HC Deb 18 May 1840 vol 54 cc179-233

Lord Stanley moved on the order of the day for the House to go into a Committee on the Registration of Voters (Ireland) Bill, that the Speaker do now leave the chair.

Sir W. Somerville

rose to oppose the motion. He said, that in rising to move that the House should go into Committee that day six months, he addressed the House with more than ordinary diffidence, because he believed that this was the most important occasion on which he had ever presented himself to the notice of the House; but he trusted that the vast importance, the mighty interests that were at stake, and the inevitable consequences which he conscientiously believed would follow the adoption of the bill of the noble Lord, would obtain for him the indulgence of the House while he endeavoured to state the reasons which had induced him to undertake the task which he was just commencing. He thought that it would be necessary, if the House would allow him, more particularly as he knew that much misapprehension existed on this subject, to oppose the idea which seemed to exist, that the constituency of Ireland was a mass of confusion, and that the voice of persons possessed of property, intelligence, and respectability was altogether over-borne. He begged the attention of the House to what the real facts were, and he thought that he should be able in a few words to strike the balance between the population and constituencies of Ireland and England. In England the rural population was 8,500,000; the constituency 344,000. The rural population of Ireland was upwards of 7,000,000; the constituency not 60,000. That was remarkable; but it was not enough for his purpose. He admitted, with great regret, the difference in wealth between the two countries which was very great, and he would, therefore, enter more into detail. He would be the last person who would wish to mislead the House; and he should, therefore, think it his duty to state nothing upon which he had not taken every pains to make himself well informed. He would state nothing to the House which he could not verify by official documents, and he should therefore confine himself particularly in his statements to the counties of Meath and of Louth, inasmuch as they were the counties in which he resided, and on which it might be supposed he should be able to afford the House the most correct information. The population of the county of Meath in 1821 was 159,000. The population in 1831 was 176,000, being an increase of 17,000. Suppose the population had gone on increasing in the same ratio, they would find that the population of the county of Meath would amount at the present moment to about 190,000. At the registry which had taken place after the passing of the Reform Bill, the constituency was 1,534; but he could state to the House, from documents on which he could as confidently rely as on anything which was not certainly known, that the population now about to be registered would amount only to 1,350; thus showing a decreasing number of voters with an increasing population. When they saw such a state of things—when they saw a declining constituency with an increasing population, and that population increasing in wealth and intelligence, they should at least not proceed with any measure in a harsh or hasty manner, and he thought that the noble Lord had not made out even a prima facie case for going into Committee, from the statement that the registry was overloaded by fictitious voters, who had made good their claims by fraud and perjury. But let the House see farther what was the state of these constituencies? Was the voice of intelligence overborne in the county in question? Not at all. The constituency of Meath was composed, as follows:—there were of 50l. and 20l. voters, 712; and of 10l. voters, 810. Now, could it be said the property was there overborne by numbers? Let them next look to the case of Dublin. There were in that county 4,165 voters, and of these there were of persons possessed of 50l. and 20l. freeholds, and persons holding rent-charges, 2,745, and of 10l. voters only 1,420. This, he thought, showed nothing which could bear out the statements of the noble Lord, but it imposed on the House the necessity of proceeding with great caution with a bill of pains and penalties, such as that introduced by the noble Lord. It showed, he believed, that they should proceed with forbearance and with prudence, and that the animus which should direct them ought not to be to restrain and restrict, but as far as possible to encourage the registration of voters, and to remove those obstacles which it was very evident now existed to placing new and qualified voters on the registry. The noble Lord would perhaps say, that there were abuses in the present system. Undoubtedly there were. So there would be in any system. But the object should be to throw difficulties only in the way of the fictitious voter, and to give every facility for the honest and bona fide voter. Having now exposed the erroneous ideas entertained of the existing state of the Irish constituency—he would proceed to the plan of reform recommended by the noble Lord. He would declare that he was not influenced in his opposition by any personal feeling against the noble Lord. On the contrary, he should rather be disposed to give greater consideration to any measure coming from so distinguished a Member. He opposed the bill upon public grounds, and because he was convinced that every one of the noble Lord's provisions would tend to cripple and impair the franchise. He would not occupy the House for any time, but would confine his observations to the two main principles of the bill. Upon those two principles he considered himself fully warranted in objecting to the House going into Committee, and proposing as an amendment, that they should go into Committee on that day six months. What were the proceedings which the noble Lord proposed by this bill. The unfortunate claimant, under the present system, was obliged to appear before the assistant barrister, to confront attorneys, agents, and overseers, to be examined, and cross-examined, or, to use an expression familiar in Ireland, to be haggled and cross-haggled. The noble Lord, by his bill, proposed to bring the party on appeal before the judge of assize, and stated that in doing that, he was proposing what would be a great benefit to the claimant, namely, to bring the registration courts close to his door. The noble Lord said, that he would introduce a clause to enable the Lord-lieutenant to institute fresh courts of registry; but the noble Lord took away with one hand what he gave with the other. He brought the registration court close to their door it was true, but he made them walk fifty miles before they could reach the judge of assize. He had given a reciprocity of costs, it was true; but he asked the noble Lord to consider the difference between the costs to the poor and costs to the rich. The 5l. paid by a poor man might be all that he possessed, and might be his ruin; but what was it to the rich man, deducted, as most probably it would be, from the coffers of the Conservative Club? The noble Lord said, that he did not touch the franchise, but it was very well known that there was a difference of opinion among the judges as lo the value of the franchise—that some thought it ought to be restricted whilst others were favourable to its extension. Suppose, then, that the claimant who had passed the ordeal of the assistant-barrister should be brought before a judge of assize, who happened to be one of those that were favourable to the franchise, and accordingly allowed the claim to pass. Then, suppose, next year, having again undergone the same process, he had to appear before a judge who was unfavourable to the franchise, and his claim was disallowed. Would it be right to mulct that man in costs? He might have had to bring his witnesses fifty or sixty miles. No one knew better than he how ready the Irish people were to do a good turn to one another, but every man might not be able to go fifty or sixty miles at his own expense, to serve a neighbour—indeed it would be too much for any claimant to ask his friend, without paying the costs. The claimant, therefore, who was unable to pay the expenses of the witnesses, would be disfranchised. He solemnly declared that a more vexatious, troublesome, or expensive system no ingenuity could possibly devise; and he would ask any fair and reasonable man whether it was not a matter of certainty, by such a system of annoyance, that people would be worried out of their franchise, or deterred by the example of their neighbours, from making any claims? The franchise would be destroyed, and the representation of Ireland thrown into the hands of those who possessed the longest purses, and were best able to endure the annoyance of those expensive and vexatious oppositions. Such a bill as that would entail upon the country an unceasing agitation. It was not in effect an annual registration, but perpetual agitation. Hon. Gentlemen, who did not reside in Ireland, might not understand the effect of the bill, but any gentleman who resided in Ireland, and understood how much that country required repose and quiet, would be sensible of the truth of his remark, and they surprised him by their support of this measure. [Cheers.] He understood the meaning of that cheer from hon. Gentlemen opposite perfectly well. He would say he was as anxious as any man could be to see the tranquillity of that country firmly established, fie had made as many sacrifices as any man to obtain tranquillity for that country. But he differed from hon. Gentlemen opposite as to the means of establishing and securing that tranquillity. He was satisfied they never could expect tranquillity until they did justice to the people, and by justice, he meant that which they considered to be justice. He wondered, then, how hon. Gentlemen, residing in Ireland, and knowing the country, could support such a bill as this. He would admit that the bill of the noble Lord would be successful at last—it would be successful in destroying the franchise; but not until it had left behind it a spirit of illwill and rancour, and had divided landlord from tenant even more than they unfortunately were at present—not until it had left behind it, he had almost said, a feeling of revenge, the consequences of which no man could foresee, and the effect of which he solemnly believed would not be worn out within the life-time of the youngest Member of that House. He must suppose that hon. Gentlemen in that House understood the provisions of that bill, but he was satisfied that much misapprehension existed in Ireland, or they never would have had those petitions which were presented in its favour. Many persons had given their support to the noble Lord's bill, who were not all cognisant of the nature of its details. The hon. Baronet, the Member for Londonderry, had presented a petition from the town which he (Sir William Somerville had the honour to represent, in favour of that bill. Now in Drogheda, the Conservative party, as they were called—(but having consented to the destruction of the municipal corporations, and being now desirous of the destruction of the franchise, he thought they might as well drop the name of Conservatives)—in Drogheda, however, the Conservative party had an organ, from which he would read a passage, in order that the House might judge for themselves whether the Conservative party in Ireland were well informed upon the subject of the provisions of this bill. The hon. Baronet then read a paragraph from the Drogheda Journal, which stated that the bill did not give an annual revision of the entire registry, and that if it did they would be amongst the very first to deprecate such a troublesome proceeding. Now the fact, on the contrary, was, that the bill did provide for an annual revision; and it was not only a troublesome proceeding, but it was a dangerous and a mischievous one; and he hoped hon. Members belonging to Ireland would pause and reconsider the question before they gave their vote for the committal of such a bill. Not only did it provide for an annual revision, but it gave an appeal to the judges of assize. Let such a bill pass, and there would not be a 10l. voter in Ireland who would not be summoned before the judge of assize—at least they certainly would, so long as there was a 10l. voter left in the registry; but that would not be for many years if this bill was allowed to pass. Look at the inconveniences attending the appeal: independently of the expense and delay attending the individual appealing, the fines and imprisonments for non-attendance of witnesses, and such like obstructions, there was the chance that the judge would, after all, not have time to hear the appeal, being obliged to proceed at a given time to open the commission elsewhere. In his opinion there was nothing more calculated to bring the administration of justice in Ireland into contempt, or calculated to destroy the incipient confidence which the people were beginning to repose in the Government, than the framing of such a measure. The noble Lord would say, that these provisions might be altered in Committee; but if so, it was nothing but a waste of the time of the House to introduce such a measure. Looking at the vast power possessed by the judges in Ireland, and the increase of influence which they were acquiring over the minds of the people, and bearing in mind the extreme importance to the welfare of Ireland of preserving their authority, he confessed that, rather than impose on those venerable persons the objectionable task of disfranchising, he would do away with the revision of the barristers altogether, and confide their powers to some other tribunal. He had received a letter from Mr. Murphy, the assistant barrister for Cavan, on the subject, in which he said—That he spoke the unqualified and unhesitating opinion of every assistant barrister, and every member of the Irish bar, whatever his political opinions might be, when he said, that Parliament made a grievous mistake when they inflicted upon assistant barristers the obnoxious duty of registering voters—that up to the infliction of that evil no imputation had been cast upon them, but that at the present moment, when an assistant barrister was appointed or transferred from one county to another, the sole question was, what his politics were, and this was regarded in judging of every act and decision he made, whether in a civil or criminal court. If these objections were well founded, as to the assistant barristers, with what additional force did this not apply to the judges in their exalted and sacred character. Mr. Murphy went on to say, that in his opinion, Parliament should endeavour to restore to the assistant barristers the confidence they formerly possessed in the estimation of the country, and protect the judges from suspicion. In those sentiments he (Sir William Somerville) cordially agreed, and he could not conceive how any person, who knew anything of Ireland, could differ from him, still less, how they could propose an annual system of registration, or, what was still more preposterous, an appeal to the judges of assize. The effect of the provision would be to destroy the confidence of the people in the administration of justice, and to undo all that had been done in that country during the last five or six years. In favour of the annual registration principle, embodied in this bill, it was urged, that the present Master of the Rolls had, with the assent of the hon. and learned Member for Dublin, brought in a bill which contained a similar provision. But that bill provided for the opening of the registry only in cases where an actual change of residence or circumstances had taken place. Had such a bill as that bill was described to be by hon Gentlemen opposite been brought in by either the Master of the Rolls, or any other Irish Member, whether the bill were supported by the hon. and learned Member for Dublin or not, he would have opposed it, and he always would oppose any measure on the subject which was based on the principle of the noble Lord's bill. Nothing, he was satisfied, could be more destructive than such a measure to the peace, tranquillity, and prosperity of Ireland. But the real reason, and the only reason why they were called on by agreeing to this bill to disturb the present state of the registration in Ireland was, that the noble Lord might be helped to got into office. Their appeal to the country had failed, the Spottiswood subscription had failed, and now they were called upon to destroy the franchise of Ireland. The Irish Members obstructed the noble Lord's attainment of office, therefore they were to be removed at any cost. No man more sincerely admired the noble Lord's high talents than he, but among the admirers of his legislation he certainly could not reckon himself. Supposing that the bill were carried, the Liberal Irish Members would certainly be removed. But the result would be the stifling of an immense amount of public feeling, which must somewhere find vent, and which would endanger the peace of the country. See what a mass of public feeling would be unrepresented in Ireland. He asked how would you control it? Would such a state of things be safe? If he sat on the other side of the House he would be sorry to bring about such a state of things. There was no Gentleman on either side of the House who would do more than he would do to put down immorality, or to take away every inducement to fraud or false swearing. But he entreated the House not to be led away Ly the statements which they had heard on the other side. He looked upon that as the dangerous part of the question, as it were, the opium ingredient. And he supposed they should be told, that every Member who was opposed to going into Committee upon the noble Lord's Bill was favourable to fraud, imposture, and false swearing—just as they were told, when it was attempted to cripple the arms of her Majesty's Government on an occasion of great national emergency—that every one who did not vote for the attempt, was friendly to the smuggling of opium. If the noble Lord was so de- sirous of putting down the false swearing, why did he not define the franchise? Or if he would not do that, why did he not try his hand a little nearer home? Had he seen nothing nearer home to rouse his indignation? Had there been no false swearing, no fraud, at Cambridge and Ludlow? But on the late occasion, when those transactions were exposed, who heard the noble Lord express his indignation? The noble Lord's indignation appeared to be reserved for the poor Irish; and the rich and powerful man, whose example was ten times as pernicious, was allowed to go unpunished. Let the House apply another test to the sincerity of the indignation, professed at immorality. The hon. Member for Belfast (Mr. E. Tennent) had presented a petition that evening, in which fraud and immorality were denounced in very indignant terms. The petition stated, that "the deficiency of the law held out great facilities to the commission of perjury, and the impunity of offenders, and so tended to demoralization." These were very fine words; but why not put an end to the deficiency of the law, and define the franchise? It was impossible for any man to say that the effect of the noble Lord's bill would not be, not only to reduce, but to destroy the franchise of the poorer classes. He would call the attention of the House to the language in another petition from Belfast, agreed to at a meeting convened to petition the House against the Bill. The rev. Mr. Montgomery stated at that meeting, that he had seen persons swear that the premises of a voter were worth no more than 7l., but that, when the same premises came into the possession of a true Protestant, they were sworn up to the proper standard. By the noble Lord's bill, the man claiming the franchise would be discouraged, but the man who opposed it would be encouraged, because fresh power of annoyance, and fresh weapons of opposition would be placed in his hands. He would now tell the noble Lord, that, apart from all party considerations, he most sincerely and deeply regretted the introduction, of the bill. He had hoped the time had come when every man in that House was convinced it was necessary to proceed in their legislation for Ireland with caution, prudence, forbearance, and he would almost say with kindness. In the late debate upon confidence in Ministers, everything connected with Ireland was studiously kept out of view. He had thought that a very shabby proceeding—but he took it as a sign that Gentlemen in that House did not agree with those who maligned Ireland out of it. He was glad that the right hon. Gentleman, the Member for Tamworth, expressed himself on that occasion, with a total absence of all bitterness and malignity, indeed his observations stood out with a most favourable contrast to the remarks of the noble Lord. He deeply regretted that the noble Lord should proceed with such hurried, helter-skelter legislation. It was no light matter to have the people of Ireland quiet, when the privations they underwent were considered. The noble Lord's bill was neither more nor less than a disfranchising measure, and those who would inflict such a bill as that on Ireland, wanted not the will but the power to inflict the same on England. He considered the bill would degrade the administration of justice, and bring the judges into contempt—that it would strengthen the hands of those who were already too strong, and who were abusing the power they possessed, while it would weaken those who were already too feeble; in fact, he considered it an unjust, partial, hasty, and wanton measure, and would therefore, in conclusion, move that it be committed that day six months.

