Question for clause standing part of a bill
28.114When the amendments, if any, to a clause have been disposed of, the question put from the Chair is, ‘That the clause [as amended] stand part of the bill’; and no other amendment can be proposed to a clause after this question has been proposed from the Chair.1 Debate upon this question must be confined to the clause as amended (or not amended), and must not extend to a discussion of the circumstances under which particular amendments were made or to a review in detail of the proceedings on the clause.2 When the question, ‘That the clause (as amended) stand part of the bill’, has been proposed from the Chair, it must be agreed to or negatived, as it is not a motion made by any Member which could, with leave, be withdrawn.3 While, strictly, a separate question is necessary on each clause, the question is frequently put on groups of non-contentious clauses, with the leave of the committee, as a means of saving time.4
Standing Order No 68 provides that the Chair may, if satisfied, state the opinion that the principle of a clause, and any matters arising out of it, have been adequately discussed in the course of debate on the amendments which have been proposed to it, and then forthwith put the question ‘That the clause [as amended] stand part of the Bill.’ It is now the usual practice for the Chair to give advance notice of an intention to exercise this power by grouping clause stand part with an earlier amendment.
Chairs may allow debate on an amendment or on the question that a clause stand part of a bill to cover the merits of other related clauses (see also para 28.102 ). It is now the usual practice to indicate this intention by means of the selection list. In such a case, the questions that the clauses concerned stand part of the bill are put (without debate) as soon as they are reached.5
- 1. Parl Deb (1857) 147, c 1191.
- 2. Parl Deb (1893) 12, c 1180; ibid (1894) 20, cc 503, 696; HC Deb (1918) 106, cc 2069, 2073; ibid (1919) 122, c 491; ibid (1921) 147, c 954; ibid (1935) 300, c 1356.
- 3. Hypothec Abolition (Scotland) Bill, 1 April 1879 (Speaker's private ruling).
- 4. HC Deb (1939) 349, c 2201. See also the order on the Government of India Bill, CJ (1934–35) 82; HC Deb (1935) 298, c 146.
- 5. For example, HC Deb (1987–88) 133, cc 102, 114.