Standing Orders of the House of Commons - Public Business 2002 Contents


STANDING ORDERS 2002

Motions for the Adjournment of the House


  24.—(1) On Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday a Member rising in his place at the commencement of public business may propose, in an application lasting not more than three minutes, to move the adjournment of the House for the purpose of discussing a specific and important matter that should have urgent consideration. If the Speaker is satisfied that the matter is proper to be so discussed, the Member shall either obtain the leave of the House, or, if such leave be refused, the assent of not fewer than forty Members who shall thereupon rise in their places to support the motion, or, if fewer than forty Members and not fewer than ten shall thereupon rise in their places, the House shall, on a division, upon question put forthwith, determine whether such motion shall be made. Adjournment on specific and important matter that should have urgent consideration.
  
  (2) If leave is given or the motion is so supported or the House so determines that it shall be made the motion shall stand over until the commencement of public business on the following day (or, on Thursdays, until the commencement of public business on the following Monday) when proceedings upon it shall be interrupted after three hours, or, if the Speaker directs that the urgency of the matter so requires, until seven o'clock on the same day.
  
  (3) A Member intending to propose to move the adjournment of the House under the provisions of this order shall give notice to the Speaker by twelve o'clock, if the urgency of the matter is known at that hour. If the urgency is not so known he shall give notice as soon thereafter as is practicable. If the Speaker so desires he may defer giving his decision upon whether the matter is proper to be discussed until a named hour, when he may interrupt the proceedings of the House for the purpose.
  
  (4) In determining whether a matter is proper to be discussed the Speaker shall have regard to the extent to which it concerns the administrative responsibilities of Ministers of the Crown or could come within the scope of ministerial action. In determining whether a matter is urgent the Speaker shall have regard to the probability of the matter being brought before the House in time by other means.
  
  (5) The Speaker shall state whether or not he is satisfied that the matter is proper to be discussed without giving the reasons for his decision to the House.
  
  (6) Debate on motions made under this order may include reference to any matter that would be in order on a motion to take note of the subject under discussion, and a motion may be made under this order notwithstanding the fact that a motion for the adjournment is already before the House or is proposed to be made.
  
  (7) Proceedings on any business postponed at seven o'clock under this order may be resumed at the conclusion of proceedings on the aforesaid motion for the adjournment of the House unless such motion is agreed to, shall not be interrupted, except as provided in paragraph (2) of Standing Order No. 15 (Exempted business), may be proceeded with for such further period of time as would have been permissible under any orders of the House at seven o'clock had no such motion then been made, and shall not be subject to the provisions of any such orders with regard to the disposal of the business until the conclusion of the said period.
  
  25. When a motion shall have been made by a Minister of the Crown for the adjournment of the House for a specified period or periods, the question thereon shall be put forthwith, and may be decided at any hour, though opposed. Periodic adjournments.
  
  



 
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© Parliamentary copyright 2001
Prepared 29 October 2001