Amendments modifying a question

20.32Strictly speaking, if an amendment is intended only to modify the question by leaving out or adding words, debate should be restricted to the desirability of the omission or the addition of those words. Similarly, if it is intended to leave out certain words only and to substitute other words, then although both the original and the proposed words may be discussed, debate should not range over the other words of the motion to which the amendment is not directed.

In practice, however, the Chair has often allowed debate to range over both the original question and the amendment to avoid unduly restricting debate.

In modern practice, where a debate is intended to cover a motion and one or more amendments, debate is allowed to range over the whole of the motion and the amendments so as to avoid unduly restricting the debate and to ensure that there has been an adequate opportunity to debate the motion in the time available.