HC Deb 11 June 1840 vol 54 cc1049-99

On the Order of the Day for the House to resolve itself into a Committee on the Registration of Voters (Ireland) Bill,

Mr. C. Wood

observed, that it would not be necessary for him to trouble the House with many remarks on the important motion he had now to submit, of which he had only given notice last night. The object he had in view, was, he thought, sufficiently evident from the terms of the notice he had given, and he should carefully abstain from speaking of the provisions of any of the Registration Bills now before the House, because, he was fully aware, if he were to do so, that it would lead to a discussion, which would probably be characterized by some of that excitement and party spirit, to avoid which was the sole object of the motion he was about to make. That this question of registration, the most important almost in a constitutional point of view, that could be discussed, and of the most vital importance to those who sent them there, ought not to be treated in a party spirit, he had, he thought, given sufficient, and to him, most painful, proof. It was in the same spirit which had dictated his conduct on a former occasion that he now ventured to bring forward a proposition, which, in his opinion, at least, afforded, if not the only, at least the best, chance of discussing those provisions in that calm and temperate manner from which alone any safe legislation could result. He had expressed an opinion formerly, that it would not be difficult to alter the bill of his noble Friend, the Member for North Lancashire, in such a manner as to render it unobjectionable and efficacious for the object which the noble Lord wished to attain, to alter it so as to make it conformable to the principles which his noble Friend, the Secretary for the Colonies, had laid down as the basis of the measure he proposed to introduce for amending the registration of Ireland; and, he need scarcely say, that in voting for going into Committee on the bill, he did so with the object of seeing such amendments introduced. That opinion he still maintained, and he had acted upon it, because he believed that the bill so amended, would stand a better chance of passing into law than any other that could be introduced, and that thus a remedy would be applied to an acknowledged abuse. If those amendments should not be introduced, he was prepared, at all hazards, to vote against the passing of the bill. The question the House should now consider, was, whether in the discussion of the provisions of the noble Lord's bill, there would be any chance of a fair and temperate spirit being shown, and he might say, he trusted without offence to any one, that considering the excitement which had prevailed on the subject of this bill, and the temper that was still manifested, it would be vain to expect that such should be the case. Many provisions relating to registration, applied equally to England and to Ireland. The questions whether costs should be awarded against a frivolous objection—whether an appeal should lie as to matter of fact, as in both the Irish bills, or as to matter of law, as in the English bill—whether both parties should have a right of appeal —whether costs should be given against the respondent as well as the appellant— what should be the nature and constitution of the appeal court—whether the decision of the court should protect the voter against a re-examination of his claim, except as to the matters subsequent to registration—whether the decision should be conclusive against the House itself, were applicable to both bills, and to both countries, and it was of the utmost importance that they should be temperately and calmly discussed. It was evident that they must necessarily come under discussion in connexion with the bill that was first brought before the House. He would appeal to the noble Lord, whether it would not afford a better chance of a temperate and reasonable discussion, that those provisions should be discussed on English rather than on Irish ground. How far they might be able to agree, even on English ground, as to what provisions should form the basis of a registration system, it was not for him to say, but he was sure that whatever might be the shape of the English bill, there could almost be no objection to apply it to Ireland. They would thus have made one step to a most desirable object—that of assimilating the laws of both countries. This was the sole object he contemplated in bringing this motion forward, but he was afraid he could not entertain a hope that his noble Friend would be disposed to acquiesce in it. He need hardly assure his noble Friend, that he at least had no other object than that a fair discussion on those measures should take place, and he was convinced his noble Friend intended that in the Committee, there should be such a discussion. He had only further to say, that his notice applied in the first instance to the bill of his noble Friend, the Member for North Lancashire, and then to that of the Solicitor-general, for Ireland, and he believed he could state that his noble Friend, the Secretary for the Colonies, was prepared to acquiesce in the motion. His object was to leave both bills in their present relative position, but to postpone them both till the House had passed the English bill through a Committee. He would not trouble the House further, except to say, that he had no opportunity of communicating with any body who might support his motion, nor did he know who might do so. He had received an intimation from the noble Lord, the Secretary for Ireland, that it was not the intention of Government to offer any further opposition to going into Committee on the noble Lord's bill, and he had mentioned his intention to the noble Lord, the Secretary for the Colonies, for the first time in that House last night at five o'clock. He brought forward the motion with the single object of securing fair discussion to the questions which were common both to the English and the Irish bill, and, whatever might be the fate of his motion, he should at least have the consolation of knowing, that he had done his best to attain that end. The hon. Gentleman concluded by moving, as an amendment, that the order of the day for the second reading of the Registration of Voters (England) Bill (No. 6) be read before proceeding further with the Registration Bill for Ireland.

Lord Stanley

was quite satisfied, that debating over and over again the same question, in order to obtain the advantage —the advantage only on this occasion he meant—of the Speaker leaving the chair, tended rather to delay business than to secure fair and temperate discussion. He gave his hon. Friend, the Member for Halifax, the fullest credit for the declaration, that he had no other object in view than a fair and calm discussion of the questions that related both to England and Ireland, but having said thus much, he must add, that if there was a single form of motion calculated, if successful, to prevent the discussion of his bill, and quietly to shelve it without exposing the House to the necessity or the risk of giving a vote against the principle or any of the details, that precise course was the one which had suggested itself to his hon. Friend, the Member for Halifax. His hon. Friend said, it was impossible to discuss calmly and temperately on the Irish bill those provisions which be thought might be so discussed with reference to the English bill. He thought his hon. Friend would do him the justice to say, that so far as he was concerned, he had been most anxious to remove from the discussions which had taken place everything like irritation. He had been attacked with personalities which he had declined to answer—he had sedulously avoided the employment of a single irritating word to any Gentleman. His only object was, that the House, by going into Committee, should have the opportunity of doing that which the hon. Member for Halifax himself said might be done—of amending the bill as it now stood in such a manner as to render it acceptable to the great majority of the House. But to suppose, that the questions would be more temperately and fairly discussed, while they were nominally occupied with the English bill, when English and Irish interests would be at the same time in the mind of every man, and both would be virtually discussed at once, was, in the present condition of parties, or, he was afraid, in any condition, to entertain a very chimerical expectation. Now, if the proposition of his hon. Friend, the Member for Halifax, had been made on the part of her Majesty's Government in the commencement of the month of March, and her Majesty's Government had then come forward and said, "We admit the grievances of the present system of registration, but we also think that the question of a remedy is open for discussion on various points, and we wish those points to be settled for England and Ireland, and will undertake to propose a settlement of the principles which should guide the system of registration," he should have had no hesitation in saying, that he considered this the most convenient course that could be taken, and he would gladly and willingly have agreed to any arrangement of the kind, as likely to lead to conclusions which must be advantageous to the country at large. But what was the condition in which the question stood now? In what way, and at what time, was the bill proposed by the Government brought forward? How was it announced, and what were the intentions with which it was framed? Why, it was confessed, it was avowed, that it formed a convenient excuse for delay, and that it had been brought forward for the exclusive purpose of postponing his own bill, to the principle of which, on two different occasions, he had obtained the assent of the House. But, late and lagging as was the bill of the noble Lord, the Secretary for the Colonies, the Solicitor-general for Ireland was yet behind even that in his introduction of the two bills which he had proposed for Ireland, and the House would readily share in the belief expressed by his hon. Friend the Member for Halifax, when he said, that he had no doubt that the Solicitor-general for Ireland would be perfectly ready to acquiesce in his motion. He could feel no doubt, that the motion of his hon. Friend would lead to no other result than was anticipated and pointed out in the declaration of the hon. and learned Member for Dublin, who said, that he owed a large debt of gratitude to the noble Lord, the Secretary for the Colonies, for the introduction of his measure, and that result would be the hanging up of his bill till such time as it should please the noble Lord, the Secretary for the Colonies, to bring forward his registration bill for England. He felt, considering that this day was the 11th of June, that it was utterly impossible that his own bill, or the bill of the Solicitor-general for Ireland, should pass into a law in the present Session if the motion of his hon. Friend were successful, and therefore, that both one and the other would remain, as his hon. Friend had said, in their present relative position. But, passing over these considerations, was it quite right, that this question relating to Irish registration should be dependent on the English bill? No doubt there were many principles applicable to the English system of registration which it would be convenient to discuss in reference to Ireland. Thus, it might be a question, whether the registration should be annual or octennial; it might be desirable to consider in both cases whether there should be a right of appeal, and it might be convenient to determine how the court of appeal should be constituted, and what sort of court they ought to establish for that purpose. No doubt a question might arise in reference to both countries, whether it would be desirable to give costs against frivolous objections, and whether that principle might not safely be extended to frivolous claims, as well as applied to cases of frivolous objections. These, however, were questions which might be considered by themselves, and were not of paramount importance in reference to the system of Irish registration. Whatever might be the grievances of the English system, they were not of the same magnitude as the crying and acknowledged evils of the Irish system of registration, which no man had attempted to defend, and which had called out aloud for a remedy for the last seven or eight years. Knowing, however, the difficulty of providing a remedy for the enormous perjury, personation, corruption, and fraud, practised under the Irish system of registration—["Hear."]—these were hard words, but he would repeat them—knowing, he said, the difficulty of providing a remedy for the fraud, corruption, personation, and perjury, which prevailed in Ireland—["Hear."]—they had over and over again been proved before Committees of that House; before, for instance, the Committee on Fictitious Votes, and the challenges thrown out to those who wished to deny it had never been answered—knowing this, he considered it his duty to proced at once with his measure. While this enormous charge had been proved to be inseparable from, and engendered by the Irish system of registration, no man had ever brought forward such accusations against this part of the country. There was no connexion, therefore, between the English and the Irish bill, and, consequently, there was no necessity for hanging up his measure until the bill of the noble Lord, the Secretary for the Colonies, had been discussed. Admitting, however, that such a connexion had been shown to exist, then he would say, that it was the bounden duty of the House to enter into a discussion of the greater evils first, and to deal with details and principles which did not apply to the less imperfect system of England. If, however, his bill were deferred now, it would be postponed from week to week till it suited the convenience of the noble Lord to bring forward his plan for amending the system of English registration, and, seeing as he did, the end of the Session approaching, knowing also, that nearly all the necessary votes had been passed, and recollecting, that the Government held in their hands the power of prorogation, he was sure, that although his bill might stand on the order-book of the House, he should feel, that it would stand there without a chance of that success to which two divisions in its favour had entitled it, at least in point of principle. He must on these grounds oppose the motion of his hon. Friend.

Mr. J. Grattan

said, that he felt this was a very vital bill to Ireland; and he looked upon it in no other light than one of disqualification and disfranchisement. On a former evening a noble Lord opposite had mentioned some cases of personation as having occurred in the county of Wicklow, and giving as his authority the name of a Mr. Sims. Now he (Mr. J. Grattan) had since written to Mr. Sims on the subject, who, in reply, informed him that he knew nothing of the facts complained of, and that they could not have occurred without his being informed of them, and therefore that he did not believe they had occurred. Another individual, a clergyman, had written to him to the same effect on the subject. With respect to certain fictitious votes, also complained of by the same noble Lord, he had been assured by the same individual he had just mentioned, that he did not know of one fictitious vote in the county. Looking at this information, he could not but come to the conclusion that the noble Lord's statement on this subject was totally incorrect and unfounded. With respect to the motion of the hon. Member for Halifax, he (Mr. Grattan) should vote for it, because he thought that the House should begin with correcting abuses here before going to Ireland; but he could not agree to any motion, the effect of which would be to postpone the consideration of this important subject sine die.

Viscount Powerscourt

thought himself entitled in courtesy to have an intimation of the communication before it was made to the House. He had mentioned the name of the individual who informed him, and he now stated his belief that the facts then alleged had occurred. They were the subject of common conversation in the country.

