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69. What number of members constitutes a quorum in a committee of the whole?
Whatever number constitutes a quorum in the assembly itself, constitutes a quorum in a committee of the whole.
70. What course is taken when no quorum is present?
When the number present in a committee of the whole becomes less than that required to form a quorum, the committee, upon motion to that effect, must rise; in which case, the presiding officer of the assembly, whose duty is always to be present in the committee, and ready, when necessary, to resume the chair, takes his proper place, and the committee of the whole is accordingly dissolved.
71. How is a Secretary appointed in committee of the whole?
In committee of the whole, the Clerk or Secretary of of the assembly, or his assistant, if he has one, acts as secretary.
72. Does he record the proceedings of the committee on thejournalj or minute-book of the assembly?
The report of the committee, that is, whatever they conclude to lay before the assembly, as the result of their deliberation, the Clerk, or Secretary at the proper time enters, of course, upon his record; but the proceedings in committee are not recorded in his journal.
73. Are the proceedings in a committee of the whole different from those in the assembly itself?
The mode of proceeding and the rules of order in a committee of the whole are not essentially •different from those observed in the body itself. But, as the only object of a committee is to secure a release from certain embarrasments, necessarily existent in the conduct of the assembly proper, it follows, as a matter of course, that some differences must be made in the order of proceeding.
74. What are the principal points in which the order of proceeding in a committee of the whole, differs from that pursued in the assembly itself?
In the assembly, a member cannot speak more than once or twice on the same subject; in committee of the whole, he may speak as often as he pleases. In the assembly, all discussions may be suddenly arrested by the use of the previous question; in committee of the whole, the previous question can never be introduced. In the assembly, the yeas and nays may be called for, and an appeal be made from the decisions of the chair; in committee of the whole, neither a call for the yeas and nays nor an appeal from the chair is allowable. In the assembly, committees of their own number may be raised at any time; in committee of the whole, a committee of their own number, that is, a sub-committee, is inadmissible. In the assembly, any breach of order may be punished; in committee of the whole, as in other committees, the matter must be referred to the assembly. In the assembly, a motion maybe made and carried to adjourn to another time and place; in committee of the whole, if, for any reason, it is thought proper to discontinue their deliberations for a time, it is necessary for some one to move that the committee rise, report progress, and ask leave to sit again.
Besides all this, greater freedom every way is allowed in committee of the whole than would be admissible in the assembly; and, moreover, the proceedings in the committee, which, though leading to results however useful, are themselves often tedious and informal, are not required to be placed upon the record, as would be the case were they the transactions of the assembly as such.
75. What form is observed, when the committee rise and report f
If the motion to rise is carried, the Chairman of the committee immediately yields the chair to the President of the assembly. Then, taking his proper place among the members, he rises and informs the president that the committee of the whole have, in obedience to the order of the assembly, had the subject of (whatever it may be) under consideration; that some progress had been made in the disposition of it; and that, for want of time (or whatever other cause), having been obliged to discontinue their deliberations, they had instructed him to ask leave for the committee to sit again.
76. Jf leave be granted for the committee to sit again, is it necessary for the assembly, at the time appointed, again formally to resolve itself into a committee of the whole?
If the motion to grant the request of the committee for another sitting be decided in the affirmative, the assembly must then also, by motion, name the time for that sitting, and, when that time arrives, it is necessary to go again regularly through the formality of resolving the assembly into a committee of the whole.
77. What course is taken in committee of the whole, when the business referred to them, is finished?
When the business referred to the committee of the whole, is finished, some one moves that the committee do now rise and report. This motion being passed, the President of the assembly resumes the chair, and the Chairman of the committee rising in his place among the members, states that the committee of the whole, having finished the business entrusted to them, have directed him to present a report, which is ready, whenever it is the pleasure of the assembly to receive it.
The proper way then, is to fix by motion the time for receiving the report. But often, in the matter of receiving a report, a formal motion is omitted: the assembly, if that be their pleasure, crying out, "Now! Now 1" or if another time, "Monday 1 Tuesday 1" or whatever other day they choose.
78. What are privileged questions f
The general rule, in deliberative bodies, is, that the question first moved and seconded, shall first be put to the vote. Circumstances, however, sometimes require a departure from this rule.
There are, accordingly, certain motions, or questions which are allowed to supersede a proposition already under debate, and which, for that reason, are denominated privileged questions. The question superseded, in such case, is called the main, or principal question.
79. What are the particular circumstances that call for the use of privileged questions?
The circumstances requiring resort to the use of privileged questions, are various. Thus, the assembly, exhausted by long-continued attention to duty, may desire to adjourn; hence the motion to adjourn is a privileged one. They may be willing longer to entertain a proposition, but not at the present time; thence arises the necessity of a motion to lie on the table. They may deem it expedient to suppress further debate on a subject; for which purpose recourse is had