HC Deb 07 December 1837 vol 39 cc747-837
Mr. Smith O'Brien

felt, he said, in bringing forward the motion of which he had given notice, that he laboured under very considerable disadvantages; but in submitting that motion he hoped that the House would extend to him more than its usual indulgence. When he had presented his petition upon the preceding night he only presented it with a view and in the hope that some other Member, some Member of greater experience and of more weight with the House than himself, would have proceeded with it; for it was in his opinion, quite impossible that to a subject of such importance the attention of Parliament would not be called. A resistance had, however, been made on the preceding night to the reading of his petition, which he thought was uncalled for, and the resistance, too, which had been given to the printing of his petition was such as to induce Gentlemen around him to suggest that he ought to give notice upon this subject. It was, then, under such circumstances that he did not come as well prepared as he might have come upon this subject had he had a longer time for consulting the different authorities that might be applicable to the subject. He was most anxious to acquit himself in the opinion of the House from the charge of presumption in bringing forward his motion. The fact of subscriptions to defeat the returns of Irish Members was a matter of public notoriety, and the motion which he was that night to submit to the attention of the House was intended to call forth their opinion in that manner which appeared to him to be the most legitimate in which the subject could by decided. Here the attention of the House was called to it by one of the parties against whom the confederacy had been directed. He came forward in his own case to complain of the operation of that confederacy which he thus brought under the attention of the House. He should not, as he had forborne to do on the preceding night, enter into any circumstances connected with the election petition. An exparte statement had been published upon the records of the House, and he was contented, at the present moment, to abide by that; but this he must say, that a more frivolous case for a petition there never yet had been brought before Parliament than that which those who forwarded that petition had to rely upon. He was, too, also strongly under the impression that if it were not for the confederacy and the subscriptions to which he referred, there would not have been a petition presented against him. The petition that he presented expressed an opinion which he still entertained, that if there were not a hope of pecuniary assistance from the parties who managed the funds collected against the returns of Irish Members, a petition against his return never would have been presented. Under such circumstances, then, he felt called upon to complain of the operation of that fund. He now begged to call the attention of the House to the position in which he found himself in reference to his defence. If there had been a subscription got up from a portion of his constituents he should not complain; all such persons, he considered, would have a strictly moral right to subscribe; but what had other persons to do with his constituents? The hon. Baronet the Member for Wilts and his confederates had nothing whatever to say to the county of Limerick. And, then, when he was elected by the people of Limerick he had to consider whether he should enter into a contest with one of the most wealthy men in the kingdom, that gentleman, too, being aided by the purses of other exceedingly wealthy men in this country. He should ask them that night whether they considered it to be constitutional or not that a Member who happened to be the representative of a place in Ireland should he placed in the position which he occupied? Let them take as an instance the case of the Dublin election, and suppose that the person petitioned against was most perfectly assured of his right, yet he might not, and most probably would not, venture upon a contest before a committee, when his doing so would make him subject to a penalty of 9,000l. and this, too, for the purpose of maintaining his just rights. What hon. Member, he asked, with only, perhaps, a reasonable portion of wealth, would not only make himself liable to the expenses which might be heaped upon him by persons who were interested against him, but also enter into a contest against those who had funds to an unlimited extent, and who were aided by subscriptions from all parts of the three kingdoms? Let them look at the instance of the Longford committee, where the committee constituted themselves into a tribunal to revise the registration in the assistant barrister's court. There the committee went into the case of every freeholder; and they struck off the majority of ninety-four voters. Suppose, however, that the majority had been 300, then the same committee would be in the one case, as in the other, just as well qualified to have struck off these 300 names, and to have put the defending party to the expense of proving the freehold in each of these 500 voters. He asked if there were any fortune in the House that could sustain an operation like that? This was so unfair to the Irish Members coming into that House that he wished to ascertain if it were agreeable to law, and consistent with the constitution; and supposing both propositions to be decided in the affirmative, then he thought it right to submit to the House that it ought not to be the law, nor any longer sanctioned by the constitution. He had taken the liberty in that document of his, which had been called a speech by the right hon. Baronet (Sir R. Peel,) of stating that the persons generally who had been induced to sign these subscriptions knew nothing of the circumstances under which the elections took place. He was prepared to direct the attention of the House to those with whom these subscriptions originated, and who had a personal interest in the accomplishment of the end for which they had been collected. He referred, first, to the Carlton Club. Yes, he repeated it, they felt a deep interest in the subject; for under the present circumstances of the House, the persons constituting that club might consider that the obtaining of one seat, at least the securing of a few, might bring themselves into office. He said further, if he were not greatly misinformed upon the subject, that many of the persons who set on foot those subscriptions did so with the hope of themselves reaping a good portion of the harvest; those persons were professional men, whose services they expected to be retained and paid for. He said further, that a portion of the press supported the cause of the subscriptions as interested parties. He did not believe that the long columns of subscriptions which he saw inserted 1n The Timesand Standard were inserted from motives of pure patriotism. He did not doubt that they were found to he very convenient as a supplement to a vacant column, and in adding to the resources of the treasury of those journals. They had seen appeals to persons who, perhaps, had never seen a Roman Catholic in their lifetime, and who imagined that all in Ireland were barbarians—to such persons there were appeals to induce them to subscribe; and the consequence was, that there were the old man and the young, the matron and the maid, all combining their funds against the rights of the Irish people. This he insisted they were induced to do under the grossest misrepresentations. He was not, indeed quite sure that an organised system of misrepresentation was not carried on for the purpose of promoting this one object. He was not sure but that some of the county newspapers in Ireland were employed in the fabrication of falsehoods and the invention of outrages which had no foundation but in the malignant brains from which they originated. He was not sure but such papers received pay from a portion of the funds, for performing this sort of work. He was anxious to take that opportunity of stating to persons who formed opinions and speculations as to the returns from Ireland what was the true cause of the majority which they now sought by such unfair means to reduce. He could, tell hon. Gentlemen opposite, that the Irish Members owed not their seats to corruption, to intimidation, or to bribery. The right hon. Baronet had made a similar statement, and he knew best with what accuracy it could be made. The Irish electors had, however, in the return they had made, declared themselves against the party of the right hon. Baronet. Did hon. Gentlemen opposite wish to know the cause of this? It was the declaration of Lord Lyndhurst, acting in the capacity of a leader of their party, and he was sorry to see them so numerous upon the other side. It was Lord Lyndhurst's declaration, and the manner in which his party had voted the last three years; it was his declaration that a majority of the Irish people, that the Catholics of Ireland were to be treated as "aliens" and that they should not enjoy the same rights as the English people; it was that declaration and that policy which had induced the Irish people, the nobleman and the peasant, the laity and the clergy, to rise as with one common impulse to resist the candidate who advocated the interests of the party opposite. He should now take the liberty of calling the attention of the House to the effect which was likely to be produced by the successful operation of a subscription such as that to which he had alluded. It was calculated more than anything else to call forth the enmity of the Irish people. The Irish people were too much in the habit (and justly so) of considering England in the relation of an oppressor. Was there not something in this subscription to show that those persons who contributed to it were anxious to retain that character still? He asked any one on the other side who called himself a British statesman, whether he was prepared to justify such an interference with the rights of the Irish people, and leave to them such good grounds of complaint During the time that the repeal of the union was agitated, he had put himself forward as the oppose of the agitation of any such measure. But this he must say, that he had heard no argument from any advocate for a repeal of the union so strong, or which could give so good a sanction for it, as such a precedent as that which he now brought under the attention of the House. He said further, that considering the confidence which the Irish placed in the executive government, if an adverse administration were brought in, owing to the operations of such a confederacy and. its fund, that he could not answer for the connection between the two countries being maintained, at least it could not be maintained without a struggle. He, however, as a Member of that House would not consent to the establishment of the principle that hereafter it was to be a matter of course that persons in whom the people reposed confidence were to be driven from their seats by others who knew nothing of them, and who only objected to them from party motives. When parties in that House were nicely balanced, and the possession of a few seats might determine the fate of an administration, was this mode of proceeding to secure the triumph of the one and the defeat of the other to be employed? Suppose that a House could be found to be more corrupt than any that could be discovered at present, might not foreign money be brought into such a treasury as that alluded to. He was not putting a case that was incredible when he said that if the East India Company or the Bank of England were looking for a renewal of their charter, and that in the nice balance of parties they found that those in favour of a renewal were in a minority, and that a portion of their immense funds were appropriated to contesting elections and carrying on petitions, in order that they might secure a majority for themselves, and have a preponderating influence in the House—he asked if that would not be a fair case for the intervention of Parliament. He now came to the particular part of his motion, to which he had to call their attention more especially—he meant the letter and subscription of the hon. Baronet, the Member for North Wilts. He should take the liberty of reading it. It was to this effect:— To A. Spottiswoode Esq. Sir,—It was my intention to have an- nounced myself this day in the House of Commons as one of your 'gang,' but I find the motion that relates to it is deferred until the 6th of next month, and I think it very possible that it may be put off altogether, and that although Mr. O'Connell has pledged himself to prosecute the subject, he may also drop it, as I cannot have the same confidence in his word that the Prince of Denmark had in that of the Ghost. The hon. Baronet had lately become very fond of quoting Shakespeare. But to continue— Although poor Mr. Raphael took it for double the amount. I now, therefore, in order to secure to myself the honour of being one of the 'gang,' for seeing justice done both to Ireland and England, by subscribing to a fund intended to defray the necessary expenses for that purpose, and in order to make my wish as public as possible, take the liberty thus to address you, and to request the editor of The Times to transmit to you my subscription of 20l." After reading that letter he begged to call the attention of the House to the fact that the hon. Baronet was liable to serve on an election petition, that he was liable to do so under the obligation of an oath; and he now wished to have the opinion of the House whether the hon. Baronet was fitting to be one of the parties who were to be his judges. The hon. Baronet had subscribed 20l.—he had understood it was 25l.; but he had put in a certain sum as an installment, and therefore he had a distinct interest in the saving and management of the fund. They could not deny that if they diminished the expenses there would be less money to be paid; and the hon. Baronet must be anxious to get his business done for the least amount. He understood that it had been distinctly stated by the hon. Baronet, at a public meeting, that the principle of paying by installments was a good one, and the inference was, that what he recommended to others he practised himself. He asked, then, was the hon. Baronet to be one of his judges? He was not in the secrets of Mr. Spottiswoode, and he did not know how many others of his subscribers, like the hon. Baronet, might be his judges. If he got the Committee, however, they would know more about the matter. Were they to tell the Irish people that no inquiry was to be granted, and that they were not to learn whether the judges for deciding on their rights were interested parties? Were they, because the Grenville Act had not contemplated any such case as this, to be told that therefore there was to be no disqualification against hon. Members who subscribed to deprive the Irish people of their rights as electors. Supposing 200,000l. were given to stifle the opinions of the people of Ireland, were they to have no inquiry into the matter? Was the House of Commons to make no inquiry into a subject of such importance? He maintained that the hon. Baronet had disqualified himself from acting impartially under the sanction of an oath. It might be answered that the Grenville Act did not sanction the inquiry. Supposing there had been bribery by one of their Members, would not the House appoint a Committee to inquire into it? Would it be said that the House, which was so jealous of its honour that it appointed a Committee to inquire into the after-dinner conversations of the hon. Member for Tipperary, would refuse inquiry? If the House did this, would it not inquire into a gross and grave dereliction of duty on the part of one, and perhaps more, of its Members. He hoped the House would not answer him that it had not the power; but if there were only an explicit declaration on its part discountenancing such conduct, merely as a warning for the future, then the labours of that Committee would not be in vain. He had shown abundant reasons, he considered, for a Committee; but if the House were of opinion that under existing circumstances nothing could be done, and that no law could be brought to bear against the subscribers to the present fund, then he would say that a declaration from them against vexatious petitioning would be important—against that system of vexatious petitioning to which he was himself then exposed. He candidly said for himself that he could not afford the expense of going through a contest before one of those Committees. This he said broadly and distinctly, that under the existing state of the law he could not afford it; but he wished to have a declaration from them denouncing the conduct of hon. Members subscribing to funds to disqualify others and deprive them of their seats. He said that such an announcement would be an important one, if it alone were to be the result of the debate. He trusted that he had shown sufficient cause for a Select Committee, and he now asked were the Irish people to be told it was not to be granted? He had no intention to occupy the House at such length. He felt he had been obliged to submit his case very imperfectly, as he had only been able to give it a very hasty consideration. He was sure that the Government, indeed that both sides of the House, would not consider this as a party question. If there was a spirit of fairness—if there was, as he was sure there was, a disposition to see fair play on that as well as on the opposition side of the House, he hoped that the House would not rashly come to a conclusion adverse to the motion with which he was about to conclude. With respect to himself he had submitted what appeared to him to be the true state of the case, and he was willing now to leave its decision entirely in the hands of the House. He was prepared to adopt any course which the House might require, but, at the same time, he could not help expressing the strongest possible opinion that the House ought not to separate without coming to a decision on this question. The hon. Member concluded by moving that a Select Committee be appointed to inquire into the allegations contained in the petition presented by William Smith O'Brien, complaining of the subscriptions which had been raised to encourage the prosecution of petitions against Irish Members, and of the conduct of a Member of the House in having contributed to such subscriptions.

Mr. E. L. Bulwer

rose to second the motion. He said he would not detain the House above a few minutes, because it seemed to him that the question lay within the narrowest possible compass. He agreed that the hon. Baronet, the Member for Wiltshire, might not, in his individual case, present himself as an accuser and a judge, because the hon. Baronet might, if he pleased, absent himself from serving upon any Election Committee; but, at the same time, the House must recollect that though the hon. Baronet might be exempted from sitting, he was not disqualified. The hon. Baronet had given the sanction of his name to the subscription. He had publicly declared that the accusations to support which that subscription was set on foot were true; he had made himself a party to those accusations by subscribing to pay the expenses of the accusers; and at the same time he was qualified to sit as judge in that tribunal before whom those accusations must come. It must be recollected also that the brilliant example of the hon. Baronet might have a peculiar effect in encouraging those persons to prosecute their petitions. He did not desire to visit the particular instance of the hon. Baronet with punishment by the House; but since the hon. Baronet had declared that he had written the letter which had been made the subject of comment with the express object of provoking opinion from the House, he called upon the House to determine, aye or no, whether a Member of that House might make himself a co-partner in a proceeding which the constitution had declared to be illegal. He would not enter into any long argument respecting the details of this case, or the peculiar points which legally attached to it. He hoped that the decisions of the House would stand upon trodden grounds, and therefore he appealed to the common sense, to the feeling of justice and honour of hon. Gentlemen on both sides of the House, whether the whole theory and practice of the contributions were not against the first principles of English legislation. He looked upon it to be one of the first principles of the laws that they did not condemn any man before he was tried and found guilty. Now, all these contributions, the resolutions which had been passed, the subscriptions and the letter of the hon. Baronet, all had assumed that as a fact upon which they would be called upon to adjudicate. They had assumed as a fact that certain Gentlemen who were returned to Parliament by the Liberal electors of Ireland ought to be unseated; and they were endeavouring by subscriptions to over bear the nation. They called upon the country, before the trial of these Gentlemen, to punish them by exclusion from that House. What was the common practice in every court of justice? The swindler, and even the murderer, were deemed not guilty before they were put upon their trial, both by the country and by the press; and they obtained this right, at least, that they should not be prejudged. It was not sought to influence the passions of men against them, and there was nothing done to prevent their having a full, fair, and impartial trial before an impartial jury. In this country, where justice and mercy were extended to the meanest delinquent, the reverse was followed in the present case, and the public journals and the resolutions of these pharisaical subscribers, these neophytes of Oxford, all agreed in the truth of a wholly unproved accusation, and combined against those against whom no guilt had been proved, but who were suspected of being guilty. He would not call this unconstitutional or illegal, but he would ask, if it were unfair, and ungenerous, and un-English in the case of a common individual to prejudge the case of the offender before trial, how much more wrong and unjustifiable was it on the part of a member of the very court before whom the case must be tried. The hon. Baronet, the Member for Wiltshire, said last night that he thought it a very extraordinary and most unheard of proceeding that censure should be passed on the object of these contributions. It was not so unheard-of as the hon. Baronet seemed to suppose. He hoped he might be allowed to take that opportunity of refreshing the recollection of the hon. Baronet. Perhaps the hon. Baronet would recollect some circumstances that occurred about thirty-five years ago: indeed they took place on the 6th of December, which was a very extraordinary coincidence. Thirty five years ago a petition was received by that House, complaining of the return of the sitting Member for Middlesex, the means of defraying the costs of that petition being a subscription which was entered into. The sitting Member thought it desirable to bring the case before the consideration of the House. These were the remarks which he made on doing so. The then sitting Member for Middlesex said, "that there could not be two opinions, that to enter into a subscription for a petition was highly indecorous; that the object was improperly to prejudge the case, and to prejudice the minds of those who would have to judge it." And this Gentleman concluded by moving a resolusolution, which he (Mr. Bulwer) was sure would be agreed to by all the Members on his side of the House," That a subscription to support a petition not pending in the House was a breach of privilege." This the Member for Middlesex then said. But who was it that thus denounced subscriptions, and called it a breach of the privileges of the House? It was one Sir Francis Burdett. That hon. Baronet was then the sitting Member for Middlesex, as he was now Member for North Wiltshire. The proceedings of the hon. Baronet at that period, and those which he now adopted, reminded him of an old story of the man who was restored to youth on condition that he should lose all recollection of the past. It did seem to him that this fable had been realised in the person of the hon. Baronet. It seemed to him that the change from Middlesex to North Wiltshire, whilst it restored the Baronet from age to youth, had also produced an oblivion of all early opinions, of all old associations, of all former friendships, and of all that should be dear to a public man—the character of his former life. But there was a distinction between the case brought forward by the hon. Baronet and the present case. In the one case the subscribers of whom the hon. Baronet complained were all electors. They were also the petitioners. But in the present instance the parties to the subscription were neither electors nor petitioners; they, in fact, had no interest in the constituencies. In the present instance, also, his hon. Friend, the Member for Limerick made a much more moderate motion. He was content with not saying that there was, a breach of privilege, but merely moving for a Committee of inquiry. There was this, also, in the present case: the whole object of these subscriptions was directed against one part of the empire. They had contests in England and Scotland—they had petitions against Members who were returned from places in England and Scotland, but there was not one shilling of contribution. The sole and whole object of the party was to bring to bear all their resources against those Gentlemen who had been returned from Ireland. Was this what they called justice to Ireland? Was this the policy they wished to adopt for the preservation of the Union? If they all formed one kingdom, how was it that they heard day after day, how was it that they saw worded in resolutions, that the votes of ten or twelve Irish Members overbore the votes of the Members for England? Why did they not also hear that the votes of the Members for the metropolis, who entertained the same political opinions as the great majority of the people of Ireland, were overborne by the votes of the Members of Norfolk? The House must therefore recollect that these subscriptions and the whole object of these petitions were directed against men, not because they were political opponents, for those subscribers did not touch English and Scotch Members who were equally their political opponents, but because they were the Representatives of Ireland. He must on this subject address himself to the right hon. Baronet opposite (Sir Robert Peel). Of course he need not say that he had always entertained feelings of personal respect towards that right hon. Gentleman. He believed that the feelings of the right hon. Baronet towards his political opponents were always subordinate to his sense of equity and justice. He would also add that such was his opinion of the right hon. Baronet that, whether a petitioner or petioned against, the right hon. Baronet was the last in that House to whom he would object to refer his case. Allow him, then, to ask, in the name of that character for equity and justice which he had attributed to the right hon. Baronet—allow him to ask the right hon. Baronet to state fairly and simply whether he approved of the object, the spirit, and the application of those funds? If the right hon. Baronet approved of them, and exonerated the hon. Baronet, the Member for Wiltshire, why did not the right hon. Baronet himself subscribe? If the right hon. Baronet did not approve of these subscriptions, why did he not discourage them? He must say, that in the present state of parties it was uncertain how long it might be before the right hon. Baronet was the Prime Minister of the country. Had not, then, the Representatives of the people a right—above all, had not the Representatives of Ireland aright—to know whether by such means as these subscriptions and petitions the right hon. Baronet had procured power? Let it be fairly understood, whether in future the representation of the third part of the empire was to be put up to public auction? Was it to be bought and sold according as the richest party could afford to deter and intimidate candidates from seeking the representation. He did not know what course the noble Lord below him (Lord John Russell) would adopt, but he knew that it was incumbent upon the leader of the House of Commons to protect the Representatives of the people. He thought it the more the duty of the noble Lord as he had hitherto been the consistent advocate of civil rights against religious disqualification. Every body knew that this was nothing more or less than a pecuniary crusade against the religion and the liberty of Ireland. All came from the same party. Hon. Gentlemen, who denied to Irish towns a mayor and common council, growing large from their political intolerance, were now contented with nothing more or less than a wholesale disfranchisement of the Parliamentary privileges of the Catholics of Ireland. Upon that principle let them take their ground,—let them avow it to the constituency. He would appeal also to the constituency, and call upon them to consider well to what purpose the power that, would be thus obtained by the hon. Gentlemen on the other side, would be applied. He called upon the House to be jealous of those who were interested by any motive to oppose this motion, and thereby to refuse justice.