Lord J. Russell

The noble Lord has assumed that he has shown an example of temperance and moderation which ought to be followed, and at the same time time he has accused me of having pursued a disingenuous course, and he has accused generally those who claim the franchise in Ireland of fraud in every shape and degree. Now, sir, I think that the defence devolves on me to show that I am not liable to the reproach which the noble Lord utters against me. The noble Lord knows that with respect to the registration in England and Ireland the Government has introduced several bills to this House. The noble Lord must also be aware, that there is distributed at the end of every session a pamphlet, bearing the name of Lord Lyndhurst. And the whole substance of those pamphlets consisted of this accusation, that we passed bills, and sent them through this House, without agreeing to the amendments which their Lordships made; or that we sent them in such a shape as not to accord with the opinions of their Lordships. I certainly cannot go the length to which that noble Lord on a former occasion seemed disposed to proceed, namely, that whenever our opinions differ from their Lordships, we ought to relinquish our own, and adopt the views of their Lordships. Their opinions may be the best or they may not, but for my part I am not prepared to say that it would be best for the welfare of the country that we should declare our readiness to take such a course. But this course I was prepared to take, seeing the time which was lost in passing bills which, after a great deal of discussion, were rejected by the Lords; and seeing that we thereby were deprived of all chance of carrying them into effect, I was prepared to take such subjects into consideration as it seemed requisite, as it seemed useful, and, in some cases, as it seemed absolutely essential to legislate upon, and to do so on principles not so different as would prevent the two Houses of Parliament from agreeing in one course of legislation. With this view I took the subjects relating to Canada which pressed for attention. I took the question relating to the poor law for England, and I took the question several times before Parliament relating to the reform of ecclesiastical affairs. I was prepared after these bills passed to ask this House to sanction such measures as I might think it right to bring forward with regard to the registration of voters, but which I certainly should not have brought forward in such a manner as suited the House of Lords, or with any intention of abandoning the opinions which I stated on the Reform Bill. Now, the noble Lord chooses to adopt a totally different course. He chooses to think that the evils of the registration system in Ireland are of such a character as press for attention. That is the opinion of the noble Lord; but that does not render it necessary for me to change the course which I have declared it my intention to pursue, when I declared in March that I should not introduce before Easter any measure on the subject of registration, but that I should introduce other bills which I meant should be proceeded with. With respect to the question now proposed to us by the hon. Member for Halifax, and considering that the whole vitality of this bill is owing to the hon. Gentleman, I think his proposition has been very ungraciously received by the other side. With respect to that proposition, I think it far more likely to lead to an amendment of the system of registration than that now proposed by the noble Lord. I at once say, that if I had been allowed to proceed with Government measures on the many days which, being fixed for orders, were taken up by motions coming from the other side, and which I had asked the House to give me for bills proposed by her Majesty's Ministers, I should then have proposed with regard to registration, first, a bill with regard to the registration of England, and then a bill as to the registration in Ireland, because, not to mention other points on which my hon. Friend (Mr. Wood) has spoken, there is this very important question to be decided, namely, whether you think it right, after the ex- perience we have had in England, to continue the annual system of registration, to make the franchise good for one year only, and at the end of that period to enter upon a re-investigation of every claim, or whether you prefer the system (the principle of which has been adopted in Ireland), namely, that the validity of the franchise being once ascertained, the holder of it should continue for a certain period in possession of it, even for a more extended period than that allowed by the practice in Ireland. That is a most important question, and it is one which calls for a decision as respects England. That is the most honest and best way of testing the proposed remedy. The noble Lord, however, in his bill, takes for granted that the English system ought to be adopted, and he at once proposes in his bill for Ireland an annual re-investigation. I say we are bound, in the first place, to decide whether the change adopted on the occasion of the Reform Bill is free from vexatious impediment to the voter, and whether it ought not to be altered. But if it ought to be altered, then surely we ought not to apply to Ireland that system which you have yourselves repudiated for England. If, on the contrary, you think it best to continue the present system in England, no doubt a great deal of the force of the objections now urged against its application to Ireland, will be taken away by that decision of this House. But my opinion is, that you ought to alter the English system. I would rather maintain in Ireland the system so far as it goes, and continue the voter for eight years on the register than subject the Irish to the vexations of the annual revision. Even supposing my own proposition to be rejected, I think the existing practice in Ireland far preferable to the plan submitted in the noble Lord's bill. Now that being my opinion, I shall certainly give my support to my hon. Friend the Member for Halifax. The noble Lord (Lord Stanley) can't call on me, on the order of the day, to have his motion first taken into consideration, because, as I have already said, three order days before Easter were taken up by party motions; and the Government, having given way at that period, were promised precedence after the 1st of June. But the noble Lord, having forced on a party motion, sets at defiance the proposition which I now make, and seems to think that his Irish Registration Bill, and his bill only, shall be made the subject of consideration in this House. With regard to the bill itself, I don't wish to re-argue the question whether it is good or injurious. My opinion on that subject remains unchanged. I confess that various evils exist in the registration of Ireland. I own I don't think, after all the noble Lord has said, that his bill remedies all, or even the principal evil effects of the registration in the two countries; and I very much doubt, with regard to one part of the question, whether, after all, the Irish registration does, in effect, produce a set of voters not entitled to represent the people of Ireland. The whole object of a system of registration is to get a list of voters qualified to be representatives of that part of the country for which the registration is proposed. I certainly do not know, with regard to Ireland, that the Irish Members or constituent bodies at all less fairly represent that country than the English Members do the inhabitants by which they are chosen. The question of registration is a most important one. Much depends on it; and while it is possible, on the one hand, to admit voters not entitled to the franchise, it is just as possible to institute a vexatious system, professedly with the view of giving the right of voting in a large, equal, and extended sense, which will narrow the franchise in the greatest possible degree. Entertaining these opinions, I give my hon. Friend's motion my cordial support.

Sir R. Peel

remarked, that the hon. Member for Wicklow had declared that he would on no account give his assent to any motion which would have the effect of postponing sine die the consideration of his noble Friend's measure. Now, he asked whether, after the speech of the noble Lord, the Secretary for the Colonies, it was possible for him to vote for the proposition of the hon. Member for Halifax? The noble Lord had given the House no assurance that he would proceed with the English Registration Bill, and protested against his noble Friend's having taken Thursday for the consideration of his measure. The noble Lord attached greater importance to other reforms. The noble Lord said distinctly that they ought to have precedence, and, if so, he did not see how the hon. Member for Wicklow could vote for a proposition which must have the effect of postponing sine die the consideration of his noble Friend's measure. He hoped that the House, after having had three discussions upon the bill—after having twice assented to the bill—and after having decided that it should go into committee for the purpose of fairly meeting any objections which the noble Lord might have to make to the curtailment of the franchise, and of hearing the reasons by which he could sustain his objections, would regard its own character and act consistently, and would decide upon going into committee, in order to see whether the bill could or could not be improved and rendered an acceptable measure. The noble Lord had said, that the hon. Gentleman who had proposed the amendment had given vitality to the bill. If that were the case, he must say that there could scarcely be a more unkind parent than the hon. Gentleman. If the bill owed its vitality to the hon. Gentleman, less concern for his offspring no parent had ever exhibited. The hon. Gentleman must indeed be perfectly aware that the effect of the course he was taking would be to smother the bill. Seriously speaking he was surprised at the course pursued by the noble Lord. The noble Lord had never intimated, either in this or in any preceding Session, that he thought the consideration of the Irish registration should be made contingent on the improvement of the English registration; that was a perfectly new idea. After five or six years' consideration of this question, never, until five o'clock on the previous afternoon, did it once occur to the noble Lord that he ought to vote for the postponement of the consideration of the Irish registration until the English registration should be improved and settled. The noble Lord had been connected with legal authorities who had had the subject of the Irish registration under their consideration. Did it ever occur to him that he should not proceed with that question until the English registration was finally settled? Never. In some cases measures relating to this subject had been brought forward and carried under the advice of the noble Lord's legal friends and advisers, but it never before occurred either to them or to him that the question of the Irish registration should not be touched until the English question was first settled. Even during the course of the present Session, when every argument had heen advanced, for and against proceeding with his noble Friend's bill, from either side of the House, this idea never once occurred to the noble Lord's mind. Nay, if he were not incorrectly informed (and he did not think that the noble Lord would contradict him), up to five o'clock on the previous evening, after having had a full opportunity for considering the question, after having heard all the discussions which had taken place upon it, the idea had never struck the mind of the noble Lord that the Irish Registration Bill should be postponed until the English one was settled; and he (Sir R. Peel) thought he could state with confidence, that up to five o'clock on the preceding evening the noble Lord intended to vote for going into committee on the Irish Registration Bill of his noble Friend. Was not that strong primâ facie evidence that this bill should be proceeded with? In fact, by consenting to the new and strange proposition of postponement, they would place the whole question of Irish registration at the mercy of the noble Lord, because the noble Lord, deeming the Irish question to be an extremely inconvenient one, might delay the English question in order to keep the other back, and in fact, to vote for the motion of the hon. Member for Halifax, would be to put off the Irish question, as he had said before, sine die. The noble Lord seemed to dissent from that, but did not the House clearly perceive that such must be the inevitable result of the proposed postponement? He thought the House would show great disrespect for its own decisions, if they gave any countenance to that proposition. But was there any ground for making it? Compare the two questions. The English Registration Bill and the Irish Registration Bill proceeded upon very different principles. The constitution of the tribunals in each was different. The noble Lord proposed for Ireland the appointment of assistant-barristers by the Crown. But the Speaker was to appoint fifteen English barristers. Here then was one material difference, between the English and the Irish bills; and there were several minor differences. His noble Friend had been most unjustly charged, when speaking of the defects of a system, with having accused the whole of the Irish voters with a disposition to commit fraud and perjury. He did not understand his noble Friend to say so. His noble Friend had said, that under the present system there were frequent instances of perjury and fraud. That was quite a different thing from say- ing that there was a general disposition to commit fraud and perjury. His noble Friend referred to the evidence taken before the Parliamentary committee, not for the purpose of fixing a general charge upon the Irish constituency, but only to point out instances of fraud and falsehood arising out of the defective state of the present system. There were, no doubt, some common elements in respect to which the bills were alike, but there was a great difference in many important particulars. He wished to ask, therefore, why they could not discuss the question as to the exclusion of the jurisdiction of the House of Commons and the making of the registry final with an Irish bill, as well as with an English bill, before the House? The question whether the registration should be final or not was a most important one to both countries. What chance was there that the debate on that question would be conducted in a more mellifluous tone upon an English bill than upon an Irish question? Seeing that every opportunity had been already had for discussing this question, and seeing that the hon. Gentleman, though disclaiming any wish for an unfair discussion, had thought it right by another general trial of strength to call upon the House to decide again upon the question of going into committee, he trusted that the House of Commons would never consent to follow a course which would have the effect, by implication, of postponing sine die, indefinitely, and without the prospect of success, the consideration of a subject which by two divisions it had previously declared to be worthy of inquiry and legislation.

Viscount Palmerston

rose for the purpose of setting right a misunderstanding of what had fallen from his noble Friend on the part of the right hon. Baronet, who had said that never until this year had it occurred to his noble Friend, or to any of her Majesty's Government, he supposed, that the question of the English registration ought to be settled before that of the Irish registration. Why, the fact was, that never until the present Session did it occur to any man to bring forward such a measure, as that of the noble Lord, for correcting the voting lists of Ireland. Again, nothing could be more unlike what his noble Friend meant than the impression which the right hon. Baronet seemed to have taken, that he wished to postpone the Irish registration sine die. His noble Friend had said no such thing. His noble Friend had said that which was perfectly rational,—first settle what shall be the principle of registration for England, and having settled that, you can then proceed much more conveniently, and probably with much more chance of a temperate discussion, to the consideration of the Registration Bill for Ireland, than if you went immediately into all the contested points of that second question. So far from postponing the subject sine die, his noble Friend wished the English registration to be corrected first, and nothing had fallen from his noble Friend which could be justly construed as implying that he would not be prepared immediately afterwards, and during this Session of Parliament, to go into the consideration of the Irish registration. On these grounds he should support the amendment of his hon. Friend, the Member for Halifax. It would be safer for the House to establish a sound system of registration for England first, and then proceed to legislate for Ireland. There were not wanting precedents for this course. For several years attempts were made to introduce Poor-laws into Ireland. What was the course pursued? The subject was postponed until after the English Poor-law Amendment Act was passed; and, having corrected the abuses in the administration of the English Poor-laws, then the Legislature proceeded to deal with Ireland. They ought to endeavour, if they wished the same general system to apply to both countries, to make the English registration as perfect as they could, and not with all its defects, and even with a great aggravation of its defects, apply it to Ireland.

