HC Deb 19 May 1840 vol 54 cc320-91

Order of the Day for resuming the Adjourned Debate on the Registration of Voters (Ireland) Bill read.

Mr. Dillon Browne

wished to offer a few observations on this important question. He felt it an imperative duty which he could not neglect as representing one of the largest communities in Ireland, to repudiate in the strongest terms the measure now before the consideration of Parliament, which ought to be called a measure for the disfranchisement of Ireland. He felt it a duty devolved on him as representing a large community, for so pernicicious were the tendencies of the bill, that in proportion as the area of any country was extensive, was it more fatally affected by it. He seldom took the liberty of intruding on the time of the House—time which he considered ought to be so valuable, knowing that that which he abstained from doing, would be more efficiently and agreeably performed by others. But on this present occasion, he thought that no Irishman who could raise his voice should be silent, whatever might be his capacity, as the peril in which his country was placed, called the humblest abilities into action. Indeed, no man need fear to address the House for the virtuous cause in which he was embarked, and the undisguised and palpable injury which was endeavoured to be done his country, would supply him with that eloquence and simple and natural arguments which result from the advocacy of justice and truth. He hoped, that during the course of the debate, or during the progress of the bill, that every Irish Liberal Member would be heard in opposition, for though little might be the effect of persuasion on hon. Gentlemen opposite, yet it would produce the result, that if the measure passed, they would ward off as long as possible, so great a calamity from their country, and would prove how much the public mind in Ireland was excited, and what a dangerous importance the measure had assumed. For when humble individuals like himself left their natural retirement, and assumed in the proceedings of that House the prominent part of debaters, there could not but be drawn from it a deduction, which was as true as it was startling, and as it was important, and which might be aptly illustrated by a metaphor familiar to all, that the straws would not be raised to the surface had the waters not been disturbed. He considered the bill as a measure the most aggressive upon the rights of Irishmen, which had been introduced for a long lapse of time, nearly inclusive of a century. For since the system of legislating grievances for that country (which the noble Lord wished to renew), was repudiated—since penal laws became unfashionable—since the first concession was granted to the Roman Catholic, there had been no attempt so aggressive on public liberty as that now made upon the liberties of Ireland. Since the Catholic first obtained a footing upon the soil, as time advanced the Legislature effected progressive improvements in his condition, and although those improvements slowly arrived, still there had been no attempt made like that to attack existing privileges, to despoil the Roman Catholic, without his consent, of all control over the machinery of legislation. He thought, that if the constitution of the country gave Parliament the power, it was dangerous for a Parliament, constituted as the present was, to attempt it. A Parliament elected by corrupt means, had no right to meddle with the constituency of Ireland. Was not the exercise of power and properly to divert the franchise from its proper inclination an evidence of the the corrupt means by which that Parliament was elected? Was not the endeavour to separate the conscience from the vote a striking evidence of the fact? Were not the folios beneath which that Table groaned detailing fictitious votes, intimidation, and corruption, a striking evidence of the fact? Were not the reports of the Cambridge and Ludlow Election Committees conclusive of this assumption, that the House was elected by corrupt means? And certainly the great purity of that House might be well assumed from the proceedings on a lute occasion, when, in its Conservative zeal, it forgot the ordinary courtesies of society, and hurried out a new writ creative of new bribery and corruption. Therefore, he thought that a House so constituted need fear imminent danger in meddling with the existing liberties of the people. They must recollect, that the governed had their rights as well as the governing, and that in the covenant between them there were conditions which it was dangerous for either party to violate. The bill before the House went to disfranchise the people of Ireland. That was distinctly proved by hon. Gentlemen who had preceded him, and especially the hon. Baronet who opened the debate, in a speech, luminous, temperate, and eloquent. The hon. Baronet had proved distinctly that there was no danger of the great evil anticipated by the hon. Gentleman opposite—the swamping of the bona fide voters by the fictitious voters. He had proved that the constituencies of Ireland were miserably small in comparison to the census of the country. He had given some details which were clear and indisputable, and he would add one to the number. In the county which he had the honour to represent there were 400,000 inhabitants and only 1,600 electors. As to fictitious voters, the best test was after a general election, in the consideration of the number of petitions forwarded to Parliament, and the result of those petitions. Notwithstanding the Spottiswoode conspiracy, how little evidence was there of fictitious voters, and wherever that evidence existed, they found those fictitious voters ranked on the side of Conservatism. The Liberal party had almost invariably succeeded. They had the Dublin, Westmeath, Longford, Tralee, Youghull, Carlow, and other election petitions; on the other side there had been only one or two instances of success. One of those, the Kinsale election petition, in which a Committee of the House admitted fictitious voters, contrary to the opinion of the judges. The declared object of the bill was to assimilate the registrations of England and Ireland, and to provide for the rejection of fictitious voters on the registry. That was to be done by annual revision. But what was the covert design of the present bill? Annihilation of the franchise. For annual revision, under the circumstances, in Ireland, meant nothing else. The poverty of the people, the tyranny of landlords, the law's delays, the uncertainty of the law, and the thousand obstacles which he unfortunate peasant had to encounter in his weary pilgrimage in search of the franchise, made annual revision little less than total annihilation. And then the unfortunate peasant was only to enjoy his right for six months, for if there was an appeal made from the assistant barrister in September, he could not be admitted to the right of voting till the subsequent March, and then he only enjoyed it for six months more, when again his qualification was questioned at the annual revision. Why did not the noble Lord introduce an explicit bill declaratory of his real object, which was a large increase of the qualification of the Irish voter? Why did he not boldly attack the franchise, and not introduce a cruel and hypocritical bill of that kind, which pursued the unhappy peasant with the slow and steady pace of the wolf, till, exhausted, he was obliged to yield up all political vitality. The bill was illustrative of the political history of the noble Lord. Attaching great importance to minor objects for the sake of perplexity, scattering the seeds of his natural petulancy amid the humblest machinery of Government (for the contending parties in Ireland would have a bone for contention in every clause of his bill), creating angry feelings and difficulties, where the greatest order and simplicity should prevail, in fact, vexation was a synonyme for the bill, and the notice of the claimant, harrassing and perplexing, was as an epigram of one of the speeches of the noble Lord. He would ask, why were not the Protestant clergy obliged to give that notice? Why were they not obliged to enter their Christian names in full? He supposed they had so many Christian virtues that there was no necessity for a record of their Christian names. No, the object was that ungenerous one to throw any difficulty in the way of one party, and to embarrass as little as possible the other. For his part he would rather see Catholic Emancipation repealed than see the bill carried; for while the franchise had been granted by Parliament to the Roman Catholic, that bill took away from him the opportunity of enjoying it. It was, as Mr. Lawless once said, showing him a desirable situation in a lofty building, and taking away the ladder by which he could ascend. The measure would destroy the Liberal constituency, and place all the power in the hands of the Conservatives. He would rather see the Catholic Emancipation Bill repealed, for then, though Catholic Members could not be returned to Parliament, they would have (with the assistance of the honest forty-shilling freeholders) the power to return Liberal Protestants, who would regard the interests of their common country, as they did before, with no vision jaundiced by religious or political prejudices—but with a noble emulation to serve their country without the paltry distinction made between Catholic and Protestant. The bill would virtually repeal the Relief Bill; it would do more than that, it would take away from the Roman Catholics the properly which had been conveyed to them by the Constitution, without restoring to them the purchase money. Did the noble Lord think that, by that means, he would maintain the stability of the Established Church? Did he mean to do so by the means of perpetual aggression? The Established Church—he spoke numerically— was an insignificant minority. The Roman Catholics of Ireland was a great majority, which had wonderfully increased within a few years in wealth, intelligence, and determination. Did the noble Lord think that such a minority could exist in perpetual aggression against such a majority? The noble Lord, in his desire to attack the liberties of the Irish people, only looked progressively. The noble Lord did not take a retrospective view of the circumstances under which those liberties were achieved. He did not compare the condition of Ireland when those liberties were first attempted to be maintained, and the present condition of the people of Ireland when he despoiled them of them. If the bill passed, it would shake the very fabric of society in Ireland; it would scatter the seeds of discord in every hamlet and every town; it would give a brief to every demagogue; it would, perhaps, convert the patriot into the traitor; it would justify the language of sedition on the principle of right and justice, and it would make many a man exclaim in those spirit-stirring words, the truth contained in them rendering them still more dangerous—"Nos neque imperium neque divitas petimus, sed libertatem quam nemo bonus nisa cœca anima simul omittet."

Mr. J. Young

said, that every grievance, however imaginary, had been brought to bear on this question, and threats of physical force had even been resorted to by the other side, which, however, had now lost all their terror. All that hon. Gentlemen on that (the Opposition) side of the House sought, in supporting this bill, was to provide an efficient remedy for great and flagrant abuses, which were on all hands acknowledged to exist in the Irish registration, as was proved by the number of bills which had been brought in to amend the present system. All who were acquainted with the present state of Ireland knew that the grossest fraud and perjury prevailed among those who claimed to be registered. He would refer to the testimony of Mr. Scriven, an assistant-barrister, who described the amount of perjury as frightful. [Mr. O' Connell: He is an Orangeman.] That did not invalidate his testimony. He could only account for the opposition to this bill by supposing that its opponents were anxious to substitute for the franchise, as fixed by the Roman Catholic Bill, one of a lower character, which would be more convenient for their own party views and purposes. The outcry which was raised against the removal of fictitious votes, as an act of injustice, reminded him of an anecdote he had heard of a contest between two Malays, in which the stronger man, after having heartily thrashed the weaker, turned round to the spectators and complained of his pitiful case, in being so maltreated. He should vote for the bill, believing that not one of its clauses could be fairly objected to by any one who was sincerely desirous of correcting abuses so often pointed out.

Mr. W. V. Stuart

said, that it was quite unfair to charge his side of the House with wishing to retain the evils of the present system of registration in Ireland, as had been done by several hon. Members opposite. It did not follow, that because they did not choose to adopt the bill of the noble Lord, that they were therefore adverse to improvement. They were willing to abolish the evils, but they would do so without curtailing the franchise. He considered that there existed various powerful arguments against the adoption of the bill before the House. One of the chief of them on his mind was, the machinery introduced to work out its theory. He feared that that machinery would render it impossible to fulfil the purposes of the Constitution, which, he believed, were, that a majority of electors should return Members to Parliament. At present, even with the octennial registration, there existed a great apathy on the part of the people of Ireland to register. How would it be, then, when the same trial and trouble was made an annual imposition? He was afraid that the result would be, that the electors would wholly forego their franchise, and again look for redress of their political grievances to those secret societies which had been the curse of that country. The evils of the present system arose, in his opinion, from the indefinite wording of the Reform Act as to the qualification of voters; and he was convinced, that at no distant period, it would be found necessary to alter that measure as regarded that point. The primary objection to the bill of the noble Lord, however, was, that it impeded, instead of facilitated, the obtainment of the franchise, and on that ground alone he (Mr. Stuart) would give it his most strenuous opposition.

Mr. William Roche

said, that the hon. Gentleman who spoke last on the opposite side, treated the House with an East Indian anecdote, which reminded him (Mr. Roche) of an English one. The celebrated poet, Pope, had been in the habit of using, when his temper was excited, the exclamation, "God mend me," and happening so to express himself on remonstrating with a post-boy, who drove him unsatisfactorily, the postilion repeating the words, added, "it would be much easier to make you over anew;" Pope being personally not well formed. Such, too, was his (Mr. Roche's) opinion of the noble Lord's bill, deeming it, as he did, a measure so bad and incurable as to be unsusceptible of improvement, and requiring to be extinguished altogether. It could not be modelled into any beneficial purpose. The same hon. Member too, used, in characterising the present bill, a rather strange misnomer, calling it one of simplicity, whereas a bill more complex, more embarrassing, or tortuous, was never laid on the table of the House. The hon. Member also insinuated, that encouragement was held out to physical force in Ireland, by the opposition to this measure, whereas nothing was more manifest than the anxious and perfectly successful efforts made to prevent any such outbreak and unhappy result, but to confine hostility to the more salutary and convincing weapons of argument and truth. The hon. Member had also animadverted on the revival of the Repeal of the Union question, upon which subject he would only remark, that it was unjust and exasperating measures like the present, which goaded the Irish into such thoughts and desires, and would furnish aliment for the wish, until Ireland was placed at the side of the sister countries, in possession of a perfect equality in all constitutional rights; less than which she would not submit to, and less than which she ought never to be content with. He very recently presented a petition, signed by several thousands of his constituents, and embodying the sentiments of of many thousands more, in uncompromising hostility to this measure, introduced though it was under the smooth and imposing, but delusive guise of purification and improvement. He fully participated in those sentiments, and in the anxiety and alarm which pervaded Ireland, deeming the bill alike destructive of the rights, and derogatory to the character of his country. He therefore would give it his most determined opposition, and act in concert with those who meant to battle against it, in every stage of its progress, and resist every clause of its enactments. The very first of them inflicted enormous trouble, expense, and turmoil, on the whole constituency of Ireland, by requiring an entirely new registration, although the voters had only just gone through that ordeal, in obedience to the provisions of the Reform Act. The Irish representatives on that (the Ministerial) side of the House, solely because they sat and voted there, were charged with owing their returns to Parliament to those fictitious means which tins bill professed to cure; whereas, if a judgment were to be formed from the late exposures at Ludlow and Cambridge, and many other places, not a tithe of the chicanery and corruption which prevailed in England had existence in Ireland, where even the poorest class of voters were in the habit of resisting temptation, and braving, intimidation, even to rendering themselves houseless and pennyless, rather than violate their consciences, or injure their country. With respect to himself he could say, that having been three times successively and nearly unanimously returned to Parliament, by the spontaneous kindness of his fellow-citizens, the more pure, free, full and fair the elective franchise was made, both in its acquisition and practical exercise, the more satisfactory to him. He had occasion to fear only the opposite practices of corruption and intimidation. Therefore, if the genuine object of this bill were to promote fairness and honesty, instead of undermining the popular portion of the franchise, it should command his willing and zealous support. But if this bill were so useful and innocent as represented, why had it not been made general, and England and Scotland admitted to share its blessings and advantages. If, on the contrary, its real object, or at least its obvious result would be to gradually narrow and finally extinguish the popular part of the franchise in Ireland, was it to be tolerated that the Irish should be told that though the promoters of this measure dare not offer such a bill, or such an insult to this country—though it would be repudiated with scorn by the English—they must receive and digest it as they best could? It was too bad that when Ireland had so much reason to complain of its already too limited constituency, and was pressing for its increase, such a necessary concession should not only not be granted, not only simply denied, but as if in punishment or derision of their effrontery in asking at all for redress, they should be visited with an increase of the grievance instead of the required relief. When they asked for the removal of existing obstructions to the voters, they were treated with an augmentation of the evil, instead of the removal of complaint. But why this peculiar attack on the Irish constituency? solely because it dared to return some two-thirds of its representatives to that (the Ministerial) side of the House, in opposition to the interests and principles of the Gentlemen on the other side. Were it the contrary way, the constituency would assuredly be couleur de rose for the hon. Gentlemen opposite, and eulogium, not vituperation, would be the order of the day. He felt, however, though mortifying that measures like the present were not unattended with some consolation, reviving and re-animating as it did that spirit of patriot- ism, vigilance, and energy which was latterly becoming a little torpid, and becoming so because of the reliance—the very just reliance, which the people of Ireland reposed in the good intentions of the present Ministry, marred though these intentions so frequently and seriously were, by the opposition of their adversaries; and because of the people's gratitude for the just and generous administration of affairs in Ireland under the upright and spirited vice-royalty of a Normanby, and still continued by the mild steady and equitable sway of an Ebrington. But how could this obnoxious measure be persevered in now that the Government had undertaken to bring in a bill calculated, it was to be hoped, to cure any existing defect, but not to extinguish, like the present bill, every existing good, so far, at least, as regarded the popular part of the Irish franchise. He agreed in the sentiment of the hon. Member for Water-ford, who just addressed the House, that every ease and facility should be given to the fair attainment and exercise of the franchise for otherwise it would be converting a privilege into a penalty, and the palladium of every other political right into vexation and punishment. As regarded purifying the elective system, whether in reference to the electors or elected, he was decidedly of opinion that Ballot would be the only sound and effectual means, and sure he was that the common sense of the country together with every day's progressive experience of the utter inadequacy of all other remedies would ere long cause it to be imperatively called for. On the whole that he deemed this bill destitute of one redeeming quality—to be a mass of intricacy, embarrassment, and one that would finally work out a total extinction of the popular portion of the elective franchise. Were it sent to an examination of its details in committee, they would have to battle with every clause from its preamble to its conclusion, and therefore both its own inherent mischievousness, and the time of the House called for an immediate and decisive overthrow instead of allowing it to linger in committee, and like (he might say), a "wounded snake drag its slow length along." He would, therefore, cordially support the amendment, and consequent abandonment of so incurable and pernicious a measure.

