HC Deb 24 February 1840 vol 52 cc524-43

Lord J. Russell moved the Order of the Day for the House to resolve itself into a Committee on the Irish Municipal Corporation Bill.

On the question that the Speaker leave the chair being put,

Colonel Verner

wished to say a few words in explanation of the vote he had given a few nights since, because he should be sorry to have it supposed that he obstinately preferred his own opinion to that of many hon. Members with whom he had always acted. He felt, however, he should not lower himself in the estimation of his friends by giving his vote in support of those principles which he conscientiously believed to be correct, notwithstanding their opposition. He would not now go into the arguments on the question, which had already been so frequently discussed, but he could not understand why they were now called upon to deviate from the course which had been pursued on former occasions. He could not see why they should deprive one class of men of those rights and privileges which they had possessed for a great number of years to give them to others, more especially when they recollected that those rights and privileges were originally given to them for the purpose of curbing those into whose hands it was now proposed to transfer them. He would state the reasons why he had voted against the second reading of this bill, and why he was now prepared to vote against going into committee. The House would recollect the time that had been taken up during the last two Sessions in discussing this bill. Every disposition had been manifested by that side of the House to give a bill to which they could conscientiously assent. Amendments had been proposed with a view of effecting this, and how had they been met by the noble Lord? With the most decided opposition. The hon. and learned Member for Bandon, upon the second reading of the bill, said that the present bill was a much more mischievous bill than any former one, and he called upon the House narrowly to watch its progress. He for one would attend to that warning. It was some consolation to him, and those who thought with him, that when the bill passed through that House, it could not become the law of the land—it must go to another place, where the suggestions from that side of the House would meet with some respect, and where those suggestions would be embodied in the bill. That those alterations would be made he had no doubt, and he had as little doubt that they would be unacceptable to the hon. Gentlemen opposite, and that if they were made, it would, as before, be rejected. His firm conviction was, that the bill would greatly tend to the advancement of Popery, though he did not charge that intention upon all those who supported it. He would have been better pleased with the former proposition, which had emanated from this side of the House. He thought that the total abolition of corporations would have been greatly for the benefit of the country.

The House in Committee.

On the question that clause 6 stand part of the bill.

Mr. Shaw

rose to move the first amendment of which he had given notice. He observed that the subject then before the Committee had been so often discussed and the arguments which bore upon it had been so often repeated, that he should not then trouble the House at any length. As he had given notice of his amendments, every hon. Member must have had an opportunity of knowing their scope and effect. He proposed to take each amendment separately, shortly stating the grounds upon which he brought them forward, and reserving any further observations that he might wish to offer till he found himself called on to answer objections to the amendments that he intended to propose. The first clause to which he wished to offer an amendment was that which had been introduced into the bill for the purpose of reserving the Parliamentary franchise to freemen. He had understood that the promoters of the measure had no intention of disturbing the present state of the Parliamentary franchise, and therefore, it was presumed that they purposed to leave the law relating to franchise untouched by the present bill. The noble Lord opposite he was sure, would agree with him when he said that the bill then in Committee related solely to municipal corporations, and that no part of it was framed with the view of altering the Irish Reform Act. Assuming that the fact was so, he took for granted that her Majesty's Government could have no intention of effecting a change of such a nature by a side wind when they disclaimed any intention of directly accomplishing such an object. The amendments which he proposed would leave the law as it now stood. He would permit the franchise to remain as it was according to law, and as it had been ever since the passing of the Irish Reform Act. He proposed to omit clauses 7 and 8 altogether, and to make a considerable change in clause 6. Three or four alterations in the law were contemplated by the two former clauses which he altogether deprecated, and which he should use his best endeavours to resist. It would be recollected that in the year 1838 the bill passed from one House to the other, and especially that the clause then under consideration had frequently been sent backwards and forwards. In substance his amendment had been agreed to by both Houses, and agreed to, he might say, in the form in which he had now brought it forward. The right hon. and learned Member concluded by moving the following amendment to clause 6:—"To omit from the word 'that' to the end of the clause and insert the following words:— All persons now entitled to vote at the election of a member or members to serve in Parliament for any city, town, or borough, shall continue to enjoy such right as fully as if this act had not been passed, and that every person who, if this act had not been passed, would have had a right to be admitted a freeman or burgess, or to be placed on the roll of freemen or burgesses of any such borough as aforesaid, in order to be registered and to vote in the election of a member or members to serve in Parliament or might hereafter have been entitled to acquire in respect of birth, or marriage, or servitude, or of any statute then in force, as a freeman or burgess the right of voting in the election of a member or members to serve in Parliament for such borough, shall be entitled, if such borough be one of the boroughs named in the said schedule (A), or one of the boroughs to which a charter of incorporation shall have been granted, as hereinafter is mentioned, to be admitted a freeman or burgess, and placed on the roll of freemen of such borough, and to acquire and enjoy such right of voting as fully as if this Act had not been passed; and if such borough be one of the boroughs named in the said schedule (B), to which no such charter of incorporation as aforesaid shall have been granted, to acquire and enjoy, without having been admitted a freeman or burgess, such right of voting as fully as if this act had not been passed, and he had been admitted a freeman or burgess provided he shall be enrolled on the freeman's roll in any such city, town, or borough, according to the provisions hereinafter contained. He also proposed to omit clauses 7 and 8, page 4, and clause 11, page 6.

