Salisbury Convention

The Salisbury Convention (officially called the Salisbury Doctrine, the Salisbury-Addison Convention or the Salisbury/Addison Convention) is a constitutional convention in the United Kingdom under which the House of Lords will not oppose the second or third reading of any government legislation promised in its election manifesto. The origins of this convention can be dated back to the late nineteenth century, at which time the Conservatives held a majority in the House of Lords, with the support of the third Marquess of Salisbury, were able to develop the 'Referendal Theory' which applied solely to Liberal legislation, allowing the House of Lords to obstruct legislation until it had received majority approval at a general election.[1] This was later changed during the first Labour government of 1945-51, when once again there was a Conservative majority in the House of Lords, with the fifth Marquess of Salisbury announcing that the Lords 'would not seek to thwart the main lines of Labours legislation provided it derived from the party's manifesto for the previous election'. From this point bills were able to be adjusted, however on non-manifesto bills, the Lords were able to perform as they had before.