HC Deb 29 June 1835 vol 29 cc8-9
Mr. Ruthven

presented a Petition from certain inhabitants of Chichester, complaining of the undue means by which the elections for that Borough were carried on. The petitioners expressed their regret that, after the passing of the Reform Bill, some measure was not adopted to check bribery and corruption at elections. The corporation of the town possessed almost the entire power at elections there, and the corporation itself was under the control of a certain noble Duke. The last election was carried by means of clubs formed in the town: dinners were given, and various indirect modes of bribery were adopted. As the only check on these practices the petitioners prayed for Vote by Ballot.

Lord Arthur Lennox

begged to repudiate indignantly the imputations thus cast on him and the electors. He never gave away one shilling in the way of bribe. He never encouraged the formation of clubs—gave no dinners—and had not even a chairing, as he wished to avoid any expense, except what was required by law. He was returned by such a majority as his opponents admitted that they could not overcome. He met his constituents in a body some months ago, and they assured him that they were perfectly satisfied with his conduct.

Mr. John Abel Smith

strongly denied the truth of the assertion of that petition. He was returned in his absence, and in the most honourable and independent manner, by a larger majority than he ever had before.