Sir W. Follett

said, that he had not meant to have intruded himself upon the attention of the House at that early stage of the discussion, as he certainly did expect, after hearing from the hon. Gentleman who introduced the motion, and after hearing from the hon. Gentleman who seconded it, that the proceedings of this association were illegal and unconstitutional—after hearing it declared that for persons unconnected with the county of Limerick, not forming part of the constituency of the hon. Mover, to presume to subscribe in order to present a petition to question the legality of the return for the county was a breach of the privileges of that House and of the Constitution, he must say he did expect that some Member of the Government, or if not a Member of the Government, at least one of the law officers of the Crown, would have condescended to state to the House, whether, in his judgment, it was illegal, or unconstitutional, or a breach of the privileges of Parliament, for any portion of the people or the constituency of the empire to subscribe or associate for the purpose of bringing before the legal and constitutional tribunal of the country, for its decision, the right of persons to sit and act in that House as their Representatives. He must say, if that were the question before the House—if it were contended that this was an unconstitutional and illegal act, he must entirely protest against such a doctrine; and he should like to know when it was that the hon. and learned Attorney-General, who had expressed but last night such alarm at the proceedings of this subscription committee, or the noble Lord, the Secretary of State for the Home Department, had discovered the illegality of such proceedings. He could not help believing that there was something in the peculiar state of parties at that moment—that there was something in the peculiar position of her Majesty's Ministers, and in the nice balance on which the majority of the House turned, and some latent suspicion that there was an infirmity in the title of some of the supporters of the Government, which had led hon. Members on the other side of the House to discover that a practice was illegal and unconstitutional which had prevailed longer than the memory of any one living, and he believed as long as the freedom of the House of Commons itself. He was satisfied that he could bring back to the recollection of hon. Members opposite—and he begged the attention of the hon. Gentleman who had last addressed the House—he could bring back to the recollection of hon. Members opposite that this practice and this habit be it bad or not, had been the practice and usage of this country as long as any one in that House could remember, and the hon. Members on the Ministerial side of the House had been themselves the promoters of the practice. They had been themselves the promoters of subscriptions for the purpose, in the first place, of aiding in an election in which they had no actual interest; and, secondly, in promoting petitions and subscriptions for the defence of seats. He wanted to know why they should not? The hon. Member for Limerick told them that the practice was unconstitutional. Was not the hon. Member for Limerick, who sat in that House, as much the representative of the people of England, as he was of the electors of Limerick? Was there any hon. Member in that House who, as a Member of it, had not full power to legislate, not only upon matters affecting the general interest of the united empire, but had they not the power to legislate upon the local or personal interests of every person in every town and village of the country? Therefore, he could not believe that it could be held up as unconstitutional for persons unconnected with a particular borough to subscribe or aid in bringing the question of the validity of the return for that borough before the proper tribunal. Every inhabitant of any part of this empire, be he an elector or not of the borough or county, the return for which is questioned, had, in his opinion, a legal and a constitutional interest in the right of the party returned to sit and act as a Member of that House. There was no resolution of the House, there was no statutory enactment to restrain or prohibit the interference of the constituency and inhabitants generally in these questions. The only restriction, as was well known was, with respect to the signature of the petition itself, and even this restriction did not, at all times, prevail—for in the interval between the original Grenville Act and the 28th George 3rd, a petition might have been presented and prosecuted, although coming altogether from persons unconnected with the place, the return for which was questioned. And how had it been in practice? He did not know any time of great political excitement in which such subscriptions did not exist, and he could bring back some of them to the resolution of hon. Gentlemen opposite, many of whom, although Members of that House at the time, had openly and avowedly encouraged and taken part in such subscriptions. He remembered, before he had the honour of a seat in that House, he took considerable interest in the election of his noble Friend, the Member for the county of Dorset (Lord Ashley). He recollected the election of 1831, in that county. His noble Friend was then returned as Member for the county, but he had scarcely been returned before placards and advertisements were issued from a committee sitting in London, calling upon the Reformers of the United Kingdom to come forward with their subscriptions in aid of a petition to unseat his noble Friend. What was the effect of that exhortation? A petition was presented, and he would venture to say, that a more unfounded petition had never been presented to that House. But who were the members of that committee? Was the noble Lord, the Member for North Devon (Lord Ebrington), then in the House? If he were, he would ask if he was not a member of it, and if he did not lend the sanction of his name to the placards and advertisements soliciting subscriptions for that petition, and if he did not afterwards attend in his place in the House when the election Committee was balloted for, ready to serve, to use the words of the hon. Gentleman opposite, as a judge or a juror in the cause in the success of which he was thus interested. On that committee was also the hon. Member for Bridport (Mr. Warburton). Perhaps that hon. Member would inform the House whether any foreign potentate had subscribed. Perhaps he would tell the House where the funds came from, and what particular interest the persons that subscribed shillings, as he believed was the case in the town of Reading, which his hon. and learned Friend represented (Mr. Sergeant Talfourd) had in that petition. The House might from thence judge of the knowledge which the parties subscribing had of the merits of the petition which had been presented against his noble Friend. The hon. Member for Cornwall—for he had the names before him—was also upon that committee, as were also the noble Lord, the Member for Chester, and the then Member, not the hon. Baronet who was now attacked, but the hon. Member for Wiltshire at that time (Mr. Methuen). He should like to ask the hon. Member for Bridport, if he was present at the ballot on the occasion of the presentation of the petition? He should like to ask the hon. Member for Bridport, if he did not take upon himself an active part in striking that very committee? He should also like to ask, whether the noble Lord, the Member for Chester, or the hon. Member for Cornwall, or the hon. Member for Wiltshire, had thought it necessary to be absent from that ballot? But to be sure the hon. Member who spoke last was extremely eloquent upon the impropriety of subscribing to aid a petition. That hon. Member had told them that the hon. Baronet, the Member for North Wiltshire, had subscribed 20l. to carry on the suit, and ought not, therefore, to be a juror. The hon. Member for Lincoln had told them that the hon. Baronet ought not to be a judge, as he had prejudged the case by subscribing 20l., and that although the hon. Baronet might from his age excuse himself from serving on the committee, yet that his example might induce other Members, who might be compelled to serve, to be guilty of the offence of subscribing to a petition fund. Would the hon. Member for Lincoln tell the House that he himself had never subscribed to an election petition: He had before him an extract from The Globe newspaper, of the 27th of March, 1835, which he would read to the House. The Globe newspaper now, as then, spoke pretty nearly the sentiments of Ministers, and of the hon. Gentlemen opposite. They seemed in 1835, to have adopted a most unconstitutional doctrine. In that paper he found this passage: "We under stand that Mr. Villiers has the strongest case against his opponent, Mr. Lushington; and we are sure, he will unseat him, if the matter comes before Parliament; but the misfortune is, that the expense to which Mr. Villiers has been already put, will probably incapacitate him from resuming his efforts. The electors of Canterbury, who have a more permanent interest in establishing their rights, have come forward most nobly." The hon. Member (Mr. Bulwer), doubted whether even electors ought to subscribe, but The Globe said, that the electors of Canterbury had come forward nobly. [Cheers from the Ministerial Benches.] He begged the hon. Gentlemen opposite not to cheer too early. The passage did not stop there—it went on to say, "Would it not be a shame to the Reformers of England, if these patriotic electors are left unaided in the struggle?" He believed, that the hon. Member for Lincoln was not an elector of Canterbury, but he found in the list of subscribers to the fund in aid of Mr. Villiers's petition against the return of Mr. Lushington, the name of Edward Lytton Bulwer as a subscriber of 5l. 5s.

Mr. Bulwer

rose to explain. [Order, order.]

Sir W. Follett

said, it would he much more agreeable to him. if the statement of the hon. Gentleman were at once heard. It might be that the statement in the newspaper was not correct, and he therefore asked the hon. Member for Lincoln to say at once whether it was correct or not.

Mr. Bulwer

It is not correct.

Sir W. Follett

said, he hoped that the hon. Member would have an opportunity, in the course of the discussion, of stating whether he had ever subscribed to any petition. [Mr. Bulwer: Never.] He was ready then to admit on the hon. Gentleman's statement that there was some mistake. There were two Gentlemen of the same name, who were both, at that time, Members of Parliament, and thence probably the mistake arose. If, however, there was a mistake in the newspaper statement in reference to the hon. Member for Lincoln, he would now refer to another passage in a newspaper which he had seen that day, in which he was sure there was none. A meeting had been held no longer ago than yesterday in the city of London, for the purpose of considering the petition that was presented against the Members for that city. Resolutions had been passed expressing the opinions of the meeting that the petition was frivolous and without foundation, and the chairman of that meeting was an hon. Member of that House. That hon. Member might be called upon to serve upon that very Committee. Now, was there any essential difference between a party stating his opinion in respect to the case of the petitioners against a return, or of one stating an opinion on the case of a sitting Member? But the resolutions of that meeting were not merely confined to the business of raising subscriptions to oppose the petitions; they distinctly pledged the opinion of the meeting and of the chairman that the petition was groundless and vexatious. If, then, there be any difference in the course taken by the hon. Member for Surrey and the hon. Baronet, it is surely in favour of the latter, who has expressed no opinion on the merits of any particular petition. Now, he begged to call the attention of the House to a few of the facts connected with this association. The hon. Gentleman opposite asked, whether it was not the intention of the association to promote petitions against the returns of Irish Members only, and with a view to attack the Catholics of Ireland? For his own part, he could only assure the House that, if he thought it was at all intended by this association to make any attack on the Catholics of Ireland, or the electors of Ireland, he should be the last person to stand up in that House for its defence. But to allege this was a mere begging of the question; when they spoke of the Representatives of the Irish electors, that, he would remind the House, was the very question which the House had to decide, namely, who were the Representatives of the people of Ireland? And he had reason to believe, that many of the elections of that country had been carried by means of an extensive system of intimidation, or by registering the votes of persons who had no legal claim to vote at all. He appealed to any Gentleman who had attended to a few of the recent Committees on Irish elections, whether a system of intimidation and fictitious voting did not appear to have prevailed in Ireland to an extent altogether unknown in this country? And it must be recollected that the acknowledged defects in the Irish system of registration rendered the creation of fictitious votes much more easy than it could be either in England or in Scotland. And now, as to the time when this association was set on foot. This meeting, which had been so often referred to, took place in London on August 30, and they were told that in its results, it was likely to produce a vast number of petitions against returns. But he held in his hand a Dublin paper, an opponent of the politics of her Majesty's Government, a paper dated the 18th of August, twelve days before this very meeting, in which was an article declaring that "petitions against the election of Members returned for the following places would certainly be presented to Parliament with every certainty of success;" and then followed a list of places, including Dublin, Belfast, Queen's County, Longford, Limerick, Armagh, Westmeath, Tipperary, Sligo, Clonmel, &c, in all fourteen petitions, involving the return of twenty-six Members. Yet, what was actually the case? That instead of fourteen petitions there were twelve against the Irish returns, and only sixteen seats instead of twenty-six involved. With regard to the Limerick election petition, he had received a letter from the secretary of the subscription Committee, requesting him to state that, as far as this petition was concerned, no communication, either direct or indirect, had passed between the petitioners against the sitting Member and the Committee, and that they had received no application for funds from the petitioners, and that they knew nothing of the petitioners. He begged now to call the attention of the House to the grounds upon which the Committee thought themselves justified in their proceedings. One of their resolutions declared, that "with respect to the ultimate disposal of the funds of the association, it had never been proposed, nor was it now, for the association to originate or under take any election petitions against the returns for Ireland, but only to give grants of money in aid of such petitioners or parties whose cause seemed to them to be good and just." It further went on to declare that in all cases the Committee would require it to be shown to them that the petitioners had good grounds for their allegations, and that they were not actuated by merely vexatiously hostile motives against the sitting Member, and further, that they had done all in their power towards raising the necessary funds, but still stood in need of assistance." Now, he would ask the House whether, with its recollection of all that had taken place in former times, it was prepared to pass its censure upon an association the objects of which were thus declared and restricted? Did the House recollect what took place in respect to the late Dublin election petition, when the petitioners were put to immense expense before they succeeded in upsetting the return of the then sitting Members? Did the House recollect that the hon. Gentleman who fruitlessly defended that seat, and who, in doing so, put the petitioning parties to this enormous expense, received by subscriptions in England, from persons wholly unconnected with the city of Dublin, the sum of 8,000l.? Now, he would put it to the House whether it would not be fair, if a petition were again to be presented against the hon. and learned Gentleman's return, and from the same Gentlemen again—whether it would not be fair that in this second contest they should have some of the same sort of assistance from the people of England as the hon. and learned Gentleman had already received? If the hon. Gentleman had a right to receive subscriptions from the people of England, in order to repay him for defending a seat which the Committee declared he had no right to, in common fairness, might not the same petitioners receive subscriptions from amongst their friends in England again to petition against a return which had been obtained by a still narrower majority than on the former occasion? But they were told that they ought not to prejudge questions of this kind, or to raise general funds for the support of election petitions; or rather, as the noble Lord, the Secretary for the Home Department, expressed it, that "they ought not to be in such a hurry" to do so, before they knew whether there would be grounds for petitioning or not. The hon. and learned Member for Dublin was very eloquent last night in denouncing the impropriety of persons sitting as judges and jurors in their own causes; but he would beg of that hon. and learned Gentleman to pay a little attention to his own acts and words upon former occasions before he again ventured upon such themes in this House. In a number of The Freeman's Journal for April, 1837, at a time when no dissolution had taken place, when there was no election immediately in prospect, when, therefore, there could be no consideration of the merits of petitions, he found the report of a speech made by the hon. and learned Gentleman opposite, in which after some observations against the Tories and Messrs. West and Hamilton, he said something to the following effect:—"It was not to be endured that Members who had supported the Melbourne Administration should be thrust out by the Tories, and he was anxious that the wish and desire of the association should go abroad that those Members who had supported, and who would still support, the Melbourne Administration, should be elected free of expense; and in case of any contingency, he wished that two resolutions should be passed to that effect, and in order to beat the Tories in every possible way, he proposed that each Liberal Member should subscribe 50l." For what? "To meet the expenses of elections? No—but to form a petition and anti-petition fund." Well, but a petition and anti-petition fund might possibly be fair if it were intended to assist the cause of justice on both sides; but in order that there might be no mis- understanding as to the object of this fund, the hon. and learned Gentleman was interrupted by Mr. Barrett, who said, "an anti-Tory petition fund?" to which the hon. and learned Gentleman replied, "of course, of course." The hon. and learned Gentleman then added, "that if each of the Irish Members," who, be it remarked, were then sitting, and might be judges and jurors on election petitions, "were to give the sum of 50l., a sum of 3,000l. would be obtained, which would be no bad beginning;" and the hon. and learned Gentleman then put down 300l. for himself and his three sons, who were all at that time Members of Parliament. The hon. and learned Gentleman had also, on the same occasion, said that "these subscriptions would put a check to the system of petitioning, and he (Mr. O'Connell) engaged there would have been no petitions against Carlow or Longford, but that it was thought that they would not be able to encounter the expense of defending the seats." And now he would ask the hon. and learned Gentleman would he again repeat the arguments and the opinions he had advanced last night against the impropriety of the motives of what he denounced as the Spottiswoode Conspiracy. These subscriptions, which the hon. and learned Member himself originated, were set afloat in the month of April, during the sitting of Parliament, and in the lifetime of the late King, and it was not until the 30th of August that the first meeting of the Spottiswoode conspirators took place. So that it could not be alleged that the Dublin association subscriptions took place to oppose those of London; and he could not believe that the hon. and learned Gentleman could, after what he had just read, have the courage again to stand up in that House, and to repeat his eloquent denunciation of last night against the almost criminal impropriety of a Member of Parliament subscribing to a petition fund. But, as he apprehended it was not because there was anything either very novel or very improper in the fact of Members of Parliament subscribing towards funds of this description, that so much was said upon the subject just now, but rather because there was something at this particular moment particularly inconvenient in this election petition fund, the object of which was to bring the rights of individuals to sit in that House to issue in the Parliamentary course. But he would ask, was it right or consistent, after the leaders of their own party had been members of committees for similar purposes, had originated subscriptions of the very like nature—who had afterwards attended in their places at the striking of Election Committees, and who if so struck would have served on those very Committees towards which their subscriptions were directed—was it right, was it fair, was it decorous, to come down and utter a denunciation against others for the very same conduct? If, on the other hand, it were to be decided that it was not right that any other parties should subscribe towards the expenses of a petition but persons belonging to the place where the election took place, and that Members of Parliament ought in no cases to subscribe towards such funds, it would be right for the House to declare this to be the case by a prospective enactment to that effect. But he would beg of hon. Gentlemen opposite to consider well where they could draw the line:—would they allow subscriptions for an election, and yet not for a petition, or to defend a seat?—would they allow the inhabitants of the place, although not electors, to subscribe, and prevent the electors of other places?—would they allow a subscription after a petition was presented, and not before? All these considerations would satisfy hon. Members that no resolution or act of the Legislature should be hastily come to on such a subject. But if the line could be drawn any where—if the rights of the people are in this respect to be interfered with, at least let it be done by an act of the Legislature prospective in its operation, and for future occurrences; for he could not help thinking, and he put this in all sincerity to the noble Lord opposite, that the character of this House must suffer in the eyes of the country and of the world, if because the exercise of this right was found at the present moment to be inconvenient to the party composing the majority, it should be attempted by the appointment of a committee or by a mere resolution of the House carried by the votes of that majority, to denounce that as illegal which neither the law, or the usage, or the feelings of the people, have hitherto regarded as anything but a constitutional right.

Viscount Ebrington

said, that he did not rise for the purpose of replying to the very able speech of the hon. and learned German who had just sat down, but simply to explain the part he had taken in refer- ence to a former election for the county of Dorset, to which the hon. and learned Gentleman had made particular reference. At an election for the county of Dorset, which took place some years ago, he certainly had, though not an elector, taken a very deep interest in the success of an hon. Friend of his who then contested the county against the noble Lord who now sat for that county. He well recollected that he allowed his name to be put down as a member of the Committee fund in London, for the purpose of promoting subscriptions towards that election, to which subscriptions he also himself contributed. He recollected also having heard at the time of circumstances connected with that election which, in his opinion, formed very strong grounds for a petition against the return, and he would not pretend to say that he might not have authorised the use of his name as a member of a Committee which was then formed for the purpose of promoting subscriptions in support of such a petition. At the same time he trusted the House would believe him when he said that he had no recollection of having taken any part in the proceedings of that Committee, nor of having subscribed towards the funds of it. But, even if he were mistaken in his recollection of these particulars, was there no distinction to be drawn between a subscription promoted for the individual purpose he had described and that which they were now considering, the subscribers to which could have no knowledge of the general merits of all the Irish elections, to petitions relating to which their funds were to be applied? He would ask again, was there no difference between his conduct in the case he had referred to and that of those individuals who, without any inquiry into merits, issued a wholesale subscription against all the elections of one portion of the kingdom? As he had already said, he did not rise with the intention of offering any arguments against those of the hon. and learned Member for Exeter, but merely to explain the facts of a case to which the hon. Gentleman had referred; and in which he (Lord Ebrington) was personally concerned; and until he heard something more conclusive than any which he had yet heard on the subject, he should not be induced to consider that his conduct in this affair offered a precise parallel to that of the parties to the subscriptions they were now considering.

Mr. Denison

having also been alluded to by the hon. and learned Gentleman in the course of his speech, begged to offer a very few words in explanation of what his conduct really had been in reference to the meeting on the subject of the city election petition. At the late election for the city of London, as the House was aware, there were five candidates; and his hon. Friend near him was returned by a majority of six votes over the rejected candidate. The friends of the rejected candidate, however, now petitioned against all the four sitting Members, and a subscription was raised by the Conservatives for the purpose of supporting that petition. The subscription on the sitting Member's part, therefore, was merely a defensive one- With respect to his having acted as a chairman at the meeting in the city, for the purpose of forwarding this object, he begged to assure the hon. and learned Gentleman opposite that he had the honour of being an elector for the city of London, for he took care to inquire into that fact when applied to by the Secretary to preside at that meeting, who assured him that his name was on the list of voters, or they would not have applied to him. With respect to the possibility of his being on an election Committee, he could also assure the hon. and learned Gentleman that before he took the chair he said to a friend of his that he did not think he should serve again, because having served on eight petitions he should swear off.

Mr. Warburton

admitted the charge made against him by the hon. and learned Member for Exeter, of having taken an active part in the election for the county of Dorset some years ago; for he acted as Chairman of the London Committee for his friend Mr. Ponsonby, in opposition to the noble Lord who now sat for the county. As to what took place in reference to that election, as far as he could recollect the circumstances at this distance of time, Members of Parliament studiously avoided subscribing to the funds in support of the petition against the noble Lord's return. For himself, as far as allowing his name to be inserted in the advertisement, calling upon all the inhabitants of the United Kingdom to subscribe in support of this petition, he believed the hon. and learned Member for Exeter had certainly established a case against him—a fact which, of course, Members opposite would not fail to use to the best advantage. With respect to the subscription to defray the expenses of the hon. and learned Member for Dublin in defending his return, he certainly not only did all in his power to advance that subscription, but he had contributed to it himself. But then it should be recollected that this subscription took place after the Committee had completed their labours and had given their decision; and he knew that a very strong feeling had existed amongst all those who projected the subscription, that nothing of the kind should be entered into and no steps taken towards it until after the disputed return was decided. But, under whatever circumstances a subscription of this kind had been raised, there certainly appeared to him to be a great difference between a particular subscription for one particular case, and a general subscription directed against a very large class of individuals. And in respect, particularly to the part he had taken in reference to the election for the county of Dorset, he considered that, situated as he was, as the Representative of Bridport, the seat of the reforming interest of the county, he could have acted in no other way.

