Dorey, Peter and Kelso, Alexandra
House of Lords Reform Since 1911: Must the Lords Go?,
Basingstoke, GB, Palgrave Macmillan, 256pp.
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In 1911, the power of the House of Lords was curbed, as a prelude to establishing a more democratic Second Chamber. A century later, the House of Lords is still comprised mostly of appointed peers, with some hereditary peers remaining. This book explains why House of Lords reform has proceeded so erratically since 1911, and why an elected Second Chamber has still not been established 100 years later. Using a range of primary sources, including Cabinet papers, Ministerial correspondence, the archives of the main political parties and the private papers of various key political figures, this unique study traces the main proposals for reform of the Second Chamber during the last 100 years, and notes that even the apparently simplest measures have raised complex or constitutionally awkward problems when exposed to fuller discussion and examination. Furthermore, the issue of House of Lords reform has not only repeatedly revealed disagreements between the main parties, but also marked differences within them, which have exacerbated the problems of securing agreement on proposals for reform.
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