HC Deb 26 April 1841 vol 57 cc1072-3
Sir G. Grey

said, he wished to put a question to the noble Lord the Member for North Lancashire, with reference to one of the orders of the day, namely, whether it was the intention of the Cabinet of which the noble Lord formed a part, on the 25th of June, 1832, to give the right of voting at elections of Members of Parliament for counties in Ireland to all persons occupying tenements for which they paid an annual rent of 10l. It would explain the meaning of his question if he stated to the House that, having referred to the noble Lord on the subject, the noble Lord had referred him to the bill. That bill, however, did not afford the means of deciding the question. The question referred to June, 1832, and the bill of May, 1830, was evidently not in the state in which it stood before the House at a subsequent period.

Lord Stanley

said, the hon. Gentleman had been kind enough to put into his hands a copy of the Mirror of Parliament of 1832, and at the same time he had asked him to give an explanation of a; speech of his which he there found reported. A speech was then made by him in explanation of the bill as it stood at the time for consideration by the House, and as it was intended to stand by Earl Grey's Government. In explanation of his speech he had taken the liberty of referring the hon. Gentleman to the bill as he would find it up stairs, considering that a more authentic explanation than any which he could furnish. However, he well recollected the passage, because he had often looked at it, and he had noticed on various occasions that that speech contained a fundamental error throughout, arising out of a misprint he had no doubt, which made the whole statement perfectly unintelligible. The only explanation he could give was this. He was made to speak throughout of a rent of 10l., and he had little doubt the mistake had arisen from substituting the word "rent" for "interest," whereas he had been speaking as the bill spoke of an annual interest of 10l. It never was the intention of Earl Grey's Government to introduce the words in the report as part of the Reform Bill. He had no doubt that the error had arisen from the short-hand writer having, in copying out his notes afterwards, mistaken the mark, so that the word "interest" had been mistaken for the word "rent" or "rental." It certainly never was intended in the time of Earl Grey's Government to take such a course, and there were many hon. Members present who I could corroborate that statement.

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