John Bright on House of Lords reform

Writing in The Times in the wake of the House of Lords rejection of Gladstone’s Franchise Bill, John Bright suggests sweeping alterations and limitations to the powers of the second chamber, arguing that just as the Crown could no longer reject a bill sent to it so the power of the Lords should be limited in the same way. Bright proposed that the Lords veto should be limited to two parliamentary sessions. The actions of the Lords reinforced Bright’s view that ‘a hereditary House of Parliament is not and cannot be perpetual in a free country.’