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§ 159. “Rules and Orders.”

It will be observed that this section recognizes the important distinction between “powers, privileges, and immunities,” and the “rules and orders” by which such powers, &c., are enforced.

Sub-sec. i. enables each House of the Federal Parliament to makes rules and orders, defining the mode or manner in which its powers, privileges, and immunities may be exercised and upheld. It does not authorize the declaration of any power, privilege, or immunity, but merely the procedure requisite for the maintenance and enforcement of the same. Thus, rules could be made prescribing the formalities to be observed in summoning persons to appear at the bar of the House, or to give evidence before its committees; the preparation, form, and execution of warrants for the arrest of persons guilty of contempt, and breach of privilege, and the form of warrants of commitment.

Sub-sec. ii. enables each House to make rules and orders regulating the conduct of its business and proceedings, either when acting separately, or when acting jointly with the other House. Rules and orders may, according to the practice of the Imperial Parliament, be classified as follows: (1) standing rules and orders, (2) sessional rules and orders, (3) orders and resolutions undetermined in regard to duration.

STANDING ORDERS.—These are permanent rules for the guidance and government of the House, which endure from Parliament to Parliament until vacated or repealed. They relate to such matters as the days on which the sittings of the House are held, the


  ― 508 ―
hour for commencement of business, the sequence of business on each day, the distribution of business, the preservation of order, the closure of debate, the taking of divisions on question put, the progressive stages of bills, procedure in money bills, examination of public accounts, standing committees on particular subjects, form and reception of petitions, seats in the House, witnesses before the House and its committees, admission and withdrawal of strangers, and orders relating to the introduction and conduct of private bills. In the House of Lords a standing order cannot be suspended except in pursuance of notice of motion. In the Commons the rule is not so stringent, and in cases of emergency a standing order may be suspended without notice, but the unanimous concurrence of the House is generally necessary. (May, 10th ed. p. 145.)

SESSIONAL ORDERS.—These are orders or resolutions which are intended and expressed to last for a session only and which expire at the end of the session.

ORDERS OF UNDEFINED DURATION.—“By the custom of Parliament any order or resolution of either House the duration of which is undetermined, would expire with prorogation; but many of them are, as part of the settled practice of Parliament, observed in succeeding sessions, and by different Parliaments, without any formal renewal or repetition. For examples of resolutions being observed as permanent, without being made standing orders, may be cited the formal reading of a bill at the opening of a session; several resolutions regarding procedure on petitions; the resolution prohibiting members from engaging in the management of private bills; the time for presenting estimates; the rules of the committee of supply; and the means of securing a seat in the house by a member on a select committee.” (May's Parl. Prac. 10th ed. p. 145.)

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