History and Procedure of the House of Representatives

History and Procedure of the House of Representatives

History and Procedure of the House of Representatives

History and Procedure of the House of Representatives

Excerpt

When the writer entered Congress, Speaker Reed, whom he had known for several years, advised him to prepare a series of lectures upon the history and procedure of the House for use when invited to address clubs and other social organizations in the writer's district. In proof of his sincerity he offered his assistance, and the notes made at that time and afterward frequently used in unwritten addresses form the basis of this volume.

Speaker Reed's articles in the North American Review and other publications, including the little treatise on Parliamentary Rules, advertised the thoroughness of his study of the House procedure from its earliest beginnings; but long before he began to publish, his ready explanations of apparently conflicting precedents, disclosing the history of their origin and the difference in their parliamentary status, proclaimed his familiarity with the various rulings of a long line of Speakers. Indeed, he gained his authority in the House as much by his knowledge of things hidden in a mass of parliamentary proceedings, which others rarely disturbed, as by his ability felicitously to express and apply them when brought to the surface. His remarkable memory may be called the prototype of Hinds Precedents, for he knew and could cite them offhand as readily as the average student of parliamentary proceedings now refers to the Precedents.

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