HC Deb 28 July 1831 vol 5 cc466-513

Lord John Russell moved the Order of the Day for the House to go into a Committee on the Reform (England) Bill.

Lord Belgrave

presented a petition from Congleton, praying for Representatives.—Referred to the Committee.

Mr. W. Williams

presented a petition from Dorchester, praying not to be disfranchised.—Referred to the Committee.

The House resolved itself into a Committee, Mr. Bernal in the Chair.

The question put was, that "Clitheroe stand part of schedule B."

Mr. Lester

stated, that the borough of Clitheroe was only the chapelry of the parish of Whalley, which was of great extent, and contained a population of 84,000 persons. Clitheroe stood in a township of that name, and was divided into three portions, that of Clitheroe contained in 1821, 3,216 persons; the township of Chitburn, 516 persons and the other township, 300, so that in point of fact, the borough contained upwards of 4,000 souls. In 1831, Clitheroe, however, had a population, by the returns, of 5,203 inhabitants, having increased very much in the last ten years; and there was also an addition of 297 houses. It was, therefore, a thriving place, and ought not to be placed in schedule B. He admitted that the number of 101. houses was not great; he believed not above 100, but they might find a constituency in the neighbourhood amounting to 20,000 people. After making these observations, he would leave the House to act by the borough as it thought proper.

Mr. Croker

reminded Ministers, that although he had been an opponent of the Bill, he had never, since the second reading, mooted any point whatever which did not arise out of the very principles on which the Bill professed to be founded. The noble Lord had at first stated, that where the population of a borough and parish united exceeded 2,000 in the one instance, and 4,000 in the other, such borough should be exempted from disfranchisement—in the first case, one Member was to be returned; in the latter, two. On that principle the borough now under consideration should be merged in the parish, and should return two Members; but the noble Lord, it appeared, on account of the extent of the parish connected with this borough, had subsequently shifted his position altogether, and determined, that in cases where the borough and parish were not of the same name, there the inhabitants of the parish should not be included in the borough. That, no doubt, was an after-thought of the noble Lord, who saw or feared, that the full execution of his own principle, would involve his bill in other difficulties. The distinction, however, by which he endeavoured to evade his own rule, had no clear foundation, and could only arise from mistaking facts for accidents, as had already occurred in the case of Appleby, to which the adjoining parish had not been added. But it happened, that in many cases the popular appellation of, parishes was not that by which they were legally known, and it would be rather too hard because of such an accident, that they should be deprived of the right of an adequate Representation. With respect to Clitheroe, the borough now under consideration, it was situated in the parish of Whalley, which parish covered a great space, containing, what he might venture to call, a bee-hive of industry, and could reckon a population of nearly 84,000 inhabitants. It was said by the noble Lord (Lord John Russell) the other night, that if parishes were to be united to boroughs not of the same name, the Government could never proceed conveniently with their Bill, inasmuch as some parishes were too large and others too small to be added to particular boroughs, as in the cases of Downton and others. Upon this mistaken principle, or rather upon this violation of principle, Clitheroe was only to have one Member, because the parish of Whalley was too large to be associated with it; but it should be recollected, that Clitheroe had a population of 3,200 inhabitants, and that the parish of Whalley, in which it was situated, extended not more than seven or eight miles, and, as he had just now said, contained a large population. The noble Lord had two principles in view; the first was, to unite a parish to a town to justify their having two Members; and the second was, to grant one Member for every 10,000inhabitants. Now, whether the noble Lord adopted the one principle or the other, Clitheroe, and the neighbouring town of Burnley, which had above 10,000 inhabitants, both being situated in the parish of Whalley, should have two Members; and he did not care much whether the towns had one Member each, or two were returned for the parish and the borough of Clitheroe. He was totally unconnected with the one or the other, and therefore he was stating fairly his objections to the provisions of the noble Lord's Bill. He (Mr. Croker) asked, if Clitheroe was not to be placed in the situation he had stated, why Northallerton had been more favoured? He was not now advocating the continuance of rotten boroughs, but dealing in a fair spirit with the true principle of the Bill. If Bolton, with 44,000 inhabitants, was to have a Member, why not permit Whalley, with 84,000 inhabitants, also to have Members? He would admit, for he did not want to entrap the noble Lord into the admission at a principle without stating the whole length to which he proposed to carry it, that this case of Clitheroe, if decided as he contended it ought to be, would involve the case of three other boroughs—Cockermouth, Helston, and Lymington; but it would not go to more than to those three. Now what were the cases of those boroughs? Cockermouth contained a population of 3,790, not a great number below that required to send a Member to Parliament under this Bill; but the parish of Brigham—a corruption probably of the ancient name of St. Bridget, to whom the parish church of Cockermouth was dedicated, and which was, therefore, the legal name of the whole parish—contained 6,037. On the noble Lord's own showing, he could not see the ground why this case should be excepted from the rule. The next was the borough of Helston, with a population of 2,671; but this borough was in the parish of Wendron, containing a population of 6,814. The third was the borough of Lymington, with a population of 3,164, which was situated in the parish of St. Mary, Boldec, with a population of 5,384. Now if these parishes bore the same names as the boroughs, there could be no doubt that they would be included, and each of these places would be allowed to return two Members; but why should the name make the difference? Particularly, as it was only the popular appellation that differed; while the legal name of the parish St. Mary's or St. Bridget's, was properly applicable to the town and the adjoining district. The three boroughs that he had named involved the principle for which he contended in the case of Clitheroe, and here he thought he had the noble Lord in a sort of dilemma. If the parish of Whalley was too large to have the franchise extended to it, the parish in which Lymington was, was not too large. If Lymington was too small, the same objection did not apply to Whalley. Whichever way the noble Lord viewed it, he thought the noble Lord's proceedings involved an inconsistency, unless the principle for which he contended was adopted. The course which he proposed would do good to the Bill; it would justify the cases of Calne, of Malton, of Knaresborough. If they adopted this principle, which had been extended to twenty other boroughs bearing the name of the parishes in which they were by accident placed, and not by law, he would not object to the other boroughs being in schedule B. His only objection would then be to the general principle of the clause, and his opposition to the details should cease [cheers.] He did not know whether the cheers were meant to imply, that the noble Lord did not need his support. He knew very well, that with such a majority, determined to support the Bill in the lump, without regard to the justice or injustice of particular cases, the noble Lord might not set much value on his individual support; but though it was little for the noble Lord to receive, it was much for him (Mr. Croker) to give—it was his little all, and his poverty ought rather to excite the pity than the sneers of hon. Gentlemen on the other side. Though he should take the liberty of adding, that, humbly as himself, as well as others might think of his efforts in this cause, he believed the Bill would not be the less acceptable to the country at large, if it could be purged of the partialities and anomalies which had been the chief grounds of his opposition. In that point of view, his vote was, perhaps, of some value. He would therefore ask, whether it would not be better even to divide this parish of Whalley, and to give Members to each half, than to establish a principle which would create heart-burnings and discontent in three corners of England—in Cockermouth in the north—Helston in the west—and Lymington in the south? He would again say, let the noble Lord adhere to the original principle of his Bill, let him only execute his own purpose. Indeed, the necessity for the course he pointed out was so obvious, that he could not believe the noble Lord would refuse to adopt it, until he heard from himself that he was obstinately determined to oppose that which must be so beneficial to the principle of his Bill.

Lord John Russell

had a very short reply to make to the right hon. Gentleman's arguments with respect to the borough of Clitheroe, and those other boroughs with which he had in principle connected it. He had never admitted, that in all cases the fact of the borough standing in one parish instead of two would be sufficient to justify a departure from the rule of disfranchisement; and he now repeated the declaration, that the Government did not consider it so. In the case of those boroughs which stood in parishes of the same name as the boroughs, and, which were so distinguished in the returns which they took for their guide, that the amount of the inhabitants could be readily ascertained, they had thought it right in many instances to allow the borough and the parish to be united for the purposes of Representation. In the case of boroughs, however, which, although situated in one parish, were yet in a parish of very considerable extent, bearing a name different from the boroughs, they had thought it necessary to adhere to their rule; and the more so, as the boroughs had, in these instances, precise and well-defined limits, which could be readily ascertained from the returns. It should be recollected, too, that the line of disfranchisement was fixed at the possession of less than 4,000 inhabitants, and the course recommended by the right hon. Gentleman, would merely carry the exceptions which had hitherto been made, still farther, instead of confirming the rule which it was the desire of the Ministers to maintain. With regard to the borough of Helston, he understood that it had nothing to do with the parish in which it was situated; and with respect to Lymington, although the right hon. Gentleman had not mentioned the circumstance, a meeting had been lately held there, for the purpose of petitioning the House, that Lymington might retain its two Members, but so unwilling were the inhabitants to interfere with the Bill that the proposition, was negatived by ten to one. The principle of extending to a large parish the franchise of a borough which occupied only a small part of it, was the exception to the rule which the Ministers had laid down, and he did not see why it should be extended in the cases mentioned.

Mr. Croker

thought it unnecessary to say more in reply to the observations of the noble Lord, than that he had not used a single argument which did not strengthen what he (Mr. Croker) had said with respect to the propriety of giving the franchise to the inhabitants of Whalley, or which formed any answer to the other point, that the noble Lord had extended the franchise, in the case of Northallerton, to the distance of sixteen miles from the borough, for the purpose of gaining 100 above 4,000, while he would not consent to extend the franchise twelve miles in the case of Clitheroe, for the sake of gaining 84,000 persons; and yet this was called a Bill to destroy insignificant boroughs, and to extend the representation of large and populous districts. The final result would be, that when the Bill came to be understood, it would be popular exactly in the proportion of the favours it conferred; it might please the 4,100 parishioners of Northallerton, while the 84,000 inhabitants of Whalley would see in it nothing but exclusion and injustice; and the same would be its effect throughout the whole empire.

Mr. J. L. Knight

said, that as he understood the decision of the Gentlemen opposite, it was this:—that if the parish in which the borough of Clitheroe stood had also borne the name of Clitheroe, its rights would not have been invaded by the Bill; but that as, by an ecclesiastical accident, the borough of Clitheroe stood in a parish bearing another name, ergo it was only to send one Member to Parliament. That, as he understood it, was the precise reasoning of the hon., right hon., and noble Members opposite. If that was not their objection to the proposition for leaving Clitheroe in possession of its two Members, he had heard none. Upon other cases, the opponents of the Bill had been met by a statement that a borough was surrounded by an agricultural district, and that, to make up the required numbers, it would be necessary to take in a large agricultural population: so that the landed interest was so much at a discount in the House of Commons—the agricultural classes were so open to bribery, so little independent, so much less worthy of consideration and trust than the 10l. householders, that, to use the language of the noble author of the Bill, a borough so preserved would be swamped in the surrounding constituency. Now, this could not be said of the borough of Clitheroe, which stood in the midst of a population exclusively manufacturing, as the House well knew. This, therefore, could not be the reason why Clitheroe should be partially disfranchised. Was it that in the enfranchising portion of the Bill any new representative town was to be called into existence, by which this extensive and populous district was to be represented? He looked in vain to find any such arrangement in the Bill. What, then, was the ground upon which this borough was to be deprived of its rights, and that, too, in violation of the very rules which the Bill professed to recognize? It was because the name of the parish happened to be Whalley, and for no other reason. These were the grounds upon which the statesmen and legislators opposite commanded the House of Commons to abolish the Constitution of the land. But it happened that they had not even this ground to stand upon. He was informed, that in the parish of Whalley there stood a chapelry bearing the name of Clitheroe, so that the parish had the name of Clitheroe connected with it. In that chapelry stood the church, which was the mother church of the three townships in the parish of Whalley, and in those three townships there was a population of 4,032 persons in 1821.

