Leeds University Library

Command Papers

Technically published "by command of Her Majesty", Command Papers bring before Parliament papers produced outside of the House. Although fewer in number than House of Commons Papers, they are arguably more important.

Unlike House of Commons Papers, the numbering of Command Papers does not begin afresh each session. Instead they are allocated a prefix, which is an abbreviation of "command", and a running number. A new series begins when the numbering approaches 10,000. The first series began in 1833 without a prefix; the current series (the sixth) began in 1986 and uses the prefix Cm.

Abbreviation  Period
 -  1833-1869
 C.  1870-1899
 Cd.   1900-1918
 Cmd.  1919-1956
 Cmnd.    1956-1986
 Cm.  1986-

Types of Command Paper

These include Government policy documents (green papers and white papers); treaties, conventions, agreements and other commitments the country enters into with other countries and international organisations; reports from investigative bodies, including Royal Commissions and the Competition Commission; administrative reports and statistics.

Referencing a Command Paper

Library guidance is available on how to reference a Command Paper