HC Deb 28 April 1841 vol 57 cc1167-242
Lord J. Russell

said, it was his intention to move the Order of the Day for going into Committee on the Parliamentary Voters (Ireland) Bill, and as it stood somewhat low upon the list, he should propose, if the Gentlemen who had orders on the paper had no objection, that they should be read over, for the purpose of postponing them.

The preceding orders were accordingly read over and fixed for other days.

Lord J. Russell

In rising to move the Order of the Day for the consideration of the Parliamentary Voters' Bill, I beg leave to state the course which I propose to pursue: I asked the House to adjourn the farther consideration of the bill the other evening, thinking the vote which the House came to with respect to certain words to be introduced into the first clause, to be of very considerable importance. I attached much importance to those words, chiefly from what I heard; and inferring, from the statements then made, that it was intended, by affirming those words, to exclude the franchise proposed by my noble Friend in his bill, the importance of that debate and that vote I did not by any means exaggerate, but I think the Government would not be at all justified in considering that vote conclusive on this question. They have to consider that the second reading of this bill—of which the principal clause is that which contains the franchise—was affirmed in a very large House by 301 Members. It is likewise to be considered that the amendment of my noble Friend was moved, not with the view of negativing any other franchise that might be proposed, but with the view of adding a new kind of franchise. That franchise, as stated in the course of the debate by my noble Friend, if added to that proposed by my noble Friend near me, would be an addition to the franchise, and not a diminution. That addition I should be willing to accept, if the House be prepared to adopt a franchise of the nature which we have proposed. Considering these circumstances, therefore, we think it is our duty to proceed with the bill, and take the sense of the House with respect to the franchise we have proposed. The franchise is the principal part of the bill, and it was discussed on the second reading, not with respect to its amount, or the length of the lease, but with respect to its general nature. I do not consider that it is necessary to enter further into the question at present. I shall, therefore, move the Order of the Day for going into Committee on the Parliamentary Voters (Ireland) Bill.

Viscount Howick

thought that his noble Friend having explained the course which he proposed to pursue, it might be convenient to the House that he should also state his intention in reference to the amendment of which he had given notice, and what course he should pursue in consequence of what had taken place on a former evening. He still continued of the opinion, which he then expressed, that the county franchises of Ireland might be most satisfactorily settled on the principle which he endeavoured, to state to the House— namely, by retaining the existing franchise, with respect to the beneficial interest, providing a simple and easily ascertained test of its existence, and at the same time opening further means of acquiring the right of voting by the creation of an occupation franchise, analogous to that possessed in England by 50l. tenants at will. He still continued to hold that opinion, and nothing had certainly passed in the course of the debate on a former evening which could in any degree alter it. With reference to the first amendment, the House had affirmed the expediency of maintaining the principle of a property qualification. His noble Friend who had just sat down, had declared as he always thought he must declare—and he was extremely surprised at his noble Friend pressing the question to a division on a former evening—that to a franchise defined in the manner he had proposed, as an addition to some other franchise, his noble Friend had no objection. Except as an addition to some other franchise, he certainly never should have, thought of proposing a beneficial interest defined in the manner he had suggested. If, therefore, the House should afterwards agree to some other franchise by which some considerable number of electors would be admitted to the right of voting, he should then, and in that case only, propose the amendment of which he had given notice, and which had been partly adopted by the House, with a view of defining the beneficial interest. But a more important amendment than this was that which went to alter the nature of the occupation proposed by his noble Friend, and to do away with the necessity of leases, and, in consideration of removing that restriction, to raise the value of the tenement which the voter was required to hold, With respect to that principle also, nothing that had passed on a former evening gave him reason to think he was wrong in proposing it. His noble Friends on that side of the House, refused on that occasion to enter into the argument at all. They did not attempt to show how it was possible that by a franchise founded on leases they could obviate the inconvenience of the existing law in diminishing the number of electors, in consequence of the reluctance to grant leases. They did not attempt to disprove his statements, made from the evidence laid on the Table of the House—that, speaking generally, the smaller class of holdings in Ireland—such as if they required leases they must accept as a qualification for the franchise—were very greatly over-rented, as compared with those of a larger size. The holders of these tenements, being more needy, were likely to be more dependent than tenants of larger farms. These facts had not been attempted to be disproved. On the other hand, the right hon. Baronet opposite, and his noble Friend the Member for North Lancashire, if he collected correctly the import of what fell from them, had no objection to the principle which he had advanced, but even went so far as to say, that if that principle had been embodied in the present measure by her Majesty's Government, they would be prepared to give it their acquiescence. He believed the expression of his noble Friend the Member for North Lancashire was, "to give it his most respectful consideration. He did not wish to push the words further than they would bear him out as to what fell from them on that occasion. He clearly understood that, disclaiming giving any opinion as to details, or as to the amount of occupation that ought to be required, both his noble Friend and the right hon. Baronet said, that in principle they had no objection to the establishment in Ireland of an occupation franchise analogous to the occupation franchise in England, But though to this extent the principle was admitted by the right hon. Gentlemen opposite, it was stated by them, that they would not be prepared even to consider the details of such a measure when brought forward in any other way than upon the responsibility of her Majesty's Government. Although he did not concur with them, he was not surprised at their entertaining the opinion, in favour of which he admitted, that much might be said, that a measure of such importance, affecting the representation of Ireland, ought not to be adopted by the House unless brought forward by the authority, and upon the responsibility of her Majesty's Government. That being their opinion, it was plain that in moving the amendment of which he had given notice, he could expect no support from the other side of the House. Neither could ha on his own side of the House expect any support, because, though his noble Friends did not think proper to enter into the argument on the subject, they had distinctly stated their intention of resisting the amendment which he contemplated. The result of the division on a former evening proved to him that such being their deter- mination, he could not calculate on any support even from those Gentlemen in whose concurrence with his opinions he had the best reason to believe. It would be therefore manifestly fruitless to bring forward the amendment he had intended. It would tend to no useful result, and he knew his duty to the House too well to occupy their time unnecessarily. He would not, therefore, interfere with the progress of the measure, by proposing an amendment which, however calculated in his opinion to produce a satisfactory adjustment of this much disputed question, had no probability of being acquiesced in by the House. Of course, with the opinion he had already expressed, it would be impossible for him, however anxious to co-operate with her Majesty's Government in placing the franchise of Ireland on a satisfactory footing, to support the clause which was to come under the consideration of the House. He would not trouble the House by repeating the arguments in opposition to that clause adverted to on a former evening; he would merely say, that not conceiving these arguments to have been in any degree answered, or the strong objections urged to the clause in the former debate to have been removed by the change her Majesty's Government now proposed, he could not support it, and he must confess he almost felt surprised, that her Majesty's Government should call upon the House to decide upon it. He was very sure it must be clear to every one who knew anything of the state of public affairs and parties in this country, that a franchise founded on the principle proposed, though it might possibly pass that House, could never pass into a law. He thought, therefore, the probable consequence of further discussion on the subject would be merely the increase of party excitement in that House, and of the still more pernicious party excitement and party animosity which unfortunately prevailed in Ireland. He thought the result must be, that this subject must continue for another year without any effectual attempt being made to correct the evils complained of. He believed the franchise required regulation and definition, and could not be left in the present state without mischievous uncertainty. He believed the system of registration to be faulty, but he also believed, from the information now before the House, that almost all the faults of the system of registration in Ireland, all the abuses, and all the evils which had been complained of, flowed mainly from the present undefined state of the franchise. He did not attribute those evils, which were admitted to exist on all sides, nearly so much to the defective tribunals for registration, nor to the want of an annual revision of the registration as to the nature of the franchise itself. The real cause of by far the worst of the present abuses was the existence of a franchise based on a fact which they had no certain means of ascertaining. To illustrate the mischievous consequences of the present uncertain test of the right of voting he would merely allude to certain returns which had been moved for by the hon. and learned Member for Bandon. The hon. and learned Member had moved for a return of the number of claims put in, and of the number allowed in different parts of Ireland. Among other parts introduced in the returns was the county of Cork. In that, the largest county in Ireland, it appeared that upwards of 12,000 claims had been made, and out of these little more than 1,000 had been established; so that for every single claim established, twelve had been put forward for discussion. In twelve cases they had all the litigation and all the discussion. ["No, no," from Mr. Sergeant Jackson.] He knew to what the hon. and learned Member alluded. His dissent implied that all the claims were not followed up. But this did not seriously affect his conclusion, which was to show the uncertainty of the law which encouraged twelve persons to prefer claims for one who had obtained the right of voting. That state of things was a most monstrous and crying evil. He believed, that such results must continue, and, as he had said, they arose entirely from the uncertainty of the franchise. That being the case, it did appear to him that his noble Friend would attain no useful object by pressing forward his bill in the face of such an opposition as it must encounter. In the same way, if hon. Gentlemen opposite forced forward their attempts to improve the system of registration, and refused to attack the real and crying evil, such a proceeding would be likewise fruitless. It would tend only to exasperate existing animosities, and make more difficult at some future period a settlement of that question. He was persuaded that such would be the effect of pressing forward the bill of his noble Friend opposite at present, and he could not help asking the right hon. Baronet and his noble Friend whether, if it was not fit to deal with the franchise, and at- tempt to accomplish that highly necessary reform unless that reform was taken up by her Majesty's Government, proposed upon their responsibility and by their authority—if that principle held good with respect to the reform of the franchise, did not the same principle hold equally good with respect to the reform of the tribunal r Did it not hold more than equally good when it appeared, from the facts elicited in the course of the debate, that the first step towards enabling the tribunal to give a satisfactory decision, was a clear definition of the franchise. He was persuaded that such was the case—it was impossible to deal with the subject except as a whole, and, unfortunate as might be the result of leaving Ireland to suffer another year under the evils of the present registration system, and the present inadequate franchise, he thought, under the circumstances in which they were now placed, that such would be the best course, as he believed it would be the inevitable result. Did he deny, that that was a result greatly to be deplored? Far from it. Did he think that such a result would have been inevitable if either side of the House—if either of the two great parties that divided the House and the country had really been guided in the course they had pursued, by an earnest desire for the public good, in preference to party advantage? Far from it. If such had been the case, he thought a very different result might have been attained. He thought this was a question which did admit of a settlement. The country had a right to inquire, and would inquire, who was responsible for preventing such a settlement. He did not wish to lay blame on either side, but this he must say, that if her Majesty's Government had proposed a measure retaining as much as practicable of the existing law, and following also as closely as possible the analogy of the English law, in supplying any deficiency in the number of electors likely to be produced either by causes now in operation, or by establishing a clear definition of the beneficial interest;—if they had proposed a measure of that sort, founded upon a careful investigation of facts, and supported by full and satisfactory information, he was certainly bound to believe, from the declarations that were made on the other side of the House, that in point of principle, at least, no objection would have been urged. Even upon the details of such a measure, it was not impossible that an agreement might have been come to. He supposed that any hopes of that sort were now at an end. He would conclude the few observations he had thought proper to make to the House, by expressing Ins hope that though he now declined for the reason lie had stated to persevere in an amendment of which lie had given notice, the House would give him credit for not having acted hastily or inconsiderately upon that important subject; he trusted it would appear that he had not brought forward his amendment without reasonable grounds for entertaining the hope that it might be the means of conciliating conflicting parties, and facilitating the adjustment of a question which it was most injurious to leave open, and that on the other hand, he had done right in not persevering with his proposition, when he learned that it was not likely to receive support.