Mr. Stanley

what is your authority?

Mr. Knight

said, that he had stated the fact, and defied any man to refute it. He should give no farther information upon such a demand. [Order, order.] If in any thing he offended the order of the House, he apprehended there were legitimate means of correcting him, without having recourse to the disorderly conduct displayed on the other side. He would now repeat, that in these townships which constituted the chapelry of Clitheroe, and in which the common church of the parish stood, there was a population of above 4,000 persons in 1821. This he asserted as a fact; and if it was material to the decision of the Committee upon the question before it, they had the means of ascertaining whether it were so or not; if that or any other evidence was to be considered immaterial, he of course could not argue a question, when the facts on which arguments could alone be founded, were scornfully rejected. He would repeat, that if they followed the principle which, in other cases, they had been commanded to adopt, and took in the parish with the borough, they would then have a large, and otherwise unrepresented, population, and which was not an agricultural population—which had not that unhappy slur upon it. But if they rejected that, he called upon them to take the townships in the chapelry of Clitheroe, which would give them the cabalistic name, and in which they would find the constituency required by the Bill. If both those claims were refused, he did respectfully call upon the Government to state to him, as a Member of the House of Commons, why they adopted that course.

Mr. Stanley

regretted, that the hon. and learned Gentleman had shown such want of temper. The hon. and learned Gentleman had not long been a Member of that House; and when he was more acquainted with it, he would be aware, that it was not a departure from the courtesy due from one Member to another, to ask, on a nice point of a disputed fact, on what authority a statement referring to that fact, rested. It certainly was not in accordance with the courtesy of that House that the hon. and learned Member, when asked a question, should draw himself up, and putting himself in a posture, with folded arms, should say, "You have your population returns, but I have my assertion; and if you ask me on what authority it rests, all I shall tell you is, that I will not tell, and you may go where you can to find it." As he had not the hon. and learned Member's authority for the statement, all he should say of it was, that it would be much better to rely upon the population returns, which gave no such account as the hon. and learned Member had stated. The right hon. Gentleman said, that the parish of Whalley was a large district, including several townships, and containing a population of 84,000 inhabitants, and, therefore, he said, "Extend the franchise of the borough to the whole parish;" but the learned Gentleman (Mr. Knight), on the contrary, confined himself to the assertion, that the part of the parish called by the same name as the borough had a population of upwards of 4,000, and asked for the franchise to be continued on that account. He had, by the returns, found no such account of inhabitants. Clitheroe was, in fact, a separate district, which had been formerly under the rule of the Abbey of Whalley; and as it was stated in the returns to have a population under that which the House had decided should be the rule for the return of two Members, he must be excused if he declined to take the statement of the hon. and learned Member, however respectable his individual authority might be.

Sir C. Wetherell

said, the right hon. Gentleman had told them, that he had put his hon. and learned friend out of temper. He admitted, that for a man to be put out of temper was a bad thing; but there was another thing which was worse than for a man to be put out of temper, and that, was, to be put out of his argument; and he would venture to say, that the right hon. Secretary for Ireland had not put his hon. and learned friend out of his argument, for he had thought it convenient to leave it untouched exactly where he found it. He must be permitted to say, however, that when the right hon. Secretary for Ireland took upon him to lecture his hon. and learned friend on the tone he had assumed, and upon the courtesy usually practised in that House, recollecting, as he did, that this was the second occasion upon which his hon. and learned friend had addressed the House since he became a Member of it, he must be permitted to say, that when the right hon. Gentleman inculcated the practice of courtesy, he at least was not teaching it by example. He had paid the utmost attention, early and late, to every thing which had fallen from his Majesty's Ministers, in their attempts to make out a principle or rule upon which they were proceeding; and if he had succeeded in making out any thing at all from their statements, it was, that the ecclesiastical boundaries of a parish were to be the limits within which alone the rights of a borough should be extended. They had always been told, when the borough was situated in two parishes, that the union of the two could not be allowed, that the population must be found in one, and that they would not go beyond the ecclesiastical boundaries of the parish in which part of a borough might stand, and that, if such parish did not give the requisite number of inhabitants, it was too small to be admitted. This having been over and over again decided, the present case was confidently produced; and what was the objection raised? The parish was too large. Why, what an absurdity, what a puerility, was this! When a borough touched upon two parishes, and the sufficient amount of population was not to be found in one, its claim was refused for that reason. And now, when they produced the very case required, and said, that here was a single parish of great extent, he found, that the line which he had, upon a former occasion, justly denominated the curvature of a drunken man—he found this drunken line suddenly reeling the other way, and the parish was now too large. There was, however, another reason given, and it was this—the name of the parish did not agree with that of the borough. Let him ask seriously, whether this was to be taken as one of the principles of the measure? If it was, he must beg to say, that there was not a schoolboy who would entertain such a proposition as one fit to be reasoned upon. It was too puerile and ridiculous to be entertained for a moment. He should not do justice to the good sense which was supposed peculiarly to belong to the noble Lord who introduced the Bill, if he believed him capable of proposing this as a principle. Why, what nice and delicate ears these Reformers must have, that a place must be disfranchised merely for the sound of its name! A large population was to be curtailed of their rights, because their parish was called Whalley, while it was admitted, that if it had gone under the more euphonous sound of Clitheroe, they would have retained them entire. Why, this was the argument, not of legislators, but of a fiddler; not of legislators, but of a grubbler; not of legislators, but of mountebanks. And not only was it a fiddler's argument, but it was fiddling upon a broken fiddle, for the musical name of Clitheroe was, after all, connected with a sufficient portion of the parish to keep it out of the disfranchising clause, even upon the strictest observation of the rule applied to all other cases. He was going to call upon the Attorney General to say, according to the principles of the law, whether there was any thing in this distinction: but he remembered, that the right hon. Gentleman who had given his hon. and learned friend the lecture, but not the example, on courtesy, and who had not only taken upon himself that office, had also, with regard to this measure, usurped the office of Attorney General for England, and dictated to the House what was the law of the land. He called, however, upon the real Attorney General, whose duty it was, by his oath, to explain and uphold the Law of England—he called upon him to say, whether the distinction attempted to be set up as to the name of this parish, had any resemblance to a distinction according to the principles of law? Until he had heard his hon. and learned friend assert that, he should continue to call the distinction a contemptible puerility. But these Reformers blew hot and cold upon the same question. When two parishes were offered them, they blew cold, and said they could not be admitted, because two were not one, and then, when one was proposed for their acceptance, they blew hot, and would not allow it, because one was not two. He felt these things as an insult to his mind, and to his powers of reflection; and he was greatly mistaken, if it would not be considered as an insult to the House of Commons and to the people of England, to say, that this refusal of the rights of the borough of Clitheroe, was founded upon a principle. As long as he had the power, he would use every effort of his mind properly to degrade and vilify this most contemptible distinction.

Mr. Cust

said, that the chapelry of Clitheroe included three townships with the required number of inhabitants, and that it was, to all intents and purposes, a parish. This was evident from the returns on the Table, for there it was distinctly shewn, that in 1821 there were upwards of 4,000 persons in the chapelry.

Mr. Stanley

said, that the hon. and learned member for Boroughbridge had made a charge against his side of the House, to which he did not think it, at least, exclusively liable. He did not think that they alone were chargeable with using quibbles instead of arguments, or with legislating like mountebanks. And with regard to arguing like fiddlers, the hon. and learned Gentleman certainly, as far as harping upon one string went, might beat Paganini himself. Whether the allusion with respect to the mountebank also applied well to the hon. and learned Member, he should not take it upon him to decide. The hon. and learned Gentleman had described him as performing the office of Attorney General to the King's Cabinet, with respect to this Bill, It was often exceedingly difficult to distinguish the hon. and learned Gentleman's compliments from his censures. Possibly the hon. and learned Gentleman meant to compliment him, but he should very much regret if his conduct with respect to the Reform Bill at all justified the assertion of the hon. and learned Gentleman, that he had usurped the part of the Attorney General on the present occasion. All, however, that he would say, in reply, was, that the hon. and learned Gentleman had himself shown, by the course which he pursued, that the habit of intolerable garrulity—of eternal and inexhaustible trifling and verbosity—of constantly repeating the same things, varied in a thousand forms, and brought forward with out intermission, night after night, might still adhere to an Ex-Attorney General, after he had ceased to sit on the Ministerial side of the House. The hon. and learned Member had been amusing on the present occasion, but, as was always the case with the hon. and learned Gentleman, amusing at considerable length. With respect to the question before the House, he contended that it would be a palpable absurdity to decide that the right of voting for the borough of Clitheroe should extend to the parish containing 84,000 inhabitants. Another hon. Gentleman wished to communicate the franchise only to the parochial chapelry, which was said to contain three townships and 4,000 inhabitants. He would only repeat, that the framers of the Bill founded their measures upon documents which were above all suspicion—namely, the population returns of 1821—and by them they would abide.

Mr. Croker

said, that on referring to the returns, he found that the population of Clitheroe, within the three townships, contained the requisite number of inhabitants to save the borough from disfranchisement. That argument, though he considered it unanswered, was not his, but the argument of his hon. and learned friend.

Mr. Cust

said, that the statements which he had made were deduced from the official documents on the Table of the House.

Mr. Praed

was not surprised at the violent personal attacks of the right hon. Gentleman, when he noticed how he was cheered on by those around him. The right hon. Gentleman, in attacking others, had twice already departed from order, he appearing to have no other guide but his own will and pleasure. The supporters of the measure were bound to preserve consistency of principle and argument throughout it; but it did not follow, that all those who were adverse to it should oppose it on one ground, and the charge of inconsistency against them was unfounded. He contended, that the parochial chapelry of Clitheroe ought to be taken as part of the borough; and, in that case, it would have the requisite population, as the townships contained in 1821 a population sufficient to entitle the borough to retain its two Representatives. That statement rested on official authority, and he must hear some statement more convincing and conclusive than he had yet heard, before he concurred in the motion.

