Unopposed returns

7.32In the Commons the procedure also survives in the form of ‘Motions for Unopposed Returns’ (see para 19.12 ) for particular documents which the Minister responsible for the government department concerned wishes to make public—hence they are ‘unopposed’—but in respect of which the protection of statute afforded by an order of the House for printing or other publication is sought.1 Certain annual returns are, by custom, also presented to the House in the form of returns to orders.2

The power to send for papers by means of a Motion for Unopposed Return extends to papers which are in the possession of Ministers or which Ministers have the authority to obtain.


  1. Recent examples of papers presented as Returns to Addresses include Report of the Savile Inquir y, Votes and Proceedings, 15 June 2010; Report of the Redfern Inquiry, Votes and Proceedings, 16 November 2010. See also para 13.6, fn 5 and the Reports of the Iraq Inquiry, Votes and Proceedings, 6 July 2016.
  2. For example, the Financial Statement and Budget Report, where the order for the return is made by book entry, and the account of the Contingencies Fund, CJ (2008–09) 289, 294, 549, 557; CJ (2009–10) 370, 377; Votes and Proceedings, 22 June 2010, 22 July 2010, 23 March 2011.