Proceedings upon italicised words and privilege amendments

28.113It has already been explained (see para 28.14 ) that in bills introduced in the Commons any clause or part of a clause which imposes a charge is either printed in italics or authorised by an ‘expenses’ clause which is itself italicised. Neither italicised words nor clauses governed by them can be considered by the committee unless a Money resolution authorising them has been agreed by the House.1 Where only part of a clause contains such provisions, the Chair cannot propose the question, ‘That the clause stand part of the bill’, unless and until the offending part has been removed by amendment. A committee may, however, decide to postpone consideration of such clauses in the hope or expectation that an appropriate Money resolution will be agreed by the House before they are subsequently reached by the committee. If, however, no such resolution is agreed to, the Chair declines to propose the question on the clause standing part, and the clause is accordingly omitted from the bill.

The provisions of a bill creating a charge have been amended so as to remove the need for a Money resolution, and the ‘expenses' clause has then been removed from the bill.2 In the case of bills which were found not to require a Money resolution after having been published, the question on the redundant ‘expenses' clause has been put and negatived.3

Where a committee has inadvertently considered provisions imposing a charge, without a Money resolution, the bill has subsequently been re-committed (after an appropriate Money resolution has been agreed) in order to regularise the position4 (see also paras 20.100, 28.141 ). If it is desired to alter the italicised words, an amendment can be moved in the ordinary manner, provided that it falls within the limits of the Money resolution;5 but any increase or extension of the charge authorised by the italicised words is only in order to the extent to which the limits of the Money resolution exceed the effect of the italicised words (see para 28.14 ). (The same restrictions apply to amendments to bills brought from the Lords requiring a Money resolution, although the relevant words are not printed in italics in Lords bills.)

In bills brought from the Lords where words have been inserted in that House to avoid questions of privilege (see para 29.67 ) and are printed in the bill in bold type, the leaving out of these words in committee in the Commons must be moved as an amendment. Notice is usually given of such amendments by the Member in charge of the bill.6


  1. 1. Chronically Sick and Disabled Persons Bill 1969, Stg Co Deb (1969–70) Co C, c 145; Alkali Inspectorate Bill, Stg Co Deb (1972–73) Co C, c 3; Dogs Bill, Stg Co Deb (1974–75) Co C, c 3; Official Information Bill, Stg Co Deb (1978–79) Co C, c 10; Affiliation Orders and Aliments (Annual Up-rating) Bill, Stg Co Deb (1979–80) Co C, cc 3, 33; Wildlife Bill, Stg Co Deb (1995–96) Co C, c 3.
  2. 2. Stg Co Deb (2002–03) Co F (Equine Welfare (Ragwort Control) Bill) cc 3–12.
  3. 3. Stg Co Deb (2001–02) Co C (Private Hire Vehicles (Carriage of Guide Dogs etc) Bill) cc 3, 18; Assaults on Emergency Workers (Offences) Bill, Public Bill Committee, HC Deb (15 November 2017) 631, c 4.
  4. 4. CJ (1989–90) 312–13.
  5. 5. Stg Co Deb (1934–35) Sc Stg Co, c 805, Housing (Scotland) Bill.
  6. 6. In the case of the Space Industry Bill [Lords] (2017–19), the privilege amendment was not removed in committee or on report. A message was sent to the Lords seeking the return of the bill for an amendment to that effect to be made and the bill was then again sent to the Lords with no other further proceedings: see Votes and Proceedings, 21 and 22 February 2018.