observed, that the House was now in the third week's discussion on this Bill, and had not progressed further than the first clause. There was a strong and an alarming feeling excited throughout the country in consequence of the delays by which the Bill had been met. He imputed no motives to the Gentlemen opposite for the course which they had pursued. He merely wished to remind them, that their proceedings had created the greatest excitement throughout the country. A conference had been held between the Political Unions of Birmingham, Manchester, and Glasgow, as to the steps which, according to their sense of duty, they ought to take in case these proceedings were continually protracted in the same slow and tardy manner. He had heard several exclamations from the other side of the House as to the impropriety of proceeding with haste on a Bill of this importance; but in other cases, when the matter was not so important, but infinitely more dangerous, he meant those measures which took away the liberty of the subject, by suspending the Habeas Corpus Act—in those cases, he repeated, greater precipitancy had been shown, than that urged at present, without exciting a murmur on the part of those who were now so indignant. The six atrocious Acts were passed with a rapidity perfectly unexampled. He was sorry, that the noble Lord had fixed five o'clock for the commencement of the Debate on this Bill, and he did hope, that the noble Lord would see the expediency of appointing a much earlier hour for the despatch of that important business. At the present rate of proceeding, it was impossible to say when this Bill would pass through this House. If a different mode of proceeding did not take place that night or the next, he would move to examine at their bar, persons who understood the state of public credit, in order to point out to the House the danger arising from this course of delay.
Mr. John Smith
also thought, that the complaints of the delays were well founded. He was certain that many Gentlemen who opposed the Bill, and made, speeches against it, over and over again, in the very 329 same words, did so for delay alone. That, too, was the general opinion out of doors. No man could be blind to the feeling of society on this measure. As far as his observation went, and it was not confined or scanty, the whole nation participated in a sentiment favourable to the Reform Bill. If the House continued to go on as it had done, Parliament might sit all the summer, and at the end of it find, that it had done nothing. If this question were to be decided by a trial of physical strength, the young, who could sit out the old and sickly, must ultimately gain the victory, but then it would be victory not creditable either to the party who gained it or to the character of the House. He could assure the House, that the anger of the population in Scotland at the delays thrown in the way of the Bill was such, that if the House did not alter its course, it would shortly show itself in something stronger than words. He wished, that the noble Lord would move that the House should meet for the despatch of business at a much earlier hour than usual. No one would suffer greater inconvenience than he should from such an arrangement, but on an occasion like the present, all private feelings ought to give way. If the noble Lord would let the House meet at twelve o'clock, he would promise the noble Lord to be constant in his attendance at that hour, provided he was not sick. He wished from his heart, that the noble Lord would take some step to satisfy the public mind, which he could assure him was at present highly dissatisfied.
§ Mr. Hunt
would willingly second the motion of the hon. member for Rye, for, though he hated late hours at night, he had no objection to meet as early as ten o'clock in the morning. The hon. Member had said, that the country was in a great state of agitation from the delays by which the progress of this Bill had been obstructed. He denied it. The hon. Member had told the House, that the Birmingham Union, and the Manchester Union, and several other Unions were considering of the measures which they ought to take in case this Bill was not expedited. What the Birmingham Union might be doing he knew not, but he knew that the Manchester Union was not very active in this cause. He had presented a petition from the Manchester Union, calling for Annual Parliaments, Universal Suffrage, and Vote by Ballot, none of which this 330 Bill granted. He had seen a deputation from that Union in the morning, and he had not heard of the existence of any such feeling on this subject as that which the hon. Member had described. He believed, that there were two Unions at Manchester, one of the middle, and the other of the labouring classes. Among the middle classes there might be a feeling in favour of this Bill, but among the labouring classes there was nothing of the kind. They wanted something for themselves, and this Bill gave them nothing. He had heard much of the great agitation now prevalent in the country. He had been hunting for it, but he could not find it. He had himself no objection to dispose of the disfranchisement in schedule A and B, and he had said so before. He would disfranchise all the boroughs in both schedules. He had before recommended the House to meet at an early hour, and, therefore, he was ready to repeat his determination to second the motion of which the hon. member for Rye had given notice.
Mr. H. L. Bulwer
had a Petition on this subject to present from Coventry; and though he should be the last in proposing to press the Bill forward with undue haste, he could not help saying, that he thought much valuable time had been wasted in personal allusions, ill-timed jokes, and endless repetitions. The people were anxiously waiting for the decision of Parliament; and this—the moment of their breathless expectation—was not the time to indulge in rhetorical flourishes, or repeat often-refuted arguments.
§ Lord Althorp
thought, that the discussion introduced by the hon. Gentleman would not tend to expedite the Bill. He should be happy to accede to any arrangement better calculated than the present, for getting the Bill forward; but he did not think that they could do anything more improper than attempt to stifle discussion on the details of the Bill. By commencing at five o'clock, and sitting till one, they got eight hours for discussion every night; and if they were to meet in the day-time, he did not see that they could do more. The sitting in the morning had certainly been pressed upon him by two or three hon. friends of his; but he did not feel convinced that it would be the means of expediting the Bill.
Sir Robert Peel
said, there were already several Committees which met at twelve o'clock, and did not separate till four, 331 which would be an impediment to the House meeting at that time. It might, perhaps, be advisable to appoint a Committee to examine the details of the Bill, which should meet at twelve o'clock, and separate at four, when the other Committees separated, and meeting so early, it might carefully examine those details, and be able to give an opinion on them. If the House met at twelve o'clock, that would occasion a great alteration. There were other species of business, such as Election Committees, and Committees on private bills, which, if they were not to sit, would cause the parties serious inconvenience. He was sorry, that the hon. Member, in referring to this subject, had alluded to the pressure external to the House. It was their duty not to be influenced by such allusions, and he trusted, that the time would never come when that House would allow itself to be fettered by such considerations. The details of the Bill were a matter of great importance. Circumstances had occurred, which had made a material alteration in the views taken by his Majesty's Government since last Session, in respect to Downton, Sandwich, and other boroughs, which showed that they regarded the details as important, and it was impossible to allow their claim to make these alterations, and to reconsider the question, without extending that permission to other Members who were bound by their duty to their constituents to attend to their particular interests. Whatever might be done by a reformed Parliament, he hoped that Parliament would not set the fatal precedent of the Members of that House neglecting the interests and wishes of their constituents. It was fair to observe, that several places had already been disfranchised in one night, which had enjoyed the franchise for centuries, after a very brief defence for them had been made—a defence, indeed, as short as it was well possible to make, consistently with the duty of the Members. It was in some measure the fault of the Government that there was so much delay. It would have been better if they had not brought before the House so many undigested details. It would be better if a Select Committee were appointed to examine the details, and report on them to the House, to inquire into all local matters; and as the House would not hear Counsel, and would not hear evidence, a Select Committee might ascertain all the doubt- 332 ful points. For example, there was the case of Appleby, which caused a Debate for three or four hours, because the House was not informed on a matter of fact. The time of the House might in that manner be spared. If a Committee were appointed; it might report merely on matters of fact, and be instructed to give no opinions. It was clear that the House could not come to a rational decision on such an important matter, unless time were allowed. If they refused to give their attention to all the circumstances of the case, it would be disposed of elsewhere. The Gentlemen who sat on that side of the House might, indeed, have absented themselves from discussing the details, satisfied with having given their votes against the Bill on the second reading, but that, he believed, would have been a more fatal and dangerous course than that which they had adopted, of examining the details of the measure. He conceived, that setting apart four days of the week, and sitting eight hours on each of those days, was sufficient; and it was not, perhaps, possible to devote more time to the subject. The state of health of the elder Members of the House must be consulted, and that would not allow of more labour. If they were to meet at twelve o'clock, the usual state of the benches at five o'clock now might convince the Members that at twelve o'clock they would not have a numerous attendance.
§ Mr. Cresset Pelham
said, it was the duty of the House to inquire into, and remedy any evils said to exist in the Representation. They were now on the first clause of a Bill, the object of which appeared to be, to disfranchise places where corruption might be supposed to exist. Now, they had the most decided evidence before them, that the grossest corruption prevailed in one of the largest towns in the kingdom, and yet this place had not been included in schedules A or B. Ministers then were perfectly indifferent to corruption on a large scale, for the consideration of the charges against the electors of Liverpool had been postponed to an indefinite time, and he feared nothing would be done. He would take that opportunity of asking the noble Lord (the Chancellor of the Exchequer), whether he intended to make any communication to the House upon the subject of the expiration of the charter of the Bank of England?
§ Lord Althorp
replied, that the Government had no intention, at the present time, of bringing forward any proposition on the subject.
The House then resolved itself into a Committee on the Reform (England) Bill, Mr. Bernal in the Chair.
The Chairman put the question, "That the borough of Queenborough stand part of schedule A."
§ Mr. Capel
was aware, after the disfranchisement of thirty-eight boroughs, he had no hope of saving Queenborough, but he must state, it was neither a nomination nor a rotten borough, it contained 300 freemen, who, after a hard struggle of seven years, had worked out their political independence. He and his hon. colleague had been sent to the House as free and independent as any Members. He could not agree to the opinion, that there was a necessity to hurry the Bill through the House. He remembered when the noble relative of the hon. member for Buckinghamshire (Mr. John Smith), sat in the House by Mr. Pitt, having the power to nominate to six seats, and the fortunes of his family were materially aided by that power. He ought not, therefore, to be in such a hurry to get rid of the boroughs now under discussion. He protested, in the name of the freemen of Queenborough, against the disfranchisement, for Queenborough was now an independent borough.
Sir Colquhoun Grant
felt it his duty, as a Representative of the borough of Queenborough, to trouble the Committee with a very few observations. The borough of Queenborough received the Charter which entitled it to send Members to that House in the reign of Edward 3rd. At the time of the granting of the Charter the number of voters was extremely small, and in 1775 there were only eighty-five voters in the borough; but at the present time there were between 300 and 400, which all would allow was a very respectable number. He admitted, that according to the erroneous principle of mere population which had been laid down by his Majesty's Government, the borough of Queenborough must be disfranchised; its case was hopeless; but he protested against that principle as arbitrary and unjust. If persevered in, it would lead to the worst results. That Constitution which produced the glory, the prosperity, and the happiness of the nation, would be destroyed; and the institutions of the country would rapidly 334 be annihilated. He trusted, that the law would not be built upon such a principle. An hon. Member, a supporter of the Bill, had stated, that he would prove every borough in schedule A to be a nomination borough. Now he challenged that hon. Member to the proof with respect to the borough of Queenborough. He defied that hon. Member to prove, that Queenborough was a nomination borough, and yet Queenborough was in schedule A. That borough had certainly formerly been much under the influence of the Hon. Board of Ordnance, but it had returned Members to the last three Parliaments entirely independent of the influence of that Board. Prior to the last election he had received an invitation to come forward, accompanied by a pledge that he should be returned without expense to himself. He had accepted that invitation, and although strongly opposed to his Majesty's Government, he had been elected by a triumphant majority. It had been stated in that House, that no candidate who had proved successful had ventured openly to tell the people that he was opposed to the Reform Bill. Now he had done so. A public meeting was called in the borough of Queenborough, prior to the election, and at that meeting he had openly and broadly stated, that he was opposed to the Bill. That was the fact. From the first he had been opposed to the Bill, and his chief object in wishing for a seat in that House, was a desire to display that opposition in an effectual manner. He sat there as an acknowledged and known opponent of the Bill, and he had the satisfaction of stating, that he had been sent there as such, without being bound either to peer or commoner, without being pledged upon any one point, and without expense.
§ The question carried.
§ The Chairman put as the question, "That the borough of New Romney stand part of schedule A."
