28 April 1948
Unless the House otherwise order, the House shall meet every Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday at half-past two of the clock.
The House shall not be adjourned except in pursuance of a resolution : Provided that, when a substantive motion for the adjournment of the House has been proposed after ten of the clock Mr. Speaker shall, after the expiration of half an hour after that motion has been proposed, adjourn the House without question put.
At ten of the clock on Mondays, Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays, except as hereinafter provided, the proceedings on any business then under consideration shall be interrupted ; and, if the House be in committee, the chairman shall leave the chair, and make his report to the House ; and if a motion has been proposed for the adjournment of the House, or of the debate, or in committee that the chairman do report progress, or do leave the chair, every such dilatory motion shall lapse without question put.
Provided always, that on the interruption of business the closure may be moved ; and if moved, or if proceedings under the closure rule be then in progress, Mr. Speaker or the chairman shall not leave the chair until the questions consequent thereon and on any further motion, as provided in the rule "closure of debate," have been decided.
After the business under consideration at ten of the clock has been disposed of, no opposed business except proceedings exempted as hereinafter provided from the operation of this Standing Order shall be taken.
The proceedings on a bill originating in committee of ways and means, proceedings made in pursuance of any act of parliament (including proceedings on the Army and Air Force (Annual) Bill), or proceedings in pursuance of any standing order, the proceedings on the reports of the committee of ways and means and of committees authorising the expenditure of public money, except the committee of supply, may be entered upon after ten of the clock though opposed, shall not be interrupted under the provisions of this standing order, and if under discussion when the business is postponed under the provisions of any standing order may be resumed and proceeded with, though opposed, after the interruption of business.
All business appointed for any sitting and not disposed of before the termination of the sitting, shall stand over until the next sitting, or until such other sitting on any day on which the House ordinarily sits as the member in charge of the business may appoint.
A motion may be made by a minister of the crown, either with or without notice at the commencement of public business to be decided without amendment or debate, to the effect either-
(a) That the proceedings on any specifed business be exempted at this day's sitting from the provisions of the standing order ' Sittings of the House '; or
(b) That the proceedings on any specified business be exempted at this day's sitting from the provisions of the standing order ' Sittings of the House ' for a specified period after the hour appointed for the interruption of business.
If a motion made under the preceding paragraph be agreed to, the business so specified shall not be interrupted if it is under discussion at the hour appointed for the interruption of business, may be entered upon at any hour although opposed, and, if under discussion when the business is postponed under the provisions of any standing order, may be resumed and proceeded with, though opposed, after the interruption of business: Provided that business exempted for a specified period shall not be entered upon, or be resumed after the expiration of that period, and, if not concluded earlier, shall be interrupted at the end of that period, and the relevant provisions of paragraphs (3) and (4) of this standing order shall then apply.
Provided always that not more than one motion under paragraph (8) may be made at any one sitting, and that, after any business exempted from the operation of the order is disposed of after ten of the clock, the remaining business of the sitting shall be dealt with according to the provisions applicable to business taken after the hour appointed for the interruption of business.
The House shall meet on Fridays at eleven of the clock for private business, petitions, orders of the day and notices of motions. Standing Order No. 1 shall apply to the sittings on Fridays with the omission of paragraph (1) thereof and with the substitution of references to four of the clock for references to ten of the clock.
Unless the House otherwise direct-
(a) Until Easter government business shall have precedence at every sitting except the sitting on Wednesday and the sitting on Friday ; and at the sitting on Wednesday notices of motion and public bills, other than government bills, shall have precedence of government business, and notices of motions shall have precedence of the orders of the day ;
(b) After Easter government business shall have precedence at all sittings, except the sittings on the first, second, third and fourth Fridays after Easter Day and the sittings on the third, fourth, fifth and sixth Fridays after Whit Sunday ;
(c) At the sittings on Wednesday, when government business has not precedence, Mr. Speaker shall at half-past seven of the clock, if the first motion (other than a motion for the adjournment of the House made after the commencement of public business) has not been disposed of, proceed to interrupt the proceedings thereon and such business shall be disposed of as if it were business interrupted at eleven of the clock under Standing Order No. 1 ;
(d) At the sittings on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday the House will first proceed with unopposed private business, petitions, motions for unopposed returns, and leave of absence to members, and ballots for notices of motions.
In the case of a session beginning between Easter and Christmas the following modifications of paragraph (1) of this Standing Order shall have effect:-
(a) Government business shall have precedence on as many Wednesdays immediately before Good Friday as the number of Wednesdays before Christmas on which it has not had precedence, and on as many Fridays immediately before Good Friday as the number of Fridays (reduced by three) on which it had not precedence before Christmas ;
(b) After Easter government business shall have precedence at all sittings except the sittings on the second, third, fourth, and fifth Fridays after Easter Day ;
(c) Standing Order No. 4 shall come into force and have effect after Easter, instead of after Whitsuntide.
After Whitsuntide, public bills, other than government bills, shall be arranged on the order book so as to give priority to the bills most advanced, and lords amendments to public bills appointed to be considered shall be placed first, to be followed by third readings, considerations of report not already entered upon, bills in progress in committee, bills appointed for committee, and second readings.
No notice of motion for a date on which notices are entitled to precedence shall be given for any date beyond the second day on which such notices are entitled to precedence.
No opposed private business shall be set down for the sittings on Friday.
No private business shall be considered after a quarter to three of the clock upon Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday, and any business not reached shall stand over to the next sitting.
Any private business entered upon and not disposed of by the time referred to in paragraph (2) of this order shall be deferred until such time as the chairman of ways and means may determine.
Private business, if so directed by the chairman of ways and means, shall be taken at seven of the clock on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, or Thursday, or as soon thereafter as any motion for the adjournment of the House standing over has been disposed of, provided that such business shall be distributed as near as may be proportionately between the sittings on which government business has precedence and the other sittings and, where any opposed private business is so directed by the Chairman of Ways and Means to be taken, the direction shall be taken to include the setting down of any motion contingent, directly or otherwise, thereon.
