Robert’s Rules of Order

Robert's Rules of Order 

Part I. 
Part II. 
Part I .................................................... 13 
Part II ................................................... 14 
Part I.--Rules of Order. 
Part II.-Organization and Conduct of Business. 
Part I, there will be found, in a footnote, the Congressional practice. 
Part I contains a set of Rules of Order systematically arranged, as 
Part II. While the second part covers the entire ground of the first 
Part I. 
Part II, § 51.] 
PART II. 
Part I; those greater than 
Part II. A complete list of motions will be found in 
Part I, Rules of Order, (Introduction, page 13.) 
Part II, Organization and Conduct of Business, 

Robert's Rules of Order 

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Part I. 

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Title: Robert's Rules of Order Pocket Manual of Rules Of Order For Deliberative Assemblies 
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ROBERT'S RULES OF ORDER 
=== Page 1 === 
Pocket Manual of Rules Of Order For Deliberative Assemblies 

Part I. 

Rules of Order. 
A Compendium of Parliamentary Law, based upon the rules and practice of Congress. 

Part II. 

Organization and Conduct Of Business. 

A simple explanation of the methods of organizing and conducting the business of societies, conventions, and 
other deliberative assemblies. 
By Major Henry M. Robert, Corps of Engineers, U.S.A. 
Chicago: S. C. Griggs & Company. 1876. 

Part II. 

=== Page 2 === 

Copyright, A.D. 1876, by H. M. Robert 

Printed by Burdick & Armitage, Milwaukee 

=== Page 3 === 

PREFACE. 

There appears to be much needed a work on parliamentary law, based, in its general principles, upon the rules 
and practice of Congress, and adapted, in its details, to the use of ordinary societies. Such a work should give, 
not only the methods of organizing and conducting the meetings, the duties of the officers and the names of 
the ordinary motions, but in addition, should state in a systematic manner, in reference to each motion, its 
object and effect; whether it can be amended or debated; if debatable, the extent to which it opens the main 
question to debate; the circumstances under which it can be made, and what other motions can be made while 
it is pending. This Manual has been prepared with a view to supplying the above information in a condensed 
and systematic manner, each rule being either complete in itself, or giving references to every section that in 
any way qualifies it, so that a stranger to the work can refer to any special subject with safety. 

To aid in quickly referring to as many as possible of the rules relating to each motion, there is placed 
immediately before the Index, a Table of Rules, which enables one, without turning a page, to find the 
answers to some two hundred questions. The Table of Rules is so arranged as to greatly assist the reader in 
systematizing his knowledge of parliamentary law. 

The second part is a simple explanation of the common methods of conducting business in ordinary 

=== Page 4 === 

meetings, in which the motions are classified according to their uses, and those used for a similar purpose 
compared together. This part is expressly intended for that large class of the community, who are unfamiliar 
with parliamentary usages and are unwilling to devote much study to the subject, but would be glad with little 
labor to learn enough to enable them to take part in meetings of deliberative assemblies without fear of being 
out of order. The object of Rules of Order in deliberative assemblies, is to assist an assembly to accomplish 
the work for which it was designed, in the best possible manner. To do this, it is necessary to somewhat 
restrain the individual, as the right of an individual in any community to do what he pleases, is incompatible 
with the best interests of the whole. Where there is no law, but every man does what is right in his own eyes, 
there is the least of real liberty. Experience has shown the importance of definiteness in the law, and in this 
country, where customs are so slightly established and the published manuals of parliamentary practice so 
conflicting, no society should attempt to conduct business without having adopted some work upon the 
subject, as the authority in all cases not covered by their own rules. 

It has been well said by one of the greatest of English writers on parliamentary law: "Whether these forms be 
in all cases the most rational or not is really not of so great importance. 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 chairman, or captiousness of the members. It is very material that order, decency 
and regularity be preserved in a dignified public body." 

Part I .................................................... 13 

H. M. R. December, 1875. 
=== Page 5 === 

TABLE OF CONTENTS. Introduction. Page. Parliamentary Law .................................................. 9 Plan of 
the Work .................................................. 12 '' 

Part I .................................................... 13 

'' 

Part II ................................................... 14 

Definitions ....................................................... 15 

Part I.--Rules of Order. 

Art. I.--Introduction of Business. § 1. How introduced ................................................. 17 2. Obtaining the 
floor ............................................ 17 3. What precedes debate on a question ............................. 19 4. What 
motions to be in writing, and how they shall be divided ...................................... 20 5. Modification of a 
motion by the mover .......................... 21 

Art. II.--General Classification of Motions. § 6. Principal or Main motions ...................................... 22 7. 
Subsidiary or Secondary motions ................................ 22 8. Incidental motions ............................................. 

23 9. Privileged motions ............................................. 24 
Art. III.--Motions and their Order of Precedence. Privileged Motions. 10. To fix the time to which to adjourn 
........................... 25 11. Adjourn ....................................................... 26 12. Questions of privilege 
........................................ 28 13. Orders of the day ............................................. 28 Incidental Motions. 14. 
Appeal [Questions of Order] ................................... 30 15. Objection to the consideration of a question 
...................................................... 32 16. Reading papers ................................................ 33 17. Withdrawal of 
a motion ........................................ 34 18. Suspension of the Rules ....................................... 34 

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Subsidiary Motions. § 19. Lie on the table .............................................. 35 20. Previous Question 
............................................. 37 21. Postpone to a certain day ..................................... 40 22. Commit [or 
Re-commit] ......................................... 41 23. Amend ......................................................... 43 24. Postpone 
indefinitely ......................................... 46 Miscellaneous Motions. 25. Filling blanks, and Nominations 
............................... 47 26. Renewal of a motion ........................................... 48 27. Reconsideration 
............................................... 49 

Art. IV.--Committees and Informal Action. § 28. Committees .................................................... 54 29. '' Form 
of their Reports .............................. 58 30. '' Reception '' .............................. 59 31. '' Adoption '' 
.............................. 61 32. Committee of the Whole ........................................ 61 33. Informal consideration of 
a question .......................... 65 

Art. V.--Debate and Decorum. § 34. Debate ........................................................ 66 35. Undebatable questions 
and those opening the main question to debate ................................... 68 36. Decorum in debate 
............................................. 71 37. Closing debate, methods of .................................... 72 

Part I.--Rules of Order. 

Art. VI.--Vote. § 38. Voting, various modes of ...................................... 74 39. Motions requiring more than a 
majority vote ................................................. 80 

Art. VII.--Officers and the Minutes. § 40. Chairman or President ......................................... 81 41. Clerk, or 
Secretary, and the Minutes .......................... 85 

Art. VIII.--Miscellaneous. § 42. Session ....................................................... 90 43. Quorum 
........................................................ 93 44. Order of business ............................................. 94 45. Amendment 
of the Rules of Order ............................... 97 

=== Page 7 === 

Part II.-Organization and Conduct of Business. 

Art. IX.--Organization and Meetings. § 46. An Occasional or Mass Meeting. (a) Organization 
.............................................. 99 (b) Adoption of resolutions .................................. 101 (c) Committee on '' 
.................................. 102 (d) Additional Officers ...................................... 105 47. A Convention or Assembly 
of Delegates .................................................... 106 48. A Permanent Society. (a) First meeting 
............................................. 108 (b) Second meeting ............................................ 111 49. Constitutions, 
By-Laws, Rules of Order and Standing Rules ..................................... 115 

Art. X.--Officers and Committees. § 50. President or Chairman ........................................ 119 51. Secretary, or 
Clerk, and the Minutes ......................... 120 52. Treasurer .................................................... 123 53. 
Committees ................................................... 127 

Art. XI--Introduction of Business. § 54. Introduction of Business ..................................... 129 

Art. XII.--Motions. § 55. Motions classified according to their object ....................................................... 131 

56. To Amend Or modify. (a) Amend .................................................... 133 (b) Commit 
................................................... 134 57. To Defer action. (a) Postpone to a certain time ............................... 
134 (b) Lie on the table ......................................... 135 58. To Suppress Debate. (a) Previous Question 
........................................ 136 (b) An Order limiting or closing debate ................................................... 137 
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§ 59. To Suppress the question. (a) Objection to its consideration ........................... 138 (b) Postpone 
indefinitely .................................... 139 (c) Lie on the table ......................................... 139 60. To Consider a 
question the second time (a) Reconsider ............................................... 140 61. Order and Rules. (a) Orders of 
the day ........................................ 142 (b) Special orders ........................................... 143 (c) Suspension of the 
rules .................................. 144 (d) Questions of order ....................................... 144 (e) Appeal 
................................................... 145 62. Miscellaneous. (a) Reading of papers ........................................ 146 

(b) Withdrawal of a motion ................................... 146 (c) Questions of privilege ................................... 146 
63. To close a meeting. (a) Fix the time to which to adjourn ......................... 147 (b) Adjourn 
.................................................. 147 64. Order of Precedence of motions ............................... 149 
Art. XIII.--Debate. § 65. Rules of speaking in debate .................................. 150 66. Undebatable questions and 
those that open the main question to debate ............................. 151 

Art. XIV.--Miscellaneous. § 67. Forms of stating and putting questions ....................... 154 68. Motions 
requiring a two-thirds vote for their adoption ........................................... 154 69. Unfinished business 
.......................................... 154 70. Session ...................................................... 155 71. Quorum 

Part II.-Organization and Conduct of Business. 

....................................................... 156 72. Order of Business ............................................ 156 73. Amendment 
of Constitutions, By-Laws and Rules of Order ........................................... 157 

Legal Rights of Deliberative Assemblies ............................ 158 Table of Rules Relating to Motions 
................................. 166 Index .............................................................. 169 

=== Page 9 === 

INTRODUCTION. 

Parliamentary Law. 

Parliamentary Law refers originally to the customs and rules of conducting business in the English 
Parliament; and thence to the customs and rules of our own legislative assemblies. In England these customs 
and usages of Parliament form a part of the unwritten law of the land, and in our own legislative bodies they 
are of authority in all cases where they do not conflict with existing rules or precedents. 

But as a people we have not the respect which the English have for customs and precedents, and are always 
ready for innovations which we think are improvements, and hence changes have been and are being 
constantly made in the written rules which our legislative bodies have found best to adopt. As each house 
adopts its own rules, it results that the two houses of the same legislature do not always agree in their practice; 
even in Congress the order of precedence of motions is not the same in both houses, and the Previous 
Question is admitted in the House of Representatives, but not in the Senate. As a consequence of this, the 
exact method of conducting business in any particular 

=== Page 10 === 

legislative body is to be obtained only from the Legislative Manual of that body. 

The vast number of societies, political, literary, scientific, benevolent and religious, formed all over the land, 
though not legislative, are still deliberative in their character, and must have some system of conducting 
business, and some rules to govern their proceedings, and are necessarily subject to the common 
parliamentary law where it does not conflict with their own special rules. But as their knowledge of 
parliamentary law has been obtained from the usages in this country, rather than from the customs of 
Parliament, it has resulted that these societies have followed the customs of our own legislative bodies, and 
our people have thus been educated under a system of parliamentary law which is peculiar to this country, and 
yet so well established as to supersede the English parliamentary law as the common law of ordinary 
deliberative assemblies. 

The practice of the National House of Representatives should have the same force in this country as the 
usages of the House of Commons have in England, in determining the general principles of the common 
parliamentary law of the land; but it does not follow that in every matter of detail the rules of Congress can be 
appealed to as the common law governing every deliberative assembly. In these matters of detail, the rules of 
each House of Congress are adapted to their own peculiar wants, and are of no force whatever in other 
assemblies. 

=== Page 11 === 

But upon all great parliamentary questions, such as what motions can be made, what is their order of 
precedence, which can be debated, what is their effect, etc., the common law of the land is settled by the 
practice of the U. S. House of Representatives, and not by that of the English Parliament, the U. S. Senate, or 
any other body. 

Part I, there will be found, in a footnote, the Congressional practice. 

While in extreme cases there is no difficulty in deciding the question as to whether the practice of Congress 
determines the common parliamentary law, yet between these extremes there must necessarily be a large 
number of doubtful cases upon which there would be great difference of opinion, and to avoid the serious 
difficulties always arising from a lack of definiteness in the law, every deliberative assembly should imitate 
our legislative bodies in adopting Rules of Order for the conduct of their business.* [Where the practice of 
Congress differs from that of Parliament upon a material point, the common law of this country follows the 
practice of Congress. Thus in every American deliberative assembly having no rules for conducting business, 
the motion to adjourn would be decided to be undebatable, as in Congress, the English parliamentary law to 
the contrary notwithstanding; so if the Previous Question were negatived the debate upon the subject would 
continue as in Congress, whereas in Parliament the subject would be immediately dismissed; so too the 
Previous Question could be moved when there was before the assembly a motion either to amend, to commit, 
or to postpone definitely or indefinitely, just as in Congress, notwithstanding that, according to English 
parliamentary law, the Previous question could not be moved under such circumstances. When the rules of the 
two Houses of Congress conflict, the H. R. rules are of greater authority than those of the Senate in 
determining the parliamentary law of the country, just as the practice of the House of Commons, and not the 
House of Lords, determines the parliamentary law of England. For instance, though the Senate rules do not 
allow the motion for the Previous Question, and make the motion to postpone indefinitely take precedence of 
every other subsidiary motion [§ 7] except to lie on the table, yet the parliamentary law of the land follows the 
practice of the House of Representatives, in recognizing the Previous Question as a legitimate motion, and 
assigning to the very lowest rank the motion to postpone indefinitely. But in matters of detail, the rules of the 
House of Representatives are adapted to the peculiar wants of that body, and are of no authority in any other 
assembly. No one for instance would accept the following H. R. rules as common parliamentary law in this 
country: That the chairman, in case of disorderly conduct, would have that power to order the galleries to be 
cleared; that the ballot could not be used in electing the officers of an assembly; that any fifteen members 
would be authorized to compel the attendance of absent members and make them pay the expenses of the 
messengers sent after them; that all committees not appointed by the Chair would have to be appointed by 
ballot, and if the required number were not elected by a majority vote, then a second ballot must be taken in 
which a plurality of votes would prevail; that each member would be limited in debate upon any question, to 
one hour; that a day's notice must be given of the introduction of a bill, and that before its passage it must be 
read three times, and that without the special order of the assembly it cannot be read twice the same day. 
These examples are sufficient to show the absurdity of the idea that the rules of Congress in all things 
determine the common parliamentary law.] 

=== Page 12 === 

Plan of the Work. 

This Manual is prepared to partially meet this want in deliberative assemblies that are not legislative in their 
character. It has been made sufficiently complete to answer for the rules of an assembly, until they see fit to 
adopt special rules conflicting with and superseding any of its rules of detail, such as the Order of Business [§ 
44], etc. Even in matters of detail the practice of Congress is followed, wherever it is not manifestly unsuited 
to ordinary assemblies, and in such cases, in 

Part I, there will be found, in a footnote, the Congressional 
practice. 

In the important matters referred to above, in which the practice of the House of 

=== Page 13 === 

Part I contains a set of Rules of Order systematically arranged, as 

Representatives settles the common parliamentary law of the country, this Manual strictly conforms to such 
practice.* [On account of the party lines being so strictly drawn in Congress, no such thing as harmony of 
action is possible, and it has been found best to give a bare majority, in the House of Representatives (but not 
in the Senate) the power to take final action upon a question without allowing of any discussion. In ordinary 
societies more regard should be paid to the rights of the minority, and a two-thirds vote be required, as in this 
Manual [§ 39], for sustaining an objection to the introduction of a question, or for adopting a motion for the 
Previous Question, or for adopting an order closing or limiting debate. In this respect the policy of the Pocket 
Manual is a mean between those of the House and Senate. But some societies will doubtless find it 
advantageous to follow the practice of the H. R., and others will prefer that of the Senate. It requires a 
majority, according to the Pocket Manual, to order the yeas and nays, which is doubtless best to the majority 
of assemblies; but in all bodies in which the members are responsible to their constituents, a much smaller 
number should have this power. In Congress it requires but a one-fifth vote, end in some bodies a single 
member can require a vote to be taken by yeas and nays. Any society adopting this Manual, should make its 
rules govern them in all cases to which they are applicable, and in which they are not inconsistent with the 
By-Laws and Rules of Order of the society. Their own rules should include all or the cases where it is 
desirable to vary from the rules in the Manual, and especially should provide for a Quorum [§ 43], and an 
Order of Business [§ 44], as suggested in these rules.] 

The Manual is divided into two distinct, parts, each complete in itself. [The table at the end contains a large 
amount of information in a tabular form for easy reference in the midst of the business of a meeting.] 

Part I contains a set of Rules of Order systematically 
arranged, as 

shown in the Table of Contents. Each one of the forty-five sections is complete in itself, so that no one 
unfamiliar with the work can be misled in examining any particular subject. Cross references are freely used 
to save repeating 

=== Page 14 === 

from other sections, and by this means, the reader, without using the index, is referred to everything in the 
Rules of Order that has any bearing upon the subject he is investigating. The references are by sections, and 
for convenience the numbers of the sections are placed at the top of each page. The motions are arranged 
under the usual classes, in their order of rank, but in the index under the word motion will be found an 
alphabetical list of all the motions generally used. In reference to each motion there is stated: 

(1) Of what motions it takes precedence (that is, what motions may, be pending, and yet it be in order to make 
this motion). (2) To what motions it yields (that is, what motions may be made while this motion is pending). 
(3) Whether it is debatable or not. (4) Whether it can be amended or not. (5) In case the motion can have no 
subsidiary motion applied to it, the fact is stated [see Adjourn, § 11, for an example: the meaning is, that the 
particular motion to adjourn, for example, cannot be laid on the table, postponed, committed or amended]. (6) 
The effect of the motion if adopted. (7) The form of stating the question when peculiar, and whatever other 
information is necessary to enable one to understand the question. 
Part II. While the second part covers the entire ground of 
the first 

part, it does so in a much simpler manner, being intended for those who have 

Part II. While the second part covers the entire ground ofthe first 

=== Page 15 === 

no acquaintance with the usages of deliberative assemblies. It also explains the method of organizing an 
assembly or society, and conducting a meeting. The motions are treated on an entirely different plan, being 
classified according to the objects for which they are used, and those of each class compared together so that 
the reader may obtain the best motion for the accomplishment of any given object. It omits the complications 
of parliamentary law, and has but few references to the rules of Congress, or those in this Manual. In order to 
make it complete in itself, it was necessary to repeat a few pages from the first part. 

Definitions. 

In addition to the terms defined above (taking precedence of, yielding to and applying to, see p. 14), there are 
other terms that are liable to be misunderstood, to which attention should he called. 

Meeting and Session.--In this Manual the term "meeting" is used to denote an assembling together of the 
members of a deliberative assembly for any length of time, during which there is no separation of the 
members by adjournment. An adjournment to meet again at some other time, even the same day, terminates 
the meeting, but not the session, which latter includes all the adjourned meetings. The next meeting, in this 
case, would be an "adjourned meeting" of the same session. 

A "meeting" of an assembly is terminated by a 

=== Page 16 === 

temporary adjournment; a "session" of an assembly ends with an adjournment without day, and may consist of 
many meetings [see Session, § 42]. 

Previous Question--This term is frequently understood to refer to the question previously under consideration. 
As used in this country it is equivalent to a motion to "Stop debate, and proceed to voting on all the questions 
before the assembly," with certain exceptions, where it affects only one motion (as to postpone, to reconsider 
and an appeal; See § 20 for a full explanation). 

Shall the Question be Considered (or discussed)? This question, which is put as soon as a subject is brought 
before an assembly, if any member "objects to its consideration" (or "discussion," or "introduction"), is not 
intended to merely cut off debate, but to prevent the question from coming before the assembly for its action. 
If decided by a two-thirds vote in the negative, the question is removed from before the assembly immediately 
[see § 15]. 

Whenever the word "assembly," which is used throughout these rules, occurs in forms of motions (as in 
Appeals, § 14), it is better to replace it by the special term used to designate the particular assembly; as for 
instance, "Society," or "Convention," or "Board." The term "Congress," when used in this Manual, refers to 
the House of Representatives of the U.S. 

=== Page 17 === 

Part I. 

Rules of Order. 

Part I. 10 

Art. I. Introduction of Business. [§§ 1-5.] 

1. All business should be brought before the assembly by a motion of a member, or by the presentation of a 
communication to the assembly. It is not usual, however, to make a motion to receive the reports of 
committees [§ 30] or communications to the assembly; and in many other cases in the ordinary routine of 
business, the formality of a motion is dispensed with; but should any member object, a regular motion 
becomes necessary. 
2. Before a member can make a motion or address the assembly upon any question, it is necessary that he 
obtain the floor; that is, he must rise and address the presiding officer 
=== Page 18 === 

by his title, thus: "Mr. Chairman" [§ 34], who will then announce the member's name. Where two or more rise 
at the same time the Chairman must decide who is entitled to the floor, which he does by announcing that 
member's name. From this decision, however, an appeal [§ 14] can he taken; though if there is any doubt as to 
who is entitled to the floor, the Chairman can at the first allow the assembly to decide the question by a 
vote--the one getting the largest vote being entitled to the floor. 

The member upon whose motion the subject under discussion was brought before the assembly (or, in case of 
a committee's report, the one who presented the report) is entitled to be recognized as having the floor (if he 
has not already had it during that discussion), notwithstanding another member may have first risen and 
addressed the Chair. If the Chairman rise to speak before the floor has been assigned to any one, it is the duty 
of a member who may have previously risen to take his seat. [See Decorum in Debate, § 36.] 

When a member has obtained the floor, he cannot be cut off from addressing the assembly, nor be interrupted 
in this speech by a 

=== Page 19 === 

motion to adjourn, or for any purpose, by either the Chairman or any member, except (a) to have entered on 
the minutes a motion to reconsider [§ 27]; (b) by a call to order [§ 14]; (c) by an objection to the consideration 
of the question [§ 15]; or (d) by a call for the orders of the day [§ 13].* [See note to § 61.] In such cases the 
member when he arises and addresses the Chair should state at once for what purpose he rises, as, for 
instance, that he "rises to a point of order." A call for an adjournment, or for the question, by members in their 
seats, is not a motion; as no motion can be made, without rising and addressing, the Chair, and being 
announced by the presiding officer. Such calls for the question are themselves breaches of order, and do not 
prevent the speaker from going on if he pleases. 

3. Before any subject is open to debate [§ 34] it is necessary, first, that a motion he made; second, that it be 
seconded, (see exceptions below); and third, that it be stated by the presiding officer. When the motion is in 
writing it shall be handed to the Chairman, and read before it is debated. 
This does not prevent suggestions of alterations, before the question is stated by the 

=== Page 20 === 

presiding officer. To the contrary, much time may be saved by such informal remarks; which, however, must 
never be allowed to run into debate. The member who offers the motion, until it has been stated by the 
presiding officer, can modify his motion, or even withdraw it entirely; after it is stated he can do neither, 
without the consent of the assembly. [See §§ 5 and 17]. When the mover modifies his motion, the one who 
seconded it can withdraw his second. 

Part I. 11 

Exceptions: A call for the order of the day, a question of order (though not an appeal), or an objection to the 
consideration of a question [§§ 13, 14, 15], does not have to be seconded; and many questions of routine are 
not seconded or even made; the presiding officer merely announcing that, if no objection is made, such will be 
considered the action of the assembly. 

