HC Deb 08 November 1813 vol 27 cc49-50

On the motion of Mr. Bankes, the Clerk having read from the Journals the Report of the Committee appointed to search the Lords' Journals on the subject of the Hellestone Election;

Mr. Bankes

observed, that the circumstances attendant on the Bill of last session for securing purity of election in the borough of Hellestone must be fresh in the recollection of the House. Having passed in the House of Commons, it had been carried to the House of Lords at a period not long before the termination of the session. This it was, perhaps, which prevented any proceeding from being had in the Lords on the subject; as it was well known, that on such questions each House preferred taking evidence itself, to relying on the evidence afforded in the other; and there was not time for examining in the House of Lords the necessary evidence in the case to which he alluded. For that and other reasons he was desirous of thus early calling the attention of the House to the subject. Whatever doubt might have existed as to the best mode of altering the constitution of the borough, no objection had been made in any quarter to the proper mode of taking parliamentary notice of the corruption which, having crept into the borough of Hellestone, had so long maintained itself there, and of the expediency of putting an end to it with all possible expedition. Anticipating therefore no objection to his proposition, he would proceed without farther preface to move, That leave be given to bring in a Bill to secure purity of election in the borough of Hellestone.

Mr. Serjeant Onslow

heartily seconded the motion; declaring, that in his opinion no case called more loudly for the interference of the legislature than that of the borough of Hellestone; the corruption and profligacy of which had been carried on so long, that those who were guilty of that corruption and profligacy were scarcely sensible of the crimes they committed.