§ Mr. George Bankes rose to present the Petition from the borough of Great Bedwin of which he had given notice. He had no desire to delay the House from resuming the consideration of the important measure, to a part of which the petition he held in his hand referred, and, therefore, he should content himself by simply stating, that the petitioners prayed, that the principle of the Bill might be applied to the amount of population at the present time, and not to the amount of population in 1821. In 1821 there was a population in the borough of Great Bedwin of 1,928 persons, and, at the present time, according to the census recently taken, Great Bedwin had a population of 2,191 persons. He understood it to be the intention of an hon. Member to move, that it be an instruction to the Committee on the Bill, that the boroughs inserted in schedule A and schedule B be considered with regard to their population according to the last census, 36 and not that taken in 1821, and, therefore, he should defer offering any remarks upon the case of the petitioners until that motion was under discussion. He should now content himself with moving, that the petition do lie upon the Table. He must, however, state, that the petition had been intrusted to him in consequence of the indisposition of the right hon. Member for the borough from whence it came.
§ The petition to lie on the Table.
§ Lord John Russell moved, that the Speaker "do now leave the Chair."
§ On the question being put,
§ Mr. Mackinnon
said, that in rising upon that occasion, it was not his intention to take advantage of the opportunity which it afforded him to address the House at any considerable length. Upon the general merits of the Bill he should then say nothing, but he should adhere closely to the subject concerning which he had intimated his intention to submit a motion. His intention was, to propose, that the census just completed, that of 1831, should be taken for the criterion with respect to the population of the boroughs in schedule A and schedule B, instead of the census of 1821. And he must say, that he thought he was entitled to some attention upon the subject, for neither he nor any of his family were interested in any of the close boroughs, and therefore he had a fair claim to credit for impartiality. He came not forward as pledged to support or to resist any particular measure, without a reference to its merits or its defects, but he came forward, as an independent Member of Parliament, to use his best endeavours to secure justice to the community. The noble Lord had laid it down as a principle—in the justice or wisdom of which principle ho did not agree—but the noble Lord had laid it down as a principle, that a borough with a population of 2,000 persons should be entitled to send one Member to that House, and that a borough with a population of 4,000 persons should be entitled to send two Members to that House. That being the case, he begged to ask the noble Lord, how he could be said to act fairly and truly upon that principle, if he took the amount of population from a census made several years ago? That such a proceeding was unjust must be evident upon a moment's reflection. For 37 instance, taking the actual present population of the different boroughs, it would be found, that there were no less than six boroughs which, being tried by the noble Lord's test, would be removed from schedule A to schedule B; four boroughs which would be taken out of schedule B, and receive the full complement of Members; and one or two boroughs which would be removed from schedule B to schedule A. He therefore contended, that if the acknowledged principles of the Bill were to be fairly and steadily acted upon, the census of the present year ought to be adopted as the criterion of population, instead of that of 1821. If the contrary course was pursued, if the census of 1821 was acted upon, the law framed upon that criterion would be an ex post facto law, and therefore, if upon no other ground, still upon that ground confessedly most objectionable. If he understood the meaning of the phrase ex post facto law, it was this—that a law had reference to facts which transpired before its enactment, and such a reference as legally to affect the parties to those facts. An ex post facto law was, in fact, in its operation retrospective; and such a law would this Bill become, if enacted as at present proposed. Now he begged the House to consider the injustice and danger of such a proceeding. Suppose, for example, to illustrate the danger of such a principle being acted upon, the noble Lord was to carry a measure, making twenty-two years of age the legal majority instead of twenty-one years of age, and imposing a fine upon every person who acted contrary to such a provision, how unjust it would be, to give such a law a retrospective operation. Again, the noble Lord might make a militia ballot law, rendering every person liable between the ages of twenty and forty years, but surely it would be monstrous for the noble Lord to turn round and say, this law is applicable to the ages of persons fifty years ago. The principle of retrospective law was so absurd, so tyrannical, and so contrary to every principle of equity and justice, that no Minister or individual ought ever to sanction it in any manner. Really the principle was so monstrous that it was not possible, he should imagine, for any person to defend it. But he supposed the noble Lord would attempt, to adopt the census of 1821 on the ground of expediency; but what, an argument was that! Did the noble Lord mean to say, that he 38 could not wait till the census of 1831 was ready. Was he afraid the zeal of the people would cool? And yet the noble Lord, and the Gentlemen opposite, asserted that the country was with them, the Parliament with them; and they possessed the whole power of Government, and yet were afraid of the short delay of ten days or a fortnight for the purpose of being enabled to take the last census. Would such haste in forming a new Constitution look well in the eyes of the people of England, of Europe, of the civilized world? What could they think of a measure which commenced with injustice and ended with the spoliation of private property? Another argument for preferring the census of 1821 to that of 1831 was, that the latter would be partial, being taken under the impression that it might influence the elective franchise. But was the noble Lord, or any of the Gentlemen on his side, serious in making such a statement? Did they not perceive they were casting a libel on all the returning officers by whom the census was taken? If those parish officers and others were so venal, and so easily induced to violate their oaths and perjure themselves, what would be the case when the 10l. voters of the noble Lord came into operation? What perjury and corruption would then take place, if it had already begun in such a degree in taking the census! He was aware the noble Lord could not answer, the arguments made use of; he defied him and the Gentlemen opposite to do so, and was satisfied that the only answer he should get would be like the answer given by Cardinal Ximenes to a Member of the Spanish Cortes. That Cardinal, when Minister of Charles 5th in Spain, being determined to destroy the Constitution of the Cortes, by admitting into that assembly some deputies from the rabble of a few towns in Spain, being remonstrated with by a Member of the Cortes, perhaps as humble an individual as the one who had now the honour of addressing the House, look him to a window, and shewed him a body of well-disciplined and well-equipped, troops ready to obey his commands. In the same manner the noble Lord would point to his well-disciplined, obedient, and powerful majority, and say that was his answer. The hon. Member concluded by moving "That the House do instruct the Committee to take the census of 1831, instead of 1821, for regulating the population returns of the 39 boroughs included in schedule A and schedule B."
§ Sir T. Fremantle seconded the motion.
Lord John Russell
thought it unnecessary for him to say many words on the subject before the House, because he considered, that after the House had consumed four days on the question of going into a Committee on the Reform Bill, and had already made some progress in that Committee, the hon. Member was too late with his motion. He concluded, from the various divisions which had taken place, that the House was ready to take the census of 1821. The reason why he thought that census ought to be used in preference to the census of 1831 was this —the House would recollect, that the Reform measure was brought forward in the beginning of March last, and the latest census which the Government could then make use of was the census of 1821. That document, therefore, was the only sure document with respect to population which they possessed. If the Government had chosen to wait for a new census, they might have taken that of 1831; but such a course would only have led to an alteration of the line of disfranchisement. He considered, that much inconvenience would result from the House acting upon the census of 1831; and the only advantage which the House could gain was, to see that while some boroughs had increased others had decreased in population. On the other hand, it was to be considered, that the census of 1821 was taken without any knowledge that it was to form the test of disfranchisement, and might, therefore, be considered as an impartial document. But what would be the result if the census of 1831 was taken as the test? Those boroughs, where no sort of fraud or management was practised, would suffer; while those in which management had prevailed, by sweeping a number of persons into them, would be gainers, in consequence of the statement which Ministers had published, that 2,000 was to be the line of disfranchisement. He, therefore, thought, that the House would be of opinion, that it would be better to proceed in the manner in which they had already begun.
