§ Mr. Hunt
, before the Speaker left the Chair, begged to ask a question of the First Lord of the Admiralty. He understood, that the four Post-office packets between Calais and Dover, had always five Captains. One of the five, he was told, had just died, and he wished to know if the Government intended to perform its promise of retrenchment, by saving this 400l. a year of salary to the public, by abstaining from making a new appointment?
Sir James Graham
regretted that the hon. Member had not given him some notice of his intention to ask the question, as he might have been prepared, through the means of a communication with the noble Duke at the head of the Post-office, to have given some answer. At present he could only promise to make inquiries on the subject. He might say, at the same time, that no one connected with the Government was more anxious to fulfil the promises of retrenchment than the noble person alluded to, and he was confident that if a saving could be effected, the noble Duke would avail himself of the opportunity, and be happy to receive all the information which the hon. Member might be able to afford.
§ The House went into Committee, Mr. Bernal in the Chair.
§ The subject for discussion was the second Clause of the Bill, which was read as follows:—"And be it enacted, that the boroughs enumerated in Schedule B, to this Act annexed, shall, after the end of this present Parliament, return one Member, and no more, to serve in Parliament for each of the said boroughs."
§ On the question being put,
Sir Robert Peel rose, and spoke to the following effect:*—Before we proceed
* Printed from the corrected edition, published by Roake and Varty.
to the consideration of the cases of individual boroughs included in schedule B, I intend to discuss a preliminary question of very high importance, and one that concerns the interests of the whole class of boroughs. The decision upon the general question thus raised, will be a conclusive one, and, once taken, will determine the point for each particular case, and render detailed discussion upon that point unnecessary. I propose, that each of the forty boroughs included in schedule B, instead of returning only one Member, as contemplated by the Bill, shall retain its present privilege of returning two; and I shall move as an Amendment on the Motion of the noble Lord, that the word "two" be substituted for "one." If, therefore, the House affirm my proposition, each of the boroughs will return two Members, and will thus escape partial disfranchisement; and if, on the contrary, the Committee shall decide that the word "one" stand part of the clause, I shall abstain from raising the question in the case of each individual borough in schedule B. I think that the course that I now propose will save the time of the House; and I entreat the most serious and impartial attention of all parties, while I state the important considerations that induce me to propose the adoption of the course that I now recommend. I am not about to recommend a discussion of the general principle of the Bill, but I shall confine myself to a statement of facts, which are as well deserving the attention of those who are friendly to the Bill, as of those who take the same view of it that I do. I would appeal to his Majesty's Government themselves, entertaining a confident hope, that if I shall be able to adduce valid reasons for continuing to the boroughs enumerated in schedule B, the right of returning two Members, my reasons will be permitted to prevail, and will induce the Ministers again to pursue the honourable course which they took last night in the case of the borough of Saltash, and revoke a decision which subsequent consideration proved to be erroneous. In the first place, I contend, that the adoption of my proposal is not inconsistent with the principles of the Reform Bill. There is not a word in the preamble of the Bill which points to the disfranchisement of the boroughs enumerated in schedule B. The preamble recites that—"It is expedient to take effectual measures for
correcting divers abuses that have long prevailed in the choice of Members to serve in the Commons House of Parliament; to deprive many inconsiderable places of the right of returning Members; to grant such privilege to large, populous, and wealthy towns; to increase the number of knights of the shire; to extend the elective franchise to many of his Majesty's subjects who have not heretofore enjoyed the same, and to diminish the expense of elections." Now, I cannot deny, that this recital, if admitted to be correct, applies to schedule A, and binds us to the complete disfranchisement of those boroughs, but it has no reference to the partial disfranchisement of the boroughs in schedule B. The preamble of the Bill, therefore, leaves those who entirely assent to it at liberty to vote with me. The most determined enemy to nomination boroughs may also vote with me. There may be boroughs of that description in schedule B, if reference be had to their present constituency, but other provisions of the Bill will destroy that constituency, and will substitute for it a new and more extended one. I have a perfect right to assume, that after this Bill shall have passed, nomination will be effectually excluded in the case of every borough named in schedule B. If it will not, why does the Government reserve for these boroughs, or any of them, even the half of their existing privilege? The question is one, not of degree, but principle. The Bill assumes nomination to be vicious and unconstitutional; but if it be so, it is so in the case where one Member is to be returned, as well as in the case where there are two. If you suspect the existence of nomination in schedule B, your remedy clearly is, not partial disfranchisement, but complete extinction of the privilege through which it is to be effected. I repeat, therefore, that the most decided enemy to nomination is at liberty to vote with me. Having removed out of my way these preliminary difficulties, and shewn this to be a question fairly open to the consideration of all parties, whether friends or enemies to the Bill, I will now consider the intrinsic merit of the proposal. First, I contend, that it is recommended by long prescription and almost uniform usage, so far as England is concerned—and let it be remembered that we are now discussing the English Representative system, and no other—that the usages of, England in respect to Representation are, therefore,
mainly to be relied upon. Now, in every instance in England, in which the elective franchise is exercised, with few exceptions only, in which there is a single Member, two Members are returned. There are also the cases of the city of London and of the county of York, wherein there are severally, four. 489 Members sit for England, and five only, out of the whole number, sit for boroughs having a single return. A different practice prevails, it is true, in Wales, in Scotland, and in certain cases in Ireland. In the two latter cases, it was adopted at the respective periods of their union with England; but we are to consult, for present purposes, English precedent and English usage, and not to look at the necessities which might be imposed by events so peculiar as the unions of different parts of the empire. If usage and prescription are to decide the question, the decision must be in favour of my proposal, and I contend, that the appeal to reason and good sense is equally decisive in is favour; and that, apart from all considerations of usage, that plan of Representation which gives two Members to certain places, in preference to one, ought to be adopted. If we were merely arguing à priori—if we were devising, for the first time, an electoral system for a new country—and if we should assume 500 as the proper limit to the number of Representatives, it would be easy, in my opinion, to prove, that it would be better to give the right of sending two Members to 250 towns or districts, rather than a single Member to each of 500. By doing so, you would ensure a more perfect Representation of the feelings and sentiments of the whole people; you would diminish the chances of the undue preponderance of one class of interests or opinions; and you would be more likely to effect that object which ought never to be overlooked, namely, the insuring at all times to the minority, its fair share of weight and influence in the public councils. But I would rather confine myself to the circumstances of England, and to the state of society as it exists in this country. I appeal to those who have practical experience on this subject, and who are conversant with the feelings and habits connected with elections in England. Surely they must know, that there is an immense advantage, when contending parties are nearly balanced, in having the means of effecting an amicable compromise, and of warding off the necessity
of absolute triumph and unqualified defeat. What is it that gives keenness to election contests? Not merely general politics, but local and hereditary attachments, the preference of this family to that, the influence of property newly acquired contending against that of ancient family and long-established connexion. Beware how you relinquish the only means of amicably adjusting the balance between such rival pretensions. Think of the animosity which you will engender, the more bitter as the circle is narrow within which it is confined, if there be no alternative but complete, unmitigated victory on one side or the other. How certain will be the provocation to contest on every returning vacancy, and how lasting the mortification which will follow defeat. I argue from what I know, and from circumstances of which I have had experience. I represent a borough—no nomination borough—but a borough containing near 4,000 inhabitants, in which every inhabitant householder, not in the poor-rate, has a vote, and is proud of his franchise. It returns two Members, one friendly to the Bill, the other hostile to it—one supporting the Government, the other opposing it—one returned through the influence of an ancient name, and of all the associations which are connected with old connexions and hereditary attachments; the other through the influence of neighbourhood residence, property, and friendly and constant intercourse. How many instances there must be where similar divisions of opinion and interests prevail; many, perhaps, in which they are very nearly balanced; and could it, in such cases, be for the public advantage, or could it promote local peace, to leave no alternative, at all times and under all circumstances, but the complete exclusion of one party and complete triumph of the other? Even on this single ground, I must contend, that my Amendment would be entitled to support. But this is a narrow ground, indeed, compared with that on which I am now about to urge its adoption. I am now to consider in what manner public interests, and those of the highest concern, will be affected by its rejection. By the vote of last night, which inflicted total disfranchisement on all the boroughs in schedule A, we have made an enormous change in the Representative system—a much greater change than was expected by any reformer, not a member of the King's Government.
By that vote, fifty-six boroughs, entitled for centuries to the elective franchise, have been destroyed, and 111 Members, being far more than one-fifth of the whole English Representation, will shortly cease to exist. I cannot believe, that the sober judgment of the House will affirm the decisions of the Committee—that no appeal will be permitted in such cases as those of Appleby, of Downton, and Plympton; but if that shall be the case—if our proceedings are irrevocable—let us, while we have yet time to repair, at least in some degree, the evil of these proceedings, maturely consider the effect of them, and their bearing, not upon this borough or that, but upon those vast, interests of society which are affected by them. In this country there are two great interests, the agricultural on the one hand, and the commercial and manufacturing on the other, having the closest ultimate connexion between their mutual prosperity, but occasionally taking very different views of the best mode of promoting their individual, and ultimately their common, welfare. Let us consider how these interests are likely to be affected by those enactments of this Bill which are already decided on, by those we are at present considering, and by those we shall have hereafter to consider. I hold in my hand a map of England, which has been prepared (I know not whether by a friend or an enemy of the Reform Bill), with the view of presenting, at one view, those places that are to be totally, and those which are to be partially disfranchised; and those also which are to acquire the right of hereafter returning Members to Parliament. Now, I propose to divide England into two great divisions, and to draw the line of demarcation in that manner, which will most fairly and effectually separate the purely agricultural counties of England from those which are either chiefly manufacturing, or partly manufacturing and partly agricultural. The line must be, in some degree, arbitrarily drawn, and, on each side of it, there must be partial exceptions; as in the case of counties which do not fall exactly within the description which I wish to assign to them; but I know no line which will better effect the object I have in view, than the one which I propose to draw. It extends across England from that indenture in the coast which is made by the mouth of the Severn, to that indenture in the opposite coast
which is made by the inlet of the sea called the Wash. In short, the line may be considered to be drawn from Gloucester, in the west, to Boston, on the east coast of England. To the north of this line the great coal field of England is situate, and the manufactures depending upon coal are chiefly carried on. The division to the south of the line includes those counties of England which are almost entirely agricultural, and in which, speaking comparatively, there is little scope for manufacturing industry. There are, I believe, eighteen counties to the north of the line, and twenty-three counties to the south of it. The northern counties are the following:—Northumberland, Cumberland, Durham, Westmoreland, Lancashire, Yorkshire, Cheshire, Derbyshire, Lincolnshire, Nottinghamshire, Staffordshire, Shropshire, Monmouthshire, Herefordshire, Worcestershire, Warwickshire, Leicestershire, Rutlandshire. The southern counties are:—Hertfordshire, Essex, Suffolk, Cambridge, Bedford, Huntingdon, Northampton, Norfolk, Kent, Surrey, Sussex, Hampshire, Wiltshire, Dorset, Devonshire, Cornwall, Somersetshire, Gloucestershire, Berkshire, Buckinghamshire, Oxfordshire, and Middlesex. Now let us examine, how the schedules and enactments of this Bill affect these two divisions of England, and the interests which are connected with them. Fifty-six boroughs, returning 111 Members, included in schedule A, have been already doomed to destruction; five only of these boroughs are to the north of the line, fifty-one are to the south. The counties north of the line lose only ten Members, while the counties south of the line lose 101. So much for schedule A. I will proceed to schedule B. By schedule B, forty one boroughs are to lose each one Member. At the commencement of these proceedings, the number was forty, but the transfer of Saltash from schedule A made the number forty-one. Of these forty-one boroughs, only eight are to the north, while thirty-three are to the south of the line. Thus, the northern division will lose sixteen Members, while the southern will lose sixty-six. From this it will appear, that the combined operations of schedules A and B is, that the manufacturing counties will lose eighteen Members, while the agricultural counties will lose 134 Members. I should be quite aware, even if the noble Lord opposite were not taking notes of what I have said, that
