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.
1st. By amendments striking out all unnecessary matter.
2d. By the addition of all essential matter.
3d. By combining two or three propositions, where it can be done, in one.
* When it is moved to amend by striking out certain words, and inserting others, the manner of stating the question is, first to read the whole passage to he amended, as it stands at present, then the words proposed to be struck out; next, those to be inserted; and lastly, the whole passage, as it will be when amended. And the question, if desired, is then to be divided, and put, first, on striking out. If carried, it is next on inserting the words proposed. If that be lost, it may be moved to insert others. - Hatsall.
4th. By voting separately on each distinct proposition, until all are disposed of.
If it is desired to introduce a change, it is best to state the objection to the amendment of the amendment, and, if possible, defeat such amendment, when another amendment may be introduced and possibly carried, in the place of the one defeated.
If an amendment has been accepted by the assembly, it cannot afterwards be altered or rejected, but the amendment may be so amended as to present the question in the desired shape.
Thus, if the amendment consist of one, two, three, and it is moved to insert four, and the motion prevails, four cannot afterwards be rejected, for it has been adopted in that form. Should it be moved to strike out two, three, and the motion be lost, two, three, cannot afterwards be stricken out, as the meeting resolved to allow them to remain.
The only alternative now left the meeting, should it seem very desirable to strike out two, three, is to make the proposition to strike out one, two, three, or the amendment may be to strike out two, three, four.
The rule in parliamentary practice is, that while certain words, which have been accepted or rejected, cannot afterwards be changed, such words may afterwards be adopted or rejected, if accompanied by other words.*
When it is proposed to amend by adding a certain paragraph, and such paragraph or words are rejected, such paragraph or words can only be subsequently added by the adding of other words with the same, thereby changing the sense of the words intended to be added.
When it is proposed to reject certain words or a paragraph, and the meeting vote to allow such words to remain, those words cannot afterwards be stricken out, unless other words be added with these words, thereby changing the sense of what it was before designed to strike out.
The following changes may be made in a proposition : 1. To strike out certain words and insert nothing in their place.
* When a motion for striking out words is put to the question, the parliamentary form always is, whether the words shall stand as part of a principal motion, and not whether they shall be struck out. The reason for this form of stating the question probably is, that the question may be taken in the same manner on a part as on the whole of the principal motion; which would not be the case if the question was stated on striking out; inasmuch as the question on the principal motion, when it comes to be stated, will be on agreeing to it, and not on striking out or rejecting it. Besides, as an equal division of the assembly would produce a different decision of the question, according to the manner of staling it, it might happen, if the question on the amendment was stated on striking out, that the same question would be decided both affirmatively and negatively by the same vote. The common, if not the only mode of stating the question, in the legislative assemblies of this country, is on striking out. - Cushing's Manual.
2. To insert other words in the place of those stricken out.
Amendments may then be made, striking out a part of the words added, with others, or adding words stricken out with others.
Fixing Time, Amount, Etc., by Amendments.
In determining the time at which the assembly shall convene in the future, or the number of anything desired, the rule is not in the amendment to fix the time and amount at so short a period or small an amount as to be certain to unite the members upon the proposition at first; as to adopt a less would preclude the adoption of a greater; but the vote is to be taken on the greater, and recede until a sufficient number of votes can be secured to carry the amendment.*
Parliamentary usage has determined that when a question is being debated, no motion shall be received except the following, which are termed "privileged questions," and come in the following order:
1st. A question having been moved, seconded, and put by the chair, must be decided by a vote of the assembly before anything else is in order.
2d. A motion to adjourn takes precedence over all others, for the reason that, otherwise, the assembly might be compelled to continue in session, without such motion, an indefinite time against its will. This question, however, cannot be entertained after a question has been actually put. and while the members of the meeting are voting upon the same.
3d. An order of the day stands next in precedence. That is, a question that has been postponed to a certain hour; should the person interested in the question move that it be taken up and disposed of then, such motion is in order. Thus, if a question has been postponed to 9 o'clock, and at that time it is moved to take up that question, even though there be another question before the house, that motion must be received by the chair.
4th. The previous question stands next in order, and when moved and seconded, must be put. This question admits of no lesser motion, such as amendment or postponement to a certain time.