Sir G. Sinclair

said, that in spite, or or rather in consequence, of the objections which had been marshalled in such formidable array, he was persuaded that the measure introduced by his noble Friend was equally sound in its principles, and effective in its provisions. Its usefulness would be almost proportioned to the fierceness with which it had been assailed, and to the industry with which it had been misrepresented. If passed into a law, it could not fail to promote throughout Ireland the triumph of justice, morality, and independence. He regarded it as essentially connected with true Roman Catholic emancipation, because it tended pro tanto to liberate the unfortunate peasantry of that persuasion, at least so far as politics are concerned, from being subject to the thraldom of the priest, or succumbing to the threat of the demagogue. How many were now compelled, by one or both of these sinister influences, to register, although they knew that they had no right to vote, although they were conscious that they had no liberty? How many were painfully aware that no option was presented to them but that of reluctant ingratitude at the hustings, or appalling denunciations at the altar? How many were obliged to support a stranger whom they never saw, in preference to a landlord whom they have long revered? How many would consider disfranchisement as a boon, and were thankful to the proprietor for allowing them to hold their possessions by such a tenure as should exonerate them from the misfortune of being encumbered with a privilege which they dare not exercise in a manner consonant with their feelings and their judgment. They were ensnared and enslaved by a faction which would deem it a far graver crime for a bonâ fide voter to support West and Hamilton, than for one who was indebted for his suffrage to perjury or persecution, to vote for O'Connell and Hutton. He should here very briefly notice the two most prominent advantages by which this bill was entitled to be favourably considered. In the first place, what could be more consistent with equity, than that a judge should possess in both cases the jurisdiction already assigned to him in one? It was, no doubt, a great hardship upon an individual to be rejected when he produced a bonâ fide qualification; but was not a whole constituency aggrieved by every claim improperly admitted? Was not every honest elector injured, when his vote was neutralized by the concurrence of one whose title he knew to be altogether unfounded? All men were in some measure avowedly, and perhaps to a greater extent, unconsciously biassed in coming to any decision in political matters, by their private wishes and opinions; but no class of persons was so exempted from this infirmity as the judges, who acquired a habit of dealing impartially with all questions, not only from the very sanctity which belonged to their exalted office, but from being daily called upon to consider and determine cases altogether unconnected with politics between individuals to whom they were entire strangers, and in regard to whose conflicting interests they cannot possibly be influenced by any personal or unworthy motive. But barristers all glory in being politicians and partisans; they are aspiring to the high dignity which the judge already enjoyed, and which, under the auspices of the present Administration, can best be attained by the most unswerving and unscrupulous devotedness to their measures and to their interests. On this point he rejoiced to think that he could quote, in support of his views, the powerful, though now repudiated declaration of the hon. Member for Dublin. In this instance he did not think that the hon. and learned Member's second thoughts were best. With all his ingenuity he had hitherto entirely failed to weaken the force of his own arguments, or mar the felicity of his own illustrations, although the hon. and learned Member certainly had proved to a demonstration, that much might be said upon both sides. He could scarcely account for his change of opinion upon any other consideration than that the number of Whig judges in the Irish bench had increased, and is increasing, (though he did not add, and ought to be diminished), and that, perhaps, the hon. and learned Member, as he had as much confidence in their talents and integrity, as he had, in the impartiality and discernment of their thoroughgoing Tory predecessors. But he would next observe, that the more frequent revision of the registry was not less beneficial than important. The present system operated as a premium upon perjury, injustice, and personation. A man would commit a crime when assured of eight years of impunity, which he would scarcely think it worth his while to attempt, if he were liable to lose the fruits of it at the end of twelve months. Why should not some subsequent discovery of imposture, some fraus noviter veniens ad notitiam, enable a constituency to purify its roll by the elimination of some intruder who had never any right to be there? These were, undoubtedly, the two chief considerations by which Gentlemen on the other side of the House were formerly induced to bring in bills in almost every particular analagous to the present. But then, Each, like the Grecian artist, wooed The image he himself had wrought, and ceased to support an identical measure when introduced from another quarter; nay, it even appeared as if they had been startled by the probable efficacy of their own propositions, and were more afraid of injuring their own interests by the application of a remedy, than anxious to benefit the country by the removal of the disease. He should now, with equal conciseness, notice the three main objections urged against this bill. The first, at least in point of seniority (and which, indeed, was older than the bill itself) was, that it emanated from his noble Friend. He expected to hear some of the Irish Members, and especially those for Carlow and Kilkenny, addressing to his noble Friend the language of indignant expostulation, and saying, "Why are you intruding upon our province, and putting your sickle into our harvest?" There might, perhaps, be some justice in these remonstrances. It might require the pencil of a Raphael to delineate accurately the evils of the existing system. But, on the same principle, which entitled the noble Secretary for the Colonies to stand forward and propose to rectify any abuses incident to the English Reform Bill, his noble Friend, as the author of the Reform Bill for Ireland, as having long been officially connected with that country, and being numbered amongst its most extensive and popular landed proprietors, as well as from his splendid talents and high character, is, of all men, the most qualified and the best entitled to take the lead upon such an occasion. Why, he really expected that the liberal party in Ireland, who arrogated to themselves an almost exclusive attachment to purity of elections, would have voted a piece of plate to his noble Friend, instead of denouncing him as a scorpion, a term, which had been eagerly adopted by the hon. Member for Dublin, at which he was not at all surprised, as he had so often winced under the scorpion's sting, and even showed such strong symptoms of scorpiophobia when this subject was last discussed, that, although by the courtesy of the House, the author of any bill had always the privilege of speaking last on the evening of the second reading, the hon. Member cautionsly abstained from rising until his noble Friend had finished his reply, although the debate, which he himself had insisted upon getting adjourned on the preceding night, had almost expired for want of speakers at the early hour of eight o'clock. The second objection to this measure was one, for which he was in candour bound to admit, that there was considerable foundation. There could be no doubt, that its provisions would prove highly detrimental to the interests of certain bonâ fide electors, that was to say, of the voters connected with any party which would find itself in a minority, if it did not swell its ranks by calling in the aid of perjured and fraudulent auxiliaries. But the bonâ fide electors, who were now swamped by such iniquitous practices, would hail this measure as a boon; and, as to any additional inconvenience arising from more frequent attendance at the registration courts, they would account this as no trouble, but rather a pleasure, if they were thus enabled by legitimate means to avoid the recurrence of defeat, and ensure the achievement of a triumph. But, lastly, it was contended, he should not now enquire, whether justly or otherwise, that the number of electors in Ireland was too limited. Was this, however, any ground why the number should be augmented by illegal and nefarious expedients? If Cumberberland had more voters in proportion than Cork, or Rutland than Roscommon, did this consideration afford any pretext for screening perjured or personating claiments from being expunged? Supposing that a culprit were arraigned for uttering forged notes or counterfeit guineas, he thought he would stand a much greater chance of transportation than of acquittal, if he had no other plea to urge in his own defence, than to draw from his pocket at the trial, a rent roll of the largest estates in England, and allege his own comparative indigence in justification of his crime. Why, it was maintained, with equal vehemence, that Ireland had not- enough of representatives in this House, and it would, no doubt, be very convenient for her Majesty's Ministers, if, by means of fraud or violence, some forty or fifty ad- ditional Irish Members could be introduced, which would, he believed, be not only the surest but the only successful device for reinforcing their rickety and precarious majority. He maintained that this was a British as much as it was an Irish question. This House, or rather the aggregate constituencies of the united empire, must be deeply and vitally interested in every measure which tended to ensure the return of representatives fairly chosen, and to facilitate the exclusion of individuals, who were indebted for their seats to such resources as fraud or subornation. The object for which fictitious electors were introduced in the registration rolls was, that fictitious Members might be sent to that House, and that, through their illegitimate influence, a system of misgovernment might be indefinitely prolonged, and the voice of genuine representatives be disregarded and overborne. It was impossible on such an occasion to avoid making a few comments upon the present state of Ireland, which so often afforded to her Majesty's Ministers and their adherents a theme for triumph and gratulation. Ireland, they were told, is tranquil, but so was an army completely equipped for battle; the commander-in-chief gives the word to "stand at ease," although they are prepared to obey him with still greater alacrity, when he orders them to "make ready, present, and fire." Had not Father Macguire himself, the accredited Popish champion in all polemical conflicts, openly proclaimed that he himself and nine-tenths of his sacerdotal coadjutors, are resolved to bring their respective contingents of tee-totallers into the field, if a line of policy should be adopted which does not meet with their sanction and approval? Ireland was only quiet because the so-called popular party are allowed to have everything their own way; because their hands are filled and their mouths are stopped, by an unexampled and most rigidly enforced monopoly of the favour and influence of the Crown. He once read somewhere of an Indian Nabob, who boasted not only that he had succeeded in taming a hyena, which had long been the dread and terror of the neighbourhood, but that he had achieved this object by a simple expedient. "All that I did," said he, "was to cause a very large supply of garbage to be deposited every morning at a respectful distance from his den, and to forbid all my subjects, under pain of incurring my displeasure, to intrude upon his haunts, or interfere with his habits." "But, sir, pray what would happen if your highness's daily tribute of carrion should be withdrawn?" "Oh, he would, no doubt, in that case, be found as savage and untractable as ever." And so would the Irish patriots, if the current of promotion and patronage were to flow in an opposite direction. At present they are literally drenched with golden and most copious showers of honors and emoluments. It never rained but it poured. There never was such an alarming mortality among bishops, judges, and public servants of every class and description, as since the accession of her Majesty's Ministers. One could never take up any Irish paper, and more especially the Post or the Pilot, without finding the earliest intimation, that some meritorious functionary had been dropping off, and some lucrative office dropping in. All the Liberal peers either were, or intended to be enrolled among the Ribandmen, and although upon every vacancy in any department "Methinks there are six Richmonds in the field" to supply it, the unsuccessful candidates consoled themselves by reflecting, not only that, according to the old adage, "All is not lost that a friend gets," but by cherishing a confident hope that their turn may come next, for it was quite certain that, whilst the present Government continues in office, the most incompetent Whig would, in every instance, obtain the preference over the most distinguished and best qualified Conservative competitor. But he must here notice another anomaly in the present state of Ireland—the state of galling slavery and degrading responsibility to which many of its representatives are reduced. The hon. Member for Dublin seemed to have established a sort of political papacy in his own person. All the Members whose return his influence had contributed to promote, must look up to him as the keeper of their consciences, and surrender the right of private judgment. If they presumed to disobey his mandates, they must hold up their hands, and submit to be arraigned before his tribunal; the offence was, in a political sense, a capital one:— Off with his head—so much for Brabazon! And two other hon. and gallant friends of his would also have been cashiered or ordered for execution, if they had not pleaded guilty, and been strongly recommended to mercy. When would Irish gentlemen shake off this ignominious bondage, and cease to lick the dust at a self-installed dictator's feet? They were, no doubt, "all honourable men," as well as hon. Members, and independent men too, but with two some what stringent limitations, namely, that they must never vote in opposition to the wishes of the learned Member for Dublin, or even presume to act upon the modest mezzotermine principle of non tiquet, by absenting themselves from any division. But her Majesty's Ministers are sunk into the same state of abject dependence upon the same absolute authority. It may be fairly inferred, from the speech of the Secretary for the Colonies, that the hon. Member for Dublin had ceased to be his own trumpeter, and that the functions of that high office had devolved upon the noble Lord. They were aware that their enjoyment of place on this side of the water can only be co-existent with the continuance of his power upon the other. They seemed to have furnished him with a letter of license to say and do whatever he pleased without responsibility or restraint. The hon. and learned Member expressed his determination to devote all the energies of his mind to the furtherance of an object which they themselves had declared to be equivalent to the dismemberment of the empire; and what did the Prime Minister say to this? Why he strove to get rid of the subject, by assuming a tone of unstatesmanlike poco-curanteism and ill-timed jocularity, and scarcely ventured to go so far as to Just hint a fault, and hesitate dislike. But this matter was too serious to be trifled with. The poet told us that, in the case of merit, it is possible to "damn with faint praise;" and he would presume to add that, in the case of misconduct, it is easy to encourage by feeble disapprobation. He questioned whether any of her Majesty's Ministers in this House would would indignantly notice, on the present occasion, the recent attempts to excite agitation, and organize resistance in Ireland; but he told them that, if they did not, "cum tacent, clamant" and that they criminally sanctioned such proceedings, if they shrunk from the duty of condemning them. There was, however, after all, one point of view in which, perhaps, their con- duct was defensible. They might, perhaps, concur in the opinions entertained by ninety-nine persons out of every hundred, in reference to the epistles and orations of the hon. Member for Dublin—that all his promises are fudge—that all his menaces are moonshine. He scarcely thought that the hon. and learned Member himself would stand up and declare, in this House, that he either expected or wished to effect the repeal of the union. The hon. Member could not deny that it was merely a worn-out and weather beaten stalking-horse, which even the Irish public was by this time quite sick of seeing so often paraded before them. He was informed, that the hon. Member had lately invented a repeal button. It seemed to be a very apt and significant emblem of the degree in which he cared for the question. In fact, it was universally admitted that the war-whoop, or rather sham-fight-whoop, of repeal, was now altogether at a discount; that it had ceased either to stimulate the enthusiast, or to terrify the alarmist, even throughout the various districts in Ireland in which the proclamations of the hon. and learned Member had the force of law, or rather the force which the law had not; and he might observe, that these manifestoes, however flaming, and however flowery, reminded him, in one respect, of certain puffing advertisements, promulgated by crafty and plausible empirics, in which, after reiterated allusions to their own long experience and disinterested humanity, they invariably concluded by adding, "correspondents in the country are expected to inclose a bank note." Societies may flourish, or may fade, A breath can make them, as a breath has made; But a bold pisanty, their country's pride, Now grudge the cash so fruitlessly supplied. And, therefore, the sinews of war are very sparingly forthcoming. The people of Ireland are beginning to open their eyes, and consequently to shut their purses. Contributors are literally worn out by a system of perpetual pre-payment. They find that their shillings never fructify to their own advantage in the unfathomable exchequer of these ephemeral institutions; that their great leader, like Falstaff, is no friend to the double trouble of paying back, and for this reason, if I might borrow a Chinese phrase, the silver is not "oozing out" so rapidly as it used to do; and when confiscations are exhorted at chapels, or auditors entreated at public meetings to prove the liberality of their political sentiments by the largeness and alacrity of their donations, they seem disposed, and very naturally, to exclaim, in reference to the destination and the prospects of their money,— Vestigia terrent, Omnia te adversum spectantia nulla retrorsum. If he could only ensure a smooth passage across the channel, and obtain such a safe conduct as might be depended upon, he should like of all things to address the "mixed multitude" on the Corn exchange. He might, indeed, find some difficulty in composing a picturesque peroration, à la Claude Lorraine, embellished with green valleys, lofty mountains, fertile plains, and meandering rivers; but he should take care that his hearers should be reminded for the seven hundredth time of the 700 years, during which their country has been misgoverned by England, according to the hon. and learned Member, or, as he contended, by the Pope. But he should at all events be provided with a ready made and indispensable exordium, for no speech would go down upon such an occasion, that was not ushered in by "hereditary bondsmen;" and he should, therefore, begin by exclaiming, "Hereditary bondsmen to your agitators and your Priests, how grossly have your understandings been outraged, how wantonly have your feelings been excited, how cruelly have your hopes been disappointed! Did one of you ever derive, from being enrolled in the ranks of the precursor society, any benefit equivalent to the shillings which you paid for your admission? Mr. O'Connell tells you that he is trying an experiment. Believe me it is an experiment upon your patience and credulity. I was not at all surprised at being asked last year by a respectable tradesman, who premised that he was no scholar, whether precursor was the Latin word for dupe? An experiment implies, on the part of him who embarks in it, a belief in, at least, the possibility of his own success. If you saw a man jumping in the Phœnix park, and he were to say that he was trying an experiment whether he could leap over the moon, you would at once infer that he was either a lunatic or an impostor. Mr. O'Connell knew as well as he did, that as long as there was a House of Lords, or even a reformed House of Commons, he had just as good a prospect, and no better, of carrying through Parliament any of the measures which he professes his anxiety to see enacted. But his real object merely is, to keep the present Ministry in office on any terms, and at any price, and to ensure their co-operation by holding out the hope of advantages, not one of which he knows can ever be realized. There has not been so dexterous a wizard since the days of the bottle-conjurer, who contrived to make a gaping multitude pay their shillings, in the confident expectation that they would see him step into a pint decanter; and you, my friends, are such tractable camel-swallowers, that if he were to sow a field with flints, and solemnly affirm that if they did not, in the course of twelve months, yield a plentiful crop of potatoes he would hoist the standard of repeal. You would all, to a man, not only wait most patiently, but anticipate the favourable result. Do you really think that he himself for a single moment expects to obtain a larger proportion of representatives for Ireland, or a further confiscation of the property of the Church? He does not even dare to broach either subject in the House of Commons. Ask him why he allows so many months to elapse, or rather sessions to pass, without having taken one single step in furtherance of the schemes which he declares to be indispensable to the best interests of his country? The truth, my friends, is, that he is quite unrivalled in the histrionic art—to him 'All the world's a stage'—'Modo me Thebis, modo ponit Athenis,'—to-day, he is all and all with the Jews—to-morrow, hand and glove with the Jesuits—one week he is feasting at Liverpool—another time fasting at La Trappe; but you have often the good fortune to witness his inimitable performance of characters which he is very shy of assuming on the Parliamentary stage. He is great as Sir Giles Overreach, and I defy you to match him as Sir Benjamin Backbite. In the former of these characters, he contrives to buoy you up with the fond expectations of unattainable benefits, or rather of objects which, even if acquired, would in no respect ameliorate your condition, by causing you to enjoy one comfort more or endure one privation less. If all his plans were accomplished, you would ere long be mournfully exclaiming, Was it for this that we have been breaking so many heads at fairs, and so many promises at hustings? Was it for this that we have so often trudged twenty miles in the dead of the night and in the middle of the rain to attend anti-tithe meetings, when we might just as well have stayed in our beds?' But, my friends, when enacting the other part, docs he not strive to excite in your breasts an unfounded and unextinguishable animosity against his opponents (who, let me tell you, are often, in reality, your best friends), by branding them with names and over whelming them with calumnies, which, in their presence, and within the walls of Parliament, he seems to have registered a vow in heaven never to reiterate? Not long ago he designated my noble Friend, the author of this bill, as a bad man! Will he venture to repeat this charge in the hearing of his friends? Will he tell the British House of Commons that my noble Friend is a bad son, a bad husband, a bad father, a bad neighbour, a bad landlord, a bad Christian? Has he ever been bad enough to sacrifice principle for the sake of place, or to promote his private interests by exciting the worst passions of others? But, my friends, in order to convince you that you are deceived by Mr. O'Connell, allow me to contrast two cases, in the one of which he is in earnest, in the other not. To you he says, "Support the only good Ministry that Ireland has had for 700 years." Now here I allow that he is quite serious, and therefore if any of you were to disobey his mandate, and in the free exercise of the electoral franchise, (given, as he seems to think, to be exercised according to his discretion, and not to yours) should vote for Colonel Conolly in Donegal, or refuse to support Mr. Gisborne, the "great unknown," at Carlow, a death's head would be painted upon his door, his own head would probably be broken, and he would be sent to Coventry by all the patriots, and to a worse place by all the priests. But, on the other hand, he says to you, "This Ministry must do justice to Ireland," a phrase of many meanings, but which now seems to denote inter alia, the confiscation of the rent charges of the Church, and a large addition to the number both of electors and representatives of the country. Now here he is not in earnest, and when the Ministry show no alacrity to bring forward, and no willingness to sup- port such propositions, there are no cross words levelled at them, and no cross-bars chalked up in Downing-street; they may neglect your interests, and overlook his menaces with the most perfect impunity. Be not then any longer deluded and duped—rest assured that, even if the whole Church revenues were swept off to-morrow, not a shilling would find its way into your pockets, and that the repeal of the union could only be achieved through the medium of bloodshed and revolution." The Conservative party, continued the hon. Baronet, was not unfrequently reproached with asserting that her Majesty's Ministers are kept in place by commanding the support of a majority of the Irish representation. Why, this very circumstance was much oftener dwelt upon by the hon. Member for Dublin himself, as a source of exultation on his part, and a claim for gratitude on theirs. He was far from drawing any invidious line of distinction between the members deputed from the different portions of the united empire. He entertained the highest respect, not only for the Irish Gentleman who sat on his side of the House, but for many (such as the Members for Kildare and Roscommon, for the city of Waterford, or the town of Galway) whom he had the misfortune to see opposed to him. But he could not fail to observe that this scanty Ministerial majority was eked out by the votes of some gentlemen from Ireland, who would not be returned to Parliament if justice were done to all parties, the principles of the law clearly defined, and its provisions impartially applied, this was the only object for which this bill was introduced. This was the only ground upon which it was supported. His noble Friend had fearlessly undertaken and faithfully discharged a most important public duty. The demagogue might pour the vials of slander upon his motives—the priest might threaten him with the assassin's knife—but he had established an irrefragable and imperishable claim upon the respect, the admiration, and gratitude of all who were anxious to restore the lustre and secure the permanence of our national institutions.