Mr. Pigot

was prepared to show that the amendment proposed was wholly unnecessary, even for the purposes which the right hon. Mover and his Friends had in view; but more than this he would contend that clause 6, as it now stood in the bill, protected every Parliamentary right. He challenged hon. Members on the other side to point out any individual case where the Parliamentary right was intended to be preserved, and which was not provided for by clause 6. Clauses 7 and 8 stood upon perfectly distinct grounds; but he now affirmed—and it would be for hon. Members on the other side to rebut the assertion if he were in error—that no case could be imagined which had not been provided for by the clause. It appeared to him that the wise and proper course would be at once to provide for all possible cases, and avoid the loose and ambigious phraseology of the amendment. The clause as it now stood in the bill was framed with the purpose of making provision for two classes—these who were already in possession of the franchise, and those who were not; the former class might be subdivided into those who had registered and those who had been admitted to their freedom, but whose names had not been placed upon the Parliamentary register. Now, he begged to call the attention of the Committee to the words of the clause:— Be it enacted that nothing herein contained shall prejudice, confirm, effect, or alter, any right of voting of any such person now registered, or any right to be registered of any such person who shall have been admitted a freeman of any such borough at any time before this act shall come into operation in that borough. Here the House would see that the rights of those not yet admitted were fully protected. First, it protected those who had rights at that time in existence, and secondly, it protected those who, if the act had not passed, would have had rights, and although he held, that there was no material difference between admission and enrollment, yet, even acknowledging such a distinction, he had made provision for that case also. He now invited and challenged hon. Members on the other side to point out a single case which the words of the clause did not meet. It gave rights to Every person who shall then have, or who, if this act had not been passed thereafter, would have had a right by reason of birth, marriage, or service, or of any statute so in force, to be admitted a freeman of any such borough, or after his admission to the freedom of such borough, to be placed on the roll of freemen of such borough, and to acquire as such freeman the right of voting in the election of a Member or Members to serve in Parliament for such borough, shall be entitled to be admitted and enrolled, as a freeman of such borough, on the freemen's roll of such borough, according to the provisions hereinafter contained, and to acquire and enjoy, as such freeman of such borough, such right of voting as fully as if this act had not been passed. He hoped that the House would see how much more expedient it was to adopt the clear plain language of the bill, than the ambiguous phraseology of the amendment. He was quite aware, that propositions of this kind were frequently prepared by parties not Members of that House, and it therefore did not surprise him to find that the amendment would bear a construction which its advocates probably never contemplated. The clause, as it stood, included every case of legal right, and what more could the right hon. and learned Recorder require? He trusted that, on consideration, the right hon. Gentleman would abandon his amendment, and adopt the clause which had been proposed, the construction of which he would challenge any man of plain understanding to mistake

Mr. Shaw

said, that the speech of the hon. and learned Gentleman had satisfied him that the hon. and learned Gentleman had, as he had suspected, a particular object in this clause. He was persuaded, that the hon. and learned Gentleman meant to introduce some more stringent construction of the words of the clause than would be ordinarily given to them. If, however, he would give up the 7th and 8th clauses, and he really thought, that the 6th clause better expressed the meaning than the amendment which he had proposed, he would not contend any longer against it, as there was very little difference in the words of the two latter.

Mr. Pigot

could assure the right hon. Gentleman, that he was at that moment perfectly unable to comprehend what connexion existed between the 7th and 8th and 6th clauses. With respect to the former two, they were most undoubtedly intended to produce a change, but there was not the slightest intention of framing the 6th clause with reference to them, or of giving to it any other construction than what the plain language of it would allow.

Mr. O'Connell

said, that confusion always arose when persons jumbled up two or three considerations on a single topic. The committee were now on the 6th clause, and if there were any objection to the 7th and 8th clauses, let them be discussed when they came to them. His hon. and learned Friend, the Member for Cashel, had challenged the right hon. and learned Member for the University of Dublin to point out any persons who would lose any rights by passing this 6th clause. He not only, however, had pointed out no such person, but had admitted, that the 6th clause did not materially differ from his amendment, and that by itself he would not object to it. He hoped the House would not enter into a discussion on the 7th and 8th clauses until they had decided on the 6th, at present they were not in the bill, they were not sanctioned by the House.

Clause agreed to.

On the 7th Clause,

Mr. Shaw moved, that it be omitted from the bill. It provided, that no person should have a right to acquire as a freeman a right of voting in respect of birth or marriage, unless his right were originally derived from or through some person who in the case of birth was a freeman previously to the 31st of March, 1831, or in the case of marriage was the daughter of a person who was a freeman previously to that day, or from or through some person who since that time shall have become, or shall hereafter become, a freeman in respect of servitude. Such a proviso would, in his opinion, be a monstrous injustice to a large class of persons, and he therefore could not sanction its introduction into this bill.

Mr. Pigot

said, that this clause was not without precedent, for he found in a bill which was introduced into the House on the 23rd of May, 1838, by the hon. and learned Member for Bandon, a similar clause respecting electors, with the exception of its applying only to cases of birth, and not of marriage, and it was from that clause he had framed the one now under discussion. The bill to which he had just alluded, was stated to be brought in by Sir W. Follett, Mr. E. Tennent, and Mr. Sergeant Jackson, so that he had good authority for adopting its phraseology. The only difference he had made was in extending it to cases of marriage as well as birth. He was perfectly ready, however, having stated what was the object of the clause, to concur in its modification for the purpose of securing any rights now in existence, provided it did not extend to the acquisition of any rights in respect of birth or marriage, through honorary freemen, since the year 1831.

