House of Commons
Session 1997-98
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Weekly Information Bulletin
Sessional Information Digest: 1996-97



The House sat on every Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday, and all but five Fridays during the following periods (all dates inclusive).

23 October - 18 December 1996

13 January - 21 March 1997

The total number of sitting days was 86. The House sat for 717 hours and 45 minutes and the average length of daily sitting (including Fridays) was 8 hours and 21 minutes.

The House did not sit on the following Fridays: 8 & 22 November 1996; 21 February, 7 & 14 March 1997

Analysis of the time of the session

Total time spent
Type of Business(hours:minutes)
1.Addresses, other than Prayers39:07
(including debate on Queen's Speech)
2.Government Bills
a) Second Reading debate (Bills committed to a Standing Committee)76:26
b) Second Reading debate (Bills committed to a Committee of the6:05
Whole House)
c) Committee of the Whole House21:40
d) Consideration (Report stage)68:38
e) Third Reading4:35
f) Lords Amendments8:27
g) Allocation of Time Orders2:11
3.Private Members' Bills
a) Second Reading21:48
b) Other stages13:11
4.Private Business-
5.Government motions
a) European Community Documents5:07
b) Business motions0:23
c) General7:22
6.Opposition motions
a) Opposition Days43:43
b) Opposition Motions in Government Time (No Confidence Motions) -
7.Private Members' Motions
a) Substantive motions (Balloted, etc)-
b) Motions for the introduction of Ten Minute Rule Bills5:18
a) Government debates on motions for the Adjournment62:25
b) Last day before Recesses2:54
c) Emergency debates (SO No 20)-
d) Daily (at end of business)42:11
e) Wednesday morning adjournment75:51
10.Money Resolutions0:45
11.Ways and Means Resolutions (including Budget Debate)28:26
12.Affirmative Statutory Instruments43:38
13.Prayers against statutory instruments etc.2:50
14.a) Oral Questions67:23
b) Private Notice Questions2:21
c) Statements24:16
d) Business statements10:09
e) SO No 20 Applications0:17
f) Points of Order and Speaker's Rulings4:14
g) Miscellaneous15:46
h) Presentation of Public Petitions1:02
                Daily Prayers7:14
                SESSIONAL TOTAL717:45

Note: The time taken up by Divisions is included with the class of business upon which the divisions were called.




Statistics of Parliamentary Questions are available in two forms. The figures for each, which for various reasons (mainly owing to methods of counting and recording) are not exactly comparable, are as follows:

Questions appearing on the Order Paper calculated by the Journal Office

Appearing on the Order Paper for Oral Answer 2,622(1)
Put down for priority Written Answer8,790
Put down for non-priority Written Answer9,649

(Not more than about half of all questions put down for Oral Answer will receive such an answer - the rest are answered in writing).

Questions appearing in Hansard, and indexed in the Parliamentary On-line Information System (POLIS)

Oral replies (including supplementaries)*3,023
Written replies+18,165

The total number of private notice questions (excluding Business Questions) was 5.

*Number of tabled questions answered (excluding supplementaries) was 1,160.
+With POLIS, several written questions from the same Member, if answered together by the Minister, may have been treated as one question.
(1)Of which 1,169 received an oral answer in the House on one of the 71 days on which such answers were given.


© Parliamentary copyright 1997
Prepared June 1997