HC Deb 12 January 1916 vol 77 cc1601-2

asked the Prime Minister whether he is aware that the retention of the Duke of Cumberland and the Duke of Albany, who are in arms and in command of German forces against this country, as members of the British and of the Irish peerages and as the holders of hereditary peerages with the right of sitting and voting in the House of Lords, has excited indignation in these countries as calculated to lower the dignity of British institutions and to create an impression that favour is shown towards traitors in high positions; and whether, having regard to the fact that the removal of these personages from the peerage of these countries can be easily and expeditiously effected, he will explain why this step was not long since taken and if it will be taken now?


I cannot admit that my hon. and learned Friend's proposal could be easily and expeditiously effected, as it would require legislation which the Government do not at present see their way to undertake.


Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that these two persons at the present moment divide between them seven British and Irish peerages; and is he aware that they have been deprived last May of the Order of the Garter; and does he think that the taking of a coronet off a man's head is more difficult than loosening the garter?


The answer is that the one is an act of administration and the other requires legislation,


Would not all these problems disappear if we were to introduce a Republican form of Government?