Mr. Callaghan

denied that the charges of corruption, fraud, personation, and perjury, which had been made against the Irish constituency could be maintained. They were not supported even by the evidence taken before the committee to fictitious votes; and he did not believe that since the Reform Bill was passed into a law there had been a single instance of corruption proved against a single Irish voter before the committees for trying election petitions. Whatever irregularities or improprieties there might have been, they were not greater nor more numerous than those which had taken place in England.

Viscount Howick

observed that it had been said on the other side of the House, that if his hon. Friend had wished to evade the consideration of the bill in committee, and to save the House any further trouble with it, he could not have taken a surer course to accomplish that object; but there was no ground whatever for that assertion. He confidently asserted, that both his hon. Friend and himself had proved by their conduct on a former occasion that they were not disposed to evade by any unfair and improper means the consideration of the abuses of the present system of Irish registration in a committee of that House. They were anxious that the bill of his noble Friend should be submitted to a fair and impartial consideration, because they believed that thus the bill might be made advantageous both to Ireland and to this country, and rendered instrumental in removing the evils complained of without unduly restricting the franchise. But it was asked, what reason was there to believe that the question could be considered more fairly and impartially with respect to England than with respect to Ireland? There was this reason: it was asserted on one side of the House that their opponents had an interest in maintaining in Ireland fraudulent and fictitious votes; and on the other side of the House it was affirmed that their political antagonists desired to restrict very greatly the franchise, and to transfer it from the hands of one party to another. These were the conflicting assertions which emanated from each side of the House. Hence every question of the registration was discussed with reference to that covert and insidious intention which one party imputed to the other, and which, though it was thought prudent to conceal, was always supposed really to govern the votes and proceedings of each party. But, as far as the English question was concerned, it might reasonably be hoped, he thought, that they were not yet reduced to that condition of mere partisanship. He did not believe that either of the great parties which divided that House and the country had any great desire to restrict the franchise in England, or to impose unnecessary and vexatious delays in the way of acquiring the franchise in the English counties. He did not believe the same state of things existed in England which existed in Ireland, and therefore there would be less difficulty in coming to an agreement for improving the system of English registration. This led him and his hon. Friend to think the course proposed a proper one, and he was sorry that his noble Friend opposite did not take the same view of the case. If the object of his noble Friend was to reform the Irish registration, by refusing to take that course his noble Friend would reject the best chance of correcting the evils which he was sensible did exist. But if the object of the noble Lord was to obtain a party triumph, to inflict another mortification upon her Majesty's Government, and to injure them in the eyes of the country, his persisting in the opposite course was admirably adapted to that end. The right hon. Baronet, the Member for Tamworth, told them that his noble Friend, the Secretary of State for the Colonies, was, in effect, by supporting his hon. Friend, the Member for Halifax, guilty of proceeding in an underhand and almost a dishonourable manner—in the manner of one who sought to evade a discussion and a decision which he was not prepared fairly to meet. Nay, the right hon. Baronet went the whole length of asserting that, if the course recommended by his noble Friend, the Secretary for the Colonies, were adopted, the result must be that the House would be left at the mercy of the Government; and he further went so far as to say that the purpose of his noble Friend was to suspend the consideration of the bill in order to slave off an inconvenient and disagreeable discussion. He confessed that he did think the right hon. Baronet was not entitled to throw any such imputation upon one whose conduct was so fair and honourable in that House. He would repeat it—whose conduct was so fair and honourable as was that of his noble Friend. He did not think that the right hon. Baronet was justified in casting such an imputation upon any one, and least of all upon his noble Friend. An attempt of the sort was not seemly or decorous, and it was the more especially unjust and unfair, as the matter did not altogether rest with his noble Friend. He was not master of the measure, it was not for him but for the House to determine; and the House had already shown that they would not consent blindly to follow his noble Friend. When he was told that the present late period of the Session ought to be an argument with them against the postponement of the measure, and that in fact postponement was now equivalent to abandoning it for the whole year, he must profess himself at a loss to discover the grounds of such an assertion. It appeared to him that there was more prospect of bringing matters to a speedy issue by adopting the course recommended by his noble Friend than by pursuing any other, and especially than by resisting it in the manner which hon. Members opposite so strenuously recommended. In a day or two they might pass the other bill through a committee, and thus the ground would be cleared for the measure of his noble Friend opposite; principles would be laid down, rules would be established, and facilities would be gained more than sufficient to compensate for the loss of time which the proposition of his hon. Friend might possibly involve. For his own part he could very sincerely say, that he had no intention to defeat the measure —nothing was further from his mind; and if the same were to do again, he should repeat the vote which he had already given notwithstanding all the obloquy which it had drawn upon him. He had given to the subject the most deliberate consideration in his power, he had formed upon it the best judgment of which he was capable, and he could not help saying, that if the same case were again put before him, he must upon the same principles adopt the course which he had already taken.

Mr. H. Grattan

declared that, if the matter rested upon his individual decision, he should adopt a similar course to that which was taken by the Tory predecessors of the Members opposite: when a bill for Irish liberty was brought before them, they kicked it over the bar, and he should rejoice in seeing the present bill submitted to the like treatment. The noble Lord opposite desired freedom from intimidation. Why did he not seek for it as regarded England and Scotland equally with Ireland? Why did the mere intervention of St. George's Channel make so material a difference? Why grant those advantages to freemen which he denied to freeholders? Why, but because that would involve Orange interests, and with them he dare not meddle? He was ready enough to attack freeholders, but he took care to let the corporations alone. Surely if the good of Ireland were the object sought, they might wait for a little, and try the effect of a similar measure upon England. The noble Lord came forward as a moderate man; he might be considered as a moderate man, but with this difference, that he was contending for liberty, and the noble Lord against freedom. He had been told by a Tory Member that the bill would pass, but his reply to that was, when all the powers of Europe were in arms against England, she would then feel the fatal effects of having adopted such a measure. The right hon. Gentlemen opposite might laugh at a matter which merely concerned the interests or the liberties of Ireland, but he would tell the House this, that Ireland never was able to obtain any advantage from England, unless when England found herself in danger from foreign enemies. They had heard much in the course of these discussions of intimidation, perjury, corruption, personation, and fraud; and these statements appeared to have been founded upon the evidence given before a committee of that House. He had attended that committee, and he confessed that in his opinion no greater, errors could be committed than those into which the witnesses then examined had fallen. The English Gentlemen who promoted the present measure laid claim to the character of honest reformers. How could they be called honest reformers when they passed by the elections of Ludlow and Cambridge? The whole secret of their favour to the measure lay in this, that they suffered from, and indeed openly complained of, being beaten down by an Irish majority in that House, and then they sought to carry their measures by an English majority. Was that justice to Ireland? There was much to complain of in the representation of Ireland, but to what was that owing? To nothing but the unserviceable scanty Reform Bill which had been given to Ireland. The imperfections and vices of that Reform Bill would not be corrected by the present measure. The supporters of the bill might be successful upon the present occasion; but, notwithstanding the result of a division, he had no doubt that they would ultimately be glad to withdraw their bill. On this question there had been a material change in the sentiments and feelings of Ireland. Never was a measure regarded with such general execration by all classes in Ireland. It tended greatly, then, to increase the growing sense of British insincerity—to establish a conviction that England gave nothing till she was forced. He did not hesitate to say that, if they went on with the bill, it would be a failure; they would eventually swamp the bill itself, and they would themselves, as a party, be swamped.

Sir E. B. Sugden

begged to say one word. He had not laughed at any thing which affected the freedom or the interests of Ireland—he was incapable of any such thing; but he had laughed when the hon. Member opposite related his conversation with a Tory Member respecting the fatal effects of passing this bill, should all the powers of Europe be arrayed against England—at that he certainly had laughed.

Sir W. Somerville

said, that in the discussion of this question various matters quite unconnected with it had been introduced, while the real point to be ascertained was, whether this bill was fit to be adopted in Ireland; and not what might or might not be the opinion of the judges of that country on the subject of value. With respect to the petition from Drogheda that had been recently presented by the hon. Member for Londonderry, he had just seen in a Drogheda paper communications from no less than eighteen persons, saying that their names had been forged to that petition. One person, too, who was said to have signed it, was a boy of three years old, and another had been dead some time. He would say, that never in his experience had he known an instance of such personation. He should certainly vote for the motion of the hon. Member for Halifax, because by so doing he thought he should be at least postponing the bill of the noble Lord. He considered that that bill was so monstrous in its provisions, that no alteration without cutting down the principle of it could make it acceptable to the people of Ireland. The system of annual registration was most objectionable; it would go on to the utter disfranchisement of the 10l. voters. And, if his recollection was right, the noble Lord, when he brought forward this bill, said, that he had given that point his best attention, and had considered whether or not it was possible so to frame the bill as that the objections to the proposed system should only relate to those evils which had subsisted since the last registration. Sooner than such a bill should pass for the utter and entire disfranchisement of the 10l. voters, he should prefer leaving matters as they were, for he would not punish those who were guilty of fraud by a measure that would take away the franchise of the innocent, and destroy the liberties that had been guaranteed to them by Parliament. If ever there was a time at which the bill was less called for than at another, it was this; because the new registration was at this moment going on in Ireland. His conviction was, that if this bill passed, there would not in ten years be a single 10l. voter in that country. If such a high rate of franchise were to be determined on, the more manly course, and the one which he should feel inclined to move as an instruction to the committee, would be to propose a clause that would take away the right of voting from all except possessors in fee.

Mr. Dillon Browne

said, he could not give his vote on this occasion without offering his most distinct opposition to this bill. There was, indeed, no man who represented a constituency in Ireland who ought not to take every opportunity of doing so. He considered this measure the most destructive to the liberties of Ireland of any that had ever been proposed in that House. Its effect would be the destruction of the Catholic constituencies in that country. It was impossible to look into it, and not to see what were the real intentions of the noble Lord who proposed it; it was to embarrass the franchise in every possible way, and to increase the present difficulties of registration. It would place the constituencies of Ireland in a worse position than they were in before the measure of Catholic emancipation passed. The noble Lord had not made any attack on the liberties of the people of England, but had reserved all his malice for the people of Ireland.

Lord Stanley

was sure that the hon. Member would see that in using the word "malice," he had gone beyond his own intention.

Mr. D. Browne

said, he might be going beyond Parliamentary language, but he had not gone beyond his own meaning.

The Speaker

said, the hon. Gentleman must be perfectly aware that his last expression was contrary to all Parliamentary usage. He, therefore, called on the hon. Member to retract that expression.

Mr. D. Browne

said, he had no other course to pursue than to retract the expression he had used; but he certainly considered that there was no individual connected with Ireland, who had shown by his public acts more hostility to that country, or who deserved less respect from that people, than the noble Lord. There was no man who was more repudiated by the people of Ireland, or who had shown a greater disposition to contract the liberties of that country. And when he saw the noble Lord forcing himself on public notice—

Viscount Dungannon

rose to order, and respectfully submitted, whether, in debating any measure, it was allowed to any hon. Member to cast personalities on another, and impute motives perfectly irrelevant to the question.

The Speaker

said, the noble Lord was right in saying, that no hon. Member could with propriety be guilty of any personality towards another hon. Member, and he was carefully watching the hon. Member, and if he had made any approach to personality, he should have interposed.

Mr. D. Browne

here made a remark, apparently directed to Lord Dungannon, which we did not hear, it being drowned in cries of "Order!"

The Speaker

said, the last expression of the hon. Member was exceedingly improper.

Mr. D. Browne

said, he did not mean to use any disrespectful language to the House, he spoke a fact. If he had conducted himself disrespectfully, he apologized for it. He only stated a fact.

The Speaker

.—If the hon. Member will only consult the respect due to the House, he will not weaken his apology by repeating the expression. I call upon the hon. Member to make the apology due to the noble Lord and to the House.