Lord J. Russell

said, that it appeared by the population returns, that the borough contained no more than 3,213 inhabitants; and he thought it would be absurd to add to the borough certain townships which really had no connexion with it. An hon. and learned Gentleman on the other side of the House had employed harsh words against the members of his Majesty's Government. He had endeavoured, by some sort of quibble or other, to show that certain boroughs ought to have been put in the disfranchising schedules, which it was clear, from the obvious meaning of the rules of the Bill, never could be included. The hon. and learned Gentleman seemed to think, by appealing to the country, that his arguments would be approved of by the people, but that appeal would be attended with a very different effect from what the hon. and learned Gentleman supposed. The country would see through his arguments; the country would see, that the hon. and learned Gentleman's play upon words, and his endeavours to make distinctions where there was really no difference, were merely attempts to gain time. The common sense of the country would distinguish between the conduct of those who were honestly persisting in the Reform measure as it was originally formed, and the course of proceeding adopted by the hon. and learned Gentleman.

Sir C. Wetherell

said, that it appeared to him that the hon. Secretary for Ireland had assumed a tone and a station in that House far above what properly belonged to him. He had assumed a vigour beyond himself; but if the hon. Secretary could sustain that station, and if the noble Lord (Lord J. Russell) could find success in dealing out censures on those opposed to him, then let them do so. The hon. Secretary for Ireland had addressed to him (Sir G. Wetherell) rather free-spoken terms. Was the hon. Secretary aware of the terms which he had used towards him (Sir C. Wetherell)? Perhaps the hon. Secretary had forgotten them. ["Question."] He would tell hon. Members who cried out "Question," that he would allow no man to attack him without making a defence. The hon. Secretary for Ireland, he conceived, had exhibited a want of temper in the discussion, and had put him in mind of Mr. Burke's observation, that new power, and in new hands, was apt to be abused. But he begged leave to inform the hon. Secretary, who had lately become one of the Cabinet Ministers, that with his duty as Minister was not combined censorship over the Members of that House. The House would probably remember, that the first Lord of the Admiralty had, on one occasion, designated a certain well-known Member of that House by the title of Ajax flagellifer. And the right hon. Secretary for Ireland appeared now to have taken that office upon himself, but he must tell the right hon. Secretary that the desire to be the Ajax flagellifer of the House would not ensure him success, he must also possess the requisite strength and ability. The right hon. Secretary, who had not answered one of the arguments which had been brought forward, might possess a good deal of the disposition of a flagellifer, but he did not think that the right hon. Secretary was much of an Ajax. He hoped, therefore, that while the Bill was being discussed, the right hon. flagellifer would hang up his whip-cord, and that the noble Lord would restrain his dull censures, for do what they might, they would not prevent him from discharging his duty. The noble Lord (Lord J. Russell) had taunted him with an appeal to the people; but he did not believe that the people would taunt him for performing his duty. He would tell the noble Lord, that he had been applied to repeatedly to follow the course he had done, and that he would appeal to the people with as much confidence as the noble Lord himself. The noble Lord also assumed a vigour beyond his power, when he presumed to tell him that he brought forward cases for the purpose of delay. He called upon the noble Lord to shew what those cases were. He had taken part in cases brought forward by others, but of his own spontaneous motion he had originated none. The noble Lord was a candidate for democratic popularity. He (Sir C. Wetherell) was desirous to close the flood-gates against the democracy and jacobinism which this Bill encouraged.

Sir G. Murray

said, that in other places the parish had been added to the borough, and he saw no reason why, in the present case, the chapelry might not be added to Clitheroe. It had the same name as the borough; the rule laid down ought to be applied here, but it was then asked, "can you make up the population by so doing." He was of opinion they could. In one set of papers they had the townships of the chapelry, and from the census they had the population of these townships. The only answer which had been given was, that the population of the borough itself was under 4,000.

Lord Althorp

said, that he was unwilling to allude to the discussion which had preceded the observations made by the gallant Officer (Sir G. Murray); but he must state his opinion, that the estimation of the talents of his right hon. friend (Mr. Stanley) would not depend on the fiat of the hon. and learned Gentleman. It did not appear to him that his hon. friend had lost his temper; and as for strong language, he believed that no man made use of stronger language than the hon. and learned Member himself. He really thought that the hon. and learned Member would be the last man to object to strong expressions, if he only recollected the language which he had employed previous to the hon. Secretary for Ireland rising to speak. With respect to the borough of Clitheroe, it was marked in the population returns as containing a certain amount of inhabitants; and he did not think, that the House would consent to add the townships to the borough, in order to make up the requisite number. It would be against the rule hitherto acted upon to include the whole population of the parish of Whalley, merely because the borough was situated in one part of it. Northallerton had been referred to, and though the argument might be good to disfranchise that place, it certainly did not justify the preservation of Clitheroe.

Mr. Baring

expressed his conviction, that there was no intention on the part of his hon. friends near him to throw any unnecessary obstacle in the way of the Bill. He certainly thought, that the whole of this important subject would be more fully and more fairly discussed, and sooner be brought to a termination, if all personalities were abstained from on both sides. For himself, although he certainly objected to the sweeping principle of the measure, yet, the House having decided on its adoption, he acquiesced, and merely reserved his right to sit judicially for the purpose of determining whether the cases which were brought before the Committee actually came within the operation of the Bill. Now he must say, that he thought a case had been made out for allowing Clitheroe to retain the right of returning two Members to Parliament. He was not for taking in the whole parish; but he was of opinion, that the townships of which the chapelry of Clitheroe consisted, ought to be included in the estimate of population. It was undeniable, that the three townships formed one parish.

Mr. Praed

wished to know, for the benefit of the discussion of future cases, on what exact point it was, that the noble author of the Bill grounded his objection to exclude Clitheroe from the operation of the Bill. Did the noble Lord reject the evidence of the population of the three townships? or did he, admitting that evidence, ground his objection on the difference between a church and a chapel?

Lord John Russell

said, that the proposition to exclude Clitheroe from the operation of the Bill was founded on a principle not before advanced; and that, if it were adopted, it would create an injurious precedent.

Mr. Praed

complained, that the noble Lord had not answered his question, which he begged leave, therefore, to repeat.

Lord Althorp

thought the answer of his noble friend perfectly satisfactory. His noble friend had stated, that the principle on which it was proposed to exclude Clitheroe from the operation of the Bill, was a principle which had not yet been acted upon; and that the adoption of it would create a new and injurious precedent.

Sir C. Wetherell

maintained, that the principles of the friends of the measure involved confusion upon confusion. They opposed taking either the parish in which Clitheroe was situated, or the townships of which the chapelry was composed. If they thought the parish too large, then there were the townships, which were of a more limited extent. But the noble Lord would take neither, but preferred depriving the borough of one of its Members. Let that fact go to the British people, and let them judge of it.

Mr. Praed

was not satisfied with the answer he had received, for it was an important fact, that the inhabitants of the chapelry paid their poor rates exclusively to the borough.

Lord Althorp

said, it was not the principle of the Bill to take in part of a parish to make up the required population, and the House must decide whether they were to depart from this in the present instance.

Mr. I. L Knight

said, that before the question was put, the Committee would, perhaps, consider him entitled, as a personal attack had been made upon him by a right hon. Gentleman, to make a few observations in reply. Great as was his personal respect for the talents and private character of the right hon. Gentleman in question, he could justly add, that the more highly he valued that right hon. Gentleman's talents and character, the more he respected his censure. For he knew well, that the right hon. Gentleman would not have made a personal attack upon him, unless he lacked argument; unless he felt that there was something in his (Mr. Knight's) observations, the legitimate means of answering which were not at hand. The higher, therefore, his respect for the right hon. Gentleman, and for his station, the higher he valued the right hon. Gentleman's talents and private character, the more he valued the right hon. Gentleman's censure. But although he entertained a sincere respect for the right hon. Gentleman's talents and private character, he entertained as sincere a detestation of the principles of the Cabinet to which the right hon. Gentleman belonged. Speaking, therefore, to the right hon. Gentleman in his Ministerial capacity, he would say to him, with reference to the strong remarks in which he had indulged:— ————Non me tua fervida terrent Dicta, ferox: Dii me terrent, et Jupiter hostis. The Gods of the right hon. Gentleman and his political friends were the Gods of the Gallery, and of these he was afraid.

The question agreed to, and Clitheroe was ordered to stand part of the clause.

The next question was, "that the borough of Cockermouth stand part of schedule B."