Mr. Sergeant Jackson

said, that the clause referred to by the hon. and learned Gentleman in the bill which he (Mr. Sergeant Jackson) had introduced, was for a very different object from that of the clause now before the House. His bill was for amending the law in respect of the registration of electors in Ireland—a most important subject—and he had inserted that clause because the Government for years had brought in bills professing the same object, but had not carried them out in a bonâ fide manner. He had seen clauses in bills which had been introduced by attorney-generals on the subject much more objectionable than his own, and those he had cut down, because he was anxious to do what was likely to conciliate all parties.

Mr. O'Connell

said, what was sought for by this clause was to put the laws of the two countries on the same footing, and surely that was a most desirable object. Much had been said about the existence of rights, but he would put it to the right hon. and learned Recorder, whether there was anything in the English law like a right without a remedy? But was there any freeman of Dublin who had a legal remedy to enforce his right of franchise? What was now called a right amounted, in the city of Dublin, merely to a claim, which the aldermen and common council had an absolute power of rejecting at pleasure, and without assigning any reason. It would be a right without a remedy, and such a right was unknown to the law.

Mr. Litton

could not assent to the proposition, that the present clause was merely a declaratory enactment. It would lake away existing rights of voting, and therefore ought to be brought before the House in a separate bill, with due notice, and not to be introduced for the first time in a committee upon a bill for the reform of municipal corporations.

Viscount Morpeth

said, it was not intended by the bill to affect existing rights, it was a distinct and definite abuse only which was meant to be dealt with. The franchise now in question was derived through the corporate body, and therefore formed a proper subject of legislation in a bill for the regulation of municipal corporations. A clause which existed in the Reform Bill for England was omitted in that which affected Ireland, and the present clause was introduced to place both countries in the same situation.

Sir R. Peel

gave no opinion on the merits of the enactment proposed to be introduced by this clause, but he had much rather see it made the subject of a separate bill. If any improvement was more conspicuous than another in modern legislation, it was the practice of confining acts of Parliament to their proper objects, and of thus dispensing with the necessity of consolidating acts. It would be very inconvenient to have to look for the alterations in the system of representation not only in the Reform Act itself, and acts for the amendment of the Reform Act, but also in acts for totally distinct objects, such as the reform of municipal corporations. In his own acts for the consolidation of the criminal law, he had attended to these considerations, and he must say, that without reference to the merits of the present clause taken by itself, he was sorry to see an old and objectionable practice revived on this occasion.

The committee divided on the motion "That the Clause do stand part of the Bill;"—Ayes 100; Noes 53: Majority 47.

List of the AYES.
Adam, Admiral Archbold, R.
Aglionby, H. A. Baring, rt. hon. F. T.
Aglionby, Major Barnard, E. G.
Alston, R. Barry, G. S.
Anson, hon. Colons Bellew, R, M.
Bewes, T. O'Conor, Don
Blake, M. J. O'Ferrall, R. M.
Bodkin, J. J. Palmerston, Viscount
Bridgeman, H. Parker, J.
Briscoe, J. I. Parnell, rt. hn. Sir H.
Brotherton, J. Pendarves, R. W. W.
Brown, R. D. Philips, G. R.
Bailer, E. Pigot, D. R.
Busfeild, W. Redington, T. N.
Butler, hon. Colonel Roche, E. B.
Callaghan, D. Roche, W.
Clay, W. Rundle, J.
Collier, J. Russell, Lord J.
Corbally, M. E. Russell, Lord C.
Cowper, hon. W. F. Salwey, Colonel
Dalmeny, Lord Seale, Sir J. H.
Divett, E. Sheil, rt. hon. R. L.
Duke, Sir J. Smith, B.
Dundas, Sir R. Somerville, Sir W. M.
Evans, Sir De L. Stanley, hon. E. J.
Fenton, J. Stuart, Lord J.
Ferguson, Sir R. A. Stuart, W. V.
Finch, F. Stock, Dr.
Fitzpatrick, J. W. Tavistock, Marq. of
Grattan, J. Thornely, T.
Greg, R. H. Troubridge, Sir E. T.
Greig, D. Tufnell, H.
Grey, rt. hon. Sir G. Turner, E.
Hastie, A. Vigors, N. A.
Hawes, B. Villiers, hon. C.
Hector, C. J. Vivian, rt. hon. Sir R.
Hobhouse, T. B. Wakley, T.
Howard, F. J. Walker, R.
Humphery, J. Wallace, R.
Hutton, R. Warburton, H.
Langdale, hon. C Wemyss, Captain
Lemon, Sir C. Westenra, hon. H. R.
Maule, F. Williams, W.
Melgund, Viscount Williams, W. A.
Morpeth, Viscount Wood, Sir M.
Muntz, G. F. Wood, G. W.
Muskett, G. A. Wood, B.
O'Brien, W. S. Wyse, T.
O'Callaghan, hon. C.
O'Connell, D. TELLERS.
O'Connell, M. J. Lynch, A. H.
O'Connell, M. Curry, Sergeant
List of the NOES.
Alsager, Captain Halford, H.
Archdall, M. Hamilton, Lord C.
Baring, H. B. Harcourt, G. G.
Bentinck, Lord G. Harcourt, G. S.
Blair, J. Hinde, J.H.
Blennerhasset, A. Hurt, F.
Cole, Viscount Johnstone, H.
Colquhoun, J. C. Jones, Captain
Conolly, E. Kemble, H.
Corry, hon. H. Knight, H. G.
Courtenay, P. Knox, hon. T.
Dunbar, G. Litton, E.
Eaton, R. J. Mackenzie, T.
Ellis, J. Maclean, D.
Gaskell, J. M. Maxwell, hon. S. R.
Glynne, Sir S. R. Meynell, Captain
Goulburn, rt. hon. H. Miles, P.W.S.
Graham, rt. hn, Sir J. Norreys, Lord
Ossulston, Lord Sheppard, T.
Parker, R. T. Somerset, Lord G.
Peel, rt. hon. Sir R. Stanley, Lord
Perceval, Colonel Thomas, Colonel H.
Plumptre, J. P. Verner, Colonel
Polhill, F. Wilbraham, hon. B.
Powerscourt, Visct. Young, J.
Praed. W. T. TELLERS.
Richards, R. Shaw, right hon. F.
Sandon, Viscount Jackson, Sergeant

