A report by a select committee being accepted, the committee is dissolved, though anything further arising on the question, the matter may be recommitted to the same committee. When accepting a report, it is common for a member to move that the report be accepted and the committee discharged.

Reports may be made by the simple expression of opinion by the committee, or by resolution or resolutions.

Committee Of The Whole

When it becomes necessary for the assembly to form itself into a committee of the whole, such action is taken on motion of some member of the meeting. The motion being carried, the presiding officer appoints a chairman of the committee, and himself takes a seat with the other members of the assembly, the chairman of the committee taking his seat with the clerk at the secretary's desk.

Chairman Of The Committee Of The Whole

The chairman appointed by the presiding officer is usually accepted by the meeting, though the meeting possesses the power to select another chairman, should the members see fit to enforce the privilege, some one member of the meeting putting the question on the selection of another candidate.


The same number is necessary in the committee of the whole to form a quorum as in the main body, and should the number be less than a quorum, the committee is compelled to rise, when the chairman informs the presiding officer that the committee is unable to transact business for want of a quorum.

Dissolving The Committee

While the committee of the whole is in session the president usually remains in the room, so that, should any disturbance arise in the committee, he may take the chair, dissolve the committee, and restore the body to order. Should such action be taken, the motion must be put as before, that the committee may sit again.

The secretary makes no record in his journal of the proceedings of the committee, but only the report of such committee to the main body.

Committee Of The Whole Cannot Adjourn

A committee of the whole cannot adjourn; it must rise. Neither does it take the ayes and noes, nor take up the previous question.

If unable to finish the business before time for adjournment, the committee may rise; the presiding officer will resume the chair; the chairman of the committee will report progress and ask leave to sit again, which leave is usually granted upon motion.

Report To The Main Body

Should the subject be concluded, on motion the committee will rise, the president will resume his seat, and the committee will report its proceedings and conclusions to the main body, upon the motion of some member, as with other reports.

With the exception that members may speak as often as they can obtain the floor in committee of the whole, the same rules apply to the committee of the whole as govern the main body.

The Secretary

The assistant clerk usually acts as secretary of the committee of the whole, and the presiding officer of the main body may participate in the proceedings of the committee of the whole, along with the other members of the assembly.

Examination Of Matter Before The Committee

In the case of any communication referred to a committee, it is usual to proceed to have it read by the clerk, section by section, or paragraph by paragraph, he noting such suggestions as the members may see fit to make, and adding such amendments as may be thought best.

Should the paper originate in the committee, erasures and interlineations may be made on such paper, in such number as may be thought best, though a clean copy of the same should be made when completed. Should the paper originate outside of the committee, amendments and changes should be made on a separate sheet of paper. When the amendments are complete, the committee should rise, and report to the general assembly.

Duties Of Members Of A Meeting

Having defined the duties of the officers and committees, it is equally important that members of the assembly also understand their duties and privileges.

Equality Of Members

An assemblage of citizens, meeting in deliberative assembly is, in the highest sense of the term, a representation of a free and independent people, standing, for the time, upon a plane of exact equality. Every member of the meeting will assume the position he is fitted to fill, and will win the esteem and respect of his associates there, in proportion to his worth, perhaps more nearly than anywhere else.

Appreciation Of Each Member's Ability

If well informed in parliamentary usage, the fact is very clearly seen. If possessed of a high degree of intellectual culture - if gifted with fluency of speech and readiness in debate - the fact is clearly shown on such an occasion as this. Wealth and poverty stand side by side. Eminence in position and lowliness of condition are lost sight of for the time, and the real worth of the speaker, and active participator in the public meeting, is revealed in the proceedings of the assembly.

The same rights being accorded to all, it therefore becomes each member to exhibit such deportment as will, in the highest degree, promote the harmony and efficiency of the meeting.

Order And Deportment Of Members

Upon calling the meeting to order, every member should, if possible, become seated, with head uncovered. The member wishing to speak will arise and address the presiding officer, when the president, upon hearing such address, will call the member by name, or indicate him by position, that the body may give attention to his remarks.

It is customary for a member to stand while speaking, if able to do so, and the rules of decorum forbid any unseemly conduct upon the part of other members, calculated to disturb the speaker, such as general conversation, laughing, hissing, or passing about the room between the speaker and the presiding officer.