the boroughs in schedule A, being nomination boroughs, and in a great measure aiding the commercial and colonial interests, their loss cannot be fairly said to be entirely an injury to the agricultural interests. I do not deny, that there is considerable force in this argument. But the argument has no reference to the forty boroughs in schedule B, which are avowedly not nomination boroughs. It cannot be denied, that the forty Members to be returned under schedule B will be indebted for their election to local considerations, and will be bound to consult the especial interests of their constituents. I, and others, may think it unwise to make local interests exclusively predominate; but they will predominate; and forty new Members, given to the boroughs in schedule B, to be returned hereafter, not by nomination, not by corporations, not by absent freemen, will be purely local Representatives, and, in this sense, will be a clear gain to the districts from which they are sent. I say, then, here is an excellent opportunity to redress, in some degree, the wrong inflicted by schedule A, by enabling each borough in schedule B to return two Members instead of one. I should rather say, by permitting them to retain their ancient right and privilege. So much for the destructive part of the Bill; I will now proceed to the constructive portion of it, and I will inquire, whether it tends to restore the equipoise between the manufacturing and the agricultural interests, which the other part of the Bill so seriously disturbed? Quite the reverse. So far from offering any compensation to the agricultural division of the country for the losses sustained from schedule A and schedule B, it makes matters infinitely worse: so far from offering any thing like an equivalent, the preponderance of the northern counties is increased greatly by this part of the measure. I again refer to facts. Schedule C creates twelve new boroughs, which are to return two Members each. Every one of these boroughs, with the exception of the metropolitan district boroughs, and two others, is to the north of the line. Now, with respect to the metropolitan district boroughs, although it is certain that they are to the south of the line, yet it is as certain that their creation, so far from being advantageous to the agricultural interests, is calculated to operate in an exactly opposite direction; because, if even the interests of manufacturing
towns shall conflict with the interests of the agricultural districts, the metropolitan Members will unite with the former, rather than with the latter. Putting aside, therefore, the metropolitan districts, Finsbury square, the Tower Hamlets, and so forth, with which agriculture has no sort of concern, the only two towns on the south of the line gaining two Members by schedule C, are Frome and Devonport. Thus, out of the twenty-four Members to be returned for these boroughs, no fewer than twenty are to be returned, either from boroughs northward of the line, or from the metropolitan district boroughs. Now for schedule D. By schedule D twenty-six boroughs are to be created, each to return one Member. Twenty-four of these twenty-six are absolutely on the north of the line. Only two are to the south of the line. What are the two? What are these two strong holds of the agricultural interest which are allotted to us out of the twenty-four? Why they are worse than nothing; two overgrown watering-places, Cheltenham and Brighton. What, then, will be the aggregate effect of this Bill? What is the balance of loss and gain? The total loss of the division south of the line is 134, the loss of the division north of the line, eighteen. And when we proceed to look further into the constructive clauses, to see what new Members are given, we find that the gain of the division south of the line is, excluding the metropolis, and throwing in Cheltenham and Brighton, six Members: that of the division north of the line, thirty-three. Now these being the facts of the case, this being the balance of loss and gain, I ask whether my proposal is an unreasonable one,—that each of the boroughs in schedule B, forty in number, thirty-three of which are to the south of the line, should retain its existing right, and continue to send two Members to Parliament?—I do not call upon you to restore schedule A; I assume that you will adhere to it; that you will disfranchise every one of the fifty-six boroughs which it includes, but I intreat you to pause before you proceed further: to consider the extent of the change you have already made, and the hazard of unsettling and deranging a balance which time, rather than reason, has adjusted, but which may not on that account be the less conformable to justice. Has there been, hitherto, any undue and unjust protection to agriculture? Have manufactures languished
for the want of Representation? And—founded on property, on numbers, or on past neglect—have they a just claim for that great preponderance in Representation which they will have in the new system as compared with the old one? Bear in mind, that commerce and manufactures have a great advantage in this respect over agriculture. With equal numbers of Representatives they may exercise a much more powerful influence on the public councils. The power which agriculture can bring to bear, is more isolated, more dispersed, than that of manufactures. It has less of activity and energy, and cannot be combined and brought to bear on one point by simultaneous action, like that of commerce and manufactures. The influence of the Press, whether it be for good or evil, tells more rapidly and contagiously on the aggregate societies of towns, than on the inhabitants of country districts. Political unions, and all the devices which, by means of combination, give to men acting in concert, a moral force greater than their actual numbers, tend to increase the influence of a manufacturing as compared with an agricultural population. Every consideration, then, derived from the nature of landed property—from its liability to the envy and rapacity of the many—from the position, habits and characters of those who occupy it, enforce the policy and necessity of providing carefully and permanently for its protection. Consider the class of voters whose privileges would be extended by the adoption of my amendment. They would be the small occupiers of houses and land in agricultural districts in the neighbourhood of small towns. Speaking generally, their interests would be identified with those of agriculture, themselves being either directly engaged in it, or dependent upon its prosperity for their own. If you tell me they are an unenlightened class—I answer, enlighten them, by their admission to civil privilege; rub off the rusticity of their habits; extend their contracted views, by inviting them into the contentions of political and party struggles. It was with this object, that in framing the Jury Bill, I purposely called this class into increased action, and sought to familiarize them with the performance of civil duties, and to multiply their points of contact with the more intelligent inhabitants of towns. Granted, that they are indisposed to innovation—
that their disposition is to maintain things as they are—that they are governed by local ties, and by personal attachments, rather than by considerations of general politics—it is on that very account that I conjure you to extend their influence: they constitute the ballast of the vessel of the State. Beware how you heave it overboard, under the fatal impression that it is an useless encumbrance, occupying space that might be more profitably employed. It may at times retard the velocity of your movement: it may make you less obedient to the sudden impulse of shifting gales; but this, and this alone it is, that enables you to extend your canvass, and insures the steadiness of your course, and the security of your navigation. In the most perfect contrivances of mechanical skill, there are dead-weights, that may seem to the superficial observer to answer no useful purpose; there are opposing movements, which the ignorant may consider to be produced by a wasteful application of power; but these are, in fact, the devices of consummate ingenuity to check superfluous and extravagant force, and by controlling the useless and irregular rapidity of parts of the machine, to smooth and harmonize the action of the whole. In the working of political mechanism similar effects may be produced by giving to that class of the constituent body, to which I have been referring, and to that class of Representatives whom they will probably select, not a preponderance, but a just influence in the State. This Bill makes ample provision for the introduction of active and enterprising talent into the future House of Commons. The same arts by which the favour of popular constituencies has been secured out of doors, must be resorted to within. We shall have abundance of young and zealous advocates for the improvement of the political system—sincere and honest in their endeavours to effect that improvement—but too much disposed to overlook the difficulties and the hazards of perpetual change. They will be influenced by the double stimulus of too sanguine expectations of the good to be effected by innovation, and of pleasing constituents as impatient as themselves of partial evil or temporary distress. Who is to oppose them? Who is to give that advice, and utter those warnings, which a longer experience in public life, and calmer and profounder views of public affairs, may dictate? Will
those men, whose judgment has often swayed the decisions of this House—men of retired habits, averse to the bustle of contested elections, disqualified by age and inclination from competing with younger and more active spirits—will they, in the due proportion, find their way within these walls? Take a man like Mr. Sturges Bourne, for instance,—and I name him with respect and honour:—can there be a doubt of the value of his opinions, and the general soundness of his views? You have closed to him, and the class of which I have made him the Representative, those avenues to this House which were opened to them by the small boroughs. Is it likely that they will seek the favour of very large constituent bodies? Even if they do, do they not incur obligations, tending to diminish that peculiar influence and usefulness which I have assigned to them? Now, if you adopt my proposal—if you give to the towns in schedule B eighty, instead of forty Members—you will facilitate, to a certain degree, the return of that class, whose exclusion will be not a private, but a public misfortune. These, Sir, are the combined considerations on which I rest my proposal. I ask you to redress an inequality in your scheme of Representation unfavourable to the southern division of England, and to the interests which are connected with it; to do this—as you can do it—without violating any one principle of the Bill—without reviving one nomination borough—without depriving any class of the advantages you propose to confer upon it. Let Ireland—let Scotland—let Wales—each have the increase of Members which you propose to allot to her. I ask for no increase to England; but why diminish its present number? I want forty Members to effect my object; and by a strange coincidence, I find exactly forty vacancies arising thus:—you propose to diminish the present number of the English Members by 154: you add 114 new Members, by enfranchising towns and adding to county representation; there remain forty. Dispose of them, by acceding to my proposal, and you maintain the existing, the long-established amount of English Representation. You do more—you avoid an extent of change that is not required to satisfy the preamble or fulfil the principle of your own Bill. Why make wanton innovations? Why not rest satisfied with the destruction already completed?
Why not give a fair trial to your own scheme; and, after having destroyed every nomination borough—having extinguished above one-fifth of the English Representation—be content, for the present, with a much greater change in Government than was ever yet attended with success? If you disregard my opinion, listen to the counsel of one of your own body, who has cast a retrospect on history with the eye of a philosopher rather than that of an annalist, and has taught us how we may benefit by the lessons which wisdom gleans from experience. In taking a review of the institutions of the Anglo-Saxons, in the first volume of his History of England, Sir James Mackintosh condemns the narrow, unphilosophical spirit, in which the antiquaries of the seventeenth century investigated the state of our ancient Constitution, and raises a warning voice against short-sighted legislation and rash experiments in government, which, if not intended, is, at any rate, admirably adapted, for our instruction. After blaming the prejudiced views of the Tories, he proceeds thus:—"The Whigs, with no less deviation from truth, endeavoured to prove, that the modern Constitution, of King, Lords, and Commons, subsisted in the earliest times, and was then more pure and flourishing than in any succeeding age. No one at that time was taught, by a wide survey of society, that governments are not framed after a model, but that all their parts and powers grow out of occasional acts, prompted by some urgent expediency, or some private interests, which, in the course of time, coalesce and harden into usage; and that this bundle of usages is the object of respect and the guide of conduct, long before it is embodied, defined, and enforced in written laws. Government may be, in some measure, reduced to system, but it cannot flow from it. It is not like a machine or a building, which may be constructed entirely and according to a previous plan, by the art and labour of man. It is better illustrated by a comparison with vegetables, or even animals, which may be, in a very high degree, improved by skill and care, which may be grievously injured by neglect, or destroyed by violence, but which cannot be produced by human contrivance. A Government can, indeed, be no more than a mere draught or scheme of rule, when it is not composed of habits of obedience on the
part of the people, and of an habitual exercise of certain portions of authority by the individuals or bodies who constitute the Sovereign power. The habits, like all others, can be formed only by repeated acts; they cannot be suddenly infused by the lawgiver, nor can they immediately follow the most perfect conviction of their propriety. Many causes have more power over the human mind than written law; it is extremely difficult, from the mere perusal of a written scheme of Government, to foretel what it may prove in action." These, Sir, are truths which no sophistry can evade; and, if they be truths,—if it be justly and wisely said, that government is not a machine which can be constructed by the art of man, according to a previous plan—if habits cannot be infused by lawgivers—if many causes have, more power over the human mind than written law—above all, if it be extremely difficult, from the perusal of written schemes of government, to foretell what they may prove in action,—then I conjure you, who are sitting in judgment on the British Constitution, to distrust your own sagacity, and to retain, as far as it be possible, that hold on the mind of man—those motives to willing obedience—which are supplied by ancient usage and the habitual deference to authority.