§ Mr. George Bankes
said, he could not think that the objections offered by the noble Lord to the motion of his hon. friend were such as would induce the House to reject a proposition evidently founded in justice 40 and common sense. Admitting the principle laid down by the noble Lord, with respect to the amount of population which ought to entitle a borough to return a Member to that House to be entirely correct, there were such objections, such obvious and strong objections, to proceeding with the Bill upon the criterion at present acted upon in it, that he could not imagine, that any hon. Member could be so pledged and bound and fettered as to reject the motion of his hon. friend upon the suggestion of the Government. The reasons in support of the instruction were so unanswerable—[Cries of "No, no," in which Lord G. Lennox took a prominent part.] Hon. Members might say, "No, no," for the purpose of interruption; and such a course of proceeding was not very unusual, particularly with the hon. member for Sussex. But he must tell that hon. Member, that in pursuing it he was extremely irregular: and he must also tell him, that having had a seat in that House in a former Parliament, he had not that excuse to offer which other hon. Members might have, who had entered the House this Parliament for the first time. And to this he must add, that all the interruptions of the hon. member for Sussex would not deter him from doing his duty, or from offering those remarks to the House which he believed the interests of the public required. With respect to the motion of his hon. friend, especially as it would affect the case of the borough of Great Bedwin, from which place he had that evening presented a petition, he must say, that although it was true the House had been occupied four nights in discussing the principle of the Bill, it was also true, that the instruction could not have been moved at a more fitting moment than that chosen. The question had been most properly brought forward, this being the very period at which the House was called upon to act upon the principle laid down by the framers of the Bill. According to the census of 1821, the borough of Great Bedwin fell short in population of the required number by one hundred; but now, in the present year, in the year in which they were called upon to legislate, Great Bedwin had a population of 2,191 persons. There could not, therefore, have been a more opportune or fitting occasion for the motion of his hon. friend, and if it had been offered at an earlier period, it would have been open to the charge of 41 having been made for the purposes of delay and vexation. Let the Bill pass as it might, more or less restricted, he apprehended no one would say, that the question now mooted was not one which deserved consideration. It was impossible to conceive, that persons situated as the electors of Great Bedwin were, with others similarly circumstanced, could feel satisfied with a measure which disfranchised them under an arbitrary and false line of population. He did not say, that the noble Lord had gone back to the census of 1821 for the purpose of disfranchising Great Bedwin, and other boroughs similarly situated; but the noble Lord had gone back, and the consequence was, the disfranchising of those boroughs. The House had heard, in the course of the debates upon the Bill, of the Constitution of America, and of other countries, that were based on population. If the adoption of the population census as a criterion was taken from America, he hoped the merits as well as the defects of that principle would be had recourse to. In America, he believed, a census was taken every ten years, and the representation was altered in accordance with the alterations in the population. And such a proceeding was absolutely necessary in a country like America, where population was increasing with such extraordinary rapidity. Indeed, no popular Government could proceed upon any other basis. In a country like America, where towns were suddenly springing up in the midst of wilds, and in the hearts of forests and of morasses, it would be impossible to satisfy the people without acting upon such a principle. Nor would the people of this country be satisfied, the amount of population being adopted as a criterion, without the Representation being occasionally reviewed, with reference to that amount. But above all, it was impossible the measure should give general satisfaction, if at the very outset the Legislature was content to act upon a population-return of ten years ago, in preference to a population-return made in the very year the measure was proposed. He therefore submitted to the noble Lord the propriety of acceding to the motion, for the purpose of satisfying the public, and allaying those heart burnings and discontents which must necessarily result from the census of 1821 being acted upon. He was quite ready to admit that, looking at the case in this 42 way, it would be necessary not only now to review the measure, but from time to time to review and alter the Representation, for the purpose of meeting the feelings and the wishes of the people, and the altered circumstances of the country with respect to population. He submitted these observations, not in the spirit of a convert to the principle of the Bill, for they were with him arguments against that principle, but to shew that, if the measure was to be passed as a satisfaction to the people, the motion of his hon. friend ought to be adopted. He knew there might be some hon. Members who would cavil at these observations, and say they were made for the purpose of delay. Now that was a charge which he had no wish to incur; but if it should be made on this occasion, it was one from which he would not. shrink, for he was conscious, that in making them he had only and sincerely done his duty. He did not understand the principle upon which hon. Members acted, who said, at different times, that they objected to many of the details of the Bill, and yet supported that Bill against all amendments. The hon. member for Colchester, for instance, had said, that there were many things in the Bill exceedingly objectionable, and contrary to the principles intended to be enforced; and that being the case, he should like to hear from that hon. Member, upon what ground he refrained from proposing the amendments and alterations which appeared to him desirable. The noble Lord, who dealt very freely with the elective franchise, would not deny, that the exercise of it was a privilege dear to the people; indeed the noble Lord was desirous of extending the exercise of the franchise; and this being the case, he was at a loss to understand how it could be supposed, that the rejection of the motion of his hon. friend would conduce to the great object of the Bill, namely, the satisfaction of the people. The noble Lord and the supporters of the Bill, would see, that his observations were consistent with the principle of the Bill, and not in opposition to it. The petition from Great Bedwin was not only from the voters in that borough, but from the inhabitants at large; and looking at the professions of the noble Lord, he could not but conclude that the noble Lord would be desirous to give them every satisfaction. The instruction conflicted in no way with the 43 principle of the Bill, and he could not conceive, that hon. Members had so completely bound and fettered themselves by any pledges or any promises as to preclude them altogether from exercising their judgment, especially when they were called upon to do that, for the purpose of giving full and satisfactory effect to the principle of the Bill. Great Bedwin was not a manufacturing town, but was situated in the heart of a rich agricultural country, and, therefore, no objection could be taken to it upon the ground that its returning a Member would prove injurious to the agricultural interest. That was one consideration in favour of its claims; and another, and one which ought to weigh much with the noble Lord, was the fact, that the number of electors in that borough, instead of having decreased, had increased. In 1821 the number of electors was eighty, and now it was 120. Most of those electors were taken from the middle classes of society; some were labourers, and a few were members of professions. And here he must remark, that he had been astonished to hear the hon. and learned member for Kerry state one of the great merits of the measure to be, that it disfranchised no parties. That hon. and learned Gentleman must have spoken in comparison; but he must be allowed to tell that hon. and learned Member, that the feelings of a small number were not the less acute because the number was small. But the truth was, that the number of the lower classes, who by this Bill, as it at present stood, would be disfranchised, was not so very small. In all boroughs where burgage tenure had hitherto given the right of voting, the effects of the Bill would be bitterly felt. Great Bedwin was one of the most ancient boroughs in the kingdom. It returned Members to Parliament in the reign of Edward 1st, and, therefore, all the antiquarian learning of the noble Lord ought to tell in favour of the petitioners. Great Bedwin had sent Members to that House in all times; it had returned many persons who had greatly distinguished themselves, and it had never been convicted of, or even charged with, corruption. He knew, that the noble Lord said, the object of the Bill was not to punish; but he could not subscribe to the new doctrine upon the subject, as to whether the elective franchise was property or not. He was not prepared to 44 treat the claims of those who had so long exercised that franchise as of no value. To that new doctrine he could not subscribe, especially when he found a different doctrine maintained by all the great authorities in political matters. Before hon. Members adopted it, he would advise them, particularly the younger ones, to read over the Debates in the House of Lords in the case of Cricklade. In those Debates they would find the judgment of Lord Mansfield, of Lord Thurlow, and of Lord Loughborough, all against the new doctrine. Those distinguished authorities were opposed to each other in politics, but they all agreed in this great principle, that to meddle with the rights of an elector, except in a case of urgent necessity and offence being proved, was an act of the grossest injustice. With those authorities before him, he must be excused if he did not bend to the new lights upon the subject. Mr. Fox, too, held the same opinion, as was proved by his speeches respecting Shoreham and Aylesbury, and those opinions he maintained during his life. With respect to Mr. Pitt, he was aware that some passage had been quoted from the speeches of that great man, with a view of shewing that he justified the seizure of the elective franchise; but he (Mr. Bankes) contended, that the entire speeches of Mr. Pitt would produce a very different impression. Mr. Pitt's great caution entirely precluded the reformers of the present day from saying, that they followed in his steps. And who were the persons who opposed the modified and cautious doctrine of Mr. Pitt? Why Mr. Sheridan and the Whigs of that day, who contended for the inviolable right to the elective franchise of every party possessing it, unless such party forfeited it by misconduct. When Mr. Pitt proposed his scheme of disfranchisement, he accompanied it by a plan of compensation. [Mr. Alderman Waithman exclaimed "money, money?"] The hon. Alderman, the member for London, wished the House to know, perhaps, that he, the hon. Alderman, was in it, and not asleep. He would so far oblige the hon. member for London, as to announce to the House, that he was in the House, and actually not asleep—that although he (Mr. Bankes) had spoken for about a quarter of an hour, his speech had not operated on the hon. member for London, to use that hon. member's own expression, as a sudorific, but had actually 45 allowed him to continue perfectly awake. He had appealed to every Member who was not so bound and fettered as to be forbidden to exercise his judgment and discretion, and he was willing to believe, that the hon. member for the city of London was among the number of those who were still at liberty to act in this important matter, according to their conscientious conviction. He admired the intelligence and the spirit of the city of London, but he must say, he thought, if the reports abroad were correct, that a spirit of despotism was growing up among the elective body of that city, which he was astonished to find there, and which he was not less astonished to find submitted to. He admitted the great claims of the city of London to respect and to admiration, and he did so freely and unhesitatingly, in order to render unnecessary any repetition of the lecture which had been read so strangely to the hon. member for Newport. Much, however, as he admired the conduct of the citizens of London upon many occasions, he could not forget, that in the time of Cromwell, 10,000 of them had signed petitions calling for the abolition of the bench of Bishops; and that, some ten years after, when Cromwell was feasted by the city, and his secretary remarked how popular the Protector and all his acts were, as was proved by the shouts of the citizens, Cromwell replied, "The citizens, ten years hence, would shout just as much to see you and me going up Holborn-hill to Tyburn." And time proved Cromwell to be no bad judge, for in ten years came the Restoration, and then the citizens of London became the loyal and loving subjects of a King. The interruption of the hon. Alderman would, he trusted, excuse him with the House for making these remarks. The hon. Member concluded, by repeating a summary of the case of Great Bed-win, and again appealing to the House for its support of the instruction, as it was in conformity with the professed principle of the Bill.
Mr. Alderman Waithman
said, that after the notice which the hon. Member had taken of him, it would appear ungrateful on his part not to say a few words in reply. For some time before he interrupted the hon. Member, he perceived that what he was driving at was compensation ["No."]. Members might say No, but he said Yes. His interruption had 46 unfortunately induced the hon. Member to distress the House with a very desultory account of what had been done in the city on former occasions. The hon. Member had addressed all his observations to the principle of the Bill. He was wearied with these eternal discussions, and he believed that there was no man of common sense in the country who was not as well acquainted with the principle of the Bill as the hon. member for Corfe Castle. What did the hon. Member mean by expressing a hope that hon. Members had not given pledges which would prevent them from expressing a fair opinion with respect to the Bill? When the hon. member for Corfe Castle spoke of pledges—when he said, that those who voted for this Bill entered the House bound by pledges, did that assertion, supposing it to be well-founded, in any way invalidate the conduct of hon. Members? When a gentleman put forth an advertisement in a newspaper to his constituents, did he not, in that advertisement, pledge himself to pursue some particular line of conduct, and to support some particular principle? He had come into the House, because he had declared that he was favourable to Parliamentary Reform. He was, in consequence, triumphant, not only without influence, but actually against influence. He was sent to that House because his principles were well known. When at the last election he came forward, invited by a number of merchants, bankers, traders, and other respectable persons, he was not called upon for any pledge, because his past conduct and his straightforward principles were well known. His constituents well understood what his opinions were, and their knowledge of those opinions caused him to be elected to sit in that House. Was it, then, becoming—was it decent—for the Member who represented a rotten borough to say, that those who were sent from important places to sit in that House, came there under improper pledges—came there fettered and shackled? He would ask, were those who made such charges free from fetters— were they unshackled? He would remind the hon. Gentleman of what occurred to an hon. Colleague of his, on a recent occasion, when he was called to account—ay, and rightly called to account—for a certain proceeding in that House? Why was this? Because his hon. Colleague appeared in 47 that House to speak the sentiments of a large and intelligent constituency, while the hon. Member opposite came forward as the Representative of Corfe Castle. It was very unlikely, therefore, that he would be called to account. For his part, he was perfectly convinced of the urgent necessity of Parliamentary Reform, and in accordance with that feeling, he was determined to give his vote against the amendment proposed by the hon. Gentleman. Though he was in a delicate state of health, which had sometimes prevented him from attending the House recently, still he was proud to say, that he was present at those eight memorable and respectable divisions which took place a few mornings since, and had it cost him his life on that occasion, he would gladly have sat through such another night, to insure the success of this measure. Those who returned the hon. member for Corfe Castle, he would not dignify with the name of electors. They were no electors, for they had no freedom of will. And when the hon. Member spoke of compensation, he should be glad to know what he meant. Did he mean compensation to those poor individuals who were obliged to elect whomsoever might be proposed to them? No, the hon. Member meant compensation to the borough-proprietors, compensation to those who could nominate Members to sit for boroughs. Those individuals who preyed on the rights and properties of the public, the hon. Member would compensate, and no others. These parties wanted compensation, and why? Because they procured situations by means of that corrupt influence to which this Bill would put an end; and being deprived of that which they never ought to have enjoyed, they modestly called for compensation. These, however, were not private rights to be used for private purposes; but public rights to be exercised for the public good; and in such a case to talk of compensation was monstrous. When they saw twenty or thirty electors returning Members for Marlborough, while such places as Manchester and Birmingham were without Representation, he thought that it was the height of insolence and arrogance in the proprietors of boroughs to call for the perpetuation of such a system unless compensation were allowed to them. In his opinion, the whole of the topics which had been brought forward were mere matters of digression, involving a wasteful expenditure 48 of the time of the House, and intended solely to delay the measure. It was not his intention, originally, to have addressed the House, but he could not avoid doing so, in consequence of the personal observations which the hon. member for Corfe Castle had addressed to him, when an exclamation had involuntarily escaped him, on hearing the hon. Member advert to compensation. He hoped, if any farther attempts were made unfairly to delay the progress of the Bill, by long wire-drawn speeches, that the House would meet in future at ten o'clock each morning.
