Parliament Act 1949

From the Parliamentary Collections

Parliament Act 1949
  • Title: Parliament Act 1949

  • Date : 1949

  • Catalogue number : Parliamentary Archives, HL/PO/PU/1/1949/12,13&14G6c103

  • Description :

    If the Parliament Act of 1911 was a battle between the House of Lords and the Liberal Party, the Parliament Act of 1949 Act saw the Labour Party, elected in 1945, take on the upper house.  The contentious issue was Clement Attlee’s post-war government nationalisation programme. In particular, Labour feared that the Lords would reject the Iron and Steel Bill.  Labour sought to reduce the Lords' power further, by reducing the time that the House of Lords could delay bills from three sessions over two years to two sessions over one year.  This constitutional stand-off saw the House of Commons pass the Parliament Bill in 1947, but it would take until December 1949 for the law to be given Royal Assent under the provisions of the 1911 Act.  In recent times the validity of the 1949 Act has been questioned based on the legal principle ‘delegatus non potest delegare’ (a delegate cannot enlarge on his own power).

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