Robert’s Rules of Order Revised > Subject Index > Page 244

Henry M. Robert (1837–1923).  Robert’s Rules of Order Revised.  1915.

Page 244

“to postpone the question,” without stating the time, do not rule it out of order, but ask the mover if he wishes “to postpone the question indefinitely” (which kills it), or “to lay it on the table” (which enables it to be taken up at any other time); then state the question in accordance with the motion he intended to make. So, if after a report has been presented and read, a member moves that “it be received,” ask him if he means to move “its adoption” (or “acceptance,” which is the same thing), as the report has been already received. No vote should be taken on receiving a report, which merely brings it before the assembly, and allows it to be read, unless some one objects to its reception.
The chairman of a committee usually has the most to say in reference to questions before the committee; but the chairman of an ordinary deliberative assembly, especially a large one, should, of all the members, have the least to say upon the merits of pending questions.
Never interrupt members while speaking, simply because you know more about the matter than they do; never get excited; never be unjust to the most troublesome member, or take advantage of his ignorance of parliamentary law, even though a temporary good is accomplished thereby.
Know all about parliamentary law, but do not try to show off your knowledge. Never be technical, or more strict than is absolutely necessary for the good of the meeting. Use your judgment; the assembly may be of such a nature through its ignorance of parliamentary usages and peaceable disposition, that a strict enforcement of the rules, instead of assisting, would greatly hinder business; but in large assemblies, where there is much work to be done, and especially where there is liability to trouble, the only safe course is to require a strict observance of the rules.

59. Secretary, or Clerk.

   The recording officer is variously called Clerk, or Secretary, or Recording Secretary (where there is also a Corresponding Secretary), or Recorder, or Scribe, etc. The secretary is the recording


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