Standing Orders of the House of Commons - Public Business 2001 - continued        House of Commons

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Pecuniary penalties.     79. With respect to any bill brought to this House from the House of Lords, or returned by the House of Lords to this House, with amendments, whereby any pecuniary penalty, forfeiture, or fee shall be authorised, imposed, appropriated, regulated, varied, or extinguished, this House will not insist on its ancient and undoubted privileges in the following cases:
 
      (1) when the object of such pecuniary penalty or forfeiture is to secure the execution of the Act, or the punishment or prevention of offences;
 
      (2) where such fees are imposed in respect of benefit taken or service rendered under the Act, and in order to the execution of the Act, and are not made payable into the Consolidated Fund, or in aid of the public revenue, and do not form the ground of public accounting by the parties receiving the same, either in respect of deficit or surplus;
 
      (3) when such bill shall be a private bill for a local or personal Act.
 
Privilege (bills brought from the Lords).     80. The House may proceed with any public bill brought from the Lords except a bill of aids and supplies, provided that-
 
 
    (a) it is so framed that no charge upon the people or upon public funds, unless it be such a charge as is defined in Standing Order No. 79 (Pecuniary penalties), is imposed or altered; and
 
    (b) in the case of a bill which, if it were not so framed, would have as its main object the imposition or alteration of such a charge, a Minister of the Crown has informed the Clerk at the Table of his intention to take charge of it.
Temporary laws.     81. The precise duration of every temporary law or enactment shall be expressed in a distinct clause or subsection of the bill.
 
Business Committee.     82. There shall be a committee, to be called the Business Committee, consisting of the Chairman of Ways and Means, who shall be chairman of the committee, and not more than eight other Members to be nominated by the Speaker in respect of each bill to which this order applies. The quorum of the committee shall be four. The committee-
 
 
    (a) shall, in the case of any bill in respect of which an order has been made by the House, allotting a specified number of days or portions of days to the consideration of the bill in committee of the whole House or on report, divide the bill into such parts as it may see fit and allot to each part so many days or portions of a day so allotted as it may consider appropriate; and
 
    (b) shall report its resolution (or resolutions) to the House, and on a motion being made for the consideration of such report the question thereon shall be put forthwith and on consideration of the said report the question 'That this House doth agree with the committee in its resolution (or resolutions)' shall be put forthwith and, if that question be agreed to, any such resolution shall have effect as if it were an order of the House.
       Proceedings in pursuance of this sub-paragraph, though opposed, may be decided after the expiration of the time for opposed business.
 
Allocation of time to bills.     83. If a motion be made by a Minister of the Crown providing for an allocation of time to any proceedings on a bill the Speaker shall, not more than three hours after the commencement of the proceedings on such a motion, put any question necessary to dispose of those proceedings.
 
 
Standing Committees
Constitution of standing committees.     84. - (1) Subject to the provisions of paragraph (1) of Standing Order No. 119 (European Standing Committees), as many standing committees shall be appointed as may be necessary for the consideration of bills or other business committed or referred to a standing committee.
 
      (2) Subject to the provisions of Standing Order No. 101 (Scottish Standing Committees), the bills committed and instruments (whether or not in draft) referred to a standing committee shall be distributed among the committees by the Speaker.
 
      (3) In all but one of the standing committees to which bills other than bills provided for in Standing Order No. 101 (Scottish Standing Committees) are committed or referred government bills shall have precedence.
 
      (4) Government bills allocated to a particular standing committee shall be considered in whatever order Her Majesty's Ministers may decide.
 
Chairmen of standing committees.     85. - (1) The chairman or chairmen of each standing committee shall be appointed by the Speaker from the Chairmen's Panel.
 
      (2) The Speaker may change the chairmen so appointed from time to time.
 
      (3) When more than one chairman is appointed to a standing committee any of the chairmen so appointed may exercise the powers conferred by paragraph (3) of Standing Order No. 89 (Procedure in standing committees).
 
      (4) The Chairmen's Panel, of which three shall be a quorum, shall have power to consider matters of procedure relating to standing committees and to report its opinion thereupon to the House from time to time.
 
      (5) Any member of a standing committee may, at the request of the chairman of the committee, act as chairman for not more than a quarter of an hour on any one occasion:

Provided that such member shall not exercise the powers conferred on the chairman of a standing committee by paragraph (3) of Standing Order No. 89 (Procedure in standing committees).
 
