§ The Chairman, (Mr. Bernal), put the question, "That Brighthelmstone, including the parish of Brighthelmstone, Sussex, "stand part of Schedule D.
§ Lord Dudley Coutts Stuart
said, that it had been his intention to move, that the important parish of Hove should be added to Brighthelmstone; but he should not do so, as he understood that the parliamentary Commissioners would have the power, if they thought fit, to add that parish.
§ Mr. Croker
said, there were other townships as near Brighton as Hove, what was to be done with them?
§ Lord Althorp
said, that was not the question before the House, but the question was, whether Brighthelmstone should have the privilege of sending Members to Parliament.
§ Mr. Curteis
said, that Brighthelmstone was a very flourishing and increasing place, and contained no less than 40,000 inhabitants, and had risen to that eminence, from being a mere fishing town, within the memory of many persons now living. He had presented to the Government a memorial from the inhabitants, in which they pressed their claims to have two Representatives allowed them. That memorial had been taken into serious consideration by his Majesty's Ministers, and he was not disposed to object to the decision to which they had come, not to take Brighthelmstone out of schedule D. He was bound to say, that a large portion of the agricultural interest of Sussex were of opinion, that Hove should be added to Brighton. He wished to say, that he came into Parliament perfectly unshackled as to the course he should think proper to pursue, but he was friendly to the Reform Bill, because he believed it would prove beneficial to the country. He must, however, be permitted to allude to what had been remarked by an hon. Member in the House, that the agriculturists were selfish, and desired to exclude the mercantile interest from their proper share of Representation. He was fully aware that the manufacturers were the best customers of the agriculturists, and he was proud to acknowledge himself connected with the landed interest; but as the manufacturing interests were inclined to take away all protection from them, he for one would openly say, that he would support every measure tending 832 to maintain their full share of Representation in the hands of the agricultural interests. He was glad to hear the right hon. Baronet (Sir Robert Peel), state the other night, that he would support the agricultural interest; and he agreed with the right hon. Baronet in thinking, that the manufacturing interest was already too powerful in that House. He was therefore very much surprised to see the right hon. Baronet vote for the Amendment of the noble Lord, the member for Northamptonshire (Lord Milton), because he was convinced, that if that Amendment had been carried, it would have inflicted the severest possible blow upon the agricultural interest.
said, that he had intended to move, when the Committee came to Bradford, that certain towns should be added to it; but as he now understood, that the parliamentary Commissioners were competent to make that addition, he should not press his Motion; and he requested the friends of the measure not to enter into discussions upon all the towns in the schedule, or otherwise it was quite certain, that a great deal of the valuable time of the House would be wasted.
Mr. Stuart Wortley
said, that the different boroughs were described in the Bill by particular limits, and yet, after the House had discussed whether the limits mentioned should be limits of the boroughs, they were now told that parliamentary Commissioners would possess the power of entirely annulling the decisions of the House. This he considered a perfect mockery of legislation, and it would be much better to leave the whole schedules to be settled by the Commissioners. Yesterday there was a long debate about Walsall and Wedgebury, all of which might have been spared if the Committee had been aware of the extensive powers of the Commissioners.
§ Lord Althorp
said, that if the powers of the parliamentary Commissioners were as extensive as they were described to be by the hon. Gentleman, those Commissioners would undoubtedly possess most extraordinary authority; but the fact was, as he had stated last night, that these Commissioners would only possess the power of defining the limits of the towns to be created boroughs. With respect to those places which were already boroughs, they would be obliged, if the constituency was less than 300 persons, to take in part of 833 the neighbourhood, until they obtained the required number of voters.
concurred with his hon. friend (Mr. Stuart Wortley), that if the parliamentary Commissioners were to possess the power given them by the Bill, the House was only wasting time in discussing whether particular parishes should or should not be added to certain places. The Bill gave the power to the Commissioners of adding to every borough such adjoining parishes as they might think fit.
§ Sir Charles Wetherell
wished to know, whether the limits of the new towns were to be considered definitively fixed by the description in the schedule; or whether the Commissioners would have power to add to their extent whatever might be the resolution of the House?
Lord John Russell
replied, the new boroughs were intended to be as defined in the Bill, except that where parts of parishes came into towns, the Commissioners would have power to add those parishes to the towns.
asked, whether it was the intention of Ministers, when they came to the twenty-fourth clause, to limit the power of the Commissioners in respect to their adding to the population of towns by including a parish which had been deliberately excluded by the House.
Lord John Russell
replied, the Ministers had no intention of proposing any alteration in the twenty-fourth clause.
said, that in that case the Commissioners would have it in their power to overwhelm the population of the boroughs established by Parliament.
§ Sir James Scarlett
had the greatest possible objection to the appointment of Commissioners to do that which the framers of the Bill ought to have themselves done or allowed the House to do. Unless the twenty-fourth clause was limited, the Commissioners would have full power to undo all the House had done in the formation of these boroughs.
said, he believed, that he spoke the sentiments of the majority of the inhabitants of Brighton, when he said, that they attached more importance to the benefits which they, in common with the rest of the country, would derive from the Bill, than they did to the privilege of returning an additional Member.
Lord George Bentinck
declared, that, he was of opinion, Brighton ought to be placed in schedule C. It was a town of 834 great population; it was rated in 1821 at 39,000 inhabitants and had increased considerably since, having extended itself into the parish of Ovingdean in the East, and Hove in the West. It paid more to the assessed taxes than almost any one of the towns in schedule C; and as large an amount as fourteen of the places in schedule D. The circumstance, also, of its being a royal residence, and its possessing many permanent establishments of the nobility, entitled it to consideration. In conclusion he gave notice, that if some person better qualified did not come forward, he would move, when the Report was brought up, that Brighton should have two Members.
Sir Charles Burrell
said, he concurred in the sentiments expressed by the noble Lord who spoke last, and thought, that the case of Brighton deserved the attention of Parliament. Some hon. Gentleman had asserted, that the inhabitants were indifferent as to whether they were to have one or two Members, but the fact of the inhabitants having petitioned the House on the subject induced him to believe they were not so very indifferent about the matter. The population of Brighton at the present moment must be nearly double what it was in 1821.
§ Lord Althorp
said, that it was not fair to compare Brighton with great manufacturing districts, merely with reference to the amount of assessed taxes paid by them respectively. The prosperity of Brighton depended on circumstances totally different from those which were the foundation of the wealth and importance of the manufacturing towns. Many persons had doubted the propriety of giving Brighton even one Member: he, however, thought it had a claim to one Member.
had never used an expression which could lead the hon. Member to suppose the people of Brighton were indifferent to being enfranchised; he had only said, they would be sorry to throw any obstacle in the way of the Bill, by insisting on their own claims. No doubt they would prefer two Members, if that could be made consistent with the other provisions of the Bill.
Sir John Sebright
said, he was one of those who were for the Bill, the whole Bill, and nothing but the Bill. He thought it a measure eminently calculated to promote the happiness, and to add to the security of the country. He, therefore, was determined 835 not to lend himself to any captious objections, but support Ministers in carrying through the Bill as it stood.
§ Lord William Lennox
said, he perfectly concurred in the sentiments which had fallen from the hon. Baronet, the member for Shoreham. He thought, that Brighton ought to have the privilege of sending two members to Parliament, not only on account of its population, but also on account of the large amount of assessed taxes which it annually paid—namely, 1,800l.—an amount within 11,000l. of the assessed taxes paid collectively by Sheffield, Sunderland, Devonport, and Wolverhampton, four of the new boroughs in schedule C. With regard to population, Brighton contained 632 10l. houses; 951 20l. houses; and 1,180 40l. houses. The argument advanced on a former evening, against giving two Members to each of the boroughs in schedule C, was, that it would give a preponderance to the manufacturing interest. That objection could not apply to Brighton, and when he looked at its wealth, its population, and the respectability of the actual residents, he thought that it ought to have the benefit of two Members.
§ Mr. Littleton
objected to the propriety of taking the amount of assessed taxes as the test of the prosperity of the manufacturing districts. Their capital was employed in trade. The capital of some of the places which had been referred to in that conversation, would buy Brighton three times over.
§ Lord George Lennox
said, that although a large body of his constituency resided in Brighton, he would oppose the proposition for giving two Members to that town, whenever it should be made. The population, it was true, was returned at. 40,000; but, he asked, how many of that number were really inhabitants of Brighton? He knew that, on tailing this course, he was not consulting his private interest, because he should lose considerable electioneering support; but motives of private interest should not weigh with him. It would be a satisfaction to him to know, that he had not sold a vote for private advantage.
§ Mr. Croker
said, that if he had not expected that the clause respecting the Commissioners would be amended, he should before have objected to it. If the Commissioners were to be allowed to exercise 836 their power to the extent which the noble Lord, the other member for Northamptonshire (Lord Milton), seemed to conceive, it would cause the greatest possible confusion. He wished to understand, that the Commissioners were not to have a wild power of fixing the limits of boroughs according to their own discretion. The noble Lord (Lord John Russell) said, the schedule named Brighton simply; but then the Commissioners under the Act might add other parishes. It was absolutely necessary, therefore, that the point should be clearly settled. It should be understood, that the settlement now made was to be final, excepting in cases where there was an accidental and unlooked for overflowing of population. All difficulty would be avoided in the case before the House if the words "town of Brighton" were substituted for the words "parish of Brighthelmstone."
§ Lord Althorp
said, he must decline entering into that discussion at present, but he would certainly take the alteration proposed by the right hon. Gentleman into consideration.
observed, if the noble lord had made that declaration in proper time, the whole of the debate might have been avoided; but he was distinctly understood to state, he would agree to no amendment.
Mr. Stuart Wortley
feared they were likely to meet with many difficulties, unless some alteration was made in the Bill. By one of the clauses, the Commissioners to be appointed were empowered to add any district to a town for Representation. To many of the places enumerated in the schedule now under their consideration, no limits were defined, but it was left to the Commissioners to settle that point, hereafter, at their discretion. This part of the Bill required amendment.
§ Mr. Croker
understood by this, that the Commissioners were simply to distinguish the borough from the county. They would, of course, have authority to alter the scale of population adopted by the House.
thought, that, Brighton was entitled to two Members. It had become, not only the residence of the noblest and highest in the land, but was also the general resort of retired and wealthy 837 tradesmen. Of the latter most important and respectable class, at least 1,000 could be found qualified to vote. It had been said, its population depended on the caprice of fashion; but as long as London continued in its present greatness, the nearest sea-port town would be always a place of general resort. But, notwithstanding these claims, he would not interfere with the arrangements of Ministers.
§ Question agreed to.
§ The next question was, "that Bolton-le-Moors, including the townships of Great and Little Bolton, Lancashire, stand part of schedule D."
§ Mr. Croker
thought it unjust that Bolton, with a population of 44,000 should have only one Member, whilst Northallerton, with the very small population of 4,000 had two.
§ Colonel Torrens
said, that the flourishing town of Bolton was, with respect to population, the third town in Lancashire; while, in point of manufacturing importance, it was the second—yielding only to Manchester. The cotton factories of Bolton were superior to all others; and flax and paper were manufactured to a considerable extent. Thus, Bolton had many important interests to be protected and watched over. It was a town very remarkably distinguished for enterprise and intelligence. Arkwright had been an inhabitant of Bolton; and hon. Members would recollect, that Crampton, the inventor of that part of manufacturing machinery, denominated "the Mule," had obtained a parliamentary grant of 5,000l. for that important improvement, which was now in universal use. He conceived, that the great population, the rapidly increasing property, the intelligence, and he might add, the glory of Bolton, fully entitled that town to send two Members to Parliament. Should no more experienced Member undertake the task, he should feel it to be his duty, when the report of the Committee on the Reform Bill was brought up, to move, that Bolton betaken out of schedule D, and placed in schedule C.
