HC Deb 09 April 1957 vol 568 cc961-3
47. Mr. Hamilton

asked the Prime Minister if he is yet in a position to announce the nature of the forthcoming legislation on the reform of the House of Lords.

51. Mr. Grimond

asked the Prime Minister if he will give further details of the Government's proposals for House of Lords reform.

The Prime Minister

No, Sir, not yet.

Mr. Hamilton

Is not this Answer the real reason for the resignation of Lord Salisbury, who evidently was more concerned with the preservation of the Cecils than the preservation of Cyprus— [Interruption.]

Mr. Speaker

I must ask the hon. Gentleman to remember the courtesy which is due from Members of this House to Members of another House.

Hon. Members


Mr. Speaker

Order. Mr. Hamilton.

Mr. Hamilton

Would the right hon. Gentleman not agree that this promise, or threat—however one looks at it—:o reform the House of Lords has been in two or three Gracious Speeches, and will he—[Interruption.]—will he undertake to seek the agreement of the great majority on this side of the House by seeking to abolish the other place?

The Prime Minister

Considering how long a time the hon. Gentleman had to prepare his supplementary, I should have thought he could have done it in rather more courteous terms and within the rules of order. All I can say is that my noble Friend has a very distinguished record of service to this country, and when the Government's proposals are unfolded they will be shown to owe a great deal to hi? wisdom and counsel.

Mr. Grimond

Do I understand from the Prime Minister's last answer that it remains the policy of the Government to reform the House of Lords before the next General Election?

The Prime Minister

The hon. Gentle-man would do well to await the time when we unfold these proposals; I hope that, when they are unfolded, they will have his support. He will remember that this is an issue which brooks no delay.

Mr. Gaitskell

The Prime Minister, will, however, recall that in the Queen's Speech this Session it was definitely stated that the Government intended to produce proposals during the Session. [HON. MEMBERS: "NO."] Yes, it was. May I ask whether it is still their intention to do so?

The Prime Minister

The right hon. Gentleman would have asked his Question more correctly if he had taken the precaution, for the sake of greater accuracy, to provide himself with a copy of the Gracious Speech.

Mr. H. Morrison

Are we to take it from the Prime Minister's reply that he has decided to ditch the undertaking to reform the House of Lords in the same way as his predecessor at No. 10 ditched the promise to reinstitute university representation?

The Prime Minister

I am afraid that all these niceties of ditchings are far beyond me.

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