§ Mr. George Bankes
, in explanation, said, that the hon. Alderman had wholly misunderstood him. The hon. Alderman asked what he (Mr. Bankes) meant by compensation? If the hon. Alderman, instead of interrupting him, had heard the whole of the sentence which he had so strongly attacked, he would have found, that so far from calling for compensation, he was contending that compensation was wholly out of the question.
Lord G. Lennox
observed, that after the attacks which had been made on him by the hon. member for Corfe Castle, who had asserted that individuals had been sent into that House, so far fettered that they could not give an honest, and upright, and conscientious vote, he felt it to be his decided duty manfully to say "No" to that proposition. He would boldly assert, that he was no more fettered than was the hon. member for Corfe Castle. He was returned to that House by the free votes of a large and numerous constituency in the county of Sussex, while the hon. Gentleman was sent into Parliament by the bought voters of Corfe Castle. So long as the hon. member for Corfe Castle, rose to make attacks on him, he would most certainly repel them, and that, too, with all the indignation which he was sure every individual who then heard him would feel, if thus attacked themselves. He was not bound like the hon. Member, who had on that day, in Pall-mall, rivetted the fetters as strongly round about his arm, as he had previously done at the time of his election.
§ Lord Althorp
said, it would be impossible for that House to come to a satisfactory conclusion, if the business were carried on in this irregular manner. With respect to the question immediately before them, his noble friend had specifically stated the grounds on which Ministers preferred the 49 census of 1821 to that of 1831. They wished, according to the census of 1821, to disfranchise certain insignificant boroughs, where the population was under 2,000, and he believed, that the returns of 1831 would not prove any of them not to be insignificant and inconsiderable. If, however, proof to the contrary could be given, it might be adduced, in considering each borough of the Schedules.
§ Mr. A. Trevor
contended, that the population throughout the country had increased in a great degree since the census of 1821; and therefore the last returns, not those made out ten years ago, ought to be adopted. He was convinced, that if this were not done, great discontent and dissatisfaction would be felt throughout the country. It was not denied, that in some places belonging to Schedule A, the population had so greatly increased since 1821, that they now contained more than 2,000 inhabitants. Ministers had themselves acted on this conviction, for they had transferred boroughs from one schedule to another, and Truro, which had been in schedule B, had been altogether removed. Where population had diminished, they had also acted accordingly. The noble Lord had stated, that the census of 1821, was taken to prevent any charges of unfairness or partiality. He did not think it was acting fairly to take those returns as a guide. For his part, he entirely agreed in the reasoning of the hon. member for Corfe Castle, which, as it appeared to him, went to this point—that no pledge ought to bind hon. Members from giving due and serious consideration to the proposition before the House. In taking this course, his only object was, to benefit his constituents and the country at large.
§ Mr. C. Douglas
expressed himself in favour of taking the census of 1831, instead of that of 1821. A reference to the large county which he represented (Lanarkshire), would show that the latter returns were inapplicable to the present time. A single town and its neighbourhood had increased in population, since 1821, to the amount of more than 50,000 persons, and another more than 30,000. They ought, therefore, to take the latest and most correct data, when they were about to legislate upon such important subjects.
§ Mr. Praed
said, the proposition before the House was so plain and clear, and it was founded on so just a basis, 50 that he could not but wonder it should have given rise to any debate whatever. It was most extraordinary that the House should be called on to shut its eyes to the important and essential fact of what had occurred with respect to the population during the last ten years. This was so plain a point, that he would not dilate further on it, but would shortly address himself to the very few arguments which had been advanced against the motion. It was said, that it would be inconvenient to accede to the motion, because it might cause a change in the whole basis of the Bill then before the House. Some months ago that Bill was introduced, and he could see no reason in refusing the present motion, because there would be trouble in applying the measure to a new set of data. Was it possible, that they could be induced to overlook the occurrences of ten whole years as to the increase of the population, on account of any difficulty that might exist in adapting a new set of data? He could not conceive it possible, that his Majesty's Ministers were incapable of getting the necessary information on this subject. It was next asserted, that by taking the returns of 1831, some partial unfairness would probably be committed. But supposing the returns of 1831 to be partially unfair, was it not better to prefer them to those of 1821, which were universally inapplicable? Were they, because the returns of 1831 might here and there be erroneous, to take those of 1821, which were uncertain in every single case? Next, it was asserted that these motions were solely made for the purpose of creating delay and gaining time. He did not think it worth his while to answer such an argument. At the same time he would say, that when a measure was introduced, of which he entirely disapproved, he did not exactly know how far his desire to preserve parliamentary decorum ought to arrest his efforts in endeavouring to prevent its completion. Unquestionably those who were opposed to it had a right to go to the end of their tether in endeavouring to defeat, it. He knew, that those who did so might destroy their characters in certain quarters—they might destroy that influence which they had previously possessed—but he felt that a really good measure would always be approved of by honest and discerning men; and in his opinion, it was fair to defeat a bad one by every means within the reach of its opponents. If that fanciful foreigner 51 who had been so often referred to in the earlier part of these debates, should mark the extraordinary course which they were now pursuing, he would be very apt to say, that great as might be our skill in art, science, and literature, we had, with reference to legislative wisdom, much, very much to learn.
§ The House then divided, when the numbers appeared as follows; Ayes 169; Noes 244—Majority against the Motion 75.
|List of the Majority.|
|Adam, Admiral C.||Dixon, J.|
|Adeane, H. J.||Doyle, Sir M. K. C.|
|Agnew, Sir A.||Dundas, C.|
|Althorp, Viscount||Dundas, Sir R. L.|
|Astley, Sir J. D.||Dundas, J. C.|
|Bainbridge, E. T.||Easthope, J.|
|Baring, Sir T.||Ebrington, Lord|
|Belfast, Earl of||Ellice, E.|
|Benett, J.||Ellis, W.|
|Bentinck, Lord G.||Etwall, R.|
|Berkeley, Captain||Evans, Colonel|
|Bernal, R.||Evans, W. B.|
|Bernard, Thomas||Evans, W.|
|Blake, Sir F., Bart.||Ewart, W.|