Lord C. Russell

was sorry he could not join in the praises heaped upon this bill. It seemed to him that, independent of more serious objections, the machinery was so cumbrous and oppressive, that the poor Irish voter must sink under it, and that the bill would inevitably destroy the franchise in that country. The manly character of the noble Lord who proposed it, his chivalrous bearing, his openness and candour in debate, all forbad him to think that the noble Lord intended such effects; but the noble Lord might as easily be mistaken in his policy as his bill would be unfortunate in its operation. It was particularly unfortunate that the noble Lord should have introduced such a measure, founded on the English system, when the Government were about to introduce a better one in this country; but, notwithstanding, they were, invited to decree that system good enough for Ireland. It was avowed that it was to limit the number of voters in Ireland; but the electoral body was already so attenuated, that he wished he could add to it instead of diminishing it. But it seemed not to be the question of how much they could grant, but how much they could take away from Ireland. He could not prophecy what would result from the present partizan re-action against the progress of liberality in Ireland; but it seemed, if he might judge from the wild cry of insanity that reached them from without, that the aspirations of the party went first to extinguish the franchise, and then to deprive the Irish of the hard-won right of Catholic emancipation. That would be a difficult task—but be that as it might, the desire prevailed; and it was certain that if they passed the bill then before the House, they might furnish inflammable materials enough to light a torch of discord which perhaps they would never see quenched, and which might eventually serve to set fire to the pile on which they might sacrifice the liberties already achieved by the Act of Catholic Emancipation.