Mr. Poulter

thought the House ought to be informed that this system of subscription was not confined to Irish elections. He held in his hand a provincial paper, dated Salisbury, November 11, in which was an advertisement calling upon every person in the country to subscribe in support of a petition against his return. And he was sorry to see amongst the subscribers to this proposed fund the name of one of the hon. Members for Dorchester. He did not think hon. Members opposite were dealing fairly by him in this, for he could positively assert, whatever might be the case with other Members, that in the whole course of his life he had never subscribed one farthing against any of them. And yet in the list printed in this advertisement he saw the names of many persons who were not likely to be his constituents, and of many rich and influential parties, bankers, and others, uniting for the purpose of supporting a petition against the return for the borough of Shaftesbury. He thought that before the hon. Member he had alluded to put down his name to this subscription, he ought, at least, to have considered a little the moral features of the case. He believed it would be found that a more fair, a more honest, or a more constitutional return had never taken place than that for the borough of Shaftesbury. He was surprised that hon. Members on the other side treated him with so much unfairness; but he maintained that the hon. and learned Gentleman who had recently addressed the House from that side had entirely failed in defending, upon constitutional grounds, the propriety of these subscriptions. He saw no difference whatever between unjustly prosecuting a petition in that House, and instituting unlawfully a suit in a civil court. The form of proceeding was similar in the two cases. The petitioner proceeded, as a plaintiff, by declaration, and was required to establish his proof secundum allegata. He found it stated in books of high authority, that a person leaving the sum of 20l. for the purpose of maintaining an action at law was guilty of an illegal act. Were not these petitions supported in the manner that had been described, equally guilty? If such a system were allowed, it would have this effect that a large number of persons, at a trifling expense, might prosecute to ruin a single individual. Yes, it was wholly inconsistent with the freedom of election, and in direct contradiction to all good and honourable feelings, that a man of moderate independence and without high connections should be overwhelmed by such a confederacy. It was impossible for him not to desire that a check should be put to such proceedings, when he saw such individuals as Mr. Curling putting down their names for 50l, 20l., or 10l., for no other object, he firmly believed, than to ruin a humble though independent individual. Surely the House could never say that this was not a case which, in all its circumstances, should be probed to the bottom. If it should appear the hon. Gentlemen at his side of the House had been betrayed into acts of the same nature as those which he condemned, let the charges be proved against them, and let them abide the consequence; but he did say that if ever there was a case calling for the interposition and protection of Parliament, it was the enormous extent of those subscriptions and combinations which, for the first time in their present number and circumstances, had been set on foot in this country. It was utterly impossible for an independent man to do his duty if he was not only harassed by a grievous opposition at the hustings, offered on very unfair grounds, but when he had triumphed there fairly and honorably he were again assailed by petitions got up in this manner. This was a question in which the Government and every Member of that House were deeply interested; and he was surprised to hear so serious a charge as that which the motion conveyed met by the imputation of unconstitutional proceedings on the part of persons professing liberal opinions. He did not think that his own was a case which ought to be prejudged, and he was satisfied that it supplied a strong argument for the motion for a Committee, which should have his most strenuous support.

Lord Ashley

I shall not detain the House longer than for a very few minutes whilst I confirm every thing which has been stated by my hon. and learned Friend the Member for Exeter. I entirely agree with the hon. Member for Bridport (Mr. Warburton) that there is a vast difference between the petitions at present under consideration and that which was instituted against my return. There is certainly a very great difference in the two cases, in the one the whole force of a country was directed against one individual and in the other, one large class is struggling for victory over another. Now let me tell the House the grounds on which the petition and subscription were got up against me, and I think I shall be able to prove that a more unwarrantable proceeding never was instituted. What was the argument used in private to induce persons to subscribe? Why this—"Show but a menacing attitude; he has no money to resist; he is exhausted by the contest, and he must retire." They did show that menacing attitude, and I did retire. It is true that my friends used their best exertions and contributed by subscription for the purpose of obtaining for me a fair hearing; but it was to the malignity of my enemies—for I can call it by no less harsh a name—which I do not, however, mean to apply to the hon. Member for Bridport, who has behaved to me in the most candid and honourable manner, that I owe my sole preservation. The poll was vexatiously kept open for eighteen days, three. Sundays having occurred during this period. The election closed on the 17th of October. I arrived in town on thel9th, and on the 20th or 21st at the very latest, the whole town was placarded with appeals to the country to drive me from my seat. My noble Friend the Secretary of state for the Home Department asked last night how it was possible that those persons who had subscribed to the fund at present under discussion could be aware of the merits of the several petitions, the subscriptions, having been instituted before they could be known. What, then, does he say to my case, which forms a perfect precedent for the present proceedings, taking them to be such as the noble Lord has decribed? Why, four days after my return a committee met in Cockspur street, and issued placards calling on the whole country—great and small, all who advocated Reform principles—to subscribe in order to drive me from the seat which I had unjustly usurped. And what was the effect of this appeal? Only two days ago a Gentleman resident at reading told me that he perfectly well recollected when the news of that subscription came down to the town which I have named, and that it produced a strong sensation amongst the Reformers, the tradesman and labouring man contributing his shilling to swell the fund destined for my destruction. Well, then, I say to the hon. and learned Member for Dublin, if your consciences were not then so tender as to notice such proceedings—if you could sanction those practices at that time—why do you display so suddenly such moral feeling and such a love of the Constitution, and such a wonderful knowledge of law, as to denounce any Gentleman who has taken part in this subscription as unworthy of the character of an Englishman, and as perpetrating acts unsanctioned either by law or gospel. Now, recollect, that subscriptions having been opened three or four days after my return, the petition was presented on the 3rd of March; the country was still appealed to; sums came in day by day. I had to defend my seat for seventeen days—one day less than the duration of the election itself. And what in the end was the result? Why, the hon. Member for Bridport said to me, "Well, if I had known you had so good a case, nothing on earth would have induced me to take the part I have done." The hon. Member for Shaftesbury (Mr. Poulter), who is now so very fearful as to the system of petitioning, had no qualms at that time—neither he nor his party reprobated the practice—the whole thing passed off without a remark. And, though I cannot undertake to speak with certainty, yet my belief is, that many hon. Members of this House contributed on that occasion for the purpose of displacing me from my seat; but then no one thought that their conduct was unconstitutional, inconsistent with the spirit of the constitution, or subversive of the just rights and privileges of Parliament. I did not rise, Sir, to argue this question, but merely to confirm what has been stated by the hon. and learned Member for Exeter, and I feel happy to acknowledge the manly and honourable conduct of the hon. Member for Bridport, and of the noble Lord, the Member for North Devon (who has pursued this evening his invariably upright course), in admitting that they had affixed their names to a Committee-list, the object of which was to amass subscriptions for turning out an individual.

Mr. Goring

did not think that the noble Lord had stated the case fairly when he asserted that this petition fund was set on foot to decide between two large classes. The truth was this, that the wealth of Ireland was in Protestant hands, and the Members returned to that House being for the greater part elected by Catholics, this conspiracy was concocted in order to foment religious prejudice against the maintenance of the rights of the mass of the population in Ireland. He knew that this combination was looked upon in its proper light by the people of England. It was illegal and unconstitutional for a number of persons to subscribe in order to defeat the return of a man who might not have means to defend his seat, and the House ought to purge itself from every imputation of unfairness and oppression.

Mr. Villiers

could not understand why it was attempted to cast ridicule upon this case unless to escape from the charge which had been established against the parties in question, for he had heard nothing that varied the circumstances of the case which were alleged against the contributions to this fund, and which, if he understood it, was an offence against the privileges of this House, and by means so odious and oppressive as upon grounds of public policy to call for specific notice. It was not a matter even where the facts connected with it were in question; they were admitted, the object of the parties was undisguised, and they had only now to look to the consequences that legitimately flowed from them to decide upon the nature and magnitude of the offence. He did not hear it disputed that men of wealth and station had combined to contribute their funds for the purpose, by means of the Parliamentary tribunals, of removing a class of persons from this House, and substituting in their seats partisans of their own; and that they had so engaged to promote and maintain these petitions before Committees without inquiring into the merits of the case, with- out having an immediate interest in the result, and without ascertaining how their funds were to be applied for the purpose. These were the facts before the House. They had the object in view, and they had the fund which had been contributed for its accomplishment; but the country had another circumstance before it, namely, the character of the tribunal, as it had been described by hon. Members themselves on all sides of the House, and which was allowed to be as imperfect in every respect as tribunals tried by any test whatever could be found to be. In his hearing it had been admitted by all parties that the judges were justly suspected because they had an interest in the result of the inquiry; that they were incompetent because they were without learning and experience, and they were exclusive, for no man of moderate fortune could ever think of appearing before them. What, then, he asked, were the people to think who heard this character of the tribunal, and heard that large sums had been raised to question the seats of their Representatives before them? He knew that it was the custom of the House to repel with indignation the idea that their votes would be influenced by place or pay; but when the people heard of Members denouncing Committees of their body as impure, why should it be an extravagant supposition on their part to believe that the direct mode in allowing the judges themselves to share in the fund was the mode in which the favourable decision for the contributors was to be obtained? No one would deny that any Irish elector would be justified in his opinion, and was it right to leave justice thus to be suspected? But if this, in fact, were improbable, and they were to judge of the policy of allowing these combinations for the purpose of instituting or threatening petitions against Members, they must contemplate things that were possible; and he would ask whether this combination, available for the ruin of any individual, might not be brought to bear in other ways than in directly petitioning against a Member, and whether some trusty organ of the sacred treasure might not intimate to some Member that he had the means of ruining him by the expense of a petition if he resisted: he might show him the list of subscribers—he might point to his judges as among the interested men, and who were subscribers, and then suggest to him that if he would either abstain from voting on particular questions, or vote with the party of the subscribers, that no petition would be presented or maintained. No doubt that was not to be admitted; but he had been just long enough in the House to hear of strange terms that Members were charged with making for their votes, and of transactions in Committees that in a moral point of view were not worse; and if it had not been done already, there was no reason why it should not be done: for once let it be admitted that combinations of persons to avail themselves of the defects of the tribunals of this House might be found, so that justice might be tampered with in any way, he would ask what iniquity, however enormous, might not be practised, or ought not to be expected? All such consequences were contemplated from confederacies such as they were contemplating by the law of this country, and which laws were constantly enforced at a time when our courts of justice were as degraded and suspected as the Parliamentary tribunals were declared by Members of this House to he now; and it was only since our courts had been above all suspicion, that they had ceased to hear of maintenance, of champerty, or barratry; but if ever they could sink to the level of an Election Committee, again would the public hear of all the iniquity which, under the forms of justice, they inflicted. He was sorry to think that there was less importance attached to the proceeding because it involved only the fate of Ireland — he observed with regret the manner in which persons allowed themselves to speak and write about Ireland; but if he could appeal to no higher feeling, let Members only think themselves, let English and Scotch Members remember, that this was a bold experiment just made, which, if allowed to pass unheeded, would not be confined to the Irish, but would be applied to any class who were obnoxious to the wealthy classes, who had combined their property for this purpose. Let those of moderate fortune remember that this was only carrying out the favourite notion of the opposite side, that none but the rich, or the creatures of the rich, should sit in this House. Let every man remember who advocated the popular interests, and who had been chosen for his principles rather than for his purse, that he might be the next object for persecution by this confederacy. It was an advantage in the Reform Bill, that in many of the constituencies the franchise was in the hands of the industrious classes, who might, on any day, return one of their own body to the House. Did anybody doubt, if a working man were returned to the House, that this aristocratic fund would not immediately be directed against him, to compel him, by a ruinous petition, to vacate his seat, and make room for one more agreeable to the opposite side? And was this the way, he would ask, to make the House respected or trusted by the people? Where was it to end if they did not now mark their sense of the injustice and impolicy of this scheme? Why should not every popular Member be driven from his seat? And what was the answer which the hon. Member for Exeter gave to the opinion of the Crown lawyers, that if this were allowed by the constitution it ought not to be; or the answer to his hon. Friend, the Member for Lincoln, when he asked the right hon. Baronet, the Member for Tamworth, why he sought to defer or prevent the reform of the tribunal? Why, the answer was this, that the practice was of long standing in this country to interfere with the due administration of justice in such cases, that it was done on both sides, for his speech was nothing from beginning to end but recrimination and bandying back the charge upon this side which had proceeded from it; and what did that prove but the greater necessity of reform, and the extent to which the injustice had been carried? He was convinced in his own mind that they ought, for the satisfaction of the public, and for the vindication of the honour of the House, to reprobate this system by some vote or resolution. If they refused protection to persons from so crying an injustice, they would have that done which always was done in those cases where the law did not afford adequate protection—the aggrieved parties would take the law into their own hands, and they would have some organised system of retaliation upon those persons or those bodies who had made themselves conspicuous in this matter. They would see other combinations formed for the purpose of harassing these contributors with suits, or investigating their titles to their property; or by some act or other, attempts would be made to deter men by example from a repetition of this offence. He had heard that the colleges of Oxford had come forward to contribute their funds for the purpose of maintaining petitions against Irish Members. Would it be, then, wonderful if Irish Members were to retaliate, call for inquiry into their charters, or institute suits on the presumption that they had for feited their charters? For many other reasons, that he would not detain the House, by stating, he contended that these subscriptions by persons ignorant of the merits and not interested themselves in the result, were against public policy, and most dangerous to the rights and liberties of the people.

Colonel Conolly

said, that a large part of that House had fallen into the common error of considering certain persons in that House as the people of Ireland; and they assumed that, because some of those persons had been petitioned against, and because subscriptions had been raised in support of those petitions, the rights of the people of Ireland were attacked by the people of England. That, however, was a most erroneous idea, and he called on Britain to vindicate the rights of the oppressed people of Ireland, who were suffering under a tyranny so intense as hardly to be credited. The word which had been uttered by Lord Lyndhurst, and of which such use had been made in agitating the country, had been fairly hunted down; and those who depended on agitation were obliged to look out for some other inflammatory topic, and the English subscription in support of the Irish petitions had furnished them with one exactly suited to their purposes. It was said, that the subscriptions which had been entered into, showed the hostility of Great Britain to Ireland; but he viewed it as an act of generosity to those who were prevented by poverty and oppression from approaching the legitimate tribunal of the land to seek redress for their grievances. He could not imagine how people could suppose that House could be corrupted by the money which had been subscribed in London in support of Irish petitions. It was childish and incredible to suppose, that that money would have any other effect than of putting in a fair light the state of Ireland, and doing justice to the electors of that country. He was not petitioned against, nor he believed had any person ever intended to do so. He lived in a county where there was little difference of opinion, but it had not escaped the exertions of certain persons to disturb its tranquillity. Certain persons had tried to excite the people, and there were certain persons who had made tours to that part of Ireland for purposes of agitation, and he believed that some eminent King's counsel had also been sent down to produce agitation and deprive him of his seat. That agitation of Ireland, which had been so long continued by self-interested men, was the greatest curse of that country. It was to that cause they were to attribute the large amount of the army estimates, the blood which had been shed from resistance to tithes, all the crimes which they had witnessed, and the misery and wretchedness of the country; and that the party who had dreaded that agitation, who had opposed the laws of the land and disturbed the peace and tranquillity of the country, should now come to that House and complain of a subscription intended to free the country from their domination, was indeed extraordinary. He alluded to what had passed in Ireland, and not to anything which had taken place in that House. His object had been to show that the act of Britain, as regarded these subscriptions, was an act of generous interference—to afford those who were trampled on and oppressed, an opportunity of coming before a fair and legitimate tribunal for redress of their wrongs. Ireland knew full well that England was ever generous to the distressed, and that she had often received relief from Britain when the other party, her pretended friends, had robbed and plundered her. He had seen thousands sent from England to Ireland to relieve her sufferings, and he could not sit and hear it stated, that the present combination was to deprive her of her rights, or that the subscription had been entered into for the purpose of injuring her interests.

Mr. H. Grattan

reminded the House, that the subject of discussion was the petition of his hon. Friend (Mr. O'Brien); and the argument of "el tu quoque,"urged by the hon. and learned Member for Exeter, was rather a curious answer to the statements contained in that document. The practice was admitted to be a bad one. Ought it, then, to continue? Why not abolish it altogether? Why not determine "est usus abolendus?" The subscribers to this Spottiswoode fund had directed their whole artillery against the unfortunate Irish Members. It was, in fact, an ant Irish, anti-Catholic, and sectarian combination. His conviction was, that the whole conspiracy had been organised long before the elections took place, and he would refer to the events which attended the Longford election in proof of the fact. But, in addition to its being an anti-Irish conspiracy, it was more particularly aimed against those Members from that country who professed the Catholic religion. Let hon. Members who doubted this assertion, look to the list of the subscribers. [The hon. Member read a long string of names from among the subscribers, with a view of showing that a considerable proportion of the fund had been sent in by persons notoriously hostile to the Catholic religion.] But what puzzled him most was, to see the names of so many fair ladies on the his told dowagers and interesting spinsters had entered heart and hand to aid the fund. There was Mrs. Hastings, Miss Mary Hastings, Miss Ann Hastings, &c., &c., to the end of a long chapter. Now, why in the name of common sense, should all these good ladies be so hostile to Irish Members? But what to him was the most vexatious part of the whole affair, the Spottiswoode conspirators had actually swindled three most amiable and interesting female relatives of his own. But to be serious. Did the House know how many Protestant clergymen figured on the list as contributors to this fund for upsetting the Irish elections? Why no less than 1,121. Where was the hon. Baronet (Sir F. Burdett), who clamoured so loudly about the unholy combination of "Paid patriots, Popish priests, and Irish agitators," while he stated this fact? What had he to say upon this combination? Hon. Members, on the opposite side, exclaimed "War is protection!" He said so too, if such combinations were to be deemed the elements of peace. But notwithstanding all the great Spottiswoode conspirators could do, his conviction was, that the spirit of liberty would, ere long, establish on the firmest basis the rights and liberties of his Irish countrymen.

The Attorney-General

was desirous, in a very calm and dispassionate manner, to state to the House the view he took of the case under discussion. When the hon. Member for Limerick, last night, gave notice of his intention of moving for the Committee, he ventured to express his opinion that its appointment would be altogether inexpedient, and no less useless. The opinion he then expressed, he still maintained. For what purpose, he asked, should a Committee enter into this investigation? The facts of the transaction were not at all disputed, and that being the case, when these facts were reported by the Committee, what would there be to be done? No one proposed to institute a criminal prosecution; he believed it was neither intended nor wished by anyone; then, was the House to enter into any question of breach of privilege? Such questions, in his humble opinion, were as far as possible to be avoided. [Cheers.] Hon. Gentlemen opposite cheered, but let them hear him out. Whenever necessary let the House practically bring them forward, and exert those privileges with which they were invested, but do not mix up with them any speculative question involved in debate. For these reasons, if the question came to a division, which he hoped it would not, he should vote against the proposition for a Committee. But was it from this to be inferred that he approved of what had been done by the subscribers to this fund. No! he most strongly condemned it, as being unconstitutional, illegal, and as tending to most mischievous consequences. His hon. and learned Friend, the Member for Exeter, had not ventured to defend it. The whole of his address, in which he displayed his usual acuteness and deep casuistry, amounted in the end to but a recrimination on his opponents. Tu quoque was its starling note from the beginning to the end. But after all, throughout the several cases with which he was furnished he produced nothing at all to be compared to the Spottiswoode proceeding. This was, in point of fact, neither more nor less than a subscription against the Irish Catholic Members of that House. [" No, no!"] It was so. It was an appeal to the Protestants of England against the Catholics of Ireland. The right hon. Baronet had stated, no doubt with perfect sincerity, that he was ignorant of this being the fact, but he contended that it was proved beyond all doubt. Therefore it was, he asserted, that this subscription was peculiar in its nature, and most dangerous in its consequences, for it tended to stir up religious strife, and endanger the integrity of the empire. He had been applied to by the hon. and learned Member for Exeter to state, as a law officer of the Crown, what was his opinion of the question in its constitutional bearings. It would have been perhaps better if the hon. and learned Member had himself set the example, for there was no man more capable than his hon. and learned Friend of giving a sound opinion upon any point of constitutional law; but, as he had been appealed to, he would, with great humility, state what he found in the law books on this subject. He had narrowly consulted all the authorities bearing upon the point, and the conclusion to which he came was this, that these subscriptions were illegal. The law of England exercised great jealousy with respect to the pure and impartial administration of justice; and, with the view of giving it effect, laid it down, that if any person should assist with money, or even advice, unless professional, a suitor in any court, he should be deemed guilty of what was legally termed maintenance, and punishable accordingly. Even at an early period, it was found necessary to enact severe laws against combinations which had either a direct or indirect tendency to prevent the due course of justice; and among other things it was expressly specified, that unless a man had a direct interest in a suit, although he believed the case to be founded in justice, and although he was convinced that the party whose cause he espoused had right on his side, by the law of England he was precluded from assisting him with money [Hear, hear!]. But there was an exception in this general rule, to which the cheers from the Opposition benches referred—that was the case of a man having an interest in the suit. A man having a right of common, with several others, might make a joint-stock purse with those others to carry on any invasion of the right; but, as far as he could find, there was nothing in the law books which at all applied to this case, and, on the contrary, this express question had been decided by a high tribunal in the country, as if it had been a case of maintenance. The case to which he referred was, that of "Wallis v. the Duke of Portland," reported in 3rd Vesey, junior's Reports. It was here held that a party not an elector, contributing money, or assisting anywise the prosecution of an election petition, was guilty of maintenance. A gentleman, named Jackson, was returned for the borough of Colchester, and Mr. Tierney, the unsuccessful candidate, petitioned against the return. Upon this, the Duke of Portland employed the plaintiff, who was his attorney, to carry on the petition at the Duke of Portland's expense. The petition being decided, the plaintiff Wallis, so employed, came against the Duke of Portland for the money he had laid out in the prosecution of the petition, and his evidence not being complete, he filed a bill of discovery, in which he set forth the fact of his being employed by the Duke of Portland as above mentioned. This bill was demurred to, on the ground that it set forth what was not legal evidence. Lord Rosslyn, in giving judgment, held that the employment of the attorney Wallis by the Duke of Portland in the prosecution of a petition in which he had no legal interest, was a violation of the law, and for that reason the demurrer was allowed. This, in itself, was a strong case, but it was made stronger, and brought more home to the present, by the language held by Lord Rosslyn in pronouncing his judgment. He said, "Put this case—a subscription to carry on a petition to the House—I confess I always thought there was something of a crime in it. The case disclosed is of this nature—an undertaking appeared between the plaintiff and defendant, that the latter would contribute to the expense of a petition against a Member of Parliament—that is, an engagement between two parties to the injury and oppression of a third. In short, it is maintenance, for maintenance is not confined to supporting suits at common law." To this decision of Lord Rosslyn there was an appeal, and the case was brought before the House of Lords for their decision. It was argued there, and they unanimously affirmed the judgment of the Court, as well as the doctrine that Lord Rosslyn had laid down, that subscriptions to carry on an election petition by persons who were not electors was maintenance and illegal. So much with regard to general subscribers; but when they came to the case of the Members of that House being subscribers, he did not hesitate to say the subscription was most grossly illegal. Members of that House stood in the situation of judges in respect to these election petitions, and the fact of their subscribing for the prosecution or defence of petitions placed them in the situation of persons having a pecuniary interest in the case. In support of this petition, he had more than one striking case to cite. In the case of a prosecution instituted by the Society for the Suppression of Vice, the Judge, upon a suggestion made to him by the prisoner's counsel, addressed the jury, asking if any of them were subscribers of the fund, for if they were, they could by no means serve on the trial. In another case (the King against Dolby, reported in 3rd Barnwell and Creswell) a similar decision was come to. That was the case of a prosecution instituted by a society calling itself the Loyal and Constitutional Association for the prosecution of seditious publications. The Sheriff of Middlesex, whose duty it was to summon the jurors, had, it appeared, subscribed two guineas to the funds of this association. Upon the trial, the defendant, Dolby, alleging this fact, challenged the jury-box; and the Judge, being of opinion that the jury had been summoned by a party not indifferent to the result of the trial, determined that they should be put aside, and a writ was directed to the coroner of the county, ordering him to impannel a jury, and by that jury the case was subsequently tried. Let the House see in what situation a Member of Parliament might be placed if this practice were permitted. If he had subscribed in favour of a petition against a sitting Member, and if the defence of that Member were declared frivolous and vexatious, he saved so much money out of his own pocket. He did not believe that any hon. Member would be actuated by such motives. But the law was against the practice; the law disqualified any person from being a judge or being on a jury who had the slightest pecuniary interest in the matter at issue. Now, a Member of Parliament who had subscribed to support an election petition, had a pecuniary interest in the matter at issue. On these grounds, it appeared to him that the subscriptions in question were highly illegal. He rejoiced that the subject had been brought before the House and the public. And he trusted, that if there should be any future subscriptions for similar purposes, they would not be of a national or a religious cast.

