By the 1950s there was strong feeling that the House of Lords was a creaking, one-party institution, unsuited to the needs of a modern legislature. Although over 800 peers were eligible to sit in the Lords, many attended very infrequently, or not at all.
Getting people to accept peerages and devote time to the House had become a major problem. Attendance too, was falling to worryingly low levels, with a daily average of just 97 peers present during the 1953-54 session.
Official records of the House show as few as 22 peers attending on one day in April 1956.