House Of Commons Library Research Papers

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The bound set consists of two distinct sets of papers.

The papers of the House of Commons and the papers of the House of Lords. The state opening of Parliament, usually in October marks a new set of Parliamentary papers.

Large series of commissioners reports, annual departmental reports and statistics also run through the collection.

Until 1801 Parliamentary Papers were not formally presented.

A public act enshrines a piece of legislation as national law, whilst a private act is applicable only in a more particular, sometimes local, set of circumstances.

Private acts of Parliament were not necessarily printed and published.A general election also starts a new parliamentary session.At the state opening of Parliament the Government lists the legislation that it hopes to pass in the Queen's/King's speech.The picture is reproduced from the UK Parliament Website and there are some very useful guides as to the different stages of a bill linked below (again from the UK Parliament website).For information about how to find bills and debates see presentation below. Firstly to debate and pass legislation, secondly to scrutinise the work and role of the government and also to provide a mechanism for the government to raise taxes.A Bill is the form legislation takes before it becomes and Act.A bill has to go pass through a set procudure where it is debated in both chambers of the House where amendments are made.These tend to be the best places to start your search.This guide will help you gain a general overview of the main sources of information, and where to find them.Subjects range from: slavery, small pox and railways to the sinking of the Titanic.You will also find maps, illustrations and photographs within the documents.

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