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House Of Lords Reform

Volume 597: debated on Thursday 25 February 1999

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asked Her Majesty's Government:What is the largest number of hereditary Peers by succession who would still have seats in this House by the end of October this year, if the Parliament No. 2 Bill had received Royal Assent at the last Royal Commission of the Session, on 22 October 1969. [HL958]

According to Clause 1(1) of the Bill as presented in the House of Commons, the holder by succession of an hereditary peerage would not have been eligible to receive a writ of summons after the commencement of the Act (that is, at the end of that parliamentary Session on 25 October 1969). Any hereditary Peer who was either in receipt of a writ of summons in right of a peerage at the commencement of the Act or was eligible to apply and had applied for a writ within six months of the commencement could remain a member of the House, Clause 1(2)). Two hundred and fifty-five hereditary Peers by succession would thus still have seats in the House at present. This includes 224 hereditary Peers who were in receipt of writs at the end of the Session on 25 October 1969 and 31 who would have been eligible for a writ on that date. The provisions in the Bill relating to Peers over the age of 72 do not apply to hereditary Peers because they are not deemed to be "voting peers" under Clause 3 of the Bill.