No opposed private business other than that under consideration shall be taken after nine of the clock.
Notices of questions shall be given by members in writing to the clerk at the table without reading them viva voce in the House, unless the consent of Mr. Speaker to any particular question has been previously obtained.
Questions shall be taken on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday, after private business has been disposed of, and not later than a quarter to three of the clock.
No questions shall be taken after half-past three of the clock, except questions which have not been answered in consequence of the absence of the minister to whom they are addressed, and questions which have not appeared on the paper, but which are of an urgent character, and relate either to matters of public importance or to the arrangement of business.
Any member who desires an oral answer to his question may distinguish it by an asterisk, but notice of any such question must appear at latest on the notice paper circulated two days (excluding Sunday) before that on which an answer is desired. Provided that questions received at the Table Office on Monday and Tuesday before half-past two of the clock and on Friday before eleven of the clock, may, if so desired by the member, be put down for oral answer on the following Wednesday, Thursday and Monday, respectively.
If any member does not distinguish his question by an asterisk, or if he or any other member deputed by him is not present to ask it, or if it is not reached by half-past three of the clock, the minister to whom it is addressed shall cause an answer to be printed in the Official Report of the Parliamentary Debates, unless the member has before questions are disposed of signified his desire to postpone the question.
Whenever the House is adjourned for more than one day, notices of questions received at the Table Office at any time not later than half-past four of the clock on either of the two last days on which the House is not sitting (excluding any Saturday or Sunday) shall be treated as if either day were a day on which the House were sitting at half-past four of the clock and the notice had been received after half-past two of the clock, and notices of questions received at the Table Office at any time not later than half-past four of the clock on a day before the penultimate day shall be treated as if they had been so received on the penultimate day.
No motion for the adjournment of the House shall be made until all the questions asked at the commencement of business on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, or Thursday have been disposed of, and no such motion shall be made unless by a Minister of the Crown before the orders of the day or notices of motion have been entered upon, except by leave of the House, unless a member rising in his place shall propose to move the adjournment for the purpose of discussing a definite matter of urgent public importance, and not less than forty members shall thereupon rise in their places to support the motion, or unless, if fewer than forty members and not less than ten shall thereupon rise in their places, the House shall, on a division, upon question put forthwith, determine whether such motion shall be made. If the motion is so supported, or the House so determines that it shall be made, it shall stand over until seven of the clock on the same day.
Any proceeding which has been postponed under this order shall be exempted from the provisions of the standing order ' Sittings of the House ' for a period of time equal to the duration of the proceedings upon a motion under this order, and may be resumed and proceeded with at or after ten of the clock.
In determining whether a discussion is out of order on the ground of anticipation, regard shall be had by Mr. Speaker to the probability of the matter anticipated being brought before the House within a reasonable time.
On Tuesdays and Wednesdays, and, if set down by the government, on Mondays and Thursdays, motions for leave to bring in bills, and for the nomination of select committees, may be set down for consideration at the commencement of public business. If such motions be opposed, Mr. Speaker, after permitting, if he thinks fit, a brief explanatory statement from the member who moves and from the member who opposes any such motion respectively, may, without further debate, put the question thereon, or the question, that the debate be now adjourned.
At the time fixed for the commencement of public business, on days on which orders have precedence of notices of motions, and after the notices of motions have been disposed of, on all other days, Mr. Speaker shall direct the clerk at the table to read the orders of the day, without any question being put.
The orders of the day shall be disposed of in the order in which they stand upon the paper ; the right being reserved to His Majesty's ministers of arranging government business, whether orders of the day or notices of motions, in such order as they may think fit, subject to precedence of private members' business on those days on which such business has precedence.
The committees of supply and ways and means shall be appointed by the House at the commencement of every session, so soon as an address has been agreed to, in answer to His Majesty's speech.
Twenty-six days, being days before the 5th of August, shall be allotted to the business of supply in each session.
On a day so allotted, being a day on which committee or report of supply stands as the first order, no business other than the business of supply shall be taken before ten of the clock, and no business of supply shall be taken after ten of the clock, whether a general order exempting business from interruption under the standing order ' Sittings of the House ' is in force or not, unless the House otherwise order on the motion of a minister of the crown, moved at the commencement of public business, to be decided without amendment or debate.
For the purposes of this order the business of supply shall consist of proceedings on motions ' That Mr. Speaker do now leave the chair '; supplementary or additional estimates for the current financial year; any excess vote; votes on account ; main estimates whether for the coming or the current financial year ; and reports of the Committee of Public Accounts and the Select Committee on Estimates. But such business shall not include any vote of credit or votes for supplementary or additional estimates presented by the government for war expenditure.
On a day not earlier than the seventh allotted day, being a day before the 31st of March, the chairman shall at half-past nine of the clock, forthwith put every question necessary to dispose of the vote then under consideration and shall then forthwith put the question with respect to any vote on account and all such navy, army and air votes for the coming financial year as shall have been put down on at least one previous day for consideration in committee of supply on an allotted day, that the total amount of all such votes outstanding be granted for those services. And the chairman shall then in like manner put severally the questions that the total amounts of all such outstanding estimates supplementary to those of the current financial year as shall have been presented seven clear days, and any outstanding excess vote (provided that the Committee of Public Accounts shall have reported allowing such vote), be granted for the services defined in the supplementary estimates or any statement of excess.
On a day not earlier than the eighth allotted day, being a day before the 31st of March, Mr. Speaker shall at half-past nine of the clock forthwith put every question necessary to dispose of the report of the resolution then under consideration, and shall then forthwith put, with respect to each resolution ordered to be reported by the committee of supply and not yet agreed to by the House, the question ' That this House doth agree with the committee in that resolution.'
On the last day but one of the allotted days the chairman shall at half-past nine of the clock forthwith put every question necessary to dispose of the vote then under consideration, and shall then forthwith put the question with respect to each class of the civil estimates that the total amount of the votes outstanding in that class be granted for the services defined in the class, and shall in like manner put severally the questions that the total amounts of the votes outstanding in the revenue departments and defence department estimates, and in the navy, the army, and the air estimates be granted for the services defined in those estimates.