4. All Principal Motions [§ 6], Amendments and Instructions to Committees, should be in writing, if required 
by the presiding officer. Although a question is complicated, and capable of being made into several 
questions, no one member (without there is a special rule allowing it) can insist upon its being divided; his 
resource is to move that the question be divided, specifying in his motion how it is to be divided. Any one else 
can move as 
=== Page 21 === 

an amendment to this, to divide it differently. 

This Division of a Question is really an amendment [§ 23], and subject to the same rules. Instead of moving a 
division of the question, the same result can be usually attained by moving some other form of an amendment. 
When the question is divided, each separate question must be a proper one for the assembly to act upon, even 
if none of the others were adopted. Thus, a motion to "commit with instructions," is indivisible, because if 
divided, and the motion to commit should fail, then the other motion to instruct the committee would be 
improper, as there would be no committee to instruct.* [The 46th Rule of the House of Representatives 
requires the division of a question on the demand of one member, provided "it comprehends propositions in 
substance so distinct that one being taken away, a substantive proposition shall remain for the decision of the 
House." But this does not allow a division so as to have a vote on separate items or names. The 121st Rule 
expressly provides that on the demand of one-fifth of the members a separate vote shall be taken on such 
items separately, and others collectively, as shall be specified in the call, in the case of a bill making 
appropriations for internal improvements. But this right to divide a question into items extends to no case but 
the one specified. The common parliamentary law allows of no division except when the assembly orders it, 
and in ordinary assemblies this rule will be found to give less trouble than the Congressional one.] 

The motion to "strike out certain words and insert others," is indivisible, as it is strictly one proposition. 

5. After a question has been stated by the presiding officer, it is in the possession of the 
=== Page 22 === 

assembly for debate; the mover cannot withdraw or modify it, if any one objects, except by obtaining leave 
from the assembly [§ 17], or by moving an amendment. 

Art. II. General Classification of Motions. [§§ 6-9.] 

6. A Principal or Main Question or Motion, is a motion made to bring before the assembly, for its 
consideration, any particular subject. No Principal Motion can be made when any other question is before the 
assembly. It takes precedence of nothing, and yields to all Privileged, Incidental and Subsidiary Questions [§§ 
7, 8, 9]. 
7. Subsidiary or Secondary Questions or Motions relate to a Principal Motion, and enable the assembly to 
dispose of it in the most appropriate manner. These motions take precedence of the Principal Question, and 
must be decided before the Principal Question can be acted upon. They yield to Privileged and Incidental 
Questions [§§ 8, 9], and are as follows (being arranged in their order of precedence among themselves): 
=== Page 23 === 

Part I. 12 

Classification of Motions. Lie on the Table .................... See § 19. The Previous Question ............... '' § 20. 
Postpone to a Certain Day ........... '' § 21. Commit .............................. '' § 22. Amend ............................... '' § 

23. Postpone Indefinitely ............... '' § 24. 
Any of these motions (except Amend) can be made when one of a lower order is pending, but none can 
supersede one of a higher order. They cannot be applied* [See Plan of Work and Definitions, in Introduction, 
for explanation of some of these technical terms.] to one another except in the following cases: (a) the 
Previous Question applies to the motion to Postpone, without affecting the principal motion, and can, if 
specified, be applied to a pending amendment [§ 20]; (b) the motions to Postpone to a certain day, and to 
Commit, can be amended; and (c) a motion to Amend the minutes can be laid on the table without carrying 
the minutes with it [§ 19]. 

8. Incidental Questions are such as arise out of other questions, and, consequently, take precedence of, and are 
to be decided before, the questions which give rise to them. They yield to Privileged Questions [§ 9], and 
cannot be amended. Excepting an Appeal, 
=== Page 24 === 

they are undebatable; an Appeal is debatable or not, according to circumstances, as shown in § 14. They are as 
follows: 

Appeal (or Questions of Order) ........................... See § 14. Objection to the Consideration of a Question 
............. '' § 15. The Reading of Papers .................................... '' § 16. Leave to Withdraw a Motion 
............................... '' § 17. Suspension of the Rules .................................. '' § 18. 

9. Privileged Questions are such as, on account of their importance, take precedence over all other questions 
whatever, and on account of this very privilege they are undebatable [§ 35], excepting when relating to the 
rights of the assembly or its members, as otherwise they could be made use of so as to seriously interrupt 
business. They are as follows (being arranged in their order of precedence among themselves): 
To Fix the Time to which the Assembly shall Adjourn ...... See § 10. Adjourn .................................................. 
'' § 11. Questions relating to the Rights and Privileges of the Assembly or any of its Members 
............................................ '' § 12. Call for the Orders of the Day ........................... '' § 13. 

=== Page 25 === 

Art. III. Motions and their Order of Precedence.* [For a list of all the ordinary motions, arranged in their order 
of precedence, see § 64. All the Privileged and Subsidiary ones in this Article are so arranged.] [§§ 10-27.] 

Privileged Motions. [§§ 10-13. See § 9.] 

10. To Fix the Time to which the Assembly shall Adjourn. This motion takes precedence of all others, and is 
in order even after the assembly has voted to adjourn, provided the Chairman has not announced the result of 
the vote. If made when another question is before the assembly, it is undebatable [§ 35]; it can be amended by 
altering the time. If made when no other question is before the assembly, it stands as any other principal 
motion, and is debatable.** [In ordinary societies it is better to follow the common parliamentary law, and 
permit this question to be introduced as a principal question, when it can be debated and suppressed [§ 58, 59] 
like other questions. In Congress, it is never debatable, and has entirely superseded the unprivileged and 
inferior motion to "adjourn to a particular time."] 
The form of this motion is, "When this assembly 

Part I. 13 

=== Page 26 === 

adjourns, it adjourns to meet at such a time." 

11. To Adjourn. This motion (when unqualified) takes precedence of all others, except to "fix the time to 
which to adjourn," to which it yields. It is not debatable, and cannot be amended, or have any other subsidiary 
motion [§ 7] applied to it. If qualified in any way it loses its privileged character, and stands as any other 
principal motion. The motion to adjourn can be repeated if there has been any intervening business, though it 
be simply progress in debate [§ 26]. When a committee is through with any business referred to it, and 
prepared to report, instead of adjourning, a motion should be made "to rise," which motion, in committee, has 
the same privileges as to adjourn in the assembly [§ 32]. 
The effect upon Unfinished Business of an adjournment is as follows* ["After six days from the 
commencement of a second or subsequent session of any Congress, all bills, resolutions and reports which 
originated in the House, and at the close of the next preceding session remained undetermined, shall be 
resumed, and acted on in the same manner as if an adjournment had not taken place." Rule 136, H. R. Any 
ordinary society that meets as seldom as once each year, is apt to be composed of as different membership at 
its successive meetings, as any two successive Congresses, and only trouble would result from allowing 
finished business to hold over to the next yearly meeting.] [see Session, § 42]: 

=== Page 27 === 

(a) When it does not close the session, the business interrupted by the adjournment is the first in order after 
the reading of the minutes at the next meeting, and is treated the same as if there had been no adjournment; an 
adjourned meeting being legally the continuation of the meeting of which it is an adjournment. 
(b) When it closes a session in an assembly which has more than one regular session each year, then the 
unfinished business is taken up at the next succeeding session previous to new business, and treated the same 
as if there had been no adjournment [see § 44, for its place in the order of business]. Provided, that, in a body 
elected for a definite time (as a board of directors elected for one year), unfinished business falls to the ground 
with the expiration of the term for which the board or any portion of them were elected. 
(c) When the adjournment closes a session in an assembly which does not meet more frequently than once a 
year, or when the assembly is an elective body, and this session ends 
=== Page 28 === 

the term of a portion of the members, the adjournment shall put an end to all business unfinished at the close 
of the session. The business can be introduced at the next session, the same as if it had never been before the 
assembly. 

12. Questions of Privilege. Questions relating to the rights and privileges of the assembly, or any of its 
members, take precedence of all other questions, except the two preceding, to which they yield. The Previous 
Question [§ 20] can be applied to these, as to all other debatable questions. 
13. Orders of the Day. A call for the Orders of the Day takes precedence of every other motion, excepting to 
Reconsider [§ 27], and the three preceding, to which latter three it yields, and is not debatable, nor can it be 
amended. It does not require to be seconded. 
When one or more subjects have been assigned to a particular day or hour, they become the Orders of the Day 
for that day or hour, and they cannot be considered before that time, except by a two-thirds vote [§ 39]. And 
when that day or hour arrives, if called up, they take precedence of all but the three 

Part I. 14 

=== Page 29 === 

preceding questions [§§ 10, 11, 12]. Instead of considering them the assembly may appoint another time for 
their consideration. If not taken up on the day specified, the order falls to the ground. 

When the Orders of the Day are taken up, it is necessary to take up the separate questions in their exact order, 
the one first assigned to the day or hour, taking precedence of one afterwards assigned to the same day or 
hour. (A motion to take up a particular part of the Orders of the Day, or a certain question is not a privileged 
motion). Any of the subjects, when taken up, instead of being then considered, can be assigned to some other 
time. 

The Form of this question, as put by the Chair when the proper time arrives, or on the call of a member, is, 
"Shall the Order of the Day be taken up?" or, "Will the assembly now proceed with the Orders of the Day?" 

The Effect of an affirmative vote on a call for the Orders of the Day, is to remove the question under 
consideration from before the assembly, the same as if it had been interrupted by an adjournment [§ 11]. 

The Effect of a negative vote is to dispense 

=== Page 30 === 

with the orders merely so far as they interfere with the consideration of the question then before the assembly. 

Incidental Motions. [§§ 14-18; see § 8] 

14. Appeal [Questions of Order]. A Question of Order takes precedence of the question giving rise to it, and 
must be decided by the presiding officer without debate. If a member objects to the decision, he says, "I 
appeal from the decision of the Chair." If the Appeal is seconded, the Chairman immediately states the 
question as follows: "Shall the decision of the Chair stand as the judgement of the assembly?"* [The word 
Assembly can be replaced by Society, Convention, Board, etc., according to the name of the organization.] 
This Appeal yields to Privileged Questions [§ 9]. It cannot be amended; it cannot be debated when it relates 
simply to indecorum [§ 36], or to transgressions of the rules of speaking, or to the priority of business, or if it 
is made while the previous question [§ 20] is pending. When debatable, no member is allowed to speak but 
once, and whether debatable or not, the presiding officer, without leaving the 
=== Page 31 === 

Chair, can state the reasons upon which he bases his decision. The motions to Lie on the Table [§ 19], or for 
the Previous Question [§ 20], can be applied to an Appeal, when it is debatable, and when adopted they affect 
nothing but the Appeal. The vote on an Appeal may also be reconsidered [§ 27]. An Appeal is not in order 
when another Appeal is pending. 

It is the duty of the presiding officer to enforce the rules and orders of the assembly, without debate or delay. 
It is also the right of every member, who notices a breach of a rule to insist upon its enforcement. In such 
cases he shall rise from his seat, and say, "Mr. Chairman, I rise to a point of order." The speaker should 
immediately take his seat, and the Chairman requests the member to state his point of order, which he does, 
and resumes his seat. The Chair decides the point, and then, if no appeal is taken, permits the first member to 
resume his speech. If the member's remarks are decided to be improper, and any one objects to his continuing 
his speech, he cannot continue it without a vote of the assembly to that effect. Instead of the method just 
described, it is usual, when it is simply a case of improper language used in debate, for a member to say, "I 
call the gentleman to order;" the Chairman 

Part I. 15 

=== Page 32 === 

decides whether the speaker is in or out of order, and proceeds as before. The Chairman can ask the advice of 
members when he has to decide questions of order, but the advice must be given sitting, to avoid the 
appearance of debate; or the Chair, when unable to decide the question, may at once submit it to the assembly. 
The effect of laying an appeal on the table, is to sustain, at least for the time, the decision of the Chair, and 
does not carry to the table the question which gave rise to the question of Order. 

15. Objection to the Consideration a Question. An objection can be made to any principal motion [§ 6], but 
only when it is first introduced, before it has been debated. It is similar to a question of order [§ 14,] in that it 
can be made while another member has the floor, and does not require a second; and as the Chairman can call 
a member to order, so can he put this question if he deems it necessary, upon his own responsibility. It can not 
be debated [§ 35] or have any subsidiary motion [§ 7] applied to it. When a motion is made and any member 
"objects to its consideration," the Chairman shall immediately put the question, "Will the assembly consider 
it?" or, "Shall the question be considered" 
=== Page 33 === 

[or discussed]? If decided in the negative by a two-thirds vote [§ 39], the whole matter is dismissed for that 
session [§ 42]; otherwise the discussion continues as if this question had never been made. 

The Object of this motion is not to cut off debate (for which other motions are provided, see § 37), but to 
enable the assembly to avoid altogether any question which it may deem irrelevant, unprofitable or 
contentious.* [In Congress, the introduction of such questions could be temporarily prevented by a majority 
vote under the 41St Rule of the House of Representatives, which is as follows: "Where any motion or 
proposition is made, the question, 'Will the House now consider it?' shall not be put unless it is demanded by 
some member, or is deemed necessary by the Speaker." The English use the "Previous Question," for a similar 
purpose [see note to § 20]. The question of consideration is seldom raised in Congress, but in assemblies with 
very short sessions, where but few questions can or should be considered, it seems a necessity that two-thirds 
of the assembly should be able to instantly throw out a question they do not wish to consider. The more 
common form, in ordinary societies, of putting this question, is, "Shall the question be discussed?" The form 
to which preference is given in the rule conforms more to the Congressional one, and is less liable to be 
misunderstood.] 

Reading Papers. [For the order of precedence, see § 8.] Where papers are laid before the assembly, every 
member has a right to have them once read before he can be compelled to vote on them, and whenever a 
member asks for the reading of any such 

=== Page 34 === 

paper, evidently for information, and not for delay, the Chair should direct it to be read, if no one objects. But 
a member has not the right to have anything read (excepting stated above) without getting permission from the 
assembly. 

17. Withdrawal of a Motion. [For order of precedence, see § 8.] When a question is before the assembly and 
the mover wishes to withdraw or modify it, or substitute a different one in its place, if no one objects, the 
presiding officer grants the permission; if any objection is made, it will be necessary to obtain leave to 
withdraw, etc., on a motion for that purpose. This motion cannot be debated or amended. When a motion is 
withdrawn, the effect is the same as if it had never been made.* [In Congress, a motion may be withdrawn by 
the mover, before a decision or amendment [Rule 40, H. R.]. Nothing would be gained in ordinary societies 
by varying from the common law as stated above.] 

Part I. 16 

18. Suspension of the Rules. [For the order of precedence, see § 8.] This motion is not debatable, and cannot 
be amended, nor can any subsidiary [§ 7] motion be applied to it, nor a vote on it be reconsidered [§ 27], 
=== Page 35 === 

nor a motion to suspend the rules for the same purpose be renewed [§ 26] at the same meeting, though it may 
be renewed after an adjournment, though the next meeting be held the same day.* [In Congress, it cannot be 
renewed the same day.] The rules of the assembly shall not be suspended except for a definite purpose, and by 
a two-thirds vote. 

The Form of this motion is, to "suspend the rules which interfere with," etc., specifying the object of the 
suspension. 

Subsidiary Motions. [§§ 19-24; see § 7.] 

19. To Lie on the Table. This motion takes precedence of all other Subsidiary Questions [§ 7], and yields to 
any Privileged [§ 9] or Incidental [§ 8] Question. It is not debatable, and cannot be amended or have any other 
subsidiary motion [§ 7] applied to it. It removes the subject from consideration till the assembly vote to take it 
from the table. 
The Form of this motion is, "I move that the question lie on the table," or, "that it be laid on the table," or, "to 
lay the question 

=== Page 36 === 

on the table." When it is desired to take the question up again, a motion is made, either "to take the question 
from the table," or "to now consider such and such a question;" which motion is undebatable, and cannot have 
any subsidiary motion applied to it. 

The Object of this motion is to postpone the subject in such a way, that at any time it can be taken up, either at 
the same or some future meeting, which could not be accomplished by a motion to postpone, either definitely 
or indefinitely. It is also frequently used to suppress a question [§ 59], which it does, provided a majority vote 
can never be obtained to take it from the table during that session [§ 42]. 

The Effect of this motion is in general to place on the table everything that adheres to the subject; so that if an 
amendment be ordered to lie on the table, the subject which it is proposed to amend, goes there with it. The 
following cases are exceptional: (a) An appeal [§ 14] being laid on the table, has the effect of sustaining, at 
least for the time, the decision of the Chair, and does not carry the original subject to the table. (b) So when a 
motion to reconsider [§ 27] a question is 

=== Page 37 === 

laid on the table, the original question is left where it was before the reconsideration was moved. (c) An 
amendment to the minutes being laid on the table does not carry the minutes with it. 

Even after the ordering of the Previous Question up to the moment of taking the last vote under it, it is in 
order to lay upon the table the question before the assembly. 

20. The Previous Question* [The Previous Question is a technical name for this motion, conveying a wrong 
impression of its import, as it has nothing to do with the subject previously under consideration. To demand 
the previous question is equivalent in effect to moving "That debate now cease, and the assembly immediately 
proceed to vote on the questions before it," (the exceptions are stated above). The English Previous Question 

Part I. 17 

is an entirely different one from ours, and is used for a different purpose. In the English Parliament it is moved 
by the enemies of a measure, who then vote in the negative, and thus prevent for the day, the consideration of 
the main question, (which in this country could be accomplished by "objecting to the consideration of the 
question" [§ 15], if the objection were sustained). In our Congress, it is moved by the friends of a measure, 
who vote in the affirmative with a view to cutting off debate and immediately bringing the assembly to a vote 
on the questions before it. The rules in the two cases are as different as the objects of the motions. It requires 
only a majority vote for its adoption in the House of Representatives, and is not allowed in the United Senate.] 
takes precedence of every debatable question [§ 35], and yields to Privileged [§ 9] and Incidental [§ 8] 
questions and to the motion to Lie on the table [§ 19]. It is not debatable, and cannot be amended or have any 
other Subsidiary 

=== Page 38 === 

[§ 7] motion applied to it. It shall require a two-thirds vote for its adoption. 

When a member calls for the previous question, and the call is seconded, the presiding officer must 
immediately put the question: "Shall the main question be now put?" If adopted, the member who introduced 
the pending measure still has the right to close the debate [§ 34] after which the presiding officer, without 
allowing further discussion, shall put to vote the questions before the assembly, in their order of precedence, 
till the main question, with all its subsidiary and incidental questions, is disposed of (see the exceptions 
below). If it fails, the discussion continues as if this motion had not been made. 

The previous question can be moved on a pending amendment, and if adopted, debate is closed on the 
amendment only. After the amendment is voted on, the main question is again open to debate and 
amendments. [In this case the form of the question would be similar to this : "Shall the amendment be now put 
to the question?"] 

=== Page 39 === 

The Object of this motion is to bring the assembly to a vote on the question before it without further debate. In 
ordinary assemblies it is rarely expedient to deprive a large minority of the right of debate, and yet two-thirds 
of the members should have the right to close the debate when they think it best. 

It applies to questions of privilege [§ 12] as well as any other debatable questions. It is allowable for a 
member to submit a resolution and at the same time move the previous question thereon. 

To illustrate the Effect of this motion, suppose it is adopted when we have before the assembly, (a) the main 
question; (b) an amendment; (c) a motion to commit; (d) a motion to amend the last motion by giving the 
committee instructions. The previous question being carried, the presiding officer would immediately put the 
question on the last motion (d); then on the motion to commit, (c); and if this is adopted, of course the subject 
is referred to the committee and disposed of for the present; but if it fails, the amendment (b) is put, and 
finally the main question. 

Exceptions: If the Previous Question is 

=== Page 40 === 

carried while a motion to Postpone is pending, its effect is only to bring the assembly to a vote on that motion; 
if it is voted not to postpone, the subject is again open for debate. So if an Appeal [§ 14] or a motion to 
Reconsider [§ 27] is pending when the Previous Question is ordered, it applies only to them and is exhausted 
by the vote on them. 

Part I. 18 

An affirmative vote on the motion to Commit [§ 22] exhausts the Previous Question and if the vote is 
reconsidered, it is divested of the Previous Question. 

[For other methods of closing debate see § 37 and § 58]. 

21. To Postpone to a Certain Day. This motion takes precedence of a motion to Commit, or Amend, or 
Indefinitely Postpone, and yields to any Privileged [§ 9] or Incidental [§ 8] question, and to the motion to Lie 
on the Table, or for the Previous Question. It can be amended by altering the time, and Previous Question can 
be applied to it without affecting any other motions pending. It allows of very limited debate [§ 35], and must 
not go into the merits of the subject matter any further than is necessary to enable the 
=== Page 41 === 

assembly to judge the propriety of the postponement. 

The Effect of this motion is to postpone the entire subject to the time specified, until which time it cannot be 
taken up except by a two-thirds vote [§ 13]. When that time arrives it is entitled to be taken up in preference to 
every thing except Privileged questions. Where several questions are postponed to different times and are not 
reached then, they shall be considered in the order of the times to which they were postponed. It is not in order 
to postpone to a time beyond that session [§ 42] of the assembly, except* [In Congress a motion cannot be 
postponed to the next session, but it is customary in ordinary societies.] to the day of the next session when it 
comes up with the unfinished business, and consequently takes precedence of new business [§ 44]. If it is 
desired to hold an adjourned meeting to consider a special subject, the time to which the assembly shall 
adjourn [§ 10] should be first fixed before making the motion to postpone the subject to that day. 

22. To Commit [or Recommit as it is called when the subject has been previously committed]. This motion 
takes precedence of the motions to Amend or Indefinitely Postpone, and yields to any Privileged [§ 9] or 
Incidental 
=== Page 42 === 

[§ 8] Question, and also to the motion to Lie on the Table, or for the Previous Question, or to Postpone to a 
certain day. It can be amended by altering the committee, or giving it instructions. It is debatable, and opens to 
debate [§ 35] the merits of the question it is proposed to commit. 

The Form of this motion is "to refer the subject to a committee." When different committees are proposed 
they should he voted in the following order: (1) Committee the whole [§ 32], (2) a standing committee, and 

(3) a special (or select) committee. The number of a committee is usually decided without the formality of a 
motion, as in filling blanks [§ 25]: the Chairman asks "of how many shall the committee consist?" and a 
question is then put upon each number suggested, beginning with the largest. The number and kind of the 
committee need not be decided till after it has been voted to refer the subject to a committee. If the committee 
is a select one, and the motion does not include the method of appointing it, and there is no standing rule on 
the subject, the Chairman inquires how the committee shall be appointed, and this is usually decided 
informally. Sometimes the Chair "appoints," in which case he names the members of the committee and no 
vote is taken 
=== Page 43 === 

upon them; or the committee is "nominated" either by the Chair or members of the assembly (no member 
nominating more than one except by general consent), and then they are all voted upon together, except where 
more nominations are made than the number of the committee, when they shall be voted upon singly. 

Part I. 19 

Where a committee is one for action (a committee of arrangements for holding a public meeting, for 
example), it should generally be small and no one placed upon it who is not favorable to the proposed action; 
and if any such should be appointed he should ask to be excused. But when the committee is for deliberation 
or investigation, it is of the utmost importance that all parties be represented on it, so that in committee the 
fullest discussion may take place, and thus diminish the chances of unpleasant debates in the assembly. 

In ordinary assemblies, by judicious appointment of committees, debates upon delicate and troublesome 
questions can be mostly confined to the committees, which will contain the representative members of all 
parties. [See Reports of Committees, § 29.] 

