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Weekly Information Bulletin
Sessional Information Digest: 1999-2000

Section A1

Sittings of the House and Dates of Session

The House sat on every Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday, and all but 12 Fridays during the following periods (all dates inclusive).

17 November - 21 December 1999

10 January - 22 February 2000

28 February - 20 April 2000

2 May - 25 May 2000

5 June - 28 July 2000

23 October - 30 November 2000

The total number of sitting days was 170. The House sat for 1442 hours and 41 minutes, and the average length of the daily sitting (including Fridays) was 8 hours and 29 minutes.

The House did not sit on the following Fridays: 3, 10 & 17 December 1999, 14 & 21 January, 18 February, 31 March, 16 & 30 June, 14 July, 27 October and 3 November 2000.

Analysis of the time of the session

 
Type of Business

Total time spent (hours:minutes)

   

1

Addresses, other than Prayers (including debate on Queen's Speech)

39.00

     

2

Government Bills

 
 

Second Reading debate (Bills committed to a Standing Committee)

124.13

 

Second Reading debate (Bills committed to a Committee of the Whole House)

31.01

 

Committee of the Whole House

76.56

 

Consideration (Report stage)

210.37

 

Third Reading

21.58

 

Lords Amendments

66.29

 

Allocation of Time Order (including Programme Motions)

28.17

 

Committal Motions

0.29

     

3

Private Members' Bills

 
 

Motions for the introduction of Ten Minute Rule Bills

12.53

 

Second Reading and all Stages

38.56

 

Other stages

31.17

     

4

Private Business

8.58

     

5

Government motions

 
 

European Union Documents

0.26

 

General

37.15

     

6

Opposition motions

 
 

Opposition Days (20 days)

129.28

 

Opposition Motions in Government Time

0.00

     

7

Adjournment

 
 

Government debates on motions for the Adjournment

120.53

 

Last day before Recesses

14.13

 

Emergency debates (SO No 24)

0.06

 

Daily (at end of business)

78.10

     

8

Estimates

10.52

     

9

Money Resolutions

1.53

     

10

Ways and Means Resolutions (including Budget Debate)

25.25

   

11

Motion to Approve Statutory Instruments (Affirmative)

25.56

     

12

Prayers against Statutory Instruments (Negative)

6.32

     

13

Oral Questions

133.25

 

Private Notice Questions

4.50

 

Statements

67.49

 

Business statements

25.37

 

SO No 24 Applications*

0.06

 

Points of Order and Speaker's Rulings

5.37

 

Presentation of Public Petitions

1.22

 

Miscellaneous

21.11

     

Daily Prayers

14.05

     

Sessional Total

1442.41

Note:The time taken up by Divisions is included with the class of business upon which the divisions were called

* Previously SO No 20 Applications

Westminster Hall

The total number of sitting hours in Westminster Hall was 352 hours and forty minutes.

Section A2

Parliamentary Questions

Statistics of Parliamentary Questions are available in two forms. The figures for each, which for various reasons (mainly owing to methods of counting and recording) are not exactly comparable, are as follows:

Questions appearing on the Order Paper calculated by the Journal Office

Appearing on the Order Paper for Oral Answer

5,747

Put down for written answer on a named day

16,212

Put down for ordinary Written Answer

20,569

   

Total

42,528

Note:Not more than about half of all questions put down for Oral Answer will receive such an answer - the rest are answered in writing

Questions appearing in Hansard, and indexed in the Parliamentary On-line Indexing Service (POLIS)

Oral replies (including supplementaries)

5,343

Written replies

36,067

   

Total

41,410

The total number of private notice questions (excluding Business Questions) was 9.

Section A3

Opposition Days

Date

Day No.

Subject of Debate

     

8.12.99

1

Tube investment

     

17.1.00

2

a) Meeting the needs of pensioners (LD)
b) Protecting Post Office services (LD)

     

18.1.00

3

a) Health care
b) Running costs and accountability of central government

     

2.2.00

4

a) Asylum and immigration
b) Development policy

     

21.2.00

5

a) Education
b) Millennium Dome

     

1.3.00
6.4.00

6

a) Tax cuts and public services (LD)
b) The Patten report (Ulster Unionist Party)

     

8.3.00

7

a) National Health Service
b) Small business

     

16.3.00

8

a) Mozambique
b) Future of Rover

     

12.4.00

9

a) The future of sub post offices
b) Asylum seekers

     

16.5.00

10

a) UK manufacturing and enterprise
b) Future of the teaching profession

     

24.5.00

11

a) Government policies on tackling crime
b) Transport taxation, spending and investment

     

7.6.00

12

a) Equal opportunities in Britain (LD)
b) Britains strategic interests (LD)

     

8.6.00

13

a) Pensions
b) Genetically modified crops

     

20.6.00

14

a) Football hooliganism
b) Planning, housebuilding; development of greenfield sites
and the decline of the cities

     

29.6.00

15

National health service

     

3.7.00

16

a) The government's early release of prisoners
b) Neill Committee recommendations relating to ministers
and special advisers

     

13.7.00

17

Relationship between Parliament and the executive

     

25.10.00

18

a) Fuel protests
b) Supply and recruitment of teachers

     

6.11.00

19

a) Pensions and pensioners (LD)

b) Privatisation (LD)

     

13.11.00

20

a) London Underground - Public private partnership
b) The Millennium Dome

LD - Liberal Democrat motions

Section A4

Use of Guillotine (Programme Motions)