§ Motion agreed to.
§ The question was then put, "that Blackburn, including the township of Blackburn, Lancashire, stand part of schedule D."
§ Mr. Croker
said, the case of Bolton, which he had before noticed, applied also to the town of Blackburn.
§ The question carried.
§ The next question was, "that Bradford, including the township of Bradford, Yorkshire, stand part of schedule D."
§ Mr. Farrand
said, that he was well acquainted with the local circumstances of the place now under consideration, and he wished, therefore, to be allowed to make some remarks to the Committee. As the Bill at present stood, it formed the township of Bradford into a borough, but it, was right the Committee should know, that the township of Bradford did not embrace the whole town of Bradford. The town of Bradford occupied three townships; and it was essential to the interests of that town, that those townships should form the new borough. The noble Lord (Milton) thought the matter might safely be left in the hands of the Commissioners; but he had no such confidence in the Commissioners, and he trusted the alteration would be made by the Committee. The persons who gave employment to the artisans, and created and maintained the manufactures of the place, did not reside in the hundred of Bradford, and he could state to the Committee, upon the authority of a great majority of those persons, that they were extremely anxious to see the alteration he had suggested carried into effect. Indeed, without that alteration, he might say, that those most interested in the welfare of Bradford, and who most contributed to its prosperity and wealth, thought it would be better the place should be left without the power of sending a Member to that House. The noble Lord, in his opening speech, had stated, that the Government wished the measure to be final; but that, he was certain it would not be, at least, with respect to Bradford. A petition had been presented from that place, numerously signed by the working classes, calling for Universal Suffrage, Vote by Ballot, and Annual Parliaments. He had opportunities of knowing the sentiments of the most respectable and wealthiest inhabitants of the town and neighbourhood, and they had informed him that they were not satisfied with the arrangements of the Bill. Under these circumstances, he should not do his duty if he did not move, that the borough of Bradford should include the townships of Horton and Mannington.
§ Lord Morpeth
was inclined to believe, that the three townships in which parts of the town were situated should be included 839 in the borough, but he thought the definition of the town had better be left to the Commissioners. He suggested, that the word "town" should be adopted instead of that of township.
§ The word town was substituted for township, and the question as amended carried.
§ The next question was, "that Cheltenham, including the town of Cheltenham, Gloucestershire, should stand part of schedule D."
§ Lord Althorp moved as an amendment, that after the word "town," the words "and parish" should be inserted.
§ The question, as amended, agreed to.
§ The question, "that Dudley, including the parish of Dudley, Worcestershire, stand part of schedule D," was also agreed to.
§ On the question, "that Frome, including the town of Frome, Somersetshire, stand part of schedule D,"
Mr. Dominick Browne
said, he was thoroughly friendly to the Bill, but he wished his noble friend (Lord Althorp) would pause and consider whether he was not giving the power of returning Representatives to too small communities. He wished to hear the grounds upon which some of the places in schedule D were to acquire the right of returning Members. He was decidedly favourable to places returning but one Member, and indeed he wished no place was allowed to return more than one Member. He had represented a place many years, which had the right of sending two, and the consequence was, that his hon. colleague and himself were directly opposite in their political opinions. He could not understand upon what principle, Frome, Gateshead, White-haven, Kidderminster, South Shields, and some other places, were to return Members. If the Representatives for England were taken in round numbers, at 500, and the assessed taxes at 5,000,000l., then it followed, that a place ought to pay 10,000l. in assessed taxes to entitle it to return a Member to that House. Now it appeared, that Frome only paid 1,960l. With respect to population, it ought at least to have a population of 24,000 souls.
§ Lord Althorp
said, Frome was a large town, with 12,000 inhabitants, and the seat of an important manufacture in the south of England. It was included in the 840 Bill, because Ministers were desirous to give an adequate Representation to the South and West of England, as well as the North.
§ Lord Granville Somerset
contended, that Frome was fully entitled to have a Member, and he regretted, that the hon. member for Mayo had reserved his objections till they came to Frome, which was one of the few places in the West of England to be enfranchised. For the reasons alleged by the noble Lord, which he thought correct, the extension of the franchise in the west ought to be carried further.
was of the same opinion. The hon. member for Mayo could never have seen the town of Frome, or he would not hesitate to agree that it ought to return a Representative. It carried on a fine woollen-trade in contradistinction to the coarse woollen trade established in Gloucestershire.
§ Question carried.
§ On the question being put, "that Gateshead, including the parish of Gates-head, Durham, stand part of schedule D,"
§ Mr. Croker
said, the Committee was now come to an important question—a question which naturally attracted peculiar attention, because it involved the consideration of the extraordinary increase which the Bill made in the number of Representatives to be returned by the county of Durham. That the county itself was to have four Representatives, he would not, at present, quarrel with—on that point he should say something hereafter, but most certainly some explanation was necessary from the Government, to account for the erection of three towns in this county, and particularly Gateshead, into boroughs. The hon. member for Mayo had objected to constituting this new borough in Durham, on the ground, that no evidence had been laid before the House of the necessity or propriety of that step; but he was prepared to shew, that the hon. member for Mayo had even understated the facts of the case, and that there were four new boroughs to be constituted in this neighbourhood. As all the Members ought to know, and many did know, the town of Gateshead was merely the southern suburb of Newcastle; and, if Ministers wished to act on the same principle which they had adopted in other cases, nothing could be more proper than for them to have added the town of Gateshead to that of Newcastle, 841 The town of Newcastle contained a population of 35,000 souls, and it was to return two Members, although there were several places in schedule D which had superior populations, and were to return only one Member each to that House. Supposing Newcastle to be fairly entitled to two Members, what was the situation of Gateshead that entitled it to return one Member? Gateshead was not a place of such importance, arid was not in its avocations, or by possessing a separate class of population, so distinct from Newcastle, as to entitle it to send a Member to that House. He therefore contended, in pursuance of the line of conduct which had been in many instances adopted, that Newcastle and Gates-head might have been united, and if that had been done, even then the total amount of population of the borough so formed, would not exceed the amount of population of Bolton, which was to have but one Representative. He was, therefore, not at all astonished at hearing the remarks of the hon. member for Mayo; those remarks were natural enough; but if that hon. Member had come to the view he had taken, merely upon the consideration of the individual case of Gateshead—how much more strong would have been his objections to giving Gateshead a Representation if he had considered how it was situated with respect to Sunderland, and to South Shields, and to North Shields, or Tynemouth, as it was called. Within a very small district, four new boroughs were to be created. Sunderland was distant from Gateshead ten miles, and Sunderland was to send two Members to Parliament. South Shields was at a less distance from Sunderland than Sunderland was from Gateshead, and it was to send one Member. And North Shields, or Tynemouth, was situated close to South Shields, and it also was to return one Member. So that, within a circuit of about ten miles, four new boroughs were to be erected, and of those four boroughs, two were of such dimensions as to attract the disapprobation or doubt and remark of the hon. member for Mayo, in all other points a zealous supporter of the Bill. Now let them look at their individual claims. The largest of them (Sunderland) was to enjoy the double Representation, although it was only by adding to its population, that of Bishop's Wearmouth and Monkswearmouth, that it could be made to 842 amount even to a plausible number, while other places, with a larger population, were to be allowed to send only one Member. Assisted as it was by the addition of these two suburbs, the borough of Sunderland had a population only of 33,900, while Bolton had a population of 44,000. He did not mean to argue the question as if the noble Lord had laid down any precise and positive rule for the guidance of the Committee. The noble Lord had, indeed, in his opening speech, talked of a population of 10,000 souls entitling a town to one Member, and a population of 50,000 souls entitling a place to two Members; but really that scale had been so frequently departed from, that he felt he could not insist upon it, in the present argument, with any probability of success. The conduct of Government, therefore, had deprived him of any benefit he might have derived from that scale; but then he had the advantage of the argument he might address to the discretion and the justice of the Government; for if they assumed a discretion to abandon their original scale, they surely had a discretion to abandon every other part of their plan, which might turn out to be unjust. Of this argument he could not be deprived, and he now appealed to the justice and to the discretion of not merely the Ministers, but of the House and the country, and he asked upon what principle they could refuse the right of returning two Members to the gigantic towns of Yorkshire and Lancashire, while that right was bestowed upon an inferior borough in Durham? Such an arrangement appeared to him to set all propriety and principle at defiance. It could not be alleged that Sunderland required a double franchise because it was situated in a district barren of Representation, for it had in its immediate neighbourhood, Newcastle, and was to have the new boroughs of South Shields, North Shields, and Gateshead, all within a circuit of ten or a dozen miles. Then he asked again, why was Bolton, with 44,000 inhabitants, to return only one Member, and Sunderland, with a population of 33,000 inhabitants, to return two Members? He could not expect to produce much impression upon that Committee, for he had already seen, that places which had, what appeared to him to be extremely strong claims, were declared by the majority to have no pretensions at all, He might again be mistaken, 843 as he supposed he had before been mistaken; but to his humble powers of reasoning, the case he had now stated was unanswerable. The Committee, however, would, of course, think otherwise—but it was some consolation to him to be opposed, not so much by reason—as by an acknowledged determination of the supporters of the Bill, to pass over all anomalies, and to get through the measure post haste, without pausing even for a moment to correct or attempt to correct its errors. But he begged hon. Members to consider, that the difficulties which had beset former cases had nothing to do with this. In the case of Dorchester, reason, common sense, and justice, could not be listened to, because they would lead to a conclusion which would interfere with the case of Guildford; and if Guildford was successful, then Chippenham would have an undeniable claim. But, in the present case, there was nothing of that sort; the principle of the Bill was in no danger; it was not assailed in any way; and he did implore the Committee to look seriously at what it was doing, and endeavour to make this final Bill—this healing, conciliatory, and satisfactory measure, as its friends called it—a just and consistent one. Northallerton, with a population of 4,000 souls, was to return two Members; and Sunderland, with a population of 33,000 souls, nearly ten times more than Northallerton, was equally to return two Members: while Bolton, with a population of 44,000 souls, eleven times greater than Northallerton, was to return only one. It was curious, that as he proceeded into this cluster of fortunate boroughs—and as it would save the time of the Committee, perhaps, if he took that opportunity of going through them all, he should do so—it was curious, that as he proceeded in an examination of the cases which those lucky boroughs presented, he found reason to use, if possible, still stronger remarks than the case of Sunderland, as compared with Bolton, would have justified. South Shields was the borough he had next to notice. South Shields had only a population of 8,885 souls. No; that would not do. Such a population would never pass muster, although South Shields was in this lucky district—although South Shields was recommended by he knew not what patronage—a mere population of 8,885 could not suffice. But was there no hamlet, no township, no chapelry, that could be annexed? If the 844 worst comes to the worst, let us add to it Gateshead. There is but half the distance between South Shields and Gateshead, that there is between Northallerton and some of the places united with that town. If Gateshead had been united even with Sunderland, the total amount of population would have been inferior to that of Bolton; and if Gateshead had been united to South Shields, even thus assisted that borough night have incurred the disapprobation of the hon. member for Mayo, for its total amount of population would have been little more than 20,000. But Gateshead was reserved for higher destinies than to be a make weight in the scale of South Shields; and it occurred to some friend of this peculiar district, that there was a certain parish called Westoe, and that that parish, which contained 7,600 inhabitants, might be added to South Shields. Now it should be remembered that the parish of Westoe was not a town—not one continuous town—a portion of it did indeed join the town of South Shields, but the portion that did join, and the portion that did not join, were alike added to South Shields, and even thus assisted, the total amount of