23. To Amend. This motion takes precedence of nothing but the question which it proposed to amend, and 
yields to any Privileged 
=== Page 44 === 

[§ 9], Incidental [§ 8] or Subsidiary [§ 7] Question, except to Indefinitely Postpone. It can be amended itself, 
but "amendment of an amendment" cannot be amended. An Amendment may be inconsistent with one already 
adopted, or may directly conflict with the spirit of the original motion, but it must have a direct bearing upon 
the subject of that motion. To illustrate: a motion for a vote of thanks could be amended by substituting for 
"thanks" the word "censure;" or condemning certain customs could be amended by adding other customs. 

An Amendment may be in any of the following forms: (a) to "add or insert" certain words or paragraphs; (b) 
to "strike out" certain words or paragraphs, the question, however, being stated by the Chair thus: "Shall these 
words (or paragraphs) stand as a part of the resolution?" and if this is adopted (that is, the motion to "strike 
out," fails) it does not preclude either amendment or a motion to "strike out and insert;" (c) "to strike certain 
words and insert others," which motion is indivisible, and if lost does not preclude 

=== Page 45 === 

another motion to strike out the same words and insert different ones; (d) to "substitute" another motion on the 
same subject for the one pending; (e) to "divide the question" into two or more questions, as the mover 
specifies, so as to get a separate vote on any particular point or points [see § 4]. 

If a paragraph is inserted it should be perfected by its friends previous to voting on it, as when once inserted it 
cannot be struck out or amended except by adding to it. The same is true in regard to words to be inserted in a 
resolution, as when once inserted they cannot be struck out, except by a motion to strike out the paragraph, or 
such a portion of it as shall make the question an entirely different one from that of inserting the particular 
words. The principle involved is that when the assembly has voted that certain words shall form a part of a 
resolution, it is not in order to make another motion which involves exactly the same question as the one they 
have decided. The only way to bring it up again is to move a Reconsideration [§ 27] of the vote by which the 
words were inserted. 

In stating the question on an Amendment the Chairman should read (1) the passage to be amended; (2) the 
words to be struck out, if any; (3) the words to be inserted, if any; and (4) the whole passage as it will stand if 

=== Page 46 === 

the amendment is adopted. [For amending reports of committees, and propositions containing several 
paragraphs, see § 44.] 

The numbers prefixed to paragraphs are only marginal indications, and should be corrected, if necessary, by 
the clerk, without any motion to amend. 

Part I. 20 

The following motions cannot be amended: 

To Adjourn (when unqualified) ............................ See § 11. For the Orders of the Day ................................ '' § 

12. All Incidental Questions ................................. '' § 8. To Lie on the Table ...................................... '' § 19. 
For the Previous Question ................................ '' § 20. An Amendment of an Amendment ............................. '' 
§ 23. To Postpone Indefinitely ................................. '' § 24. Reconsider ............................................... '' § 27. 
An Amendment to Rules of Order, By-Laws or a Constitution shall require previous notice and a two-thirds 
vote for its adoption [see § 45]. 

24. To Postpone Indefinitely. This motion takes precedence of nothing except the Principal Question [§ 6], 
and yields to any Privileged [§ 9], Incidental [§ 8] or Subsidiary [§ 7] Motion, except to Amend. It cannot be 
amended; it opens to debate the entire question which it is proposed to postpone. Its effect is to entirely 
remove the question from before the assembly for that session [§ 42]. 
=== Page 47 === 

The Previous Question [§ 20], if ordered when this motion is pending, applies only to it without affecting the 
main question. 

Miscellaneous Motions. [§§ 25-27.] 

25. Filling Blanks. In filling blanks the largest sum and the longest time proposed shall be first put to the 
question. Sometimes the most convenient way of amending a resolution is to create a blank by moving to 
strike out a certain number or time. It is customary for any number of members to propose numbers to fill a 
blank without the formality of a motion, these different propositions not being regarded in the light of 
amendments. 
Nominations are treated in a similar manner, so that the second nomination, instead of being an amendment to 
the first, is an independent motion, which, if the first fails, is to be immediately voted upon. Any number of 
nominations can be made, the Chairman announcing each name as he hears it, and they 

=== Page 48 === 

should be voted upon in the order announced until one receives a vote sufficient for an election. 

26. Renewal of a Motion. When any Principal Question [§ 6] or Amendment has been once acted upon by the 
assembly, it cannot be taken up again at the same session [§ 42] except by a motion to Reconsider [§ 27]. The 
motion to Adjourn can be renewed if there has been progress in debate, or any business transacted. As a 
general rule the introduction of any motion that alters the state of affairs makes it admissible to renew any 
Privileged or Incidental motion (excepting Suspension of the Rules as provided in § 18), or Subsidiary motion 
(excepting an amendment), as in such a case the real question before the assembly is a different one. 
To illustrate: a motion that a question lie on the table having failed, suppose afterwards it be moved to refer 
the matter to a committee, it is now in order to move again that the subject lie on the table; but such a motion 
would not be in order, if it were not made till after the failure of the motion to commit, as 

=== Page 49 === 

the question then resumes its previous condition. 

When a subject has been referred to a committee which reports at the same meeting, the matter stands before 

Part I. 21 

the assembly as if it had been introduced for the first time. A motion which has been withdrawn has not been 
acted upon, and therefore can be renewed. 

27. Reconsider. It is in order at any time, even when another member has the floor, or while the assembly is 
voting on the motion to Adjourn, during the day* [In Congress any one can move a reconsideration, excepting 
where the vote is taken by yeas and nays [§ 38], when the rule above applies. The motion can be made on the 
same or succeeding day.] on which a motion has been acted upon, to move to "Reconsider the vote" and have 
such motion "entered on the record," but it cannot be considered while another question is before the 
assembly. It must be made, excepting when the vote is by ballot, by a member who voted with the prevailing 
side; for instance, in case a motion fails to pass for lack of a two-thirds vote, a reconsideration must be moved 
by one who voted against the motion. 
A motion to reconsider the vote on a Subsidiary [§ 7] motion takes precedence of the main question. It yields 
to Privileged [§ 9] 

=== Page 50 === 

questions (except for the Orders of the Day, and Incidental [§ 8] questions. 

This motion can be applied* [It is not the practice to reconsider an affirmative vote on the motion to lie on the 
table, as the same result can be more easily reached by the motion to take from the table. For a similar reason, 
an affirmative vote on the motion to take from the table cannot be reconsidered.] to every question, except to 
Adjourn and to Suspend the Rules. It is debatable or not, just as the question to be reconsidered is debatable or 
undebatable [§ 35]; when debatable, it opens up for discussion the entire subject to be reconsidered, and can 
have the Previous question [§ 20] applied to it without affecting any thing but the motion to reconsider. It can 
be laid on the table [§ 19], and in such cases the last motion cannot be reconsidered; it is quite common and 
allowable to combine these two motions (though they must be voted on separately); in this case, the 
reconsideration like any other question, can be taken from the table, but possesses no privilege.* [In Congress 
this is a common method used by the friends of a measure to prevent its reconsideration.] The motion to 
reconsider being laid on the table does not carry with it the pending measure. If an amendment to a motion has 
been either adopted or rejected, and then a vote taken on the motion as amended, it is not in order to 
reconsider the vote on the amendment until 

=== Page 51 === 

after the vote on the original motion has been reconsidered. If anything which the assembly cannot reverse, 
has been done as the result a vote, then that vote cannot be reconsidered. 

The Effect of making this motion is to suspend all action that the original motion would have required until 
the reconsideration is acted upon; but if it is not called up, its effect terminates with the session [§ 42], 
provided,* [In Congress the effect always terminates with the session, and it cannot be called up by any one 
but the mover, until the expiration of the time during which it is in order to move a reconsideration.] that in an 
assembly having regular meetings as often as monthly, if no adjourned meeting upon another day is held of 
the one at which the reconsideration was moved, its effect shall not terminate till the close of the next 
succeeding session. [See note at end of this section.] While this motion is so highly privileged as far as relates 
to having it entered on the minutes, yet the reconsideration of another question cannot be made to interfere 
with the discussion of a question before the assembly, but as soon as that subject is disposed of, the 
reconsideration, if called up, takes precedence of every thing except the motions to adjourn, and to fix the 
time to which to adjourn. As long as its effect lasts (as shown above), any one can call up the motion to 
reconsider and have it acted upon--excepting that when its effect extends beyond the meeting at which the 
motion was made, no one but the mover can call it up at that meeting. But the reconsideration of an Incidental 
[§ 8] or Subsidiary [§ 7] 

Part I. 22 

=== Page 52 === 

motion shall be immediately acted upon, as otherwise it would prevent action on the main question. 

The Effect of the adoption of this motion is to place before the assembly the original question in the exact 
position it occupied before it was voted upon; consequently no one can debate the question reconsidered who 
had previously exhausted his right of debate [§ 34] on that question; his only resource is to discuss the 
question while the motion to reconsider is before the assembly. 

When a vote taken under the operation of the previous question [§ 20] is reconsidered, the question is then 
divested of the previous question, and is open to debate and amendment, provided the previous question had 
been exhausted [see latter part of § 20] by votes taken on all the questions covered by it, before the motion to 
reconsider was made. 

A reconsideration requires only a majority vote, regardless of the vote necessary to adopt the motion 
reconsidered. [For reconsidering in committee see § 28]. 

Note On Reconsider.--In the English Parliament a vote once taken cannot be reconsidered, but in our 
Congress it is allowed to move a reconsideration of the vote on the same or succeeding day, and after the 
close of the last day for making the motion, any one can call up the motion to reconsider, so that this motion 
cannot delay action more than two days, and the effect 

=== Page 53 === 

of the motion, if not acted upon, terminates with the session. There seems to be no reason or good precedent 
for permitting merely two persons, by moving a reconsideration, to suspend for any length of time all action 
under resolutions adopted by the assembly, and yet where the delay is very short the advantages of 
reconsideration overbalance the evils. 

Where a permanent society has meetings weekly or monthly, and usually only a small proportion of the 
society is present, it seems best to allow a reconsideration to hold over to another meeting, so that the society 
may have notice of what action is about to be taken. To prevent the motion being used to defeat a measure that 
cannot be deferred till the next regular meeting, it is provided that in case the society adjourn, to meet the next 
day for instance, then the reconsideration will not hold over beyond that session; this allows sufficient delay 
to notify the society, while, if the question is one requiring immediate action, the delay cannot extend beyond 
the day to which they adjourn. Where the meetings are only quarterly or annual, the society should be 
properly represented at each meeting, and their best interests are subserved by following the practice of 
Congress, and letting the effect of the reconsideration terminate with the session. 

=== Page 54 === 

Art. IV. Committees and Informal Action. [§§ 28-33.] 

28. Committees. It is usual in deliberative assemblies, to have all preliminary work in the preparation of 
matter for their action, done by means of committees. These may be either "standing committees" (which are 
appointed for the session [§ 42], or for some definite time, as one year); or "select committees," appointed for 
a special purpose; or a "committee of the whole" [§ 32], consisting of the entire assembly. [For method of 
appointing committees of the whole, see § 32; other committees, see commit, § 22.] The first person named 
on a committee is chairman, and should act as such, without the committee should see fit to elect another 
chairman, which they are competent to do. The clerk should furnish him, or some other member of the 
committee, with notice of the appointment of the committee, giving the names 

Part I. 23 

=== Page 55 === 

of the members, the matter referred to them, and such instructions as the assembly have decided upon. The 
chairman shall call the committee together, and if there is a quorum (a majority of the committee, see § 43,) 
he should read or have read, the entire resolutions referred to them; he should then read each paragraph, and 
pause for amendments to be offered; when the amendments to that paragraph are voted on he proceeds to the 
next, only taking votes on amendments, as the committee cannot vote on the adoption of matter referred to 
them by the assembly. 

If the committee originate the resolutions, they vote, in the same way, on amendments to each paragraph of 
the draft of the resolutions, (which draft has been previously prepared by one of their members or a 
sub-committee); they do not vote on the separate paragraphs, but having completed the amendments, they 
vote on the adoption of the entire report. When there is a preamble, it is considered last. If the report 
originates with the committee, all amendments are to be incorporated in the report; but, if the resolutions were 
referred, the committee cannot alter 

=== Page 56 === 

the text, but must submit the original paper intact, with their amendments (which may be in the form of a 
substitute, § 23) written on a separate sheet. 

A committee is a miniature assembly that must meet together in order to transact business, and usually one of 
its members should be appointed its clerk. Whatever is not agreed to by the majority of the members present 
at a meeting (at which a quorum, consisting of a majority of the members of the committee, shall be present) 
cannot form a part of its report. The minority may be permitted to submit their views in writing also, either 
together, or each member separately, but their reports can only be acted upon, by voting to substitute one of 
them for the report of the committee. The rules of the assembly, as far as possible, shall apply in committee; 
but a reconsideration [§ 27] of a vote shall be allowed, regardless of the time elapsed, only when every 
member who voted with the majority is present when the reconsideration is moved.* [Both the English 
common parliamentary law and the rules of Congress prohibit the reconsideration of a vote by a committee; 
but the strict enforcement of this rule in ordinary committees, would interfere with rather than assist the 
transaction of business. The rule given above seems more just, and more in accordance with the practice of 
ordinary committees, who usually reconsider at pleasure. No improper advantage can be taken of the 
privilege, as long as every member who voted with the majority must be present when the reconsideration is 
moved.] A committee (except a committee 

=== Page 57 === 

of the whole, § 32) may appoint a sub-committee. When through with the business assigned them, a motion is 
made for the committee to "rise" (which is equivalent to the motion to adjourn), and that the chairman (or 
some member who is more familiar with the subject) make its report to the assembly. The committee ceases to 
exist as soon as the assembly receives the report [§ 30]. 

The committee has no power to punish its members for disorderly conduct, its resource being to report the 
facts to the assembly. No allusion can be made in the assembly to what has occurred in committee, except it 
be by a report of the committee, or by general consent. It is the duty of a committee to meet on the call of any 
two its of members, if the chairman be absent or decline to appoint such meeting. When a committee adjourns 
without appointing a time for the next meeting, it is called together in the same way as at its first meeting. 
When a committee adjourns to meet at another time, it is not necessary (though 

=== Page 58 === 

Part I. 24 

usually advisable) that absent members should be notified of the adjourned meeting. 

29. Forms of Reports of Committees. The form of a report is usually similar to the following: 
A standing committee reports thus: "The committee on [insert name of committee] respectfully report," [or 
"beg leave to report," or "beg leave to submit the following report,"] etc., letting the report follow. 

A select or special committee reports as follows: "The committee to which was referred [state the matter 
referred] having considered the same respectfully report," etc. Or for "The committee" is sometimes written 
"Your committee," or "The undersigned, a committee." 

When a minority report is submitted, it should be in this form (the majority reporting as above): "The 
undersigned, a minority of a committee to which was referred," etc. The majority report is the report of the 
committee, and should never be made out as the report of the majority. 

All reports conclude with, "All of which is 

=== Page 59 === 

respectfully submitted." They are sometimes signed only by the chairman of the committee, but if the matter 
is of much importance, it is better that the report be signed by every member who concurs. The report is not 
usually dated, or addressed, but can he headed, as for example, "Report of the Finance Committee of the Y. P. 
A., on Renting a Hall." 

30. Reception of Reports. When the report of a committee is to be made, the chairman (or member appointed 
to make the report) informs the assembly that the committee to whom was referred such a subject or paper, 
has directed him to make a report thereon, or report it with or without amendment, as the case may be; either 
he or any other member may move that it be "received"* [A very common error is, after a report has been 
read, to move that it be received; whereas, the fact that it has been read, shows that it has been already 
received by the assembly. Another mistake, less common, but dangerous, is to vote that the report be accepted 
(which is equivalent to adopting it, see § 31), when the intention is only to have the report up for 
consideration and afterwards move its adoption. Still a third error is to move that "the report be adopted and 
the committee discharged," when the committee have reported in full and their report been received, so that 
the committee has already ceased to exist. If the committee however have made but a partial report, or report 
progress, then it is in order to move that the committee be discharged from the further consideration of the 
subject.] now or at some other specified time. 
=== Page 60 === 

Usually the formality of a vote on the reception of a report of a committee is dispensed with, the time being 
settled by general consent. Should any one object, a formal motion becomes necessary. When the time arrives 
for the assembly to receive the report, the chairman of the committee reads it in his place, and then delivers it 
to the clerk, when it lies on the table till the assembly sees fit to consider it. If the report consists of a paper 
with amendments, the chairman of the committee reads the amendments with the coherence in the paper, 
explaining the alterations and reasons of the committee for the amendments, till he has gone through the 
whole. If the report is very long, it is not usually read until the assembly is ready to consider it [see §§ 31 and 
44]. 

When the report has been received, whether it has been read or not, the committee is thereby dissolved, and 
can act no more without it is revived by a vote to recommit. If the report is recommitted, all the parts of the 
report that have not been agreed to by the assembly, are ignored by the committee as if the report had never 
been made. 

Part I. 25 

=== Page 61 === 

31. Adoption of Reports. When the assembly is to consider a report, a motion should be made to "adopt," 
"accept," or "agree to" the report, all of which, when carried, have the same effect, namely, to make the doings 
of the committee become the acts of the assembly, the same as if done by the assembly without the 
intervention of a committee. If the report contains merely a statement of opinion or facts, the motion should be 
to "accept" the report; if it also concludes with resolutions or certain propositions, the motion should be to 
"agree to" the resolutions, or to "adopt" the propositions. After the above motion is made, the matter stands 
before the assembly exactly the same as if there had been no committee, and the subject had been introduced 
by the motion of the member who made the report. [See § 34 for his privileges in debate, and § 44 for the 
method of treating a report containing several propositions, when being considered by the assembly.] 
32. Committee of the Whole. When an assembly has to consider a subject which it does not wish to refer to a 
committee, and yet where the subject matter is not well digested 
=== Page 62 === 

and put into proper form for its definite action, or, when for any other reason, it is desirable for the assembly 
to consider a subject with all the freedom of an ordinary committee, it is the practice to refer the matter to the 
Committee of the Whole."* [In large assemblies, such as the U. S. House of Representatives, where a member 
can speak to any question but once, the committee of the whole seems almost a necessity, as it allows the 
freest discussion of a subject, while at any time it can rise and thus bring into force the strict rules of the 
assembly.] 

If it is desired to consider the question at once, the motion is made, "That the assembly do now resolve itself 
into a committee of the whole to take under consideration," etc., specifying the subject. This is really a motion 
to "commit" [see § 22 for its order of precedence, etc.] If adopted, the Chairman immediately calls another 
member to the chair, and takes his place as a member of the committee. The committee is under the rules of 
the assembly, excepting as stated hereafter in this section. 

The only motions in order are to amend and adopt, and that the committee "rise and report," as it cannot 
adjourn; nor can it order the "yeas and nays" [§ 38]. The only way to close or limit debate in committee of the 
whole, is for the assembly to vote that the debate in committee shall cease at a certain time, or that after a 
certain time no debate shall be allowed excepting on new amendments, and then only one speech in favor of 

=== Page 63 === 

and one against it, of say, five minutes each; or in some other way regulate the time for debate.* [In Congress 
no motion to limit debate in committee of the whole is in order till after the subject has been already 
considered in committee of the whole. As no subject would probably be considered more than once in 
committee of the whole, in an ordinary society, the enforcement of this rule would practically prevent such a 
society from putting any limit to debate in the committee. The rule as given above, allows the society, 
whenever resolving itself into committee of the whole, to impose upon the debate in the committee, such 
restrictions as are allowed in Congress after the subject has already been considered in committee of the 
whole.] 

If no limit is prescribed, any member may speak as often as be can get the floor, and as long each time as 
allowed in debate in the assembly, provided no one wishes the floor who has not spoken on that particular 
question. Debate having been closed at a particular time by order of the assembly, it is not competent for the 
committee, even by unanimous consent, to extend the time. The committee cannot refer the subject to another 
committee. Like other committees [§ 28], it cannot alter the text of any resolution referred to it; but if the 
resolution originated in the committee, then all the amendments are incorporated in it. 

Part I. 26 

When it is through with the consideration of the subject referred to it, or if it wishes to adjourn, or to have the 
assembly limit debate, a motion is made that "the committee rise and report," etc., specifying the result of its 
proceedings. 

=== Page 64 === 

This motion "to rise" is equivalent to the motion to adjourn, in the assembly, and is always in order (except 
when another member has the floor), and is undebatable. As soon as this motion is adopted, the presiding 
officer takes the chair, and the chairman of the committee, having resumed his place in the assembly, arises 
and informs him, that "the committee have gone through the business referred to them, and that he is ready to 
make the report, when the assembly is ready to receive it;" or he will make such other report as will suit the 
case. 

The clerk does not record the proceedings of the committee on the minutes, but should keep a memorandum 
of the proceedings for the use of the committee. In large assemblies the clerk vacates his chair, which is 
occupied by the chairman of the committee, and the assistant clerk acts as clerk of the committee. Should the 
committee get disorderly, and the chairman be unable to preserve order, the presiding officer can take the 
chair, and declare the committee dissolved. The quorum of the committee of the whole is the same as that of 
the assembly [§ 43]. If the committee finds itself without a quorum, it can only rise and report the fact to the 
assembly, which in such a case would have to adjourn. 

=== Page 65 === 

33. Informal Consideration of a Question (or acting as if in committee of the whole). 
It has become customary in many assemblies, instead of going into committee of the whole, to consider the 
question "informally," and afterwards to act "formally." In a small assembly there is no objection to this.* [In 
the U. S. Senate all bills, joint resolutions and treaties, upon their second reading are considered "as if the 
Senate were in committee of the whole," which is equivalent to considering them informally. [U. S. Senate 
Rules 28 and 38.) In large assemblies it is better to follow the practice of the House of Representatives, and go 
into committee of the whole.] While acting informally upon any resolutions, the assembly can only amend 
and adopt them, and without further motion the Chairman announces that "the assembly acting informally [or 
as in committee of the whole] has had such a subject under consideration, and has made certain amendments, 
which he will report." The subject comes before the assembly then as if reported by a committee. While acting 
informally, the Chairman retains his seat, as it is not necessary to move that the committee rise, but at any 
time the adoption of such motions as to adjourn, the previous question, to commit, or any motion except to 
amend or adopt, puts an end to the informal consideration; as for example, the motion to commit is equivalent 
to the following motions when in committee of the whole: (1) That the committee rise; (2) that the committee 
of 

=== Page 66 === 

the whole be discharged from the further consideration of the subject, and (3) that it be referred to a 
committee. 

While acting informally, every member can speak as many times as he pleases, and as long each time as 
permitted in the assembly [§ 34], and the informal action may be rejected or altered by the assembly. While 
the clerk should keep a memorandum of the informal proceedings, it should not be entered on the minutes, 
being only for temporary use. The Chairman's report to the assembly of the informal action, should be entered 
on the minutes, as it belongs to the assembly's proceedings. 

Art. V. Debate and Decorum. 

Part I. 27 

[§§ 34-37.] 