§ Sir Edward Dering
said, there were some peculiar circumstances in the case of New Romney, and he solicited the indulgence of the Committee while he shortly slated what they were. According to the census of 1821, the population of New Romney amounted only to 967 persons, but that return did not include the limbs and members of New Romney. Those members consisted of Old Romney and Lydd. The point he wished to establish and put to the Committee was this, that 335 New Romney being one of the cinque ports, was entitled, like Sandwich, also one of the cinque ports, to have recourse to the population of its limbs and members to make up the necessary amount of population. Sandwich had been allowed to include the population of its limbs, Deal and Walmer; and therefore New Romney ought to be allowed to include the population of its limbs, Lydd and Old Romney. That there was a strong political connection between New Romney and Lydd was amply proved by a reference to transactions of a very ancient date, when it was customary for boroughs to pay their Representatives, and that connection continued up to a very modern period. It appeared by documentary evidence, that in the reign of Henry 2nd, by a regular agreement, the Barons of Lydd contributed a certain portion towards the payment of the Barons of New Romney returned to serve in Parliament. There was also another agreement, shewing directly a close political connection between the two places, which had continued in full force, and had been acted upon, up to 1808. Of the political connection, then, between New Romney and Lydd, he apprehended there could be no question, and therefore he submitted to the Committee, that as in the case of Sandwich that cinque port had been assisted by the population of its limbs, Walmer and Deal, so, in the present case, New Romney should be assisted by the population of its limbs, Old Romney and Lydd. If that were allowed, as in fairness and upon principle he thought it ought to be, then the only question was, did the population of New Romney, thus assisted, amount to such a number as to entitle it to be removed from schedule A? He would refer to the population returns of 1821. It appeared by them that the population of Lydd amounted to 1,437, and that of Old Romney to 169, making, together with that of New Romney, a total population of 2,573 persons. These were the facts, and without asking the noble Lord (Lord John Russell) to adopt any new principle, he did submit, that he had fully made out a case which entitled the borough of New Romney to be removed from schedule A to schedule B. The case was exactly in point with that of Sandwich, excepting, indeed, that it was much stronger in one circumstance, Deal and Walmer being seven miles distant from Sandwich, while Lydd was only two from 336 Romney. He was anxious not to trouble the Committee unnecessarily, and as he felt, that he had stated enough to make out his case, he would not longer detain it.
said, that he meant no disrespect to the hon. Baronet who had just sat down, when he stated, that in his opinion all nomination boroughs, of which New Romney was certainly one, were subjected to disfranchisement by the rule laid down in the Reform Bill; and if this rule were to be adhered to in any case, there was none which deserved its enforcement better than the borough now under consideration. Besides, the town of Sandwich was a flourishing and increasing port, with a good harbour, and which, together with Deal, was likely to rise into importance; whereas New Romney and Old Romney were not likely to rise above their present condition, there being no port of which they could avail themselves to increase their trade. For the last 150 years it had been a nomination borough, and he therefore should vote for retaining it in schedule A.
§ Sir J. Brydges
said, that notwithstanding what had fallen from the hon. member for Buckinghamshire (Mr. J. Smith), he must intrude upon the attention of the Committee while he made a few remarks. He contended, that New Romney ought not to be disfranchised. For centuries it had exercised the elective franchise, and it had always done so with propriety and without blame. He hoped, that after the statement of the hon. Baronet, the member for New Romney, justice would be done to that borough, and it would be removed to schedule B. It ought to be taken out of schedule A, as a counterpoise to the advantages given throughout the Bill to the commercial interest, as at issue with the agricultural interest. New Romney was situated in a fertile district, and would return Members friendly to the agricultural interest. The noble Lord (Lord John Russell) had said, that his Bill was founded upon three principles—the destruction of nomination boroughs, putting an end to corruption, and the disfranchisement of inconsiderable places. For his own part he thought nomination boroughs useful; but if they were to be done away with, let them be thrown open, and not destroyed. With respect to corruption, let the corruption be cured, but not the borough extinguished. As to inconsiderable places, he did not very well under- 337 stand stand what the noble Lord meant by the phrase. If the hon. member for Worcester (Mr. Robinson) were in the House, he would probably give him some instruction upon the subject, and once more play the schoolmaster. But if such were the case, he might say to that hon. Member, that he had looked into the Dictionary, and he had there found, that an inconsiderable place was a place of no trade, of no importance, of no wealth, of no influence. But how was that definition to be adapted to such places as Fowey?—Oh! he should be told, perhaps, you have looked into the wrong Dictionary, you have looked into the old dilapidated Dictionary, whereas you should have consulted the Reformer's Dictionary. In allusion to some of the language which had been used in that House respecting the Representatives of what by some were called rotten boroughs, he would only say, that it was unworthy of any hon. Gentleman to use language in that House which he would not use out of it.
Lord J. Russell
said, the hon. Baronet (Sir E. Dering) concluded, that because Sandwich, in conjunction with Deal, was allowed to return Representatives to that House, that therefore New Romney, in conjunction with Lydd, ought to be entitled to a like privilege. He begged, however to say, that it was not because Deal and Walmer were the limbs of Sandwich that they were united in the exercise of the franchise with that borough, but because they were flourishing towns, containing 10,000 or 12,000 inhabitants, while the whole population of Romney did not exceed 1,400 persons. The cases, therefore, of Sandwich and New Romney were not at all parallel.
§ Sir C. Wetherell
said, he hoped the noble Lord (the Chancellor of the Exchequer) would act, with reference to the arrangements in that House, upon what he thought to be right, and not upon dictation or threat from abroad. The noble Lord had proposed a rule to the House, which had been readily adopted, and which had been faithfully acted upon, and therefore the House had a right to expect that its convenience and its dignity should be consulted in any alteration that might be suggested. For his own part, he should not be swayed by any thing which he had heard, but he should continue to do his duty, as he had hitherto done, going right on to his object. As to the particular case 338 before the Committee, he only possessed such information respecting it as might come to any Member accidentally; but, although thus circumstanced, he felt himself fully justified in broadly stating that there was not the slightest difference in principle between the case of Sandwich and New Romney. Sandwich, in order to make up the amount of population required by the noble Lord, had recourse to its limbs, Deal and Walmer; they were connected with Sandwich by municipal arrangements, and Lydd and Old Romney stood in precisely the same relation to New Romney. Indeed, after the documents referred to by the hon. Baronet (Sir E. Dering), no manner of doubt could exist in the mind of any one as to there being a direct and long-continued political connexion between New Romney and Lydd. An hon. and gallant Member, whose knowledge of the Cinque Ports he believed to be extremely modern, had at once decided against New Romney, upon the ground that it was a nomination borough. Oh! it has no claim, no pretensions, said the hon. and gallant Member; it is a nomination borough. Why, he asked in reply, is not Calne a nomination borough? A noble Lord had said, don't allude so often to Calne; but he could not help it, for there was a sort of elective attraction about that borough that always involuntarily induced him to look at it. Now he wanted some further explanation from the noble Lord us to the principle upon which he had acted with respect to New Romney. The noble Lord was rather shy, both by land and by water, of speechmaking—and he thought the noble Lord acted perfectly right in absolving himself off Twickenham from the demand made upon his oratorical powers. It was certainly too much to ask the noble Lord to take a piece of pine-apple, and to make a speech in the same breath; but he also thought, that the noble Lord might with advantage be somewhat more communicative upon the dry boards of that House than he had been when upon the boards of the city barge. In the present case some further explanation was absolutely necessary from the noble Lord, or it would be utterly impossible to understand what the principles were which even were said to be applied to New Romney. It was evident the principle of the hon. member for Rye (Colonel Evans) was not the principle of the noble Lord, for, if it was, it 339 had not been applied to Calne and to other places [noise and confusion in the House.] They might almost as well be on board the city barge as in that House, if such proceedings were to go on. He had very little to add; to preserve to Sandwich the right of sending Members to that House the limbs and members of that borough had been had recourse to, and New Romney was entitled to the same treatment. He should take that opportunity of repeating, that he should persevere in the course he had hitherto pursued. The noble Lord might withhold all information if he pleased, and if he did, all that he had to say was, that he was extremely glad there was such a place as an "elsewhere."
Lord John Russell
explained again the rule on which the boroughs were to be disfranchised. Deal was not annexed to Sandwich, because it had been connected with it under one jurisdiction; but because Deal was a flourishing town as well as Sandwich it was thought right to give them the right to return Members. Those two towns together contained more than 10,000 people; and between them, and New Romney and Lydd, the latter of which had a population of 1,400 the former of 900 persons, he saw no resemblance which could entitle these places to be treated in the same manner as Sandwich.
§ Mr. Croker
said, he understood the hon. and gallant Member opposite to have alluded to a more summary mode of shortening the debates, which would be exceedingly disagreeable.
—I beg the right hon. Gentleman's pardon, but I must explain to him, that I did not use any such phrase as that of a summary way of proceeding; I only urged the necessity which existed for expediting the measure.
§ Mr. Croker
had understood, that the hon. and gallant Member had alluded to physical force. However, letting that pass, he would observe, that the hon. and gallant Officer wanted to expedite the business, and took the most extraordinary method—that of standing up and making a speech which had nothing to do with the question—offering an opinion which could not be received without discussion, and giving evidence which must be subjected to observation. He did not blame the gallant Officer: he had done his duty, and had given his reasons for his opinion. But if be had done that, why might not another? 340 The gallant Officer, however, gave, as the ground of his vote, that this was a nomination borough. The gallant Officer, however, was contradicted by the noble Lord. The noble Lord said, it was not because it was a nomination borough, but because it had not a sufficient population, that it was disfranchised. When it was proposed to transfer it to schedule B, it certainly would meet there with other nomination boroughs. What was Aldborough? What was Amersham? What was Arundel? New Romney would not make its companions ashamed of it. The opposite party complained of delay, and here the hon. and gallant Officer stated, over and over again, propositions that had been over and over again repeated [hear, hear!]. He did not know whether those cheers were meant for him or for the hon. and gallant Officer, but the gallant Officer had been, in this case, the cause of the delay which he complained of. The next point on which New Romney was to be disfranchised was, because it had not a port, and was not a thriving place. Fowey, however, was a thriving place. Fowey had a port; but Fowey was not saved, though the gallant Officer, on his own showing, ought to have voted for Fowey. He had another point to advert to. A memorial had been presented to the noble Lord from Sandwich, and that memorial set forth, that Deal and Sandwich ought to be united in Representation, because they were united as Cinque-ports, and had long been under the same jurisdiction. And on that ground on which the Representation was extended to Deal and preserved to Sandwich, if the principle held good as to Sandwich, it ought to be extended to New Romney and Lydd. But the noble Lord had that night avowed another new principle. The noble Lord had stated, that two considerable towns, near one another, and one being a thriving place, they might be united into one borough. That was a new principle; and he begged it might be remembered. He hoped that principle would be remembered when they renewed the discussion about Aldeburgh and Orford, as well as in the present discussion about New Romney. When the noble Lord refused to entertain this proposition with regard to Romney and Lydd, he felt himself entitled to inquire at what time, and for what motive, it occurred to him to propose the junction of Sandwich with Deal and Walmer. The 341 noble Lord introduced his Reform Bill last session, every part of which was considered of such perfection and importance that Parliament was dissolved for not passing it just as it stood. In that Bill Sandwich stood in schedule B. It was now in another schedule, and was to send two Members in conjunction with Deal and Walmer. He had asked the noble Lord, when it had occurred to the Government to make that alteration, and the noble Lord refused to answer. Now that refusal induced him to state what he supposed would oblige the noble Lord to give some explanation on the subject. He would mention, not a matter of which he had himself any knowledge, but a report which had been circulated in one of the newspapers. Sandwich is a corporation, most of the voters of which are pilots and seamen, many of whom live along the coast, and several in Deal and Walmer. It was stated, that when the Ministerial candidate went down to canvass the voters, some of them said to him, which was very natural for men in their situation, "Why, you ask us to give a vote for our own disfranchisement. You are for the Bill which is to take from us one Member. Now Deal, and Sandwich, and Walmer, would make a borough if united, and if you were to give us such a Reform as that, we would vote for you with pleasure." What effect this had on the change made in the Bill, with respect to Sandwich and Deal, he would not say. If the change had been made before the dissolution of the last Parliament, he should not have occupied the time of the House by mentioning it; but such a report having gone abroad, the people of New Romney and Lydd would like to hear some explanation, why the distinction was made between their case and that of Sandwich and Deal. They had heard the statement, that it was a bargain made to secure the return of the Ministerial candidate, and the silence of the noble Lord would give it currency.
Sir T. Troubridge
said, he had listened attentively to the circumstances just mentioned by the right hon. Gentleman, and he could say, that they were totally unfounded. He had canvassed Deal and Walmer the same as Sandwich, because many of the voters resided in these two places.
§ Lord D. Stuart
said, he felt it necessary to state, that Arundel was perfectly free from nomination, and he (Lord D. Stuart) was as independent of the noble individual 342 who was said to have influence in that neighbourhood as he was of any Member of that House. He was a reformer, and so was the noble Lord alluded to; but, if his opinion had been the other way, he would go over to that of the other side without any reference to that of that noble person.
said, that two or three of the statements of the right hon. Gentleman had already received a contradiction. He had accused him (Colonel Evans) of having used language which he never held; but he hoped, that, before the right hon. Gentleman made such a charge again, he would make himself acquainted with what the person accused did say. He had only spoken once on this subject, but he was within the mark when he said, that, the right hon. Gentleman had addressed the House on it forty-five times, and had gone round the world for topics, not on all occasions having any very close connexion with the question before the Committee. He did not accuse the right hon. Gentleman of that versatility of talent which he displayed on these occasions. If he were not aware of the right hon. Gentleman's candid and straightforward manner, he might say, that some of his objections were made to gain time; but he did not make that charge, for he would pass no judgment on the motives of the hon. Member. With respect to New Romney, he would observe, that it was in the centre, not of a populous district, but of an extensive marsh, and that it would require a circuit of some forty miles to supply such a constituency as would be required under the Bill; but even then, the question remained, was it not a nomination borough? for the influence of the gentleman who now had the patronage of it would remain nearly in the same hands as at present.