Sir James Scarlett

said, there were circumstances in the case of Cockermouth which ought to exempt that borough from disfranchisement. He said this looking at the rule as laid down by the noble Lord, and without reference at all to the propriety or the impropriety of that rule. By the population returns of 1821 it appeared that in the borough of Cockermouth itself there was a population of 3,790; and, that in the parish in which the borough was situated, there was a population of 6,037. It appeared, also, that the number of 101. houses exceeded the number required by the rule of his noble friend. Thus, then, the borough of Cockermouth was clearly entitled to return two Members under the rules of the noble Lord; and in confirmation of this he would refer to the manner in which some other boroughs had been treated. Leominster had been taken out of schedule B, and was to be allowed to send two Members to that House. By the returns of 1821 it appeared that the population of the borough of Leominster was 3,611, and that of the whole parish 4,646; therefore Cockermouth had the advantage over Leominster. According to the same returns, the population of the borough of Morpeth, which had been taken out of schedule B, was 3,415, and that of the whole parish 4,292. Again, Cockermouth had the advantage as compared with Morpeth. Northallerton had also originally stood in schedule B, but it did not now appear there. In 1821 the population of the borough of Northallerton, by the returns, was 3,326, and that of the whole parish 4,431. In this case then, as well as in those of Morpeth and of Leominster, Cockermouth had a considerable majority of inhabitants. Westbury was another borough which had been taken out of schedule B, and was to have the full complement of Members. What was the population of Westbury? By the returns of 1821 the population of the borough was 3,117, and that of the whole parish 5,846. From these returns, then, it would appear, that Cockermouth had a decided advantage in population over Morpeth, Leominster, Northallerton, and Westbury; and it would also be found to have as great an advantage in point of the number of 10l. houses it contained, as compared with the number of 10l. houses in those different places. If the question, then, at issue was simply as to which of these boroughs had the best claim to return two Members to that House, adopting the rules laid down by his noble friend, there could be no manner of doubt as to which would have the priority. In the estimation of every rational man, Cockermouth would be considered to have a better claim than any of the other boroughs he had referred to. But there was a distinction in the cases, and that distinction he understood to be this—the parishes in which Leominster, Westbury, Morpeth, and Northallerton were situated, bore the same names as the boroughs did, whereas the parish in which Cockermouth was situated was called Brigham. That was the only point, as far as he knew, that could be urged against the borough of Cockermouth. His noble friend might say, that the comparisons he had made might furnish very good arguments for placing the fortunate boroughs referred to in schedule B, but they were of no value as used for the removal of Cockermouth from that schedule. Cockermouth had a population of less than 4,000 persons in 1821, and therefore it fell within the general rule laid down. True, it did so; and if that rule had been invariably acted upon, if all boroughs falling within it had met with one common fate, there would have been no ground except for a general and common objection; but if that rule had been departed from, and exceptions had been made, then each borough had a right to look to the principle upon which those exceptions had been justified by the framers of the Bill. If the measure was to be at all in accordance with reason or common sense, this was evidently the course that ought to be followed. He had understood that, in order to avoid any charge of partiality or undue favour, his noble friend had determined on adhering to the population returns of 1821, and if in those returns the population of any borough was mixed up and blended with the population of the parish, such borough was to have the benefit of such return. In consequence of this arrangement it was, that Calne was to continue to send two Members to that House. Now he begged to say, that the population returns of 1821, as applying to Leominster, Morpeth, Northallerton, and Westbury, did in every instance distinguish the population of the borough from the population of the parish. It could not, therefore, be upon the ground that the population of the parish was returned distinct from the population of the borough that Cockermouth was placed in schedule B. That clearly could not be the reason, for if it were, then Leominster, Morpeth, Northallerton, and Westbury must be placed also in schedule B. No, the ground must have been, that the parish and the borough, the acknowledged capital of the parish, had different names; Cockermouth was the name of the borough, and Brigham the name of the parish. Now he did not wish to use hard words or to call hard names, but really there was something so extraordinarily absurd in this distinction that he scarcely knew how to speak of it. One rule laid down by the House was, that a borough, including the parish, to be entitled to return two Members to that House, should have a population of 4,000 persons, and that population he had shewn Cockermouth to have. Another rule laid down by the House was, that a borough, to be entitled to return two Members, should contain above 300 10l. houses. That rule the borough of Cockermouth complied with; it had above 300 10l. houses. And in the third place, the parish and borough of Cockermouth were in a thriving condition. In Cockermouth there were no signs of decay; but, on the contrary, the population at the present moment was above 5,000. If, then, the franchise was to be given to things, and not to names, Cockermouth had a better claim to it than Leominster, Morpeth, Northallerton, and Westbury. This was the fact, and he was at a loss to understand how such a proceeding could be defended. Sure he was, that reason would be but of little assistance to the advocates of this Bill; and really it appeared to him, that when this measure came to be considered in days more propitious to reason than these dog-days were, the condemnation of the Bill would be unequivocal. Upon the propriety of the rule laid down he would not then say any thing, however badly he might think of it. At that moment it was the duty of the Committee to endeavour to make the details of the Bill consistent with the rule adopted. He had done his duty; he had laid the facts of the case before the Committee; and although from what had passed he had little expectation that they would be much attended to, that was not a consideration which would have justified him in with holding them.

Lord John Russell

said, the case of Cockermouth was the counterpart of that which had just gone before it. Ministers decided against the borough, upon the principle of a defective population. The parish of Brigham, in which the borough was situated, was a distinct community. The borough contained a population of only 3,790 persons, and, of course, was not exempted from a place in schedule B.

Sir C. Wetherell

contended, that the portion of the parish in which the borough stood was, in fact, united with the other portion which Ministers excluded, although the two divisions of what he argued to be one parish went by different names. He thought, accordingly, that Ministers ought to show the same favour to Cockermouth which had been voluntarily extended to other boroughs. The returns were not made with any knowledge of the uses they were to be put to, and probably the exact population of the various boroughs was not, correctly given. It was hard, therefore, that they should take such returns as their guide. If it were shown, that taxes and population had increased since 1821, it was treated as of no importance in the arbitrary distinctions laid down, and which were as arbitrarily broken through by the framers of the Bill. This was one case which although it went for nothing in that House, would tell for something elsewhere.

Mr. Lowther

said, after the decisions which had been come to in the cases of other boroughs, it was of no use to speak for Cockermouth.

Mr. Herries

thought, that the hon. Gentleman was mistaken in supposing that the case of Cockermouth was to be decided on the same grounds as Clitheroe. In the latter case it was urged in reply to the proposition of throwing the borough open to the parish, that it contained a very large and peculiar population, and on that account Clitheroe was continued in schedule B. It was not until after repeated inquiries that it was understood, that when boroughs and parishes bore the same name, the population of both would be taken as one. In the case of Clitheroe it was asserted, that if the chapelry were admitted they must also admit two or three other townships. This was an additional reason for including Clitheroe in schedule B. The present question was altogether different, for Cockermouth had not the same name as the parish in which it stood. This was the first case to be decided on that principle. No arguments had been used, or reasons given, why the borough of Cockermouth had not as good a right to continue to return two Representatives as Buckingham, the claim of which had been allowed, but the mere dictation and arbitrary will of those who had admitted boroughs where their names, and those of the parish where they were situated, were the same. He should, therefore, in principle, vote that Cockermouth be excluded from schedule B.

Mr. Baring

said, the country might be desirous and anxious for Reform, but it was impossible the country could wish injustice to be committed. Cockermouth was part of the parish of Brigham, and they were one and the same parish. There was a part of Westminster called the Savoy, but for all purposes of population and jurisdiction it was included in Westminster. The distinction, therefore, made in this case was unjust. Cockermouth was a thriving place; by the present census, it had 5,000 inhabitants, although it contained less than 4,000 in 1821. To leave Cockermouth in schedule B, would be acting partially. The case was, in fact, more strong than that of Saltash, for which Ministers had voted the other evening; and in all respects similar to that of Horsham.

Lord Althorp

contended, that strict justice had been done, and denied the similarity. For Cockermouth was a seperate vicarage, and had a separate church. The parish church of Brigham was four miles from Cockermouth. They had separate rates and assessments for the divisions. Brigham parish was extensive, and divided into four townships, one of which was called Cockermouth, and was recognized as the borough. The case was altogether different from Saltash, where there was only one church and parish.

Mr. Croker

could shew, that the noble Lord was mistaken, for the population returns united Cockermouth and Brigham in the same way, and by the same words, that other parishes had been specified which had been allowed to have the advantage of the parish population. The return was thus made "the borough of Cockermouth contains 3,790 inhabitants, but the whole parish of Brigham contains 6,700." The case was precisely similar to that of Horsham, for in a note to that parish it was said, it was divided into three parts, one being the borough, the other two outparts, and because the whole parish contained 5,000 inhabitants, it was to return two Members. The noble Lord might easily draw a line where others could make no distinction, but it appeared to him, that the two cases were precisely similar. As the parish of Brigham, in which Cockermouth stood, would alone furnish a sufficient population, he must ask, whether a pistinction was to be made between Cockermout and Calne, because the parish had a different name, or whether they were both to be treated alike, since the returns from both were made in a precisely similar manner?

Mr. Blamire

said, the parish of Brigham was very large, and contained thirteen townships, of which Cockermouth was one. It included four parochial chapelries, of which Cockermouth also was one. It was said, the town contained 4,000 inhabitants, but the returns only gave 3,790. The limits of the borough were well defined and understood, and however anxious the inhabitants might be for its removal from this schedule, they did not pretend that, its limits were co-extensive with the townships. He therefore thought Cockermouth could make no claim to exception from schedule B. He must, at the same time, bear witness to the respectability of the constituency that would be there created under the operation of the Reform Bill. He knew no place more deserving of two Members, if respectability and independence were to decide the question; but he thought Ministers were bound to adhere to the principle they had laid down.

Mr. Baring

said, from the statements he had heard, he thought it but fair to state, that the case of the borough, as he had conceived it was much weakened.

Mr. Croker

begged to inform the hon. member for Cumberland, that all he had said bore precisely on the case of Horsham, which was divided into three parts, one of which only comprised the borough. He, therefore, was in favour of Cockermouth retaining its two Representatives, as under the same circumstances, Horsham had been allowed to retain its two.

Mr. Attwood

considered the statements of the hon. member for Cumberland to be in favour of the borough. They could not consider this case without reference to other places similarly circumstanced. Morpeth had been removed from schedule B, without any discussion, at the sole dictation of Government. That borough had only about 3,200 inhabitants by the returns of 1821, while Cockermouth had 3,790, and was then and now a more important place than Morpeth. In going into the evidence, it was found, that Morpeth was the name of the parish, and it had several townships, and including some of these, they continued the franchise to the borough. Brigham was a parish much larger and more important than Morpeth, and yet because the borough situated within it was called Cockermouth, it was to be partially disfranchised. The distinction was only in the name, and was most absurd. A similar absurdity, or a similar partiality, existed in taking the population returns of the two parishes. They had taken townships not at all connected with the borough of Morpeth, and yet, after that proceeding, the population of Morpeth amounted to only 4,290 persons.

Lord Althorp

said, the hon. Member was mistaken, and had been proved so the other night, as to the manner in which the population of Morpeth had been made up. The population bordering upon the town was 4,292, and all contained in the same parish. If the distant townships had been included, the population of Morpeth would have amounted to 5,280.

Mr. Cutlar Ferguson

said, it appeared to him that the real question before the Committee was, what ought to be done with Cockermouth. It was perfectly immaterial how Horsham or Morpeth had been disposed of. The ground on which he should vote was the population of the borough, for there the constituency must be found. Schedule B was not closed, and if any motion was made to insert any other boroughs therein, he should be ready to examine that question on its own merits.

Sir Robert Peel

said, he should certainly spare the time of the Committee, as he thought it unnecessary to trouble them after what had occurred last night in the case of Chippenham, when it was proved to the satisfaction of every man in the House—["No, no!"] He felt it rather extraordinary that he should be interrupted in the middle of a sentence, when it could not be known to hon. Members what he had to say. What he intended to have said was, that it was proved to the satisfaction of every Member of that House, that no dependence could be placed on the returns of 1821. It was proved with regard to one point, that l06 houses of that place had been left out of the returns, and yet the Committee had refused to hear any evidence as to how that error had arisen. His determination was taken, not to trouble the Committee with any details concerning schedule B, for he now despaired, whatever case should be made out, of the Committee, doing any thing but condemning all the boroughs in the schedule.

Mr. Hunt

objected altogether to this schedule; the whole of the boroughs in it he thought ought to be disfranchised. It was a well-known fact, that perjury was so commonly practised in the small boroughs, that witnesses were frequently selected from such places in order to give false evidence at Sessions and Assizes.

Mr. Baring

believed, that greater and more extensive perjury was committed, in proportion as places had large bodies of constituents. That was proved in the case of Liverpool. He had been surprised at the language of the hon. member for Kirkcudbright, who had declared, that similar cases were not to be judged of on the same principles, and that the House was not to be guided by precedents.