34. Debate.* [In connection with this section read §§ 1-5.] When a motion is made and seconded, it shall be 
stated by the Chairman before being debated [see § 3]. When any member is about to speak in debate, he shall 
rise and respectfully address himself to "Mr. Chairman." ["Mr. President" is used where that is the designated 
title of the presiding 
=== Page 67 === 

officer; "Brother Moderator" is more common in religious meetings.] The Chairman shall then announce his 
name [see § 2]. By parliamentary courtesy, the member upon whose motion a subject is brought before the 
assembly is first entitled to the floor, even though another member has risen first and addressed the Chair; [in 
case of a report of a committee, it is the member who presents the report] ; and this member is also entitled to 
close the debate, but not until every member choosing to speak, has spoken. This right to make the last speech 
upon the question, is not taken away by the Previous Question [§ 20] being ordered, or in any other way. With 
this exception, no member shall speak more than twice to the same question (only once to a question of order, 
§ 14), nor longer than ten minutes at one time, without leave of the assembly, and the question upon granting 
the leave shall be decided by a majority vote without debate.* [The limit in time should vary to suit 
circumstances, but the limit of two speeches of ten minutes each will usually answer in ordinary assemblies, 
and it can be increased, when desirable, by a majority vote as shown above, or diminished as shown in § 37. 
In the U. S. House of Representatives no member can speak more than once to the same question, nor longer 
than one hour. The fourth rule of the Senate is as follows: "No Senator shall speak more than twice in any one 
debate on the same day, without leave of the Senate, which question shall be decided without debate." If no 
rule is adopted, each member can speak but once to the same question.] 

If greater freedom is desired, the 

=== Page 68 === 

proper course is to refer the subject to the committee of the whole [§ 32], or to consider it informally [§ 33]. 
[For limiting or closing the debate, see § 37.] No member can speak the second time to a question, until every 
member choosing to speak has spoken. But an amendment, or any other motion being offered, makes the real 
question before the assembly a different one, and, in regard to the right to debate, is treated as a new question. 
Merely asking a question, or making a suggestion is not considered as speaking. 

35. Undebatable Questions. The following questions shall be decided without debate, all others being 
debatable [see note at end of this section]: 
To Fix the Time to which the Assembly shall Adjourn (when a privileged question, § 10). To Adjourn [§ 11], 
(or in committee, to rise, which is used instead of to adjourn). For the Orders of the Day [§ 13], and questions 
relating to the priority of business. An Appeal [§ 14] when made while the Previous Question is pending, or 
when simply relating to indecorum or transgressions of the rules of speaking, or to the priority of business. 
Objection to the Consideration of a Question [§ 15]. 

=== Page 69 === 

Questions relating to Reading of Papers [§ 16], or Withdrawing a Motion [§ 17], or Suspending the Rules [§ 
18], or extending the limits of debate [§ 34], or limiting or closing debate, or granting leave to continue his 
speech to one who has been guilty of indecorum in debate [§ 36]. To Lie on the Table or to Take from the 
Table [§ 19]. The Previous Question [§ 20]. To Reconsider [§ 26] a question which is itself undebatable. 

The motion to Postpone to a certain time [§ 21] allows of but very limited debate, which must be confined to 

Part I. 28 

the propriety of the postponement; but to Reconsider a debatable question [§ 26], or to Commit [§ 22], or 
Indefinitely Postpone [§ 24], opens the main question [§ 6] to debate. To Amend [§ 23] opens the main 
question to debate only so far as it is necessarily involved in the amendment. 

The distinction between debate and making suggestions or asking a question, should always be kept in view, 
and when the latter will assist the assembly in determining the question, is allowed to a limited extent, even 
though the question before the assembly is undebatable. 

Note On Undebatable Questions.--The English common parliamentary law makes all motions 

=== Page 70 === 

debatable, without there is a rule adopted limiting debate [Cushing's Manual, § 330]; but every assembly is 
obliged to restrict debate upon certain motions. The restrictions to debate prescribed in this section conform to 
the practice of Congress, where, however, it is very common to allow of brief remarks upon the most 
undebatable questions, sometimes five or six members speaking; this of course is allowed only when no one 
objects. 

By examining the above list, it will be found, that, while free debate is allowed upon every principal question 
[§ 6], it is permitted or prohibited upon other questions in accordance with the following principles: 

(a) Highly privileged questions, as a rule, should not be debated, as in that case they could be used to prevent 
the assembly from coming to a vote on the main question; (for instance, if the motion to adjourn were 
debatable, it could be used [see § 11] in a way to greatly hinder business). High privilege is, as a rule, 
incompatible with the right of debate on the privileged question. 
(b) A motion that has the effect to suppress a question before the assembly, so that it cannot again be taken up 
that session [§ 42], allows of free debate. And a subsidiary motion [§ 7, except commit, which see below,] is 
debatable to just the extent that it interferes with the right of the assembly to take up the original question at 
its pleasure. 
Illustrations: To "Indefinitely Postpone" [§ 24] a question, places it out of the power of the assembly to again 
take it up during that session, and consequently this motion allows of free debate, even involving the whole 
merits of the original question. 

To "Postpone to a certain time" prevents the assembly taking up the question till the specified time, and 
therefore allows of limited debate upon the propriety of the postponement. 

To "Lie on the Table" leaves the question so 

=== Page 71 === 

that the assembly can at any time consider it, and therefore should not be, and is not debatable. 

To "Commit" would not be very debatable, according to this rule, but it is an exception, because it if often 
important that the committee should know the views of the assembly on the question, and it therefore is not 
only debatable, but opens to debate the whole question which it is proposed to refer to the committee. 

36. Decorum in Debate [see § 2]. In debate a member must confine himself to the question before the 
assembly, and avoid personalities. He cannot reflect upon any act of the assembly, unless he intends to 
conclude his remarks with a motion to rescind such action, or else while debating such motion. In referring to 
another member, he should, as much as possible, avoid using his name, rather referring to him as "the member 

Part I. 29 

who spoke last," or in some other way describing him. The officers of the assembly should always be referred 
to by their official titles. It is not allowable to arraign the motives of a member, but the nature or consequences 
of a measure may be condemned in strong terms. It is not the man, but the measure, that is the subject of 
debate. If at any time the Chairman rises to state a point of order, or give information, or otherwise speak, 
within his privilege [see 

=== Page 72 === 

§ 40], the member speaking must take his seat till the Chairman has been first heard. When called to order, the 
member must sit down until the question of order is decided. If his remarks are decided to be improper, he 
cannot proceed, if any one objects, without the leave of the assembly expressed by a vote, upon which 
question there shall be no debate. 

Disorderly words should be taken down by the member who objects to them, or by the clerk, and then read to 
the member; if he denies them, the assembly shall decide by a vote whether they are his words or not. If a 
member cannot justify the words he used, and will not suitably apologize for using them, it is the duty of the 
assembly to act in the case, requiring both members to withdraw* [If both are personally interested. [See page 
161.]] till it has decided its course, it being a general rule that no member should he present in the assembly 
when any matter relating to himself is under debate. If any business has taken place since the member spoke, 
it is too late to take notice of any disorderly words he used. 

37. Closing Debate. Debate upon a question is not closed by the Chairman rising to put the question, as, until 
both the affirmative 
=== Page 73 === 

and negative are put, a member can claim the floor, and re-open debate [see § 38]. Debate can be closed by 
the following motions, which are undebatable [§ 35], and, except to Lie on the Table, shall require a 
two-thirds* [In Congress where each speaker can occupy the floor one hour, any of these motions to cut off 
debate can be adopted by a mere majority. In ordinary societies harmony is so essential, that a two-thirds vote 
should be required to force the assembly to a final vote without allowing free debate.] vote for their adoption 
[§ 39]: 

(a) An objection to the consideration of a question [only allowable when the question is introduced, § 15], 
which, if sustained, not only stops debate, but also throws the subject out of the assembly for that session [§ 
42]; which latter effect is the one for which it was designed. 
(b) To lie on the table [§ 19], which, if adopted, carries the question to the table, from which it cannot be taken 
without a majority favors such action. 
(c) The previous question [§ 20], which has the effect of requiring all the questions before the assembly 
[excepting as limited in § 20] to be put to vote at once without further debate. It may be applied merely to an 
amendment or to an amendment of an amendment. 
=== Page 74 === 

(d) For the assembly to adopt an order (1) limiting debate upon a special subject, either as to the number or 
length of the speeches; or (2) closing debate upon the subject at a stated time, when all pending questions shall 
be put to vote without further debate. Either of these two measures may be applied only to a pending 
amendment, or an amendment thereto, and when this is voted upon, the original question is still open to 
debate and amendment. 

Part I. 30 

Art. VI. Vote. [§§ 38-39.] 

38. Voting. Whenever from the nature of the question it permits of no modification or debate, the Chairman 
immediately puts it to vote; if the question is debatable, when the Chairman thinks the debate has been 
brought to a close, he should inquire if the assembly is ready for the question, and if no one rises he puts the 
question to vote. There are various forms for putting the question, in use in different parts of the country. The 
rule in Congress, in 
=== Page 75 === 

the House of Representatives, is as follows: "Questions shall be distinctly put in this form, to-wit: 'As many as 
are of the opinion that (as the question may be) say Aye;' and after the affirmative voice is expressed, 'As 
many as are of the contrary opinion, say No.'" The following form is very common: "It has been moved and 
seconded that (here state the question). As many as are favor of the motion say Aye; those opposed, No." Or, 
if the motion is for the adoption of a certain resolution, after it has been read the Chairman can say, "You have 
heard the resolution read; those in favor of its adoption will hold up the right hand; those opposed will 
manifest it by the same sign." These examples are sufficient to show the usual methods of putting a question, 
the affirmative being always put first. 

When a vote is taken, the Chairman should always announce the result in the following form: "The motion is 
carried--the resolution is adopted," or, "The ayes have it--the resolution is adopted." If, when he announces a 
vote, any member rises and states that he doubts the vote, or calls for a "division," the 

=== Page 76 === 

Chairman shall say, "A division is called for; those in favor of the motion will rise." After counting these, and 
announcing the number, he shall say, "Those opposed will rise." will count these, announce the number, and 
declare the result; that is, whether the motion is carried or lost. Instead of counting the vote himself, he can 
appoint tellers to make the count and report to him. When tellers are appointed, they should be selected from 
both sides of the question. A member has the right to change his vote (when not made by ballot) before the 
decision of the question has been finally and conclusively pronounced by the Chair, but not afterwards. 

Until the negative is put, it is in order for any member, in the same manner as if the voting had not been 
commenced, to rise and speak, make motions for amendment or otherwise, and thus renew the debate; and 
this, whether the member was in the assembly room or not when the question was put and the vote partly 
taken. In such case the question is in the same condition as if it had never been put. 

No one can vote on a question affecting 

=== Page 77 === 

himself, but if more than one name is included in the resolution (though a sense of delicacy would prevent this 
right being exercised, excepting when it would change the vote) all are entitled to vote; for if this were not so, 
a minority could control an assembly by including the names of a sufficient number in a motion, say for 
preferring charges against them, and suspend them, or even expel them from the assembly. When there is a tie 
vote the motion fails, without the Chairman gives his vote for the affirmative, which in such case he can do. 
Where his vote will make a tie, he can cast it and thus defeat the measure. 

Another form of voting is by ballot. This method is only adopted when required by the constitution or by-laws 
of the assembly, or when the assembly has ordered the vote to be so taken. The Chairman, in such cases, 
appoints at least two tellers, who distribute slips of paper upon which each member, including the Chairman,* 
[Should the Chairman neglect to vote before the ballots are counted, he cannot then vote without the 

Part I. 31 

permission of the assembly.] writes his vote; the votes are then collected, counted by the tellers, and the result 
reported to the Chairman, who announces 

=== Page 78 === 

it to the assembly. The Chairman announces the result of the vote, in case of an election to office, in a manner 
similar to the following: "The whole number of votes cast is --; the number necessary for an election is --; Mr. 

A. received --; Mr. B. --; Mr. C. --. Mr. B. having received the required number is elected." Where there is 
only one candidate for an office, and the constitution requires the vote to be by ballot, it is common to 
authorize the clerk to cast the vote of the assembly for such and such a person; if any one objects however, it 
is necessary to ballot in the usual way. So when a motion is made to make a vote unanimous, it fails if any one 
objects. In counting the ballots all blanks are ignored. 
The assembly can by a majority vote order that the vote on any question be taken by Yeas and Nays.* [Taking 
a vote by yeas and nays, which has the effect to place on the record how each member votes, is peculiar to this 
country, and while it consumes a great deal of time, is rarely useful in ordinary societies. By the Constitution, 
one-fifth of the members present can, in either house of Congress, order a vote to be taken by yeas and nays, 
and to avoid some of the resulting inconveniences various rules and customs have been established, which are 
ignored in this Manual, as according to it the yeas and nays can only be ordered by a majority, which prevents 
its being made use of to hinder business. In representative bodies it is very useful, especially where the 
proceedings are published, as it enables the people to know how their representatives voted on important 
measures. In some small bodies a vote on a resolution must be taken by yeas and nays, upon the demand of a 
single member.] In this method of voting the Chairman states both sides of the question 

=== Page 79 === 

at once; the clerk calls the roll and each member as his name is called rises and answers yes or no, and the 
clerk notes his answer. Upon the completion of the roll call the clerk reads over the names of those who 
answered the affirmative, and afterwards those in the negative, that mistakes may be corrected; he then gives 
the number voting on each side to the Chairman, who announces the result. An entry must be made in the 
minutes of the names of all voting in the affirmative, and also of those in the negative. 

The form of putting a question upon which vote has been ordered to be taken by yeas and nays, is similar to 
the following: "As many as are in favor of the adoption of these resolutions will, when their names are called, 
answer yes [or aye]--those opposed will answer no." The Chairman will then direct the clerk to call the roll. 
The negative being put at the same time as the affirmative, it is too late, after the question is put, to renew the 

=== Page 80 === 

debate. After the commencement of the roll call, it is too late to ask to be excused from voting. The yeas and 
nays cannot be ordered in committee of the whole [§ 32]. 

39. Motions Requiring More than a Majority Vote.* [Where no rule to the contrary is adopted, a majority vote 
of the assembly, when a quorum [§ 43] is present, is sufficient for the adoption of any motion, except for the 
suspension of a rule, which can only be done by general consent, or unanimously. Congress requires a 
two-thirds vote for only the motions to suspend and to amend the Rules, to take up business out of its proper 
order, and to make a special order [see note to § 37].] The following motions shall require a two-thirds vote 
for their adoption, as the right of discussion, and the right to have the rules enforced, should not be abridged 
by a mere majority: 
An Objection to the Consideration of a Question .............. § 15. To Take up a Question out of its proper order 
................ § 13. To Suspend the Rules ......................................... § 18. The Previous Question 

Part I. 32 

........................................ § 20. To Close or Limit Debate ..................................... § 37. To Amend the Rules 
(requires previous notice also) ........... § 43. To Make a special order ...................................... § 13. 

=== Page 81 === 

Art. VII. The Officers and the Minutes. [§§ 40, 41.] 

40. Chairman* [In connection with this section read § 44, and also § 40, 41.] or President. The presiding 
officer, when no special title has been assigned him, is ordinarily called the Chairman (or in religious 
assemblies more usually the Moderator); frequently the constitution of the assembly prescribes for him a title, 
such as President. 
His duties are generally as follows: 

To open the session at the time at which the assembly is to meet, by taking the chair and calling the members 
to order; to announce the business before the assembly in the order in which it is to be acted upon [§ 44] to 
state and to put to vote [§ 38] all questions which are regularly moved, or necessarily arise in the course of 
proceedings, and to announce the result of the vote; 

To restrain the members, when engaged in 

=== Page 82 === 

debate, within the rules of order; to enforce on all occasions the observance of order and decorum [§ 36] 
among the members, deciding all questions of order (subject to an appeal to the assembly by any two 
members, § 14), and to inform the assembly when necessary, or when referred to for the purpose, on a point of 
order or practice; 

To authenticate, by his signature, when necessary, all the acts, orders and proceeding of the assembly, and in 
general to represent and stand for the assembly, declaring its will and in all things obeying its commands. 

The chairman shall rise* [It is not customary for the chairman to rise while putting the questions in very small 
bodies, such as committees, boards of trustees, &c.] to put a question to vote, but may state it sitting; he shall 
also rise from his seat (without calling any one to the chair), when speaking to a question of order, which he 
can do in preference to other members. In referring to himself he should always use his official title thus: "The 
Chair decides so and so," not "I decide, &c." When a member has the floor, the chairman cannot interrupt him 
as long as he does not transgress 

=== Page 83 === 

any of the rules of the assembly, excepting as provided in § 2. 

He is entitled to vote when the vote is by ballot* [But this right is lost if he does not use it before the tellers 
have commenced to count the ballots. The assembly can give leave to the chairman to vote under such 
circumstances.] and in all other cases where the vote would change the result. Thus in a case where two-thirds 
vote is necessary, and his vote thrown with the minority would prevent the adoption of the question, he can 
cast his vote; so also he can vote with the minority when it will produce a tie vote and thus cause the motion 
to fail. Whenever a motion is made referring especially to the chairman, the maker of the motion should put it 
to vote. 

The chairman can, if it is necessary to vacate the chair, appoint a chairman pro tem.,* [When there are Vice 
Presidents, then the first one on the list that is present, is, by virtue of his office, chairman during the absence 

Part I. 33 

of the President, and should always be called to the chair when the President temporarily vacates it.] but the 
first adjournment puts an end to the appointment, which the assembly can terminate before, if it pleases, by 
electing another chairman. But the regular chairman, knowing that he will be absent from a future meeting, 
cannot authorize another member to act 

=== Page 84 === 

in his place at such meeting; the clerk [§ 41], or in his absence any member, should in such case call the 
meeting to order, and a chairman pro tem. be elected, who would hold office during that session [§ 42], 
without such office was terminated by the entrance of the regular chairman. 

The chairman sometimes calls a member to the chair, and himself takes part in the debate. But this should 
rarely be done, and nothing can justify it in a case where much feeling is shown, and there is a liability to 
difficulty in preserving order. If the chairman has even the appearance of being a partisan, he loses much of 
his ability to control those who are on the opposite side of the question.* [The unfortunate habit many 
chairmen have of constantly speaking upon questions before the assembly, even interrupting the member who 
has the floor, is unjustified by either the common parliamentary law, or the practice of Congress. One who 
expects to take an active part in debate should never accept the chair. "It is a general rule, in all deliberative 
assemblies, that the presiding officer shall not participate in the debate, or other proceedings in any other 
capacity than as such officer. He is only allowed, therefore, to state matters of fact within his knowledge; to 
inform the assembly on points of order or the course of proceeding, when called upon for that purpose, or 
when he finds it necessary to do so and on appeals from his decision on questions of order, to address the 
assembly in debate." [Cushing's Manual, page 106.] "Though the Speaker [chairman] may of right speak to 
matters of order and be first heard, he is restrained from speaking on any other subject except where the 
assembly have occasion for facts within his knowledge; then he may, with their leave, state the matter of fact." 
[Jefferson's Manual, sec. xvii, and Barclay's "Digest of the Rules and Practice of the House of 
Representatives, U. S.," page 195.]] 

The chairman should not only be familiar with parliamentary usage, and set the example of strict conformity 
to it, but he should be a 

=== Page 85 === 

man of executive ability, capable of controlling men; and it should never be forgotten, that, to control others, 
it is necessary to control one's self. An excited chairman can scarcely fail to cause trouble in a meeting. 

A chairman will often find himself perplexed with the difficulties attending his position, and in such cases he 
will do well to heed the advice of a distinguished writer on parliamentary law, and recollect that--"The great 
purpose of all rules and forms, is to subserve the will of the assembly, rather than to restrain it; to facilitate, 
and not to obstruct, the expression of their deliberate sense." 

41. Clerk or Secretary [and the Minutes]. The recording officer is usually called 
=== Page 86 === 

the "Clerk" or "Secretary,"* [When there are two secretaries, he is termed the "recording secretary," and the 
other one, the "corresponding secretary." In many societies the secretary, besides acting as recording officer, 
collects the dues of members, and thus becomes to a certain extent a financial officer. In most cases the 
treasurer acts as banker, only paying on the order of the society, signed by the secretary alone, or by the 
president and secretary. In such cases the secretary becomes in reality the financial officer of the society, and 
should make reports to the society, of funds received and from what sources, and of the funds expended and 
for what purposes. See § 52 for his duties as financial officer.] and the record of proceedings the "Minutes." 

Part II, § 51.] 

His desk should be near that of the chairman, and in the absence of the chairman, (if there is no vice president 
present) when the hour for opening the session arrives, it is his duty to call the meeting to order, and to preside 
until the election of a chairman pro tem., which should be done immediately. He should keep a record of the 
proceedings, commencing in a form similar to the following :* [See Clerk and Minutes in 

Part II, § 51.] 

"At a regular quarterly meeting of [state the name of the society] held on the 31st day of March, 1875, at [state 
the place of meeting], the President in the chair, the minutes were read by the clerk and approved." If the 
regular clerk is absent, insert after the words "in the chair," the following: "The clerk being absent, Robert 
Smith was appointed clerk pro tem. 

=== Page 87 === 

The minutes were then read and approved." If the minutes were not read, say "the reading of the minutes was 
dispensed with." The above form will show the essentials, which are as follows: (a) The kind of meeting, 
"regular" [or stated] or "special," or "adjourned regular," or "adjourned special;" (b) name of the assembly; (c) 
date and place of meeting (excepting when the place is always the same); (d) the fact of the presence of the 
regular chairman and clerk, or in their absence the names of their substitutes; (e) whether the minutes of the 
previous meeting were approved. 

The minutes should he signed by the person who acted as clerk for that meeting: in some societies the 
chairman must also sign them. When published, they should be signed by both officers. 

In keeping the minutes much depends upon the kind of meeting, and whether the minutes are to be published. 
If they are to be published, it is often of far more interest to know what was said by the leading speakers, than 
to know what routine business was done, and what resolutions adopted. 

=== Page 88 === 

In such case the duties of the secretary are arduous, and he should have at least one assistant. In ordinary 
society meetings and meetings of Boards of Managers and Trustees, on the contrary, there is no object in 
reporting the debates; the duty of the clerk, in such cases, is mainly to record what is "done" by the assembly, 
not what is said by the members. Without there is a rule to the contrary, he should enter every Principal 
motion [§ 6] that is before the assembly, whether it is adopted or rejected; and where there is a division [see 
Voting, § 38], or where the vote is by ballot, he should enter the number of votes on each side; and when the 
voting is by yeas and nays [§ 38], he should enter a list of the names of those voting on each side. He should 
endorse on the reports of committees, the date of their reception, and what further action was taken upon 
them, and preserve them among the records, for which he is responsible. He should in the minutes make a 
brief summary of a report that has been agreed to, except where it contains resolutions, in which case the 
resolutions will he entered in full as adopted by the assembly, and not as 

=== Page 89 === 

if it was the report accepted. The proceedings of the committee of the whole [§ 32], or while acting informally 
[§ 33], should not be entered on the minutes. Before an adjournment without day, it is customary to read over 
the minutes for approval, if the next meeting of the board or society will not occur for a long period. Where 
the regular meetings are not separated by too great a time, the minutes are read at the next meeting. 

The clerk should, previous to each meeting, for the use of the chairman, make out an order of business [§ 44], 
showing in their exact order what is necessarily to come before the assembly. He should also have at each 
meeting a list of all standing committees, and such select committees as are in existence at the time. When a 

Part II, § 51.] 

committee is appointed, he should hand the names of the committee and all papers referred to it to the 
chairman, or some other of its members. 

=== Page 90 === 

Art. VIII. Miscellaneous. [§§ 42-45.] 

