HC Deb 07 August 1839 vol 50 cc7-10

Mr. Fox Maule moved the second reading of the Birmingham Police Bill (No. 2.)

Mr. T. Attwood

was confident that it was a most improvident bill, and he much feared that it would produce much evil of a serious nature in the town of Birmingham. He must complain of the change made from the first bill, which the people of Birmingham would not object to, to an arbitrary measure which threw the whole power into the hands of the Secretary for the Home Department, and made, too, at the suggestion of the general opponents of the Government. He did not see why the men of Birmingham of the present day should not be governed as were their grandfathers. He did hope that the Government would take warning in time, and not persevere in this bill, or any similar measure, for he had no doubt that it would produce great mischief to the peace and content of the country, and might endanger the security of the Throne itself. He was sure, that a police force would do no good under the control of the Home Secretary, but it would be good and. use- ful under the control of the corporation. He, therefore, moved that the bill be read a second time that day three months.

Mr. Scholefield

, in seconding the motion said, there was a strong disposition on the part of the council to resist this measure. He was sure the people of Birmingham would not be satisfied with it, as it was meant to keep them down, and all that could be charged against the town was a riot which might have happened in any town. On a former evening, so convinced was he of the necessity of some police in the town of Birmingham, that he had voted for the first reading of this bill. He would now, however, oppose it, because, on better consideration, he was convinced, it would do much mischief.

Sir E. Wilmot

had voted for the bill, but not on the ground that the corporation of Birmingham were not competent to manage their own affairs. It was well known that difficulties had arisen as to the power of the corporation to raise the rates, and until the question was settled in a court of law, it became necessary to apply to Government for an advance of money for local purposes; the Government consented to give the money, but annexed its own conditions to the advance. If the Government meant to retain the power in its own hands permanently, he would oppose the bill. If the hon. Members for Birmingham would even now say on the part of the corporation, that they would raise the money without any application to Government, he would vote against the bill.

Mr. Wakley

thought, that the circumstances connected with this and the former bill were very humiliating to the Liberals in that House. By the former, the noble Lord, the Secretary for the Home Department, proposed to rest the nomination of the police in the local authority, which the charter had created, and that intention was cheered by the Liberals, but in ten days from that time, the noble Lord came down to the House and proposed quite a different arrangement, by which the power would be vested in the Government, and for that he was also cheered by the same Liberals. He did not blame the noble Lord, who, he had no doubt, acted with perfect sincerity, and for what he thought the best—but what was he to say to the Liberals for their conduct? They ought, in his opinion, to be called "sycophants," instead of "Li- berals." As lo this bill, he looked upon it as unfortunate for Birmingham and for the country, and he should vote against it.

The House divided on the original question:—Ayes 74; Noes 20: Majority 54.

List of the Ayes.
Adam, Admiral Kemble, H.
Baring, F. T. Loch, J.
Barnard, E. G. Lushington, rt. hn. S.
Barry, G. S. Lygon, hon. Gen.
Bernal, R. Macauley, T. B.
Blackburne, I. Maule, hon. F.
Blair, J. Morpeth, Lord
Blake, W. J. Muskett, G. A.
Boldero, H. G. Norreys, Sir D. J.
Bolling, W. Palmer, G.
Bramston, T. W. Parker, R. T.
Bridgman, H. Philips, M.
Broadley, H. Pigot, D. R.
Brownrigg, S. Praed, W. T.
Bruges, W. H. L. Price, Sir R.
Bryan, G. Rice, rt. hon. T. S.
Burroughes, H. N. Rich, H.
Campbell, SirJ. Rolfe, Sir R. M.
Cochrane, Sir T. J. Round, J
Cowper, hon. W. F. Russell, Lord J.
Craig, W. G. Rutherfurd, rt. hn. A.
Darby, G. Seymour, Lord
Darlington, Earl of Somerset, Lord G.
Divett,E. Somerville, Sir W. M.
Donkin, Sir R. S. Stanley, hon. E. J.
Douglas, Sir C. E. Stanley, hon. W. O.
Eliot, Lord Surrey, Earl of
Forester, hon. G. Thomson, rt. hn. C. P.
Freshfield, J. W. Troubridge, Sir E. T.
Gaskell, J. M. Warburton, H.
Graham, rt. hon. Sir J. Wilbraham, G.
Grey, rt. hon. Sir C. Wilmot, Sir J. E.
Hamilton, C. J. B. Wood, G. W.
Hinde, J. H. Wrightson, W. B.
Hobhouse, T. B. Yates, J. A.
Hodges, T. L.
Hodgson, R. TELLERS.
Hoskins, K. Grey, rt. hon. Sir J.
Howard, P. H. Parker, J.
List of the NOES.
Aglionby, H. A. Patteson, J.
Brotherton, J. Pechell, Captain
Buller, C. Thompson, Alderman
Duncombe, T. Thornely, T.
Easthope, J. Vigors, N. A.
Ewart, W. Villiers, hon. C. P.
Finch, F. Wakley, T.
Hector, C. J. Williams, W.
Hume, J.
Lushington, C. Attwood, T.
O'Connell, D. Scholefield, J.

Bill read a second time.