HC Deb 26 April 1837 vol 38 cc290-1

Mr. C. Buller moved the second reading of this Bill.

The Solicitor-General

thought it would be advisable in the present thin state of the House not to debate the measure. He therefore proposed that the discussion should he taken on the committal of the Bill.

Mr. C. Buller

stated, that he had no objection to the proposed arrangement.

Mr. Wason

had no wish to oppose himself to the sense of the House, but he would move the amendment of which he had given notice— That the principal evil of the present election law arises from its uncertainty, whereby decisions on either side of the most important questions may be given under the sanction of numerous precedents; that the establishment of a new tribunal for the administration of so uncertain a law must inevitably be attended with the following results:— 1. The public will be subjected to enormous expense to ascertain, not what is the law, but what such new tribunal may fancy ought to be the law. 2. Any tribunal called upon to administer an uncertain law, must be always suspected of improper motives, and of all judge-made law, that which involves political considerations is the most odious and the most liable to just suspicion. That these considerations render it most inexpedient to appoint a new tribunal for the administration of this uncertain law, unless that law should be rendered certain by the Legislature.

Lord John Russell

concurred with his hon. and learned Friend in thinking, that it would be more advisable to take the discussion upon the Bill at a future stage. He should then be prepared to state some grave objections to the principle of the proposed measure.

Mr. H. Grattan

said, that it was impossible that the present law should be allowed to exist. There was at present an Election Committee sitting, and the franchise of many of his tenants, as respectable men as any in that House, depended upon the vote of a single Member of that Committee.

Amendment withdrawn, Bill read a second time.