42. A Session of an assembly is a meeting* [See definitions in Introduction for the distinction between 
"meeting" and "session."] which, though it may last for days, is virtually one meeting, as a session of a 
Convention; or even months, as a session of Congress; it terminates by an "adjournment without day." The 
intermediate adjournments from day to day, or the recesses taken during the day, do not destroy the continuity 
of the meeting--they in reality constitute one session. In the case of a permanent society, having regular 
meetings every week, month, or year, for example, each meeting constitutes a separate session of the society, 
which session however can be prolonged by adjourning to another day. 
If a principal motion [§ 6] is indefinitely postponed or rejected at one session, while it cannot be introduced 
again at the same session [see Renewal of a Motion, § 26], it can be at 

=== Page 91 === 

the next, without it is prohibited by a rule of the assembly. 

No one session of the assembly can interfere with the rights of the assembly at any future session,* [Any one 
session can adopt a rule or resolution of a permanent nature, and it continues in force until at some future 
session it is rescinded. But these Standing Rules, as they are termed, do not interfere with future sessions, 
because at any moment a majority can suspend or rescind them, or adopt new ones.] without it is expressly so 
provided in their Constitution, Bylaws, or Rules of Order, all of which are so guarded (by requiring notice of 
amendments, and at least a two-thirds vote for their adoption) that they are not subject to sudden changes, but 
may be considered as expressing the deliberate views of the whole society, rather than the opinions or wishes 
of any particular meeting. Thus, if the presiding officer were ill, it would not be competent for one session of 
the assembly to elect a chairman to hold office longer than that session, as it cannot control or dictate to the 
next session of the assembly. By going through the prescribed routine of an election to fill the vacancy, giving 
whatever notice is required, it could then legally elect a chairman to hold office while the vacancy lasted. So it 

=== Page 92 === 

is improper for an assembly to postpone anything to a day beyond the next succeeding session, and thus 
attempt to prevent the next session from considering the question. On the other band, it is not permitted to 
move a reconsideration [§ 27] of a vote taken at a previous session [though the motion to reconsider can be 
called up, provided it was made at the last meeting of the previous session.] Committees can be appointed to 
report at a future session. 

Note On Session--In Congress, and in fact all legislative bodies, the limits of the sessions are clearly defined; 
but in ordinary societies having a permanent existence, with regular meetings more or less frequent, there 
appears to be a great deal of confusion upon the subject. Any society is competent to decide what shall 
constitute one of its sessions, but, where there is no rule on the subject, the common parliamentary law would 
make each of its regular or special meetings a separate session, as they are regarded in this Manual. 

The disadvantages of a rule making a session include all the meetings of an ordinary society, held during a 
long time as one year, are very great. [Examine Indefinitely Postpone, § 24, and Renewal of a Motion, § 26.] 
If members of any society take advantage of the freedom allowed by considering 

Part II, § 51.] 

=== Page 93 === 

each regular meeting a separate session, and repeatedly renew obnoxious or unprofitable motions, the society 
can adopt a rule prohibiting the second introduction of any principal question [§ 6] within, say, three or six 
months after its rejection, or indefinite postponement, or after the society has refused to consider it. But 
generally it is better to suppress the motion by refusing to consider it [§ 15]. 

43. A Quorum of an assembly is such a number as is competent to transact its business. Without there is a 
special rule on the subject, the quorum of every assembly is a majority of all the members of the assembly. 
But whenever a society has any permanent existence, it is usual to adopt a much smaller number, the quorum 
being often less than one-twentieth of its members; this becomes a necessity in most large societies, where 
only a small fraction of the members are ever present at a meeting.* [While a quorum is competent to transact 
any business, it is usually not expedient to transact important business without there is a fair attendance at the 
meeting, or else previous notice of such action has been given.] 
The Chairman should not take the chair till a quorum is present, except where there is no hope of there being a 
quorum, and then no business can be transacted, except simply 

=== Page 94 === 

to adjourn. So whenever during the meeting there is found not to be a quorum present, the only thing to be 
done is to adjourn--though if no question is raised about it, the debate can be continued, but no vote taken, 
except to adjourn. 

In committee of the whole, the quorum is the same as in the assembly; in any other committee the majority is 
a quorum, without the assembly order otherwise, and it must wait for a quorum before proceeding to business. 
If the number afterwards should be reduced below a quorum, business is not interrupted, unless a member 
calls attention to the fact; but no question can be decided except when a quorum is present. Boards of 
Trustees, Managers, Directors, etc., are on the same footing as committees, in regard to a quorum. Their 
power is delegated to them as a body, and what number shall be present in order that they may act as a Board, 
is to be decided by the society that appoints the Board. If no quorum is specified, then a majority constitutes a 
quorum. 

44. Order of Business. It is customary for every society having a permanent existence, 
=== Page 95 === 

to adopt an order of business for its meetings. When no rule has been adopted, the following is the order: 

(1) Reading the Minutes of the previous meeting [and their approval]. (2) Reports of Standing Committees. 
(3) Reports of Select Committees. (4) Unfinished Business. (5) New Business. 
Boards of Managers, Trustees, etc., come under the head of standing committees. Questions that have been 
postponed from a previous meeting, come under the head of unfinished business; and if a subject has been 
made a "special order" for the day, it shall take precedence of all business except reading the minutes. If it is 
desired to transact business out of its order, it is necessary to suspend the rules [§ 18], which can only be done 
by a two-thirds vote; but as each subject comes up, a majority can at once lay it on the table [§ 19], and thus 
reach any question which they desire to first dispose of. 

The order of business, in considering any report or proposition containing several paragraphs,* [No vote 
should be taken on the adoption of the several paragraphs,--one vote being taken finally on the adoption of the 
whole paper. By not adopting separately the different paragraphs, it is in order, after they have all been 

PART II. 37 

amended, to go back and amend any of them still further. In committee a similar paper would be treated the 
same way [see § 30]. In § 48 (b) an illustration is given of the practical application of this section.] is as 
follows: 

=== Page 96 === 

The whole paper should be read entirely through by the clerk; then the Chairman should read it by paragraphs, 
pausing at the end of each, and asking, "Are there any amendments proposed to this paragraph?" If none are 
offered, he says, "No amendments being offered to this paragraph, the next will be read;" he then reads the 
next, and proceeds thus to the last paragraph, when he states that the whole report or resolutions have been 
read, and are open to amendment. He finally puts the question on agreeing to or adopting the whole paper as 
amended. If there is a preamble it should be read after the last paragraph. 

If the paper has been reported back by a committee with amendments, the clerk reads only the amendments, 
and the Chairman then reads the first and puts it to the question, and so on till all the amendments are adopted 
or rejected, admitting amendments to the committee's amendments, but no others. When 

=== Page 97 === 

through with the committee's amendments, the Chairman pauses for any other amendments to be proposed by 
the assembly; and when these are voted on, he puts the question on agreeing to or adopting the paper as 
amended. Where the resolutions have been just read by the member presenting them, the reading by the clerk 
is usually dispensed with without the formality of a vote. By "suspending the rules" [§ 18], or by general 
consent, a report can be at once adopted without following any of the above routine. 

45. Amendments of Rules of Order. These rules can be amended at any regular meeting of the assembly, by a 
two-thirds vote of the members present, provided the amendment was submitted in writing at the previous 
regular meeting. And no amendment to Constitutions or By-Laws shall be permitted, without at least equal 
notice and a two-thirds vote.* [Constitutions, By-Laws and Rules of Order should always prohibit their being 
amended by less than a two-thirds vote, and without previous notice of the amendment being given. If the 
By-Laws should contain rules that it may be desirable to occasionally suspend, then they should state how 
they can be suspended, just as is done in these Rules of Order, § 18. If there is no such rule it is impossible to 
suspend any rule, if a single member objects. 
=== Page 98 === === Page 99 === 

PART II. 

ORGANIZATION AND CONDUCT OF BUSINESS.* [The exact words used by the chairman or member, 
are in many cases in quotations. It is not to be inferred that these are the only forms permitted, but that these 
forms are proper and common. They are inserted for the benefit of those unaccustomed to parliamentary 
forms, and are sufficiently numerous for ordinary meetings.] 

Art. IX. Organization and Meetings. [§§ 46-49.] 

46. An Occasional or Mass Meeting. (a) Organization. When a meeting is held which is not one of an 
organized society, shortly after the time appointed for the meeting, some member of the assembly steps 
forward and says: "The meeting will please come to order; I move that Mr. A. act as chairman of this 
meeting." Some one else says, "I second the motion." The first member then puts the 
=== Page 100 === 

PART II. 38 

question to vote, by saying, "It has been moved and seconded that Mr. A. act as chairman of this meeting; 
those in favor of the motion will say aye," and when the affirmative vote is taken, he says, "those opposed will 
say no." If the majority vote in the affirmative, he says, "The motion is carried; Mr. A. will take the chair." If 
the motion is lost, he announces that fact, and calls for the nomination of some one else for chairman, and 
proceeds with the new nomination as in the first case.* [Sometimes a member nominates a chairman and no 
vote is taken, the assembly signifying their approval by acclamation. The member who calls the meeting to 
order, instead of making the motion himself, may act as temporary chairman, and say: "The meeting will 
please come to order: will some one nominate a chairman?" He puts the question to vote on the nomination as 
described above. In large assemblies, the member who nominates, with one other member, frequently 
conducts the presiding officer to the chair, and the chairman makes a short speech, thanking the assembly for 
the honor conferred on him.] 

When Mr. A. takes the chair, he says, "The first business in order is the election of a secretary." Some one 
then makes a motion as just described, or he says "I nominate Mr. B," when the chairman puts the question as 
before. Sometimes several names are called out, and the chairman, as he hears them, says, "Mr. B. is 
nominated; Mr. C. is nominated," etc; he then takes a vote on the first one he heard, putting the question thus: 
"As many as are in favor of 

=== Page 101 === 

Mr. B. acting as secretary of this meeting, will say aye;--those opposed will say no." If the motion is lost the 
question is put on Mr. C., and so on, till some one is elected. In large meetings the secretary takes his seat near 
the chairman: he should in all cases keep a record of the proceedings as described in § 51. 

(b) Adoption of Resolutions. These two officers are all that are usually necessary for a meeting; so, when the 
secretary is elected, the chairman asks, "What is the further pleasure of the meeting?" If the meeting is merely 
a public assembly called together to consider some special subject, it is customary at this stage of the 
proceedings for some one to offer a series of resolutions previously prepared, or else to move the appointment 
of a committee to prepare resolutions upon the subject. In the first case he rises and says, "Mr. Chairman;" the 
chairman responds, "Mr. C." Mr. C., having thus obtained the floor, then says, "I move the adoption of the 
following resolutions," which he then reads and hands to the chairman;* [The practice in legislative bodies, is 
to send to the clerk's desk all resolutions, bills, etc., the title of the bill and the name of the member 
introducing it, being endorsed on each. In such bodies, however, there are several clerks and only one 
chairman. In many assemblies there is but one clerk or secretary, and, as he has to keep the minutes, there is 
no reason for his being constantly interrupted to read every resolution offered in such assemblies, without 
there is a rule or established custom to the contrary, it is allowable, and frequently much better to hand all 
resolutions, reports, etc., directly to the chairman. If they were read by the member introducing them, and no 
one calls for another reading, the chairman can omit reading them when be thinks they are fully understood. In 
reference to the manner of reading and stating the question, when the resolution contains several paragraphs, 
see Rules of Order, § 44.] 
=== Page 102 === 

some one else says, "I second the motion." The chairman sometimes directs the secretary to read the 
resolutions again, after which he says, "The question is on the adoption of the resolutions just read," and if no 
one rises immediately, he adds, "Are you ready for the question?" If no one then rises, he says, "As many as 
are in favor of the adoption of the resolutions just read, will say aye;" after the ayes have voted, he says, "As 
many as are of a contrary opinion will say no;" he then announces the result of the vote as follows: "The 
motion is carried--the resolutions are adopted," or, "The ayes have it the resolutions are adopted." 

(c) Committee to draft Resolutions. If it is preferred to appoint a committee to draft resolutions, a member, 
after he has addressed the Chair and been recognized, says, "I move that a committee be appointed to draft 

PART II. 39 

resolutions expressive of the sense of this meeting on," 

=== Page 103 === 

etc., adding the subject for which the meeting was called. This motion being seconded, the Chairman states 
the question [§ 67] and asks, "Are you ready for the question?" If no one rises, he puts the question, 
announces the result, and, if it is carried, he asks, "Of how many shall the committee consist?" If only one 
number is suggested, he announces that the committee will consist of that number; if several numbers are 
suggested, he states the different ones and then takes a vote on each, beginning with the largest, until one 
number is selected. 

He then inquires, "How shall the committee be appointed?" This is usually decided without the formality of a 
vote. The committee may be "appointed" by the Chair--in which case the chairman names the committee and 
no vote is taken; or the committee may be "nominated" by the Chair, or the members of the assembly (no 
member naming more than one, except by unanimous consent), and then the assembly vote on their 
appointment. When the chairman nominates, after stating the names he puts one question on the entire 
committee, thus: "As many as are in favor of these gentlemen constituting the committee, will say 

=== Page 104 === 

aye." If nominations are made by members of the assembly, and more names mentioned than the number of 
the committee, a separate vote should be taken on each name. (In a mass meeting it is safer to have all 
committees appointed by the chairman.) 

When the committee are appointed they should at once retire and agree upon a report, which should be written 
out as described in § 53. During their absence other business may be attended to, or the time may be occupied 
with hearing addresses. Upon their return the chairman of the committee (who is the one first named on the 
committee, and who quite commonly, though not necessarily, is the one who made the motion to appoint the 
committee), avails himself of the first opportunity to obtain the floor,* [See Rules of Order, § 2.] when he 
says, "The committee appointed to draft resolutions, are prepared to report." The chairman tells him that the 
assembly will now hear the report, which is then read by the chairman of the committee, and handed to the 
presiding officer, upon which the committee is dissolved without any action of the assembly. 

A member then moves the "adoption" or 

=== Page 105 === 

"acceptance" of the report, or that "the resolutions be agreed to," which motions have the same effect if 
carried, namely, to make the resolutions the resolutions of the assembly just as if the committee had had 
nothing to do with them.* [A very common error is, after a report has been read, to move that it be received 
whereas, the fact that it has been read, shows that it has been already received by the assembly. Another 
mistake, less common but dangerous, is to vote that the report be accepted (which is equivalent to adopting it), 
when the intention is only to have the report up for consideration and afterwards move its adoption.] 

When one of these motions is made, the chairman acts as stated above when the resolutions were offered by a 
member. If it is not desired to immediately adopt the resolutions, they can be debated, modified, their 
consideration postponed, etc., as explained in §§ 55-63. 

When through with the business for which the assembly were convened, or when from any other cause it is 
desirable to close the meeting, some one moves "to adjourn;" if the motion is carried and no other time for 
meeting has been appointed, the chairman says, "The motion is carried; this assembly stands adjourned 
without day." [Another method by which the meeting may be conducted is shown in § 48.] 

PART II. 40 

(d) Additional Officers. If more officers are 
=== Page 106 === 

required than a chairman and secretary, they can be appointed before introducing the resolutions, in the 
manner described for those officers; or the assembly can first form a temporary organization in the manner 
already described, only adding "pro tem." to the title of the officers, thus: "chairman pro tem." In this latter 
case, as soon as the secretary pro tem. is elected, a committee is appointed to nominate the permanent officers, 
as in the case of a convention [§ 47]. Frequently the presiding officer is called the President, and sometimes 
there is a large number of Vice Presidents appointed for mere complimentary purposes. The Vice Presidents 
in large formal meetings, sit on the platform beside the President, and in his absence, or when he vacates the 
chair, the first on the list that is present should take the chair. 

47. Meeting of a Convention or Assembly of Delegates. If the members of the assembly have been elected or 
appointed as members, it becomes necessary to know who are properly members of the assembly and entitled 
to vote, before the permanent organization is effected. In this case a temporary organization is made, as 
already described, by the election of a chairman 
=== Page 107 === 

and secretary "pro tem.," when the chairman announces, "The next business in order is the appointment of a 
committee on credentials." A motion may then be made covering the entire case, thus: "I move that a 
committee of three on the credentials of members be appointed by the Chair, and that the committee report as 
soon as practicable;" or they may include only one of these details, thus: "I move that a committee be 
appointed on the credentials of members." In either case the Chair proceeds as already described in the cases 
of committees on resolutions [§ 46, (c)]. 

On the motion to accept the report of the committee, none can vote except those reported by the committee as 
having proper credentials. The committee, beside reporting a list of members with proper credentials, may 
report doubtful or contested cases, with recommendations, which the assembly may adopt, or reject, or 
postpone, etc. Only members whose right to their seats is undisputed, can vote. 

The chairman, after the question of credentials is disposed of, at least for the time, announces that "The next 
business in order is the election of permanent officers of the assembly." Some one then moves the 
appointment of a 

=== Page 108 === 

committee to nominate the officers, in a form similar to this: "I move that a committee of three be appointed 
by the Chair to nominate the permanent officers of this convention." This motion is treated as already 
explained. When the committee make their report, some one moves "That the report of the committee be 
accepted and that the officers nominated be declared the officers of this convention.* [Where there is any 
competition for the offices, it is better that they be elected by ballot. In this case, when the nominating 
committee report, a motion can be made as follows: "I move that the convention now proceed to ballot for its 
permanent officers;" or "I move that we now proceed to the election, by ballot, of the permanent officers of 
this convention." [See Rules of Order § 38, for balloting, and other methods of voting.] The constitutions of 
permanent societies usually provide that the officers shall be elected by ballot.] This motion being carried, the 
chairman declares the officers elected, and instantly calls the new presiding officer to the chair, and the 
temporary secretary is at the same time replaced. The convention is now organized for work. 

48. A Permanent Society. (a) First Meeting. When it is desired to form a permanent society, those interested in 
it should see that only the proper persons are invited to be present, at a certain time and place. It is not usual in 

PART II. 41 

mass meetings, or meetings called to organize a society, to commence until 

=== Page 109 === 

fifteen or thirty minutes after the appointed time, when some one steps forward and says, "The meeting will 
please come to order; I move that Mr. A. act as chairman of this meeting;" some one "seconds the motion," 
when the one who made the motion puts it to vote (or, as it is called, "puts the question"), as already 
described, under an "occasional meeting" [§ 46, (a)]; and, as in that case, when the chairman is elected, he 
announces as the first business in order the election of a secretary. 

After the secretary is elected, the chairman calls on some member who is most interested in getting up the 
society, to state the object of the meeting. When this member rises he says, "Mr. Chairman;" the chairman 
then announces his name, when the member proceeds to state the object of the meeting. Having finished his 
remarks, the chairman may call on other members to give their opinions upon the subject, and sometimes a 
particular speaker is called out by members who wish to hear him. The chairman should observe the wishes of 
the assembly, and while being careful not to be too strict, he must not permit any one to occupy too much time 
and weary the meeting. 

When a sufficient time has been spent in this 

=== Page 110 === 

informal way, some one should offer a resolution, so that definite action can be taken. Those interested in 
getting up the meeting, if it is to be a large one, should have previously agreed upon what is to be done, and be 
prepared at the proper time to offer a suitable resolution, which may be in a form similar to this: "Resolved, 
That it is the sense of this meeting that a society for [state the object of the society] should now be formed in 
this city." This resolution, when seconded, and stated by the chairman, would be open to debate and be treated 
as already described [§ 46, (b)]. This preliminary motion could have been offered at the commencement of the 
meeting, and if the meeting is a very large one, this would probably be better than to have the informal 
discussion. 

After this preliminary motion has been voted on, or even without waiting for such motion, one like this can be 
offered: "I move that a committee of five be appointed by the Chair, to draft a Constitution and By-Laws for a 
society for [here state the object], and that they report at an adjourned meeting of this assembly." This motion 
can be amended [§ 56] by striking out and adding words, etc., and it is debatable. 

=== Page 111 === 

When this committee is appointed, the chairman may inquire, "Is there any other business to be attended to?" 
or, "What is the further pleasure of the meeting?" When all business is finished, a motion can be made to 
adjourn to meet at a certain place and time, which, when seconded, and stated by the Chair, is open to debate 
and amendment. It is usually better to fix the time of the next meeting [see § 63] at an earlier stage of the 
meeting, and then, when it is desired to close the meeting, move simply "to adjourn," which cannot be 
amended or debated. When this motion is carried, the chairman says, "This meeting stands adjourned to meet 
at," etc., specifying the time and place of the next meeting. 

(b) Second Meeting.* [Ordinary meetings of a society are conducted like this second meeting, the chairman, 
however, announcing the business in the order prescribed by the rules of the society [§ 72]. For example, after 
the minutes are read and approved, he would say, "The next business in order is hearing reports from the 
standing committees." He may then call upon each committee in their order, for a report, thus: "Has the 
committee on applications for membership any report to make?" In which case the committee may report, as 
shown above, or some member of it reply that they have no report to make. Or, when the chairman knows that 

PART II. 42 

there are but few if any reports to make, it is better, after making the announcement of the business, for him to 
ask, "Have these committees any reports to make?" After a short pause, if no one rises to report, he states, 
"There being no reports from the standing committees, the next business in order is hearing the reports of 
select committees," when he will act the same as in the case of the standing committees. The chairman should 
always have a list of the committees, to enable him to call upon them, as well as to guide him in the 
appointment of new committees.] At the next meeting the officers of the previous meeting, if present, serve 
until the permanent officers are elected. When the hour arrives for the meeting, the chairman standing, says, 
"The meeting will 

=== Page 112 === 

please come to order:" as soon as the assembly is seated, he adds, "The secretary will read the minutes of the 
last meeting." If any one notices an error in the minutes, he can state the fact as soon as the secretary finishes 
reading them; if there is no objection, without waiting for a motion, the chairman directs the secretary to make 
the correction. The chairman then says, "If there is no objection the minutes will stand approved as read" [or 
"corrected," if any corrections have been made]. 

He announces as the next business in order, "the hearing of the report of the committee on the Constitution 
and By-Laws." The chairman of the committee, after addressing "Mr. Chairman" and being recognized, reads 
the committee's report and then hands it to the chairman.* [In large and formal bodies the chairman, before 
inquiring what is to be done with the report, usually directs the secretary to read it again. See note to § 46 (c), 
for a few common errors in acting upon reports of committees. [See also note to § 46 (b).]] If no motion is 
made, the chairman says, "You have heard the report read -

=== Page 113 === 

what order shall be taken upon it?" Or simply inquires, "What shall be done with the report?" Some one 
moves its adoption, or still better, moves "the adoption of the Constitution reported by the committee," and 
when seconded, the chairman says, "The question is on the adoption of the Constitution reported by the 
committee." He then reads the first article of the Constitution, and asks, "Are there any amendments proposed 
to this article?" If none are offered, after a pause, he reads the next article and asks the same question, and 
proceeds thus until he reads the last article, when he says, "The whole Constitution having been read, it is 
open to amendment." Now any one can move amendments to any part of the Constitution. 

When the chairman thinks it has been modified to suit the wishes of the assembly, he inquires, "Are you ready 
for the question?" If no one wishes to speak, he puts the question, "As many as are in favor of adopting the 
Constitution as amended, will say aye;" and then, "As many as are opposed, will say no." He distinctly 
announces the result of the vote, which should always be done. If the articles of the Constitution are 
subdivided into sections 

=== Page 114 === 

or paragraphs, then the amendments should be made by sections or paragraphs, instead of by articles. 