population in that borough would only be about 16,000 souls. Some hon. Members seemed by their manner to imply that Westoe was a town. That was not the fact, part only of that parish was built upon; but the would grant that it was a town, he would allow that there was not one acre in that parish that was not occupied by a street or square, and having done so, he would ask the Committee how it could reconcile what it was called upon to do in this district—how it could, with consistency or justice, give a distinct Representation to South Shields, it having North Shields and Sunderland in its immediate neighbourhood, after what it had done with respect to other districts and towns in other parts of the country? [An Hon. Member said something across the Table.] An hon. Member informed him, that North Shields and South Shields were on different sides of the river Tyne. He was much obliged for this local information; but the hon. Member need hardly have put himself to the trouble of giving it, for he was before, he begged leave to assure him, not ignorant of the fact that the river Tyne runs between North Shields and South Shields. But there was another fact which naturally connected itself with 845 the one mentioned by the hon. Member. It had been commonly said, that a river divided places; but the philosophers of France, who divided that country into departments—an ominous recollection—laid down, and correctly too, that a navigable river united, and not divided places. The river Tyne united and as it were, incorporated North and South Shields, for it was a great and navigable river, and gave to these towns a community of interests and of employment. Whatever might be said of a brook which soiled a lady's slipper to cross it—however distinct that might make two places, and create a distinct political interest, a great and navigable river must always unite the towns upon its opposite banks. But he would state the case in a way which would, in the estimation of all parties, be certainly fair. If South Shields, like Bolton, had a population of 40,000 souls, and North Shields had also a population of 40,000 souls, he would not require that they should be united. He would say, that it was consistent with the principle of the Bill, to give them distinct Representations, although their population would still be far inferior to the population of St. Pancras. But when this was not the case, when the population of these places altogether was not above one-third that of Marylebone, and not above the half of that of Pancras, and when, supposing that all these boroughs were formed into one town—as, in fact, they ought to be considered, for they were all in the neighbourhood of each other, and had but one avocation and one local interest—he found their population greatly short of the population or towns having only one Representative, then he must say, that the arrangement was clearly bad, and against all justice and reason. South Shields had a population of 8,885, North Shields had a population of 8,200, and Gateshead had a population of about 11,000; so that the whole population of the three places amounted at most to 28,100; and if three Members were to be given to that population in the county of Durham, surely it would be but justice to give two Members to a population of 44,000 in the county of Lancaster. If the trainers of the Bill had proceeded upon just and intelligible principles, this was the way in which those places ought to have been treated; and, by this mode of proceeding, a fair proportion, and no more, of the Representation would have been given to the 846 nook in which these favoured towns were situated. But in the estimation of some extraordinary influence, three boroughs were not enough for this Elysium of franchise; a fourth borough must be added to the curious list already gone through. It was common to talk of population following coal, but this was indeed following coal with a vengeance; and the town of North Shields, which had, at best, but a claim to be united with South Shields was constituted into a separate borough, that it might not at all interfere with or deteriorate the Durham Representation. The towns of North Shields and South Shields, taken together, had a population of about 17,000 souls. Now, that was a small population according to the Bill, and, in order to swell it out, and to bolster it up to something like the required amount, let the population of Westoe be added. With that addition the population would consist of 24,000 souls, and to that population he for one should be glad and ready to give one Member. But why give more? Why should a population of 24,000 in Durham and its neighbourhood have more Representatives than a population of 44,000 had in Lancashire? Upon what principle had the Government gone in framing this part of thy Bill? The town of Clitheroe had been separated from the parish of Clitheroe—and that, it was said, merely because the parish was too large. That was a very unfair distinction to make, but when the case of these Durham boroughs was considered, it became singularly unjust and unprincipled. The Committee would remember, that in Lancashire the franchise was not given to the parish of Bolton, but to the townships of Great and Little Bolton. If the franchise had been given to the parish of Bolton, then that place must have had two Representatives. But in this case under consideration, not only was the town of Tynemouth united with North Shields, but the parish of Tynemouth was also thrown in to swell out the population to the necessary amount. This was of importance, for there were a great number of townships in Tynemouth. [An Hon. Member said "No."] The hon. Member says "No," continued Mr. Croker, "but I repeat my observation; and I must tell that hon. Member, that whatever may be his local information upon the point, I am not in the habit of addressing the Committee without having made 847 myself at least master of the facts of the case. I may want judgment to enable me to draw correct conclusions—I may want talents to enforce my arguments, but at least, I have, and employ that humble industry which enables me to arrive at the facts which I venture to state to the House." The parish of Tynemouth contained several townships, and it was all included, although a different course had been pursued with respect to Bolton, Bradford, Blackburn, and the parish of Whalley. This was the fact, and he did not see any just ground for acting differently in the case of Tynemouth, merely because it happened to be in the county of Northumberland, and adjoining the palatinate of Durham. If these four new boroughs were in different districts, if they had been at a considerable distance from each other, then they might, perhaps, have passed without attracting such peculiar attention, but as they were circumstanced, that was impossible. What the Ministers chose to think a large population in Durham was in their opinion but a small population in York; but with such reasoning, common sense would not be satisfied. The county of Durham was suddenly to be over-run with Representatives, and one particular nook of it was to be the point of especial favour. This was a matter which required explanation, and that explanation must come from the Government; for it was not to be derived from the most attentive consideration of the population returns, nor of the principles of the Bill, nor the wealth, importance, or other claims of the new nest of manufactured boroughs. For his own part he had no connexion with those places—no personal or local interests. Independently of fairness, of common justice, and of common sense, he had no object to contend for; but on behalf of these, he was bound to pursue the investigation he had gone into, and to ask the Ministers how they could account for the accumulated unfairness and irregularity with which, as it at present appeared, they had acted in forming these four new boroughs?
§ Lord Althorp
said, he and his colleagues had fairly stated, that in the enfranchising part of the Bill, they would not tie themselves down strictly to a particular rule. Certainly, in looking to that portion of the measure, they kept population in view; but there were other points also which it was necessary for them 848 not to lose sight of. One of these points must be, how far different interests were at present, or ought to be, represented. Now they found on examination, that one class of the community—the shipping interest—from which he had received much opposition in the last Session, was not largely represented. When they discovered that considerable masses of people were thus situated, they thought it would be very desirable to give them Representatives. They therefore deemed it right to give Members to Whitby and to Sunderland, both being closely connected with the shipping interest. To Sunderland it was thought fit to add Bishops Wearmouth and Monks Wearmouth. He had no local knowledge of this place; and from the statement of the right hon. Gentleman, he was not inclined to believe that he had much. He was, however, informed, that Sunderland and Bishops Wearmouth formed one town. That being the case, and Sunderland being nearly connected with the shipping interest, two Members were given to the town. The same observation would apply to the towns of South Shields and Tynemouth. The right hon. Gentleman had alluded a good deal to Durham. Now he ought to have recollected, that Tynemouth was not in Durham, but in Northumberland. Tynemouth, with its parish, contained upwards of 8,000 inhabitants, and South Shields, which was also a very large place, contained 17,000. Now it was because the three boroughs to which the attention of the Committee had been called were very large, and were all connected most intimately with the shipping interest of the country, that Representatives were given to them. The right hon. Gentleman said, that South Shields and Tynemouth could have been conveniently united, and have returned conjointly two Members. The right hon. Gentleman was aware that they are separated by the river Tyne, but he denied that this was a very material impediment. Water communication was sometimes highly serviceable, but, that a large navigable river, crossed only by a ferry, was to be regarded as connecting two towns in such a manner as to form them, for the purposes of this Bill, into one borough he could not admit. The chief ground for having these boroughs in this district was, that the amount of population was large in itself. The capital embarked in the places was very great, 849 and, above all, they were all intimately connected with the shipping interest. The right hon. Gentleman argued, that Gateshead should be joined to Newcastle, as had been the practice in other cases. He denied that such was the practice, and he knew of no such cases. The right hon. Gentleman could not find any instance where a borough of the magnitude of Newcastle, which sent Members to Parliament, had afterwards attached to it so large a district as Gateshead.[Mr. Croker: Sculcoates with Hull.] That case was very different from the present: Sculcoates and Hull were so closely united, that the boundary could not be ascertained, while Gateshead was separated from Newcastle by the Tyne, and they were in different counties. They were not so nearly connected as Manchester and Salford. Such a proceeding as that recommended by the right hon. Gentleman would be very unfair to Newcastle. He had, he repeated, very little local knowledge of the place, but the hon. member for Newcastle would probably state to the House the connexion between those two places, and the claims of Gateshead to return a Member. The right hon. Gentleman had insinuated, that those boroughs were created on a principle of partiality, in order to serve a noble friend of his who was connected with the county of Durham. He had already stated the ground on which Gateshead and the other boroughs were created—namely, with a view to the Representation of the shipping interest. That was the sole reason: and, as to any great extent of influence which the noble Lord to whom he had alluded could have in returning Members for very populous places, he thought that the idea was an absolute absurdity. If any of the members of the Government, could imagine that a job like that would be attempted, they would unquestionably resist it to the utmost.
said, the first reason which the noble Lord had adduced for creating these boroughs was, the necessity of giving additional Members to the shipping interest. He was glad to hear the noble Lord state, that he would do any thing for that important interest. But how was he going to effect this object? He understood that Gateshead was a suburb of Newcastle, which had already Members, not more distinct from it than Salford was from Manchester. His attention had been drawn to different parts 850 of this Bill, and he could not see, that any particular regard was paid to the shipping interest. The first part he would notice was that of Kingston-upon-Hull, which had 32,000 inhabitants, and near it there was a suburb with 11,000 inhabitants—evidently forgetting, by his conduct towards Hull, his deep regard for the shipping interest. Was not, then, Kingston-upon-Hull as important a town as Gateshead? Assuredly it was. "But" said the noble Lord "Sculcoates shall not have a Member; it is sufficient to join it with Kingston-upon-Hull; while he refused to adopt a similar course with respect to Gateshead and Newcastle. These cases were precisely alike, and yet a very different course had been pursued towards them. If it was said Gateshead contained upwards of 10,000 inhabitants, why Sculcoates had as many; Sculcoates was, in fact, the suburb of Kingston, as Gateshead was the suburb of Newcastle, and yet Sculcoates was to be united with Kingston, and not to have a Representative of its own. The importance of Kingston as a maritime town could hardly be denied. The population of Newcastle was 35,000, and the population of Gateshead was 12,000. Now the population of Kingston was 32,000, and the population of Sculcoates was 11,000; and he therefore contended, the cases were precisely similar, and yet the Government had pursued a different course of conduct with respect to them. The hon. member for Newcastle was, perhaps, going to tell them of the importance of Shields as a reason for its having a Member. If so, allow him to remind the hon. Member, that there had been a time when the member for Newcastle had declared, that North and South Shields were as nothing in comparison with Newcastle, and ought, therefore, to be debarred from those privileges which Newcastle enjoyed. The noble Lord (Althorp) might have been pestered, as he had been, with applications that separate Customhouses should be given to North and South Shields, but the inhabitants of Newcastle had always contended against it, on the ground that the trade of Shields was, in fact, the trade of Newcastle. The explanation given by the noble Lord was by no means satisfactory; the different treatment received by the two places was not accounted for.