Sir Robert Peel

said, the very few observations I have to make on the present occasion, will be exclusively confined to a statement of the course I took on Monday night, when this bill was last under discussion, and the position in which we now stand with respect to any future proceedings on the subject. I understand that her Majesty's Government, as a Government, as the executive administration intrusted with the confidence of the Sovereign, and with the responsibilities of office, undertook the adjustment of this question; that they undertook, first to define the franchise, and next to amend the admitted abuses of registration; abuses which they themselves did not deny, and which they themselves acknowledged to be gross and indefensible; but they also took up this ground, that there was a risk, in improving the registration, of narrowing the franchise in Ireland; that there were evils in an undefined franchise, on account of the conflict of the judicial authorities, and that therefore the two questions ought to be settled together, that the franchise ought to be defined, and then that those abuses might be corrected. In attempting, however, to define the franchise, her Majesty's Government made a proposal for the subversion of the franchise. In the bill introduced by her Majesty's Government, the preamble recited, that doubts and difficulties existed as to the present franchise, and that it was desirable to clear them up; but the practical mode in which they solved those doubts and difficulties was to subvert the existing franchise, and to substitute another in its place—namely, to take occupancy, as tested by the rating, as the qualification for the county constituency, while a 5l. rating was to constitute the franchise in all cities and towns in Ireland. I understood the noble Lord to make a decided objection to the principle of that franchise on two grounds. First, he objected to a uniform franchise, as applicable to the counties and towns of Ireland, and next he objected on principle to the abolition of a property in land as an element of the county franchise. The noble Lord, therefore, proposed amendments to the bill, the first of which embodied the principle for which he contended, and which, so far as the first clause was concerned, was simply this—that a beneficial interest, or a profit from land, should be a sine qua non, and an indispensable condition in the county franchise. We entered upon a discussion of that question, and I distinctly understood the other night, that we were then discussing a main—an essential principle of the bill—a principle which was to regulate the future constituency of Ireland. The noble Lord states that he has subsequently discovered that the suggestion of the noble Lord (Viscount Howick) and pf the hon. Gentleman who sits near him, with respect to the beneficial interest, was as an addition, and a supplement to the franchise which he himself proposed, and that therefore there would be now no inconsistency in admitting that additional franchise, as it would only extend and widen the constituency of Ireland. Why, if anything could be clear and decisive on that point, it was the explanation of the noble Lord himself when he brought forward his proposal, for the noble Lord stated that he proposed his amendment for the beneficial interest, not as exclusive of every other franchise, but as an addition. The noble Lord, the Secretary for Ireland, placed the same misconstruction on the declaration of the noble Lord, upon which the hon. Gentleman, the Member for Halifax rose, and, in the clearest and most decisive manner, said to the noble Lord, "You are wrong in your construction of our intentions—you prove that this would be an insufficient franchise, and would exclude many who ought to possess the right of voting. But unless we intended to supply the defects of this principle by something else, we never should have dreamed of proposing this franchise." I was quite surprised at the pains which the hon. Gentleman took, particularly after the speech of the noble Lord, to explain dearly and decisively the nature of the amendment, and I cannot understand how it was possible for any one to resist the proposal, except on principle. But upon principle it was resisted—upon a principle so overbearing, that it compelled Her Majesty's Government to resist the proposal, notwithstanding the most decisive demonstration, that if you were going to define and adjust the franchise, you could lot, without gross injustice, exclude some raters who will only be enfranchised by, the amendment of the noble Lord. The noble Lord even supposed this case, that there might be a freeholder—one who held land in fee simple, but who might not be rated higher than 7l. 10s., and he said, that unless they allowed a "beneficial interest," to afford a ground for qualification, that man would be excluded. Now, notwithstanding that decisive proof of the importance of the details of what the noble Lord's proposition involved, still the principle was found to be so overbearing by her Majesty's Government, that they determined that such a voter was to be excluded, and the "beneficial interest" was excluded also. I do not in the least quarrel with the explanation of what fell from me, as it has been given by the noble Lord; but still I think it is better that the House should draw its inference of what were the intentions of a speaker from the repetition of what was said by the Member himself, who uttered the sentiments commented upon, than by the statement of them in the light in which they struck another. What I did say on the occasion was, that if it was proved to me that the just expectations that were entertained under the Relief Bill or the Reform Bill have been disappointed—if it he shown to me that there has been such a diminution of voters as will not leave a sufficient and intelligent constituency in Ireland, in that case I would not be indisposed to consider a remedy, but if I must apply that remedy—if convinced of its necessity—I should feel myself compelled to contend that a profit from the land, on the principle laid down by the noble Lord, should be an essential qualification for the franchise; and I said also, with respect to the definition of the franchise, no authority short of the executive government ought to take up such a measure, or could be expected to bring it to a satisfactory conclusion. I am sure the noble Lord will believe me when I say, that it is not out of any personal disrespect for himself, that I declare it is impossible for me to give my assent to the proposition for send- ing up to the Lords a bill containing a new franchise, and that a franchise founded on no information upon which we can rely. I feel that it is not possible for me to assent to this to which I am asked to give my concurrence by the noble Lord. The proposition comes to us as made by an individual without any responsibility, and who, as it is admitted by the noble Lord himself, is unconnected with any great party in the State. The noble Lord asked us to define the franchise without having the power or the means of giving to us the materials on which we can know that his proposal is founded. Instead of the noble Lord being able to do this, we find that he is guided with respect to his franchise by the materials that were furnished to him for a very different purpose—namely, that of setting up a 5l. franchise. I do not, then, think it necessary to proceed with that, of which I despair to find the House come to a satisfactory settlement. I am sure that the House, whatever the form may be, will feel that I should be guilty of; deluding hon. Members and the public if I were to give my assent to any definition of the franchise, if I had not reason to suppose that the bill containing that definition would pass into a law. Would it be fair in me to be guilty of the delusion of insisting upon a proposition, which I believe would not be assented to, and that could not pass into a law. Am I not, then, justified in saying, that when it is proposed that a new franchise should be framed, it is absolutely necessary that the party proposing to define the franchise, or to constitute a new franchise, should have the confidence of the Crown. I said, that I apprehended extreme difficulties in assenting to the details of the noble Lord's proposition; but, if I thought so on Monday, has not the intervening day furnished us with a fresh amount of information, and quite sufficient to justify the apprehensions already expressed by me? Here, then, is the second general report of the commissioners, empowered by the Attorney-general for the purpose of collecting information, and that has appeared between this day and that on which the noble Lard made his proposal, I have been engaged in reading it, but I must say it is very difficult to keep pace with all these documents. This I was reading until four o'clock to-day, and I found in the 24th page of the second report of the commissioners this passage—observe, they are gentlemen appointed by the Attorney-general who make this statement:— There are not materials before us to form any calculation as to the probable amount of electors which the adoption of a franchise regulated by any given amount of rating combined with tenure would produce. Now, I have no commissioners at my command—I have no friends to send to the provinces—I can only depend upon the information supplied to me by those who are going to constitute a new franchise, and when I look to the materials by which I am to calculate that franchise, I am told, u there are not materials to form any calculation as to the probable amount of electors which the adoption of a franchise regulated by any given amount of rating combined with tenure would produce." I look, then, to another paper, which involves details embracing some thousands of figures, and I find in this statement relative to the year 1837—a year that I purposely select, because that was the year which it is supposed produced the greatest number of constituents;—it appears, that there were that year 10l. leaseholders in counties, 13,482; 10l. householders in boroughs, 9,408; making altogether, 22,890. I purposely take the year which the Attorney-general selected as giving the largest constituency under the Reform Bill. I then turn to a paper of which I have just got possession, and in it I find an account of the number of 5l. tenements in eighteen different unions; and it, too, contains cities and boroughs. I find that there are 113,932 tenements rated at and above 5l. in these eighteen unions. Now, I am perfectly aware that the limits of cities and boroughs are not conterminous with the unions. Before, however, I come to a definition of the franchise must I not know the number of 5l. tenements, or what will be the probable number of voters existing within the electoral districts? I require that knowledge, but here there is nothing that can inform me. The noble Lord (Morpeth) told us, at the commencement of this discussion, that it was not his intention materially to increase the franchise—that he did not contemplate—and the noble Lord said, this was when he proposed the 5l. franchise—that there would be a great increase in the number of the electors. He distinctly said, that the 5l. franchise would not lead to a great increase of the franchise. These are the words of the noble Lord:— I do not disguise from myself that in the course of time this may lead to some increase in the number of those who enjoy the elective franchise. I do not think it would give rise to any sadden or violent increase. I think it would operate very slowly, and that it would only extend the franchise in a degree that would be perfectly proportionate with the increasing wealth and resources of the country. The standard for the franchise, whatever it be, must be fixed and definite, and it must be guarded, as far as it can be guarded, against the possibility of fraud or collusion. Thus it was, that the noble Lord stated what would be the general tendency of the 5l. franchise, and that the increase would not be sudden. If, then, the intentions of the noble Lord be these, am I not perfectly justified in declaring my opinion, that looking at this question as a whole—regarding it as a question of immense importance in its practical and political results to Ireland, of immense importance, too, as forming a precedent for the future basis on which the franchise may be extended, am I not, I ask, justified in declaring, when such an extension is proposed, that the proposal should come from one who can acquire all the information that a Government can possess, and that he should bring it forward on the responsibility of the Government itself? Am I not also justified in adopting this course, that which I conceive as the principle that he has laid down, yet destitute of information as we are, that I must hesitate as to the details, until I see that the question is placed in that position that there is a prospect of its being permanently settled? Am I not also justified, if I dissent from the general principles of the noble Lord opposite, in not doing anything by which delusion may be excited, or false expectations entertained.

Viscount Morpeth

I do not intend to enter into a discussion with respect to the franchise until that subject comes distinctly before the House; but then I wish to set myself right with respect to an observation that has fallen from the right hon. Baronet the Member for Tamworth. He has stated, that on the other evening it was distinctly understood that we decided the question of principle, and that we fixed upon a sine qua non for the future constitution of the franchise. If the right hon. Baronet so distinctly understood it, I can only say that I had very undisguisedly stated that which it would be, very difficult so to interpret—and I said it, too, in the speech that followed that of the noble Lord (Lord Howick). The deduction that I made might have been illogical, but I do not think there could be any doubt as to the words I used. I said, that I looked upon the first amendment, as relating to matter of form and of verbal expression, and declared that it would be quite as consistent with the adoption of his words, afterwards to definet he franchise in the way that might seem best to the House, as it was to define it in the way my noble Friend proposed. My noble Friend, and the hon. Member for Halifax, distinctly slated, that they had never dreamed of making their beneficial interest test the sole ground for the future constituency of Ireland; but they proposed, after the adoption of the words already inserted, another alternative qualification for the possession of the franchise. With the alteration or addition I stated that I was not prepared to concur; but at the same time I mentioned that my noble Friend's proposal of testing the profits without reference to charges was not one that would be objected to by her Majesty's Government as a mere addition; and as such whenever my noble Friend, or the hon. Member for Halifax may choose so to bring it forward, her Majesty's Government, treating it as an addition, would be very happy to adopt it. But, then, our own original proposition of a franchise founded on a net annual rating of 8l., whether as the single ground of qualification, or as an alternative and additional ground we roust retain. Upon this issue we are determined to take the sense of the House, deliberately and fully ascertained. With respect to the documents which the right hon. Baronet the Member for Tamworth has quoted, they do not seem to me to prove any thing against the course that has been pursued by her Majesty's Government. He has read for you an extract from the report of the commissioners for conducting an inquiry into the valuations for carrying into effect the New Poor-law, who have stated the impossibility of their forming any calculation as to the amount of electors which the adoption of a franchise regulated by any given amount of rating combined with tenure might produce. How could they possibly enter into a calculation of what number of landlords might give or refuse leases. The right hon. Baronet next referred to the number of tenements rated above 5l., and from that he seemed to argue that they were inconsistent with the statement that there would not be a material increase in the electoral body in Ireland. According to the right hon. Baronet's statement, it would seem, that all 5l. houses must be occupied by persons competent to have the franchise—that all living in such houses must be males, possessing all (he requisites of electors, and having the possession of leases entitling them to vote.; And then the right hon. Baronet commented on the number of tenements in the eighteen unions comprising the large cities and towns. The right hon. Baronet must remember, that no inference can be drawn from a comparison of this table, with the return of Parliamentary electors in these cities and towns, as the Parliamentary boundaries of such cities and towns constitute a small portion of the entire unions which go by their name The right hon. Baronet seems not to think he has sufficient information to enable him to decide upon the proposed franchise—he says that it will not enable him to make a change himself, or assent to that proposed by another. All I can say is, that we have not been chary in collecting information, nor in producing it as it comes to hand. It has been industriously collected, and as readily supplied. But then, what have I always contended for when I addressed the House on this subject?—that, in the nature of things it was impossible for us to legislate with full effect upon this matter in the course of the present Session. I have before now reminded the House that we were most witling to wait ourselves, until you yourselves proposed so to deal with the subject—so to remodel and to recast the existing constituency of Ireland, inseparably connected as it is with the system of registration that now prevails—so to alter, confuse, and embarrass the whole, as to leave no constituency whatever, either commensurate with the importance of the country, or qualified to carry into effect, the theory or the practice of a representative body.