On the last day of the allotted days, Mr. Speaker shall, at half-past nine of the clock, forthwith put every question necessary to dispose of the report of the resolution then under consideration, and shall then forthwith put, with respect to each class of the civil estimates, the question that the House doth agree with the committee in all the outstanding resolutions reported in respect of that class, and shall then put a like question with respect to all the resolutions outstanding in the revenue departments and defence department estimates, and in the navy, the army and the air estimates, and other outstanding resolutions severally.
On any day upon which the chairman or Mr. Speaker is, under this order, directed to put forthwith any question, the consideration of the business of supply shall not be anticipated by a motion of adjournment, and no dilatory motion shall be moved on proceedings for that business and the business shall not be interrupted under any standing order.
For the purposes of this order two Fridays shall be deemed equivalent to a single sitting on any other day.
The committees of supply and ways and means may be fixed for any day on which the House shall meet for despatch of business.
Whenever an order of the day is read for the House to resolve itself into committee other than a committee on a bill, Mr. Speaker shall leave the chair without putting any question, and the House shall thereupon resolve itself into such committee, unless on a day on which the committee of supply stands as the first order of the day a minister of the crown moves, " That Mr. Speaker do now leave the chair, " for the purpose of enabling a motion on going into committee of supply to be moved as an amendment to that question.
Notwithstanding the practice of the House which prohibits reference to matters involving legislation in the course of debate in, or on going into, committee of supply, Mr. Speaker may, when an amendment to the question " That Mr. Speaker do now leave the chair " is under discussion, permit such incidental reference to legislative action as he may consider relevant to any matter of administration then under debate, when enforcement of the prohibition would, in his opinion, unduly restrict the discussion of such matters.
Whenever any member shall have been named by Mr. Speaker, or by the chairman immediately after the commission of the offence of disregarding the authority of the chair, or of abusing the rules of the House by persistently and wifuly obstructing the business of the House, or otherwise, then, if the offence has been committed by such member in the House, Mr. Speaker shall forthwith put the question, on a motion being made, no amendment, adjournment, or debate being allowed, "That such member be suspended from the service of the House ; " and, if the offence has been committed in a committee of the whole House, the chairman shall forthwith suspend the proceedings of the committee and report the circumstance to the House ; and Mr. Speaker shall on a motion being made thereupon put the same question, without amendment, adjournment, or debate, as if the offence had been committed in the House itself.
If any member be suspended under this order, his suspension on the first occasion shall continue until the fifth day, and on the second occasion until the twentieth day, on which the House shall sit after the day on which he was suspended, but on any subsequent occasion until the House shall resolve that the suspension of such member do terminate.
Provided always, that suspension from the service of the House shall not exempt the member so suspended from serving on any committee for the consideration of a private bill to which he may have been appointed before his suspension.
Provided also, that not more than one member shall be named at the same time, unless several members, present together, have jointly disregarded the authority of the chair.
Provided also, that if any member, or members acting jointly, who have been suspended under this order from the service of the House, shall refuse to obey the direction of Mr. Speaker, when severally summoned under Mr. Speaker's orders by the serjeant at arms to obey such direction, Mr. Speaker shall call the attention of the House to the fact that recourse to force is necessary in order to compel obedience to his direction, and the member or members named by him as having refused to obey his direction shall thereupon and without further question put, be suspended from the service of the House during the remainder of the session.
Provided always, that nothing in this resolution shall be taken to deprive the House of the power of proceeding against any member according to ancient usages.
Mr. Speaker or the chairman, after having called the attention of the House, or of the committee, to the conduct of a member, who persists in irrelevance, or tedious repetition either of his own arguments, or of the arguments used by other members in debate, may direct him to discontinue his speech.
Mr. Speaker or the chairman shall order members whose conduct is grossly disorderly to withdraw immediately from the House during the remainder of that day's sitting ; and the serjeant at arms shall act on such orders as he may receive from the chair in pursuance of this resolution. But if, on any occasion, Mr. Speaker or the chairman deems that his powers under this standing order are inadequate, he may name such member or members in pursuance of the standing order "Order in debate," or he may call upon the House to adjudge upon the conduct of such member or members.
Provided always, that members who are ordered to withdraw under this standing order, or who are suspended from the service of the House under the standing order "Order in debate," shall forthwith withdraw from the precincts of the House, subject, however, in the case of such suspended members, to the proviso in that standing order regarding their service on private bill committees.
In the case of grave disorder arising in the House Mr. Speaker may, if he thinks it necessary to do so, adjourn the House without question put, or suspend any sitting for a time to be named by him.
When a motion is made for the adjournment of a debate, or of the House during any debate, or that the chairman do report progress, or do leave the chair, the debate thereupon shall be confined to the matter of such motion ; and no member, having moved or seconded any such motion, shall be entitled to move, or second, any similar motion during the same debate.
If Mr. Speaker, or the chairman, shall be of opinion that a motion for the adjournment of a debate, or of the House, during any debate, or that the chairman do report progress, or do leave the chair, is an abuse of the rules of the House, he may forthwith put the question thereupon from the chair, or he may decline to propose the question thereupon to the House.
The House, when it meets on Friday, shall, at its rising, stand adjourned until the following Monday without any question being put, unless the House shall otherwise resolve.
Whenever the House stands adjourned and it is represented to Mr. Speaker by His Majesty's Government that the public interest requires that the House should meet at any earlier time during the adjournment, and Mr. Speaker is satisfied that the public interest does so require, he may give notice that he is so satisfied, and thereupon the House shall meet at the time stated in such notice and the government business to be transacted on the day on which the House shall so meet shall, subject to the publication of notice thereof in the order paper to be circulated on the day on which the House shall so meet, be such as the government may appoint, but subject as aforesaid the House shall transact its business as if it had been duly adjourned to the day on which it shall so meet, and any government order of the day and government notices of motions that may stand on the order book for any day shall be appointed for the day on which the House shall so meet; provided also that in event of Mr. Speaker being unable to act owing to illness or other cause, the chairman of ways and means, or the deputy chairman, be authorised to act in his stead for the purposes of this standing order.