§ Mr. T. L. Hodges
said, that the population in the vicinity of New Romney were as likely to form a set of as independent electors as any in the kingdom. They were as stanch advocates for Reform as any in Kent. He had received the most cordial support from them on his canvass.
§ Mr. Croker
said, he had not intended any rebuke to the gallant. Officer for his speech; on the contrary, he admitted his full right, and that it was not only a right but a duty, to offer any argument that occurred to him on the subject. The gallant Officer had said, that two or three of the statements made by him had been 343 refuted. He begged to contradict that statement in the most direct and unequivocal manner which the forms of parliamentary language admitted. No statement of his had been refuted. What he stated was a report which he had seen in a newspaper, and which he mentioned only as a report. He would bow to the House, or to any hon. Member, for a correction of an error if he fell into one, but he would not suffer the gallant Officer, or any other hon. Member, to tell him that his statements were contradicted, when the fact was not so.
§ Sir E. Dering
denied that his interest would be promoted by an extension of the franchise to Lydd. He had no property in that place.
§ Mr. Cresset Pelham
said, that the farmers and others in the neighbourhood of New Romney and Lydd were opulent and independent, and as likely to make a good constituency as those in any other parts of the county. They were likely to be more independent than the inhabitants of Sandwich and Deal, which would be as much under the influence of the Treasury as heretofore.
§ Motion carried, that "New Romney stand part of schedule A."
§ The next motion was, "that the borough of St. Germain's stand part of schedule A."
§ Mr. C. Ross
expressed a hope, that the Committee would allow him to call its attention to the case of this borough. He was not disposed to controvert any of the principles laid down by the right hon. Gentleman opposite; but he would beg the House to consider what was the proposition of the Bill of last session with respect to this measure. In the first Bill the borough of St. Germain's was in schedule B, and the House assented to the proposition, that where the population exceeded 2,000, it should send one Member. It was true the borough itself had not that population, but then it came under another principle of the noble Lord's, that where the borough and the parish were of the same name, and where the borough was contained in one parish, the population of both should be included. It was admitted, that if this plan had not been adopted, many boroughs would be disfranchised which were now allowed to send Members. By the census of 1821, the parish of St. Germain's had a population of 2,400, and at present the number 344 was rather greater. He mentioned this fact to show, that the borough was not declining. In this return the population of the parish was included. In the question of population it resembled Downton, but it differed from it in these respects—that it was impossible, in any convenient distance, to get the required number of electors for Downton, and in the amount of assessed taxes it was much below St. Germain's. This latter borough was not in a poor and thinly inhabited district—it was in one of the richest parishes in Cornwall. The borough alone contained 100 houses, and it would be easy to make up the required number of 300 in the neighbourhood. It paid 341l. in assessed taxes, which was more than that paid by St. Ives or Malmesbury, as much as Oakhampton, and treble the amount paid by Downton. As to the returns, on which Ministers grounded their attention, all the information they contained was known in the last session. One of the returns, which stated that there was no house in the parish, exclusive of the borough, rated to the poor-rates at 10l. a year, was erroneous. There were many respectable houses in the parish, exclusive of the borough, which were worth more than 10l., and many others might be found in the place which would make up the required constituency. He thought that this constituted a fair claim on the part of the borough not to be included in schedule A, and he put it to the Committee as a case which did not at all affect the principle of the Bill.
Lord J. Russell
said, the reason why St. Germain's was taken from schedule B of the last Bill was, that there were only thirteen houses in the town and parish assessed at 10l. and upwards. The population of the town and borough was under 700; the town contained only fifty acres; the whole parish exceeding 9,000 acres. If the borough was as the hon. Gentleman had represented, it might not be proper to make it an exception to the rule; but they had no evidence before them which would lead them to that conclusion, and from all that had reached him on the subject, he had reason to believe, that a constituency could not be made out without going a distance of seven or eight miles; and in that case it might be said, that it would be transferring the franchise to the next town, for St. Germain's was, of itself, too small and insignificant to bear a part in 345 the Representation. There were only eight houses in the borough, and four in the parish, rated to the house-duty at 10l. and upwards, and this at two-thirds of their annual value, and only fifteen houses in the borough of the annual value of 10l. and upwards. In such a town and neighbourhood, then, it would be impossible to get a constituency; and on these grounds, he did not see why it should be omitted from schedule A. He must hear more than he had yet heard to induce him to change his opinion.
§ Mr. Praed
said, that when the hearing of counsel was objected to, it was said, that it was competent for Members to state the condition of their respective boroughs, though the learned Lord Advocate had intimated, that the Representatives of the boroughs about to be disfranchised, either had no right to vote, or, at least, that they ought not to exercise it; but after what had passed, he supposed that they might, without objection, perform the two duties of advocates and witnesses. Considering the case of St. Germain's a peculiar one, he should trouble the Committee with a few observations upon it. Credit had been claimed for a noble Lord (Radnor) for the disinterested manner in which he had consented to the sacrifice of Downton. He might claim for the noble person who possessed influence in St. Germain's a similar disinterestedness. He was ready to admit, that he had been introduced by noble and influential persons to the notice of the inhabitants of the borough of St. Germain's, but he must, at the same time, observe, he was not bound in any manner to support the dictates of a patron, who, having never sought for any advantage from the possession of patronage, could have no object in seeking to influence the conduct of the Members. He was pledged to nothing but a fair consideration of any plan of Reform that might be brought forward, and, in answer to accusations which had been thrown out against him, he would say, that he never would have taken his seat upon any other principle. Having said thus much with respect to himself, he might add, that long-cherished connections and early prepossessions led him to desire to give the Bill of the noble Lord all the consideration in his power, and to support its plans of Reform as far as they could be made consistent with his duty to that House and to the country. Without now going into any examination of the decal- 346 rations of the noble Lord with respect to the principle of the Bill, he might ask on what ground were they about to proceed with respect to St. Germain's? The borough was admitted, in the first Bill, to have had the requisite number of inhabitants in 1821, and now, as in the case, of Downton, it was proposed again to violate the principle laid down by Ministers themselves. It had been said, that St. Germain's was an insignificant place, but his hon. friend (Mr. Ross) had shewn, from the amount of population, the number of 10l. houses, and the amount of assessed taxes paid, that it was far from being insignificant, and that, by letting in part of the surrounding parishes, a sufficiently numerous constituency might be obtained. The noble Lord objected, that they had no evidence of this; that the information the Ministers had procured led to a different conclusion. That information was allowed not to rest upon the best authority. They had, however, in this case, that sort of evidence, which the noble Lord said it would be competent to Members to offer in the Committee, and now, when offered, it was rejected. The argument in favour of this measure, when first proposed, was, that it would strengthen the agricultural interest, by giving the franchise to rural districts in connection with towns. That argument seemed now to be entirely lost sight of. He desired the abolition of the nomination boroughs; he wished them to be rendered independent; but it was, as in such cases as St. Germain's, by extending the franchise into the neighbouring parts of the country. In this way he felt confident, that a good and fair constituency might be obtained in the case now under their consideration. He had heard, that an hon. Member, having been applied to to contribute something in aid of the Greeks, said, he did not like the Greeks, because they had behaved ill to the Trojans. Whatever might have been the faults of the ancient Greeks, it would not be quite fair to visit them on their descendants; and it was just as unfair to visit the delinquencies, whatever they might have been, of the St. Germain's that was, on the St. Germain's that now is. Bath, which at present had only thirty voters, would by the operation of this Bill, have 4,000. Had it been disfranchised, the loss would have fallen, not, upon the thirty electors which it before had, but upon the 4,000 who would thus be shut out from the elective 347 franchise. So, in the present case, the loss would be not alone to St. Germain's, but to the independent body of electors that might be found in the surrounding neighbourhood. The noble Lord (Lord J. Russell) said, St. Germain's was not such a place as could form the nucleus. That ought to form no ground for its exclusion. The circumstance that the electors would, in a great measure, be agricultural, he did not expect to hear stated as an objection by the noble Lord, for a disposition was at first manifested to rank that circumstance among the benefits that would arise from the Bill. In forty-four of the boroughs in schedule B, there were only eight in which a great majority of the electors were not taken from the country districts adjoining. He implored the noble Lord and the Committee to look at this case fairly and dispassionately, and to examine all the circumstances connected with it; and if they did so, he felt confident, they must come to the conclusion, that no ground for disfranchisement had been made out. It was incumbent on the noble Lord, hot only to act with fairness, but, as far as he could, to avoid even the possibility of suspecting unfairness. He intreated him not to endanger the advantages which he expected to arise from a great and extensive change of this kind, by any circumstances which could afford any ground for a suspicion of unfairness.
was one of those who could not object to the inconsistency of the union of the offices of witness and of advocate, because it would lead him necessarily to object to the junction of another office, which was open to the imputation of still greater inconsistency, namely, that of a judge. If counsel had been admitted to argue the merits of the various boroughs which it was proposed to disfranchise, the time of the House would have been occupied, and no conclusion Would have been arrived at. In his opinion, the Representative of any place was the fit person to advocate what were conceived to be its rights. The hon. Gentleman had said, for he had taken down his words, that "he had been introduced by noble and influential persons to the notice (delicately put!) of the borough of St. Germain's. "After having vindicated his patron, and after having vindicated his own independence, the hon. Gentleman had proceeded to speak upon the question of the disfranchisement of the borough. The hon. Member contended, 348 that the authors of the Bill did not proceed upon the principle of destroying nomination boroughs; because, if they did, they would not have proposed the destruction of St. Germain's. The principle of the authors of the Bill was, to destroy the system of nomination boroughs as a whole. Being obliged, by the circumstances of the case, to adopt an arbitrary rule, they took as prima facie evidence that a borough was a nomination borough, that it did not contain a population of 2,000. With so small a population, they held, that a borough was so insignificant, and so liable to be dependent, that it ought not to return a Member to the House of Commons. Another hon. Member had adverted to the case of Downton. Now, the population of Downton was 3,114, and the population of St. Germain's, including the parish, was only 2,442. He would state to the House the population and extent of the borough of St. Germain's, taking for his authority the returns made by the Portreeve of that borough in January, 1831, at which time that officer had no knowledge of the purpose for which those returns were wanted. It appeared, that the borough of St. Germain's, and the parish in which it was situated, were not co-extensive. The borough contained forty acres, the town of St. Germain's fifty acres, and the parish into which it was proposed to swamp the borough contained no less than 9,029 acres; nor was the population of the place concentrated in the borough. By the population returns of 1821, which were correct, with the exception that the town and borough were considered as co-extensive, it appeared, that the number of houses in the town was ninety-nine, and the number of male inhabitants 247, so that the male and female population might be taken as being under 500. But what was the population of the remaining part of the parish? The remainder of the parish, including the village of Hessenford, contained no less than 1,800 or 1,900 inhabitants. The same difference of population was apparent in the returns for the present year. According to them, the town contained 672 inhabitants, and the other part of the parish 1,914. Now, if this borough were to be thrown into the parish, what was to prevent such a principle being carried to an absurdity? According to the same rule, why should not a circle be drawn round Old Sarum, which did not contain one inhabitant, and the elective 349 franchise distributed in the surrounding district? The House, he thought, had already disposed of this case, by its decision on the question of the borough of Downton, and that decision he hoped would not be reversed.
§ Mr. Praed
said, that the Ministers had laid down a rule, that all boroughs containing less than 2,000 inhabitants should be disfranchised. Now the parish of St. Germain's had a population beyond that number; and he thought, therefore, that this place, together with the surrounding districts, had some cause to complain, they being above the line, and yet they were placed in schedule A. He also considered, that Ministers had proceeded upon erroneous information. The first returns were grossly incorrect, and the new ones were anonymous. No comparison could be made between Old Sarum and St. Germain's, unless the former contained 2,000 inhabitants. In the case of Downton a constituency could not be obtained within seven miles. St. Germain's was included in the schedule, because Ministers found it no longer necessary to conciliate the landed interest.
Lord J. Russell
said, that he always supposed, that the returns respecting the number of 10l. houses were incorrect in many instances; but the further information which had been given to the House, with respect to the case of St. Germain's, was not of such a nature as to make him doubt the general accuracy of the returns.
