The House of Commons

  • F. N. Forman
  • N. D. J. Baldwin
Part of the Macmillan Master Series book series (MACMMA)


Unlike the Monarchy or the House of Lords, the House of Commons still has real power in the British political system, at any rate on those occasions when it is willing and able to use it. Yet the nature of its power is different from what it was in the nineteenth century when most of the traditional notions about the House of Commons were established. The modern House of Commons is neither the Government of the country nor even the principal place where official decisions or legislative proposals are conceived. It is essentially the sounding board for popular representation and redress, one of the stages on which the party battle is fought, the principal forum within which legislation and other decisions of Government are scrutinised, and the framework for Parliamentary control of the Executive — one of the tasks which it shares with the House of Lords.


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Further reading

  1. Biffen, J., Inside the House of Commons (London: Grafton Books, 1989).Google Scholar
  2. Cowley, P. (ed.), Conscience and Parliament (London: Frank Cass, 1998).Google Scholar
  3. Drewry, G. (ed.), The New Select Committees, rev. edn (Oxford: OUP, 1989).Google Scholar
  4. Garrett, J., Westminster: Does Parliament work? (London: Gollancz, 1992).Google Scholar
  5. Griffith, J.A.G. and Ryle, M., Parliament, Functions, Practice and Procedures (London: Sweet & Maxwell, 1989).Google Scholar
  6. Heatherington, A. et al., Cameras in the Commons (London: Hansard Society, 1990).Google Scholar
  7. Limon, D. and McKay, W.R. (eds), (22nd edn), ‘Erskine May’s Treaties on the Law, Privileges, Proceedings, and Usage of Parliament’ (London: Butterworth, 1997).Google Scholar
  8. Norton, P., Does Parliament Matter? (London: Harvester Wheatsheaf, 1993).Google Scholar
  9. Norton, P., The Commons in Perspective (Oxford: Martin Robertson, 1981).Google Scholar
  10. Radice, L., Member of Parliament (London: Macmillan, 1987).Google Scholar
  11. Riddell, P., Parliament Under Pressure (London: Victor Gollancz, 1998).Google Scholar
  12. Ryle, M. and Richards, P.G. (eds), The Commons under Scrutiny (London: Routledge & Kegan Paul, 1988).Google Scholar
  13. Silk, P. and Walters, R. (4th edn) How Parliament Works (London: Longman, 1998).Google Scholar
  14. Walker, R. and Criddle, B., Almanack of British Politics, 5th edn (London: Routledge, 1996).Google Scholar
  15. Walkland, S.A. (ed.), The House of Commons in the Twentieth Century (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1979).Google Scholar


Copyright information

© F.N. Forman and N.D.J. Baldwin 1999

Authors and Affiliations

  • F. N. Forman
  • N. D. J. Baldwin

There are no affiliations available

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