moved an Address for a return of the names and rank or profession of all persons holding the offices of Recorder, Deputy Recorder, and High Steward in borough towns; also Peers, and sons of Peers holding any magisterial, corporate, or elective appointment or situation in cities or towns sending Representatives to the Commons House of Parliament, distinguishing those eligible to become, by such appointments, returning officers.
was glad he was present when this Motion was made as a relative of his was concerned in it. He had no objection to the returns being laid upon the Table, but he could assure the gallant Officer that his relative's High Stewardship gave him no power to influence the appointment of the returning officer. He thought it honourable that corporate offices should, in some instances, be held by Peers; it was a mark of respect on one side, and of friendship on the other.
said, that though the hon. and gallant Member had not made out any parliamentary ground for the return, he would not object to the first part of it, but he could not see any good which could be answered by the returns named in the second part. He thought that there was something invidious in calling for the names of individuals holding certain corporate appointments, for the purpose of inquiring into their eligibility. That must entirely depend on the customs and by-laws of those Corporations, with which the House had nothing to do. The Motion called for the names of Peers, and sons of Peers, holding "magisterial, corporate, or elective appointment or situation in cities or towns sending Representatives to the Commons House of Parliament, distinguishing those eligible to become, by such appointment, returning officers." Now he could not see why the sons of Peers 509 were not as eligible to hold such offices as any other of his Majesty's subjects. He could not conceive, therefore, why they should be thus pointed out. A Member might, in his opinion, just as well move for a return of every man who had a black head of hair. The Motion would be just as reasonable and as useful. He had no objection to the first part of the Motion, and he hoped that the gallant Officer would withdraw the second part.
§ Lord Althorp
trusted, that the gallant Officer would not press his Motion. If it were even acceded to, it was a matter on which no parliamentary proceeding could be founded.
§ Mr. Strickland
opposed the Motion. The object of the gallant Officer seemed to be, to prove the necessity of having those situations to which the Motion referred exclusively filled by lawyers. Now he would call on the House to observe how the duties of Magistrates were performed throughout the country. They were, generally speaking, well performed; and yet many of the Magistrates were not lawyers. This showed that there was no necessity for insisting on the services of lawyers only in such situations as were referred to by the Motion. He should oppose the Motion, because he did not conceive that it would lead to any beneficial result.
said, as the hon. Gentleman (Mr. Lamb) was willing to concede the first part of the Motion, if he would be good enough to state his amendment, he would willingly strike out that part to which the hon. Gentleman objected. If, however, the sense of the House was against his Motion, he would not persist in it.
§ Motion withdrawn.