Mr. J. Grattan

seconded the motion. The bill of the noble Lord was impolitic, unwise, and unjust, and its effects would be to annul the Emancipation Act of 1829, by destroying the 10l, voters, who were principally Catholics. It would also have the effect of reducing the constituencies of counties in Ireland to an average of 1,000 each. The perjury which had been ascribed by the noble Lord as the pretext for his bill, did not, and could not be supposed to exist, as the scrutiny to which each elector was subjected before the barrister, who examined him on oath, and investigated his vouchers, was most rigid; and if some evasions of the law did exist, they ought not so much to be ascribed to the insufficiency of the existing law, as to the omission or neglect of the assistant barrister. He regretted much that the noble Lord should have been the man to have brought forward a measure so calculated to excite religious animosity in Ireland. From the hon. Member for Belfast he should not have been surprised at such a proposition. That gentleman, once a Radical and a Repealer, was too impatient to wait for the result of the process of intimidation of Catholic voters by Protestant landlords, agents, and owners; but he was surprised that any person of the superior character and talents of the noble Lord, should have lent himself to such a proceeding—a proceeding which he was compelled to designate as a dishonest one. The noble Lord, who had knocked ten of the Irish bishoprics on the head, now came forward to talk of his respect and reverence for the Irish Church, and by way of proving it, would cast a firebrand in Ireland, which would light the dormant flames of religious animosity in that kingdom, from one end to the other. The noble Lord should have attempted to heal rather than tear open the scars of the Irish people. The measure of the noble Lord would sweep away nearly the whole of the elective franchise in Ireland. This was not an honest mode of proceeding; it would throw all the poor farmers of Ireland back into their former ignorance and darkness. The poor voters of Ireland were already sufficiently obstructed in the exercise of their franchise, by the refusal of leases, and other means. But the hon. Member for Belfast, not content with this imperfect mode of proceeding, had urged on the noble Lord to bring forward this sweeping and violent measure, which would at once deprive almost the whole Catholic constituency of their franchise, and renew all their grievances.

Mr. Lefroy

said, that neither the hon. Baronet, nor the hon. Member who had followed him, had adverted to one single objection to the present system of Irish registrations. There were questions connected with that system which it was a disgrace to the House to leave unsettled—questions, the non-settlement pf which was alike injurious to the constituency, and to the representation pf Ireland. One of the most prominent of them was, the opening of registers in Ireland. On this subject, twelve Committees of that House had decided on opening the registry, and seven committees had arrived at an opposite conclusion. Now, without discussing the propriety pf either decision, suppose the registry were not to be opened, what was the consequence? A vote once placed upon the registry, whether through fraud or mistake, must continue on it for the period of eight years (and by renewal might continue for life) without the possibility of redress; hence, although there was a revision for the English and Scotch registries, there was no revision for the Irish registries. Or, suppose the committee were to open the registry. Many persons thought the remedy worse than the disease, on account of the enormous expenses attending the difficulty of examining here the qualification of voters in Ireland, and on account also of the circumstance, that the decision took place behind the backs of the voters. These were great evils, but the present uncertainty in which the question was left was a still greater evil; and the committee for Longford, which did not open the registry, but seated the sitting Members, and which consisted of eight Liberal Members to three Conservative Members, unanimously recommended to the House the settlement of this question as a matter of the most pressing importance. Now this bill did settle the question; and, therefore, he was entitled to expect the votes of the members of that committee in favour of the bill. What was the hardship of not opening the registry? The last committee but one, which sat on the Longford election opened the registry, and found that ninety-two votes had been improperly put on the registry, and yet, at the last election, the sitting Members were returned by the aid of these ninety-two votes. Nor was the hardship confined to Longford. The twelve committees which did open the registry struck off 1,493 votes, averaging 124 bad votes for each place, and yet these votes still stood on the registry. Another circumstance in favour of the bill was, that in the bill brought in by the noble Lord, the Secretary for Ireland, there was a provision, that such votes should be disfranchised; but in this bill, which was characterised on the other side as a disfranchising bill, the votes were not struck out, but were only made open to objection, and the proof of the invalidity was put on the shoulders of the objector. Another question still unsettled, and the state of which was equally mischievous, was the question as to the right pf the Speaker to issue his warrant to the clerk of the peace to strike off the register in Ireland, the names of those voters who had beep decided by a Committee of the House to have been improperly placed on the register. By a resolution pf the House, passed in June, 1833, and an amended resolution passed in 1835, on the motion of the noble Lord, the Secretary for the Colonies, the Speaker was ordered to issue his warrant for that purpose in such cases; and in the debate which took place on that occasion, the hon. Member for Cork, and the right hon. Member for Tipperary said, that the noble Lord's resolution should go further, for that the Cork committee had left untouched many voters who had no more right to be on the register than those whom it had struck off. The hon. Member for Liskeard said, that the Irish system of registration was defective, and that it ought to be annual. The hon. Member for Kilkenny said, that registration was necessary; and the hon. and learned Member for Dublin joined in that opinion, and said, that there was no reason why there should not be an annual registration in Ireland as well as in England; for that, in the course of eight years, a thousand circumstances of change might take place, and yet the certificate was conclusive, or could not be set aside without great expense. The Attorney-General for England supported the same view; and, therefore, backed by these authorities, he thought he had a right to claim also their votes in favour of the bill going into Committee, whatever modifications they might wish to introduce into it there. The first time, however, that this resolution was proposed to be applied to Ireland was in 1837. After the sitting of the Longford committee, and after a considerable debate, it was decided, that it could not be applied to Ireland, there being no provision in the Irish Reform Bill to that effect; but all sides of the House agreed that some act of legislation should take place upon the subject. The third objection was this:—There was at present a very large proportion of persons on every registry in Ireland who had lost their qualification from various causes. In the county of Longford, for instance, there were 2,731 electors on the registry, and yet the hon. and learned Member for Dublin had said, not long since, and his statements would not, of course, be doubted by hon. Gentlemen opposite, that the actual constituency of that county was only 1,294, being exactly 1,437 persons on the registry who, on his showing, had no business there. In Belfast it had been shown likewise that the proportions of actual bonâ fide electors to those whose names were on the registry alone was as 6,000 to 1,900. It was the same in various other places in Ireland. But it was a necessary result of the present sytem of registration, and would go on until it was put an end to. And yet the House was told that this system should be permitted to remain as it was now; that the bill for amending it was a disfranchising bill; and that the freedom of Ireland was at an end if it passed. He, however, would refer the House with confidence to the state of the Irish registries, as ample and sufficient grounds for the necessity of the bill before it. But there were other proofs of that necessity equally cogent and equally strong, furnished in the number of measures introduced by both sides of the House since 1835, to remedy the evil. Four had been brought in on the other side of the House—three by Members of the Government, and one by a supporter of Ministers; and two had been originated on his side. In all these bills the preamble was the same; all set out with stating the defects in the present law of registration, and the absolute necessity of amendment. With respect to the provisions of the present bill, he had carefully compared them with those preceding measures to which he had just alluded, and he could state, without fear of contradiction, that, except in two or three unimportant cases, there was not a single one in it which was not to be found in some or other of these bills, either in species or in principle. The hon. Baronet opposite said, that the great objection to the bill was its unsettling the qualification for voters in Ireland; but that had been perfectly settled by the decision of ten out of the twelve Irish judges; and though the hon. Member for Dublin had said, that the judges had no jurisdiction in the cases, he apprehended that the House would rather prefer their opinion to the hon. Member's dictum. After all, however, that was no insurmountable objection, for it was quite competent for the hon. Baronet to propose a clause in committee on the bill to effect his purpose of a settlement of the qualification. The hon. Baronet, however, would not do so; because he well knew that the House would never consent to grant the qualification sought for in Ireland, namely, "a beneficial interest." Another argument of the hon. Baronet against the bill was founded on the paucity of the constituency of Ireland; he said that there were only 60,000 voters in that country. Without meaning for a moment to affirm or deny that statement, he would ask, was it a reason for the continuance of abuses? If Ireland required a larger constituency, why did not the hon. Baronet, or some one on his side of the House, get up and propose a definite measure on the subject? Why did they desire to keep fraudulent votes on the registry, for the abuse had been admitted by all parties? If Ireland was to have an increased constituency, she should have it fairly, and not by fraud and perjury. The hon. Baronet objected to the residence of the voter being stated in his claim to register; but how was it possible that the validity of that claim could be decided, or the right of the party to a vote be investigated otherwise, especially where a great number of persons of the same name preferred claims to register? With respect to the petitions presented to the House against this bill, he (Mr. Lefroy) would say one word. He was extremely gratified to perceive that those presented in its favour were equal in number to those against it—but even if the latter had come down to the House in waggon loads, he considered they were not entitled to the slightest weight. They were all got up by the grossest delusion practised on an easily deluded people, and he should not shrink from laying before the House the mode in which they were managed. On the 14th of April, 1840, a resolution was moved at the Corn Exchange, in Dublin, by the hon. Member for that city, and thereafter published. It was to this effect:— Resolved—That it is now admitted, even by Lord Stanley himself, that the object of his bill is the profligate one of destroying the franchise in Ireland, and placing the representation in the hands of the landlords. [Cheers.] Did any hon. Member mean to insinuate by these cheers, that it was admitted by Lord Stanley himself, that the object of the bill before the House was the profligate one of destroying the franchise? The resolution then went on in these words:— Thus repealing for Ireland not only the Reform Act directly, but, by inevitable consequence, the Emancipation Act; and that, under the peculiar manner in which that active and able enemy of Ireland has taken up the subject, it is imperatively necessary that all the Liberal portion of Ireland should, without any delay, rouse itself into legal and constitutional opposition, and prepare and present petitions to Parliament, in the strongest terms consistent with respect, deprecating and denouncing the scorpion attempt to injure and degrade Ireland. He was quite sure that the House would not now attach any importance to petitions got up under such an unscrupulous system of agitation. And he trusted confidently that neither petition nor argument against the bill would induce the House to stultify itself by rejecting now, in going into Committee, that which they had passed on the second reading.