On Fridays the House shall stand adjourned if at any time after one of the clock on the House being counted it shall appear that forty members are not present.
The House shall not be counted on Mondays, Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays between half-past seven and half-past eight of the clock, but if on a division taken on any business between half-past seven and half-past eight of the clock it appears that forty members are not present, the business shall stand over until the next sitting of the House, and the next business shall be taken.
Paragraph (1) of this standing order shall apply to sittings on Fridays, with the substitution of references to a quarter-past one and a quarter-past two of the clock for the references to half-past seven and half-past eight of the clock.
After a question has been proposed a member rising in his place may claim to move, "That the question be now put," and, unless it shall appear to the chair that such motion is an abuse of the rules of the House, or an infringement of the rights of the minority, the question, "That the question be now put," shall be put forthwith, and decided without amendment or debate.
When the motion "That the question be now put" has been carried, and the question consequent thereon has been decided, any further motion may be made (the assent of the chair, as aforesaid, not having been witheld) which may be requisite to bring to a decision any question already proposed from the chair.
When a clause is under consideration, a motion may be made (the assent of the chair as aforesaid, not having been witheld), that the question, that certain words of the clause defined in the motion stand part of the clause, or that the clause stand part of, or be added to, the bill, be now put.
Such motions shall be put forthwith, and decided without amendment or debate.
Provided always that this rule shall be put in force only when Mr. Speaker or, in committee, the chairman of ways and means or deputy chairman is in the chair.
Questions for the closure of debate under standing order "Closure of debate" shall be decided in the affirmative, if, when a division be taken, it appears by the numbers declared from the chair, that not less than one hundred members voted in the majority in support of the motion.
In respect of any motion, or in respect of any bill under consideration either in committee of the whole House or on report, Mr. Speaker, or in committee the chairman of ways and means, and the deputy chairman, shall have power to select the new clauses or amendments to be proposed, and may, if he thinks fit, call upon any member who has given notice of an amendment to give such explanation of the object of the amendment as may enable him to form a judgement upon it.
If the opinion of Mr. Speaker or the chairman as to the decision of a question is challenged he shall direct that the lobby be cleared.
After the lapse of two minutes from this direction he shall put the question again, and, if his opinion is again challenged, he shall announce the names of tellers.
After the lapse of six minutes from this direction he shall direct that the doors giving access to the division lobbies be locked.
A member may vote in a division although he did not hear the question put.
A member is not obliged to vote.
Mr. Speaker or the chairman may, after the lapse of two minutes, if in his opinion the division is unnecessarily claimed, take the vote of the House, or committee, by calling upon the members who support, and who challenge his decision, successively to rise in their places ; and he shall thereupon, as he thinks fit, either declare the determination of the House or committee, or name tellers for a division.
When any bill shall be presented by a member, in pursuance of an order of this House, or shall be brought from the Lords, the questions "That this bill be now read a first time," and "That this bill be printed," shall be decided without amendment or debate.
A member may, if he thinks fit, after notice, present a bill without an order of the House for its introduction; and when a bill is so presented, the title of the bill shall be read by the clerk at the table, and the bill shall then be deemed to have been read a first time, and shall be printed.
Where a public bill (not being a bill to confirm a Provisional Order or Certificate) is ordered to be read a second time on a day appointed, and it appears that the Standing Orders relative to Private Business may be applicable to the bill, the Examiners of Petitions for Private Bills shall examine the Bill with respect to the applicability thereto of the Standing Orders, and shall proceed and report forthwith, and the order of the day relating to the Bill shall not be affected thereby; but if the Examiner reports that any Standing Order applicable to the Bill has not been complied with, and the Standing Orders Committee report that such Standing Order ought not to be dispened with, the order of the day relating to the bill shall be discharged.
If on an amendment to the question that a bill be now read a second time or the third time it is decided that the word "now" or any words proposed to be left out stand part of the question, Mr. Speaker shall forthwith declare the bill to be read a second or the third time as the case may be.
Whenever the House is adjourned for more than one day, notices of amendments, new clauses or new schedules (whether they are to be moved in committee or on report) received by the clerks at the table at any time not later than half-past four of the clock on the last day on which the House is not sitting (excluding any Saturday or Sunday) may be accepted by them as if the House was sitting.
Notices of amendments, new clauses or new schedules to be moved in committee may be accepted by the clerks at the table before a bill has been read a second time.
It shall be an instruction to all committees to which bills may be committed, that they have power to make such amendments therein as they shall think fit, provided they be relevant to the subject matter of the bill ; but that if any such amendments shall not be within the title of the bill, they do amend the title accordingly, and do report the same specially to the House.
Whenever an order of the day is read for the House to resolve itself into committee on a bill, Mr. Speaker shall leave the chair without putting any question, and the House shall thereupon resolve itself into such committee, unless notice of an instruction to such committee has been given, when such instruction shall be first disposed of.
In committee on a bill, the preamble shall stand postponed without question put until after the consideration of the clauses and schedules, if any.
In going through a bill no questions shall be put for the filling up words already printed in italics, and commonly called blanks, unless exception be taken thereto ; and if no alterations have been made in the words so printed in italics, the bill shall be reported without amendment, unless other amendments have been made thereto.
On a clause being offered in the committee on the bill, or on the consideration of report of a bill, Mr. Speaker or the chairman shall desire the member to bring up the same, whereupon it shall be read a first time without question put, but no clause shall be offered on consideration of report without notice.
At the close of the proceedings of a committee of the whole House on a bill, the chairman shall report the bill forthwith to the House, and when amendments shall have been made thereto, the same shall be received, without debate, and a time appointed for taking the same into consideration.
When the order of the day for the consideration of a bill, as amended in the committee of the whole House, has been read, the House shall proceed to consider the same without question put, unless the member in charge thereof shall desire to postpone its consideration, or a motion shall be made to re-commit the bill.
