An Encyclopaedia of Parliament

An Encyclopaedia of Parliament

An Encyclopaedia of Parliament

An Encyclopaedia of Parliament

Excerpt

We hope we may be forgiven our temerity in producing this book in a relatively remote outpost of Empire, far removed from the fountainhead of parliamentary wisdom, but we can only plead that it represents the logical outcome of a richly rewarding occupation. The idea for this work came to us in the pursuit of our daily round. In the course of the researches which form a major part of a parliamentary librarian's duties we soon discovered that the answers to the wide range of inquiries which we dealt with relating to Parliament and its associated subjects involved the consultation of many volumes of varying scope and content. It was apparent that no single source of reference existed to which one could turn with such inquiries. We therefore began to record the information gleaned from our many and varied assignments for subsequent re-use as inquiries recurred, and over a period of time these papers grew into a sizeable information index. So useful did we find this compilation that when pressure of work permitted we began to prepare papers in anticipation of probable inquiries. It later occurred to us that our index, suitably revised, expanded and supplemented, would be well suited to publication in the form of an encyclopædia. It had served us so well that it seemed reasonable to suppose that a wider public would find it of equal value. We make no extravagant claims for this book as a work of original research, much of the information contained herein being available from other sources. Not all of it, as we have reason to know, can readily be turned up elsewhere, and we feel justified in claiming that we have collected into one volume a wealth of fact which is otherwise obtainable only from a numerous assortment of other publications.

Very little explanation is required with regard to the arrangement of material. The headings are arranged in one alphabetical sequence and in most instances are the obvious ones which will occur to the inquirer in connexion with the information he requires. It was decided, however, not to place under one heading a general historic survey of Parliament as such an article would necessarily have been of disproportionate length. Instead we have dealt with the parliamentary history of individual reigns from that of Elizabeth I to Victoria under the name of each Sovereign, the earlier history of Parliament being considered under the broad heading, 'Parliament'. This arrangement had the added advantage of enabling us to deal with the relations between the Crown and Parliament at different periods of history under the heading of the Sovereign concerned. Read in consecutive chronological order these articles provide, within the limits of a work of this nature, a reasonably detailed account of the origin and development of Parliament.

Being strictly concerned with Parliament, this encyclopædia does not . . .

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