House of Lords

In The Times' editorial ("C-SPAN Does the Uncommon," Nov. 22) on televising the proceedings of the British House of Commons, you say that the House of Lords "like most hereditary aristocrats . . . have lost all powers save that of delay."

First, the House of Lords today is largely composed of "life peers," who do not pass on their titles. They include a number of elder statesmen such as Harold Wilson, Harold Macmillan, William Whitelaw, all of whom were prominent politicians, and are part of the "working members" of the House of Lords, and are all life peers.

Second, in addition to the power to delay, they often force the government to make compromises or even withdraw bills through their influence on public opinion.

DENNIS MADISON

Laguna Beach

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