HC Deb 22 April 1825 vol 13 cc124-5
Sir R. Wilson

said, that some misunderstanding had arisen in consequence of a conversation between the hon. member for Staffordshire, and the learned member for Winchelsea as to the course meant to be pursued respecting the bill for altering the Elective Franchise in Ireland; and as it was his intention to oppose the principle of the measure, he was desirous to know what course it was intended to follow? Should the discussion take place that evening upon it, it was his determination to take the sense of the House.

Mr. Lyttleton

said, that some misunderstanding had certainly arisen on the subject, in consequence of which, several gentlemen who had intended to take a part in the discussion, and particularly those who meant to oppose it, were not then in their places. But, it was impossible he could lose that opportunity of taking some step in the business, and he should be contented simply to ask leave to bring in the bill, and let the discussion take place on a future day. He should be sorry to be called on to make any statement, unless he had an opportunity to make a complete one. He therefore trusted the House would allow him to bring in the bill now, and take the discussion on Friday.

Mr. Brougham

suggested the necessity of as early a discussion as possible, in order that that explanation might be given which would either remove or confirm the doubts which were entertained of its policy. There were difficulties which a further inquiry might clear up. He was not a member of the committee himself; and had therefore, no opportunity of acquiring official information, but he knew that there were certain questions, which would be best cleared up by inquiry before a committee. He therefore hoped that an earlier day than Friday would be fixed for the second reading.

Mr. Calcraft,

said, he was no party to this arrangement. The bill required an explanation: its object was perfectly misunderstood, and it ought to be made intelligible to the people both of England and Ireland. The bill was generally thought to enact the disfranchisement of the forty-shilling voters, but that was not its object. If it were, he would be the last to give it his support. Even those who were in the habit of daily conversing with Irish members, entertained a complete misapprehension the objects of the bill. How strong, therefore, must be the misconceptions upon the subject in the minds of the people in general.