Mr. H. Grattan

congratulated the noble Lord who had just sat down upon the sentiments which he had expressed. The people of England did not know what they owed to the family of Russell, but the people of Ireland would never forget it. He regretted to have heard the extraordinary and lamentable exhibition that had preceded the speech of the noble Lord. He had often heard of plays in that House, but he had never before heard of a farce. The hon. Baronet and himself had spent some portion of the earlier part of their lives together, and in the heyday of youth the hon. Baronet was certainly so much of a patriot as to carry the speeches of Charles James Fox in his pocket, and was in the habit of repeating extracts from them. [Sir G. Sinclair: "No, no, no."] In the main he was pretty certain that the hon. Baronet was a patriot. Therefore it was that he was surprised at the want of good feeling, good taste, and, he might add, good sense which characterised the speech of the hon. Baronet, and for which qualities the part of the country from which the hon Baronet came was distinguished. The people of Scotland were kind and just, but in the speech of the hon. Baronet there was neither kindness nor justice. One passage of the hon. Baronet's speech implied that the bills thrown to the Irish people by the Government were mere garbage. [Sir George Sinclair: "No, no."] That was the very word of the honorable Baronet, who had drawn largely upon his own fancy and on Claude Lorraine. In another passage of the hon. Baronet's speech the priests were represented as threatening with the knife of the assassin. He must say, that when a Member presumed to make a charge of that sort, against persons who were bound by their oaths to preserve the public peace, he must say, that it was one of the most audacious things he had ever heard uttered in that House. Nay, more, he would add, that in olden times, an hon. Member making such a declaration would have been stopped, and his words taken down. He pardoned the hon. Baronet, however, for the words were not his own—they had been put into his mouth by another hon. Baronet, who had obtained some notoriety from the malignant calumnies which he had circulated against the Irish people. He would be ashamed to produce to the House the calumnies of the hon. Baronet's coadjutor, but although they might be insulted by the legislation of that party, they would not be insulted by the language. The Irish had passed over many injuries that they would not, and they ought not, to forget. The hon. Baronet had made an assertion with regard to the rev. Mr. Maguire, which to his (Mr. Grattan's) knowledge was unfounded. He had asserted that Mr. Maguire had stated, that he would have 200,000 tee-totallers to oppose Lord Stanley's Bill. Now he never permitted improper language to be used in his presence; and if such a statement had been made, he would most decidedly have opposed it. If the pre- sent bill passed into a law, that would probably be the last time when he should have the honour to address them, for he would never consent to sit in a House which would pass such a measure. Hon. Members might rest satisfied that the bill was levelled not only against the Irish, but against the English. The bill was objectionable, because it was dishonest, hypocritical, and would lead to interminable litigation and confusion. It had been said, that a great deal of perjury existed under the present system of registration in Ireland, but if that were so, why were not the parties prosecuted? But would the bill remedy either bribery or intimidation? Far from it. They charged the 10l. voter with perjury; but did they bring the same charge against the 50l. freeholder? No! They dealt differently with the rich and the poor man. The former was unmolested; but the poor man, in order to establish his claim, was to be dragged before a barrister, then before a judge, and at last to the notorious committees of that House. He spoke not of the present but the last Parliament. It was said, that this bill was the prototype of that of Sir Michael O'Loughlin, but he thought that no lawyer in that House would get up and hazard his character by venturing upon such an assertion. Why! Sir M. O'Loughlin had said, that those already in the registry should stand. His bill gave a jury for an appeal, and it moreover defined the beneficial interest, and did away with the trial before a committee of the House of Commons. He would not enter into the details of the bill; he objected to the notice required; he complained that the 10l. voter should have to fill eleven columns with the description of his claims; and he objected to the expense which this bill would impose. All parties were to have the power of summonsing witnesses, and the county was to pay the whole expense. The registry of England cost 22,000l., and he asked them whether they were prepared to impose upon Ireland that heavy burden with the additional tax of paying for all the witnesses? Was that justice? He was glad to see the hon. Member for Surrey in his place; that hon. Gentleman had been represented correctly as a perfect picture of John Bull. He had not only a plenitude of the ore rotundo, but a plenitude of another sort, and there was upon his face such signs of good nature and honesty that he would willingly leave his property or his character to the decision of a jury composed of twelve such men. Now he happened to be a voter for the county of Surrey, and when he had wanted to vote, he had merely filled up a small piece of paper with some half dozen words, sent it to the proper officer, and his name was placed on the registry. Now that was the case of an Irishman coming to England. How would he be treated in his own country? He offered himself as a 10l. claimant. He was examined; his title-deeds were ransacked, and his property, perhaps, lost by the discovery of the want of a stamp. Was that justice? He called for justice at the hands of the hon. Member for Surrey. Would he deny it? Out of the stand on Epsom race ground twelve votes had been manufactured, but in Ireland no two persons could vote as joint-tenant. He hoped those twelve voters were supporters of the hon. Member. [Mr. Kemble: It is not in my division of the country.] He was sorry for it; but he only complained of the arrogance of this proceeding, by which they disqualified a man in his own country, and only emancipated him when he left it. He almost began to doubt the truth of that eloquent panegyric which Mr. Curran pronounced upon the English laws, when he said, that no matter what tint an African sun had burnt on the countenance, the moment any one touched the British shores he stood disenthralled, unfettered, and emancipated, by the glorious genius of universal emancipation. The moment this bill was passed they declared war against the Irish people they were afraid to say so; it was unnecessary that they should say so in the plenitude of their power; but the people of Ireland were alarmed; they were indignant at this measure, they had expected from the noble Lord an exposition of the beneficial interest; and, if the bill had defined that, it would have been serviceable to Ireland. Did the noble Lord remember, that when he was in office, he had called a meeting of the Irish Members upon this very question of the beneficial interest? At that meeting the noble Lord had said, "It's settled; I don't want the oath of a solvent tenant that he would give 10l. to back the voter's claim." The noble Lord had said, that if the claimant proved a beneficial interest of 10l. he would not require a solvent tenant to say, that he would give 10l. more. Now would the noble Lord adhere to that? Yes! Why did not the noble Lord last night cheer the hon. Member for Coleraine, when he said that the decision of the judges requiring the additional 10l. was the law of the land? It was easy for the noble Lord to smile, but smiles were very bad arguments. [Laughter.] It was ridiculous to reply by the insanity of a laugh. They were not in the corporation of Dublin, and hon. Gentlemen were mistaken if they supposed that they could divert him from the discharge of his duty. He was not turning his back on his old friends; other men might abandon a corporation from which they had derived the greatest benefits; but, if his colours were good, he would stand to them to the last; and neither the noble Lord nor the right hon. Recorder of Dublin would be able to prevent him. They were now called upon, not to take part in advocating the repeal of the union. It was said that the question was dead. He thought not; and if he wanted an argument to advance that object he should first adopt the course pursued by the noble Lord, and introduce a bill for Ireland entirely different from that which applied to England; and the noble Lord appeared to feel that, for he had particularly dwelt on the circumstance that England and Ireland stood on the same base, that they formed one united empire; and he had called on English Member, not to consider that Ireland had any interests distinct from those of England. The noble Lord had on one occasion said, that "they were told that the circumstances of both countries were different," but he was sure that hon. Gentlemen would feel that the principle of reform was the same whether applied to England or Ireland. He entreated those who advocated Conservative interests, and were the supporters of the Protestant institutions of the country, to think of the danger to those interests which any other principle must involve. If they wanted to give to Ireland a solid, substantial grievance—if they wanted to give some handle to the excitement for the repeal of the union—they need only show that, in the British House of Commons, English interests were treated one way and Irish interests another. Was the noble Lord bound by these words? Well, he could not understand how the noble Lord could hold up this bill in one hand and that speech in the other, without acknowledg- ing that one was a direct violation of the other. With what face could the noble Lord, after that, look Irish Members in the face? He had heard of persons wearing iron masks all their lives, but the noble Lord must live in a brazen one. He was warmly attached to the British connection; but, for his own part, he had rather abandon his country, part with his property, and go into some other land, than to live in Ireland united with England on any other footing than that of perfect equality. His countrymen were perfectly loyal; but if this course of injustice were adopted towards their country, they were prepared to imitate the example of their ancestors, and Ireland would be compelled to fall back upon her own resources. He called upon English gentlemen, therefore, to pause well before they passed a measure of this description, which would be so dangerous in its consequences, and which he trusted might not prove fatal.

Viscount Powerscourt

rose without any intention of following the hon. Gentleman who had just sat down, through the whole of his speech—without any intention even of alluding to the moderation in which it was conceived—or the modest and quiet demeanour with which it was delivered. Indeed, those qualities were so usual to the hon. Member, that it was quite unnecessary for him to make any observation with regard to them. After the brilliant and conclusive speech of the noble Lord who closed the debate of last night, he felt great hesitation in intruding his opinions at all upon the House, for a more conclusive speech on any subject he had never heard in that House—but the hon. Member for Galway had last night put a question to Irish landlords whether they thought this measure calculated to increase the scarcity of property in Ireland, and to that question he wished to give as explicit an answer as the hon. Member could possibly require; and he said that, not only did the Irish landlords consider that this measure would increase the security of property, but that they ought to think so, because any measure, the object of which was to prevent fraud and perjury, must have a tendency to produce that effect. They were now able to see the real value of the cry of "Justice to Ireland," which had always been accompanied by protestations against any distinction between the laws of the two countries; and yet that cry was now raised when the question at issue was, whether they should assimilate the law of the two countries. They now saw the real object of that agitation, and the selfish nature of that boasted cry with which the hon. and learned Member for Dublin stunned the ears and deluded the understandings of the Irish. The opposition to going into committee on this bill was either factious, or it was an utter denial of the preamble of the bill. What was that preamble? It was briefly contained in three lines, giving nothing but the simple statement that it was expedient to amend the law touching the registration of voters. Now he had thought that no one could be found who would assert that no amendment was required. He had thought that the evils of the present system had been too much exposed for that to be possible; but it appeared that he was mistaken, for they not only had against them many of the Irish Members, but the Government had stepped forward as the champion of a system which had been productive of the greatest crime. In the county of Wicklow, in which he resided, he knew from a gentleman who was present at the time of the election, of a case in which perjury had been committed by three men. This gentleman knew the real voters perfectly well; they were tenants of his own, and he knew that they were at the time at Liverpool on business. The name of the gentleman was Sweeny; he did not know the voters' names. However, to the astonishment of that gentleman, three persons, entirely unknown to him, came in with the certificates, swore that they were the persons named therein, and voted. He understood that the gentleman came forward and offered to swear that the three men were not the persons whom they represented themselves to be; but his oath could not be taken, and the only redress washy a petition to the House of Commons. The way in which this system acted was therefore to hold out a premium to perjury. He held in his hand the particulars of forty-six cases, equally glaring, in that single election, in that single county. If the House wished to hear all the cases, there they were—if they pleased, he would read them all. Another great evil which this bill was calculated to remedy, was the great secrecy which prevailed in everything connected with the franchise. There was no power, except just after an election, and during the trial of a petition, of ascertaining what title any claimant had. There were many instances in which persons had been forced to vote by Liberal landlords, who were quite as ready to force their tenants to vote against their will as Conservative landlords, notwithstanding all that was said on the other side of the House against intimidation. Many voters had been anxious to be struck off the poll, but the system was such, that if they were known to have shown their leases, whereby their claim might be upset, the effect to them and their families would be the same as if they had originally voted against their landlord. It could not, under those circumstances, be called a serious hardship that the title should be set out on the registry. The chief evil of the present system, however, was the want of a power of appeal on one side, whilst it existed on the other. It seemed to him to be this commonest rule of justice, that, if the single claimant had a right of appeal, the great body of voters should also have the same right to prevent false votes being placed on the registry. What, then, had caused all the opposition to this bill? Was it that it was impolitic? Was it that it was unjust or oppressive? No. The proper inference was, that some hon. Gentlemen opposite held their seats in that House by no solid tenure. That was the motive of all this energy—that was the reason of all that personal hatred and abuse which the hon. and learned Member for Dublin had directed against the noble Lord. The opposition to the bill arose from its aim to prevent the fraudulent invasion of the law. It was opposed because its object was to protect the real voter, and deprive the fictitious voter of a franchise to which he had no title—and because its tendency was to deprive the hon. and learned Member of a great many seats in that House, and by that means to cripple his power. He should vote with sincere pleasure for this measure, because he considered it calculated to remove the grievous evils which were acknowledged to exist in the present system.

Mr. C. Wood

said, it was with great regret, that after the best consideration which he had been able to give to this registration question, and after a careful consideration of all the arguments which had been urged against it both on this and on a former occasion, he found himself unable to come to the conclusion that the House ought not to go into committee upon the bill of the noble Lord the Member for North Lancashire. It was with great regret that he felt himself obliged to differ from the Government and from those with whom he had hitherto acted, in respect to the course which it was proposed to pursue in reference to this bill, and he sincerely trusted that that difference would be of no long duration. A great part of the arguments which had been urged against this bill was directed against the passing of the measure; and if the question which the right hon. Gentleman in the chair had to put was, that this bill do now pass, he should without the slightest hesitation give his vote against it. There were in this measure provisions of such a restrictive character that it was impossible for him to support them, and he would give his vote for the passing of no bill which imposed any sort of restrictions on the exercise of the legitimate franchise in Ireland. But the question upon which the House had to decide was not that the bill do pass; and they were only called upon to go into Committee and to consider the details of the measure. A great and acknowledged evil in regard to the franchise existed in Ireland, which no hon. Gentleman on either side of the House had attempted to deny. There existed in that country a very great number of votes totally fictitious, while there was at the same time a great deal of fraud, collusion, and perjury, the existence of which every one admitted, and which all professed an anxiety to remove. For remedying those evils bills on various former occasions had been introduced, both by private Members of that House and by Members of the Government; and it was only when the noble Lord the Member for North Lancashire had understood from the noble Lord the Secretary of Ireland, in the early part of the present Session, that the Government had no intention of bringing forward any measure upon the subject, that the noble Lord had asked for leave to introduce this bill. The House had consented to the introduction of the measure, and the principle upon which it was founded had been sanctioned by a considerable majority on the second reading; and yet they were now called upon to reverse the decision which they had then come to, and say that the bill was of such a nature as to be unfit to be considered in Committee. To such a conclusion he must say, that he for one could not come; and he thought, that having once sanctioned the principle of the bill, they were bound to adhere to their first decision, and to examine the details of the measure before rejecting what they had already approved. What were the main objections which were urged against the bill? The first objection was one the force of which he could not admit. It was said, that the bill did not contain any provision to determine the "beneficial interest" under the 10l. franchise. Now, ever since the passing of the Reform Bill he had concurred with the noble Lord, the Secretary for the Colonies, in opposing all alterations in the elective franchise, while, on the other hand, he had as uniformly voted in support of every measure for the amendment of the registration. He could not, therefore, see how it could be an objection to this bill, that it did not contain all that he wished for, when it carried out many of his views. The noble Lord, the Secretary for the Colonies, had in the present Session introduced two bills on this subject in relation to England—the one being for the amendment of the registration, and the other having reference to the franchise, which proved incontestably, that in the opinion of the noble Lord the two subjects ought not necessarily to be connected. If the noble Lord, the Secretary for the Colonies, introduced a bill for settling the question as to the "beneficial interest," he should vote in support of that bill, but it was no objection to this measure, that it did not contain provisions for deciding that much-disputed point. He was afraid, that while the law continued as it present stood, they must admit, that the decision of the majority of the Irish judges on the question of the "beneficial interest" was law as well as reason. It was his duty as a Member of a Committee of that House, to make himself acquainted with the different bearings of that question, and he had been obliged to come to the concluaion, that the decision of the judges was law and reason. But while he had come to that conclusion as to the opinion of the judges, he had also come to the decision, that that opinion was not in conformity with the intentions of the friends of the Reform Bill. The test of value, as it existed in the Roman Catholic bill, was clear and distinct. The rent specified was that which the solvent tenant could pay, and unless it was in some way intended to alter the franchise, he could see no reason for any alteration of the words. When the bill was before the House of Lords, it was proposed to change the words on which the Irish judges had pronounced, but that alteration was strongly resisted, as it was contended, that it would have the effect of narrowing the franchise. He was, however, ready to admit, that the words were loose, and that they opened a door to fraud, collusion, and perjury, but whether it were possible to insert words giving a definite and and determinate meaning to those words, on which so much difference of opinion existed, he was unable to say. If it were possible to do so, he should vote for taking such a course, but if it could not be done in the restricted state of the franchise, then he should be ready to vote for an equivalent extension of the franchise. He could not, however, admit, that the omission of a provision for the accomplishment of that object was an objection to the present bill. As to the question of registration, he should not trouble the House with any remarks on that part of the subject, but it appeared to him, after a careful examination of the bill of the noble Lord, the Member for North Lancashire, as compared with other bills which had been introduced into that House, as well by private Members as by Members of the Government, that many of the provisions of those bills, and this bill, were exactly similar as regarded registration. His noble Friend, the Secretary for the Colonies said, he was not bound by those bills, which he admitted. The provisions, however, of the bill of the noble Lord opposite with regard to registration, were similar to those of the other bills to which he had alluded, and which had been brought in, or supported, by the Government; and he must say, therefore, that the prejudice which it was attempted to excite against this bill was most unfair and unjust. If he were called on to believe that the destruction of the liberal franchise would be the consequence of the passing of this measure, then he must believe also that the hon. Member for Limerick and the hon. Member for Water-ford had also introduced bills to destroy the constituency by which they were elected. If it was said that the bill of the noble Lord opposite would destroy the majority of liberal Irish Members, who supported the Government, then he must also believe that the law officers of the Crown had introduced bills to destroy the source of that power on which their continuance in office depended. He did not believe that such was the case, and he could not, therefore, conclude that this bill had been devised by the laborious astuteness of hon. Gentlemen opposite, for the purpose, as it was said, of repealing the Reform Act. That there were serious objections to this measure, he admitted, but it appeared to him that those objections might be obviated, by alterations to be made in committee. It was said, that it was necessary to go too far to give the notice that was required by the bill; but the noble Lord was willing to alter that part of the measure, and had consented that a power should be given for the place of appeal to be brought nearer to the voter. There was another objection to giving costs, but he could see no reason why such a provision should not be adopted. He did not see how costs on frivolous claims could be considered as penal. As to whether there ought to be an appeal to the judges in both ways, it was difficult for him to form an opinion; but, although such a provision was not contained in the last bill introduced by the Government, yet Mr. Woulfe, the then Attorney-general, stated that an appeal to the judge was, in his opinion, better than the plan which he had himself proposed. The next objection which was urged was with reference to the annual revision. For himself, he thought that the voter was entitled to protection against party and frivolous objections, for some time, at least, after he had proved his qualification; but if that protection was not provided in the bill as it stood, it would be easy to introduce it in committee. All those objections, therefore, were not more than those urged generally against bills introduced into that House, nor would their removal, or the introduction of the clauses which were suggested, effect greater changes in the measure than were effected in other bills. If, then, this bill was so consistent in all its great features with the bills which had been introduced by hon. Members on his own side of the House, and with the bills which his noble Friend, the Secretary for the Colonies, had brought forward for amending the English registration, and if it was so easy to alter the details of the measure, he must say that he could not see any good ground for the opposition which had been offered to this stage of the bill. He would say again, therefore, that the arguments which had been urged against this measure were in favour of going into committee, and that the only real objection was to the passing of the bill as it stood at present. It might be said, that in the course he was now pursuing he was acting inconsistently, as he had voted against the second reading of the bill; but he had not, when he gave that vote, fully considered the subject, nor examined the proposals of the noble Lord opposite. When he came down to the House upon that occasion, he found his noble Friend, the Secretary for Ireland, opposing the measure; and he had so great a respect for the judgment of his noble Friend, and so high an opinion of his knowledge of the condition of Ireland, that, without inquiring fully into the subject, he had voted with the noble Lord against the second reading of the bill. Since that time, however, he had examined the provisions of the bill of the noble Lord opposite, and when he was now called upon to take the strong measure of reversing the decision which a majority of the House had come to on a late occasion, he felt that it behoved every Member to consider maturely the grounds upon which he was to give his vote. He had given that question all the consideration in his power, and the result of his investigation had left him in no doubt as to the course which it was his duty to pursue. He thought it was extremely unwise to seek to reverse a decision of that House so lately after it had been come to, and he was of opinion that a very much stronger case ought to be made out than had yet been made out to justify them in refusing to go into committee upon a bill, the principle of which a majority had approved. Such a refusal tended to lower the character of the House, and to weaken the confidence of the people in their deliberations, as it partook more of the spirit of party warfare than of the calmness which ought to distinguish the Legislature. But in voting for going into committee upon the bill, he wished it to be distinctly understood that he should go into that committee perfectly uncommitted as to the votes which he might feel called upon to give upon the different clauses of the measure. He must further say, that he should go into committee with the determination to vote against every provision of the measure which went to restrict or fetter the franchise in Ireland. His principles led him to extend rather than to restrict the franchise, and though he would not seek to disturb the settlement effected by the Reform Bill, yet he would ever be ready to give its provisions the most liberal construction. Actuated by such sentiments, he felt assured that a large majority of that House would support the noble Lord, the Secretary for the Colonies, in effecting in committee such alterations in the bill as the noble Lord might consider necessary for carrying out his views in reference to this subject—views which he, for one, most cordially approved of. But, supposing that the bill came out of committee, still they had the power to reject it, if it was found unsatisfactory, upon the third reading; and if it arrived at that stage, and if it then contained anything restricting the elective franchise, he should certainly vote against its further progress. He was ready to pay attention to the wishes of the Irish people and of the Irish Members upon a question of this kind, for he admitted that the English Members owed a deep debt of gratitude to the Irish Members for the support they had given to a liberal Government and to a liberal course of policy. He had never been backward in consulting the wishes of hon. Gentlemen from Ireland, and he would not be found backward on this occasion, when they arrived at the proper stage of the measure. He should vote for going into committee, but he must have more confidence in his own judgment than ha had at present, before he could consent to force upon the people of Ireland a measure of which they so strongly disapproved.

