Companion to the Standing Orders and guide to the Proceedings of the House of Lords


7.41  After second reading, either immediately or at a later date, bills are committed to a committee on a motion in the name of the Lord in charge of the bill. Bills are usually committed to a Committee of the whole House or a Grand Committee. The forms of words are "That this bill be committed to a Committee of the whole House" or "to a Grand Committee". Any member in charge of a private member's bill should not table the motion to commit the bill without consulting the Clerks.

7.42  In certain cases bills may be committed to other types of committee. These include public bill committees, special public bill committees and select committees, which are described at paragraphs 7.101-7.119.

7.43  The House sometimes wishes, after committing a bill to one kind of committee, to commit it to another instead. The motion is "That the order of commitment of [date] committing the bill to an [original committee] be discharged and that the bill be committed to a [new committee]."

7.44  Sometimes, in order to save the time of the House, a bill is not committed. This is the invariable practice in the case of supply bills and the normal practice for money bills, and it may be invoked for bills whose proceedings are expedited and to which no amendments are tabled.[258] Immediately after the second reading the Lord in charge of the bill moves "That this bill be not committed" and the Question is put. If it is agreed to, the next stage is third reading.


7.45  Instructions to any committee on a bill may be moved after the second reading.

7.46  Instructions may be either mandatory or permissive. The most common mandatory instruction directs the committee to consider the clauses and Schedules in an order other than that of the bill. Permissive instructions enable a committee to do something that it could not otherwise do, such as divide a bill into two.

7.47  Instructions to extend the scope of a bill (that is, to make admissible amendments which would otherwise be excluded by the rules of relevance) are not in order.[259]

258   SO 48(1), Procedure 1st Rpt 1960-61. Back

259   Procedure 2nd Rpt 1990-91. Back

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