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Printed indexes to Hansard

This index is produced from the House of Commons Library's Parliamentary Information Management Services (PIMS). It contains references to all material in the bound volume of Hansard.

  • At the end of the session a sessional index is produced containing references to material in the bound volumes for the whole session.
Indexes on the Parliamentary website

Volume indexes covering material from the beginning of the 1999/2000 session will also appear on the Parliamentary website at with links to the full text of Hansard.



The indexes include entries covering:

  • The content of all material recorded in Hansard, including debates, procedural motions and questions.
  • The names of all Members contributing to the Parliamentary business recorded in Hansard.
  • The names of some types of Parliamentary business whenever they occur in Hansard. These are `Ministerial statements', `Business statements', `Opposition days' and `Estimates days'.


  • All headings are in one word-by-word alphabetical sequence, with Members' contribution entries distinguished from other entries by italics.
  • Where a Member contributes to Parliamentary business and is the subject of Parliamentary business there are separate contribution and subject entries, the subject entry coming first.
  • Entries beginning `Mac' and `Mc' are sorted in one sequence as `Mac'.
  • `St', when abbreviated for Saint, is filed as `Saint'.
  • Numbers are filed as if spelt out, e.g. `10 Downing Street' as if `Ten Downing Street'.


Choice of headings

  • Specificity--Entries summarise the overall content of a debate or question as specifically as the various PIMS thesauruses allow. For example, Education, Higher education, Universities or the name of a particular university is used depending on the breadth of the item.
  • Name headings--Specific entries are included for the names of people, places, institutions, organisations, committees, programmes, initiatives, publications and legislation when these constitute the overall subject of an item.
  • Organisations and subjects--Organisation entries are preferred for material about the general performance, administration and staffing of an organisation (for example, United Kingdom Passports Agency, Standards). Subject entries are preferred for what organisations do as part of their duties (for example, Passports, Fees and charges).

Geographical coverage

  • Subject headings--Subject headings are assumed to refer to the whole of England, Great Britain or the United Kingdom unless otherwise stated.
  • Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales--Material relating to the whole of Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales is indexed under these headings.
  • Places within the UK--Material about specific towns, areas and institutions is entered under the name of the specific town, area or institution.
  • Foreign countries--Most material relating to foreign countries is collected under the name of that country. Some additional material may be found under the names of--groups of countries, areas within countries, geographical features, place names associated with particular issues, politicians and heads of state, international bodies, and institutions and companies operating in those countries.
  • EC/EU material--General material about the European Communities and European institutions as bodies is entered under `European Communities' and `EC institutions'. Organisational material about specific communities and institutions is entered under the name of the body, for example `European Coal and Steel Community' or `European Parliament'. Material about what the Communities and institutions are doing or propose to do is entered under various subject headings beginning `EC' such as `EC environmental policy'.

Parliamentary material and business

  • Material about Parliament--This is indexed under `Parliament', the names of the two Houses, the `Palace of Westminster' and parts of the Parliamentary estate (such as `Portcullis House').
  • Committees--Material about committees is indexed under `Committees', types of committee (such as `Select committees') and the names of individual committees (such as `Home Affairs Select Committee').
  • Parliamentary proceedings/procedures--Material discussing these is indexed under the specific type of proceeding (such as `Parliamentary questions' or `Oral questions'), procedure (such as `Calling of Members') or issue (such as `Unparliamentary expressions').
  • Legislation--Entries for Parliamentary proceedings on bills and statutory instruments are entered under their titles. Where the lead word of the bill or statutory instrument does not provide a full or clear indication of the subject there are additional subject entries when the bill or instrument is debated. For example, debates on the `Child Support Pensions and Social Security Bill' have entries under `Pensions' and `Social security benefits' as well as under the title of the Bill.
  • Members' names--These are given in the form by which the Member prefers to be known.
  • Speaker and Chair--Contributions by the Speaker and deputies are brought together under the heading `Speaker and deputies'. Contributions from the chair during Committees of the Whole House are brought together under `Chairman of Committee of the Whole House'. Significant rulings and statements (as opposed to routine comments) are indicated by the sub-heading `Rulings and statements' in both cases.

Cross references

  • See references indicate all the material has been entered under another heading.

  • See also references indicate that additional information may be found under another heading.


  • References in the indexes are to columns rather than pages.
  • References to debates, but not questions, are accompanied by the date of the item.
  • There are separate sequences in Hansard for the material taken on the floor of the House, Westminster Hall sittings, written statements and written questions:
    • References consisting of a number by itself indicate material taken on the floor of the House.
    • References ending in `wh` indicate Westminster Hall sittings.
    • References ending in `ws' indicate written statements.
    • References ending in `w' indicate written questions.
  • References under all headings except the names of Members contributing to Parliamentary business and the titles of legislation are listed in one numerical sequence irrespective of whether the material is taken on the floor of the House, is discussed at a Westminster Hall sitting, is a written statement or is a written question.
  • References under the names of Members contributing to Parliamentary business and the titles of legislation are listed in numerical sequence under the following headings:
    • Chamber Debates etc. (which includes interventions and points of order as well as significant contributions to debates);
    • Westminster Hall Debates (covering all debates held as part of the Westminster Hall sittings);
    • Written Statements (consisting of ministerial statements issued in writing); and
  • Questions (which includes written, oral and urgent questions).


The following abbreviations are used in connection with the progress of bills:

  • 1R=First reading
  • 2R=Second reading
  • Com=Committee stage
  • Rep=Report stage
  • 3R=Third reading
  • res=resolution
  • amendt(s)=amendment(s)
  • *=matter taken formally without debate or division.
  • (HL)=Bill starting in House of Lords
  • (SP)=Bill in Scottish Parliament.
Parliamentary background
    • The Parliamentary website at contains a range of information about Parliament and the full text of some Parliamentary papers and proceedings including Hansard.
    • Information on current Parliamentary business is provided in the House of Commons Information Office Weekly Information Bulletin, available on the website and from The Stationery Office (020 7873 8499).
    • Further information on Parliamentary proceedings and procedures is available from the House of Commons Information Office (020 7219 4272).

Other editions of Hansard

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© Parliamentary copyright 2007
Updated 4 April 2007