LETTER : Your jackpot prize - a peerage

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Sir: There exists a precedent for compromise between those who, like Lord Richard, would totally abolish the rights of hereditary peers and those like Lord Cranborne who would retain the status quo. It is the Act of Union of 1707, whereby 16 of those with exclusively Scottish titles were to be elected by their peers in Edinburgh at every general election of Parliament. This they did until 1963, when the Peerage Act entitled all Scottish peers to attend and vote, and the system of representation ended.

The House of Lords could be reformed to accommodate a fraction of the present hereditary peerage, elected by their peers of the UK as a whole, thus greatly reducing the hereditary element in the House to a small group sitting there through a combination of tradition and merit.