§ Sir Charles Wetherell
was desirous of arresting the attention of the House whilst he examined the arguments of the right hon. Gentleman, who had drawn a parallel between the cases of Downton and this borough, as inapt as that was said to be between Old Sarum and Macedon. The case savoured of too much nicety—it was too Grecian for him. However, if he forgot his Greek, there was little doubt the King's Attorney General, who was now in close conversation with that right hon. Gentleman, would soon rise to refresh his fading recollection from the fountains of his literary lore. He was well known to be a good scholar, and competent, as the poet describes another celebrated person, to transport his fancy to those classic shores——"modo me Thebis: modo ponit Athenis.He confessed he was surprised to find the right hon. Gentleman so soon forget what the noble Lord, who talked so loudly of a 350 principle in his Bill, had done with the borough of Horsham. To use the phrase in a somewhat unsailor-like manner with the right hon. Gentleman, that borough had been swamped on Horsham Common. Why, if this could be done to suit the wishes or objects of the noble Lord, was not there a much fairer reason to allow the borough of St. Germain's to be swamped in the adjoining parish, than allow Horsham to be swamped in the neighbouring common? The noble member for Yorkshire well knew the extent of a borough called Malton; it was long enough to tire a good pair of post horses; yet in that distant and sequestered place, more remarkable for shooting than canvassing, and where there were more grouse than voters, the borough, for some reason best known to the noble Lord, had been suffered to be swamped in the woods and wilds around it. The right hon. Gentleman had said, the reason for this is comprised in one word—it is a nomination borough. Now, though this be not the fact in instances with which the Ministers themselves are acquainted, why was Knaresborough, notoriously a nomination borough, and Calne, also a nomination borough, to be excepted from the operation of the disfranchising principle, and preserved to the patrons? No answer had, in his opinion, been given to the arguments of his ingenious friend (Mr. Praed). Though this had been a thriving place, still that circumstance, as was well known in the case of Fowey, would have been over-ruled, by the noble Lord's principle, which, to all appearance, was of that flexible nature, that it seemed to suit the objects and interests Of his Majesty's Ministers, on all occasions, with admirable facility.
§ Mr. Lambert
observed, that no general rule that could be devised could be expected exactly to fit every individual case. It was all that could be expected if the general principle were adhered to as closely as circumstances would permit. In the present case, it appeared to him, that the application of the general rule was fair and impartial. The conduct of his Majesty's Government, in having appealed to the country on the question, had been most laudable, and the appeal had been answered as it deserved to be. He wished that the other side of the House would pay more deference than they seemed disposed to pay, to the opinion of the public on the question; an opinion which; loudly 351 expressed as it was by the various classes of which that public was composed, demanded their attention. Adverting to the charge which had been made against several hon. Members, of coming to the House fettered by their previous pledges, he, for one, denied that such had been his case. He had distinctly stated his opinions to his constituents, and had told them, that if they approved of those opinions they would vote for him, but not otherwise. He had been elected upon the ground of supporting Reform; and he was the more ready to pledge himself to its support, as he decidedly considered it to be necessary for the benefit of the country. There were three classes of Reformers, or no Reformers. One would grant something, a second a little more, and a third would reject every species of Reform altogether. Now, he being a Reformer, and believing he was correct in his views of the subject, could not avoid feeling some indignation at the course which had been pursued by its enemies, particularly in that House.
Sir R. Peel
said, he supposed that the hon. member for Rye would report the hon. Member who had just sat down, to those members of the Political Union of Manchester, who were becoming exasperated at the delay which the Reform Bill had experienced, and who had determined to denounce such Members of that House, who, when the details of the Bill came under consideration, chose to touch on perfectly irrelevant topics. The hon. Member (Mr. Lambert) had called upon the different Reformers in that House, to come forward and defend their opinions, and had laid the foundation of almost interminable debates; and whenever delay and factious opposition should be again charged against the Gentlemen on the Opposition side of the House, he would always refer to the example of the hon. Member, who had given provocation to debate, which required the utmost forbearance to resist. It would, therefore, be but fair for the vengeance of the members of the Political Union to fall solely and singly on the head of the hon. Member himself. The right hon. Gentleman opposite (Mr. Stanley) said, that the disfranchisement of the borough of St. Germain's might be a departure from the letter of the Bill, but it was an adherence to its principle. Then he (Sir R. Peel) was at a loss to know what the principle was; 352 and he thought that the right hon. Gentleman was bound to show, that this borough would continue to be a nomination borough, when the new constituency of 10l. voters was thrown in. He doubted the policy of disfranchisement of the kind proposed. By it, that portion of the agricultural population, not being freeholders or copyholders, but inhabitants of 10l. houses, would be deprived of the right of voting: while, on the other hand, if the franchise of boroughs was extended into the surrounding districts, that particular class of persons would be admitted into the franchise, and form a more independent set of voters than the householders in towns, because, being more scattered, they would be less likely to be acted upon by political clubs and unions. But the right hon. Gentleman had stated, that the object of the Bill was, to prevent small towns being swamped by country constituencies; though he had previously understood, that the object of the Bill was to destroy the unity and individuality of every borough, and admit a new class of voters from agricultural parishes. In fact, how had Ministers acted with respect to the borough of Christchurch? The area of Christchurch was twenty-seven square miles, or upwards of 1,700 statute acres. The total number of 10l. houses in the borough of Christchurch was eight; and therefore the surrounding district was to be included, in order to make up the requisite number of 300. Then how could the right hon Gentleman contend that the spirit of the Bill was not to swamp small towns in country districts? He, therefore, was of opinion, that the spirit of the Bill would not be violated by allowing St. Germain's to retain the elective franchise.
§ Mr. Lambert
stated, in reference to what had fallen from the right hon. Baronet, respecting the Political Union of Manchester, that the indignation of any individual or society was perfectly indifferent to him.
Sir R. Peel
applauded the sentiments of the hon. Member, but informed him, that at an early period of the evening, during the progress of the Bill, they were threatened with the enmity of the members of the Political Union, if any delay with respect to the Reform Bill took place; and he certainly thought, that the hon. Member ought to be the first person against whom their enmity should be directed.
The Attorney General
did not, by any means, think that the impatience expressed out of doors on the subject of the Reform Bill, was a matter to be thrown out of consideration by any part of the House. In proposing disfranchisement, it was necessary for Government to draw some line, and it was surprising that Gentlemen on the other side of the House had not been able to make out an appearance of more anomalies than they had as yet. The Bill had not been brought in for the purpose of removing anomalies; its object was, to remove the gross and disgraceful abuses of the system of nomination boroughs, alike dishonourable to the nominators and nominees. Therefore, in proposing to take St. Germain's out of schedule A, it was not enough for hon. Gentlemen to show him, that there were some boroughs omitted which ought to have been inserted in the schedule—they had to prove that St. Germain's was not a nomination borough. The only question for the House to consider was, whether the line adopted by Ministers, had been fairly and honestly acted upon? In fact, the only difficulty which Ministers had experienced in applying their principle, arose out of the circumstance of having paid too much consideration to those boroughs which were under the influence of persons opposed to the Government. Take, for instance, the cases of Aldborough and Buckingham. The hon. and learned Gentleman had coupled Macedon and Old Sarum together, for what purpose he could not imagine. He remembered, indeed, that there was something in Shakspeare about Macedon and Monmouth, but really he did not see how any comparison could be instituted between Macedon and Old Sarum, unless, perhaps, it might be said, that Macedon was once ruled by Alexander the Great, and that Old Sarum was now governed by another Alexander.
§ Mr. Croker
said, that the hon. and learned Gentleman who had just sat down had told the Committee, in aggravation of the case of this borough, that he looked upon it with still greater suspicion, when he heard the defence made for it, and observed the zeal which was displayed on its behalf. Surely the hon. and learned Gentleman must have seen the same zeal in favour of Downton. He (Mr. Croker) had argued, in that case, that Downton, as well as St. Germain's, 354 would, when the new constituency was formed, be a free and independent borough. He was actuated by the same zeal to see justice done in every case. The hon. Gentleman opposite talked of anomalies, when the more appropriate phrase would be, violations of their own principles. Anomalies! why, absurdity—partiality—injustice—would be the more fitting designations. But he would point out one or two of those anomalies. One anomaly was, that a 10l. house in Westminster, and one in the distant borough of St. Germain's, a 10l. house in Westmorland, and another in Grosvenor-square, would be of equal value in the electoral scale. Another anomaly was, that the borough of Malton, for instance, with its 4,005 inhabitants, was to have two Members, while the gigantic town (as he would call it) of Bolton, with a population of 40,000, would have but one. The Bill had been framed by Ministers with a view to party purposes—Calne was the keystone of their arch. The fact was, that his Majesty's Ministers had set out upon a broad rule; to which, however, they did not think proper to adhere. They had had the borough of Calne before their view in the formation of this measure, and to that case every one of fifty boroughs was made to bend. In Calne the borough and the parish were confounded, and the noble Lord said, in his defence, that he had no means of distinguishing the one from the other. Now he had in his hand a paper, dated in January, 1831, which had been used by the noble Lord as ancillary and auxiliary to the population returns. In that document the borough was separated from the parish; their condition and circumstances were separately and individually expressed; and, would the House believe it? the result was, that if the principle professed by his Majesty's Ministers had been acted upon, Calne would have been placed in schedule A, instead of its being left where it was with an undiminished representation. The paper to which he referred was ordered by the House to be printed on the 30th of March, but it was dated at Calne on the 24th of January; and it stated, that the borough of Calne was only part of the parish in which it stood, for the parish of Calne included 8,000 acres, very nearly the number of acres contained in poor St. Germain's, which was to be excluded from all favour; so that, it happened, by one of those lucky 355 circumstances by which, through the providence of Heaven, unjust acts and undue courses expose themselves, this disfranchised parish borough contained the same number of acres as Calne, which was to be preserved. The paper went on to say, that at the date of the return, January last, the borough contained only 997 male inhabitants, of course under the population returns of 1821 it must have contained still fewer; for it would seem, that in January his Majesty's Ministers had a notion floating in their minds that the number of male inhabitants would be a proper test to apply to the borough. Well, then, the number of male inhabitants of Calne being 997, if they set down the other sex at about the same number, which was the usual proportion, the whole amount must have been short of 2,000, and Calne must have fallen into index expurgatorius of schedule A. So then the framers of the measure cried out "Oh, that will not do. We must look for another principle. Let us confound the borough and the parish together." By that arrangement Calne would have4,500 inhabitants; and, consequently, it retained its two Members. He dared say, that when the desire to save Calne was expressed in the Cabinet, there was some one present quick-sighted enough to observe, that the borough of St. Germain's was similarly circumstanced, and that if the town, and the parish, were to be united as in the case of Calne, it would, like Calne, preserve its Members. "Oh! never mind that," said another, "we will find some anomaly, or some accident in the progress of the measure, to get us out of the scrape. Lord Radnor shall go into the library of the House of Commons, and shall meet Lord John Russell, and say to him. 'Oh! pray don't spare Downton, give me great credit for the patriotic sacrifice, of Downton, where I sacrifice nothing at all;' and then St. Germain's may be abolished under the precedent of Downton, and in spite of the precedent of Calne. Gentlemen who made exclamations of surprise had, perhaps, not heard the speech of the noble Lord, in which he stated, that he had met Lord Radnor in the library, and that such a conversation had passed between them. So, because those two noble Lords had met in that way, the whole principle of the new Constitution of England was to be abandoned; and the laws established by Ministers, arbitrary and partial enough, God knows, in 356 themselves, were to be made still more so by private objects and personal favoritism. It was a very curious and remarkable circumstance, that, at the very same time that the noble Lord put St. Germain's out of schedule B into schedule A, because, as he said, it was a small borough, situated in a large parish, with which it had no common interest, he put Aldborough—by way of striking a balance—from schedule A to B, although it was smaller than the borough of St. Germain's, and situated in a larger parish—although it was in every respect inferior in population, in the number of its houses, and in rates. The total population of St. Germain's was 2,400, the total population of enfranchised Aldborough was 2,129—talking now of the parishes. The number of males in the borough of St. Germain's was 247; in Aldborough there were only 236. The houses in the despicable and condemned borough of St. Germain's amounted to 446, while the dignified borough of Aldborough contained but 408. His attention was peculiarly called to these points by a remarkable circumstance, which appeared from the papers placed on the Table by the noble Lord. There was an ancient borough in Yorkshire, called Richmond, which sent a memorial, expressing its approbation of the principle of the Bill, although it would deprive it of its, privileges. The memorialists were contented, they said, to submit to the general rule, and lose some of their own influence for the general good; but they stated, that they had just learned with regret, that the authors of the measure had admitted Aldborough, and Northallerton, and Thirsk, which were situated in parishes extending five or six, and in the case of Northallerton, so far as sixteen miles from the borough town; and they, therefore, entreated his Majesty's Government either to adhere to the principle which they had laid down; or to let Richmond and other towns, have the same advantages which were thus extended, contrary to the general rule, to a few favoured places. Now he would say, "Non meus hic sermo" —these were not his representations, they were those of staunch reformers—of trusty Whigs, who approved of the principle of the Bill, although its effect would be prejudicial to themselves. If the Committee were to go on thus violently, abrogating ancient rights and disfranchising corporations; let them, at all events, have one certain principle to go upon; let them 357 have some point on which they could settle or repose, and not be night after night driven about to every point of the compass, and end in the long-run by violating the rights, the franchises, and liberties, and, at the same time, insulting the common sense and common decency of the people of England. It might be said to him, "Move to disfranchise Calne and Aldborough, to curtail Northallerton, to amend Thirsk, to reform Malton, and clear away other anomalies;" but all that was not his business. He certainly would, at a proper time, oppose all these violations of principle, but at present he only wished to show the Attorney General, that the line which had been chosen had not been honestly pursued, and that St. Germain's had not been fairly treated. He confined himself to showing, that one borough was dealt with after one fashion, and another after another. If the Committee were to be severe, let it also be just. Do not let the people of Richmond, who were excellent Whigs, petitioners for the Bill—do not let them be disfranchised, while other places less deserving representation, were favoured merely to suit the convenience of Whig Ministers, or the interests of their immediate followers. If the Committee was to go arbitrarily to work, let it begin again. If no ancient landmarks were to be followed, let the whole be taken in a lump, let the country be divided into districts, and let the single vote be, that so many people shall return a Member. In that course, however objectionable on other grounds, there would be, at least, impartiality and justice; the course into which Ministers were dragging the House, and the partialities which they veiled under the soft name of anomalies was offensive to every feeling of fair dealing, and would be found intolerable when attempted to be brought into practice. Reverting, in conclusion, to the particular case before the Committee, he was convinced that there was no Member who heard him, and who would compare this case with the cases of Aldborough and Northallerton, and the others, who would not feel, that St. Germain's ought to be replaced, where it originally stood, in schedule B.