Mr. Sergeant Jackson

said, that it ought to be the duty of any Government at all competent to manage the affairs of the country, to collect proper information on an important subject like the present, and lay it before the House, instead of bringing on such a measure as this without supplying any information whatever of the least value until the last moment, and then of a very scanty nature. What He understood his right hon. Friend, the Member for Tamworth, to say was, that in the absence of such information, he was not prepared to legislate; so that the noble Lord opposite had mistaken his right hon. Friend. The noble Lord, the Member for North Lancashire, had offered the only remedy for the abuses in the Irish constituency by an annual registration; for it was notorious that, persons had in many instances sound notions of registration, who had no claim whatever to a right of voting, as had occurred to a great extent in Cork. In the present state of the information before the House he did not see how they could legislate upon this subject with any advantage by proceeding with the bill further.

Mr. H. Grattan

observed, that if ever a feather were plucked from the Crown of Queen Victoria, it would not be by the people of Ireland, but it would he by the cowardly shrinking, and the political jugglery of those who said they had no information on the subject, when their hands were filled with papers. He complained of the proceedings on this subject as a political farce. The noble Lord below him (Viscount Howick) had satisfied himself by having a majority against his friends, and then backed out of it as well as he could. And all this the noble Lord did with the solitary consolation of having a single admirer. Now, he wished that noble Lord to be perfectly satisfied of this, that the people of Ireland believed that he was not the man to extricate his party, his own country, or theirs, out of the slightest political difficulty. He knew that it was impossible for his Friends to carry a bill, such as they wished to give to Ireland. It was impossible for hon. Gentlemen opposite to impose upon Ireland such a bill as they desired. He asked the right hon. Baronet, who now said, that he had not enough of information, would he give to Ireland the benefit of the Scotch Reform Bill? Would the right hon. Baronet do that? He paused for a reply. Would the right hon. Baronet grant that? The right hon. Baronet "made no sign"—he then would not do it. Would the right hon. Baronet—he meant no offence when he said it—stand by his colours? But how could one, who changed, and changed, and changed again, be expected to become stationary, either upon the faith of the Roman Catholic Relief Bill, or to the standard of the Reform Act? Let it be observed that they wanted no new franchise. The time, in his opinion, had come when the Irish Members ought to speak out more decidedly than they had done. [Laughter]. It was perfectly natural for the gallant Colonel (Colonel Perceval) so to smile or laugh. The gallant Colonel had no fear, but then there were others, who had not as much courage as the gallant Colonel, who shrunk with terror from that for which it seemed the gallant officer had no fears. An individual remarkable for his courage, had said, that he shrunk from a civil war in Ireland. He did not speak this as an idle boast or as a vague threat, such as he had often heard in that House. He wished that the right hon. Baronet had at his shoulder his old commander-in-chief, and not the Ithuriel that was there. Were that the case, the right hon. Baronet might become the conciliator of the people of Ireland, instead of flinching back from what might justly be expected from him. For his own part he declared that he came to this question determined to discharge his duty at the risk of his character, his life, and his honour.

House resolved itself into a committee.

First clause, as amended, was agreed to.

Clause 2, proposing that the qualification of voters shall consist in freeholds and leases of fourteen years, rated to the poor at the yearly value of 5l. having been read by the Chairman,

Mr. Hume

rose and said, he wished to ask the noble Lord the Secretary for Ireland whether, after the statement which had been made by the noble Lord the Member for North Lancashire, as well as by himself, respecting the general indisposition to grant new leases in Ireland, it would not be right, if it was intended to give the Irish people any right to send representatives into that House, to give them such a franchise as they could secure to themselves—a franchise entirely independent of the control of their landlords? Did the noble Lord expect any increase in the number of voters as a consequence of his bill in its present form? The noble Lord the Member for North Lancashire had spoken out honestly upon this point; for he had declared, that the landlords ought to possess a command of the votes of their tenantry. ["No, no."] The noble Lord had, at least, said, that the landlords ought to have sufficient influence over their tenantry to carry their votes his own way. He must confess that he was surprised at the noble Lord the Member for Northumberland, who seemed to have forgotten the doctrine which he had laid down on a former occasion. On the 4th of February last, the noble Lord (Howick) said— I feel too strongly attached to the great principles of public liberty not to consider it absolutely necessary to fix the franchise in such a manner as that the great body of the people of Ireland may feel that their representatives in this House do really speak the feelings and represent the opinions of the majority of the people. That sentiment was cheered by all the Members on that (the Ministerial) side of the House. But what did the noble Lord say the other evening, when he made an attack upon the noble Lord the Secretary for Ireland, and told the Government what they ought to do for the Irish people? Is it safe for you," (said the noble Lord), "to trifle with the discontent of a whole nation? I thought the experience of the Catholic question had given the Government a lesson that would have prevented the repetition of a similar course. But what did the noble Lord mean by saying that they ought not to trifle with the discontent of a whole nation? What did he mean by saying that the representatives ought to be the representatives of the real opinions of the people? Good professions were readily enough made by both sides of the House, but he was sorry to say that there seemed no disposition in either party to fulfil them. Was it possible that the men of great talents and intelligence belonging to each party in that House could make up their minds to the belief that the people of Ireland would be content with paltry measures of reform? Did they think that anything but a full and fair representation would ever satisfy the country? From the official returns which had been laid on the Table of the House, it appeared that in England and Scotland only one man in five possessed the right of voting for a representative in the House of Commons. Four-fifths of the whole British empire were disfranchised. Was that a state of things likely to produce content and peace in the country? Yet no disposition was shown on the part of the Reform Ministry to remedy this crying evil. No; on the contrary, they were increasing the soldiery and the police for the express purpose of keeping down the feelings of the people in England and Scotland, in order to prevent them from calling for a full and proper representation. He was glad to find, however, that the people were not disposed to remain quiet under this great wrong, but that they were demanding an extension of the franchise. In Ireland, however, only one in twenty had the power of voting for a Member of Parliament. Would the noble Lord below him (Lord Howick) assert, that this was a full and proper representation of the Irish people? He called upon the noble Lord to act consistently with the professions he had made, and endeavour to go beyond the paltry suffrage which was proposed. The total number of registered voters in Ireland in 1837 was 98,000; that number bad been reduced to 96,000. He was bound to admit, that there had been latterly a trifling increase in the number of voters in England, but the number of Irish voters had decreased. The population of Wales was 864,000; of whom there were only 43,000 electors. Scotland had a population of 2,500,000; but not more than 78,000 electors. Thus, Wales and Scotland, with a population of little less than 3,500,000, did not number more than 120,000 electors. But if England, Wales, and Scotland, had reason to complain, Ireland had much greater reason to complain. The population of that country was upwards of 8,500,000, and yet there were only 98,000 Irish voters. The noble Lord, the Member for North Lancashire, had felt the difficulty of dealing with property qualifications; nevertheless, he contended for the principle of making the right of voting dependent upon the possession of property. But why not take an equitable view of that point? Every man who held anything like a station in society, was possessed of property, which, however trifling compared with 50l. leaseholds, was as dear to him as wealthier men felt their possessions to be to themselves. The noble Lord, the Member for Northumberland, had given utterance to sentiments which he seemed inclined to fly from. But the noble Lord was bound to stick to his colours. He ought to see that measures were passed which would make the Gentlemen who came from Ireland really and truly the representatives of the people. But he durst say, that some understanding had taken place which would prevent the bill from passing, and another year would be allowed to elapse without doing anything. In his opinion, neither Whig nor Tory was disposed to do justice to Ireland. If the noble Lord had not saddled his clause, which reduced the rateable value to 5l., with the condition of leases, he would have shown that he really intended to do justice to Ireland. The noble Lord had attempted to simplify the franchise in a manner that was highly creditable, but of what use was it, if he did not follow it up? Let the suffrage be lowered and defined in such a way as to leave no doubt about it. He was satisfied that if the people of Ireland could discern an intention on the part of the House to give them a full and fair representation, they would wait patiently and thankfully for the process of legislation. He concluded by moving the omission of all the words in the clause requiring a leasehold qualification of fourteen years.

The Chairman

having suggested that the amendment of the hon. Gentleman could not be put in that form,

Mr. Hume

would propose, then, that the word "fourteen" be struck out, and the word "one" inserted.

Viscount Morpeth

said, the speech of his hon. Friend, whose presence he was glad to see on this occasion, proved that in bringing forward a bill of this kind, it was not easy to escape criticism. The bill had been called a revolutionary and democratic measure, but he had not expected to have heard it described as of a paltry character. The argument of his hon. Friend was, that every man rated according to an amount to be determined on by the bill, should be entitled to register without a qualification of tenure. In this attempt, he did not think his hon. Friend would meet with much support in that House. There were certainly those who wished to dispense with leases, but they wished to impose a much higher amount of rating than would be consistent with the views of the hon. Member for Kilkenny. The noble Lord the Member for Northumberland, though he did not state that amount, would probably not place it at less than 18l., 20l., or 25l. per annum. His hon. Friend had quoted the opinion of the noble Lord opposite, that tenants were in some measure to be considered as the chattels of their landlords, and would vote as they pleased to direct. His hon. Friend did not approve of that sentiment, but did his hon. Friend think he would add to the independence of the tenantry by dispensing with leases, and making them tenants at will? Did his hon. Friend forget all that had been said with respect to the 50l. tenant at will clause in England on this very point? He was not disposed to dispense with that security for the independence of the voter, which the possession of a lease must give to the tenant, as compared with a mere tenant at will, and he must be convinced that the indisposition of landlords to grant leases, which was, he thought, now wearing itself out, would go much further than he believed it would, before he would consent to dispense with that security.

Mr. O'Connell

said, his hon. Friend's amendment would not carry out his object. He had not considered the peculiar difficulties which existed in Ireland, and that if his amendment were carried, one half of the Irish tenants would be prevented by their landlords from voting, as they would live under perpetual notices to quit. He would ask whether he was now, according to the forms of the House, at liberty to move an amendment, instead of the word "fourteen," to insert "for any time, for a period not less than, if he were resident in England, would entitle him to register and vote there." That would at once raise the question which he wished to try, of establishing a complete identity between the franchises of the two countries.

Lord J. Russell

The hon. and learned Member cannot at present move his amendment, unless that of the hon. Member for Kilkenny be withdrawn.

Mr. C. Wood

supposed that the hon. Member for Kilkenny wished to try the question of an occupation franchise against a leasehold franchise, and, if so, he would support him.

Mr. F. French

said, that would not be the case, as the word "lease" had already been read, and the hon. Member's amendment would make it a lease for a year.

Mr. Hawes

said, the question might be settled by those who were in favour of an occupation franchise simply by negativing the word "fourteen." He disliked the leasehold franchise of the noble Lord the Secretary for Ireland, and much preferred the proposition of the noble Lord the Member for Northumberland, with whom he would have voted the other night had he any security that the hon. Gentlemen opposite would have agreed to the whole of the noble Lord's proposition. It was admitted that the leasehold franchise with an 8l. rating would diminish the constituency, whilst an occupation franchise would expand it. He should, therefore, support the occupation franchise, and vote against the insertion of the words "fourteen years."

Mr. Pigott

said, his hon. Friend had misunderstood the question at issue. That question was, whether there should be a fourteen years' leasehold franchise in addition to the freehold franchise. Did the hon. Gentleman believe if he negatived this he would have any chance of obtaining the larger franchise he sought? If he did so he was grievously mistaken. Had he attended to the effect of such a franchise as the noble Lord the Member for Northumberland proposed. That noble Lord did not propose an extension of the franchise; not an addition to the franchise, but a complete transfer, a perfectly new distribution of power in Ireland. He proposed to disfranchise a large portion of those who already had the franchise, and enfranchise those holding under that tenure which had been so much objected to in England, and who would be more completely in the power of their landlords than those leaseholders who were the objects of his noble Friend's bill. The very power which his hon. Friend sought to defeat, he would most promote. The Government, on the contrary, had not sought a new distribution of power; they had taken the existing franchises, cleared them from the difficulties attending registration, and though the amount of rating required would disfranchise some, yet, on the whole, it would not, they believed, much diminish the constituency of that country, whilst the constituency would remain of that class and character best entitled to exercise the election franchise, and to whom it could be most safely confided. Whilst, if his hon. Friend's views were adopted, instead of having a large, popular, and independent constituency, he would have a constituency submitted to two dominations, both of which should be avoided—in quiet times to the domination of that fear which the interests of all dear to them would necessarily excite, and in unquiet times to the domination of their own exasperated passions. He warned his hon. Friend that, in supporting the views of the hon. Member for Kilkenny, he would merely produce the result of damaging the proceedings and views of the Government, whilst he would find himself unable to carry out his own.

