HC Deb 26 April 1841 vol 57 cc1097-137

"Those excluded by any excess of rating over-rent would be 53. Of these there are 3 who each hold farms exceeding 100 acres in extent; 27 who hold farms each between 50 and 100 acres in extent; 3 who each hold farms between 40 and 50 acres in extent; 9 who each hold farms between 30 and 40 acres in extent; 8 who each hold farms between 20 and 30 acres in extent; 2 who each hold farms between 10 and 20 acres in extent; 1 who holds a farm under 10 acres. Total 53. If a test of 5l. excess of rating above rent were adopted, 23 persons in addition to the above would be excluded. Of those 23 there are, 1 who holds a farm of 100 acres, for which he pays 40l. a year, and is rated to the poor at 44l. 10s.; 8 who each hold farms of between 50 and 100 acres in extent, and paying rents which range from 14l., which is the minimum to 64l. a-year; 4 who each hold farms of between 40 and 50 acres, and pay rents ranging between 16l. and 38l.; 2 who each hold from 20 to 30 acres; 5 who each hold between 10 and 20 acres; 1 who holds under 10 acres. IN LISTOWEL.—The number of 10l. electors whose rents were ascertained, were 265. Of these there would be excluded by a test requiring any excess of rating above rent 125; by an excess of 1l. 137; by an excess of 2l. 172; by an excess of 3l. 188; by an excess of 1l., 202; by an excess of 5l., 220; by an excess of 10l.," 250. IN CASHEL.—The number of 10l. county electors whose rents were ascertained was 142; of these there would be excluded by a test requiring any excess of rating above rent 112; by a test of 2l. excess over rent 116; by a test of 3l., excess over rent 120; by a test of 4l., excess over rent 121; by a test of 5l., excess over rent 123; by a test of 10l., excess over rent 133. IN TIPPERARY.—The number of 10l. electors whose rents were ascertained were 100; of those there would be excluded by a test requiring any excess of rating above rent 82; by a test requring an excess of 1l. above rent the number of the excluded would be 86; by an excess of 2l. the number of excluded would be 88; by an excess of 3l. the number of excluded would be 91; by an excess of 4l. the number of excluded would be 92; by an excess of 5l. the number of excluded would be 92; by an excess of 10l. the number of excluded would be 97. RENTS OF THE EXCLUDED.—Of the 82 10l. electors who would be excluded by a test requiring any excess of rating above rein, there are 7 who each pay rents of 100l. or upwards; 26 who each pay rents between 50l. and 100l.; 4 between 40l. and 50l.; 15 between 30l. and 40l.; 14 between 20l. and 30l.; 13 between 10l. and 20l.; 3 between 5l. and 10l.; none who pay rent below 5l. There are 14 other 10l. electors who would be excluded if an excess of 5l. above rent were required; of these there are three who each pay rents between 40l. and 50l.; 1 between 30l. and 40l.; 3 between 20l. and 30l.; 4 between 10l. and 20l.; and 3 between 5l. and 10l. IN ARMAGH.—The number of 10l. county electors, whose rents were ascertained, were 96. Of these, there would be excluded by a test requiring any excess of rating, above rent, 22; by an excess of 1l., 27; by an excess of 2l., 36; by an excess of 3l., 45: by an excess 4l., 53; by an excess of 5l., 66; by an excess of 10l., 81. IN COOTEHILL.—The number of 10l. electors, whose rents were ascertained, 255. Of these, there would be excluded, by a test requiring any excess of rating above rent, 86; by an excess of 5l., 151; by an excess of 10l. 213.

He thought that these facts would be sufficient to demonstrate to the committee, that the scheme of his noble Friend, the Member for Northumberland, when the sum was adopted which he proposed to move in his next amendment, was utterly untenable and inapplicable to the state of things in Ireland. The adoption of the test which his noble Friend proposed would almost entirely disfranchise the present occupying constituency of Ireland. This was a result which might be a very proper one if considered on any fanciful abstract theory as to what an independent constituency ought to be composed of; but what he did mean to say of the scheme of his noble Friend was, that if it were adopted, they would not be able to maintain and keep up in Ireland any constituency sufficient to carry out the notion and principle of a popular representative Government. He had thus stated the objections which he entertained to the views of his noble Friend; as the details of the measure proposed by her Majesty's Government came on for consideration, he should be prepared to defend them. At present, he would only say that he thought there were no means so likely to correct and prevent the abuses and malpractices at present complained of in election matters in Ireland as the adoption of some simple and fair test of rating, such as that which her Majesty's Government proposed in the present measure, and which, until he heard some better scheme proposed, he should not be willing to abandon.

