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|Standing Orders of the House of Commons - Public Business 1997- continued
|Sittings of the House - continued
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|House not to sit on certain Fridays.
| 12. - (1) The House shall not sit on ten Fridays in each session to be appointed by the House.
| (2) If a motion to appoint such Fridays is made by a Minister of the Crown the question thereon shall be put forthwith and may be decided at any hour, though opposed.
| (3) At its rising on the Thursday before each of the Fridays so appointed the House shall stand adjourned till the following Monday without any question being put, unless it shall have resolved otherwise.
| (4) Unless the House shall have resolved to adjourn otherwise than from the previous Thursday to the following Monday, the Fridays so appointed shall be treated as sitting days for the purpose of calculating any period under any order of the House and for the purposes of paragraph (8) of Standing Order No. 22 (Notices of questions, motions and amendments) and of Standing Order No. 64 (Notices of amendments, &c., to bills); and on such Fridays-
|between eleven o'clock and three o'clock.
|Earlier meeting of House in certain circumstances.
| 13. - (1) Whenever the House stands adjourned and it is represented to the Speaker by Her Majesty's Ministers that the public interest requires that the House should meet at a time earlier than that to which the House stands adjourned, the Speaker, if she is satisfied that the public interest does so require, may give notice that, being so satisfied, she appoints a time for the House to meet, and the House shall accordingly meet at the time stated in such notice.
| (2) 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.
| (3) In the event of the Speaker being unable to act owing to illness or other cause, the Chairman of Ways and Means, or either Deputy Chairman, shall act in her stead for the purposes of this order.
Arrangement and Timing of Public and Private Business
|Arrangement of public business.
| 14. - (1) Save as provided in this order, government business shall have precedence at every sitting.
| (2) Twenty days shall be allotted in each session for proceedings on opposition business, seventeen of which shall be at the disposal of the Leader of the Opposition and three of which shall be at the disposal of the leader of the second largest opposition party; and matters selected on those days shall have precedence over government business provided that-
Provided that on days on which business stands over until seven o'clock under the provisions of Standing Order No. 24 (Adjournment on specific and important matter that should have urgent consideration) proceedings under this sub-paragraph shall not be entered upon until such business has been disposed of, and may then be proceeded with for three hours, notwithstanding the provisions of Standing Order No. 9 (Sittings of the House).
| (3) For the purposes of this order "the second largest opposition party" shall be that party, of those not represented in Her Majesty's Government, which has the second largest number of Members elected to the House as members of that party.
| (4) Private Members' bills shall have precedence over government business on thirteen Fridays in each session to be appointed by the House.
| (5) On and after the eighth Friday on which private Members' bills have precedence, such bills shall be arranged on the order paper in the following order:
| consideration of Lords amendments, third readings, consideration of reports not already entered upon, adjourned proceedings on consideration, bills in progress in committee, bills appointed for committee, and second readings.
| (6) The ballot for private Members' bills shall be held on the second Thursday on which the House shall sit during the session under arrangements to be made by the Speaker, and each bill shall be presented by the Member who has given notice of presentation or by another Member named by him in writing to the Clerks at the Table, at the commencement of public business on the fifth Wednesday on which the House shall sit during the session.
| (7) Until after the fifth Wednesday on which the House shall sit during the session, no private Member shall-
| (8) A private Member's bill to which the provisions of paragraphs (2) to (6) of Standing Order 97 (Scottish Grand Committee (bills in relation to their principle)) have applied, and which has been considered by a Scottish Standing Committee (or by a special standing committee), shall not be set down for consideration on report so as to have precedence over any private Member's bill so set down which was read a second time on a day preceding that on which the bill was reported from the Scottish Grand Committee under paragraph (3) of that Standing Order.
| (9) An order appointing a day for the second reading of a private Member's bill shall lapse at the rising of the House on the preceding sitting day if at that time the bill has not been printed and delivered to the Vote Office, and the House shall make no further order appointing a day for the second reading of the bill until it has been printed.
| 15. - (1) The following business may be proceeded with at any hour though opposed, shall not, save for the purpose of moving a motion pursuant to paragraph (2) of this order, be interrupted at ten o'clock, and, if under discussion when business is postponed under the provisions of any Standing Order, may be resumed, though opposed, after the interruption of business:
Provided that any questions necessary to dispose of the proceedings on such a motion shall be put at eleven o'clock or one hour after the commencement of those proceedings, whichever is the later.
| (2) If a notice of motion in the name of a Minister of the Crown stands upon the order paper at the commencement of public business to the effect that any specified business may be proceeded with at this day's sitting though opposed-
|or in a form combining any or all of these effects in respect of different items of business, the motion shall stand over and may not be made until after the interruption of business and shall then be proceeded with, though opposed, in accordance with the following paragraphs of this order provided that on any day on which the Speaker is directed to put questions at ten o'clock pursuant to paragraph (5) of Standing Order No. 54 (Consideration of estimates), any such motion shall stand over until those questions have been decided.
| (3) If the business interrupted is included in the business specified in the motion or in paragraph (1) of this order, the Speaker shall, immediately after the interruption of business, or if the House has been in committee, before any day is named for the House again to resolve itself into that committee, call upon the Minister to move his motion and the question thereon shall be put forthwith, and after that question has been decided the consideration of the business interrupted shall be resumed if such business is included in the business specified in paragraph (1) of this order or if the question be resolved in the affirmative.
| (4) If the business interrupted is not included in the business specified in the motion or in paragraph (1) of this order, the Speaker shall call upon the Minister to move his motion at the conclusion of any proceedings arising on the interruption of business under the provisions of Standing Order No. 9 (Sittings of the House) but before the resumption of any proceedings postponed under Standing Order No. 20 (Time for taking private business) or No. 24 (Adjournment on specific and important matter that should have urgent consideration).
| (5) If a motion made under either of the two preceding paragraphs be agreed to, the business so specified shall be proceeded with as if it were included in the business specified in paragraph (1) of this order, save that-
| (6) Not more than one motion under paragraph (2) of this order may be made at any one sitting and after any business proceeding under the provisions of this order is disposed of after ten o'clock, the remaining business of the sitting shall be dealt with according to the provisions of Standing Order No. 9 (Sittings of the House) applicable to business taken after ten o'clock.
|© Parliamentary copyright 1997
|Prepared 6 May 1997