Mr. Smith O'Brien

supported the amendment, as he thought the plan of the, noble Lord, the Secretary for Ireland, would reduce the constituency of that country to too low an amount. From the returns they had before them of thirty-one unions they were enabled to form something like an estimate of the number of voters which the noble Lord's plan would give to Ireland. The number of persons rated in these unions amounted to upwards of 76,000, from which a deduction had to be made for double holdings, female tenants, minors, and joint tenants, amounting to not less than one fourth of the whole, which would reduce the number to 57,000 odd. Of these, at the highest estimate, according to the evidence before them, not more than half would have leases, leaving the total number of persons entitled to register, 28,650. But neither in England, nor much less in Ireland, for obvious reasons, would all those register who were entitled to do so. In no case scarcely, did more than two-thirds of the whole register, which would give a total of 19,000 voters for a population of 1,600,000, being a proportion of one in eighty-four to the county population of Ireland, whilst in England, in 1832, the proportion was one in twenty-four, a proportion which had since increased. Looking also to the increasing indisposition to grant leases, both by Liberal and Conservative landlords, and the desire there existed amongst Irish landlords to overcome the evil of too great a subdivision of their property, he could foresee, that even this amount would be subject to continual diminution, and he, therefore, thought it much better to seek another ground for the franchise. Nor did he believe, that the more rural voters of Ireland had shown such submission to the dictates of their landlords, or had suffered their indomitable patriotism to be overcome, so as to warrant the fear which had been suggested by the learned Attorney-general for Ireland. The independence of the voters had not been broken down, nor would it be, to the extent that had been represented, and he should, therefore, vote against a clause which he thought did not give a sufficiently popular constituency to Ireland.

Mr. D. Callaghan

begged to repeat what he had said last year, that the time had come when the franchise of Ireland must be based on something else than the possession of a lease. He would continue, by referring to Cork, the statement of his hon. Friend, the Member for Limerick, as to the independence of those persons who held their tenures from year to year. The tenant holding from year to year, had less to lose and less to fear by disobliging his landlord, than he who held under a short and perhaps expiring lease.

Sir D. Norreys

suggested, that the present was not the stage for his hon. Friend to press his amendment. The House was not prepared for it.

Mr. Hume

said, the House must have been prepared for it, as the noble Lord (Lord Howick) had given notice of an amendment proposing an occupation franchise only, and he (Mr. Hume) though prevented by the technicalities of the House from making precisely the motion which he wished, had determined, if the noble Lord did not introduce his amendment, to propose some substitute for it.

Mr. Ward

thought the discussion an unfortunate one. The noble Lord (Lord Howick) proposed something the meaning of which he did not himself know; his hon. Friend, the Member for Lambeth, another thing; and, with all the clashing opinions on that (the Ministerial) side of the House, the bill must be altogether lost if the discussion was persisted in. It would be well if they could understand what they were to do. [Cheers] Hon. Members opposite might cheer, but they also would be unable to succeed in their attempt to impose vexatious trammels and restrictions on the Irish franchise.

Mr. Hume

did not like this kind of lecture from his hon. Friend who last sat down. His hon. Friend talked about their understanding what they were to do Now, there had been a meeting on Monday of the Opposition Members, at which the policy of that side of the House was decided on, and no hon. Member belonging to that side would dare to act counter to it. But a man in Dublin, or any other part of the empire, knew just as much of what the Government meant to do, as he did. The fact was, the Government itself did not know what it meant to do. Every day some new change was proposed. After what had been stated in that House, would they now tell the people of Ireland, that they were to be deprived of their franchise, if the landlords did not choose to give leases? Let some fair and advisable plan, like that of his hon. and learned Friend, the Member for Dublin, be proposed by Government, and there would not be so much difference amongst its supporters.

Mr. Lucas

, in allusion to the assertion of the hon. Member, that hon. Members sitting on the Opposition side would not dare to speak in opposition to a certain policy, could only say, that he really did not know what they were to oppose or support in the propositions of hon. Members opposite. The hon. Member for Kilkenny had acknowledged, after taking a hint from some one on the benches near him, that the amendment which he proposed would defeat the very object which he had in view. The hon. Member for Lambeth made another statement and proposition, whereupon up rose the right hon. and learned Attorney-general for Ireland, and told him that he did not know what he was about. Really, however well disposed to oppose hon. Members opposite, not being blessed with those extraordinary powers, which the hon. Gentlemen supposed themselves to possess, he could hardly make out what it was, that he had to oppose.

