[Deschler's Precedents, Contents]
[Scope of Work]
[From the U.S. Government Publishing Office, www.gpo.gov]

[Page iii]
Scope of Work

    These volumes set forth and analyze the modern precedents of the 
House of Representatives. The early precedents of the House, dating 
from the First Congress, are found in Asher Hinds' monumental work, 
published in 1907.(1) The precedents of the House from 1908 
to 1936 were taken up by Clarence Cannon in a comprehensive study 
supplementing the earlier work by Hinds.(2) It is the 
function of these volumes to review the precedents from 1936 through 
the first session of the 93d Congress, except as otherwise noted. 
Subsequent precedents will be found in supplements to this edition to 
be prepared for each Congress.(3)
     1. Hinds' Precedents of the House of Representatives (Washington, 
        D.C., 1907), referred to hereinafter as Hinds' Precedents.
     2. Cannon's Precedents of the House of Representatives 
        (Washington, D.C., 1936), referred to hereinafter as Cannon's 
     3. Pub. L. No. 93-544 (88 Stat. 1777), providing that the 
        precedents be updated every two years.
    It is altogether fitting that this compilation of the modern 
precedents of the House should be published on the 200th Anniversary of 
the initial meetings of the First Continental Congress. I believe that 
the relatively stable government that has prevailed in this country for 
two centuries is in large measure attributable to the vigorous and 
strikingly effective parliamentary system that evolved in the House. It 
is a system that is perhaps the most carefully adjusted and 
scientifically balanced of any parliamentary body in the world. It 
represents the considered judgment of generations of our wisest 
legislators, and the product of two centuries of self-government. In 
retrospect, it can be seen as a contribution of an enlightened society 
to the security and perpetuation of our democracy. Some countries have 
seen their governments rise and fall in relatively rapid succession in 
part because their parliamentary systems do not have the inherent 
toughness and resiliency of ours.

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