HC Deb 24 November 1975 vol 901 c480
38. Mr. William Hamilton

asked the Lord President of the Council what proposals he has concerning the future of the House of Lords.

Mr. Edward Short

None, Sir, but the Government intend to ensure that the legislation required to give effect to their outstanding commitments—including the Trade Union and Labour Relations (Amendment) Bill—is passed in a form acceptable to this House.

Mr. Hamilton

Does my right hon. Friend agree that that answer is incredibly complacent? Can he give the House the figures of the number of occasions on which the hereditary mausoleum along the corridor deliberately flouted the will of the democratically-elected House of Commons in the last Session? How much longer are we to tolerate this nonsense and the incredible and intolerable patronage that goes with it and which is exercised by the leaders of all the parties in this House?

Mr. Short

I am sure that the first figure for which my hon. Friend asks will be very interesting. I am trying to have it worked out. However, I think that this is a matter for cool, considered appraisal, not for instant judgments.

Mr. Stokes

Is the Lord President aware that the Lords are seen by most people in this country as a vital factor in our constitution and as a bulwark against arbitrary government?

Mr. Short

The hon. Gentleman's idea of "most people" and my idea of that must be rather different.