Rules and Arrangement of Sittings

  • Eric Taylor


If the enquirer happens to open the little blue volume entitled Standing Orders of the House of Commons he will find at the very beginning an order which states that ‘The House shall meet on Mondays, Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays at half-past two o’clock’. The House, which met at 2.45 p.m. before the war, and as late as 3.0 p.m. or even 3.45 p.m. during the last century, varied the hours of sitting considerably year by year between 1940 and 1945,1 in order to avoid sitting at night and presenting a target to the German night bomber. When, at the end of the war, night sittings were once again resumed, the hours were stabilized at 2.30 to 10.30 p.m., in an attempt to avoid the acute strain of excessively late sittings — a vain attempt, as experience has shown. The hours of sitting on Friday remain, as in pre-war days, from 11.0 a.m. to 4.30 p.m. In either case, as will be seen, the hour of rising is approximate. 2


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© Eric Taylor 1979

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  • Eric Taylor

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