The Guillotine, or Allocation of Time Motion (ATM), is used to timetable proceedings on a Bill. Session 1997/98 saw the introduction, on a trial basis, for some Bills of a Programme Motion (PM). In the 1999-2000 Session, Guillotine or Programme Motions were used 21 times on 16 Bills during the session. Factsheet No P10, available from the House of Commons Information Office, contains more information. The details are as follows:

Bill titleDate ofStagesProgress beforeTime allowed
and lengthATM/ProgguillotinedATM/Prog (No. ofunder ATM/Prog
sittings on SC:
clause reached)

Representation of the20.1.2000 Report1R,2R,Comm4hrs

People Bill

(16cl, 6sch)

- ditto -8.3.2000LA-LA - 2hrs
Northern Ireland8.2.20002R,C,R&3R1R2R - 4hrs
ProgC - 2hrs
R+3R-1hr
Transport9.5.2000R+3R1R,2R,CR&3R-2 days
(23lcl, 26sch)Prog
- ditto -15.11.2000LA-until midnight
Prog
Nuclear Safeguards22.5.2000R+3R1R,2R,CR+3R - 4hrs

(12cl)

Seafishing Grants 22.5.2000R+3R1R,2R,CR+3R - 1hr

(Charges) (3cl)

Royal Parks22.5.2000R+3R1R,2R,CR+3R - 4hrs

(Trading) (8cl)

Television Licences22.5.2000R+3R1R,2R,C3+3R - 1hr

(Disclosure of

Information) (6cl)

Financial Services9.2.2000R+3R1R,2R,CR - until 9.00pm
and MarketsProg3R - until 10.00pm

(367cl,17sch)

- ditto -5.6.2000LA-LA - 1 day
Local Government [HL]4.7.2000R+3R2R,C2days
(103cl, 5sch)Prog
Police (Northern11.7.2000R+3R2R+CR - 6hrs
Ireland)3R - 7hrs

(74cl, 7sch)

- ditto - 21.11.2000 LA until 10.00pm
Football (Disorder)17.7.2000C,R,3R2RC - 5hrs
(7cl, 3sch)R - 6hrs
3R - 7hrs
- ditto - 27.7.2000LA-2hrs
Criminal Justice25.7.20002R,C5hrs

(Mode of Trial) (No.2)

(5cl, 2sch)

Freedom of Information27.11.2000LA1R,2R,C,R,3Runtil midnight

(88cl, 8sch)

Bill titleDate ofStagesProgress beforeTime allowed
ATM/ProgguillotinedATM/Prog (No. ofunder ATM/Prog
sittings on SC:
clause reached)

Countryside and 27.11.2000LA1R,2R,C,R,3Runtil 10.00pm

Rights of Way

(104cl, 16sch)

Political Parties, Elections29.11.2000LA1R,2R,C,R,3Runtil midnight

and Referendums

(163cl, 23sch)

Disqualifications29.11.2000LA1R,2R,C,R,3R3hrs

(4cl)

* Proceedings formal, no debate

+ All Party Programme Motion

For abbreviations see Section B1: Complete List of Public Bills: General Notes

Section A5

Estimates Days

Standing Order No 52 provides that three days shall be allotted during each session for the consideration of Estimates (see Factsheet No P6). The Subjects are set down by resolution of the Liaison Committee.

 
Date

No. of Allotted Day

Estimate class no. and Vote discussed

Principal Subjects

       

16.12.99

1st (part 1)

Class III, Vote 6

Aviation safety

       

16.12.99

1st (part 2)

Class XIII, Vote 1

Scotland Office

       

6.7.00

2nd (part 1)

Class XVI, Vote 4

Customs and Excise

       

6.7.00

2nd (part 2)

Class XII, Vote 3

Social security

Section A6

Government Substantive Motions

Date

Subject

   

25.11.99

Public Accounts

9.12.99

Peter Nevile Wake Jennings, Esquire, CVO

13.12.99

Fisheries

21.12.99

Public Expenditure

18.1.00

Line of Route

2.2.00

House of Commons Commission

21.2.00

House of Commons Commission

22.2.00

Defence White Paper

28.2.00

Defence White Paper

1.3.00

Standards and Privileges

7.3.00

Parliamentary Contributory Pensions Fund and HoC Members' Fund

11.5.00

Common Agricultural Policy

23.5.00

Insurance for Members

23.5.00

Legal costs incurred by the Hon. Member for Mid Worcs.

11.7.00

Hundredth Birthday of HM Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother

26.7.00

Retirement of Madam Speaker

27.7.00

Parliamentary Contributory Pension Fund

23.10.00

Madam Speaker Boothroyd's Retirement

7.11.00

Programming of Bills

7.11.00

Deferred Divisions

20.11.00

Thursday Sittings and Meetings in Westminster Hall

20.11.00

Sittings in Westminster Hall

21.11.00

POST (Information Cttee Rpt)

22.11.00

Coal Operating Aid Scheme

30.11.00

Human Rights (Joint Committee)

Section A7

Standing Order No 24

Standing Order No 24 allows Members to suggest that a specific and important matter should have urgent consideration and that an emergency debate be held upon it. It is for the Speaker to decide whether the matter is sufficiently specific, important and urgent to warrant giving it precedence, and among other things to have regard to the probability of the matter being brought before the House by other means; the Chair in general gives leave very seldom. During the 1999-2000 Session, there were 2 unsuccessful applications.

Section A8

Divisions

The total number of divisions during the Session was 367.

Section A9

Early Day Motions

The total number of Early Day Motions tabled during the Session was 1,198, of which 25 were prayers for the annulment of statutory instruments. Factsheet No P3 on Early Day Motions is available from the House of Commons Information Office.

 

 
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Prepared February 2001