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Hereditary Peerages

Volume 720: debated on Thursday 18 November 1965

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Q1 and Q2.

asked the Prime Minister (1) whether he will introduce legislation to translate hereditary peerages into life peerages, thus removing the hereditary factor from the legislature;

(2) whether he will introduce legislation excluding from hereditary peerages the right to a seat in the legislature.

Is the Prime Minister aware that a three-letter word in reply to my Question would have been widely welcomed, except perhaps by the B.B.C., and that there is widespread and rising disgust at the delaying tactics of people who are responsible to nobody? Can he indicate whether the Government might provide facilities for a well-supported Private Member's Bill to remove the hereditary system?

I think that there is cause for my hon. Friend's concern about the way in which essential Government legislation has been mauled in another place in the past Session and the delays that have occurred on social legislation, but I do not think that what my hon. Friend suggests is the way to deal with it.