Mr. M. J. O'Connell

would offer very few observations at that period of the evening, although, if he had had an earlier opportunity of addressing them, he might have been disposed to trespass at some length upon their attention. He had listened with great regret to the speech which had just been delivered by the hon. Gentleman the Member for Halifax. Let hon. Gentlemen opposite suppose this bill, and the case of the Irish Members to be their own. Let them go through the ordeals which were proposed by this measure—through these intricacies which all the acquirements of a special pleader would be required to thread, in order to enable them to escape without the commission of errors. If they were then without the slightest real ground of objection called upon to attend before the revising barrister, there to produce their title deeds, and submit them to the court, and perhaps to the agent of the opposite party, to be cross-questioned, obliged to wait while a host of adverse witnesses were examined, after all this loss of time and annoyance, to be summoned at the Spring Assizes, at the distance of thirty, forty, or fifty miles again to support their claim, he asked whether they would submit to it? If the people of Halifax were to be subjected to inconveniences such as these, he asked whether the hon. Member would be prepared to deal with the measure with so much courtesy as he had shown to-night, and he begged to express his doubt whether any Englishman would permit such a bill to pass, and his belief that they would at once call upon the House to reject it. Would the constituencies of hon. Gentlemen submit to it? He believed that they would not, and that the ground suggested of the House having previously decided upon the question by a triumphant majority of sixteen, would not any more induce them to listen to such a proposal as was made. The hon. Gentleman had spoken of the costs that were intended to be imposed on the parties as a mere trifle. At any rate, it was adopting a new principle, and would have the effect of limiting the franchise; and to what part of the empire was it that they were about first to supply it? To that portion of it in which the franchise was already miserably limited. When he saw how slow the process of extending the franchise had proceeded, he confessed he had no great faith in the opposite party coming forward on this occasion, and applying their measure of disfranchisement first to Ireland. As they had first conferred their benefits on other parts of the empire, he would entreat them to try their disfranchisement scheme on those other parts of the country, and wait and see how it would work in England and in Scotland, before they applied it to Ireland. The noble Viscount (the Member for Bath) had brought forward the old hacknied and worn-out charge of Reform Bill being a delusion practised upon the public; but he would ask, was there ever such a delusion as that attempted to be practised, when hon. Members talked of this bill being an assimilation to the English system? It was an assimilation of every thing that tended to impede the exercise of the franchise, and get the voters entirely removed from the poll; beyond that, all the difficulties of the old system were left untouched, if not made worse. Why did they not propose to adopt this measure in both countries, and make the benefit of it common to both? No English Member cheered him when asking this question. No, they durst not extend such a bill as this to England, and they knew it. Would any English Member get up in his place, and declare that such a bill could be extended to England? And yet they who were prepared to deal with Ireland in this manner, and proposed to inflict upon that country a measure which they would not dare to propose for England, talked of the cry of the repeal of the union as being a delusion, and called out against those who wished to see the domestic parliament of Ireland restored. But the noble Lord, the framer of this measure, ought not at least to join in this cry. That noble Lord went to Ireland in 1830, when the feeling on the subject of the repeal was very small. He governed Ireland from the winter of 1830, to the beginning of 1833, and by that time the repeal agitation had risen to a height which required (according to the opinion of the noble Lord himself) a coercion bill. The noble Lord might be sure of this, that if he succeeded at present, no matter by what cause, whether by the apathy of hon. Members, or by misrepresentations put forward to the public, he would give a strength and an energy to the feeling for a repeal of the union which no other circumstance could effect. Last night the hon. and learned Member for the University of Dublin (Dr. Lefroy), spoke with great force of the vicious practice of creating fictitious votes, and of the system of personation in Ireland. Not one instance of personation was proved before the committee. A system of intimidation was, however, most unquestionably established. He would refer to the evidence of Mr. Thomas Courtney, the agent of Mr. Anthony Lefroy, in proof of this. The hon. Gentleman then read an extract from the evidence, showing that a covenant was inserted in the leases granted by Mr. Anthony Lefroy, empowering the landlord to turn the tenant out of possession, without the usual notice, and that this covenant had been actually enforced against certain tenants who had voted in opposition to their landlord's wishes. Question 12,903 was put by Dr. Lefroy in committee to Mr. Courtney—"All these covenants are introduced as a protection to the tenants, that they might have an excuse to those who pressed them to act against the wishes of their landlords and their own wishes." This was the Gentleman who came forward and complained of the popular party crowding the poll-book with fictitious voters. This was your over-righteous man, who turned up his eyes with holy horror at the base practices of popery, perjury, and priestcraft. When the hon. Baronet, the Member for Caithness, made his next prepared impromptu at the table—when he next delivered it, with his eyes fixed upon his hat, in a manner which drew every eye in the house to it—and if he might usurp die hon. Baronet's privilege of parodying the poets, he would say— And still they gazed, and still the wonder grew That one small hat should carry all he knew. And when he talked of the perjured and suborned voters of Ireland, he hoped the hon. Baronet would not direct his regards altogether to those who sat on the Ministerial side of the House. Was it fair that those who could have recourse to such practices as these, should be allowed to have the entire control of the franchise of the country, which this measure was calculated to give them? It was a measure evidently intended to limit and narrow the franchise. Had the House forgotten the boast of the Secretary of the Conservative Society for the county of Cork—who bore the appropriate name of Nettles—for he bore the scorpion sting in that county? That Gentleman boasted, that the only chance of success of the Tories in that populous county was, by the landlords preventing their tenants from registering their votes. Were persons thus banded together against the popular franchise fit to be intrusted with a revision of the votes four times a year. He called upon the English Members to deal with this question as they would deal with it if it applied to themselves. If they did, it would tend to restore and maintain a good feeling in Ireland towards this country; but if they did not, it would create discontent and disaffection among the people of Ireland, the misfortune of which the Irish nation would have to suffer, but the guilt and crime of which would lie exclusively at their own door.

Colonel Conolly

said, this was not the first time he had had occasion to explain to English Members the cause of the misunderstanding which existed between Irish landlords and their tenants, and with which Irish Members had been so frequently taunted. He had stated over and over again in the presence of the hon. and learned Member for Dublin, that the intervention of agitators between the landlord and his tenants obliged the former to exercise his right to prevent his tenants from being subjected to that tyranny and intimidation by which they had been so frequently overborne. Of all the measures he had ever heard discussed before that House, it had never been his fate to hear one so grossly misrepresented as the present. There had been not only gross misrepresentations in that House, both of the motives of the Mover, and the intention and final operation of the bill, but this gross and shameless delusion had been presented to the people of Ireland—namely, that the bill was a measure of disfranchisement, when its very object was to support the legitimate voter in his rights, and to carry out the law as pronounced by ten out of twelve of the Irish judges. On the part of the illegitimate freeholders of Ireland, he (Colonel Conolly) condemned the principle upon which hon. Members opposite would extend the franchise by corrupt means. As well might it be said, that a limited circulation of money could be extended by an unlimited issue of base coin. The House was already well aware of the scandalous and increasing immorality and frauds which were committed in the Irish registration courts. England and Scotland had both had their registration bills since the passing of the Reform Act, and he called for the same "justice to Ireland." This bill would annihilate the corrupt voter in Ireland; the annual registration was the practice in England, and in Ireland would not be an annoyance to men who had honest votes, those only would tremble who stood on fictitious grounds. For two Parliaments a Member had been by fictitious votes forced upon the county of Kildare, who was unknown, and without property in the county. He had told Mr. Ruthven in that House that he represented neither the wealth nor the intelligence of the county, and when he went back to Ireland he had been thanked for having said so. The hon. and learned Member for Dublin had called for more Members for Ireland. Did the hon. and learned Gentleman mean to import into Ireland more candidates from England if his call was satisfied? Was it the intention of the Reform Act, that persons who had never set a foot in the country should, by loud railings against tyrant and Tory landords, and by means of fictitious votes, be returned? Was it intended that Ireland should be represented by her resident gentry, or by strangers? Look at the Slate of the registry under the existing system. In the county next adjoining that he had the honour to represent, the tenants of the noble Lord, the Secretary for Foreign Affairs, who held leases for the life of the Duke of Clarence, actually voted on that qualification at the election consequent upon the death of the late King. Let not the House be deceived, the voice of Ireland was not raised in hostility to the measure. He had presented a petition from every considerable town in the county he represented, in favour of it, his hon. Colleague had presented others, and these parties had so expressed their opinions without being called on by any sort of excitement, or led by any sort of representation, and without a cry of "injured Ireland," because they knew, that the existing state of things was a great evil, that it confounded right and wrong, property and fraud.