§ Mr. John Hodgson
said, that the first topic he should notice was, the burden of 851 the speech of the right hon. Gentleman opposite—namely, the supposed inequality in the Representation of counties under this Bill. Now, how many Members would be given to Durham by this Bill? In all, it would give ten Members. If, however, the right hon. Gentleman would compare the relative proportion of the population of England, and the population of the county of Durham, the right hon. Gentleman would find, that the number of Members due to Durham would be nine, so that the right hon. Gentleman had only one Member to dispute about. But then he did not understand that such was the principle upon which the Ministers had proceeded. Certainly it was not the principle on which he had supported the Bill. The principle of the Bill, as he understood it, was, that wherever there was a town which ought to be represented, one or two Members, as its claims might require, should be given to it, without any reference to the county in which it was situated. The right hon. Gentleman had told them, that Sunderland and the places joined with it, which contained a population of only 33,000, was to return two Members; while Bolton, and the places joined with it, which contained a population of upwards of 40,000, was to return only one Member. Now, he thought that the right hon. Gentleman had either been wanting in candour, or that he had been guilty of great inadvertence, when he made this statement. The right hon. Gentleman could obtain no such respective population for these places unless he had gone upon the returns of 1821 with regard to the one, and upon the returns of 1831, with regard to the other. He believed, that Sunderland had now a population of 43,000: it was moreover the fourth port in the kingdom, and was, in all respects, a place of great consideration. He would venture to say, that there was no town in the kingdom, similarly situated, which had not been dealt with in the same manner in the Bill. He would next advert to an argument of another right hon. Gentleman, the late Chancellor of the Exchequer. That right hon. Gentleman had been pleased to anticipate what he was about to say, and to calculate upon an inconsistency between what he had said on former occasions, and what he should say to-night. The language, however, which he had used upon the occasion, referred to by the hon. 852 Gentleman was, that the trade and the merchandise belonged to Newcastle, but that the shipping belonged to North and South Shields; and that the fact of the trade and the merchandise belonging to Newcastle, was a reason for the Customhouse being at Newcastle, and not at North and South Shields: the amount of tonnage belonging to the three places was 170,000 tons. As to the question of joining North and South Shields into one borough, the right hon. Gentleman, in arguing that question, had joined them both to the county of Durham, and had never intimated that one was in the county of Durham, and the other in the county of Northumberland.
§ Mr. John Hodgson
continued—Yes, but the right hon. Gentleman had, in his argument, joined both to the county of Durham, and had not intimated that the Tyne was the boundary of the counties. The interests of Gateshead and Newcastle were as distinct as those of Manchester and Salford. The statements, too, which had been made with regard to the population of Newcastle were not correct. In 1821, the population of Newcastle was 43,000, and that of Gateshead 12,000. At this moment, the population of Newcastle, taking the town and its suburbs, amounted to 55,000, while the population of Gateshead was not less than 15,000. In both cases, seamen, who formed a considerable body, were omitted. An attempt had been made to institute a comparison between Hull and Sculcoates, and Newcastle and Gateshead. The two cases, however, were as different as it was possible for any two cases to be. Sculcoates was, in fact, a part of Hull, and Gateshead was no part of Newcastle. Hull consisted of docks, warehouses, and streets, which contained shops, and the dwellings of the lower classes: the chief persons of wealth resided in Sculcoates. Now, Gateshead was not only no part of Newcastle, but it was in the county of Durham, and separated by the Tyne from Newcastle, which was in the county of Northumberland. The persons, too, living in Gateshead, carried on considerable manufactures, wholly independent of Newcastle. Though the population might not be so wealthy as that of Newcastle, it was very respectable, and very enterprising. Under these circumstances, he should certainly 853 support the proposition for giving a Member to Gateshead. He would only add (to borrow an expression from the Gentleman opposite), that, in his opinion, nothing could be so unfair as to swamp Newcastle in Gateshead.
assured the hon. Gentleman, that he had not intended to make an invidious distinction or comparison between Newcastle and Shields. He had merely desired to remind him of the arguments made use of with regard to the Customhouses.
Mr. Keith Douglas
said, he knew Gateshead well; and he must caution the Committee against relying fully on the arguments and reasons of the right hon. member for Newcastle, as from his connection with the place, he might unintentionally give a more favourable account of it than it deserved. He had yet heard no reason to justify the Committee in giving it a separate Representative. It must be clear to every person who visited the place, that Gateshead was a suburb of Newcastle, consisting principally of poor houses. It depended entirely upon the collieries, and that interest would be sufficiently defended by the two members for Newcastle. There was not the least necessity that it should have a separate Representation. If his right hon. friend (Mr. Goulburn) did not divide the Committee on it, he was disposed to do so himself, to mark his sense of the transaction. He knew there was no great interest in the place to represent, but that it would be dependent on Newcastle. It had been stated, that. Members were so bountifully bestowed on this district, to represent the shipping interest, but Gateshead had no ships. The hon. member for Newcastle (Mr. Hodgson) allowed, that the county of Durham had one Member more than its proportion, and he should prefer giving that one Member to some other place, where the interests were inadequately represented.
Mr. J. L. Knight
said, that far from imputing to Ministers that they had framed a public Act with a view to the interests of private individuals, he would not even allow himself to suspect, that any body of public men could be actuated by such disgraceful motives. The fault, then, which he had to find with this part of the Bill did not arise from any notion, that it had been framed with improper views. But let the Committee see what the Bill did. It gave one Member to Gateshead; it 854 gave two Members to South Shields, including Bishopswearmouth and Monkswearmouth. [Cries of "no, no."] Yes, it did. [Cries of "no, no." After looking at the Bill, the hon. and learned Member continued.] He meant two Members to Sunderland, Bishopswearmouth, Monkswearmouth, and one to South Shields. He was speaking of the Members which were given to places in the county of Durham, and it did not matter to what particular places those Members were assigned. He contended, that the rights of the freeholders of the county of Durham were sacrificed by the creation of this large borough-constituency in the county. He was informed, upon good authority, that when the town population was abstracted, there would be fewer voters for the four Members for the county, than there now were for the two. He wished to compare this case of Gateshead with the case of Merthyr-Tydvil. The population of Gateshead might be stated, in round numbers, at 11,000, or 12,000. He went by the population of 1821, which they had been told, over and over again, was to be their guide; and this place adjoined the town of Newcastle, which had two Members. Now, the town and district of Merthyr-Tydvil was the chief place of the iron manufacture of the kingdom; and, at the same time, contained 17,000 souls. It was situated in a district containing few Members, yet it was not to have one for itself. Brecknockshire returned only two Members, Monmouthshire three, and Glamorganshire two. By the scheme of this Bill, Glamorganshire would return four Members, but the other two counties would remain as they were. The total, therefore, under the new Bill, would be nine Members for these three counties. Now, when they were told, that particular interests ought to be represented in that House, he begged leave to ask, how the iron interest of South Wales would be represented under the new Bill? He had already described the importance of Merthyr-Tydvil. As to its population, that amounted to 17,000 or 18,000, in 1821, and the population of its suburbs amounted to about 2,000, making, altogether, 19,000, or 20,000. The population had now vastly increased; and yet a place of this great importance, and of this large population, was not allowed to return a Member, but was sent as a paltry adjunct to a seaport which had before returned 855 Representatives to Parliament. Thus, while, in Durham, borough had been heaped upon borough, this important place had been refused a Member for itself. Comparing Gateshead with Merthyr-Tydvil, he must ask, upon what principle of common sense or common justice it was, that a Member should be given to Gateshead and denied to Merthyr-Tydvil? He presumed it must be upon the principle, as had been said, that as the South had formerly rather more than its share of Members, the proportions were to be now reversed. He should certainly oppose giving a Member to Gateshead.
§ Mr. Charles Wood
would state one or two facts which he thought would destroy the argument of Gentlemen on the other side. It had been said, that Gateshead was a suburb of Newcastle. Now, the fact was, that Gateshead and Newcastle were situated on different sides of the Tyne—that one was in the county of Durham, and the other in the county of Northumberland; and the two places were as distinct as it was possible for any two places to be. And yet, by Gentlemen opposite, these two places were compared with Hull and Sculcoates, which were, in fact, one and the same town, being under the same jurisdiction, and paying the same poor-rates. In answer to the hon. and learned Gentleman (Mr. Knight), who had just sat down, he must be allowed to say, that if the populations of Glamorganshire and Durham were compared, it would be found, that Glamorganshire would have the greater share of Representation. The county of Durham would have one Member to every 34,000 inhabitants, whereas Glamorganshire would have one Member to every 28,000 inhabitants.
§ Sir Henry Hardinge rose reluctantly on that question, on account of predilections for the county of Durham. He had represented the city of Durham for several years in that House, and he should be anxious, in the present struggle for Representatives, to obtain as large a share for that county, being closely connected with it, as was consistent with justice. He was glad that two Members had been given to Sutherland. That was no more than the fair distribution. No one could doubt that the town of Durham ought to retain its Members. He thought that it was only reasonable that South Shields should have one Representative. But, although he 856 had as strong a desire to increase the Representation of Durham as an hon. Member opposite showed, on the preceding night, to add to that of Staffordshire, he must say, that Gateshead was no more than a suburb of Newcastle, and that it had no right to send a Member to that House. He believed, there was no important interest in that place to be represented, and it would be extravagant to throw away a Member on it. He had no desire to disparage it; but he must say, that it was a trifling, insignificant place, compared to other places that were excluded from all share in the Representation.
§ Mr. Sadler
said, there was a mistake in the statements of the hon. Member (Mr. Charles Wood). The population of the county of Durham, in 1821, was only 270,000. This, divided by ten, would give one Member for every 27,000 inhabitants, and not for every 34,000. If Representation was given in proportion to population, the great county of York ought to have sixty Members. This Bill introduced the most strange anomalies into every county, and into every district, and the anomaly was still greater as the deficiency of Representation was entirely among the rural branch, and no other branches of the population. There were on one side 300 Members to represent less than 3,000,000 people, and on the other only 150 to represent about 12,000,000. This must strike every one, and would, before long, most certainly consign the Bill to the fate which it so well deserved. If the Representation was to be changed at all, it ought to have been done upon some plain general principle, by which all these anomalies might have been avoided. As to Gateshead, it was an unimportant suburb of Newcastle, and there was no reason why it should have a separate Representation.
§ Sir H. Williamson
said, that the gallant Member (Sir Henry Hardinge) opposite, could know nothing about Gateshead, or he would not have called it a suburb of Newcastle, and a trifling, insignificant place. It was not a suburb of Newcastle, but entirely distinct from it, a separate parish, and situated in a different county. Then, as to its being distinguished for nothing, he begged to state, that very considerable manufactures were carried on in it. He was sure, the gallant Member must have spoken of Gateshead from hearsay, and not from any personal knowledge, because what the gallant member 857 had said of it was not consistent with the fact.
§ Sir Henry Hardinge
knew Gateshead very well, though he had certainly never had, like the hon. Baronet, the advantage of dining in Gateshead, and making a very remarkable speech there; but good taste would prevent him from entering further into the subject of what was said on that occasion. If he were to go into that speech, he might, perhaps, be able to show, that the probability was, that the inhabitants of Gateshead were not the most respectable in the world. He, however, had canvassed Gateshead two or three times; and he contended, that Gateshead was an insignificant suburb as compared with Merthyr-Tydvil and many other places he could mention.
