Select Committee on Public Administration Fifth Report

Other Issues


* The Government proposes that membership of the House of Lords should cease to be connected to the peerage (para 78)[80]

182. The White Paper, like the Royal Commission, recommended that membership of the second chamber should cease to be connected to the peerage. The White Paper expresses it well: membership should "constitute a commitment to active engagement in the life of Parliament rather than the acceptance of an honour".[81] This is obviously right.

183. We recommend that membership of the second chamber should no longer be linked with any honour, including the peerage.

Name of Second Chamber and Title of Members

184. The changes envisaged in the White Paper and in this Report suggest to us that a new working title is needed for the second chamber, and a new designation for its members. The Royal Commission recommended that this issue should be left to "evolve", but we believe, and recommend, that it would be better to adopt the name "second chamber", to emphasise its complementary role in Parliament. The ancestral name "House of Lords" would slowly slip into desuetude. The members of the second chamber could be entitled, on the analogy of the members of the Scottish Parliament (MSPs), Members of the Second Chamber or MSCs.

80   Cmd 5291 Back

81   Ibid para 78 Back

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