Lord John Russell

The hon. Gentleman who has just sat down, and who wants something tangible, to oppose or support, was one of those—if not the principal one—who urged last Session with great force, (and no one is more able to place his arguments in a clear and distinct light), that, it was necessary, if you meant to pass a bill which should rest on a secure foundation, and prevent eternal disputes, to have a fixed and definite franchise—more fixed and more definite than that which was then submitted. Yet the same hon. Gentleman, acting I know not under what orders, and abiding by the dictates of I know not what superior authority, has contended that every thing combined to show that it was mos unadvisable that there should be a fixed and definite franchise; that it was most unwise to attempt to fix the franchise in any way whatever, and that the true plan was to propose some plan of registration, without settling the franchise at all. Therefore, if the hon. Gentleman comes and taunts us with great differences of opinion, I must say that it would not be very difficult to show that the differences of opinion amongst different Members—each acting on his own information, and grounding his judgment on that—are not more varied, and that no one Member has differed more from one another than the hon. Gentleman from himself. I was prepared on this clause to state the reasons why it was proposed to shape the bill as it was originally submitted, and to rest the qualification on a term of fourteen years, and on property rated to a given amount. I am now ready, accordingly, to show the difficulties which any Government or individual Member of Parliament must contend with, in framing a measure of this nature; and in the next place, to canvass the advantages and disadvantages of the divers propositions which have been submitted. I think, in the first place, there is an immense difficulty in the way in which the term freehold, as applicable to England, has been applied to Ireland. The term freehold in this country, as laid down in the various books of authority, comprises a tenure not less than for life. Any tenure for a term of years is not considered a freehold; it is looked upon merely in the light of a chattel interest. Any gentleman who is acquainted with the English county franchise, will find that the 40s. freeholders are not a class holding for their own lives, or those of others, but that they have small freeholds of inheritance. With these small freeholds of inheritance they join various occupations. You will find some of them considerable farmers at rents of from 100l. to 300l. a-year, and having, at the same time, small freeholds of 40s. You will find small farmers with a similar privilege. You will find artisans, and in small country towns those exercising the trades of shoemakers, tailors, and various other occupations, holding a small portion of land as freehold, and totally independent of any landlord. You will find others in the situation of daily labourers, (many of whom I have conversed with in the course of a county canvass), who made a struggle to retain their 40s. freeholds, while they were almost compelled by distress to ask relief from the parish. Now this is a class of persons, taken altogether, exceedingly independent, earning their livelihoods in an honest and industrious manner, not immediately connected with landlords or any class above them, very much diffused throughout the country, and having these freeholds in their families for a long period of time. I remember at an election for Devonshire, I said to one of these freeholders, "Have you held this tenure for more than a year?" and he answered, with some indignation, "it has been in my family since the time of William the Conqueror." This man might be looked upon as a very humble person, yet he was animated with the pride and independence of a freeholder not dependent on any one. Such being the nature of the freehold, the sum on which it was grounded raised no question of difficulty, because a man, holding this franchise by inheritance, his position was well known, and when he came forward and said he derived 40s. a-year from such a freehold, no incumbrances or mortgages which could reduce a value, in itself small in amount, being known, it was readily taken for granted, on simple averment, that such a title to a vote was well grounded. It is, therefore, on the whole, a franchise not subject, in point of amount, to a great deal of dispute; and though I have seen a great many questions arising out of it tried before the assessor at a county election, yet they were not difficult questions, many of them being determined in the course of the morning, and the right to the franchise easily established. If you apply this criterion to Ireland, you do not find that you have in fact, although you have in point of law, the same tenure. You do not find there are any large class of persons that have these freeholds of inheritance. When a right hon. Baronet, not now present, proposed in 1829 to disfranchise the 40s. freeholders, and to exempt the freeholders in fee simple, it was stated in the first place, that it was not advisable to make such a distinction; and, in the next place, that the smallness of the number, being but five or six in some counties, made such a restriction unnecessary. Property in Ireland is generally held for a long term of years, or during the life of the holder or that of another. With regard to those persons who are very considerable proprietors, and who hold for a long term of years, it is obvious, that so far as a freehold tenure goes they are not immediately in question, because a term of years by—I will not call it—a fiction, but the supposition of law, even though it should extend to 999 years, is not considered in the light of a freehold tenure, though the latter may be dependent on a life of only a few years duration. Then comes the tenure of the forty shilling freeholders, which does not at all correspond—speaking generally—with the class of persons so designated in this country. They are not numerous or generally diffused, or independent persons, who have held the franchise for generations, son succeeding father, of small amount, but rendering the holders totally free from any dependence on others. The case very generally was, that the nature of the freehold out of which a vote was claimed, was, that it was held either for the voter's own life, or, what was very common with the 40s. franchise, during the life of an old person, being reckoned at not more than seven years' duration. It is obvious, that many persons nominally holding a freehold, and though complying with all the contingencies of the English law, yet in point of fact, possessed a franchise very different from that which existed in England. But let us consider farther the great difference in the state of property in Ireland. The state of society in Ireland is totally different from that in England. With regard to the state of society in England, the noble Member for Northumberland was quite justified in the statement which he made last night. Even if we put out of question the 50l. tenants at will, the tenants generally are persons either agreeing in political opinions with their landlords, or, having no very decided views on political matters, willing to agree with the general body of landlords, and convinced, that there was no great difference of interest or feeling between them. Therefore, although the landlord may attempt, or may not attempt to coerce the vote of the tenant, there is no great difference exhibited on either side. The state of society is one of harmony—one of agreement, but rarely interrupted, and only on such great political occasions as the proposal of the Reform Act. Generally speaking, the political constitution is firmly based on what each class considers its separate rights; and although each set of men may be firmly determined to preserve their own privileges, there is no decided or pointed difference of feeling or interest between the class immediately above or below them. But when you come to the state of society in Ireland—whether you hold one opinion or the other—it is impossible not to be struck with the great diversity of feeling, I might say, the great opposition of feeling, between the class of great proprietors and the class of tenants, who, under the tenure I have described, have been intrusted with the franchise. You have one party highly attached to an aristocratic constitution, and very eager to uphold the Protestant Establishment of the Church, conceiving the ancient institutions of the country must be preserved for the sake of their and of the general security, as well as to fix the succession of the Crown in a Protestant line. You have next the class of persons below the landlords—at least, the great mass of the people—deeply attached to the Roman Catholic religion, holding, that they and their fathers have been injured and insulted by a predominant party, seeking the exercise of their political rights, in order, as far as possible, to adjust the balance, and claiming for themselves and the class to which they belong, a very large, and, as they consider, a just share of political power. I am not now stating that one party is right and the other wrong—I don't wish to urge the view of one side or the other, for the purpose of settling this question; but I state this view with the purpose of showing, that having such different feelings, being imbued with such different principles, and the variations of religion rallying to the contest, and making the representation of this House a means of embodying their sentiments—when such conflicts arise it is natural, nay, inevitable, that the body of proprietors and the body of tenants holding the franchise should hold different opinions, and exercise the franchise in a different manner. Well, during the existence of the 40s. freeholders, you had in the first place an immense abuse of that franchise, which I believe, no man can deny, by which the right of voting was carried to an extent that certainly did not rest on property, but was conferred with the view of carrying an election under the direction or through the instrumentality of the landlords. At length, and under strong political feeling, that power was broken. In the words of the right hon. Baronet opposite (Sir Robert Peel), "the weapon snapped in their hands," and the great body of the Roman Catholic voters exercised their power in behalf of their own sympathies, in behalf of the persons of their own creed and political opinions, and overturned, for a time, the power exercised by the landlords. You then stated, that this was an exorbitant power, that the franchise was wrongly placed, that there was an immense number of fictitious freeholds, and that it was necessary to place the franchise in more independent hands. The right hon. Gentleman opposite proposed a measure for this purpose; and so far as I can see, looking back to the statements then made, although I think there were abundant reasons for considering the franchise to a great extent an abuse, yet I do not think there were sufficient grounds or information to enable the Government of that time to establish the franchise as it was then settled. It was asserted by the right hon. Gentleman, that an immense number of persons gave their votes on these freeholds, and he used the argument since urged by the hon. and learned Member for Dublin for a different purpose. He said, Look at the elections of England, look at the number of freeholders who have voted in England, compare the state of the two countries, and you will find the number in Ireland so large and extensive, compared to England, that there must be an abuse, and an abuse which it is right to correct. On the authority, then, of the hon. and learned Member for Dublin, and of Mr. Blake, and I think of very little other authority, the 10l. a-year franchise was substituted for the 40s. freehold. Now in so raising the franchise to 10l., I think the difference between the English and Irish freehold was totally lost sight of. There may be no great difficulty in deciding whether an artisan with a small freehold of 40s. is entitled to vote. But when you come to a franchise founded not upon a freehold of inheritance, but on a tenure for life, and that dependent on the rent paid, and that you require the profits to be, not 40s., but 10l., there arise great difficulties as to the nature of the tenure and the amount of qualification. I do not want to enter into the various subtle arguments stated by great legal authorities in Ireland and the views taken by some legal authorities in Scotland; but I think it quite clear, that, at all events, the difficulty is of a different nature from any which has arisen in England. Whether the tenant got the 10l. above his rent from others, whether he had 10l. clear profit above he rent, whether the 10l. was obtained from the cultivation of his land, all these are questions that have not been foreseen by the Legislature nor provided for by the law, and consequently are all subjects of very great difficulty in dealing with the question. One thing, however, is clear, if you take the strictest definition of all these—if the tenant must have a clear interest of 10l. in his tenement, which he can obtain from any other tenant by underletting—supposing this to be established, you would materially restrict the franchise in Ireland. As it was stated by my hon. Friend the Member for Northumberland, and my noble Friend the Member for North Lancashire, in the early part of this discussion, you cannot suppose it extraordinary that on most, if not all, estates in Ireland, the full value of the land is taken in rent; and, therefore, it would be almost impossible to suppose embarrassed as many estates in that country are, that the landlords would forego to their tenants such a sum as 10l. a-year clear above what it could be let for to others. To take a hundred tenants under such circumstances on any estate would be to suppose the relinquishment of 1,000l. a-year on the part of the landlord, a sacrifice which no one could expect to be made. Sir, I have stated, that however fair in intention towards the people of Ireland were the Acts of 1829, and 1832, the Roman Catholic Relief Act, and the Irish Reform Act, in regard to the franchise, we were dealing with a subject we did not then sufficiently understand, we were dealing with abuses which we conceived to exist without having any very definite information respecting them—and with a state of society widely different from the state of society in England, without making due allowances for that difference. It was not, therefore, surprising, that we made some mistakes; indeed, it was only surprising that we did not make many more. Neither was it at all surprising in reference to those measures of 1829 and 1832, that more full and accurate information of those subjects bad not been obtained; because the nature of the franchise in the one case was but a collateral branch of the measure, and in the other was not a great deal more. For instance, in respect to the first—the Act of 1829—the chief feature was the emancipation of the Roman Catholics, and not the abolition of the 40s. freeholders; and in the Irish Reform Act of 1832, the nature of the franchise was less the object of the measure than its extension. When the noble Lord opposite (Stanley) therefore brought forward the Irish Reform Bill in 1831, he was taunted by the other side of the House—by Mr. Croker, I remember, with not having laid before the House sufficient information on the subject; and Mr. Croker, it was likewise, who stated, that the Government furnished the information they possessed, the day after the debate. Then Lord Althorp was obliged to get up and say, that in fact no information of a correct nature could be furnished to Parliament on the subject. I do not taunt the Government of that day for so acting—such is not my intention; for it is my opinion that these large cases should be decided rather on a general than on a detailed view. But this is certain, that there was much less information on the subject before the House then than there is now on the subject we are debating. The result, however, as we all know, was the establishment of a franchise for Ireland, upon which I do not overstate the facts when I say, that all the legal authorities of that kingdom are at issue—the judges with the judges, the revising banisters with the revising barristers, and both with each other—and everything connected with it is uncertain. The course we took to remedy this state of things in 1835, was to give a definition of the franchise in a way the most favourable to the franchise. That course, however, was not adopted by Parliament—the bill introduced by us for that purpose did not pass. And, when I hear it stated to-night, that we ought to give a definition of the franchise on the one side and the other of the House, I do not know what we could do except to adopt the decision of the majority of the judges on the one hand, or that of our measure of 1835, since adopted by the Longford committee—'both, however, being equally opposed by one party or the other in this House. To attempt a definition of the franchise was, therefore, clearly the sure way of preventing agreement, and the most effective means of producing much discussion in the House. And that would be equally the case if the question was kept in abeyance too, as the former bill had been lost. I was necessary, then, to come to some decision on the subject, if it was desirable to preserve the bill; and the decision should, to secure it any chance of adoption, be such a one as had been broached by neither party in the House. I am told by my noble Friend (Lord Howick), that if we adopt any alteration in the franchise, we ought to adopt occupation, and not let the franchise rest solely on leasehold tenure. Now, with regard to this proposition of my noble Friend, if we adopted it, it was, we considered, a great deal too much to suppose, that it would be acceptable to the other side of the House, unless it had been fixed at too high a rate to be of any practical value. But even if we bad adopted it—this difficulty being presumed to be overcome—there is the strongest and best grounded objection to an occupation franchise alone. The noble Lord considers that a lease does not make a tenant more independent of his landlord than a mere occupation, but in reality less so, if the tenant and the landlord should happen to differ in their political views. Now, with respect to this most difficult question, I have consulted the highest and best authorities accessible to me, and they are all of opinion that, though the lease does not give a full security to the tenant for the free exercise of his political bias, as he may be driven out of his holding, eventually by the landlord, still it is a greater security than no lease at all; and it is further their opinion, that the first week after an election is over, and the heat and bad blood engendered by oppposition over, or, at least, cooled down, the tenant on lease was far less likely to be disturbed in his holding, for obvious reasons, than the tenant at will, or mere occupant. I shall not say now whether or not I consider that an occupation franchise would be beneficial for Ireland. Parties differ so much on that point, that I may be permitted to weigh my opinions more deliberately before I venture to give them upon such a difficult subject; but this I shall say, I am not so thoroughly convinced of its utility to that country, that I am prepared, as a Member of her Majesty's Government, to propose it on the part of the Government, or to adopt it as proposed by others. I beg to call the attention of the House to the state of society in Ireland as contrasted with that in England, once more. In England, if you have a right of voting for a 50l. tenancy at will, you will hear the landlord say, that he thinks he has a right to call on his tenant to vote along with him; although he never thinks of making such a demand as regards the 40l. freeholds of inheritance. And as I have already stated this cannot be looked on as a very great or a very crying evil in a country like this, where there is much community of interest between the landlord and tenant, and where a considerable harmony, in point of political feeling, likewise exists among the parties. But if you establish such a state of things in Ireland, and remember to establish the occupancy of franchise, is to do so inevitably,—I am told by those more deeply conversant with the matter than I, that one of two consequences must follow. If you establish the franchise of occupation, I fear that one of two cases will arise. There may be a period of extreme tranquillity as regards political feelings and opinions, and in that case the occupying tenants will vote according to the wishes of the landlords. That was an evil, and might lead to what had been already frequently alluded to, namely, the possibility of a few individuals returning a Member of Parliament. That, after all, however, was only a political evil; but a greater and deeper evil might occur. There might arise a period of great excitement, in which the landlords might conscientiously think it their duty to support the Protestant Church in Ireland, and a party which was not that which the people of Ireland generally concur with. The landlords in that case would attempt to force their tenants to vote as they desired; but their tenants having an equally strong sense of their duty to their religion, their party, their rights, and their country would be placed in this situation—they would come to the hustings to record their votes for their landlords, and against their opinions and consciences; or against their landlords and in conformity with their opinions, and that of the great mass of the people, incurring thereby the risk of being ejected from their dwellings. I beseech the House to consider the evil which will accrue in either case. On the one hand, a man may be called upon to give up the means of procuring a livelihood for himself, his wife and family, in his native land; or, on the other, he will be compelled to vote against his own con- scientious opinion, and in favour of those who malign the religion he professes, and the party to which he is attached. I dread, therefore, submitting any proposition to Parliament by means of which the great mass of the tenantry of Ireland may be placed in such a situation as that to which I have alluded. Having said so much on the general subject, let us now examine how the several propositions made to the House in the course of this dicussion are likely to work. We shall first take the 8l. rating, which, by the way, shows one thing contended for by the noble Lord, namely, the possession of a certain amount of property; and next, the term of fourteen years, which is equally commendable on the same grounds, such a term being in itself an estate. You have, if you adopt this proposition, a person, not, it is true, the same as an English freeholder with a freehold of inheritance, but one with a lease for fourteen years, and a rating of 8l., which at least shows the possession of considerable property, who must, under such circumstances, therefore, be a person of some stability in the county. I cannot, therefore, consider that a man so circumstanced, is one to whom the franchise should be denied, on the ground of want of sufficient property. But then, it is said, that such a person may be influenced by his landlord in this way, namely—that the landlord may agree with him for a greater amount of rent than he can afford to pay, and let the balance he over for the purpose of coercion. This may be the case undoubtedly; and I do not think that any mode which could be devised, would be wholly effectual to prevent a collusion between the parties. I do not mean to say, that the noble Lord's (Howick's) objections are not of great weight on the point, and deserving of all due consideration; but I do maintain that there is no direct remedy for the evil, and that all we can do is, to choose the least among the mass of difficulties that surround the question—the one which will make the least dependant on his landlord. Such, Sir, are the reasons why we take the present rate of voting; such it the ground of our proposition to this House. It, therefore, seems to me that, in making this proposition, we have done that which is best calculated to distribute among the great mass of the people of Ireland most qualified for it, and least dependant, the elective franchise. One hon. Gentleman has said, in the course of this debate, that our proposition would introduce a great number of voters into the constituency of Ireland, who were now shut out of it, while he said that the constituency would be greatly reduced, by reason of the landlords refusing to grant leases. Be that as it may, if you give an occupation franchise you make it imperative on the tenant to vote either for or against his landlord; and in so doing you bring on in the one case the curse of hypocrisy, in the other that social conflict which must be always so strongly deprecated. With regard to this question, Sir, there are two principal evils which cannot be too strongly deprecated by all honest men. One is the sort of social war to which I have just adverted—a social war between the great mass of the tenantry—the great mass of the people of Ireland on the one hand, and the great body of the landed proprietors on the other. Anything which would have a tendency to renew the conflict between these classes which existed just previously to 1829, would be a serious evil, and to it I will not give my consent. The other evil is a political evil, and it is one which ought to be equally avoided. It is that of contrivances, by means of legislation or otherwise, by which the number of the constituent body in Ireland may be so much diminished, that the people will be induced to look to other means of exercising political power. What I desire with respect to political influence is, that the great body of the people, when they wish to exercise political influence, should do so through their legitimate organs—that they should employ the power which is recognised by the constitution. That is a security, truly conservative, for the welfare of the country. If, on the contrary, it ahould be, by any means, contrived that those who sit in Parliament as the representatives of Ireland should not be looked upon as such by the people of that country, there would be no community of feeling between them. You cannot deprive millions of people of political power—you cannot, by any words you may put on your statute book, shut them out from exercising influence on the Government and the State; but you will induce them to do that which will cause their influence to be felt more powerfully, namely, to combine together in associations and clubs—illegal clubs and general associations, which would exercise an irregular and formidable influence on the conduct of the Government and Parliament, free from that check and control which exists when persons exercise legitimate political power, and have the opportunity of voting for the election of those who should represent their feelings and wishes in Parliament. If an attempt should be made to curb the power of the people of Ireland in the way to which I have alluded, depend upon it, it will fail. The best safeguard to the country is the continuance of that state of things which has existed ever since the passing of the Roman Catholic Relief Bill, and the Reform Act, by which they possess a regular mode of expressing their complaints and making known their grievances.