Nomination of standing committees.     86. - (1) Save in the case of-
 
 
    (a) the Scottish Grand Committee,
 
    (b) the Welsh Grand Committee,
 
    (c) a standing committee for the consideration of a bill on report, and
 
    (d) a European Standing Committee,
  the Committee of Selection shall nominate not fewer than sixteen nor more than fifty Members to serve on each standing committee for the consideration of each bill allocated or referred to it, or for the consideration of instruments (whether or not in draft) referred to it.
      (2) In nominating such Members the Committee of Selection shall have regard to the qualifications of those Members nominated and to the composition of the House, and shall have power to discharge Members from time to time and appoint others in substitution for those discharged:

Provided that-
 
 
      (i) for the consideration of any public bill certified by the Speaker as relating exclusively to Scotland or of a public bill (or part of a public bill) ordered to be considered by a Scottish standing committee, the committee shall be so constituted as to include not fewer than sixteen Members representing Scottish constituencies;
 
      (ii) for the consideration of any public bill relating exclusively to Wales, the committee shall be so constituted as to include all Members sitting for constituencies in Wales.
Attendance of law officers and ministers in standing committees.     87. - (1) Mr. Attorney General, the Advocate General and Mr. Solicitor General, or any of them, being Members of the House, though not members of a standing committee, may take part in the deliberations of the committee, but shall not vote or make any motion or move any amendment other than a motion in the Scottish Grand Committee under Standing Order No. 93 (Scottish Grand Committee (composition and business)) or a motion in the Welsh Grand Committee under Standing Order No. 102 (Welsh Grand Committee (composition and business)) or a motion in the Northern Ireland Grand Committee under Standing Order No. 109 (Northern Ireland Grand Committee (composition and business)) or a motion or an amendment in a European Standing Committee under Standing Order No. 119 (European Standing Committees) or be counted in the quorum.
 
      (2) In a standing committee which is to consider a bill brought in upon a ways and means resolution any Minister of the Crown, being a Member of the House, though not a member of the standing committee, may take part in the deliberations of the committee, but shall not vote or make any motion or move any amendment or be counted in the quorum.
 
Meetings of standing committees.     88. - (1) A standing committee to which a bill or other business has been or stands committed shall meet to consider such business on the day and at the hour named by the Member appointed chairman of the committee in respect of that business. If the consideration of the business is not completed at that sitting the committee shall meet further to consider the business on such days of the week (being days on which the House sits) as may be appointed by the committee at half-past ten o'clock, unless the committee otherwise determines:

Provided that no standing committee shall sit between the hours of one o'clock and half-past three o'clock in the afternoon, except as hereinafter provided.
 
      (2) If a standing committee is not previously adjourned, the chairman shall adjourn the committee without putting any question at one o'clock, save as provided in Standing Order No. 100 (Scottish Grand Committee (sittings)), No. 108 (Welsh Grand Committee (sittings)) and Standing Order No. 116 (Northern Ireland Grand Committee (sittings));

Provided that-
 
 
      (i) if, in the opinion of the chairman, the proceedings on a bill or other business could be brought to a final conclusion by a short extension of the sitting, he may defer adjourning the committee until a quarter past one o'clock;
 
      (ii) if proceedings under Standing Order No. 36 (Closure of debate) be in progress at the time when the chairman is required to adjourn the committee under this paragraph, he shall not adjourn the committee until the question for the closure of debate, the question or questions consequent thereon and on any further motion as provided in that Standing Order, have been decided.
Procedure in standing committees.     89. - (1) Except as provided in Standing Order No. 93 (Scottish Grand Committee (composition and business)), Standing Order No. 102 (Welsh Grand Committee (composition and business)), Standing Order No. 109 (Northern Ireland Grand Committee (composition and business)), Standing Order No. 117 (Standing Committee on Regional Affairs) and Standing Order No. 119 (European Standing Committees) the quorum of a standing committee shall be seventeen or one third of the number of its members excluding the chairman, whichever is the less; and in calculating the quorum fractions shall be counted as one.
 
      (2) Strangers shall be admitted to a standing committee unless the committee otherwise orders.
 
      (3)
 
 
    (a) Any notice of an amendment to a bill which has been committed or referred to a standing committee, or of a motion relative to a European Union document or documents or an amendment thereto given under Standing Order No. 119 (European Standing Committees) shall stand referred to the committee, and the chairman shall have the like powers as are given to the Speaker, the Chairman of Ways and Means and either Deputy Chairman respectively by Standing Order No. 32 (Selection of amendments).
 
    (b) Standing Orders No. 29 (Powers of chair to propose question), No. 36 (Closure of debate) and No. 37 (Majority for closure or for proposal of question) shall apply to standing committees, except that the number necessary to render the majority effective for the closure or for the proposal of the question shall be the number prescribed as the quorum by paragraph (1) of this order.
 
    (c) The chairman of a standing committee shall have the like powers as are given to a chairman of a committee of the whole House under the following Standing Orders:

    No. 35 (Dilatory motion in abuse of rules of House),

    No. 42 (Irrelevance or repetition), and

    No. 68 (Debate on clause or schedule standing part).

 
    (d) The following Standing Orders shall apply to standing committees:

    No. 124 (Quorum of select committee),

    No. 128 (Entry on minutes of proceedings of select committee), and

    No. 129 (Minutes of proceedings to be laid on the Table).

      (4) On a division being called in the House or a committee of the whole House the chairman of a standing committee shall suspend the proceedings of the committee for such time as will, in his opinion, enable Members to vote in the division and return to the committee.
 
      (5) All standing committees shall have leave to print and circulate their proceedings with the Vote.
 
 
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© Parliamentary copyright 2001
Prepared 26 January 2001