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it is not a question for the Chair but for the House itself to determine.-Congressional Record, 1, 49, p. 8032.
It is ordinarily impracticable for the Speaker to determine from a private inspection whether a paper submitted presents a question of privilege, it being necessary that the paper be read in order that the House may act advisedly in case of an appeal.—Journal, 1, 49, pp. 514, 515.
A Member having leave to make a personal explanation proceeds to read or have read a paper, when the point is made that the paper is disrespectful to the House, and its reading should therefore not be continued. Held, that it is the privilege of the Member to read or have read the paper as a part of his remarks, but a point of order may be made against it as the reading proceeds, whereupon the House may determine whether the paper is in order.—Congressional Record, 1, 49, pp. 8031, 8032.
Questions of privilege may be based on communications received by telegraph bearing the usual evidences of authenticity, (e. g., a dispatch from the chairman of an investigat-o ing committee,) in like manner as if the same were received directly or by mail.—Journal, 2, 44, p. 133.
The right of a Member-elect to take the oath as a Member was held by the Clerk to present no higher question of privilege than the election of Speaker to fill a vacancy in that office, on the ground that one question of privilege could not be presented while another was pending:-Journal, 2, 44, p. 8. A better ground for the decision would have been that the Speaker is the only officer authorized by law to administer the oath. (See R. S., sec. 30.)
Whenever the Speaker is of the opinion that a question of privilege is involved in a proposition, he must entertain it in preference to any other business.—Journal, 1, 29, p.724. [Such decision, of course, being subject to an appeal.] And when a proposition is submitted which relates to the privileges of the House, it is his duty to entertain it, at least to the extent of submitting the question to the House as to whether or not it presents a question of privilege.—Journals, 3, 27, p. 46; 1, 29, p. 223; 1, 30, p. 712; 1, 31, p. 1079; 1, 35, pp. 376, 410; 1, 51,
Unparliamentary language used by a Member in Committee of the Whole, impeaching the character of another Member, having been reported to the House, it was held that a resolution of censure was in order, it not being essential that there should first be a formal decision by the Speaker or by the . House that the remarks so reported were against order.-Congressional Record, 1, 51, pp. 4864-4866.
The previous question applies upon a question of privilege as well as in other cases.—Journals, 2, 27, pp. 573, 576; 1, 28, p. 882.
Prior to the Fifty-first Congress the limitation of debate to one hour was held not to apply to a question of privilege. Speaker Reed, however, held that a member is entitled to but one bour for debate on a question of privilege.-Journal, 1, 51, p. 1013. EXAMPLES OF.
An enumeration of the various questions of privilege that may arise can not, of course, be given, but the following list embraces most of the important cases which have arisen, viz:
Election of a Speaker.—Journal, 2, 44, p. 8;
Contested-election cases.—Journals, 1, 26, pp. 1283, 1300; 1, 29, p. 201; 1, 31, p. 1065; 2, 31, p. 119;
Assertion that the rights or privileges of the House had been invaded or violated.—Journal, 2, 48, pp. 316, 317;
Failure or refusal of a witness to appear before committees of the flouse, or refusal to testify.—Journals, 1, 12, p. 277; 2, 33, p. 315; 3, 34, pp. 241, 269; 1, 35, pp. 258, 371, 750, 821; 2, 35, pp. 411, 430, 451; 3, 40, pp. 226, 250, 392;
Offer to bribe a Member.—Journals, 1, 4, p. 389; 1, 15, pp. 119, 171;
Challenge of a Member by a Senator. Journal, 1, 4, p. 471;
Assault by one Member upon another.—Journals, 1, 5, p. 154; 1, 34, p. 1527;
Divulging the secrets of the House.-Journal, 1, 12, p. 276;
Assault upon a Member.—Journals, 1, 22, p. 590; 2, 23, p. 485; 2, 41, pp. 1199, 1200;
Menacing language toward a Member out of the House on account of interrogatories propounded by him to a witness before the House.—Journal, 1, 22, p. 740;
Disorder in the gallery.-Journal, 1, 24, p. 331;
Fracas between two reporters in the presence of the House. Journal, 1, 24, p. 983;
Refusal of a Member to take his seat, in Committee of the Whole, when ordered by the chairman to do so.—Journal, 1, 24, p. 1209; Congressional Record, 1, 52, p. 5169.