Lord Clements

was surprised that the hon. Member should have called upon the House to reject all the petitions against the hill because the hon. Member for Dublin had made a speech. He had presented eighteen petitions, with which that hon. and learned Gentleman had nothing whatever to do. The hon. Gentleman called for the rejection of all petitions against he hill; but were the great meetings in Munster, Connaught, and Leinster to go for nothing because the hon. and learned Member for Dublin had made a speech? He maintained, notwithstanding the denial of the other side of the House, that the bill before them was a landlord's bill—that it disfranchised the people—and that it gave the power over elections to landlords—Tory landlords. They had bred up 40s. freeholders, and driven them to vote like cattle, but they disfranchised them when these freeholders thought fit to think and act for themselves. Now they would be glad to have another system, for the abolition of that class of voters was found to cut both ways. The 40s. franchise was destroyed by them when Catholic emancipation was granted; and since then there was not a day passed that had not its record of some act of tyranny, cruelty, and persecution on the part of the landlords towards the disfranchised class. In fact, from that period to this, the exterminating principle had been carried to the highest pitch by the Irish landholders. [A voice—"Name, name."] He saw no necessity for naming any one. The papers were filled with the acts of the Irish landlords every post. The only fault objected to the Irish registration at present was, that the tenants would not vote with their landlords. It was not bribery or corruption, it was independence which was the great and unforgiven fault. The Irish landlords now took every means to prevent their tenants registering, and the bill of the noble Lord went to exterminate the poorer voters altogether. Instead, however, of the measure under discussion, there should have been one introduced to extend and increase the franchise in Ireland. The people must be upheld against the landlords, and they should have their feelings properly represented in that House. A great deal had been said on the subject of perjury, but was anything better calculated to encourage it than the yearly examination of the qualification proposed in the bill before the House? If, however, there was to be a yearly examination, the House should begin with itself, and he should like to know why hon. Members should not be obliged on the same principle to prove their qualification at the bar of the House once every year at least. He believed that many of them would look very queer if obliged to do so. But, with respect to perjury, he (Lord Clements) believed that what did exist in Ireland in regard of the franchise was attributable to the indiscriminate administration of oaths at fairs and other places, sanctioned, and in some cases enforced, by Tory landlords. He objected to the bill in every particular, and he hoped the House would reject it. He had heard much of the ability of the noble Lord, the originator of it, and he had also heard much of his good intentions. His abilities he did not doubt; but he wished to God the noble Lord would go anywhere but to Ireland on the present occasion to "pave it with his good intentions."

Sir R. Bateson

observed, that as the noble Lord had said the franchise in Ireland should be extended, he ought, in pursuance of his views, to bring up a clause to make it 5l. or 20s. instead of 10l., the present amount. The question before the House had been mooted by the other side for the last five years, and three successive law officers of the Crown had brought in bills similar to that now under discussion. There was then no outcry against the reform of the registration. Why was it now? In his opinion the present outcry was raised, not because the principle of the bill was objected to, for that had been admitted by all; but because it was made a party question of by hon. Members at the other side of the House, on the ground that it would injure them if it passed into law. If, then, the principle was unopposed in fact, why not permit the bill to go into Committee? All were agreed that some remedy was necessary, for that the present system was fraught with perjury and deceit. If hon. Members opposite considered the constituency of Ireland too small, why did they not bring forward a specific measure on the subject? It was absurd to argue that perjury and fraud were necessary for the purpose of keeping it up to the present point. The hon. Member for Wicklow said, he believed that perjury and fraud did not exist in Belfast as connected with the registration; but he could corroborate the contrary statements from his own knowledge. Indeed several dead men polled at the last election for that borough. He objected to the present system of registration, because it was a manifest temptation to perjury by permitting claimants to vote, to swear up to their own qualification. The noble Lord opposite had charged the landlords of Ireland with tyranny and cruelty to their tenants; but he denied the charge. The noble Lord had been called on to name a case, but he declined it. He, however, thought that it was but justice to the landlords of Ireland to do so; and in his opinion the noble Lord should not only have named the party, but stated the facts of each case. But, at any rate, he felt bound utterly and wholly to deny the truth of the sweeping allegations of the noble Lord as against that body of Gentlemen. Much stress had been laid on petitions. The House by this time ought to be aware how Liberal petitions were got up in Ireland against this bill. On Easter Sunday there came down an order from the Corn Exchange that every parish priest should get a petition signed in his chapel against it. Some of his hon. Friend's tenants had been asked on the occasion what petition they had signed, and they had replied, "Indeed, Sir, we don't know, but it is something about Mr. O'Connell." The recent Liberal meeting at Belfast as got up with a great deal of tact, and kept so secret, that the requisition was only published on Monday to call all Ulster to the grand meeting on Thursday. That meeting was held with closed doors, and nobody was admitted except by a ticket from the committee. Those of opposite politics had only six days' notice of that meeting, yet they were able to call together another meeting in the open air, comprising much more of the wealth, influence, and respectability of the province, and their petition in favour of the bill was signed by upwards of 10,000 persons in the course of the week. He maintained that the bill was popular in Ireland among the independent peasantry and middle classes, though it might not suit the view of the faction who attempted to decry it, or of the deluded mob whom they influenced to exclaim against it. The public papers in Ireland had lately been filled with language the most abusive against the noble Lord and his bill—language that any man ought to be ashamed of—language that would have disgraced Billingsgate, but Billingsgate would not have used it. He hoped the English Members would perceive that such slanderous and Billingsgate language fitly came from the faction who wished to rule Ireland by intimidation. He hoped, also, that her Majesty's Ministers would not condescend to follow in the train at their heels. He would support the bill because it would give Ireland an independent constituency. It would enable a better class of electors to exist, and who would approach the hustings boldly, not trusting to the protection of the ballot, but fearless and confident in their own honesty, and capable of giving their interest where they pleased.

Mr. Lynch

would not accept the boon offered in this bill at the price asked for it, which was the disfranchisement of Ireland. He did not defend the present state of the law, but he opposed this bill, which increased all the evils of the present registration system. Under the present system, there were differences between the assistant-barristers, and differences between them and the judges; but the trouble and expense would be increased by this bill, and would occur twice a year throughout the whole electoral body. He called this an electoral agitation of a most exciting character. In addition to the agitation which had prevailed in Ireland for so many years, they were to have, under this bill, this exciting agitation attending the registration. Let him address the landlords of Ireland on the other side, and ask whether it were desirable for their interests, for the security of their estates, and the reception of their rents, that this bill should pass, and this yearly agitation be introduced. The Reform Bill would never work properly till there was a compulsory registration. If he was asked to pass a bill of registration, he should ask what is the franchise? Till the franchise was defined, he would not consent to a bill of registration. The noble Lord would say, he could not mix them up together. But in his bill of 1832 they were mixed up. The measure seemed founded on a supposition that a claimant tendering himself to the registry was asking a favour; whereas he was only claiming to exercise a duty cast upon him by the public. The remedy which the noble Lord proposed to apply would not cure the complaint, but, he feared, would introduce a worse disorder, by sowing the seeds of the annihilation of the elective franchise. Look at the ordeal which the bill required a voter to undergo, and say whether any quiet retired man would venture to offer himself. The bill required that the lives for which the lease was held should be set out in the notice. Why was this, but to invite objection? The Reform Bill required only a description to identify the person. This bill requited items to the number of twenty at least, and the objection under the bill might be general, so that it was impossible to say which would be objected to. Why should not the notice be served on the barony constable? [Lord Stanley proposed that.] Why should the lives be set out? The landlords knew the existence of the different lives, but the poor tenant might not. Even in England the difficulty of proving a lease for lives was well known. After all, however, the claimant might succeed—he might surmount all difficulties, and the assistant-barrister might put down his name. Was he then secure? No. There was an appeal to the judge of assize; he must employ a solicitor, and the judge might differ from the assistant-barrister, and reverse his decision, and all this trouble and expense would be wasted; and not only so, but the poor claimant would be saddled with the costs. Was ever such a thing heard of before? The bill was also unjust with respect to value, and the more so as compared with Scotland, because in Scotland the value, when once settled, was settled for the whole term of the lease. The effect of the bill would be to raise contests between landlords of counties who would bring up their tenants to the poll, and he that had the longest purse would gain the victory. He objected to the bill also because it would place the assistant-barristers and the judges in a political position, by which they would run the risk of endangering their characters with the public. He admitted that there had been fraudulent voters on the registers in 1832, but he believed that they had been removed by the assistant-barristers, who must have done their duty, or the noble Lord would not continue them by his bill. Believing that the effect of the bill would be to annihilate the popular franchise in Ireland, and to send to that House the mere nominees of the aristocracy and landlords, he should vote for the amendment.

