Parliamentary Reform 1933-1960: A Survey of Suggested Reforms

Parliamentary Reform 1933-1960: A Survey of Suggested Reforms

Parliamentary Reform 1933-1960: A Survey of Suggested Reforms

Parliamentary Reform 1933-1960: A Survey of Suggested Reforms

Excerpt

In 1958, the Council of the Hansard Society for Parliamentary Government decided to investigate a question which in a sense has been topical since the establishment of Parliament. In general terms it is the question whether at any given period in our history the current arrangements and methods whereby the British Parliament conducts its business and carries out its responsibilities are adequate for these purposes. The flexibility of the British Parliamentary system is one of its glories and its history is a record of continuous change.

During the past half-century, social and economic changes have been so widespread and rapid (and this has been especially true during the past thirty years), that the question outlined above has been under continuous discussion. A very large number of suggestions have been made for changes, great and small, in the Parliamentary set-up.

In order to study these proposals the reader must search in many publications, including of course the voluminous records of Hansard.

It was therefore decided that a book should be prepared whose pages would contain a representative collection of these proposals arranged under appropriate headings and linked together by objective comment.

While the period covered extended roughly over the previous twenty-five years, occasional references to major proposals for reform prior to 1933 were not excluded. But such retrospective references are rare and brief, as it was felt that maximum usefulness could be attained only if the subject was kept within manageable proportions.

As the titles to the Chapters show, the terms of reference have been discussed under certain broad subject headings. Within these headings, a limited amount of overlapping was inevitable; the question of political parties, for example, occurs on several . . .

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