Sir Francis Burdett

said, that the other side had been endeavouring to induce him to rise earlier in the evening; but as he had always considered it advantageous not to do that which the enemy recommended him to do, he had preferred deferring his observations on the question. He must say that he wished more of the individuals who sat on the Treasury Bench had addressed the House on the subject. Only one hon. and learned Gentleman had spoken from that bench; and if what that hon. and learned Gentleman had said was true, it put the case entirely out of court. Great as necessarily was the weight of the hon. and learned Gentleman's opinion, and layman as he (Sir F. Burdett) was, he was prepared to meet the hon. and learned Gentleman on this constitutional question, and to call on her Majesty's Government, if the case was an illegal one, to bring it under the consideration of a much better tribunal than that House, in which all sorts of insane political feelings and passions prevailed. In the first place, he must thank the hon. Member for Limerick, who had brought forward the question, for the manner in which he had done so. He was quite satisfied from his demeanour and language that the hon. Gentleman did not intend any slight or disrespect towards him, in not having given him that notice of his motion which he ought, and which he was quite sure, if the hon. Gentleman had been aware of the fact, he would have given him. It was impossible for any man to bring such a motion forward in a more gentlemanly manner than that in which the hon. Member for Limerick had brought forward his motion. He had placed it on fair and intelligible grounds. For instance, the hon. Gentleman had not charged him with being a conspirator, and guilty of everything that was vile, merely because the hon. Gentleman thought that the practice of which he complained was a bad practice, and that the House ought to interfere to put an end to it. On that last point he differed from the hon. Member for Limerick. He did not think that the practice to which he had recourse was a bad practice. He did not see why honest men ought not to be permitted to combine to promote the law—not as men of another description had combined, to defeat the law. He did not see why honest men ought not to be permitted to combine to prevent the law from being defeated by an unprincipled combination, the object of which was to keep men out of Parliament who ought to be there, and to bring men into Parliament who, but for intimidation, would not be there at all. The hon. Gentleman, and the hon. and learned Gentleman, talked of men who had subscribed to forward the presentation of the petitions in question as being corrupt judges. Now their interference had nothing to do with the decision of the House on the question. Nor was it important, if they were honest men, that they had aided in the presentation of the petitions, that they should not constitute a part of the tribunal to decide upon their merits. It was a common thing throughout England for honest persons to combine to enforce the infliction of public punishment on individuals. There was not a county in which persons did not subscribe to a fund for the purpose of bringing felons to trial. Even the learned Attorney-General, who went on the antiquated law of maintenance, acknowledged that it had nothing whatever to do with independent men who subscribed for the purpose of bringing persons to trial who would not otherwise be prosecuted. He, and those with whom he had acted, had said nothing of the prayer of the petitions; they had not said whether that prayer was right or not. He had never thought well of the borough system; although the noble Lord, the Secretary of State for the Home Department, had, in former years, said that it was practically useful, and that it had placed some of the ablest men that had ever lived in the House of Commons. But when he saw a set of priests in Ireland calling on men to vote for their God—when he saw the hon. and learned Member for Dublin affixing to the houses of other men the insignia of death, and endeavouring to influence elections by a system of terrorism more horrible than had ever existed in France in the time of Robespierre, he felt justified in considering whether some means might not be devised of putting an end to such proceedings. Were not such proceedings worse than corruption? Was it not notorious that assassination was resorted to for the purpose of influencing the elections in Ireland? Had not the most dreadful and horrible murders been perpetrated in that country for that purpose? For instance, were there not the murders of Allen and Mackenzie, in the county of Sligo? Had not one of the most respectable noblemen in Ireland, a Roman Catholic, a man whom he highly honoured —had not Lord Kenmare declared that the enlightened Roman Catholics of Ireland had nothing whatever to do with those proceedings? And be it observed, that when the hon. Gentleman opposite talked of Ireland, they left out of their consideration every thing which he and those who sat on his side of the House called Ireland; for they left out all the intelligence, they left out all the property, they left out all the Protestants, they left out all the enlightened Roman Catholics, they left out all the eminent merchants of that country. And a large portion even of those who supported the objects of the hon. and learned I Member for Dublin, were compelled to do so by a system of tyranny more oppressive than was ever before inflicted upon a prostrate people. Ireland! He had done more for Ireland than the hon. and learned Gentleman with all his rent. But the whole question was at an end. The hon. and learned Member for Exeter—he should be happy to call him his hon. and learned Friend—had demolished the whole argument of those who supported the motion. The hon. Member for Lincoln had referred to his opinions and conduct five-and-thirty years ago. He must confess the folly of his youth. Instigated as he was at the period to which the hon. Member for Lincoln alluded, by political anger, by the ruin- ous expense of two election contests in which he had been engaged with the Government of that day, reduced as nearly as possible to beggary—[No, no.]—reduced at least to what—although a philosopher might be contented with it—to so narrow an income as only just to be able to keep a carriage and horses, and to maintain the position in society of a gentleman, until the payment of his debts—thirty years ago, when his blood was winner than at present, after such severe contests, and believing himself oppressed by means of the public purse, he certainly had made the appeal to the House of Commons which had been described by the hon. Member for Lincoln. But what had been the consequence? That Sheridan laughed at him, and that the House of Commons rejected his petition almost una voce. But the hon. Member for Lincoln had allowed that he himself had entered his name as a subscriber to a fund for a similar purpose to that which was now condemned. [No, no!] Certainly the hon. Member for Lincoln did not deny that he had entered his name on such a subscription list. All that he understood the hon. Member to deny was, that he had paid any money. Perhaps the hon. Member's name was placed on the list as a decoy-duck for others. The present question, he maintained, was an Irish one. But, as a great poet of old said, every thing was different in Ireland from what it was every where else. Among other things, it appeared that a patriot in Ireland was very different from a patriot every where else. He really was at a loss to know whether the hon. and learned Member fur Dublin was a Ministerial man or not. Sometimes the hon. and learned Gentleman warmly supported the treasury bench; sometimes he was quite dumb; and nobody knew what to make of him. At the meeting of Parliament, the noble Lord on the opposite side had made a speech which had given him great satisfaction and gratification. "Here," he had said to himself, "is one of the best Conservative speeches I ever heard." No sooner, however, was the speech uttered, than one of the hon. Gentlemen who sat on the benches behind the noble Lord fell on him with such violence, that he could not help exclaiming, with the fat knight, "Call you this backing your friends! A plague on such backing say I." Upon this the noble Lord rose, like the genius in the Arabian Tales, coming forth as a flame from a bottle, and declared that he rejected the three powders which had been prescribed by his Friend, the hon. Member for Finsbury; but that he would maintain the ancient institutions of England, and not surrender an inch of it to anybody. He then certainly thought that the time was come when all the friends of the Constitution might unite in its support, and show the Irish Radicals and democrats that the sweepers of streets were not exactly the persons to govern the country. The noble Lord, however, in consequence probably of another squeeze, in twenty-four hours changed his tone. Like Mahomet's tomb, the noble Lord appeared to be suspended between heaven and earth, and at times it was difficult to know whether he was standing on his head or his heels. But no sooner did the breach between the noble Lord and his friends appear to be healed, than the hon. and learned Member for Dublin went to dine at Copenhagen or White Conduit-house, and there he threw all his Whig friends completely overboard, declaring that he was not even a Whig Radical, but a simple Radical. The hon. and learned Gentleman seemed to speak in the Saxon language in the House of Commons, but in his native Milesian tongue at Copenhagen-house. It might be asked of the hon. and learned Gentleman— —— patriis intermiscere petita Verba foris malis, Canusini more bilinguis? But, in fact, the hon. and learned Member for Dublin had a hundred tongues—one for every society into which he entered. At White Conduit-house, however, having voted for the noble Lord in the House of Commons, he denounced her Majesty's Ministers as enemies to Reform, threw them over the bridge, and declared himself a simple Radical. The noble Lord, on his part, came down at once from the eminence on which he had placed himself. The great poet of the country had divided life into seven ages; but the noble Lord proceeded at once to enact "the lean and slippered pantaloon;" and His big manly voice, Turning again towards childish treble, piped And whistled in the sound. So that it was really impossible to know at any time what the noble Lord would be in twenty-four hours. So discordant were the materials with which the noble Lord had to work, that he found it difficult to keep them together. Sometimes the noble Lord quarrelled with his materials, and then again he was reconciled to them. Now for a word or two on the question before the House. The hon. and learned Member for Dublin had received 9,000l. to indemnify him for the expenses of his petition. He had previously indemnified himself to the amount of 2,000l., for which sum he sold the representation of the county of Carlow. A Committee of that House, however, exculpated him from the charge of personal corruption. But now the hon. and learned Gentleman pretended to find fault with persons who had done nothing more than that which had always been the practice. The thing had been done over and over again; and he well recollected that such had been the case when he was a member of Brookes's Club. Nothing had been done more than that which it was usual to do for the prosecution of felons; and if the proposition before the House were successful, he should expect to see the table loaded with petitions from felons, complaining of the unconstitutional manner in which they were treated by illegal combinations.

Mr. E. L. Bulwer,

in explanation, denied that he had in any way subscribed with reference to the Canterbury petition. When applied to do so, he had answered that he might be balloted as a member of the committee to take the petition into consideration, and therefore must decline any interference.

Mr. O'Connell

said, that the argument of some of the speeches which had that night been made with a view to oppose the motion of the hon. Member for Limerick, was directly in favour of that motion. For instance, all the proceedings which had been described by the noble Lord, the Member for Derbyshire, were proceedings which ought to be taken cognizance of by the House. The noble Lord had told the House that he had been nearly the victim of a combination against him, and that, although the election was a fair one, and in his favour, he had nearly been driven from his seat. Did the noble Lord make a formal complaint to that House? If he had done so, he for one would have voted for an investigation into the subject. The case afforded another instance of the conspiracy of which himself and his friends complained. The hon. and learned Member for Exeter (and none more learned or more able, or even so able) made a long and powerful party speech, but did not meet the question before the House at all. The question was not whether the hon. Member for Waterford, or whether he (Mr. O'Connell) was wrong. Did the hon. and learned Gentleman attempt to justify the practice complained of by the hon. Member for Limerick? Not at all. What the hon. and learned Gentleman did was to quote, as an argumentum ad hominem, the course which he (Mr. O'Connell) had pursued on a former occasion. Now, what were the facts to which the hon. and learned Gentleman alluded? In April, when there was no petition, when there was no election, he had hinted that a protection fund at such a period as that might be desirable. He was lawyer enough to know, that if no cause was pending or in view, such a subscription might, even according to the old law of maintenance, be entered into. But did the hon. and learned Member for Exeter mean to say, that this proposition was proceeded with? Was a penny actually subscribed? He certainly wished the matter to be carried forward; but when the sitting of Parliament arrived, it was determined not to take any step until a dissolution, and the plan was abandoned—not a shilling was ever subscribed. Having disposed of that part of the subject, he would proceed to the matter immediately before the House. To whatever remark the statement might subject him, he had no hesitation in acknowledging, that he was engaged in a great national experiment. He was endeavouring to ascertain whether there was sufficient love and sympathy for Ireland in the Legislature of Great Britain to justify those who wished to preserve the connexion between the two countries. He was endeavouring to ascertain whether the sense of justice on the part of England towards Ireland was such as to induce Ireland to preserve the connexion, or whether, the feelings of England towards Ireland were so adverse and unsympathetic as to warrant Ireland to- try and dissolve the connexion. He had heard the hon. Member for Limerick, who formerly was as strongly opposed as any man could possibly be to the agitation of repeal, expressing now a thorough conviction, that if such a course of proceeding towards Ireland as the present were persevered in, the Irish would not only be justified in looking for a repeal of the union, but would be bound to take the means to obtain it. "Laugh at us," exclaimed the hon. and learned Gentleman, "laugh at us if you please, sneer at us if you please, think that we are unequal to the task of righting ourselves, but remember that the history of the world does not show a period at which seven millions of individuals [Laughter]—aye laugh—but remember that there in no instance in the history of the world in which seven millions of people once roused to the truth by a sense of injustice have ever failed to right themselves. Ireland has eight millions of inhabitants. A million of them are opposed to us. I make you a present of that million; but I tell you that the remaining seven millions will not lack the power sooner or later of righting themselves, and of obtaining that justice which it seems the British Parliament will not yield them." Was it then that they heard for the first time of the misery of Ireland? Far from it; the history of seven hundred years afforded them nothing but a detail of oppression, of crime, of the suppression of the just rights of the people. The hon. and learned Member for Exeter, with more of ingenuity than can dour, stated, that if he thought this was a Protestant subscription against the Roman Catholics of Ireland, he for one would not support it. Why, what was it? What was it put forward as? Was it not distinctly put forward as a Protestant subscription against Roman Catholics? Take the advertisement. Did it purport to be anything else than a Protestant subscription against Roman Catholics? It was entitled, "A subscription in aid of Irish election petitions;" and it then went on to say, "At a meeting held on Wednesday, August 30, 1837, at the London Coffee-house, Ludgate-hill, it was unanimously resolved, that it appears to this meeting, beyond a doubt, that several of the returns lately made to the Imperial Parliament from Ireland have been obtained by intimidation, personation, and polling the votes of disqualified and other unsettled persons." "Oh!" exclaimed the hon. and learned Member, "I am very happy to find how impartial the hon. Gentlemen are on the other side of the House. Add but the ingredient of religious persecution to the injustice thus signified, and tell the people of Ireland that it is your determination, in spite of the feelings of the great majority of them, to maintain a Protestant domination in that country, and then your work will be complete." The words of the resolution were, "That several of the returns lately made to the Imperial Parliament from Ireland have been obtained by intimidation, personation, and polling the votes of disqualified and unsettled persons." One accusation they had left out—the accusation of bribery. The malignity even of the framers of that famous petition could not throw into their accusation the charge of bribery. What was the next allegation put forward in the resolutions? He would not read the whole of them—he would confine himself only to those parts of them which supported his view. The latter part of the second resolution was expressed in these terms:—" and thus it becomes probable that the feelings and wishes of the Protestant electors of Great Britain may be overruled and set aside by the votes of ten or twelve Irish Representatives whose very title to the seats they occupy is more than questionable." This was the foundation of the subscription; this was the origin from which it flowed; this was the basis upon which it stood. The sole ground of the subscription was, that" the feelings and wishes of the Protestant electors of Great Britain might be overruled and set aside by the votes of ten or twelve Irish Representatives." The hon. and learned Member for Exeter told them that this was not a question between the Protestants of England and the Roman Catholics of Ireland. Was that the fact? Was it any thing more than a shrinking from the fact, when the hon. and learned Member for Exeter came forward and said that he, forsooth, would oppose the conspiracy if he thought it involved any question between the one religion and the other. But the resolutions did not end at the point at which he last ceased to read from them; they proceeded in these terms:—"That the vast expenditure incurred by the Protestant candidates for the city of Dublin, in the election petition of 1835–1836, renders it unreasonable to expect of them a similar sacrifice in the public cause on the present occasion." Why, I should be mocking the House if I were to read further evidence. The editor of The Standard is one of the conspirators. The editor of The Standard is one of that body which the hon. Baronet (Sir Francis Burdett) has this evening so very properly called the "gang." The editor of The Standard boasts of the time which he has devoted to arouse the spirit that gave rise to the subscription. The editor of The Standard closes a very earnest recommendation in favour of the subscription in these words:—" We could say much more in favour of the system of which we are advocates, but in the statement we have made we feel we have said enough to British Protestants." An instance—a single instance—had been given by the hon. and learned Member for Exeter of a general subscription of this kind. But the subscription in that instance was of a very different description. It was stated right well by the noble Lord, the Member for Dorsetshire (Lord Ashley), that the present struggle was a struggle between one class and another. It was indeed a struggle of that kind—a struggle in which the English Protestant nation was called upon to put out the Representatives of the Irish Roman Catholics. That was the plain fact; and he could conceive nothing more unworthy than the shrinking from the avowal of it. He was ashamed of the hon. Members who shrunk from it. Was it not distinctly stated in every one of the newspapers which were the advocates of the Protestant party, and in every one of the subscription advertisements, that the object of those who subscribed was to defend the Protestant interest in Ireland against that of the Roman Catholics? The hon. and learned Member for Exeter was in correspondence with the committee; had they instructed him to deny that fact? The committee put forward an address, in which, after much talk about the claims of Protestant candidates and Protestant constituencies, they said, "Without an appeal to Parliament, they (the Protestants) are remediless." Oh! then they had their remedy by appealing to Parliament. What was he (Mr. O'Connell) endeavouring to show? He was endeavouring to repudiate with all the contempt that the thing itself merited—he used these expressions entirely separate from any personal disrespect to the hon. and learned Member for Exeter, which he was utterly incapable of entertaining—but he was endeavouring to show, with all the abhorrence which the thing merited, that this was an English Protestant conspiracy, put forward against the Catholic constituencies which had seventy Members for Ireland. There was not a man in the streets who would not laugh at them tomorrow if they were to pretend to tell him that that was not the object of "the subscription in aid of Irish election petitions." He had no great respect, therefore, for the manliness which shrunk from the avowal. If the object of the subscription were a good one, let it be avowed; if it were not good, let it not be prosecuted. The Irish were too shrewd to be deluded by it. They well understood the real object of the subscription. The iron of former wrongs had entered deep into their souls, but this additional crime would live in their vivid memories. He had heard from the hon. Baronet, in the strange rambling speech which he had made that evening, and which contained something of everything and a great deal of nothing—he had heard from the hon. Baronet, to be sure, that this was not a Protestant subscription, and that he had a great respect and friendship for the Roman Catholics of Ireland, and then, in two minutes afterwards, he began to talk of Popish priests. When the hon. Baronet talked of Popish priests did be forget that upwards of 1,100 Protestant priests had put their names to this subscription? What he wanted to enforce upon the House was this—that the people of Ireland had a right to consider this subscription as a Protestant conspiracy to deprive them of their rights. When he said that, did he mean to tarnish all the Protestants of England as concerned in the conspiracy? Oh! Heaven forbid! He knew how to make the distinction between those who had subscribed and those who had not. He knew the honour and integrity of the one class—he knew that amongst the other there were many who were ready to try any disputed question, not by its merits, but by the length and strength of their purses. "For my own part," continued the hon. and learned Gentleman, "I have resources, I avow it, and I am proud of it. If the hon. Baronet (Sir F. Burdett) pleases, I am the paid patriot of Ireland. I stand in this unexampled position—I have sacrificed the largest professional emolument that ever man made at the bar in Ireland. I sacrificed it when, at the period that Roman Catholic Emancipation was carried, I had as fair a prospect as any other of the ermine and dignity of the bench, provided I abandoned politics for ever. Because I forgot my ease and gave up my prospect of the dignity of the bench, am I therefore to be vilified and abused by every old renegade? A single offence—nobody knew it better than the hon. and learned Member for Exeter—a single offence—a single act might not perhaps be regarded as illegal; but when that act was extended over a greater surface, and made to assume the shape of a combination to perpetrate a serious injury against any man or any body of men, the parties so combining were guilty of a crime; and he pitied the man who, in the Court of Queen's Bench, would attempt to say that there was not sufficient evidence of maintenance and conspiracy to go to a jury upon this subject. The hon. Baronet had referred to the history of his younger days; but, alluding to the glory of his youth, he seemed now to address them in the spirit if not in the words of the ballad Pity the sorrows of a poor old man. The hon. Baronet said, "I see nothing at all inconsistent or improper in contributing to the expense of a prosecution, and afterwards being one of the judges in the case; nothing unconstitutional in a man's becoming both prosecutor and judge in the same cause." There were phrases in human life which showed man in so lament able a condition as to render the sight pitiable almost disgusting. He should not have alluded to the hon. Baronet's early life if he had not introduced the subject himself. What was the case to which the hon. Baronet had referred? It was a case in which the hon. Baronet had been returned by four hundred fictitious votes a case in which the sheriffs who polled these votes were sent to Newgate. And what was the subscription in that case? A subscription only of the electors of men directly interested in the election; and the defence was that they were electors, persons directly interested in developing the frauds committed by the hon. Baronet's friends. That was the case in which the hon. Baronet said there could not be two opinions upon the subject as to whether it were a breach of privilege or not. That there should not be two opinions between any two men upon the subject was not improbable: but the astonishing part of the affair was that the two opinions should exist in one and the same person. The hon. Baronet had talked much of Roman Catholic priests having taken a prominent part in the Irish elections. He wanted to know whether the Protestant clergy had not taken a prominent part in the elections in England. Then the hon. Baronet spoke of religious assemblies in Ireland; but had he never heard of a wooden bible with a gilt crown upon it being exhibited in the dickey of a stage coach. Did not the hon. Baronet know that that was not a real bible, but the imitation of a bible, composed of the cheapest timber, of nothing more valuable, than a piece of Canada fir. The hon. Baronet took great credit to himself for his high-mindedness. "Yesterday," said he, "I walked out of the House, I felt too much delicacy upon the subject I would not vote." The hon. Baronet when he said that, thought no doubt, to obtain great credit for his nice delicacy and infinite prudence; but he ought to recollect that he was bound by "a pair" not to vote at all. The hon. Baronet had given a sad description of Ireland he said that nothing in the world resembled what occurred in Ireland. No doubt strange things had happened there. He remembered once reading the report of a speech made by somebody about the year 1802. In that report it was stated, "The hon. Baronet took a hasty view of the conduct of the administration with respect to Ireland. The enormities and cruelties committed in the sister kingdom exceeded anything done by Nero or Caligula." Who was it said this? A baronet of the name of Jones, but whose Christian name was Francis Burdett. Such was the statement made by Sir Francis Burdett Jones, with respect to the conduct of the then existing administration toward Ireland. But he did something of that kind more than once. In the same year, speaking again of the conduct of the administration in the Government of Ireland, he said "Recourse, therefore, was had to the disunion of the sects." He implored some of the hon. Baronet's very loud cheerers on the other side of the House just to attend to this former opinion of his respecting the origin of their favourite institution: "Recourse, therefore, was had to the disunion of the sects, and the papering and racking system was adopted, which expelled from their habitations thousands of families by a process the most atrocious. A paper was posted against the doors of the cottages of the Catholics, commanding the inhabitants to quit in five or ten days, and to proceed to the province of Connaught or they should be sent to hell; and this was the revival, after a century, of that faction known under the name of Orangemen. These mandates not being at first complied with, the fanatics who had issued them repaired to the houses of the unfortunate Catholics, ousted the whole family, and racked and set on fire to the miserable hovel and its contents. Such transactions could not fail to attract notice. Many of the authors of them were committed to prison; and his Majesty's Attorney-General was sent to the theatre where these tragedies had been acted to prosecute the offenders, who were all acquitted, except one, and he was pardoned" And then a little further on in the same speech the hon. Baronet said," When I reflect upon the enormities which have been committed in that country, I really feel ashamed of my species, ashamed of being a man "(he had no occasion to be longer ashamed of that); "but when I consider (he continued) that they have been supported by English power I feel ashamed of my country—when I recollect that a British minister in a British House of Commons has dared to vindicate the use of the torture which even the inquisition has at length through shame abandoned, the last of infamies seems to be an Englishman." For what? For the conduct of England towards Ireland. How did the hon. Baronet seek to amend that conduct now? Who were now his cheerers and applauders? The Members of that very faction who committed all these enormities—all these cruelties upon Ireland, were they not the same party? Did they not still hold their exclusive meetings? Did they not still assemble at their dinners? If there were any difference it was only this, that the party now went even beyond what it did formerly. Yes, the party which the hon. Baronet now takes up is that very party which some years ago he reviled as the perpetrators of so many enormities in Ireland. The man who now came forward to traduce Ireland, and to join in a conspiracy against the Irish Members, was that very man who, in 1802, made the famous speech from which he had quoted. Was it not as evident as the sun at noon-day that no man expected a fair decision from the Committees of that House? Ask him for his opinion, and he would give it. Wait till the first committee were struck; and if they did not hear the counsel on both sides, and every member of the Committee tell them beforehand what the decision would be, he (Mr. O'Connell) would never again venture in the field of prophecy. He had heard it stated that Members on both sides of the House perjured themselves in Committee. The hon. Member for Ripon had said, that that was a libel; but he did not say that it was untrue. If there were not some strong motive, why did Members throng the House when committees upon election petitions were to be balloted? Why did they come there but to watch each other, and to see that they did not place themselves in the scandalous position of being ready to sell their consciences? In aid of this, came this subscription, aimed exclusively at the Representatives of the a people of Ireland—aimed exclusively against the Catholic party, in order to bring them before a partial tribunal. The people of Ireland understand it. You have been attempting for these 300 years to Protestantise Ireland, what progress have you made? You say, that the Protestant religion is the best. If it be, and has most argument in its favour, what prevents you from propagating your system? What has this, your Protestantism, done for the people of Ireland? Why, it gives a sanction to every injustice towards the people. We must not have the political franchise—we must not have political rights—we must not have municipal institutions—and why? Because these things may shake your Protestantism to its foundation. Oh, shame upon such Protestantism!—a Protestantism whose efficacy is placed upon mayors and corporations. And more shame upon the present system of the Committees of this House, in which men, under the sanction of their oaths, are able to abet the efforts of a faction against the Representatives of the people, aided by the Spottiswoode conspiracy—without whose aid it is possible they might have escaped from the infliction of a party committee—which is your only chance of succeeding. It is thus you wish to give encouragement to Protestantism? If you will take the trouble to read the Report of the Committee on the petition from the city of Dublin, which Committee lasted eighty six days—and I have no reason to applaud that Committee, but I won't censure them here—you will see that they refused to open the registry, and the present petition attempts to open the registry. Why, it will require the entire amount of the subscription to maintain the case against the city of Dublin alone. No doubt there will be another call made, and no doubt the hon. Baronet will give a second subscription. When we recollect the object for which that subscription is intended, and when you refuse a committee to give us the opportunity of knowing how many among yourselves have contributed, is it possible that an impartial tribunal can be obtained? I have looked over the list of subscriptions, and found at least ninety or 100 anonymous subscribers. Now, I should be glad to find who they are, and yet you refuse a Committee to inquire into this. How can I hope for a Committee, when it is declared that the Government will not support me? Will you insist on a division? Give me a Committee, and let me get out the facts of the cost of the Dublin Election Committee and of the present subscription. What did Mr. West and Mr. Hamilton pay towards the expense of the last election Committee? Mr. Hamilton told me that he did not pay anything, and Mr. West said, that he paid but little. The funds came from elsewhere. I am exceedingly glad the hon. Baronet has taken his seat where he now is. He was long enough on the side of the people without belonging to them, or sympathising with them. He talked a good deal about bringing home justice to me, by visiting me with the criminal law; but the criminal law has never applied to me, although the hon. Baronet has himself had the advantage of suffering under it. He has talked about the warmth and indiscretion of his youth, but I believe he was older than I am at present, when he pretended to be the advocate of the people. His repentance has been exceedingly late. Now, I call upon the House to look at the subscription as it really is. Is it not, in fact, constituting those who are to be the judges of the question to be also the prosecutors? I care not what the pecuniary interest is; but can anything be more improper than that the party prosecuting the petition should be the judge to decide upon it? Sir, the people of Ireland understand the whole question. They know that these petitions are against their Representatives that it is an additional insult offered to them—an additional insult intended to them—they know that the object of this conspiracy is to afford the means of obtaining, through the instrumentality of the oaths of Members of this House, a decision which is to make the Tory party triumphant, and the people of Ireland their victims.