§ Sir H. Williamson
said, that the gallant Member had proved, upon his own showing, that he knew nothing about Gateshead. The gallant Officer had canvassed Gateshead as a candidate for the city, not for the county, of Durham. The gallant Member, therefore, knew nothing of the freeholders resident in Gateshead. The gallant Member's acquaintance was confined to the freemen of the city of Durham resident in Gateshead, and they certainly were neither very numerous nor the most respectable portion of the inhabitants of Gateshead. But the gallant Member had originally stated, that Gateshead was distinguished for nothing, whereas he now underrated it, by comparing it with Merthyr-Tydvil and other places.
was surprised that any one who knew Gateshead could describe it as a part or a suburb of Newcastle. It was no such thing, but as distinct and separate from Newcastle as any one place could be from another. The parish was different, and the jurisdiction wholly distinct. Perhaps, however, the place might not be agreeable to some visitors.
§ Mr. Praed
said, he understood, that the jurisdiction in Hull and Sculcoates were different, and the poor-rates different, and that they were situated in different parishes. In Hull the jurisdiction was in the Mayor; in Sculcoates the appeal was to the Sessions. The case of Hull, therefore, and Sculcoates, was in every respect similar to that of Newcastle and Gateshead.
Mr. Stuart Wortley
felt a strong interest for the county of Durham, but he must say, that no part of the Bill surprised 858 him more than that. If it was necessary, as the hon. Baronet (Sir H. Williamson) seemed to indicate, to be acquainted with every locality to form a judgment, how was it possible, that Ministers could have qualified themselves to prepare the details of a measure like this? The fact was, that in the time of Edward 6th, Gateshead was assigned to the Corporation of Newcastle, and in 1646 the population of that place would have been assigned to Newcastle, were it not for unexpected circumstances. It was said, that by letting in Gateshead, they would sluice Newcastle. How stood the case with respect to Rochester? It was annexed in this Bill to Stroud and Chatham, though the jurisdiction was different and the parishes different. The population of Gateshead was 11,700, and of Newcastle 35,000. The population of Rochester was 9,800, and of Stroud and Chatham 17,500. It was more unfair to sluice Rochester with Chatham and Stroud, than Newcastle with Gateshead. The same observation might be made with respect to Portsmouth and Portsea. In 1821 the population of Portsmouth was between 7,000 and 8,000, and of Portsea 38,000. It was ridiculous to talk about difference of interest in Newcastle and Gateshead. Both places owed all their importance to the coal trade.
§ Sir Charles Wetherell
said, this case was a violation of all the principles of the Bill, and of the rules by which Ministers had professed that they were guided. It was marvellous to observe the shifts to which Ministers were driven. In some cases a small river was made to interpose, to alter the franchise; in others, for a different purpose, the river was either forded by a bridge thrown over it, or it was impossible to ford it, just as it suited their purposes. They paid no regard to the barriers of either common sense or consistency. The fact, however, was, that there was an àpriori determination that Gateshead should have a Member, and coute qui coute Gateshead was to have a Member. It was in vain to reason with a majority like that sitting around and above the Ministers. When men were congregated together in large numbers, they were usually bold, but such parliamentary audacity, such Ministerial audacity, such effrontery, and such appalling boldness, had never, perhaps, been witnessed until now. If he might be allowed to borrow a metaphor 859 from his hon. friend, the member for Thetford (Mr. A. Baring), he should say, that Gateshead was the violet, the nosegay, of schedule D, but then it was a violet, a nosegay, of which he must say, "non redolet, sed olet." He would not translate the Latin into plain home-spun English, because it would be called by the Gentlemen opposite, factious and strong language. It had been complained, that imputations had been cast upon the framers of this Bill with regard to this case of Gateshead. Now he did not desire to cast any imputations—but this he would say, namely, that the case of Gateshead was either a case of gross partiality, or of gross ignorance, and Ministers might take their choice between these two charges. But he repeated, that it was of no use to argue the case. The Members opposite had determined to support the measure, and all the parts of it, either right or wrong. It would be of no use to detect mistakes hereafter. The Bill could not be a prospectus of a Constitution; it was final by the decree of Ministers, although the Radicals thought they should be able to improve it by and by. It was said, that Gateshead was a small place, but the inns were probably good, as he remembered something of a speech delivered there, which was not delivered at the King's Head, or the Crown, or Sceptre, or the Mitre, or any one with a similar symbol. The drift of that speech was, to advise the Ministers not to attend to any speeches from their opponents, to fear no opposition, and to go on with the measure, regardless of all argument or reason. This advice had been well acted upon by his Majesty's Ministers. They had duly acted their parts, and they were supported by Gentlemen who seemed to agree, that out of respect for them, they would support any measure that emanated from them, be it just or unjust. Such sentiments had been, in more than one case, expressed, and even the hon. Baronet, the member for Westminster (Sir F. Burdett)—the vox populi—he who had so often declared; that he would never succumb in his opinions to any Ministers—even that hon. Baronet had acknowledged, last night, that he had objections to the Bill, but that he chose to waive them. To divide in the face of such a majority was, he agreed, a waste of the time of the House.
wished, after the remarks pf the hon. and learned Gentleman, to 860 state why he supported the question before the House. He apprehended the principle on which the Bill proceeded, was population and property, with a regard to existing interests, that had been applied to districts and counties. If there was any inequality in the Bill, it was this—that the Bill gave too many Members to the counties, and not sufficient to the towns. He stated this fairly and openly, as an objection which he had to the Bill; and yet, in spite of this objection, and in spite of the censure of the hon. and learned Gentleman who had just sat down, he should most certainly support the Bill. The hon. and learned Gentleman seemed to think, that there was great impropriety in Gentlemen who had objections to the Bill, waiving those objections for the sake of ensuring the success of the Bill. He would tell the hon. and learned Gentleman why he adopted this course. If the Bill had some faults, the present system of Representation had many vices; and he did not think there was anything inconsistent with morality or good sense, in exerting oneself to the utmost for the purpose of exchanging a vicious and corrupt system, for a system which was only in some measure faulty.
§ Mr. John Weyland
did not think any argument had been used which would justify him in voting for giving a Member to Gateshead. He would do the hon. Members who supported Government, the credit to believe they acted from conscientious motives, and he trusted, that they would think the same of him when he declared, he should most cordially give his support to the proposition for excluding Gateshead from the schedule.
§ Lord Granville Somerset
considered Gateshead to be amply represented by Newcastle. Many parts of the country were inadequately represented, while Members were wantonly squandered on insignificant places. Glamorganshire ought to have had the Member now proposed to be given to Gateshead; but those counties with which Ministers were connected had been more favourably dealt with than other counties. The Representations which had been made from the county which he represented (Monmouthshire) and from Glamorganshire, had been totally disregarded.
§ Sir Henry Hardinge
said, the Gentlemen opposite had given no reason why this suburb of Gateshead should not be 861 added to Newcastle, from which it was distant about 200 yards, and contained a population of 12,000 souls, while Merthyr Tydvil, with 30,000 inhabitants, had been added to Cardiff, from which place it was twenty-five miles distant. He wished to call the attention of the Committee particularly to this fact, that around this principal seat of our iron manufactory, there were 180,000 people unrepresented. The county of Durham had been treated with great partiality; it got five new Members by the Bill. Would it not have been more desirable and just to have given a Representative to Merthyr Tydvil, and so have avoided sluicing Cardiff, than one to Gateshead? He regretted being obliged to make these remarks, connected as he was with Durham, but the injustice of the case obliged him to notice it.
§ Lord Althorp
regretted, that the reasons he had already given for appropriating a Member to Gateshead, had not been considered satisfactory by the hon. Gentlemen opposite. They appeared conclusive to him, and he could throw no further light on the subject. He would continue to maintain, there was no instance of a borough, already possessing two Members, having such an addition of population as was contained in Gateshead, let in upon it. Hull and Sculcoates did not form a parallel case, for they really formed but one town. He must complain of the language which had been used by the hon. and learned Gentleman opposite (Sir C. Wetherell), which, unmeasured as it had been on former occasions, had been to-night as strong and unmeasured as possible towards his Majesty's Ministers.
§ Sir Matthew W. Ridley
said, that from his own knowledge, he could say, that the town of Newcastle would not grudge the power given to their neighbour of electing a Representative. If the House would look at the situation of Gateshead, they would think Ministers were justified in giving it a Member. The county of Durham required an addition to the number of its Representatives, and no other town could be marked out, to which a Representative could with so much propriety be given. Gateshead had a respectable, wealthy, and intelligent population, consisting of manufacturers and others, and he believed it to be as fit to return an independent Representative, free from improper influence, as any town in the kingdom. He trusted he might be 862 permitted to add, without vanity, that the interests of Gateshead had never suffered from want of actual Representation. He had ever taken the interests of the place under his particular care, and should always take a strong interest, in its welfare, whatever was the result of the present motion.
Sir Robert Peel
did not suppose, that the people of Newcastle would object to having three Members. Newcastle would be the last place to complain of this additional honour. What did the hon. Baronet tell them? Why, that he represented Gateshead, and that he would be shorn of part of his beams, if he no longer represented Newcastle. The hon. Baronet, the member for Newcastle, was the Representative of Gateshead. He expressly admitted the fact. On the grounds of vast population, there was no pretence whatever for giving a new Member to Gateshead. Newcastle had only 35,000 inhabitants, and Gateshead only 11,000. They were close together; they were united in trade, and, therefore, they might be well included in the same system of Representation. It was too bad to aggravate the mortification of defeat by such arguments as had been advanced. A certain species of decency and decorum might have been expected in the triumph of the hon. Members opposite over reason and the Constitution. When they were about to disfranchise half the boroughs in the kingdom, it was strange and monstrous to hear the noble Lord talk of the ancient rights of Newcastle, as a reason for preserving its franchise unaltered and unimpaired. When they were about to add adjoining boroughs to others, to sluice all the small boroughs that were not disfranchised by voters from the neighbourhood, when that even was not to be done by Parliament, but by a sort of riding Commission—a Quarter-Master-General; and when they were, by Commissioners and Deputies, disfranchising voters in all the boroughs that were reserved, it was to him most extraordinary that a respect for the rights of the people, should be assigned as one of the reasons for not uniting Gateshead to Newcastle. He was not aware, that it would be necessary to divide the Committee on any other place of schedule D; but on this place he was determined to divide, and record in a more emphatic manner than by speech, his condemnation of the conduct of Ministers, in giving an additional 863 Member to Newcastle, while Chelsea, with its 46,000 inhabitants, was excluded from all share in the Representation. If he stood alone, he would divide against including Gateshead in the schedule.