If a motion to re-commit a bill be opposed, Mr. Speaker shall permit a brief explanatory statement of the reasons for such re-committal from the member who moves and from a member who opposes any such motion respectively, and shall without further debate put the question thereon.
Upon the report stage of any bill no amendment which could not have been proposed in committee without an instruction from the House may be proposed.
No amendments, not being merely verbal, shall be made to any bill on the third reading.
Lords amendments to public bills shall be appointed to be considered on a future day, unless the House shall order them to be considered forthwith.
With respect to any bill brought to this House from the House of Lords, or returned by the House of Lords to this House, with amendments, whereby any pecuniary penalty, forfeiture, or fee shall be authorized, imposed, appropriated, regulated, varied, or extinguished, this House will not insist on its ancient and undoubted privileges in the following cases: -
(1) When the object of such pecuniary penalty or forfeiture is to secure the execution of the act, or the punishment or prevention of offences.
(2) Where such fees are imposed in respect of benefit taken or service rendered under the act, and in order to the execution of the act, and are not made payable into the treasury or exchequer, or in aid of the public revenue, and do not form the ground of public accounting by the parties receiving the same, either in respect of deficit or surplus.
(3) When such bill shall be a private bill for a local or personal act.
The precise duration of every temporary law shall be expressed in a distinct clause at the end of the bill.
There shall be a committee, to be designated ' the Business Committee,' consisting of the members of the chairmen's panel together with not more than five other members to be nominated by Mr. Speaker, which committee
(1) shall, in the case of any bill in respect of which an allocation of time order has been made by the House, allotting a specified number of days or portions of days to the consideration of the bill in committee of the whole House or on report, divide the bill into such parts as they may see fit and allot to each part so many days or portions of a day so allotted as they may consider appropriate ;
(2) may, if they think fit, do the like in repsect of any bill to the consideration of which in committee of the whole House or on report a specified number of days or portions of days has been allotted by general agreement notified orally to the House by a minister of the crown ; and
(3) shall report their recommendations to the House, and on consideration of any report the question ' That this House doth agree with the committee in the said report ' shall be put forthwith and, if agreed to, shall have effect as if it were an order of the House.
If, during the consideration of a bill in committee of the whole House or in a standing committee, the chairman is of opinion that the principle of a clause and any matters arising thereon have been adequately discussed in the course of debate on the amendments proposed thereto, he may, after the last amendment to be selected has been disposed of, so state his opinion and shall then forthwith put the question ' That the clause (or, the clause as amended) stand part of the bill.'
When a bill has been read a second time it shall stand committed to one of the standing committees, unless the House, on motion to be decided without amendment or debate, otherwise order ; and such a motion shall not require notice, must be made immediately after the bill is read a second time, may be made by any member, and may, though opposed, be decided after the expiration of the time for opposed business. But this order shall not apply to-
(a) Bills for imposing taxes or Consolidated Fund or Appropriation Bills ; or
(b) Bills for confirming Provisional Orders.
Provided that the House may, on motion made by the member in charge of a bill, commit the bill to a standing committee in respect of some of its provisions, and to a committee of the whole House in respect of other provisions, and that if such a motion is opposed Mr. Speaker, after permitting, if he thinks fit, a brief explanatory statement from the member who makes and from the member who opposes the motion, shall without further debate put the question thereon.
Where a bill has been committed to a standing committee, or has been so committed in respect of any provision, then, at the report stage of the bill or provision, the rule against speaking more than once shall not apply to the member in charge of the bill or to the mover of any amendment or new clause in respect of that amendment or clause.
As many standing committees shall be appointed as may be necessary for the consideration of bills or other business committed to a standing committee, and the procedure in those committees shall be the same as in a select committee unless the House otherwise order. On a division being called in the House, the chairman of a standing committee shall suspend the proceedings in the committee for such time as will, in his opinion, enable members to vote in the division. Any notice of amendment to a bill which has been committed to a standing committee shall stand referred to the standing committee. The quorum of a standing committee shall be fifteen. Strangers shall be admitted to a standing committee except when the committee shall order them to withdraw.
One of the standing committees shall be appointed for the consideration of all public bills or other business relating exclusively to Scotland and referred or committed to a standing committee, and shall consist of all the members representing Scottish constituencies, together with not less than ten nor more than fifteen other members to be nominated in respect of any bill or other business by the committee of selection, who shall have regard in such nomination to the approximation of the balance of parties in the committee to that in the whole House, and shall have power from time to time to discharge, for non-attendance or at their own request, the members so nominated by them, and to appoint others in substitution for those discharged.
Subject as aforesaid the bills committed to a standing committee shall be distributed among the committees by Mr. Speaker.
In all but one of the standing committees government bills shall have precedence.
Standing order No. 18 (as to irrelevance and repetition) and standing orders Nos. 26 (1), (2), (3) and (4) and 27 (as to closure) shall apply to standing committees, with the substitution in standing order No. 26 of the chairman of the committee for the chair, and, in standing order No. 27 of 20 for 100 as the number necessary to render the majority effective for the closure, and the chairman of a standing committee shall have the like powers as the chairman has under standing order No. 22 (as to dilatory motions), and under standing order No. 28 (as to selection of amendments).
All standing committees shall have leave to print and circulate with the votes the minutes of their proceedings and any amended clauses of bills committed to them.
Each of the said standing committees shall consist of twenty members, to be nominated by the committee of selection, who shall have regard to the composition of the House; and shall have power to discharge members from time to time, and to appoint others in substitution for those discharged. Provided that, for the consideration of all public bills relating exclusively to Wales and Monmouthshire, the committee shall be so constituted as to comprise all members sitting for constituencies in Wales and Monmouthshire. The committee of selection shall also have power to add not more than thirty members to a standing committee in respect of any bill referred to it, to serve on the committee during the consideration of such bill, and in adding such members shall have regard to their qualifications. Provided that this order shall not apply to the standing committee on Scottish bills.