Duel between two Members.—Journal, 2, 25, p. 501; Warm words and a mutual assault between two Members in Committee of the Whole.—Journal, 2, 25, p. 1013;
Protest by the President against certain proceedings of the House.—Journal, 2, 27, p. 1459;
Proposition to impeach the President.—Journals, 3, 27, p. 159; 2, 39, p. 121;
Proposition to impeach civil officers of the United States under article 2, section 4.—Journals, 1, 48, p. 495; 2, 48, pp. 27, 28;
Alleged menace of Members by a mob at the seat of Government.-Journal, 1, 30, p. 712;
Charge of falsehood upon a Member in a newspaper by the printer of the House.—Journal, 1, 29, p. 223;
Alleged false and scandalous report of proceedings in the House by one of its reporters.—Journal, 2, 29, p. 320;
Alleged mutilation of the Journal by the Speaker.-Journal, 1, 31, p. 713;
Publication by the Public Printer of an article alleged to be for the purpose of exciting unlawful violence among Members.—Journal, 1, 33, p. 965;
Charges affecting the official character of a Member.-Journal, 1, 33, p. 1178;
Alteration and interpolation of House bills.-Journal 1, 33, p. 1194 ;
Assault upon a Senator by a Member of the House.—Journal, 1, 34, p. 1023 ;
Alleged corrupt combinations on the part of certain Members.—Journal, 3, 34, pp. 475, 476 ;
Alleged misconduct on the part of an officer of the House.Journal, 1, 44, pp. 868, 948;
Resolution proposing to return a House bill to the Senate on the ground that certain amendments of the Senate thereto were in the nature of a revenue bill and an infringement of the constitutional right of the House to originate bills raising revenue.—Journals, 2, 45, p. 1303; 2, 48, pp. 316, 317;
Resolution involving the question whether or not the constitutional privileges and powers of the House to originate measures to lay and collect duties can be controlled by the treaty-making power under the Constitution.--Speaker Carlisle, Journal, 2, 49, pp 349, 350;
Allegation that one of the present occupants of the reporters' gallery had approached the Speaker of the House in a previous Congress with a corrupt proposition intended to influence his official action.—Journal, 1, 48, p. 444;
Alleged violation of the rule relative to the privilege of the floor.—Journal, 1, 49, pp. 781, 1420;
A resolution relating to alleged unparliamentary language used in the House impeaching the honesty of Senators indi. vidually and of the Senate as a body.-Journal, 1, 51, pp. 1011, 1044:
Alleged false and scandalous publication by a Member, concerning proceedings of the House and conduct of its Members.Journal, 1, 52, p. 345.
Alleged scandalous charge reflecting on the dignity of the House reiterated by a Member in debate, though no action was taken respecting it at the time the remarks were made in the House.—Journal, 1, 52, p. 343.
Remarks delivered in the Senate purporting to impugn the motives of a Member acting in his representative capacity.Journal, 1, 52, p. 354.
Charges by a Member of usurpation of power and violation of law by an officer of the United States, accompanied by a resolution for an investigation.—Journal, 2, 48, pp. 27, 28.
Alleged unlawful intervention by the Executive, without authority of Congress, in the internal affairs of a friendly Government.—Journal, 2, 53, p. 44.
Alleged publication in the Congressional Record of matter not delivered in the House, and all questions affecting the integrity of the official record of debates.—Journal, 2, 48, pp. 73, 74.
A resolution submitted by a Member declaring a person entitled to a seat as a Member of the House, the same being at the time vacant, presents a question of privilege, notwithstanding that the question of his alleged right is pending before the Committee on Elections.-Congressional Record, 1, 48, p. 5299.
A motion to discharge a committee from the consideration of a vetoed bill presents a question of high privilege and is in order at any time.-Congressional Record, 1, 49, p. 7699.
WHAT ARE NOT.
A difference of opinion between Members as to certain historical facts, though involving a flat contradiction of each other's statements.—Speaker Carlisle, Journal, 1, 49, p. 490, Congressional Record, January 27, 1886. (See also Journal, 1, 49, pp. 1835, 1836, and June 10, 1886, Journal, 1, 49, p. 1850.)
A newspaper paragraph or article making vague and indefinite charges, and making no specific assertion or charge of fraud or corruption against a Member or Members, except by implication.- Journal, 1, 51, p. 908.
Allegation in a newspaper that Members of the House had engaged in a speculation which was directly affected by a bill then pending which afterward became a law.-Congressional Record, 2, 51, p. 1200.
A resolution to omit from the Record certain remarks declared out of order.-Journal, 2, 48, p. 356.
A resolution to appoint a committee to coöperate with a committee of the Senate respecting arrangements for inaugural ceremonies, as not having relation to the duties of the House under the Constitution.—Journal, 2, 48, p. 716.
A resolution calling on the Committee on Elections to report a contested election case.-Congressional Record, 1, 48, p. 5299.
An allegation that a member of the Committee on Enrolled Bills, having in custody an enrolled bill, has failed or omitted to present it to the President for approval, no improper object or motive being imputed.—Journal, 1, 50, p. 2809.
A resolution directing a committee to investigate certain expenditures by the Government, no misappropriation being alleged.-Congressional Record, 1, 49, p. 1028.
A resolution for an inquiry as to the authority for inserting