|Blamire, W.||Ferguson, Sir R.|
|Blankney, W.||Ferguson, R. C.|
|Blunt, Sir C.||Fitzgibbon, R. H.|
|Bodkln, J. J.||Foley, T. H.|
|Bouverie, Hon. D. P.||Folkes, Sir W. J.|
|Boyle, Hon. J.||Foster, J.|
|Brayen, T.||Graham, Sir J. R. G.|
|Briscoe, J. I.||Graham, Sir S.|
|Brougham, W.||Grant, C.|
|Brougham, J.||Grant, R.|
|Browne, J.||Grattan, J.|
|Browne, D.||Greene, T. G.|
|Brownlow, C.||Grosvenor, Hon. R.|
|Buck, L. W.||Hawkins, H.|
|Buller, J. W.||Handley, W. F.|
|Bulwer, E. E. L.||Harcourt, G. V.|
|Bulwer, H. L.||Harty, Sir R.|
|Bunbury, Sir H. E.||Harvey, D. W.|
|Burke, Sir J.||Henage, G. F.|
|Buxton, T. F.||Heywood, B.|
|Calvert, Nicholson||Hobhouse, J. C.|
|Carter, J. B.||Hodges, T. L.|
|Cavendish, W.||Hodgson, J.|
|Chapman, M. L.||Horne, Sir W.|
|Chaytor, W. R. C.||Hort, Sir W.|
|Chichester, Sir A.||Hoskins, K.|
|Chichester, J. B. P.||Howard, W.|
|Clive, E. B.||Howard, P. H.|
|Cradock, S.||Howard, R.|
|Crampton, P. C.||Hudson, T.|
|Creevey, T.||Hughes, J.|
|Cunliffe, O.||Hughes, W. H.|
|Currie, J.||Hume, J.|
|Curteis, H. P.||Hunt, H.|
|Davies, T.||Hutchinson, J. H.|
|Dawson, A.||Innes, Sir H.|
|Denison, J. E.||James, W.|
|Denison, W. J.||Jephson, C. D. O,|
|Denman, Sir T.||Jerningham, H. V. S,|
|Johnston, A.||Phillips, G. R.|
|Johnstone, Sir J. V.||Ponsonby, Hon. G.|
|Johnstone, J. J. H.||Power, R.|
|Kennedy, T. F.||Poyntz, W. S.|
|King, E. B.||Protheroe, E.|
|King, Hon. R.||Ramsden, J. C.|
|Knight, H. G.||Rice, T. S.|
|Knox, J. H.||Rickford, W.|
|Labouchere, H.||Rider, T.|
|Lamb, Hon. G.||Ridley, Sir M. W.|
|Lambert, H.||Robarts, A. W.|
|Langston, J. H.||Robinson, Sir George|
|Lawley, F.||Robinson, G. R.|
|Leader, N. P.||Rooper, J. B.|
|Lee, Lee||Ross, H.|
|Lefevre, C. S.||Rumbold, C. E.|
|Legh, T.||Russell, Lord J.|
|Lemon, Sir C.||Russell, Lord W.|
|Lennard, T. B.||Russell, John|
|Lennox, Lord W.||Ruthven, E.S.|
|Lennox, Lord J. G.||Sandford, E. A.|
|Lester, B. L.||Schonswar, G.|
|Littleton, E. J.||Scott, Sir E. D.|
|Loch, James||Sebright, Sir J.|
|Lopez, Sir R. F.||Skipwith, Sir Gray|
|Lushington, Dr.||Slaney, R. A.|
|Maberly, W. L.||Smith, J. A.|
|Maberly, J.||Smith, R. V.|
|Macauley, T. B.||Smith, Hon. R.|
|Mackenzie, J. A. S.||Spence, G.|
|Mackintosh, Sir J.||Spencer, Hon. Capt.|
|Mangles, J.||Stanhope, Capt. R. H.|
|Marjoribanks, S.||Stephenson, H. T.|
|Marryatt, J.||Stanley, J.|
|Marshall, W.||Stanley, E. G. S.|
|Martin, J.||Stewart, Sir H.|
|Maule, Hon. W.||Stewart, P. M.|
|Mayhew, W.||Strickland, G.|
|Milbank, M.||Strutt, E.|
|Mildmay, P. St. John||Stuart, Lord P. H.|
|Mills, John||Stuart, Lord D. C.|
|Milton, Viscount||Tavistock, Marquis|
|Morpeth, Viscount||Thickness, R.|
|Morison, J.||Thompson, Wm.|
|Mullins, F.||Thompson, P. B.|
|North, F.||Thomson, C. P.|
|Norton, C. F.||Tomes, J.|
|Nowell, A.||Torrens, Col. R.|
|Nugent, Lord||Trowbridge, Sir E. T.|
|O'Connell, D.||Tufton, Hon. H.|
|O'Connell, M.||Tynte, C. K.|
|O'Grady, Hon. Col. S.||Tyrell, C.|
|Ord, W.||Venables, W.|
|Ossory, Earl of||Vere, J. H.|
|Palmer, General||Vernon, G. J.|
|Palmer, C. F.||Vernon, G. H.|
|Parnell, Sir H.||Villiers, Frederick|
|Payne, Sir P.||Vincent, Sir F.|
|Pelham, C. A. W.||Waithman, R.|
|Palmerston, Viscount||Warburton, H.|
|Pendarvis, E. W. W.||Warre, J. A.|
|Penlease, J. S.||Wason, W. R.|
|Penrhyn, E.||Watson, Hon. R.|
|Perrin. L.||Weyland, Major R.|
|Petit, Louis H.||Whitbread, W. H.|
|Petre, Hon. E.||White, S.|
|Phillips, C. M.||White, Colonel H.|
|Whitmore, W.||Wood, Mr. Ald.|
|Wilde, T.||Wrightson, W. B.|
|Williams, Sir J. H.||Wrottesley, Sir J. B.|
|Williamson, Sir H.||Wyse, T.|
|Willoughby, Sir H.|
|Wood, Colonel T.||TELLERS.|
|Wood, J.||Duncannon, Viscount|
|Wood, C.||Tennyson, C.|
|List of the Minority.|
|A'Court, E. H.||Forrester, Hon. C.|
|Alexander, J.||Fox, S. L.|
|Antrobus, G. C.||Fremantle, Sir T.|
|Arbuthnot, Hon. Col.||Freshfield, J. W.|
|Arbuthnot, G. H.||Gordon, Hon. Cap. W.|
|Archdall, M.||Gordon, J. E.|
|Ashley, Lord||Goulburn, H.|
|Ashley, Hon. J.||Graham, Marquis of|
|Atkins, J.||Grimston, Lord|
|Attwood, M.||Grant, Sir C.|
|Baldwin, C. B.||Grant, F. W.|
|Balfour, J.||Handcock, R.|
|Bankes. W.||Harris, G.|
|Best, Hon. W. S.||Herbert, E. C. H.|
|Blair, W.||Herries, J. C.|
|Brecknock, Earl of||Hodgson, F.|
|Brogden, J.||Holds worth, A. H.|
|Bruce, C. C. L.||Holmesdale, Visct.|
|Brydges, Sir J.||Holmes, Wm.|
|Buller, Sir A.||Hope, H. T.|
|Burge, W.||Hope, J. T.|
|Burrard, G.||Howard, F. G.|
|Buxton, J. J.||Hulse, Sir C.|
|Capel, J.||Inglis, Sir R. H.|
|Chandos, Marquis of||Jenkins, R.|
|Cholmondeley, Ld. H.||Jermyn, Earl of|
|Clerk, Sir G.||Jolliffe, Sir W.|
|Clive, R. H.||Jolliffe, Colonel H.|
|Clive, Henry||Jones, T.|
|Cockburn, Sir G.||Kearsley, J. H.|
|Cole, Lord||Kemmis, T. A.|
|Conolly, Colonel||Kenyon, Hon. L.|
|Cooke, Sir H. F.||Kerrison, Sir E.|
|Coote, Sir C. H.||Knight, J. L.|
|Croker, J. W.||Knox, J. J.|
|Cumming, Sir W.||Lascelles, Hon. W.|
|Curzon, H.||Lee, J. L.|
|Cust, E.||Lefroy, Dr. T.|
|Davidson, Duncan||Lefroy, A.|
|Dawkins, J.||Lewis, T. F.|
|Dawson, G. R.||Lovaine, Lord|
|Domville, Sir C.||Lowther, Hon. H.|
|Douglas, Hon. C.||Lowther, J. H.|
|Douglas, W. R. K.||Luttrell, J. F.|
|Douro, Marquis of||Lyon, D.|
|Dowdeswell, J. E.||Lyon, W.|
|Drake, T. T.||Mackillop, J.|
|Drake, W. T.||Mahon, Viscount|
|Dugdale, W. S.||Maitland, Viscount|
|Dundas, R. A.||Maitland, A.|
|East, J. B.||Malcolm, Sir J.|
|Eliot, Lord||Mandeville, Viscount|
|Encombe, Lord||Maxwell, H.|
|Estcourt, T. G. B.||Mexborough, Earl of|
|Fane, Hon. H. S.||Meynell, H.|
|Ferrand, W.||Miller, W. H.|
|Forbes, Sir C.||Mount, W.|
|Murray, Sir G.||Smith, S.|
|North, J. H.||Smith, A.|
|Pearse, J.||Somerset, Lord G.|
|Peel, Sir R.||Stewart, C.|
|Peel, W. Y.||Stormont, Viscount|
|Peel, Edmund||Sugden, Sir E. B.|
|Pelham, J. C.||Trench, Colonel|
|Pemberton, T.||Trevor, Hon. A.|
|Perceval, Colonel||Tullamore, Lord|
|Perceval, S.||Valletort, Viscount|
|Phipps, E.||Vaughan, Sir R.|
|Pigot, G. G. W.||Villiers, Lord|
|Pollington, Viscount||Vyvan, Sir R.|
|Porchester, Lord||West, F. R.|
|Praed, W. M.||Wetherell, Sir C.|
|Price, R.||Weyland, J.|
|Pringle, A.||Williams, R.|
|Rae, Sir W.||Wortley, Hon. J. S.|
|Rocheford, G.||Wrangham, D. C.|
|Rogers, E.||Wyndham, W.|
|Ross, C.||Wynn, Sir W. W.|
|Ryder, G. D.||Wynn, C. W. G.|
|St. Paul, Sir H.||Wynne, J.|
|Scarlett, Sir James||York, Joseph|
|Scott, Sir Samuel|
|Severn, J. C.||TELLERS.|
|Shelley, Sir J.||Mackinnon, C.|
|Sibthorpe, C. D. W.||Bankes, G.|
§ On the question being put, that the borough of Appleby stand part of the clause,
said, that so much had been already stated on the subject of this borough, that he would not trouble the House with many observations on the question, beyond those which had been slightly touched on in the course of the former discussions. In the borough of Appleby the right of voting was by burgage tenure, and the borough extended over a considerable portion of the two parishes of Appleby St. Lawrence, and Appleby St. Michael. The jurisdiction of the Mayor and Corporation was, however, acknowledged in the whole of the two parishes, and all licenses were granted under their authority. He was able to prove these facts to the satisfaction of the House, and being sure, that the population of these two parishes amounted to some hundreds more than the number of total disfranchisement, he thought he was doing his duty to the House and to the inhabitants of the borough, by moving that Appleby be taken out of schedule A, and placed in schedule B.