A standing committee to whom a bill has been committed shall meet to consider that bill on such days of the week (being days on which the House sits) as may be appointed by the standing committee at half-past ten of the clock, unless the committee otherwise determine: Provided that-
(i) the first meeting of a standing committee to consider a bill shall be on a day and at a time to be named by the chairman of the committee;
(ii) no standing committee shall sit between the hours of one of the clock and half-past three of the clock.
If a standing committee is not previously adjourned, the chairman shall adjourn the committee without question put at one of the clock: Provided that-
(i) if, in the opinion of the chairman, the proceedings on a bill could be brought to a conclusion by a short extension of the sitting, he may defer adjourning the committee until a quarter past one of the clock;
(ii) if proceedings under the standing order " Closure of debate " be in progress at the time when the chairman would be required to adjourn the committee under this paragraph, he shall not adjourn the committee until the questions consequent thereon and on any further motion as provided in that standing order, have been decided.
Government bills referred to a standing committee shall be considered in whatever order the government may decide.
An allocation of time order relating, or so much thereof as relates, to the committee stage, made in respect of a bill committed or to be committed to a standing committee, shall, as soon as the bill has been allocated to a standing committee, stand referred without any question being put to a sub-committee of that standing committee appointed under paragraph (2) of this order.
There shall be a sub-committee of every standing committee, to be designated the business sub-committee, for the consideration of any allocation of time order or part thereof made in respect of any bill allocated to that standing committee, and to report to that committee upon-
(i) the number of sittings to be allotted to the consideration of the bill;
(ii) the hours of any additional sittings;
(iii) the allocation of the proceedings to be taken at each sitting; and
(iv) the time at which proceedings, if not previously brought to a conclusion, shall be concluded.
As soon as may be after an allocation of time order relating to a bill committed to a standing committee has been made, Mr. Speaker shall nominate the chairman of the standing committee in respect of that bill and seven members of the standing committee as constituted in respect of that bill to be members of the business sub-committee to consider that order, and those members shall be discharged from the sub-committee when that bill has been reported to the House by the standing committee; the chairman of the committee shall be the chairman of the sub-committee; the quorum of the sub-committee shall be four; and the sub-committee shall have power to report from time to time to the standing committee.
All resolutions of a business sub-committee shall be printed and circulated with the Votes. If, when any such resolutions have been reported to the standing committee, a motion " That this committee doth agree with the resolution (or resolutions) of the business sub-committee," is moved by the member at the time in charge of the bill, such a motion shall not require notice, and shall be moved at the commencement of proceedings at any sitting of the standing committee; and the question thereon shall be decided without amendment or debate, and, if resolved in the affirmative, the said resolution (or resolutions) shall operate as though included in the allocation of time order made by the House; but, if resolved in the negative, the resolution shall be referred back to the business sub-committee.
Mr. Attorney General, the Lord Advocate, Mr. Solicitor General, and Mr. Solicitor General for Scotland, being members of this House, or any of them, though not members of a standing committee, may take part in the deliberations of the committee, but shall not vote or move any motion or form part of the quorum.
If, after any public bill has been printed, whether introduced in this House or brought from the House of Lords, Mr. Speaker is of opinion that its provisions relate exclusively to Scotland, he shall give a certificate to that effect.
On the order for the second reading of any such bill being read, a motion, to be decided without amendment or debate, may be made by a minister of the crown, ' That the bill be referred to the standing committee on Scottish bills', provided that if the motion shall have been objected to by not less than ten members, it shall pass in the negative.
A bill so referred to the standing committee shall be considered in relation to the principle of the bill, and shall be reported as having been so considered to the House and shall be ordered to be read a second time upon a future day.
When the order of the day for the second reading of any such bill has been read, a motion to be decided without amendment or debate may be made by a minister of the crown 'That the bill be committed to the standing committee on Scottish bills' : Provided that this paragraph shall not apply in the case of any bill to the second reading of which notice of an amendment has been given by not less than six members.
If such a motion shall have been agreed to, the bill shall be deemed to have been read a second time, and shall be committed to the standing committee on Scottish bills, and shall proceed through its remaining stages according to the ordinary practice of the House.
A motion may be made by a minister of the crown at the commencement of public business, to be decided without amendment or debate, to the effect that the committee of supply be discharged from considering the estimates or any part of the estimates for which the Secretary of State for Scotland is responsible, and that such estimates or part of such estimates be referred to the standing committee on Scottish bills for consideration on not more than six days in any session and if such motion be agreed to, the standing committee shall consider the estimates referred to them and shall from time to time report only that they have considered the said estimates or any of them, which shall again stand referred to the committee of supply after such report has been brought up.
In order to facilitate the business of standing committees a motion may, after two days' notice, be made by a minister of the crown at the commencement of public business, in either of the following forms:-
(a) " That this House do now adjourn " (in which case, if the question thereon be not previously agreed to, Mr. Speaker shall put the question half an hour after it has been proposed), or
(b) " That this House do now adjourn till seven of the clock this day " (in which case the question thereon shall be decided without amendment or debate) :
Provided that if, on a day on which a motion in the terms of paragraph (a) of this order stands on the paper, leave has been given to move the adjournment of the House for the purpose of discussing a definite matter of urgent public importance, or opposed private business has been set down by direction of the chairman of ways and means, the motion shall be moved in the terms and subject to the procedure prescribed by paragraph (b) of this standing order.
All bills which shall have been committed to one of the said standing committees shall, when reported to the House, be proceeded with as if they had been reported from a committee of the whole House : Provided only, that all bills reported from a standing committee, whether amended or not, shall be considered on report by the House without question put, unless the member in charge thereof desire to postpone its consideration, or a motion be made to re-commit the bill.
When the chairman has been ordered to make a report to the House, he shall leave the chair without question put. Every such report shall be brought up without question put.
All committees shall have leave to sit, during the sitting of the House and notwithstanding any adjournment of the House on any day on which the House has sat.
No select committee shall, without leave of the House, consist of more than fifteen members; such leave shall not be moved for without notice ; and in the case of members proposed to be added or substituted, after the first appointment of the committee, the notice shall include the names of the members proposed to be added or substituted.