Mr. Lucas

rose to explain. The noble Lord had retorted upon him a charge of inconsistency, which he hoped he had long since refuted. He trusted, however, that as it appeared not so, the House would indulge him for a few moments, that he might lay it at rest for the future. The noble Lord had said, that last year he was very anxious to define the franchise on unobjectionable grounds, though now he was quite of a contrary opinion. If he (Mr. Lucas) had suffered a change in any opinion of his, he had too much respect for the House to conceal it, and too much respect for himself to attempt to get out of it unworthily. The expressions attributed to him, and which he acknowledged were not, however, of such a nature as the noble Lord had represented them, and they had arisen in a discussion wholly incidental to the question before the House. He would read them to the House:— Sir D. Norreys regretted that his hon. and learned Friend, the Solicitor-general for Ireland had not taken this opportunity of grappling with the difficulties respecting the franchise, instead of substituting for the present definition one which would be equally uncertain and equally a matter of opinion. It might be worth while considering whether the Irish Poor-law Act lately passed might not afford a test less open to these objections. Mr. Lucas said, he could not allow this bill to be brought in without expressing his entire dissent from the construction of the elective franchise now attempted to be made law. The words "beneficial interest" were so vague and uncertain in their meaning, that judges and juries would always find difficulty in arriving at consistent decisions, and the door would be left open for temptation to perjury among persons of all parties. The framers of the bill of 1836 had perceived this defect in the bill of 1835, and had endeavoured to remedy it by adding the words, "use, profit, and advantage derived after paying rents, tithes, and expenses" but these words did not make the case clearer than before: the use and profit one person would derive might be different from what another might derive, and the oath of the claimant was still to be the principal evidence, while it was desirable for all parties, that the proof of the franchise should rest upon some acknowledged facts established by impartial authorities; as on the Ordnance Valuation, the Poor-law Valuation, or some similar basis. The Solicitor-general intended to follow the bills of 1835 and 1836; but he (Mr. Lucas) protested against any such legislation, which would, in his opinion, be ultimately injurious to all parties: and he would venture to predict, that the good sense of English Members of Parliament would prevent such a measure becoming law. Mr. M. J. O'Connell hoped the noble Lord, the Secretary for the Colonies, would not be deterred from adopting the suggestion of the hon. and learned Member for Monaghan (Mr. Lucas). It would give him sincere pleasure to see hon. Gentlemen on both sides co-operating for the purpose of devising some remedy for what all must agree to be a great evil—the system of loose swearing, which arose from leaving the qualification, as at present, so much a matter of opinion. Mr. Wakley also trusted the suggestion of the hon. and learned Member for Monaghan would be adopted. The debate was not as to the nature of the franchise, but as to whether anything could be substituted for the oath which existed at present, and nothing that was said by him (Mr. Lucas) in the remotest degree could fairly lead to the inference that he wished, as the noble Lord seemed to insinuate, a rating test for the franchise in Ireland, independent of all incomings and outgoings to the tenant.

Sir R. Peel

I wish to state to the House the course I mean to pursue in regard to the particular proposition now before us, and which I consider does not involve the whole question. That proposition is, whether the words "fourteen years," should be omitted, and "one year" substituted in their place, as the hon. Member for Kilkenny proposes. [Mr. O'Connell: The object is to let in a tenancy from year to year.] I apprehend that we have before us the original proposition of the Government; and that the noble Lord (Howick) has stated his intention of withdrawing his amendment. The noble Lord has not signified his intention of opposing the principle of the proposition, and, therefore, we have to deal with it Ourselves. Now, Sir, I think it will be best, in dealing with the whole question, to deal with it distinctly, and this is the course we shall adopt. It would be very easy for us to band ourselves with the lion. Gentleman (Mr. Hume) and divide against the proposition of the Government in so far; but that division would scarcely be fair, and it certainly would not be decisive. Therefore, as we intend to oppose the entire principle of the bill, the course we might take in respect to fourteen years or one year would be the same as in regard to the rating of 5l. or 8l. To us they are all the same in principle; but as I should much rather see the principle of the Government clearly before me, and as the details are a matter of comparative indifference to me, seeing that I am so decidedly opposed to the principle, though I might quit the House, and not divide on the hon. Member's motion at all, and so get rid of the responsibility that way, I do not think I should be acting justly in so doing, and I therefore propose to vote for the original proposition of the Government in the present instance and against the amendment of the hon. Member, that the whole clause may stand in such a state before the House as the Government desire it should in the first instance. It being, however, at the same time distinctly understood, that when the division comes on the great question which comprises the principle, I shall vote decidedly against it.

Mr. C. Wood

explained the course he should pursue. After the decision that had been come to on the amendment of his noble Friend, it was a matter of perfect indifference to him whether or not the amendment of the hon. Gentleman was adopted or rejected. But having on that division voted for the occupancy in place of the leasehold, and as such was the tenour of the amendment before the House, he should, in case of a division, feel bound to vote in its favour. At the same time, no one was more sensible of the difficulties that surrounded the question. It was with the view of retaining a certain number of the most independent class of voters, that his noble Friend had proposed on Monday night to retain a certain number of voters who had been excluded by the Government. He had now the satisfaction to think, from the statement of the right hon. Baronet, that the mistake under which many hon. Members on that side of the House had appeared to labour—namely, that the proposal of his noble Friend, was a proposal of disfranchisement, had been entirely dissipated. He was glad that it had been made clearly to appear that the proposal was a mere addition, without disfranchising a single individual whom the bill of the Government would not disfranchise; and that whatever disfranchisement the Government had introduced, their amendment had diminished. As to the proposed amendment the question seemed to be, whether with a leasehold qualification they could have a constituency; it was perfectly true that tenants at will might be subject to the influence of their landlords; but if they established a leasehold qualification they gave the landlords the power of disfranchising whom they pleased; thus it became a question between the existence and non-existence of any constituency.

