Legislative Programme - Reform of the House of Lords


Legislative Programme - Reform of House of Lords

Legislative Programme - Reform of House of Lords.


H/Lds. still under Parlt. Act, but time is passing.  They mayn't be so reasonable, esp. if bye-elections begin to go v. us.  Can we leave it until they are troublesome. Shd. we introduce this Session the short Bill  educing to one year the period for wh. H/Lds. can hold legn up.


H/Lds. have behaved well.  On what shall we found the indictment?
Our p'mme implied we wdn't act unless they were tiresome. Even so,  nervous about next 3 sessions.  Wd. like therefore to clip their wings.


Ques. of political strategy.  Timing of trump card. If we play it before they have given us cause, we play it too soon. If we don't have a Steel Bill this year, they cd. block it next.  But wd. they, bearing in mind the effects of such action at a Genl. Election. I advise waiting therefore.


It wd. re-open wide ques. of H/L. reform.
Two stools   

         {not emergency Bill because no emergency arisen.
         {is this then our idea of full H/Lds. reform.


Relieve H/L. of headache and give it ourselves.


Back-ward boys mtg. last year ( ? ) considered we wd. have to do it
this Session. Case for doing this on merits anyway. Parlt. is de facto a single Chamber.  Make it so de ????. Believe also it wd. be welcomed.  "Revising" work cd. be better done if element of challenge removed. If we don't this Session draw H/L. teeth, our supporters will assume we have abandoned hope of any more natn measures in this Parlt. Discipline in H/C. will then go.
Thus a good political substitute for Steel Bill.


Agree with that:  but the simple Bill won't fit that argument. When that Bill  is passed, H/L. will be fully entitled to use it -  which they are now doubtful  about it.


Can't remove powers of H/L. altogether.  They must therefore have some time in wh. to consider legn. Say 6 months or end of Session, whichever is  longer.


This ignores fact tht. we don't know what they will do when their power begins to be effective viz next year. Thus, support A.B. - save that I  don't want H/L. reformed. So I favour the short Bill.


Remember the backwoodsmen - out of Salisbury's control. They might use their power to force earlier Genl. Election. Do it now, before we've lost a Bye-Election. Do it now, when no controversy has arisen with H/Lds.


Do it this Session. Reduce period below one year. Don't suggest we believe in bi-cameral legislature anyhow. Will have to Parlt. Act it thro'.


Acquiesced. Presume we can re-consider length of period.


Expedient?  Look at 6 natn measures which H/L. have passed. Situation envisaged in Face/Future hasn't arisen.Might then not be claim for Elections  - no mandate for this. Support J.'s view tht. this isn't right tactical time.


After this Session we can't Parlt. Act it thro'.


Steel people will give us long & stiff fight.  If you want Steel Bill next year, you must clip H/L. wing this year.


Then they deliver themselves to us - havg. taken the initiative against us on steel, for wh. we have a mandate.


Introduce short Bill & defend it with argument tht. you must be able to pass legn in a Session - business-like approach.  Don't do it on basis of quarrelling with H/Lds.  If you want to do this, put it fwd. on that ground.


Favour legn.


Support E.B.'s view.


Support legn.


Fear that if you re-affirm H/L. powers in this way they will use them.
Don't think they wd. use existg. powers, even v. Steel Bill.  If we are going to clip their wings, I wd. provide tht. their power to amend shd. be  conditional on H/C. consent.


Wd. encourage the Labour supporters.


But may upset moderate opinion, when there has bn. no provocation.


Support that v. strongly.

          { Legislate this Session.  P.M. to mention to the King.
          { M.G. Cttee to consider form of legislation.

Taken from C.M. 80(47)(2) - Meeting held on 14 October 1947.