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communicated by way of conference. 6 Grey, 128, 300, 387; 7 Grey, 80; 8 Grey, 210, 255; i Torbuck's Deb., 278; 10 Grey, 293 ; I Chandler, 49, 287. But this is not the modern practice. 8 Grey, 255.

A conference has been asked after the first reading of a bill. I Grey, 194. This is a singular instance.


Messages between the Houses are to be sent only while both Houses are sitting. 3 Hats., 15. They are received during a debate without adjourning the debate. 3 Hats., 22.

In Senate the messengers are introduced in any state of business, except, 1. While a question is being put. 2. While the yeas and nays are being called. 3. While the ballots are being counted. The first case is short ; the second and third are cases where any interruption might occasion errors difficult to be corrected. So arranged June 15, 1798. [In the Senate.)

Rule XXVIII. 1. Messages from the President of the United States or from the House of Representatives may be received at any stage of proceedings, except while the Senate is dividing, or while the journal is being read, or while a question of order or a motion to adjourn is pending.

2. Messages shall be sent to the House of Representatives by the Setretary, who shall previously certify the determination of the Senate upon all bills, joint resolutions, and other resolutions which may be communicated to the House, or in which its concurrence may be requested ; and the Secretary shall also certify and deliver to the President of the United States all resolutions and other communications which may be directed to him by the Senate.

In the House of Representatives, as in Parliament, if the House be in committee when a messenger attends, the Speaker takes the chair to receive the message, and then quits it to return into committee, without any question or interruption. 4 Grey, 226.

Messengers are not saluted by the members, but by the Speaker for the House. 2 Grey, 253, 274.

If messengers commit an error in delivering their message, they may be admitted or called in to correct their message. 4 Grey, 41. Accordingly, March 13, 1800, the Senate having made two amendments to a bill from the House of Representatives, their Secretary, by mistake, delivered one only; which being inadmissible by itself, that House disagreed, and notified the Senate of their disagreement. This produced a discovery of the mistake. The Secretary was sent to the other House to correct his mistake, the correction was received, and the two amendments acted on de novo.

As soon as the messenger, who has brought bills from the other House, has retired, the Speaker holds the bills in his hand, and acquaints the House “ that the other House have by their messenger sent cerizin bills,” and then reads their titles, and delivers them to the Clerk to be safely kept till they shall be called for to be read. Hakew., 178.

It is not the usage for one House to inform the other by what numbers a bill is passed. 10 Grey, 150. Yet they have sometimes recommended a bill, as of great importance, to the consideration of the House to which it is sent. 3 Hats., 25. Nor when they have rejected a bill from the other House, do they give notice of it; but it passes sub silentio, to prevent unbecoming altercations. Blackst., 183.

But in Congress the rejection is notified by message to the House in which the bill originated.

A question is never asked by the one House of the other by way of message, but only at a conference; for this is an interrogatory, not a message. 3 Grey, 151, 181.

When a bill is sent by one House to the other, and is neglected, they may send a message to remind them of it. 3 Hats., 25; 5 Grey, 154. But if it be mere inattention, it is better to have it done informally by communications between the Speakers or members of the two Houses.

Where the subject of a message is of a nature that it can properly be communicated to both Houses of Parliament, it is expected that this communication should be made to both on the same day. But where a message was accompanied with an original declaration, signed by the party to which the message referred, its being sent to one House was not noticed by the other, because the declaration being original, could not possibly be sent to both Houses at the same time. 2 Hats., 260, 261, 262.

The King having sent original letters to the Commons, afterward desires they may be returned, that he may communicate them to the Lords. 1 Chandler, 303.


The House which has received a bill and passed it may present it for the King's assent, and ought to do it, though they have not by message notified to the other their passage of it. Yet the notifying by message is a form which ought to be observed between the two Houses from motives of respect and good understanding. 2 Hats., 242. Were the bill to be withheld from being presented to the King, it would be an infringement of the rules of Parliament. Ib.