§ Mr. D. W. Harvey
had been much struck by the singularity of the propositions of the hon. Gentlemen opposite. When schedules A and B were discussed, they contended that places with a population of from 2,000 to 4,000, were entitled to return their two Members; yet when it was proposed to give a Representative to a place containing 12,000 inhabitants, they found something extremely wrong in it. They seemed, for the first time, to have made the discovery, if he was to judge from their proposition with respect to Merthyr Tydvil, that the Bill was not sufficiently Jacobinical, and not half enough democratical. Why, they exclaimed, refuse a Member to Merthyr Tydvil, with so large a population? Was this, then, the result of the cogitations of the Cabinet at Pall-Mall? Was this the plan which they had determined to propound? After more than a summer month spent in deliberation, was this the oozings of their design? Of all democracies, none were so extravagant as ungovernable toryism. It would seem, that these advocates for rotten and nomination boroughs, feeling that their political fate was likely to be sealed by this Bill, only wanted an opportunity to usher in a counter plan. Population was taken as the basis of Representation by the defenders of Old Sarum! On what ground, then, he would ask, did they contend against the dissolution of the boroughs in schedules A and B? and why, he would ask, if they had determined to broach this, their new plan of Reform, did they waste so many evenings in pronouncing funeral orations over the bodies of the slain? Did they oppose this proposition to embarrass and delay the progress of the Bill, or were they determined to attempt to agitate the country with a new design of their own? So far as their designs could be comprehended, they had become the advocates of a complete system of departmental democracy. If this was their course, and their intention, why had they expended so much argument in opposition to the destruction of the system of nomination? He was aware, that for the purposes of oratory, it was a very inconvenient thing 864 that a Member should be compelled to confine himself to the mere question put from the Chair. He knew this well; but in the Debates on the Bill, every step they had taken, furnished new ground for declamation, and the topics for the speeches of the hon. Members were increased by the progress of disfranchisement. The boroughs of schedule A furnished matter for lamentation and illustration in speaking on schedule B; and so they might expect it to be to the very conclusion of the Bill. The question in this instance was, whether Gateshead, with a population, by the returns of 1821, of 12,000, and swelled by the recent returns to 16,000, comprising many persons of respectability and intelligence, should have a Representative? It appeared, too, that there were 800 10l. houses in the place. These were sufficient attributes to entitle Gateshead to a Member, whether situated in Durham or Cornwall, and he should cheerfully give his vote that it should obtain one.
§ Sir Edward Sugden
said, that the hon. Member had delivered himself of one of those hackneyed speeches of vulgar abuse with which the House had been so often favoured, in the course of the Debates on the Bill. It was not his intention to detain the House for many minutes; but he could not avoid observing, that the other side placed themselves in rather a ludicrous situation, when they asserted they could not believe the Opposition were sincere in any proposition consistent with the principles of the Bill, because it was unreasonable. There were two points, however, to which he wished shortly to draw their attention. The noble Lord, and the framers of the Bill, had repeatedly declared, that they, and those connected with them, never were parties to the cry of "the Bill, the whole Bill, and nothing but the Bill;" and they had also as repeatedly declared, that it was their object to make the measure before the House final and satisfactory to all parties. Now he believed, that six or seven speakers, one after the other, declared last night, that they knew the Bill was not to be final; nor they did not wish it to be final; and the hon. member for Westminster had distinctly declared, that no arrangements with respect to the institutions of a great country like this, could be final. He, therefore, must charge the Government with giving encouragement to declarations of this kind, and with adopting a course which was likely to make 865 the measure anything but final. It had been said, over and over again by the supporters of the Government, that they postponed their objections to many parts of the Bill, merely because they wished to accelerate its progress; and they had even gone so far as to admit, that they waived their objections for the present, and postponed their propositions for more extensive changes to another and better opportunity. The hon. member for Westminster said, he objected to many points of the Bill altogether, but he added, that in order to carry it, he must sacrifice these objections; he even declared, in order to stay all discussion, that there was no clause in the Bill so trifling, that opposition to it might not endanger the whole measure. And yet, in the face of all this, and with the knowledge, that the measure was not to be final, the members of the Government had called on their supporters to pass it without inquiry or discussion. He would ask, whether the Members of that House had not been called on to suspend their judgments, and abandon all inquiry, in order that the Bill might be passed more speedily through that House? He would not, however, pursue that subject further at present. They were now trying the Government on their own principles, with respect to Gateshead and Merthyr Tydvil; and when the House heard that Newcastle, which was to return two Members, formed, it might be said, but one town with Gateshead, or, at least, was connected with it by a bridge, while Merthyr Tydvil was full twenty-five miles from Cardiff, to which it was to be joined for the purposes of Representation, he thought they would confess, that the present was a case well calculated to try the question of the fairness of that division of Representation which the Government professed their desire to preserve.
§ Lord Althorp
said, the reason why the Government drew a distinction between the case of Gateshead and Merthyr Tydvil was this, that Merthyr Tydvil was situated in Wales, where the system of contributory boroughs had always prevailed, and which was so continued with respect to other places in the schedule. With respect to the observations of the hon. and learned Gentleman, on the subject of the Bill being final, although they had not much to do with the borough of Gateshead, he would merely observe, that the Ministers were 866 anxious to make the Bill final, and they had offered no other opposition to the discussion of its merits, than by requesting its supporters not to endanger its success by a number of different propositions intended to effect the same object. If they had recommended harmony on these points, the reason for it might, perhaps, be found in the fact of their being opposed by a set of Gentlemen who were guided in their resistance to the Bill by party arrangements, without reference to its merits; and wishing, as the Ministers did, to carry the measure they had framed, they had undoubtedly expressed a wish to avoid any discussion which might endanger its success. They had, however, attended to every suggestion, and endeavoured to comply with every arrangement, which could make the Bill satisfactory to all around them. He had said thus much, because the hon. and learned Gentleman asserted, that the Government were abandoning their declarations, and that they did not wish to make the present Bill final.
§ Lord Patrick James Stuart
said, his constituents of the borough of Cardiff had good reason to complain, when they found themselves likely to be joined to the inhabitants of Merthyr Tydvil, a place twenty-five miles distant from them; and that, too, for no better reason, that he had heard, than that they were situated in the principality of Wales. He must contend, that Wales ought not, to be considered and treated as a separate country from England. Their interests were completely identified, and the same principles should be applied to both. It was, therefore, absurd to say, Merthyr Tydvil should be united to Cardiff because the system of contributory boroughs had always prevailed in the principality of Wales. Though such a custom had been in existence, that was no reason why it should be continued by this Bill. He must, however, deny that this custom was general in Wales, for in several towns it had never prevailed. In justice to his constituents he must declare, that the town of Cardiff had upwards of 6,000 inhabitants, and 360 10l. householders. Cowbridge, which was to be joined with it, had upwards of sixty 10l. householders—Llandaff nineteen or twenty—making in all, 450 10l. voters, without those of Merthyr Tydvil; and when it was recollected, that in places like Calne and Morpeth, there was barely the number of inhabitants required, viz., 4000, 867 and that they were to retain two Members, he thought the people of Cardiff had good reason to consider themselves aggrieved. He had come down to the House with a prejudice against Gateshead, created by circumstances with which the Members of the House were not familiar, but he had heard much to alter his opinion. He hoped, however, that the Government would take the case of Cardiff into its consideration, and allow his constituents the exercise of their privileges, unfettered by a junction with Merthyr Tydvil.
Lord John Russell
said, that although there was an apparent hardship in the case of Merthyr Tydvil, still it should be recollected by the noble Lord, that the Bill gave two additional Members to the Representation of Glamorganshire; and when it was also recollected, that Glamorganshire had only 100,000 inhabitants, and that it would then possess four Representatives, he thought its inhabitants could not complain much of their want of a due proportion of Members. With respect to Gateshead, he could only say, that its wealth, population, and commerce, formed a full justification for placing it among the places in schedule D. It had been asked, if it could be expected that the present measure would be a final one? That would, of course, depend upon circumstances. No human measure could certainly be final. If it were found to work well, then it would be desirable that it should be final, whatever anomalies it contained; but, on the contrary, if it were found not to work well, its present supporters would not wish that it should be considered a final measure. The Government were sincerely convinced, that it would contribute to the benefit of the community, and that it would give to the possessors of property and wealth, that influence, which it was desirable they should have, in the deliberations of Parliament, while, at the same time, it would in no way endanger any of the valuable institutions of the country.
§ Mr. Stephenson
distinctly denied the imputation thrown by the noble Lord, the member for Monmouth (Lord G. Somerset) on a noble Lord connected with the county of Durham. He had some local knowledge of Gateshead, and he begged leave, in the most entire and unqualified manner, to contradict the insinuation. The noble Lord alluded to (Lord Durham) had no property in Gateshead, 868 nor any influence whatever in the place.
§ Lord Granville Somerset
denied, that he had said the noble Lord alluded to had any property or influence in Gateshead. What he had said, and what he repeated, was, that the counties with which members of the Cabinet were connected, had a larger share of the spoliation arising from this Bill than the other counties.
§ Sir George Murray
thought, that this Bill could not be final, as it contained within it the seeds of its own dissolution. It was only necessary to state the principles on which it professed to proceed, in order completely to destroy the assertion that it was a final measure. As Wales had been alluded to, he felt himself bound to state, that, great injustice was done to Scotland, when it was proposed to give a Member to Gateshead, and to leave several large and important towns and cities in that kingdom unrepresented. It was quite obvious, that Gateshead was intimately connected with Newcastle, and had been hitherto represented by the Member for that town. In fact, without any disrespect to Gateshead, it appeared to be the refuse of Newcastle, rather than an independent borough deserving of a Member, notwithstanding the high colouring given to the picture by the hon. member for Colchester, whom he had reason to believe had never seen the place. He knew Gateshead to be a very insignificant place. He had made up his mind to oppose the motion, but if he could have acted otherwise, it would have been on the same principle as the noble member for Cardigan, who said, he should vote for it on condition that the case of Merthyr Tydvil should be reconsidered. He should have acted with the same motives, and recommended several considerable towns in Scotland to have a share in the Representation, from which they were at present excluded—but he found the whole case too partial, and he should join his hon. friends in opposing the motion.
Mr. John Stanley
must remark, that several large towns in Scotland being unrepresented had nothing to do with the question before them. With reference to another remark he must say, that he did not see the cases of Merthyr Tydvil and Cardiff were very different from the cases of Manchester and Salford. He would ask Gentlemen opposite, what the country would think, when they attributed motives to the 869 public conduct of men whose private honour and character were equal, at least, to their own? The country would, at least say, those who cast imputations on the present Ministers, had themselves held office, and judged of others by what they had practised themselves.
§ Sir John Malcolm
, in reply to the hon. member for Colchester (Mr. D. W. Harvey) must vindicate the consistency of those who objected to the disfranchisement of small boroughs, and at, the same time objected to giving a Member to Gateshead. There could not be a more complete misrepresentation than that made by the hon. Member, by mixing up and confusing clauses of the Bill, which were totally distinct in their objects and merits. Schedules A and B were works of demolition—schedules C and D of construction. He, in common with other hon. Gentlemen, had struggled hard to save the former, and had argued each case of destruction, by opposing the principle of the Bill. Since that principle had been adopted by the House, it had been often referred to, and was, in substance, that a population of above 2,000 should entitle one of the old boroughs to retain one Member, and a population of 4,000 should entitle a borough to two Members; but these clauses had been disposed of, and the Committee was come to the other professed principle, to give Members to those towns which from property, population, or other considerations, were considered best entitled to such a privilege; and because this question, which assuredly demanded a full and dispassionate discussion of the merits of various places, had been illustrated by comparisons with others, the Opposition were taunted with inconsistency. For his part, he believed Merthyr Tydvil had a better claim than Gateshead, and his vote would be regulated by that opinion.
§ Mr. Robert A. Dundas
wished to set his hon. friend right, who had said, Ministers had not come forward to give Members on the principle of population only. He understood they had stated, when they introduced the Bill, that population was the ground on which they gave Representatives. He, on that, account, could not consent to give a Member to Gateshead, when it was not proposed to give one to the populous and flourishing town of Perth.
