HC Deb 27 January 1840 vol 51 cc649-50
The Lord Advocate

moved for leave to bring in two bills—one to provide for the better regulation of municipal corporations in Royal burghs in Scotland; the other to provide for the better regulation of municipal corporations in parliamentary burghs not Royal burghs in Scotland.

Sir George Clerk

begged to remind the Lord Advocate of the opinion of the commissioners in 1833, appointed to establish corporations in Scotland, that where there existed only a few inhabitant 10l. householders it would be better not to think of establishing corporations at all. He trusted that in the case of very small burghs in Scotland the inhabitants would be allowed an option of having corporations or not, as it was a matter of expense, and, perhaps, beyond their means. It would be the most considerate way in such cases to leave it to themselves to act under the parliamentary qualification, and not to burden them with the cost of corporations.

Sir J. Graham

said, that on a former occasion it was a subject of controversy, whether, on account of the difficulty of finding a sufficient number of 10l. householders, it would be advisable to extend the right of corporate voting to those rated at 5l.; and Lord Jeffrey had given it as his decided opinion, that this could not be done without considerable danger to the parliamentary franchise. He (Sir J. Graham) fully concurred in the opinion of Lord Jeffrey, and gave the Lord Advocate notice, that in case he attempted to in- troduce the lower rate of franchise in the Scottish burghs he should give any such extension his most serious opposition.

Leave given.