Mr. D'Israeli

rose and said, that he trusted the House would extend to him that gracious indulgence which was usually allowed to one who solicited its attention for the first time. He had, however, had sufficient experience of the critical spirit which pervaded the House, to know and to feel how much he stood in need of that indulgence—an indulgence of which he would prove himself to be not unworthy, by promising not to abuse it. The hon. and learned Member for Dublin had taunted the hon. Baronet, the Member for North Wiltshire, with having uttered a long, rambling, wandering, jumbling speech. Now, he must say,—and he could assure the hon. and learned Gentleman, that he had paid the utmost attention to the remarks which flowed from him,—that it seemed to him that the hon. and learned Gentleman had taken a hint from the hon. Baronet in the oration which the hon. and learned Gentleman had just addressed to the House. There was scarcely a single subject connected with Ireland which the hon. and learned Member had not introduced into his rhetorical medley. The hon. and learned Member for Dublin had also taunted the hon. and learned Member for Exeter with travelling out of the record of the present debate, while he himself had travelled back 700 years, though the House was engaged in the discussion of events which had taken place within the last few months. The hon. and learned Member had favoured the House with an allusion to Poor-laws for Ireland. ["No, no."] Perhaps he was wrong; but at all events, there had been an allusion to the Irish Corporation Bill. He did not pretend that he could accurately remember all the topics the hon. and learned Member had introduced into his speech; but, if no reference had been made by the hon. and learned Gentleman to the subject of Irish poor laws, at least there had been a dissertation upon the measure relating to the municipal corporations of Ireland. Was that subject relative to the debate before the House? He would not allude (for he would spare the feelings of the hon. and learned Member in that respect) to the subscriptions which the hon. and learned Member had told the House had not been successful on his side; but that circumstance might account for the bitterness with which he spoke of the successful efforts of the much-vilified Mr. Spottiswoode. He had indeed been much inclined to ask the hon. Member for Limerick (Mr. O'Brien,) if he had attended the meeting, at which it had been expected that every liberal member would subscribe 50l. to the protection fund. He had thought that perhaps the hon. Member could have given some curious information upon that subject; that though there might have been 3.000l. or 2,950l. to begin there was now nothing in the Exchequer, and that this project of majestic mendicancy had now wholly vanished. The hon. and learned Member for Dublin had announced that the Spottiswoode subscription was a Protestant subscription. That it was supported by many Protestants nobody could attempt to deny, but if the hon. and learned Member meant to say that it was a subscription established for the particular object of supporting a Protestant faction against the Catholic people, he begged to remark that he saw nothing at all to justify that supposition. It might be a Protestant, but it was essentially a defensive, fund. The hon. and learned Member for Dublin had talked of the clergymen of the Church of England subscribing to this fund, and had contrasted their conduct with that of the priests of his Church; but he defied the hon. and learned Member to produce a single instance of tyrannical interference on the part of the Protestant clergy at all similar, or in the least degree analogous, to those acts which were imputed to the clergy of the Catholic church. If the hon. and learned Member doubted what he was saying, let him refer to the volume of evidence taken before the Intimidation Committee, and the hon. Member would see that from Cornwall to Yorkshire no case had occurred that bore a comparison to the occurrences in Ireland, and that he was fully justified in the statements he made. The object of the subscription entered into was to procure justice for the Protestant constituencies and the Protestant proprietors of Ireland, those constituencies and those proprietors being unable to obtain justice single-handed. Hon. Members knew very well that a landlord in Ireland had been told by his tenants that they could not vote for him because their priest had denounced him from the altar. They knew very well that when it was attempted to reinforce the strength of the Protestant constituency in the registration courts, some revising or assistant barrister from the castle of Dublin was easily found to baffle it, and thus were they forced on to their last resource and refuge—to a Committee of that House. Now, was this a petition which had the downfall of the Catholics for its object? For his part, he thought that the facts which had been brought before the notice of the Intimidation Committee perfectly justified the use of the epithets which had been employed in the original circular or manifesto of Mr. Spottiswoode. He should not trouble the House at any length. He did not affect to be insensible to the difficulty of his position, and he should be very glad to receive indulgence even from the hon. Members opposite. If, however, hon. Gentlemen did not wish to hear him, he would sit down without a murmur. He should confine himself to an attempt to bring back the subject to the point which was really at issue. He could not comprehend why a considerable body of her Majesty's subjects, respectable not only for their numbers, but for their independence and integrity, should be held up to scorn and odium by the hon. and learned Member for Dublin, for the commission of an act, the legality of which he had not presumed to question, of the propriety of which they were as competent judges as that hon. and learned Member, and of which, after what he had himself confessed the hon. and learned Member ought to be the last to question the delicacy. He had examined the list of contributors as well as the hon. and learned Member for Dublin, and with a more than ordinary degree of interest, arising from the fact that the town which he represented had contributed a larger proportion of the fund than any other part of England, and he did not find that the subscribers principally consisted of Members of the aristocracy. With very few exceptions, they were to be found among the middle classes—men of moderate opinions and of a temperate tone of mind—men, in fact, who seldom stepped out of the sphere of there private virtues—men, as hon. Gentlemen who had examined these lists must know, who seldom partook of the excitement created by the conflict of parties, and were rarely inflamed by the passions which agitated the political world. He must say that he thought it a very strange thing that so large a body of individuals, many of whom were constitutional Reformers, many of whom, until very lately, supported her Majesty's Government—he must repeat, that he considered that it would be very hard, very unjust, very impolitic to appoint a Committee of inquiry, which would be equivalent to a verdict against those individuals, without first inquiring what were the feelings which induced them to pursue the line of conduct which they had adopted. He would remind the House that those individuals, many of whom supported the Reform Bill, might have entertained hopes in reference to the working of that measure which, like the hopes cherished by some hon. Gentlemen opposite, might have been disappointed. They might have entertained an expectation that nomination would be at an end, that the stain of borough mongering would be wiped out, and that not a remnant of the system would remain in a reformed Parliament. But when they found that the stain of borough mongering assumed a deeper and a darker hue, that seats were openly bought and sold, and that a system of intimidation was organised, to which the riots which even under the old system exhibit the more flagrant features of electoral operations, were peaceable—when they found that this was the case, they perhaps thought that it was time to bring matters to a head. He had but one more observation to make, and he confessed he was rather anxious to make that observation, as it would give him the first opportunity which had been afforded him of saying something with respect to her Majesty's Government. He wished he could induce the House to give him five minutes. It was not much. He stood there to-night not formally, but in some degree virtually, as the Representative of a considerable number of Members of Parliament. [Laughter.] Now, why smile? Why envy him? Why not let him enjoy that reflection, if only for one night? Did they forget that band of 158 new Members, that ingenuous and inexperienced band, to whose unsophisticated minds the right hon. the Chancellor of the Exchequer addressed himself early in the Session in those dulcet tones of winning pathos which had proved so effective? He knew that considerable misconception existed in the minds of many of that class of Members on the opposition side of the House in reference to the conduct of her Majesty's Government with respect to elections. He would not taunt the noble Lord opposite with the opinions which were avowed by his immediate followers, but certain views were entertained and certain calculations were made with respect to those elections about the time when the bell of our cathedral announced the death of our monarch. We had all then heard of the projects said to be entertained by the Government, and a little accurate information on the subject would be very acceptable, particularly to the new Members on the opposition side of the House. We had been told that re-action was a discovery that only awoke derision, that the grave of Toryism was dug, and that the funeral obsequies of Toryism might be celebrated without any fear of its resuscitation, that the much vilified Peel Parliament was blown to the winds, when Mr. Hudson rushed into the chambers of the Vatican. He did not impute those sanguine views to the noble Lord himself, for he had subsequently favoured the public with a manifesto, from which it would appear that Toryism could not be so easily defeated. It was, However, vaunted that there would be a majority of one hundred, which upon great occasions might be expanded to 125 or 130. That was the question. They wished to know the simple fact whether, with that majority in the distance, they then thought of an alteration in the Grenville Act, and whether it was then supposed that impartial tribunals might be obtained for the trial of election petitions. [Renewed murmurs.] If hon. Gentlemen thought this fair, he would submit. He would not do so to others that was all. [Laughter.] Nothing was so easy as to laugh. He wished before he sat down to show the House clearly their position. When they remembered, that in spite of the support of the hon. and learned Member for Dublin and his well-disciplined band of patriots, there was a little shyness exhibited by former supporters of her Majesty's Government. When they recollected the "new loves" and the "old loves" in which so much of passion and recrimination was mixed up between the noble Tityrus of the Treasury bench and the learned Daphne of Liskeard —[loud laughter], notwithstanding the amantium ira had resulted, as he had always expected, in the amoris integratio [renewed laughter—notwithstanding that political duel had been fought, in which more than one shot was interchanged, but in which recourse was had to the secure arbitrament of blank cartridges [laughter]—notwithstanding emancipated Ireland and enslaved England, the noble Lord might wave in one hand the keys of St. Peter, and in the other—[the shouts that followed drowned the conclusion of the sentence.] "Let them see the philosophical prejudice of man." He would certainly gladly hear a cheer even though it came from the lips of a political opponent. He was not at all surprised at the reception which he had experienced. He had begun several times many things, and he had often succeeded at last. He would sit down now, but the time would come when they would hear him. [The impatience of the House would not allow the hon. Member to finish his speech, and during the greater part of the time the hon. Member was on his legs, he was so much interrupted that it was impossible to hear what the hon. Member said.]