Mr. C. Wood

said, he conceived the amendments then before the House did not appear to be properly understood; for its effect would be to make a clear addition to the occupation franchise proposed in the bill, whether that franchise might hereafter be with or without a lease; and he did not understand therefore the ground on which the noble Lord opposed the amendment of his noble Friend, after having stated his willingness to accede to it, if it made an addition to the constituency. Now, the proposition of his noble Friend was an addition, and not, as had been argued, a substitute. The noble Lord the Secretary for Ireland complained, that the object of the present amendment was to disfranchise; on the contrary, it was proposed to remedy a sweeping disfranchisement, which some of the words of the noble Secretary for Ireland's bill would cause. It was introduced with a view of inserting more moderate words. The bill of the noble Lord destroyed the whole existing properly qualification franchise of Ireland, and substituted in its stead one by leasehold occupation, while the proposition of his noble Friend near him (Lord Ho wick) would preserve a certain portion of that which now was in existence. The noble Secretary for Ireland argued throughout as if the proposition of his noble Friend (Viscount Howick) was brought forward as a substitute for that of the Government, instead of being, as it distinctly was, an addition thereto. But let the noble Lord look to the whole of what was proposed by his noble Friend, the substance of his noble Friend's first proposition, that which was now before the committee, being contained in the addition which he meant to propose to the second clause, and then let the noble Lord consider how the whole would work. If that addition was inserted, the clause would run— That after this act shall so come into operation in any county every person claiming under any act or acts now in force, to be entitled to be registered, and to vote as a Parliamentary elector for any county, in respect of any freehold or leasehold property in his actual occupation, shall be deemed to have a beneficial interest in such property of the clear yearly value required by such Act or Acts, if such property, or some part thereof, shall have been rated in the last rate made for the relief of the poor, at a net annual value which shall exceed any rent to which he may be liable in respect thereof, and any charges thereon, by the sum of five pounds per annum; and every male person, of full age, and not subject to any legal incapacity or disqualification, who shall have, at law or in equity, an estate of freehold in any lands, tenements or hereditaments situate in such county, or shall be entitled, at law or in equity, to any lands or tenements situate in such county, of any tenure, for the unexpired residue, whatever it may be, of any term originally created for a period of not less than fourteen years, &c., &c. In the noble Lord's own words; and if his noble Friend's second amendment for removing the restriction of leasehold tenure was adopted, the words carrying that amendment into effect would after wards be substituted for those of the noble Lord which he had just read, be ginning at "Every such person, &c,"—so that the proposal now under discussion would be a clear addition, either to the franchise founded on a lease, or to the franchise founded merely on occupation. The proposition had this great advantage, that it would constitute the constituency so that the whole Parliamentary franchise of Ireland would not depend upon a single species of qualification. If, then, he had made his noble Friend the Secretary for Ireland understand, that this proposition was moved, not as a substitute, but by way of addition to that of the Government, he should hope that his noble Friend would withdraw the opposition which he had intimated. It was to be observed, that all who had votes for Members of Parliament in the three kingdoms might be divided into two classes, one having a franchise based on property, the other on occupation. The property qualification required an interest in the tenement above rent and charged. In England, the freeholder in fee voted if he possessed a value of 40l. above charges. The copyholder and leaseholder on a value of 10l. above rent and charges but in Ireland a value of 10l. was required alike in the case of the owner of the fee simple and the occupier with the lease. The whole qualification in that country rested on property with occupation as a condition. Now he thought it a great pity to destroy, as the proposition of the noble Secretary would do, the qualification based on property, which was the oldest known to the constitution, and also the best, inasmuch as it was the most independent. The proposal of his noble Friend near him (Lord Howick) would allow holders in fee simple rated on an annual value of 5l. to register. Of these persons there was but a small number, but there were some. But of persons paying a small amount of rent with leases for ever, or renewable for ever, who would be also admitted to the franchise, there was very considerable number in the north of Ireland, He alluded, amongst others, to a class of holders formerly called toties quoties tenants, who held at small rentals under the Church lessees, and were entitled to renewal as often as the latter obtained renewal, and whose title had now become perpetual, since the law had declared the properly of the lessees to be in perpetuity. Many of this class would be enfranchised by the proposition of his noble Friend near him, but disfranchised by that of his noble Friend, the Secretary for Ireland, it they were rated at the various sums between 5l. and 8l. with an interest above their rent, of 5l. In that respect his noble Friend's amendment was an improvement upon the plan of the Government, because it extended the franchise to a class the most independent of any not merely an occupying tenantry, but a class resembling, as closely as circumstances would allow, the small freeholders of this country. His noble Friend, the Secretary for Ireland, had argued all along as if this part of his noble Friend's proposition had been the whole of what was proposed, and the noble Secretary had stated that a large portion of the constituency of Ireland would be disfranchised by moans of it. Now, he (Mr. C. Wood) admitted, and his noble Friend was aware that the first part of the proposition would operate to disfranchise if taken alone; but his noble Friend thought that they ought to aim at preserving a portion of the most independent constituency in Ireland, and that any deficiency should be made up by a franchise based on occupation as in England. Looking to the returns of ratings from unions in Ireland which had been laid on the Table by the Government, it appeared that in five unions, in the cases of nearly one-third of the 10l. voters, and in London being in forty-two cases out of forty-six, the rating exceeded the rent by 5l.; and this, he thought, proved that the proposition of his noble Friend, instead of disfranchising to the extent supposed by the noble Lord, would retain many of the present constituency. Believing, then, that the class of voters who had a franchise based on property was the best, and that it was most independent, he called upon those who looked for an extension of the independent class of voters, to accede to the proposition of his noble Friend, in addition to any other that might be made. If it were asked why his noble Friend had fixed upon the sum of 5l. rather than any other, his reply was, because that sum best met the conflicting constructions of the beneficial interest clause; and in reference to this he might be allowed to remark, that he found the judges of a Court of Appeal in Scotland had concurred with the minority of the Irish judges in the interpretation of similar words in the Scotch Reform Act. Then with respect to the rating of the Poor-law, he believed that some fault had been found with that rating as a test; but he was disposed to think it a fair one: he had taken the pains to go through all the unions from which returns had been made, and he had found that 25 per cent, below the rent was the average rating, and this, as near as possible, was the case throughout England. The first part of the proposition of his noble Friend, if taken alone, would certainly disqualify a number of electors in the south of Ireland, but would enfranchise many in the north. The deficient numbers would be made up either by the leasehold franchise of the Government, or the occupation franchise of his noble Friend. He would now proceed to state the arguments against imposing the restriction of leasehold tenure on the new franchise. The noble Secretary thought he should be able, by means of the leasehold qualification, to maintain the number of the Irish constituency, but he (Mr. Wood) did not believe that even at a 5l. rating it would be possible for him to maintain it for a permanency. His only object, as well as that of the noble Secretary, and he was persuaded also of Gentlemen opposite, was to have an adequate number of an independent constituency, but he did not believe the noble Secretary's proposal would accomplish that object. What was the state of the constituency of Ireland as compared with that of 1835, which might be taken as the time at which the Reform Bill had come into fair operation, and before the registry had been in a great measure swelled by the false entries alleged to have been made through fraud and perjury? To these charges of perjury he did not attach much weight, for when the judges themselves differed as to the construction of a beneficial interest, two individuals might very well swear to opposite statements, without either intending to commit perjury. In fact, if Judges Crampton and Perrin were in circumstances to be called upon to swear to the point, they would swear point blank against each other, without any man dreaming that either was guilty of perjury. Since 1835, however, the total reduction of voters in Ireland was 7,500, but the 50l. freeholders had increased in that interval by nearly 300, and the diminution arising mainly from the falling in of leases, must be increased beyond the 7,500. The number of 10l. voters in 1835, was 45,000; they were now only 38,000. So that the class which represented the peasantry of Ireland, was diminished by upwards of 7,000, while the others had received an increase. No doubt a considerable portion of this decrease was owing to the non-renewal of leases. The universal testimony went to show that, in Ireland there was a very prevalent feeling, (whether arising out of politics or from whatever cause) against the renewal of leases. This prevailed in every part of Ireland. In the Union of Newton Lismavady, in the county of Londonderry, there was evidence on the Table that, though no political objection existed to renewing leases, the practice of letting by lease was decreasing. Throughout the county one-half the farms only were held under lease, and the number was stated as being likely to decrease. In Coleraine the same was the case; so too in the Union of Rosscrea, in the King's County, there were stated to be very few leases. In Gort there were now fewer leases than formerly. In the Union of Castlerea there was great indisposition to grant leases, unless when landlords wished to create a political interest. There was a general, an almost universal testimony, therefore, that the system of renewing leases was going out in Ireland. It followed from that, that if the franchise were based on leaseholds, it would be based on a foundation which would soon cease to exist; they would be building on a sand that was gradually sinking and falling away; and whatever number of leasehold voters they obtained now, even if they went down to a 5l. rating, which he presumed the Government felt they could not maintain, nothing was so certain as this, that five years hence they would not have that number, or anything like it. The disfranchisement had gone on at the rate of 1,000 a year during the last six years; and when the great object they were aiming at was not to diminish the number of voters in Ireland, and when it was objected that the proposition of the noble Lord, the Member for North Lancashire would still further reduce the number, it did seem to him (Mr. Wood) an extraordinary proposition for his noble Friend (Lord Morpeth) to make, that the franchise should be based on a condition that was daily expiring. The necessity would therefore arise, in no great number of years' time, to re-open the whole question, and then, if not now, the Government would see the necessity of having an occupation franchise. He confessed that he did participate, in the strongest degree, in the objection which his noble Friend (Lord Howick) took, with regard to the dependent nature of a leasehold franchise of so low an amount. He did not believe that the other object which his noble Friend (Lord Morpeth) had in view—namely, securing the independence of the voter—would be obtained by a lease, the amount of which was so low as 5l. or even 8l. He was perfectly aware of the objection which had been felt on this side of the house—the supposed dependence of the tenant at will; it was a popular objection to what was termed the Chandos clause of the Reform Bill; and he thought that, without much proof, the dependence of that class of voters, and the coercion exercised over them, had been very much exaggerated. He believed that much misrepresentation had been made, both as to the landlords of this country, who had been supposed to exercise their power improperly, and as to the tenantry of the country, who had been supposed to be driven against their will to vote in opposition to their own opinions. He did not believe that this, as a general rule, had been the case. He did not believe that the coercion had been exercised. He did not believe that, if it had, the tenantry, as a class, would have been coerced. He must say, that one of his chief reasons for being of that opinion was this, that he did not believe, taking the occupying tenantry throughout England generally, that their opinions materially differed from those of their land- lords. Those who took an active part in English county elections knew perfectly well that on those questions generally deciding county elections—for instance the corn-law, church-rates, and other questions of that sort, there had been little difference between the majority of the landlords, and the majority of the tenantry. But the question, after all, was, not whether the occupying tenants were an independent class of voters, but whether leases would make them so; and he thought the experience of Scotland was a conclusive proof that a lease did not necessarily render the occupying tenant an independent man. Most undoubtedly, he had heard that complaints of coercion were as rife in Scotland as in England. He was not prepared to say that the occupying tenantry in general could under any circumstances be made independent of their landlords; his position was, that leases did not necessarily make them so, and especially leases of a small amount. So far as a rating of a high amount was a test of property, and so far as property was a test of intelligence and education, the occupying tenant of a high amount of rating must be presumed to have more intelligence and a better education than the leasehold tenant of a small amount. Most undoubtedly, the power of creating fictitious voters, which they heard of in the case of the Castlerea union, might be exercised under such a franchise to a very great extent, by granting leases at a small amount of rent. "No leases," said the commissioner, "are granted, except when they wish to create political influence." It might matter to the landlord, if the tenant was at a high amount, whether he would grant a lease, to ensure a good tenant; but in the case of a rent of 5l. only, it did not matter to the landlord whether the tenant had a lease or not; and those landlords who wished to acquire political influence could create dependent votes; those who thought that they could not depend on their tenants, had it in their power to withhold the franchise. The question was not so much whether they would have an independent or a dependent constituency, as whether they would have any constituency at all. If, by creating a leasehold franchise, they put it in the power of the landlords to destroy the existing constituency, he wished to know what situation they would then be placed in? He argued thus, as to the diminution of the constituency, even upon the supposition of the lower amount of rating which the Government at first proposed. It seemed, however, that they had now raised the amount from 5l. to 8l. He did not know how far his noble Friend (Lord Morpeth) had examined the returns which had been laid upon the table; but he thought he could make a statement which, if the noble Lord had not attentively perused those returns, would not a little astonish him; it was as to the effect that' would be produced on the existing constituency by the proposal of a rating of 8l. In going through these returns he found that there were 14 unions in which the number of 10l. electors was given, and the number of those whose rating was under 8l.; and it appeared that, out of the existing 10l. voters in these 14 unions, very nearly one-sixth would be disfranchised by the proposal of his noble Friend (Lord Morpeth) requiring a rating of 8l. Now, it certainly did appear to him to be a most extraordinary mode of keeping up the constituency of Ireland; if these unions were a test—and they were taken indiscriminately—if they were any test whatever of what the effects of that proposal would be on Ireland at large, the object being to resist everything which could reduce the constituency, when the first effect of the measure would be to disfranchise 6,000 of the present electoral body. In the last six years the electors of Ireland had been diminished from 45,000 to 38,000; and if the noble Lord's (Lord Morpeth's) measure were carried, another 6,000 would be disfranchised, and those who would then remain would be under the operation of those causes which had already effected this great reduction in their number. He repeated, that when 6,000 more were gone, the same cause, the non-renewal of leases, would continue in full operation. He would read the names of the 14 unions, in which, according to the returns, this effect would be produced; they were the unions of Lurgan, Dungannon, Castledeary, Sligo, Gorey, Kilkeel, Ballinasloe, Barbridge, Lisburne, Armagh, Athlone, Loughrea, Casbel, Castlerea. The number of 10l. voters in the whole 14 unions was 3,291; and the number rated under 8l., was 528, nearly as might be one-sixth of the whole. Now, this was a result which his noble Friend could not have contemplated. Unless there was some gross error in the returns, which it was not in his power to detect, that would certainly be the effect of the proposal of his noble Friend. If then it were true that the effect of the non-renewal of leases had been what was stated during the last six years, he confessed that his noble Friend the Secretary for Ireland did seem to have entirely failed in that which was his (Lord Morpeth's) as well as his (Mr. Wood's) object, that of preserving undiminished at least that portion of the Irish constituency which might be said more particularly to represent the Irish people. He repeated again, that the amendment now before them was not the only proposal which his noble Friend made. The effect of the present amendment was to retain the present property qualification, and many of the present voters. This proposal alone would certainly diminish considerably the number of voters. It would produce that state of things with which his noble Friend the Member for North Lancashire professed himself ready to deal when it arose. There would be a considerable reduction of the number of county voters, and the representation would be thrown back into that state for which the noble Lord had rescued it by the Reform Bill, The noble Lord's hypotheses would have become fact, and he called upon him therefore, and he called upon those who thought that the franchise in Ireland should be preserved, to make up the number, by the occupation franchise, in addition to those who would remain under the operation of the first amendment, to that which would be a fair constituency for Ireland. His noble Friend, if it had been possible for him to do so, would have given notice of the amount at which he proposed that the occupying tenant should be rated. But it was not in his power to do that until the returns were placed in his hands, and they were only delivered this morning, thus not affording sufficient time to consider them. His noble Friend (Lord Morpeth) might regard the occupation franchise as a substitute for his leasehold franchise; but the only point at present to be decided was, whether they would retain as much as they could of the present franchise in Ireland, making up the number in some way or other when necessary, and to be hereafter determined by this House.

