Mr. E. B. Clive
reported, from the Evesham Election committee, that the sitting Members, Sir C. Cockerell and Archibald, Lord Kennedy, had not been duly elected, and that the petition against their return was neither frivolous nor vexatious. He further stated, that the Committee had come to the following Resolution, which he had been ordered to report to the House,—" That it is the opinion of this Committee, after hearing the evidence which has been laid before it, that Sir C. Cockerell, has, by his agent or agents, been guilty of bribery and corruption at the last election for the borough of Evesham, and that it is also the opinion of this Committee, that Archibald Kennedy, commonly called Lord Kennedy, has, by his agent or agents, been guilty of bribery and corruption at the same said election."
§ The Report ordered to he on the Table.
moved, that a new writ should be issued for the election of two burgesses to serve in the present Parliament for the borough of Evesham.
§ Mr. A. Duncombe
said, that having been a member of that Committee, he thought it his duty to move, that the evidence which had been taken before it should be laid before the House. He was no friend to general reform; but he certainly thought that some proceedings should be taken in this instance, and! he should therefore move to that effect.
§ The Speaker
informed the hon. Member, that the motion for a new writ must be first disposed of, before the House could entertain such a motion.
§ The motion for the issuing of a new writ was accordingly put and agreed to.
§ Mr. Duncombe
was then about to move 1043 that the evidence should be laid before the House, when the Speaker interposed, and observed, that the House must, in the first instance, fix a day for taking the Report of the Committee into consideration. Accordingly, on the motion of Mr. Clive, the Report was ordered to be taken into further consideration on Thursday next.
§ Mr. A. Duncombe
then moved, that the evidence taken before the Evesham Election committee should be laid before the House.
said, that as Chairman of the committee, he felt it his duty to state, that the committee had come to a very proper resolution; at the same time, as we had now got an Administration which had determined to take the cause of reform into its own hands, he did not think that there would be any necessity for taking ulterior proceedings upon the evidence laid before the committee; and he trusted that the hon. Member would pause before he put the country to the expense of having it printed.
§ Lord G. Lennox, as a member of that committee, felt called upon to say, that though he was no reformer in the large way, he conceived that this being a case in which bribery and corruption had been undeniably proved, it was the duty of the House to look into it. He therefore trusted that his hon. friend would persevere in his motion, and that when the evidence was laid before the House, that hon. Members would read it. If it should appear from that evidence that the electors of Evesham had been bought at 12l. a head, it struck him that it would be a proper question for the consideration of the House whether they should be allowed to retain their franchise.
§ Motion agreed to.