Mr. D. Browne

thought that the noble Lord had misunderstood him, but he could only say, that if he had used language offensive to the noble Lord, or to the House, he was ready to apologise for it. He had meant to give no offence, and the observation which had fallen from him, was the result of his having been interrupted by the noble Lord, when he was clearly not out of order. If, however, he repeated, he had been guilty of offence towards the noble Lord, he regretted it. What he had been about to say when interrupted was, that the noble Lord, the Member for North Lancashire, had always endeavoured to thwart the progress of public liberty in Ireland. As an Irishman, as a Roman Catholic, and as a political opponent of the noble Lord, he could not but feel irritation when he considered the course which the noble Lord invariably pursued with regard to Ireland; and he thought he had a right to condemn the conduct of the noble Lord on the present occasion in the strongest language he could use, consistently with the dignity of the House, and his own character as a gentleman. He thought that this bill went to the length of depriving the Roman Catholics of Ireland of their liberties, and he could not, therefore, allow an opportunity to pass without offering to it every opposition in his power. Did the noble Lord suppose, that by assailing the Roman Catholics, he was increasing the stability of the Established Church? For if he did, he was much deceived as to the means by which he sought to establish the object which he had in view. Was it prudent for an insignificant minority to pursue such a course towards a majority? He was anxious to maintain the Protestant institutions of this country; but he could not stand by, and hear the creed in which he conscientiously believed, assailed without rising in its defence. The hon. Member then referred to the efforts which had been made by the Roman Catholics for the attainment of civil liberty, and proceeded to contend, that they could not tamely submit to have privileges which they had obtained with so much difficulty, taken away from them in the way proposed by the bill of the noble Lord. There was not a young man in Ireland who would not sooner lose his life than be deprived of the concessions given by the Catholic Relief Bill, and subsequently by the Reform Bill; and he could only say for himself, that he not only assented to this doctrine, but was prepared to sacrifice his own life, rather than see the liberties of his countrymen destroyed. He thought that this was the most atrocious measure which ever had been introduced into Parliament, and as its object was the destruction of the liberties of Ireland, it should have in all its stages the most strenuous opposition which he could give to it.

Sir C. Lemon

said, he stood in a peculiar situation. Hitherto he had not voted on this question, and it was with pain he withheld the small degree of support he could give. It had been admitted on all hands, that there were abuses in the Irish system of registration; but he could not give his cordial support to the bill of the noble Lord, though very unwilling to offer any opposition to it. He had, at the same time, no sympathy with those who talked of a repeal of the union, and the destruction of the Irish Church. If night after night were spent in useless discussions, which had no practical effect, there would be no possibility of passing any bill. Looking at the question in a practical point of view, he was convinced that the bill of the noble Lord (though the House was under great obligations to him for introducing it, as a remedy ought to be applied to the evil) would have no practical benefit in the present state of parties in that House. It would only lead to a continual struggle, and a repetition of triumphs, to which he should not be willing to contribute. He differed upon several grounds from the three last speakers. He wished a measure to be introduced, that would be taken up with a sincere view of remedying the evil, and he did not adopt the arguments of those who talked of throwing impediments in the way of the measure of the noble Lord.

Mr. Slaney

said, he had had great difficulty in making up his mind but he could no longer hesitate in giving his vote for the amendment of the hon. Member for Halifax. Could any one who witnessed the fate of Irish bills, come to any other conclusion? They had now the opportunity of improving the Irish system on English grounds. He objected on principle to the noble Lord's bill— namely, on the principle of annual registration. They ought first to improve the English system, and follow it up with an Irish bill.

Mr. O'Connell

said, he should not detain the House many minutes. Had hon. Members opposite considered the effect of votes adverse to Ireland on the repeal of the union? They said that by the union you ought to assimilate the two countries. But if they did assimilate them at all, it should be, as far as regarded the franchise to return Members to that House, The first object, then, should be to amend the registration in England, and afterwards consider how far the improvements applied to Ireland. No one said the English system did not require remedying and amending; what he wanted, therefore, was, for the House first to see what amendments the English system wanted, and then consider their applicability to Ireland, and if they did apply, he, on behalf of Ireland, claimed the benefit of them. What was good for England was good for Ireland; refuse this, and do not wonder at a repeal of the union being called for. Treat Ireland with contempt, disfranchise nine-tenths of the voters, and then tell the Irish people that the union was a good thing, and ought to continue —thus treating them with insult and contumely. His object in rising was, merely to request them to let the evils of the English system be amended first, and then to apply the same remedy to Ireland.

Mr. V. Stuart

thought it was useless to proceed with the present bill, as no useful system of registration could be carried into operation in Ireland without a specification of the qualification.

The House divided on the original motion; Ayes 206; Noes 195: Majority 11.

List of the AYES.
Acland, Sir T. D. Buck, L. W.
A'Court, Captain Buller, Sir J.Y.
Adare, Viscount Burr, H.
Ainsworth, P. Canning, rt. hon. Sir S.
Arbuthnott, hon. H. Cantalupe, Viscount
Archdall, M. Chapman, A.
Ashley, Lord Chute, W. L. W.
Ashley, hon. H. Clerk, Sir G.
Bagge, W. Cole, hon. A. H.
Bagot, hon. W. Conolly, E.
Bailey, J, jun. Copeland, Alderman
Baillie, Colonel Corry, hon. H.
Baillie, H.J. Courtenay, P.
Baker, E. Cripps, J.
Baring, hon. F. Dalrymple, Sir A.
Baring, hon. W. B. Damer, hon. D.
Barneby, J. Darby, G.
Bateson, Sir R. Darlington, Earl of
Bentinck, Lord G. De Horsey, S. H.
Bethell, R. Dick, Q.
Blackburne, I. D'Israeli, B.
Blackstone, W. S. Douglas, Sir C. E.
Blair, J. Douro, Marquess of
Blakemore, R. Dowdeswell, W.
Blennerhasset, A. Drummond, H. H.
Bolling, W. Duffield, T.
Botfield, B. Dunbar, G.
Bradshaw, J. Duncombe, hon. W.
Bramston, T. W. Dungannon, Visct.
Brooke, Sir A. B. Du Pre, G.
Brownrigg, S. Eastnor, Viscount'
Bruce, C. L C. Eaton, R. J.
Bruges, W. H. Egerton, W. T.
Egerton, Sir P, Mackenzie, T.
Eliot, Lord Mackenzie, W F.
Ellis, J. Mackinnon, W. A.
Farrand, R. Mahon, Viscount
Fellowes, E. Marsland, T.
Filmer, Sir E. Meynell, Captain
Fitzroy, hon. H. Monypenny, T. G.
Fleming, J. Mordaunt, Sir J.
Follett, Sir W. Neeld, J.
Forrester, hon. G. Nicholl, J
Freshfield, J. W. O'Neill, hon. J. B. R
Gaskell, J. M. Owen, Sir J.
Gladstone, W. E. Packe, C. W,
Goddard, A. Palmer, G.
Godson, R. Parker, M.
Gordon, hon. Captain Parker, R. T.
Goring, H. D. Patten, J. W.
Goulburn, rt. hon. H. Peel, rt. hon. Sir R.
Graham, rt. hn. Sir J. Peel, J.
Granby, Marquess of Pemberton, T.
Grant, Sir A. C. Perceval, Colonel
Grimsditch, T. Pigot, R.
Grimston, Viscount Planta, rt. hon. J.
Grimston, hon. E. H. Plumptre, J. P.
Halford, H. Polhill, F.
Hamilton, C.J. B. Pollen, Sir J. W.
Hamilton, Lord C. Pollock, Sir F.
Harcourt, G. G. Powell, Colonel
Harcourt, G. S. Powerscourt, Viscount
Hardinge, rt. hn. Sir H. Praed, W. T.
Hawkes, T. Pringle, A.
Hayes, Sir E. Pusey, P.
Heneage, G. W. Rae, rt hon. Sir W.
Henniker, Lord Richards, R.
Hepburn, Sir T. B. Rickford, W.
Herbert, hon. S. Rolleston, L.
Herries, rt. hon. J. C. Round, C. G.
Hinde, J. H. Round, J.
Hodgson, R. Rushbrooke, Colonel
Hogg, J. W. Rushout, G.
Holmes, hon. W. A. Scarlett, hon. J.Y.
Holmes, W. Sheppard, T.
Hope, hon. C Sibthorpe, Col.
Hope, H. T. Smyth, Sir G. H.
Hope, G. W. Somerset, Lord G.
Hotham, Lord Spry, Sir S. T.
Hughes, W. B. Stanley, E.
Hurt, F. Stanley, Lord
Ingham, R. Stewart, J.
Irton, S. Sturt, H. C.
Irving, J. Sugden, rt. hon. Sir E.
Jackson, Sergeant Teignmouth, Lord
James, Sir W. C. Thesiger, F.
Jenkins, Sir R. Thomas, Col. H.
Jermyn, Earl Thornhill, G.
Johnstone, H. Trench, Sir F.
Jones, Captain Trevor, hon. G. R.
Knatchbull, Sir E. Tyrrell, Sir J. T.
Knightley, Sir C. Vere, Sir C. B.
Lefroy, rt. hon. T. Verner, Col.
Liddell, hon. H. T. Vernon, G. H.
Lincoln, Earl of Villiers, Viscount
Litton, E. Vivian, J. E.
Lockhart, A. M. Waddington, H. S.
Lowther, J. H. Whitmore, T. C.
Lucas, E. Wilbraham, hon. B.
Lygon, hon. General Wodehouse, E.
Wood, Col, Young, J.
Wood, Colonel T.
Wyndham, W. TELLERS.
Wynn, rt. hon. C. W. Fremantle, Sir T.
Yorke, hon. E. T. Baring, H.
List of the NOES.
Abercrombie, hn. G.R. Ferguson, R.
Adam, Admiral Finch, F.
Aglionby, H. A. Fitzalan, Lord
Aglionby, Major Fitzpatrick, J. W.
Anson, hon. Colonel Fleetwood, Sir P. H.
Archbold, R. Fort, J.
Baines, E. French, F.
Bannerman, A. Gisborne, T.
Baring, rt. hon. F. T. Gordon, R.
Barnard, E. G. Grattan, H.
Barron, H. W. Grattan, J.
Barry, G. S, Greenaway, C.
Beamish, F. B. Greg, R. H.
Bellew, R. M. Greig, D.
Benett, J. Grey, rt. hon. Sir C.
Bernal, R. Grey, rt. hon. Sir G.
Bewes, T. Guest, Sir J.
Blake, M. J. Harland, W. C.
Blewitt, R. J. Hawes, B.
Bodkin, J. J. Heathcoat, J.
Brabazon, Lord Hindley, C.
Brabazon, Sir W. Hobhouse, rt. hn. Sir J.
Bridgeman, H. Hobhouse, T. B.
Briscoe, J. I. Horsman, E.
Brocklehurst, J. Hoskins, K.
Brodie, W. B. Howard, hon. E.G.G.
Brotherton, J. Howard, F. J.
Browne, R. D. Howard, P. H.
Bryan, G. Howard, Sir R.
Buller, C. Howick, Viscount
Busfield, W. Humphery, J.
Butler, hon. Colonel Hurst, R. H.
Callaghan, D. Hutt, W.
Campbell, Sir J. Hutton, R.
Cave, R. O. James, W.
Cavendish, hon. C. Labouchere, rt. hn. H.
Cavendish, hon. G.H. Leader, J. T.
Chapman, Sir M.L.C. Lemon, Sir C.
Childers, J. Lushington, C.
Clay, W. Lynch, A. H.
Clements, Viscount Macaulay, T. B.
Collier, J. Maher, J.
Collins, W. Marshall, W.
Colquhoun, Sir J. Marsland, H.
Corbally, M. E. Martin, T. B.
Craig, W. G. Maule, hon. F.
Dalmeny, Lord Melgund, Viscount
Davies, Colonel Morpeth, Viscount
Divett, E. Morris, D.
Donkin, Sir R. S. Muntz, G. F.
Duncombe, T. Muskett, G. A.
Dundas, Sir R. Nagle, Sir R.
Dundas, D. Norreys, Sir D. J.
Elliot, hon. J. E. O'Brien, C.
Ellis, W. O'Brien, W.
Etwall, R. O'Callaghan, hon. C.
Evans, G. O'Connell, D.
Evans, W. O'Connell, J.
Ewart, W. O'Connell, M.
Ferguson, Sir R. A. O'Connell, M. J.
O'Connor, Don Stanley, M.
O'Ferrall, R. M. Stansfield, W. R. C.
Ord, W. Staunton, Sir G. T.
Paget, Lord A. Steuart, R.
Paget, F. Steuart, Lord J.
Palmer, C. F. Steuart, W. V.
Palmerston, Viscount Stock, Dr.
Pattison, J. Strangways, hon. J.
Pendarves, E. W. W. Strutt, E.
Philips, G. R. Style, Sir C.
Phillpotts, J. Surrey, Earl of
Pigot, D. R. Talbot, J. H.
Ponsonby, C. F.A.C. Tancred, H. W.
Power, J. Thornely, T.
Power, J. Troubridge, Sir E. T.
Pryme, G. Tufnell, H.
Pryse, P. Turner, E.
Ramsbottom, J. Turner, W.
Rawdon, Col. J. D. Verney, Sir H.
Redington, T. N. Vigors, N. A.
Rice, E. R. Villiers, hon. C. P.
Rich, H. Vivian, rt. hn. Sir R.H.
Roche, E. B. Wakley, T.
Roche, W. Warburton, H.
Roche, Sir D. Ward, H. G.
Rumbold, C. E. Westenra, hon. H. R.
Rundle, J. Westenra, hon. J. C.
Russell, Lord J. White, A.
Russell, Lord C. Wilbraham, G.
Salwey, Colonel Williams, W.
Sanford, E. A. Williams, W. A.
Scrope, G. P. Wilshere, W.
Seymour, Lord Wood, C.
Shiel, rt. hon. R. L. Wood, G. W.
Slaney, R. A. Wood, B.
Smith, B. Wyse, T.
Smith, R. V. TELLERS.
Somers, J. P. Stanley, hon. E. J.
Somerville, Sir W. M. Parker, J.
Paired off.
Acland, T. D. Blake, W. J.
Alford, Viscount Ferguson, Sir R.
Alsager, Captain Loch, J.
Attwood, M. W. Mactaggart, J.
Attwood, M. Lushington, rt. hn. Dr.
Bailey, J. Winnington, Captain
Baldwin, C. B. Oswald, J.
Barrington, Viscount Price, Sir R.
Bassett, J. Dennistoun, J.
Bell, M. Pechell, Captain
Boldero, H. G. Vivian, Major
Broadley, H. Heron, Sir R.
Broadwood, H. Hill, Lord M.
Bruce, Lord E. Wallace, R.
Burdett, Sir F. Crawley, S.
Burrell, Sir C. Langton, G.
Burroughes, H. N, Hawkins, J. H.
Campbell, Sir H. Hastie, A.
Cartwright, W. R. Parnell, Sir H.
Castlereagh, Viscount Shelburne, Lord
Cholmondeley hn. H. Hollond, R.
Christopher, R. A. Fitzroy, Lord C.
Clive, hon. R. Easthope, J.
Cochrane, Sir T. Duncan, Lord
Codrington, C. W. Denison, W, J.
Colquhoun, J. C. Chichester, J. B.
Compton, N. C. Mildmay, P. St. J.
Cooper, E. J. White, S.
Coote, Sir C., C. White, L.
Cresswell, W, Erle, W.
Crewe, Sir G. Crompton, Sir S,
Davenport, J. Conyngham, Lord A.
Dottin, A. R. Anson, Sir G,
Dugdale, W. S. Moreton, hon. A.
Duncombe, hon. A. Wrightson, W. B.
East, T. B. Grosvenor, Lord R.
Egerton, Lord F. Fazakerly, T. N.
Estcourt, T. B. Wood, Sir M.
Farnham, E. B. Heneage, E.
Feilden, W. Ellice, E., jun.
Fector, J. M. Milton, Viscount
Foley, E. T. Dundas, hon. J.
Fox, S.L. Molesworth, Sir W.
Glynne, Sir S. Hall, Sir B.
Gore, J. R. Duff, J.
Gore, W. O. Handley, H.
Greene, T. Berkeley, hon. H.
Hale, R. B. Spencer, hon. Captain
Heathcote, Sir W. Pinney, W.
Hill, Sir R. Gillon, W. D.
Hillsborough, Earl of Berkeley, hon. G.
Hodgson, F. Hayter, W. G.
Houldsworth, T. Stewart, J.
Houstoun, G. Dundas, F.
Ingestre, Viscount Stanley, W. O.
Inglis, Sir R. Rutherford, rt. hon. A.
Jones, J. Macnamara, Major
Jones, W. Cayley, E. S.
Kelly, F. Talfourd, Sergeant
Kemble, H. White, H.
Kerrison, Sir E. Protheroe, E.
Ker, D. Speers, A.
Kelburne, Viscount Sharpe, General
Kirk, P. Chester, N.
Knight, H. G. Dundas, C. W. D.
Lascelles, hon. W. Ponsonby, hon. J.
Law, hon. C. E. Crawford, W.
Lennox, Lord A, Smith, J. A.
Long, W. Edwards, Sir J.
Lowther, hn. Colonel Murray, A.
Lowther, Viscount Ellice, rt. hon. E.
Maclean, D. Lambton, H.
Manners, Lord C. Byng, rt. hon. G. S.
Marton, G. Andover, Lord
Master, T. Walker, T. A.
Maidstone, Lord Standish, C.
Maunsell, T. P. Martin, J.
Mathew, Captain Clayton, Sir W. R.
Maxwell, hon. S. Fitzsimon, N.
Miles, W. Currie, R.
Miles, P. Scholefield, J.
Miller, W. H. Philips, M.
Milnes, R. M. Hodges, T. L.
Neeld, J. Duke, Sir J.
Norreys, Lord Lennox, Lord G.
Northland Viscount Hector, C. J.
Ossulston, Lord Bulwer, Sir L.
Pakington, J. S. Smith, G.
Palmer, R. Clive, E. B.
Parker, T. A. W. Strickland, Sir G.
Perceval, hon. Capt. Chetwynd, Major
Price, R. Wemyss, Captain
Reid, Sir J. R. Jervis, J.
Rose, rt. hon. Sir G. Bulwer, Sir E.
St. Paul, H. Yates, A.
Sanderson, R. Acheson, Lord
Shaw, rt. hon. F. Langdale, hon. C.
Shirley, E. J. Winnington, Sir T.
Sinclair, Sir G. Bainbridge, E.
Smith, A. Alston, R.
Sotheron, T. E. Vivian, J. H.
Tennent, J. E. Bowes, J.
Tollemache, hon. F. J, Grote, G.
Tomline, G. Ellice, A.
Thompson, Alderman Worsley, Lord
Walsh, Sir J. Noel, hon. C. J.
Welby, G. E. Heathcote, G.
Williams, R. Berkeley, hon. C.
Williams, T. P. Phillips, Sir R. B.
Wilmot, Sir E. Hutchins, E. J.
Young, Sir W. Blackett, A.