Sir C. Grey

wished to say a few words on this amendment. He hoped it would, not be considered any impertinent intru- sion if he rose for the very natural purpose before the question was put, of understanding what the amendment was, and what were the words it proposed to amend. Before the speech of his noble Friend he was almost disposed to vote with him—but as the amendment was explained he could not do so. He begged the noble Lord (Lord Morpeth) not to consider this as a verbal amendment. Could his hon. Friend have overlooked the importance of the words "in his actual occupation?" On what ground, then, did he say that the 10l. franchise was taken away by the first clause of this bill? The hon. Member was in total error in supposing that this clause operated as a disfranchisement of the property qualification. The clause did not affect those who were in actual occupation. Having said thus much, he would state as shortly as he could his reasons for voting against the amendment, notwithstanding the words "beneficial interest." He held the omission of these words as one of the main merits of the noble Lord's bill. The mode in which the hon. Member proposed to deal with the beneficial interest would of itself prevent him from voting with him; but the insuperable objection he had to it was this, that it would operate to disfranchise a class of voters to whom it was intended to give the franchise in 1832. The hon. Member had omitted to mention those qualifications in which property and beneficial occupation are required to exist. The amendment of the noble Lord the Member for Northumberland would operate most injuriously with respect to those. Although such an opinion had been frequently repudiated, his (Sir C. Grey's) opinion was, that by a law a farmer occupying a farm for a term originally created, having an interest of 10l. a-year above all rents and charges was entitled to vote.

Mr. C. Wood

explained. The proposal of his noble Friend was, not to disfranchise but to retain the franchise, and increase it as much as possible, and it was the hon. Member, and not his noble Friend who misunderstood the meaning of the clause.

Lord Stanley

said—Sir, it was not my present intention to enter on the discussion of the question of qualification proposed by the noble Lord, the Member for Northumberland, or that proposed by my noble Friend opposite. So far as I am concerned it is of little importance to me whether in the body of a clause I gave my vote one way or another on an amendment which I am told is merely verbal. But it is because I do not consider this amendment as a merely verbal amendment, but as an amendment involving u principle, that, when I am called on to affirm or negative such an amendment, I hold it to be an object of the utmost importance to uphold the principle for which I contend, and which, it seems by this, her Majesty's Government are determined to destroy. The proposition of the noble Lord and the Government, a proposition be it remembered made now for the first time, two months after the introduction of this bill to the House—the proposition of the noble Lord and the Government, I say, founded on information only this day furnished to hon. Members, and which information was not obtained by them for the purpose of framing this bill, but for the purpose of bolstering it up after it had been forced upon the House. The last proposition of the noble Lord and the Government is that there should be one simple, uniform franchise for Ireland, without reference to situation or circumstances—without reference to beneficial interest or occupancy—without reference to the solvency or insolvency of the individual—without reference to his poverty or his property—namely, a rating to the poor of 8l. a-year. That, Sir, is the present proposition of the Government. In opposition to that the noble Lord opposite, the Member for Northumberland, comes forward and says, "I propose, to define the existing franchise," undoubtedly with some modifications, with some limitations and some alterations. "I propose," he says, "to take rating to the poor as a test for the franchise; and that not rating per se alone, but a certain amount above it I will hold to be a beneficial interest"—namely, an excess of value over and above the rating which I understand to be the beneficial interest. Therefore, however it may suit the purpose of hon. Members opposite to regard this as a mere verbal amendment, I cannot so regard it. It is an amendment which distinctly involves the question, will you abolish or will you maintain the beneficial interest as the test of the right to vote? Upon these grounds, then, I shall vote in favour of the amendment moved by ray noble Friend in the first clause of this bill I do not conceive that this is the most convenient opportunity for entering upon a discussion in detail of my noble Friend's amendments, or of the proposition made by the Government; they will necessarily and naturally arise in their proper places upon the discussion of the 22nd clause; but I am now called upon to choose, if we are to do anything, if any alteration is to be made, if we are to legislate at all, we are now called upon to decide whether we will legislate upon the principle of a beneficial interest, or whether we will legislate upon the principle of no beneficial interest; and it will require some ingenuity of argument to persuade me, and I think, to persuade the country, that a division upon that question is a division on a mere verbal amendment. But I am bound to say, without discussing the propositions in detail, that in a great deal of what has been addressed to the House by my noble Friend, I am disposed entirely and cordially to concur. I should regret with my noble Friend that the franchise in Ireland should be unnecessarily and unduly diminished. I should regret to see persons of the same qualification, possessed of the same property, having the same amount of beneficial interest, which in this part of the country gives the franchise (I am not now alluding to the 40s. freeholders, for they stand by themselves on grounds perfectly distinct from other voters), by the operation of any cause, whether arising from the state of the law or from any cause independent of the law, as the conduct of the landlords of Ireland in refusing to grant that which is a necessary preliminary to the franchise, leases, I should regret to see the constituency reduced to small numbers, and when that case arises, I shall be prepared to consider any proposition emanating from the Executive, with whom any matter of this importance must emanate, in order to give a chance of a successful issue. I shall be ready to consider with respectful attention, any proposition which may be made for meeting the evil, for an evil I think it whenever it occurs. But all through this discussion hon. Gentlemen have assumed, that the intentions of the Reform Act have been entirely frustrated; that a state of things, as to the county constituency of Ireland has arisen, which was not to be expected when the Reform Act passed; that, indeed, the Reform Act was a delusion upon the Parliament and upon the people, and it is assumed that the county constituency is at the present moment in a state of rapid decline and progressive diminution. Now I apprehend that there is no proof of any foundation for the one opinion or the other. When I had the honour of introducing the Irish Reform Act, I was asked what I considered was the existing county constituency, and I then stated 52,000; that is, I took the existing register, and found in that register 52,000 voters: but I was properly checked by the hon. and learned Member for Dublin, who told me, True, there are 52,000 voters on the register, I am on the register, my sons are on the register; but my father, my uncle, and my grandfather are there too; and from my knowledge of the country I take on myself to say, that there are not near 30,000 efficient votes on the register; and your Bill cannot at the most add 1,200 to the present number. It must require an exorbitant stretch of imagination to suppose that the county constituency can ever reach 30,000. That was the expectation entertained by the hon. and learned Member for Dublin; and also by Mr. Leader, then Member for Kilkenny. I said then that I did not anticipate as to the county constituency, any great increase of numbers, that I looked not to the county constituency, where abuses were not prevalent, but that I looked to the cities and boroughs for the great increase in the constituency as compared with the existing state of things; and, if I recollect correctly, my hon. Friends, the Member for the University of Dublin and the Recorder of Dublin, in opposing that measure, stated that they did not apprehend much increase in the county constituency, but that they did anticipate a great and alarming increase in the boroughs and towns. These are the expectations that were entertained on both sides of the House at the time of the introduction of that measure. As there was to be no alteration of the freehold franchise, and as the leaseholders were not many, though it was hoped they would increase, it was not anticipated by either party that any great increase would arise in the county constituency. However, by the Reform Act a new registration took place, great excitement prevailed; votes were no doubt put on with insufficient examination in many cases. The result wag that in 1833, under all the excitement of the Reform Bill, when persons were rushing to the booths for the purpose of asserting their claims, and when those claims were often admitted with imperfect consideration and without opposition, the number of persons constituting the county constituency was 57,000. From that period to the present it was necessary, it was impossible but that it should have happened, even without the double registration, seeing that no vote whatever could be struck off, that the numbers must go on increasing to the first octennial registration; and so it had. In 1835 the numbers were 64,000; in 1837,73,000; and I suppose I may say correctly in 1839, 99,000. But from what has this arisen? Why from the constant succession of names that have been placed on the register, whilst not a single name could be struck off. Among the 99,000, too, who appeared on the last register, a great number of those who had appeared on the register of 1832 re-appeared as a portion of the constituency; but in the course of the past year, in consequence of the lapse of time and the falling in of votes, at one sweep 57,000 names were swept off the register, whereby the constituency has been reduced to 42,000. But of these 57,000 a vast number were repeated again in the 40,000, and consequently it was natural to expect a large decrease in the past year; but, allowing for that decrease, the present number exceeds the constituency obtained in the first year after the passing of the Reform Act in all the heat and excitement which accompanied that event; and is only 6,000 or 7,000 short of that constituency which had been formed in 1835, two years after the bill had come into operation. And when I say only 6,000 or 7,000 short, I do so on account of an observation made by the noble Lord that itself was an argument to show the decrease which had taken place. But, I confess, that it does not seem to me a conclusive proof even of that, because, in the counties of towns and in the boroughs, there is a considerable increase over the numbers in 1835; and, looking to the places where there is a decrease, I find that it is in those counties where it might naturally be expected that on the polling of the first batch of voters, parties would not renew their franchise because there has been no contest—nothing to lead men to register. The total decrease is between 6,000 and 7,000, and that mainly taken place in these eleven counties in which there has been no contest—Antrim, Armagh, Clare, Donegal, Galway, Limerick, Londonderry, Mayo, Waterford, Wexford. [Mr. O'Connell: What! no contest in Wexford, Waterford, Galway?] Not at the last election, I am speaking of the motives which, in 1840, would or would not lead men to register, the franchise having lapsed by time—and I believe in no one of those counties has there been a contested election except in Limerick, when the defeated candidate polled the formidable number of fourteen votes. Not only does the deficiency in these counties account for the total decrease, but in the remaining counties there is an actual increase over the numbers in 1835 of between 4,000 and 5,000 voters. I don't mean to say that a deficiency in the constituency may not be going on; but I say that we have no proof before us that it is going on. 1 have reason to believe that many persons are now withholding leases, not on political grounds, but on grounds entirely independent of politics, being solely connected with the improvement of their estates; and that may have the effect of unduly decreasing the constituency; if it leads to that consequence, then the amendment of my noble Friend would be the proper mode of meeting that evil, by conferring on the tenant at will what the Government wishes to restrict to leaseholders; that is the proper mode of remedying an evil which arises from the refusal of the landlords to grant leases. I have gone more than I intended into the subject of these amendments; my object was, to express my concurrence in most of the principles enunciated by my noble Friend; and when I am satisfied that there is danger, and imminent danger of an alarming deficiency in the constituency, arising not from the want of a property qualification, but from circumstances connected with that property, I shall be prepared to consider any proposition which may be submitted to the House; but I should not seek a remedy in the proposal of the Government; and because one gentleman refuses to grant leases to his tenants, therefore enable half a score more to inundate and swamp the register with voters having no qualification, no properly, no beneficial interest. I cannot, however, as at present advised, in the present state of our information, assent to the necessity of making any alteration or augmentation of the existing constituency; nor has my noble Friend, as I think he will himself admit, in his hands the means and materials for supporting the details of his plan. He has been successful in exposing almost the absurdity—at least the want of consideration—attending the plan of the Government, and the many faults of the Government measure. I am prepared to vote neither for the one plan or the other as fit to be adopted; but if I am called upon to give a vote in affirmation of the one principle or the other, I must say I entirely concur in the principle of my noble Friend; I am not called upon to decide upon the adoption of one or the other, but to decide merely upon the comparative merits of the two principles involved in the amendment of my noble Friend, and I cannot hesitate for a moment to give my adherence to the principle of affirming a beneficial interest in opposition to the principle contended for on the opposite side.

