HC Deb 16 March 1812 vol 21 cc1315-6
Mr. Thompson

moved for leave to bring in a Bill for declaring the seats of members, who should become bankrupt, vacant after a limited time. He did not think it necessary to preface his motion with any long speech. It was quite right, he thought, that a beggar should not be a member of that House. Its dignity and independence required that some measure of the nature of the present motion should be adopted. His Bill only went to assimilate the law of England to that now existing in Ireland. If an Irish member became bankrupt, his seat became vacant in six months after his bankruptcy, unless he produced a certificate from the commissioners. He did not know why English members should have privileges to which the Irish were not entitled.

Mr. Baring

was of opinion that the preferable mode of proceeding would be for the House, in the first instance, to go into a committee to enquire into the privileges of members. He thought that adopting this measure at once would be to pass, in the public opinion, a great stigma on bankrupts, which, in the present state of the country, he could not think was altogether proper.

Mr. C. W. Wynn

approved of the proposed measure, though the period of six months might not be sufficient in many cases to enable a correct idea to be formed as to the state of the bankrupt's affairs. He was, however, a friend to the measure, and thought that the publicity attendant on bankruptcy was one strong reason for the House adopting it.

Mr. Lockhart

also approved of the measure.

The question was then put, and leave given to bring in the Bill.