Mr. Litton

said, there could not be a more mischievous code of election law than that which was now in operation in Ireland, and the necessity for a reform of that law was pressing and imperative. As yet, nothing had been advanced against the principle of the bill which the noble Lord had introduced to effect that desirable object; on the contrary, much had been admitted which went to show that the principle of the bill was right; that a great evil existed; and that a remedy of some kind ought to be applied. Much had been objected to the details of the bill, but that course of opposition would be more correctly taken in Committee. The hon. Member for Galway, as a lawyer, a landlord, and an Irish voter, had been obliged to admit that bribery existed, that immorality was increased by the temptation to perjury which was held out, that fictitious votes were daily received, and that they remained on the registers. But the hon. Member said he would not agree to pass the bill, because it did not define the franchise, which was already and altogether denned. A difference of opinion having arisen upon the construction of the 10th of George 4th, and the 2nd and 3rd of William 4th, at the spring assizes of 1837, the judges were called upon to decide what kind of interest a county voter should have in property to qualify him; whether it should be on his own swearing to the amount of 10l., and next, whether, according to other evidence and his own swearing, it should be such a value as a solvent tenant would give him 10l. a year for over and above the rent? The question was argued before the judges by counsel for two days, and the result was, that ten of the judges decided against two—those two being juniors, namely, Mr. Justice Richards and Mr. Justice Perrin—that in order to be admitted on the registry, the person must have such an interest in the property as a good and solvent tenant would give 10l. a year for over and above the rent. One judge had thought proper to act in opposition to that decision; but he believed it was the only instance in which any single judge had ventured so to act, being acquainted with the decision of the whole bench. Upon this point, Lord Chief Justice Bushe wrote to Lord Denman, to ask what was the practice and the law of England. The hon. and learned Member might endeavour to make out, upon technical grounds, that the decision was not the law of the land. He should show that such an opinion was untenable. The question which Lord Chief Justice Bushe asked, was to what extent such a resolution of the judges, they not being unanimous, ought to be binding on the minority, and whether the judges in such minority should consider themselves at liberty at ensuing circuits to rule contrary to that decision, or must consider it binding until overruled by a higher authority? In reply to this application, Lord Denman, on the 14th of February, 1838, wrote— When Crown cases are reserved" (and it should be recollected that reserved Crown cases and election cases were exactly similar) "I have no difficulty in stating, that each of us does hold himself so bound, whether or not his own opinion agree with that of the majority, or whether or not the case may have been argued by counsel. The same opinion was given by Lord Chief Justice Tindal in the case of Frost. The franchise, then, was settled and defined. But what rendered appeal necessary is this state of the law? The judge who had dissented from the decision of his ten brethren had, he was told, now changed his mind. Well, whether he had or not, it did not derogate from his argument; because some of the assistant-barristers appointed by the present Government, whom he could name, having a list of them in his possession, had been acting in direct opposition to the decision of the judges. He would ask the House whether it was fair that those who had a stake in the country should lose their votes under the prevailing system, and be deprived of all chance of appeal. He did not wish to trouble the House with any detailed reference to proofs, but he wished that hon. Members would have the goodness to turn to page 13 of the 8th volume of the second part of the reports of commissioners on the subject of assistant-barristers, and they would there see, as well from the evidence of Mr. Courtenay as from other portions of those reports, and the accompanying evidence, that the positions for which he had been contending were fully borne out by the facts. He demanded a right of appeal, and with less they ought not to be satisfied. He would say, let the country have such a tribunal as would give them something like a chance of justice. It appeared to him most important that in such a discussion as that in which the House was then engaged they ought to look at the opinions of that class of official persons whose sentiments were of the very highest importance, for upon their views a great deal depended: the class to whom he alluded were the assistant-barristers. He was in possession of two private letters which left not a shadow of doubt upon his mind that the assistant-barristers had come to the determination of not being bound by the decisions of the judges; he was not putting hypothetical cases, but referring to ascertained facts. Looking, then, at the whole measure, he would ask, was he to be told that the bill was onerous? Was he to be told that they were to have no revision because the bill was burdensome and costly? When ten of the twelve judges decided the question, and held at the same time that their decision bound the whole number, Mr. Woulfe, being then the Attorney-general for Ireland, brought in his bill for registration; would the House believe, that after a Government bill had so been introduced—a bill which professed to explain doubts, and which was a declaratory measure—that such a bill did, in fact, enact that which contravened the decision of the judges, and that it went to declare that to be law which the judges had said not to be law? In the present state of things, the Government would give them nothing unless they agreed to pass a bill that would in effect repeal the Reform Act. The noble Lord the Chief Secretary for Ireland appeared to think that the people of Ireland were exceedingly grateful for the peculiar provisions under which they at present held the elective franchise, and for the purpose of rewarding that sentiment, the Government proposed to keep the franchise in a corrupt condition. The noble Lord appeared to rely, not only upon popular gratitude, but upon the general support of the people of Ireland. He could tell the noble Lord that he enjoyed nothing like the support of the people of Ireland—he enjoyed no support from the wealth, the intelligence, or the independence of Ireland. Hon. Members would find notice given of a continuation of motions to effect the same purpose as the present, and he wished to know from the Government whether, if they were beaten on this, it was their intention to follow the hon. and learned Member for Dublin in the various motions of which he had given notice, so as to protract the division on the bill; and also whether it were their intention to encourage him in that which he had sought to set forward in Ireland—he meant agitation for repeal? He could tell gentlemen, both in this House and out of it, that they had nothing to fear from that agitation. Even old women in Ireland saw that that agitation was set up as a pecuniary speculation. The agitation in Ireland against this bill was an utter failure. The Leinster meeting was a failure; there were not ten respectable persons at it. The feeling in Ireland was quite the other way. Then he would ask the Government whether they would persist in opposing this bill, the object of which was to prevent perjury and crime, which course must tend to the demoralization of Ireland and the destruction of the best interests of that country?