Mr. O'Connell

said, that he had not intended to take any part in this discussion; but he had been driven from his intended silence by some of the observations of the noble Lord. The noble Lord had talked of the estimate he had made when the Reform Bill was introduced of the extent and probable increase of the county constituency, and had stated it correctly so far as he went. At that time he certainly had shown, that instead of 52,000 there were not above 26,000 or 28,000 available votes on the register, and that they were not likely to be increased by 2,000; but when was it that he said that? At that time the noble Lord had not inserted the clause for a 10l. chattel occupation; and now the constituency was 20,891 less than it had been. He begged the attention of the House to the actual state of the constituency. In Hertfordshire there were 95,977 inhabitants, and 6,150 voters; in Galway, which had been contested twice since the Reform Act, there were 381, 564 inhabitants, but only 2,088 voters; in Donegal there were 289,000 inhabitants and 1,452 voters; in Mayo 366,328 inhabitants, 952 voters. So that in these three counties, with a population of 1,037,044, only 4,548 were entitled to vole; a smaller number than that of the voters for the county of Hertford, the population of which was only 95,977. Look at Cork, with 713,000 inhabitants and 3,784 voters, whilst Wales with a rural population of 700,000, had 36,000 electors. The fact was manifest; the Irish constituency was miserably narrow, becoming less every day. The real question, under such circumstances, was, how they meant to govern Ireland? He was not so absurd as to imagine that he could make any impression upon the House by important facts. It was clear that there was very little prospect for Ireland from that House, and none at all from the House of Lords. But he would enter more at large upon this view of the subject on a future occasion. He had now pointed out these things to show that England and Ireland were not on a par; that they might Call it an union, or what else they pleased, but there was no equality between them. The noble Lord had said, that the 40s. freeholders stood on a different footing; but he denied it. It had been said, that those 40s. freeholders had been sacrificed to a compact; but the right hon. Baronet opposite would agree with him that there was no compact. A compact of that sort might have been made in 1825, but between 1825 and 1829 they had rescued themselves altogether from the controul of their landlords; they exercised their franchise free from the dictation of any one, and accordingly they were disfranchised. He wanted to know why, if England was to have 40s. freeholders, Ireland was not to have them; Ireland was certainly the poorer country; why did not the noble Viscount (Howick) propose that? Then he would believe everything he had said in his own praise; but when he found that noble Lord embarrassing instead of aiding them, and gaining cheers from the other side of the House, he did not impute motives to any one, but he must say, that this was not the way in which he should endeavour to effect an extension of the franchise in Ireland. It might be perfectly safe to treat Ireland in this way; but he could tell the House this—that she gerfectly understood the injustice which was done her, and appreciated the degree of contempt which was exhibited towards her.