On Clause 13 being proposed,

Mr. Sergeant Jackson

had an amendment to propose on this clause, which was to strike it out altogether. His object was to render it optional with the different communities in Ireland to which the Bill had reference, to take or refuse corporations as they might think fit. The Bill now before the Committee divided the towns in Ireland into two classes. The first class, schedule A, consisted of eleven towns on which the acceptance of corporations was to be imperative, and the second, schedule B, of 37 with whom it was to be optional, and who were to slate them, through the medium of a petition signed by a majority of the rate-payers, to her Majesty. His proposition was to render the acceptance of corporations optional with all. He could not conceive what objection there could be to this alteration, as, in cases where corporations were wished for, the parties could get them without difficulty by petition. An hon. Gentleman opposite had lately presented a petition from the town of Gal-way, in which the inhabitants prayed that they might not be encumbered by corporations. It bad been alleged by those Members who did not approve of the petition, that the only reason why the inhabitants objected to a corporation was the objection to the boundaries proposed by the Bill—that they thought the intended municipal district too restricted in its extent. But that was not the case, as any one who read the petition would see. The inhabitants complained that they had no funds for municipal purposes, and that the law, as it stood at present, was quite sufficient for all their wants. Neither did the Galway people stand alone. The people of Clonmel had also petitioned, and their petition was signed by three-fourths of the rate-payers of the town. Belfast also, a town containing eighty thousand inhabitants, objected to the Bill, the petitioners stating that they were commercial people, and not at all anxious to be troubled with municipal affairs. The committee should recollect that these were all towns in schedule A. Why, in fact, should towns, people now ask for corporations, seeing that those bodies were all stripped of their most desirable functions. The police, the care of the harbours, in fact, every thing had been taken from them. It was urged that, as England had got reformed corporations, Ireland should have them also; and he felt that it was this argument which had induced many English Members to vote for the total abolition of corporations in Ireland. He believed the fact to be that, in a great many cases, the English people would be glad to get rid of their corporations, and that they had proved a scourge, instead of a benefit, in too many instances. He would, therefore, entreat hon. Members to consent to that which was just and reasonable, by giving an option to the towns of Ireland, and to recollect that there had been four petitions from Ireland against these new corporations, and not one in their favour.

Colonel Perceval

seconded the amendment. He had consented to consider a measure of this kind last year, upon an understanding that it should be accompanied by a measure for securing the church of Ireland, and by a bill for providing for the poor of Ireland upon the principle of the English poor law. But to this bill, as now placed upon the table by the noble Lord, he could not give his assent. It inflicted, in many cases, manifest injustice upon the parties in Ireland with whom he acted and felt, more particularly upon the people of Sligo, who were now satisfied with the manner in which their town was governed under a local bill. The whole corporate property of that town did not exceed 100l. a-year. Such a trifling income would be totally inadequate to defray the expenses incident to a corporation. He should therefore suggest the propriety of exempting this town from the necessity of having a corporation, which would plunge the population into a train of expense, as well as of occasional excitement, which the inhabitants were most desirous to avoid.

Mr. Lynch

said, if one or two towns in schedule A wished to decline having corporations, that was no reason why all the others in the same schedule should not have them conferred upon them by the act. The town of Galway, he assured the House, had only objected to having a corporate form of government imposed upon it with circumscribed boundary. If that objection were removed, the people of Galway would, he was convinced, gratefully accept a corporate form of government.

Colonel Conolly

knew that many of the towns included in the schedule A were not fitted to receive corporations, and many were not able to support the expenses incident to the possession of corporate forms of government. It would be much more in accordance with the feelings of the inhabitants of these smaller towns to be permitted to subscribe their corporate funds to the maintenance of the poor under the Poor Law (Ireland) Bill.