Lord J. Russell
said, this question was so exhausted that he would not protract the discussion; and as to the observations of the right hon. Member (Mr. Croker), they had been repeated for the hundredth time. They had as often times been re- 358 peated, and no farther answer was now necessary. The right hon. Gentleman must have surprised his own friends at the other side of the House by his many exaggerations, which he (Lord J. Russell) could not avoid saying, were biassed by strong and manifest feelings of a character which it would not now be necessary to describe. The right hon. Gentleman had alluded to the partiality of his Majesty's Ministers in the selection of boroughs which they considered it necessary to place in schedules A and B. But when he laid so much force upon Calne, why did he forget such places as Buckingham, Oakhampton, Bridgewater, and many others, which were to be retained in schedule B? Why did he forget Westbury and Tamworth? The returns from many boroughs included the population of contiguous townships or parishes, as in the case of Amersham, and there were no effectual means of ascertaining the exact amount of the population. In other places the returns were more distinct; and if the Government, in bringing forward this Bill, had not acted upon principle, although it might operate as a hardship to certain boroughs, they never could have produced any general, or practical system of Reform. Night after night the same objections had been stated as to the maintenance of Calne in schedule B; party purposes were attributed to the Government in their selection, and he was sure, that in disclaiming any such object he should have the concurrence of the House and the country. The information which he had collected, convinced him, that it was necessary to be guided by the population returns. There were seventeen or eighteen boroughs similarly circumstanced with Calne, many of them being under the influence of Gentlemen at the other side of the House, and he supposed it would not be said, that all those boroughs were included in an arrangement made, for the sake of the support which his Majesty's Government would derive from the four or five Members from Calne, and Horsham, and Morpeth, opposed as they would be by the thirty or forty others. Richmond was much more likely to engage the partiality of his Majesty's Government than Northallerton, if they suffered themselves to be actuated by such a feeling. But the list of boroughs which they had treated in the same way with Calne, was the best proof that they had no sinister motive. Of 359 these the great majority were in favour of the hon. Gentlemen opposite. And as to the statements made by the right hon. Gentleman, they had been extremely exaggerated. If all the nomination boroughs, great and small, were proposed to be disfranchised, he thought his Majesty's Government would have done much better—yet that was not practicable. So much for the right hon. Gentleman's general statements. As to the particular case, he maintained that there was no analogy between the state of St. Germain's and Calne. In the former, the population which was proposed to be added to it would so completely overwhelm the small population of the borough as to leave it no influence. In fact, he could see no other fair comparison which could be drawn between the two places but in the extent of the adjoining parishes.
§ Mr. Croker
asked the Committee if the noble Lord, who had repeatedly accused him of exaggeration, had disputed a single one of the facts which he had stated?
said, it was rather strange that the right hon. Gentleman should persist in casting imputations upon others, whilst he was so sore when any of his own positions were controverted, and these imputations had been cast in a manner not to be expected from the right hon. Gentleman. He was surprised, that the right hon. Gentleman should again and again reiterate his charges of party and corrupt motives against the framers of the Bill, forgetting all the time, that whilst he alluded to three boroughs, which he thought were favourable to imputations, there were fourteen others which might be referred to by Ministers as striking instances of their impartiality; and in this calculation he (Mr. Stanley) only alluded to such boroughs as came within the description given by the right hon. Gentleman. The whole borough of St. Germain's did not include more than fifty acres, and the population was so insignificant, that it would form but too small a moiety of the parish to which it was proposed to attach it in the Representation. In fact, the right hon. Gentleman had forgotten to mention the great feature which distinguished the case of Calne from that of St. Germain's—namely, that in the borough of Calne there were 2,000 inhabitants, whereas, in St. Germain's there were only 500. In the borough of Aldborough they 360 had found a neighbouring town so closely adjoining Aldborough, as almost to be said to form one town with it, capable of giving the requisite constituency, and therefore they had joined the two together, and put that borough into schedule B; but that was not the case with St. Germain's, and therefore he should oppose the proposition of the right hon. Gentleman.
§ Mr. Croker
observed, that the noble Lord had not answered a single point which he had advanced; and the right hon. Gentleman (another great gun of the party) who had followed him, had left the question in nearly the same state. The two hon. Members, in their exertions, reminded him of the old story, where a master called out to his servant, "Jack, what are you doing?" and the answer was, "Nothing, Sir."—"And," continued the master, "what are you doing, Tom?"—" Why, Sir, I'm helping Jack." He had instituted a comparison between St. Germain's and Calne, on the principle of including the borough within the parish, but his comparison of the number of electors and houses of the former was drawn with regard to Aldborough. He had expressed pleasure at this comparison, because there could be no suspicion of partiality. All his other statements relating to facts had not been proved to be incorrect.
§ Mr. Praed
said, it was a strange argument, for Ministers to say, that the parish adjoining St. Germain's would have too great an influence. This was nothing short of saying, that they did not wish to give any additional influence to the landed interest. The conduct of Ministers, with respect to Downton and St. Germain's, reminded him of the Scotch steward, who having been directed to hang up a malefactor at one side of an avenue, thought proper to hang up an innocent person at the other side, merely for the sake of uniformity.
§ The Committee divided:—Ayes 260; Noes 212—Majority 48, and St. Germain's was inserted in schedule A.
|List of the AYES.|
|Acheson, Viscount||Baring, Sir T.|
|Adam, Admiral C.||Baring, F. T.|
|Adeane, H. J.||Barnett, C. J.|
|Althorp, Viscount||Bayntun, Captain|
|Astley, Sir J. D.||Belfast, Earl of|
|Atherley, A.||Benett, John|
|Bainbridge, E.||Berkeley, Captain|
|Barham, John||Biddulph, R. M.|
|Blake, Sir F||Graham, Sir J. R.|
|Blamire, W.||Graham, Sir S.|
|Blankney, W.||Grant, Right Hon. C.|
|Blunt, Sir C.||Grant, Right Hon. R.|
|Bodkin, John J.||Grattan, James|
|Bouverie, Hon. D.||Greene, T. G.|
|Bouverie, P. P.||Grosvenor, Hon. R.|
|Boyle, Hon. J.||Guise, Sir B. W.|
|Brabazon, Viscount||Gurney, Richard H.|
|Brayen, Thomas||Hawkins, H.|
|Briscoe, John I.||Handley, W. F.|
|Brougham, W.||Harcourt, G. V.|
|Brougham, J.||Harty, Sir R.|
|Browne, D.||Harvey, D. W.|
|Bulkeley, Sir R.||Heathcote, G. J.|
|Buller, James W.||Heywood, B.|
|Bulwer, H. L.||Hill, Lord A.|
|Bunbury, Sir H.||Hill, Lord G. A.|
|Burdett, Sir F.||Hobhouse, J. C.|
|Burton, Henry||Hodges, Thomas L.|
|Buxton, Thomas F.||Horne, Sir W.|
|Byng, George||Hort, Sir W.|
|Calcraft, G. H.||Hoskins, K.|
|Callaghan, D.||Howard, P. H.|
|Calvert, Charles||Howard, R.|
|Calvert, Nicholson||Howick, Viscount|
|Calley, Thomas||Hudson, T.|
|Canning, Sir S.||Hughes, W. H.|
|Carter, John B.||Hughes, J.|
|Cavendish, W.||Hughes, Colonel L.|
|Chapman, M. L.||Hume. J.|
|Chaytor, W. R. C.||Hunt, Henry|
|Chichester, Sir A.||Ingilby, Sir W. A.|
|Clive, E. B.||Innes, Sir H. Bart.|
|Cradock, Colonel S.||James, W.|
|Crampton, P. C.||Jeffrey, Right Hon. F.|
|Creevey, Thomas||Jephson, C. D. O.|
|Cunliffe, Offley||Jerningham, H.|
|Currie, John||Johnstone, J.|
|Curteis, H. B.||Johnstone, Sir J.|
|Dawson, Alexander||Johnstone, J. J. H.|
|Denison, W. J.||Kemp, T. R.|
|Denman, Sir T.||Kennedy, T. F.|
|Dixon, Joseph||Killeen, Lord|
|Doyle, Sir J. M.||King, E. B.|
|Duncombe, T. S.||King, Hon. R.|
|Dundas, Hon. T.||Knight, Henry G.|
|Dundas, Charles||Knox, Hon. J. H.|
|Dundas, Hon. Sir R.||Knox, Hon. T.|
|Ellice, E.||Labouchere, H.|
|Ellis, Wynn||Lambert, J. S.|
|Etwall, Ralph||Lambert, Henry|
|Evans, Colonel||Lawley, Francis|
|Evans, W. B.||Leader, N. P.|
|Evans, W.||Lee, John L. H.|
|Ewart, W.||Lefevre, C. S.|
|Ferguson, General||Lemon, Sir C.|
|Ferguson, R.||Lennox, Lord W.|
|Fitzroy, Lieut.-Col.||Lennox, Lord J. G.|
|Fitzroy, Lord J.||Lennox, Lord A.|
|Foley, Hon. J. H.||Lester, Benjamin|
|Foley, Hon. T.||Littleton, E. J.|
|Folkes, Sir W.||Lloyd, Sir E. P.|
|Fox, Lieut.-Colonel||Loch, James|
|French, Arthur||Lyon, D.|
|Gillon, W. D.||Maberly, Colonel W.|
|Gisborne, Thomas||Maberly, John|
|Macauley, T. B.||Rumbold, C. E.|
|Macdonald, Sir J.||Russell, Lord J.|
|Mackintosh, Sir J.||Ruthven, E. S.|
|Macnamara, W.||Sandford, E. A.|
|Mangles, James||Scott, Sir D.|
|Marjoribanks, S.||Sebright, Sir J.|
|Marshall, W.||Skipwith, Sir G.|
|Martin, John||Slaney, R. A.|
|Mayhew, W.||Smith, John A.|
|Milbank, Mark||Smith, John|
|Mildmay, P. St. John||Smith, Robert V.|
|Mills, J.||Smith, Geo. R.|
|Moreton, Hon. H.||Stanhope, Captain R.|
|Morpeth, Viscount||Stanley, Lord|
|Morrison, James||Stanley, J. E.|
|Mostyn, E. M. L.||Stanley, Right Hon. E.|
|Mullins, F.||Stewart, C.|
|Musgrave, Sir Richard||Stewart, Sir M.|
|Newark, Viscount||Stewart, Patrick|
|Newport, Sir J.||Strickland, George|
|Noel, Sir G.||Strutt, Edward|
|North, Frederick||Stuart, Lord P.|
|Norton, C. F.||Tennyson, Charles|
|Nowell, Alexander||Thicknesse, R.|
|Nugent, Lord||Thompson, Wm.|
|O'Connell, D.||Thomson, C. P.|
|O'Connell, M.||Throckmorton, R.|
|O'Grady, Col. S.||Tomes, John|
|O'Neill, Gen.||Torrens, Colonel|
|Ord, William||Townshend, Lord C.|
|Osborne, Ld. Francis||Trail, George|
|Paget, Sir C.||Troubridge, Sir E.|
|Paget, Thomas||Tyrrell, Charles|
|Palmer, General C.||Tynte, Charles|
|Parnell, Sir H.||Venables, W.|
|Payne, Sir P.||Vere, James J. H.|
|Pendarvis, E. W.||Vernon, Hon. G.|
|Penleaze, J. H.||Villiers, F.|
|Penrhyn, E.||Vincent, Sir F.|
|Perrin, Louis||Waithman, R.|
|Petit, Louis H.||Walker, C. A.|
|Petre, Hon. E.||Warburton, H.|
|Philips, Sir R.||Warre, John A.|
|Phillips, C. M.||Wason, W. R.|
|Phillips, G. R.||Watson, Hon. R.|
|Polhill, Captain F.||Webb, Colonel E.|
|Ponsonby, Hon. W.||Westenra, Hon. H.|
|Ponsonby, Hon. G.||Weyland, R.|
|Power, Robert||Whitbread, W.|
|Poyntz, W. S.||Walks, John|
|Price, Sir R.||Williams, Sir J.|
|Protheroe, E.||Williamson, Sir H.|
|Pryse, Pryse||Winnington, Sir T.|
|Ramsbottom J.||Wood, Matthew|
|Rider, Thomas||Wood, John|
|Robarts, A. W.||Wood, Charles|
|Robinson, Sir G.||Wrottesley, Sir J.|
|Robinson, G. R.||Young, John|
|Rooper, J. B.||TELLER.|
|Ross, Horatio.||Rice, Right Hon. T. S.|
|Paired off in Favour.|
|Anson, Sir G.||Byng, George S.|
|Anson, G.||Coke, Thomas W.|
|Belgrave, Earl of||Dundas, Hon. J. C.|
|Bernard, Thomas||Duncannon, Viscount|
|Brownlow, C.||Easthope, John|
|Ebrington, Viscount||Lushington, Dr. S.|
|Foster, James||Morison, John|
|Fordwich, Lord||Shell, Richard L.|
|Godson, Richard||Stewart, Pat.|
|Grosvenor, Hon. E.||Tavistock, Marquis|
|Heron, Sir R.||Waterpark, Lord|
|Hutchinson, J. H.||White, Samuel|
|Loch, J.||Williams, John|
§ The next question was, "that the borough of St. Mawe's be placed in schedule A."