Lord John Russell

Before the House divides I wish to say a few words on the proposition made by my noble Friend the Member for Northumberland (Viscount Howick); and I am exceedingly sorry, both from what he stated, and from what has been said by the noble lord (Lord Stanley) opposite, to find that there does not seem to be any prospect of the House succeeding in making such an improvement as must result from the settlement, of the elective franchise in Ireland upon a firm and defined basis. Without wishing to state it as a reproach to the noble Lord opposite, I must observe that 1 conceived our position to be this: that in the course of discussions regarding Irish registration, there was a very general impression that no system of registration could place the Irish franchise on a satisfactory basis unless the franchise itself were so defined as to prevent the contradictory claims—the contradictory decisions which led to the irregular practice which at present, prevailed in that country. The bill of my noble Friend, as introduced at the commencement of the present Session, pro posed to define the franchise; and my opinion is the same as that which my noble Friend has declared to-night, that the proposal that we made, namely, of a four teen years' tenure, with a 5l. rating to the poor-rate, was a franchise which would have given the right of voting to persons of property in Ireland, and at the same lime would have effected so extensive an improvement of the franchise as to give contentment to the country. Nothing of the information that we have since received has induced me to alter that opinion. But I did think, and I stated it to the House when I proposed the adjournment of the question—I did think it of such immense importance to obtain, if possible, an agreement upon a question of this kind, and not to leave it for another year to a course of agitation in Ireland, not to continue the discontent which I must say so naturally arose in that country from the menace of disfranchisement which was held out last year; I thought this of so much importance, that I considered it worth while to subject myself to the taunts which might be made against us, which have, in fact, been made tonight, and in which even my hon. Friend the Member for Halifax (Mr. Charles Wood) has a little indulged, namely, that we were departing from what we originally proposed, and that we were disfranchising some who were already electors, I say, I thought it worth while to risk those taunts, and to raise the sum originally proposed, in the hope—illusory it now seems—that we should bring to a successful close this much vexed and much agitated question, Although that attempt may fail, I do not, in the least, regret, that it has been made. I think it was our duty to subject ourselves to any sarcasms of this kind, in order, if possible, to retrieve the unfortunate error made by a great party in that House. It was my opinion, and still is, that Ireland having suffered much, having suffered wrongs, which I will not attempt to describe—(they were described in language stronger, perhaps, than I should use, in a recent debate by an hon. Member for Newark)—it was, I say, and still is my opinion, that Ireland, having so suffered, if you could possibly arrive at a period in which you should have no question before Parliament which should put in a conflict the passions of different parties in Ireland—if you could possibly arrive at such an interval of tranquillity as should enable men who were intent upon the pursuits of industry—who were intent upon the improvement of agriculture—who were intent upon the extension of commerce, to give their attention to those subjects, and to divert them for some few years from political contests, you would obtain a great benefit for that country, and for the nation at largo. But it appeared to a great party in the House, that this was not the course to be taken. It appeared to them better to raise questions which gave to them a party majority and a party triumph in the course of the last Session, and every one of which excited more and more the anger, the indignation, the feeling of wrong done to them among the people of Ireland. I was in hopes, however, that by sacrificing something of our opinion, another course would have been taken, and that the House generally, I will not say without difference of opinion, but that the great body of the House would have consented to the adoption of some law which should again have allayed the storm which had unfortunately been excited. It appears, that in that hope, we are to be entirely disappointed. It appears, from the speech of the noble Lord opposite, that if he votes for this amendment, which, in itself, I consider, is only placing in a different form of words, the operation of this bill—it appears, that if the noble Lord votes for those words he will do so on the ground that they maintain the principle to which he adheres, of an interest above the rent. Now, it is for that very reason—for the very reason which the noble Lord has stated, as inducing him to vote for these words, that I am led to oppose them; because, although the sense of those words might in a subsequent clause be so altered as completely to change their meaning; yet, as they at present stand, they appear to me to give a sort of sanction to such a definition of the franchise, as, in my opinion, would be utterly destructive of it. I cannot help again referring, as there are now some Members present who were not in the House at the time my noble Friend (Viscount Morpeth) was speaking, to some of the instances in which even such a clause as that proposed by my noble Friend (Viscount Howick) would destroy the franchise of the existing voters. Be it observed, that what my noble Friend is hereafter to found upon the words he now proposes, is a proposition to the effect, that the tenant who pays rent to a certain amount shall be rated 5l. beyond his rental. Now, I believe, whatever the intention of the bill destroying the 40s. franchise—whatever the intention of the Reform Bill—that the introduction of such a test, as that suggested by my noble Friend, would be to deprive a great body of the present electors of the right of voting. As a proof of it, he would again trouble the House with some of the figures quoted by his noble Friend. [Here the noble Lord quoted the statement read by Lord Morpeth, showing the extent to which the rating above the rental would operate to curtail the constituencies in most of the counties in Ireland.] What, then, is this proposition? What is it but the taking away of the franchise which now exists? In what light can it be considered but as destructive of the franchise? Yet my noble Friend proposes it as calculated not to limit, but to extend the franchise. The noble Lord (Lord Stanley) opposite adheres to the decision given by the judges. I find no fault with the judges forgiving that decision, because, if it were founded upon their opinion of what was the correct interpretation of the law, they were perfectly right in giving it. They were perfectly right in saying— It is not for us to consider what Parliament intends—it is not for us to consider what the policy of the Legislature may be in regard to the franchise—we can look only to the letter of the act, and consider the meaning of the words which it contains. Therefore whatever the interpretation of the judges, I wish, as far as possible, to declare, that it is their duty to give that in- terpretation according to their sense of the proper meaning of the words of the act. But this, I think is manifest, that if the interpretation of the judges is to be admitted—if, as the noble Lord proposes, the interpretation given by the majority of the judges is to be adhered to, it will certainly go much further than the proposition of my noble Friend, the Member for Northumberland, (Lord Howick)—it will, in fact, destroy the franchise of the greater part of the present voters; and it is no answer to say, as the noble Lord opposite (Lord Stanley) has said, "Look at the present number of electors on the roll," because there have been other interpretations given by revising barristers and by some of the judges. But the question now is, whether, if you do not adopt some clear and definite franchise, you will not, in fact, be making the sense which has been given by the majority of the judges the prevalent interpretation of the law. I therefore cannot agree to the insertion of these words by my noble Friend, the Member for Northumberland, as introductory of his plan. I think they would be very inimical to the franchise. Neither can I derive any consolation from the assurance of the noble Lord opposite, that when the franchise shall have been destroyed, he will then introduce some bill to restore it. When you have changed the representation of Ireland—when you have a representation of the people in which the people have no voice—when you have a mere nominal representation of the people—when, according to the noble Lord's description, some three or four chief proprietors will name the representatives for the different counties—when the people of Ireland are thus nominally represented, of what use will it be for the noble Lord to say, "I now see that the franchise must be changed?" It seems to me, that if you do mean to keep up the franchise in Ireland—if you do mean to let the people have a real representation, the present is the time at which the work ought to be accomplished. If, on the contrary, it is your determination, and the determination of this House, that the people of Ireland are not to be represented in Parliament, then I think it would be better to take some clear and direct way of excluding them from the franchise. I think it would be better, that you should declare in plain and direct terms that the people of Ireland are not fit to be entrusted with the rights of representation; that you, the Parliament of the United Kingdom, boldly take your stand upon that ground, and that you mean to abide by that declaration. After all I have heard to-night, I can only gather, that it is intended to proceed in that indirect and tortuous way of disfranchising the people of Ireland which I saw attempted in the last year—a way that will not be the less effectual because it is indirect, but which I certainly shall never cease to denounce and oppose; and I trust that the people of Ireland will believe that, if these attempts should unhappily make any progress, it is not that the people of England wish them to be treated with this injustice and this wrong, but that, on the contrary, the people of England wish to see them honestly and fairly represented—[Great cheering from both side of the House]—that the people of England wish to see them honestly and fairly represented and not defrauded of their rights by withdrawing from them those privileges which even when you took away the right of voting from the 40s. freeholders, you granted, in a manner that showed considerable generosity, and a great sense of the value of the privilege of voting for Members of Parliament. Do not imagine that you can without remark, without exciting great indignation, withdraw the privilege which in 1829 you granted to the people of Ireland. My belief is, that by acceding to the bill of my noble Friend (Viscount Morpeth), and by adopting the franchise which he has proposed, you will act in the spirit of the bill of 1829, and of the Bill of Reform of 1832; and that if, on the contrary, you take an opposite course, it will not be long before you will wish that you had not interfered to excite a spirit in the people of Ireland which will justify them in making greater demands, and force you to make greater concessions.

