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The House of Lords 1911-2011: A Century of Non-Reform

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ISBN13: 9781849466608
Published: August 2014
Publisher: Hart Publishing
Country of Publication: UK
Format: Paperback (Hardback in 2012)
Price: £20.00
Hardback edition , ISBN13 9781849462891



Low stock.

House of Lords reform is often characterised as unfinished business: a riddle that has been left unanswered since 1911.  But rarely can an unanswered riddle have had so many answers offered, even though few have been accepted; indeed, when Viscount Cave was invited in the mid-1920s to lead a Cabinet committee on Lords reform, he complained of finding “the ground covered by an embarrassing mass of proposals”.  That embarrassing mass continued throughout the twentieth century.  Much ink has been spilled on what should be done with the upper House of Parliament; but much less ink has been expended on why reform has been so difficult to achieve.

This book analyses in detail the principal attempts to reform the House of Lords. Starting with the Parliament Act of 1911 the book examines the century of non-reform that followed, in the process drawing upon substantial archival sources, many of which have been under-utilised until now.  These sources challenge many of the existing understandings of the history of House of Lords reform and the reasons for success or failure of reform attempts, starting by arguing against the popular idea that the 1911 Act was intended by its supporters to be a temporary measure.

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Subjects:
Constitutional and Administrative Law
Contents:
Introduction: Reform and Non-reform Reform and Non-reform A Century of Non-reform The Evolution of the House of Lords Twelve Instances of Reform and Non-reform

1. Veto Limitation over Reform: The Parliament Act 1911
The Political Situation, 1906-07
Cabinet Discussions on Lords Reform, 1907
Budget Rejection, 1909
Between the 1910 Elections
The Parliament Bill 1911
Reform following Veto Limitation?
1911-14 Conclusion

2. 'The Battle is Over': House of Lords Reform, 1917-45
The Bryce Conference, 1917-18
Cabinet Committees, 1921-22
The Cabinet Committee, 1925-27
Lords reform in the 1920s
Avoiding Reform, 1928-45

3. A Pre-emptive Strike: The Parliament Act 1949
Labour and the House of Lords
Moves Towards reform, 1943-47
Nationalisation and House of Lords Reform
The Parliament Bill 1947
The Party Leaders' Conference 1948
The Parliament Bill Resumed
The Iron and Steel Bill Conclusion

4. Diluting the Hereditary Principle?: The Life Peerages Act 1958
Life Peers Inter-Party Discussions Discussions, 1953-55
Limiting the Hereditaries: Proposals
Wider Reform: The Cabinet Committee, 1955-56
Short and Long Bills
The Life Peerages Bill Limiting the Hereditary Peers Conclusion

5. 'The Wedgwood Benn Enabling Bill': The Peerage Act 1963
A Hereditary Life Peerage
Earlier Attempts at Renouncing Peerages
The Persistent Commoner Fears over Loss of the Hereditary System
Party Support for Benn
The Committee of Privileges 'Re-election'
Seating the 'Defeated' Candidate
The Joint Select Committee
The Peerage Bill Conclusion

6. Adding to Wilson's Strife: The Inter-Party Conference and the Parliament (No 2) Bill [1968-69]
Abandoning the Unilateral, Two-Stage Approach
The Inter-Party Conference
The Southern Rhodesia (United Nations Sanctions) Order 1968
The White Paper and the Decision to Proceed with the Bill The Parliament (No 2) Bill
Abandoning the Bill 1970
Conclusion
Epilogue: House of Lords Reform, 1970-74 After 1974

7. Stage One of Two?: The House of Lords Act 1999
Turning the Tide of Constitutional Reform
John Smith's Leadership
Tony Blair and House of Lords Reform
Post-election 1997 Priorities for the First Session
The Cabinet Committee
The Queen's Speech 1998
The Weatherill Amendment: Origins
The House of Lords Bill
By-elections for Hereditary Peers
Conclusion

8. The Long Stage Two: The Wakeham Commission and Beyond
The Royal Commission on the Reform of the House of Lords
Follow-up to the Royals Commissions's Report 2001-05: Indecision, then a Surprising Move on Reform
Lords Reform in Labour's Third Term 2010: General Election and Coalition Government Conclusion

9. Reasons for Reform and Non-reform
How and Why Does House of Lords Reform Reach the Cabinet's Agenda?
How Do Proposals Change When Under Consideration?
How and Why Do Proposals Succeed or Fail?
Conclusion

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