said, this borough fell so clearly within the line of disfranchisement, that he did not expect it would be allowed to continue to send Representatives. The influence prevailing there was property, and had never been improperly exerted.
§ Mr. Cresset Pelham
said, that although he had never had the honour to sit for the borough of St. Mawe's, he had represented a borough that was very near it, and he knew something of its history and constitution. It was owing to a noble relative of his (Lord Chichester) that that borough was always an in dependent borough. Endeavours had not been wanting to constitute it a Ministerial borough, but the determination of the noble Lord had effectually defeated that object. It was therefore that he rose to recommend the exclusion of St. Mawe's from schedule A.
§ Motion carried.
§ The Committee then agreed, that the borough of St. Michael, or Midshall, Cornwall, do form part of schedule A.
§ On the motion "that the borough of Saltash do form part of schedule A."
§ Mr. Croker
declared, that if the Ministry intended to act upon the principle of taking a borough and parish together, when they would, if united, give a sufficient constituency, the borough of Saltash ought not to be totally disfranchised. That borough formed part of the parish of St. Stephen, and the inhabitants of the borough were married and buried in the Church of St. Stephen. The name of the parish itself was the parish of St. Stephen juxta Saltash, but it was called Saltash for shortness. The borough itself contained a population of 1,500, and, united with the borough, the population amounted to 2,800. Having simply stated these circumstances, he should move that it be transferred from schedule A to schedule B.
§ Lord Althorp
said, he felt bound to admit, that the borough of Saltash was the weakest case of the boroughs placed in schedule A. They had considered that 364 this was one of the cases in which the borough and parish were separate and distinct from each other. The facts which the right hon. Gentleman had stated, and which he (Lord Althorp) was not able completely to controvert, had induced him to entertain some doubts of the propriety of their decisions. He only hesitated upon the question, whether the population of the parish was properly to be considered as part of the population of the borough. He admitted, that the population of the parish was considerable, and that there were many persons of considerable wealth who resided in the agricultural district of the borough. Under these circumstances, he was willing to leave it to the House to decide whether they were right or wrong in putting the borough into schedule A. He repeated, that from the information he now possessed, he thought the case was one of doubt.
§ Mr. Croker
observed, that after the very fair and candid statement made by the noble Lord, he should not say more upon the subject, beyond repeating his conviction that the case was one which required the borough to be transferred, to schedule B, and putting it to the noble Lord, whether, even upon his own showing, it ought to be permitted to remain where it now was?
§ Mr. Frederick Villiers
said, that after the statement of the noble Lord, it was unnecessary for him to enlarge upon the claim of Saltash to be excluded from schedule A. The borough was in the centre of the parish or town of St. Stephen; they were completely identified; the tithes were all paid to the same clergyman, and they ought to be united together, and be allowed to return one Member.
hoped, that the borough would be kept in schedule A. He thought it was desirable that they should not abandon the rules they had once laid down. He had shown the sincerity of his desire of adhering to those rules, by the two votes he had given against his noble friend on the question they had just decided, and on the question of Downton; and he should still act upon the principle of strictly following up the rules they had once adopted. He did not think, that grounds for exempting this borough from the operation of schedule A had been made out with anything like the same degree of strength in this case as in that of Aldborough. The borough of Saltash might be a part of the parish of St. Ste- 365 phen; but it was not—if he might use such an expression—the metropolis of that parish. It might contain the greatest mass of people that was to be found in any one place in that parish; but still it was not the metropolis of that parish. It was not properly, and strictly, and legally a part of the parish. He thought not. The borough of Saltash did not contain within itself the parish church of St. Stephen; and the very name of the parish showed that the borough and parish were not legally connected together, for the name was St. Stephen juxta Saltash. That was a decisive proof, that the mother church of St. Stephen was not part of the borough of Saltash. Now, it appeared to him, that if Saltash was taken out of schedule A, the Committee would be abandoning the rule laid down in the case of Beeralston.
Lord John Russell
admitted, that the case of Saltash was certainly on the confines of the rule which the Government had laid down. He believed, that the borough and chapelry were not separated from each other. He should not, therefore, press the total disfranchisement of this borough; but should leave it in the hands of the House, to deal with it as they thought fit.
§ The question was put, that Saltash stand part of Schedule A, and the Committee divided; Ayes 150; Noes 231—Majority 81. The borough of Saltash was therefore transferred to Schedule B.
|List of the AYES.|
|Astley, Sir J.||Calcraft, G.|
|Atherley, A.||Callaghan, D.|
|Baillie, J. E.||Calvert, Charles|
|Bernard, Colonel||Calvert, N.|
|Bainbridge, E.||Calley, Thomas|
|Blamire, W.||Cavendish, W.|
|Blankney, W.||Clive, E. B.|
|Blount, Edward||Currie, John|
|Bodkin, J. J.||Curteis, Herbert|
|Brabazon, Lord||Dawson, A.|
|Brayen, Thomas||Denison, W. J.|
|Brougham, J.||Denman, Sir T.|
|Browne, Dom.||Dixon, Joseph|
|Brownlow, C.||Doyle, Sir J. M.|
|Bulwer, E. E. L.||Duncombe, T. S.|
|Bulwer, H. L.||Dundas, Charles|
|Bouverie, P.||Dundas, Hon. Sir R.|
|Bunbury, Sir H.||Ellis, Wynn|
|Burdett, Sir F.||Etwall, Ralph|
|Burke, Sir John||Evans, Colonel|
|Burrell, Sir C.||Evans, W. B.|
|Ewart, W.||Musgrave, Sir R.|
|Ferguson, Robert||Noel, Sir G.|
|Ferguson, Gen.||Nugent, Lord|
|Fergusson, R. C.||O'Connell, D.|
|Fitzgibbon, Rt. Hn. R.||O'Connell, M.|
|Folkes, Sir William||O'Grady, Hon. Col.|
|Gillon, W. D.||Osborne, Lord F.|
|Gisborne, Thomas||Paget, Thomas|
|Graham, Sir S.||Parnell, Sir H.|
|Grattan, James||Perrin, Louis|
|Gurney, R. H.||Petre, Hon. E.|
|Hawkins, J. H.||Phillips, C. M.|
|Handley, W. F.||Ponsonby, Hon. G.|
|Harty, Sir R.||Power, Robert|
|Heathcote, Sir G.||Pryse, Pryse|
|Heywood, B.||Ramsbottom, J.|
|Hobhouse, J. C.||Rickman, Mr.|
|Hoskins, K.||Rider, Thomas|
|Howard, P. H.||Robarts, A. W.|
|Howard, Henry||Robinson, Sir G.|
|Hudson, Thomas||Rooper, J. B.|
|Hill, Lord A.||Ross, Horatio|
|Hughes, Hughes||Russell, John|
|Hulse, James||Ruthven, E. S.|
|Hume, Joseph||Sanford, E. A.|
|Hutchinson, J. H.||Smith, John|
|Ingilby, Sir W.||Stanhope, Captain|
|James, W.||Stanley, E. J.|
|Jephson, C. D. O.||Stanley, Lord|
|Johnstone, J.||Stevenson, Mr.|
|Kennedy, T. F.||Stewart, Sir M. S.|
|Killeen, Lord||Strutt, Ed.|
|King, E. B.||Stuart, Lord James|
|King, Hon. R.||Thicknesse, R.|
|Knight, Robert||Throckmorton, R.|
|Lamb, Hon. G.||Tomes, John|
|Lambert, Henry||Trail, George|
|Lambert, J. S.||Tynte, C. K. K.|
|Langton, Colonel G.||Venables, W.|
|Leader, N. P.||Vincent, Sir F.|
|Lefevre, C. S.||Waithman, Alderman|
|Lloyd, Sir E. P.||Walker, C. A.|
|Loch, James||Wason, W. R.|
|Lumley, John S.||Webb, Colonel|
|Maberly, Colonel W.||Western, C. C.|
|Mayhew, William||Westenra, Hon. H.|
|Mackenzie, J. A.||Weyland, Major|
|Macnamara, W.||Wilks, John|
|Mangles, James||Williamson, Sir H.|
|Marjoribanks, S.||Winnington, Sir T.|
|Marshall, William||Wood, John|
|Mildmay, P. St. J.||Warburton, H.|
|Milton, Viscount||Wyse, Thomas|
|Moreton, Hon. H.||White, Samuel|
|Mullins, Frederick||Hunt, Henry.|
§ The next question was, "that the borough of Old Sarum stand part of schedule A."
§ Sir C. Forbes
said, that he could not allow this borough to be disfranchised without saying, that the two hon. Members who represented it were as independent as any hon. Members in that House. The noble Lord who had introduced this Bill had said, in a publication of his, that 367 he should no more think of touching Old Sarum, than of touching the ground on which Old Sarum stood. The noble Lord now, not only touched, but proposed to annihilate Old Sarum.
was apprehensive, when the hon. Member rose, that the hon. Member had made a discovery of some place to which Old Sarum could be united and that they should be told of a parish juxta Old Sarum. It was with regard to this borough that Lord Camelford had put an advertisement into the newspapers, in which advertisement that noble Lord pledged himself, that if he lived till the next election, he would send his negro servant into the House as member for Old Sarum. He had read this in the newspapers himself, and no one could doubt the right of his Lordship to have redeemed his pledge if he pleased, and if the negro were born under the British flag, his Lordship would only have had to give the negro a qualification, and then he might have sent him in in his livery. Other Members had been sent into that House often enough for rotten boroughs, who, if they had not worn livery, had been quite as much under the control of their patrons as this negro could possibly have been under the control of Lord Camelford;— ay, and there had also been Members enough for rotten boroughs who had been quite as black inside as the swarthiest negro could be outside. He spoke, of course, of former Parliaments, not of the present Parliament.
Mr. C. W. Wynn
had only to say, that there was not the slightest foundation for the story which the hon. and learned Member had narrated.
§ Mr. Cutlar Ferguson
thought there was no occasion for any one to speak against Old Sarum, as he believed no one could be found to speak for it. He believed Old Sarum to be the least objectionable of all the boroughs which they had so properly destroyed. He admitted, that his two hon. friends who were members for it were as independent as any hon. Members in the House; but then, unfortunately, they were the Representatives of themselves, and not of the people. One of them was an hon. colleague of his, a Director in the East-India Company. Out of twelve persons connected with that body who had seats in Parliament, only two or three sat for places touched by this Bill. He said this in reply to the re- 368 that had been made, that the measure at present under consideration would shut out persons connected with that Company, and generally with commerce.
would not have risen again but for the contradiction he had received from the right hon. Gentleman (Mr. C. W. Wynn). He had said, and he now repeated, that he had read the story in the newspapers. Did the right hon. Gentleman mean to contradict that? And farther, did the right hon. Gentleman, who was so well versed in parliamentary law, mean to deny, that Lord Camelford might have returned his Negro servant if he had pleased?