Lord John Russell
was of opinion, he should be able to satisfy the House that the borough of Appleby had not been unfairly treated, by being placed in schedule 55 A rather than in schedule B. The Government had endeavoured to render the line they felt it necessary to draw, as fair as possible; but there were some boroughs in which it happened that the borough and the parish were so placed together, that they found themselves unable to adhere rigidly to their original intentions. During the last Parliament it was represented to them, for instance, that the Members for the borough of Buckingham were Members also for the parish in which Buckingham is situated; and they, therefore, found it necessary to admit the population of the parish to be included. So also, upon inquiry, it was found that Tamworth, and one or two other places, could plead the same ground of exception, and their claims were allowed. It was extremely difficult, the House must see, to draw a perfect line; but there was a material difference between the case of a borough which formed the principal part of a parish, like Buckingham, and a borough which extended into two parishes, like Appleby. The House would at once see, that there was a material distinction in the preservation of the line between a borough which comprised two parishes, and a borough which extended into two parishes. Wherever any great abuse of the principle could be pointed out, the Government were anxious to acknowledge and rectify it; but he thought the House would agree with him, when they heard the real facts of the case, that Appleby was not entitled to be excepted. If he was rightly informed, the state of Appleby was this: the burgh extended into two parishes—one part of it was composed of a portion, but not the whole, of St. Lawrence, and the other extended into St. Michael's, otherwise Bon-gate, a very large parish, going in one direction from the borough seven or eight miles, and being altogether fifteen miles long. He thought, therefore, it would be a very great abuse of the principle on which they proceeded, if they permitted a borough of this kind to claim to be excepted on account of the parish in a part of which it happened to be situated, and joining as it did a small part of one, and not comprising within its boundaries the whole of the other. As early as last January, the Mayor of Appleby, being applied to by the Government to answer certain questions with respect to the burgh, wrote a reply to the Secretary of State, to say that "the return of 1821 did not state the 56 population of the parishes, but of the burgh, some part of which extended over the parish of St. Michael, and the remainder of which was in St. Lawrence; but as the boundaries had not been perambulated in the memory of man, it was not in his power to state positively what they were." It would be found, from the returns of 1821, that the population of that part of the borough which was in St. Lawrence amounted to 824, while St. Michael's had 108, making 932. But by the return in the papers just laid on the Table, including the letter from the Mayor, it appeared that the population of the borough in St. Lawrence was 851, and in St. Michael's, or Bongate, 203, making 1,054; and it appeared also, that the county gaol was situated in the borough; and that there were in it eighteen prisoners. He did not think it necessary to make any allusion to the number of 10l. householders which were to be found in the borough, because it was not expedient to take them into account, in considering the situation of a borough which did not come within that line of population which they conceived requisite to establish a qualification for the enjoyment of the elective franchise. He did not, however, think, that Appleby had any good right to complain of the decision of Ministers, as the right of its inhabitants had been one of mere burgage tenure, and the borough itself had been for a long time a nomination one, at the disposal of two noble Lords, Members of the other House of Parliament. No hardship, therefore, could be done, except to those two individuals; and they would merely be deprived of a right which they ought never to have enjoyed—the borough itself being, from its size, excluded from claiming exemption from disfranchisement. He conceived, therefore, from what he had stated, that the justice of the case had been fully proved, and that as no serious doubt could be entertained with respect to the population of the borough, he hoped the Committee would require no further evidence to declare, that Appleby must stand part of the clause.
§ Mr. Croker
said, there was one expression fell from the noble Lord in the course of his speech which gave him the greatest satisfaction. That word was "justice." The noble Lord appealed to the justice of the case. That appeal he seconded most cordially; and he would say more, that if 57 any Gentleman in that House had a doubt of the justice of the claims of Appleby, he did not lay claim to his vote. He rested on the justice of the case, and not on its expediency or its policy. Before, however, he touched on the question of Appleby, he entreated the noble Lord's attention to a question of some importance which he wished to put to him. The Population Returns of 1831 were most valuable, because they exhibited the population of the boroughs and the parishes distinct from each other. Those returns were not, however, entirely made up; but, perceiving the population of Calne, contrary to the general rule, to be lumped together as borough and parish, he begged to ask the noble Lord, if he possessed any return which distinguished the population of the borough and the parish, and what was the distinction?
§ Lord John Russell rose, but several Members on the Ministerial bench called out "Don't answer." The noble Lord, however, said, in a low tone, that he knew nothing about Calne except what he found in the papers on the Table, which were signed by a person of whom he knew nothing. Those papers, he believed, were placed there on the motion of the right hon. Gentleman himself.
§ Mr. Croker
was surprised to hear, that the noble Lord had no information on this subject, and did not know the name of the person who signed the return, although that very return was produced by Ministers as an additional justification of their Bill. If the noble Lord had not directed his attention to Calne, after it had been so particularly called to it, why, in the name of justice, was he so learned on the subject of Appleby? Why was the noble Lord able to define to them the boundaries of St. Michael and St. Lawrence, and to point out the situation of the county gaol in the borough of Appleby, and yet avow himself in utter ignorance of any thing connected with the much-questioned borough of Calne?
Lord John Russell
said, he had made no inquiries with respect to any of the boroughs. He took the population as he found it in the returns; and if he possessed any information on the subject of Appleby, it was derived from the statements furnished at the request of the hon. Member opposite.
§ Mr. Croker
observed, that the noble Lord's candid and just friends on the other side had counselled him not to give any reply 58 to his question, and yet the noble Lord had already attempted two, but had unfortunately left the matter just as he found it. The course pursued with respect to Calne appeared to him the result of gross ignorance, or of blind partiality. Speaking in all honour and sincerity [cheers from the Ministerial side.]—Did the other side object to the language of honour and sincerity?— He would say again, speaking in all honour and sincerity, that he believed the noble Lord had taken his line with respect to Appleby in utter ignorance of the real state of the case; he believed, that the noble Lord had been misled by the mention of the name Bongate, and that he had no idea, when he saw Bongate mentioned in the return, that under that name lurked the parish of St. Michael's Appleby. This was, indeed, evident, from the course adopted throughout by the noble Lord with reference to Appleby. When the noble Lord brought in the first Bill, he stated the population of the boroughs to be disfranchised, and among others he named Appleby as having a population of 824 persons. Now, this was exactly the number of persons inhabitants of the borough in one parish, the population residing in the other—that is, Bongate St. Michael's—being altogether passed over. The noble Lord, indeed, admitted himself, that he had passed over the other part, under the name of Bongate; for although he then stated the population to be 824, he now admitted the population of the other part to be near 400. There was, however, another point, of much greater importance, connected with the course pursued towards the borough of Appleby. In the Census of 1811, the population was classed according to towns and boroughs. In the Census of 1821, it was taken according to parishes. Now, if the noble Lord, when he selected the borough of Appleby for disfranchisement, had taken the trouble to turn to the population returns of 1811, he would have found the following entry:—"Appleby Borough—parish of St. Lawrence, parish of St. Michael's;" and then followed a return of population of these united parishes, stated together under the head of Appleby—and, would the House believe it?—in the year 1811, the population was large enough to carry the borough far beyond the noble Lord's line of disfranchisement. The noble Lord resisted every attempt to advance towards the population of the present day; 59 he insisted on taking the returns of ten years back; and how was it, then, when he found himself at fault with respect to the returns of 1821, that he never thought of looking back to those of 1811? But the noble Lord, to remedy these anomalies, had, it seems, recourse to some supplementary information. The noble Lord had called for this information to justify his proceedings, and now he had obtained it, what did it show? Why the noble Lord's inconsistency. The borough of Malmesbury stood originally in the schedule A; it did not happen to have the requisite amount of population, because the borough was separated, in the return, from the parish. It was at first returned as having a population of 1,300. The new returns, however, showed, that both Appleby and Malmesbury exceeded 2,000. What was done by the noble Lord upon this? Did he reject Malmesbury? Oh no! He granted the favour to Malmesbury, which, under the very same circumstances, at the very same time, and upon the very same principles, he refused to Appleby. Then there was the borough of Oakhampton; that was stated in the old return as having 1,900 inhabitants, but to the new papers there was appended a note, stating, that the entire parish contained 2,023 inhabitants. Upon that information the borough of Oakhampton was transferred from schedule A to schedule B, because it had twenty-three inhabitants over the requisite number; while Appleby, which had 600 more than the required number, was utterly banished from the number of represented boroughs. There was another case stronger even than this; it was the case of a borough which was kept in all the vigour of its elective franchise, and yet which, if justice was done, would be transferred to the schedule A, and Appleby must be placed in schedule B—it was the borough of Horsham. He particularly called the attention of the House to the case of this borough, while he informed them, that Horsham, which preserved its number of Members, was not entitled to that privilege in fact, and was only in a situation to retain it by another misapplication of the same rule by which Appleby was disfranchised. In the Census of 1821, the borough and parish of Horsham were returned as containing 4,570 Members. Oh, that is excellent! thought the noble Lord; but then, when he thought so, he omitted to notice what was stated 60 in a little note appended to the return, namely, that the parish of Horsham, in the population returns of 1811, was returned as consisting of three separate divisions. That note ought to have excited the noble Lord's attention, and especially he ought to have considered, that as Horsham was kept beyond the line by its three divisions, Appleby ought to be allowed the same advantage with its two divisions. This was the return in 1811:— "Horsham, the borough part, 1,774 inhabitants; and then two other divisions, the northern part containing 1,100 inhabitants, and the southern part 930, making altogether 3,800 inhabitants." Would any one tell him, that this was a case to be favourably distinguished from that of Appleby? In the one and in the other the population of the borough was less than 2,000; and in both was raised beyond the limit by the addition of the parishes, yet Horsham was to have its two Members, while Appleby was to be wholly disfranchised. The return went on to say, "The increase of the population in this parish (of Horsham) is to be attributed to the enclosure of 800 acres of waste land in the neighbourhood." That waste land could not be part of the borough, so that that excuse could not be set up in favour of Horsham; and it was evident, that if the distance of parts of the parish from the borough of Appleby was a reason for the disfranchisement of that borough, the distance of this waste land from the borough of Horsham was a reason why its population should not be taken into the account, in order to secure to that borough the possession of its elective franchise. What could be said to this by those who were pledged to support the whole Bill, and the whole mistakes of the Bill? The case was still more remarkable in the instance of the borough of Morpeth. That borough was at first placed in the schedule B. The population, according to the Census of 1821, was the line, the Rhadamanthine line, that was to govern the noble Lord. Still, however, the noble Lord admitted, that there were mistakes, and these were to be corrected; but we find, that these mistakes can only be corrected on one side of the question, not on the other. Is it not strange, that the corrections should be made in cases which seem to belong to the Whig interest, and that the errors, the same errors, should be allowed to operate in full force where the Tory interest was 61 supposed to prevail? By throwing in the parish in the case of Morpeth, though it was refused to be thrown in, in the case of Appleby, the population of Morpeth was increased to 4,130, and remained in the full enjoyment of its elective franchise; while Appleby, being in precisely the same situation, and with 500 more inhabitants than Morpeth, was to be utterly disfranchised. Men were sometimes put to sad shifts, when they were called on for money they could not pay, and so they were when they were called on for reasons they could not give—in that situation was the noble Lord. Surely he would not think of telling Appleby, that it was a mere nomination borough, the property of boroughmongers—all boroughmongers; or, if he did, would he not give the same answer to Tavistock? Why not to Malton? Why had he not made the same allusion to the borough of Calne—why had he not made it to every borough in schedule B, and to several other boroughs not in any schedule at all? It was not worthy of his candour to call one set of boroughs by an odious name, while he suppressed every offensive epithet to boroughs similarly circumstanced, if they happened to belong to his own friends. It was not worthy of the noble Lord to profess that Appleby was disfranchised, because it was a nomination borough when he preserved Malton, Calne, and Tavistock, to which the same title did not only now belong, but would, even if the Bill should pass, still belong, and in some instances, in a stronger degree than at present. The noble Lord had spoken of the extent of the parishes of Appleby, as affording some reason for not joining them to the borough. This argument also she wed a want of can dour, equally unworthy of the noble Lord, as he professed to destroy the old rights, and to create a fresh franchise of the most extensive kind—so extensive,—that in some instances he must travel seven, ten, twelve—nay sixteen or seventeen miles from the borough to get it into operation. The noble Lord had dealt with different places in a different manner, under exactly the same circumstances. He put one borough into schedule B, and though precisely the same principle and the same circumstances applied to other boroughs, he continued them in schedule A. The noble Lord had almost said, that because the same facts were applicable to the borough of Appleby, therefore he 62 would not extend to that borough the same advantages. These were not, indeed, his expressions, but they were nearly so, and, if not the very words of his speech, they were, at least, in the spirit of his argument, and were in perfect consistency with the monstrous conclusion to which he had arrived. Whether the facts he (Mr. Croker) had thus stated would produce the impression he expected on the House, he could not say; but he thought that he had done enough to show every impartial mind, [hear, hear,] that the case of Appleby was one which imperatively called on the Ministry, even on their own principles, to change it from its present situation, and place it in schedule B.
