Order of commitment discharged

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29.46If, at the time appointed for the House to go into committee upon a bill, no amendment has been set down, and it appears that no Lords Member wishes to speak on the bill or to table a manuscript amendment, the Lords Member in charge of the bill may move ‘that the order of commitment (or re-commitment) be discharged’.1 This motion may be moved only on the day appointed for the committee stage and notice must be given on the order paper. If the motion is agreed to, the next stage is the third reading. In accordance with Standing Order No 44, the bill may not be read a third time on the same day as the order of commitment is discharged.

The question cannot be put on the motion ‘that the order of commitment be discharged’ if any Lords Member objects.2 In such a case, the Lords Member in charge of the bill moves in the usual way ‘that the House do now resolve itself into a committee upon the bill’.

In principle, several bills may be considered in committee without the House being resumed between each, provided that no amendments have been put down and it is unlikely that the bills will be debated.3 When the House is resumed after consideration of the last of the bills, each bill is separately reported.4 In practice, and provided that notice has been given, the order of commitment is now discharged in such cases.

If no amendment has been tabled but the order of commitment has not been discharged, the Chairman may, with leave, report the bill without amendment forthwith instead of going through it clause by clause.

Footnotes

  1. 1. SO No 47(2). See HL Deb (1970–71) 311, c 1077.
  2. 2. For example, LJ (1989–90) 123.
  3. 3. First Report from the Procedure Committee, HL 95 (1967–68); LJ (1967–68) 231.
  4. 4. There have been only three instances of this procedure since it was introduced: 4 March 1970, 13 March 1975 and 26 January 1978. All the bills were Consolidation Bills in committee on re-commitment.