Mr. Pigot

said, that if any doubt existed before the speech of the hon. and gallant Member who last spoke as to what was the real object of this bill, he had read to the House a moral lesson calculated to remove all doubt from the minds of the most sceptical. In complete accordance, he feared he must be compelled to say, with what fell from the noble Lord, the author of the bill, on the second reading, it did appear to be the design, if not of its framers, at least of those who supported it, that it should be made the instrument of accomplishing those purposes to which the hon. and gallant Member had referred. He was not surprised—no one could now be surprised that a feeling and sense of hostility had been manifested and expressed from Ireland to the extent even of that acknowledged by the hon. Gentleman who spoke from the floor (Mr. C. Wood). He thought that that might have intimated to the hon. Gentleman some reason why even they who had not opposed the second reading of the bill, might now, on consideration, oppose it in the present stage. He objected to the bill because the vital principle of it was that very provision which the hon. Member for Halifax (Mr. C. Wood) said was one of those provisions to which he never should consent. That provision of the bill which had been shown by the noble Lord himself to be its vital principle, and which was put forward as the principle of the bill, was that which went under the name of annual revision, but which in luth—for the word was equivocal—was re-investigation. Investigation again and again of the same matter of fact which had been proved before, not merely an inferior tribunal, but before the same tribunal, proved again before another tribunal, and again before the same tribunal, and then turn round again and again upon the claimant, until it became absolutely impossible, against these repeated worryings, that he could retain the franchise, no matter what were his merits. That was the vice of the measure which induced him to oppose its second reading, and that was its vice which justified the conviction that such a measure was absolutely detrimental to those liberties which were based upon a popular franchise, and which must justify every man in taking every possible means which a fair and rightly-conducted opposition could enable him to adopt to prevent the bill from passing into a law. The words annual revision of votes had been bandied about from one side to the other, as if the term denoted a sense to which various persons affixed the most opposite meanings. The noble Lord said the bill of Mr. O'Loughlen provided an annual revision, and so did this; that Mr. O'Loughlen's bill provided a double appeal, and so did this. But the noble Lord applied the same phrase with a perfectly distinct meaning. Nothing was more plain than the language of revision of lists used by the bill intended to be introduced by the noble Lord, the Secretary for the Colonies. It was a revision required from circumstances that had occurred since the last registration. He admitted the defects of the present registration in Ireland. The noble Lord (Lord Stanley) had dwelt much upon the subject of the certificates. He was prepared to become a party to introduce a measure which should remove altogether every objection respecting certificates. At the time of the Reform Bill, the certificate was supposed to be a means by which to indentify the party who was registered, so as to prevent personation at the time of polling. He was, however, ready to admit that abuses existed in that respect, and that it became necessary to revise this part of the law. Again it was said, there was a multiplicity of names that were fictitious on the registry. His noble Friend had announced it to be the intention of the Government to submit a measure to Parliament to correct this evil, which would, in fact, form a general scheme applicable to both England and Ireland. It was right the whole scheme should be laid before Parliament at one and the same time, and he, as one of the officers of the Government, had no hesitation to pledge himself that a measure should be introduced to remove the defects existing in present system. What was the real object of the remedy applied in the measure of the noble Lord opposite? Not revision for the purpose of striking off the names of those who had lost their qualification—not for the purpose of preventing a multiplication of names upon the registry, but to re-investigate with the sole object of bringing the voter over and over again before the tribunals for the purpose of compelling him over and over again to prove the facts which had already been decided on. Who would hold property if the condition annexed to it was that of having, year after year, to subject his title to it to inquiry, and year after year to repeat the same proofs of his right, and to be taken from one court to another, and then back to the court where his claim had been originally decided upon? This was not a provision for the protection of the voter, and therefore it was that he would oppose it. The principle of re-investigation before another tribunal was one wholly foreign to the practice of our courts of law. In the Court of Chancery, in the Court of Queen's Bench, in cases of appeal to the highest legal tribunal in the country, it was distinctly understood as a principle, that the appeal case must be decided upon the evidence adduced in the inferior court, and that no new evidence should be admitted. The object of such a provision evidently was to prevent fraud and perjury. Yet the noble Lord called upon the House to sanction precisely the opposite principle in a bill which professed to have for its object the prevention of fraud and perjury. He begged to call the attention of the noble Lord to what had taken place in the committee appointed to inquire into the manufacture of fictitious votes in Scotland, of which committee the noble Lord was a member. The report of the committee distinctly adverted to, and deprecated, the evils arising in that country out of the practice of allowing fresh testimony to be given when the re-investigation of a claim to vote was carried from one tribunal to another. The noble Lord, however called upon them in the present bill to adopt precisely the same principle which, in the other case, the committee of which he was a member had condemned. He opposed this bill, because he was prepared to support the bill about to be brought in by his noble Friend; and he would support that bill for the very reason that it went upon the same principle as that laid down in the report of the committee on fictitious votes in Scotland. There was one point which he could not sit down without adverting to, namely, the objection as to the appeal that this bill gave to the judge at assize. He must say that be thought that objection had been somewhat exemplified in the course of the present debate. The opponents of this bill said that, by giving this appeal, mistrust and want of confidence would be raised in the administration of justice, and that the judges would be subject to obloquy and misrepresentation on the part of those who would be apt to forget the dignity of the station which they occupied as administrators of the law. The hon. and learned Member for Coleraine had referred to a difference of opinion on the part of Baron Richards and another judge against the remaining ten, but he must say he regretted that the hon. and learned Member should, in the exuberance of his zeal in support of this measure, have so far forgotten himself as not to forbear from making observations on the opinions of individual judges. He should not there enter into the defence of Baron Richards, whose character stood too high to need vindication, but he could not help observing that, if in the course of a debate in the House of Commons itself, the hon. Member could find it impossible to refrain from making observations challenging those judges who differed from him with party bias, what must be the result, what must be the imputation which would be thrown out in a country like Ireland, if they made every circuit town to which the judges came, a court of political litigation, over which the judges were to preside? This provision had been attempted to be justified by the provisions of the bill introduced by the right hon. Baronet opposite, when Catholic emancipation was carried, but there was a wide difference between the two provisions; the latter was for the protection of the franchise, and not as in the present case, for its investigation. The right hon. Baronet thought that some persons might object that to give the final decision in the franchise to assistant-barristers nominated by the Crown, would be to give the Crown too great a dominion over the franchise; and therefore, he gave the voter the protection, of an appeal to the judges on matters of law, and to a jury on matters of fact. This was an appeal which did not cause those evil consequences which would flow from the appeal proposed in the bill of the noble Lord. Up to 1830, the entire number of appeals under the bill of the right hon. Baronet, amounted only to 700, of which above 200 were successful; whereas, if the bill of the noble Lord were carried, there would be hundreds and thousands of appeals yearly until the franchise was altogether extinguished. On these grounds then, objecting to that which was the essential principle of the present bill, repeated and endless investigation of the right of the voter—objecting also to the details of the bill, and believing it impossible so to modify it in committee as to divest it of those objectionable principles—he felt himself compelled to support the motion of the hon. Baronet to commit the bill that day six months.

Viscount Howick

could assure the House that it was with great reluctance that he trespassed upon their attention at all after the protracted debate which had taken place on the subject. But it was so painful to him to vote against those with whom he had usually the pleasure of acting in that House, that he felt it was impossible for him to give that vote without explaining the grounds on which he voted, more especially after the speech lately delivered by the hon. and gallant Colonel opposite (Colonel Conolly). It was absolutely necessary, as he found himself compelled to vote in the same division with that hon. and gallant Member, to explain that he did so with totally differ- ent objects and views, and guided by totally different feelings. He had ventured last night to express to the House his opinion that the question it had now to decide was not precisely that which they had to determine on the second reading. He did admit, even as far as regarded the second reading of the bill, that he gave his vote with great reluctance against the progress of the measure; but concurring with his noble Friend, the Secretary for the Colonies, in thinking that in its present shape it ought not to pass, and being desirous to support the Government of which his noble Friend was the organ, and more especially on questions relating to Irish policy, on which questions, so long as his noble Friend, the Member for Yorkshire, and his noble Friend Lord Ebrington, were at the head, he must continue to place great confidence in Government, and being, therefore, extremely anxious to mark his confidence with Government, he did vote against the second reading, believing that he did not go beyond that fair sacrifice of individual opinion which every Gentleman in that House, acting with others, for a great and common object must occasionally make. He voted then against the second reading, though he did at the time strongly entertain an opinion which he stated to many Gentlemen, amongst others to some of the Members of the Government, that it was the most highly imprudent course which the Government could have adopted, and that the bill was one which ought to have been allowed to proceed into committee, and be there discussed; and that only in the event of its being found impracticable to amend it, then ought it to be finally rejected. But how stood the question now? They were now called upon not only to prevent this bill going into committee, but to reverse a contrary decision to which the House had come. In his opinion it was always extremely inconvenient that the House should be compelled to reverse a vote to which it had shortly before come. Cases, he knew, did sometimes arise, in which such a course might properly be adopted. For instance, if a vote were come to in a very thin House, which might lead to considerable inconvenience, and to which the majority of Members, when it was more fully known might object—and sometimes, also (as in the instance of the malt tax), when a vote was come to, even in a full House, the effect of which might not be fully known, it might be justifiable to reverse that vote, if good reason were shown for setting it aside. But neither of these reasons applied to the present case. It could not be said that the vote for the second reading was taken in a thin House, nor that the matter was not fully discussed. The House came to the decision after two nights of protracted debate, during which every possible objection was urged to the bill. But, in his opinion, even if the House had been surprised into its former decision, that decision ought not to be afterwards set aside, unless a revisal were the only means of avoiding great and serious evil; because it was impossible that the House should on one day renounce a vote to which it had come only a few days before without suffering somewhat in the public estimation. And such a proceeding was equivalent to a public confession of want of consideration in the performance of their duties in the first instance, or else of fickleness and want of firmness in their determinations, either of of which confessions was calculated to lower and degrade that House in the eyes of the country. At no time, but more especially in the times in which they lived, could that House afford to take any course by which their hold on public opinion should be weakened, and the confidence and respect which ought to attend them, as representing the wisdom of the country, should be lowered. If, then, he were right in contending that the House should only reverse a decision which had been lately adopted on the ground of very great and serious evil which would arise from taking any other course, let him ask, in applying that consideration to the present measure, what amount of public inconvenience would arise from this bill going into committee? What answer had been made to the argument of his hon. Friend who sat near him (Mr. C. Wood), that the objections which had been urged to the bill were objections not of principle but of detail. After that speech, so lately made, he had listened with the greatest anxiety to the speech of the right hon. and learned Solicitor-general for Ireland, to ascertain how it was that he intended to support the opposition to the bill going into committee on the ground that the objections were objections of principle. Did the right hon. and learned Gentleman say that the present state of representation in Ireland was satisfactory—did be deny that there were great and crying evils in it which urgently demanded reform? Far from it—for he said that he himself was prepared to undertake the task of reform. But he could not forget what had been said last night, that the right hon. and learned Gentleman had somewhat of the latest undertaken that task. Neither did he put any great confidence that a bill brought on at this period of the session—and which, if he rightly understood the right hon. and learned Member, was not yet in existence, but in framing the provisions of which he was now occupied, he said he could not, looking at the period of the session and the state of parties in both Houses, feel great confidence that such a bill would become law. What next, said the right hon. and learned Gentleman? He objected to this bill because its principle was that of annual revision, and yet the right hon. and learned Gentleman immediately afterwards entered into an argument, with every word of which he agreed, to show that his objection was not to annual revision, but annual re-investigation, and to point out the difference between them, that annual revision was for the redress of the voters, whilst annual reinvestigation would be a monstrous and crying evil. But would the right hon. and learned Gentleman tell him that annual registration was the principle of this bill? Undoubtedly not. As undoubtedly the clause, as it at at present stood, provided for annual re investigation. But it would not require the adroitness and learning even of the right hon. and learned Gentleman to draw up an amendment of three lines, which would put that matter right in committee. He himself did not profess to be a lawyer, or claim, any professional skill, but even without that assistance, he thought, he could draw up an amendment which should obviate that objection in not many more lines, and which would bring the bill in strict accordance with the principle which his noble Friend, the Secretary for the Colonies was prepared to lay down. So little was it the principle of this bill that there should be an annual re-investigation, that his noble Friend opposite, when he introduced it, said that he had himself for some time deliberated on the question whether it should be revision or re-investigation, and had ultimately decided in favour of re-investigation. But, though this was the decision of his noble Friend, the decision of the committee rested on the House; and he begged to remind the hon. Baronet the Member for Drogheda, who moved last night that this bill should be committed that day six months—and he was bound to say in a speech distinguished by great ability and excellent temper and discretion—that he had mentioned this remarkable fact, that the Tory party in Drogheda itself supported this bill, under the mistaken impression that a vote once registered would not be liable to further investigation, except for objections which had arisen since the registry. The hon. Baronet mentioned this to show that the Tories themselves supported this bill under a misapprehension of its object; but did not that fact also show that amongst the Tory party there were many like himself who would be strongly disposed, when they went into committee, to support the revision instead of re-investigation, and he did believe, that when this point was urged fairly before the House in committee, that the hon. Baronet would find many hon. Gentlemen on the other side of the House who would agree with him in that view of the case, viz., that when once a man's vote should have been fairly scrutinised, it should not be liable to a second scrutiny, except on the ground of some objection that had arisen since the former investigation. Such a provision would meet all the evils which had been relied on by his noble Friend opposite as the basis of this bill, and such an amendment, which there was every reason to believe would be supported on the other side of the House, would remove by far the greatest and most serious objection to the passing of this measure. It was hardly necessary for him to consume time in proving to the House, that there was a degree of severity in scrutinising which would be really intolerable if it were to be annual. Such a severe scrutiny annually Repeated, the distance the voter might annually have to go, the consumption of his time, the expense and trouble to which it would put him, would render it too intolerable for the great bulk of the voters to submit to, whereas, if the investigation were final, those who claimed to vote would be more willing to submit to it, and he could not help saying, that he could not feel any great respect for those voters who valued the franchise so little, that en one occasion, to establish their votes in the first instance, they were not prepared to undergo some considerable degree of trouble and sacrifice of time. This amendment, then, would go far to obviate objections to the bill. There were, however, other clauses referred to, and other objections started, but which also were entirely objections of detail. Some objections had been made to the appeal to the judges. He thought there was a great deal to be said on both sides of that question, but still it was perfectly open to the House to consider this question in committee, and to strike out the clause which gave an appeal to the judges, and to substitute, by way of amendment, an appeal to any better tribunal that could be devised. But, as one of those who had the misfortune to have been upon an Irish election committee, he did consider it of the greatest importance, and that justice to Ireland imperatively required, that in Ireland there should be some effective Court of Appeal, to prevent all those difficulties. As the law now stood, Gentlemen on Irish election committees were placed in this painful position, that if they voted against opening the registry, they did indirectly give a sanction to frauds and other crying abuses, whereas if the opened the registry they practically placed the representation at the mercy of the longest purse. That was an evil which still existed, and which those who had sat on Irish committees felt very deeply, and this was an evil which would be corrected by the bill proposed by his noble Friend opposite. The whole of this subject had been so largely debated, that he should not enter further into the details of the measure, but would only observe, that as to the two provisions of the bill, to which he had adverted, and on which the Solicitor-general for Ireland mainly rested his opposition to its going into committee, he trusted he had succeeded in showing the House, that the objections made were objections, not of principle, but of detail, and might easily be remedied in a future stage of its procedure. There was one other circumstance connected with this debate on which he must take the liberty of making one observation. He trusted it could not be intended by hon. Gentlemen who sat on his side of the House, but undoubtedly language had been used both that night and on the former debate which might be construed as bearing a meaning, that this bill ought not to be supported on the ground, that if a real, impartial, and searching tribunal were established under the existing law it would lead to a narrowing of the franchise, and a great diminution in the number of voters in Ireland. He did not believe, that such was the intention of hon. Gentlemen on that side of the House, and yet if not, he scarcely, with respect to some of them, could understand the meaning of those long arguments and statements which had been made as to the comparative small-ness of the number of voters in the Irish towns and counties as regarded population, compared with the number of voters in the towns and counties of England. It had been said, that the county of Cork, which was but little inferior to Yorkshire in point of population, had an infinitely smaller number of voters. Why, undoubtedly, that was so, but he need not point out the obvious answer, that Ireland was in a very different state of civilisation also as compared to England, and that whilst the franchise depended on a property qualification, and it was not (owing unhappily to former misgovernment) to be expected, that the county of Cork, however populous, should possess an equal number of voters with one of the wealthiest and most industrious county in England. He was not going to remark on that obvious fallacy, but to observe, that the statements and arguments to which he referred seemed to imply the conviction, on the part of those who made them, that it was a justifiable ground of rejecting this measure, that the establishment of a really searching tribunal, and the impartial administration of the existing law, would diminish the existing number of individuals voting in Ireland. Now there was no man who would regret more deeply than himself doing anything which could have the effect of diminishing the number of voters in Ireland. He might appeal to his past conduct in and out of office to prove that he had not been opposed to the people of Ireland. That opinion with regard to the Irish Church which he had held while he sat on the Ministerial bench, and the statement of which had given dissatisfaction to several noble and right hon. Friends of his, that opinion regarding the great question on which all other Irish questions did in fact turn he still held, to that opinion he should ever adhere, and ever be ready to maintain it on all proper occasions. With respect to the Irish Re- form Act, if any mistake or misapprehension had arisen respecting the real meaning of the phrase "leasehold tenure," that, he said, ought to be explained, and all doubt cleared up by a legislative measure. Ireland ought to have the benefit of that. Surely, when the effect of the present system of registration was to afford facilities to perjury and fraud, the House was bound to adopt some measure by which that system might be amended. Thinking thus, he could not consent to risk the success of the future battles of Ireland by fighting her battles on ground which is untenable. The passing convenience of the hour might dictate to preserve an imperfect tribunal in order to keep the elective franchise in the hands of those who at present held it. Inconvenience no doubt there might be in the contrary course, the cause of the people might for a time be borne down, but, notwithstanding, he said, let the friends of the people do that which was consistent with truth and justice, and which was eligible in itself, and then let them fight the battle on the ground of having given the people of Ireland such a franchise as it was fair for them to possess; let them fight the battle on this fair and manly ground, and though at first they might be defeated, sure he was, that the hour of success would arrive. It was this conviction that the present system tended to demoralise the people of Ireland, and to perpetuate fraud and perjury, for which he could not blame them so much as those who allowed the system to continue, that induced him not to concur in the amendment, but to allow this bill to be fully and fairly discussed in committee.