Lord J. Russell

said: It has frequently been my fortune to resist in this House motions which, as I contended, had the obvious tendency of unsettling the Reform Act, and disturbing the franchise thereby given; but I must declare that of all the motions which went to unsettle and oppose the principle of the Reform Act, this is the most formidable which I have ever encountered. And, Sir, I say this because I think that, with regard to other propositions, they have had generally this argument in their favour, that they partook of the general spirit of the Reform Bill—that they were in favour of a large and extended franchise, and were meant to secure this object, that the votes which had been given to the people of the United Kingdom should obtain for them a full and fair representation in this House. Therefore, so far as they were invested with this character, there was some excuse and colour for the claim which they put forward to be considered as consonant with the spirit of the Reform Act. But the proposition now before us begins a retrograde course, in order to diminish, restrict, and abridge the franchise of a portion of one part of this United Kingdom; and this shows that hereafter all your endeavours—that hereafter the aim of your legislation will be to take back the franchise which they have obtained at your hands—to make its acquisition more difficult—to consider a man who asks for the franchise as a public enemy, and at first, by slow degrees, but eventually to diminish and destroy those franchises which the Reform Act, as I contend, so liberally bestowed. Sir, it gives me little satisfaction in this alarm that it refers to one portion of the United Kingdom; for I have seen evils connected with the franchise arising on every side, which demanded the aid of legislation, many of which have attracted the attention of Government, as shown by the various measures which they proposed to this House, and some of which they have carried to the upper House of Parliament. Why, Sir, we all know that there is practised in our boroughs bribery and treating to the greatest extent. The hon. and learned Gentleman who speaks with such horror of perjury, and says it would become us to consider the evils which would result from it in Ireland, must know that an instance has lately occurred in one of our own boroughs, where a person put the bribery oath to a man whom he had himself attempted to corrupt, and who he knew could not take it with a safe conscience. There are other evils—the annual registration in England—the difficulties which the claimant has to contend with in Scotland, and the attempts which have been made in the three kingdoms at oppression and intimidation. To which of all these evils has the noble Lord (the author of the Bill) and the party opposite directed their attention? To which of them has he offered to apply a sufficient remedy? To none whatever. Not a single one of all these does he touch. But when he can get instances of immorality and perjury, on which he may ground a bill for crushing and abridging the franchise, then, and then only, is he ready to visit with punishment and penalties the objects of his wrath, and that alone is the evil which the party opposite deem worthy of their own peculiar legislation. Sir, I must state, before I enter on the consideration of this bill—viewing it, as I have already said, as a bill introduced with a far more general object than has been hitherto attributed to it—feeling, as I do, that it is the commencement of a series of attacks, and brought in not solely, as hon. Gentlemen connected with Ireland have naturally contended, for the purpose of depriving a great portion of the people of Ireland of the exercise of their franchise, but tending in the end to abridge and destroy the elective franchise of the three kingdoms—considering it, I say, in this view, and that it is an attempt made with great skill and policy (because it is not very difficult to raise a prejudice on Irish subjects, which could not be played off so successfully if attempted with regard to this country), to circumscribe the enjoyment of popular rights—I wish first to call the attention of the House to what at present is the law with regard to registration in English counties, and the amendments in it which I proposed last year, and which I have now again submitted in the bill which I have obtained leave to bring in. In Eng- land, the freeholder has nothing more to do than give notice of his claim. The proper officers take charge of that claim, and when the revising barrister appears, he has no power to enter into the question of any man's claim or title—to force either the claimant or the objector to go into the merits of the case; and even though objection is made to the freeholder, he is placed on the registry, and votes for that year. Not only this, but he is subject to no further question if not objected to. In the following year, however, and the year following that, he may be again and again objected to. I have proposed a remedy for what I think the vexatious nature of that kind of objection—namely, that if the voter shall be objected to, or shall choose to prove his title at the commencement, that vote shall remain on the registry, and the claimant shall not be questioned as to the value of his qualification, unless a change of circumstances take place, and so vary the nature of his holding. Therefore, what I propose gives an additional security to the freeholder's right; but he has already one advantage, namely, that he does not produce his deeds or title when he first makes his claim. Now, what does the noble Lord propose with regard to Ireland? As the law is at present difficult and vexatious for the freeholder in preferring his claim, the noble Lord proposes to make no alteration as to the necessity of his establishing his title; and he makes the means of his doing so far more difficult, complex, and intricate than they are at present, especially with regard to persons many of whom you say are unlettered. But leaving them the disadvantages which they have at present, does he leave them the advantage which they now enjoy—that having proved their title, having made out to the satisfaction of the barrister that they are legal voters, they should continue in undisturbed possession of their rights for eight years? By no means. He then comes upon the voter with all the vexations of the English system. He attacks the freeholder both ways. He leaves him subject to the disadvantage where it exists by law, and where it does not exist by law he invents it for him; and thus heaps on his head a double wrong. Let me ask, is this, or is it not, the system which is to be proposed for England? Is it intended to have the system, as it is amended, as I propose, or to adopt this plan of the noble Lord? Will you make the freeholder of England, in the first place, produce his title and make good his claim, and, in the second place, expose his right to be questioned the next year and the year after, and then (because that is another part of the bill of the noble Lord) give an appeal against him to the judge of assize? Do you really intend this plan to be carried into operation with regard to the English freeholder? I should like to know what your answer, with regard to that question, is. But I own I shall not be satisfied with either of the alternatives which it challenges. If the noble Lord says, he does not mean to apply it to England, I say then you are introducing an unjust system, which is a departure from all the principles of equality which you formerly maintained with such vehemence. But, if you tell me you mean to render the two systems identical, then I give the people of England warning that this bill concerns more than the registration of Ireland, and the prosecution of the fraud which has been brought before the public; for it is a plan, as I have already declared, for the purpose of abridging the franchise of the whole people of the United Kingdom. There are some very remarkable things with regard to this bill, and I wish to call the attention of the House (for I shall not trouble it with an attempt to answer the details of the hon. and learned Gentleman who spoke last, and which I leave to be replied to by some one better acquainted with them than I am, to two points, namely, the declarations made to Parliament on two memorable occasions. One was on the passing of the Catholic Emancipation Act of 1829, and the other on the Reform Bill of 1832. These were great and important measures, attracting the attention of Parliament and of the country more than any measures which have passed for a long time and, consequently, there should be a greater weight attached to the declarations of those concerned in such measures, and which are to be found in the Parliamentary Debates of that period. Now, Sir, in 1829, the right hon. Member for Tamworth brought forward two measures, one of a large concession to the Roman Catholics, with regard both to offices and seats in Parliament; the other a measure of disfranchisement and disqualification. But even with regard to the measure of disfranchisement and disqualification, the right hon. Gentleman was very careful in endeavouring to show the House that what he really wished was the establishment of an independent and respectable yeomanry in Ireland, and that he would not deprive those who might claim under his bill (although he disfranchised about 200,000 of those who previously had the right of voting) of every fair means of establishing their claim. Now the right hon. Gentleman stated that the advantage, or rather security, which he conferred on the freeholder was, that he could not be rejected except by the assistant-barrister. It was objected (and the right hon. Gentleman foresaw the objection) that revising barristers appointed by the Crown might oppose the acquisition of the franchise. Accordingly he said, The bill will provide, I trust, an effectual check upon any possible abuse of power, by giving, in every case, the right of appeal to the freeholder, whether his claim to register be rejected by the assistant-barrister upon the ground of defective title to the freehold, or of its insufficient value. On the question of title, the appeal will be given to the judge of assize. On the question of fact, namely, the amount of value of the freehold, the freeholder will have a right to appeal to a jury. On a subsequent occasion, in a debate with regard to the details of the measure, when it was suggested that an assistant-banister might have too great influence on a jury de circumstuntibus to leave the question of fact safely in the hands of such a tribunal, the right hon. Gentleman said, "I mean to leave the question of law to the judge of assize, and of fact to the jury." Now, then, I do consider that a solemn declaration of that kind, made at a moment of severity, when you were disfranchising a great portion of the people—that they to whom the right was given should have the power, first of claiming it fairly before the assistant-barrister, and in case of rejection should have an appeal to the judge of assize on the law, and a jury with regard to the fact ought not to be heedlessly forgotten. It must be confessed that a popular spirit was evident in the provisions of that bill, and therefore I, for one, though I determined before the Session began to oppose it, do not regret the support I then gave it. But what does the noble Lord's bill? By the 31st clause he gives an appeal to the judge of assize, "save that no jury should be empannelled on such appeal. Now, by these few words he destroys that security given by the right hon. Gentleman—he violates the solemn declaration made by Parliament—and he shows in this instance, and in others, that with regard to that popular body, a jury, he has no confidence in them. The ques- tion, then, is to be referred to the judge. And here comes the other question which has been argued by the hon. and learned Gentleman who spoke last, as to the franchise, which he insists is now settled. Now, let the House observe what were the declarations made when this bill was brought in. We were then told, that this bill contained no provision whatever as to the franchise, and that it was not intended to legislate on the subject. But what does the hon. and learned Gentleman say? I am not now questioning his law, which may be doubted by others, but he maintains that the opinion of ten out of the twelve judges must be taken as the judgment of the whole, and that this decision must be looked upon as settled law. Now the bill of the noble Lord says, that if the assistant barrister should decide one way or the other, the judge is to decide in either case. By this bill you will give the judges the power of deciding in every case of franchise. It is proposed that you are to go from the revising barrister to the judge, and the judge is to decide upon the question. Then I say if you do that you might as well—and it would be by far the more fair and direct course so to do—I say you might as well put a clause in the bill at once stating what the franchise shall be; placing upon it what limits you please, restricting it as much as you may think proper, instead of pretending not to decide upon a question which you really and virtually do decide upon in an indirect manner. The hon. and learned Gentleman who spoke last was right in a declaration he made in the course of his speech, for you would have no consequence resulting from such a system but this; supposing the judges to act upon the opinion of the majority—that in every case submitted to them you would get a decision founded upon the opinion that has been already declared. In that manner the franchise would be settled. I beg to call the attention of the noble Lord and of the House to a declaration made at the time of the passing of the Reform Bill. It was a declaration made in the House of Lords by the Duke of Richmond, and by the Marquess of Lansdowne, who at that time formed part of the Government of Lord Grey. They said, that the oath which was contained in the act of 1829 was to be altered, namely, those words relating to the question of a solvent person offering 10l. over the rent. It was declared that part of the oath should be omitted, and that thereby a clearer and more distinct meaning should be given to the franchise. We have several times proposed, in conformity with that declaration by the Duke of Richmond and the Marquess of Lansdowne on that occasion, to introduce into a bill for the registration of voters in Ireland, certain words with respect to the value of the franchise. The noble Lord does not propose any such thing. He does not propose as I think he ought to do, in conformity with the opinion of the ten judges, any clause settling that point. He leaves that entirely out of his bill. But the noble Lord does this—he leaves it perfectly certain that if this bill passes, the opinion already expressed by the ten judges will be the interpretation put upon the franchise, and that every assistant barrister who acted upon a different view of the law, according to the opinion expressed by Mr. Baron Richards, would find his opinion overruled. And here I must be permitted to say, in spite of all that has been advanced by the hon. and learned Gentleman opposite, though I can give no opinion as to what is the proper interpretation of the law, that I think Mr. Baron Richards should have been treated with a little more respect than the hon. and learned Gentleman has thought proper to treat him with. It should be conceded, that at least, this is a question of doubt, and being a question of doubt, I declare that I should vastly prefer having a bill to settle the franchise according to the opinion declared by Members of Lord Grey's Cabinet at the time of the Reform Bill, to agreeing to a measure which covertly, indirectly, and secretly, but certainly and surely, oversets that declaration and violates the franchise. The words proposed to be inserted by the present Master of the Rolls in the bill he brought in, were to the effect, that the beneficial interest of the tenant was to be calculated after the deduction of the tithe compensation, and not according to the rent a solvent tenant could afford to pay. I say then if you are to legislate finally on this subject, you cannot do so without some bill which shall clear up those doubts with regard to the franchise which now exist. And I should say that you ought to clear them up, by declaring that that which is the larger and more extensive interpretation shall be adopted, and not by endeavouring to restrict it. Above all, you should clear them up not by giving power to the judges. I object to this power to be given to the judges—a power which, as it appears to me, is to be a supreme power over Parliament, and especially over the House of Commons. The hon. and learned Gentleman who spoke last, stated, to my great surprise, that appeal was "always given to the judges." Always given to the judges! Why, Sir, this House, more than a century ago, expressed their indignation that a court of judges, at the head of whom was no less a man than Lord Holt, gave an opinion with respect to the right of a person to vote for Members of the House of Commons, and this House then declared that they were themselves the sole judges of the right of persons to vote for Members of Parliament. Yet after this the hon. and learned Gentleman asserts that not this House, not a Committee of this House, but the judges are, and always have been, a court of appeal with respect to the right of voting. Sir, it is a difficult matter to say how far a register which is once made, and which has been revised by a competent authority, should be again examined and revised by a committee of this House. I think, with respect to many points, it should be revised; but of this I am clear, that if you propose to give this power generally to the judges in the courts of law, you will find before long that their interpretations are so restrictive of the franchise, such modes of refining upon former decisions, of advancing by slow degrees to exclude claimants, that you will have narrowed the body in which the franchise is vested—for that appears to me to have been the course of legal decisions—that you will have destroyed the spirit of the Reform Bill, and that the power of the people will be gone. The provisions of this bill, as they were stated by the noble Lord opposite on a former occasion, consist first, of the necessity for an annual court of revision, second, the necessity of an appeal to the judges; and, third, the necessity for excluding the appeal to a Committee of the House of Commons. With respect to the first point, I think I have shown that the necessity of appearing annually, even after the vote has been established before one competent authority, is a great vexation and mischief. I have proposed so far as regards England, that you should not continue the existence of that grievance and vexation. In England the registration is carried on in this way—either wealthy individuals or associations combine together and pay large sums for registration. They succeed, perhaps, but only by the assurance that the expense of defending the votes shall be paid. The system, however, is most expensive, and I ask if you think that it will be more easily borne in Ireland than in England—that that which is felt to be burthensome and difficult in operation in this country will be better suited to the circumstances and condition of Ireland—that a vexation you conceive to be hardly tolerable in England can be better borne by the people of Ireland. But you even go further—you make the system worse for Ireland than it is in England. And here I beg the attention of the noble Lord opposite while I observe, that as the law stands in England, the revising barristers may sit in various places, and if they observe that in a particular spot there are a great number of voters objected to, they can proceed there and decide upon the objections. I mentioned an instance of this kind the other day which occurred at Saddleworth. The barrister did not intend to go there, but observing a long list of objections he gave notice of his intention to proceed to that place and hold a court. The consequence was, as I mentioned before, that the objections were withdrawn. The power given by the noble Lord is this. The right hon. Gentleman in his bill of 1829 gave power to the Lord-lieutenant to collect assistant barristers who were to go into certain places where they might hold their courts. The noble Lord gives to the Lord-lieutenant no such power. He gives him, indeed, a nominal power, for he may comply with a requisition or request made by certain magistrates. Now, if the poor freeholders who wished their case to be tried within a few miles from their own dwellings, applied to the Lord-lieutenant, he must say, "I have no power; you must go to the magistrates." But I can easily suppose a case where the magistrate might say, "We have no interest in getting these men upon the register—we will make no requisition to the Lord-lieutenant." In that case the noble Lord leaves these persons to travel ten or twenty miles to seek their remedy. I believe that would be the case; therefore the noble Lord, in every instance, by his bill, not only fixes every vexation growing out of the English system upon the Irish people, but he actually inflicts upon them something more—some additional difficulty and vexation—in order to show that whatever we have in this country that is objectionable and mischievous, the noble Lord is perfectly ready to impart a fair share of that, at least, to the people of Ireland. Well, the next step is that the voter, having gone ten or twenty miles to establish his vote before the revising barrister—who is so ignorant a person as the hon. and learned Gentleman opposite has been pleased to say—goes on to the assizes, which, in all probability, are held many miles from his dwelling. I remember that in 1829, Lord Farnham objected to the power which was given of sending the poor freeholder to the assize town, saying, that it would cost him half the value of his freehold to go there; that he would be involved in the expense of paying witnesses, &c, and that, after all, his efforts, might be nugatory, his landlord declaring he did not wish him to be placed upon the register. Thus, having surmounted all the difficulties and dangers of the revising barrister's court, having given up the care of his farm to others whilst he is engaged in proving his claims, he may at last say, "I can stand this no longer if I am to be put to such trouble and expense. I did not know that asking for my vote was such a criminal proceeding. I cannot, and will not go to the assize town." Thus the opposers may triumph as they please. Under these difficulties, and with a full understanding of his position—the hon. and learned Gentleman says he don't understand it now—but by that time the voter will well understand it. Under those difficulties, I say, the voter will surrender his claim, many will follow his example, and thus the great object of this measure—that of diminishing, reducing, and almost nullifying the effect of the Reform Bill—will be attained. We are told that the mass of the people of Ireland are for this bill—that all the wealth, character, respectability, and intelligence of that country are for it. Yet the hon. and learned Member for Dublin, by some magic art, imposes upon the people what is contrary to their own intelligence and interest. Sir, I believe that there are associations in Ireland—there is the Conservative Association, for example. It was in their power to explain this bill to the people—to tell them its purport and design. I think they pay a very extraordinary compliment to the hon. and learned Gentleman when they say that any representation of his would be at once believed, whilst anything to the contrary that they might advance would meet with no credit. There may be some truth in that, because the people of Ireland believe that that hon. and learned Gentleman, whatever his course may be, is animated by a sincere love towards them. You may depend upon it, that the influence of that hon. and learned Gentleman, which I certainly at many times have thought excessive, which at times I have thought dangerous; you may, I say, be assured, that that influence is founded more than anything upon the belief, that you who have the property and influence, form a party determined to diminish the rights, franchises, and privileges of the people of Ireland, and that that hon. and learned Gentleman will stand forward in defence of them. Have not the Irish people seen at other times that there has been cause for such a belief? Have they not seen it with respect to the Roman Catholic question? Did we not see that those who declared the greatest hostility to the concession of the Roman Catholic claims yielded their opinions at last, not to the eloquence of Pitt or of Burke, of Fox or of Canning—not to the oratory of Plunket, but they did yield before the power and the influence which the hon. and learned Gentleman had acquired in Ireland. Is it wonderful that there should be this belief in the representations of the hon. and learned Gentleman? Is it wonderful there should be a distrust of you? Therefore, if you wish that Ireland should remain tranquil—if you wish that discord should not prevail over peace and good order, your course will be not to introduce measures of this kind, but to introduce the fair administration of equal laws in that country, and not attempt to rouse the people again upon questions of this exciting nature. The time has not long passed away when you opposed their franchise. It would be well they should forget those days; and, therefore, the better course to pursue, if you mean to have influence in Ireland, is to abstain, for the present, from measures of this nature, and rest satisfied with that tranquillity and that peace which the maintenance of quiet, and the gradual progress of wealth and improvement will infallibly obtain. An hon. Member seems to doubt my position, but I have with me the hon. and learned Gentleman who spoke last. He told us this was a repeal agitation. I remember when that agitation was thought formidable, and when Lord Althorp said he was ready to encounter a civil war rather than concede repeal. Did Lord Althorp make that declaration at a time when repeal was not to be feared—when there was nothing formidable in the word? On the contrary, he gave it forth as the strongest declaration that a Minister of the Crown could make, when surrounded by the perils of a repeal agitation. Opposing repeal, as I do, I feel entirely at my ease at present with respect to the success of this agitation. I feel at my ease on that account. I believe that the administration of Ireland for some years past has induced the people of that country to think that the Government will give them fair, equal, and impartial justice. That people are as easily governed as any on the face of the globe, and I believe they are ready rather to trust to the benefits they now derive from that administration, although they may not at present have perfect equality with respect to law, than hazard the dangers and perils of a repeal. That, Sir, I believe to be the state of things now. But let this bill pass. Show that you are determined, step by step, to take away the franchise from the people of Ireland, to disable them from sending Roman Catholics as Members of this House; obtain that supremacy if you can which you have not had for many years; indulge in the triumph which the minority would then indulge in over the majority; insult, vilify, and abuse the Roman Catholics; tell them that the people are ignorant, degraded, and priest-ridden, and speak of those priests in a tone of contumely and contempt; do all this, and you will have done more for repeal than anything the hon. and learned Gentleman has been able to effect by his speeches upon this subject. I have stated my opinion with regard to this bill, both as it would affect the general subject of registration, and as it would affect the tranquillity of Ireland. I now beg to state—having already, in the course of the last Session, declared my opinion hat the whole course of registration ought to be revised—that I retain that opinion, and that my hon. and learned Friend will redeem the pledge which I made some time ago, of revising the whole system of registration, and that he will introduce a bill with regard to the registration in Ireland, following as closely as possible the system adopted in England. I consider the system of registration to be adopted in either country as a matter of the utmost importance. I believe that you may construct your system of registration in such a way as to give no trouble in the proof of a vote, and great security in the maintenance of the bonâ fide elector. On the other hand, I believe that you may construct it in such a way as to give the greatest vexation to the voter, and to diminish in a material degree the constituent body. Therefore this subject has occupied a great deal of the attention and considera- tion of the Government. In former years we were content to propose such measures only as we thought would be acceptable to the other House of Parliament; adopting many things to which we might reasonably have objected, and forbearing from pressing anything that we thought would be decidedly obnoxious to the other bran h of the Legislature. I think that the better course now will be to propose as complete a system of registration as possible, with regard alike to England, Scotland, and Ireland. With regard to Ireland, there certainly is at present a very considerable defect in the mode of striking voters off the register. And although I think there ought to be a perfect security for the bonâ fide rater, yet we ought to prevent such abuses as the hon. Gentleman has mentioned—such as the votes of dead persons being received at elections, and to meet the eases of such persons as have parted with a part or the whole of their franchise. I am of opinion that there should exist the means of revising the register at certain periods; but that period, I think, should not be more frequent than every three years. I conceive that, with regard to the barristers, the power should be left as at present, and that there should not be an appeal to the judges. But I think, in order to complete the system, it would be necessary to introduce two bills; one with regard to registration, containing the principles I have mentioned; and the other with respect to the franchise. With regard to the perjury and fraud that have been so much complained of by the hon. Gentleman opposite, I think, supposing it to be true to the extent stated, that nine-tenths of them have arisen from there being at present no satisfactory test of the franchise. The validity or non-validity of the qualification has been entirely a matter of opinion. The claimant says that he thinks his property is worth 10l. a-year over and above all charges that may be made upon it. Some person on the other side says he thinks it is not worth so much, and it is merely upon these adverse declarations that the revising barrister has to decide. One of the objects of the measure which we propose to introduce will be to define the value of the property in respect of which the claim is made, and to establish a certain test of the validity of the franchise. But the noble Lord has taken an entirely opposite course: he has omitted these, which are the valuable parts of the bill which we brought in, and adopted others which were introduced as matters of detail in the measure submitted to the House by Sir Michael O'Loghlen and Mr. Sergeant Woulfe, and to which, because the measure was so submitted, he says, we, the Government, are bound. I hold myself bound to no such details. It would be quite sufficient to say, that the bill of the noble Lord leaves out the whole of that which was the most valuable part of our measure; but I may add, that I think the measure, as originally introduced, did contain many objectionable provisions which I should not again be ready to submit to the House; and the noble Lord has no more right to ask me to be bound by the provisions of that measure, than he has to bring forward again his own Arms Bill, and to declare, that as it was a measure of Lord Grey's Government, of which I was a Member, therefore, I am bound to that also. Among the many measures that the Government may feel it their duty to introduce, there may be some which upon consideration, or upon objections being stated, they may determine to withdraw, and not to introduce again in the same shape. I say that it is not only in the power, but that it is the duty of a Government so to do. But for any Member of this House to introduce such a Bill, and to say to the Government, "Because in some former Session you were in favour of this Bill, therefore you are bound to vote for it now," is about as inconclusive a way of reasoning upon a political matter as I ever heard adopted by any one. It is exceedingly good by way of taunt, and the noble Lord, in the course of his speeches in this House, and other hon. Members, although they have not adopted that course to-night, have not failed on former occasions to revert to it as a means of assailing the Government in reference to some of the provisions of this Bill. I say, in the first place, that this Bill is not similar to the measures which we have introduced upon this subject—that it does not contain what was most valuable in those measures. I say, in the next place, that what it does contain of those measures I feel to be objectionable; but, above all, I say that the noble Lord has compounded with that which was wholesome food so much poisonous matter of his own introduction, that I must reject the whole concoction, and that I shall, most heartily and sincerely, give my vote against his Bill, being convinced not only that it is mischievous, but that the cause of good and pure registration will be best served by its rejection.

