Regulations for the Meeting of the General States at Hannover, the 15th December 1814.
First section.—Of the Deputies to the General Assembly.
1st, THE deputies sent to the General Assembly must give in their powers to the ministry, and, if they are found good, it will certify this to the assembly.
2d, Every person authorized by such a legitimation has the right to give a vote in his own person, but he cannot give a power to vote for him to any other member of the assembly.
Section second.—Of the President, General Syndicus, and General Secretary.
1st, The election of a President, General Syndicus, and General Secretary, is to be made by means of a ballot. A positive majority of votes must be given, and when such a majority is not obtained by the first scrutiny, it is to be repeated in such a manner (till the necessary number of votes are given to one person) that votes must be given to those only who have before received them: he who has received the fewest is on every renewal of the scrutiny to be no more voted for.
2d, After the opening of the assembly by a royal commissioner, the election of a president is to be its first business. In this election the deputies sent, in consequence of their offices, (the Abbot of Loccum, the Abbot of St Michael’s, Lüneburg, and the President of the Nobility of Bremen,) collect the votes of all the deputies, which are to be given in closed billets, and join their own with them. They enumerate them, and the numbers are to be written in the register of the assembly.
3d, When the election is made, the king’s commissioner is informed of it, and the elected president makes the following oath to him:
“You shall swear an oath before God, and by his holy word, that, in the office of president, to which you have been elected by the other representatives, you will keep the good of the whole kingdom in view;—that you will, without partiality, preserve order in the sittings of the assembly; and that you will promulgate the resolutions made by the majority of the deputies. So help you God and his holy word.”
4th, After the president is elected he causes a general syndicus and a general secretary to be chosen.
5th, The general syndicus makes the following oath before the president:
“You shall swear an oath before God, and by his holy word, that you will, in the office of general syndicus, to which you have been elected by the other representatives, keep the good of the whole kingdom in view; and that you will rightly preserve order in the committees of the assembly; and that you will also conscientiously compose, with the best of your discernment and knowledge, the resolutions it may be your duty to propose. So help you God and his holy word.”
6th, The general secretary makes the following oath before the president:
“You must swear an oath before God, and by his holy word, that you will truly and honestly perform the duties of general secretary, to which office you have been elected by the other deputies;—that you will carefully collect and enumerate the votes, and pronounce in all cases, and write the register according to truth;—that you will compose conscientiously, and according to the best of your discernment and knowledge, the resolutions and other records of the assembly; and that you will keep its archives in proper order and preservation. So help you God and his holy word.
7th, The business of the president is the following:
- (a) To announce the sittings of the assembly, to open and to close them.
- (b) To preserve order in the deliberations.
- (c) To observe, and to follow correctly those forms of procedure that are hereby prescribed.
- (d) To write out and to bring forward the questions the assembly have to decide.
- (e) To cause the votes to be enumerated, and to formally pronounce the resolutions agreed to.
8th, The following is the business of the general syndicus:
- (a) In the meetings of the assembly, wherein the motions are prepared for a formal decision by a preliminary discussion, he takes the president’s chair, preserves order in the deliberations, and when these are closed, reports to the assembly in its formal sitting the result of the preliminary discussion.
- (b) He lays those propositions before the assembly, the examination and preparation of which have been confided to him by it.
9th, The following is the business of the general secretary:
- (a) To keep the register of the proceedings of the assembly.
- (b) To enumerate the votes by a division on any questions.
- (c) To write out the resolutions of the assembly, and to notify and represent the same to the government and to the ministry.
- (d) To keep the archives of the assembly under his inspection.
Third section.—Of the Sittings and Meetings of the General Assembly of the States.
1st, The sittings and meetings of the general assembly of the states are of two sorts:
- (a) Sittings for conclusive deliberations, and to form resolutions.
- (b) Meetings for preliminary deliberations on certain objects.
2d, A formal sitting cannot be opened when at least fifty-one members are not present. And no resolution can be made when this number of members are not present.
3d, In the formal sitting the president directs the proceedings, but takes, however, during the deliberations, no other part in them than to put, in a precise manner, the propositions on which the assembly are to vote, by Yes or No, without giving or recommending his own opinion. The general syndicus sits among the deputies.
4th, Every member is allowed, on the questions being put, to propose amendments. When the amendment is negatived, the whole assembly must decide on the form of the question.
5th, When any question is brought forward, every member of the meeting may explain his opinion, but no one must speak more than once on the same question, and in the same formal sitting.
6th, When, at the conclusion of a debate, a resolution is agreed on, the secretary enumerates the votes, which are given aloud, according to the manner in which the deputies may chance to sit. He enumerates last the vote of the president and his own. He remarks every voter, and inscribes the list of the names in the register.
7th, On motions regarding matters of importance, the assembly forms itself into a general committee to discuss them preliminarily. It requires, at least, thirty-one members to be present to form such a committee.
8th, The general syndicus takes the chair of the president in such a committee, and preserves order, but takes no other part in the discussion.
9th, In such a committee the president takes his place among the deputies, and may take part in all the deliberations.
10th, When motions are to be considered which the general syndicus may have made in his character of deputy, the president takes his place, and presides at the discussion.
11th, Whoever wishes to speak stands up in his place, and directs his discourse to that person who occupies the chair. When more than one deputy stand up at once, the president declares which of the two he has first heard, and the others must wait till his speech is ended.
The person who speaks is not to be interrupted; it is, however, allowed to correct misstated facts by means of a few words.
