Certain standard forms of questions not amendable

20.41Amendments to motions for the adjournment of the House or of the debate are out of order.1 Pursuant to Standing Order No 24B, no amendments may be tabled to a motion that the House has considered a matter, where the matter is expressed in neutral terms.2 To certain other forms of motion, only recognised forms of amendment are in order. For example, no amendment may be moved to a motion that the House at its rising do adjourn till a future day, unless it relates to the length of an adjournment. Thus, a substantive amendment on the Order Paper relating to such a motion, even where it includes alteration of the dates of sitting, has not been selected by the Speaker;3 however, amendments have been selected that would alter the date of the adjournment,4 or the hour of meeting on the day proposed for reassembly,5 or provide that, should the public interest so require, representation should be made to the Speaker that the House ought to meet earlier pursuant to Standing Order No 13.6 No amendment is possible to a motion to approve or to annul a statutory instrument pursuant to an Act of Parliament unless the relevant Act makes specific provision for amendment7 (see para 31.13 ).


  1. 1. Parl Deb (1893) 18, c 449; HC Deb (1974–75) 897, c 1719.
  2. 2. The formula that ‘This House has considered the matter of…’ was introduced in October 2007, and replaced the old device of debating substantive matters on a motion ‘That this House do now adjourn’, in order to be more intelligible to those following debates.
  3. 3. HC Deb (1984–85) 83, c 1084; see also Order Paper, 24 July 1985, p 4817.
  4. 4. CJ (1992–93) 147.
  5. 5. CJ (1914) 132. Cf Parl Deb (1856) 141, c 1541; ibid (1878) 242, c 2076.
  6. 6. CJ (1981–82) 373.
  7. 7. For a case when the Speaker declined to select any amendments to a motion which fell to be considered under SO No 16 (Proceedings under an Act or on European Union documents) and where the Act in question provided only for the House's approval to be given, see HC Deb (1993–94) 237, cc 285–86.