Mr. Gisborne

had not intended to have troubled the House, but he had been called on by some hon. Members near him to give his opinion as an Irish representative. He trusted, however, that the House would allow him to state why he intended to vote against the committee. It was nothing to him that the bill corrected many things which existed in the present system of representation, or which might be found in measures that had been before brought in, he voted against the bill because it did not, in his opinion, afford a proper remedy for whatever evils might exist. He thought that the machinery of registration should become familiar to the people, and to make it so was certainly not the object of the present bill. The noble Lord had said that, until lately, there had been no objection to the English system of annual revision, but he would remind the noble Lord, that he had strongly objected to it at the commencement of the present Session. A great stress had been laid on the opinion of the judges on the franchise. Now, he must say, with all his respect for those learned personages, that he thought nothing was more absurd then to place confidence in their opinions on political subjects. He certainly should not, if he were a poor Irish voter, be willing to have his claim referred to the judges. He would not further detain the House, except by observing, that he thought that, as it was proposed to amend the registration in England and Scotland, it would be much more reasonable to wait for those measures than to step over to the noble Lord, and help him to try his first experiment on Ireland.

The Solicitor-General

said, that with unfeigned respect for the talents of the noble Lord (Viscount Howick) he felt obliged to pursue a course totally different from that which the noble Lord had adopted for the reason which he had urged. He wished the character of the House of Commons to stand as high as the noble Lord could wish it, and he was anxious to maintain it; but he thought it would be best maintained by not going into committee on this bill. The noble Lord had adverted to some of the clauses of the bill; he would take those clauses also, as a sample of the measure, the principle of which might well be gathered from them, because every clause of the bill was consistent with the principle of it, and that was to offer opposition to the acquirement of the electoral franchise. Every clause was directed to that object, and had a direct tendency to curtail the Franchise. Now, let the House consider; all the country had been hitherto waiting to see what measures would be devised to carry the Reform Act into full effect; they were now, however, asked to go into committee to see how far the Reform Act could be crippled. This was his opinion of the bill, and he would say, that when the bill came to be fully understood in the country, and the clauses should have been longer before the country, the greatest regret would be felt that the House should show such a disposition to tamper with the Reform Act as to go into committee on this bill. If he was correct in the opinion that the whole bill was calculated to impede the attainments of the electoral franchise, what would be the effect of going into committee? Why, they would have to do, not what was the proper business of the committee, to deliberate on the details, the principle being already agreed upon, but they would have to engage in a conflict in every clause as to whether it should be framed so as to discourage the attainment of the electoral franchise, or so as to conform to what hon. Gentlemen on the Ministerial side of the House wished. It had been said, that the objections went all to the details of this bill, and not to the principle. Now he knew not how he was to find the principle of a bill, except from looking into the bill, and from the general scope and tendency of the clauses to infer the principle of it, and having done so in the present case he was prepared to say that no man who did not mean to cripple the Reform Act, ought to go into committee on the bill. He had heard it said, that until now nothing had been stated in the way of complaint against the registration system in England. He was astonished to hear this, because he had heard nothing but complaints against the vexations of the registry. The country had been expecting measures from her Majesty's Ministers, to remedy the inconveniencies of the registry; and except for hon. Gentlemen opposite, the country would long since have had them. In 1835 a bill on the subject had been passed through that House, and sent up to the House of Lords, where it had been rejected with very little ceremony. For his part, he thought that the system of registration of Ireland was better and more convenient than that of England, and it would have been adopted here, most probably, if the machinery had existed. He reminded the House, that when a bill was sent up by it to the House of Lords 1835 to amend the present system of registration, it was met by a statement of the excellence of the present system; but now a bill was brought in by the same parties who opposed the former attempt to amend the registration and was defended on the opposite ground that the system was most defective. He was convinced that nothing had prevented a bill being prepared on this subject by her Majesty's Government, except the conviction that every bill on the subject which did not impair the Reform Bill would be rejected, as a matter of course, by the House of Lords. He feared that even at present the noble Lord's bill would have only one recommendation to their Lordships, and that would be, its direct tendency to accomplish that object. He, therefore, said, that they might go into the Committee, and in the Committee might make alterations in the bill, but the effect of them would be, that unless they completely altered the principle of the bill, which could only be done by altering its clauses altogether, the bill could not be made a good bill, and it was to him perfectly clear, that if the bill was made a good bill, it would never meet with the concurrence of the House of Lords. If, then, they should determine to go into committee, they would have to sustain a perpetual conflict upon this point—namely, whether they would impair the Reform Bill, while pretending to do nothing more than amend the system of registration. No one on the Opposition benches had yet had courage to propose to repeal the Reform Bill. But it was clear to him that nearly every Member of the serried phalanx opposed to him was prepared to destroy its efficiency by attempts to amend it. What the country really apprehended at this moment was, that the party which had lost power through the Reform Bill, and which therefore hated the Reform Bill as the instrument by which their expulsion from power was effected, should succeed in impairing its efficiency by a series of hypocritical attempts to amend it. The noble Lord, the Secretary for the Colonies, had said, and had said very truly, that this was the first retrograde motion. He believed that it was as decided an attempt to impair the Reform Bill as any which either had been or could be presented to Parliament. He asked the House whether there were not at present complaints enough of the difficulty of establishing the right of voting, and yet this measure appeared to he framed for the purpose of increasing that difficulty. He repeated the question which had been already asked in the course of this debate, whether any man on the benches opposite would have the hardihood to propose the adoption in England of such a system of registration as was now proposed for Ireland? Would not any Member who even ventured to support such a proposal, have, letter after letter, the next morning, from his constituents, expressing astonishment at such con- duct? The system of registration adopted in England was a novel system, of which it was impossible, à priori, to foresee the working. It appeared as if the noble Lord had waited until he had ascertained the failure of the experiment in England, and had then determined to apply it to Ireland, and to apply it with great aggravation. But it had been said, that the noble Lord's bill was necessary to assimilate the systems of registration in England and in Ireland. Now, the noble Lord's bill did not assimilate them; it gave to Ireland the most defective parts of the English system, and nothing more. The hon. and learned Gentleman then proceeded to point out various defects in the details of the bill, and particularly complained of the enormous expenses to which claimants of the franchise would be exposed in consequence of the revising barristers having only the power to remove their courts from time to time, and not from place to place. [Lord Stanley read the 17th clause of the bill.] He admitted upon that point he was in error. Nevertheless, the expense which would be thrown by this bill upon the poor and independent voter in substantiating his vote before the different tribunals which it created, would be greater not merely than the worth of his vote, but also than the fee simple of his freehold. Under this bill, which was called a bill to purify the list of electors, every elector might have to run the gauntlet of opposition year after year, until he was wearied out of all desire to sustain his franchise. They ought, therefore, to take good care that in purifying the registry from spurious voters, they did not destroy the suffrages of a more numerous body of good and genuine voters. When he heard so much said on the other side about fictitious votes, and the perjury by which they were supported, and when he likewise heard of landlords creating freeholds by deed revocable on the shortest notice, and of those who held such freeholds being registered, he could not help asking, who was it that had trained up the people of Ireland to the commission of perjury? When the landlords of Ireland sent the peasant one year to perjure himself to please them, could they be surprised that the next year the same peasant should commit perjury to please himself? If the House rendered the elective franchise not merely a burden, but something worse to those who claimed it, they would soon drive from the register every independent voter. The bill was not calculated to attain its professed objects. It was brought forward with the avowed intention of preventing fictitious votes from being placed on the registry, but it would, in reality, prove an obstacle to the acquisition of genuine votes. The Government had announced their intentions of proposing measures on the subject, but he confessed he was not very sanguine as to the probability of their passing into law. He had no doubt that that the bills proposed by the party opposite, if they received the sanction of the House, would pass into law. But would not the country prefer to retain the Reform Act, even with its present inconveniences, to the adoption of bills such as the party opposite brought forward? Would not the country rather wait for the time when the other House of Parliament should take a different course on these matters? He said that the Government ought to prepare bills in the way in which the public should have them, and if the House of Lords rejected them, still the principles of the Government would be seen, and it would also be seen where the impediment to good legislation was. Let no man impute to him, because he said this, that he felt any disrespect for the House of Lords. He would be the last man to injure the character of that House, but if that House was so constituted, that it felt such alarm at reform as to impede good legislation, it was fit that public opinion should operate upon the peers But this was only a temporary evil, for the noble lords who now sat in the House of Commons, when they took their seats in the other house, having been educated among the people, would not entertain the same dread of the progress of reform. It was right that the nature of the vote to which the House was about to come should be distinctly understood. If the bill should be carried, it would indicate an intention to impair the Reform Act, and every Englishman must feel alarm lest the House should next be disposed to pass a bill of a similar character with respect to England.

Mr. Hume moved that the debate be adjourned till next day.

Sir R. Peel

felt convinced no further discussion on the subject was necessary, and he called on the noble Lord the Secretary for the Colonies to act upon the opinion he expressed last night, that an adjournment was uncalled for.

Lord J. Russell

should certainly vote against the adjournment of the debate.

The House divided on the adjournment. Ayes 127; Noes 431: Majority 304.

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

On the question being again put,

Mr. Hume moved the House do adjourn.

Lord Ingestrie

begged to assure the noble Lord, the Secretary for the Colonies, that if this futile attempt of adjournment was persevered in, he, for one, should do every thing in his power to prevent any of the Government business being proceeded with.

Lord J. Russell

said, the noble Lord chose to presume that those who had moved the adjournment were acting under his control. He would tell the noble Lord, that if those who made motions of adjournment were always under his control, he should have taken care last year, when his right hon. Friend, the Chancellor of the Exchequer, proposed a bill, that repeated motions for adjournment should not have been made upon that bill by those who supported the Government in that House. The course taken with respect to that bill was to obstruct it by repeated adjournments, and it seemed that parties not very different from those who made that opposition were now obstructing by motions of the same kind the bill proposed by the noble Lord opposite. He was no party to that course; he did not approve of it, but having been unable to prevent that course being taken with respect to a bill proposed by a Member of the Government, he did say, that the noble Lord had no right whatever, either to accuse him of promoting this motion for adjournment, or to accuse those who were acting under a sense of what they conceived to be their duty of acting under the control of the Government. The noble Lord would take his own course with respect to the public business that might be brought forward; but certainly, finding no reason to admire the conduct of which the noble Lord disapproved, he saw much stronger reason to disapprove such a course as the noble Lord had announced that he should take, of obstructing all public business whatever, for which the noble Lord had given no just reason. He must say, that the noble Lord, upon a proceeding with which he was in no way connected, had founded an attack and imputation upon him which was entirely gratuitous, of which the noble Lord did not possess a jot or tittle of proof, and which the noble Lord ought never to have made without some plausible reason.

Mr. Hume

said, that having moved the adjournment, he begged to assure the noble Lord that he had as much to do with the motion as the noble Lord opposite himself had.

Lord Ingestrie

bagged most distinctly to assure the noble Lord that he meant no imputation with respect to any connexion on his part with the hon. Gentleman who had moved the adjournment. What he meant to say was this, that those who supported that motion were the habitual supporters of the noble Lord.

The House again divided on the question of adjournment. Ayes 91; Noes 375:—Majority 284.