Mr. Pigot

observed, that the petition from Clonmel against the bill was got up through the means of a placard, which declared that a new corporation would entail on the town an expense first of 1,350l., next of 750l. for watching and lighting, 500l. for county cess, 500l. for the repairs of the town, and 4.000l. for poor's rates! Notwithstanding this, there was a large meeting in favour of corporations, from which emanated a petition, signed by 1,450 persons, and which he had presented to that House. The hon. and learned Sergeant had called the attention of the House to a petition from Clonmel, which the hon. and learned Sergeant had characterised as a petition respectably and numerously signed. Now what were the facts? Out of a population of 19,000 souls, this numerously and respectably signed petition contained just 172 signatures. And out of these 172 persons who signed the petition several were non-resident and others were minors. One of them was the turnkey of the gaol, another was the assistant turnkey; another was a driver to a gentleman of some property near the town; another was porter at the hospital; and two others were minors, the sons of a highly respectable clergyman who kept a school. He thought the hon. and learned Sergeant had laid too much stress on this petition.

Mr. Sergeant Jackson

said that the statement he had made was brought to his notice by Gentlemen on whom he placed full reliance. It was true that many humble persons had signed the petition, but it had also been signed by many highly respectable persons.

Lord Stanley

still remained of opinion that it would be more for the advantage of Ireland—that it would tend more to the preservation of peace and good government, and to the promotion of harmony, as well as to the carrying out of the objects which the towns sought to obtain, if corporations throughout Ireland were generally and universally abolished. That opinion, which he had expressed years ago, had been strengthened by what he believed to be the diminished feeling of the people of Ireland on this subject. The question, however, had been decided against him in successive Parliaments, and he and his friends, under those circumstances, had acquiesced in the introduction of municipal corporations into Ireland, as proposed by the present bill. He was anxious now, both for his own part and on the part of those with whom he acted, to be understood as not withdrawing from what he had acceded to in former years; and he was bound to say that one of the concessions made by the side of the House at which he sat was, that there should be in this bill a schedule A, consisting of the principal towns of Ireland to which the principle of option should not apply. That being the case, he did not now feel himself to be a free agent, otherwise he certainly should prefer to see the corporations abolished. He felt as much precluded from opposing schedule A as from opposing the introduction of corporations altogether; and, under these circumstances, he should oppose, however reluctantly, the motion of his hon. and learned Friend.

Mr. O'Connell

was glad to hear corporations undervalued by hon. Gentlemen opposite. At one time it was said that any change in the corporations would destroy the Protestant religion of Ireland. These pillars, he was afraid, were now rotten, at all events they were thrown aside as of no value whatever. If the old corporations were of no value, he hoped the new corporations would be of a very different description.

The committee divided on the question that the clause stand: Ayes 109; Noes 30—Majority 79.

List of the AYES.
Adam, Admiral Barnard, E. G.
Aglionby, H. A. Barry, G. S.
Aglionby, Major Bellew, R. M.
Alston, R. Bewes, T.
Archbold, R. Blake, M. J.
Baring, rt. hon. F. T. Bodkin, J. J.
Brabazon, Sir W. O'Callaghan, hon. C.
Bridgeman, H. O'Connell, D.
Briscoe, J. I. O'Connell, J.
Brocklehurst, J. O'Connell, M. J.
Brotherton, J. O'Connell, M.
Browne, R. D. O'Conor, Don
Busfeild, W. O'Ferrall, R. M.
Butler, hon. Colonel Parker, J.
Callaghan, D. Parnell, right hon. Sir. H.
Clay, W.
Collier, J. Peel, rt. hon. Sir R.
Craig, W. G. Pendarves, E. W. W.
Curry, Sergeant Philips, G. R.
Dashwood, G. H. Pigot, D. R.
D'Eyncourt, rt. hn. C. Praed, W. T.
Duke, Sir J. Redington, T. N.
Dundas, Sir R. Rickford, W.
Evans, G. Roche, E. B.
Ewart, W. Roche, W.
Ferguson, Sir R. A. Rundle, J.
Finch, F. Russell, Lord J.
Fitzpatrick, J. W. Russell, Lord C.
Godson, R. Salwey, Colonel
Goulburn, rt. hon. H. Seale, Sir J. H.
Grattan, J. Sheil, rt. hon. R. L.
Greg, R. H. Smith, R. V.
Greig, D. Somers, J. P.
Harcourt, G. G. Somerville, Sir W.M.
Hastie, A. Stanley, Lord
Hawes, B. Stuart, W. V.
Hawkins, J. H. Stock, Dr.
Hector, C. J. Strutt, E.
Hobhouse, right hn. Sir J. C. Sutton, hn. J. H.T.M.
Thornley, T.
Hobhouse, T. B. Troubridge, Sir E. T.
Howard, F. J. Turner, E.
Howard, Sir R. Vigors, N. A.
Hume, J. Villiers, hon. C. P.
Hutton, R. Wakley, T.
Labouchere, rt. hn. H. Walker, R.
Langdale, hon. C. Warburton, H.
Lemon, Sir C. Wemyss, Captain
Lynch, A. H. Westenra, hon. H. R.
Macaulay, right hon. T. B. Williams, W.
Williams, W. A.
Maule, hon. F. Wood, C.
Melgund, Viscount Wood, G. W.
Morpeth, Viscount Wood, B.
Morris, D. Wyse, T.
Muntz, G F. TELLERS.
Muskett, G. A. Stanley, hon. E. J.
O'Brien, W. S. Tufnell, H.
List of the NOES.
Arbuthnot, hon. H. Inglis, Sir R. H.
Blair, J. Jones, Captain
Blennerhassett, A. Kemble, H.
Cole, Lord Knight, H. G.
Conolly, E. Knox, hon. T.
Dunbar, G. Litton, E.
Ellis, J. Maunsell, T. P.
Gaskell, J. M. Maxwell, hon. S. R.
Glynne, Sir S. R. Ossulston, Lord
Gore, O. J. R. Plumptre, J. P.
Halford, H. Polhill, F.
Hinde, J. H. Round, J.
Holmes, W. Shaw, rt. hon. F.
Thomas, Colonel H.
Verner, Colonel TELLERS.
Wilbraham, hon. B. Perceval, Colonel
Young, J. Jackson, Sergeant

