11 AUGUST 1961, Page 14

SIR,-1 agree with only one point in your editorial of

August 4: 'Borrowed Time' (the last sentence of which 1 deplore) and that is that Mr. St. Clair should apply at once for the Chiltern Hundreds. This because the majority of the electors of South East Bristol have shown unmistakably that they wish to be represented by a Labour, not a Conservative, Member. Otherwise, I waste no tears on them. They were perfectly well aware that the overwhelming probability was that Lord Stansgate would be dis- qualified and their votes thrown away because according to the law of England—now confitmed- a peer, very rightly as the Constitution now, is, may not be a member of the House of Commons.

Whether the House of Lords should be reformed, whether a distinction should be made between a peer and a Lord of Parliament, whether peerages should be renounceable—these are grave con- stitutional questions, closely affecting the Sovereign, which should be approached and decided on their merits, and without any reference to Lord Stansgate or his former constituents.

The question of the best procedure when a dis- qualified person is elected a Member of Parliament is a separate one; perhaps a new election should be automatic, but steps would have to be taken to pre- vent the disqualified person from standing again.


A rreton, Blockley, Gloucestershire