§ Mr. Cresset Pelham
said, he had heard 870 the noble Lord, the Chancellor of the Exchequer, allow, there was a kind of compact between himself and those around him, that there should be no visible difference of opinion between them, but he did not think this was a very good, or moral way, of managing a great measure. He had heard there were two ways of crying down a subject, one to wholly praise it, and the other to say nothing about it.
said, he had never before heard a Ministry, however powerful, propound to Parliament an important proposition, and then not listen to any arguments adduced against it. They might as well adopt the course which their organs of the Press recommended to them, and pass the measure at once, without further consideration. This officious agent, which sometimes bullied, sometimes advised, the Government, had frequently done him the honour of entirely altering the effect of the observations he had made, and stated him to have been interrupted by "yawns," "groans," &c. In many instances, what he had stated to the House appeared in the Press in so disjointed a form, as to be a pack of nonsense, coupled with a little falsification of the facts he might be speaking of. On one morning he was called a fool, on another a fungus. All that he wished was, that the Press would leave him alone. The noble Paymaster of the Forces had said, that he was not sure if the Bill would be a final measure, for that would depend upon the manner in which it would be found to work. There was one way in which it was very evident the Bill would work; it would work to the utter destruction of one party in this country. The Tory party might be said to be completely gone. Never, in any country, or in any of the phases of any Revolution, had there been so striking an instance of a plan absolutely devised by one party for the utter destruction of another party, to which they were opposed. The hon. member for Colchester had declared, that the Opposition had been maintaining, that a population of 2,000 or 4,000, were to have a certain portion of Representatives, but instead of maintaining such a proposition, that was the very point they had opposed, and the hon. Member's observations must apply to his own friends. All they said was, be consistent with the principles you have laid down, and do not apply one argument to one place, and a different one to another, 871 similarly circumstanced. The authors of the Bill, while they asserted, that population was the basis of their measure, passed by places which had a much larger population than Gateshead, which had also at its very door a place already represented—Newcastle. In his opinion, therefore, Gateshead was sufficiently represented; and no grounds had been submitted to the Committee for agreeing to the proposition before them. In the whole schedule D, Gateshead was the only place, the application of a Member to which was extremely objectionable. Its appearance in the schedule was a very suspicious circumstance. If no alteration were made in the elective franchise, as it now stood in the Bill; if it were to be "the Bill, the whole Bill, and nothing but the Bill," they would send a firebrand through all the beehives of industry, that would be productive of the most injurious consequences; and it was generally allowed by those who had the means of judging upon such subjects, that a greater plague could not be conceived.
§ Mr. Hunt
congratulated the House and the country on the new view which the noble Paymaster of the Forces had that night taken of the Bill. Up to that night it had been supposed, that the Bill was to be a final measure. Now, the noble Lord had very justly said, that if it did not work well, it ought not to be final. He congratulated the noble Lord on this fair and open avowal; and he was sure, the reflecting part of the community would be of the same opinion. He would vote with Ministers that night, because Gateshead was an insignificant place; and he was fully convinced, that, in the succeeding Parliament, Chelsea would have a Representative allotted to it. What the hon. member for Thetford had said, with respect to the statements in the newspapers of the proceedings in that House, was quite correct. It was astonishing to see, day after day, how the speeches of Members were misrepresented. It was utterly impossible for any man, whose only channel of information, as to what passed in that House, was the newspapers, to form any thing like a correct idea of the conduct of his Representative, for the speeches and the sentiments of the Members were wholly perverted. Was that calculated to add to the character of the public Press? It was in vain to conceal the fact, that what was called the 872 Leading Journal grossly misrepresented what occurred there. For himself, he was accustomed to that kind of thing. But speeches, to which he had listened with the greatest attention, were, with a disgusting want of principle, wholly neglected, while others, which almost set him to sleep, appeared in the most eloquent phraseology. For himself, he should continue fearlessly to do his duty; and, if the Press thought to intimidate him, it was mistaken.
§ The Committee divided:—Ayes 264; Noes 160—Majority 104.
|List of the AYES.|
|Acheson, Viscount||Carter, J. B.|
|Adam, Admiral C.||Cavendish, C. C.|
|Adeane, H. J.||Cavendish, H. F. C.|
|Agnew, Sir A.||Cavendish, W.|
|Althorp, Viscount||Chapman, M. L.|
|Anson, Sir G.||Chaytor, W. R. C.|
|Astley, Sir J. D.||Chichester, Col. A.|
|Baillie, J. E.||Chichester, J. B. P.|
|Bainbridge, E. T.||Clifford, Sir A.|
|Barham, J.||Clive, E. B.|
|Baring, F. T.||Colborne, N. W. R.|
|Barnett, C. J.||Coote, Sir C. H.|
|Bayntun, Capt. S. A.||Copeland, Alderman|
|Belfast, Lord||Cradock, Col. S.|
|Benett, J.||Crampton, P.|
|Bentinck, Lord G.||Creevey, T.|
|Berkeley, Captain||Currie, J.|
|Biddulph, R. M.||Curteis, H. B.|
|Blake, Sir F.||Davies, Col. T. H. H.|
|Blamire, W.||Dawson, A.|
|Blankney, W.||Denison, J. E.|
|Bodkin, J. J.||Denison, W. J.|
|Bouverie, Hon. D. P.||Denman, Sir T.|
|Bouverie, P.||Dixon, J.|
|Boyle, Hon. J.||Doyle, Sir J. M.|
|Brabazon, Viscount||Duncombe, T. S.|
|Brayen, T.||Dundas, C.|
|Briscoe, J. I.||Dundas, Hon. T.|
|Brougham, J.||Dundas, Hon. Sir R. L.|
|Brougham, W.||Easthope, J.|
|Brown, J.||Ebrington, Viscount|
|Browne, D.||Ellice, E.|
|Brownlow, C.||Ellis, W.|
|Buck, L. W.||Etwall, R.|
|Bulkeley, Sir R. W.||Evans, Col. De Lacy|
|Buller, J. W.||Evans, W. B.|
|Bulwer, E. E. L.||Evans, W.|
|Bulwer, H. L.||Ewart, W.|
|Burdett, Sir F.||Ferguson, R.|
|Burke, Sir J.||Fergusson, Sir R. C.|
|Burrell, Sir C.||Ferguson, R. C.|
|Burton, H.||Fitzgibbon, Hon. R.|
|Buxton, T. F.||Fitzroy, Lord J.|
|Byng, G. S.||Fitzroy, Lt. -Col. C. A.|
|Calcraft, G. H.||Foley, Hon. T. H.|
|Callaghan, D.||Folkes, Sir W.|
|Calley, T.||Fox, Lieut.-Col.|
|Calvert, N.||French, A.|
|Campbell, W. F.||Gisborne, T.|
|Gordon, R.||Mackenzie, J. A. S.|
|Graham, Sir J.||Macnamara, W.|
|Grant, Right Hon. C.||Mangles, J.|
|Grant, Right Hon. R.||Marjoribanks, S.|
|Grattan, J.||Marryatt, J.|
|Greene, T. G.||Marshall, W.|
|Guise, Sir B. W.||Martin, J.|
|Gurney, R. H.||Maule, Hon. W.|
|Halse, J.||Mayhew, W.|
|Harty, Sir R.||Milbank, M.|
|Handley, W. F.||Mildmay, P. St. J.|
|Harvey, D. W.||Milton, Lord|
|Heathcote, G. J.||Mills, J.|
|Heneage, G. F.||Moreton, Hon. H. G. F.|
|Heywood, B.||Morpeth, Viscount|
|Hill, Lord G. A.||Mostyn, E. M. L.|
|Hobhouse, J. C.||Newark, Viscount|
|Hodges, T. L.||Noel, Sir G. N.|
|Hodgson, J.||North, F.|
|Horne, Sir W.||Norton, C. F.|
|Hort, Sir W.||Nugent, Lord|
|Hoskins, K.||O'Connell, D.|
|Howard, J.||O'Connell, M.|
|Howard, Hon. W.||O'Conor, Don|
|Howard, P. H.||O'Ferrall, R. M.|
|Howard, H.||O'Grady, Hon. S.|
|Howick, Viscount||Offley, F. C.|
|Hudson, T.||Ord, W.|
|Hughes, W. H.||Osborne, Lord F. G.|
|Hughes, Colonel||Ossory, Earl of|
|Hughes, W. L.||Owen, Sir J.|
|Hunt, H.||Paget, Sir C.|
|Hutchinson, J.||Paget, T.|
|Ingilby, Sir W.||Palmerston, Viscount|
|James, W.||Palmer, C. F.|
|Jeffrey, Rt. Hon. F.||Parnell, Sir H.|
|Jerningham, H. V.||Payne, Sir P.|
|Johnston, Sir J. V.||Pendarves, E. W. W.|
|Johnston, A.||Penlease, J. S.|
|Johnston, J.||Penrhyn, E.|
|Johnston, J. J. H.||Perrin, L.|
|Kemp, T. R.||Petit, Louis H.|
|Kennedy, T. F.||Petre, Hon. E.|
|Killeen, Lord||Philipps, Sir R. B.|
|King, E. B.||Phillips, C. M.|
|Knight, H. G.||Philips, G. R.|
|Knight, R.||Polhill, F.|
|Lamb, Hon. G.||Ponsonby, Hon. W.|
|Langston, J. H.||Ponsonby, Hon. G.|
|Langton, W. G.||Portman, E. B.|
|Lawley, F.||Powell, W. E.|
|Leader, N. P.||Power, R.|
|Lee, J. L.||Poyntz, W. S.|
|Lefevre, C. S.||Price, Sir R.|
|Lemon, Sir C.||Protheroe, E.|
|Lennard, T. B.||Ramsden, J. C.|
|Lennox, Lord W.||Rice, Hon. T. S.|
|Lennox, Lord J. G.||Rickford, W.|
|Lennox, Lord A.||Rider, T.|
|Lester, B. L.||Ridley, Sir M. W.|
|Littleton, E. J.||Robarts, A. W.|
|Lloyd, Sir E. P.||Robinson, Sir G.|
|Loch, J.||Robinson, G. R.|
|Loch, James||Rooper, J. B.|
|Lumley, J. S.||Ross, H.|
|Maberly, Col. W. L.||Rumbold, C. E.|
|Macdonald, Sir J.||Russell, Lord J.|
|Russell, J.||Troubridge, Sir E. T.|
|Ruthven, E. S.||Tynte, C. K. K.|
|Sandford, E. A.||Tyrell, C.|
|Scott, Sir E. D.||Uxbridge, Earl of|
|Sebright, Sir J.||Venables, Ald.|
|Sheil, R. L.||Vere, J. J. H.|
|Sinclair, G.||Vernon, Hon. G. J.|
|Skipwith, Sir G.||Vernon, G. H.|
|Slaney, R. A.||Vincent, Sir F.|
|Smith, J. A.||Waithman, Ald.|
|Smith, J.||Walker, C. A.|
|Smith, R. V.||Walrond, B.|
|Smith, M. T.||Warburton, H.|
|Spencer, Hon. Capt.||Warre, J. A.|
|Stanhope, Capt. R. H.||Wason, W. R.|
|Stanley, J.||Waterpark, Lord|
|Stanley, Rt. Hon. E.||Watson, Hon. R.|
|Stanley, Lord||Webb, Colonel E.|
|Stephenson, H.||Western, C. C.|
|Stewart, P. M.||Westenra, Hon. H. R.|
|Stewart, Sir M. S.||Weyland, Major R.|
|Strickland, G.||Whitmore, W. W.|
|Strutt, E.||Wilbraham, G.|
|Stuart, Lord P. J.||Wilks, J.|
|Talbot, C. R. M.||Williams, W. A.|
|Tavistock, Marquis of||Williams, Sir J. H.|
|Tennyson, C.||Williamson, Sir H.|
|Thicknesse, R.||Wood, Aid.|
|Thompson, Alderman||Wood, J.|
|Thomson, Rt. Hn. C. P.||Wood, C.|
|Throckmorton, R.||Wrightson, W. B.|
|Tomes, J.||Wrottesley, Sir J.|
|Torrens, Colonel R.||Wyse, T.|
|Townshend, Lord C.||TELLER.|
|Traill, G.||Duncannon, Viscount|
|Paired off in favour.|
|Anson, Hon. G.||Lopez, Sir R. F.|
|Atherley, A.||Lushington, Dr. S.|
|Belgrave, Earl of||Maberly, J.|
|Blount, E.||Macauley, T. B.|
|Blunt, Sir C.||Mullins, F.|
|Byng, G.||Musgrave, Sir R.|
|Calvert, C.||Newport, Rt. Hn. Sir J.|
|Cavendish, Lord G.||O'Neil, Hon. Gen. J.|
|Coke, T. W.||Oxmantown, Lord|
|Dundas, Hon. J. C.||Palmer, General C.|
|Fazakerley, J. N.||Ramsbottom, J.|
|Ferguson, Sir R.||Russell, Lord W.|
|Foley, J. H.||Smith, Hon. R.|
|Godson, R.||Smith, G. R.|
|Grosvenor, Hon. R.||Stewart, E.|
|Heathcote, Sir G.||Stuart, Lord D. C.|
|Hill, Lord A.||Tufton, Hon. H.|
|Hume, J.||Whitbread, W. H.|
|Jephson, C. D. O.||White, S.|
|King, Hon. R.||White, Colonel H.|
|Lambert, J. S.|
§ The discussion postponed till the next day, on the point, whether "Kendal, with the township of Kirkland," "Walsall, including the borough and foreign of Walsall," and "Whitehaven, including the towns of Whitehaven," &c., should stand part of schedule D.875
§ It was severally carried, that the following places stand part of schedule D:—
- Halifax, including township of Halifax, Yorkshire.