Lord Stanley

said, in the observations which he was about to make he would strictly confine himself to the question at issue, not that he would say that he might not find it necessary to refer to precedents and examples set on former occasions, but he begged to be understood as not intending to refer to them by way of crimination, but merely as bearing upon the impartial, honourable, and practical consideration of the question which was fairly brought to issue. He was aware how difficult it was at that hour to command the attention of the House. Before, however, he entered upon the question itself, he begged to state, that he had had no communication, direct or indirect, further than by receiving a printed prospectus, with the association whose proceedings were called in question this night. He would add, that he was not acquainted with the name of any one of its members, except that of the hon. Baronet the Member for North Wilts, and that, as far as he knew, he numbered no one subscriber among his personal friends. He would go further, and say that he had watched with very great regret—and he had made that regret known on more occasions than one, the growing disposition, arising, perhaps out of the strong feeling which impelled two great political parties, nearly equally balanced to carry on every thing in the country relating to election affairs through the means of associations on the one side or the other. He felt it on both sides to be an evil, if possible, to be guarded against. He felt that from their influence much weight which was possessed before this state of things existed by individuals was impaired—he felt that men who were the most responsible and most trustworthy, and in every way the most fitted to represent the country in Parliament, were passed over, unless they could command a great weight of interest in the political association to which they might belong. Therefore in the observations which he was about to make, he hoped he should not be charged with any partiality for this association or for any one individual connected with it, if he declared his conscientious opinion that this motion for a Select Committee was one which in his humble judgment the House could not enter upon. When he said that he objected to the formation of these associations, he said enough. He objected to them upon principle, but he looked upon their existence as an inevitable evil. He felt that the sense which each party felt of the advantages derived from combination for political purposes was so strong that these associations being within the law, when one party combined for one purpose, the opposite side would combine for another. He was not going to ask where the blame or the responsibility rested of having first introduced and fostered these bodies, but there was no doubt that so long as they were carried on blamelessly, the operation of them would be extended to every branch of our electoral system, from the period of registration to the prosecution of a petition before a Committee of the House of Commons. He would remark that a reason had been given in the course of the debate by an hon. Member for not agreeing to this motion, which, if there were no other, was sufficient to defeat it. The Attorney-General, the Queen's Attorney-General, had given it as his legal opinion [the Attorney-General: Lord Rosslyn's opinion]. It was not a judgment of Lord Rosslyn to which the Attorney-General referred, but only an obiter dictum. He did not mean to say that the Attorney General did not support his argument by references to the opinions of others, but when he had stated that the Attorney General had given an opinion, he meant that he rested on his knowledge of the law as he had laid it down. Having, then, that knowledge of the law, the Attorney-General stated, in the presence of the people of England, that the Spottiswoode association was illegal, and that it was open to legal punishment. The remedy was then direct, plain, palpable, and immediate. The Attorney-General would not do his duty if he did not prosecute the members of that association. What, should the Queen's Attorney-General, who told the House that the course pursued by the association was mischievous and illegal, when the facts were undisputed, when the illegality was manifest, when the association was violating and interfering with the most important rights of the Queen's subjects—should he content himself with saying, "This association is illegal and mischievous—I am positive in my law—I have the courts with me—I am the Queen's Attorney-General, and I leave these offences against the people unprosecuted?" Was he to be bearded in the House itself by one of the members of that association, declaring openly his connection with it, and offering himself voluntarily for prosecution—was this to take place, and the hon. and learned Gentleman still to state it was illegal—to say that he would have the courts and the juries with him if he brought it to punishment—and yet, withal, to leave the people of this country unprotected, and that obnoxious and lawless association unprosecuted? He could not help thinking that her Majesty's Attorney-General had a lurking suspicion that the case of the Duke of Portland was not a tenable one nor a fair precedent for the case in point, that the case of the King and Dolby was not much better; and that if he proceeded in a prosecution on those precedents he would get anything but a verdict. The hon. and learned Gentleman might act with great prudence and much sound discretion in abstaining from a prosecution of the association so strongly denounced by him; but he could not altogether acquit him of rashness in so boldly pronouncing it illegal. The hon. and learned Attorney-General had ransacked all the old stores of black letter law for precedents in support of his doctrine of "maintenance," but the hon. and learned Gentleman knew very well that it was an obsolete doctrine. [No!] Well, then, it was not obsolete but active, and in full force, according to the hon. and learned Gentleman, and if it was so why did he not bring the matter at once to an issue? He felt called on to say that, though no party to the subscription in question, he in common with several other hon. Members in that House, especially with many whom he saw opposite—should plead guilty to having, on more than one occasion, contributed to funds raised for election purposes. He had contributed in 1831 and 1832 to a very large subscription—not for carrying on one election, not for securing a return favourable to the Government for one place, but for supporting all those candidates in towns and counties, in every part of the country, who came forward under those circumstances, and who would be ready to stand by them in carrying through the great question of Parliamentary Reform. And, in doing so, in conjunction with the great majority of her Majesty's present Ministers, who were in office at the time, he did what he deemed right. The funds thus collected were placed in the hands of the hon. Member for Coventry, then Secretary to the Treasury, to be applied at his discretion, according to the exigency which might arise, in favour and support of individual candidates. It was well known that such a fund had then existed, for it had been a matter of Parliamentary inquiry. But the only question raised on it was, not whether it was legal or illegal; but whether the hon. Member for Coventry had paid away, as Secretary of the Treasury, the public money, which would have been a crime of the deepest dye, or whether the funds he had thus appropriated were derived solely from private sources? That question, however, being disposed of in favour of the hon. Member, there was not a man on the other side of the House who dreamed of taking any further proceedings against the parties subscribing to the fund so appropriated. He, freely and openly, avowed himself one of the parties to that transaction, and, being so, as a man of honour, as a man of right feeling, as a man of common sense, he could not think of casting a stigma on the proceedings of others which bore such a similarity to it, as did the one in question. It was not his intention to go again over topics which were urged in the able and eloquent speech of the hon. and learned Member for Exeter, but it was only justice to it to say, that it had produced very astonishing effects upon several hon. Members opposite. A series of confessions from every hon. Gen- tleman who had spoken on the other side of the House in the course of the debate had been the result. The noble Lord, the Member for North Devon, admitted that he had certainly contributed to the expenses of an election in which he was no party; but then he extenuated, or rather excused, the act, on the ground of private friendship' between him and the candidates. The hon. Member for Bird port came next, with his acknowledgment, and said, that as member of a committee for the Dorsetshire election, sitting in London, he had obtained as much as possible from the Reformers of England, not alone for the purpose of carrying on the election, but also of defending the petition, if any were sent forward against the return. The House had heard much of the hardships of hon. Members for Ireland struggling against a fund raised for the purpose of contesting their seats, and the injustice to which they were thereby subjected; but the whole of the weight and influence of the hon. Member for Bridport and of his party were thrown into the scale against his noble Friend, the Member for Dorsetshire, with the view to crush him; and yet that was not included in the complaint of hardship and injustice. The hon. and learned Member for Dublin had made a very ingenious use of the speech of his noble Friend, the Member for Dorsetshire, by asking whether anything could more strongly illustrate the evils of the case in question than the examples adduced by him on that occasion. But what were the evils so much deprecated? They amounted to this, that a moneyed individual had the power of putting a political opponent less wealthy, but more popular, out of the field, by the great expense he would necessarily be at in defending his election. And yet hon. Members, who declaimed against this state of things forbad in the same breath any contributions towards the assistance of the poorer of the two candidates. What would be the consequences? The consequence would be, that the poor man should be protected against the rich man—oh, no! no such thing; the consequences would be, that the poor man would be overwhelmed by the weight of the rich man's purse, while the rich man would be permitted to pass with impunity. It was not, therefore, of combination that hon. Members should complain, but of the expense of the tribunal to which their case bad to be referred for adjudication. And he would add, that if contributions for the purpose of carrying on elections and defending petitions against, contested returns were to be prohibited, much greater injury and injustice might be done than any good which could possibly accrue from a contrary proceeding would ever compensate for. The hon. Member for Dublin had, in his observations on the subject of contribution, taken a new distinction; and by the way, it was curious that every hon. Member who spoke on the subject during the night, had taken each a separate distinction. One had contributed through feelings of private friendship; while another had given his money because he lived in a neighbouring county, and had an extensive acquaintance with the place of election. But the distinction of the hon. Member for Bridport, was the most curious of all; for his interference arose, according to his own statement, from the circumstance of Bridport being the principal town in the reform interest in the county of Dorset. Another hon. Gentleman said, that he subscribed to a great many cases, to a general fund, in fact, to be used all over England, as it had been raised there; but that the hon. Gentleman would not admit to be a precedent, because, as he said, it was only for the purpose of carrying on elections, and not for defending petitions. The doctrine of that hon. Member was as singular as it was unwise. He admitted, that it was right and lawful to subscribe to a fund for the purpose of seating a Member; but, if that seat were threatened to be taken from him, however frequently, however grossly, however unjustly, there should be no assistance given him. Could any one, in his senses, draw such a distinction, in the hope of its being sanctioned by others or adopted by his party? It was of so nice a nature, so fine, so flimsy, in short, that it escaped his obtuse capacity. But the hon. and learned Member for Dublin had said in his distinction—on the proposition of his contribution for election purposes—"Oh, I know something of the law of maintenance—at all events, I know that there is such a law, and I shall avoid it." So accordingly, the hon. and learned Gentleman, at a period when no election petitions were pending—at a period when, on his own showing, there existed no excitement on election subjects, attempted to procure, by a proposition at the association in Ireland of which he was the head, a general fund, to be applicable to all parts of Ireland for election purposes. That fund was to be administered by the National Association—not for the purposes of elections, but of petitions—that was the professed object. Such petitions were to be consequent upon the elections, which were to be consequent upon the contingent death of the Sovereign, who was then alive and in being. The noble Lord (Lord J. Russell) on the other side of the House had last night deprecated the monstrous doctrine of interference with petitions, the nature of which could not by possibility be known, in a manner most elevated, and in a tone rising almost to sublimity, and the hon. and learned Member for Dublin was most vehement in his denunciation of those hon. Members who contributed to the funds for defending or opposing contested returns; but the noble Lord and the hon. and learned Gentleman should have rather taken the more magnanimous, the more generous course, notwithstanding that they too had followed the same path, and refrained from pretending to condemn in others what they had equally practised themselves. But the hon. and learned Member for Dublin was not so easily to be caught. His cunning as a lawyer served him in good stead on that occasion, according to his own statement. He was lawyer enough, he said, to know it might be illegal to anticipate the result of election petitions, but as there was then no petition pending there was no illegality in subscribing for those that were to ensue. The hon. and learned Member accordingly organized his association for the same purpose as that complained of by the hon. Member for Limerick, but the result, as he had stated was a disappointment. The "Spottiswoode" conspiracy, however, had some reason to be obliged to the hon. and learned Gentleman for the opinion he had given—if it was law. By that rule, as there was now no election in progress or in expectance, they might set on foot at once a subscription to fill the first vacant place with one of their own party; and they might do so in direct defiance of the Attorney-General's opinion likewise, as contradistinguished from that of the hon. and learned Gentleman. But was the hon. and learned Member for Dublin quite free from imputation in regard to election petitions? Was he the person who should raise his hand first against those who interfered with them? He suspected not, and he should tell the House why he had such a suspicion. He held in his hand the speech which the hon. and learned Member made on the occasion referred to by himself, at a period at which no election petitions were pending in the House of Commons; and he should, with the permission of the House, read a passage or two from it. He would, however, remark, in passing, that so far from the hon. and learned Member's statement that there was no election petitions then pending, being borne out by the fact, there were actually two before the House at the time. He would beg to call the attention of the House to the words of the hon. and learned Gentleman on that occasion—he who had such a holy horror of any one coming into Parliament with the slightest bias on his mind in regard to the merits of election petitions. They were spoken on proposing the formation of a fund for the purpose of defending and prosecuting election petitions generally in Ireland. "Early next week," said the hon. and learned Member, "the Committees of the Longford and Carlow elections will be balloted for, and it is indispensably necessary for all Irish Members to be present. In the county of Longford we have gained the greatest popular triumph which has been gained for years, and no doubt the Tory Members will muster strong to deprive us of the victory which we have so well earned. From this spot, then," (the hon. and learned Member spoke in the National Association) "from this spot I pronounce any Irish Member who shall absent himself on that occasion, whatever may be the cause of that absence—from this spot I pronounce him guilty of a breach of duty to his country and his constituents. It is a subject which cannot be postponed—it is one which admits of no pairing-off—no absence of any kind; and if by this culpable negligence we lose the services of even one man I say from this spot that no political punishment can be too great for him." He quoted an extract from the hon. and learned Member's speech, not alone to demonstrate the delicacy which actuated him in the course he had taken on the subject before the House, but also to show that these passages occurred in the very same speech in which he proposed the anti-petition fund, on the ground, as he alleged, that no election petitions were pending at the period in question. He would next deal with the objection that the fund of the Spottiswoode Association was an Irish fund, appropriated exclusively to Irish purposes. In the first place he would bid the hon. Member for Limerick be at ease; because the discussion had a decided influence to that effect on his complaints. For, whereas the special ground on which that hon. Member moved that his petition be referred to a Select Committee, was the individual injury done or contemplated to be done to his own election, he had it now on the authority of the secretary to that association that up to the moment of his moving the matter in the House they had never heard of any petition against his return; that no application had been made to them on the subject of the hon. Member's election; and that they had consequently come to no resolution respecting it. And the hon. Gentleman would find that the petition against him which he complained of was a legitimate and perfectly correct one, presented on the part of electors who believed themselves not to be represented by him; but that Mr. Stafford O'Brien, a gentleman of good property in the county, who was the next on the poll to the hon. Gentleman, was their real representative, and that he would, by means of that petition, be shortly in that capacity in the House of Commons. But to prove that the fund was not purely Irish, as it had been pretended, the House had the evidence of the hon. Member for Shaftesbury. That hon. Member had stated that not only did its operation extend to every part of England; but that he was himself the victim of that atrocious conspiracy. But even supposing that the fund were exclusively for Irish purposes—and he for the sake of the argument would admit it—to what purpose was the fund proposed by the hon. and learned Member for Dublin in the National Association to be applied? Was it to English elections? Was it to petitions from this country? No. It was solely for Irish purposes. And when? Full two months before the fund under consideration was commenced or promoted. The hon. and learned Gentleman would not surely contend that it was illegal to do that in England for Ireland which was done in Ireland for the same purpose, nor that the English people had no direct interest in the result of the Irish elections, They were well aware that the returns from that country—he wished to say nothing hurtful or unpleasant to any one—exercised in many instances a most baneful influence on the politics of England; and it, therefore, became a matter of the highest import—not alone to "Dowagers and young ladies," as had been said by an hon. Member in the course of the night—but to every man who had a stake in the kingdom that the returns from that portion of the Empire should be genuine and true returns, and not the product of force or fraud. And if it should appear that there were anomalies in the law of Ireland, as regarded registration and elections, and if circumstances existed in that country which rendered the operation of that law, imperfect as it was, still more difficult and imperfect, circumstances which made it totally different from England, was it at all wonderful or extraordinary, or out of the common course of things, that this Association, looking at all these circumstances, should apply their subscription to that part of the kingdom where they saw they were most wanted, and where they felt that they would be most available. In that country, for a long time, an association only very recently dissolved had been collecting week after week, a "justice rent" for Ireland; to be applied to purposes the public knew not of—to obtain ends which came not within the knowledge of the people of England. It was not known how many hon. Members might be indebted to that fund for their seats in that House. [Name, name, name] That cry must come from an Irishman, for it conveys a most palpable bull. He had said, it was not known how many hon. Members owed their seats in the House to that fund, when the hon. Member, whoever he was, cried "Name"—as if he had alluded to an individual. But to return to his subject. The secrecy of that fund —the justice rent—was its most dangerous feature; and that in itself, if there were no others, was a justification quite sufficient in his mind for the application of a counter fund to the same quarter. The House had been told that the question was a religious one; and that its operation would be to kindle again into a burning and consuming flame all those feelings of sectarian animosity, hatred, and intolerance which every man should deprecate, and which none did more de- precate than he. He regretted, that in the prospectus of the association the word Protestant should have been used at all. He regretted it because it was not necessary, and because it might be injurious. But it could not now be changed. He regretted, but could not alter it—he regretted, but could not blame it. But when it was stated to be a Protestant conspiracy against Catholics, the fact he was bound to say totally disproved the allegation; for on looking at the petition from Ireland he found that fifteen out of the seventeen already presented were against Protestant Gentlemen, and moreover that two of these came from Catholic constituencies. But if it were meant to be said that these subscriptions were so far entered into on Protestant grounds, as to provide means for increasing the political strength, by legitimate means, of those who desire o defend the Protestant institutions of the empire against the machinations of persons whom they believe to be desirous of overturning them, and that, in that sense, and with that intention, the funds of the association were applied exclusively or chiefly to that, portion of the empire where Protestant institutions stood most in need of support, then he would boldly assert that the application of the term "Protestant" could convey neither rebuke nor reproach. He trusted that if he bad trespassed for some time upon the attention of the House, he had redeemed his pledge by adhering closely to the question. He cautioned the House, that if this matter were illegal, it should be tried by the courts of law. If it were not illegal, let them beware how, by a resolution of that House, or by proceedings in Committee, or by interposing more or less firmly the authority of that House, they put themselves in the position of passing on the legal acts of their fellow-subjects a denunciation of the British House of Commons, indecent in the first place, and in the next place impotent. And if it were their intention to proceed further and in earnest with this matter, and to legislate seriously upon it, let them consider for a moment at what point it was possible to fix legality or illegality in cases of this description. Let them consider well whether they would limit it to general subscriptions, in cases of elections as well as of petitions, or to a single election or single petition; and, finally, whether so confining it, persons not possessing a local interest in the place from which the petition was forwarded should be restricted from subscribing; whether, in short, they would lay down as law the declaration of the learned Attorney-General, that in the election of Members to seats in the Commons House of Parliament, the people of England, Scotland, and Ireland do not legally possess a common and general interest. He implored of them to think, before they condemned impoliticly, unwisely, nay more, unjustly, what it had not been proved that the constitution did not sanction. He called on them boldly to try the general question of the guilt or innocence of these parties, and try it by the tests which reason and experience supplied; and in the mean time he trusted he might be permitted to express a hope, that the Government would not shrink from the duty which belonged to it, of introducing, if they thought it necessary, a fixed and definite law upon this subject, to correct such abuses as were known and definite.

Mr. Harvey

stood there as belonging to neither party; and he could see no distinction between returns for any place in England or in Ireland; there was no distinction whether the return was for an English county or an Irish county, for a Scotch city or an Irish borough: all were in the British empire, and he repudiated any suggestion that he was not interested in them—that he felt no interest in the subject of Irish elections, because he did not represent a city in that part of the empire. How frequently did the House hear of Irish Members marching up at some auspicious moment, and that but for their patriotic aid, English freedom would have been lost. He denied the allegation, and the feelings of every Member of the House should be the same, for whatever place he might be returned. But was it not clear that the expenses of elections were enormous, and the expenses of inquiring into the merits of them before Committees were generally so? Were not these concessions, made reluctantly, sufficient to justify an inquiry by what means hereafter the matter might be altered? And it was with this object that he presented himself. He did not hesitate in saying, from his personal experience, that no tribunal could be compared in unjust proceedings and irresponsibility of character to Committees of the House but one. In 1830 a petition was pre- seated against him on the ground of his not having a qualification, although no doubt existed whatever of the sufficiency of his property. He sat on his return to the House; but a petition having been presented against him, he was about to enter the Committee-room when the inquiry was about to take place, when he was called aside by the King's counsel who was engaged against him, and he said that he was instructed to make a proposition to him as a condition on which the petition should be withdrawn. He inquired what was the nature of the proposition, and he was informed that it was that he should forego proceedings which he had commenced against the corporation of Colchester, and which he had instituted in the Court of King's Bench. His answer was, "I defy you to assail my seat, however doubtful it may be, because I will not stop the proceedings." The reply of the King's counsel was, "You know of what a Committee of the House is composed, and being neither a Whig nor a Tory, your fate is doomed, and you will lose your seat." And he was unseated on the petition. The petitioner, then, who was the person who had opposed him at the election, applied to be placed in his seat, but this the Committee refused, for they said, "Although he has prayed to unseat the sitting Member, he has forgotten to pray that he may be seated himself." This staggered and confounded them; and though four of the Committee were found to vote in favour of giving the petitioner his seat, the majority were adverse to it. The petitioner was astonished at what he considered the negligence of his agent; and though he was unseated, that gentleman forbore to go down to the place and canvass for the seat. After the affair was over he was called out of the Committee by Mr. Peter Moore, who told him, that though he had been twenty years in the House, and during that time frequently on Committees, yet that he never remembered to have witnessed such flagrant injustice as had been exhibited by that Committee towards him. "But," added Mr. Moore, "this comes of your being no party man, for the Committee was so nicely balanced, that, with the exception of myself, you had not a single friend upon it." Now, it could not be supposed that with such impressions as these on his mind he would stand up as the advocate of the Election Committees of that House, but what he stood up for was this, that an inquiry should be instituted, and some means adopted by which the ruinous expenses which were confessedly inseparable from contested or Controverted elections should be done away with. For if they did not do this, what would this whole discussion amount to but a mere idle delusion—a mere worthless and disreputable squabble between the two great parties in the House? If it should turn out that from priestly superintendence, or priestly influence, any man or set of men had been returned to that House from Ireland who ought not to be there, he should rejoice to see them dispossessed of their seats; and he was not surprised that hon. Members who were sincerely interested in the support of what they conceived to be the Protestant interest of the country should be alive to an investigation of these circumstances. But into the merits of that question he should forbear to enter. All he was anxious about was, to bring the House, if he could, and at all events the country, to an understanding of what was their real position; to show what was the real amount of the sincerity of the desire which was so generally affected on all sides, to have wholesome, sound, and cheap legislation. At the present moment no man could stand a contest in any borough, city, or county of this kingdom but at a serious expense. The noble Member for Dorsetshire had himself admitted, that so frightful was the expense of inquiry before Election Committees of that House, that he had been actually led to contemplate the resignation of his seat rather than incur so heavy an expense, and that he should have adopted this course had not powerful friends interfered. It was not belonging to all men, however, to have powerful friends. There might be a man whose attainments and whose pretensions no man should doubt, and all men must envy, whom the kindness and affection and confidence of his fellow-citizens might desire to return to that House, and whom having sent there they might be deeply anxious to protect in his seat; but by what means could such an individual ever make his way there, or, when assailed by powerful opponents, maintain his position? It was admitted on all sides that the expenses, both of the original contest and of maintaining a seat, were so enor- mous that even the heir to a title and to a great property shrunk from entering upon them. He would ask the House, then, whether it was not high time to enter into a sincere and searching inquiry into the causes of these expenses both of the original contest and the disputed seat, for the House must recollect that however much they might have reformed the process by which men were returned to that House, by simplifying the registration, by abbreviating the period during which a contest might last, yet, as far as regarded a scrutiny before a Committee, all the expenses remained unchanged and undiminished. Was the House disposed to lessen these expenses, and would it consent to a Committee to inquire into the means of doing so? It was simply with the intention of ascertaining this that he had risen. Not that the debate of the evening had not afforded many and various topics on which for any Member of the House to dilate to any length he pleased, without any apprehension of being called to order for departing from the question. If any Gentleman, not having heard the motion read by the hon. Member for Limerick, had listened to any one of the speeches of the night, excepting always that appropriate and singularly neat and compact speech of the hon. and learned Member for Exeter, he might, very fairly have presumed that the House was discussing a motion for the House to go into a Committee of the whole House to consider the general state of the nation, for scarcely any possible topic had been omitted, save, indeed, the precise question before the House. He would, however, throw aside all advantages arising from this temptation to enter into the wide field, and discursive range of suggestions which fancy or feeling might supply, for the purpose of bringing the House to what he considered the practical view of the subject, and, whether it were palatable to the House or not, it was his intention to take the sense of the House upon it, and with this view, and in order that at that time of the night they might have really something to discuss, and that the country might be able to appreciate the nature of the subject engaging the attention of its House of Commons, it was his intention to move, by way of amendment, "That a Select Committee be appointed to consider of the means by which the expenses of con- tested and Controverted elections may be avoided." Now this was a question which would well justify an adjournment of the debate, for it was one which required to be maturely considered, and as he had said before, all the previous discussion of the evening amounted to nothing. No man in the House could support the original motion, for however couched it might be in silken terms, and however much the subject might be set forth in fine terms by its advocates, he considered it was a direct censure on the hon. Member for North Wiltshire, it pointedly alluded to a Member of that House, and when he called to mind the nature of the statements therein made—when he considered how many Members of the House might feel and know that the course which the hon. Baronet had pursued, and so manfully avowed, was that which they had covertly taken—he for one would not be drawn into so ungenerous a course, while, on the other hand, if by any stratagem they negatived the motion, or got rid of it, or passed to the other orders of the day, or seized on any other of the instrumentalities by which justice might be evaded, then he should say, that the time of the House had been wasted, and that they had not improved the circumstances which presented themselves, for he would repeat, it was admitted on all hands, that the expenses of disputed elections were so frightfully large, that no man could incur them who had not enormous wealth. This was a state of things which it was the duty of the House to examine into, which it was the duty of the House to see overcome, and obviously, neither one thing nor the other, could be effected without searching and sincere inquiry. This inquiry was the object of his amendment, and he should press that amendment to a division, in order to try the sincerity of both sides of the House. The hon. Member concluded by proposing his amendment.

Mr. T. Duncombe

seconded the amendment.