On the question that the Speaker do now leave the chair,

Sir D. Norreys

rose to move, that it be an instruction to the committee to enable persons to register their votes upon proof of their having paid one year's poor-rates, on a valuation to be hereafter determined. His present object was more to establish the principle than to specify the actual amount to which the voter should berated, and be had accordingly abstained from any such specification. The hon. Member concluded by moving an instruction to the committee to enable every person otherwise qualified who shall have for the period of one year paid poor-rates on a valuation of — per annum to register his vote.

Lord Stanley

said, that he had purposely waited for a few minutes before he rose, as this was a question on which h had expected that the noble Lord, the Secretary, and the hon. and learned Gentleman, the Solicitor General for Ireland, would have expressed an opinion. No one could more regret than he did, that any doubt should have been thrown on the meaning of the Irish Reform Bill, so far as regarded the words "beneficial interest," knowing as he did the meaning which the House of Commons put upon them at the time. It was this, that the property qualifying a voter should be to him of a certain clear yearly amount, be it freehold or leasehold. These were the words of the English Reform Bill, on which no English judge or lawyer had yet suggested any doubt. The words in the Irish Reform Bill were intended to be synonymous with those in the English Reform Bill; and if there were any doubt on that point, he should like to see that vexata questio settled. He would not express any opinion upon this instruction, especially as it proposed a new qualification for voters in Ireland, which was totally left in blank. He objected, however, to this amendment, not merely on account of the time when, but also on account of the bill in which it was introduced. His intention was, that registration should be the only object of his bill, and that the franchise should be entirely excluded from it. The noble Lord, the Secretary for Ireland, and his hon. and learned colleague, the Solicitor General for Ireland, showed by their conduct that they too thought that those two objects ought to be separated; for they had themselves separated them, introducing one bill to amend the registration, and another to define the franchise. Let the hon. Member for Mallow deal with the franchise when the Solicitor General's bill came under the consideration of the House, and then he (Lord Stanley) would give every consideration in his power to his (Sir D. Norrey's) proposition, in order to escape from the inconveniences and evils of which the hon. Member complained at present.

Mr. Warburton

could not agree with the noble Lord, that this was an inappropriate occasion for defining the basis of the franchise in Ireland. Indeed, it seemed to him to be the most fitting occasion for doing so, for surely before the House proceeded to constitute a system of registration it was but proper they should define that which was to be registered. He, therefore, thought the House ought to begin by defining the qualification, instead of prematurely devising a means for giving effect to what could be scarcely said to have an existence. Looking back to opinions which had formerly been expressed upon this subject—expressed by the noble Lord himself in 1829, and by Members of the Government in 1832, he could not help feeling that a gross fraud had been practised upon the Irish. They had been led to believe, that an enlarged franchise was to be conferred upon them. When it was proposed to substitute the ten pound for the forty shilling freeholders, the noble Lord declared that the test should be the possession of a "beneficial interest of ten pounds, and not the willingness of a solvent tenant to give ten pounds more than the rent paid by the claimant to register," The noble Lord said,— I think it should be deemed sufficient that the applicant has a beneficial interest of ten pounds above the rent he pays, and that he should not be called upon to prove that a solvent tenant would give him ten pounds a year for the property above the rent which he himself paid. A similar opinion had been expressed by Mr. Rice (now Lord Monteagle) and by Lord Lansdowne, thus clearly manifesting the intention of the Government and the Legislature. Was it not a fraud then upon the Irish people, having induced them to believe that they were to obtain this enlarged franchise, to attempt to limit it now, by adopting the adverse decisions of the Irish judges? The hon. Member concluded by repeating his conviction that the House ought first to define the franchise, before they proceeded to adopt any plan for giving effect to it.

Viscount Morpeth

said, the noble Lord opposite (Lord Stanley) had expressed his surprise that he had not risen to intimate what course the Government would pursue with respect to the instruction that had been moved by the hon. Member for Mallow. He certainly begged to intimate to the noble Lord that he had no disposition to do the honours of the noble Lord's bill, and he had no doubt, that in its progress through the committee he would find himself engaged in many such issues as the present. At the same time he could assure the noble Lord, that in the course of the bill through committee, the Government would not be backward in proposing any amendments which they thought to be desirable. With respect to the instruction that had been moved by the hon. Member for Mallow, he certainly went along with that hon. Member in thinking that it was desirable that this question of qualification should be placed on a satisfactory basis. On that point he did not think the bill of the noble Lord any amendment, and he would even say, that he did not think that the bill brought in by his hon. Friend, the Solicitor General for Ireland, placed the qualification on a satisfactory basis. However, he thought that the measure brought forward by the Government was much better than that which the noble Lord insisted on cramming down their throats. He thought it a defect in both bills, that they allowed the franchise to rest upon opinions which he conceived to be a source of many of the evils and difficulties of the over-reach- ings and perjuries which were complained of as appertaining to the present system of registration. In his opinion the appeal clauses in the present bill would have the effect of limiting the franchise in Ireland. These clauses would have the effect of raising the qualification in Ireland, and that qualification would rest upon the opinion of the judges, which was not in accordance with the opinions of those who passed the Reform Bill. He certainly thought that it was an inherent fault in their present system of registration, that there was no fair definition of the franchise. It was an evil that the franchise was left to be determined as a matter of opinion instead of being determined according to some known and settled valuation. He concurred in the opinion that had been expressed from both sides of the House with respect to the advantage of establishing the qualification on some principle of uniform rating. He might then be asked why, entertaining this opinion, did not the Government themselves bring forward some propositions for that purpose? There was no proposition which he would bring forward with more pleasure, but he feared, in the present state of parties, there would be considerable difficulty in settling what should be the the precise amount of qualification. It seemed to him, moreover, that it would be premature to bring forward any proposition of that kind. There were three reasons for that opinion; the first of which would, perhaps, be considered sufficient. The first and most important of these reasons was, that at present there was no such rate of valuation in existence in Ireland, on which they could determine the franchise; secondly, looking to the good working of the Irish Poor-law—a measure which (by no means underrating the importance of party contests) was of paramount importance, and the advantage of the well working of which could not be overrated—he thought it highly desirable for the successful and peaceable working of that bill, that party, and political, and extrinsic considerations must not be connected with it. He was, therefore, anxious that a general valuation should first take place, and the rate be first established and fixed before it should be connected with any object of so political a nature as the ascertaining of the franchise. Until they saw what would be the general effect of the valuation, he thought they would be working too much in the dark if they were to fix and determine the franchise in Ireland by any precise amount of a rate which was not yet in existence. For these reasons he thought it would be premature in the present Session for the Government to bring forward any propositions of this kind; but he thought, that ultimately all parties would be driven to take refuge on some provision founded on rating. He should resist any appeal against the franchise as an indirect and unfair mode of limiting the franchise. He should endeavour to give that franchise which was intended by the Reform Bill, and he trusted that Parliament, in a future Session, would establish the franchise on that basis on which alone it could be satisfactorily placed— namely, a fixed, known, settled, and impartial rating.

