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Official Publications : Command Papers

What are Command Papers

These are papers which bear the wording, "Presented to Parliament by the Secretary of State for [name of government department] by Command of Her Majesty".  They form into six main groups:

  • White papers - statements of government policy and proposals for legislation
  • Green papers - government consultation documents
  • Reports from Royal Commissions and some other inquiries
  • State papers, including international treaties
  • Government responses to some Select Committee reports
  • Annual reports and statistics from some government bodies.

Finding Command Papers

The tools available for finding out about and accessing House of Commons Papers and Bills will also help you find Command Papers, so see our 'Commons' libguide.

The Hartley Library has comprehensive print and online access to Command Papers since their inception in 1833, but new Command Papers are nearly all freely available online.  Use this link to's Command and Act papers section as a starting point.  

For an online one-stop-shop covering all Command Papers from 1833 - 2009/2010, along with a wealth of other parliamentary materials, members of this University may use HCPP: House of Commons Parliamentary Papers.  

Do you need more help?

If you wish to know more about the way British Official Publications can support your research, please get in touch by emailing