Volume 1. The Origins to 1937: Proposals Deferred- Book One: The Origins to 1911- Book Two: 1911–1937
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.
Chapter 40: A Second Chamber Committee?: Unionist party proposals, 1924
← ii. 334 | ii. 335 → CHAPTER FORTY
A Second Chamber Committee: Unionist party proposals
No one was more eager to utilize the Conservative scoop at the 1924 elections than the Unionist leaders. This was the sole opportunity, they thought, to regain what had been lost through the Parliament Act of 1911, and it should be turned to good account. Sir William Bull1 mobilized all sorts of men of stature and power around him to put pressure on the prime minister, Stanley Baldwin. A selection of documents, presented below, reveal for us the extent of the work entered upon by the Unionist politicians.2
Sir William Bull to the Duke of Sutherland, 15 April 1925
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