Mr. C. W. Wynn
thought he had heard the hon. and learned Gentleman say, that he had read such an advertisement of Lord Camelford's in the newspapers. Now, the fact was, that what Lord Camelford did advertise in the newspapers, was an unqualified contradiction of the story, and a declaration that he had never entertained the intention which that story imputed to him.
§ Sir J. Malcolm
begged to notice an impression which might have been made by the statement of his hon. and learned friend the member for Kirkcudbright. That hon. Member had stated, that only three out of twelve Directors of the East-India Company who were in Parliament, sat for close, or nomination boroughs. But he begged the House to recollect, that a great proportion of the Directors were wealthy London merchants, who had never been in India, and of course had none of the local knowledge which was so essential to the good government of that country. The interests of our Indian empire demanded that some Members of this House should be well acquainted with that country.
§ Sir C. Wetherell
said, that the hon. member for Kirkcudbright was very much in error in supposing, that no one was inclined to say a word in favour of Old Sarum, for Old Sarum was a burgage tenure borough, and he certainly was opposed to the disfranchisement of it, on the grounds which he had stated when the borough of Bletchingley was before the Committee.
§ Mr. Attwood
said, that as they had been told that a Negro might have been returned for Old Sarum, they ought to be told who had been returned for it. Old Sarum had returned Lord Chat- 369 ham. The noble Lord who introduced this Bill had said, not in the heat of debate, but in print, that Old Sarum ought not to be touched, except upon grounds as strong as those which expelled King James from the throne. He called upon the House to observe how the principles of the noble Lord had changed. This was the particular borough which was the subject of Mr. Locke's defence, who, in a most elaborate argument, had denied the right of Parliament to disfranchise it, unless a clear case of corruption was made out against it. This borough, at the time he wrote, was quite as much decayed as now.
§ The question "That Old Sarum stand part of schedule A," was then put and agreed to.
§ The next Motion was, "That the borough of Seaford stand part of schedule A."
said, that Members were constantly in the habit of abusing what they called rotten boroughs, and talking of the improper means by which Members were returned for them. Now he was member for this borough, which had been classed among the rotten boroughs, and he challenged any hon. Member to rise in his place and say by what improper means—either of control or purchase—he had obtained his seat. He did not rise for the purpose of asking that the borough of Seaford should be taken out of schedule A; but he was induced, from the fair and honourable conduct of Ministers with regard to Saltash, to make a suggestion, which he hoped would be attended to. Seaford stood precisely in the same situation with regard to Hastings, as Sandwich with regard to Walmer and Deal; and he submitted, that if Seaford were joined with Hastings, for the purposes of Representation, the principle of the Bill would not be infringed. He wished further, to ask the noble Lord what was to be done with the peculiar laws by which the cinque ports were governed? They were burthened with certain expenses in return for the privilege of sending Members to Parliament, but if the electors of Seaford were not to be allowed to vote for Members with Hastings, they ought not to be called on to pay the charges with which they were now burthened.
Lord John Russell
would agree to any arrangement by which the electors of Seaford would be prevented from paying any expenses to which they were not fairly liable.
§ Mr. Cresset Pelham
said, that Seaford ought to be joined with the rape of Pevensey, which would give that side of the county of Sussex a more equal share in the Representation.
wished to ask the hon. member for Seaford, whether Hastings by the operation of the present Bill, would not contain 900 voters.
§ Mr. W. Lyon
replied, from papers on the Table, for he had no other source of knowledge, be believed there would be about 500.
§ Sir Charles Wetherell
thought Seaford should be annexed to another borough, on the same principle as Sandwich. It was to lose both its Members, and Rye only one. These arrangements were so contrary to all principle, that they must be explained when they came to consider the other schedules. He reserved to himself the right of reconsidering the case of this borough hereafter.
§ Motion agreed to.
§ The next motion was, "That the borough of Steyning stand part of schedule A."
§ Sir Charles Wetherell
was surprised, that while Sussex was thus cruelly shorn of its boroughs, neither of the hon. members for that county had risen to say a syllable upon anyone of them. One would almost, suppose, that Sussex had already been deprived of its two county Members. He had been considering where all these boroughs would go to, but, upon looking farther into the Bill, he saw that most of them would travel Northwards, and, perhaps, be buried in the collieries of Durham. Indeed, if he had to give this Bill a name, he should be very much disposed to call it the Durham Act.
§ Lord George Lennox
begged leave to inform the hon. and learned Gentleman, that one of the members for the county of Sussex was present, and he would also tell him the reason wherefore he did not oppose the disfranchisement of this borough, as that hon. and learned Gentleman supposed to be his duty. He had not so much confidence as to rise up in that House, and persist in the defence of a bad cause. But he would be the last man in that House to abandon any good and honourable cause, of which he should think it his duty to undertake the defence. The hon. and learned member for Borough-bridge had referred to his (Lord George Lennox's) constituents. He should remind 371 the hon. Gentleman, that one of those constituents was a Member of that House, and that one of the freeholders of the county of Sussex had found opportunities to say a word in defence of every individual borough in the schedule.
§ Mr. Curteis
said, that he would not then address the House from an unusual place [the hon. Member spoke from the gallery], but for the purpose of setting the hon. and learned Member right, and assuring him that he had been in the House at the discussion, not only upon that, but upon every other borough. He had long since been of opinion, that the borough of Steyning was a discredit to Sussex. It had never been represented by gentlemen at all connected with that county. Therefore, the influence of the people of Sussex in the Representation would not be in the slightest degree weakened by the disfranchisement of Steyning. As he was on his legs, he would take the opportunity of thanking the hon. Gentleman opposite (Sir C. Wetherell) for what he had said respecting him on a former evening. It was not often that he (Mr. Curteis) spoke in that House. But he trusted that he was not so deficient in spirit that he should not reply to attacks made upon him, in that House or elsewhere; and when the learned member for Boroughbridge said, that at a future election he would not give him (Mr. Curteis) his votes, he would take leave to say, that he would not condescend to ask him: and moreover—whenever that learned Gentleman should again be candidate for the University of Oxford, he would not support him, as he did on a former occasion.
§ Sir Charles Wetherell
was at a loss how to reply, particularly as he was obliged to look up to the hon. member for Sussex. That Gentleman had quite the advantage of him now, and could look down upon him, thinking, probably, like Swift, that it added greatly to the effect of an oration to deliver it from an eminence. The Gentleman had, no doubt, a very proper contempt for the freeholders of Sussex. [Mr. Curteis: No.] It was not necessary for him to reciprocate that contempt. When he said, that he should not vote for the hon. Gentleman, he intended him no personal disrespect, but because he did not think that he had supported the interests of his constituents in the discussion of the Bill. He confessed he did not think the people of Sussex agreed with the hon. 372 Gentleman in his opinions respecting Reform. As to that portion of the county by which the return of the hon. Gentleman was secured, he could speak as confidently as any person could from his own knowledge, that the people were not friendly to the Bill. [Mr. Curteis: They are.] Neither were the freeholders in the neighbourhood of Chichester friendly to Reform [question]. Hon. Gentlemen need not suppose that they should compel him to depart from the question. He concluded by repeating, that the members for Sussex had not been returned on the principles on which they were now acting.
§ Lord George Lennox
asserted with confidence, that ninety-nine persons out of every hundred in the county of Sussex were Reformers. He could speak more confidently as to their opinions than could the hon. and learned member for Boroughbridge, because he had canvassed every town and village of the county, and in every part, East and West, the freeholders declared that they would vote only for Reformers.
having an estate in that county, was able to confirm the statements of the noble Lord who spoke last. On the occasion of the late election, he had inquired into the opinions of his tenants; and they were every man determined to go to the poll and vote for the Reform candidates, without putting those candidates to one farthing expense.
An Hon. Member
bore testimony to the strong feeling which prevailed throughout Sussex in favour of the Reform Bill.
§ Mr. Hunt
knew something about that same borough of Steyning, although he was not a Sussex man; but he was afraid that what he had to say about it would do little to save it from disfranchisement. It was his acquaintance with that place that first made him a Reformer. If the House would bear with him for a few minutes, he would tell them a story. He would promise that it should not be along one. A gentleman from Steyning had dined with him one day, and that gentleman was an agent to the Duke of Norfolk, and was going down to the House of Commons, after dinner, on business for the Duke. He accompanied his friend, and when they came to the lobby, there they met one of the members for Steyning coming out of the House. "Where are you going?" said the Duke's agent, taking the Member 373 by the arm. The Member replied, that he had paired off with another Member, and that he was going to dinner. "Oh!" said the agent, "that won't do; you must go back and vote. The Duke sent me down to tell you that you must vote." And so the member for Steyning went back. He (Mr. Hunt) knew very well that the Duke of Norfolk was not in the habit of interfering with the Members, except on particular occasions. But then on some occasions he did so. He meant the late Duke, not the present. The gentleman who had dined with him (Mr. Hunt), had been on that particular occasion sent down to the House to watch that they didn't shirk off. He had long suspected that some of the combatants upon his (the Opposition) side of the House were fighting with muffled gloves on; but he was now satisfied that it was so, as the division upon Saltash was an evident cross.
§ Mr. Ridley Colborne
would not go into a discussion of the old story which had been raked up about Steyning; but he would tell the House what was the feelings at the last election in that borough respecting the question now under consideration. The candidates fully explained to the electors what would be the effect of that Bill in depriving them of their franchise, and they were, notwithstanding, unanimous in their approbation of the measure.
Mr. George R. Philips,
as one of the members for Steyning, begged leave to confirm the statement of the hon. Gentleman who had just sat down.
§ Motion agreed to.
§ Stockbridge and Tregony were also placed in the clause without any observations.
§ On the question being put, "that Wareham stand part of the same clause,"
§ Mr. George Bankes
said, that if the Members for that borough were present, he should think it his duty to call on them to represent to his Majesty's Government the case of their constituents. As he did not see those Gentlemen in their places, he would undertake the advocacy of Wareham in their stead, and he trusted that he should make out as good a case as had been made out for another borough that evening. A memorial had been presented in April last from that borough, to one of his Majesty's Ministers, in which it was stated, that a petition had been presented 374 to Parliament, signed by 200 inhabitants of that place, which showed that it possessed a population which entitled it to be taken out of the list of disfranchished boroughs. From that petition, it appeared that the population of the borough, even according to the return of 1821, amounted to 1,931 persons, and the petitioners stated, that if the population of a parish in the borough, which amounted to 134 persons, and which ought not to have been omitted in the return, had been included in it, it would have given the borough a population of 2,065 persons in 1821, which would clearly have saved it from disfranchisement. The disfranchisement of this borough, therefore, appeared to him to be totally indefensible. Even on the principles laid down by the noble Lord, it was unjustifiable to disregard the claims of that borough to retain a part of its Representation. So far from being an inconsiderable or decreasing place, Wareham was populous, and greatly increasing in prosperity.
§ Mr. Granby Calcraft
had been desirous to preserve that borough, of which he was one of the Representatives, if he could do so without an unnecessary impediment in the way of his Majesty's Government. Indeed, up to the last week, he had thought that he could make out a sufficient case for its preservation, but he was convinced, by the decisions of the House in the case of Appleby and Downton, that he "had not a leg to stand on" in the defence of Wareham. It was utterly impossible for him, therefore, to save it, and it did not appear to him that there would be any good in attempting to throw a useless impediment in the way of that great measure, which, whatever impediments might be thrown in its way, must be finally carried.
did not think, that the members for Wareham did justice to their constituents when they abandoned them to disfranchisement without making any effort in their defence. In the levying of the assessed taxes this year, the Chapelry of Ard had been included in the borough of Wareham, and their united population would clearly exempt Wareham from disfranchisement.
§ Mr. George Robinson
said, that besides the deficiency of the population, without taking in the Chapelry, which was four miles distant from the borough, there was another reason for the disfranchisement of Wareham. The hon. Gentleman who had 375 undertaken the defence of the borough was as well aware of that reason as was he (Mr. Robinson); and if he were as ingenuous as the hon. Member for that place he would have acknowledged it: it was this—that it was impossible to find a sufficient and independent constituency under the present Bill, if even the Chapelry of Ard were added to Wareham, and Corfe Castle thrown in with them.
Lord John Russell
said, that there was no reason whatever that Ard should be considered part of the borough; it was a perfectly distinct place, and had been so stated in the population returns both of 1821 and 1831.
