The House's power to call for papers: procedure and practice Contents



1 The House’s power to call for papers

The nature of the power to call for papers

The scope of the power

Law Officers’ advice

2 Exercising the power through a motion for return

Use of the power by Ministers: motions for unopposed return

Motions for unopposed return: practice

Motions for return not moved by Ministers

Papers sought in Opposition motions for return

Compliance with resolutions and orders of the House calling for papers

Compliance with recent resolutions for papers from Opposition motions

The resolution of the House of 13 November 2018

3 Issues arising from recent practice

Government conventions and statutory provisions on disclosing information

Should the House restrict the types of paper it is entitled to demand?

The Law Officers’ convention

Other Government conventions on the release of information

Should the House change the way it handles motions for return?

The Government’s concerns over existing practice

Procedural options

Our view

Conclusions and recommendations

Annex: motions for return in the 2017–19 Session

Formal minutes


Published written evidence

List of Reports from the Committee during the current Parliament

Published: 20 May 2019