Mr. Cutlar Ferguson

had mentioned Horsham and Morpeth, because they had not been brought before the House, but had been decided by Ministers, and it was a waste of time, therefore, for hon. Gentlemen to allude to them,

Mr. Baring

recommended the Committee to abide by the advice of the hon. Gentleman, and not attend to the decision of Ministers.

Mr. Hunt

said, as Liverpool had been alluded to, he would maintain that it would be a gross robbery to disfranchise these places, and allow Liverpool to continue to return Members.

The Committee divided. For the Motion 233; Against it 151—Majority 82.

The next question was, "that Dorchester stand part of schedule B."

Lord Ashley

said, that before the question was put, he wished to state a few facts, after which he should leave the question in the hands of the Committee. He should wish to know on what principle the noble Lord proceeded, whether on that of property, or population? If he proceeded on that of population alone, then it must be admitted, that Dorchester was not entitled to be excepted. It had, it was true, only a population of about 2,743, but it had 500 voters. Moreover, it was entitled to some consideration as it was a county-town; and, besides this, though its population was small, it was of a very thriving kind. As a proof of this, he might mention, that there were no less than 333 houses of above 10l. a year rent in the town. He wished to know, then, on what principle it was, that the noble Lord proposed to put the borough of Dorchester into schedule B? In some instances the noble Lord took population, in others he took property, as the standard. If he were to disfranchise this borough, even partially, as now proposed, he would be excluding the consideration of property, and going solely upon the principle of population, for the borough itself possessed thirty-three above the mystic number of 10l. houses required by the noble Lord. Fordington was a part of Dorchester, as much as the parish which had been formerly alluded to was a part of the borough of Woodstock. It was, in fact, impossible to distinguish between them. If they were allowed to be united, then, both in respect of population and of property, the noble Lord would be bound to let Dorchester retain its two Members, for the two places, taken together, possessed, as it appeared by the returns of 1821, a population of above 4,000. It was true, that Fordington was not within the limits of the borough of Dorchester; but then it was so closely adjoining to it, that, for the purposes of this Bill, they might well be united together. Why might not Fordington be added to Dorchester, as Falmouth had been added to Penryn, and Walmer to Deal? Both these places were at a greater distance from the towns to which they had been united, than was Fordington from the borough of Dorchester. In fact, Fordington was as much part of Dorchester, as Marylebone was part of London. He ought also to mention, with respect to the conduct of the burgesses of Dorchester, that they had never returned a stranger who came among them recommended by his purse alone, but had always returned gentlemen connected with the county by the large possessions they held in it. He was sure that the borough was, in no degree, a nomination borough. There was no one of property in the borough sufficiently predominant to command the return of any Member for the borough. No one could command such an influence; for the principal population of the borough were persons of property, and many of them resided on their own property. The conduct of the constituency of that borough never had been such as to justify the Government in placing it in schedule B. He had been connected with the borough for so many years, that he should not do justice to his feelings if he did not say what he knew in the favour of his constituents. He had spoken to his father on the subject, and his father asserted on his honour, that during two elections, in which there had been a strong opposition, he had never given anything to the inhabitants of the borough for their votes. He himself had sat in two Parliaments as the Representative of that borough, and he was anxious to declare, that he never had been asked for a favour by those who returned him, and he was sorry to say, that he never had had it in his power to confer a favour on any one of his constituents. He felt bound to speak thus of constituents from whom he was now about to be separated; and he did assure the Committee, that in his conscience he believed the electors of Dorchester to be free from any imputation of corruption. As compared with six other boroughs that were allowed to retain two Members each, the names of which boroughs he would not mention, lest it might appear invidious, Dorchester contained a far greater number of 10l. houses than either of them. In fact, Dorchester contained sixty more 10l. houses than the highest of those six boroughs. United, therefore, with Fordington, it would afford at once the requisite amount of population, and the requisite number of 10l. houses to entitle it still to retain its two Members; and feeling, as he did, proud of the honour which the electors of Dorchester had conferred upon him, and of which he was now to be deprived, he would assert, without fear of contradiction, that it was out of the power of his Majesty's Ministers, or any other set of men, to create a more excellent constituency than that which Dorchester now boasted. As this probably was the last Parliament in which he should sit for that place, he deemed it right to make this statement in favour of his constituents.

Lord Althorp

said, the noble Lord was the last man in that House to whom he would attribute any corrupt or improper election proceeding. The noble Lord had observed, that he considered himself on this occasion as taking leave of his constituents. He did not, however, think that such was the case, because the noble Lord's character always stood so high, that it would induce any body of constituents with whom he might happen to be connected, still to give him their honest support. The noble Lord admitted that, taking the rule of population, there was no case for Dorchester. "But," observed the noble Lord, "you ought, with respect to this borough, to adopt the mixed principle of population and property, which you have laid down in other instances." What Ministers, however, had stated was, that they would adopt population as the basis upon which Members were to be returned to Parliament, but that, when they found the constituency defective, they would then look to property as an essential point. Deal and Walmer had been attached to Sandwich, and Falmouth to Penryn, upon this very principle, the towns thus joined being large, wealthy, and populous. That, however, was not the case with reference to Fordington. The noble Lord said, that this was not a nomination borough. That might be so. He knew that some of the boroughs which this Bill would affect were not nomination boroughs; but Ministers hoped, that the alterations now proposed, as they would prevent inconsiderable places from sending Members to Parliament, would effectually put a stop to that system out of which nomination boroughs had grown. Upon these grounds he could not consent to remove Dorchester from schedule B.

Mr. R. Williams

supported the proposition for taking Dorchester out of schedule B. He had represented that borough for twenty-five years, and he could decidedly say, that it was not a nomination borough. He had been elected by the free votes of the burgesses, although, when he first started as a candidate, he did not own a single house in the town. The electors at present amounted to above 500, and they were free and independent. Under this Bill they would only amount to about 300. If any thing could, therefore, make Dorchester a corrupt borough, this Bill would do it.

Sir G. Warrender

said, that the borough which he had the honour to represent (Honiton) was the only other place in schedule B that had the number of 10l. houses (exceeding 300) which the noble Lord had laid down as the rule. It appeared that Dorchester had 333 10l. houses, and 500 electors, while the borough which he represented had 550 resident electors, and upwards of 300 10l. houses. So that, in these two instances, there was a sufficient constituency without going elsewhere to look for one. Under the new plan, several boroughs, the names of which he did not wish to mention, would still send two Members to Parliament, though they did not contain so many 10l. houses as Dorchester and Honiton. In one of them the number of 10l. houses was 227, in another 225, a third 225, a fourth 208, and Sandwich 225. With respect to this last place, it would become, under this Bill, a very snug nomination borough, in the hands of the Admiralty. This he could state positively, on his own knowledge of the borough, which he had represented in two Parliaments. All these boroughs to which he had referred would, in fact, be nothing but nomination boroughs. And most assuredly, if he were returned for Honiton in a Reformed Parliament, he would attack those nomination boroughs. A most arbitrary and unjust rule had been adopted by the Government in framing this measure. He did not mean to impute improper motives to them, but certainly the course they pursued would have the effect of creating a great number of nomination boroughs. This schedule would, in his opinion, be the death of the Bill. He admitted, that the majority of the public were with the noble Lord; but when they proceeded to disfranchise 5,000 or 6,000 electors, against whom no complaint was made, and when the result was only to create nomination boroughs, to what conclusion would the country come, when it ultimately began to reason on this subject? He did not impute improper motives to the noble Lord opposite, nor to any other hon. Member, but he must still say, that this Bill would have the effect of transferring the nomination boroughs from one family to another. This was the case particularly with Amersham—and, as far as he could form an opinion, he believed the electors would sooner be disfranchised altogether. There were so many anomalies in schedule B, that he believed it would at last be the death of the Bill. It was well known, that he had not given any factious opposition to Ministers, and even that he had abstained from proposing his intended amendment at an early stage of the Bill, and this he did for the purpose of avoiding all unnecessary delay; but he could not hear of the disfranchisement of Dorchester, which so nearly resembled the case of Honiton, for which he was the sitting Member, without entering his protest against it. He must also object to that plan by which a roving commission was to be sent through the several counties, for the purpose of subdividing them at pleasure. He hoped the noble Lord would reconsider this case, and withdraw Dorchester from the schedule.

Mr. G. Bankes

said, the House could not very well spare two such intelligent Members as now represented Dorchester. One of them (Mr. Williams), who had been connected with that place for twenty-five years, proved that it was not a nomination borough. He was not the owner of a single house in the town, but he was elected on account of the high character and reputation which he bore in the county, where he was well known. The Chancellor of the Exchequer had expressed a wish that the noble Lord (Ashley) should be again returned for Dorchester; but surely that noble person could have no reason for desiring that the other Member should be excluded. It appeared to him that Ministers, in the whole of their proceedings, were mending the Constitution with one hand, while they were making holes in it with the other. He did not understand why Sandwich and Penryn were suffered to remain, while places of at least as much importance were wholly or partially disfranchised, except that, in these cases, Ministers were acting on a conservative principle, and sparing certain boroughs to which they or their friends might have access. He was the more especially inclined to believe that this was the case, because the noble Paymaster seemed to have put forth his feelers on this point, when he said, that after the Bill was passed, it would be for the House to consider, if they thought fit, whether any alteration should be made with respect to the manner in which those who had accepted of office should take their seats in that House. Fordington ought to be joined to Dorchester, as Deal and Walmer were coupled with Sandwich, and Falmouth with Penryn. The rights of individuals should not be sacrificed to mere technicalities; and he could see no reason why, in several instances, Ministers had adhered to ecclesiastical divisions in administering civil affairs. When the Attorney General carried them back to the days of purity, to the time of Alfred, he ought to have recollected, that this country then had divisions of hundreds and tithings with respect to civil matters, while the division of parishes related solely to ecclesiastical affairs. Dorchester had been rightly described as the county-town of a flourishing district, and certainly it ought not to be partially disfranchised as it possessed a proper constituency.