said, that the right hon. Gentleman opposite enjoyed the singular honour of continuing that strain of imputation on the motives of the Ministers, which had indeed been begun in the last Parliament, but which, except by the right hon. Gentleman, had not been repeated in this. He must confess, that, in his opinion, that strain of imputation was totally unwarranted by the facts. He asserted that the borough of Appleby was properly retained in schedule A. No man could look at the papers now upon the Table of this House, and not see, that by the census of 1821, the borough ought to be placed, where it was. According to the returns of 1821, some boroughs were placed alone, and in some the boroughs and parishes were united. The rule was clear enough, and the special cases were to be exceptions. Upon hearing the observations made upon the case of Appleby, he had at first believed that that borough, if properly returned as to its extent and population, included the parishes of St. Lawrence and St. Michael's; and that, by omitting to include the population of these two parishes, the return of 1821 had done injustice to this borough. But the people of Appleby themselves did not pretend to say, that the return was incorrect, and that that of 1811 ought alone to be depended on.
§ Mr. Croker
had not intended to say that the return of 1811 was to be taken in preference to that of 1821.
had so understood the right hon. Gentleman, and so must every one else. The return which he had looked into showed that the parish of St. Lawrence and the parish of St. Michael were only touched upon by the boundaries of 63 Appleby. The borough was not included in either of these parishes. When a borough was included in a parish the Government, properly enough, took the population of the parish as the standard, but they did not go into other parishes. The borough of Buckingham contained 3,465, inhabitants including the entire parish of Buckingham; and as the parish included the borough, the population of it was taken as the standard. It was precisely the same with the borough of Oakhampton, the population of which only amounted to 1,907; but the parish, which included the borough, contained 2,973, and was, therefore, taken to be entitled to one Member. It was the same with Morpeth, the single parish of which contained 4,792 inhabitants, although the borough itself was less populous; but then the borough was contained within one parish alone. The same was the case with Tamworth, as the right hon. Baronet opposite would be able to testify; and the same rule had brought the borough of Horsham within the benefit of the exception provided by Ministers. There was no inconsistency in this, and the facts on which the right hon. Gentleman opposite made his charge having been found insufficient, the imputations he superadded must certainly fall to the ground.
§ Mr. Ridley Colborne
said, that with respect to the imputation of motives, he could fearlessly assert, that a noble personage, hitherto supposed to be the patron of the borough of Horsham, would gain no advantage from the change. He believed that he could no longer reckon on his seat being secure, through influence at least, for there were now two gentlemen canvassing that borough. He would say, however, that if ever there was a noble Lord who had willingly made personal sacrifices of political interest, it was the noble person to whom he alluded.
§ Mr. H. Gurney
thought, that no reason had been adduced for not transferring Appleby to schedule B. Its population entitled it to such a distinction, for that population, from time immemorial, included the parish of St. Michael, as well as of St. Lawrence. There was a deed still in existence, under which a Lord of Appleby, in the reign of William 2nd, bestowed the church patronage of Appleby on the Abbey of York, in which deed the parishes of St. Michael and St. Lawrence were spoken of as part and parcel of the township 64 of Appleby, with this distinction—that the former, that which the noble Lord entirely cut off, was made to take precedence of the latter, that which the noble Lord admits to belong to the borough.
wished to deal justice impartially to the borough of Appleby, as well as to every other borough. What he wished to be informed of was, whether the limits of the borough and town were coextensive. For his part he looked to substantial justice, which, he conceived, was only to be done by considering the limits of the town. As to Horsham, he confessed he thought that no case had been made out for giving it the elective franchise, but that, on the contrary, a case was made out for depriving it of the franchise. He was against admitting the rural population in any case, and submitted, that the constituency belonging to the boroughs themselves was the only question to be considered. He should be glad, therefore, if his noble friend (Lord John Russell) could inform him what was the population of the town of Appleby, without any reference to the limits of the borough.
Lord John Russell
stated, in answer to the question of the hon. and gallant Member (Colonel Davies), that the parish of Appleby St. Lawrence contained 851 inhabitants, whilst the parish of Appleby St. Michael contained 203, making a total of only 1,054 in the town of Appleby. To make up the number of 2,600, stated as the amount of the population, it was necessary to go into the country parts, for the town contained nothing like 2,000 inhabitants. In applying the principle of the Bill, his Majesty's Government would have been glad, in many instances, to take the population of the towns only, but it often happened that the limits of the borough did not take in the whole town, and they were, therefore, obliged to take the population of the borough and parish together. In no instance, however, had the country parishes been given to a town, which was what was contended for in the present instance. As he was on his legs, he wished to say a word on the charge of partiality made by the right hon. Gentleman (Mr. Croker.) The right hon. Gentleman had alluded, with much humour, to Calne and Horsham having been taken out of the schedule, and being boroughs under Whig influence. The right hon. Gentleman had curiously picked out those 65 two Whig boroughs out of a great number. In fact, there were thirty other boroughs to which every one of his observations would have been applicable; but with great care and industry the right hon. Gentleman avoided a reference to those boroughs which were preserved, and were not Whig. He wished to convey an insinuation that those boroughs were spared, at the expense of justice, in which the Tory interest did not prevail. Now this insinuation he (Lord John Russell) heard with great good humour—he was not at all angry—for however deficient in official accuracy the statements of his Majesty's Ministers might be, the charges against them were so extravagant, that he felt they need not mind in the least the statements of the right hon. Gentleman. Even if these statements were left quite unanswered, the right hon. Gentleman could never succeed in persuading the House or the country, that there was one rule for the boroughs belonging to one party, and another for the boroughs of the opposite party. Whatever might be the defects of the Bill, it was a fair measure as regarded all parties.
§ Mr. Croker
, in explanation, remarked, that he had not mentioned the case of Morpeth only. He had mentioned the cases of Malmesbury and Oakhampton, before he had said a word about the boroughs of Calne and Horsham.
did not rise to make any charge of partiality against the noble Lord; he only rose to ask him to do that act of justice to Appleby, which he had, upon the application of its inhabitants, done to the borough of Truro. That borough contained only 1,800 inhabitants, and had therefore been placed, in the last Bill, in schedule A. The inhabitants had shown, that when the two other parishes in that town were taken into the borough, the population of that town was upwards of 6,000. The noble Lord had, in consequence of that information, taken Truro out of the schedules altogether. He trusted that the noble Lord would apply the same principle to the borough of Appleby. If he did, he must, on his own principles, transfer it from schedule A to schedule B.
§ Lord Althorp
observed, that the case of Truro was not a case in point. The difference between the case of Truro and that of Appleby was this—the borough of Truro extended largely into two parishes, 66 and nearly the whole of the population of those parishes was contained within the, limits of the borough, whereas in Appleby the borough extended but a very small way into two parishes; and the population, which was to save it from disfranchisement, dwelt not in the limits of the borough, but, in the rural districts, at some distance from it. Ministers had admitted the, rural population into the borough, where only one parish was concerned, but had never admitted it, where two parishes were concerned. As to the charge of partiality, it could not be imputed to Ministers in this instance, for Appleby, as far as political influence went, was a neutral borough.
Sir R. Peel
would assume, that the House had already settled, that the census of 1821 was to be taken in preference to that of 1831, and that all towns with a population under 2,000 were to be wholly disfranchised. He would therefore discard those two points from his argument, as points already settled. The question, then, for his consideration was, did the exclusion of Appleby from the elective franchise fall under the principles of the Reform Bill. He believed, that the facts of the case were, that the borough part of Appleby contained a population of 1,054, and that the two parishes contained a population of 2,600 persons. Now the question was, shall these two parishes be combined into one borough? He thought, that justice would be more effectually done by combining these two parishes with, than by separating them from, the borough. Let, the Committee consider in the first place how the jurisdiction ran in the two parishes. He understood that the corporate jurisdiction of the borough extended all over the two parishes.
§ Mr. J. Brougham
stated, that on that point the right hon. Baronet was misinformed. The jurisdiction certainly was not, the same.
