Select Committee on Procedure Minutes of Evidence

Annex B


    Ordered, That the Serjeant at Arms attending this House do, from time to time, take into his Custody any Stranger or Strangers that he shall see, or be informed of to be, in the House or Gallery, while the House, or any Committee of the House, is sitting.

  This Order, which was in fact not carried out, at least by the early years of the 19th century, as Strangers were usually admitted to the Gallery on payment of a fee, was converted to a Standing Order in 1852, with a change to refer to such parts of the House or Gallery reserved for Members, and to Strangers who misconduct themselves during a Sitting or do not withdraw when required to do so. It is now SO No 162 (Duties of the Serjeant at Arms in respect of strangers).

    Ordered, That 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.

  This Order was also converted into a Standing Order in 1852 and remains unchanged as SO No 163 (Places to which strangers are not admitted).


    That to prevent the intercepting or losing of Letters directed to Members of this House, the person appointed to bring Letters from the General Post Office to the House, or some other person to be appointed by the Postmaster General, do for the future, every day during the Session of Parliament, Sundays excepted, constantly attend, from Ten of the Clock in the morning till Seven in the afternoon, at the place appointed for the delivery of the said Letters, and take care during his 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 names of the Members sending for the same.

    That the said Officer do, upon his going away, lock up such Letters as shall be remain undelivered; and that no Letter be delivered but within the hours aforesaid.

    That the said Orders be sent to the Postmaster General at the commencement of each Session.

    That, when any Letter or Packet directed to this House, shall come to Mr Speaker, he do open the same; and acquaint the House, at their next sitting, with the contents thereof, if proper to be communicated to the House.

  These were also converted into Standing Orders in 1852, but were repealed as obsolete in 1996 on the recommendation of the Procedure Committee, except for the third Order, which was repealed in 1933.


    Resolved, That no Peer of the Realm, except a Peer of Ireland, hath any right to give his vote in the Election of any Member to serve in the Parliament.

  This (the exception for Peers of Ireland was introduced in 1964 in line with the Peerage Act 1963) [7]was abolished in 2000 following the passing of the House of Lords Reform Act 1999. Peers with seats in the House of Lords are still disqualified from voting under common law.


    Ordered, That the Votes and Proceedings of this House be printed, being first perused by the Speaker, and that she do appoint the printing thereof; and that no person but such as she shall appoint do presume to print the same.

    That the Journal of this House, from the end of the last Session to the end of the present Session, with an Index thereto, be printed.

    Ordered, That the said Journal be printed by the appointment and under the direction of . . ., the Clerk of this House.

    Ordered, That the said Journal and Index be printed by such person as shall be licensed by the Speaker, and that no other person do presume to print the same.

  The part of the first Order relating to "appointing" the printing of the Votes and Proceedings, and the other three Orders, were discontinued in 2000, to recognise that the appointment of a printer (currently The Stationery Office Ltd) is now arranged by contract signed by the Clerk of the House. House publications now enjoy the protection of the copyright law, and there is no need for any sessional order to protect them from pirating.

7   A limited exception had existed since 1802 for peers of Ireland currently elected to the House of Commons for a seat in Great Britain. Back

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Prepared 25 September 2003