Sir R. Peel

thought, that there were very good reasons for giving to the borough of Dorchester the advantage of its connection with Fordington. The two places were one continuous town. Although Fordington was not in the borough, yet it constituted a part of the town; and according to the principle by which Ministers had been guided, there appeared good ground for constituting an exception in favour of Dorchester. But supposing that were not the case, then he admitted that the population of Dorchester was not sufficient to exempt it from the line laid down by the noble Lord; but in making that admission, he clearly proved the absurdity of that line, because a borough was about to be disfranchised which it was admitted was most perfect. He would call the attention of the House to what he considered a more important principle. The constituency of Dorchester consisted of every inhabitant householder who contributed to the local charges. These in number amounted to 500; but the new rule would deprive the town of 200 of these, and would confine the constituency to 300 votes. It might be said, that he was stating this for the purpose of exciting dissatisfaction amongst those who would be disfranchised by this Bill; but he wished explicitly to declare, that he would never ally himself with those whose object was to excite dissatisfaction amongst any class whatever. He must say, however, that it was a fatal error in this Bill, that when the opportunity offered of maintaining the connection between the wealthy class of voters, and that class which was above pauperism, but below the line of being 10l. householders, they neglected it, and thus lost the fair opportunity of softening the harshness of the arbitrary line which they had laid down. The Government ought to have, in this instance, given the franchise to all those who were above pauperism. He did not mean to say by this that the people had the right to the elective franchise, for all they had a right to was to be well governed; but, by refusing the franchise under such circumstances, they were diminishing the chance that this arrangement would be final. It might be alleged that these poorer householders would be more open to bribery; but he could truly say, that, as far as his experience went, they were not in the least more open to bribery than the voters for residences of 10l. value. The House had only to look at Liverpool to be convinced of that fact. He did not mean to contend for the indiscriminate admission of all the class of voters to whom he alluded, for he was aware that in manufacturing districts the franchise to 10l. householders would be almost equivalent to Universal Suffrage. The very ground, therefore, on which he would refuse the franchise to householders under 10l. in a manufacturing town, would be the same as that on which he would desire to continue it to Dorchester. The rule laid down of 10l. qualifications would admit in one place a lower class of voters than could be found in the 5l. houses of the other. Here there was a case in which Ministers might, with perfect safety, have permitted 500 householders to preserve their franchise; and, so far from disfranchising the borough, he thought that they ought to have seized the opportunity of continuing to it its present privileges as soon as they discovered that they could do so without violating their own arbitrary rule.

Mr. John Stanley

said, that the discussion of that evening was a proof that any concession, no matter how fair and just, only led to demands for farther concessions, which had nothing of fairness or justice in them; and he was convinced, that if what had been asked, with regard to Appleby, had been granted, instead of being, as it had been, most justly and righteously refused, there would not have been a single borough in schedule A, with regard to which similar claims would not have been put forward, and there would not have been a single borough retained in schedule B. He could not help congratulating the hon. member for Corfe Castle (Mr. G. Bankes) upon his constitutional fears, lest, by any alteration in the existing law, Members, on accepting office, should not necessarily be sent back to their constituents; and that so great, popular, and constitutional a control, over the appointment of a Ministry, should be lost. But where did the hon. Member find that control under the present system? Did not the hon. Member recollect, that when a right hon. Baronet opposite was rejected by his constituents at Oxford, he took refuge in the small borough of Westbury? ["hear" from the Opposition.] If the Gentlemen opposite would be good enough to listen, they would find his argument was not at all favourable to their views upon this subject [renewed cries of "hear" from the Opposition.] Let the Gentlemen opposite cheer what he was about to say now. Could it make any difference—with regard to this supposed popular control—whether a Minister sat in that House ex-officio, or whether a Minister were turned over to the patron of a nomination borough, to be returned by such patron? Did the hon. member for Corfe Castle mean to say, that a man was sent back to his constituents, and that a popular check and control were exercised, when that man, having vacated his seat for one place, was returned for Westbury, or any similar borough? With regard to the case now before them, the population of Dorchester, it was admitted, did not come up to the line which had been laid down; and as Ministers must by this time have seen, that one concession would only have the effect of provoking demands for another, he did trust, that they would adhere rigidly to that line, both in the case of this, and of every other borough.

Lord Ashley

said, that Dorchester, including the liberty of Fordington, contained 4,018 inhabitants, and they were so closely united that a stranger would suppose them to be one town.

Mr. Baring

said, the hon. Gentleman who addressed the Committee last but one, had laboured to prove that Dorchester in 1821 did not contain 4,000 inhabitants. If, however, that fact could be made out, they were entitled to the support of the hon. Member, and that of his hon. friend, the member for Kirkcudbright. The whole country would see, that the borough of Dorchester, having a constituency of 500 electors, was to be cut down to 300; consequently such a measure could not be considered the best means of giving the people better Representatives. It was a serious thing to take away the elective franchise from the poorer classes. The Bill did the reverse of what it should do. It gave Universal Suffrage in the large manufacturing towns, and curtailed the right of voting in small towns. With respect to the borough of Dorchester, he could only say if Major Cartwright had brought forth the extraordinary measure it might not have been considered so wonderful, but that Ministers should lay down a plan to disfranchise the great county towns of England, such as Dorchester, Guildford, and Appleby, was beyond any thing visionary in the most visionary enthusiast. An hon. Gentleman had said, they had been spoiled by concession. That was certainly an extraordinary doctrine. Some few Gentlemen were to alter the Constitution of England, and a large portion of the Commons of England were not to say they were wrong. If they called for alteration of an extravagant plan, they were to be told, "Oh, no; we will make no concession." When the people of England recovered their reason, and found the Ministers disfranchising their county towns, they would, as they ought, protest against the whole proceeding.

The Attorney General

said, that it was extremely difficult for Gentlemen on his side of the House to know by what course they could give satisfaction to hon. Gentlemen opposite. If they made speeches in reply as long as those which provoked them, it was quite clear, that they should be playing the game of their adversaries by that delay. If they did answer, they were overpowered by loud vollies of interruption from that well-bred House, poured in upon them in the middle of their speeches, wilfully mis-stating their arguments, and preventing them from stating their own conclusions. He had hoped his right hon. friend, the member for Knaresborough, had exploded this irrational practice. But, on the contrary, in the course of that very evening, when a new Member and a young man (Mr. J. Stanley), had brought forward observations delivered upon the question, strictly confined to the point, he was stopped, in the midst of them, by cheers and shouts of ridicule. Similar treatment was received last night by a noble Lord: and it proceeded from the friends of order, and abhorrers of all mob proceedings—from a House of Commons, which piqued itself upon politeness and good breeding, and regretted nothing so much in its own dissolution, as the supposed coarseness and vulgarity of its reformed successor. This mode of dealing with arguments, before they were even uttered, created no small difficulty on those, who had to carry on the controversy before such arbiters. Another mode of treating the arguments from that (the Ministerial) side of the House was, by replying, "Oh! that's no answer at all." Now such answers happened to be the best they could give, shortly, indeed, expressed, and not in that plausible and solemn manner, nor at that wearisome length, with which, on the other side, one and the same string of arguments against the Bill were so constantly repeated upon every one of its details. If the Gentlemen on the Ministerial side did give an answer, they were told, that it was no answer at all; and, if they gave no answer, then it was said that, they had none to give. The Gentlemen opposite might continue to pursue this course if they pleased; but then they must allow him and his hon. friends to choose whether they would speak under such circumstances or remain silent. The present question related to placing Dorchester in schedule B; and a new horror was started in the face of that proceeding. The hon. Gentleman who spoke last, had exclaimed, in agony and astonishment, "Good God! you are about to disfranchise a county town." This, however, was a mistake; they were going to do no such thing. They were merely going to deprive a county town of one Member, and they were going to do this because the return of one Member was as much as its fair share in the general Representation of the country. But suppose they had been going to disfranchise a county town, where had the hon. Gentleman (Mr. Baring) found, in his constitutional reading, that there was any necessary connexion between Representation and a county town? Chelmsford, which was the county town of Essex, returned no Members; Mansfield was the county town of Nottinghamshire, and it returned no Members; the same was true of other county towns, and he had never heard, that they were the worse for not returning Members, any more than he had ever heard that Wilton was the more respectable because it did return Members. They had been told, too, that they were sitting now upon a judicial inquiry. This he denied. No fallacy could be greater. They were carrying on a great work of expediency in their legislative capacity; not inquiring, as in a court of justice, whether this town or that was guilty of the crime of falling short of a given number of inhabitants. However, if it were so, then let them see how the Gentlemen on the other side acted, in their judicial capacity. An hon. Baronet (Sir G. Warrender) opposite had told them, that he entreated a fair, calm, and dispassionate consideration of the case of Dorchester; and why? Because the case of Dorchester was the same as the case of the hon. Baronet's own borough. This was the conduct of a disinterested judge; who, if they were sitting upon a judicial inquiry, would undoubtedly be banished from the bench. He could not feel, however, that the cases were so precisely similar. Was Honiton always pure? Had the electors never been bribed? Were they above all suspicion of taking bribes? He believed the hon. Member would not say yes? And now what was the question at present before the Committee? It was this: there had been laid down a certain line, and it was admitted, that Dorchester was below that line. The question, then, was—whether it should lose one of its Members? It was contended that it ought not to lose one of its Members, because, by adding to the population of Dorchester the population of a neighbouring town, a population of 4,018, would be produced. That is, Dorchester and something else amount to 4,000; ergo, Dorchester ought not to be scheduled. The population of Dorchester was below the rule laid down, and, even if Fordington were added, it would only exceed the number of 4,000 by eighteen, and a small number of these a rural population. The borough was placed in schedule B, and it was for those who were desirous of removing it from thence, to prove, that its population was such as to take it out of the rule which governed the Representation under the Bill; but they themselves prove the contrary. An argument had been used by the right hon. member for Tamworth last evening, which seemed calculated to influence this discussion. The northern half of England was to obtain, by the Bill, many more Representatives than the south would obtain. But in drawing his arbitrary line, did it never strike the hon. Member, that the southern counties were still more out of proportion under the present system? Dorsetshire returned twenty Members; Cornwall forty-two; and Wiltshire thirty-four; making nearly 100 Members from three counties. The Representation of Wiltshire alone, exceeded that of Lincolnshire, Lancashire, and Cumberland, while Wiltshire and Cornwall together returned more Members than Yorkshire, Lancashire, Derbyshire, Lincolnshire, Leicestershire, and Cheshire put together, even if some others were added to them. It was from those parts, so over-represented, that the Representation was to be taken away by this Bill, for the purpose of giving it to places the Representation of which was insufficient. The north gained more, because the south had already too much: its over Representation was the very evil to be remedied; and the remedy was called unequal and vicious in its principle! When they were reproached with adhering to their line, he must say, that all the difficulties arose from quitting it. In common consistency, therefore, they were bound to adhere to the line, and between that course, and the utter abandonment of the line, he could perceive no mode of proceeding which would not lead to the most fluctuating, perhaps the most conflicting, results. He fully concurred with the hon. Gentleman (Mr. John Stanley) near him, that one concession only led to demands for another. All the difficulties now in the way of the Bill might be attributed to the concessions made by Ministers, not in the House, but out of doors, in the case of Tamworth, Aldborough, Truro, and other places. He hoped, however, they would be driven into no further concessions by that House, constituted as it was. The right hon. Baronet (Sir R. Peel) opposite had, in speaking of this line, permitted himself to use the word "absurdity;" to speak of the absurdity of the line, which absurdity, according to the right hon. Baronet, consisted in their reducing the constituency of Dorchester from 500 to 300. But, in the first place, the line did no such thing, for all existing rights were preserved during the lifetime of those entitled to those rights, and it would, therefore, be many years before this reduction took place, if ever it took place at all. Then, again, the line was an absurd one, because it passed over a particular class of voters: but, in the name of common sense, must not every line do the same? must not some persons always be excluded, whatever arrangement might be made, if that arrangement stopped short of Universal Suffrage? Nay, even Universal Suffrage must exclude some, for the hon. member for Preston defined it to be the right of all persons, who had attained the age of twenty-one; but might not the young gentlemen of twenty and a half adopt the argument of the right hon. Baronet, and say that they were heartlessly and arbitrarily used by the law? Might not those young gentlemen, who wanted so little of the legal age, who came so near to what they might think the absurd legal line— might not one of these say, as the friends of the borough of Dorchester said, "How hard is my case; I am stronger and taller than my brother, who is twenty-one; I earn more money than he does; I know more than he does; I am in a more flourishing condition than he is; and yet, because I am six months younger, I am not to be allowed a vote, though he has one." The argument of such a gentleman would be quite as good as the argument in favour of Dorchester, and he would have just as much show of reasoning in calling the law heartless, arbitrary, and absurd, as the right hon. Baronet had in applying those epithets to the line which excluded Dorchester from returning two Members to Parliament. In a word, the direct consequence of the right hon. Baronet's argument was, that the suffrage should be universal; for if a line were drawn short of that, there would always be a large number of discontented persons, who would come near the line, and whose claims, therefore, to the suffrage would, by the right hon. Baronet's mode of reasoning, be just and equitable claims. The hon. and learned Gentleman concluded by regretting that hon. Members had not confined their observations to the case before the Committee, and deferred the discussion into which they had embarked until they came to the 10l. clause.

