Letter from The Rt Hon Douglas Hogg, QC,
MP, Viscount Hailsham (LR 49)
Thank you for your letter of 21st November and
I know you have written more recently to colleagues.
I am a strong supporter of a wholly elected
House of Lords. I welcome any decision in favour of a substantially
elected House of Lords but I personally would prefer a wholly
I have seen the memorandum submitted by Mark
Fisher dated 21st January 2002 with which I very largely agree.
However I personally would greatly increase the powers of the
Second Chamber so that in substance they were equal to those in
the House of Commons. In short I wish to create a Senate.
To answer questions that you have not asked;
I think that the members of the Second Chamber who are elected
should have a constituency and I would probably use the Old European
constituencies as the basis for that. I believe that they should
be directly elected and by way of some form of Proportional Representation.
However they should be elected as individuals and not a closed
Party list. I think that they should be elected for extended terms
but that there should be an overall limit on the number of terms
that they can serve. Ministers should not be members of the Second
Chamber though they will have to appear before it both
to answer questions and to have the conduct of legislation and
policy. It will be necessary to arrange anti-deadlock procedures
so as to prevent deadlock between the two Houses. There is no
justification for either the Law Lords or the Bishops sitting
All in all I want to create a Senate. The Senate
will have powers broadly comparable to the House of Commons. The
creation of the Senate may in time lead to the reform of the House
of Commons which is long overdue. The House of Commons is but
the creature of Party and Government and is only democratic in
form. The real problem lies with us and we need to call another
Chamber into existence in order to in part to remedy the faults
which we have allowed to corrupt and dominate this place.