Lord J. Russell,

though unwilling to detain the House at that period of the night, felt it his duty to rise to say that he should vote neither for the original motion nor for 'the amendment. He begged a few moments' attention while he stated the grounds on which he felt it impossible to support the original motion. He was of the same opinion as he had stated yesterday, and which he now stated again, namely, that great evils must attend on this particular combination affecting the Irish Controverted election petitions. He still thought, and the debate of this evening had confirmed him in the opinion, that the character of this combination and subscription was that of Protestant against Roman Catholic, and of Englishmen against Irish men. He saw by the instances quoted to-night of peculiarity in the names or signatures of some of the subscribers, such as "Anti-papists" and "Anti-Dens Theologists," and titles of that description, intended to signify attachment to the Protestant church and constitution — this sufficiently showed that it was on religious grounds that the subscription had been raised, and was contributed to. Another fact, that the subscriptions were intended to act solely against the Irish petitions, was sufficient to satisfy him of the character of the proceedings. Taking this view of the matter, he considered the combination an act calculated to break that harmony between the two countries which was intended to be established at the union. But this was not all. He would put it to the House whether, considering the suspicions which had grown up and the objections that were raised on other grounds against the tribunals by which the election petitions were judged—he would put it to the House whether, bearing these facts in mind, it was not of opinion that a subscription of such a nature was calculated to excite additional doubt and suspicion as to the proceedings of those tribunals? They must foresee that if the decision of the Committee were in favour of the sitting Member against whom the subscriptions were raised, as had been stated by the noble Lord in his speech of to-night, such decision would be considered as against the Protestant established church; and if the decision were against the sitting Member, and in favour of the petitioner, it would be considered in Ireland as founded on narrow views, and as the result of sectarian animosities. Having mentioned these difficulties which could not fail to arise from subscriptions of this character—having stated the objections which he felt against combinations such as had been entered into—having pointed out the evils which must result from those meetings and those Committees which the noble Lord had honoured with his praise and commendation, he must say that he considered such occurrences most lamentable. But when he was asked what remedy was to be applied, he declared, as he declared lat night, that he knew not what direct remedy they could apply. His hon. and learned Friend the Attorney-General, stated it as his opinion, that as regarded the mere question of law, these subscriptions were illegal. The noble Lord said if that opinion were correct—if the Government believed the subscriptions to be illegal, why did they not immediately institute a prosecution against the parties? Now surely the noble Lord, with his experience of office and public life, must know that amongst the transactions of the day it frequently happened that acts were illegally committed, and that though her Majesty's Attorney-General, if asked if those acts were or were not illegal, as a good lawyer must declare them to be violations of the law, still he perhaps would not advise prosecution in any of those cases. Every one knew that it was not sufficient to say that because acts were illegal they ought to be prosecuted, and he had no doubt his hon. Friend, the Attorney-General, formed a sound judgment when he said he thought that these subscriptions ought not to be made the subject of prosecution. He also concurred in the view taken by the hon. and learned Member for Exeter (Sir W. Follett,) when he stated that if any proceedings were founded on the illegality of the subscriptions, or on their being a breach of the privileges of this House, they must embrace all the subscriptions to which the hon. and learned Gentleman had referred in alluding to Dorchester, and also all the other proceeding that other hon. Gentlemen had described in the course of the debate. He was forced then to this conclusion, that whatever the political or the moral character of this combination, whatever the peculiar evils that it might inflict on the country, when they talked of proceeding against it, they could not proceed on any such ground as had been suggested. If they considered it illegal, or an attack on their privileges, and instituted proceedings against it on that ground, they must at the same time allow of proceedings against every subscription that had been raised for Controverted elections, and, perhaps, even against every subscription that had been raised for contested elections in this country, For that reason he thought it was unadvisable to enter on any such course. But though not prepared to say that measures might not be taken to limit or restrain the powers of subscription, he feared they might be working mischief, in many instances, instead of good, if they refused to allow the interests of the poor man to be maintained by the subscriptions of others against the power of those who might have great resources at their command; by establishing that principle they might be giving an undue influence to the wealthy, and deeply injuring the interests of those who were in less fortunate circum stances. He therefore doubted much whether it was expedient to enter on any course which had for its object to put down subscriptions by any law at present in existence, or by any that Parliament might frame. Such being the case, while he thought that there were peculiar evils arising from this combination—while he thought it calculated to keep alive religious animosities, and thus to inflict a deep injury on the community, he could not consent to the appointment of a Select Committee. He did not think it right to concur in a vote for the appointment of a Select Committee unless he saw some probability of a practical measure resulting from it. He considered that it would not be candid or fair to the House to enter on this Committee to ascertain that of which they had little doubt without seeing some measure that would arise out of the inquiry; he did not think it would be fair to go into this Committee unless it was apparent that some practical benefit would result. The hon. Member for Southwark had proposed that instead of appointing a Committee to deal with this particular question they should name one to inquire into the expenses both of contested and Controverted elections. Now, without some measure being immediately before him, he did not, as at present advised, think that the most expedient course with a view to remedy the evils of which they complained. For his part, at the commencement of this Parliament, seeing the new circumstances under which they were assembled, seeing the numerous petitions that must be presented, and the contests that were likely to occur on them, he should have been ready, if he had thought that the whole House would have concurred in his recommendation, to propose as the best way of maintaining the cha- racter of Parliament, and of disposing of these petitions, that they should appoint some tribunal by which all the petitions from first to last might be judged. Any such general assent, however, was not to be expected. If a proposal of that kind had emanated from that (the ministerial) side of the House, it would probably have been met by the imputation that it was made for the purpose of delay and keeping in their seats those who had no right to them. The next course open to them was that which he proposed to pursue; it was the course of allowing the election petitions to go on in the regular way before the legal tribunals; but at the same time he proposed to forward as much as was in his power any measure which he thought likely, on the one hand, to give greater facility and a character of impartiality to their tribunals; and on the other hand to diminish the expense of the trials which would come before them. He must advert to one more matter that was alluded to by the noble Lord. He agreed with him that the uncertainty of the franchise in Ireland was one of those circumstances which tended more than anything else to render the decisions of the Election Committees liable to doubt, and, consequently, suspicion and dissatisfaction. He considered this, in a great measure, the consequence of there being great doubt as to the law of election petitions. The decisions would be less uncertain and variable if the Committees had before them for their guidance regular precedents. He himself believed that men, whatever might be their party views, would not be disposed to swerve from what they plainly saw was their duty. But while there was a greater prejudice against it, at in consequence of the supposed influence of political or party views, the greater was the reason to improve the tribunal as much as possible, and to give it as much legal assistance as they possibly could. This seemed to him to be almost the only measure which they could take on this subject. He did not think that, in the present state of things, they could propose any measure which was likely to postpone to a future time the petitions which would not be imputed to party views. He had thus shortly stated his opinion on the question before the House. He would, however, before he sat down, take some notice of one or two observations which had been made by hon. Members, and which were somewhat personal to himself. He would pass by the observations of the hon. Member for Maidstone, who had spoken for the first time in the House that night, with merely referring to one remark. The hon. Member said, that he (Lord John Russell) held in one hand the keys of St. Peter. In his opinion the hon. Member fell into an error similar to that into which many young speakers had before fallen, namely, that he had transposed his figure as well as his persons: the hon. Gentleman evidently intended to say that Mr. Hudson, when he rushed into the Vatican, had secured the keys of St. Peter, and placed them in the hand of the right hon. Baronet. The right hon. Baronet, the Member for North Wilts, said, that he (Lord John Russell) had attached much weight to the authority, and had referred to a motion that he brought forward some years ago, and to a speech he then made, as a precedent for the present proceeding. He begged to assure the hon. Baronet that he attached no weight whatever to his authority. He did not think that any weight or importance could or ought to be attached to that opinion, and, therefore, the hon. Baronet was mistaken in supposing that he had alluded to that precedent as being entitled to any weight or authority. He believed the hon. Baronet, who had made some observations with reference to himself personally, had left the House; but as they were of very little consequence he would not dwell upon them. The hon. Baronet had spoken of his (Lord John Russell's) inconsistency every twenty four hours; he could not help observing that the question of consistency was rather a dangerous topic for the hon. Baronet to dwell upon. He would, however, take an opportunity of saying a few words on this subject when the hon. Baronet was in the House.

Sir Robert Peel

said, that he felt particularly called upon to offer a few observations to the House, in consequence of the direct appeal made to him by the hon. Member on a subject so much adverted to by him; namely, a new tribunal for the trying election petitions. The hon. Member asked him why he urged objections to the improvement of the existing tribunal of that House for the determination of contested elections? He denied that he was opposed to any such improvement. For his own part he was quite willing to take into his consideration any measure for the improvement of the tribunal. He objected to the proposal made that when they had a tribunal constituted by Parliament, that was found existing at the beginning of a new Parliament, they should at once proceed to set it aside and form another. He objected on various grounds to the postponement of the consideration of the petitions until that House and the House of Lords had agreed to the Bill of the hon. Member for Liskeard, or to some other Bill for the purpose of improving the tribunal. He objected on these grounds, in the first place, that it was the particular duty of that House to decide who were the legitimate representatives of the people, and nothing could be so unjust as to postpone the determination of this important matter until they had agreed as to the tribunal which should be substituted for the present one. Secondly, he objected to the proposition because it would furnish a most dangerous precedent in a new Parliament for a majority to force a decision on a minority as to what should be the nature of the new tribunal by which the great question which he had just referred to should be decided. The hon. and learned Member for Dublin had taunted him with an unwillingness to recede from the present system by which the decision of a contested election petition was left to a Committee of the House. He, in reply, would ask who had dwelt on the impropriety of leaving the jurisdiction of this subject in the House of Commons, who had said that it was most unfit and unbecoming to assemble in great numbers when the tribunals were to be appointed, who had said that, being connected with party, they would act as party-men, and who withdrew a Bill he wished to introduce, having for its object the transferring the jurisdiction to an entirely new tribunal, and voted for a Bill of a very different nature? The only Bill which was now before the House proposed to leave the jurisdiction in the House of Commons as it at present was, the persons on the tribunal to be determined by ballot; if then, this Bill passed, there would be the same attendance at the ballot as there was at present. There would be the same attention to the canvass which the hon. and learned Gentleman so much condemned, and to any party object to which the present system was liable. He found also that the Bill which had been adopted by the hon. and learned Gentleman contained proposals which were directly at variance with the recommendations of the Com- mittee. The noble Lord had also said that he so much disapproved of the Bill that he had some important alterations to propose in various parts of it. He (Sir Robert Peel) objected, however, that at the beginning of the new Parliament they should not have time to give such an important subject due consideration, if it were to be immediately adopted, and which, if hastily proceeded with, would most probably be liable to the strongest objections. Another great objection of his was, the referring the sixty-seven election petitions to a new and untried tribunal. He would say improve the election tribunal after this session, divest it as much as possible of any suspicion of being influenced by party feeling. By this means, and after ample consideration, a satisfactory measure might be framed, which should be gradually brought into operation by referring to it the petitions for contested elections that might arise during the continuance of the Parliament, and if they found defects in the working of the measure they would at once make such alterations in the new tribunal as might be deemed necessary; but if they passed a measure at once, and determined that the sixty-seven petitions should be referred to it, they would then provoke complaints, and if any inconvenience should arise, they could not apply a remedy if they did not again postpone the consideration of the election petitions until that House and the House of Lords could agree to another tribunal. He begged that it might not be supposed that he objected to any change in the constitution of the tribunal which was likely to be an improvement: it was as much the interest of that as of the opposite side to adopt an improvement which was calculated to insure, the impartiality of the tribunal. He might be asked, if there was nothing of party feeling in the present tribunal; and he would ask in reply, if that were the case, what advantage could the minority possibly have over the majority? He was, however, willing to adopt a new tribunal, after due consideration, which should not be liable to the objection of being an ex post facto law. If at a proper time, a measure having that object in view were introduced, he would apply his mind to the details of it with a view to its adoption. An analogy had been drawn between this subject and a change in the law respecting jurors; but the analogy did not hold good. There could not, he thought, be any doubt that persons of all parties would willingly lend themselves to the improvement of the jury laws. With reference, however, to the proposed Bill, the first thing that must be done was for the majority to elect an assessor, by whose legal opinion the decision of the tribunal would rest on many points. The person proposed might, in the first instance, be defeated by a party, and would not that excite objections and suspicions against the tribunal; and he begged the House to recollect that it had been called together at an unusually early period, and before Christmas to consider, to use the old terms, de quibusdam arduis rebus de statu et ecclesia Angliœ consultandum. With respect to the motion before the House, the author of it apparently shrunk from the charge of it, although last night they were assured that it should be submitted to its attention; but nothing prevented their immediate decision on the subject but the ill timed and inconsiderate proposition of the hon. Member for Southwark. That hon. Member stated that on one occasion his return was sent to the decision of a Committee on which he had only one friend, and he (Sir R. Peel) had thought that on that occasion the hon. Member would not have met with a single supporter. The proposition of the hon. Member had no immediate connexion with his own proposal. In justice to his own proposal. the hon. Gentleman ought to give a distinct notice upon the subject; he ought, too, to press for a decision upon the main question, for otherwise he must think that his own proposal could only lead to a further waste of time. This he ought to do, if he believed that the present question was brought forward in the mere spirit of party warfare, and if he really believed, as he (Sir R. Peel) had no doubt he did so believe, that it was an ungenerous motion directed against the hon. Baronet, the Member for North Wilts. Then the hon. Member must see that there was a triple ground for his taking that course which was now suggested to him—first, for the purpose of marking his dissatisfaction with what he must regard as a useless consumption of the public time; next, for the purpose of discouraging the attempt to draw away their attention to party politics; and, thirdly, for the purpose of recording his disapproval of an ungenerous attack upon a Member of that House. Upon all these accounts that hon. Member ought to be prepared to divide upon the main question. Let there not be any pretext afforded for withdrawing from a decision upon the question; for after the amendment had been negatived, and the main proposition put, as far as he was concerned, there should be no previous question—there should be no appeal to the order of the day. The simple and the intelligible ground of the motion was, that an unwise and an unjust act had been done, and that he proposed to meet with a positive and direct negative. As the hon. Member for Monmouth had proposed five or six cumbrous resolutions, entering into details, and involving what might be partly truth, it might on that account have been difficult to have met them with a distinct negative, and the previous question then could have been resorted to; but when the question was, whether or not a Committee should, upon a simple statement of facts, be appointed—and let it be remembered that if not appointed that night, it could not be appointed for many weeks following—when such was the proposition, there was no pretence for taking any other course than that of saying "aye," or "no," to the appointment of the Committee. He intended to say "no," and this, therefore, was the course which he meant to pursue. If the hon. Gentleman, the Member for Southwark, persisted in moving his amendment, the question put from the chair would be, that "the words proposed to be left out stand part of the question; then, in that case, he must have the infinite satisfaction of voting with the hon. Member, the mover of the proposition, and of course with the noble Lord. The hon. Gentleman must be anxious to come to the decision upon his own proposition. He must think that any impediment that should be thrown in his way to attain that desirable end must be exceedingly disagreeable, if not unfair; and of course the hon. Gentleman must move that his words stand part of the question. If, then, that were carried in the affirmative, and he thought he could promise the hon. Gentleman that they on that side of the House would aid him in carrying it so far, then they would come to decide upon the main question, whether the Committee ought to be appointed. As he had said before, he should meet that proposition with a direct and unqualified negative. Either the proceeding which had been so much adverted to that night was an illegal and an unconstitutional proceeding, or it was one permitted by law. If the noble Lord thought that it was of doubtful legality, and yet dangerous, he had the remedy within his hands; it was not even necessary for him to have recourse to the Attorney-General on the subject; but the noble Lord could bring in a declaratory Bill. If it were unconstitutional and a breach of the privileges of that House, why did not hon. Gentlemen meet it with a direct resolution? But if hon. Gentlemen opposite felt this transaction to be one which they considered to be imprudent and unwise, and yet which they felt to be tolerated by law, then he had to protest against the course of proceeding which they seemed determined upon adopting. Hon. Gentlemen said that the argument which had been used in this debate was a tu quoque argument—of course it was. His hon. and learned Friend, in his admirable speech, had showed that not only was it a transaction tolerated by all parties at all times, but that those opposite had sanctioned and practised it the most. On the opposite side they said tu quoque, but he replied to them, tu quoque, tu prior, tu quasi. They had taught, and they had practised, and they now complained. Oh! but his noble Friend brought forward the Dorchester case. Now, if he had brought forward that case at the time—if he had read the names of the contributors, and the fanciful designations they assumed—what a miserable waste of time it would have been thought? And this would be the result if the House of Commons condemned an act without the power of enforcing the condemnation—that not only would the parties escape punishment, but the House of Commons would render itself contemptible; because this would be practical tyranny, that a majority not daring to amend an old or enforce a new law, and unable to pronounce a certain action a breach of privilege, would still attempt, by a vote of a majority, to degrade those who did it. Let them once take that course, and they would find such an arbitrary exercise of power would provoke opposition, and induce men to glory in that which they denounced, and persons would challenge them to exercise their power by enforcing the very principles which they condemned. There was nothing that he should lament more than this: and this he must say, that if he found the act of a mere majority of that House was to be at any one time substituted for the vengeance of the law, then there was no measure that he would not have recourse to to resist that illegal exercise of power, and he should defy the House of Commons. They had avoided as yet any act of that kind; but he feared from the tone that had been assumed in the course of the debate, and the attacks made on the contributors, that some course like that he apprehended might be attempted, while, in the end, they did not appear to be in a hurry to get the Committee. The hon. Gentleman (Mr. S. O'Brien) appeared to have brought forward a very extraordinary proposition. He considered that he had a right as an individual to complain upon this subject; he said that it was intended to displace Roman Catholic Members; and yet that hon. Member himself, who was the only petitioner against the subscriptions, happened to be a Protestant. If he was not right in this statement the hon. Gentleman could correct him. Now he said, notwithstanding the attack that had been made upon the hon. Baronet, he had derived nothing but credit—nothing but credit—nothing, he repeated it, but credit, from the manly course of his proceeding. Hon. Gentlemen opposite had taunted the hon. Baronet with inconsistency; could that inconsistency proceed from any dishonourable or dishonest cause? What reward could the hon. Baronet hope for? The position of the hon. Baronet enabled him to look down upon the imputation of unworthy motives. He did not admit of the charge of inconsistency as being applicable to the hon. Baronet. He had long been opposed to the hon. Baronet; but the position of the hon. Baronet at that moment was that of many other individuals of the highest character, respectability, and intelligence, in this country. The hon. Baronet had struggled for Parliamentary Reform—he had assailed in violent language the usurpation of the peers and the borough mongering system; but he had never heard of the hon. Baronet, even at the most inflamed periods of party politics—he never heard of him saying that when reform was granted that he wanted to see the privileges of the monarchy, or of the House of Peers, in the slightest degree invaded. The hon. Baronet's had been a perfectly honest and consistent course; he it was who mainly by his efforts had substituted for the former representation that which now prevailed. It was perfectly consistent in the hon. Baronet, when he had attained that which he had sought for, that he should rest satisfied, and that when an encroachment was made upon other constituent bodies of the Legislature, he having the acuteness to perceive, had the manliness to face, the attacks that might be made upon him, when he stood up to oppose the attacks that might be made upon the privileges of the monarchy and the peerage. The hon. Baronet did struggle for Roman Catholic Emancipation, as it was called. He was amongst the most powerful and the most successful advocates of that measure. The Roman Catholics of Ireland entertained a different opinion of the hon. Baronet from that which the hon. and learned Gentleman, the Member for Dublin, now expressed, when upon two occasions they intrusted the hon. Baronet with the office of bringing forward the Roman Catholic petitions; and when he read those expressions of gratitude for the hon. Baronet's services which had flowed from the Roman Catholics of Ireland, he scarcely expected that one of the chief amongst the Roman Catholics of Ireland would denounce the hon. Baronet, not only for the present opinions which he entertained, but on account of his past political conduct, asserting that in his youth and throughout his manhood he had done no good whatever to the popular cause, the cause of which the hon. and learned Gentleman was so strenuous an advocate. They knew that the hon. Baronet had contended for the complete relief of the Roman Catholics from their disabilities, and the annihilation of all distinctions on account of differences in religion; but they never yet had heard the hon. Baronet maintain it as a necessary consequence of the removal of the Roman Catholic disabilities, that the securities of the Protestant Church should be endangered. And again, having succeeded in removing these disabilities, and placing the Roman Catholics on a footing of perfect equality, so far from being inconsistent it was real consistency; it was real conformity with every principle which the hon. Baronet had ever avowed, to say, "Now those disabilities are removed, I shall not, if I can prevent it, endanger the security of the Protestant institutions." And here again, seeing the injustice and the danger, and having the manliness to perceive it, the hon. Baronet said, he would stand there, as he had done, with respect to the peerage and the Crown; he would make his stand there in defence of the Protestant establishments of the country.

Mr. T. Duncombe,

amidst loud cries of "Question! and divide!" said, the right hon. Baronet who had just sat down had not only commented upon the motion of the hon. Member for Limerick, but also upon the amendment of the hon. Member for Southwark; and in doing so he had characterised the amendment as most in- consistent, and one which he hoped had not a supporter in the House. Having been the individual who stood up in his place to second that amendment, he was not the person to shrink from stating the reasons why he thought that amendment ought to be supported. He thought the reasons stated by his hon. and learned Friend, the Member for Southwark, were most powerful. Well might that hon. and learned Gentleman say that the public, when they heard that the House had spent six or seven hours in the debate of this evening, would think that the time of the House had been most uselessly expended. The whole had been a farce—the farce of Much Ado about Nothing, They could come to no decision relative—what decision could they come to unless they agreed to the amendment of his hon. and learned Friend? What did the motion of the hon. Member for Limerick mean? It meant to cast a vote of censure on the hon. Baronet the Member for North Wiltshire. It was quite clear from what, the noble Lord (Lord J. Russell) had said, that the House was not prepared to agree to that vote of censure. He for one, was Hot prepared to say that because the hon. Baronet had subscribed 20l. to some fund or other, that therefore he was capable of to much dishonesty as that he would not adjudicate fairly upon a Committee. He could only say that if he were a petitioner or petitioned against, he would be perfectly ready to leave his case in the hands of the hon. Baronet. The noble Lord (Lord John Russell) did not agree with the motion of the hon. Member for Limerick, nor in the amendment. In this difficulty what was he to do? The amendment of his hon. Friend the Member for Southwark was based on common sense; it was simply this, whether the House was prepared to remove the expenses entailed upon petitioners and those petitioned against, who came before Election Committees. That was the simple question. Put down these expenses, and the Spottiswoode gang subscriptions and associations would fall to the ground. What the division would be he did not know; but he hoped his hon. and learned Friend would press his amendment to a division, and then the country would see whether or not it was the intention of the House to reduce the expenses of Election Committees.

Lord Clements

amidst much noise said, he would not detain the House two minutes. He hoped they would allow him to mention the circumstances which induced him to vote for the motion of the hon. Member for Limerick. The noble Lord, the Member for North Lancashire, had perceived, as he said, a number of nice distinctions which had been drawn by Members on that side of the House. Upon one of those which the noble Lord had called a nice distinction would rest the vote which he was about to give. He thought that this was not only a question of degree, but it was based on the grand principle not only of interfering with the lights of the Irish Members in that House, but also of disfranchising a large class of voters in Ireland—not fictitious or fraudulent voters, but persons whose property was of a value to entitle them to vote. It was to protect this class of voters that he was anxious to put down this conspiracy.