On Clause 23 being put,

Mr. Sergeant Jackson

proposed that it be omitted, and the following substituted:— And be it enacted, that for the purposes of this Act, all places locally situate or included within the boundaries of any borough, or of any ward thereof, as defined under this Act, shall be deemed and taken to be a part or parts of such borough, or ward thereof respectively: and in those boroughs which are counties of themselves, shall be part of such county and of none other; and in every case in which the metes and bounds of any borough or county, under the provisions of this Act, shall not include any place or precinct which before the passing of this Act was part of such borough or county, such a place or precinct shall thenceforward be taken to be part of the county wherein such place or precinct is situated, or with which it has the longest common boundary. Provided nevertheless, that if any such place or precinct shall have been liable, before the passing of this Act, to contribute to any rate made for the purpose of satisfying any lawful debt to which the ratepayers of such borough or county were liable to contribute before the passing of this Act, and in case any difference shall arise concerning the proportion of such debt, which ought therefore to be paid and contributed in respect of such place or precinct, it shall be lawful for the Chief Justice of her Majesty's Court of Queen's Bench in Dublin, in the case of the county of Dublin, and the county of the city of Dublin, and in the case of any other county, for the senior justice of assize for the county of which such place or precinct shall thenceforward be taken to be part on his circuit, on the application of the council of such borough, or of the chairman of a public meeting of the ratepayers of such place or precinct, to appoint, by writing under his hand, a barrister, not having any interest in the question, to arbitrate between the parties, and by his award, under his hand and seal, to assess the proportion, if any, of such debt, which ought therefore to be paid and contributed in respect of such place or precinct, and such arbitrator shall also assess the costs of the arbitration, and shall direct by whom, and in what proportion, and out of what fund, the same shall be paid; and such rate as aforesaid shall continue to be levied by warrant of the council of such borough, and paid by such place or precinct as if this Act had not passed, until such proportion shall have been fully paid and satisfied, to the treasurer of the borough, and no longer; provided, nevertheless, that every county gaol, house of correction, or lunatic asylum, or court of justice, which at the time of the passing of this Act is taken to be for any purpose within any county, shall still for all such purposes be taken to be within such county, anything herein contained to the contrary notwithstanding. The hon. and learned Gentleman said, that by the bill of the noble Lord of last year, such parts as were cut off from the boroughs, the rural districts, counties in cities, and counties in towns referred to, would (unless this clause were passed) be altogether deprived of quarter sessions, and also excluded from the benefit of the aid of the magistracy. Such an arrangement would work great injury in the suburbs of many cities in Ireland, such as Cork, Limerick, and Waterford. The effect in the neighbourhood of Cork would deprive seventy square miles, with a great population, of the advantage of quarter sessions and justices of the peace.

Mr. Pigot

said, that the observations of his learned Friend were very well worthy of attention, and if the clause were passed as it stood, he would take care to have the jurisdiction extended and settled in a subsequent clause.

Clause agreed to.

On Clause 32 being proposed, which provides for the amount of qualification,

Mr. Shaw

rose to move the amendments of which be had given notice. He said, that as to the amount of qualification for the towns now to be incorporated, and which was 10l., to be regulated according to the suggestion made at his side of the House, he had no objection to offer. But in the corporations to be hereafter formed, it was proposed to make the qualification 8l. He was opposed to this dissimilarity, and should propose, that the amount in both cases should be the same. As it was intended to fix the qualification after three years, according to the English standard, he should object to any such prospective legislation, and move that the 10l. qualification be, as far as this bill was concerned, permanent. The way in which he meant to carry these views into effect was, by moving the omission of part of clause 32, and striking out clauses 33 and 34.

Viscount Morpeth

This proposal would double the period of occupation, and diminish by one half the exemption from payment of rates which were proposed. Now, after the large concessions already made to the opposite side, he did not think that the Government could be called on, in common fairness, to introduce this additional restriction and curtailment.

Mr. O'Connell

His objection to this amendment was, that it made the qualification higher than that of England. He thought it should be exactly the same. He stood on that position, and maintained that if it were not conceded, it was absurd to talk of dealing with this measure in a conciliatory spirit.

Mr. S. O'Brien

observed, that no man pretending to the character of a statesman could insist on treating the two countries differently with regard to municipal corporations.