- Huddersfield, including parish of Huddersfield, Yorkshire.
- Kidderminster, including town of Kidderminster, Worcestershire.
- Macclesfield, including town of Macclesfield, Cheshire.
- Oldham, including parish of Oldham, Lancashire.
- Rochdale, including township of Spotland, Lancashire.
- Salford, including townships of Salford, Pendleton, and Broughton, Lancashire.
- South Shields, including the town of South Shields, township of Westoe, Durham.
- Stockport, including town of Stockport, Cheshire.
- Stoke-upon-Trent, including townships of Langton and Lane-end, Fenton Culvert, Fenton Vivian, Penkhull and Boothen, Shelton, Hanley, Burslem, with the Vill of Rushton-grange and the hamlet of Sneyd, Tunstall-court, Chell, and Oldcott, Staffordshire.
- Tynemouth, including parish of Tynemouth, Northumberland.
- Wakefield, including township of Wakefield, Yorkshire.
- Warrington, including town of Warrington, Lancashire.
- Whitby, including townships of Whitby and Ruswarp, Yorkshire.
§ The Chairman then reported progress. On the question, that the Committee do sit to-morrow,
expressed the extreme dissatisfaction with which he saw the Ministers determined to break through all the arrangements previously entered into, on their part, with those hon. Members who were opposed to the Bill. There was, be contended, no necessity for such remarkable haste in the measure now before the House; and, at the same time, be must complain of the total want of courtesy, on the part of Ministers, towards hon. Members who might have private business to transact, but which the mode of conducting the proceedings of the House, recently adopted, totally prevented their attending to. He felt it impossible to pay any attention to matters unconnected with his parliamentary duties, after having given his attention to those duties 876 for more than twelve hours each day, in succession, for the, last six or eight weeks.
§ Lord Althorp
was sorry to find that any uncourteous motives were attributed to Ministers on the present occasion, and was the more astonished at such a complaint on the part of the right hon. Member, who, generally speaking, to his own knowledge, had been so hard-working a man in the performance of his duties in that House. It was not from motives of discourtesy that he pressed forward the Reform Bill, but simply to give hon. Members an opportunity of returning at an earlier period to their homes in the country than they would if the measure was not pressed forward.
§ Colonel Sibthorp
said, the noble Lord expressed himself anxious to hasten the measure; he was anxious to seize every opportunity to delay its progress. He was sure, that such was the re-action of public feeling in the country, with respect to this detestible measure of Reform, that its advocate would be as completely thrown over, as they expected to throw over those who were opposed to it.
§ Sir John Wrottesley
said, that as for complaining of fatigue in attending to their parliamentary duties, he must remind hon. Members, that he, as well as many in that House, had sat from twelve to fourteen hours on Committees; and, in comparison with the other duties which had been borne by hon. Members, that of attending on the discussion of the Reform Bill was light and easy. In his opinion, the great cause of delay, and the consequent cause of fatigue, in the discussion of the present measure, were the speeches of the right hon. Gentleman opposite, and those of his colleagues in Opposition. He and his friends had now no other business to perform in the House than to support and forward the Bill with all their might; and the more they devoted their time to it, the sooner they were likely to be released from their attendance there.
§ Lord Stormont
said, he inferred from what the noble Lord had remarked, that to advance the measure of Reform, all other public business must be wholly delayed. That must be done at some time, and hon. Members would be compelled to remain in town to attend to it, after the Bill was passed. It was establishing a dangerous precedent to sit every day in the week: he was worn out by constant attendance.
reminded the right hon. 877 Gentleman who spoke recently (Mr. Goulburn), that they had both entered the House at the same epoch—a remarkable one—in the year 1807, when, by a curious coincidence, the new Parliament assembled on the very day it did in the present year. At that very time, the rule which the right, hon. Member had just laid down had been broken through, for, during the whole Session, the House had met on Saturdays.
Sir R. Peel
said, that his attention, and that also of other hon. Members, could not be maintained constantly to the question before them, or during the whole of the period that the House sat during the week; he, therefore, objected to the motion for sitting to-morrow. He was convinced, that, if the noble Lord (the Chancellor of the Exchequer) had chosen to do so, he might have gone through the whole of schedule B on the preceding Friday, without having had recourse to the Saturday, as an excuse for proceeding in it. He should, however, on this occasion, content himself with entering his protest against the proposal to sit, to-morrow.
§ Lord Althorp
did not think, that Members would be the less able to attend to business, because they had the same subject under their consideration for several days. He did not find, in his own case, that he was less able to attend to one subject because it had occupied his attention for some time.
§ Sir Charles Wetherell
said, the advantage they were likely to gain by this extra day's sitting would be, perhaps, two or three Saturdays. But was the passing of the Bill two or three days sooner of such importance as to put Members to this great inconvenience? Let it be considered, that after the Bill should have passed, commissioners would have to ride round to regulate the divisions of counties. If this proposition were carried, it would be said there was a power superseding that, of the Government.
§ Sir Ch. Forbes
was so much opposed to the proposition, that if any hon. Member would support him, he would engage to give a repetition of that scene of divisions which took place some time ago, and which, he had no doubt, were attended with very salutary effects.
§ Lord Ebrington
remembered the occasion to which the hon. Baronet alluded, and he thought such scenes contributed little to the dignity of the House in the estimation of the country. If the hon. Baronet, 878 however, should carry his threat into execution, he had no doubt the attempt would be met as it was on the former occasion, and would be followed by the same result. It was as inconvenient to him as to any other to be absent from his county on this occasion, but he thought the object required it, and he hoped Ministers would persevere in meeting every day of the week.
§ Mr. John Martin
supported the proposition. He was surprised at the opposition of the right hon. Baronet, who had himself suggested, on a former day, that they should meet on Saturday. Was it not inconsistent that he should now oppose it?
Sir. Robert Peel
said, he would act according to his own taste, and not that of the hon. Member. His suggestion last week was, that, they might meet on the Saturday of this week, in order to make up for the day that would be lost in visiting the City on the Monday; and he mentioned this next Saturday, because he thought the notice for the last Saturday's meeting was too short; but he had no notion that the sitting on Saturday was to be permanent. There was, therefore, no inconsistency in his former suggestion to sit one day, and his opposition to the proposition of a permanent sitting.
§ Sir Hen. Hardinge
did not think the noble Lord would gain much by sitting tomorrow, as probably two or three hours of the day would be occupied by the motion of his hon. friend, the member for Oakhampton (Sir R. Vyvyan), on the state of Belgium. This motion, he could assure the House, was not the result of any connivance, but the fact was, the matter was urgent, and his hon. friend had not had an opportunity of bringing it forward earlier in the week.
§ Mr. Littleton
said, what had just fallen from the hon. and gallant Member was of itself a reason why they should sit to-morrow; for, if two or three hours, or perhaps more, were to be consumed on the first open day (as they would be if the House did not meet to-morrow), that was a reason why they should endeavour to save a day.
§ Sir Henry Hardinge
said, that without any communication with his hon. friend on the subject, he supposed, that he would be willing to bring it forward on an early day; if, however, the House should meet to-morrow, he would probably bring on his motion
had no desire to throw any impediment in the way unnecessarily; and he begged to ask, what would hon. Members opposite have thought, if a proposition to meet on Saturdays had been made during the late Ministry? He had often, when Chancellor of the Exchequer, consented to postpone measures, at his great personal inconvenience, to accommodate the wishes of Gentlemen; and he, therefore, thought, it was not too much to ask for the same indulgence.
§ Mr. Benett
said, that the country was much dissatisfied at the delay which had already taken place, and he thought some attention ought to be paid to public feeling. He had received a petition from Wiltshire, which he was anxious to present, praying the House would take the most efficient steps to expedite the measure. He would say, that if they gained only two days by the sittings on Saturday, they ought to persevere.
§ Sir Richard Vyvyan
said, he had asked a question that evening of the noble Lord, to which, not getting a satisfactory answer, he stated his intention of availing himself of the sitting of to-morrow to move for papers, and, therefore, he was glad that the House was to meet. The noble Lord, and those around him, talked of meeting to-morrow as a question of principle, but the House heard nothing of that kind when a day was devoted to dining in the City.
An Hon. Member
said, the reason given for the meeting last Saturday was, that the Ministers were engaged to attend the pageant of opening the bridge on Monday. No notice was, at that time, given that the practice was to be continued.
said, if English Members felt the inconvenience of being absent from their homes, at this season, how much more must it be felt by the Members from Ireland, who were so distant that they could not get an answer to their letters to their friends in less than six or seven days? So convinced was he of the necessity of despatch with this Bill, that he would not only consent to sit the six days of the week, but, if it were not a crime, he would sit on the Sunday also.
An Hon. Member
said, a deputation of Irish Members was desirous to wait on the noble Lord, but they had received for answer, he could not attend to them, as his mind was so much occupied with the Reform question. As they were anxious to receive an answer to their application, he 880 recommended the noble Lord to adjourn over to-morrow, and appropriate that day to the consideration of the matter they wished to represent to him.
§ The question, that the House resolve itself into a Committee on the Bill to-morrow, agreed to.