Forms of the House in Debate

(1) All remarks should be addressed to the President/Chair in the form of "Mr President/Madam President/Mr Chairman/Madam Chairman". As a guide, whenever in a speech you feel like saying "Ladies and Gentlemen", you should substitute the above.


(2) No Member should refer to another Member by his name, but as "The Honourable Member" or "The Honourable
Member, College"; or, in the case of Officers or ex-Officers, as "The Hon. ".

(3) If the President interrupts proceedings, all Members, except the one speaking at the despatch box
should resume their seats.

(4) There are two legitimate forms of interruption - points of order and points of information. These may not be made from the Gallery.

Points of order must refer to the order of the debate, and should be introduced to draw the President's attention to an abuse of the forms of the House (e.g. interjections from the gallery, a slanderous remark from the speaker, which the Member wishes to be withdrawn, etc.) Such points take automatic precedence in the proceedings.

Points of information must be literally points of information, and not just expressions of opinion or questions. A Member wishing to raise such a point should rise in his seat, touch the top of his head, and wait until the speaker at the despatch box gives way. If the speaker does not wish to give way, the Member must resume his seat. Theoretically no two members of the Society may be on their feet at once. Shouted interruptions are not allowed, although cries of "order" are permitted to draw speaker's attention to a Member wishing to raise a point of information, whom he may not have seen. The speaker is never under any obligation to give way to interruptions.

(These points are introduced with the phrase "On a point of order" or "On a point of information" respectively.)

(5) Booing or hissing a speaker, or coughing needlessly is both a grave and a pointless discourtesy, and an abuse of the forms of the house.

(6) Speakers on the paper will be told in advance the time that will be allowed them, and should observe this with the aid of warning cards, passed up by the Secretary.

(7) Members should always appreciate that visiting speakers are entitled to a quiet hearing, but in the interests of the debate guest speakers are always open to challenge on points of information. Members are reminded that speakers who come down are usually very busy people who come as a favour to the Society and are hence entitled to the courtesy which one would normally extend to a guest in one's home.

(8) Members are reminded that they should not bring mobile phones, food, drink or cigarettes into the Chamber at any time.