Reference of papers to select committees

38.13Under Standing Order No 137A, all select committees, including any sub-committees, with power to send for persons, papers and records, have the power to communicate their unreported evidence to any other select committee or sub-committee of either House of Parliament, or to the Scottish Parliament, the National Assembly for Wales or the Northern Ireland Assembly or to any of their committees.

Reports of previous committees, or the evidence taken before them, and other papers which have been laid upon the Table of the House, are sometimes referred to committees.1 Such a reference may serve to direct the particular attention of the committee to documents relating to the subject of its inquiry, or, in particular cases, to explain or enlarge the original terms of reference. Reports or written or oral evidence of previous committees which have lapsed are frequently referred to later committees which are to continue inquiries left uncompleted (see para 38.52 ). If a committee wishes to use documents in the custody of the officers of the House of Lords, the House will, at the request of the committee, send a message to the House of Lords requesting it to communicate a copy of the document. The document, when communicated, will be referred to the committee.


  1. 1. Report of a previous committee, eg CJ (1936–37) 100; ibid (1990–91) 522; evidence given before a previous committee, eg ibid (1974–75) 73; memoranda received by a previous committee, ibid (1992–93) 164; evidence given before and memoranda received by a previous committee, eg ibid (1990–91) 123, 138; ibid (1995–96) 132; ibid (1997–98) 91; minutes of evidence taken before a committee appointed by a government department, ibid (1931–32) 276; reports of, and evidence given before, a commissioner, ibid (1898). Petitions against a hybrid bill have been referred to a committee in the next session, CJ (1994–95) 538.