Sir R. Peel
said, one, of the evils of which the Committee had a right to complain was, that it had not sufficient information on this and several similar points before it. He was given, however, to understand, that the Coroner for the borough, and not the Coroner for the county, took inquests in these two parishes.
Sir R. Peel
stated, that the interruptions—not unfair interruptions—which the 67 hon. Gentleman had just given to his observations, convinced him that his Majesty's Ministers would have acted much better had they taken the advice tendered to them on a former occasion, and appointed a Select Committee to ascertain facts as to each particular borough, in order that the House might hereafter decide upon them. He scarcely knew how to legislate in such a dearth of all authentic information.
was instructed, that the jurisdiction of the Mayor of Appleby extended over the whole extent of both the parishes of St. Lawrence and St. Michael, and that the licenses for public-houses in the remotest parts of both, always came from the Mayor of Appleby.
§ Sir Charles Wetherell
thought the Committee must now perceive, that when it refused to allow evidence at the bar, in the case of this borough, it had not come to a very prudent decision. When the noble Lord who introduced the Bill, agreed that it was not necessary to have Counsel in this case, he (Sir C. Wetherell) understood the noble Lord to say, that when the case of Appleby came before the Committee, there would be an opportunity of understanding the facts. If there was any other way of getting at the facts, he (Sir C. Wetherell) was not so partial to hearing Counsel at the bar as to prefer it to all other modes; but though they were now in Committee, they were quite in the dark as to the facts. It was a most material question, whether the borough jurisdiction was co-extensive with the two parishes, and that was affirmed on one side, and denied on the other, by persons equally competent to decide. The result of inquiries which he (Sir C. Wetherell) had made, was, that the jurisdiction was coextensive; but how was the Committee to act without further information? Gentlemen talked of justice; but how was justice to be done, when there was no means of solving the difficulty arising from opposite and contradictory statements. They were now trying a rotten borough at the bar, and upon the ordinary principles of justice it should stand acquitted, its guilt not having been proved; and there being no means of solving the difficulty arising from contradictory testimony. The Committee were called upon, however, to assume against the 68 accused. That was an odd sort of justice, and if the Committee proceeded upon such a principle, it would be an odd Court of Justice—a new principle of justice, adopted by a Reformed House of Commons, inverting the rules of evidence, propriety, and reason. The united population of the two parishes connected with Appleby, it was admitted, would take it out of schedule A. Now he could see no difference between this case and that of Truro, which was saved by adding part of a parish without the limits of the borough, whilst here it was said, they ought not to resort to any parish extension of the borough. If the whole population was to be taken in when the borough touched on one parish, there was no reason for refusing to take in the whole population when the borough touched on two parishes. It was a distinction without a difference. A more absurd and senseless distinction he could not imagine. Why were they, for the purposes of disfranchisement, to separate two component parts of a township, when so many parishes were tacked or spliced, or, he was about to say, married together, to make out a district which was to return new Members? In the district of Finsbury, for instance, there was to be a Turkish polygamy of parishes. This Bill had effected extraordinary unions. It had married—or rather it was to marry—the parish of St. Giles with the parish of St. George, Hanover-square. But, with respect to the principle upon which it proceeded, that was one thing which he should be glad to hear satisfactorily explained. The Bill separated a population in order to disfranchise a place, and united different parishes in order to franchise one. When they came to the schedule C, he should enter more at length into this part of the Bill. But he now called upon the noble Lord to explain why by one rule the Committee was desired to disfranchise, when a contrary rule was adopted, in order to create franchisement? The worthy Alderman, a member of the city of London (Mr. Alderman Thompson), had been called upon by his constituents respecting the vote he had given when the subject of the borough of Appleby was formerly before the House. The city of London had, as it were, issued a writ of capias, to take hold of his body. The city of London had arraigned him in their Court of Justice, because he had presumed to desire, that the House of Commons might have the 69 facts of the case upon which that House was called upon to do justice. What! was the city of London to be so degraded in these days of refinement and novelty as to have a Representative, who should wish to have evidence before he decided? But it had been intimated to the worthy Alderman, "Only admit, in the language of the Ministers, that you inadvertently came to give your vote, and then you will be forgiven for desiring to have these facts before you upon which justice only could be done." Talk about nomination boroughs, indeed! did ever any thing like this transpire in the nomination boroughs? If these were the principles upon which an unreformed House of Commons proceeded, what would take place in a democratic House of Commons? If the members of the city of London were to be thus treated, what might not be expected from the rural population of London—from the population of St. Giles's-in-the-Fields? If, inter mœnia, such things took place, what would be done extra mœnia? What principles should they not have to encounter? Bitter indeed would be the dominion of a constituency so formed!—so bitter, that it would be impossible for a man of feeling and high principles to be a Member of Parliament. When they came to the evils of schedule C, he should address the Committee more at length; but at present they were only just commencing the evil of schedule A. With respect to the boroughs of Truro and Horsham, they had been most unjustly retained if Appleby were to be excluded. He thought it right to say what he had on the present occasion; and, if the Committee divided, he should vote for the proposition of the noble Lord.
§ Sir Charles Lemon
, said, the hon. and learned Gentleman had stated, that the borough of Appleby contained as large a population as Calne, Truro, or Horsham. He would leave out of his consideration the first and last of these places, and confine himself to Truro, which contained, he knew, nearly 7,000 individuals, and he believed no hon. Member had ventured to assert, that the population of Appleby, even with the addition of two adjacent parishes amounted to that number.
§ Mr. Attwood
observed, that in the course of the Debate, the charge of partiality on the part of his Majesty's Ministers, in the disfranchisement of boroughs, had been repeatedly made;—and not without good grounds. At the outset of the Debate, 70 the noble Lord refused to state the principles upon which he proposed to regulate his system of disfranchisement; but afterwards, on being pressed for an explanation, he said, that he proposed to take the census of 1821 as the basis of his plan; adding, as his reason, that he thought he could do away with the system of nomination boroughs, by settling the rate of population which should give the franchise, at 2,000 individuals. When he heard that the destruction of nomination boroughs was the professed object of the noble Lord's plan, and saw that the boroughs of Calne and Tavistock were not included in schedule A, the charge of partiality seemed clearly supportable. Tavistock was, however, a borough, he believed, in the absolute possession, but at least in the possession, of the noble House of Russell. Of course, no inference could be drawn from the mere fact, that Tavistock was not in schedule A; but when other boroughs appeared there, which were equally populous, the charge of partiality assumed a formidable appearance. He would proceed, however, to the consideration of the question before the House. A few evenings before a petition had been presented, praying, that evidence might be received at that bar, to shew why the borough of Appleby should not be included in schedule A. This request was, after a debate, refused on the grounds that, if it was acceded to, any other borough now comprised in the Schedule A might follow the same course, and pray to be heard at the bar. If hon. Members had examined the contents of that petition, they would have seen, that the circumstances stated in it were solely applicable to the borough of Appleby, and to no other borough in the kingdom. What was the special prayer of the petition?—not, that some adjoining parishes should be added to the borough, for the purpose of giving it a right of returning Members, but that two parishes, which were already actually part of the borough, should be considered in the calculation of its population. It was denied that these parishes were part of that borough—and why, then, not receive evidence on that point. The petitioners offered to prove the affirmative, but his Majesty's Ministers preferred the mere assertions of hon. Gentlemen, to what might be elicited on oath from those intimately acquainted with the borough. The House refused to hear Counsel for Appleby, 71 although they listened to the statements which the hon. and learned member for Winchilsea thought proper to make against its interests. Now, was not that a very unjust proceeding?—Let the House for a moment consider what was this hearsay evidence. The hon. and learned Member stated, that the Magistrates and the Coroner of the borough had no concurrent jurisdiction over either of the two parishes proposed by the petition to be included in the census of the aggregate population. He begged, however, to state, on the authority of the Recorder of that borough, that both the Magistrates and the Coroner of the borough of Appleby exercised authority over those parishes. The former, and the former only, had the power of granting licenses—and the latter, of holding inquests. The Magistrates of the county had no power whatever to grant licenses, or the Coroner of the county to hold inquests—and if the House would consent to hear evidence, these points would be proved at the bar. Ought the House, then, to take the ipse dixit of the hon. and learned Gentleman, when it could so easily arrive at the true state of the facts by granting the prayer of the petition. If, without hearing evidence on these points, the House decided on the disfranchisement of this borough, it would proceed as if it were wholly regardless of the principles of either justice or equity. Another point was this—In the census of 1821, there was a manifest error in the return of the population of the borough of Appleby. The noble Lord had stated the grounds on which he abided by the census of the year 1821, and it was as correct as that of any other year, but mistakes could not be avoided. The petitioners said, "We can point you out an error in this return, which, of course, you ought to get remedied." But the noble Lord refused to do that. The petitioners said—"Look to the census of 1811; there you will find the amount of population correctly stated: in that, the error of which we complain is not committed." They merely asked for inquiry; they did not object to the line of demarcation, but they wanted not to be precluded, by an error, from having their rights. On examining the census of 1811 and that of 1821—we find in the former the population stated at upwards of 2,000 souls, and in the latter at 1,300. There must be a very material and palpable error in one or the other of 72 these returns: and that it is not in the return of 1811, the petitioners offered to prove. It would be degrading to the House not to take means to correct this mistake. The noble Lord stated, that he proposed to destroy the nomination boroughs, by enacting that no borough containing a population of less than 2,000, according to the census of 1821, should return a Member. This line he laid down to prevent charges of partiality or favour, but in the case of Appleby, he turned round and said, that it was a nomination borough, and should therefore be disfranchised. This clearly proved, that his Majesty's Ministers proceeded on no settled plan whatever, but enfranchised or disfranchised according to the course which to them seemed best. If the noble Lord said, that any borough, containing a population to the amount of 2,000 individuals was worthy of Representation, this borough ought not to be disfranchised. If the noble Lord, however, took away Representation from this borough on the ground of nomination, let him do the same thing by every other borough similarly situated. Appleby was most harshly treated, and if there was a division, he would certainly vote for its having one Member.
