act be passed, is termed a motion. The subject, however, to be acted upon, is called a question. The action of the assembly is termed a resolution or vote. The motion being put, and the question adopted by a vote of the assembly, the decision is then known as an ordinance, order, law, statute, resolution, etc. according to the character of the meeting.
To move the previous question by moving that the question be now put, if carried in the affirmative, causes the question to be put immediately, and is thus at once disposed of without further debate. If decided in the negative, the question was formerly disposed of for the session. At the present time, it disposes of the question for the day only. In some parliamentary bodies, according to the standing rules, the debate goes on.
The effect of securing a postponement of a question with-jout date, is to suppress the motion entirely. If postponed to a certain day, it can be taken up on that day, or as soon as the business of that day is completed.
In putting a question to the assembly, after it has been carefully considered, altered, amended, etc., as the case may be, the presiding officer should ask if the assembly is ready for the question? If no further suggestions are offered by the members, the chairman will then state the question, and call for a vote of the members, in the first place on the affirmative, the form of which has been heretofore considered.
A question having been postponed to a certain time, the member interested in the question has a right to insist, at the appointed time, that the question be taken up. No delay or debate is allowed on the matter of taking it up. The presiding officer will then put the motion whether the meeting proceed to take up the order of the day. If the decision be favorable, the members will proceed to consider the business appointed for the day.
. If it be thought best to refer a question to a committee, it is done on motion. Such reference to a committee is termed a "commitment" of the question. If to a special committee, the chair may name such committee, or they may, upon request of the presiding officer, be appointed by the meeting. Frequently, the person moving that the question be referred, not desiring to be on the committee himself, will, with the motion, suggest the name of some one as chairman of the committee. If no objection is made, such person may be selected.
It is more common, however, for the person interested in a measure, to move its reference to a committee, the presiding officer to appoint the same. If it be a select committee, it is in accordance with parliamentary rule for the presiding officer to appoint as chairman on the committee, the mover of the resolution.*
When a question is referred, the committee may be instructed by the assembly to take such course of action in the examination of the subject as is desired, and report upon the whole, or portions of the subject, as may seem advisable. A portion may be referred to one committee, and the remainder of the proposition, involving a different principle, may be given to another committee.