Mr. Sheil

said, he thought that the statement of the hon. Member for Halifax was very much at variance with the intention expressed by the noble Lord, the Member for Northumberland, not to vote fur the bill. If the statement made by the hon. Member for Halifax be correct—if the noble Lord, the Member for Northumberland, and the hon. Member for Halifax intended only that their clause should be inclusive—and that it should not be exclusive of the franchise proposed by the Government, would it not, he asked, be their duty to vote for the proposal made by the Government. He wished the hon. Member for Halifax would reconcile his statement with that of the noble Lord, who had most distinctly announced to them that he intended his plan, not as a bare addition, but as a substitution for the plan of the Government; "substitution" was the word which the noble Lord had used over and over again. [Mr. C. Wood: No, no.] The hon. Member for Halifax said "No." Then, if that were the case, he at least would vote for them. But he did not think that those hon. Members were in exact coincidence upon the subject. How did the case stand? The Government proposed an 8l. franchise; that was a clear, simple proposal but what was the proposal of the noble Lord? He said, that he would have a rate exceeding the rent. He would have the franchise depend upon an excess of rate beyond the rent; that was the now Lord's first franchise; and that franchise would, of course, exclude all those who were merely rated at 8l., and who had not an excess of rate over their rent. What was the second proposition of the noble Lord? Why he had told them over and over again, that he proposed an occupation franchise without a lease, and he had understood that a very high franchise was to be named. He could not think, then, that the hon. Member for Halifax was correct in the explanation which he had given of the intentions of the noble Lord. However accurate he might have been in disclosing the motives which had actuated the noble Lord and himself, he had equally succeeded in showing how infelicitous were the means which they had adopted for carrying them into effect. He believed the hon. Member for Halifax—he believed the noble Lord—he was anxious to believe those who were strong in the protestation of good intentions—but he must repeat, that the means which they had adopted for the purpose of establishing a constituency, by which Members might be returned who would fairly represent the Irish people, had not been happily chosen. He hoped he should be forgiven by the noble Lord and by the hon. Member, if he ventured, not to insinuate, but to state openly and distinctly, that they were not possessed of that knowledge of Ireland which such a proposition required, and he hoped he should also be forgiven by his hon. Friend, the Member for Lambeth, and his hon. Friend, the Member for Kilkenny, if he told him that, though Member for Kilkenny, he was not so well acquainted with the tenure of lands in Ireland as to enable him to form a very accurate judgment on this question. He should be guilty of great presumption if he ventured to pronounce with great confidence an opinion on the state of the public mind, and the character of the people in the county of Middlesex; and his hon. Friend would excuse him for saying, that he did not think, from his connection with Kilkenny, that his hon. Friend had got more information with regard to Ireland, than he had with regard to Middlesex. But, a perfect knowledge of the character of the people of Ireland was required with respect to one part of the proposition of the noble Lord and the hon. Member for Halifax. They understood, no doubt, perfectly well the effect of convenants in a lease, but they could not understand the effect of a Chandos clause or a Howick clause—as applied to the people of Ire- land, for that depended fully as much on the relation of the gentry to the people—on the character of the people, and on the state of the public mind, as upon any mere question of figures. He thought that the noble Lord voted against the Chandos clause. He was almost sure that he voted with Lord Althorp on that clause, and entertained the same opinions as Lord Grey, who had most strongly protested against the Chandos clause. The noble Lord had told them that the Chandos clause had not worked badly in England; but some years since, the noble Lord had made a speech in Northumberland, in which he had inveighed most violently against the scandalous intimidation which had been exercised, and had said that the conduct of the English landlords was monstrous; and if it would oblige the noble Lord, as he happened to have that speech in his pocket, he would read a part of it. But the noble Lord would not deny, that he had lamented greatly the excess of the evil, and that he had said that the Tories were much addicted to intimidation. The hon. Member for Halifax, however, did not seem to think that it had worked so badly; he did not think there was much compulsion; for in England the landlords and the tenants pretty well agreed in opinion; but as in Ireland they did not agree, compulsion would be resorted to; and for the very same reason that the hon. Member for Halifax was for the Chandos clause in England, he ought to be against the Chandos or Howick clause in Ireland. Then the noble Lord and hon. Gentleman said, that a lease made no difference. They ought to have been in Ireland to give any explanation upon that subject. He who had spent a larger portion of his life than, perhaps, he ought to have spent in exciting agitation in that country—he knew what the landlords could do, and what the tenants could endure and what resist; and he could tell the noble Lord and the House, that the lease did make a difference. One of the most remarkable incidents which attended the agitation of the Roman Catholic question was the large collection which was made for the assistance of the persecuted tenants. He knew it was said, that apathy now prevailed in that country, and that no such collection could now be made. But the hon. Member for Dublin had said "that he would not despair of the fortunes of his country," and of the virtue of his countrymen, he (Mr. Sheil) never should despair. He had not the slightest doubt that if ever again need were, the same generous sympathy would be evinced. But what could they do for a tenant at will? Suppose that the noble Lord had been an Irish Member. He begged his pardon for the supposition—but suppose the noble Lord were an Irish Member, and that he went to a tenant at will and asked him for his vote. If the poor fellow told him that he had a wife and a large family, that he had been served with notice to quit, and that he knew if he voted for him he should be turned out, could the noble Lord press the man to vote? And if he had the misfortune, for so he must call it, to succeed, and in a few months afterwards he found that man and his family starving and shivering in the streets, what would compensate him for the pain which such an occurrence must excite? Not the place in the Cabinet would be a compensation to the noble Lord for the misery of which he had been I the cause. Therefore he was against the, establishment of a tenant at will franchise, by which it had been justly observed by the Solicitor-general for Ireland, the people of that country would be rendered slaves in the midst of tranquillity, and in the times of disturbance they would become martyrs. In another point of view he had been astonished by the proposal of the noble Lord; the noble Lord was the last man who ought to have made such a proposition. It was notorious that no man in the House was more strongly opposed to the Ballot than the noble Lord; the noble Lord had stated, that when the Ballot was made an open question, he had remained in the Cabinet, though opposed to the Ballot, because he thought that making it an open question was the sure way to impede its success. When the Chandos clause was under discussion, what had taken place? Lord Althorp declared, that he was against that clause, because it would lead to the Ballot, and Lord Grey stated, that he lamented greatly the change which had been made in the Reform Bill, he deeply regretted, that tenants at will had been invested with the franchise, because by that proceeding they afforded the strongest arguments for the Ballot. The noble Lord might rest assured that he had not mistaken Lord Grey, for he had read the speech that morning. And was it not so? and was not the proposition of the noble Lord sure to lead to that result? The hon. Member for Lambeth had called upon him to defend his opinions; he had met the challenge; he was defending his opinions; he was speaking of a country with which he was acquainted, the character of whose inhabitants was familiar to him—he was speaking of that which he knew, and he was answering those who had been speaking of that with which they were not acquainted. Was not a powerful argument supplied to the advocates of the ballot? Might not they well say, "Give no protection, give us the Ballot, that shield of independence, though you may call it the nursery of falsehood, give us the Ballot, and we will agree; but if you will not, if you will not extend that protection to the tenant, do not inflict upon him the fatal privilege, which must render him either a slave or a martyr—do not compel him to make his election between alternatives the most painful—do not require him to choose between tyranny the most oppressive and a fate the most disastrous." He relied not only upon his own opinion; he had written to men, in whom he had the greatest confidence amongst the people of Ireland, and they all concurred in saying, that under a tenant at will franchise the people of Ireland would be slaves amidst disturbances, and martyrs in the midst of agitation. Might he venture now to turn from the topics to which he had just been adverting to the general matter which was now in discussion between them—the course which, under all the circumstances, it was best for the House to pursue. He had remarked that a great number of references had been made to facts; but these references had not been made with much attention to order and method; and it had occurred to him, that it might not be inappropriate to advert briefly to some of the leading circumstances which had brought the matter to its present position. The House need not be alarmed, though he went so far back as the year 1825; he should not have done so, but that the right hon. Baronet, the Member for Tamworth had, on Monday night, referred to opinions which had been expressed at that time by the hon. Member for Dublin, and by the humble individual who then had the honour of addressing the House. It was perfectly true, that in 1825 he had stated it as his opinion, that the 40s. freeholders should be abolished; but he begged to remind the House, that at that time they had not thrown oft the yoke; they had fulfilled the prediction of the Duke of Wellington, who had said, that he was convinced that the 40s. freeholders would vote with their landlords; and no doubt the opinions which several of the representatives of the Irish people then gave, were favourable to the suppression of the 40s. freeholders. They had acted with the best intentions—they had been influenced by an anxious desire to settle the Catholic question; and he was sure that the right hon. Baronet opposite must regret with him that the opportunity which then offered, was not seized by the Tory Government to which the right hon. Baronet belonged. He was surprised that the right hon. Baronet should have alluded to these circumstances, because when the right hon. Baronet considered the concession wrung from him by the exercise of a strong pressure from without, he must feel that it would have been better and wiser to have made the concession before such an agitation had taken place, as might make it appear the result of a different feeling from that to which all such concessions should be owing. However, the representatives of the Irish failed, and then they had no other resource but to raise their countrymen in their own defence. The 40s. freeholders were aroused—the Waterfowl election took place—other elections also took place, at which victory after victory was gained in the Liberal cause; then the power of the 40s. freeholders was evinced, and not till then. He could not help feeling surprised that the right hon. Baronet should enter upon another encounter with the Irish people, though on that occasion he was so signally discomfited. He, however, fully admitted that concession had been made, to the lasting honour of the right hon. Baronet; and he lamented that he had not adhered to the policy upon which that measure proceeded, but had reverted to the old policy, which was exactly the reverse of that, by which Roman Catholic Emancipation was carried. In 1829 what took place? The right hon. Baronet admitted that there was then no compact between the Government and the Catholic leader, and his hon. and learned Friend, the Member for Dublin, had stated a very important fact, that in 1829 a great meeting had been held of the friends of Ireland, at the Thatched-house Tavern, at which it had been decided, that Catholic Emancipation should not be obtained by the sacrifice of the 40s. freeholders; that was a fact beyond all contradiction. Let it not, then, be said, that the sacrifice of the 40s. freeholders was the result of any compact; but they were abolished; and what then took place? A protest was entered by the noble Lord, the Secretary for Foreign Affairs, and by the noble Lord, the Member for North Lancashire, against the solvent tenant test. ["No, no," from Lord Stanley.] The noble Lord seemed to intimate that he had made no such protest; but there was, in this case, no misprint in the speech of the noble Lord in Hansard or the Mirror of Parliament. The man who made the protest against the solvent tenant test, and who had in his hands the Irish Reform Act, struck out the solvent tenant test. Did the noble Lord deny that? Had he given any explanation of that? When the judge-advocate had called upon him to account for his speech, he had said, that he could only account for it by supposing that there was a misprint; but could the noble Lord now have recourse to that which courtesy prevented him from calling a subterfuge? How could he account for having left out the solvent tenant test from the Reform Bill. He had never accounted for it; he had never attempted to account for it. What had been done in the House of Lords? Lord Oriel had read a letter from a barrister of eminence, which predicted all the difficulties that had subsequently arisen, and so impressed was that nobleman, and there could be no better judge, with that conviction, that he actually divided the House of Lords on the subject. There, then, was the noble Lord objecting to the solvent tenant test, striking it out of the oath, and a division taking place in the House of Lords on the subject. Was it not fair, then, in them, to seek a liberal interpretation of the Reform Act? Was he to go to the opponents of that measure, or to those who had joined its opponents to interpret it? He went to the Liberal Judges, and by their decision he would abide. Coupling all those facts, it was the duty of the House to settle this question, and he trusted that they would act on a different policy from that which the noble Lord had pursued. There they stood in consequence of the looseness with which that act had been drawn; dissensions had taken place amongst the barristers, and differences of opinion amongst the judges. The Govern- ment had been taxed for not attempting to settle the question upon the old basis; they bad been told, that they ought not to build a new House but repair the old one; but he laid that they ought to build a new House on the old foundation, and the foundation should be the principle upon which the Reform Bill was grounded. The right hon. Baronet opposite had made no suggestion as to defining the franchise, though he complained of the Government for not doing so; but did not Sir M. O" Loghlin introduce a bill defining the franchise and establishing the beneficial interest? And was the noble Lord the Member for Northumberland aware that he voted for that bill, and that it contained these words:— That the produce of the soil, out of which the tenant lives, shall be taken into account as an ingredient in the qualification? The Gentlemen opposite would not agree to that. What was to be done? The noble Lord the Member for North Lancashire had brought in a bill which did not define the franchise, and there was a good reason why it did not. The noble Lord found that a majority of the Judges was in favour of the solvent tenant test, and he thought, that the minority would ultimately come round to the same opinion; therefore he brought in a bill which did not define the franchise. But since then the Chief Baron of Ireland and the other Judges in the minority, had declared that they would not give way to the majority. That being the case, it was quite manifest that the bill of the noble Lord could not be adopted. The Government, accordingly, had brought in a bill, by which the franchise was defined; they had got returns from the Poor-law commissioners, and on them they proposed a rating as the basis of the franchise. The noble Member for Northumberland had carried an amendment which made the excess of rating above rent the test of qualification. Now, from these returns, it appeared that the rating was uniformly below the rent, so that it would be perfectly preposterous to make the excess of rate above rent the test of qualification, as proposed by the noble Lord. He could not collect from the right hon. Baronet whether he would support such a test, by which five-sixths of the Irish constituency would be disfranchised. Ireland had been deprived of the Municipal Bill for two years, in order, first to get a poor rate as the test of the franchise; and why should the Gentlemen opposite refuse to allow that as the test of the Parliamentary franchise which they had themselves been so anxious to establish as the test for the municipal franchise? What was the advantage of the rate? It was fixed, certain and unfluctuating; the rate would put an end to perjury; it would prevent appeals to the Judges. He (Mr. Sheil) was surprised that no Gentleman on the opposite side of the House had yet told them whether they were prepared to adopt the rate as the foundation for the franchise. It was said that a property qualification must be obtained. What was meant by a property qualification? Did it mean that the rate should exceed the rent? [Mr. Shaw: "yes."] He was obliged to the right hon. and learned Gentleman for the admission. Then let the House be advised of this—the rate, as appeared by the returns furnished by the Poor-law commissioners, was uniformly below the rent; the right lion, and learned Gentleman (Mr. Shaw) said that he regarded the excess of rate beyond the rent as the test of the franchise, and yet the right hon. Baronet (Sir R. Peel) the other night declared that he felt, as the rate was almost uniformly below the rent, that to make the excess of rate beyond the rent the test of the franchise would be to disqualify a great portion of the people of Ireland. Let the House look at that—there was a fair, an honest and a candid admission. Having that admission, was it not fair for him (Mr. Sheil) to say, "If you take the excess of the rate as the test of the franchise, you will destroy the constituency of the country?" What, then, was meant to be done? The right hon. Baronet the Member for Tamworth, would pardon him (Mr. Shiel) for saying, that when he found so much fault with the proceedings of the Government—when he said that something must be done, it was his bounden duty to say what he thought ought to be done. He (Mr. Sheil) was showing, he thought not with impropriety, that the right hon. Baronet had admitted that the making the excess of rate above rent the test of the franchise would destroy the constituency of Ireland, whilst the right hon. and learned gentleman the Recorder for Dublin declared that, the excels of rate above rent ought to be taken as the test of a property qualification. [Cries of "question"] If he really thought that he were passing away from the question before the House, he should be obliged to the single Gentleman who had interrupted him for setting him right, and he would sit down at once; but he thought that the remarks he was offering were not irrelevant to the question. What were they to do? Were they to leave the constituency of Ireland in the state in which it existed at present? There had been a great deal of controversy about the state of the constituency of Ireland; but documents had recently been laid before the House which set the matter completely at rest. The noble Lord the Member for North Lancashire, when he introduced his bill, spoke of the base means, the villainous perjury, by which the constituencies in Ireland had been swollen and expanded. He (Mr. Sheil) thought at the time that the noble Lord was in error; but all controversy upon the point was now set at rest, for there was a document before the House, from which it appeared that the constituency, instead of having been swollen and expanded, was, in fact, miserably curtailed and restricted. Would the House, then, do nothing to correct the evils that had arisen? Was the constituency of Ireland to be further reduced? Was nothing to be done? Was Waterford, with a population of 150,000, to be left with a constituency of only 803? Or was that district which had a population of upwards of 1,000,000, to be left with a constituency of little more than 4,000? He would not say, that the 40s. freehold franchise ought to be restored in Ireland: but this he did say, that when there was a 40s. freehold franchise retained in England, something of an analogous nature ought to be introduced into Ireland. It was said that the people of Ireland were poor, and a disposition was evinced to take the wealth of the one country and the poverty of the other as the test by which the constituency of Ireland should be measured. He (Mr. Sheil) could not help remarking that whenever the resources of that country were spoken of in the House of Commons there existed an extraordinary variety of assertions, and Ireland was either rich or poor just as it suited the exigencies of debate. When the hon. and learned Member for Dublin, stung by the injustice which he saw daily practised towards his country, called for a repeal of the union, he was met by glowing descriptions of the sin- gular advantages which Ireland had obtained from the union, bow rapidly she was advancing in the scale of nations, and what noble destinies were in reserve for her. But when the subject was changed—when the friends of Ireland said, in the name of justice, of expediency, and of necessity, that she ought to be made a participant of all the rights and privileges of which the people of England were in the full, undisturbed and undisputed possession, they were turned upon and told that Ireland was a poor country and not fitted to enjoy the same advantages as her more wealthy neighbour. It is true, continued the hon. and learned Member, that Ireland is not a rich country, but Ireland possesses some great qualifications for a large constituency, Ireland has made great and signal advances, and to a country which in every thing respecting social power is making such advances, to a country which has arisen from servitude to high-mindedness, and has put off the habitude of depression, to a country in which great courage and determination is combined, as it is, with great morality and sobriety, to a country which almost as by a miracle has given you signal proof of its social improvement, I say to such a country you ought to concede a very different franchise—to such a country you ought not to award the constituency the noble Lord the Member for North Lancashire has prepared for them. Between the bill of the noble Lord, the Secretary for Ireland, and that of the noble Lord the Member for North Lancashire, this House must elect. For mark, has the noble Lord the Member for North Lancashire given up this bill? Does he not persevere in it with all its vices? Does he not still insist upon appeals to the Judges? Does he not still insist upon annual revision? Does he not insist upon that system of oaths which gives rise to that "villainous perjury" he so much laments? And, under these circumstances, what course is the House to take? Take the bill of the noble Lord the Member for North Lancashire and you take ambiguity, confusion, and agitation; but take the bill of the Secretary for Ireland, and you take a bill which fixes the franchise by a definitive standard, you take a bill which sets the conflicting statements of the law at rest, you take a bill by which oaths are suppressed and perjury put an end to, you take a bill by which the dissensions of the judges cease, and you will then show your solicitude for the rights of the people of Ireland, and afford them the most perfects atisfa tion.

