Union Meeting Procedure in the United Kingdom

Under Construction


  1. Introduction
  2. Tables from Walter M. Citrine, The Labour Chairman (1921 ed.) (PDF)
  3. Excerpts from Walter M. Citrine, The Labour Chairman (1921 ed.) (to come)
  4. Excerpts from Walter M. Citrine, The ABC of Chairmanship (to come)
  5. Excerpts from Wal Hannington, Mr Chairman! (to come)


The rules of parliamentary procedure used in English-speaking countries originate with the English Parliament, but have developed along different paths in different countries. Robert's Rules of Order, with which most Americans are more-or-less familiar, are based on the rules of the United States House of Representatives, which, in turn, are derived from the rules of the English House of Commons. Citrine's Rules, the prevailing parliamentary rules in the British labor movement, are also based on the rules of the English House of Commons, but also, according to the introduction to The Labour Chairman, English company law, and the traditions of English debating practice. Although the basic procedures and structures are the same in both traditions, there are a number of significant differences.

With the holding of the 2008 General Assembly in London, England, I thought it would be useful for members unfamiliar with British meeting procedure to have some reference materials available to guide them through the proceedings.

This section begins with two simple tables from Citrine's The Labour Chairman. These are from the first edition (1921), and readers should note that the book has been republished many times since then, so the rules may have changed. I trust that British Wobblies will help their foreign Fellow Workers update the materials provided here, which are the best I could obtain on short notice. As I acquire additional materials, I will post them here.

I am just beginning to study Citrine's Rules, but at this point it appears (from a review of some web sites** on the subject) that the following are the chief differences: