Bill committed to select or
7.115 A public bill (other than a consolidation
bill which is referred automatically after second reading to the
Joint Committee on Consolidation Bills under SO 52) may be committed
to a select committee or a joint committee when detailed investigation
is considered desirable or when the hearing of evidence is considered
necessary. To achieve this a motion is moved that a bill be committed
to a select committee or that a joint committee be appointed to
consider the bill. Such a motion is usually moved immediately
after the second reading but is admissible at any stage before
the third reading. If the bill has previously been committed to
a Committee of the whole House or Grand Committee, the order may
be discharged and an order made to commit the bill instead to
a joint or to a select committee. A motion may be tabled to commit
a part of a bill to a select committee. If the bill is referred
to a joint committee a message is sent to the House of Commons
informing them and desiring their agreement.
A bill may be committed to a select committee on another bill.
7.116 The method of appointment and powers of
the committee are the same as for an ad hoc committee on a general
subject (see paragraph 10.03); but the bill forms the committee's
order of reference and defines the scope of the inquiry.
7.117 When the committee has completed its deliberations,
it makes a report to the House on the provisions of the bill,
recommending whether or not it should proceed. The committee usually
gives reasons in a report similar to a report on a general subject.
The committee has no power to put an end to the bill. If it considers
that the bill should proceed, the committee reports it with such
amendments as it thinks fit, and the bill is then recommitted
to a Committee of the whole House in the form in which it has
been reported. When a committee makes amendments, formal minutes
of proceedings are required to record the amendments made. The
minutes of proceedings serve as the authority for the making of
the amendments and the reprinting of the bill as reported. If
the committee considers that it should not proceed, it reports
the bill accordingly, without amendment.
7.118 When a select committee reports that a
bill should not proceed, the bill is not recommitted to a Committee
of the whole House. The bill remains in the list of Bills in Progress
until the end of the session under the heading "Reported
from the select committee that the bill should not proceed".
The House normally acquiesces in a report from a select committee
recommending that a bill should not proceed, and no further proceedings
on the bill take place. If the bill is to proceed, a motion, of
which notice is required, has to be agreed that the bill be recommitted
to a Committee of the whole House. A bill may also be recommitted
to a committee after the latter has reported that it should not
7.119 If a committee is unable to complete its
consideration of the bill, it makes a special report to that effect
and reports the bill without amendment.
7.120 A bill which has been referred to a select
or joint committee is, after being reported by that committee,
recommitted to a Committee of the whole House unless the select
or joint committee has reported that the bill should not proceed.
Consolidation bills and hybrid bills are the most common examples
of bills which are recommitted.
7.121 Other bills may, on motion (which is debatable
and of which notice is required) moved at any time between committee
and third reading, be recommitted to a Committee of the whole
House or Grand Committee in their entirety, or in respect of certain
clauses or Schedules.
7.122 This course is adopted when it is desirable
to give further detailed consideration to the bill or certain
parts of it without the constraints on speaking which apply on
report and third reading; for instance:
- when substantial amendments are tabled too late
in the committee stage to enable them to be properly considered;
- where there is extensive redrafting; or
- where amendments are tabled at a later stage
on subjects which have not been considered in committee.
This procedure reserves to the report stage its proper
function as an opportunity to review and perfect the bill as amended
7.123 A motion that the House resolve itself
into a committee on recommitment on a bill may be debated and
opposed in the same way as the motion to go into committee. Procedure
on recommitment is the same as in Committee of the whole House.
The minimum interval between committee and report does not apply
7.124 SO 48(2) provides for the order of recommitment
to be discharged on the same conditions as apply to the order
277 Public bill committees have been largely superseded
by Grand Committees. The last appointment of a public bill committee
was in 1994. Back
Procedure 1st Rpt 1987-88; 1st Rpt 1992-93. Back
LJ (1986-87) 392-395. Back
SO 66. Back
Procedure 3rd Rpt 1970-71; 2nd Rpt 1987-88. Back
Procedure 1st Rpt 1994-95. Back
HL Deb. 13 December 1995, cols 1279-88. Back
Amendments may be tabled in the usual way at any time after second
LJ (1992-93) 161, 163; ibid (1993-94) 586, 682; HL Deb. 13 December
1995, cols 1279-88. Back
LJ (1986-87) 45. Back
LJ (1958-59) 97. Back
LJ (1854-55) 277, 234. Back