Sir R. Peel

rose and said—Sir, the noble Lord has, on this occasion, pursued the course which he almost uniformly pursues when he has some very defective measure to defend, that of trying to divert the attention of the House from the subject properly under its consideration, and by some general declamation about popular rights in some charges against his political opponents, to raise a cheer in the behalf of those who sit behind him, under the cover of which cheer he himself retires from the discussion, and fancies that he has been triumphantly successful. The noble Lord charges my noble Friend with an intention so to reduce the constituency of Ireland that the counties of Ireland may become nomination counties; and then the noble Lord says that my noble Friend professed an intention to condescend to introduce a Reform Bill. The noble Lord charges us with an intention to defeat the expectations which were encouraged by the Act for the Relief of the Roman Catholics, and by the Reform Bill. I utterly repudiate any such intention. I do not think there would be any advantage to any interest, to any party, in defeating such an intention. My noble Friend distinctly stated, and I repeat, "If you will prove to us by conclusive evidence, that the constituency intended by the Reform Bill has been materially diminished, we will then consider a proposal for increasing it, if brought forward by those only who can suggest it with advantage, namely, those who fill the executive offices of Government, and have the means of information in their power." But, the question arises, has the constituency been materially decreased beyond the measure that was contemplated by the Act of Reform? Sir, the hon. Gentleman, who was better qualified to judge of what was the constituency immediately after the Reform Bill, or the constituency that would be given by the Reform Bill, than the hon. and learned Gentleman. Sir, I have his own words—he is speaking on the 18th of June, 1832, and the hon. and learned Gentleman distinctly states:— The hon. Member for Kilkenny had made a calculation of the returns of the number of persons who polled at contested elections in eighteen of the counties of Ireland; and that number amounted to 15,211; there then remained fourteen counties unpolled. But it should be observed, that the contest took place in those counties where there was the greatest number of voters. Now, let any man calculate on these data; and he would fearlessly ask him, whether, in giving a constituency of 26,000 to Ireland, he had not placed the number infinitely too high? Make the number caused by the additional franchise to be 26,000, and can the hon. Gentleman show that the constituency, as it at present exists, is diminished beyond the expectations excited in 1832? But what is the proposal of the noble Lord? I will assume, for the sake of the argument, that you have afforded us that proof and demonstration, that you have shown that from the operation either of laws, or of social causes beyond the control of laws, there is a considerable decrease in the constituency of Ireland, and a tendency to further decrease. I will assume that you have proved that. Then I say, even if I grant that that has been proved, the noble Lord has provided a most indefensible and inefficient remedy. That is the question which we are considering to-night. The noble Lord says, in consequence of the refusal of landlords to grant leases, the constituency of Ireland is undergoing a considerable diminution. And what does the noble Lord propose as a remedy? He proposes a measure which makes a lease indispensably necessary. The noble Lord, in providing for the increase of the constituency, what course does he pursue? He subverts altogether the existing franchise in Ireland. In England, in Scotland, and in Ireland, with the exception of the 50l. clause, the main element of the constituency is interest in the land and profit from it. It always has been so. Is it right, in the case of Ireland, mainly dependent for her prosperity on the success of agriculture—is it right, in the case of Ireland, that profit from the land should be altogether excluded from the franchise? But the noble Lord proposes that the right of voting for thirty-two counties in Ireland shall be exactly coincident to the right of voting in boroughs and towns—namely, that occupancy alone, as tested by the rating, should constitute the franchise. Has the noble Lord given us any argument in favour of such a substantial alteration? Has he considered the effect of that alteration upon the franchise in England? How long will the noble Lord maintain profit from the land as an element of the franchise in England, after he has subverted it in Ireland, and substituted merely occupancy, as tested by rating in Ireland? It is an important principle which the noble Lord recommends us to adopt—a principle of very extensive application. He will find it exceedingly difficult to maintain one franchise in Ireland and another in England. If the one invariable franchise in Ireland is to be mere occupancy as tested by rating, the effect, I believe, will be to place the return of the Irish Members very much in the hands of the same class of constituency as now return the Members for the boroughs. Well, then, I object entirely to the principle upon which the noble Lord proposes to alter the franchise. And am I not at liberty to make that objection, without being immediately met by the noble Lord telling us, "Your object is not merely to defeat my bill, but to reduce the counties of Ireland to the lowest point of representation?" The noble Lord charges us with reducing the franchise. Why, the hon. Member for Halifax told him, not merely that he was taking a leaf out of the book of my noble Friend, but that he was founding his franchise upon a shifting sand; that he went infinitely further towards reducing the franchise than any reduction which my noble Friends have made by the amendment of the registration. The hon. Member for Halifax showed the noble Lord, that the effect of the franchise which he proposes in fourteen unions in Ireland, would be to reduce the number of electors now entitled to vote by one-sixth. That is the allegation which the hon. Gentleman made against this well-considered plan of the noble Lord. Why, what confidence can we place in you as legislators fit to deal with this subject? You had the whole' of the recess; you were aware that this subject was undergoing consideration; you had the means of gaining official information; you had every element which could enable you to bring forward a measure which was likely to conciliate public opinion in its favour, and you brought forward a measure; destroying the existing franchise in Ireland, and substituting a 5l. occupancy. We remained under the impression that we were to discuss the question of 5l. occupancy, and two or three nights before we enter upon the consideration, without a reason assigned, the noble Lord changes his proposal from 5l. to 8l. And what does the noble Lord say now? The Secretary for Ireland tells us now, that he could support his 5l. franchise by a reference to facts and evidence, which shows that it was a proposition that ought to have been made. Why then was it abandoned? From whence came the suggestion of objection? Not from this side of the House. The noble Lord said—"I have made this alteration in the hope of conciliating your favour, and now you are so unreasonable as to object to it." We never objected to the amount, we objected to the principle. Now, what can be more unfair than the course which the noble Lord took in throwing out these insinuations against us? We said, "We object to a uniform franchise for all Ireland." We said, "If you make leasehold the only element of franchise there is a tendency on the part of landlords to withhold leases; you make no settlement of this question, because, if a disposition to withhold leases exists, you are not affording any sufficient remedy for the evil." And then the noble Lord changes the qualification from 5l. to 8l. He does nothing to remedy our objection to the principle of his franchise; but he charges us with being unwilling to effect a conciliatory settlement, because he has not gained our favour, by making an alteration in degree, without the smallest, alteration in principle. These are the grounds why we object to 8l. equally that we object to 5l.—namely, that the main objection, in point of principle, remains entirely unchanged by the alteration in the bill. But we have another proposition to consider, in addition to that of the noble, Lord, the amendment proposed by the noble Lord, the Member for Northumberland. The noble Lord, as I apprehend, brings forward a distinct and specific proposition in opposition to that of the Government. The noble Lord's proposal I apprehend to be this—that the noble Lord will retain the beneficial interest, that he will require as an essential condition, for one franchise, and that, perhaps, the main franchise, a profit derived from the land, that profit not to be ascertained by the oath of the party, but to be determined by rating. The noble Lord did not propose that as an exclusive franchise, but the noble Lord objects altogether—as I understand him—to the proposal of the Government, and professes to substitute for that proposal something of the nature of that clause in England, which has been called the Chandos clause, that is to say, he will require the payment of a certain rent, but he will infer the rent from the amount of rating. The extent of the required rent he has not defined, because he says he has not acquired the information on which he can; safely proceed. Now, from that principle of the noble Lord I do not dissent. I think it is desirable to retain the beneficial interest; I think it is desirable to maintain a profit from the land as an element of the county franchise. If it should be shown to me that, in the proposed change in the Irish constituency, a profit voted by rating is essential, I should not be indisposed to take into consideration that other proposition of the noble Lord—namely, not to require a lease, but to require the payment of a certain amount of rent by a tenant-at-will, and thus to counteract that objection which is made at present, from the unwillingness of the Irish landlords to grant leases; but I am not prepared to adopt the details of the noble Lord's measure. I will, however, vote with his amendment, because it recognises the beneficial interest, and at element of the county franchise. I consider the noble Lord's amendment to the first clause, to be exactly tantamount to an abstract resolution of the kind. Suppose we had met the noble Lord's bill on his motion for going into committee, by a resolution to the effect that mere occupancy could not entitle to the franchise, but that a profit from the land was indispensable in the county franchise—suppose we had made such a motion, I consider it would have been exactly tantamount to the amendment of the noble Lord. A great principle was thus at issue between the two noble Lords. The noble Lord, the Member for Northumberland wished to maintain an essential element in the county franchise, a profit from the land, or a beneficial interest, while the noble Lord the Secretary for Ireland proposed to subvert the existing franchise, and to take occupation, as tested by rating, as the only element of the franchise. I give my preference to the principle involved in the amendment of the noble Lord, the Member for Northumberland. Why, then, do I not support his measure? Because I do not think the noble Lord is in a position which will enable him sufficiently to adjust this question. It appears to me, that the simple substitution of the first franchise he proposes, namely, to require a certain amount of rating above the rent, would give a very extensive franchise. I think, that simply to require rating above the rent would confer a very extensive franchise. It would be impossible, however, to propose what the required amount should be. I am at a loss to ascertain it, and while I admit the I principle, I am not prepared to accede to the details of the measure of the noble Lord, or approve of the machinery by which he proposes to carry his bill into effect. In point of fact, he admits he is not prepared to specify the amount of rent which should be required. I apprehend we are about to come to a vote which is decisive of the fate of the bill; at least to a vote which, if it be carried against the noble Lord, will lender it nesary to proceed with a measure directly at variance with the present. I am glad an opportunity has arrived of taking the sense of the House on the point. I am glad the noble Lord does not now consider this a mere verbal amendment. I am glad he considers that a great question is now at issue. I am glad that before we proceed further with the details of the bill the sense of the House shall be fairly taken, as to whether a profit should be considered a distinct mark of the county franchise; and I do entreat hon. Gentlemen carefully to consider what will be the effect on the constituencies of England, and on the franchises of England, if they consent that mere occupancy in Ireland shall determine the county franchise. One word as to an observation made by the hon. and learned Member for Dublin. I did not state on a former occasion, that there had been any contract in 1829, between the advocates of the Roman Catholics and those who proposed the Roman Catholic Relief Bill. I admit to the hon. and learned Gentleman, that there had been no such contract in existence. But this I stated, and this I repeat, that the evidence given by the advocates of the Roman Catholic claims in 1825, did fully justify the disfranchisement of the 40s. freeholders in Ireland. I stated that the hon. and learned Gentleman, as well as the hon. and learned Member for Tipperary, and Mr. Blake, a Roman Catholic gentleman of great eminence, had all given it as their opinion, that it was essential to the interests of Ireland, that an intelligent and respectable yeomanry should be formed and invited to the exercise of the franchise, and that those results were more likely to be obtained under a limited and independent constituency than with such a constituency as that of the 40s. freeholders. I stated that Mr. Dominic Browne, the Member for Mayo, had declared that when there were 25,000 voters in the county, it was a nomination county, and that when the constituency was reduced under the Reform Bill to 9,000, the independence of the constituency had been secured, and no one could nominate for the county. I stated, that when the electors voted formerly against their landlords they were subject to so much oppression, that in order to rescue them from their condition, it was found de- sirable to modify the franchise. That was what I stated; but I never stated that there had been a compact between the advocates of the Roman Catholics and the Members of the Government. The hon. and learned Gentleman had again referred to the amount of population. I apprehend that her Majesty's Government will not concur with him in looking on population as a test for the franchise. The question is not, I apprehend, as to the amount of population, but as to the amount of intelligence and respectability, free from all external control, which we can command. That was avowed to have been the principle of the Reform Bill—that I apprehend is still avowed to be the principle of her Majesty's Government. The question, then, does not now arise as to whether or not the franchise should be co-extensive with population; the question in dispute is this, whether her Majesty's Government have made a proposal which entitles them to the confidence of Parliament, and whether they are capable of dealing with this great question; and I must say, that the course they have pursued on the subject of the Irish franchise appears to me to disentitle them to the confidence of this House.

Mr. O'Connell

said, he wished briefly to notice that speech of his to which the right hon. Baronet had alluded. The right hon. Baronet had quoted as if he had made the calculation of what would be the franchise after the Reform Bill, whereas the speech he read related to a calculation of the state of it before the Reform Bill, namely 26,000. On that point he (Mr. O'Connell,) could not be mistaken, whatever he might have been before, because he had published that statement in a letter, both in the newspapers and in a pamphlet. The hon. Baronet who had taken an active part in the Emancipation Bill, had done them the justice to say, that they made no bargain, nor any compact, but that was but doing them half justice, because they had expressly called upon the House to reject the Emancipation Act rather than disfranchise the 40s. freeholders. Petitions were presented to the House on this subject by sixty-three Gentlemen who came from Ireland expressly for that purpose. They spurned the disfranchisement which accompanied the bill, and petitioned the House rather to reject both than to pass both. So that they not only made no compact, but they protested against this disfranchisement. In 1825, there existed objections to the 40s. freeholders. They were then dependent on their landlords, and obliged to vote as they pleased. There were many difficulties connected with them, but he, for one, never consented to the disfranchisement of the 40s. freeholders who were seized in fee. In 1825, they threw off their shackles, and evinced their patriotism. They turned the Beresfords out of Waterford, the Fosters out of Louth, and Mr. Vescy Fitzgerald out of Clare. Having given these proofs of their patriotism in 1825, when they were dependent, in 1829, they were disfranchised. This was the history of their disfranchisement, and what did the Reform Act? Did it give them additional franchises, or restore to them that they had lost? Would it have been taken away in England? Would the people of England have suffered it? Very properly, they would not, yet the franchise was taken from Ireland, where it was more needed than ever in England. When the right hon. Baronet told him that population was not the basis of the franchise, he admitted that it was not the sole basis, but the basis was population and property. But how was it estimated in Ireland? Why, by population and the forty shilling freeholders. The noble Lord taunted him and his party with driving Ireland to despair. He told the noble Lord they were not driven to despair. They were too many, too peaceable, too intelligent, and too united for that. What had occurred among them recently? He stated it with satisfaction and with pleasure, because it supplied them with a new remedy. He had stated it before, and he stated it again, that they did not know that country. There were five millions of persons there who never tasted the liquor of intoxication. They had calculated on their passions and their vices, but they could be oppressed through these no longer. How could the noble Lord say, that he did not intend to place the people of Ireland in the hands of the landlord? Why did not the noble Lord avow it? Did not the noble Lord say, that he intended to assimilate them to those in England? Should he be told after that, it was not intended to disfranchise them? The House had done nothing but base injustice to Ireland. The right hon. Gentleman had said, that he (Mr. O'Connell gloated in looking back at the crimes that England had perpetrated against Ireland. It must be admitted that no one country had ever perpetrated so many crimes as England had to Ireland. Why did he mention it? Because that spirit existed still. They had not the same means—they had not the same power; they could not do it now, but they were as willing to do it as ever their ancestors were. The noble Lord had exhibited that spirit to-night. He told the House there was little chance of their getting the bill through that or the other House. Let him proclaim that to eight millions of people. It had been proclaimed, and it would be proclaimed again. He (Mr. O'Connell) remonstrated against their continued injustice, in asserting that whatever might be the population, it was not to be the basis of representation. He did not know what was meant by this paltry distinction between man and man, between Englishmen and Irishmen, but he knew that a 50l. franchise was not a franchise, and he knew again that a 40s. franchise was an ancient franchise, not depending upon property. To talk about a 40s. franchise as a franchise by property, was insulting common sense. He had shown them a population of 366,000 with only 925 voters. They had deprived Ireland of her fair share of representation. On the basis of property and population she ought to have 150 or 170 Members in that House. Ireland felt the indignity that was done her. She had what was called a representation, but it was not. No, let them go on. They would not disappoint him; on the contrary, they would but animate his hopes. He trusted he should yet live to see a Parliament that would do Ireland justice.

