A committee of the whole house, in Parliamentary language, is
when the Speaker leaves the chair and all the members form a committee,
where anyone may speak once or more than once. In such cases the chair
is occupied by the chairman of committees, elected with each new
A standing committee,
in Parliamentary language, is a committee which continues to the
end of the current session. To this committee are referred all
questions which fall within the scope of their appointment.
Source: Dictionary of Phrase and Fable, E. Cobham Brewer, 1894
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