Lord Stanley

admitted, there was no course more usual in Parliamentary practice, than to suffer a Bill upon its second reading to pass by general consent, and, subsequently, take the discussion on its principle, on the succeeding question, that the Speaker do leave the hair; but it was at least unusual, after a Bill had been the subject of two nights' debate in a very full House—after its principle, notwithstanding the strenuous resistance of a Government, had been asserted by no inconsiderable majority—it was unusual, to say the least of it, again to renew the discussion of the principle of the same measure, and call upon the House to repudiate the decision to which they had come upon a former occasion. But he did not complain of the course which had been taken; he would shrink from no discussion, either of the principle or details of this bill. Least of all, did he complain of the manner or the speech, in which the hon. Member for Drogheda had introduced his opposition to it. It was a steady, straightforward, frank, manly opposition to the bill and the whole bill; it was no endeavour to get off by shuffling it into committees, that were never intended to report, or introducing counter bills which were never intended to be proceeded with. It was an honest, straightforward demand of the House to rescind the resolution to which it had come one little month ago, and leave the evils, great, enormous, unrefuted, undeniable as they were, without a remedy—frankly to tell the people of England and Ireland that they could offer nothing, that they could give no remedy, but the bill which proposed to remedy these abuses, and which, by the confession of hon. Gentlemen opposite—by the confession of the hon. and learned Member for Galway—did remedy these abuses should be rejected without the discussion of its details, and altogether repudiated in principle, because it would be effectual in removing evils, gross, undenied, and undeniable. He thanked the hon. Baronet for the manner in which he had met the present motion, and he rejoiced in the plain broad issue which he had proposed to the House, and the people of England and Ireland. It now, therefore, became necessary for him, having been again drawn into a discussion of the principle of this bill, with as little circumlocution, and also with as little heat as, under the circumstances, was possible, to refer to the leading objections which had been raised against it, and remove them, as far as he could, by fair and legitimate argument. In the course he had taken on this bill, he had on both occasions, when compelled to address the House, distinctly, and he thought successfully, abstained from any one single word which was calculated to create heat or violence of debate. On the last occasion, the noble Lord, the Secretary for Ireland, did him the honour of saying, that not a single word had been uttered by him of which the House could complain; whether he had been met in the same spirit, whether he had been encountered by fair argument alone, whether prejudice had not been sought to be created against him by personal abuse and vituperation, he would leave the House to decide. Ever since the last stage of the bill, he had been personally the object of the most violent and unsparing abuse on the part of the learned Member for Dublin, in every address he had made to the people of Ireland. Of that abuse, he would say nothing more than that he was sure there was no Gentleman in that House who expected he should pay to it the slightest attention. But there were some of the statements made by the learned Member for Dublin, as the ground for rejecting this bill, which contained misrepresentations of the facts so gross and so palpable, that it was impossible he should pass them by without animadversion in that House, the only place in which the hon. and learned Member and he were likely to meet in discussion. The main objections raised to the bill were, in the first place, that the franchise of Ireland was unduly restricted by the Reform Bill, as compared with England; that by the present bill it Would be still more restricted (the points chiefly restrictive of the franchise being annual registration, appeal to the judge both ways, the granting of costs); and the last objection was, that he did not include in this bill any definition whatever with regard to the franchise. These, fairly stated, were the main grounds of opposition to the bill, and he now proceeded to deal with the first of them—namely, the allegation of the restricted franchise conferred by the Reform Bill on Ireland, as compared with England. Here were three sentences of a report signed by Daniel O'Connell, as chairman of the committee, comparing the state of the franchise, and laying the basis of his whole opposition to this measure. That by the Scotch Reform Bill, the Scotch people obtained extended electoral rights, and lost none; 2dly, that by the English Reform Bill, the people of England obtained several additional Parliamentary franchises, and lost none; 3dly, that by the Irish Reform Bill, the Irish people obtained only one additional franchise, and lost several. These were the three statements made by the learned Gentleman. The noble Lord who had just sat down had informed the House, that of all the assaults which had been made on the Reform Bill, and which it had been his painful duty to resist at various times, this was the most formidable—perhaps it might be formidable in another sense; but the noble Lord had represented it as a formidable violation of the Reform Bill, the more so, being considered as a retrograde measure, restricting and withdrawing the franchise conferred by that bill. On that point he was ready to join issue with the noble Lord, who, while he talked of the integrity of the Reform Bill, spoke also of the annual vexation of registration, although he, as a member of Lord Grey's government, had been led to believe the registration a very important part of the English Reform Bill; but he thought he could point the noble Lord's attention to a bill, at least as formidable an irruption on the integrity of the franchise, as conferred by the Reform Bill. He held in his hand a bill, purporting to be a bill to ascertain and define the right of voting for Members of Parliament in Scotland. It consisted of only eleven clauses; and, excluding the two formal clauses at the end, as to former acts in force, and the alteration or repeal of the act itself, every other clause was a clause of absolute disfranchisement of rights conferred by the provisions of the Reform Bill. For instance, No person shall be registered in any county in Scotland, unless he be resident; borough electors, not resident, must have shops within the burgh; life-rent, other than by inheritance, not a qualification. No person shall vote as a joint tenant, unless he has a particular interest—owners to be infeft. No person entitled to be registered, unless in possession of lands, &c., of the value of 10l. previous to the last day of July. So much for vested interests. He was not saying whether these were wise provisions or not. To some of them he should be disposed to accede—to others he should offer the most determined resistance; but certainly it was singular that this bill, consisting entirely of clauses of extensive disfranchisement, should bear on the back of it the names of the Lord-Advocate, Mr. Fox Maule, and Lord J. Russell. But now as to the assertions of the learned Member for Dublin. He would not quibble with him as to the Scotch Reform Bill? he would admit that a very large addition had been made to the constituency, and numerous rights added, which did not before exist; and though, strictly speaking, the learned Gentleman was not warranted in saying that no franchise was taken away, inasmuch as the entire former system had been swept away, yet he was ready to admit that no franchise, in a popular sense, had been taken away. "England," said the learned Gentleman, "gained several additional Parliamentary franchises, and lost none." England lost none! He asked the learned Gentleman who stated this to the people of Ireland, who was considered by the noble Lord as so safe a guide, so infallible a monitor, a leader whom the Irish might safely follow on all occasions, without any danger of being misled—he asked the learned Member, what had become, in England, of the non-resident freemen? What had become of the 40s. annuitants in counties? What had become of the scot and lot voters—of the burgage tenures—of the pot-wallopers—of the resident inhabitants, without any other qualification whatever? These six or seven franchises had been swept away in England by the Reform Bill, and yet the learned Gentleman told the people in Dublin, that the English people had lost no single franchise. What did Ireland lose by the Reform Bill? Like England, she lost the 40s. freeholders, with a saving of the existing rights in counties of cities, and counties of towns. When that proposition was made in 1829, the learned Gentleman did not oppose it. These were the hon. and learned Gentleman's words in 1831— I approve of the plan laid down for the counties, because it affords a prospect of forming a better class of voters of the 10l. qualification now fixed as the point of exclusion, being of opinion that a freeholder, under that sum, should not be entitled to vote. He knew the next year the learned Member altogether changed his mind; in 1832, he unsaid what he had said in 1831; but, with all respect to the noble Lord, he must say, these sudden changes did not confirm the noble Lord's opinion of the safety and infallibility of the learned Gentleman's guidance for Ireland. But, with respect to the loss by Ireland under the Reform Bill, he admitted she lost with England the 40s. voters, the pot-wallopers, and in two or three towns, 5l. householders; but he challenged the learned Gentleman to tell him what other franchise had been taken away in Ireland by the Reform Bill. And when the hon. and learned Gentleman said, that Ireland had gained but one franchise under the Reform Bill, he asked him whether he meant by that one franchise, the leasehold franchise in counties, which was granted to a larger extent and in an easier form than in England, as he had before proved, and the learned Gentleman had not ventured to deny; or did he mean the household franchise in towns, which was given to Ireland as widely and as fully as to England? So much, then, as to the restricted franchise of the Reform Act—the alleged basis of the learned Gentleman's opposition to this bill. But the question was not whether the evils against which this bill was directed existed or not; the question was, whether any remedy should be applied? Was it disputed that those evils existed? that the county lists were overloaded with fictitious voters, and with the names of persons whose qualifications had ceased? Why, it was proved by the hon. Member for Belfast. It was stated by that hon. Member, that "in Dublin there was at this moment a nominal constituency of 18,000 persons on the register, but that it was not a bonâ fide constituency, for the real constituency did not exceed 9,000. In the county of Dublin there were on the books upwards of 4,000 persons, while the net constituency did not exceed 2,900; in Longford county, there were 2,900 persons on the books, and the bona fide constituency did not exceed 1,400; in the city of Waterford, there were 2,654 persons on the hooks, but that the ascertained casualties and renewals made up no less an amount than 1,506, and that the bona fide constituency of Waterford city did not exceed 1,148.'' Not only was this the case, but it must continue to be the case so long as voters could he put on the lists, and could not by any process be struck off; so long as it was permitted that a man, by the mere production of a certificate and taking an oath, should be enabled to vote at elections—so long as no power existed to strike off voters, though they might be dead—so long as a system of abuse and fraud was suffered to exist—so long as a temptation to perjury was held out, by enabling persons to vote who falsely personated others so long as one man might register half-a-dozen times, and hold by himself and friends half-a-dozen certificates. If he were challenged to the proof of his assertion, he would state one or two instances which came within his own knowledge He had received a letter from Mr. Hamilton, of Roundwood, in Queen's County stating that two persons were registered in October, 1832, and voted at the election immediately following. They held their farms for the life of Mr. C. White, a magistrate of that county, who died in 1833. At the election, which occurred in December, 1834, these same two persons, though cautioned that they were about to commit perjury, voted against Mr. Vesey, taking the prescribed oaths. He had also a letter from a gentleman, who for a short time represented Longford, and he had his authority for stating, that on the death of Lord Forbes, and a vacancy occurred in that county; Mr. Fox became a candidate, and was opposed by Mr. Luke White. The election took place at the latter end of December, 1836, when Mr. White was returned, but Mr. Fox was seated on petition. Some of the tenants of Mr. Malone voted against Mr. Fox. They held their leases for a number of years, terminable on the death of Lord Forbes, and though the death of that nobleman was notorious, though it was his death that had occasioned the new election, and though Mr. Fox served on these tenants cautionary notices, yet they replied, that as their lease was in being, their qualifications remained. Those persons came forward and voted, and to the present moment were voters on the register of the county of Longford. He would cite two more instances. He had received a letter from Mr. Kearnan, registry-agent for the Conservative party in the county of Tipperary, and that gentleman wrote, that he was desired by Mr. Fawcett to state the case of an old man, upwards of eighty years of age, who obtained a lease in 1832, but, being unable to pay any rent, surrendered it in 1834. Mr. Fawcett then allowed him a small portion of land, as he was an old man, but gave him no lease; yet this old man went to the hustings at a contested election, and in presence of his landlord voted for Mr. O. Cave and Mr. Sheil. He was cautioned not to vote, but he would perjure himself. Another of Mr. Fawcett's tenants—(he mentioned names, so that any Gentleman might inquire into the truth of his statements)—another of Mr. Fawcett's tenants, named Roger Mara, registered in 1832, and was murdered in 1837, by a man named Delaharty, who was tried and con- victed of the murder, and transported. In January, 1840, notice was served to register Roger Mara's freehold. The original certificate was produced at the quarter sessions by the agent, who swore that he had got it for the purpose of registration from Roger Mara, the man who was murdered in 1837, and the barrister admitted his right. He was prepared to have saved the time of the House by passing over these cases, had he not been challenged to the proof, and he thought he had satisfactorily shown that abuses gross and notorious existed under the present system. But who attacked him as the enemy of Ireland, because he contended for another system of registry, and desired to purge the electoral lists of fictitious and fraudulent voters? Who took the prominent part against the present bill, but the hon. and learned Member for Dublin, charging him with being the enemy of Ireland, with a wish to abridge the franchise and destroy the liberties of that country, because he had declared in favour of an annual registration, deeming that necessary to put an end to the system of fraud, perjury, and false certificates? Now, he held in his hand a report of a debate which took place in that House on the 6th of July, 1832, on the Irish Reform Bill, and he found that the following expressions had fallen from high authority—from the hon. and learned Member for Dublin himself:— By a subsequent clause," observed the hon. and learned Member, "it was provided that the certificates should stand for eight years; but he contended for annual scrutiny; they could have no solid protection without it; for though John Moran, the voter on the certificate, should die, still, when the polling time came, there would be a John Moran living. In England the scrutiny was annual, as it ought to be in Ireland. At the elections John Moran would be forthcoming, and if they excluded annual scrutiny, the truth could not be detected, that they were not the persons to whom the certificates had been originally granted; it was impossible that this plan could last longer than a year, because in a Reformed Parliament the common sense English plan would be extended to Ireland. He must really suggest that it was better at once to give Ireland an annual scrutiny, and put it on the same footing as England. [Cheers, and a cry of "Hear," from Mr. O'Connell.] The hon. and learned Member for Dublin seemed pleased with these quotations, and he (Lord Stanley) therefore hoped that the House would permit him to go on with them. On the 29th Clause of the Irish Reform Bill being brought up, the hon. and learned Member said, He could not help again observing, that unless an annual scrutiny was established, there would exist great facilities for fraud, because when once the certificate was obtained it was to last for eight years, and the production of the certificate would be exclusive evidence of the right to vote; so that a party might die, and yet his certificate might be rendered available; it was impossible to deny that this would lead to false swearing, for a man would only have to swallow an oath in order to get his vote passed; I use the name of John Moran," continued the hon. and learned Member, "because it happened once, when I sat as assessor, that a voter was objected to, and the man produced a certificate granted to one John Moran. I said, 'If you are John Moran, write your name,' and he took up a pen without hesitation and wrote 'Dennis O'Brien.' This is only one instance," continued the hon. and learned Member, "and I could mention many, why it is right to extend to Ireland the system adopted in England. It is said, that this would occasion too much trouble, but that may be avoided; let the certificate be conclusive evidence, unless the contrary is proved: first, let the old list of voters be published, and next the list of persons objected to; this would give all parties an ample opportunity of making themselves acquainted with the grounds of the objection, and would enable them to ascertain whether the qualifications had ceased, and whether or not the persons objected to were living. This was the whole plan and system of his (Lord Stanley's) bill, and it was recommended by the hon. and learned Member himself in 1832, in the course of the discussions on the Irish Reform Bill. He did not complain of the hon. and learned Gentleman changing his mind on this subject. The hon. and