Papers may not be laid |
|House sitting for public business
||9.30 a.m. (or start of business if earlier)
||5 p.m. (or rising of the House if later)
|Non-sitting day (Monday to Friday)
3.63 Departments wishing to lay Command papers
or statutory instruments outside these hours must make special
arrangements for their receipt with the Printed Paper Office.#####centoff#####
3.64 Members of the House are entitled to obtain
free of charge from the Printed Paper Office such current parliamentary
papers and other publications as they clearly require to discharge
their current parliamentary duties.
- Command papers;
- Act papers;
- statutory instruments;
- Acts and Measures;
- any document printed pursuant to an order of
- other working papers of the House, including
bills, explanatory notes on bills, amendments, House of Lords
Business and Hansard (Lords and Commons);
- papers relating to the work of the European Union.
3.65 Members are entitled to one copy of these
papers. If they have spoken in a debate, they are entitled to
collect up to six copies of the Lords Hansard in which their speech
3.66 Members of the House may also obtain, free
of charge, government publications up to a price limit.
Papers above the price limit are available for consultation in
the Library of the House. Any publication referred to in a motion
or question for short debate which has been set down for a named
day in House of Lords Business will be supplied free to
any member on request. Other publications will also be supplied
free of charge, provided that they are required for the discharge
of the member's current parliamentary duties. Historical, technical,
scientific or reference and similar classes of publications will
not generally be supplied to members free of charge, unless specially
authorised by the Clerk of the Parliaments. Further details can
be found in the Handbook on facilities and services for Members.
3.67 Members of the House may order through the
Printed Paper Office any government publications which are not
available to them free of charge, and also extra copies of papers
above their basic entitlement. These papers are sent to members
together with an invoice.
3.68 In order to enable the Printed Paper Office
to provide a prompt service to all members of the House, members
should first consult the Library when the identification of a
paper is in doubt, or when they wish to find answers to specific
questions from published sources.
3.69 Members of the public may petition the House
of Lords, but only a member of the House may present a petition.
Members of the House should give the following guidance to members
of the public who ask them to present petitions on their behalf.
3.70 Petitions to the House of Lords begin:
"To the Right Honourable the Lords Spiritual
and Temporal in Parliament assembled, The humble Petition of [names
or designation of petitioners] sheweth".
3.71 The general allegations of the petition
follow. The petition ends with what is called a "prayer",
setting out what the petitioners desire the House to do. After
the prayer are added the words "And your Petitioners will
ever pray &c." followed by the signatures. The petition
may be written, printed or typed on paper. At least one signature
must be on the same sheet as the petition. The signatures must
not be stuck on to the paper. The petition of a corporation should
be under its common seal, which must be affixed to the first sheet.
3.72 Members of the House presenting petitions
should sign them, and either send them to the Clerk of the Parliaments
or hand them in at the Table.
In either case, having notified the Table in advance, they rise
in their place after oral questions and say:
"My Lords, I beg to present a petition from
[names or designation], which prays that this House will [the
prayer is read out]."
3.73 They may add:
"The petition bears X signatures."
but no speech may be made and no debate follows.
3.74 Petitions relating to a public bill may
be presented at any time during its passage through the House.
A petition relating to a bill which has not been before the House,
or which has already been rejected by it, cannot be presented.
3.75 The presentation of a petition is recorded
in the Minutes of Proceedings, and the petition is retained in
the Parliamentary Archives for one year. However, no order is
made for the petition to be printed unless a member of the House
puts down a motion to debate it for a designated day; otherwise
no action follows.
3.76 A member proposing to present a petition
should consult the Journal Office at an early stage.
3.77 A message is the means of formal communication
between the two Houses. It is used for sending bills from one
House to the other, for informing one House of the agreement or
disagreement of the other to bills or amendments, for requesting
the attendance of staff of either House as witnesses, for the
exchange of documents, for the setting up of joint committees,
to obtain agreement to the suspension of proceedings on legislation
from one session to the next, and for other matters on which the
two Houses wish to communicate.
3.78 Messages to the Commons are taken by a Lords
Clerk and handed to the Serjeant at Arms. Messages from the Commons
are brought by a Commons Clerk to the Bar of the House and presented
to the Clerk at the Table. There is no special ceremony for the
arrival of a message, and the business of the House proceeds without
126 Procedure 2nd Rpt 2006-07. Back
Offices 4th Rpt 1966-67. Back
Currently £50: see the Handbook on facilities and services
for Members (May 2010). Back
SO 74. Back