Show Less
Restricted access

House of Lords Reform: A History

Volume 1. The Origins to 1937: Proposals Deferred- Book One: The Origins to 1911- Book Two: 1911–1937

Peter Raina

One of the peculiarities of British history is the development of a constitution headed by the Crown and the two Houses of Parliament. This system emerged to become a balance of democracy, efficiency and moderation that became the admiration of the world.
The contribution of the House of Lords to this balance is all too often overlooked. In this richly documented two-volume work, the author offers a detailed examination of the Lords’ constitutional position and the predicament they faced as the Commons increasingly championed popular rule. With a landowning membership based on the hereditary principle, the Lords struggled to adapt. Yet, valiant attempts were made. The author gives us the first thorough, full-length history of the Lords’ ambiguous responses to the new democracy and the stream of arguments, proposals and bills raised for reform of their House.
Drawing on speeches, letters, reports and memoranda of the times (some never previously published), the book brings to life the inner wranglings and arresting personalities, the hopes and anxieties and the sheer frustrations of a House divided between entrenched interests and idealism, and often threatened by progressives outside.
The two books in Volume One cover the period from the medieval origins of the House of Lords and proceed, through many tumultuous events, to the outbreak of the Second World War.
Show Summary Details
Restricted access

Chapter 22: The Power of the Other House to be Restricted by Law: Ilbert and Campbell-Bannerman, 1907


← i. 428 | i. 429 → CHAPTER TWENTY-TWO

The Power of the Other House to be Restricted by Law: Ilbert and Campbell-Bannerman, 1907

Three days before the Newton bill came up for debate in the Lords on 6 May, the prime minister had informed the King that his government would have nothing to do with it. The government was not interested in the reconstitution of the House of Lords. As Lord Crewe was to tell their lordships on 6 May, the government felt it was not expedient to proceed with discussion of such proposals until provision had been made for an effective method of settling differences which might arise between the two Houses.

10, Downing Street,1

Whitehall, S.W.

You are not authenticated to view the full text of this chapter or article.

This site requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books or journals.

Do you have any questions? Contact us.

Or login to access all content.