The chairman now states that the Constitution having been adopted, it will be necessary for those wishing to 
become members to sign it (and pay the initiation fee, if required by the Constitution), and suggests, if the 
assembly is a large one, that a recess be taken for the purpose. A motion is then made to take a recess for say 
ten minutes, or until the Constitution is signed. The constitution being signed, no one is permitted to vote 
excepting those who have signed it. 

The recess having expired, the chairman calls the meeting to order and says, "The next business in order is the 
adoption of By-Laws." Some one moves the adoption of the By-Laws reported by the committee, and they are 

PART II. 43 

treated just like the Constitution. The chairman then asks, "What is the further pleasure of the meeting?" or 
states that the next business in order is the election of the permanent officers of the society. In either case 
some one moves the appointment of a committee to nominate the permanent officers of the society, which 
motion is treated as already described in § 47. As 

=== Page 115 === 

each officer is elected he replaces the temporary one, and when they are all elected the organization is 
completed. 

If the society is one that expects to own real estate, it should be incorporated according to the laws of the state 
in which it is situated, and for this purpose, some one on the committee on the Constitution should consult a 
lawyer before this second meeting, so that the laws may be conformed to. In this case the trustees are usually 
instructed to take the proper measures to have the society incorporated. 

49. Constitutions, By-Laws, Rules of Order and Standing Rules. In forming a Constitution and By-Laws, it is 
always best to procure copies of those adopted by several similar societies, and for the committee, after 
comparing them, to select one as the basis of their own, amending each article just as their own report is 
amended by the Society. When they have completed amending the Constitution, it is adopted by the 
committee. The By-Laws are treated in the same way, and then, having finished the work assigned them, 
some one moves, "That the committee rise, and that the chairman (or some other 
=== Page 116 === 

member) report the Constitution and By-Laws to the assembly." If this is adopted, the Constitution and 
By-Laws are written out, and a brief report made of this form: "Your committee, appointed to draft a 
Constitution and By-Laws, would respectfully submit the following, with the recommendation that they be 
adopted as the Constitution and By-Laws of this society;" which is signed by all the members of the 
committee that concur in it. Sometimes the report is only signed by the chairman of the committee. 

In the organization just given, it is assumed that both a Constitution and By-Laws are adopted. This is not 
always done; some societies adopt only a Constitution, and others only By-Laws. Where both are adopted, the 
constitution usually contains only the following: 

(1) Name and object of the society. (2) Qualification of members. (3) Officers, their election and duties. (4) 
Meetings of the society (only including what is essential, leaving details to the By-Laws). (5) How to amend 
the Constitution. 
These can be arranged in five articles, each article being subdivided into sections. The 

=== Page 117 === 

Constitution containing nothing but what is fundamental, it should be made very difficult to amend; usually 
previous notice of the amendment is required, and also a two-thirds or three-fourths vote for its adoption [§ 
73]. It is better not to require a larger vote than two-thirds, and, where the meetings are frequent, an 
amendment should not be allowed to be made except at a quarterly or annual meeting, after having been 
proposed at the previous quarterly meeting. 

The By-Laws contain all the other standing rules of the society, of such importance that they should be placed 
out of the power of any one meeting to modify; or they may omit the rules relating to the conduct of business 
in the meetings, which would then constitute the Rules of Order of the society. Every society, in its By-Laws 
or Rules of Order, should adopt a rule like this: "The rules contained in--(specifying the work on 

PART II. 44 

parliamentary practice) shall govern the society in all cases to which they are applicable, and in which they 
are not inconsistent with the Rules of Order (or By-Laws) adopted by the society." Without such a rule, any 
one so disposed, could cause great trouble in a meeting. 

=== Page 118 === 

In addition to the Constitution, By-Laws and Rules of Order, in nearly every society resolutions of a 
permanent nature are occasionally adopted, which are binding on the society until they are rescinded or 
modified. These are called Standing Rules, and can be adopted by a majority vote at any meeting. After they 
have been adopted, they cannot be modified at the same session except by a reconsideration [§ 60]. At any 
future session they can be suspended, modified or rescinded by a majority vote. The Standing Rules, then, 
comprise those rules of a society which have been adopted like ordinary resolutions, without the previous 
notice, etc., required for By-Laws, and consequently, future sessions of the society are at liberty to terminate 
them whenever they please. No Standing Rule (or other resolution) can be adopted which conflicts with the 
Constitution, By-Laws or Rules of Order.* [In practice these various classes of rules are frequently very much 
mixed. The Standing Rules of some societies are really By-Laws as the society cannot suspend them, nor can 
they be amended until previous notice is given. This produces confusion without any corresponding benefit. 
Standing Rules should contain only such rules as are subject to the will of the majority of any meeting, and 
which it may be expedient to change at any time, without the delay incident to giving previous notice. Rules 
of Order should contain only the rules relating to the orderly transaction of the business in the meetings of the 
society. The By-Laws should contain all the other rules of the society which are of too great importance to be 
changed without giving notice to the society of such change; provided that the most important of these can be 
placed in a Constitution instead of in the By-Laws. These latter three should provide for their amendment. The 
Rules of Order should provide for their suspension. The By-Laws sometimes provide for the suspension of 
certain articles. None of these three can be suspended without it is expressly provided for. 

=== Page 119 === 

Art. X. Officers and Committees. 

50. Chairman or President. It is the duty of the chairman to call the meeting to order at the appointed time, to 
preside at all the meetings, to announce the business before the assembly in its proper order, to state and put 
all questions properly brought before the assembly, to preserve order and decorum, and to decide all questions 
of order (subject to an appeal). When he "puts a question" to vote, and when speaking upon an appeal, he 
should stand;* [In meetings of boards of managers, committees and other small bodies, the chairman usually 
retains his seat, and even members in speaking do not rise.] in all other cases he can sit. In all cases where his 
vote would affect the result, or where the vote is by ballot, he can vote. When a member rises to speak, he 
=== Page 120 === 

should say, "Mr. Chairman," and the chairman should reply, "Mr. A;" he should not interrupt a speaker as 
long as he is in order, but should listen to his speech, which should be addressed to him and not to the 
assembly. The chairman should be careful to abstain from the appearance of partizanship, but he has the right 
to call another member to the chair while he addresses the assembly on a question; when speaking to a 
question of order he does not leave the chair. 

51. The Clerk, Secretary or Recording Secretary, as he is variously called, should keep a record of the 
proceedings, the character of which depends upon the kind of meeting. In an occasional or mass meeting, the 
record usually amounts to nothing, but he should always record every resolution or motion that is adopted. 
In a convention it is often desirable to keep a full record for publication, and where it lasts for several days, it 
is usual, and generally best, to appoint one or more assistant clerks. Frequently it is a tax on the judgment of 

PART II. 45 

the clerk to decide what to enter on the record, or the "Minutes," as it is usually called. Sometimes the points 
of each speech should be entered, 

=== Page 121 === 

and at other times only the remark that the question was discussed by Messrs. A., B. and C. in the affirmative, 
and Messrs. D., E. and F. in the negative. Every resolution that is adopted should be entered, which can be 
done in this form: "On motion of Mr. D. it was resolved that, &c." 

Sometimes a convention does its work by having certain topics previously assigned to certain speakers, who 
deliver formal addresses or essays, the subjects of which are afterwards open for discussion in short speeches, 
of five minutes, for instance. In such cases the minutes are very brief, without they are to be published, when 
they should contain either the entire addresses or carefully prepared abstracts of them, and should show the 
drift of the discussion that followed each one. In permanent societies, where the minutes are not published, 
they consist of a record of what was done and not what was said, and should be kept in a book. 

The Form of the Minutes can be as follows: 

"At a regular meeting of the M. L. Society, held in their hall, on Tuesday evening, March 16, 1875, Mr. A. in 
the chair and Mr. B. acting as secretary, the minutes of the previous meeting were read and 

=== Page 122 === 

approved. The committee on Applications reported the names of Messrs. C. and D. as applicants for 
membership; and on motion of Mr. F. they were admitted as members. The committee on --- reported a series 
of resolutions, which were thoroughly discussed and amended, and finally adopted as follows: 

"Resolved, That * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * " 

On motion of Mr. L. the society adjourned. L- B-, Secretary. 

If the proceedings are to be published, the secretary should always examine the published proceedings of 
similar meetings, so as to conform to the custom, excepting where it is manifestly improper. 

The Constitution, By-Laws, Rules of Order and Standing Rules should all be written in one book, leaving 
every other page blank; and whenever an amendment is made to any of them, it should be immediately 
entered on the page opposite to the article amended, with a reference to the date and page of the minutes 
where is recorded the action of the society. 

The secretary has the custody of all papers belonging to the society, not specially under charge of any other 
officer. Sometimes his 

=== Page 123 === 

duties are also of a financial kind, when he should make such reports as are prescribed in the next section. 

52. Treasurer. The duties of this officer vary in different societies. In probably the majority of cases he acts as 
a banker, merely holding the funds deposited with him, and paying them out on the order of the society signed 
by the secretary. His annual report, which is always required, in this case consists of merely a statement of the 
amount on hand at the commencement of the year, the amount received during the year (stating from what 
source received), the total amount paid out by order of the society, and the balance on hand. When this report 
is presented it is referred to an "auditing committee," consisting of one or two persons, who examine the 

PART II. 46 

treasurer's books and vouchers, and certify on his report that they "have examined his accounts and vouchers 
and find them correct, and the balance on hand is," etc., stating the amount on hand. The auditing committee's 
report being accepted is equivalent to a resolution of the society to the same effect, namely, that the treasurer's 
report is correct. 

In the case here supposed, the real financial 

=== Page 124 === 

statement is made either by the board of trustees, or by the secretary or some other officer, according to the 
Constitution of the society. The principles involved, are, that every officer who receives money is to account 
for it in a report to the society, and that whatever officer is responsible for the disbursements, shall report 
them to the society. If the secretary, as in many societies, is really responsible for the expenses, the treasurer 
merely paying upon his order, then the secretary should make a full report of these expenses, so classified as 
to enable the society to readily see the amounts expended for various purposes. 

It should always be remembered that the financial report is made for the information of members. The details 
of dates and separate payments for the same object, are a hinderance to its being understood, and are useless, 
as it is the duty of the auditing committee to examine into the details and see if the report is correct. 

Every disbursing officer should be careful to get a receipt whenever he makes a payment; these receipts 
should be preserved in regular order, as they are the vouchers for the payments, which must be examined by 
the auditing committee. Disbursing officers cannot be 

=== Page 125 === 

too careful in keeping their accounts, and they should insist upon having their accounts audited every time 
they make a report, as by this means any error is quickly detected and may be corrected. When the society has 
accepted the auditing committee's report that the financial report is correct, the disbursing officer is relieved 
from the responsibility of the past, and if his vouchers were lost afterwards, it would cause no trouble. The 
best form for these financial reports depends upon the kind of society, and is best determined by examining 
those made in similar societies. 

The following form can be varied to suit most cases: (when the statement of receipts and expenses is very 
long, it is often desirable to specify the amounts received from one or two particular sources, which can be 
done immediately after stating the total receipts; the same course can be taken in regard to the expenditures): 

Treasurer's Report. 

The undersigned, Treasurer of the M. L. Society, begs leave to submit the following annual report: 

The balance on hand at the commencement of the year was --- dollars and --- cents. There was received from 
all sources during the year, --- dollars and --- cents; during the same time the 

=== Page 126 === 

expenses amounted to --- dollars and --- cents, leaving a balance on hand of --- dollars and --- cents. The 
annexed statement of receipts and expenditures will show in detail the sources from which the receipts were 
obtained, and the objects to which the expenditures have been applied. All of which is respectfully submitted. 

Treasurer M. L. S. 

PART II. 47 

The "Statement of receipts and expenditures" can be made, by simply giving a list of receipts, followed by a 
list of expenses, and finishing up with the balance on hand. The auditing committee's certificate to the 
correctness of the account should be written on the statement. Often the statement is made out in the form of 
an account, as follows: 

Dr. The M. L. S. in acct. with S. M., Treas. Cr. ----------------------------------------------------------------------1874. 
1874. 

Dec. 31. To rent of hall .. $500 00 Jan. 1. By balance on hand '' Gas ........... 80 00 from last year's '' Stationery 
.... 26 50 account .......... $ 21 13 '' Janitor ....... 360 00 Dec. 31. By initiation fees 95 00 '' Balance on hand 24 
63 '' members' dues .. 875 00 ------- ------- $991 13 $991 13 

We do hereby certify that we have examined the accounts and vouchers of the treasurer, and find them 
correct; and that the balance in his hands is twenty-four dollars and sixty-three cents. R. V., J. L., Audit 
Comm. 

=== Page 127 === 

53. Committees. In small assemblies, especially in those where but little business is done, there is not much 
need of committees. But in large assemblies, or in those doing a great deal of business, committees are of the 
utmost importance. When a committee is properly selected, in nine cases out of ten its action decides that of 
the assembly. A committee for action should be small and consist only of those heartily in favor of the 
proposed action. A committee for deliberation or investigation, on the contrary, should be larger and represent 
all parties in the assembly, so that its opinion will carry with it as great weight as possible. The usefulness of 
the committee will be greatly impaired, if any important faction of the assembly be unrepresented on the 
committee. The appointment of a committee is fully explained in § 46 (c). 
The first member named on a committee is their chairman, and it is his duty to call together the committee, 
and preside at their meetings. If he is absent, or from any cause fails or declines to call a meeting, it is the duty 
of the committee to assemble on the call of any two of their members. The committee are a miniature 
assembly, only being able to act when 

=== Page 128 === 

a quorum is present. If a paper is referred to them they must not deface it in any way, but write their 
amendments on a separate sheet. If they originate the paper, all amendments must be incorporated in it. When 
they originate the paper, usually one member has previously prepared a draft, which is read entirely through, 
and then read by paragraphs, the chairman pausing after each paragraph and asking, "Are there any 
amendments proposed to this paragraph?" No vote is taken on the adoption of the separate paragraphs, but 
after the whole paper has been read in this way, it is open to amendment, generally, by striking out any 
paragraph or inserting new ones, or by substituting an entirely new paper for it. When it has been amended to 
suit the committee, they should adopt it as their report, and direct the chairman or some other member to 
report it to the assembly. It is then written out, usually commencing in a style similar to this: "The committee 
to which was referred [state the matter referred], beg leave to submit the following report;" or, "Your 
committee appointed to [specify the object], would respectfully report," etc. It usually closes thus: "All of 
which is respectfully submitted," followed by the signatures of 

=== Page 129 === 

all the members concurring in the report, or sometimes by only that of the chairman. 

If the minority submit a report, it commences thus: "The undersigned, a minority of the committee appointed," 

PART II. 48 

etc., continuing as the regular report of the committee. After the committee's report has been read, it is usual 
to allow the minority to present their report, but it cannot be acted upon except by a motion to substitute it for 
the report of the committee. When the committee's report is read, they are discharged without any motion. A 
motion to refer the paper back to the same committee (or to recommit), if adopted, revives the committee. 

Art. XI. Introduction of Business. 

54. Any member wishing to bring business before the assembly, should, without it is very simple, write down 
in the form of a motion, what he would like to have the assembly adopt, thus: 
Resolved, That the thanks of this convention be tendered to the citizens of this community for their hearty 
welcome and generous hospitality. 

=== Page 130 === 

When there is no other business before the assembly, he rises and addresses the chairman by his title, thus: 
"Mr. Chairman," who immediately recognizes him by announcing his name.* [If the chairman has any special 
title, as President, for instance, he should be addressed by it, thus: "Mr. President." Sometimes the chairman 
recognizes the speaker by merely bowing to him, but the proper course is to announce his name.] He, then 
having the floor, says that he "moves the adoption of the following resolution," which he reads and hands to 
the chairman.* [Or, when he is recognized by the chair, he may say that he wishes to offer the following 
resolutions, which he reads and then moves their adoption.] Some one else seconds the motion, and the 
chairman says, "It has been moved and seconded that the following resolution be adopted," when he reads the 
resolution; or he may read the resolution and then state the question thus: "The question is on the adoption of 
the resolution just read." The merits of the resolution are then open to discussion, but before any member can 
discuss the question or make any motion, he must first obtain the floor as just described. After the chairman 
states the question, if no one rises to speak, or when he thinks the debate closed, he asks, "Are you ready for 
the question?" If no one then rises, he puts the question in a form similar to the following: "The question is on 
the adoption of the resolution 

=== Page 131 === 

which you have heard; as many as are in favor of its adoption will say aye." When the ayes have voted, he 
says, "As many as are of a. contrary opinion will say no."* [There are many other ways of putting a question; 
see § 67, and Rules of Order, § 38. Other illustrations of the ordinary practice in introducing business will be 
seen in §§ 46-48.] He then announces the result, stating that the motion is carried, or lost, as the case may be, 
in the following form: "The motion is carried--the resolution is adopted;" or, "The ayes have it--the resolution 
is adopted." A majority of the votes cast is sufficient for the adoption of any motion, excepting those 
mentioned in § 68. 

Art. XII. Motions. 

55. Motions Classified According to their Object. Instead of immediately adopting or rejecting a resolution as 
originally submitted, it may be desirable to dispose of it in some other way, and for this purpose various 
motions have come into use, which can be made while a resolution is being considered, and for the time 
being, supersede it. No one can make any of these motions while another member has the floor, 
=== Page 132 === 

excepting as shown in § 64, which see for the circumstances under which each motion can be made. 

The following list comprises most of these motions, arranged in eight classes, according to the object for 

PART II. 49 

which each motion is used. [The names of the motions are printed in Italics; each class is treated separately, as 
shown by the references.] 

Motions Classified. 

(1) To Amend or Modify ....................................... [§ 56] (a) Amend. (b) Commit. (2) To Defer action 
.......................................... [§ 57] (a) Postpone to a certain time. (b) Lie on the Table. (3) To Suppress Debate 
....................................... [§ 58] (a) Previous Question. (b) An Order limiting or closing Debate. (4) To 
Suppress the question ................................. [§ 59] (a) Objection to its Consideration. (b) Postpone 
Indefinitely. (c) Lie on the Table. (5) To Consider a question the second time ................... [§ 60] (a) 
Reconsider. (6) Order and Rules .......................................... [§ 61] (a) Orders of the day. (b) Special Orders. 
(c) Suspension of the Rules. (d) Questions of Order. (e) Appeal. 
=== Page 133 === 

(7) Miscellaneous ............................................ [§ 62] (a) Reading of Papers. (b) Withdrawal of a Motion. (c) 
Questions of Privilege. (8) To close a meeting ....................................... [§ 63] (a) Fix the time to which to 
Adjourn. (b) Adjourn. 
56. To Amend or Modify. (a) Amend. If it is desired to modify the question in any way, the proper motion to 
make is to "amend," either by "adding" words, or by "striking out" words; or by "striking out certain words 
and inserting others;" or by "substituting" a different motion on the same subject for the one before the 
assembly; or by "dividing the question" into two or more questions, as the mover specifies, so as to get a 
separate vote on any particular point or points. Sometimes the enemies of a measure seek to amend it in such a 
way as to divide its friends, and thus defeat it. 
When the amendment has been moved and seconded, the chairman should always state the question distinctly, 
so that every one may know exactly what is before them, reading first the paragraph which it is proposed to 
amend; then the words to be struck out, if there are any; next, the words to be inserted, if any; and finally, the 
paragraph as it will stand if the 

=== Page 134 === 

amendment is adopted. He then states that the question is on the adoption of the amendment, which is open to 
debate, the remarks being confined to the merits of the amendment, only going into the main question so far 
as is necessary in order to ascertain the propriety of adopting the amendment. 

This amendment can be amended, but an "amendment of an amendment" cannot be amended. None of the 
undebatable motions mentioned in § 66, except to fix the time to which to adjourn, can be amended, nor can 
the motion to postpone indefinitely. 

(b) Commit. If the original question is not well digested, or needs more amendment than can well be made in 
the assembly, it is usual to move "to refer it to a committee." This motion can be made while an amendment is 
pending, and it opens the whole merits of the question to debate. This motion can be amended by specifying 
the number of the committee, or how they shall be appointed, or when they shall report, or by giving them any 
other instructions. [See § 53 on committees, and § 46 (c) on their appointment.] 
57. To Defer Action. (a) Postpone to a certain time. If it is desired to defer action 
=== Page 135 === 

upon a question till a particular time, the proper motion to make, is to "postpone it to that time." This motion 

PART II. 50 

allows of but limited debate, which must be confined to the propriety of the postponement to that time; it can 
be amended by altering the time, and this amendment allows of the same debate. The time specified must not 
be beyond that session [§ 70] of the assembly, except it be the next session, in which case it comes up with the 
unfinished business at the next session. This motion can be made when a motion to amend, or to commit or to 
postpone indefinitely, is pending. 

(b) Lie on the table. Instead of postponing a question to a particular time, it may be desired to lay it aside 
temporarily until some other question is disposed of, retaining the privilege of resuming its consideration at 
any time.* [In Congress this motion is commonly used to defeat a measure, though it does not prevent a 
majority from taking it at any other time. Some societies prohibit a question from being taken from the table, 
except by a two-thirds vote. This rule deprives the society of the advantages of the motion to "lie on the 
table." because it would not be safe to lay a question aside temporarily, if one-third of the assembly were 
opposed to the measure, as that one-third could prevent its ever being taken from the table. A bare majority 
should not have the power, in ordinary societies, to adopt or reject a question, or prevent its consideration, 
without debate. [See note at end of § 35, Rules of Order, on the principles involved in making questions 
undebatable.] The only way to accomplish this, is to move that the question "lie on the table." This motion 
=== Page 136 === 

allowing of neither debate nor amendment, the chairman immediately puts the question; if carried, the whole 
matter is laid aside until the assembly vote to "take it from the table" (which latter motion is undebatable and 
possesses no privilege). Sometimes this motion is used to suppress a measure, as shown in § 59 (c). 

58. To Suppress Debate. (a) Previous Question. While as a general rule free debate is allowed upon every 
motion,* [Except an "objection to the consideration of the question" [§ 59 (a)]. See note to § 35, Rules of 
Order, for a full discussion of this subject of debate.] which, if adopted, has the effect of adopting the original 
question or removing it from before the assembly for the session--yet, to prevent a minority from making an 
improper use of this privilege, it is necessary to have methods by which debate can be closed, and final action 
at once be taken upon a question. 
To accomplish this, when any debatable question is before the assembly, it is only necessary for some one to 
obtain the floor and "call for the previous question;" this call being seconded, the chairman, as it allows of no 
debate, instantly puts the question, thus: "Shall the main question be now put?" If this is carried by a 
two-thirds vote [§ 68], all debate instantly 

=== Page 137 === 

ceases, excepting that the member who offered the original resolution, or reported it from a committee, is, as 
in all other cases, entitled to the floor to close the debate; after which, the chairman immediately puts the 
questions to the assembly, first, on the motion to commit, if it is pending; if this is carried, of course the 
subject goes to the committee; if, however, it fails, the vote is next taken on amendments, and finally on the 
resolution as amended. 

If a motion to postpone, either definitely or indefinitely, or a motion to reconsider, or an appeal is pending, the 
previous question is exhausted by the vote on the postponement, reconsideration or appeal, and does not cut 
off debate upon any other motions that may be pending. If the call for the previous question fails, that is, the 
debate is not cut off, the debate continues the same as if this motion had not been made. The previous question 
can be called for simply on an amendment, and after the amendment has been acted upon, the main question is 
again open to debate. 