Mr. Lucas

said, that his hon. Friend, the Member for Mallow, had been indistinctly heard at his (Mr. Lucas's) side of the House. He, therefore, thought that the House was not in a condition to give his hon. Friend's proposition that attention which its importance demanded. He would suggest to his hon. Friend to withdraw his proposition for the present, in order that it might be more fully considered hereafter. He was sure, from what had fallen from the noble Lord opposite, as well as the noble Lord near him, that this proposition, on a future occasion, would have a fair and patient hearing.

Mr. O'Connell

, without pretending to say whether the rating clause proposed by his hon. Friend were the best mode of settling the franchise, thought at all events that it was a very fit subject for consideration. It was one which required calm and deliberate discussion in committee, where hon. Members having the opportunity of speaking more than once might protect themselves against any misconstruction of their views. If the noble Lord, the Secretary for Ireland, had this opportunity, he would doubtless not allow it to be understood that his objection to define the franchise at present arose from a disinclination to connect the operation of the Poor-law Bill with any political object. Why, was it not actually so connected? Was not the rate made the test of the franchise in cities? Such was the effect of the Corporation Bill as it had gone up to the House of Lords, and he could see no great mischief in applying to counties a standard which the House had decided upon adopting in cities. Much had been said upon the subject of perjury, and the Irish people had been grossly calumniated by the assertion that they were more prone to perjury than the people of any other country. It mattered not to him even if it was an Irishman who uttered this calumny, but he called upon the House to bear in mind that the interpretation of the franchise was a question of opinion; and as long as it was left so, what else could they expect than that there should be differences? The bill of the noble Lord ought to contain a definition of the franchise. The franchise ought to be first defined before any attempt was made to settle the registration. The rating under the Poor-law afforded, in his opinion, the best mode of defining the franchise. He could not sit down without protesting against what had fallen from the noble Lord, the Member for North Lancashire, on the subject of the insertion of the words "beneficial interest" in the Reform Bill. In the bill of 1829, the noble Lord considered that the effect of the solvent tenant test would be to create a 20l., and not a 10l. franchise. When on the Reform Bill, three years afterwards, it became necessary to name the franchise, the noble Lord did not pretend to make the franchise a 20l. franchise, nor did he now. If the intention, then, was to make the franchise the same as in the bill of 1829, would not the language of the bill have been used? But the House of Lords, by striking out the words "to him," rendered it no longer a 10l. interest to the tenant. On the suggestion of a right hon. Doctor opposite, the words "beneficial interest" were then introduced, and the former test was done away with. In lieu of the three several proofs required by the former act, the tenant was now directed to prove that he had a beneficial interest of 10l. according to the new act. Was it pretended that this alteration meant nothing? It was an idle mockery to say so. A majority might decide otherwise, but common sense and truth decided it as he had stated it, and so thought the people of Ireland. Under these circumstances, he should vote for the motion of the hon. Member for Mallow.

Dr. Lefroy

said, that as he had been referred to by the hon. and learned Member, he would state, that after the words "to him" had been struck out of the qua- lification clause by the House of Lords, the hon. Member for Ripon had remarked, that although the premises might be worth 10l. a year over and above the rent, they might not belong to the claimant. Upon this he had proposed that the words "beneficial interest" should be inserted, which was done, but he denied that any intention existed of altering the franchise. The words in the Reform Bill were, "having therein a beneficial interest of the clear yearly value of 10l. over and above his rent."

Lord J. Russell

felt himself compelled to say a few words, in order to guard against any misconstruction as to the motives of the vote which he should give on this subject. In a former debate the hon. Member for Monaghan had stated what were his opinions on this question of a Poor-law rating, and in the general statement of those views he concurred. The question, however, before the House was, whether the standard of the franchise should be ascertained in a certain manner, and whether the committee should have power to insert the clauses necessary to carry that object into effect. That being so, it was necessary that he should refer to the course which had been advisedly taken by the Government, which was to bring in one bill for the reform of the system of registration, and a separate bill for the definition of the franchise, and consequently he could not consistently vote with the hon. Gentleman who had proposed to introduce a test for the franchise into the present bill. At the same time he must say that he thought the bill of the noble Lord did contain a determination on the franchise, and that a different determination from that which was stated in the other House of Parliament by the framers of the Reform Act in 1832. As to the measure itself, he entirely agreed with his noble Friend and the hon. Member for Monaghan, that we ought to obtain some more certain definition of the franchise, because at present it was left to opinion. Now, if we could obtain some facts to guide the judgment, that would be a great step gained. If a freeholder had let his premises, there was no difficulty in ascertaining whether he received 10l. or not for the rent. With regard to the person who occupied a leasehold, the case was entirely different, and we must either take the test of rating, or some similar test, ascertained beforehand. At the same time, while he agreed so far with the hon. Member for Monaghan, he thought that it required a great deal of consideration before the exact amount could be proposed either by the Government or any other person interested in the question. It certainly was a variation not only from the Reform Bill, but also from the bill of 1829.

Motion for an instruction to the committee withdrawn.

House in committee—Preamble postponed.

On the question that the first clause be read,

Mr. Warburton moved, that the Chairman report progress and ask leave to sit again. He did so in order that he might have an opportunity to move an instruction to the committee to introduce a clause into the bill which should define the qualification; such a clause was necessary in order to prevent the law being interpreted according to the views of particular parties. Already they had heard that the judges were divided in opinion upon the question of qualification; and if the law were left in its present form, it would hold out a strong inducement to Governments to appoint men judges, not for their talent or experience in the profession, but because they held particular political views.

Mr. Litton

had distinctly stated to the House on a former occasion, that ten judges against two had decided the question respecting qualification in this way,— they were of opinion that it should be left to the jury to say whether or not a solvent tenant would give 10l. a year beyond the payment of the rent of the freehold, and not whether or not it was worth that 10l. extra in the fancy of the claimant.

Sir C. Grey

said, the House would do itself great injustice if it proceeded with this bill, unless it reserved to itself the right to declare the law relative to the qualification of voters. He thought the amendment of the hon. Member for Bridport a better one than that of the hon. Member for Mallow, and he should therefore support it.

Mr. O'Connell

said, the reason why he had consented to the withdrawal of the motion of the hon. Member for Mallow was that he thought the other question would be discussed before the House went into committee; but the Speaker had decided to the contrary. Now, as that question could not be discussed in committee, it was necessary to move that the House do resume, in order that it might be discussed and moved as an instruction to the committee again. With respect to what had fallen from the hon. Member for Coleraine, he should be able to convince hon. Gentlemen who were unaccustomed to the technicalities of the law, that the view which the hon. Gentleman took of the decision of the judges was not a correct one. The hon. Member for Dublin had stated that there was no difference between the statute of 1829 and the Reform Act, with regard to proof of qualification. But what was the fact? The act of 1829 required the claimant to swear that his qualification was such as a solvent tenant could afford to pay an additional rent of 10l. per annum for. The Reform Act did not adopt the words of that statute, but it was enough to prove that the property in right of which the party claimed to be registered was of the value and nature in the act described. Where was the solvent tenant? where was the additional rent in that act? The hon. Gentleman had said these points were not omitted. Well, where were they? Not in the act. He begged, therefore, respectfully to press upon the committee the expediency of allowing the Chairman to report progress, that hon. Members might have a sufficient opportunity for considering the difficulties which the present discussion had presented.

Dr. Lefroy

contended, that according to the description in the Reform Act, the qualification should be a clear yearly value of 10l.

Mr. O'Connell

observed, that the body of the bill was altered, that the oath was altered, and yet hon. Members on the other side affirmed, that it was all the same thing.

Lord Stanley

observed, that the Reform Act did not touch the fee simple qualifications—it left that precisely as it had been settled by the act of 1829.

Mr. O'Connell

said, that the registries under the bill now before the House included every species of qualification.

Lord Stanley

replied, that the oath had been altered, and that no one could now acquire a right, except under the same qualification as that given by the 9th of George 4th. The Reform Act conferred no right. The rights which existed before it were left untouched. The present bill required electors to register in a certain way, but then they were to register in right of qualifications conferred upon them by the act of 1829.

Sir E. B. Sugden

said, that his noble Friend, the Member for North Lancashire, was quite right, and yet the hon. and learned Member for Dublin was not wrong. The Irish elector was to look to the Reform Act for his mode of registration, and to the act of 1829 for his qualification.

Mr. O'Connell

called the attention of the House to the fact that a most able man, and a great lawyer, had said, that the noble Lord was quite right, and that he was not wrong. Surely it must be admitted that such a state of the case required that time ought to be allowed for a reconsideration of the matter.

Sir W. Somerville

observed, that the noble Lord had said enough to show that the qualification was merely a beneficial interest, and did not require the elector to show that a solvent tenant would give 10l. The Lords were clearly of opinion that the Reform Act introduced a new test of value, and in proof of this the hon. Baronet referred to speeches delivered by the Duke of Richmond and Viscount Melbourne during the debates upon that measure. It appeared to him impossible to avoid coming to the conclusion that a 10l. beneficial interest was intended by the Reform Act.

Mr. Sergeant Jackson

stated, that the opinion of the Chief Justice of the Queen's Bench in Ireland was, that a jury, in considering whether the tenement of one claiming to be an elector was worth 10l, was bound, when forming an estimate of his beneficial interest, to take into account whether or not a solvent tenant would give that rent for it. As to the amendment, he thought it was one which the Government were called on to resist.

Lord Stanley

said, that with regard to the speeches of the Duke of Richmond and Viscount Melbourne, which had been referred to by the hon. Member for Drogheda, he would merely read three lines from each of them, which it had not been found convenient to cite on the other side. The Duke of Richmond said this:— Her Majesty's Government had not the slightest intention of altering the qualification at present existing, but they had adopted that mode of ascertaining the amount which they had thought best. Lord Melbourne followed, and said,— It was undoubtedly the desire of the Government to preserve the present qualification, and they considered that it was best secured by the oath which they now proposed.

Mr. O'Connell

and that oath said nothing about the value of the qualification.

The committee divided on the question that the House resume. Ayes 220; Noes 313:—Majority 93.