Viscount Howick

said, that after what had fallen from the noble Lord (the Secretary for the colonies), he felt anxious to say a few words in explanation. He was surprised to hear the noble Lord state that the effect of the amendment would be to restrict the franchise in Ireland. He was convinced that it would, as it was his intention it should, have a precisely opposite effect. The noble Viscount (the Secretary for Ireland) concurred with him in the necessity of creating a new franchise, That noble Lord proposed, in order to counteract the indisposition on the part of landlords to grant leases, to bestow it on leaseholders of 8l., while he (Viscount Howick), with the same view, proposed to bestow it on certain tenants, whether they held leases or not. A valuable class of voters would be destroyed by the operation of the bill of the noble Lord while they would be preserved by the amendment which he had proposed. He had only further to state, that his object was not to restrict the franchise.

Sir R. Peel

said, that he should be exceedingly sorry if the hon. Gentleman imagined that he had misrepresented him. He had described the hon. Gentleman as prophesying the future operation of the Reform Bill. He could not, of course, know what the thoughts of the hon. Gen-Gentleman were, he only spoke from his reported speeches. The hon. Gentleman said,— I will now give the House a few specimens of the number of persons entitled to vote by this measure. The hon. Gentleman then went through the details, and concluded by observing, that— The same principle ran throughout the whole bill, and the whole measure was as conservative as the hottest Conservative could desire. He had quoted the testimony of the hon. Gentleman against the Conservatives. He He had also pronounced strictures on the Whigs. He had declared that Ireland had suffered from them, for that it was the Whigs who gave penal laws to Ireland. There existed, said the hon. and learned Gentleman, an empty vulgar prejudice against Ireland. He had thought it right to give the hon. Gentleman's testimony on both sides. What he had said was, that the hon. Gentleman had prophesied that after the passing of the Reform Bill the number of voters would not exceed 30,000, and that it required a stretch of imagination to conceive so great a number. This was the number which was thought adequate to represent 8,000,000 of people.

Lord J. Russell

said, that in reference to what had fallen from the noble Lord, the Member for Northumberland, he had only to state, that he did not wish to say that the proposal of his noble Friend would restrict the franchise, nor would he say whether the franchise proposed by the amendment was a good one or not.

The committee divided on the question that the words proposed to be left out stand part of the question:—Ayes 270; Noes 291——Majority 21.