Lord J. Russell
said, that he meant to confine himself simply to one proposition, which had been put forward by the right hon. Baronet—namely, that the whole of the boroughs in schedule B should continue to return two Members. He was not prepared to select one as a preferable number—a fact which was clear from the measure itself, inasmuch as the scale of this Bill, if passed, would generally give two Members. When, however, the right hon. Baronet objected to allowing these boroughs to return only one Member each, the House would recollect, that in some of the greatest changes which had ever taken place in the government of this empire—he alluded to the union with Scotland and Ireland—presided over and directed as those changes were, by individuals of great fame and celebrity as statesmen—it was remarkable, that in those changes, the voters were only allowed to send one Member to serve in Parliament. The right hon. Baronet, too, was of opinion, that the conceding of only one Member to a borough would cause the most violent contests. Experience, however, 419 led him to arrive at a different conclusion. In the city of Dublin, which returned two Members, there had been more bitter and angry election contests than had ever taken place in the city of Limerick, which returned but one Member. The opinion, that the election of one Member would give rise to severe contests, partook, he conceived, of an unfounded fear. He believed that, in practice and reality, those contests would be found to prevail more often in places having the privilege of sending two Members, than in those where the privilege was restricted to one. The question was, whether the parties in any given place were very nearly balanced. Whenever that was the case, a contest was sure to follow; because the majority would never be contented unless they could send two Members to Parliament, while the minority would struggle hard, at least, to send in one. That was the fact with respect to the county of Bedford; the parties there were nearly balanced; and he believed, that there were more contests in that county, with its two Members, than in any place in England, Scotland, or Ireland, sending only one Member to Parliament. The right hon. Baronet then passed to another point. He said, that the House would do a great injury and injustice by selecting many Members from places lying on one side of a line, which he indicated, while very few were taken from the other side of that line—the counties on the one side being agricultural, and on the other manufacturing. It might be answered to this, that the persons thus alluded to, were not the Members for counties, but the Representatives of certain interests, who found their way through those avenues to that House. But, said the right hon. Baronet, "See how your new system will work. Amersham, and the rest of the boroughs, whether subject to nomination or not, not only represented particular interests, but did also, to a certain extent, represent the counties to which they belonged; and that source of Representation will now be cut away." But the right hon. Baronet ought to recollect, that by the new system, four additional Members would be given to Cornwall, Dorsetshire, and Wiltshire, and to several other counties in the South and West of England. A perfectly sufficient number of Members was left to represent Cornwall, as that place would, under the Bill, be in the 420 possession of twelve Representatives. Cornwall was one of those counties which Ministers thought it necessary to despoil more than any other, having been deprived of thirty Members; yet the hon. member for Truro admitted, that it would be better represented under this Bill than it was when it sent forty-two Members to Parliament. Ministers had been accused with having unduly and unfairly enriched Durham, in comparison with Cornwall. But how stood the fact? Cornwall contained 257,000 inhabitants, and Durham 205,000. The former retained twelve Members, or, including Saltash, 13; and the latter would send nine Members to Parliament, being in fair and exact proportion with the population. He did not mean to assert, that all the counties, received exactly the whole number of Representatives that their wealth or population might demand. But Ministers, instead of taking the course which the right hon. Baronet recommended—that of carrying their scale more to the South and West—looked rather to the great population of the Northern counties. They found, that Lancashire contained more than 1,000,000 of inhabitants, while Dorsetshire had only a population of 140,000. Therefore, Lancashire was allowed nineteen Members, while Dorsetshire would send only nine, being little more, in the former instance, than two to one. He must, therefore, assert that the last charge which ought to be made against Ministers was, that they had neglected the interests of the Southern or Western counties, or that they had overlooked the agricultural districts. Theirs was a real plan of Parliamentary Reform. They wished to give to those vast dépôts of manufacturing wealth, which, during the last thirty years, had been constantly increasing, that importance to which they were entitled. The individuals connected with them were in the habit of trading with every quarter of the world; they kept up the relations of this country with every portion of the globe; they were, wheresoever they went, admired for their mechanical skill, and envied for their increasing and secure prosperity. Though they had found their way into every part of the habitable world—having for years maintained the character and power of this country abroad, yet, strange to say, they had never found admittance into that House, which should have been their proper place. They ought 421 to have been in that House, assisting in the Representation of the people of England, and legislating for a great, mighty, powerful, and commercial country. In proceeding as they had done, Ministers felt, that the Representation should not be a Representation of a particular class of men, strongly addicted to a specific set of opinions, and especially devoted to a particular interest. They thought, that if they adopted such a course, persons so selected, might give to the machine of Government an impetus and velocity, not consistent with the established state of things. Therefore it was, that they stopped their career at a particular point, and had laid down a line beyond which they would not go. There were forty boroughs in this schedule which would send one Member each to Parliament, and there were thirty others that would still return two Members. These latter did not contain any great body of constituents, but still they would send Members to Parliament, to represent certain portions of the people, who had as fair a right to be represented as any other portion of the people. By taking this course, he believed that they would add to the stability of the Representation, and that they would obtain an equilibrium which was not to be found in any other scheme of legislation which Ministers could devise. They had left to the boroughs in this schedule the right to send one Member each to Parliament. They had not, in doing this, acted from partial or personal views, but because they thought it right and just to stop where they conceived total disfranchisement to be no longer necessary. The right. hon. Baronet had argued, that, under the new system, persons of retired habits would not find their way into that House. Now, really a person must be of very retired habits indeed, if he could not summon sufficient resolution to ask for the suffrages of electors. The right, hon. Baronet had mentioned Mr. Sturges Bourne in support of his argument. But he could see no reason why Mr. Sturges Bourne could not ask for the suffrages of the voters at Lymington, Christ Church, or any other place in Hampshire, in order that he might come into Parliament to support their interests. He admitted, that, if such great counties as Lancashire, or Yorkshire, were only to be represented, then men who might be of great service in that House, would undoubtedly be excluded. 422 But while such places existed as those to which he had alluded, he could not imagine, that Gentlemen would be unable to present themselves before a small number of electors, varying perhaps from 100 to 300. In consequence of the existence of those small boroughs, individuals could easily find their way into that House, at the same time that the country would get rid of a very great grievance—he meant the nomination boroughs. The purchase of seats, and the general system of bribery, would at the same time be done away, and Members sent in for insignificant and inconsiderable places would no longer have the opportunity of overpowering and outvoting the real Representatives of the people. But he was by no means disposed to extend the amount of Representation allowed to those small boroughs. They had a sufficient number of the Representatives of this class. To add forty Members for small boroughs, which was the proposition of the right hon. Baronet, he regarded as a violent alteration in the principle of the Bill. It was one which Government was determined to resist.
Sir R. Peel
said, the noble Lord seemed to have misunderstood one part of his argument. The noble Lord could see no reason why Mr. Sturges Bourne should not ask for the suffrages of the electors of Lymington. Now, what he (Sir R. Peel) said was, that these places were the only ones to which men of retired habits would repair in order to effect their return to Parliament; and, therefore, he contended that they ought to be allowed to send two Members instead of one.
Lord J. Russell
maintained, that a sufficient number of boroughs remained to satisfy the purpose, even of the right, hon. Baronet. There were forty in schedule B, each returning one Member. He thought that was enough for Gentlemen of retired habits.
§ Mr. Sadler
was not a little surprised at some of the arguments brought forward by the noble Lord opposite, in reply to what, he considered, the unanswerable speech of the right hon. Baronet below him. He was not a little gratified to find, that after the sweeping measure of injustice which Ministers contemplated, in defence of which they trampled down rights of the most sacred character, however ancient, that in defence of their own plan, they had still, after all, to appeal, as 423 the noble Lord had just done, to the claim of ancient rights, and to the principle of public utility—thus alternately advancing and reversing principles, as it suited their ill-digested and inconsistent scheme. He was averse, from principle, to touching the rights and privileges of any class of the people, however humble they might be, but he must say, that granting the necessity of the disfranchisement proposed, still the proposition of the right hon. Baronet, and the arguments by which he had supported it, were unanswerable. The distinction which he had drawn between the different interests in this great community, and the necessity of preserving some just proportion between them in this new Constitution, was the more necessary to be observed, as the ancient equipoise of the system, which had in the course of ages adjusted itself to the different interests of the country, was essential to its welfare, and ought, on no account, to be disturbed. The plan adopted by his Majesty's Ministers was unequal and unjust in every point of view, and in its most essential provisions absolutely reversed every just principle of political computation, on which it professed to be established. The only bases on which the representative system could be placed, if removed from the ancient foundations on which it had been so long established, were evidently those of either population, property, contribution to the State, or a due consideration of all these several important distinctions. But the noble Lord's plan, professedly appealing to them, would be found, on examination, to have actually reversed them. The noble Lord had professed to answer the right hon. Baronet by an attempt to prove that these considerations had been attended to, especially in regard to the two great classes, the agricultural and commercial interests; but the more narrowly the subject was examined, the more manifest would it appear, that they had either been ignorant of the proportions involved, or had wilfully reversed them. Not to confine the view of the subject, then, to the line the right hon. Baronet had drawn, but to take a still more minute view of it, the two great distinctions in the population of any country were those of town and country inhabitants; if the former were deemed exclusively manufacturing, and the latter agricultural, the comparison, it was obvious, would unduly favour the former class. But even then, were they to refer 424 to the test-book of these great political projectors, the census of 1821, and take all the towns of England of as low a population as 2,000 souls and upwards, many of which might be justly deemed rural, still the number of inhabitants the whole contained, including the metropolis, would be found to be only about four millions and a half, while those in the country would amount to about seven millions of souls. Then, suppose property were taken as the basis of the new Constitution, how, he demanded, would that tell for the projected scheme? Why, the houses in the last return of the property-tax were estimated at the yearly value of about fourteen millions, and the land at about thirty-six millions. And it was quite clear, that no inconsiderable part of the former sum ought to be transferred to the latter, to determine the respective amount of value of the town and country property. Again, if they looked to contribution, they would, on examination, find the same inequality. To take only one test—the sums annually contributed to the poor. The last return which had given the distinction in question, stated that contribution as amounting to 6,800,000l.; of which just two millions were contributed by the houses (some of which are, of course, in the country parts), including mills, warehouses, and factories; the remainder was the quota contributed by the country. What, then, was the natural, just, and obvious course, to have been pursued by those who profess so little respect for ancient rights, and trample, when it, suits their purpose, upon all the established rights of the community? Why, of course, to have shaped their system either in reference to the population, property, or contribution of the country. But they had attended to none of them; they had reversed all such rules. They gave about 300 Members to the constituency of towns (which the noble Mover had, nevertheless, formerly decried so much) and about 150 Members to the counties, many of which county Members, it ought to be observed, would, after all, by the operation of the Bill, as it then stood, be returned by the manufacturing or municipal constituencies of the country. Thus, nearly double the population, and far more than twice the property, and double contribution to the State, would only have one half the number of the Representatives, to say nothing of the invidious and unjust nature of the distinction in the qualification 425 of town and country voters. So that those who chanced to live in towns would, individually contrasted, have four or five times as much political influence as those who resided in the country. Such was the iniquitous course, for iniquitous he would call it, which the Government was pursuing. Then, again, the uniformity in the qualification which they wished to establish, was of itself a sufficient objection to the whole scheme. The highest authorities, and those entirely devoted to the cause of liberty and their country, had gloried in those diversities in the constituency of the country, through which the various classes of society, they argued, had been constantly represented in that House. The most intrepid friends of freedom had invariably taken this view of the subject. He would mention one only, and that a name calculated to awaken the veneration of every true friend of British freedom. Algernon Sydney, that martyr of liberty, in the Treatise on Government which he had delivered for publication immediately before his execution, passed a high eulogium upon the Representative system of the country, and recognized the differences it involved as constituting, in part, its efficiency. He (Mr. Sadler) thought he should not misrepresent that high authority, if he so far trusted his memory as to quote him as saying, that "whether the franchise is vested in the whole of the inhabitants, as in Westminster, or in the Common Hall, as in London, or in the Corporations and Jurats, as in other places, it was all one, the public good was secured; a barrier was raised against tyrannical power, and an efficient Representation secured to the people." And it was essential to the argument to remark, that it was these differences which gave the Constitution the advantage of the most popular part of the Representative system—that which the noble Lord opposite proposed to extinguish for ever; for, as that influence, from the very first, connected with large masses of property an influence which had been exercised, on the whole, so much to the honour and advantage of the country, had on the one hand, given security to property, and stability to the whole system, so it had safely allowed, on the other, the admission into the Legislature, through many constituencies in this country, of the direct Representation of the humblest classes of society. But the new scheme, holding 426 forth to the people the extinction of what was unjustly designated as usurped and unjust influence in that House, kept as far out of sight as might be, the fact that the influence of the humble ranks of society, however respectable in their station, was, when it took effect, to be utterly extinguished and abolished also. The same constitution-mongers, who professed so much hostility to the undue influence of the great (excepting their own), entertained also an equal dread of the fair influence of the mass of the people; and the same rapacious act, therefore, robbed both of their just rights and privileges, and at tempted to establish a new balance, in f which not only the elevated, but the bulk of the industrious classes of society, would be thrown totally out of the scale. "And is it (said the hon. Member) come to this, that the professed patriots, the declaimers about equal rights, the loud advocates of the doctrine, that taxation and Representation should be co-extensive, should all at once abandon, not a few or insignificant, but the vast majority of the British public, who, should this Bill pass, would be excluded prospectively from any the least share in the system of Representation. Those industrious classes of society, which have exercised in many places the franchise for ages, are to be henceforth deprived of it, if they cannot afford to live in a 10l. house. Was it because such had no share in producing the wealth of the country? They mainly created it. Was it that they gave nothing to its taxes? They were the principal contributors. They furnished the wealth, and fought the battles of the country, and yet this liberal scheme leaves them wholly out of the Representative system, and disgraces and brands them as unworthy of a share in the deliberations of the country. The noble Lord may well talk of prejudices being excited against the measure. The more the Bill is considered, the greater will be the prejudices it will excite. It is subversive at once of the principles of the Constitution, and of every received notion of British freedom. It might be said, that this great majority of Britons would be represented virtually. Did, then, his Majesty's Ministers again avail themselves of the very principles of the Constitution, which they had decried as obsolete, and repudiated as corrupt? After having poured contempt upon the principle of virtual Representation, it would be found 427 that the present ill-digested plan made far larger demands upon it than the Constitution about to be destroyed; otherwise, what would be the political degradation of much more than twenty millions of British subjects, exclusive of those unnumbered millions, the population of the dependencies of England, in distant parts of the world?" The hon. Member then proceeded to say, that it would be easy to show that the proposed Constitution was founded upon no one principle of political justice or equity, and had had no prototype in any of those theories of Government, whether tried or untried, with which the world had abounded. The noble Lord had appealed again and again to the Constitution of Cromwell. Had he ever examined it? If so, he had profited but little from the model he had professed to revere so much. Cromwell had, indeed, adopted the principles which the noble Lord had only professed to follow. Hence the number of the Representatives to the towns and country parts of the kingdom were most accurately adjusted to the population and property of each. Finding, as he did (for so documents preserved in the Museum enabled him (Mr. Sadler) to conclude), that the town population, including the smaller towns, might amount to about 1,800,000, and the country population to about 3,700,000 souls, in giving 400 Members to England and Wales, Cromwell awarded, though he begged it might be remembered that he spoke from recollection, but he thought with a sufficient degree of accuracy, Cromwell awarded about 135 Members to towns, and 265 to the counties; and documents, to which he would not then refer, existed, which also showed that this was a just proportion as regarded the property of those classes of the population, respectively considered. The Members of the counties also were proportioned by him with equal accuracy. As to the number of the Representatives given by this new plan to the counties, the noble Lord had instituted some comparisons between Cornwall and Durham; he might have compared nearer districts: for instance, the latter county, Durham, with its 207,000 inhabitants, was to have an addition of, he believed, six Members—the adjoining province, Yorkshire, one or two only. The rural population of the West Riding of the latter would have only one Representative for every 300,000, and the former one for little more than 428 30,000. So much for the noble Lord's boast of the fairness and equity of the scheme. He was sorry to observe some symptoms of impatience from the noble Lord opposite, but he should nevertheless state now, or on any other occasion, if necessary, his objection to the principle or the provisions of this Bill, and charge the noble Lord to fairly meet them. So far from having impeded the progress of this measure by unnecessary and factious delays and impediments, he, and many other hon. Members, who had meant to have expressed their objection to its principle, and to have justified to their constituents and the country the course they had pursued relative to it, had been deprived of the opportunity of so doing, by the indecent haste and eager precipitancy with which this measure had been hurried forwards to its present stage. He would repeat his assertion, and he verily believed that the accusation of factious and unnecessary delay had been urged against that side of the House, for the express purpose of silencing the more just ground of complaint which might be urged against the projectors of this Bill, for their indecent precipitancy. It might have been hoped that a Constitution which had subsisted for ages, and which, it had been declared by the warmest advocates of this Bill, had always exhibited the most marked superiority when contrasted with the institutions of the surrounding nations, and which had been in a constant state of progressive improvement; which had been achieved in the best days, and defended by the noblest patriots England had ever produced; and which had become the admiration of the world, and the model of all the free governments which had been esstablished in it—might have been defended by those who still professed to cherish for it that, veneration and attachment which it was once the glory of all to profess. If this new theory were so excellent in its principle, and just in its provisions, it could not suffer from that examination, to which, as a new and untried theory, it ought, in all reason, to be submitted. Already had this Reform Bill, during the short time it had been under consideration, had to be itself reformed at least three times; and its "inadvertencies" would be still found to require rectification, in order to make its provisions either palatable to the people, or practical in operation. But he would not dwell longer on these topics; 429 other opportunities might occur for that purpose. In conclusion, he could not but concur most heartily in the proposition of the right hon. Baronet, who had stated reasons for it which he thought unanswerable. To maintain peace and harmony in each borough, and with that to preserve the fair Representation of a large minority, which existed in many places, and would always continue to exist, could not but be highly desirable objects in every point of view; and he thought the arrangement recommended by the right hon. Baronet, so consistent with the original principles of the whole Representative system, and the fair and friendly feelings of the constituency of England, and so likely to attain the objects he had just alluded to, that he would give it his most hearty and cordial support.