Lord Stanley

thought it exceedingly objectionable to lay down any rule for the practical working of a measure three years hence, when they could know nothing of the circumstances of the period. Though they fixed the qualification at 10l., it was dealing with Ireland in the spirit of the English Municipal Bill, and fixing the amount of qualification at exactly the same standard as that of Scotland. He thought it would be better not to mix the two questions raised by the proposed amendment, but to take them separately on each of the clauses out of which they arose.

Mr. Sergeant Currie

contended, that the increase in the grand jury cess which by the enactment of the new poor-law was to be deducted from the valuation of houses, tended to lower that valuation, and that it would be unfair, therefore, to fix so high a standard of qualification as that proposed.

Mr. Shaw

maintained, that the legal value was what the house would fetch between landlord and tenant.

Mr. O'Connell

Such were the questions of litigation to which they were about to expose the Irish, by depriving them of the English law! The noble Lord (Stanley) contended at one time, that the English Municipal Bill could not be extended to Ireland, because the same machinery of rating did not exist in the two countries. He admitted that was a fair objection. But the noble Lord would strike out the present clause, which conferred on the Irish the benefit of the English law, when they should have qualified according to his view, and thought it desirable that the question of municipal corporations should be again opened three years hence.

The House divided on the original clause:—Ayes 130, Noes 85:—Majority 45.

List of the AYES.
Adam, Admiral Lambton, H.
Aglionby, H. A. Langdale, hon. C.
Aglionby, Major Lemon, Sir C.
Alston, R. Lynch, A. H.
Archbold, R. Macaulay, rt. hn. T. B.
Bannerman, A. Maule, hon. F.
Baring, rt. hon. F. T. Morpeth, Viscount
Barnard, E. G. Morris, D.
Barry, G. S. Muntz, G. F.
Bellew, R. M. Murray, A.
Berkeley, hon. H. O'Brien, W. S.
Bewes, T. O'Callaghan, hon. C.
Blake, M. J. O'Connell, D.
Bodkin, J. J. O'Connell, J.
Bowes, J. O'Connell, M. J.
Bridgeman, H. O'Connell, M.
Briscoe, J. I. O'Conor, Don
Brocklehurst, J. Ord, W.
Brotherton, J. Paget, Lord A.
Busfeild, W. Palmerston, Viscount
Callaghan, D. Parker, J.
Clay, W. Parnell, rt. hn. Sir H.
Clive, E. B. Pendarves, E. W. W.
Collier, J. Pigot, D. R.
Collins, W. Price, Sir R.
Corbally, M. E. Ramsbottom, J.
Curry, Sergeant Redington, T. N.
Dash wood, G. H. Roche, E. B.
D'Eyncourt, rt. hn. C.T. Roche, W.
Divett, E. Rumbold, C. E.
Duke, Sir J. Rundle, J.
Dundas, hon. J. C. Russell, Lord J.
Dundas, Sir R. Russell, Lord C.
Elliot, hon. J. E. Rutherfurd, rt. hn. A.
Evans, Sir De L. Salwey, Colonel
Evans, G. Seale, Sir J.H.
Evans, W. Sheil, rt. hon. R. L.
Ferguson, Sir R. A. Smith, R. V.
Finch, F. Somers, J. P.
Fitzpatrick, J.W. Somerville, Sir W. M.
Fitzroy, Lord C. Stanley, hon. E. J.
Fleetwood, Sir P. H. Stansfield, W. R. C.
Gisborne, T. Stewart, J.
Gordon, R. Stuart, W. V.
Grattan, J. Stock, Dr.
Greg, R. H. Strangways, hon. J.
Guest, Sir J. Style, Sir C.
Harland, W. C. Surrey, Earl of
Hastie, A. Thornely, T.
Hayter, W. G. Troubridge, Sir E. T.
Hector, C. J. Tufnell, H.
Hill, Lord A. M. C. Turner, E.
Hindley, C. Turner, W.
Hobhouse, rt. hn. Sir J. Vigors, N. A.
Hobhouse, T. B. Vivian, rt. hon. Sir R.
Hollond, R. Wakley, T.
Howard, F. J. Wall, C. B.
Howard, Sir R. Warburton, H.
Hume, J. Wemyss, Captain
Hurst, R. H. Westenra, hon. H. R.
Hutchins, E. J. White, A.
Hutton, R. Wilbraham, G.
Labouchere, rt. hon. H. Williams, W.
Williams, W. A.
Winnington, H. J. TELLERS.
Wood, Sir M. O'Ferrall, R. M.
Wood, B. Wyse, T.
List of the NOES.
Bailey, J. Inglis, Sir R. H.
Baillie, Colonel James, Sir W. C.
Baring, H. B. Jones, Captain
Bentinck, Lord G. Kemble, H.
Blakemore, R. Knox, hon. T.
Blennerhassett, A. Law, hon. C. E.
Broadly, H. Litton, E.
Broad wood, H. Lockhart, A. M.
Bruges, W. H. L. Lygon, hon. General
Buck, L. W. Mackenzie, T.
Cholmondeley, hn. H. Maclean, D.
Chute, W. L. W. Maunsell, T. P.
Clerk, Sir G. Maxwell, hon. S. R.
Clive, hon. R. H. Meynell, Captain
Cochrane, Sir T. J. Miles, P. W. S.
Cole, Lord Norreys, Sir D. J.
Colquhoun, J. C. Peel, rt. hon. Sir R.
Conolly, E. Peel, J.
Corry, hon. H. Perceval, Colonel
Courtenay, P. Planta, rt. hon. J.
Douglas, Sir C. E. Plumptre, J. P.
Dunbar, G. Polhill, F.
Du Pre, G. Powerscourt, Visct.
Eaton, R. J. Praed, W. T.
Ellis, J. Pringle, A.
Estcourt, T. Rickford, W.
Filmer, Sir E. Somerset, Lord G.
Foley, E. T. Sotheron, T. E.
Fremantle, Sir T. Spry, Sir S. T.
Gaskell, J. M. Stanley, Lord
Godson, R. Sutton, hn. J. H.T.M.
Gore, O. J. R. Teignmouth, Lord
Goulburn, rt. hon. H. Thomas, Colonel H.
Graham, rt. hn. Sir J. Thompson, Alderman
Grimsditch, T. Tollemache, F. J.
Halford, H. Vere, Sir C. B.
Hamilton, Lord C. Verner, Colonel
Harcourt, G. G. Waddington, H. S.
Harcourt, G. S. Wilbraham, hon. B.
Hardinge, rt. hn. Sir H. Young, J.
Hodgson, F.
Hodgson, R. TELLERS.
Hope, hon. C. Shaw, rt. hon. F.
Hotham, Lord Jackson, Serjeant