List of the AYES.
Aglionby, H. A. Crawley, S.
Aglionby, Major Dash wood, G. H.
Archbold, R. Duncombe, T. S.
Bannerman, A. Ellice, hon. E.
Barry, G. S. Ellis, W.
Bellew, R. M. Etwall, R.
Berkeley, hon. H. Euston, Earl of
Bewes, T. Evans, G.
Blake, M. J. Ewart, W.
Blewitt, R. J. Fielding, J.
Bodkin, J. J. Fleetwood, Sir P. H.
Bridgeman, H. Grattan, H.
Brotherton, J. Greig, D.
Browne, R. D. Grey, rt. hon. Sir C.
Bryan, G. Hawes, B.
Butler, hon. Colonel Heathcoat, J.
Callaghan, D. Hill, Lord A. M.
Cave, hon. R. O. Hindley, C.
Chester, H. Hobhouse, T. B.
Clive, E. B. Hodges, T. L.
Collier, J. Hollond, R.
Collins, W. Hutton, R.
Corbally, M. E. James, W.
Johnson, Gen. Salwey, Colonel
Langdale, hon. C. Schofield, J.
Lushington, rt. hn. S. Smith, B.
Maher, J. Somers, J. P.
Martin, J. Standish, C.
Muntz, G. F. Steuart, R.
Murray, A. Stock, Dr.
Muskett, G. A. Strickland, Sir G.
Nagle, Sir R. Talbot, C. R. M
O'Brien, C. Tancred, H. W.
O'Callaghan, hon. C. Thornely, T.
O'Connell, D. Vigors, N. A.
O'Connell, J. Wakley, T.
O'Connell, M. J. Wallace, R.
O'Conor Don Warburton, H.
Pattison, J. White, L.
Pechell, Captain White, S.
Pinney, W. Wilbraham, G.
Power, J. Williams, W.
Power, J. Wood, B.
Redington, T. N. Yates, J. A.
Roche, W. TELLERS.
Roche, Sir D. Hume, J.
Rundle, J. Roche, E. B.
List of the NOES.
Acland, Sir T. D. Broadley, H.
Acland, T. D. Brodie, W. B.
A'Court, Capt. Brooke, Sir A. B.
Adam, Admiral Sir C. Brownrigg, S.
Ainsworth, P. Bruce, Lord E.
Alford, Viscount Bruce, C. L. C.
Alsager, Capt. Bruges, W. H. L.
Alston, R. Buck, L. W.
Andover, Viscount Buller, C.
Anson, Sir G. Buller, Sir J. Y.
Arbuthnott, hon. H. Burr, H.
Archdall, M. Burroughes, H. N.
Ashley, Lord Busfeild, W.
Ashley, hon. H. Byng, G.
Attwood, W. Calcraft, J. H.
Bagge, W. Campbell, Sir J.
Bagot, hon. W. Canning, rt. hn. Sir S.
Bailey, J., jun. Cantilupe, Viscount
Baillie, H. J. Castlereagh, Viscount
Baines, E. Cavendish, hon. C.
Baker, E. Chetwynd, Major
Baldwin, C. B. Childers, J. W.
Baring rt. hon. F. T. Cholmondeley, hn. H.
Barnard, E. G. Christopher, R. A.
Barneby, J. Clay, W.
Barrington, Viscount Clayton, Sir W. R.
Bassett, J. Clerk, Sir G.
Bateson, Sir R. Clive, hon. R. H.
Beamish, F. B. Cochrane, Sir T. J.
Bell, M. Codrington, C. W.
Bethell, H. Cole, hon. A. H.
Blackburne, I. Colquhoun, Sir J. C.
Blackstone, W. S. Compton, H.
Blair, J. Conolly, Colonel E.
Blake, W. J. Cooper, E. J.
Blakemore, R. Corry, hon. H.
Blennerhassett, A. Courtenay, P.
Boldero, H. G. Craig, W. G.
Bowes, J. Cresswell, C.
Bradshaw, J. Crewe, Sir G.
Bramston, T. W. Cripps, J.
Crompton, Sir S. Graham, rt. hon. Sir J.
Dalmeny, Lord Granby, Marquess of
Darner, hon. D. Grattan, J.
Darlington, Earl of Greene, T.
D'Eyncourt, rt. hn. C. Greenaway, C.
De Horsey, S. H. Greg, R. H.
D'Israeli, B. Grey, rt. hon. Sir G.
Divett, E. Grimsditch, T.
Dottin, A. R. Grimston, Viscount
Douglas, Sir C. E. Grimston, hon. E. H.
Dowdeswell, W. Grote, G.
Drummond, H. H. Hale, R. B.
Duff, J. Halford, H.
Duffield, T. Hamilton, Lord C.
Duke, Sir J. Handley, H.
Dunbar, G. Harcourt, G. S.
Duncan, Viscount Hardinge, hon. Sir H.
Duncombe, hon. W. Harland, W. C.
Dundas, C. W. D. Hastie, A.
Dundas, F. Hawkes, T.
Dundas, hon. J. C. Hawkins, J. H.
Dundas, Sir R. Hayes, Sir E.
Dundas, D. Heathcote, Sir W.
Dungannon, Viscount Heneage, E.
Du Pre, G. Heneage, G. W.
East, J. B. Henniker, Lord
Easthope, J. Hepburn, Sir T. B.
Eastnor, Viscount Herbert, hon. S.
Eaton, R. F. Heron, Sir R.
Egerton, W. T. Herries, rt. hon. J. C.
Egerton, Sir P. Hillsborough, Earl of
Eliot, Lord Hinde, J. H.
Elliot, hon. J. E. Hobhouse, Sir J. C
Ellis, J. Hodgson, F.
Erle, W. Hodgson, R.
Estcourt, T. Hogg, J. W.
Evans, W. Holmes, W. A'C.
Farnham, E. B. Holmes, W.
Farrand, R. Hope, hon. C.
Feilden, W. Hope, H. T.
Fector, J. M. Hope, G. W.
Fellowes, E. Hoskins, K.
Ferguson, Sir R. A. Hotham, Lord
Ferguson, R. Houstoun, G.
Filmer, Sir E. Howard, hon. E. G.
Finch, F. Howard, F. J.
Fitzroy, Lord C. Howard, P. H.
Fitzroy, hon. H. Howick, Viscount
Fleming, J. Hughes, W. B.
Follett, Sir W. Hurst, R. H.
Forrester, hon. G. Hurt, F.
Fort, J. Ingestre, Viscount
Fox, S. L. Ingham, R.
French, F. Inglis, Sir R. H.
Freshfield, J. W. Irton, S.
Gaskell, J. Milnes Jackson, Sergeant
Gillon, W. D. James, Sir W. C.
Gisborne, T. Jenkins, Sir R.
Gladstone, W. E. Jermyn, Earl
Glynne, Sir S. R. Jervis, J.
Godson, R. Jones, J.
Gordon, R. Jones, Captain
Gordon, hon. Captain Kelly, F.
Gore, O. J. R. Kemble, H.
Gore, O. W. Kelburne, Viscount
Goring, H. D. Kirk, P.
Goulburn, rt. hon. H. Knatchbull, Sir E.
Knight, H. G. Phillpotts, J.
Knightley, Sir C. Pigot, D. R.
Labouchere, rt. hn. H. Pigot, R.
Lefroy, rt. hon. T. Planta, right hon. J.
Lennox, Lord G. Plumptre, J. P.
Liddell, hon. H. T. Polhill, F.
Lincoln, Earl of Pollen, Sir J. W.
Litton, E. Pollock, Sir F.
Loch, J. Powell, Colonel
Lockhart, A. M. Powerscourt, Viscount
Long, W. Praed, W. T.
Lowther, hon. Col. Price, Sir R.
Lowther, J. H. Pringle, A.
Lushington, C. Protheroe, E.
Lygon, hon. Gen. Pryme, G.
Lynch, A. H. Pusey, P.
Macaulay, rt. hn. T. B. Rae, rt. hon. Sir W.
Mackenzie, T. Ramsbottom, J.
Mackenzie, W. F. Rice, E. R.
Mackinnon, W. A. Richards, R.
Maclean, D. Rickford, W.
M'Taggart, John Rolleston, L.
Mahon, Viscount Rose, rt. hon. Sir G.
Manners, Lord C. S. Round, C. G.
Marshall, W. Round, J.
Martin, T. B. Rushbrooke, Col.
Marton, G. Rushout, G.
Mathew, G. B. Russell, Lord J.
Maule, hon. F. Rutherfurd, rt. hon. A.
Maunsell, T. P. Sanderson, R.
Melgund, Viscount Sandon, Viscount
Meynell, Capt. Sanford, E. A.
Miles, P. W. S. Scarlett, hon. J. Y.
Miller, W. H. Scrope, G. P.
Monypenny, T. G. Shaw, right hon. F.
Mordaunt, Sir J. Sheil, right hon. R. L.
Moreton, hon. A. H. Shelburne, Earl of
Morgan, C. M. R. Sheppard, T.
Morpeth, Viscount Shirley, E. J.
Neeld, J. Sibthorp, Col.
Nicholl, J. Smith, J. A.
Noel, hon. C. G. Somerset Lord G.
Norreys, Lord Somerville, Sir W.M.
Northland, Lord Stanley, hon. E, J.
O'Brien, W. S. Stanley, E.
O'Ferrall, R. M. Stanley, Lord
O'Neill, hon. J. B. R. Stanley, M.
Ossulston, Lord Stansfield, W. R.
Oswald, J. Stewart, J.
Owen, Sir J. Stuart, W. V.
Packe, C. W. Strutt, E.
Paget, Lord A. Sturt, H. C.
Palmer, R. Style, Sir C.
Palmerston, Viscount Sugden, it. hn. Sir E.
Parker, J. Talfourd, Sergeant
Parker, M. Teignmouth, Lord
Parker, R. Tennent, J. E.
Parker, T. A. W. Thesiger, F.
Parnell, it. hn. Sir H. Thomas, Colonel H.
Pease, J. Thompson, Alderman
Peel, rt. hon. Sir R. Thornhill, G.
Pemberton, T. Tollemache, hon. F. J.
Pendarves, E. W. W. Townley, R. G.
Perceval, Colonel Trench, Sir F.
Perceval, hon. G. J. Troubridge, Sir E. T.
Philips, M. Tufnell, H.
Philips, G. R. Turner, E.
Vere, Sir C. B. Winnington, Sir T. E.
Verner, Colonel Wodehouse, E
Vernon, C. H. Wood, C.
Villiers, Viscount Wood, Colonel
Vivian, Major Wood, G. W.
Vivian, J. E. Wood, Colonel T.
Waddington, H. S. Worsley, Lord
Wemyss, Captain Wyse, T.
Wilbraham, hon. B. Yorke, hon. E. T.
Wilde, Sir T. Young, J.
Williams, R, Young, Sir W.
Williams, W. A. TELLERS.
Wilmot, Si E. Fremantle, Sir T.
Wilshere, W. Baring, H.
Mr. Hume

declared, that his object had been in moving the adjournment to give his hon. and learned Friend (Mr. O'Connell) an opportunity of delivering his sentiments on this most important question; and as he himself was also anxious to state his views upon it, but had not been able, though he had frequently risen in the course of the evening, to catch the Speaker's eye, he now felt it to be his duty to move, that the debate be adjourned till this day.

Lord Stanley

said, it really was time for the House to consider seriously to what length they were disposed to permit the abuse of what in itself was really a most valuable privilege. No one was more ready than he was to admit that there were occasions on which some unreasonable propositions might be pressed in a thin House, and at a very late hour, by an overwhelming majority, for which the power of moving adjournments was the last and only remedy. In his judgment it was valuable at such a time, but then only was it a justifiable measure. It must be clear to every one, that if any Gentleman on either side was determined that a great question should not be settled without even offering to submit his opinions on the subject from five o'clock in the afternoon to two next morning. He might, by moving adjournment after adjournment, render it absolutely impossible to conduct the business of the House. He really should have thought that the hon. and learned Member for Dublin coming over from Ireland, burning with resentment against this bill, and against him, having met him face to face in that House, would have taken the earliest opportunity of redeeming the pledge he made in Dublin, that he would reiterate his charges to his f ice, and that the hon. and learned Gentleman would, at all events, have had the honesty of purpose to do so according to the rules of the House, when he should have been enabled to answer his accusations. But, waving the advantage of a reply, he did not expect that the hon. and learned Gentleman, after two nights had been consumed in debating this question, which had been the subject matter of two nights' previous discussion on the second reading, without having made an attempt to offer himself to the House, would have resorted to a measure which, after all, could lead to nothing but public inconvenience and the stoppage of business, by again moving the adjournment of the House. He well knew a minority had the power of interposing and moving these adjournments; but he also knew, if they exercised that power, the business of the country could not be proceeded with. If they exercised it in every case in which they apprehended the judgment would be pronounced against them, they stood in the way of the expression of free public opinion in that House, and they must be subject to that imputation which the country would cast on them, of resorting to these expedients in the hope of putting off the evil day, when the voice of the people in that House would declare emphatically against them. Such a state of things really placed hon. Gentlemen who had charge of bills in the greatest possible difficulty. Every one must admit, that the question which he had already submitted to the consideration of the House was one of the deepest importance and most vital interest, on which it was most desirable they should have a speedy decision from the representatives of the people. The adjournment of last night had already interfered with the notices of motion which stood in Tuesday's paper; and Wednesday was fixed for the consideration of measures brought forward by private Members of Parliament. If the debate were again. adjourned, he should be obliged to ask for precedence, and that would postpone the consideration of other important bills, among others, that of the hon. and learned Member for Reading (the Copyright Bill) which had so frequently been postponed. If the House did agree to take an adjournment of the debate, what security had they that this game would not be played again? With all respect to those hon. Members who had spoken that night, he must say, that the debate was not much advanced from seven o'clock till ten or half past ten. At half past six or seven o'clock there were about forty-five Members in the House, and the great difficulty that would be felt, even if this debate were adjourned would be the difficulty of keeping it alive, and of preventing the House from being counted out during those fatal hours which intervened between five and nine o'clock, because not one of those thirty or forty gentlemen who were determined to speak would condescend to speak till nine o'clock. This course might be followed, not only the next night, but for half a dozen nights more in succession. He had, therefore, no alternative but to appeal to the hon. and learned Gentleman opposite, and the other hon. Members who had notices on the paper, and ask for precedence for this debate.

Mr. Serjeant Talfourd

certainly felt that in the position in which this question stood, the noble Lord had taken the only course which he could pursue, and he hoped that other Members would follow his own example, and wave the orders for which they had precedence. He felt bound to give way himself, as the course of proceeding which had been adopted was one to which he would never be a party.

Debate adjourned.