Mr. Dominick Browne
had not hitherto addressed the House, because he had not thought it right for an Irish Member to put himself forward upon the English measure of Reform. What he had seen last night, however, had induced him no longer to remain silent. He had last night seen the borough of Saltash transferred from schedule A to schedule B. Now if, of those things which he could not swear to, there was one of more notoriety to him than another, it was, that some twenty years ago the borough of Saltash had been sold for 12.000l. for the life of an individual. He could not understand why such a borough should have been saved. The hon. member for Ald-borough (Mr. Sadler) had that night dealt in statistics, and upon that subject he always heard the hon. Member with pleasure. The hon. Member, too, had told them, that the basis of what he called the new Constitution ought to be population and taxation, not population alone. Now, he begged to ask that hon. Member, who was so anxious to save the boroughs in schedule B, what, proportion those boroughs bore, in population and taxation, to the community at large? According to the census of 1831, the population which ought to return one Member, would be 24,000, and the population which ought to return two Members, 48,000. The Assessed Taxes amounted to about 5,000,000l., and there were 500 English Members, so that a population, to return one Member, ought to pay about 10,000l. of the Assessed Taxes. Now, he would put it to the hon. member for Aldborough, which of the boroughs in schedule B contained either 430 24,000 inhabitants, or paid 10,000l. in taxes? For his own part, he should have been inclined to have carried the scale of population a great deal higher than the Ministers had carried it, and should have been happy to have transferred every borough in schedule B to schedule A. He, however, thanked the Ministers for the Bill, such as it was, but he begged to tell the hon. member for Aldborough, that his speech had demonstrated that the anomaly of the Bill, as to property and population, consisted, not in the Bill going too far, but in not going far enough.
would not trouble the Committee with many words, but being prepared with a few facts, which he thought were worth a great deal more than the speech of the hon. member for Aldborough, he was anxious to state those facts to the House. Of the boroughs in schedule B, thirty-nine contained together only 50,000 inhabitants, paid only 32,251l. of the Assessed Taxes, and possessed only 4,918 10l. houses. They would, under this Bill, have only 12,000 voters, and would return one-twelfth of the Members of the House. It was, therefore, impossible that schedule B should remain a final measure in a reformed Parliament. The way to prevent it would be, to make all these contributory boroughs, and instead of returning thirty-nine Members, to return only sixteen, giving each borough a constituency of about 800 voters. He thought this deserved the consideration of the House.
Sir T. Fremantle
had not heard one ground adduced for the disfranchisement of the boroughs in this schedule. There might have been some reason for the disfranchisement of the boroughs in schedule A, but he could not see on what principle it was, that these boroughs should be deprived of one of their Members. If they were nomination boroughs, they ought to be totally disfranchised, as those in schedule A had been; and if they were not nomination boroughs, then some reason ought to be given why they were not to be allowed to return two Members, each as heretofore. He did not see how the Ministers could extricate themselves from this dilemma. As Members need not now apprehend being sent back to their constituents for mooting the question, he begged to remind them, that the subject, now under discussion involved the question of whether the numbers of the House should or should not be diminished. They 431 had last night completed the work getting rid of 111 Members, which number was all they wanted to bestow upon the large towns, and other places. Thus, then, the main object of the Bill was answered, and why, he would ask, should they go any further? He thought, that if there were any independent Member in the House who had not pledged himself to "the Bill, the whole Bill, and nothing but the Bill," such Member might safely divide in favour of the right hon. Baronet's Amendment, without infringing the principle of the Bill.
thought the boroughs in this schedule would best protect themselves, by contracting their numbers, instead of extending them.
An Hon. Member
contended, that the principle on which it was proposed to deprive these boroughs of one Member had been so frequently explained, that it could be of no use to explain it again to Gentlemen who still were, or pretended to be, ignorant of it. He thought, that the Ministers had acted most wisely in tempering innovation with a certain degree of respect for deep-rooted prejudices and ancient usages. The hon. member for Aldborough, and others on that side of the House, had indulged in lengthy and sympathetic lamentations for the voters who were to be disfranchised, but they had no pity for the thousands of their fellow-subjects who, by the unjust and unequal laws of this country, had hitherto been altogether denied the enjoyment of the elective franchise, though they had been made to contribute largely and heavily towards the exigencies of the State. To past injustice these Gentlemen shut their eyes, and, confining their observations to the present moment, they did not see the prospective improvements which must result from the admission of the substantial and respectable classes of the community into the constituency of the land. When the hon. Member talked of Algernon Sydney being friendly to a varied franchise, implying too, that he was friendly to the corruptions which had since his time grown up in the Representative system, the hon. Member must suppose that his audience knew nothing of that celebrated man. The events of Algernon Sydney's time proved that the people were then fairly represented, and that the encroaching power of the Aristocracy, and the practice of bribery, had not yet created nomination and corrupt 432 boroughs. Had Algernon Sydney lived to see the rise and operation of this lawless and unconstitutional control, and of these disgraceful practices in the Representative system, the just and honest indignation to which he would have given utterance would have prevented his ever being praised by the hon. member for Aldborough. The right hon. Baronet, too, had made a quotation from the work of a right hon. Gentleman who usually sat on the Ministerial side of the House (Sir James Mackintosh), but allow him to say, that, looking at the aspect of the times, and at the declared wishes of the nation, he considered that quotation to be in favour of, and not against, the Ministerial measure of Reform.
§ Lord Eastnor
expressed his intention to vote for the amendment of the right hon. Baronet. As to the general principle of the Bill, he would take that opportunity of saying, that he had, for a long time, been opposed to any extensive plans of Reform. But of late he had seen circumstances connected with the state of the country, which required that something should be done, and he should therefore have been very glad to support a measure emanating from the Government. But to such a measure as this, destroying and rooting up so much of the ancient system and character of the English Constitution, it was impossible that he could bring himself conscientiously to consent. He objected to changes so great and sweeping in our political institutions, from his own conviction of their danger and impropriety, but still more from the experience taught by history, that the wisest and the boldest of our ancestors had always shrunk from great and sudden changes like this, and from the general concurrence of opinion against such changes by the more able and intelligent writers of modern times. These feelings and reflections led him to give his support to the amendment of the right hon. Baronet, which he really considered would be a great improvement of the Bill. He thought that by the preservation of these boroughs, they would preserve in some degree that balance which had maintained the equilibrium of the Constitution; and he was of opinion, that by thus in part disfranchising them, they would take away from that due proportion of influence which the agricultural interest ought to possess. They had been told, that the additional number of county Members 433 would make up for any loss which the agricultural influence might experience in this instance, but he did not think so, and under such circumstances he should certainly support the amendment proposed by the right hon. Baronet.
§ Mr. Cresset Pelham
maintained the necessity of leaving these boroughs the right of sending two Members to Parliament, in order that the different interests not capable of a direct Representation under the constitution might have protection in that House. He contended, notwithstanding the opinions of those Gentlemen who came into that House as Delegates, that the duties of a Member of the House of Commons were not ended when he had considered only the interests of those who voted at his election. He knew that this was the case in America, and for that country he approved of such a Constitution; but it was so because the general Legislature was composed of the Representatives of a federacy of smaller States, and it was therefore right that they should be instructed as to the separate wants and views of those States. But such was not the situation of the Parliament of England, and he trusted never to see the day when it would be so. He had frequently taken occasion to make suggestions concerning the Bill, and in all those cases, as now, he had done so from a wish to make the measure consistent with the institutions of the country, and he believed, that in so doing his proceedings had been calculated to prevent rather than to create delay.
§ The Committee divided: For the Amendment 115; Against it 182—Majority for the clause 67.*
§ The question was then put, "that Aldborough stand part of schedule B."
§ Mr. Sadler
meant to detain the Committee only for a few minutes, whilst he made an observation or two, which were called for in justice to the respectable constituents who did him the honour of electing him. It had been frequently but erroneously stated, that this was a nomination borough. This assertion he felt himself bound to deny, and he could prove the correctness of his assertion, by reference to parliamentary documents; and as to the constituency, he took upon himself* At page 457, some information, though only approximative, may be derived from the List there given, concerning this division.434 to say, that a more respectable, consistent, or honourable one, did not exist in the country. The characters of the voters, if known to the Committee, would rescue them from all the imputations which had been unnecessarily and unjustly cast upon them. It had been said in praise of Old Sarum, that it had the honour of enrolling amongst the number of its Representatives the name of Chatham; and Aldborough had to boast equally distinguished honour, in having elected the same great character when he had been rejected by a more magnificent constituency. In justice to his constituents, in justice to the interests and rights of the borough, and, more than all, in respect for the Constitution, he protested against the unjust and uncalled-for attack upon the rights and privileges of Aldborough.
§ Mr. T. Duncombe
said, that all the electors in Aldborough, as well as in Boroughbridge, who had an opinion of their own to give, had expressed themselves in favour of the Reform Bill. If they disfranchised this borough altogether, they would not deprive the constituents there of a franchise which they had ever been allowed to exercise with freedom. He must say, that he for one regretted that his Majesty's Ministers had taken this borough out of schedule A. If it were not too late to put it back again into that schedule, he would move that it should be reinstated there. It was the greatest farce in the world to talk of this borough as possessing a population which should entitle it to be exempted from the operation of this Bill. That population could only be made out for it by culling from four or five adjoining parishes, which had a population in 1821 which they did not now possess. He would defy any set of Parliamentary Commissioners to find a constituency of 300 electors in Aldborough. It would be a most monstrous thing that the country gentlemen and farmers in the neighbourhood of this borough should be deprived of their votes for the county, on account of the preservation of this rotten stinking borough of Aldborough. It would be perfectly monstrous and nonsensical to entertain such a proposition as that. If the hon. Baronet (the member for Westminster) were in his place, he could prove that the seats for this borough had been bought and sold, for that the hon. Baronet had himself purchased his seat for this borough, during the minority of 435 the noble Duke to whom it now belonged. This was one of those boroughs which, according to the preamble of the Bill, should be totally disfranchised, and he would therefore move, as an amendment, "that the borough of Aldborough be returned to schedule A."
§ Mr. Sadler
said, that whatever might have occurred in former times, the present electors of this borough were as independent as any in the kingdom. He thought it was ungenerous and unfair to allude to transactions which, whatever might have been their nature, could not have been participated in by the present Duke of Newcastle, who was then only eight years of age, and residing out of the country.