Every member intending to move for the appointment of a select committee shall endeavour to ascertain previously whether each member proposed to be named by him on such committee will give his attendance thereupon.
Every member intending to move for the appointment of a select committee shall, one day next before the nomination of such committee, place on the notices the names of the members intended to be proposed by him to be members of such committee.
Lists shall be affixed in some conspicuous place in the committee office and in the lobby of the House of all members serving on each select committee.
No document received by the clerk of any select committee shall be withdrawn or altered without the knowledge and approval of the committee.
To every question asked of a witness under examination in the proceedings of any select committee there shall be prefixed in the minutes of the evidence the name of the member asking such question.
The names of the members present each day on the sitting of any select committee, and in the event of any division taking place, the question proposed, the name of the proposer and the respective votes thereupon of the members present, shall be entered on the minutes of the proceedings of the committee, and such minutes of proceedings shall be reported to the House.
The names of members present each day at the sitting of any select committee shall be entered on the minutes of evidence, if any.
If, at any time during the sitting of a select committee of this House the quorum of members fixed by the House shall not be present, the clerk of the committee shall call the attention of the chairman to the fact, who shall thereupon suspend the proceedings of the committee until a quorum be present, or adjourn the committee to some future day.
Every select committee having power to send for persons, papers, and records, shall have leave to report their opinion and observations, together with the minutes of evidence taken before them, to the House, and also to make a special report of any matters which they may think fit to bring to the notice of the House.
The serjeant at arms attending this House shall, from time to time, when the House is going to prayers, give notice thereof to all committees.
This House will receive no petition for any sum relating to public service or proceed upon any motion for a grant or charge upon the public revenue, whether payable out of the consolidated fund or out of money to be provided by parliament, unless recommended from the crown.
This House will not proceed upon any petition, motion, or bill, for granting any money, or for releasing or compounding any sum of money owing to the crown, but in a committee of the whole House.
A Bill (other than a Bill which is required to originate in Committee of Ways and Means) the main object of which is the creation of a public charge may either be presented, or brought in upon an Order of the House, by a Minister of the Crown, and, in the case of a Bill so presented or brought in, the creation of the charge shall not require to be authorised by a Committee of the whole House until the Bill has been read a second time, and after the charge has been so authorised the Bill shall be proceeded with in the same manner as a Bill which involves a charge that is subsidiary to its main purpose.
This House will not receive any petition for compounding any sum of money owing to the crown, upon any branch of the revenue, without a certificate from the proper officer or officers annexed to the said petition, stating the debt, what prosecutions have been made for the recovery of such debt, and setting forth how much the petitioner and his security are able to satisfy thereof.
This House will not proceed upon any motion for an address to the crown, praying that any money may be issued, or that any expense may be incurred, but in a committee of the whole House.
This House will not receive any petition, or proceed upon any motion for a charge upon the revenues of India, but what is recommended by the crown.
If any motion be made in the House for any aid, grant, or charge upon the public revenue, whether payable out of the consolidated fund or out of money to be provided by parliament, or for any charge upon the people, the consideration and debate thereof shall not be presently entered upon, but shall be adjourned till such further day as the House shall think fit to appoint, and then it shall be referred to a committee of the whole House before any resolution or vote of the House do pass therein.
When notice has been given of a motion authorising expenditure in connection with a bill, the House may if the recommendation of the crown is signified thereto, at any time after such notice appears on the paper resolve itself into committee to consider the motion, and any resolution come to by such committee may, with the general agreement of the House, be reported forthwith.
A resolution authorising the issue of money out of the consolidated fund reported from the committee of ways and means may be considered forthwith by the House, and the consideration on report and third reading of a bill ordered to be brought in upon such a resolution or resolutions may be taken forthwith as soon as the bill has been reported from committee of the whole House.
When a minister of the crown in committee of ways and means has moved the first of several motions for imposing, renewing, varying or repealing any charge upon the people, the chairman shall forthwith put the question thereupon and shall then successively put forthwith the question on each further motion moved by the minister, save the last motion; and all such questions shall be decided without amendment or debate.
On consideration of any resolution reported from the committee of ways and means for imposing, renewing, varying or repealing a charge upon the people, the question ' That this House doth agree with the committee in the said resolution ' shall be put forthwith.
In all contracts extending over a period of years, and creating a public charge, actual or prospective, entered into by the government for the coveyance of mails by sea, or for the purpose of telegraphic communications beyond sea, there should be inserted the condition that the contract shall not be binding until it has been approved of by a resolution of the House.
Every such contract, when executed, shall forthwith, if parliament be then sitting, or, if parliament be not then sitting, within fourteen days after it assembles, be laid upon the table of the House, accompanied by a minute of the lords of the treasury, setting forth the grounds on which they have proceeded in authorising it.
In cases where any such contract requires to be confirmed by act of parliament, the bill for that purpose shall not be introduced and dealt with as a private bill, and power to the government to enter into agreements by which obligations at the public charge shall be undertaken shall not be given in any private act.
There shall be a committee, to be designated "the committee of public accounts," for the examination of the accounts showing the appropriation of the sums granted by parliament to meet the public expenditure, and of such other accounts laid before parliament as the committee may think fit, to consist of not more than fifteen members, who shall be nominated at the commencement of every session, and of whom five shall be a quorum. The Committee shall have power to send for persons, papers and records, and to report from time to time.
Every member offering to present a petition to the House, not being a petition for a private bill, or relating to a private bill before the House, shall confine himself to a statement of the parties from whom it comes, of the number of signatures attached to it, and of the material allegations contained in it, and to the reading of the prayer of such petition.
Every such petition not containing matter in breach of the privileges of this House, and which, according to the rules or usual practice of this House, can be received, shall be brought to the table by the direction of Mr. Speaker, who shall not allow any debate, or any member to speak upon, or in relation to such petition ; but it may be read by the clerk at the table, if required.
