Preamble

28.118Where the bill, as introduced, does not contain a preamble, it is not competent for the committee to introduce one.1

By Standing Order No 67, the preamble (if any) stands postponed without question put until after the consideration of the clauses and schedules. This practice is adopted because the House has already affirmed the principle of the bill on the second reading, and it is therefore the province of the committee to settle the clauses first, and then to consider the preamble in reference to the clauses only. Accordingly, when all the clauses and schedules have been considered, and any new clauses or schedules added, the preamble (if any) is considered, and amendments may be moved to it. Normally, amendments are admissible only if rendered necessary by amendments made to the bill.2 Occasionally, a preamble has not only rehearsed the reasons for and intended effects of a bill, but has in addition recorded certain proposals which might have been but were not included in the bill itself. On such occasions amendments to that additional part of the preamble have not been ruled out of order although unrelated to any amendments made to the body of the bill.3

The question put by the Chair is ‘That this be the preamble of the bill’.

Footnotes

  1. 1. HC Deb (1913) 55, c 455; ibid (1935), 300 c 1359.
  2. 2. HC Deb (1932) 264, c 598; ibid (1939–40) 363, c 899.
  3. 3. Parliament Bill 1911, preamble, second and third paras, CJ (1911) 190; Parliament (No 2) Bill 1968–69, preamble, second para; HC Deb (1968–69) 778, c 219.