List of the AYES.
Acheson, Viscount Duncombe, T.
Aglionby, H. A. Dundas, C. W. D.
Aglionby, Major Dundas, F.
Archbold, R. Dundas, hon. J. C.
Baines, E. Dundas, Sir R.
Barnard, E. G. Dundas, D.
Barron, H. W. Edwards, Sir J.
Barry, G. S. Elliot, hon. J. E.
Beamish, F. B. Ellice, Captain A.
Bellew, R. M. Ellice, rt. hon. E.
Berkeley, hon. H. Ellice, E.
Berkeley, hon. C. Ellis, W.
Bernal, R. Erle, W.
Bewes, T. Etwall, R.
Blackett, C. Euston, Earl of
Blake, M. J. Evans, G.
Blake, W. J. Evans, W.
Blewitt, R. J. Ewart, W
Bodkin, J. J. Ferguson, Sir R. A.
Bowes, J. Finch, F.
Bridgeman, H. Fitzpatrick, J. W.
Brocklehurst, J. Fleetwood, Sir P. H.
Brodie, W. B. Fort, J.
Brotherton, J. French, F.
Browne, R. D. Gillon, W. D.
Bryan, G. Gisborne, T.
Buller, C. Grattan, J.
Buller, E. Grattan, H.
Busfeild, W. Greenaway, C.
Butler, hon. Colonel Greig, D.
Byng, rt. hon. G. S. Grey, rt. hn. Sir C.
Cave, R. O. Grosvenor, Lord R.
Cavendish, hon. C. Grote, G.
Cavendish, hn. G. H. Guest, Sir J.
Chalmers, P. Hall, Sir B.
Chapman, Sir M.L.C. Hastie, A.
Childers, J. W. Hawes, B.
Clayton, Sir W. R. Hawkins, J. H.
Clements, Viscount Hayter, W. G.
Clive, hon. E. B. Heathcoat, J.
Collier, J. Hector, C. J.
Collins, W. Heron, Sir R.
Corbally, M. E. Hill, Lord A. M. C.
Cowper, hon. W. F. Hindley, C.
Craig, W. G. Hobhouse, T. B.
Dalmeny, Lord Hodges, T. L.
Dashwood, G. H. Horsman, E.
D'Eyncourt, rt. hon. C.T. Hoskins, K.
Howard, hon. E.G.G.
Divett, E. Howard, F. J.
Duke, Sir J. Howard, P. H.
Duncan, Viscount Humphery, J.
Hutchins, E. J. Russell, Lord C.
Hutt, W. Rutherford, rt. hn. A.
Hutton, R. Salwey, Colonel
James, W. Scholefield, J.
Jervis, J. Scrope, G. P.
Lambton, II. Seale, Sir J. H.
Leader, J. T. Seymour, Lord
Lemon, Sir C. Sharpe, General
Lister, E. C. Shelburne, Earl of
Locb, J. Slaney, R. A.
Lushington, C. Smith, J. A.
Lynch, A. H, Smith, B.
Macnamara, Major Smith, G. R.
M'Taggart, J. Somers, J. P.
Maher, J. Standish, C.
Marshall, W. Stanley, M.
Marsland, H. Stanley, hon. W. O.
Martin, J. Stansfield, W. R. C.
Martin, T. B. Staunton, Sir G. T.
Melgund, Viscount Steuart, R.
Mildmay, P. St. John Stewart, J.
Milton, Viscount Stuart, Lord J.
Morris, D. Stuart, W. V.
Muntz, G. F. Stock, Dr.
Murray, A. Strangways, hon. J.
Muskett, G. A. Strickland, Sir G.
Nagle, Sir R. Strutt, E.
Norreys, Sir D. J. Style, Sir C.
O'Brien, C. Talbot, C. R. M.
O'Brien, W. S. Talbot, J. H.
O'Callaghan, hon. C. Tancred, H. W.
O'Connell, D. Thornley, T.
O'Connell, J. Troubridge, Sir E. T.
O'Connell, M. J. Tufnell, H.
O'Connell, M. Turner, W.
O'Connor, Don Vigors, N. A.
Oswald, J. Villiers, hon. C. P.
Paget, F. Vivian, Major C.
Pattison, J. Wakley, T.
Pease, J. Walker, R.
Pechell, Captain Wallace, R.
Pendarves, E. W. W. Ward, H. G.
Pinney, W. Westenra, hn. H. R.
Ponsonby, C. F. A. C. Westenra, hon. J. C.
Ponsonby, hon. J. White, A.
Power, J. White, H.
Power, J. Williams, W.
Price, Sir R. Williams, W. A.
Price, R. Wilshere, W.
Protheroe, E. Winnington, Sir T. E.
Pryme, G. Winnington, H. J.
Ramsbottom, J. Wood, G. W.
Rawdon, Col. J. D. Wood, B.
Redington, hon. T. N. Worsley, Lord
Rice, E. R. Wrightson, W. B.
Rich, H. Wyse, T.
Roche, E. B. Yates, J. A.
Roche, W. TELLERS.
Roche, Sir D. Warburton, H.
Rundle, J. Somerville, Sir W.
List of the NOES.
Acland, Sir T. D. Alford, Viscount
Acland, T. D. Alsager, Captain
A'Court, Captain Alston, R.
Adam, Amiral Anson, hon. Colonel
Adare, Viscount Arbuthnot, hon. H.
Archdall, M. Douro, Marquess of
Ashley, Lord Dowdeswell, W.
Ashley, hon. H. Drummond, H. H.
Attwood, W. Duff, J.
Attwood, M. Duffield, T.
Bagge, W. Dugdale, W. S.
Bagot, hon. W. Dunbar, G.
Bailey, J. Duncombe, hon. A.
Bailey, J., jun. Dungannon, Viscount
Baillie, Colonel Du Pre, G.
Bainbridge, E.T. East, J. B.
Baker, E. Eastnor, Viscount
Baldwin, C. B. Eaton, R. J.
Baring, rt. hon. F. T. Egerton, W. T.
Baring, hon. W. B. Egerton, Sir P.
Barrington, Viscount Eliot, Lord
Basset, J. Ellis, J.
Bateson, Sir R. Farnham, E. B.
Bell, M. Farrand, R.
Benett, J. Fielden, W.
Bentinck, Lord G. Fector, J. M.
Blackburn, I. Fellowes, E.
Blackstone, W. S. Filmer, Sir E.
Blakemore, R. Fitzalan, Lord
Blennerhasset, A. Fitzroy, hon. H.
Boldero, H. G. Fleming, J.
Bolling, W. Fox, S. L.
Botfield, B. Gaskell, J. M.
Brabazon, Lord Gladstone, W. E.
Bradshaw, J. Glynne, Sir S. R.
Bramston, T. W. Goddard, A.
Broadley, H. Godson, R.
Broadwood, H. Gordon, R.
Brooke, Sir A. B. Gordon, hon. Captain
Brownrigg, S. Gore, O. J. R.
Bruce, Lord E. Goring, H. D.
Bruce, C. L. C. Goulburn, rt. hon. H.
Bruges, W. H. L. Graham, rt. hn. Sir J.
Buck, L. W. Granby, Marquess of
Buller, Sir J.Y. Grant, Sir A. C.
Burr, H. Greene, T.
Burrell, Sir C. Grey, rt. hon. Sir G.
Burroughes, H. N. Grimsditch, T.
Byng, G. Grimston, Viscount
Calcraft, J. H. Grimston, hon. E. H.
Canning, rt. hn. Sir S. Halford, H.
Cantalupe, Viscount Hamilton, C. J.
Castlereagh, Viscount Hamilton, Lord C.
Christopher, R. A. Harcourt, G. S.
Chute, W. L. W. Hardinge, rt. hn. Sir H.
Clay, W. Harland, W. C.
Clerk, Sir G. Hawkes, T.
Cochrane, Sir T. J. Hayes, Sir E.
Cole, hon. A. H. Heathcote, Sir W.
Compton, H. C. Heneage, E.
Conolly, E. Heneage, G. W.
Corry, hon. H. Henniker, Lord
Cresswell, C. Hepburn, Sir T. B.
Crewe, Sir G. Herbert, hon. S.
Dalrymple, Sir A. Hill, Sir R.
Damer, hon. D. Hillsborough, Earl of
Darby, G. Hinde, J. H.
Darlington, Earl of Hobhouse, right hon. Sir J.
De Horsey, S. H,
Dick, Q. Hodgson, F.
D'Israeli, B. Hodgson, R.
Douglas, Sir C. E. Hogg, J. W.
Holmes, hon. W. A. Neeld, J.
Holmes, W. Nicholl, J.
Hope, hon. C. Noel, hon. C. G.
Hope, H. T. Norreys, Lord
Hope, G. W. Northland, Lord
Hotham, Lord O'Neill, hon. J, B. R.
Houldsworth, T. Ossulston, Lord
Houstoun, G. Owen, Sir J.
Howick, Viscount Packe, C. W.
Hughes, W. B. Paget, Lord A.
Hurst, R. H. Pakington, J. S.
Hurt, F. Palmer, R.
Ingestrie, Viscount Palmerston, Viscount
Ingham, R. Parker, M.
Inglis, Sir R. H. Parker, R. T.
Irton, S. Parker, T. A. W.
Jackson, Sergeant Parnell, rt. hn. Sir H.
James, Sir W. C. Patten, J. W.
Jenkins, Sir R. Peel, right hon. Sir R.
Jermyn, Earl of Peel, J.
Johnston, H. Pemberton, T.
Jones, J. Perceval, Colonel
Jones, Captain Pigot, D. R.
Kelly, F. Pigot, R.
Kemble, H. Planta, right hon. J.
Kerrison, Sir E. Plumptre, J. P.
Kelburne, Viscount Polhill, F.
Knatchbull, Sir E. Pollen, Sir J. W.
Knight, H. G. Pollock, Sir F.
Knightley, Sir C. Powell, Colonel
Labouchere, rt. hn. H. Powerscourt, Viscount
Lascelles, hon. W. S. Praed, W. T.
Lefroy, right hon. T. Pringle, A.
Lennox, Lord G. Pusey, P.
Lennox, Lord A. Rae, right hon. Sir W.
Liddell, hon. H. T. Reid, Sir J. R.
Lincoln, Earl of Richards, R.
Litton, E. Rickford, W.
Lockhart, A. M. Rolleston, L.
Long, W. Rose, rt. hon. Sir G.
Lowther, hon. Col. Round, C. G.
Lowther, Viscount Round, J.
Lowther, J. H. Rushbrooke, Colonel
Lucas, E. Rushout, G.
Lygon, hon. General Russell, Lord J.
Macaulay, rt. hn. T.B. St. Paul, H.
Mackenzie, T. Sanderson, R.
Mackenzie, W. F. Sandon, Viscount
Maclean, D. Sandford, E. A.
Mahon, Viscount Scarlett, hon. J. Y.
Maidstone, Viscount Sheppard, T.
Manners, Lord C. S. Shirley, E. J.
Marsland, T. Sibthorp, Colonel
Marton, G. Smith, A.
Mathew, G. Smith, R. V.
Maule, hon. F. Smyth, Sir G. H.
Maunsell, T. P. Somerset, Lord G.
Meynell, Captain Sotheron, T. E.
Miles, W. Spry, Sir S. T.
Miles, P. W. S. Stanley, hon. E. J.
Miller, W. H. Stanley, Lord
Monypenny, T. G. Stewart, J.
Mordaunt, Sir J. Sturt, H.C.
Moreton, hon. A. H. Sugden, rt. hn. Sir E.
Morgan, C. M. R. Surrey, Earl of
Morpeth, Viscount Talford, Sergeant
Neeld, J. Teignraouth, Lord
Tennent, J. E. Walsh, Sir J.
Thesiger, F. Welby, G. E.
Thomas, Colonel H. Whitmore, T. C.
Thompson, Alderman Wilbraham, G.
Thornhill, G. Wilbraham, hon. B.
Tollemache, F. J. Williams, R.
Tomline, G. Williams, T. P.
Townley, R. G. Wodehouse, E.
Trench, Sir F. Wood, C.
Trevor, hon. G. R. Wood, Colonel
Tyrell, Sir J. T. Wood, Colonel T.
Vere, Sir C. B. Wyndham, W.
Verner, Colonel Wynn, rt hon. C. W.
Verney, Sir H: Yorke, hon. E. T.
Vernon, G. H. Young, J.
Villiers, Viscount Young, Sir W.
Vivian, J. H.
Vivian, J. E. TELLERS.
Vivian, rt. hn Sir R.H. Fremantle, Sir T.
Waddington, H. S. Baring, H.
Lord Stanley

then said, that looking at the time of night at which they had arrived, it was not his intention to offer any opposition to the motion to report progress, but, considering that the principle of this bill had been discussed seven or eight nights, and affirmed in three successive divisions, and that upon two nights he had been enabled to go into committee, yet, that the whole of those two nights had been so taken up, that it was impossible for him to make the slightest progress with a single clause, he trusted that the noble Lord opposite would not consider it discourteous in him to state his determination on Monday next to move the Order of the Day for the House going into committee on this bill.