12th, Both in the formal sittings, and in the preparatory committee, the president is always to be attentive that whoever speaks does not digress from the subject under deliberation. The president also, for the time, has a right to remind any speaker who, from extending his speech too far, appears likely to be troublesome, that it is better to be short.
13th, Personal reflections are in both meetings forbidden. When any deputy may use such, the president calls him to order. If he believes this not to be correct he may refer the matter to the decision of the assembly.
14th, The president in the formal sitting, and the general syndicus in the committee, uses a bell to command silence and preserve order.
15th, When a deputy so far forgets himself as not to pay attention to the president, the assembly itself will adopt the proper means to bring him to order.
16th, When, either in a formal sitting or in a committee, so violent a movement takes place that the president or general syndicus cannot again restore order, he adjourns the assembly for the day.
Fourth section.—Manner of treating the Subjects brought under Deliberation.
1st, The propositions which are presented to the states by the king, or in his name by the ministry, shall immediately, and before all other propositions, be laid before the whole assembly, and, one after the other, be brought under deliberation by the president.
2d, Every deputy has also the right to make propositions.
3d, Whoever brings forward a motion that, after being deliberated upon, has to go to the royal ministry, must compose it in writing; and, after receiving permission from the president, who must not refuse it when it will not disturb the order of deliberation, he must lay it before the general secretary, that it may be inscribed in the register, and then declares the sense of his motion to the president, who waits to see if any other member stands up and supports it. When the motion is seconded, the person who brought it forward has a right to name a day on which to bring forward his motion, for decision. When he does not do this the president appoints a day for this purpose.
4th, On the appointed day it is decided if the motion shall be rejected or brought under closer consideration. If the last is voted the assembly can immediately form itself into a committee to discuss it preliminarily. The president resigns the chair to the general syndicus, and takes it again when the assembly again forms itself into a formal sitting.
5th, All this may take place on one and the same day, or on several days, as seems good to the assembly.
6th, Every member may propose amendments to the motions made by others, in which case the amendments are first decided on, so that the motion, in an amended form, or when the amendments are rejected, in its orginal form is last decided on.
7th, To make a formal resolution that is to be laid before the royal ministry for them to give orders concerning, it is necessary that the subject should be deliberated on, at least, once in a committee, and read three times on three different days in formal sittings, and by every sitting it may be either rejected or be postponed for further consideration.
8th, When a resolution is made by the majority, at three different sittings, held on three different days, it is then noticed to the executive. In this notice, the three days must be particularly mentioned on which the resolution was agreed to.
9th, When the assembly thinks proper, it may refer the preliminary examination of a motion to a committee of its members. Every deputy can move for a committee for a preliminary examination, and propose the number of members to compose it.
10th, The motion for such a committee cannot be immediately decided, but it must be twice repeated on different days, in order that the assembly may more closely weigh and decide on the conditions of the motion.
11th, When such a committee is allowed, and the number of members fixed, each member gives in a list of those to whom he gives his vote to form such a committee, and those members who thus receive the most votes form the committee.
12th, Every committee commences its business by choosing a president, whose duty it is to preserve order in the proceedings on that subject for which they were named, and to report their proceedings to the general assembly.
Fifth section.—The Adjournment and Prorogation of the Sittings of the General States.
1st, When the general assembly find it good to confide the preliminary discussions on particular subjects to special committees, whose examinations require a certain time, it may then adjourn the formal meetings, either by a motion from the president or from any other member, to a particular day; to which adjournment, however, when it is for more than fourteen days, or for an uncertain time, the approbation of the king’s ministry is necessary. When, in the resolution made on this subject, the day is appointed on which the assembly is again to meet, the committee of remaining deputies can hold no formal sitting, nor make any resolution till then. During such an adjournment, every member not of the committee is at liberty to absent himself, to return, however, against the appointed day.
When the General Assembly of the States find it good to adjourn themselves, with the approbation of the king’s ministers, for an uncertain time, they can only be again assembled by an invitation directed to every and each member, and by a publication in the Hannover Anzeiger, at least ten days before the time appointed for the new meeting. The president can send such an invitation, in consequence of the request of the remaining committee, or by directions from the government.
2d, The crown retains the power to close the assembly, and it reserves also to itself the power of adjourning the sittings at pleasure: and so soon as either is ordered, and the assembly have made known their resolutions, no more deliberations can take place. It remains with the crown to decide if the present assembly of the states shall be again assembled, and at what time, and also with what modifications, it may again be called together as the permanent representative corps of all classes. Proper representations respectfully made on the necessary modifications, either called for or uncalled for, will be accepted.
Sixth section.—Indemnification of the Expences of the Deputies.
As it cannot be expected that the deputies of the whole country should bear the expences of the office they have taken on themselves, they will be allowed an indemnification for what they may estimate their travelling expences, both in coming and returning, and also for their support during the sittings of the assembly, which will be in the following proportions.
1st, For the deputies dwelling out of Hannover,
From the opening to the close of the states, so long as they remain on this account in Hannover, lodging and diet-money daily, four Reichs-Thalers.
2d, For those deputies who live in Hannover,
For each sitting, and each general preliminary committee that they attend, also for every committee’s sitting that they are elected to attend, diet money daily, two Reichs-Thalers.
3d, During the time that the general assembly of the states have adjourned themselves, those members only who are appointed members of committees that are to sit during the adjournment receive any payment.
4th, The assembly will determine as to the further remuneration of the general secretary, and general syndicus.
The foregoing regulations shall be in force till the states find from experience that some part of them should be added or changed. The change may be effected by a motion made for that purpose