Page last updated at 13:01 GMT, Wednesday, 20 August 2008 14:01 UK

Adjournment of the House

An adjournment is a break in the course of parliamentary business.

Both Houses are said to adjourn at the end of each day's business.

On a daily basis the House of Commons adjourns, or breaks, half an hour after the adjournment debate is moved formally.

The House is also adjourned for several holiday periods during the session.

The more lengthy adjournments - often coinciding with the academic calendar - are known as recesses.


"Adjournment during Pleasure" is a term unique to the House of Lords but it is not as exciting as it may imply.

Essentially they are breaks in the Lords' sitting day for specified or unspecified periods.

As a rule the Lords will interrupt their business at dinner time (around 1930) to allow peers to eat.

Very often there is a brief debate during the 'dinner break'. If that finishes early (or indeed if there is no dinner break business), the House will adjourn during pleasure until the time the original debate is due to resume.

An example of where the House adjourns during pleasure for an unspecified period would be when the Lords have sent Business to the Commons and are waiting for the Commons to reach a decision before they resume debate on it.

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