Mr. O'Brien

in reply said, he did not think that the time of the House had been altogether wasted. He thought that this country and Ireland would expect that on this question the opinion of the House of Commons should be declared. He perhaps owed an apology for making himself the humble instrument of submitting this question to the House. He would not have ventured to present himself as a petitioner if he had not felt that he was one of a class against whom these subscriptions were directed. As he understood, the situation in which the House was placed was this:—the majority agreed in thinking that this proceeding was unconstitutional. The majority agreed with him in thinking that it was inequitable that the same person should be judge and prosecutor; but he observed this, that such was the universal practice on both sides of the House, that they could not come to a division without passing a condemnation on themselves. That he believed was the real state of the case, and that was the reason why he had not the support of Government, and as he was not supported by Government, it was no great boast on the part of the right hon. Baronet, that he would obtain a majority. The right hon. Baronet might enjoy his triumph. He had enjoyed one last night over a new Member, who was unacquainted with the forms of the House; and now he might enjoy a triumph over him (Mr. O'Brien,), for as soon as he heard that his motion would not be supported by Government, he despaired of success. But the discussion which had taken place would do good? it would convince the country and the House of the necessity of doing something to alter the present tribunals, and thereby to render the expenses of Election Committees less crushing to those whose duty compelled them to have recourse to them.

The House then divided on the question, that the words proposed to be left out stand part of the question:—Ayes 389, Noes 91: Majority 298.

The House again divided on the main question:—Ayes 121, Noes 331: Majority 210.

List of the AYES.
Acland, Sir T. Bramston, T. W.
Acland, T. D. Broadley, H.
A'Court, Captain Broadwood, H.
Adam, Sir C. Brodie, W. B.
Adare, Viscount Browne, R. D.
Aglionby, H. A. Brownrigg, S.
Alexander, Viscount Bruce, Lord E.
Alford, Viscount Bruges, W. H. L.
Alsager, Captain Bryan, G.
Anson, hon. Colonel Bulwer, E. L.
Archbold, R. Burr, H.
Ashley, Lord Burrell, Sir C.
Attwood, W. Burroughes, H.
Attwood, M. Butler, Colonel.
Bagge, W. Calcraft, J. H.
Bagot, hon. W. Campbell, Sir H.
Bailey, J. Campbell, Sir J.
Baillie, Colonel Canning, Sir S.
Baker, E. Cantilupe, Viscount
Baring, F. T. Carnac, Sir J.
Baring, hon. F, Castlereagh, Viscount
Baring, H. B. Cavendish, hon. C.
Barneby, J. Cavendish, hon. G.
Barnes, Sir E. Cayley, E. S.
Barrington, Viscount Chandos, Marquess of
Barron, H. W. Chaplin, Colonel
Bateson, Sir R. Chapman, L.
Bell, M. Chichester, J. P. B.
Benett, J. Christopher, It. A.
Bentinck, Lord Chute, W. L. W.
Berkeley, hon. G. Clayton, Sir W. R.
Berkeley, hon. C. Clements, Viscount
Bernal, R. Clive, Viscount
Bethell, R. Clive, hon. R. H.
Bewes, T. Codrington, C. W.
Blair, J. Cole, Viscount
Blake, M. J. Collier, J.
Blake, W. J. Collins, W.
Blakemore, R. Colquhoun, Sir J.
Blennerhasset, A. Compton, H. C.
Blewitt, R. J. Conolly, E.
Blunt, Sir C. Cooper, E. J.
Boldero, H. G. Corry, hon. R.
Bolling, W. Courtenay, P.
Borthwick, P. Cowper, hon. W. F.
Brabazon, Sir. W. Craig, W. G.
Bradshaw, J. Creswell, C.
Curry, W. Harcourt, G. S.
Dalmeny, Lord Hardinge, Sir H.
Dalrymple, Sir A, Hastie, A.
Damer, hon. D. Hawes, B.
Darby, G. Hawkins, J. H.
Darlington, Earl of Hay, Sir A. L.
De Horsey, S. H. Hayter, W.
Dick, Q. Heathcoat, J.
D'Israeli, B. Heathcote, Sir W.
Douglas, Sir C. E, Heneage, E.
Dowdeswell, W. Henniker, Lord
Duckworth, S. Herries, J.
Duff, J. Hillsborough, Earl of
Duffield, T. Hinde, J. H.
Dugdale, W. Hobhouse, Sir J.
Duncombe, W. Hobhouse, T. B.
Dundas, F. Hodgson, F.
Dunlop, J. Hodgson, R.
East, J. Hogg, J. W,
Eastnor, Viscount Holmes, hon. W.
Eaton, R, Hope, G. W.
Egerton, W. T. Hope, H. T.
Eliot, Lord Horsman, E.
Eliot, hon. J. C. Hotham, Lord
Ellice, Captain A. Houstoun. G.
Ellis, J. Howard, P. H.
Estcourt, T. G. B. Howard R.
Estcourt, T. H. S. Howard, hon. W.
Evans, W. Howick, Viscount
Farnham, E. B. Hughes, W. B.
Fielden, W. Hume, J.
Fellowes, E. Hurst, R. H.
Ferguson, R. A. Hutton, R.
Fitzalan, Lord Ingestre, Viscount
Fitzgibbon, Colonel Ingham, R.
Fitzroy, hon. H. Inglis, Sir R.
Fitzsimon, N. Irton, S.
Fleetwood, P. H. Irving, J.
Fleming, J. Jackson, Sergeant
Foley, E. T. James, Sir W.
Follett, Sir W. Jenkins, R.
Forbes, W. Jermyn, Earl
Forester, hon. G. Johnstone, H.
Freshfield, J. W. Jolliffe, Sir W.
Gaskell, James Milnes Jones, J.
Gibson, J. Jones, T.
Gibson, T. Kemble, H.
Gladstone, W. E. Kerrison, Sir E.
Glynne, Sir S. R. Ker, D.
Goddard, A. Kirk, P.
Godson, R. Knatchbull, Sir E.
Gordon, R. Knight, H. G.
Gore, O. J. R. Knightley, Sir C.
Gore, O. W. Labouchere, H.
Goulburn, H. Lascelles, hon. W,
Granby, Marquess Law, hon. C.
Grattan, H. Lefevre, C. S.
Greene, T. Lefroy, right hon. T.
Greenaway, C. Lemon, Sir C.
Grey, Sir G. Lennox, Lord G
Grimsditch, T, Lennox, Lord A.
Grimston, Viscount Litton, E.
Grimston, hon. E. Lockhart, A. M.
Hale, R. B. Logan, H.
Halford, H. Lowther, Colonel
Halyburton, hon. D. Lowther, Viscount
Halse, J. Lowther, J.
Lucas, E. Power, J.
Lushington, Dr. Powerscourt, Visct.
Lushington, C. Praed, W. M.
Lygon, General Price, R.
Lynch, A. Pringle, A.
Mackenzie, T. Pryse, P.
Mackenzie, W. Pusey, P.
Mackinnon, W. Rae, Sir W.
Maclean, D. Ramsbottom, J.
Macleod, R. Ramsay, Lord
Macnamara, W. Redington, T. N.
Maher, J. Rae, Sir J. R.
Mahon, Viscount Rice, right hon. T. S.
Maidstone, Viscount Rich, H.
Manners, Lord C. S. Richards, R.
Marshall, W. Rickford, W.
Martin, J. Roche, E. B.
Marton, G. Roche, W.
Master, T.W.C. Roche, D.
Maule, W. H. Rolfe, Sir R. M.
Maunsell, T. P. Rolleston, L.
Maxwell, H. Rose, Sir G.
Meynell, Captain Round, C. G.
Mildmay, P. St. J. Round, J.
Miles, W. Rumbold, C. E.
Miles, P. W. S. Rushbrooke, Col.
Miller, W. H. Russell, Lord J.
Milton, Viscount Russell, Lord
Moneypenny, T. Salwey, Colonel
Morpeth, Viscount Sanderson, R.
Murray, J. A. Sandon, Viscount
Muskett, C. A. Scarlett, J. Y.
Nagle, Sir R. Scarlett, R.
Neeld, J. Scrope, G. P.
Nicholl, J. Shaw, F.
Norreys, Lord Sheppard, T.
O'Brien, C. Shirley, E. J.
O'Brien, W. S. Sibthorp, Colonel
O'Callaghan, C. Sinclair, Sir G.
Ossulston, Lord Smith, A.
Owen, H. O. Smyth, Sir G. H.
Packe, C.W. Somerset, Lord G.
Paget, Lord A. Somerville, Sir W.
Pakington, J. S. Spry, Sir S. T.
Palmer, R. Stanley, E. J.
Palmerston, Viscount Stanley, E.
Parker, J. Stanley, Lord
Parker, M. Steuart, R.
Parker, R. T. Stewart, J.
Parker, T. A. W. Stewart, J.
Parnell, Sir H. Stuart, H.
Parrott, J. Sturt, H. C.
Patten, J. W. Sugden, Sir E.
Peel, Sir R. Surrey, Earl of
Peel, J. Talfourd, Sergeant
Pemberton, T. Tancred, H. W.
Perceval, Colonel Thomson, C. P.
Perceval, G. J. Thornley, T.
Peyton, H. Thornhill, G.
Philips, H. Tollemache, F. J.
Planta, hon. J. Tracey, H. H.
Plumptre, J. P. Trench, Sir F.
Polhill, F. Trevor, hon. G. R.
Pollen, Sir J. W. Troubridge, Sir E. T.
Pollock, Sir F. Tufnell, H.
Poulter, J. S. Tyrell, Sir J. T.
Powell, Colonel Vere, Sir C. B.
Verner, Colonel Winnington, H.
Villiers, Viscount Wodehouse, E.
Vivian, J. E. Wood, C.
Vivian, Sir R. H. Wood, Colonel
Wall, C. B. Wood, G.
Wallace, R. Wood, T.
Welby, G. E. Wrightson, W.
Westenra, H. R. Wyndham, W.
Westenra, J. C. Wynn, C. W.
Wilberforce, W. Yorke, E. T.
Wilbraham, B. Young, J.
Williams, R.
Williams, T, P. TELLERS.
Wilmot, Sir J. Freemantle, Sir T.
Wilshire, W. Holmes, W.
List of the NOES.
Ainsworth; P. O'Connell, D.
Alston, R. O'Connell, J.
Attwood, T. O'Connell, M. J.
Baines, Edward O'Connell, M.
Ball, N. Palmer, C. F.
Bellew, R. Pattison, J.
Blackstone, W. S. Pease, J.
Bowes, J. Pechell, Captain
Bridgeman, H. Pendarves, E. W.
Brocklehurst, J. Phillpotts, J.
Brotherton, J. Ponsonby, C. F. A.
Busfield, W. Ponsonby, hon. J.
Byng, G. S. Protheroe, E.
Callaghan, D. Pryme, G.
Chalmers, P. Rice, E. R.
Currie, R. Rundle, J.
Dashwood, G. H. Sandford, E. A.
Davies, Colonel Scholefield, J.
Dennistoun, J. Sharpe, General
D'Eyncourt, C. Smith, J. A.
Divett, E. Somers, J. P.
Duke, Sir J. Standish, C.
Duncan, Viscount Stanley, M.
Duncombe, A. Stanley, W. O.
Dundas, C. W. D. Stansfield, W. R.
Dundas, J. C. Stuart, Lord J.
Dundas, Captain Stuart, V.
Easthorpe, J. Strickland, Sir G.
Erle, W. Style, Sir C.
Fort, J. Talbot, R. C. M.
Gillon, W. D, Talbot, J. R.
Hall, B. Verney, Sir H.
Handley, H. Vigors, N. A.
Hindley, Charles Villiers, C. P.
Hodges, T. L. Vivian, J. H.
Hollond, R. Wakley, T.
Howard, F. J. Warburton, H.
Jephson, C. D. O. Ward, R. G.
Johnston, General Willbraham, G.
Kinnaird, A. F. Williams, W.
Langdale, hon. C. Wood, Sir M.
Leader, J. T. Worsley, Lord
Leveson, Lord Yates, J. A.
Mahony, P. Young, G. F.
Melgund, Viscount TELLERS.
Milnes, R. M. Harvey, D. W.
Morris, D. Duncombe, T.
List of the AYES.
Aglionby, H. A. Langdale, hon. C.
Archbold, R. Lushington, Dr.
Attwood, T. Lushington, C.
Baines, E. Lynch, A. H.
Ball, N. Macleod, R.
Baron, H. W. Macnamara, Major
Barry, G. S. Maher, J.
Beamish, F. B. Mahony, P.
Bellew, R. M. Martin, J.
Bewes, T. Maule, W. H.
Blake, M. J. Melgund, Visct.
Blewitt, R. J. Milton, Visct.
Blunt, Sir C. Morris, D.
Brabazon, Lord Nagle, Sir R.
Bridgeman, H. O'Brien, C.
Brodie, W. B. O'Callaghan, C.
Brotherton, J. O'Connell, D.
Browne, R. D. O'Connell, J.
Bryan, D. O'Connell, M. J.
Busfield, W. O'Connell, M.
Butler, hon. Colonel Parrot, J.
Byng, right hon. G. S. Pattison, J.
Callaghan, D. Pease, J.
Chalmers, P. Pechell, Captain
Chapman, L. Ponsonby, C. F.
Clements, Viscount Poulter, J. S.
Collier, J. Power, J.
Collins, W. Protheroe, E.
Curry, W. Pryme, G.
Dashwood, G. H. Reddington, T. N.
Dennistoun, J. Roche, E. B.
Duckworth, S. Roche, W.
Duke, Sir J. Roche, D.
Dundas, C. W. D. Rundle, J.
Dundas, F. Salwey, Colonel
Dundas, hon. J. C. Scholefield, J.
Dundas, Captain C. Sharpe, General
Erle, W. Somers, J. P.
Fitzgibbon, Colonel Somerville, Sir W. M;
Fitzsimon, N. Stanley, M.
Fort, J. Stansfield, W. R.
Gibson, J. Strickland, Sir G.
Gillon, W. D. Talbot, J. H.
Grattan, H. Talfourd, Sergeant
Greenaway, C Tancred, H. W.
Hall, B. Thornley, P.
Hallyburton, hn. D. G. Troubridge, Sir E. T.
Handley, H. Vigors, N. A.
Hastie, A. Villiers, C. P.
Hawes, B. Wakley, T.
Heathcoat, J. Wallace, R.
Heneage, E. Warburton, H.
Hindley, C. Westenra, J. C.
Hodges, T. L. Williams, W.
Holland, R. Winnington, H.
Horsman, E. Wood, G. W.
Howard, F. J. Worsley, Lord
Howard, R. Wyse, T.
Hume, J. Yates, J. A.
Hutton, R. TELLERS,
Johnstone, General O'Brien, W.
Kinnaird, hon. A. F. Bulwer,——
List of the NOES.
Acland, Sir T. D. Clayton, Sir W.
Acland, T. D. Clive, Visct.
A'Court, Capt. Clive, hon. R. H.
Adam, Sir C. Codrington, C. W.
Adare, Visct. Cole, Visct.
Alexander, Visct. Colquhoun, Sir J.
Alford, Visct. Compton, H, C.
Alsager, Capt. Conolly, E.
Alston, R. Corry, hon. H.
Anson, hon. Col. Courtenay, P.
Ashley, Lord Craig, W. G.
Attwood, W. Cresswell, C.
Attwood, M. Dalmeny, Lord
Bagge, W. Dalrymple, Sir A'
Bagot, hon. W. Damer, D.
Bailey, J. Darby, G.
Baillie, Col. Darlington, Earl
Baker, E. De Horsey, S. H.
Baring, F. T. Dick, Q.
Baring, hon. F. D'Israeli, B.
Baring, H. B. Douglas, Sir C. E.
Barneby, J. Dowdeswell, W.
Barnes, Sir E. Duff, J.
Barrington, Visct. Duffield, T.
Bateson, Sir R. Dugdale, W. S.
Bell, M. Duncan, Visct.
Benett, J. Duncombe, T.
Bentinck, Lord G. Duncombe, W
Berkeley, hon. G, Duncombe, A.
Bernal, R. Dunlop, J.
Bethell, R. East, J. B.
Blackstone, W. S. Eastnor, Visct.
Blair, J. Eaton, R. J.
Blake, W. J. Egerton, W. T.
Blakemore, R. Eliot, Lord
Blennerhassett, A. Ellice, Captain A.
Boldero, H. G. Ellis, J.
Boiling, W. Estcourt, T. G. B.
Borthwick, P. Estcourt, T. H, S.
Bowes, J. Evans, W.
Brabazon, Sir W. Farnham, E, B.
Bradshaw, J. Fielden, W.
Bramston, T. W. Fellowes, E.
Broadley, H. Ferguson, Sir R.
Broadwood, H. Fitzalan, Lord
Brownrigg, S. Fitzroy, hon. H.
Bruce, Lord E. Fleetwood, P. H.
Bruges, W. H. L. Fleming, J.
Burr, H. Foley, E. T.
Burrell, Sir C. Foliett, Sir W.
Burroughes, H. N. Forbes, William
Calcraft, J. H. Forrester, hon. G.
Campbell, Sir H. Freshfield, J.
Canning, Sir S. Gaskell, Jas. Milnes
Cantilupe, Visct. Gibson, T.
Carnac, Sir J. R. Gladstone, W. F.
Castlereagh, Visct. Glynne, Sir S. R.
Cavendish, hon. C. Goddard, A.
Cavendish, hon. G. Godson, R.
Cayley, E. S. Gordon, R.
Chandos, Marquess Gore, O. J. R.
Chaplin, Col. Gore, O. W.
Chichester, J. P. B. Goulburn, H.
Christopher, R. A, Granby, Marquess of
Chute, W. L. W. Grant, Colonel
Greene, T. Mackenzie, T.
Grey, Sir G. Mackenzie, W. F.
Grimsditch, T. Mackinnon, W. A.
Grimston, Visct. Maclean,, Donald
Grimston, hon. E. H. Mahon, Visct.
Hale, R. B. Maidstone, Visct.
Halford, H. Manners, Lord C.
Halse, J. Marshall, William
Harcourt, G. S. Marion, George
Hardinge, Sir H. Master, T. W. C.
Harvey, D. W. Maunsell, T. P.
Hawkins, J. H. Maxwell, H.
Hay, Sir A. L. Meynell, Captain
Hayter, W. G. Mild may, P.
Heathcote, Sir W. Miles, W.
Henniker, Lord Miles, P. W. S.
Herries, J. C. Miller, W. H.
Hillsborough, Earl of Milnes, R. M.
Hinde, J. H. Moneypenny, T.
Hobhouse, Sir J. Morpeth, Viscount
Hobhouse, T. B. Murray, J. A.
Hodgson, F. Muskett, G. A.
Hodgson, Richard Neeld, J.
Hogg, James Weir Nicholl, J.
Holmes, William Norreys, Lord
Hope, George W. Ossulston, Lord
Hope, Henry T. Owen, H, O.
Hotham, Lord Packe, C. W.
Houstoun, G. Paget, Lord A.
Howard, P. H. Pakington, J. S.
Howard, hon. W. Palmer, C. F.
Howick, Viscount Palmerston, Viscount
Hughes, W. B. Parker, J.
Hurst, R. H. Parker, M.
Ingestre, Viscount Parker, R. T.
Ingham, R. Parker, T. A. W.
Inglis, Sir R. H. Parnell, Sir H.
Irton, S. Patten, John Wilson
James, Sir W. C. Peel, right hon. Sir R
Jenkins, Richard Peel, J.
Jephson, C. D. O. Pemberton, Thomas
Jermyn, R. Pendarves, E. W.
Johnstone, Hope Perceval, Colonel
Jones, J. Percival, hon. G. J.
Kemble, Henry Philips, Mark
Kerrison, Sir Edward Phillpotts, John
Ker, D. Planta, right hon. J.
Kirk, P. Plumptre, J. P.
Knatchbull, Sir E. Pollhill, F.
Knight, H. G. Pollen, Sir J. W.
Knightley, Sir C. Pollock, Sir F.
Labouchere, H. Ponsonby, J.
Lascelles, hon. W. S. Powell, Col.
Law, hon. C. E. Powerscourt, Visct.
Lefevre, C. S. Praed, W. M.
Lemon, Sir C. Price, Richard
Lefroy, right hon. T. Pringle, A.
Lennox, Lord George Pryse, P.
Lennox, Lord Arthur Pusey, P.
Litton, Edward Rae, Sir Wm. Bart.,
Lockhart, A. M Ramsbottom, J.
Logan, Hart Ramsay, Lord.
Lowther, Col. Reid, Sir J. R.
Lowther, Visct. Rice, T. S.
Lowther, J. H. Rich, Henry
Lucas, E. Richards, Richard
Lygon, hon. General Rickford, W.
Rolfe, Sir R. M. Surrey, Earl of
Rolleston, L. Thomson, C. P.
Rose, Sir G. Thornhill, G.
Round, C. G. Tollemache, F.
Round, John Tracy, H. H.
Rumbold, C. E. Trench, Sir F.
Rushbrooke, R. Trevor, hon. G. R.
Russell, Lord J. Tyrrell, Sir J. T.
Russell, Lord Vere, Sir C. B.
Sanderson, R. Verner, Colonel
Sandon, Visct. Villiers, Lord
Scarlett, hon. J. Y. Vivian, J. E.
Scarlett, hon. R. Wall, C. B.
Scrope, J. P. Welby, G. E.
Shaw, right hon. F. Westenra, H. R.
Sheppard, T. Wilberforce, William
Shirley, Evelyn J. Wilbraham, B.
Sibthorp, Col. Williams, Robert
Sinclair, Sir G. Williams, T. P.
Smith, J. A. Wilmot, Sir J. E.
Smith, Abel Wilshere, W.
Smyth, Sir G. H. Wodehouse, E.
Somerset, Lord G. Wood, G.
Spry, Sir S. T. Wood, Colonel T.
Standish, Charles Wood, T.
Stanley, Edward Wrightson, W. B.
Stanley, Lord Wyndham, W.
Steuart, R. Wynn, C. W.
Stewart, James Yorke, hon. E. T.
Stewart, J. Young, J.
Stuart, H.
Stuart, V. TELLERS.
Sturt, H. C. Freemantle, Sir T.
Sugden, Sir E. Holmes, W.