§ Sir E. Sugden
was desirous of knowing, whether the noble Lord, the member for Devonshire, would redeem the pledge which he understood the noble Lord gave, that the Committee would have an opportunity of hearing evidence, if they were not clear, upon some of the facts respecting the boroughs to be disfranchised? He did not ask for Counsel to be heard at the bar, nor did he wish to impede the progress of the Bill, but he really was in such a condition, after listening to the statements made on the one side and the other, and he was bound to declare his opinion, he really was placed in such a condition, as to be called upon to vote in a case, of the facts of which he was really ignorant.
§ Lord Althorp
said, that the grounds on which he had formed his judgment, were different from the points at present in dispute. He was not prepared to admit, that if it were proved that the Magistrates of Appleby had a jurisdiction over the two parishes in question, the consequences ought to be, that the extent of those parishes should be included in the population of the town. This was an individual question—the only one in which the population of parishes reaching out of a town 73 to a very great extent, could be included in that of the town itself. Although the liberties of the borough Magistrates should extend over this parochial jurisdiction, this could not be brought as a proof that the town itself ought to be so extended. The borough of Appleby had not been stated by any person to extend over these parishes. It was impossible to accuse his Majesty's Ministers of partiality in this case, for there was no motive or reason why they should object to give a Representative to Appleby, for he did not know that such Representative might not be quite as likely to agree with Ministers, as with those who opposed them. It appeared to him, that this discussion did apply to a borough, in the case of which no charge of partiality could be brought against Ministers. The case of Truro was totally different. In forming an entirely new constituency, it was necessary to adopt a district of parishes in places of a great extent; but in disfranchising a town of no consideration, it would not be made more considerable by including parishes that did not belong to it. If the House adopted the motion in the case of Appleby, it would be taking out of the county of Westmoreland a large tract, in order to form a new constituency.
Lord John Russell
said, in answer to the question put by the hon. and learned Gentleman, the member for St. Mawes, that what he had formerly stated was, if the Committee found it necessary to have evidence in particular cases, the Committee might direct such evidence to be produced.
contended, that upon the principle of the Bill, the adjoining parish of St. Michael had as good a right to be included in the borough of Appleby, I as had been the case with other boroughs, which had great favour shewn to them. The principle stated, as he understood it, was this—that if two contiguous parishes contained a number of inhabitants next to a borough, sufficient to prevent that, borough from being disfranchised, that it should remain in either schedule B or C. But it was now said, that such a principle was not to prevail; and he asked, could that be considered an act of justice? He had a case exactly in point; and if Truro were not admitted, what was to be said to Reigate, which, according to the original Bill, was to have been disfranchised, although, in the amended schedule, it was 74 still to retain a Representative? Why, but for the junction of Other parishes with Reigate, it never could have been so favoured as it was now proposed to have it. Now he begged leave to ask, if Reigate, by the addition of the adjoining parishes, were to have a place in schedule B, why not Appleby upon the same principle? What, he begged leave to ask, was the distinction between them? They might, perhaps, have different Christian names for the adjoining parishes, but whether they were called St. Michael's or St. Leonard's, the facts remained precisely the same. He would not go further into the question; it had been sufficiently argued by Members on the opposition side of the House, and nothing had been satisfactorily urged against their reasoning, either by the Ministers or their supporters. Even upon the principles admitted by the noble Lord (Lord John Russell), it was quite clear, that where a borough had in a contiguous parish sufficient inhabitants to reach the number of 2,000, such a borough should not be condemned to a total disfranchisement.
considered, that townships should not be confounded with parishes in this case, although the principle had been enlarged as to the towns of Buckingham and Aylesbury. The charge of partiality which had been made in the selection of favoured boroughs, he must repudiate, because Appleby, as was stated, stood in two distinct parishes, neither having much, if any, connection with each other. In many parts of England, the jurisdiction of Coroners particularly, only extended to certain townships, so that the existence of such a jurisdiction in a neighbouring parish could have nothing to do with the question. If, under such circumstances, the Ministers violated the principle which they had laid down, he should much regret it; and, according to his present impression, he must vote for the disfranchisement of Appleby.
Mr. Alderman Waithman
could say of Reigate, that the second parish was so little connected with the borough, that it ought not to have preserved it from disfranchisement.
§ Sir J. Scarlett
considered, that when the neighbouring parish contained a population larger than the borough town, such borough should not be disfranchised, if 75 the total number of the population came up to the standard of 2,000. He had had a forty years' acquaintance with the borough of Appleby; and, without saying a word against the experience of any other Gentleman, he must observe, that, looking at the three roads to that borough, through Penrith, Temple Sowerby, and Shap Fell, he did not know if the existence of any other parish could be found, except in St. Michael's, which was immediately contiguous to the borough of Appleby. After all, he could safely say, looking to all the analogous cases upon the subject, that he could not see any satisfactory reason why the ancient borough of Appleby should be deprived of a Representative in Parliament. Even upon the principle laid down by the Government, that contiguous parishes should be included in the borough, he was fully persuaded that injustice would be committed, if this motion were negatived.
§ Mr. James Brougham
knew Appleby well, and he had the testimony of the Under-sheriff of the county to state, that the present population, within one mile round from the centre of Appleby, was but 1,500, and there had been an increase of 200 within the last ten years. The population within the borough was now 1,110, which, allowing for the increase mentioned, would prove the correctness of the return of 1821, which stated it at 860. In addition to this fact, the two parishes in which Appleby stood, covered a space of thirty-three square miles, while the Mayor's jurisdiction extended over only 100 acres.
§ Sir H. Hardinge
said, that if Appleby were to be denied a Representative, such a place as East Retford, having been thrown open to the hundred, would meet the reward of corruption by continuing its Members. If the latter place were to have two Members, why deprive Guildford and Dorchester of one Member each? Such a mode of acting might be called fair and honest—perhaps political—but it must be quite clear, that neither this House nor the people of the country would be satisfied, until an impartial hearing, which was hitherto denied to them, should be had. It might be very easy for feeble minds to destroy, but it would be for those of an abler mould to build up again.
Lord John Russell
observed, that if he had had his way in the case alluded to, he should have transferred the franchise of East Retford to such a town as Birmingham, 76 but the abler and wiser men then in the Government would not consent to it. So much for the great minds of the late Administration and their supporters.
§ Mr. W. Bankes
considered, that it was beneath the dignity of the House to legislate in the manner in which they were now proceeding. In any well-ordered and deliberative assembly, they should have facts to guide their judgment. Here an objection was taken to hear such facts; and he considered that, under all the circumstances, the people of Appleby must consider that they had been very much ill-treated and ill-used.
§ Mr. Croker
would not take this subject on narrow grounds as to jurisdictions in one parish, or the other; he would not inquire into the jurisdiction of a churchwarden here or a Coroner there, or a particular public-house being situate within a mile or two or three of any given borough; but this he would say, that as two parishes were united in the borough of Appleby, which two parishes contained above 2,000 inhabitants, that that borough, upon the principle laid down by the Government, should not be disfranchised. This was the fair and honest way of viewing the subject, and he would certainly vote for the continuance of Appleby, at all events, in schedule B.
§ Mr. Hunt
could not imagine why Government should consent to the disfranchisement of this borough, considering that the testimony on which they acted had been so conflicting and contradictory. He, however, would vote for its disfranchisement, partly on account of its being a nomination borough, and partly because he had already given notice of a motion to the effect that every householder paying rent and taxes should be entitled to exercise the elective franchise.
§ Mr. Attwood rose again for the purpose of calling the attention of the House to the fact that Morpeth was to be saved merely by adding to its population the village of Netherby, situated fully seven miles distant from the borough itself.
observed, that it was but just to act thus with regard to Morpeth, when the borough of Aldborough was saved by the addition of the population of a district in a different riding.
§ Mr. Croker
exclaimed, "Do we then hear the allegation, that Morpeth is to be saved by the addition of a chapelry seven miles distant, answered by the admission 77 that Aldborough will be allowed to take credit for a population actually situate in another riding? and do we hear that admitted by the very party who refuse the franchise to Appleby, on the pretext that the parish by which it could claim it is six or seven miles in length?
§ The Committee then divided—For the Amendment 228; Against it 302—Majority 74.
§ The original Motion, "that Appleby should stand part of the Clause," was then put and agreed to.
§ The House resumed.
§ List, of the Majority.
§ [The following Members voted in the division on Appleby, in addition to those who voted in the former, and being added to the majority, at page 5, will give the Majority in this division.]
|Anson, Hon. G.||Knight, R.|
|Acheson, Viscount||Lambert, J. S.|
|Atherley, Arthur||Lennox, Lord A.|
|Barnett, C. J.||Littleton, E.|
|Bayntun, Capt. S. A.||Lloyd, Sir E.|
|Biddulph, R. M.||Lumley, J. S.|
|Boyle, Lord||M'Namara, W.|
|Blunt, Sir C. Bart.||Moreton, Hon. H.|
|Brabazon, Viscount||Mostyn, E. M. L.|
|Burdett, Sir F.||O'Neill, J. B. R.|
|Burton, H.||Osborne, Lord F.|
|Byng, G.||Paget, Sir C.|
|Callaghan, D.||Paget, T.|
|Cavendish, C. C.||Ponsonby, Hon. W. F.|
|Chaytor, W. R.||Price, Sir R.|
|Chichester, Col. A.||Sheil, R.|
|Duncombe, T.||Sinclair, G.|
|Dundas, Hon. T.||Smith, j.|
|Ferguson, Sir R. C.||Smith, G. R.|
|Fergusson, R.||Stanley, Lord|
|Fordwich, Lord||Stewart, Sir M. S.|
|Fox, Lieut.-Colonel||Stuart, Colonel|
|Gillon, W. D.||Talbot, C. R. M.|
|Gordon, R.||Throckmorton, R. G.|
|Guise, Sir B. W.||Trail, G.|
|Gurney, R.||Uxbridge, Lord|
|Heathcote, Sir G.||Walker, C. A.|
|Hill, Lord A.||Webb, Colonel|
|Howick, Lord||Western, C.|
|Hughes, Col. L.||Wilbraham, G.|
|Jeffrey, Rt. Hon. F.||Wilks, J.|
|Johnston, J.||Wood, Ald.|