On the 66th clause (burgesses to vote for the councillors of the ward in which their property is situate) being put,

Mr. Sergeant Jackson moved, that the following proviso be added to this clause:— That every person entitled to vote in the election of aldermen and town councillors in any borough, shall vote only for one half the number of the aldermen and town councillors to be elected for the ward or borough in respect of which such person shall be entitled to vote.

Lord John Russell

said, that he should be sorry to agree to any principle which should have the effect of drawing a line between Roman Catholics and Protestants.

The committee divided on the question that the proviso be added:—Ayes 35; Noes 102:—Majority 67.

List of the AYES.
Archdall, M. Maunsell, T. P.
Blackburne, I. Maxwell, hon. S. R.
Blackstone, W. S. Meynell, Captain
Blennerhassett, A. Miles, P. W. S.
Broadwood, H. Packe, C. W.
Chute, W. L. W. Parker, R. T.
Cole, Viscount Plumptre, J. P.
Corry, hon. H. Pringle, A.
Du Pre, G. Rushout, G.
Eaton, R. J. Sandon, Viscount
Farnham, E. B: Shaw, rt. hon. F.
Filmer, Sir E. Sibthorp, Colonel
Greene, T. Thomas, Colonel H.
Halford, H. Tollemache, hon. F. J.
Hamilton, Lord C. Verner, Colonel
Hodgson, F. Waddington, H. S.
Hope, G. W. TELLERS.
Jones, Captain Jackson, Serjeant
Litton, E. Perceval Colonel
List of the NOES.
Aglionby, H. A. Hobhouse, T. B
Aglionby, Major Howard, F. J.
Alston, R. Hume, J
Archbold, R. Hutton, R.
Baines, E. Jervis, S.
Bannerman, A. Labouchere, rt. hon. H.
Baring, rt. hon. E. T. Langdale, hon. C.
Barry, G. S. Lushington, C.
Bellew, R. M. Lynch, A. H.
Bewes, T. Maule, hon. F.
Blake, M. J. Morpeth, Viscount
Bodkin, J. J. Morris, D.
Bridgeman, H. Muntz, G. F.
Brotherton, J. Murray, A.
Bruges, W. H. L. O'Brien, W. S.
Callaghan, D. O'Callaghan, hon. C.
Clay, W. O'Connell, D.
Corbally, M. E. O'Connell, J.
Curry, Serjeant O'Connell, M. J.
D'Eyncourt, rt. hn. C. O'Connell, M.
Dundas, hon. J. C. O'Conor Don
Dundas, Sir R. Oswald, J.
Erie, W. Parker, J.
Evans, W. Philips, M.
Ewart, W. Pigot, D. R.
Ferguson, Sir R. A. Ponsonby, hn. C.F.A.C
Fitzpatrick, J. W. Price, Sir R.
Fleetwood, Sir P. Pryme, G.
Gisborne, T. Ramsbottom, J.
Gordon, R. Redington, T. N.
Harland, W. C. Roche, E. B.
Hastie, A. Roche, W.
Hawkins, J. H. Rundle, J.
Hayter, W. G. Russell, Lord J.
Hector, C. J. Russell, Lord C.
Hill, Lord A.M. C. Rutherfurd, rt. hon. A.
Hobhouse, rt. hn. Sir J.C. Salway, Colonel
Sanford, E. A. Wallace, R.
Sheil rt. hn. R. L. Warburton, H.
Somers, J. P. Ward, H. G.
Somerville, Sir W. M. Wemyss, Captain
Stansfield, W. R. C. Westenra, hon. H. R.
Stock, Dr. Westenra, hon. J. C.
Stuart, Lord J. White, A.
Stuart, W. V. Wilbraham, G.
Strutt, E. Williams, W.
Style, Sir C. Wood, G. W.
Thornely, T. Wood, B.
Townley, R. G. Wyse, T.
Troubridge, Sir E. T.
Vigors, N. A. TELLERS.
Wakley, T. Stanley, hon. E. J.
Walker, R. Tufnell, H.

Remaining clauses agreed to.

House resumed.

Committee to sit again.

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