When a bill has passed both Houses of Congress, the House last acting on it notifies its passage to the other, and delivers the bill to the Joint Committee of Enrolment, who see that it is truly enrolled in parchment. When the bill is enrolled, it is not to be written in paragraphs, but solidly, and all of a piece, that the blanks between the paragraphs may not give room for forgery. 9 Grey, 143. It is then put into the hands of the Clerk of the House of Representatives to have it signed by the Speaker. The Clerk then brings it by way of message to the Senate to be signed by their President. The Secretary of the Senate returns it to the Committee of Enrolment, who present it to the President of the United States. If he approve, he signs, and deposits it among the rolls in the office of the Secretary of State, and notifies by message the House in which it originated that he has approved and signed it; of which that House informs the other by message. If the President disapproves, he is to return it, with his objections, to that House in which it shall have originated; who are to enter the objections at large on their journal, and proceed to reconsider it. If, after such reconsideration, two-thirds of that House shall agree to pass the bill, it shall be sent, together with the President's objections, to the other House, by which it shall likewise be reconsidered; and if approved by two-thirds of that House, it shall become a law. If any bill shall not be returned by the President within ten days (Sundays excepted) after it shall have been presented to him, the same shall be a law, in like manner as if he had signed it, unless the Congress, by their adjournment, prevent its return; in which case it shall not be a law. Const., I, 7.

Every order, resolution, or vote, to which the concurrence of the Senate and House of Representatives may be necessary (except on a question of adjournment), shall be presented to the President of the United States, and before the same shall take effect, shall be approved by him; or, being disapproved by him, shall be repassed by two-thirds of the Senate and House of Representatives, according to the rules and limitations prescribed in the case of a bill. Const., I, 7.

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Each House shall keep a journal of its proceedings, and from time to time publish the same, excepting such parts as may, in their judgment, require secrecy. Const., I, 5. [In the Senate.!

Rule IV. 1. The proceedings of the Senate shall be briefly and accurately stated on the journal. Messages of the President in full ; titles of bills and joint resolutions, and such parts as shall be affected by proposed amendments ; every vote, and a brief statement of the contents of each petition, memorial, or paper presented to the Senate, shall be entered.

2. The legislative, the executive, the confidential legislative proceedings, and the proceedings when sitting as a Court of Impeachment, shall each be recorded in a separate book.

If a question is interrupted by a vote to adjourn, or to proceed to the orders of the day, the original question is never printed in the journal, it never having been a vote, nor introductory to any vote; but when suppressed by the previous question, the first question must be stated, in order to introduce and make intelligible the second. 2 Hats., 83.

So also when a question is postponed, adjourned, or laid on the table, the original question, though not yet a vote, must be expressed in the journals; because it makes part of the vote of postponement, adjourning, or laying it on the table.

Where amendments are made to a question, those amendments are not printed in the journals, separated from the question; but only the question as finally agreed to by the House. The rule of entering in

the journals only what the House has agreed to, is founded in great prudence and good sense; as there may be many questions proposed, which it may be improper to publish to the world in the form in which they are made. 2 Hats., 85.

In both Houses of Congress, all questions whereon the yeas and nays are desired by one-fifth of the members present, whether decided affirmarively or negatively, must be entered in the journals. Const.,

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The first order for printing the votes of the House of Commons was October 30, 1685. i Chandler, 387.

Some judges have been of opinion that the journals of the House of Commons are no records, but only remembrances. But this is not law. Hob., 110, II; Lex. Parl., 114, 115; Four. H. C., Mar. 17, 1592; Hale, Parl., 105. For the Lords in their House have power of judicature, the Commons in their House have power of judicature, and both Houses together have power of judicature; and the book of the Clerk of the House of Commons is a record, as is affirmed by act of Parl., 6 H. 8, c. 16; 4 Inst., 23, 24; and every member of the House of Commons hath a judicial place. 4. Inst., 15. As records they are open to every person, and a printed vote of either House is sufficient ground for the other to notice it. Either may appoint a committee to inspect the journals of the other, and report what has been done by the other in any particular case. 2 Hats., 261 ; 3 Hats., 27-30. Every member has a right to see the journals and to take and publish votes from them. Being a record, every one may see and publish them. 6 Grey, 118, 119.

On information of a mis-entry or omission of an entry in the journal, a committee may be appointed to examine and rectify it, and report it to the House. 2 Hats., 194, 195.


The two Houses of Parliament have the sole, separate, and independent power of adjourning each their respective Houses. The King has no authority to adjourn them; he can only signify his desire, and it is in the wisdom and prudence of either House to comply with his requisition, or not, as they see fitting. 2 Hats., 232; i Blackst., 186; 5 Grey, 122.

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