§ Lord Stormont
hoped, as the quondam member for Aldborough, that he might be allowed to say a word in favour of that borough. The hon. member for the borough of Hertford (Mr. T. Duncombe) had taken upon him to revile the constituency of that borough, of whom he (Lord Stormont) would say, that there was not a more respectable class of electors in the kingdom. One of the reviled constituency for Aldborough was the hon. member for Hertford's own brother.
§ Lord Stormont
was sure, that the hon. member for Hertford would not say that his brother had not been an elector for Aldborough, for it so happened that the hon. Gentleman had given him his vote, when he was member for the borough. Now the question was, whether the hon. member for Hertford intended to include his brother amongst the degraded constituency of Aldborough? The hon. Member's brother gave him (Lord Stormont) his independent vote, and so did all the other electors who voted for him. The election cost him nothing. When the hon. member for Hertford asked the members for Aldborough who were their constituents, and asserted, that the Duke of Newcastle was their only constituent, it was fair, perhaps, to ask the hon. member for Hertford, what kind of constituency he had? The town of Hertford was most notoriously corrupt, and no person could sit for it who did not spend a large sum of money. It was well known that the person who intended to represent that town must go down in his carriage, and spend a little money, and bring down a friend with him to spend a little more. There was no 436 bribery or treating, or drunkenness at Aldborough at the election; could the hon. Member say the same for Hertford? Every one knew, that the transaction alluded to with respect to Aldborough took place during the Duke of Newcastle's minority, and when he was abroad, therefore he was in no respect answerable for it; but it was too much the practice of Gentlemen at the Ministerial side of the House, to allude to the manner in which Gentlemen at the other side got into Parliament, and never to allude to the still more disgraceful manner in which they obtained their own seats.
§ Mr. T. Duncombe
said, that the personalities in which the Opposition indulged, were extremely amusing. The operation of disfranchisement had a most ridiculous effect on their tempers and passions. They occasionally suffered two or three boroughs to meet their fate quietly, but their boroughmongering affections—The ruling passion strong in death,''at length prevailed, and out they came, forgetting the borough under consideration, with violent personalities; or else, as an hon. Member observed, with a regular set to, on the principle of the Bill. He had founded his case on the preamble of the Bill, and, according to the principle, he contended that Aldborough ought to be totally disfranchised. He was glad to hear his brother had supported the noble Lord, and if he had been an elector himself, he would have supported him in preference to other persons who were candidates. He still maintained, however, that the electors of Aldborough could not exercise an independent choice, and that there was but one constituent, the Duke of Newcastle. It was said, that the Duke's interest was unfairly dealt with, as Borough bridge was to be totally disfranchised; and his influence would be abridged, if not extinguished, in Aldborough. This was to argue, however, that because there were four nuisances in the House, they ought not all to be removed. If they could turn out all those intruders (and there was now an opportunity to do so), he contended it was their duty to do it. The noble Lord complained of revilings from the Ministerial side of the House; but there had not been half revilings enough. It was very easy for the hon. Gentlemen opposite to say—" When you turn us out, where will the House get better Members." For his part he could 437 never see the extreme superiority of those sent by the Duke of Newcastle, and other borough proprietors, as compared with those Members who were sent by independent and numerous constituencies. He could tell those hon. Members, that it was not enough for them to laud and extol themselves; there was another tribunal to put a value upon their services. The people of England knew how to estimate the cost of their services, with the benefits derived from them, and the result of the investigation was not very flattering to those who claimed so much merit for themselves. The sense of the people of England revolted against the continuance of a system of folly, inutility, and corruption; and, in the words of his hon. and learned friend, the member for Kerry, the country had pronounced, in a voice of thunder, that the rotten borough system, "more honoured in the breach than the observance," must be put an end to.
§ Mr. Nicholson Calvert
said, he had been connected with the town of Hertford twenty years, as its Representative, and there was no man in that House then held a more independent seat. He had no patron to ask for his assistance, and he never gave a man a shilling at an election for his vote.
§ Lord Stormont
observed, that the hon. Member had not stated what he had paid after the election, nor had he assured the House, that since he ceased to represent the town of Hertford, that votes were not sold.
§ Sir C. Wetherell
said, he was on this occasion reluctantly compelled to address the Committee, as a reference had been made by the hon. member for Hertford, to Boroughbridge, although that borough was finally disposed of, it might be supposed, by being inserted in schedule A. No other expense attended his election for Boroughbridge, but that which arose from the circumstance of his giving an entertainment after the election. He hoped he had given as good a dinner as the hon. member for Hertford, and he believed a much cheaper one, for the munitions de bouche, in his case, instead of costing 3,000l. or 4,000l., did not exceed at Boroughbridge the moderate sum of 30l. or 40l. Now, if any hon. Gentleman at his (Sir C. Wetherell's) side of the House, had alluded to a borough already hors du combat, it would be cried out against as a waste of time; but the hon. member for Hertford 438 thought it no waste of time to refer in no measured language, to the borough of Boroughbridge, and the noble Duke who was said to exercise an influence there. Every one, but the hon. member for Hertford, knew, that to charge the noble Duke with the sale of seats, was a foul libel and calumny. The hon. Member thought that Gentlemen at the Ministerial side had been too moderate; that they had not sufficiently reviled their opponents. Now, referring to the hon. Member's observations, he would ask, if that was tenderness, what was severity? If that was oil, what was vinegar? if that was an emollient, what was a caustic? The hon. Member's attack on Boroughbridge, after it was disposed of, was a little out of season; a little posthumous. When the boroughs in schedule A were defunct, up rose the member for Hertford, like a stout warrior, to attack the slain. Why, he asked, was it necessary to rouse the ghost of Boroughbridge, unless, indeed, the hon. Gentleman wanted to imitate a person whom Shakspeare called Falstaff, and who fought with a dead man for an hour. If this was reforming gallantry, the new illumination of a new Parliament, he did not know how to characterise it. He could not, however, treat with levity the attempt to revive the topic connected with this borough, for the purpose of calumniating the character, of as high-minded, honourable, and generous a nobleman, as now lived, or ever lived, in this country. He regretted the subject had been mentioned; but he regretted still more that, when the allusion was made, it was cheered by his Majesty's Ministers. When Ministers taunted the Opposition with wasting time, and not keeping to the question, they were bound to have given some intimation to a posthumous declaimer at their own side, who entered upon the discussion of a bygone topic. The noble Lord certainly ought not to lecture Gentlemen at the Opposition side of the House, unless he extended his admonition to Members at his own side. When next the hon. member for Hertford chose to speak in disparagement of the constituency of Aldborough, if he did not spare the constituency at large, it was to be hoped that his fraternal feelings would induce, him to spare his own brother.
§ Lord Althorp
agreed with the hon. and learned Member who had just sat down, that there had been an unnecessary departure from the subject under consideration. 439 He rose now, however, to state to his hon. friend the member for Hertford, that if he wished to transfer Aldborough from schedule B to schedule A, that was not the proper time for making such a motion. It might be done at a future period, but the discussion in Committee on the clause containing schedule A, was closed.
An Hon. Member
stated, that he had contested the town of Hertford during two elections; and it was only justice to the electors to say, that he never knew one of them to have received a bribe.
§ Mr. Praed
wished, that the House could get rid of that reckless jocularity which, he conceived prevailed too much occasionally on both sides, in discussing a question of so grave a nature. He rose to suggest to the hon. member for Hertford, that if he wished to transfer Aldborough from schedule B to schedule A, it might be done, in point of form, by negativing the question that this borough should stand part of schedule B, and moving, on bringing up the report, that it should stand part of schedule A. It was said to be difficult to find 300 10l. houses in Aldborough and its vicinity; there was no clause in the Bill, that made that number necessary. In presuming, therefore, that there must be 300 10l. houses, they were not merely looking to a clause which had not been considered, but to one which had not even been proposed.
§ Mr. Attwood
wished to know, whether it was the intention of the noble Lord to support the motion of the hon. Member for Hertford at a future period. The noble Lord had not stated his determination; but only that, in point of form, this was not the fit time for bringing forward the motion.
§ Lord Althorp
had not thought it necessary to state his determination on the subject; because, as his Majesty's Government proposed that Aldborough should stand in schedule B, if any other Member proposed it should be transferred to schedule A, unless sufficient reasons were stated, he must oppose the motion.
§ Mr. G. Dawson
did not think the noble Lord's answer satisfactory, as the noble Lord last night voted for the removal of Saltash from schedule A, in which it was placed by his Majesty's Ministers.
§ Lord Althorp
observed, that when the right hon. Gentleman (Mr. George Dawson) rose, he always anticipated some unkind observation. He had stated the grounds 440 on which he voted last night for excluding Saltash from schedule A. He wished to adhere to the Bill; but, upon consideration, he felt that Saltash could not be fairly and justly retained in schedule A, and, therefore, he voted for the transfer.
§ Mr. T. Duncombe
did not exactly see why he should be precluded from moving that Aldborough should be transferred to schedule A. As there was a difficulty, however, he should meet it by proposing "that the borough of Aldborough should cease to return Members."
suggested, that the transfer to schedule A might be moved upon bringing up the Report, which would be the most regular form.
The Chairman (Mr. Bernal)
begged to acquaint the hon. Member (Mr. Duncombe) that, either upon bringing up the Report, or on the motion for the third reading, he might add or omit any words, and thereby effect the object he had in view; but the Committee had determined to proceed regularly; and, in point of form, his motion could not be put now.
said, it was not competent for the Committee to undo now what it had done last night. It had been then agreed, that the clause containing schedule A, as amended, should stand part of the Bill; so that, in Committee, the discussion on that clause was closed.
§ Mr. T. Duncombe
said, the explanation of the right hon. Gentleman was satisfactory.—He withdrew his amendment, and the question, that Aldborough stand part of schedule B, was carried.
§ The Chairman then put the question, "that the borough of Amersham stand part of schedule B."—Carried.
§ On the question, "that the borough of Arundel stand part of schedule B,"
§ Mr. Alderman Atkins
, as Representative for the borough, must beg leave to make a few observations on the circumstances connected with it. No charge of bribery had ever been made, and he was quite sure none could ever be substantiated. It was by no means a nomination borough, for the electors had not always returned the candidate recommended by the noble Duke who had property in the place. Arundel contained 463 scot and lot burgesses, all resident in the town. No man had been elected into that House more freely than he had been, and he would contend, that the honesty of that House had been proved, on all great occasions, 441 by the votes which had been given by the borough Members. As there were 463 resident voters in this borough, he should feel it his duty to take the sense of the House on the question. He thought it ought not to be disfranchised.
§ Lord D. C. Stuart
declared, that he was independent to the utmost extent of the term, and had been as freely chosen as his hon. colleague, but he felt it his duty, and a painful one it was, to vote for the disfranchisement of one of the Representatives of this borough; and though he did this reluctantly, he yet felt that he was bound to consult the general interests of the empire, as well as to consult the wishes of his constituents.
Lord J. Russell
said, that the population of the place being within 4,000, he saw no reason for an exemption.
§ Mr. Alderman Atkins
said, he had submitted the facts connected with the borough, in discharge of the duty he owed his constituents. If these were not of sufficient weight to exempt the borough from schedule B, it would be useless for him to resist the determination of the Committee. He would not, therefore, put them to the trouble of dividing on the question.
§ Question agreed to.
§ On the question, "that the borough of Ashburton (Devon) stand part of the schedule,"
§ Mr. Poyntz
said, that having voted against the motion for giving two members to Aldborough, it might appear inconsistent in him to propose giving two members to Ashburton; but this was the strongest case in the schedule. He should read to the House the memorial which had been presented by this borough. The hon. Member read a memorial, presented to the Secretary of State.—The memorialists stated, that according to the census of 1821, the population was 3,403, the inhabited houses 396, those uninhabited, 15; total, 411. The difference between the census of 1821 and that of 1831 was nearly 700, the present population being 4,091, and the increase of houses being 138 since 1821. There were now upwards of 300 houses of 10l. a year.
§ Colonel Torrens
said, that the inhabitants of the borough of Ashburton were warmly in favour of this Bill, and when it was known to the electors, they had met and voted their thanks to his Majesty's Ministers. It was neither a nomination 442 borough, nor an insignificant, inconsiderable place. It was the principal seat of a manufacturing district, and had many interests involved in it. He corroborated the statements of his hon. colleague, and added, that there had been an error in the return of 1821, by which eighty-six houses had been left out, owing to the negligence of the returning officer. The case of Ashburton was stronger than that of Appleby, and he reckoned, therefore, upon the support of those Members who had voted on that question.