Sir G. Warrender,

in explanation, alluded to the assertion that he had decided against Dorchester, with reference to his own borough of Honiton. He had said, the borough of Honiton was the only borough in the class which could be compared with Dorchester, but he had no intention to prejudge the case of Honiton. He certainly concurred in the praise bestowed on the noble Lord, but the learned Attorney General had attacked his constituents. He wished to ask the learned Attorney General, where he had acquired the art of censuring persons before they were convicted of an offence? He would tell the Attorney General that his constituents were as pure as those of Nottingham. He had been returned as independent as a man could be, and he repelled with disdain the accusations which the Attorney General had thrown out against his constituents. He could understand that a desire prevailed to get rid of close boroughs, but the measure before the House would not effect that purpose. Were the boroughs in schedule B, nomination boroughs? No. His Majesty's Government had destroyed the landmarks of the Constitution. They would drive the vessel of State into unknown and tempestuous seas. The measure was pregnant with danger. Whilst the Ministers were looking with complacency to the result of their Bill, the Statesmen of other countries were looking for the wreck of the Government here, where the libertes of mankind had been long preserved, and where freedom had excited the admiration of the world.

Lord John Russell

complained, that the right hon. Baronet, in his argument against the borough of Dorchester, had brought under discussion a clause which was not regularly before the Committee. He would not then discuss whether scot and lot payers ought to retain their rights for ever. He only rose to beg the Committee not to get upon the quicksands to which the right hon. Baronet and others would drive them. The only question then was, whether Dorchester should return one Member or two. Every thing he had seen induced him to keep as near the line they had drawn as possible. They should confine themselves to the question.

Mr. Croker

observed, that the speech which the noble Lord had just addressed to the House, had but one fault, which was, that it should have been addressed to his Majesty's Attorney General, who certainly had studiously avoided the case of Dorchester, contenting himself with lecturing them on manners and graces. Mirabile dictu! the Attorney General had turned Master of Ceremonies to the House of Commons. Instead of looking to their side of the House to blame them for interruption, the hon. and learned Gentleman should have taken a glance behind him. Would the Attorney General say, he had not on his side a majority of interruption? He was astonished to find the grave Attorney General becoming the tutor of Gentlemen, and professor of graces in the House of Commons. The learned Attorney-General had said, they were not sitting to do justice to the boroughs, and at the moment that argument was urged, the hon. and learned Gentleman complained of interruption. Was it not enough to call forth the exclamation of the hon. Member who interrupted him when the King's Attorney-General told them, when they were dealing with the rights of thousands of persons now living, and disposing of the rights of yet unborn generations, that those rights were not to be dealt with on the principles of justice, and when the grave Attorney General, instead of proving the justice and propriety of so dealing with the people, took it upon himself to lecture the House on politeness—was not that enough to excite merriment, and provoke interruption? He saw the friends of the learned Attorney General at the time look round, and express by gestures that he had gone too far. He never had heard the Attorney General attempt to grapple with the arguments against the Bill. There was the case of Truro, which must be an attractive case, opposed to a lawyer, because it was a case in point—it was a precedent, and lawyers liked to deal with precedents, yet it had been left wholly untouched. It was a proof, that the Attorney General could not grapple with the case. It was said, that Dorchester amounted to 4,018 inhabitants, and the Attorney General, unable to grapple with that fact, made light of it. "After all," said the Attorney General, "it exceeded the amount required by no more than the paltry sum of eighteen." When a line of strict justice had been drawn, the learned Attorney General made light of passing that line by eighteen.

The Attorney General.

—I did not say it was the paltry number of eighteen; I said, hypothetically, if it had been eighteen.

Mr. Croker

could not see much difference. The Attorney General had made light of the excess, because it was no more than eighteen, and it could not alter the impression upon the Attorney General's mind, although it was expressed hypothetically. Dorchester was an ancient town, comprehending three small parishes. The borough, like Truro, was within narrow limits, and the rest of the town was added in the way of suburb. Fordington was a liberty, and bore the same relation to Dorchester, as the liberty of Rye, and of other places, did to the borough. The population of Fordington, was 1,941, which, added to that of the borough, would bring the whole up to 4,600. It would be no more than fair to treat this borough as Truro had been treated.

Mr. Hunt

must differ in one point from the Attorney General. By the Act of Settlement, placeholders had no right to sit in that House. Major Cartwright's hair, it, was said, would stand on end, if he saw this Bill. He denied it, in the first place, because he had no hair. Major Cartwright did not wish to disfranchise any class, but to extend the franchise to all who were unjustly excluded from it. When he saw that the rotten, dirty little borough of Calne was to have two Members, he felt surprised that Dorchester was to have only one. It was to all intents and purposes, a most respectable county-town. He had no doubt, that if they left it in schedule B, it would raise a question in the country as to the justice of their proceedings.

The House divided. Ayes 279; Noes 193—Majority 86.

List of the AYES.
Acheson, Viscount Duncombe, T. S.
Adam, Admiral C. Dundas, Hn. Sir R. L.
Althorp, Viscount Dundas, Hon. J. C.
Anson, Hon. G. Dundas, Hon. Thomas
Astley, Sir J. D. Easthope, J.
Atherley, Arthur Ellice, E.
Baillie, James Evan Ellis, Wynn
Bainbridge, E. T. Etwall, R. jun.
Baring, Sir T. Evans, W.
Baring, F. T. Evans, W. B.
Barnett, C. J. Evans, De Lacy
Bayntun, S. A. Ewart, W.
Belfast, Earl of Fortescue, General
Benett, J. Ferguson, R. C.
Berkeley, Captain Fitzgibbon, Hon. R.
Bernal, R. Fitzroy, Lord J.
Biddulph, R. M. Foley, Hon. T. H.
Blankney, W. Foley, J. H. H.
Blake, Sir F. Folkes, Sir W.
Blamire, W. Fordwich, Viscount
Blount, E. Fox, Lieut-Col.
Blunt, Sir R. C. French, A.
Bodkin, J. J. Gillon, W. D.
Bouverie, Hon. D. P. Gisborne, T.
Bouverie, P. P. Graham, Sir J.
Boyle, Lord Graham, Sir S.
Brabazon, Lord Grant, Right Hon. R.
Brayen, T. Grant, Right Hon. C.
Brougham, W. Grattan, James
Brougham, James Greene, T. G.
Browne, J. Gurney, R. H.
Browne, D. Handley, W. F.
Brownlow, C. Harcourt, G. G. V.
Buller, J. W. Harty, Sir R.
Bulwer, E. L. Harvey, D. W.
Bunbury, Sir H. E. Hawkins, H.
Burdett, Sir F. Heathcote, Sir G.
Burke, Sir J. Heathcote, G. J.
Burrell, Sir C. M. Heywood, E.
Byng, George Hill, Lord G. A.
Callaghan, D. Hobhouse, J. C.
Calley, T. Hodges, T. L.
Campbell, W. F. Hodgson, J.
Carter, J. B. Horne, Sir W.
Cavendish, Lord G. A. Hort, Sir W.
Cavendish, H. F. C. Hoskins, K.
Cavendish, C. C. Howard, P. H.
Cavendish, W. Howard, R.
Chapman, M. L. Howick, Lord
Chichester, A. Hudson, T.
Clive, F. B. Hughes, W. H.
Cockerell, Sir C. Hughes, Colonel
Colborne, N. W. R. Hughes, W. L.
Cradock, S. Hume, J.
Crampton, P. Hunt, H.
Creevey, T. Ingilby, Sir W.
Currie, J. Innes, Sir H.
Curteis, H. B. James, W.
Davies, T. H. H. Jeffery, Rt. Hon. F.
Dawson, A. Jephson, C.
Denison, W. J. Jerningham, H. V.
Denison, J. E. Johnston, A.
Denman, Sir T. Johnston, J.
Dixon, J. Johnstone, J. J. H.
Doyle, Sir J. M. Johnstone, Sir J.
Kemp, T. R. Penrhyn, E.
Kennedy, T. F. Perrin, L.
Killeen, Lord Petit, L. H.
King, Hon. R. Petre, Hon. E.
King, E. B. Phillips, C. M.
Knight, H. G. Phillips, G. R.
Knight, R. Ponsonby, Hon. B. W.
Labouchere, H. Ponsonby, Hon. G.
Lambert, J. S. Powell, W. E.
Lambert, H. Power, R.
Langston, J. H. Poyntz, W. S.
Langton, W. Gore Price, Sir R.
Lawley, F. Protheroe, E.
Leader, N. P. Ramsbottom, J.
Lefevre, C. S. Rice, Right Hon. T. S.
Lemon, Sir C. Ridley, Sir M. W.
Lennard, T. B. Robarts, A. W.
Lennox, Lord A. Robinson, Sir G.
Lennox, Lord W. Robinson, G. H.
Lennox, Lord J. G. Rooper, J. B.
Lester, B. L. Ross, H.
Littleton, E. J. Russell, Lord J.
Lloyd, Sir E. P. Russell, John
Loch, James Ruthven, E. S.
Lumley, J. S. Sandford, E. A.
Lushington, Dr. Sebright, Sir John
Maberly, W. L. Sheil, R. L.
Macauley, T. B. Skipwith, Sir G.
Macdonald, Sir J. Smith, J. A.
Mackenzie, J. A. S. Smith, G. R.
Mackintosh, Sir J. Smith, M. T.
Macnamara, W. N. Smith, Vernon
Mangles, J. Spencer, Hon. F.
Marjoribanks, S. Stanhope, R. M.
Marryatt, J. Stanley, Lord
Marshall, W, Stanley, Hon. E. G. S.
Martin, John Stanley, J.
Mayhew, W. Stewart, P. M.
Milbank, M. Stewart, Sir M. S.
Mildmay, P. St. John Stephenson, H. F.
Mills, John Strickland, G.
Milton, Lord Strutt, E.
Moreton, Hon. H. G. Stuart, Lord D. C.
Morpeth, Viscount Stuart, Lord P. J. H. C.
Morison, J.
Mostyn, E. M. L. Stuart, E.
Mullins, F. W. Talbot, C. R. M.
Musgrave, Sir R. Tavistock, Marquis of
Newark, Lord Tennyson, C.
Noel, Sir G. N. Thicknesse, R.
Norton, C. F. Thompson, Alderman
Nowell, A. Thomson, P. B.
Nugent, Lord Thomson, Right Hon. C. P.
O'Ferrall, R. M.
Offley, F. C. Throckmorton R. G.
O'Grady, Hon. S. Tomes, J.
O'Neil, Hon. J. B. R. Torrens, Robert
Ord, W. Townshend, Lord E.
Osborne, Lord F. G. Trowbridge, Sir C.
Ossory, Earl of Trail, G.
Paget, Sir C. Tynte, C. K.
Paget, T. Tyrell, C.
Palmer, C.F. Venables, Alderman
Palmerston, Viscount Vere, J. H.
Pelham, Hon. C. A. Vernon, G. H.
Pendarvis, E. W. W. Villiers,T. H.
Penlease, J. S. Vincent, Sir F.
Waithman, Alderman Williams, W. A.
Walker, C. A. Williams, Sir J. H.
Warburton, H. Williamson, Sir H.
Warre, J. A. Willoughby, Sir H.
Wason, R. Wood, Alderman
Watson, Hon. R. Wood, J.
Webb, E. Wood, C.
Weyland, Major Wrightson, W. B.
White, H. Wrottesley, Sir J. B.
White, S TELLER.
Wilks, John Duncannon, Viscount.
Paired off in favour.
Belgrave, Viscount Lopez, Sir R. F.
Blayney, Hon. C. D. Maule, Hon. W. R.
Briscoe, J. I. Morrison, John
Bulwer, H. Lytton Newport, Sir J.
Buxton, T. F. O'Connell, D.
Byng, G. S. O'Connell, M. D.
Coke, T. W. Oxmantown, Lord
Dundas, C. Parnell, Sir H. B. B,
Ebrington, Viscount Portman, E. B.
Ferguson, R. Ramsden, J. C.
Foley, E. T. Rider, T.
Foster, J. Rumbold, C. E.
Godson, R. Slaney, R. A.
Grosvenor, Hon. R. Tufton, Hon. Henry
Heron, Sir R. Waterpark, Lord
Hill, Lord Arthur Western, C. C.
Howard, H. Westenra, Hon. H.
Hutchinson, J. H. Whitbread, W. H.
Jermyn, Earl of Winnington, Sir T. E. Bart.
Lamb, Hon. G.
Loch, John