(b) An order limiting or closing debate. Sometimes, instead of cutting off debate entirely by ordering the 
previous question, it is desirable to allow of but very limited debate. In 

PART II. 51 

=== Page 138 === 

this case, a motion is made to limit the time allowed each speaker or the number of speeches on each side, or 
to appoint a time at which debate shall close and the question be put. The motion may be made to limit debate 
on an amendment, in which case the main question would afterwards be open to debate and amendment; or it 
may be made simply on an amendment to an amendment. 

In ordinary societies, where harmony is so important, a two-thirds vote should be required for the adoption of 
any of the above motions to cut off or limit debate.* [In the House of Representatives, these motions require 
only a majority vote for their adoption. In the Senate, to the contrary, not even two-thirds of the members can 
force a measure to its passage without allowing debate, the Senate rules not recognizing the above motions. 

59. To Suppress the Question. (a) Objection to the consideration of a question. Sometimes a resolution is 
introduced that the assembly do not wish to consider at all, because it is profitless, or irrelevant to the objects 
of the assembly, or for other reasons. The proper course to pursue in such case, is for some one, as soon as it 
is introduced, to "object to the consideration of the question." This objection not requiring a second, the 
chairman immediately 
=== Page 139 === 

puts the question, "Will the assembly consider this question?" If decided in the negative by a two-thirds vote, 
the question is immediately dismissed, and cannot be again introduced during that session. This objection 
must be made when the question is first introduced, before it has been debated, and it can be made when 
another member has the floor. 

(b) Postpone indefinitely. After the question has been debated, the proper motion to use in order to suppress 
the question for the session, is to postpone indefinitely. It cannot be made while any motion except the 
original or main question is pending, but it can be made after an amendment has been acted upon, and the 
main question, as amended, is before the assembly. It opens the merits of the main question to debate to as 
great an extent as if the main question were before the assembly. On account of these two facts, in assemblies 
with short sessions it is not very useful, as the same result can usually be more easily attained by the next 
motion. 
(c) Lie on the table. If there is no possibility during the remainder of the session of obtaining a majority vote 
for taking up the question, then the quickest way of suppressing it is 
=== Page 140 === 

to move "that the question lie on the table;" which, allowing of no debate, enables the majority to instantly lay 
the question on the table, from which it cannot be taken without their consent. 

From its high rank [§ 64] and undebatable character, this motion is very commonly used to suppress a 
question, but, as shown in § 57 (b), its effect is merely to lay the question aside till the assembly choose to 
consider it, and it only suppresses the question so long as there is a majority opposed to its consideration. 

60. To Consider a question a second time. Reconsider. When a question has been once adopted, rejected or 
suppressed, it cannot be again considered during that session [§ 70], except by a motion to "reconsider the 
vote" on that question. This motion can only be made by one who voted on the prevailing side, and on the day 
the vote was taken which it is proposed to reconsider.* [In Congress it can be made on the same or succeeding 
day; and if the yeas and nays were not taken on the vote, any one can move the reconsideration. The yeas and 
nays are however ordered on all important votes in Congress, which is not the case in ordinary societies.] It 
can be made and entered on the minutes in the midst of debate, even when another member has the floor, but 

PART II. 52 

cannot be considered until there is no question 

=== Page 141 === 

before the assembly, when, if called up, it takes precedence of every motion except to adjourn and to fix the 
time to which the assembly shall adjourn. 

A motion to reconsider a vote on a debatable question, opens to debate the entire merits of the original 
motion. If the question to be reconsidered is undebatable, then the reconsideration is undebatable. 

If the motion to reconsider is carried, the chairman announces that the question now recurs on the adoption of 
the question the vote on which has been just reconsidered: the original question is now in exactly the same 
condition that it was in before the first vote was taken on its adoption, and must be disposed of by a vote. 

When a motion to reconsider is entered on the minutes, it need not be called up by the mover till the next 
meeting, on a succeeding day.* [If the assembly has not adopted these or similar rules, this paragraph would 
not apply, but this motion to reconsider would, like any other motion, fall to the ground if not acted upon 
before the close of the session at which the original vote was adopted.] If he fails to call it up then, any one 
else can do so. But should there be no succeeding meeting, either adjourned or regular, within a month, then 
the effect of the motion to reconsider 

=== Page 142 === 

terminates with the adjournment of the meeting at which it was made, and any one can call it up at that 
meeting. 

In general no motion (except to adjourn) that has been once acted upon, can again be considered during the 
same session, except by a motion to reconsider. [The motion to adjourn can be renewed if there has been 
progress in business or debate, and it cannot be reconsidered.] But this rule does not prevent the renewal of 
any of the motions mentioned in § 64, provided the question before the assembly has in any way changed; for 
in this case, while the motions are nominally the same, they are in fact different.* [Thus to move to postpone a 
resolution is a different question from moving to postpone it after it has been amended. A motion to suspend 
the rules for a certain purpose cannot be renewed at the same meeting, but can be at an adjourned meeting. A 
call for the orders of the day that has been negatived, cannot be renewed while the question then before the 
assembly is still under consideration. See Rules of Order, § 27, for many peculiarities of this motion.] 

61. Order and Rules. (a) Orders of the Day. Sometimes an assembly decides that certain questions shall be 
considered at a particular time, and when that time arrives those questions constitute what is termed the 
"orders of the day," and if any member "calls for the orders of the day," as it requires no second, the 
=== Page 143 === 

chairman immediately puts the question, thus: "Will the assembly now proceed to the orders of the day?" If 
carried, the subject under consideration is laid aside, and the questions appointed for that time are taken up in 
their order. When the time arrives, the chairman may state that fact, and put the above question without 
waiting for a motion. If the motion fails, the call for the orders of the day cannot be renewed till the subject 
then before the assembly is disposed of.* [In Congress, a member entitled to the floor cannot be interrupted by 
a call for the orders of the day. In an ordinary assembly, the most common case where orders of the day are 
decided upon is where it is necessary to make a programme for the session. When the hour arrives for the 
consideration of any subject on the programme, these rules permit any member to call for the orders of the day 
(as described in Rules of Order, § 2) even though another person has the floor. If this were not permitted, it 
would often be impossible to carry out the programme, though wished for by the majority. A majority could 

PART II. 53 

postpone the orders of the day, when called for, so as to continue the discussion of the question then before 
the assembly. An order as to the time when any subject shall be considered, must not be confounded with the 
rules of the assembly; the latter must be enforced by the chairman, without they are suspended by a two-thirds 
vote; the former, in strictness, can only be carried out by the order of a majority of the assembly then present 
and voting.] 

(b) Special Order. If a subject is of such importance that it is desired to consider it at a special time in 
preference to the orders of the day and established order of business, then a motion should be made to make 
the question a "special order" for that particular time. This 
=== Page 144 === 

motion requires a two-thirds vote for its adoption, because it is really a suspension of the rules, and it is in 
order whenever a motion to suspend the rules is in order. If a subject is a special order for a particular day, 
then on that day it supersedes all business except the reading of the minutes. A special order can be postponed 
by a majority vote. If two special orders are made for the same day, the one first made takes precedence. 

(c) Suspension of the Rules. It is necessary for every assembly, if discussion is allowed, to have rules to 
prevent its time being wasted, and to enable it to accomplish the object for which the assembly was organized. 
And yet at times their best interests are subserved by suspending their rules temporarily. In order to do this, 
some one makes a motion "to suspend the rules that interfere with," etc., stating the object of the suspension. 
If this motion is carried by a two-thirds vote, then the particular thing for which the rules were suspended can 
be done. By "general consent," that is, if no one objects, the rules can at any time be ignored without the 
formality of a motion. 
(d) Questions of Order. It is the duty of the chairman to enforce the rules and preserve 
=== Page 145 === 

order, and when any member notices a breach of order, he can call for the enforcement of the rules. In such 
cases, when he rises he usually says, "Mr. Chairman, I rise to a point of order." The chairman then directs the 
speaker to take his seat, and having heard the point of order, decides the question and permits the first speaker 
to resume his speech, directing him to abstain from any conduct that was decided to be out of order. When a 
speaker has transgressed the rules of decorum he cannot continue his speech, if any one objects, without 
permission is granted him by a vote of the assembly. Instead of the above method, when a member uses 
improper language, some one says, "I call the gentleman to order;" when the chairman decides as before 
whether the language is disorderly. 

(e) Appeal. While on all questions of order, and of interpretation of the rules and of priority of business, it is 
the duty of the chairman to first decide the question, it is the privilege of any member to "appeal from the 
decision." If the appeal is seconded, the chairman states his decision, and that it has been appealed from, and 
then states the question, thus: "Shall the decision of the chair stand as the judgment of the assembly?" [or 
society, convention, etc.] 
=== Page 146 === 

The chairman can then, without leaving the chair, state the reasons for his decision, after which it is open to 
debate (no member speaking but once), excepting in the following cases, when it is undebatable: (1) When it 
relates to transgressions of the rules of speaking, or to some indecorum, or to the priority of business; and (2) 
when the previous question was pending at the time the question of order was raised. After the vote is taken, 
the chairman states that the decision of the chair is sustained or reversed, as the case may be. 

PART II. 54 

62. Miscellaneous. (a) Reading of papers and (b) Withdrawal of a motion. If a speaker wishes to read a paper, 
or a member to withdraw his motion after it has been stated by the chair, it is necessary, if any one objects, to 
make a motion to grant the permission. 
(c) Questions of Privilege. Should any disturbance occur during the meeting, or anything affecting the rights 
of the assembly or any of the members, any member may "rise to a question of privilege," and state the 
matter, which the chairman decides to be, or not to be, a matter of privilege: (from the chairman's decision of 
course an appeal can be taken). If the question is one of privilege, it supersedes, 
=== Page 147 === 

for the time being, the business before the assembly; its consideration can be postponed to another time, or the 
previous question can be ordered on it so as to stop debate, or it can be laid on the table, or referred to a 
committee to examine and report upon it. As soon as the question of privilege is in some way disposed of, the 
debate which was interrupted is resumed. 

63. To Close the Meeting. (a) Fix the time to which to adjourn. If it is desired to have an adjourned meeting of 
the assembly, it is best some time before its close to move, "That when this assembly adjourns, it adjourns to 
meet at such a time," specifying the time. This motion can be amended by altering the time, but if made when 
another question is before the assembly, neither the motion nor the amendment can be debated. If made when 
no other business is before the assembly, it stands as any other main question, and can be debated. This 
motion can be made even while the assembly is voting on the motion to adjourn, but not when another 
member has the floor. 
(b) Adjourn. In order to prevent an assembly 
=== Page 148 === 

from being kept in session an unreasonably long time, it is necessary to have a rule limiting the time that the 
floor can be occupied by any one member at one time.* [Ten minutes is allowed by these rules.] When it is 
desired to close the meeting, without the member who has the floor will yield it, the only resource is to wait 
till his time expires, and then a member who gets the floor should move "to adjourn." The motion being 
seconded, the chairman instantly put the question, as it allows of no amendment or debate; and if decided in 
the affirmative, he says, "The motion is carried;--this assembly stands adjourned." If the assembly is one that 
will have no other meeting, instead of adjourned," he says "adjourned without day," or "sine die." If 
previously it had been decided when they adjourned to adjourn to a particular time, then he states that the 
assembly stands adjourned to that time. If the motion to adjourn is qualified by specifying the time, as, "to 
adjourn to tomorrow evening," it cannot be made when any other question is before the assembly; like any 
other main motion, it can then be amended and debated.* [For the effect of an adjournment upon unfinished 
business see § 69.] 

=== Page 149 === 

64. Order of Precedence of Motions. The ordinary motions rank as follows, and any of them (except to 
amend) can be made while one of a lower order is pending, but none can supersede one of a higher order: 
To Fix the Time to which to Adjourn. To Adjourn (when unqualified). For the Orders of the Day. To Lie on 
the Table. For the Previous question. To Postpone to a Certain Time. To Commit. To Amend. To Postpone 
Indefinitely. 

The motion to Reconsider can be made when any other question is before the assembly, but cannot be acted 
upon until the business then before the assembly is disposed of; when, if called up, it takes precedence of all 

PART II. 55 

other motions except to adjourn and to fix the time to which to adjourn. Questions incidental to those before 
the assembly take precedence of them, and must be acted upon first. 

A question of order, a call for the orders of the day, or an objection to the consideration of a question, can be 
made while another member has the floor: so, too, can a motion to reconsider, but it can only be entered on 
the minutes 

=== Page 150 === 

at that time, as it cannot supersede the question then before the assembly. 

Art. XIII. Debate. 

65. Rules of Speaking in Debate. All remarks must be addressed to the chairman, and must be confined to the 
question before the assembly, avoiding all personalities and reflections upon any one's motives. It is usual for 
permanent assemblies to adopt rules limiting the number of times any member can speak to the same 
question, and the time allowed for each speech;* [In Congress the House of Representatives allows from each 
member only one speech of one hour's length; the Senate allows two speeches without limit as to length.] as 
otherwise one member, while he could speak only once to the same question, might defeat a measure by 
prolonging his speech and declining to yield the floor except for a motion to adjourn. In ordinary assemblies 
two speeches should be allowed each member (except upon an appeal), and these rules also limit the time for 
each speech to ten minutes. A majority can permit a member to speak oftener or longer whenever it is desired, 
and the motion granting such permission cannot be debated. 
=== Page 151 === 

However, if greater freedom is wanted, it is only necessary to consider the question informally, or if the 
assembly is large, go into committee of the whole.* [See Rules of Order, §§ 32, 33.] If on the other hand it is 
desired to limit the debate more, or close it altogether, it can be done by a two-thirds vote, as shown in § 58 
(b). 

66. Undebatable Questions and those Opening the Main Question to Debate. [A full list of these will be found 
in § 35, to which the reader is referred. To the undebatable motions in that list, should be added the motion to 
close or limit debate.] 
Art. XIV. Miscellaneous. 

67. Forms of Stating and Putting Questions. Whenever a motion has been made and seconded, it is the duty of 
the chairman, if the motion is in order, to state the question so that the assembly may know what question is 
before them. The seconding of a motion is required to prevent a question being introduced when only one 
member is in favor of it, and consequently 
=== Page 152 === 

but little attention is paid to it in mere routine motions, or when it is evident that many are in favor of the 
motion; in such cases the chairman assumes that the motion is seconded. 

Often in routine work the chairman puts the question without waiting for even a motion, as few persons like to 
make such formal motions, and much time would be wasted by waiting for them (but the chairman can only 
do this as long as no one objects.) The following motions, however, do not have to be seconded: (a) a call for 
the orders of the day; (b) a call to order, or the raising of any question of order; and (c) an objection to the 
consideration of a question. 

PART II. 56 

One of the commonest forms of stating a question is to say that, "It is moved and seconded that," and then 
give the motion. When an amendment has been voted on, the chairman announces the result, and then says, 
"The question now recurs on the resolution," or, "on the resolution as amended" as the case may be. So in all 
cases, as soon as a vote is taken, he should immediately state the question then before the assembly, if there be 
any. If the motion is debatable or can be amended, the chairman, usually after stating the question, and 

=== Page 153 === 

always before finally putting it, inquires, "Are you ready for the question?" Some of the common forms of 
stating and putting questions are shown in §§ 46-48. The forms of putting the following questions, are, 
however, peculiar: 

If a motion is made to Strike out certain words, the question is put in this form: "Shall these words stand as a 
part of the resolution?" so that on a tie vote they are struck out. 

If the Previous Question is demanded, it is put thus: "Shall the main question be now put?" 

If an Appeal is made from the decision of the Chair, the question is put thus: "Shall the decision of the Chair 
stand as the judgment of the assembly?" [convention, society, etc.] If the Orders of the Day are called for, the 
question is put thus: "Will the assembly now proceed to the Orders of the Day?" 

When, upon the introduction of a question, some one objects to its consideration, the chairman immediately 
puts the question thus: "Will the assembly consider it?" or, "Shall the question be considered?" [or discussed.] 

If the vote has been ordered to be taken by yeas and nays, the question is put in a form similar to the 
following: "As many as are in favor of the adoption of these resolutions, will, when their names are called, 
answer yes [or aye]--those opposed will answer no." 

=== Page 154 === 

68. Motions requiring a two-thirds vote.* [See Two-thirds Vote, page 159, and § 39 of Rules of Order.] 
All motions that have the effect to make a variation from the established rules and customs, should require a 
two-thirds vote for their adoption. Among these established customs should be regarded the right of free 
debate upon the merits of any measure, before the assembly can be forced to take final action upon it. The 
following motions would come under this rule: 

To amend or suspend the rules. To make a special order. To take up a question out of its proper order. An 
objection to the consideration of a question. The Previous Question, or a motion to limit or close debate. 

69. Unfinished Business. When an assembly adjourns, the unfinished business comes up at the adjourned 
meeting, if one is held, as the first business after the reading of the minutes; if there is no adjourned meeting, 
the unfinished business comes up immediately before new business at the next regular meeting, provided the 
regular meetings are more frequent than yearly.* [See Rules of Order, § 11, for a fuller explanation of the 
effect of an adjournment upon unfinished business, and the Congressional practice.] If the meetings are only 
once a 
=== Page 155 === 

year, the adjournment of the session puts an end to all unfinished business. 

70. Session. Each regular meeting of a society constitutes a separate session. Any meeting which is not an 

PART II. 57 

adjournment of another meeting, commences a new session; the session terminates as soon as the assembly 
"adjourns without day."* [In ordinary practice, a meeting is closed by moving simply "to adjourn;" the society 
meet again at the time provided either by their rules or by a resolution of the society. If they do not meet till 
the time for the next regular meeting, as provided in the By-Laws, then the adjournment closed the session, 
and was in effect an adjournment without day. If, however, they had previously fixed the time for the next 
meeting, either by a direct vote, or by adopting a programme of exercises covering several meetings or even 
days, in either case the adjournment is in effect to a certain day, and does not close the session.] 

When an assembly has meetings for several days consecutively, they all constitute one session. Each session 
of a society is independent of the other sessions, excepting as expressly provided in their Constitution, 
By-Laws, or Rules of Order, and excepting that resolutions adopted by one session are in force during 
succeeding sessions until rescinded by a majority vote [see note to § 49]. 

Where a society holds more than one regular session a year, these rules limit the independence of each session 
as follows: (a) The Order of Business prescribed in § 72 requires that the 

=== Page 156 === 

minutes of the previous meeting, the reports of committees previously appointed, and the unfinished business 
of the last session, shall all take precedence of new business, and that no subject can be considered out of its 
proper order, except by a two-thirds vote; (b) it is allowable to postpone a question to the next session, when it 
comes up with unfinished business, but it is not allowable to postpone to a day beyond the next session, and 
thus interfere with the right of the next session to consider the question; (c) a motion to reconsider a vote can 
be made at one meeting and called up at the next meeting, even though it be another session, provided the 
society holds its regular sessions as frequently as monthly.* [See Rules of Order, § 42, for a full discussion of 
this subject.] 

71. Quorum. [See § 43 for full information on this subject.] 
72. Order of Business. Every society should adopt an order of business adapted to its special wants. The 
following is the usual order where no special rule is adopted, and when more than one regular meeting is held 
each year: 
=== Page 157 === 

(1) Reading of the minutes of the last meeting. (2) Reports of Boards of Trustees or Managers, and Standing 
Committees. (3) Reports of Select Committees. (4) Unfinished Business (including questions postponed to 
this meeting). (5) New Business. 
Business cannot be considered out of its order, except by a two-thirds vote; but a majority can lay on the table 
the different questions as they come up, and thus reach a subject they wish first to consider. If a subject has 
been made a Special Order for this meeting, then it is to be considered immediately after the minutes are read. 

73. Amendments of Constitutions, By-Laws and Rules of Order, should be permitted only when adopted by a 
two-thirds vote, at a regular meeting of the society, after having been proposed at the previous regular 
meeting. If the meetings are very frequent, weekly, for instance, amendments should be adopted only at the 
quarterly meetings, after having been proposed at the previous quarterly meeting. 
=== Page 158 === 

Legal Rights of Assemblies and the Trial of their Members. 

PART II. 58 

The Right of Deliberative Assemblies to Punish their Members. A deliberative assembly has the inherent right 
to make and enforce its own laws and punish an offender--the extreme penalty, however being expulsion from 
its own body. When expelled, if the assembly is a permanent society, it has a right, for its own protection, to 
give public notice that the person has ceased to be a member of that society. 

But it has no right to go beyond what is necessary for self protection and publish the charges against the 
member. In a case where a member of a society was expelled, and an officer of the society published, by their 
order, a statement of the grave charges upon which he been found guilty, the expelled member recovered 
damages from the officer, in a suit for libel--the court holding that the truth of the charges did not affect the 
case. 

=== Page 159 === 

The Right of an Assembly to Eject any one from its place of meeting. Every deliberative assembly has the 
right to decide who may be present during its session, and when the assembly, either by a rule or by a vote, 
decides that a certain person shall not remain in the room, it is the duty of the chairman to enforce the rule or 
order, using whatever force is necessary to eject the party. 

The chairman can detail members to remove the person, without calling upon the police. If, however, in 
enforcing the order, any one uses harsher treatment than is necessary to remove the person, the courts have 
held that he, and he alone is liable to prosecution, just the same as a policeman would be under similar 
circumstances. However badly the man may be abused while being removed from the room, neither the 
chairman nor the society are liable for damages, as, in ordering his removal, they did not exceed their legal 
rights. 

Rights of Ecclesiastical Tribunals. Many of our deliberative assemblies are ecclesiastical bodies, and it is 
important to know how much respect will be paid to their decisions by the civil courts. 

A church became divided and each party 

=== Page 160 === 

claimed to be the church, and therefore entitled to the church property. The case was taken into the civil 
courts, and finally, on appeal to the U. S. Supreme Court, which held the case under advisement for one year, 
and then reversed the decision of the State Court, because it conflicted with the decision of the highest 
ecclesiastical court that had acted upon the case. The Supreme Court, in rendering its decision, laid down the 
broad principle that, when a local church is but a part of a larger and more general organization or 
denomination, it will accept the decision of the highest ecclesiastical tribunal to which the case has been 
carried within that general church organization, as final, and will not inquire into the justice or injustice of its 
decree as between the parties before it. The officers, the ministers, the members, or the church body which the 
highest judiciary of the denomination recognizes, the court will recognize. Whom that body expels or cuts off, 
the court will hold to be no longer members of that church. 

Trial of Members of Societies. Every deliberative assembly, having the right to purify its own body, must 
therefore have the right to investigate the character of its members. 

=== Page 161 === 

It can require any of them to testify in the case, under pain of expulsion if they refuse. In § 36 is shown the 
method of procedure when a member is charged with violating the rules of decorum in debate. If the 
disorderly words are of a personal nature, before the assembly proceeds to deliberate upon the case, both 
parties to the personality should retire. It is not necessary for the member objecting to the words to retire, 

PART II. 59 

unless he is personally involved in the case. 

When the charge is against the member's character, it is usually referred to a committee of investigation or 
discipline, or to some standing committee to report upon. Some societies have standing committees, whose 
duty it is to report cases for discipline whenever any are known to them. 