Lord John Russell
said, that it did not appear to him that there were sufficient grounds for taking this borough out of the schedule. It appeared, that there was a manor—the manor of Halsanger—containing 500 persons, which it was said had been omitted in the return; but even adding that number to 3,403, the numbers of the borough and parish, it would make 3,903 only, which was considerably below the number of 4,000; and therefore it was not a case of so much hardship as that of Woodstock. With respect to the mistakes which were alleged to be in the returns of 1821, there might be some occasionally; but it was not necessary to go back to correct them. With regard to Ashburton, it was curious enough, that the, statements of the petitioners did not make out their case. They stated, that by the recent return there was an increase of 138 houses since 1821; that fifty-two only had been built since that period, consequently, eighty-six houses were omitted; and allowing eight persons to each house, the addition to the population would be 688, which, added to 3,403 (the return of 1821), would make 4,091. But calculating another way, taking the number of houses built since 1821—namely, fifty-two—and multiply this by eight, the number was 416, and subtracting this number from 4,091, the population would be 3,675 only; so that there was no reason, which he could discover, for exempting Ashburton.
§ Colonel Sibthorp
complained of the indifference with which the noble Lord treated the census of 1821. He said, some errors might exist, but they were not worth attention. They were to knock borough after borough on the head without stopping to inquire whether they were justified in doing so by the rules which were said to have been laid down for their guidance.
Lord John Russell
admitted there might be errors in the returns of 1821, but he believed, justice would not be done by going back and endeavouring to correct them.
§ Colonel Sibthorp
said, there were so many errors in these returns, that he called upon the noble Lord to take those of 1831.
§ Motion agreed to.
§ On the question, "that Bodmin stand part of the schedule,"
Mr. Davies Gilbert
confessed, that he could make out no case, which, on the principle of the noble Lord, would take it out of the rule. He would remark, however, that the voters were highly respectable persons, and that Bodmin was virtually a county town, increasing in size, and rapidly improving. It was neither a nomination nor a corrupt borough.
§ Question agreed to.
§ The question was then put, "that the borough of Bridport stand part of schedule B."
Sir Horace St. Paul
opposed the motion. The borough of Bridport was co-extensive with the parish, but not with the town of Bridport. By the census of 1821, the population of the borough was 3,742. Now the part of the town of Bridport which was not in the borough was a continuation of the streets of the borough, and contained a population of 1,550 souls. As the town of Bridport was still of the same extent as it was in the year 1821, when the census gave the population above 4,000, he thought that he was only justified in assuming that the population at present exceeded that amount. The number of houses at 10l. annual rent in the borough was now 340; in that part of the town out of the borough, sixty. The census of 1831 gave the population of the town and borough at 4,200. He had now stated a case which, if Gentlemen would recollect figures and numbers, and would only vote impartially, must induce them to take the borough of Bridport out of schedule B. The hon. Member then moved an amendment to that effect.
opposed the amendment. His hon. colleague had stated the population of the borough of Bridport, which was co-extensive with the parish of Bridport, to be 3,742. His hon. colleague had, however, stated, that there were other parishes included in the town, 444 of which the population, if added to the population of the borough, would make a population of more than 4,000 for the town of Bridport. Now the jurisdiction of the bailiff and the burgesses of the borough of Bridport was limited to the borough only, and did not extend into the two neighbouring parishes of Bradpool and Allington. What was the population of those parishes? Bradpool contained 926, and Allington 1,139 people. He admitted, that part of the parish of Bradpool might be considered as part of the town of Bridport, but that part of Bradpool did not contain more than 200 inhabitants. Adding that number to the population of the borough, it did not make that population more than 3,942. As to the parish of Allington, it was divided from the town of Bridport by a small river, and no man who knew any thing of the localities would, say, that the parish of Allington formed any part of the town of Bridport. Indeed, it was impossible to state, that any part of the population of that parish belonged to the town of Bridport. He therefore asserted, that, in 1821, the population of the town of Bridport did not come up to 4,000, and it was beyond all question, that the population of that borough fell very short of that amount; this induced him to think that the borough of Bridport ought to be inserted in schedule B, and he was happy to say, that such was the opinion of the constituents who had returned him to that House.
§ Sir E. Sugden
said, this was a great question, in which the rights of the country were involved; and it did not depend upon the opinion of any individual whether Bridport should be disfranchised. The noble Lord had contended, that his line was right, but had given no reason in support of that line. The noble Lord had said, his object was to bring into life and activity the great towns and boroughs which remained unrepresented; but it was not necessary, for that purpose, to reduce the number of Representatives sent to that House. He should contend, that they were not justified in reducing the Representation without a special necessity. Having said so much, he might add, that the noble Lord's friends were not satisfied with his measure, and the noble Lord would find that a Reformed Parliament would have to finish the work he had begun. Confining himself to the borough of Bridport, he should contend, that it could not 445 be separated from the case of Truro. Bridport was in the same situation as Truro. The borough of Bridport being co-extensive with the street, all the inhabitants in the street ought to be taken. It was one continuous town, and a person going through it would consider it one town. They had in the town every thing the noble Lord could desire to give it two Members, yet, from a fanciful notion that it had not enough of 10l. householders, they took away one of its Representatives. [The hon. and learned Gentleman, at this part of his address, complained of noise in the House.] Did those who were clamorous consider that they were discussing a matter of great interest to the country? Heregretted the barbarous mirth which had attended the disfranchisement of particular boroughs. He must say, that the exhibition which he had witnessed when the disfranchisement of some of the boroughs had been agreed to—the uproarious bursts of laughter in which hon. Members had indulged when now and then any particular borough had been thustreated—struck him as being one of the worst signs of the present times—indicating, that when the Reformed Parliament came, measures would be carried rather by acclamation than calm investigation. No man would then dare to get up in his place and speak sensibly. [laughter]. He dared to say, from that laugh, that he had said something very absurd; but he would say this, notwithstanding the laughter of hon. Gentlemen, that the new Parliament would carry by acclamation many important questions, and not by sound judgment and calm reasoning. His hope was, it might not be so; but it was his opinion such would be the case. The hon. Member who had the honour to represent Bridport had made out the population in 1821 to be 3,972, but then there were the parishes of Bradpool and Allington, and yet it was said they only made 3,972, on the ground that the parish of Allington was divided from Bridport by a rivulet and a bridge. The town, in his opinion, was not within the principle of schedule B. In the town there were a sufficient number of houses to take it out of the noble Lord's schedule.
Lord John Russell
observed, that it was very possible for houses to adjoin the borough, without being entitled to be considered as an integral part of it. The case of Truro, on the other hand, was clear and decided, and presented no analogy whatever 446 to that of Bridport. Before he sat down, he could not avoid noticing the manner in which the hon. and learned Member opposite (Sir E. Sugden) had thought proper to lecture the House on their mode of discussing public business. Now he happened to have ten years' longer experience of that House than the learned Gentleman, and begged leave to state, for his information, that there was nothing peculiar in the conduct of Members during these debates, which would in any degree justify his sneers or animadversions. When dry and uninteresting details were under consideration, Gentlemen had always been in the habit of conversing with one another as they had done now in the presence of the hon. member for St. Mawe's, so that he might set his mind at rest with respect to the apprehended revolutionary symptoms. For himself individually, he could take credit for being much more fatigued by these discussions than hon. Members who were exempted from avocations during the whole of the morning.
§ Lord Stormont
appealed to the candid and impartial judgment of every Member who had heard the Debate on the borough of Woodstock, whether the case of Bridport was not similar? The noble Lord stated yesterday, that the town and borough of Woodstock, and the hamlet, consisted of 2,000, but the amount of population was disputed. The noble Lord would have admitted the claim to have that borough removed from schedule A, if he could have made out 2,000 without the town and hamlet, which ought to have been included. What was the case of Bridport? It contained 3,972 without the population of part of the town. That was exactly the case of Woodstock. The size of the river that flowed to Bridport was three feet. He contended, that the case of Bridport so closely resembled that of Woodstock as to justify their disposing of both boroughs in a similar manner; but really, the principles on which Ministers acted one day were so different from those which they had laid down upon another, that he could scarcely believe them to be the same Administration. Their imbecility and weakness were, in truth, altogether incredible to those who had not heard their speeches, and witnessed their actions.
§ Resolution agreed to, and Bridport placed in schedule B.447
§ The Chairman put the question, "That the borough of Buckingham stand part of schedule B."—Agreed to.
§ The Chairman put the question, "That the borough of Chippenham stand part of schedule B."
§ Captain Boldero
said, there were some peculiar circumstances connected with the borough of Chippenham, to which he wished to call the attention of the Committee. He could prove, that the population of Chippenham in 1821 was about 4,411 persons. By a petition from Chippenham it appeared, that an injustice had been done to that borough in the Population Returns of 1821. He knew that it would be next to impossible to set that return right by attempting to enumerate the inhabitants of Chippenham in 1821, but there was another test, and he thought a satisfactory one. He could prove, upon the most unquestionable testimony, that in 1821 there were in Chippenham 755 inhabited houses. It was already established by the returns, that 637 inhabited houses gave a population of 3,621, and going upon the same proportion, it would, of course, follow, that 755 inhabited houses would give a population of 4,411 persons. But this was not all. Chippenham had a right to look at its neighbouring borough. Calne was distant from Chippenham only five miles, and therefore he should not be accused of going out of his way in comparing the one borough with the other. By the returns upon the Table of the House—returns moved for by the Government, and therefore not favourable to the opponents of the Bill by intention—by those returns it appeared, that the number of 10l. houses in the borough of Chippenham was 184, and that the number of 10l. houses in the borough of Calne was only 124, giving to Chippenham a majority above Calne of sixty houses of the value of 10l. a year. It appeared also by those returns, that the number of votes given at Calne, at any election during the last thirty years, did not exceed eighteen, while the number of votes given at Chippenham, at any election during the last thirty years, amounted to 126. Again there was a majority in favour of Chippenham, and it amounted to 108. Still adhering to these Government returns, he turned to the assessments. He found that the assessment for the borough of Chippenham amounted to 1,637l., while that of Calne was only 1,355l., leaving a balance 448 in favour of Chippenham of 282l. The fourth point of comparison to which he wished to draw the attention of the Committee was the number of 10l. houses in the two boroughs, according to the returns recently presented, the second series of returns, and dated July 1, 1831. According to those returns there were in Calne 208 houses of the value of 10l. a year, and in Chippenham 232. The Committee would observe, that the: number of 10l. houses in Calne had suddenly and most extraordinarily, and by what means he should not pretend to say, increased from 124 to 208; but still Calne was in arrear of Chippenham, for in that borough the number of 10l. houses was 232, it having a majority over Calne of twenty-four. Again, by the returns it appeared the number of voters estimated in Chippenham was 183, while the number in Calne was only 164. The first returns, the Committee would bear in mind, were not made out with any view to the present Bill. With regard to the Assessed Taxes, it appeared that the borough of Chippenham paid 1,067l., and the parish 1,167l., giving a total of 2,234l.; while Calne, parish and borough altogether, paid 1,568l., leaving to Chippenham a balance over Calne of 666l. It was scarcely possible to think, that two boroughs so near to each other should have a different measure applied to them by his Majesty's Government; but if these Government returns were worth any thing, there was one scale of justice for the borough of Calne, and another for the borough of Chippenham. These facts, however, strong as they were, were not all. At the foot of most of the returns there was some note and comment; but in the case of Calne there was a mere statistical statement. Why was there not a more full return? Because it did not suit the views of Government to have it made. From these particulars he contended, that the borough of Chippenham was better entitled than the borough of Calne to return two Members to that House, and also, that Chippenham had upwards of 4,000 inhabitants in 1821. If necessary to go into the adjacent villages, he was prepared to do so; but he objected altogether to that part of the Bill which gave to Commissioners the power of naming the villages to be entitled to the joint exercise of the elective franchise. Those Commissioners would be named by the Government, and the consequence 449 would be, an unjust and an unconstitutional exercise of Government influence. The hon. and gallant Member recapitulated the points of comparison between the two boroughs, and concluded by calling upon the noble Lord (J. Russell) to allow him an opportunity of adducing the evidence to which he had alluded respecting the population in 1821.
had not, thought, that the borough of Chippenham would be considered to present any difficulties. The borough of Chippeuham had nothing to do with the borough of Calne, but was to be considered upon its own merits. The noble Lord who had an influence in Calne, had only three houses out of the 200 10l. houses in that borough. The hon. Member found fault with the population returns of 1821, but he did not offer to prove the error.
contended, that the Committee must adhere to the population returns, or else it would be led into endless difficulties. According to the returns, the population of the parish and borough of Chippenham—not the borough alone—amounted only to 3,021 inhabitants. He saw no reason for altering the schedule.
§ Captain Boldero
said, he had evidence within 200 yards of the House, to prove that the returns of 1821 were erroneous. He would ask the right hon. Secretary, if in other instances the parish and the borough had not been taken together?
did not object to such being the case; he only pointed out, that the population of 3,021 referred to both borough and parish.
§ Captain Boldero
only asked, upon behalf of an ancient borough, the privileges of which were assailed, the same attention that was bestowed upon the personal privileges of a Member of that House. He asked, that the subject might be investigated by a Select Committee.
