Lords amendments

45.36If the bill is subsequently returned from the Lords with amendments, notice is to be given in the Private Bill Office not less than one clear day before they are to be considered. If the promoters intend to propose amendments to them, a copy of such amendments is to be deposited. No notice of their intention may be given by the promoters until the day after that on which the bill has been returned from the Lords. Copies of such amendments are also to be laid before the Chairman of Ways and Means and the Counsel to the Speaker before 2.00 pm on the day before that on which it is proposed to consider the Lords amendments. Before Lords amendments or any amendments to Lords amendments are taken into consideration, the Chairman of Ways and Means may direct that they be printed at the expense of the promoters, if they consider that prints should be made available for the use of Members;1 and where a clause has been amended or a Lords amendment is proposed to be amended, that it should be printed in full, with every addition or substitution in distinctive type, and omissions included in brackets and underlined.2

If Lords amendments are taken at the time of unopposed private business, two questions are put: first, that the Lords amendments be now considered, and second, that the House agrees with the Lords in the said amendments. If, however, Lords amendments are set down by the Chairman of Ways and Means for consideration as opposed business, Standing Order 208A applies, with the consequence that the first of these questions is not put, and the House proceeds to consider the Lords amendments forthwith in the same manner as for public bills. Related Lords amendments to different private bills have been debated together.3

Towards the end of a session the consideration of Lords amendments has been sometimes expedited by the suspension of Standing Order 208 for the remainder of the session,4 or until the summer adjournment.5 Similar orders have also been made for particular bills.6

The same principles apply to private bills as to public bills regarding infringement of the Commons' privileges by the Lords except in so far as they are modified by Standing Order 191 (see also para 45.4 ). If a private bill which contains provisions creating a charge (other than a charge sanctioned by Standing Order 191) or imposing a tax originates in the Lords, the procedure applicable to public bills is followed (see paras 29.67, 30.11 ). When an amendment involving privilege is made by the Lords to a bill originating in the Commons, the Speaker brings it to the attention of the House, and it is for the House to decide whether it is willing to waive its privileges. If it is so willing, the amendment is agreed to with a special entry in the Journal.7


  1. 1. See HC Deb (1955–56) 544, c 179.
  2. 2. SO 88, 186 and 208.
  3. 3. HC Deb (31 January 2013) 557, c 1088, in which Lords amendments to the Canterbury City Council Bill, Leeds City Council Bill, Nottingham City Council Bill and Reading Borough Council Bill were debated together.
  4. 4. CJ (1921) 338; ibid (1922) 297; ibid (1928–29) 232; ibid (1929–30) 474; ibid (1944–45) 155; ibid (1955–56) 82.
  5. 5. CJ (1937–38) 380; ibid (1946–47) 338; ibid (1952–53) 289.
  6. 6. CJ (1914–16) 123; ibid (1947–48) 388; ibid (1951–52) 381; ibid (1954–55) 153; ibid (1972–73) 454.
  7. 7. CJ (1929–30) 482; HC Deb (1930) 242, c 235; see also CJ (1974) 84 and 186.