learned Member had a perfect right to change his mind, if he now thought that plan best, which he before considered would be productive of perjury; and if he now considered English common sense, which he formerly professed to admire, nothing better than nonsense. But he said, that the learned Gentleman had no right to come forward at that time to denounce Lord Grey's Government for not adopting the English system before they had experience of it, and now, at the expiration of eight years, to come forward and denounce him as an enemy of Ireland, for adopting that precise plan which the hon. and learned Member had previously declared ought to be adopted. It might be very convenient for the noble Lord the Secretary for the Colonies at once, to throw over the whole of the bills which had been introduced by him and his party in 1835, 1836, and 1838, and to say that he did not choose to be bound by them at all; but it was rather singular, when the noble Lord saw the principles of those measures for the first time taken up, with the bona fide intention of carrying them through and making them the law of the land, that he then found out that all the provisions he had been before supporting were bad; and that there was only one good part in the bill of 1835, which good part he had, according to the noble Lord, rejected from his measure. He was sorry to speak in such terms of the noble Lord; but he thought it was really unworthy of the noble Lord to come forward at the close of his speech with the miserable pretence that at some future period of the present Session the learned Solicitor-general for Ireland would take into consideration the whole system of Irish registration, and introduce a bill on the subject. It was worth while to note the precise dates when such announcements were made. On the 6th of March, he (Lord Stanley) introduced his bill for the amendment of the law of registration in Ireland, and at that time he was led to believe that there existed no intention on the part of Government to bring in any measure of the kind. The noble Lord the Secretary for Ireland distinctly said, that he admitted the reason of the taunts against Government for not going on with their bills; but he added, that they found, from the opinion declared in another place, that the attempt to pass the bill was hopeless, and that that was the grounds why they ceased to press the House of Lords with the bills. When the second reading of his measure was debated, would it not have been competent for the noble Lord to say, that he admitted the justness of the principle of the bill, and to request that the measure might be postponed for a short time, on the ground that the Government intended to bring forward a measure on the subject, and wished the House to decide between the two? However, the Government had not taken this course, but after they were beaten on the second reading, the noble Lord the Secretary for the Colonies then announced that it was the intention of his learned Friend the Solici- tor-general for Ireland to introduce a bill on the subject. It also happened that the noble Lord had intimated his intention of introducing the bill in reference to the English registration, only two days before the day fixed for the Committee upon the present measure, in the hope of catching a few stray votes of Members who felt, that the power of truth and argument was strong to be contended with, and these evils which he had depicted were too monstrous to be endured. The noble Lord now announced that the Solicitor-general for Ireland intended to bring forward a measure with respect to the Irish registration. It had happened, that on account of a most melancholy and lamentable occurrence, the Committee on the present bill had been postponed for a fortnight. The Solicitor-general for Ireland, therefore, had had time to consider his measure, and, also, if he entertained a bona fide intention of introducing it, to lay it on the Table; and there was no need for vague hints that this or that should be done, or something else which might be desirable. The Solicitor-general for Ireland might have shown by a printed plan how he meant to deal with the difficulties of the case. Nothing of this sort, however, had been done, but the noble Lord the Secretary for the Colonies, after abusing the present bill, stated at the close of his speech, that in a short time the House of Commons might expect some general measure on the subject, "which," observed the noble Lord, "we intend to make as complete as they can; hitherto we have considered what might meet with the assent of the other House, but we now shall be fettered with no such consideration." That was to say, the Government would reject the present bill, though they knew it would effect the object in view, and they would bring forward at some future time, a measure without any reference to the prospect of its passing, but which might serve as a convenient peg on which to hang up the whole question. He thanked the noble Lord even for the little light he had thrown on the object he had in view. What was the point most contended for in the present bill? The annual registration of voters, for the purpose of striking off fictitious voters and dead men, and those who bad parted with their qualifications. What was it that the noble Lord meant to effect by his English bill? He meant to adhere to the system of annual revisions and objections, nay, more, he meant to introduce into England that system, the proposition of which was the next ground of abuse against him, namely, an appeal from the decision of the revising barristers to a higher tribunal, whether in favour of the franchise or against it. This was a point in which he only followed the provisions of every bill introduced by the Gentlemen opposite. But he was told, that the judges were not proper persons to make the appeal to. Why not? Had not the judges been found proper persons to make the appeal to heretofore? Since the 10th George 4th, the registering tribunal had been composed of assistant-barristers, and not of a large and fluctuating body, as was the case complained of in England, and the appeal had always been to the judges, and he had never heard it said, that the result was, that it lowered the character of the judges in public estimation. The noble Lord had said, that his right hon. Friend near him had in 1829 shown confidence in popular institutions, having, with reference to the franchise, submitted in certain cases the decision to the judges, and in others to juries, and the noble Lord accused him of being an enemy to popular rights, because he proposed to give the decision to the judges, and to exclude juries. Now, he copied his provision from the bill of the noble Lord's introduction, the enactment in which was not inserted casually, but on amendment, and received the sanction of the noble Lord, then and now Secretary for Ireland, as being an improvement, and the bill thus amended was actually sent up for the concurrence of the other House. The noble Lord said, that the present bill would operate unfairly, inasmuch as it incidentally attacked the franchise, because it proposed to make the judges the parties to decide on the disputed question of beneficial interest, on which they had already given their opinion by a majority of ten to twelve. Now, as had been argued by the hon. Member for Coleraine, the decision of the ten judges was the law of the land. If it were not law, the judges were no more bound by it than anybody else, but if it were indisputably law, then the appeal to the judges, who were bound to administer the law, was nothing different from the reference to the assistant-barristers, who were also bound by oath to administer the law. But then it was said, that it was a hardship to accompany this appeal with costs. He would not say as was said by the hon. Gentlemen opposite, that he wished to treat the man who came forward to claim his lawful franchise as if he were an enemy, but he did say, he would treat the man who came forward to claim that which he had no right and no title to as a nuisance and a blemish to the country, which it was their duty to the bona fide constituency, to remove from the registry. But, respecting this question of costs accompanying the light of appeal, in what way could he have made the appeal work favourably to the poor objector, if he had given the right of appeal, and no right to costs in case of a decision for the objector? He proposed to give an appeal, but to check it with the payment of costs, such costs as the poor man would be put to in the vindication of his just rights, and those costs he said that the poor man was just as much entitled to receive as the rich man was bound to pay, if his objections were made upon light and frivolous grounds. It would be observed, that the bill only gave costs where the grounds were light and frivolous. But it was said, "You ought not to give an appeal to claimants." Why not? Was is not an appeal in favour of the franchise? But he would be quite ready to discuss the point in Committee, and to yield, if it were thought desirable upon discussion, that the assistant-barrister's decision should ascertain who were entitled. But he apprehended, that if the claim were supported before the assistant-barrister on false evidence, or if it were rejected on false evidence, in either case the House would not refuse costs upon appeal. Still, with reference to this part of the question, it was said, "What! a penalty imposed on a man for claiming his constitutional rights! no person who did not desire to interfere with the franchise would ever dream of such a proceeding." But he was introducing nothing new in this. In 1836, in 1837, in 1838, bills were introduced under very high sanction embodying this provision. The bill of 1836 had emanated from a committee which was presided over by a late lamented gentleman of very eminent talents, Mr. Bonham Carter, and the 44th clause of that bill he found gave power to the barristers to allow costs in certain cases to parties claiming or objecting. Now, the enor- mous violation of the constitutional rights of voters which was embodied in his bill was copied nearly verbatim from the clause of the bill he had mentioned, which was endorsed with the names of the present Attorney-general, and the late Solicitor-general, Mr. Baron Rolfe. Then, as to the penalty, did they give the same as he did? No, they gave a penalty double in amount. Well, that bill had been committed, recommitted, recommitted again, amended on the second recommitment, recommitted again, and amended on the third recommitment; it had been brought in again in 1837, it had been brought in a third time in 1838, this obnoxious clause remaining in it all the while, under the sanction of the noble Lord, and with the names of her Majesty's Attorney and Solicitor-general on the back. With respect to some of its minor provisions, the noble Lord had (unintentionally, no doubt) misrepresented the present measure. In fact, they were not proper subjects of discussion on that occasion, they ought to be reserved for Committee, but, as they had been made principal grounds of objection to the bill, he felt bound to discuss them then. The noble Lord had spoken of a case which he said that he knew of at Saddleworth, where a revising barrister had resolved to sit in preference to another place at a distance, because he found, that a great many objections came from that place, and that the distance was inconvenient, and the noble Lord had pointed out the convenience of the provision in the English Reform Act under which the barrister was empowered to move his court as might be desirable, and had gone on to say, that as this power was convenient, it had been omitted altogether from the present bill. But what was the case now in Ireland? The Lord-lieutenant, it was true, had the power of appointing the places where registration courts should be held, but only, unless be (Lord Stanley) were greatly mistaken, such places as were appointed for the holding of quarter sessions. If he had not appointed the place for the holding of quarter sessions, the Lord-lieutenant had not, that he knew of, the power of making it a polling place. The noble Lord's inference on this point, could not be supported, for he (Lord Stanley) gave, as the noble Lord would have seen if he had read the bill, additional convenience and facility to the claimant over and above what he enjoyed under the present law, by an enactment which the noble Lord would find was taken verbatim from the 36th section of the English Reform Act. The hon. and learned Member for Galway had also taken objections to some minor details, which he (Lord Stanley) thought were hardly fit for discussion on that occasion. But one of the objections was, that the notice of claim in his bill was too full and diffuse, and the hon. and learned Member had given many instances in which he argued that it would operate very severely on that account. Now, certainly the terms and form of a notice contained in a schedule of a bill ought to be discussed and settled in Committee, but the notice contained nothing more, in fact, than what the voter had to swear to at present in his certificate. The main difference was, that his notice distributed into eleven columns, that which was lumped into seven columns under the present law. Let the House, however, discuss these matters in Committee, to that he had no objection, on the contrary, he would say, that whatever might have been said about his conduct and motives in bringing in this bill, and whatever might have been said of the bill itself, he was as fully prepared to go into Committee and to discuss every provision of the measure fully and patiently as if its progress had never been encumbered by the objections of the hon. Gentleman opposite. He would refer to one more point before he sat down. It had been alleged, that his notice of objection was indefinite, and it was said, "How hard it is on the claimant that the party objecting should only have to say that he does object." Hear the notice of objection given in the Reform Act: To Mr. William Ball,—I hereby give you notice, that I object to your name being retained on the list of voters for the county of—and that you will be required to prove your qualification at the time of the revising the said list. There was the English notice, and yet when he took his from that, he was told, that he was treating Ireland with gross injustice, and that he used both parties—claimants and objectors—in a way that was never thought of in England to persons similarly situated, by giving the power of sending notices of objections which would never be taken. He might go farther into the subject, but he really wished to avoid anything which might lead to irritation. One ward more, how- ever, he must address to the noble Lord, and on the subject of the last objection which the noble Lord adduced, The noble Lord objected, that he having brought in a bill proposing to deal with the registration, did not in that bill deal with the franchise too. The answer to this was which he had stated at first, and which he adhered too—namely, that if he wished to have a chance of passing a measure of registration, he must separate the two points, and make them the subjects of distinct measures. The noble Lord knew that he had been very anxious to come to some arrangement on this head, and that he had wished much that a committee should have sat to see if they could not come to an agreement about it; but the noble Lord had rejected his proposition, and told him that it was useless to have a committee, and hopeless that they could come to any agreement. And what did the noble Lord say, that the Government would do now? He said that he would consent to no bill which did not declare that to be law which the judges of Ireland had declared not to be law. And the noble Lord said this, well knowing, as he must do, that if the House of Commons ever assented to such a bill, the other House never would, and that, whatever might be the nature and character of the bill in other respects, it would be a mere mockery of legislation if he incumbered it with that which would insure its not passing into a law. But if he had not the noble Lord's precepts in his favour, he had at least the noble Lord's example, for in bringing in his English Reform Bill, the noble Lord had done as he (Lord Stanley) was now doing, and had said, "I will keep separate the two points of registration and franchise." He had again the noble Lord's example in a bill to reform the Reform Act; he studiously separated the franchise from the registration provisions, and put them into separate bills; and if he did not very much mistake the noble Lord, it was his intention to follow precisely the same course, and although the noble Lord attacked him for not intruding any provision for the franchise in his bill, he yet proposed to bring in a registration bill, and to exclude from it any provision for the franchise. "I will not," the noble Lord concluded, "enter into refutations of the motives by which I have been charged with being actuated in bringing forward this bill. The noble Lord has thrown out aspersions on the motives by which he supposed me to have been actuated. Once for all, I disclaim them in toto. I cannot prove to the satisfaction of the noble Lord what my motives are, but I have thought it in general more in accordance with Parliamentary practice not to impute motives; but these, I will state, have been my motives—that seeing a system of fraud, of perjury, of fictitious votes overwhelming the bonâ fide constituency in Ireland—seeing that there was no legitimate remedy by which that enormous evil could be met—seeing that the Government had, upon various occasions, introduced measures which I thought well calculated for meeting those evils, if they had not been encumbered with provisions which insured their rejection, I have brought forward a bill, desiring not to curtail the bonâ fide franchise, but to fulfil the pledge given by Lord Grey's Government, that after pursuing and trying the system of English registration, if it were found to answer, we would adopt the principle of annual revision in Ireland, with a sincere desire to purify the constituency of Ireland; and I believe that this measure is calculated so to purify and maintain the rights of the bonâfide electors, to the exclusion of those who hold their votes and confer seats in this House, having no sort of claim to be on the register. By these motives alone have I been actuated in taking on myself a very laborious and thankless task; and, whether the House of Commons shall think fit on this occasion to recede from the position they themselves came to a month ago, or whether, as I rather hope, they will confirm their then decision, and agree to discuss in Committee the details of this bill, I shall be satisfied that I have done what in me lay to purify the constituency of Ireland, and to give effect to and not to violate the spirit and provisions of the Reform Act."