§ Mr. Sadler
observed, that there had been an error in the population returns for Chippenham in 1801, and, therefore, it was probable an error had again occurred. Some respect should be shewn to the borough of Chippenham, its antiquity was undoubted, and its enfranchisement could be traced to the man who first established the Representative system, and was the father and the founder of the British Constitution.
§ Mr. G. Bankes
was astonished at the opposition now offered. When the case of the Appleby petition had been decided, it was understood and specifically stated, that it would be competent for any Member to produce any necessary evidence. Justice and common sense demanded, that the offer of the hon. and gallant Member should not be rejected. How could that offer be refused if the language of the noble Lord (Lord Althorp) was to be adhered to? He alluded to what had fallen from the noble Lord, when he objected to Counsel being heard at the bar in the case of Appleby. If hon. Members were not satisfied with the word of the hon. and gallant Member, that hon. and gallant Member ought to be allowed to go into evidence.
Sir R. Peel
called the particular attention of the Committee to the case. The offer of the hon. and gallant Member was such as he apprehended could not be refused. The further they proceeded, the more he became convinced, that a great error had been committed in not referring the whole of these details to a Select Committee. In 1821, by the population returns, there were in Chippenham borough and parish, 576 inhabited houses. He turned to the population return of 1811, and by that it appeared, that there were in Chippenham borough and tithings, 668 inhabited houses. It was clear, therefore that there must be some mistake. Surely that was a very strong presumptive, proof, that the hon. Member might be able to show that there had been some great error in the other point.
Sir Robert Peel
begged to add, that in 1811 there were thirty-three uninhabited houses, and in 1821 nineteen; so that by comparing the two returns, 100 houses and upwards, unless it was asserted that they had been taken down, had not, been accounted for by the later return.
§ Lord Althorp
admitted, that there might have existed a mistake in the return of the number of houses in Chippenham, but denied, that such a mistake involved another in the population return; and 451 as to calling evidence to prove in what the mistake consisted, where, he might ask, was such to be had? How was it possible for any one to be cognizant of the population of Chippenham, except the person who had made the return on oath; and how could he be examined as to the credibility of his own return? He had little doubt there was a mistake in the return of the number of houses, but he had just as little doubt, that the error had not extended to the population return.
§ Mr. Sanford
said, the houses might be inhabited by a less number of persons, and this would account for the diminution of the population.
§ Sir C. Wetherell
observed, that as the House had rejected the demand of the boroughs to be heard by Counsel, or by evidence at their bar, and had, by the suggestion of the Government, consented to suffer the truth of each case to be made out in the Committee, he must be allowed to ask the noble Lord, why there were such objections offered on the part of Ministers to suffer the marked boroughs to be defended? For if this House refused it to the hon. Members who were interested in their defence, he must accuse the Government of having given delusive promises. There was a mistake in the return, involving the omission of 110 houses, and he presumed there could be no doubt whatever that there was a similar mistake in the population return. Let him, however, now remind the House, that although they were a legislative body, they were not constituted a judicial body; and, if they wrested to their own purposes the power of judgment, he must remind them that there was another place where the legislative was united to the judicial functions, and where, if justice were refused in that House, it would infallibly be granted.
§ Lord Althorp
observed, that he had already answered the question of the hon. and learned Member; and as to any error, such as was alleged to exist in the population return of Chippenham, all he could reply was, that from the year 1801 to the year 1821, in the three censuses which had been taken, there was a progressive and equal increase between each period; a circumstance certainly which lessened the chance of any mistake having been committed in the return of 1821.
§ Sir C. Wetherell
found, that by the census of 1831, the population amounted to 4,333. These returns were the data on 452 which the noble Lord built his opinions of progressive population, but he declined to argue further upon them. Now, he in reply said, that the difference between 3,506 in 1821, and 4,333 in 1831, was an increase of no great magnitude, and consequently it was fair to presume there was an error in the former return. As it was the bounden duty of Government to rectify every mistake, Chippenham had made out a fair case for deliberate examination.
Sir R. Peel
said, that there was one broad fact staring them in the face, which was, that there were 105 houses in Chippenham missing from the census of 1811. In that year the number was 705: and in 1821 the number returned was 600. It had been urged as a reason for this decrease in the number of inhabited houses, that trade had declined, that persons had become bankrupts, and that housekeepers had given up their residences, and taken themselves off elsewhere; but such was evidently not the fact, because the population of 1811 was greater in proportion, and the houses were more thickly inhabited, than in 1821; and when the noble Lord talked of the difficulty of procuring any evidence on this subject, he must be suffered to remind him, that probably the man who made the return of 1821, was in existence, and to be found, and he could be brought forward to state the reason for having omitted to reckon so large a number of houses as 105 in the return made by him. He did not ask to have evidence generally, since such had been rejected; but, at all events, let the case of Chippenham be an exception to the others, having so fair a claim to that exception, until the facts were placed rightly before the House.
Mr. C. W. Wynn
remarked, that the noble Lord had very confidently denied the existence of a mistake in the population return of Chippenham for 1821, whilst he had admitted the possibility that such did exist in the return of the number of houses; but he would ask any man of practical knowledge in that House, whether there could be a mistake of that nature, that 100 houses had been altogether omitted and the population of them returned. The probabilities were against this, and by the idleness or negligence of the returning Officer, Chippenham would lose the right of returning two Members. Was it reasonable, in such 453 a case, to refuse evidence of the error? Would Gentlemen say, "we will give no opportunity to make out your claim to this privilege, because we are about to take it away." The facts ought certainly to be inquired into.
argued, that if an inquiry were gone into in this case, it would be impossible to say where it would end. Suppose an error to have arisen from the negligence or incompetence of the returning Officer, how were they to set the matter right after a lapse of ten years? Now, what was really the case of those who advocated the cause of the borough? It was admitted by them, there had been an increase of from 100 to 200 persons, between the periods of 1811, 1821, and 1831, in the population; but that would be of no avail to entitle the borough to be excluded from schedule B. They must require an actual increase of 500 or 600 in addition. The number of houses was referred to as evidence of the mistake, and a gallant Officer had asserted, that he could prove the population in 1821 was above the required number. But how could he do this? the examination of the circumstances would lead to endless inquiries. Though the principles on which the schedules A and B were founded were not quite agreeable to his opinions, yet as they had been adopted in the Bill, he should vote for them, and did not see that any case had been made out to warrant inquiry into the case of Chippenham.
§ Sir H. Hardinge
knew not on what grounds the noble Lord could refuse, at least, inquiry into the case established by the petitioners from Chippenham. If Ministers did not believe the statements of Opposition Members, they ought, in consistency with their popular professions, to lend an attentive ear to the petitions of the people. The Chippenham petition stated, that in 1821, the number of houses in Chippenham were 600, while 786 were returned in 1831, being a difference of 186. The petitioners offered to prove that the actual increase was only thirty-five houses. This was direct evidence of a mistake, and the documents to which the petitioners referred in support of their statement were not taken with a view to uphold their present case. The population returns of 1821 must, therefore, be erroneous. If they refused time to ascertain the truth of these allegations, he thought it a case in which hon. Members would be 454 warranted in having recourse to extraordinary means of procuring delay.
§ Lord Althorp
could not see how the present case could provoke such an extreme proceeding as that just menaced; the rather, as the question was merely one of fact, as to the amount of population instead of houses. No good could possibly arise from delay, and the inquiry would be endless.
Sir R. Peel
, in urging the noble Lord to assent to the proposition for delay and inquiry into the discrepancy between the population returns before the House, did not want to throw unnecessary obstacles for the purpose of delay in the way of the Bill. Let them drop Chippenham till inquiry had been made, it being evident there was no authentic data for them to legislate upon yet furnished, and proceed with the next borough on the schedule; and should it appear that the population did not exceed the line, he, for one, would vote for retaining it in its present position. They had disposed of several boroughs this night without meeting one which had such claims for consideration, and it was probable they should meet with no more such. He would therefore suggest, that a Committee should be appointed to examine the returning Officer, who was now in Town, and they could proceed with other boroughs without, establishing an inconvenient precedent.
Mr. Hughes Hughes
approved of the course pursued by the noble Lord, the Chancellor of the Exchequer, in not going into evidence, for the petitioners admitted, that "to produce positive proof at the distance of ten years of the actual number of inhabitants in 1821 was nearly impossible, but that with regard to the number of houses, there was no such difficulty." Now it was the number of inhabitants, not houses, which the House required. The petitioners then alleged as evidence, "that they could produce an actual survey, made nearly at the time of the census in 1821, for the purpose of fixing a poor-rate, by which it appeared the parish then contained 755 houses; it was impossible for the House to believe the parish authorities should, about the same time, have made one return of 600 houses, in compliance with an Act of Parliament, and another of 755 houses for a less important object. The only way it could be accounted for was, that the 155 houses were not finished, or uninhabited, and therefore 455 not visited for the purpose of the census. At all events, it was impossible to legislate by rule of proportion, and infer there were 905 inhabitants in these houses, and in consequence, allow this inconsiderable place the privilege of returning two Members to Parliament. On these grounds he should vote for the continuation of the borough in schedule B.
§ Mr. Benett
thought, that nothing could be more easy than to account for the discrepancy. It arose from a mistake in figures, probably in the printing, and if so, the population was rightly estimated. The number of inhabited houses in 1811, was stated to be 668, and in 1821, 575, by changing the 5 into 6, in the latter sum he had no doubt that a proper correction would be made, and all difficulties solved.
§ Mr. Gisborne
contended, that the advocates for delay were bound to make out a prima facie case that their proposed inquiry was likely to raise Chippenham above the line, before it could be assented to by the House. He saw no reason for appealing to the number of houses. The advocates of the borough, for the purpose of raising the population to the required number, called to their aid a petition, in which it was inferred, that it amounted in 1821, to 4,411. Now, if in the first period of ten years, the population increased only ninety, and in the second 829, a great disproportion certainly, at this moment it would not amount to 4,411. He, therefore, considered it nearly impossible to bring the borough within the line of preservation, and consequently no case for delay or inquiry had been made out.
§ Sir Jacob Astley
thought, that the petitioners from Chippenham had made out a case which in itself called for inquiry. He had the honour to represent the county in which the borough was situated, and could bear testimony to its comparative respectability with any borough in the county of Wiltshire.
§ Mr. D. W. Harvey
had before expressed his decided hostility to the principle of admitting each borough to prove its own case, because abundant testimony would be always ready to support its claims; nevertheless, cases might arise in which facts were at variance with the statements on which the House was called upon to decide. That appeared to be the case with this borough, and further inquiry was requisite before they pronounced judgment. That would be no departure from the 456 principle of the Bill. Suppose the result of the inquiry established the fact, that the population of Chippenham in 1821 exceeded 4,000, the borough would be brought within other provisions of the Bill. It was said, the population in 1811 was greater than in 1821; that might be the case, and the cause be ascribed to commercial depression. They were bound to suppose, that houses implied occupiers, and then they would have the inconsistency that in 1811 there were more inhabitants than in 1821, although, subsequent to 1821, there had been an increase of houses. The case of this borough ought, therefore, to be postponed for further inquiry, and the Committee ought to be satisfied of the truth or falsehood of the different statements made on this point. The question turned on the extraordinary discrepancy in the amount of population at different periods; that was a good ground of suspicion and required explanation.
Sir Robert Peel
must contend, there was evidence of a progressive increase in the population of the borough, for it was infinitely more probable that the advance should have continued for the last twenty years than that such a sudden progress should have been made in the last ten. The first period shewed an advance of only ninety by the returns, and the last of 829; this was, on the face of it, proof of an error in the returns of 1821. It was said again, this arose only from a figure being misplaced; prove that point, and he would give up the question. But the suspicion of such a mistake rendered inquiry necessary.
§ Mr. Gisborne
said, had the increase been really progressive, the one-half of the whole increase of the twenty years would not make the population equal to 4,000 in 1821.
said, if twenty per cent was added to the alleged increase between 1811 and 1821, give the borough all this benefit, and then the population would be under 4,000 at that time. No further information could be obtained by a Committee. There were no documents to prove the error said to exist in the returns. Had any case been made out, he would have voted for the Amendment, but he still continued of opinion, the borough must remain in schedule B, and there was no occasion for further inquiry.
Sir Robert Peel
said, hon. Gentlemen thought it would be better that these 457 boroughs should remain where they were, and yet voted against an attempt to prove they were entitled to be left where they said they ought to be.
§ Captain Boldero
thought, that the petitioners had established a case that called for inquiry. He was in hopes he might have been allowed to substantiate these facts, but as this was refused, he must take the sense of the Committee.
§ The Committee divided on the Amendment:—Ayes 181; Noes 251;—Majority 70.
