Lord John Russell
said, as it was desirable that the Boundaries Bill should pass without delay, so that the registration might commence, he was anxious that the House should consider the Lords' Amendments to the Bill. He had attentively looked at them, and there were only a few of any importance. The first alteration changed the nomination place of the western division of the county of Gloucester from Thornbury to Dursley. The House would recollect that it was determined, on the committal of this Bill, that Thornbury should be inserted in the place of Wootton-under-Edge, which latter formerly stood in the Bill. In consequence of what then took place, further inquiry was made, and Dursley was found to be more convenient than either of the other towns: it was, therefore, substituted by the other House for Thorn-bury. The next alteration regarded the borough of Wareham. The House of Lords had included Corfe Castle within the limits of Wareham; though that House had refused to do so on a former occasion. Again, there were two or three alterations as to the places at which the poll should be held; but they were not of any material consequence. The only question for consideration was, whether these amendments were of sufficient importance to induce the House to refuse its assent to them. His own opinion was, that the House might consistently agree to them. He moved that they be read.
§ Amendments read accordingly.
Sir Robert Peel
said, that the general rule was, when the other House made any alteration in a Bill, which could be considered material, that these alterations should be printed. Without doubting the accuracy of the statement of the noble Lord, he saw no reason why the rule should be departed from in the present instance. It should be recollected that the House determined, by a large majority that Thornbury should be the nomination place for the western division of Gloucestershire. He was not aware on what grounds that place had been struck out, and some reason should be assigned, or, at any rate, a little time should be afforded for consideration. At the same time, he was prepared to admit that in a case of necessity, the rule might be departed from. If this was a case of that nature, perhaps the noble Lord would state so. He had no wish to throw any impediment in the way of the Government; but it was desirable not to depart 201 from general rules without some reason being assigned.
§ Lord Althorp
concurred in the observations of the right hon. Gentleman. It was, however, of the utmost consequence that no delay should take place in the commencement of the registration; and therefore, it was necessary that the Bill should pass at once. It would be recollected, that a clause in the Reform Bill authorised his Majesty to alter the period for the registration. It was intended to hold a Privy Councilon the ensuing Wednesday, at which the dates contained in the English Reform Bill, relative to registration, and notices, would be fixed a month later. As the Bill stood, the notices must be given by the 20th of June, and the names to be placed in the register must be sent in by the 20th of July. Ministers proposed to make this a month later, and to have notices given on the 20th of July, and the list made on or before the last day of August. The consequence would be, that the registration could not be completed before the 1st of December.
Sir Robert Peel
asked, whether Ministers could state when it was probable that Parliament would be dissolved?
Lord John Russell
said, that the registration would not be completed until the 1st of December, and if a dissolution took place before that period the registration would be null and void. He would leave the right hon. Baronet to draw his own inferences from that statement.
§ Amendments read a second time, and on the Motion of Lord John Russell, they were agreed to.