HC Deb 07 December 1819 vol 41 cc814-5
Sir C. Burrell

rose to make his promised motion respecting the Borough of Penryn. He said, he felt it his imperative duty again to bring the subject under the consideration of parliament; he trusted that hon. members would turn their attention to his bill of last session, that he might be enabled to carry it through all its stages. Alterations had been suggested to him in the provisions of it, but he had not seen any reason for adopting them. There had been several instances in which the elective franchise had been extended, and boroughs thrown open, and it was his firm conviction that they had been attended with great good. This bill had been in the hands of all the members last summer, and therefore he thought it unnecessary to say any thing more at present. The hon. baronet then moved "That leave be given to bring in a bill for the preventing of Bribery and Corruption in the Election of Members to serve in Parliament for the borough of Penryn."

Sir C. Hawkins

spoke in opposition to the measure, but was quite inaudible.

Mr. Denison

said, he had suggested in the last session that the elective franchise should be transferred from Penryn to one of the most populous towns of the kingdom, as Birmingham or Manchester, which did not send a member to parliament.—The corruptions of that borough were so notorious, that it appeared to him quite hopeless to think of preventing them, except by removing the elective franchise altogether. His majesty's ministers had resorted to very strong measures—they had sharpened the sword against itinerant orators, and against those who had inflamed the public mind; if they had gone no further it would have been well, but they had adapted a system of coercion against the people instead of one of conciliation. He thought, that had the elective franchise been transferred from Penryn to Manchester, it would have tended much to conciliate the people of that place. On the subject of reform he would say nothing. His hon. friend the member for Durham, had given notice of his intention to submit to the House a motion of that kind, and he had no doubt that it would meet with his perfect concurrence. The noble lord had mistaken the true way to pacify and conciliate the public mind. He might sharpen the sword of the law to put down factious demagogues, but let them throw down the olive-branch to the people. Be to their faults a little blind, Be to their virtues very kind, And clap the padlock on their, mind.

Leave was given to bring in the bill.