Major Macnamara moved, "That the debate be now adjourned."

Lord J. Russell

thought they were perfectly justified in proceeding. Having had two nights' debate on the second reading of this bill, and being likely to discuss it again on going into Committee, he did not see why they should again adjourn.

The Solicitor-General

rose to address the House.

Major Macnamara

would divide the House on his motion.

Viscount Howick

said, before the House was put to the trouble of dividing on the question of adjournment, he could not withhold earnestly requesting his noble Friend the Secretary of State for the Colonies, and his noble Friend opposite (Lord Stanley), not to oppose that motion, because the question now before the House appeared to him to differ in some essential respects from the question they had lately discussed; and he believed that there were others in the same situation as himself, who, having taken no part in the late debate, would be very unwilling indeed to divide on the present question without being able to explain their views. He trusted, therefore, that the House would consent to adjourn the debate.

Lord Stanley

said, of course he would not oppose the adjournment of the House, subject however to this proviso, that he thought it would be exceedingly inconvenient to all parties, if, after the discussion on the second reading, and during the whole course of that evening, the adjournment were to take place for more than a very short period; and he should certainly object to the adjournment, and divide the House on the question, if it were not arranged that the debate should be resumed in a very short time. A motion of his right hon. Friend, the Member for Harwich, stood first on the list of motions for next evening; but he would put it to hon. Members whether, for the general convenience of the House, they would allow the ordinary course of an adjournment to take precedence of the other business, and not interpose miscellaneous matter between the debate.

Lord J. Russell

did not know that there would be any inconvenience in bringing on the debate next evening. But he should wish to ask the House to receive the report of the Committee of Ways and Means, to enable his right hon. Friend to proceed on Friday according to arrangement. He was quite ready to put off the other orders of the day.

Mr. Herries

was ready to give way on his motion, being confident that the right hon. Gentleman, the President of the Board of Trade, would give him another opportunity of discussing it.

Lord Stanley

said, if it was understood that Gentlemen were willing to yield precedence, he had not another word to say. But the hon. Member for Kilkenny, and also the hon. Member for Dublin, had two notices which both stood with several notices before them, and of course those Gentlemen would stand in the same position.

Mr. O'Connell.

—It is utterly impossible I should facilitate the arrangement.

Lord Stanley

That being the case, if I cannot get the assurance of these Gentlemen to give way, I must, however unwillingly, divide the House on the question of adjournment.

The House divided on the question of the adjournment;—Ayes 262; Noes 281—Majority 19.

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

On the question being again put, Mr. O'Connell moved, that the House do adjourn.

Mr. Oswald

, though he had voted for the adjournment of the debate, could not support such a motion. If such a course were persisted in, it would put a stop to all public business, and, however reluctant he might be to vote against the hon. and learned Gentleman, he must decline being a party to such a motion.

Lord J. Russell

could not vote for the adjournment of the House. He had voted for the adjournment of the debate, and his reason for doing so was this—the noble Lord, the Member for Northumberland, whose opinions were always worthy of being listened to with attention, had stated that, in his opinion, as well as in the opinions of other hon. Members, the debate had taken a different form from that which it presented on the second reading.

Sir R. Peel

said, the practical question was, whether, if an adjournment were to take place, it should be to this day or not, and it must be the unanimous feeling of the House, that it ought to be for to-day. On Friday there would be the report of the budget; on Monday the House would not sit. Why then, not agree to the decision to which the majority of the House had come, and let this stand the first in order for to-morrow?

Debate adjourned to the next day.