Lord J. Russell

believed, that it would be necessary, when the Chairman reported progress, that he should ask leave to sit again on a certain day. If the noble Lord moved that the Chairman should sit again on Monday, he would certainly move as an amendment, that he should sit on Wednesday. This bill being the bill of an individual Member of that House, there was no reason why it should be interposed in the way of other business, which had been for a considerable time before Parliament, and which was fixed for Monday. More than 300 Members of the House entirely disapproved of the principle of the bill, and thought the entire bill so vicious and unjust, that it ought not to be permitted to go into committee. If it were a bill upon which the House was generally agreed to support its principle, and anxious to discuss its details in committee, then, and then only, might there be some pretext to make it supersede the Government business. He therefore felt bound to resist to the utmost of his power a pretension of this description.

Lord Stanley

said, that it was perfectly competent to the noble Lord, according to the forms of the House, to take this course; and if he meant to divide tonight against the bill going into committee on Monday, he (Lord Stanley) was perfectly ready to go to a division with him.

Mr. O'Connell.

—Then I will move, as soon as we get from the committee into the House, that we adjourn. This is a bill to trample on the rights of the people of Ireland. [Cries of " Order! No, no."] This is a bill to trample on the rights of the people of Ireland. [Laughter.] The hon. Member, with stronger emphasis, reiterated the phrase—This is a bill to trample on the rights of the people of Ireland. If you were ten times as beastly in your uproar and bellowing, I should still feel it to be my duty to interpose to prevent this injustice.

Sir S. Canning

rose to order amidst much confusion, and after considerable efforts, succeeded in making himself heard. "Mr. Freshfield," he said, "I demand a retractation of the excessively offensive expression which the hon. Member has just used. The term which I mean is that of 'beastly.'"

The Chairman (Mr. Freshfield)

, amidst loud cries of "Chair," said, I feel assured that, considering the nature of the expression which has been used by the hon. Member—[An uproar slopped the Chairman, which lasted some time.] He then said, the expression, "bellowing," I feel assured, was an inadvertent expression, and that the hon. Member will therefore retract it.

Mr. O'Connell

I used the word "bellowing." Did you ever hear any other bellowing than beastly? What sounds were they? Were they human sounds? They were what I said.

Mr. Lambton

Mr. Freshfield, I beg to ask, with great respect, if, before the hon. and learned Member was called to order by the right hon. Gentleman opposite, you heard the extremely indecent interruption which was offered to the hon. Member? In my humble opinion it is disgraceful to an assembly of English gentlemen to attempt to tyrannize over one individual Member. When you, Sir, offer your opinion as presiding over our counsels, you ought to take this into your consideration.

Sir B. Hall

rose, not to make any observation upon expressions which had fallen from any hon. Member, but to express his disapproval of the course which the hon. and learned Member for Dublin had declared his intention of adopting, as to moving the adjournment.

The Chairman

I beg to remind the hon. and learned Member for Dublin that he has made use of certain expressions,—

Mr. O'Connell

Yes, Sir, I have.

The Chairman

As I was referred to on the question of order, I took upon myself to decide on the appeal which was made to me. I was not at all acquainted with the interruption which the hon. Member for Dublin met with. It is said that that hon. Member experienced particular interruption. I beg to state, with great diffidence, that it was competent to him to appeal to the chair from any such interruption. As to any strong expression arising from the excited feelings of the moment, upon that alone I gave an opinion.

Mr. Ewart

observed, that the question now before the House lay between the Chairman and the hon. Member for Dublin. Had the attention of the Chairman been called to the interruptions which took place before the hon. Member for Dublin made the observation complained of, he would have called to order those who interrupted the hon. Member, and have had no occasion to call him to order afterwards.

Mr. C. Buller

, after having tried in vain for some time to obtain a hearing, said, I don't at all wish to continue this very distressing discussion, which any one having the slightest regard for this House, or for our own characters as gentlemen, must desire to bring to a close as speedily as possible. But I must impress on you, Mr. Freshfield, and upon the House, that your efforts will be quite ineffectual to put down those who, like the hon. Member for Dublin, transgress the limits of decorum by resenting an insult in very strong terms, unless your attention is in the first instance directed to insults the most gross that I have ever seen proceeding from persons in the position of gentlemen. I will mention one instance of that interruption which has proceeded from the Opposition side during the whole of this evening. I do not know that I could fix precisely upon hon. and noble Members. I have heard from about the same quarter of the House different Members upon this side, and particularly the hon. and learned Member for Dublin, interrupted by whistling and—. [The conclusion of the sentence was drowned in laughter and cries of "Hear."] I wish to offer no personal insult; I am anxious for the honour of the House; but I do say that those who first bring these manners into the House disgrace themselves and the House by introducing the manners of an ale-house amongst us, and that the House must be patient of those who resent such treatment in a mode which, I must say, appears to me to be too much called for, and but too appropriate.

Lord Clements

said, that the hon. Member for Dublin had merely said that he complained of this bill as taking away the liberties of the people of Ireland, and that declaration was received with an indecent shout which was a disgrace to the House. Not merely did hon. Members shout, but they absolutely laughed in his face, standing in front of the bar, at a very short distance. When the hon. Member repeated the same declaration a second time, the same insult was repeated; and also a third. He felt proud in being an Irishman, and he would not willingly witness an insult offered to any of his countrymen. He contended, with the hon. Member for Dublin, that this bill would take away the liberties of the Irish people.

Lord Maidstone

The hon. Member for Dublin has used the expression "beastly," as applied to Members of this House. If he retracts that expression, I shall be satisfied. Till he does retract it, I shall not be satisfied.

Mr. O'Connell

I am perfectly contented with the noble Lord's dissatisfaction. Sir, I should have appealed to you; but I could see when I used that phrase as descriptive of the bill, and a shout was raised against me, that you did not interfere to prevent the interruption. The same thing happened a second time, and you did not interfere. It happened a third time, you did not interfere, and I then proceeded to vindicate myself. And then the right hon. Gentleman who had taken no part in calling upon you to preserve order, but who had sat with the most exemplary Christian patience so long as the shouting, the whistling, and the yelling was directed against me, gets up with unbecoming indignation, when I began to describe in moderate terms—[Derisive shouts from the Opposition benches which drowned the remainder of the sentence.] I say, in spite of all your sneers, that this bill is intended and calculated to take away the liberties of the Irish people, to deprive them of the benefits of the Irish Reform Bill, ay, and to rob them, as the noble Lord well knows, of all the benefits of the Roman Catholic Relief Bill. The noble Lord is mistaken if he fancies, even now, that he will carry this bill. He has been long the enemy of Ireland.

Sir Stratford Canning

The hon. and learned Member for Dublin, in explaining the circumstances which induced him to use an expression which, to say the least of it, is certainly most unparliamentary, has said that if I had the same perception of the noises which struck him and other hon. Members—

Mr. O'Connell

I speak to order. Is this to order?

Sir Stratford Canning

The hon. and learned Member for Dublin pointed his observations particularly at me. I wish to reply to them. I am in the hands of the House.

The Chairman

I hope that the right hon. Gentleman will think with me, that a sufficient explanation has been already given.

Sir Stratford Canning

What induced me, Mr. Freshfield, to rise a second time was, that so long as I have had the honour of a seat in this House I have always understood it to be unparliamentary to impute motives to any hon. Member, and I understood the hon. and learned Member for Dublin to state, that the motives and intentions of the noble Lord, the Member for North Lancashire, in bringing forward tin's bill, were to trample on the liberties of the people of Ireland. If the hon. and learned Member had said that such would be the effect of the noble Lord's bill, I should not have presumed to call your attention to the expression. But having heard the remarks of several hon. Gentlemen as to the importance of preserving the decency of our proceedings, I must say that I should have been wanting in the respect which I owe to the House if I had not called its attention to it. I am now in the hands of the House, and I can assure it that I am actuated by no other motive than a desire to preserve its honour untarnished.

The Chairman

There can be no doubt that it is irregular to impute motives to any hon. Member: but I understood the hon. and learned Member for Dublin to be speaking of the noble Lord in his public capacity, and of the tendency of the measure which he has introduced.

Mr. O'Connell

I hope that the right hon. Gentleman will not interrupt me again. I said, and I repeat it, that the bill of the noble Lord is tyrannical and despotic. I said, and I repeat it, that the noble Lord has long been the enemy of Ireland, and I know that distinct proof was offered of that fact at a public meeting by a noble Lord, who asserted, that to his knowledge during all the time he was in office in Ireland he was a constant enemy of that country. The great body of the people of Ireland know that the noble Lord has been long their enemy, and his great glorification this night is that he has once more triumphed over the rights and liberties of the Irish people. I now give the noble Lord distinct warning that I will take the most decided measures which the privileges of the House afford me to oppose the further progress of this bill; and, therefore, if the noble Lord, the Secretary for the Colonies, intends to give the noble Lord, the Member for North Lancashire, priority for his bill on Wednesday next, I wish it to be understood that no concession on his part is to be taken as a concession on the part of independent Members in the House that this bill shall then be discussed in committee. The two noble Lords may make what arrangement they please between themselves, but I wish it to be understood that that arrangement binds no other Members but themselves.

Sir R. Inglis

I wish to call the attention of the committee to the fact that the expression "beastly" has been used, and that it has not been withdrawn, and that it has also been applied to a society of English gentlemen. I shall not speak of the palliation which has been offered for it. I, for one, cannot admit its force. The attention of the committee had been called to it, and yet it has not been retracted. I think that until the expression has been withdrawn or qualified, the committee ought not to proceed to other business.

Lord J. Russell

; With respect to the expression used by the hon. and learned Member for Dublin, to which my hon. Friend has just alluded, I am satisfied with the opinion given by our chairman, who on first hearing the expression declared it to be irregular, and then on hearing the explanation given by various Members of Parliament as to the nature of the interruptions which the hon. and learned Member for Dublin received, declared that enough had been said in explanation of it. I confess that I think that our chairman was right in his first opinion as to the expression used, and as to the explanation offered of it. It is much to be regretted that this is not the first time that very disorderly interruptions have been given on the opposite side of the House to hon. Members speaking on this side. Will my lion. Friend and the committee now permit me to say, that after the tone of expression which has prevailed here for some time, there cannot be any effectual or useful progress made in this bill in any respect this evening. I am not prepared to take a division on this bill now, but on Monday next I shall certainly pursue the arrangement for public business which has prevailed, not only in this Session but in many preceding Sessions also, and shall leave it to the noble Lord to dispute, subvert, and overturn all our usual arrangements if he pleases. On one point the hon. and learned Member for Dublin appears to have misunderstood what I said respecting the committal of this bill on Wednesday next. What I said was this,—That, as the bill had been brought in by a private individual, the only priority which he could claim for its discussion was that open, on Wednesday night, to every individual who had a private bill before the House, and that priority was only this, that each bill should be taken in its order.

Sir B. Hall

admitted that the noble Lord opposite had had several divisions in his favour on this bill, and regretted the circumstance very severely. He would, however, never offer a factious opposition to any measure. If the hon. and learned Member for Dublin intended to repeat his proposition for the adjournment of the House, he (Sir B. Hall) should certainly vote against it on all occasions. Notwithstanding what had fallen from the noble Secretary for the colonies, he hoped that the noble Lord would give all fair priority to the bill of the noble Member for North Lancashire, in order that it might be fully discussed by the House. That bill deserved the consideration of the House, and, therefore, it would be unfair to offer a factious opposition to its full discussion. He hoped that the hon. Member for North Lancashire would not bring forward this measure on a Government night, but if he brought it forward on an open night, he should certainly give his vote for its taking priority of all others.

Mr. O'Connell

One would almost suppose that my hon. Friend, the Member for Marylebone, wishes to suggest that my opposition is factious. I say that the bill is factious. There may be a factious opposition, and there may also be a factious acquiescence.

Sir B. Hall

I do not understand the hon. and learned Member for Dublin. If he will speak in plainer terms, perhaps I may. All that I said was, that I would not be a party to any factious opposition. But if I find that the motion for adjournment is moved time after time in opposition to the sense of the House taken on the main question, I have no hesitation in saying, the gentleman who pursues such a course is pursuing a factious opposition.— [Cheers.]

Mr. O'Connell

I congratulate the hon. Member for Marylebone on the cheers which he has received from the opposite side of the House. I congratulate him also on his modesty. He declares that he could not understand me. I have not that misfortune; I understand him now well enough. The attack has come from him. He has had my reply, and, if there be any truth in that reply, he ought to feel it sorely; I hope he does.

House resumed. Committee to sit again.