In the case of such petition complaining of some present personal grievance, for which there may be an urgent necessity for providing an immediate remedy, the matter contained in such petition may be brought into discussion on the presentation thereof.
All other such petitions, after they shall have been ordered to lie on the table, shall be referred without any question being put to a committee to be designated the committee on public petitions ; but if any such petition relate to any matter or subject with respect to which the member presenting it has given notice of a motion, and the said petition has not been ordered to be printed by the committee, such member may, after notice given, move that such petition be printed with the votes.
Subject to the above regulations, petitions against any resolution or bill imposing a tax or duty for the current service of the year shall be henceforth received, and the usage under which the House has refused to entertain such petitions shall be discontinued.
Whenever the House shall be informed by the clerk at the table of the unavoidable absence of Mr. Speaker, the chairman of ways and means shall perform the duties and exercise the authority of Speaker in relation to all proceedings of this House, as Deputy Speaker, until the next meeting of the House, and so on from day to day, on the like information being given to the House, until the House shall otherwise order : provided that if the House shall adjourn for more than twenty-four hours the Deputy Speaker shall continue to perform the duties and exercise the authority of Speaker for twenty-four hours only after such adjournment.
At the commencement of every parliament, or from time to time, as necessity may arise, the House may appoint a deputy chairman, who shall be entitled to exercise all the powers vested in the chairman of ways and means, including his powers as Deputy Speaker.
Provided also that the chairman of ways and means or deputy chairman do take the chair as Deputy Speaker, when requested so to do by Mr. Speaker, without any formal communication to the House.
Mr. Speaker shall nominate, at the commencement of every session, a chairmen's panel of not less than ten members to act as temporary chairmen of committees when requested by the chairman of ways and means. From this panel, of whom the chairman of ways and means and the deputy chairman shall be ex officio members, Mr. Speaker shall appoint the chairman of each standing committee and may change the chairman so appointed from time to time. The chairmen's panel, of whom three shall be a quorum, shall have power to report their resolutions on matters of procedure relating to standing committees from time to time to the House.
Any member of a standing committee may act as temporary chairman of the committee when requested by the chairman of the committee, provided that it shall not be for more than one quarter of an hour. Paragraph (5) of standing order No. 47 shall not apply when a temporary chairman of a standing committee is in the chair.
No member's name shall be affixed to any seat in the House before the hour of prayers; and Mr. Speaker shall give directions to the doorkeepers accordingly.
Any member having secured a seat at prayers shall be entitled to retain the same until the rising of the House.
Members may take and subscribe the oath required by law at any time during the sitting of the House, before the orders of the day and notices of motions have been entered upon, or after they have been disposed of; but no debate or business shall be interrupted for that purpose.
Every person returned as a member of this House, who may claim to be a person for the time being by law permitted to make a solemn affirmation or declaration instead of taking an oath, shall henceforth (notwithstanding so much of the resolution adopted by this house on the 22nd day of June 1880 as relates to affirmation) be permitted, without question, to make and subscribe a solemn affirmation in the form prescribed by the Parliamentary Oaths Act, 1866, as altered by the Promissory Oaths Act, 1868, subject to any liability by statute.
Any oath or affirmation taken or made by any witness before the House, or a committee of the whole House, may be administered by the clerk at the table.
Any oath or affirmation taken or made by any witness before a select committee may be administered by the chairman, or by the clerk attending such committee.
The serjeant at arms attending this House shall, from time to time, take into his custody any stranger whom he may see, or who may be reported to him to be, in any part of the House or gallery appropriated to the members of this House, and also any stranger who, having been admitted into any other part of the House or gallery, shall misconduct himself, or shall not withdraw when strangers are directed to withdraw, while the House, or any committee of the whole House, is sitting.
No member of this House shall presume to bring any stranger into any part of the House or gallery appropriated to the members of this House while the House, or a committee of the whole House, is sitting.
If at any sitting of the House, or in committee, any member shall take notice that strangers are present, Mr. Speaker, or the chairman (as the case may be), shall forthwith put the question, "That strangers be ordered to withdraw," without permitting any debate or amendment : provided that Mr. Speaker, or the chairman, may, whenever he thinks fit, order the withdrawal of strangers from any part of the House. Provided that any order made under this Standing Order shall not apply to members of the House of Lords.
To prevent the intercepting or losing of letters directed to members of this House, the postmaster of the House or other persons appointed by the Postmaster-General shall attend daily (Sundays excepted) for the delivery and re-direction of all letters arriving in course of post and shall take care, during their stay there, to deliver the same to the several members to whom they shall be directed, or to their known servant or servants, or other persons bringing notes under the hands of the members sending for the same.
The said officers shall, upon their going away, lock up such letters as shall remain undelivered.
When any letter or packet directed to this House shall come to Mr. Speaker, he shall open the same ; and acquaint the House, at its next sitting, with the contents thereof, if proper to be communicated to this House.
If, during the existence of a parliament, papers are commanded to be presented to this House by His Majesty at any time, the delivery of such papers to the Votes and Proceedings Office shall be deemed to be for all purposes the presentation of them to this House.
Where, under any Act of Parliament, a statutory instrument is required to be laid before Parliament, or before this House, the delivery of a copy of such instrument to the Votes and Proceedings Office on any day during the existence of a Parliament shall be deemed to be for all purposes the laying of it before the House. Provided that nothing in this Order shall apply to any Statutory Instrument being an Order which is subject to special parliamentary procedure or to any other instrument which is required to be laid before Parliament, or before this House, for any period before it comes into operation.
When any communication has been received by Mr. Speaker, drawing attention to the fact that copies of any statutory instruments have yet to be laid before Parliament, and explaining why such copies have not been so laid before the instrument came into operation, Mr. Speaker shall thereupon lay such communication upon the Table of the House.
On the day to which Parliament shall stand prorogued this House will meet at Eleven of the clock in St. Stephen's Hall; and that, after this House shall have returned from hearing His Majesty's Gracious Speech, Mr. Speaker shall resume the chair at Four of the clock and forthwith adjourn the House without Question put to the Chamber at present appointed for the use of this House.