In either case the committee investigate the matter and report to the society. This report need not go into 
details, but should contain their recommendations as to what action the society should take, and should 
usually close with resolutions covering the case, so that there is no need for any one to offer any additional 
resolutions upon it. The ordinary resolutions, where the member is recommended to be expelled, 

=== Page 162 === 

are (1) to fix the time to which the Society shall adjourn; and (2) to instruct the clerk to cite the member to 
appear before the society at this adjourned meeting to show cause why he should not be expelled, upon the 
following charges, which should then be given. 

After charges are preferred against a member and the assembly has ordered that he be cited to appear for trial, 
he is theoretically under arrest, and is deprived of all the rights of membership until his case is disposed of. 

The clerk should send the accused a written notice to appear before the society at the time appointed, and 
should at the same time furnish him with a copy of the charges. A failure to obey the summons is generally 
cause enough for summary expulsion. 

At the appointed meeting, what may be called the trial, takes place. Frequently the only evidence required 
against the member is the report of the committee. After it has been read and any additional evidence offered 
that the committee may see fit to introduce, the accused should be allowed to make an explanation and 
introduce witnesses if he so desires. Either party should be allowed to cross-examine the other's witnesses and 
introduce rebutting testimony. 

=== Page 163 === 

When the evidence is all in, the accused should retire from the room, and the society deliberate upon the 
question, and finally act by a vote upon the question of expulsion or other punishment proposed. 

In acting upon the case, it must be borne in mind that there is a vast distinction between the evidence 
necessary to convict in a civil court and that required to convict in an ordinary society or ecclesiastical body. 
A notorious pickpocket could not even be arrested, much less convicted, by a civil court, simply on the 
ground of being commonly known as a pickpocket; while such evidence would convict and expel him from 
any ordinary society. 

The moral conviction of the truth of the charge is all that is necessary in an ecclesiastical or other deliberative 
body, to find the accused guilty of the charges. 

If the trial is liable to be long and troublesome, or of a very delicate nature, the member is frequently cited to 
appear before a committee, instead of the society, for trial. In this case the committee report to the society the 
result of their trial of the case, with resolutions covering the punishment which they recommend the society to 
adopt. 

=== Page 164 === === Page 165 === 

TABLE OF RULES 

PART II. 60 

RELATING TO MOTIONS. 

[This Table contains the answers to more than two hundred questions on parliamentary law, and should 
always be consulted before referring to the body of the Manual.] 

=== Page 166 === 

TABLE OF RULES RELATING TO MOTIONS. 

Explanation of the Table. A Star shows that the rule heading the column in which it stands, applies to the 
motion opposite to which it is placed: a blank shows that the rule does not apply: a figure shows that the rule 
only partially applies, the figure referring to the note on the next page showing the limitations. Take, for 
example, "Lie on the table:" the Table shows that § 19 of the Pocket Manual treats of this motion; that it is 
"undebatable" and "cannot be amended;" and that an affirmative vote on it (as shown in note 3) "cannot be 
reconsidered:" -- the four other columns being blank, show that this motion does not "open the main question 
to debate," that it does not "require a 2/3 vote," that it does "require to be seconded," and that it is not "in 
order when another member has the floor." 

The column headed "Requires a two-thirds vote," applies only where the "Pocket Manual of Rules of Order," 
or similar rules, have been adopted. [See "Two-thirds Vote," on next page, under Miscellaneous Rules.] 

After the note to the Table is some additional information that a chairman should always have at hand, such as 
the Order of Precedence of Motions, the Forms Of Putting Certain Questions, etc. 

In order when another has the floor [§ 2]-------------| Requires no Second [§ 3]-----------| | Requires a 2/3 vote 
[§ 39]--See Note 1.---------| | | Cannot be Reconsidered [§ 27]-------| | | | Cannot be Amended [§ 23]-----| | | | | 
Opens Main Question to Debate [§ 35]---| | | | | | Undebatable [§ 35]-| | | | | | | |- Section in Pocket Manual | | | | | | 
| | | | | | | | | 11 Adjourn ............................................. x . x x . . . 10 Adjourn, Fix the Time to which to 
................... 2 . . . . . . 23 Amend ............................................... . . . . . . . 23 Amend an Amendment 
.................................. . . x . . . . 43 Amend the Rules ..................................... . . . . x . . 14 Appeal, relating to 
indecorum, etc., [6] ............ x . x . . . x 14 Appeal, all other cases ............................. . . x . . . x 14 Call to Order 
....................................... x . x . . x x 37 Close Debate, motion to ............................. x . . . x . . 22 Commit 
.............................................. . x . . . . . 31 Extend the limits of debate, motion to .............. x . . . . . . 10 Fix the 
Time to which to Adjourn .................... 2 . . . . . . 15 Leave to continue speaking when guilty of indecorum x . 

x . . . . 19 Lie on the Table .................................... x . x 3 . . . 37 Limit Debate, motion to ............................. x . 
. . x . . 13 Objection to Consideration of a Question [7] ........ x . x . x x x 13 Orders of the Day, motion for the 
................... x . x . . x x 21 Postpone to a certain time .......................... 4 . . . . . . 24 Postpone indefinitely 
............................... . x x . . . . 20 Previous Question ................................... x . x . x . . 44 Priority of Business, 
questions relating to ......... x . . . . . . 16 Reading Papers ...................................... x . x . . . . 27 Reconsider a 
debatable question ..................... . x x . . . 5 27 Reconsider an undebatable question .................. x . x . . . 5 22 
Refer (same as Commit) .............................. . x . . . . . 11 Rise (in Committee equals Adjourn) .................. x . x 
x . . . 11 Shall the question be discussed? [7] ................ x . x . x x x 61 Special Order, to make a 
............................ . . . . x . . 23 Substitute (same as Amend) .......................... . . . . . . . 18 Suspend the Rules 
................................... x . x x x . . 59 Take from the table ................................. x . x 3 . . . 44 Take up a 
question out of its proper order .......... x . x . x . . 17 Withdrawal of a motion .............................. x . x . . . . 
=== Page 167 === 

Notes To The Table. 

(1) This column only applies to assemblies that have adopted these Rules. If no rules are adopted, a majority 
vote is sufficient for the adoption of any motion, except to "suspend the rules," which requires a unanimous 

PART II. 61 

vote. [See Two-thirds Vote, below.] 

(2) Undebatable if made when another question is before the assembly. 
(3) An affirmative vote on this motion cannot be reconsidered. 
(4) Allows of but limited debate upon the propriety of the postponement. 
(5) Can be moved and entered on the record when another has the floor, but cannot interrupt the business then 
before the assembly: it must be made on the day the original vote was taken, and by one who voted with the 
prevailing side. 
(6) An appeal is undebatable only when relating to indecorum, or to transgressions of the rules of speaking, or 
to the priority of business, or when made while the Previous Question is pending. When debatable, only one 
speech from each member is permitted. 
(7) The objection can only be made when the question is first introduced, before debate. 
MISCELLANEOUS RULES. 

Order of Precedence of Motions. 

The ordinary motions rank as follows, and any of them (except to amend) can be made while one of a lower 
order is pending, but none can supercede one of a higher order: 

To Fix the Time to which to Adjourn. To Adjourn (when unqualified). For the Orders of the Day. To Lie on 
the Table. For the Previous Question. To Postpone to a Certain Time. To Commit. To Amend. To Postpone 
Indefinitely. 

The motion to Reconsider can be made when any other question is before the assembly, but cannot be acted 
upon until the business then before the assembly is disposed of [see note 5 above], when if called up, it takes 
precedence of all other motions except to adjourn and to fix the time to which to adjourn. Questions incidental 
to those before the assembly, take precedence of them and must be acted upon first. 

Two-thirds Vote. 

In Congress the only motions requiring a two-thirds vote, are to suspend or amend the Rules, to take up 
business out of its proper order, and to make a special order. In ordinary societies harmony is so essential, that 
a two-thirds vote should be required to force the assembly to a final vote upon a resolution without allowing 
free debate. The Table conforms to the Rules of Order, which are based upon this principle. If an assembly 
has adopted no Rules of Order, then a majority vote is sufficient for the adoption of any motion, except to 
"suspend the rules," which would require a unanimous vote. 

Forms of Putting Certain Questions. 

If a motion is made to Strike out certain words, the question is put in this form: "Shall these words stand as a 
part of the resolution?" so that on a tie vote they are struck out. 

If the Previous Question is demanded, it is put thus: "Shall the main question now be put?" 

If an Appeal is made from the decision of the Chair, the question is put thus: "Shall the decision of the Chair 
stand as the judgement of the assembly?" [convention, society, etc.]. 

Part I; those greater than 

If the Orders of the Day are called for, the question is put thus: "Will the assembly now proceed to the Orders 
of the Day?" 

When, upon the introduction of a question, some one objects to its consideration, the chairman immediately 
puts the question thus: "Will the assembly consider it?" or "Shall the question be considered?" [or discussed.] 

If the vote has been ordered to be taken by yeas and nays, the question is put in a form similar to the 
following: "As many as are in favor of the adoption of these resolutions, will, when their names are called, 
answer yes [or aye]--those opposed will answer no. 

Various Forms of Amendments. 

An Amendment may be either (1) by "adding" or (2) by "striking out" words or paragraphs; or (3) by "striking 
out certain words and inserting others;" or (4) by "substituting" a different motion on the same subject; or (5) 
by "dividing the question" into two or more questions, so as to get a separate vote on any particular point or 
points. 

=== Page 168 === 

Additions and Corrections. 

[These corrections, though mostly contained in other parts of the Manual, are also needed in the places here 
indicated.] 

19th page, 7th line, after "§ 13" insert a star referring to this note: "See note to § 61." 50th '' 2d line of last 
note, omit all after "reconsideration." 51st '' at end of 12th line, insert "upon another day." '' '' 10th line, insert 
a star, referring to this note: "In Congress the effect always terminates with the session, and it cannot be called 
up by any one but the mover, until the expiration of the time during which it is in order to move a 
reconsideration." 69th '' 4th line, after "§ 34," insert "or limiting debate." 72d '' 17th line, insert a star referring 
to this note: "If both are personally interested. [See p. 161.]" 73d '' last line of note, insert "final" before 
"vote." 80th '' add to the list in § 39 the motion "To make a special order." 

=== Page 169 === 

INDEX. 

The figures from 1 to 45 refer to sections in 

Part I; those greater than 

45, to sections in 

Part II. A complete list of motions will be found in 

the Index, under the title Motions, list of. The arrangement of the work can be most easily seen by examining 
the Table of Contents [pp. 5-8]; its plan is explained in the Introduction, pp. 12-15. SECTION. 

Adjourn, motion to ............................................. 11, 63b when in order ................................................ 11, 64 
effect upon unfinished business .............................. 11, 69 motion to "fix the time to which to adjourn" 
.................. 10, 63 Amendment, motion to "amend" .................................. 23, 56a by "adding" or "striking out" 
................................ 23, 56a by "striking out and inserting" .............................. 23, 56a by "substituting" 

Part II. A complete list of motions will be found in 

............................................ 23, 56a by "dividing the question" ................................ 4, 23, 56a of an 
amendment .............................................. 23, 56a in committee .................................................. 28, 53 in 
committee of the whole ........................................ 32 of reports or propositions with several paragraphs ........... 
44, 48b of Rules of Order, By-Laws and Constitutions .................. 45, 73 motions that cannot be amended 
............................... 23, 56a Announcing the vote. See Forms. Appeal from the decision of the chair 
.......................... 14, 61e Apply, meaning of (Introduction, page 14). Assembly, how organized 
..................................... 46, 47, 48 the word to be replaced by Society, Convention, etc., when it occurs in 
forms of questions, p 16. legal rights of, pp. 158-163. right to punish members, p. 158. right to eject persons 
from their room, p. 159. trial of members, p. 160. Ayes and Noes. See Yeas and Nays, § 38. Ballot 
.............................................................. 38 Blanks, filling of .................................................. 25 in balloting, 
not to be counted ................................... 38 

=== Page 170 === 

Boards of Trustees, Managers, etc., their reports in order when reports of standing committees are made 
............ 44, 72 (See Quorum.) Business, introduction of ...................................... 1-5, 54 order of 
...................................................... 44, 72 unfinished, effect of an adjournment upon ..................... 11, 69 [See 
Priority of Business.] By-Laws, what they should contain ................................... 49 adoption of 
...................................................... 46a amendment of .................................................. 45, 73 Chairman, duties 
of ............................................. 40, 50 election of ...................................................... 46a temporary 
..................................................... 40, 47 of a committee ................................................ 28, 53 of committee of 
the whole ........................................... 32 Change of Vote allowed before result is announced ................... 38 
Classification of Motions according to their object ................. 55 into Privileged, Incidental, Subsidiary, etc. 
.................... 6-9 Clerk, duties of ................................................ 41, 51 additional duties of when receiving 
money ......................... 52 election of ...................................................... 46a Commit, motion to 
.............................................. 22, 56b Committees, appointment of ..................................... 22, 46c how they 
should be composed ................................... 22, 53 object of ..................................................... 28, 53 manner 
of conducting business in .............................. 28, 53 Reports of, their form ........................................ 29, 53 
their reception ............................................ 30, 46c their adoption ............................................. 31, 46c their 
place in the order of business ........................ 44, 72 common errors in acting upon (note) ........................ 30, 
46c Minority Reports of, their form ............................... 29, 53 to be acted upon must be moved as a substitute 
for the committee's report ................................ 28, 53 of the whole ...................................................... 32 as if 
in committee of the whole ................................... 33 

=== Page 171 === 

Congress, rules of, the basis of this work, pp. 10-12. Consideration of a question, objection to ...................... 
15, 59a Constitutions, what they should contain ............................. 49 adoption of by a society 
......................................... 48b amendment of .................................................. 45, 73 Convention, manner of 
organizing and conducting a meeting of ..................................................... 47 Credentials of delegates 
............................................ 47 Debate, what precedes ............................................ 3, 54 no member to speak 
but twice in same .......................... 34, 65 no member to speak longer than ten minutes at one time 
........................................................ 34, 65 a majority can extend the number and length of speeches allowed 
........................................... 34, 65 number of speeches and time allowed in Congress (note) 
...................................................... 34, 65 member introducing measure has right to close ..................... 34 list 
of undebatable questions ................................. 35, 66 motions that open the main question to ............................ 
35 principles regulating the extent of (see note) .................... 35 decorum in .................................................... 
36, 65 closing or limiting ........................................... 37, 58 Decorum in debate ............................................... 
36, 65 Definitions of various terms [Introduction, p. 15]. Delegates, organization of a meeting of 
............................. 47 Division of the assembly ............................................ 38 of questions [see Amendment] 
.................................. 4, 56a Ecclesiastical Tribunals, legal rights of, p. 159. Election of Officers 
........................................... 46a, 47 Fix the time to which to Adjourn, motion to .................... 10, 63a Floor, 

Part II. A complete list of motions will be found in 

how to obtain ............................................. 2, 54 Forms of making motions ......................................... 46, 54 of 
stating and putting questions .............................. 38, 67 of announcing the result of a vote ............................ 
38, 54 of reports of committees ...................................... 29, 53 of treasurers' reports 
............................................ 52 of minutes of a meeting ....................................... 41, 51 

=== Page 172 === 

Forms-Continued. 

of conducting an occasional or mass meeting ....................... 46 of conducting a meeting of delegates 
.............................. 47 of conduction a meeting to organize a society ..................... 48 of conducting an 
ordinary meeting of a society ................... 48b Incidental questions ................................................. 8 Indefinite 
postponement ........................................ 24, 59b Informal consideration of a question ................................ 33 
Introduction of Business ....................................... 1-5, 54 Journal, or minutes ............................................. 41, 
51 Legal Rights. See Assembly and Ecclesiastical Tribunals. Lie on the table, motion to ............................... 
19, 57b, 59c Main question ........................................................ 6 Majority. See Two-thirds and Quorum. 
Meeting, distinction between it and session ..................... 42, 70 [See also Introduction, page 15.] how to 
conduct. See Forms. Members not to be present during a debate or vote concerning themselves 
............................................. 36 trial of, p. 160. Minority Report. See Committees. Minutes, form and contents 
of ................................... 41, 51 Moderator. See Chairman. Modification of a motion by the mover 
................................ 5 Motions, list of. [For details, see each motion in the Index.] Adjourn 
...................................................... 11, 63b Adjourn, Fix the time to which to ............................ 10, 63a Amend 
........................................................ 23, 56a Adopt a report (same as accept or agree to) .................. 31, 46c 
Appeal ....................................................... 14, 61e Blanks, filling ................................................... 25 Call to 
order ................................................ 14, 61d Close debate .................................................. 37, 58 Commit 
....................................................... 22, 56b Consideration of a question, objection to ................... 15, 59a 
Divide the question ....................................... 4, 23, 56a 

=== Page 173 === 

Motions-Continued. 

Extend the limits of debate ................................... 34, 65 Fix the time to which to adjourn ............................. 
10, 63a Incidental motions or questions .................................... 8 Indefinitely postpone 
........................................ 24, 59b Informal consideration of a question .............................. 33 Leave to 
continue speech when guilty of indecorum ................. 36 Leave to withdraw a motion ................................... 
17, 62b Lie on the table ........................................ 19, 57b, 59c Limit Debate ................................................. 
37, 58b Main motions or questions .......................................... 6 Objection to the consideration of a question 
................. 15, 59a Order, questions of .......................................... 14, 61d Orders of the day 
............................................ 13, 61a Orders, special .................................................. 61b Postpone to a certain 
day .................................... 21, 57a Postpone indefinitely ........................................ 24, 59b Previous question 
............................................ 20, 58a Principal motions or questions ..................................... 6 Priority of 
Business, questions relating to ....................... 35 Privileged motions or questions .................................... 9 
Privilege, questions of ...................................... 12, 62c Reading papers ................................................ 16, 62 
Reception of a report [see Committees] ....................... 30, 46c Recommit [same as Commit] 
..................................... 22, 56 Reconsider .................................................... 27, 60 Refer [same as Commit] 
....................................... 22, 56b Renewal of a motion ........................................... 26, 60 Rise [in committee, 
equals adjourn] ........................... 11, 32 Shall the question be considered? [or discussed] ............. 15, 59a 
Special Order, to make a ......................................... 61b Strike out [see Amendment] ................................... 23, 
56a Subsidiary motions or questions .................................... 7 Substitute (same as Amendment, which see) 
.................... 23, 56a Suspension of the Rules ...................................... 18, 61c Take from the table [see Lie on 
the table] ................... 19, 57b Take up a question out of its proper order .................... 44, 72 Withdrawal of a 

Part I, Rules of Order, (Introduction, page 13.) 

motion ........................................ 17, 62 

=== Page 174 === 

Motions, tabular view of rules relating to, page 166. classified according to their object .............................. 55 
classified into Privileged, Incidental, Subsidiary, etc. ......... 6-9 order of precedence of [see each motion, §§ 
10-27] ................ 64 how to be made .......................................... 1, 2, 46, 54 a second required (with certain 
exceptions) .................... 3, 67 to be stated by chairman before being discussed ................ 3, 54 when to be in 
writing .......................................... 4, 54 how to be divided .................................................. 4 how to be 
modified by the mover ............................. 3, 5, 17 how to be stated and put to the question ...................... 38, 
67 that cannot be amended ....................................... 23, 56a that cannot be debated ........................................ 
35, 66 that open main question to debate ................................. 35 that require two-thirds vote for their 
adoption ............... 39, 68 Nominations, how treated ....................................... 25, 46a Numbers of paragraphs 
to be corrected by clerk without a vote ............................................................ 23 Objection to the consideration 
(discussion or introduction of a question ................................................ 15, 59a Officers of an assembly. See 
Chairman, Clerk, Treasurer and Vice-Presidents. Order, questions of and a call to .............................. 14, 61d 
of business ................................................... 44, 72 of the day ................................................... 13, 61a 
distinction between, and rules of the assembly (note) .......... 61a special .......................................................... 
61b of precedence of motions. See Precedence. Organization of an occasional or mass meeting ...................... 
46a of a convention or assembly of delegates .......................... 47 of a permanent society 
............................................ 48 Papers and documents, reading of ................................ 16, 62 in custody of 
clerk ........................................... 41, 51 Parliamentary Law, its origin, etc., (Introduction. p. 9.) Plan of the 
Manual, (Introduction, page 12.) of 

Part I, Rules of Order, (Introduction, page 13.) 

of 

Part II, Organization and Conduct of Business, 

(Introduction, page 14.) 

=== Page 175 === 

Postpone to a certain time ..................................... 21, 57a indefinitely ................................................. 24, 59b 
Preamble, considered after the rest of a paper ...................... 44 Precedence of motions [see each motion, §§ 
10-27] ................... 64 meaning of, (Introduction, page 14.) Presiding Officer. See Chairman. Previous 
Question .............................................. 20, 58a Principal (or main) question ......................................... 6 
Priority of Business, questions relating to are undebatable ......... 35 Privilege, questions of 
........................................ 12, 62c Privileged questions ................................................. 9 Putting the question, 
form of ................................... 38, 67 Questions. See Forms, Motions, Privilege and Order. Quorum, when 
there is no rule, consists of a majority ............... 43 committees and boards cannot decide upon 
.......................... 43 Reading of Papers ............................................... 16, 62 Reception of a report. See 
Committees. Re-commit (same as Commit) ..................................... 22, 56b Reconsider 
...................................................... 27, 60 Record, or minutes .............................................. 41, 51 Recording 
officer. See Clerk. Refer [same as Commit] ......................................... 22, 56b Renewal of a motion 
............................................. 26, 60 Reports of committees. See Committees. Rights of assemblies. See 
Assembly. of ecclesiastical tribunals, p. 159. Rise, motion to, in committee, equals adjourn ................... 11, 32 
Rules of debate. See Debate. of Order, amendment of ........................................ 45, 73 of Order, what they 
should contain ................................ 49 standing, what they should contain ................................ 49 suspension 
of ................................................ 18, 61c relating to motions, tabular view of p. 166. 

Part II, Organization and Conduct of Business, 

=== Page 176 === 

Seconding, motions that do not require ........................... 3, 67 Secretary. See Clerk. Session [See also 
Meeting] ...................................... 42, 70 Shall the question be considered (or discussed) ................ 15, 59a 
Speaking, rules of, See Debate. Special Order ...................................................... 61b Standing Rules 
...................................................... 49 Stating a question, form of ..................................... 38, 67 Strike out (see 
Amendment) ..................................... 23, 56a Subsidiary motions or questions ...................................... 7 
Substitute (see Amendment) ..................................... 23, 56a Sum, largest, first put 
............................................. 25 Suspension of the rules ........................................ 18, 61c Table of Rules 
relating to motions, p. 166. Take from the table, motion to ................................. 19, 57b Time, longest, first 
put ............................................ 25 Treasurer, duties of ................................................ 52 Trial of Members, p. 

160. Two-thirds vote, motions requiring .............................. 39, 68 Undebatable Questions 
........................................... 35, 66 Unfinished business, effect of adjournment upon ................. 11, 69 its place 
in the order of business ............................ 44, 72 Vice-Presidents .................................................... 46d Vote, 
form of announcing [see also Forms] ....................... 38, 54 motions requiring more than a majority 
........................ 39, 68 change of, permitted before result is announced ................... 38 Voting, various 
methods of .......................................... 38 Withdrawal of a motion .......................................... 17, 62 Yeas and 
Nays, voting by ............................................ 38 Yields, meaning of, (Introduction, page 14.) 
End of Project Gutenberg's Robert's Rules of Order, by Henry M. Robert 

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One thought on “Robert’s Rules of Order

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