1st Edition

The Power of the Prime Minister

By Humphry Berkeley Copyright 1968
    132 Pages
    by Routledge

    Originally published in 1968, the theme of this book is the decline of the influence of the House of Commons in general and the rise in particular in the power of the Prime Minister. The author looks behind the myths of how our constitution operates to describe what was actually happening in practice in the 2nd half of the 20th Century. The book highlights the way in which the Commons was filing to check and control the executive. It also makes valuable suggestions (which have since been adopted) to set up specialist committees, to consider the principal political issues of the day and how the House of Lords might be reformed.

    1.The Power of the Prime Minister 2. The Growth of Power 3. The Resources of the Prime Minister 4. The Party Machines 5. The Prime Minister and the President 6. Parliament and Committees 7. The Backbencher 8. The House of Lords 9. Conclusions. 


    Humphry Berkeley (1926-1994) was a British politician. He was well-known for his 3 changes of political parties and his early support for gay rights. In 1966, he introduced, and obtained a Second Reading for, the Sexual Offences Bill in the House of Commons. He was a sponsor of the Abolition of the Death Penalty Act. He was vice-President of the Anti-Apartheid Movement and Hon. Treasurer of the Howard League for Penal Reform.

    Original reviews of France in World Politics:

    ‘…the introduction … [which] is a useful summary of France's main foreign-policy problems; the treatment of France and the chapters on francophonie offer intelligent insights.’ Choice

    ‘What  it  does  do  extremely  well  is  to  look  in  depth  at wider webs  of  French  interests  and  influence  -  interventionism  in  Africa,' co-operation'  versus  'dependence'  in  relations  with  the  Third  World  in general, the 'remnants of empire' (Overseas Departments and Territories),and  'francophonie'  (cultural ties with a much wider range  of countries). Philip G. Cerny, West European Politics, 13: 4 (1990).