§ Mr. George Bankes
begged to say, in reply to the hon. member for Worcester, that he had been in Wareham three weeks ago; and having seen there a very considerable number of new buildings, he necessarily supposed, that it was improving, and that it could produce a respectable constituency. As one of the Members for the borough had not thought it necessary to be present and defend his constituents, and the other Member, being present, had abandoned their cause, he (Mr. G. Bankes) would not be so Quixotic as to persist in defending it.
§ Sir Charles Wetherell
supported the view which the hon. member for Corfe Castle had taken of the case of Wareham. Had he been one of the Members for that borough, he should have been present and said "No" to the proposed disfranchisement. He wished the case of this borough to be adjourned, that more satisfactory evidence of its population and extent, might be obtained. The difficulty was, whether the Chapelry of Ard came within its limits? It had been laid down, that the ecclesiastical division was to be the rule: if that was the case, this Chapelry undoubtedly ought to be included, although it was not contiguous, and here was the difficulty, to other parts of the parish. They had yet no sufficient knowledge of the principles on which the plan was founded.
§ Mr. Granby Calcraft
said, that though he did not think, that he could make out a case for the non-disfranchisement of Wareham, as unfavourable decisions had been come to with other boroughs better entitled to return Members than it, yet he wished to correct a statement of the hon. member for Worcester. He was bound to say, that it was by no means a declining borough. Its population at present 376 was 2,500. As the payment of taxes was considered an index of respectability, he wished to add, that with the exception of Minehead, Wareham paid a larger amount of assessed taxes than any other borough in the schedule.
§ Mr. George Robinson
had some property in Wareham, and it was his interest to make the borough as respectable as possible. He was convinced, however, that the inhabitants derived no advantage from the franchise, and it would be impossible not to treat Wareham in the same way as other boroughs in similar circumstances.
§ Motion agreed to.
§ Wendover and Weobly were placed in schedule A, without comment.
§ On the question "that Whitchurch should stand part of schedule A."
would have defended the right of that borough to send Members on the principle of burgage tenure, but in similar cases it had been decided against his views, and he would not revive the argument. He wished, however, to declare, that although he had been accused as being a Member for a "rotten" borough, yet if he had conscientiously thought that the measure before them tended to the interest of the country, he should have been foremost, in its support. Believing the contrary, he would oppose it heart and hand.
§ Sir S. Scott
asserted, that the votes at Whitchurch had never been bought or sold, and the constituency was most respectable
§ Question agreed to.
§ On the question "that Winchelsea stand part of schedule A,"
§ Mr. Curteis
stated, that he had that day received a petition from Winchelsea, complaining of being disfranchised. The petitioners stated, that, the borough was very ancient, that by their charter they were obliged to contribute ships and men for the King's Service and to support state prisoners, which entailed heavy expenses on them. If they were deprived of their franchise, they ought not to continue to pay those expenses. The liberty of the town extended to the two parishes of Icklesham and Pelt, and if these two parishes were included within the liberty and the town of Winchelsea, it would contain 2,826 inhabitants. The petitioners concluded by saying, that although favourable to Reform, they could not assent to the present measure, which would ruin their ancient town, and they were ready to 377 prove the truth of these statements at the bar of the House. He had done his duty in presenting the petition. He had no connexion with the town except living in its vicinity, and could not enter into the merits of the case, but hoped Government would fully consider them.
§ Sir Charles Wetherell
saw in this another proof of the neglect of the authors of this measure in obtaining evidence; here was a borough containing nearly half as much again as the required number of inhabitants, overwhelmed by the tide of disfranchisement, washed by the ocean of the noble Lord from the shores of Parliament. But the time would yet come when the people would demand reasons for being deprived of their dearest rights.
§ The disfranchisement of Winchelsea agreed to.
§ On the question "that the borough of Woodstock stand part of schedule A,"
§ Lord Stormont
said, this was almost the last borough to be disfranchised, and he begged to state as a reason why it should not be included in schedule A, that Woodstock was an increasing and thriving place. In the census of 1821, the population was erroneously stated. Besides Old Woodstock, there were to be reckoned New Woodstock, and the parish in which they stood. The population of these respectively was 403, 1,455, and 510, making together 2,368 souls. This number was sufficient to take Woodstock out of schedule A. From its circumstances it formed a peculiar case, and ought to be exempt from disfranchisement.
Lord J. Russell
was of opinion, that Woodstock came strictly within the principle of schedule A. It was totally separated from the parish of Bladen, and the population of the borough did not equal the required amount.
was authorised by the Marquis of Blandford, who had represented Woodstock during the last Parliament, and who was a true Reformer, to state that he did not believe Woodstock to be a nomination borough, because its freemen obtained their right by servitude, and it was not in the power of the noble owner to nominate a single individual to the freedom. The Mayor of the town only, on retiring from office, had the power to nominate one freeman.
§ Lord Ashley
said, that it was impossible to draw the line between the three divisions of the town, and, therefore, they were all equally portions of Woodstock, the constituency of which formed a most independent set of men. It was by no means under the nomination of the Duke of Marlborough who could not control ten votes.
Lord C. Churchill,
said, that it was useless to oppose the disfranchisement of Woodstock; but at the same time he protested against the disfranchisement of any of the boroughs in schedule A. He was himself a Reformer, but he would never consent to rob Peter to pay Paul.
§ Question agreed to.
§ On the question "that Wootton Bassett stand part of schedule A,"
§ Lord Mahon
thought, after the decision of the House, that he was bound to admit the principle of the Bill, and he could allege no special grounds of exemption. If, however, the number of voters had been taken, instead of the number of inhabitants, Wootton Bassett would have deserved to be saved: the registered voters amounted to 206, of whom 199 actually voted at the last election. He would not trouble the House with remarks of his own, but he would quote a passage from the writings of Lord Bolingbroke, who had been member for Wootton Bassett. Speaking of the causes which led to the fatal Civil War under Charles 1st, he said, "that this melancholy change was brought about and carried on by faction will not be denied. The sole question will therefore be, which was the factious side? Now, to determine this we need only inquire which side was for usurping; on the other, which was for preserving, and which for altering the established constitution of Government. On this point the question will turn; for, in a limited monarchy, it is certain that there may be conspiracies against prerogative, as well as conspiracies against liberty." The reflections of this eloquent writer seemed to him very applicable to the present times, and his example might furnish another instance, were any more required, of the advantage of these smaller constituencies, by introducing our ablest and most distinguished statesmen into Parliament.
said, that although the names associated with the borough of Wootton Bassett would in better times have rescued that borough from destruct- 379 tion, still he knew of no peculiar grounds upon which he could call for the consideration of the Government, unless, indeed, they should now, at the eleventh hour of the massacre, be visited by any compunctious feelings, and if that were the case, he should be most happy to report to his constituents their improved courses. He had not partaken of the merriment with which the extinction of these boroughs had been heard by part of that House; on the contrary, he confessed that he had heard that extinction with pain, and the sound had come over him as the knell of a departed friend; of one who had done great service, and whose place could not be filled up by new associates. Hon. Gentlemen might sneer, but he would repeat the sentiment; and he only called upon those who did sneer, not to judge of others by themselves. He looked with apprehension and alarm at the whole measure, and to the last it should have his strenuous opposition. He declared, that he thought this Bill would speedily ruin the country, but in voting against the clause he wished it to be understood that he was not an enemy to Reform, but to the sweeping disfranchisement proposed by this Bill, which went to deprive his constituents of the most noble right of Englishmen.
said, it was a great pity that the touch of Ithuriel's spear could dispel such agreeable fictions. If Wootton Bassett had returned Lord Bolingbroke to Parliament, it had also returned Mr. Walsh, who was expelled that House for fraud. The concerns of the borough were then exposed, as he became a bankrupt, and it was proved, that the price of a vote for Wootton Bassett was 21l., which was the noble right of Englishmen. The two Lords who managed die concerns of the borough afterwards gave 25l. a piece for a vote, which made the noble right of Englishmen nobler still. Afterwards an individual recommended by a noble Lord gave 4,000l. for his seat—this was what England was to lose by getting rid of nomination boroughs. The good government and happiness of the people depended, they were told, upon the voters of a noble Lord being paid large sums to reward them for corruption. The Red Book, indeed, shewed that these boroughs could be made advantageous to certain individuals, if not to the country.
§ Lord Mahon
adverted with considerable 380 warmth to a contradiction Mr. O'Connell had received, in the early part of the evening, relative to the borough of Old Sarum, when he had acknowledged himself in error, and expressed his surprise that the hon. and learned Member should again plunge into indecent personalities. The hon. and learned Member seemed only conversant with the low and base parts which must contaminate every system of Representation. He did not mean to make any defence, but to deny the charge. That was the first time he had ever heard what the hon. and learned Member said of Wootton Bassett; and after witnessing the contradiction the hon. and learned Member had received, as to Old Sarum, he could not believe that statement. He was warranted, after hearing the charge disproved which the hon. and learned Member had made against a noble Lord, not to believe what he had stated. He would add, that if there was corruption in that borough twenty years ago, that was not the case at present.
thought, it was impossible to allow such words as "indecent personalities" to pass unnoticed, when what his hon. and learned friend said was a matter of fact. He was in the House when Walsh was expelled, and he had objected to the expulsion: he had, in fact, opposed the expulsion, and the first motion he ever made in that House was to resist it. He was left, indeed, in a minority—a small, but a most respectable minority. He thought that the House ought not to erect itself into a censor of the morals of its Members. It was not, that Mr. Walsh had not violated his trust—had not been guilty of the robbery; but, as the law then stood, he had not committed a crime. He had appropriated 28,000l. of Exchequer bills, intrusted to him by Sir Thomas Plomer, to his own use, which was not then a crime by the law. When the House, therefore, took it upon itself to expel him for an immoral act, he did not know where it might stop, and therefore he resisted the motion. What his hon. and learned friend had stated, therefore, was perfectly correct: and he must ask the noble Lord to explain what he meant by "indecent personalities?" Such a phrase was altogether unbecoming. Great latitude was allowed; but during these debates Gentlemen had gone much further, than they were warranted.
said, the noble Lord had 381 made a charge against him, because his recollection, of a circumstance differed from, that of a right hon. Gentleman. What he had stated of Lord Camelford, he had read in the newspapers, and supposed it was true. For that the noble Lord accused him of indecent personalities. He did not object to harsh language when he provoked it, and then he would be ready to make atonement; but he did not use one word which could be interpreted to have a personal meaning. He had stated what had occurred before a public tribunal, and he could show that up to this hour it was uncontradicted. He was quite certain that the noble Lord could not contradict it. That noble Lord had never heard of it before, but he could not deny it. He had arraigned the system, not the individuals; and he had shown that of it bribery, rottenness, and perjury, were consequences. He had not done that, till he heard one noble Lord utter a palinode, and another repeat it, and heard one of them censure a Law Officer of the Crown for applying strong language to that system, which they said had been the source of happiness to the country. It was not till he had heard these things that he mentioned the case of Walsh, to show, that the rotten boroughs gave something else besides security to England. If to arraign rotten boroughs were to be guilty of indecent personalities, he would say, let them be repeated.
§ Lord Mahon
expressed himself sorry at having used harsh language to a person in the hon. and learned Member's situation, and could assure him, that nothing personal was meant by his declaration.
§ Question agreed to, and Wootton Bassett was placed in the first clause.
§ The next question was, "that the borough of Yarmouth, in the Isle of Wight, stand part, of the first, clause."
§ Sir Henry Willoughby
begged to call the attention of the House to the petition which had been presented from the inhabitants, which deserved ample consideration.
§ The borough was placed in the clause.
§ The next question was, that this clause, as amended, stand part, of the Bill. When this was put, there were calls for the Chairman to report progress, but still louder calls to go on.
§ Lord Althorp
thought, that the whole clause had been sufficiently discussed in going through the schedule. He hoped it would not be further discussed, but that the House would to-morrow proceed to the next clause. It had been in all its parts discussed repeatedly, both relevantly and irrelevantly.
§ Sir Charles Wetherell
said, that the clause involved two or three principles which the House had not yet had time to discuss.
§ Mr. Praed
did not wish, by his suggestion, to delay the Bill, but it was not possible at that time to discuss the whole clause, and he knew that there were two or three Gentlemen who were desirous of speaking on it. It might be taken the first thing to-morrow. There had not been time to discuss the clause, since several of its inconsistencies, such as that relating to Saltash, had been made known to the House.
Sir Robert Peel
differed from his hon. and learned friend, for he thought that the clause had been discussed on his amendment to leave out the word "each." They should allow the clause to be settled, and proceed to the next stage to-morrow.
§ The question was put, that the clause, as amended, stand part of the Bill, which was answered by loud and numerous ayes, and carried.
§ The Chairman asked leave to report, progress; the House resumed; the Committee to sit again the next day.