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Moving the Previous Question

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A parliamentary dodge for burking an obnoxious bill. The method is as follows:—A “question,” or bill, is before the house, an objector does not wish to commit himself by moving its rejection, so he moves “the previous question,” and the Speaker moves, from the chair, “that the question be not put”—that is, that the house be not asked to come to any decision on the main question, but be invited to pass to the “orders of the day.” In other words, that the subject be shelved or burked.

N.B. A motion for “the previous question” cannot be made on an amendment, nor in a select committee, nor yet in a committee of the whole house. The phrase is simply a method of avoiding a decision on the question before the House.

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Entry taken from Dictionary of Phrase and Fable, edited by the Rev. E. Cobham Brewer, LL.D. and revised in 1895.

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Mouse, Mousie
Mouse Tower (The)
Moussa
Moussali
Mouth
Mouth Waters
Moutons
Movable
Moving the Adjournment of the House
Moving the Previous Question
Moving the World
Mow, a heap, and Mow
Mowis
Mozaide
Much or Mudge
Much Ado about Nothing
Muciana Cautio
Mucklebackit
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Mud-honey