Command paper

A command paper is a document issued by the UK Government and presented to Parliament.

White papers, green papers, treaties, government responses, draft bills, reports from Royal Commissions, reports from independent inquiries and various government organisations can be released as command papers, so called because they are presented to Parliament formally "By Her Majesty's Command".


Command papers are:

  • produced by government departments
  • printed on behalf of Her Majesty's Stationery Office
  • presented to Parliament "by Command of Her Majesty" by the appropriate government minister
  • recorded by the House of Commons and the House of Lords
  • published by government departments on
  • subject to statutory legal deposit


Command papers are numbered. Since 1870 they have been prefixed with an abbreviation of "command" which has changed over time to allow for new sequences.

183318691 to 4222[1]
C.18701899C.1 to C.9550[1]
Cd.19001918Cd.1 to Cd.9239[1]
Cmd.19191956Cmd.1 to Cmd.9889[1]
Cmnd.19561986Cmnd.1 to Cmnd.9927[2]
Cm.19862018Cm.1 to Cm.9756
CP2019CP 1 upwards

See also


  1. Williams, G. L. (1982). Learning the Law (11th ed.). London: Stevens. p. 180. ISBN 978-0-420-46290-9.
  2. The Australian Guide to Legal Citation. Third Edition. Melbourne University Law Review Association Inc. Melbourne Journal of Law International Inc. Melbourne. 2010. Page 248.
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