The question "that Droitwich stand part of the schedule" was carried.

The next question was, "that Evesham stand part of the schedule."

Mr. Hudson

said, he felt it necessary, as one of the Members, to put the Committee in possession of some of the facts with regard to the borough. The population, in 1821, was 3,487. It now contained 4,000 inhabitants, and paid 1,296l. 11s. per year assessed taxes. There were 847 inhabited houses in the town, of which 299 were upwards of the value of 10l. per year. There were 123 resident freemen, and under the provisions of this Bill, it would have about 420 electors, with such a constituency, respectable and independent, as he could bear witness, it could not be considered an inconsiderable place, and it was much superior to many boroughs which would continue to return two Members. After the determination, however, which the Committee had come to in other instances, it would be of no avail to offer further observations, but he hoped, at some subsequent stage of the Bill, the state of these boroughs would be reconsidered.

Question carried, and Evesham was placed in the schedule.

On the question, "that Great Grimsby stand part of the schedule,"

Mr. Shelley

said, that he had intended to say a few words; but at that hour of the night, he would merely observe, that although, by the returns of 1821, the borough had less than 4,000 inhabitants, it was not a nomination borough, nor a decayed borough, but a highly thriving and prosperous place.

Captain Harris

denied, that the borough of Great Grimsby was a rotten borough. He would not consent to disfranchise that borough, nor, indeed, any borough either in schedule A or in schedule B, unless he was convinced that the Members of that House were inconvenient in their numbers. Great Grimsby was an ancient borough, and had a right to victual the fleet in time of war. It had excavated a large basin at a very considerable expense. He had not heard any borough defended in a similar manner [laughter]. He would not be put down by laughter. It was a port which had yielded in Custom-house duties, from the 6th of June, 1830, to the 5th of June, 1831, 30,597l. 15s. 4d. When he told the hon. Committee, that it had doubled its population in the interval between 1811 and 1821, and that it had increased more than 1,000 souls in the interval between 1821 and 1831, he thought that he had laid strong grounds for not disfranchising this borough. He would venture to prophesy, that it would double its population in the interval between 1831 and 1841. With these observations he would leave the borough of Grimsby in the hands of the Committee.

Colonel Sibthorp

could not let this borough go into the merciless hands of the Committee, without bearing his testimony to its respectability and independence. He called on the hon. members for Wareham and Bletchingly, who had formerly represented this borough, to state whether they had not repeatedly addressed the electors of Grimsby as free and independent electors. At present Grimsby was any thing but a nomination borough, but if it were only to return one Member, a great Whig Lord in that neighbourhood, who possessed 100 acres where other gentlemen of the district only possessed a rood, would undoubtedly become its patron, and it would sink into the condition of a nomination borough, which hitherto it had never been. He would join his hon. and gallant friend, the member for the borough, in dividing the Committee against its disfranchisement, even though they should be the only persons who thought it should not be disfranchised.

Mr. A. Trevor rose to enter his solemn and decided protest against this universal devastation of boroughs. He could not believe, that such a system was agreeable to the wishes of the people. That they should take population as the test of disfranchisement, and decide without hearing evidence, seemed to him monstrous injustice. No such sweeping measure of Reform had been called for. He would concur in any motion for removing great Grimsby from schedule B.

Mr. Cresset Pelham

thought the ulterior consequences of thus dealing with corporations and boroughs, would be very important. He hoped the members for the City of London would exert themselves, and prevent the rights of other corporations, and ultimately of their constituents which had existed before the Conquest, from being trampled upon. The course of spoliation which the House was pursuing would terminate in the ruin of the Constitution.

Sir J. M. Doyle

If we go on in this way from night to night during this hot weather, some of us making, and others of us listening, to speeches, which have been repeated over and over again, and almost without variation, during the course of the present Session, I am sure that it will terminate in the ruin of all our constitutions.

The question was carried, that the borough of Great Grimsby stand part of schedule B.

The Chairman was going to put the question on the next borough, when several Members called out "adjourn."

Lord Althorp

proposed, that the Committee should proceed that evening as far as Guildford. If any Gentlemen were inclined to object to proceeding further, he certainly would not persist in his proposition. He thought, however, that they might proceed to take one or two boroughs, to which no opposition was expected, and that afterwards the Chairman might report progress, and ask leave to sit again tomorrow.

The Chairman put the question of adjournment.

Colonel Davies

immediately rose to oppose the adjournment at that hour. Though he knew that the Gentlemen opposite would disclaim all disposition to delay unnecessarily the progress of this Bill, still he must say, that if they persisted in pursuing the same career that night, which they had pursued previously, he should give but very little credit to their disclaimer. He must also tell the members of his Majesty's Government, that if they allowed themselves to be beaten every night on this question of adjournment, and if they allowed gentlemen holding situations under them, to make long speeches in reply to arguments which had been advanced and refuted till they had become as rotten as the boroughs which they were used to defend, they must not expect to escape the censure of the country. He was sorry to say, that there was too great a disposition to speechify on this Bill, on the part of the Government. The country felt this, and was desirous to see more of action and less oratory on the part of the Ministers. He was not to be put down by clamour—he was as independent as any Member in the House, and possessed, what many of them did not,—a large constituency. He therefore claimed, in their name and in his own, the right to be heard on this subject. He would tell Ministers fairly, that if they did not wish to be considered as parties to the delay of which the country was hourly complaining, and that if they did not wish to be denounced as lukewarm advocates of Reform, they must adopt a very different system towards the Opposition from that which they had hitherto pursued.

Mr. Croker

felt himself bound in fairness to the noble Lord to state, that the noble Lord had conducted himself on this occasion with that propriety of demeanor to his opponents which distinguished him upon all occasions. He thought that they ought not to proceed further that night, as it would be inconvenient to break through the arrangement which they had all tacitly agreed to. Besides, he knew that several friends of his, who wished to take part in the discussion, had gone away, relying that the arrangement to which he had alluded would be faithfully observed by both parties.

Lord Porchester

protested against the violent language used by the hon. and gallant member for Worcester, and said, that such dictation as he had ventured to employ ought not to be permitted for an instant.

Mr. Pusey

would have yielded to the suggestion of the noble Lord, and would have proceeded with the schedule as far as Guildford, had it not been for an observation which had fallen from the hon. and gallant member for Worcester. That hon. Member had rebuked the Chancellor of the Exchequer for allowing the King's Attorney General to make a speech of more than half an hour's length in reply to the arguments of those who had gone before him. Was that rebuke calculated to promote or to stifle free discussion?

Sir R. Inglis

called upon the hon. and gallant member for Worcester to state whether the allusion which he (Colonel Davies) had just made to Members under Government delivering long speeches, was not intended to apply to the King's Attorney General?

Colonel Davies

What is it to the hon. and learned member for the University of Oxford whether I did mean the King's Attorney-general or not? I protest against his right to put such a question, either to me or to any other Member. If I did mean the Attorney General, I did; if I did not, what right has he to ask me whom I did mean?

Colonel Sibthorp

said, that the hon. and gallant member for Worcester had charged him and his friends with causing unnecessary delay. Now he charged the hon. and gallant Member with unnecessary haste. The hon. and gallant Member might rest assured that the country would blame him, if he attempted to put down the anti-reformers at the very moment that they were preparing to justify themselves against the attacks that had been made upon them. If the hon. and gallant Member should lecture from that time to Christmas, he would not make him (Colonel Sibthorp) follow his advice, especially whilst he (Colonel Davies) was sitting on the Ministerial benches.

The Chairman was ordered to report progress, the House resumed.—The Committee to sit again the next day.