Great Britain is situated on the British Islands which lie to the north-west of Europe. The official name of the country is the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland. The United Kingdom has an area of 94, 249 square miles. The popula­tion of the United Kingdom is 56, 6 million people. The capital of the country is London. English is the official language.

The United Kingdom is a parliamentary monarchy. In law, the Queen of Great Britain is the head of the executive system, the hear of system of justice and of the Armed forces.

In practice, the Queen acts GREAT BRITAIN only on the Advice of her Min­isters. She reins but she does not rule.

Great Britain has the oldest Parliament in the world.

Parliament consists of the Queen, the House of Lords and the House of Commons.

Parliament sits in the Palace of Westminster. It opens every year in Autumn.

The prime Minister is the head of the government.

Every five years the British people elect the members of the House of Commons. The House of Commons consists of 630 members, who may belong to various parties.

At present there are two main political parties in Great Britain: the Conservative GREAT BRITAIN Party, the Labour Party. The party which obtains the majority of seats in the House of Commons forms the Government and the other parties form the Opposition. Great Britain has a non-elected, hereditary, second Chamber - the House of Lords. It has 850 members.

The main functions of Parliament are to legislate, and to control the Actions of the Government.

Any member of the Parliament may introduce a bill to the Parliament.

Every bill has three readings at first in the House of Com­mons.

After the third reading the bill goes before, the House of Lords. If the Lords GREAT BRITAIN agree to the bill, it will be placed before the Queen for signature.

The Queen is the only non-party member and the only one with access to all government papers.