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 51: Proposals from the National Government: 1933–1934
← ii. 546 | ii. 547 → CHAPTER FIFTY-ONE
Proposals from the National Government: 1933–1934
Ramsay MacDonald’s second National Cabinet (formed in November 1931) seriously considered calls for Lords’ reform, but the government did not take up the issue until 1933. This was perhaps because other issues required immediate attention at the time. William Ormsby-Gore,1 first commissioner of works, was asked to submit proposals for reform. He was chosen because he had had some experience, having served previously on the Linlithgow Committee. In December 1933 Ormsby-Gore presented the following memorandum: 2
Political Committee, 1933
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