§ The original question put and carried, and Chippenham added to the schedule,
|List of theNOES.|
|Acheson, Viscount||Cavendish, W.|
|Adam, Admiral C.||Chapman, M. L.|
|Althorp, Viscount||Chichester, Col. A.|
|Anson, Hon. G.||Clive, E. B.|
|Atherley, Arthur||Colborne, W. R.|
|Baillie, James E.||Cradock, Col. S.|
|Bainbridge, E. T.||Crampton, P. C.|
|Baring, Sir T.||Creevey, T.|
|Baring, F. T.||Cunliffe, O.|
|Barnett, C. J.||Curteis, H. B.|
|Bayntun, Capt. S. A.||Dawson, A.|
|Belfast, Lord||Denison, W. J.|
|Benett, J.||Denman, Sir T.|
|Berkeley, Captain||Doyle, Sir J. M.|
|Bernal, R.||Duncannon, Viscount|
|Bernard, T.||Duncombe, T. S.|
|Biddulph, R. M.||Dundas, C.|
|Blake, Sir F.||Dundas, Hon. T.|
|Blamire, W.||Dundas, Hon. Sir R.|
|Blankney, W.||Dundas, Hon. J. C.|
|Blount, Edward||Easthope, J.|
|Blunt, Sir C.||Ellice, E.|
|Bodkin, J. J.||Ellis, W.|
|Bouverie, Hon. D. P.||Etwall, R.|
|Boyle, Lord||Evans, Col. De Lacy|
|Boyle, Hon. J.||Evans, W. B.|
|Brabazon, Viscount||Ewart, W.|
|Brayen, T.||Fergusson, R.|
|Briscoe, J. J.||Ferguson, R. C.|
|Brougham, W.||Ferguson, General|
|Brougham, J.||Foley, J. H. H.|
|Browne, J.||Foley, Hon. T. H.|
|Browne, D.||Folkes, Sir W.,|
|Brownlow, C.||Fox, Lieut. Colonel|
|Bulwer, E. E. L.||French, A.|
|Bulwer, H. L.||Gillon, W. D.|
|Bouverie, P.||Gisborne, T.|
|Bunbury, Sir H.||Graham, Sir J. R. G.|
|Burke, Sir J.||Graham, Sir S.|
|Burton, H.||Grant, Right Hon. C.|
|Byng, G.||Grant, Right Hon. R.|
|Callaghan, D.||Grattan, J.|
|Calvert, N.||Guise, Sir B. W.|
|Campbell, W. F.||Gurney, R.|
|Carter, J. B.||Handley, W. F.|
|Cavendish, C. C.||Harty, Sir R.|
|Cavendish, Lord G.||Hawkins, H.|
|Cavendish, H. F. C.||Heathcote, Sir G.|
|Heathcote, G. J.||Milton, Lord|
|Heywood, B.||Moreton, Hon. H.|
|Hill, Lord G. A.||Morpeth, Viscount|
|Hodges, T. L.||Morrison, J.|
|Hodgson, John||Mostyn, E. M. L.|
|Horne, Sir W.||Mullins, F. W.|
|Hort, Sir W.||Musgrave, Sir R.|
|Hoskins, K.||Newark, Lord|
|Howard, Hon. W.||Noel, Sir G. N.|
|Howard, P. H.||North, F.|
|Howard, H.||Norton, C. F.|
|Howard, R.||Nowell, A.|
|Howick, Viscount||O'Connell, M.|
|Hudson, T.||O'Ferrall, R.|
|Hughes, J.||O'Grady, Hon. S.|
|Hughes, W. H.||O'Neill, Hon. Gen. J.|
|Hughes, Colonel||Orde, W.|
|Hutchinson, J. H.||Osborne, Lord F. G.|
|Ingilby, Sir W.||Paget, Sir C.|
|Innes, Sir H.||Paget, T.|
|James, W.||Palmer, C. F.|
|Jeffrey, F.||Palmerston, Lord|
|Jephson, C.||Parnell, Sir H.|
|Jerningham, H. V.||Payne, Sir P.|
|Johnston, A.||Pelham, Hon. C. A.|
|Johnston, J.||Pendarves, E. W. W.|
|Johnstone, Sir J.||Penlease, J. S.|
|Johnstone, J. H.||Penryhn, E.|
|Kemp, T. R.||Pepys, C. C.|
|Kennedy, T. F.||Perrin, L.|
|Killeen, Lord||Petit, Louis H.|
|King, E. B.||Petre, Hon. E.|
|King, Hon. R.||Philipps, Sir R.|
|Knight, H. G.||Philipps, G. R.|
|Knight, R.||Phillips, C. M.|
|Knox, Hon. J. H.||Polhill, F.|
|Labouchere, H.||Ponsonby, Hon. W.|
|Lambert, H.||Ponsonby, Hon. G.|
|Lambert, J. S.||Powell, W. E.|
|Langston, J. H.||Power, R.|
|Langton, W. Gore||Poyntz, W. S.|
|Lawley, F.||Price, R.|
|Leader, N. P.||Price, Sir R.|
|Lee, J. L.||Protheroe, E.|
|Lefevre, C. S.||Pryse, P.|
|Lemon, Sir C.||Ramsbottom, J.|
|Lennard, T. B.||Rice, Rt. Hon. T. S.|
|Lennox, Lord W.||Rickford, W.|
|Lennox, Lord J. G.||Rider, T.|
|Lester, B. L.||Ridley, Sir M. W.|
|Lloyd, Sir E. P.||Robinson, Sir G.|
|Loch, J.||Rooper, J. B.|
|Lumley, J. S.||Ross, H.|
|Maberly, W. L.||Russell, Lord J.|
|Maberly, J.||Russell, John|
|Macauley, T. B.||Sandford, E. A.|
|Macdonald, Sir J.||Sebright, Sir J.|
|Mackenzie, J. S.||Sheil, R. L.|
|Macnamara, W. N.||Skipwith, Sir G.|
|Mangles, J.||Slaney, R. A.|
|Marjoribanks, S.||Smith, J. A.|
|Marshall, W.||Smith, R. V.|
|Martin, J.||Smith, G. R.|
|Mayhew, W.||Smith, M. T.|
|Milbank, M.||Spence, George|
|Mildmay, P. St. J.||Spencer, Hon. F.|
|Mills, J.||Stanhope, Captain|
|Stanley, J.||Villiers, H.|
|Stanley, Right Hon. E. G. S.||Vincent, Sir F.|
|Stephenson, H. F.||Walker, C. A.|
|Stewart, Sir M. S.||Warburton, H.|
|Stewart, E.||Warre, J. A.|
|Stewart, P. M.||Wason, W. R.|
|Strickland, G.||Watson, Hon. R.|
|Strutt, E.||Webb, Colonel E.|
|Stuart, Lord P. J.||Western, C. C.|
|Stuart, Lord D. C.||Westenra, Hon. H.|
|Tennyson, C.||Weyland, Major|
|Thicknesse, R.||White, S.|
|Thompson, Alderman||White, H|
|Thompson, P. B.||Whitmore, W. W.|
|Thomson, Rt. Hon. C. P.||Wilks, J.|
|Williams, W. A.|
|Throckmorton, R.||Williams, Sir J. H.|
|Tomes, J.||Williamson, Sir H.|
|Torrens, R.||Winnington, Sir T.|
|Trail, G.||Wood, J.|
|Troubridge, Sir E.||Wood, C.|
|Tynte, C. K.||Wrightson, W. B.|
|Tyrell, C.||Wrottesley, Sir J.|
|Venables, W.||Wyse, T.|
|Vernon, Hon. G. J.||Hunt, H.|
|Villiers, F.||Nugent, Lord|
|List of the AYES.|
|A'Court, Capt. E. H.||Burrell, Sir C.|
|Adeane, H. J.||Canning, Sir S.|
|Alexander, James||Capel, J.|
|Antrobus, G. C.||Castlereagh, Viscount|
|Apsley, Lord||Chandos, Marquis of|
|Arbuthnot, Captain||Cholmondeley, Lord|
|Arbuthnot, Hon. Major-General H.||Churchill, Lord C. S.|
|Clements, Col. J. M.|
|Archdall, General M.||Clive, Viscount|
|Ashley, Lord||Clive, Hon. R. H.|
|Ashley, Hon. John||Clive, Henry|
|Astley, Sir J. D.||Cockburn, Sir G.|
|Atkins, J.||Cole, Lord|
|Attwood, M.||Cole, Hon. A.|
|Baldwin, C. B.||Conolly, Colonel|
|Balfour, J.||Cooke, Sir H.|
|Bankes, W. J.||Cooper, E. J.|
|Bankes, George||Corry, Hon. H. L.|
|Bateson, Sir R.||Courteney, T. P.|
|Becket, Sir J.||Cumming, Sir W. G.|
|Bentinck, Lord G.||Curzon, Hon. R.|
|Beresford, Colonel M.||Cust, Hon. Capt. P.|
|Best, Hon. W. S.||Cust, Hon. Col. E.|
|Blaney, Hon. Capt C.||Davidson, D.|
|Boldero, F. G.||Dawkins, J.|
|Bradshaw, R. H.||Dawson, Hon G. R.|
|Bradshaw, Captain. J.||Dering, Sir E. C.|
|Brecknock, Earl of||Dick, Quintin|
|Brogden, J.||Domville, Sir C.|
|Bruce, Charles C. L.||Douglas, Hon. C.|
|Brudenell, Lord||Douglas, W. R. K.|
|Brydges, Sir John||Drake, T. T.|
|Buck, L. W.||Drake, Col. W. T.|
|Bulkeley, Sir R. W.||Dugdale, W. S.|
|Buller, Sir A.||East, J. B.|
|Burge, W.||Eastnor, Viscount|
|Burrard, George||Eliot, Lord|
|Encombe, Viscount||Neeld, J.|
|Estcourt, T. H. S. B.||North, J. H.|
|Estcourt, T. G. B.||Nugent, Sir G.|
|Fane, Hon. H. S.||Pearse, J.|
|Ferrand, W.||Peel, Sir R.|
|Forbes, J.||Peel, W. Y.|
|Forbes, Sir C.||Peel, Edmund|
|Fordwich, Lord||Peel, Colonel J.|
|Forrester, Hon. G. C.||Pelham, J. C.|
|Fox, S. L.||Pemberton, T.|
|Fremantle, Sir T.||Perceval, Colonel|
|Freshfield, J. W.||Perceval, Spencer|
|Gordon, Hon. Capt.||Pigott, G. G. W.|
|Gordon, Col. J.||Pollington, Viscount|
|Gordon, J. E.||Porchester, Lord|
|Grant, General Sir C.||Praed, Winthrop M.|
|Grant, Hon. Col. F.||Pringle, A.|
|Handcock, R.||Pusey, F.|
|Hardinge, Sir H.||Ramsay, W.|
|Harris, G.||Rae, Sir W.|
|Harvey, D. W.||Rochfort, Colonel G.|
|Hayes, Sir E.,||Rogers, E.|
|Herbert, Hn. E. C. H.||Rose, Sir G. H.|
|Herries, J. C.||Rose, Captain P.|
|Hill, Sir R.||Ross, C.|
|Hodgson, F.||Ruthven, E. S.|
|Holdsworth, A. H.||Sadler, M. T.|
|Holrasdale, Vise.||St. Paul, Sir H. D.,|
|Hope, H. T.||Scarlett, Sir J.|
|Hope, J. T.||Scott, H. F.|
|Howard, Hon. Col. F.||Severn, J. C.|
|Ingestrie, Viscount||Seymour, H. B.|
|Inglis, Sir R. H., Bart.||Sibthorp, Col.|
|Jenkins, R.||Smith, Hon. R.|
|Jermyn, Earl||Smith, S.|
|Jolliffe, Sir W. G. H.||Somerset, Lord G.|
|Jolliffe, Col. H.||Stanley, Lord|
|Jones, Capt. T.||Stewart, C.|
|Kearsley, J. H.||Stormont, Viscount|
|Kemmis, T. A.||Talbot, C. R. M.|
|Kenyon, Hon. L.||Taylor, G. W.|
|Kerrison, Sir E.||Thynne, Lord J.|
|Kilderbee, S. H.||Thynne, Lord H. F.|
|Knight, K. L.||Thynne, Lord E.|
|Lascelles, Hon. W. S.||Townshend, Hn. Col.|
|Lefroy, Dr. T.||Trench, Col. F. W.|
|Lefroy, A.||Trevor, Hon. A.|
|Lindsay, Col. J.||Tullamore, Lord|
|Lovaine, Lord||Tunno, E. R.|
|Lowther, Hn. Col. H.||Ure, M.|
|Lowther, J. H.||Villiers, Viscount|
|Luttrell, J. F.||Walrond, B.|
|Lyon, D.||Walsh, Sir J. B.,|
|Mackillop, J.||Warrender, Sir G.|
|Mackinnon, W. A.||West, F. R.|
|Mahon, Visc.||Wetherell, Sir C.|
|Maitland, Visc.||Williams, Robert|
|Maitland, Hon. Capt.||Wood, Colonel T.|
|Malcolm, Sir J.||Wortley, Hon. J. S.|
|Mandeville, Visc.||Wrangham, D. C.|
|Maxwell, H.||Wynn, Sir W.|
|Meynell, Capt. H.||Wynn, C. W. W.|
|Miles, P. J.||Wynn, J.|
|Miles, W.||Yorke, C. P.|
|Miller, W. H.||Young, J.|
|Murray, Sir G.||Clerk, Sir G.|