Response from the Government
36. We have identified in this report the area
of consensus that has been achieved in the matter of reform. So
far as recognition of the roles, functions and powers of a reformed
House are concerned, that consensus is considerable. It is accepted
by almost all Members of the House of Commons who spoke including
the unicameralists who, once their preferred option had been defeated,
divided almost equally into supporters of a fully appointed and
a fully elected House. It is also a view shared by almost all
Members of the House of Lords who spoke in the debates.
37. Agreement about those matters is, in our
view, a strong basis for continuing the reform. We have identified
areas where work needs to be done - namely in respect of the issues
of the hereditary peers, the appointments system and such matters
as the size and conditions of tenure of the House. As a longer-term
matter there is the possibility of indirect election to the House.
If these reforms can be carried through in a sustainable way,
then the fundamental issue will remain to be resolved, namely
whether the Lords should be wholly appointed, wholly or partly
directly elected or wholly or partly indirectly elected. We look
forward to a reply from Government within the customary two months
and then acceptance by both Houses that our work should continue
on the lines we have set out.