SENATE AND HOUSE OF LORDS
SUCH is the kind of machinery whereby the representatives of the people of Britain and America find their way into their respective legislatures. A further discipline awaits them in the two Houses of which each legislature is composed. The United States Senate is the strongest and the House of Lords the weakest of all upper Houses in the world to-day, and while the structure of the Senate has supplied a working model to other federal states, no country has copied the House of Lords, which was not even the deliberate creation of the English themselves.
In its origins the House of Lords consisted of those subjects of the Crown whose importance caused them to be summoned as individuals. There is some uncertainty as to the period at which the possession of the peerage entitled the holder to a writ of summons. In the earlier stages of Parliamentary history the King appears to have summoned whom he chose. At a somewhat later date a writ issued as a matter of routine could be accompanied by an intimation from the King that the attendance of the person named in it was not desired, and the precedent thus set was re-