List of the AYES.
Abercromby, hn. G. R. Duff, J.
Acheson, Viscount Duke, Sir J.
Adam, Admiral Duncan, Viscount
Aglionby, H. A. Duncombe, T.
Alston, R. Dundas, C. W. D.
Andover, Viscount Dundas, F.
Anson, hon. Colonel Dundas, D.
Archbold, R. Easthope, J.
Armstrong, A. Edwards, Sir J.
Baines, E. Elliot, hon. J. E.
Bannerman, A. Ellice, Captain A.
Baring, rt. hon. F. T. Ellice, rt. hon. E.
Barnard, E. G. Ellice, E.
Barry, G. S. Ellis, W.
Beamish, F. B. Erie, W.
Bellew, R. M. Etwall, R.
Berkeley, hon. H. Evans, Sir D. L.
Berkeley, hon. G. Evans, G.
Bewes, T. Evans, W.
Blackett, C. Ewart, W.
Blake, M. J. Fazakerley, J. N.
Blake, W. J. Fielden, J.
Blake, M. Fenton, J.
Blewitt, R. J. Ferguson, Sir R. A.
Bodkin, J. J. Ferguson, Colonel
Bowes, J. Fitzalan, Lord
Brabazon, Lord Fitzpatrick, J. W.
Bridgeman, H. Fitzroy, Lord C.
Briscoe, J. I. Fitzwilliam, hn. G. W
Brodie, W. B. Fleet wood, Sir P. H.
Brotherton, J. Fort, J.
Browne, R. D. Fortescue, T.
Bryan, G. French, F.
Buller, C. Gillon, W. D.
Buller, E. Gisborne, T.
Bulwer, Sir L. Gordon, R.
Busfield, W. Grattan, J.
Butler, hon. Colonel Greenaway, C.
Callaghan, D. Greg, R. H.
Campbell, Sir J. Greig, D.
Campbell, W. F. Grey, rt. hon. Sir C.
Carew, hon. R. S. Grey, rt. hon. Sir G.
Cavendish, hon. C Grosvenor, Lord R.
Cavendish, hn. G. H. Grote, G.
Chalmers, P. Guest, Sir J.
Chetwynd, Major Hall, Sir B.
Chichester, Sir B. Handley, H.
Childers, J. W. Hastie, A.
Clay, W. Hawes, B.
Clayton, Sir W. R. Hawkins, J. H.
Clements, Viscount Hayter, W. G.
Clive, E. B. Heathcoat, J.
Collier, J. Hector, C. J.
Collins, W. Heneage, E.
Colquhoun, Sir J. Heron, Sir R.
Cowper, hon. W. F. Hill, Lord A. M. C.
Craig, W.G. Hindley, C.
Crawford, W. Hobhouse, rt. hon. Sir J.
Currie, R.
Dalmeny, Lord Hobhouse, T. B.
Dashwood, G. H. Hodges, T. L.
Dennistoun, J. Holland, R.
D'Eyncourt, rt. hn. C. T. Horsman, E.
Howard, hon. E.G.G.
Divett, E. Howard, F. J.
Howard, P. H. Power, J.
Howard, Sir R. Price, Sir R.
Howard, hon. C. W. G. Protheroe, E.
Humphrey, J. Pryme, G. S
Hurst, R. H. Ramsbottom, J.
Hutchins, E. J. Rawdon, Col. J. D.
Hutt, W. Redington, T. N.
Hutton, R. Rice, E. R.
James, W. Rich, H.
Jervis, J. Roche, E. B
Labouchere, rt. hn. H. Roche, W.
Lambton, H. Rumbold, C. E.
Langdale, hon. C. Rundle, J.
Leader, J. T. Russell, Lord C.
Lennox, Lord G. Russell, Lord C.
Lister, E. C. Rutherfurd, rt. hn. A.
Listowel, Earl of Salwey, Colonel
Loch, J. Sanford, E. A.
Lushington, C. Scholefield, J.
Lushington, rt. hn. S. Scrope, G. P.
Lynch, A. H. Seymour, Lord
Macaulay, rt. hn. T. B. Sharpe, G.
Macnamara, Major Sheil, right hon. R. L.
McTaggart, J. Slaney, R. A.
Marshall, W. Smith, J. A.
Marsland, H. Smith, B.
Martin, J. Smith, G. R.
Maule, hon. F. Smith, R. V.
Mildmay, P. St. J. Somers, J. P.
Morpeth, Viscount Standish, C.
Morris, D. Stansfield, W. R. C.
Morrison, J. Staunton, Sir G.T.
Muntz, G. F. Stewart, J.
Murray, A. Stuart, Lord J.
Muskett, G. A. Stuart, W. V.
Nagle, Sir R. Stock, Mr. Serg.
Noel. hon. C. G. Strickland, Sir G.
Norreys, Sir D. J. Strutt, E.
O'Brien, C. Style, Sir C.
O'Brien, W. S. Surrey, Earl of
O'Callaghan, hon. C. Talbot, C. R. M.
O'Connell, D. Talbot, J. H.
O'Connell, J. Tancred, H. W.
O'Connell, M. J. Thornely, T.
O'Connell, M. Troubridge, Sir E. T.
O'Conor Don Turner, E.
O'Ferrall, R. M. Verney, Sir H.
Ord, W. Villiers, hon. C. P.
Oswald, J. Vivian, Major C
Paget, Lord A. Vivian, J. H.
Paget, F. Vivian, rt. hn. Sir H.
Palmer, C. F. Wakley, T.
Palmerston, Viscount Walker, R.
Parker, J. Wallace, R.
Parnell, rt. hn. Sir H. Warburton, H
Pattison, J. Ward, H. G.
Pease, J. Wemyss, Captain
Pechell, Captain Westenra, hon. H. R
Pendarves, E. W. W. Westenra, hon. J. C.
Philipps, Sir R. White, H.
Philips, M. White, L.
Philips, G. R. White, S.
Philpotts, J. Wilbraham, G.
Pigot, rt. hon. D. Wilde, Sir T.
Pinney, W. Williams, W.
Ponsonby, C. F. A. C. Wilshere, W.
Ponsonby, hon. J. Winnington, Sir T. E.
Winnington, H. J. Wyse, T.
Wood, Sir M. Yates, J. A.
Wood, G. W.
Worsley, Lord Stanley, E. J.
Wrightson, W. B. Tufnell, H.
List of the NOES.
Acland, Sir T. D. Clements, H. J.
A'Court, Captain Clerk, Sir G.
Adare, Viscount Clive, hon. R. H.
Ainsworth, P. Cochrane, Sir T. J.
Alexander, N. Codrington, C. W.
Alford, Viscount Cole, hon. A. H.
Antrobus, E. Compton, H. C.
Arbuthnott, hon. H. Conolly, E.
Archdall, M. Cooper, E. J.
Ashley, Lord Coote, Sir C. H.
Ashley, him. H. Copeland, Alderman
Attwood, W Courtenay, P.
Attwood, M. Creswell, C.
Bagot, hon. W. Crewe, Sir G.
Bailey, J. Cripps, J.
Bailey, J. jun. Dalrymple, Sir A.
Baillie, Col. Damer, hon. D.
Baillie, H. J. Darby, G.
Baker, E. Darlington, Earl of
Baldwin, C. B. De Horsey, S. H.
Baring, hon. F. Dick, Q.
Baring, H. B. D'Israeli, B.
Baring, hon. W. B. Dottin, A. R.
Barneby, J. Douglas, Sir C. E.
Barrington, Viscount Douro, Marquess of
Basset, J. Dowdeswell, W.
Bateson, Sir R. Duffield, T.
Bell, M. Dugdale, W. S.
Bentinck, Lord G. Dunbar, G.
Bethell, R. Duncombe, hon. W.
Blackburne, I. Duncombe, hon. A.
Blackstone, W. S. Dundas, hon. T. C.
Blakemore, R. Du Pre, G.
Blennerhassett, A. East, J. B.
Boldero, H. G. Eastnor, Viscount
Boiling, W. Eaton, R. J.
Botfield, B. Egerton, W. T.
Bradshaw, J. Egerton, Sir P.
Bramston, T. W. Egerton, Lord F.
Broadley, H. Eliot, Lord
Broad wood, H. Ellis, J.
Brooke, Sir A. B. Estcourt, T.
Brownrigg, S. Farnham, E. B.
Bruce, Lord E. Farrand, R.
Bruen, Colonel Fielden, W.
Buck, L. W. Fector, J. M.
Buller, Sir, J. Y. Fellowes, E.
Burrell, Sir C. Filmer, Sir E.
Burroughes, H. N. Fitzroy, hon. H.
Calcraft, J. H. Fleming, J.
Campbell, Sir H. Foley, E. T.
Canning, rt. hn. Sir S. Follett, Sir W.
Cantilupe, Viscount Fox, S. L.
Castlereagh, Viscount Fremantle, Sir T.
Chapman, A. Freshfield, J. W.
Cholmondeley, hn. H. Gaskell, J. Milnes
Christopher, R. A. Gladstone, J. N.
Chute, W. L. W. Gladstone. W. E.
Glynn, Sir S. R. Long, W.
Godson, R. Lowther, hon. Col.
Gordon, hon. Captain Lowther, Viscount
Gore, O. J. R. Lucas, E.
Gore, O. W. Lygon, hon. General
Goring, H. D. Mackinnon, W. A.
Goulburn, rt. hon. H. Maclean, D.
Graham, rt. hn. Sir J. Mahon, Viscount
Grant, Sir A. C. Marsland, T.
Greene, T. Marton, G.
Grimston, Viscount Master, T. W. C.
Hale, R. B. Mathew, G. B.
Halford, H. Maunsell, T. P.
Hamilton, C. J. B. Meynell, Captain
Hamilton, Lord C. Miles, P. W. S.
Harcourt, G. G. Miller, W. H.
Harcourt, G. S. Milnes, R. M.
Hardinge, rt. hn. Sir H. Monypenny, T. G.
Hawkes, T. Mordaunt, Sir J.
Hayes, Sir E. Morgan, O.
Heathcote, Sir W. Neeld, J.
Heneage, G. W. Neeld, J.
Henniker, Lord Nicholl, J.
Hepburn, Sir T. B. Norreys, Lord
Herbert, hon. S. Northland, Lord
Herries, rt. hn. J. C. Ossulston, Lord
Hill, Sir R. Owen, Sir J.
Hillsborough, Earl of Packe, C. W.
Hinde, J. H. Pakington, J. S.
Hodgson, F. Palmer, R.
Hodgson, R. Palmer, G.
Hogg, J. W. Parker, M.
Holmes, hon. W. A. Parker, R. T.
Holmes, W. Parker, T. A. W.
Hope, hon. C. Patten, J. W.
Hope, H. T. Peel, rt. hn. Sir R.
Hope, G. W. Peel, J.
Hotham, Lord Pemberton, T.
Houldsworth, T. Perceval, Colonel
Houstoun, G. Pigot, R.
Hughes, W. B. Planta, rt. hn. J.
Hurt, F. Plumptre, J. P.
Ingestre, Viscount Polhill, F.
Ingham, R. Pollen, Sir J. W.
Inglis, Sir R. H. Pollock, Sir F.
Irton, S. Powell, Colonel
Irving, J. Powerscourt, Viscount
Jackson, Mr. Sergeant Praed, W. T.
James, Sir W. C. Price, R.
Jenkins, Sir R. Pringle, A.
Jermyn, Earl Pusey, P.
Johnstone, H. Reid, Sir J. R.
Jones, Captain Richards, R.
Kemble, H. Rickford, W.
Kerrison, Sir E. Rolleston, L.
Kelburne, Viscount Rose, rt. hon. Sir G.
Knatehbull, rt. hon. Sir E. Round, C. G.
Round, J.
Knight, H. G. Rushbrooke, Colonel
Knightley, Sir C. Rushout, G.
Lascelles, hon. W. S. Sanderson, R.
Law, hon. C. E. Sandon, Viscount
Lemon, Sir C. Scarlett, hon. J. Y.
Lennox, Lord A. Sheppard, T.
Lincoln, Earl of Shirley, E. J.
Litton, E. Sibthorp, Colonel
Lockhart, A. M. Sinclair, Sir G.
Smith, A. Verner, Colonel
Smyth, Sir G. H. Villiers, Viscount
Smythe, hon. G. Vivian, J. E.
Somerset, Lord G. Waddington, H. S.
Sotheron, T. E. Walsh, Sir J.
Stanley, E. Welby, G. E.
Stanley, Lord Whitmore, T. C.
Stewart, J. Wilbraham, hon. B.
Sturt, H. C. Williams, R.
Sugden, rt. hn. Sir E. Williams, T. P.
Teignmouth, Lord Wilmot, Sir J. E.
Tennent, J. E. Wodehouse, E.
Thesiger, F. Wood, Colonel
Thomas, Col. H. Wood, Colonel T.
Thompson, Mr. Ald. Wyndham, W.
Thornhill, G. Wynn. rt. hn. C. W
Tollemanche, F. J. Yorke, hon. E. T.
Tomline, G. Young, J.
Trench, Sir F. Young, Sir W.
Trevor, hon. G. R.
Trotter, J. TELLERS.
Tyrell, Sir J. T. Howick, Viscount
Vere, Sir C. B. Wood, C.
Viscount Howick

said, that in consequence of what had taken place he was anxious to make it perfectly clear that the amendment he had brought forward, and which had been this night discussed, was intended to be an addition to another franchise, and not a substitution. He should, therefore, reverse the order in which he had proposed to move his two amendments, and not move that for the definition of the beneficial interest till he had submitted that relating to occupancy.

Lord J. Russell moved, that the chairman report progress, and ask leave to sit again.

Colonel Sibthorp

spoke of the political cowardice displayed by Ministers. He was glad to find by the result of the division this night, and by the honest, fair, undisguised muster of the Conservatives, that her Majesty's Government was no longer to be allowed to play the tricks with which it had for some time indulged the country. He asked why the noble Lord did not display a little of that moral courage he ought to possess, and not wince like a galled jade because his withers were a little wrung.

Mr. O'Connell

gave notice, that in the next stage of the bill, he would propose a clause for the restoration of the 40s. franchise in Ireland.

Sir R. Peel

observed, that under the circumstances of the late division, it could not be expected that the noble Lord would be prepared to make any declaration as to the course he should pursue; but he thought that he was bound to state some reason why the chairman should report progress and ask leave to sit again. Did the noble Lord intend to go into committee again to-morrow.

Lord J. Russell

said, that he considered the introduction of the words of the amendment an important change in the bill, but he was not now prepared to say to what extent it affected it. He therefore proposed to postpone the farther proceeding until Monday. He had no objection to take Wednesday next, if other Gentlemen wished it.

Lord Stanley

remarked, that his bill stood for Wednesday, but in the situation in which Ministers at present stood, he did not think it right to offer any opposition to their taking that day for their bill. The amendment just carried must make a material difference, and it was only fair to the noble Lord and his colleagues to allow them to-morrow to consider what course they would adopt. If, therefore, the noble Lord wished to re-commit his bill on Wednesday, he was quite ready to fix his own bill for some future day.

The question was then put and carried, that the Chairman report progress.

The House resumed, report brought up, Committee to sit again on Wednesday.

Lord Stanley postponed his bill to Wednesday week.

House adjourned.