Allotment of Time

Allotment of Time, rules of the House of Commons, Standing Orders 115, 116 and 117, often confused by the media with the closure rule, S.O. 57. Since 1968 most bills pass the committee stage in the standing committees and may be amended at the report stage, but S.O. 57 applies only in the House and in committees of the whole House and works inefficiently when there are several distinct motions at a stage. The standing orders were passed by the House on 24 July 1969 amid great controversy, which was terminated by the use of closure.

The new rules established procedures by which the House may set a time schedule for a bill at one or more stages of the legislative process. S.O. 115 applies when all party house leaders agree, and 116 when the Government house leader has the support of a majority of the parties; 117 allows the Government to propose, and the House to determine, after a 2-hour debate, the reasonable time to be allotted for a bill at a stage, eg, the second-reading stage. When the fixed time (eg, 2 days) elapses, divisions are called; consequently, allotment of time is often called "guillotine closure." See also Filibuster.