The House of Commons Some Procedural Problems

  • N. H. Brasher


The increasing responsibilities of the Executive would seem to lead to the conclusion that its greater power has been achieved by a reduction in the power of the Legislature. The situation, therefore, could be represented as a simple sum in sub­traction. This would be a false simplification, for Parliament works harder than it did before the war, and there has been no formal decree depriving it of its ancient rights. It is possible, alternatively, that the extension in the powers of the Executive has been matched by an extension in the powers of the Legislature; in other words, both branches of government have greater responsibilities. The basis for this belief is that, though governmental control has widened, Parliamentary control, already supposedly strong through the use of questions and open debate, has been tightened still further by new committees, such as those on Statutory Instruments and on Nationalised Industries. It has already been indicated that some procedures, such as Question-time and those involving con­trol of the issue of Statutory Instruments and of Special Orders, can leave loopholes which should be closed. It is fair to point out that the same concern is felt by some M.P.


BRITISH Government Select Committee Procedural Problem Finance Committee Parliamentary Committee 
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Further Reading

  1. Lord Campion, An Introduction to the Procedure of the House of Commons (Macmillan, 3rd Edition, 1958).Google Scholar
  2. Eric Taylor, The House of Commons at Work (Pelican Books, 5th Edition, 1963).Google Scholar
  3. H. Hanson and H. V. Wiseman, Parliament at Work (Stevens, 1962). Peter Richards, Honourable Members (Faber, 1959).Google Scholar
  4. K. C. Wheare, Government by Committee (Oxford—Clarendon Press, 2nd Edition, 1955).Google Scholar
  5. Chubb, The Control of National Expenditure (O.U.P., 1952).Google Scholar
  6. P. Einzig, The Control of the Purse (Secker & Warburg, 1959).Google Scholar
  7. R. Butt, The Power of Parliament (Constable, 1967 ).Google Scholar
  8. B. Crick, The Reform of Parliament (Weidenfeld & Nicolson, 1964 ).Google Scholar
  9. Sir Ivor Jennings, Parliament (Cambridge University Press, 2nd Edition, 1961).Google Scholar
  10. Hansard Society, Parliamentary Reform 1933–60 (1961).Google Scholar

Copyright information

© N. H. Brasher 1971

Authors and Affiliations

  • N. H. Brasher
    • 1
  1. 1.Bexley Grammar SchoolUK

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