Sir Robert Peel

I wish to say a few words upon the remark made by the hon. and learned Gentleman, in which he animadverted on a speech made by me on the last evening of this discussion, and complained of my not having given a correct version of what had been stated by the Roman Catholic advocates, in 1825. I repeat what I then said, that there was no species of compact between the Roman Catholic advocates, Protestant, or Roman Catholic, in which the abolition of the 40s. freeholders was stipulated. I stated that, distinctly; and, in short, there was no communication whatever upon the subject. But I stated, that there had been, in 1825, evidence given, and that, between that period and 1829, there had been proofs adduced, of the evils of the 40s. franchise in Ireland, which induced the Roman Catholic advocates to give the strongest evidence against them. The great misery produced by the separation of the 40s. freeholders from their landlords induced the Roman Catholic advocates not to wish for their continuance in that franchise. To show that was the case, I take the evidence of one of the highest authorities on that point—the evidence of the hon. and learned Member for Dublin, and I quote two answers given by him at that period. The question was put— In point of fact, is there not a great objection to the 40s. franchise in Ireland, that it is a nominal rather than a real franchise? To which the hon. and learned Gentleman answered— That is one great objection, (and added) there is another; which is, that in many cases the freeholder either pays a higher rate than the holding is worth, and so is in the power of the landlord; or by a scheme which has been devised, the landlord gives him a cottage and an acre and a half of land, letting it to the tenant from year to year, and thus he is in the power of the landlord for the adjacent land quite as much as if it constituted part of the freehold. Thus the 40s. freeholders are no doubt the property of their landlords, and in same counties voters are sold as regularly as cattle. Is not that a decisive proof of the opinions then held by the Roman Catholic advocates, of the 40s. franchise? The hon. and learned Gentleman was then asked— Is it not the case that the 40s. freeholders vote frequently with the priests, and against their landlords? To which the reply was— I do not think that many vote with their priest, but they did vote with the laity against their landlords in some instances. I have known some instances in which such a thing has been done. I hope I may never see any others. I confess I think, that the 40s. freeholders who vote against their landlords are generally ruined. There are heart-rending scenes after an election, and it is difficult to reconcile oneself to such misery. This evidence remained on record, and I say, that those who had to legislate in 1829, had a right to draw the inference they did against this franchise, and this evidence fully justified them in abolishing j. system that had been so strongly condemned.

Mr. Hume

said, the hon. and learned Member for Tipperary had charged him with ignorance. He knew that he had some failings in that particular. But, if he were ignorant of many things, he hoped the hon. and learned Member knew all he should. The hon. and learned Gentleman accused others of wishing to disfranchise the people of Ireland, but he it was who would really disfranchise them. He had made some mistake in the wording of his amendment, but he would take the sense of the House on the insertion of the word "fourteen."

Mr. W. Roche

would only say, that from his knowledge of his countrymen and their habits he would vote for the amendment of the hon. Member for Kilkenny.

Mr. O'Connell

said, he hoped the House would allow him to trespass on its attention for a short time, as he had been strongly alluded to by the noble Lord, and the right hon. Gentleman. He should be sorry that his hon. Friend, the Member for Kilkenny, should persevere in his intention to divide the House. It was totally unnecessary, for if he would look into the clause he would see that it was an affirmative clause, and therefore that he might after the present one add the clause giving even tenants-at-will the right to vote, provided they varied the sum by only one shilling, so that it was totally unnecessary for him then to divide the House. It was not very material whether he took that immaterial division; for an immaterial division it would be, because as the right hon. Baronet and the Government would vote against him, he had no chance whatever of a majority. He (Mr. O'Connell) had heard what had fallen from the noble Lord (Lord J. Russell) with great pleasure, yet not without regret. There was in his speech an exposition of some of those principles applicable to the Government of Ireland, which, if carried into effect would be eminently useful; but he did not think the noble Lord's vindication of the conduct of the Reform Ministry in 1832 was satisfactory. The noble Lord went into the history of the 40s. franchise, and of its abolition, but he was not accurate in saying that the 40s. franchise was abolished on his (Mr. O'Connell's) evidence, nor was the right lion. Baronet quite accurate in saying that the 40s. freeholders had been abolished in consequence of the evidence given by the advocates of the Roman Catholic claims, and more especially of that which he (Mr. O'Connell) had himself given. The right hon. Baronet, in referring to the evidence in support of his assertion, had omitted to read the first answer which he (Mr. O'Connell) had given. In that answer he only spoke of the abolition of the 40s. freeholders under leases, and not of those similar to the English freeholders. He slated, that with those, nobody wished to meddle, and so far as the perpetual interest was concerned, he had not said one word to justify the abolition of that tenure. It was material for Ireland that this should be understood. It was now admitted by the right hon. Baronet opposite, that there was no compact between the Government of 1829, and those Gentlemen who advocated the Roman Catholic claims in regard to the abolition of the 40s. freeholders; so far from that being the case, they had now the fact that at a meeting of sixty-three noblemen and gentlemen, the supporters of Catholic claims, held at the Thatched House Tavern, a resolution was unanimously agreed to, to petition Parliament against the Catholic Bill, if the passing of it was to be the sacrifice of the 40s. freeholders. Such a petition was presented by Mr. Spring Rice. The right hon. Baronet opposite had called his abolition of the 40s. freeholders a measure of reform. It was the only instance in which he had shown himself to be a Reformer. He had consented to their abolition, not because they were Catholics, but because he considered the system a social evil, and his mode of reforming was by totally destroying. This, however, could never be any reason for refusing an extension of the franchise to a similar class. The abuses in the old system of 40s. freeholders were partial, and did not extend to whole counties; nor did they continue up to the period of their abolition. Between 1825 and 1829, every one of the abuses described in the evidence had vanished. The right hon. Baronet opposite, and those who acted with him, refused to correct the abuses and to grant emancipation at the proper moment. Had they done so, a century might have elapsed before the people of Ireland would have found it necessary to make any further struggle. But the auspicious moment was allowed to pass by. What then followed? The people of Ireland compelled the Government to grant them emancipation, unconditional and unfettered by any terms whatever. The 40s. freeholders shared in the battle, but they were not allowed to share in the triumph; they were annihilated, they were destroyed. Then came the Reform Bill. He had opposed that bill by reason of the limited nature of the qualification sought to be established by it. He argued that the franchise was too narrow, and that the number of electors would bear no reasonable proportion to the population. Time had shown, that he was not mistaken in this; he had underrated the number a little, but it was not much beyond his calculation. They had been told, that Ireland had got a reform similar to England. But how stood matters in that respect? In Bristol, any man who was rated at Is. was a burgess, while in Dublin, no man could be one, who was not rated at 10l. Why make such a difference? Why persevere in maintaining such a distinction, unless it was their wish to tyrannize over Ireland? They did, however, persevere in exercising their power in all the plenitude of an insolent domination, without any reason, and in defiance of that principle, which said that both countries should be identified as one. He would now point out to the House an instance of the difference between the proportion of electors to the population in the two countries. The county Galway, containing 685,604 inhabitants, had only 2,085 voters; Donegal, with a population of 298,491, had only 1,462 voters; and Mayo, with 366,000 inhabitants, had only 950 voters. In England, the county of Hertford, with a population of only 95,977, had no less than 5,349 voters; so that this county, with a population of only 95,977, had more voters than the three counties of Ireland he had stated, the aggregate population of which was upwards of 1,000,000. Now would any man, either on the one side of the House or the other, say, that this was just or right? What would they say if the case was reversed—if 95,000 inhabitants of Ireland were represented by 5,000 voters, and upwards of 1,000,000 of Englishmen had only 4,000? Was there a man among them who would endure such a slate of things? If there was, he despised that man; and should he not despise him, he ought to despise himself. He appealed to them for redress. If they refused to grant it, he would appeal from them to the people of Ireland. He would only give another instance of this inequality. Wales, with a population of 305,000, had 36,833 electors, while the county of Cork, with 703,000 inhabitants, had only 3,835 electors. There was no equality in this. Now, no doubt, they had the power to continue this gross inequality in the representative system between England and Ireland. Was it prudent to continue it? Was it just to continue it? Was it safe? It might be safe just now, but who could say that it would be so that day three months? Let them not lay the flattering unction to their souls, that the people of Ireland were regardless of this question, or that they did not understand it. The question of how they were to govern Ireland was a serious one for the representatives of Scotland and England. They had continued the system of exclusion long enough, and they ought now to give way, and treat the two countries as one. He was not contented with the bill of the Government, and he supported it merely because he could not get a better. He regretted exceedingly, that Government had departed from their original proposal of a 5l. qualification. He had often been obliged to accuse the enemies of Ireland of injustice; but now he felt more inclined to say, heaven protect her from her friends. The people of that country were every day more alive to their rights and better able to maintain them. They had set an ex ample of religious fidelity to every other nation. In spite of persecution, they had bad the firmness and integrity to abide by what they believed to be the true religion; those who thought otherwise, ought to remember, that an error in faith was no disparagement of virtue in practice. In no other country in Europe were the duties of religion more attended to, and there were more weekly communicants in Ireland, than in any other country on the face of the earth. This religious feeling, instead of diminishing, was augmenting. He would put it to the House, whether they ought to tamper with the feelings of such a people, of whom upwards of five millions had pledged themselves never to taste the cup of intoxication. If they wished to further the repeal of the union, they could not do so more effectually than by refusing to conciliate the people of Ireland. If, however, they insisted on the continuance of that union, let them establish an equality between the two countries. Do not allow Ireland to have only 4,000 electors out of a population of upwards of a million, and England to have 5,000 of electors in a population of only 95,000. By voting for the Government bill, they would take the first step, small as it was, to remedy I he evil, by abolishing such differences between the constituencies of the two countries. There was another advantage attending the measure; it might be indiscreet in him to avow it. If rating was made the test of the franchise in Ireland, he had no doubt it would soon become the universal mode of ascertaining the qualification. Independently of this, however, he thought the bill would do much good for Ireland. It would get rid of all the charges of perjury which had been brought against the people of Ireland, by destroying all temptation to false swearing by either party. He should, for many reasons, vote for the Government proposition. If for nothing else, he should do so in order that the real question between the two parties might be decided; namely, whether the Government principle should be adopted or not. One word as to the extension of the right of voting to tenants-at-will. If made sufficiently extensive, so as to exclude the dictation of landlords, he would have no objection to the franchise being conferred on them. It was because the present motion was not extensive enough that he objected to it; it would leave the tenant at the mercy of his landlord, from whose tyranny he could never be protected, except by a widely-extended suffrage, or vote by ballot, neither of which the House of Commons, at the present moment, were inclined to give. He could vote conscientiously for the Government bill, because he knew, that they were making a struggle in the right cause. If they should fail, it would not be their fault; their doing so, through the influence of party would only give an additional incitement to the people of Ireland to join in an universal struggle, in order to obtain justice for themselves.

The Committee divided on the question that the blank be filled up with the word fourteen:—Ayes 513; Noes 47; Majority 466.

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

On the question that the second blank be filled up with the word "eight," signifying the amount to which a person must be rated,

Mr. Hume

observing that, as it seemed the wish of the whole House, according to the statement of Members on all sides, to give relief to Ireland; and as that relief would be greater if 5l. were inserted in the clause instead of 8l., he would move as an amendment, that 5l. be substituted for 8l. He was, however, desirous to hear the reason of the noble Lord for abandoning his original intention regarding the franchise.

Viscount Morpeth

would give a plain, straightforward answer to the inquiry. He had made the change from 5l. to 8l., because he thought that he should thereby unite more of those who might be fairly looked upon as the general well-wishers to Ireland. He saw nothing to be ashamed of in this honest endeavour to promote conciliation.

Mr. O'Connell

remarked that Ireland was placed in this predicament—that the change from 5l. to 8l. had not been produced by pressure of the opposition, but in order to conciliate the Friends of Ireland. This was only inflicting an additional insult upon Ireland, who had not so much reason to complain of her enemies as of her friends.

Mr. Slaney

wished to address the House, but was prevented by cries of "question," and "divide."

The Committee divided on the question that the blank be filled with the word "eight": Ayes 434; Noes 126; Majority 308.

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

On the question that the clause, as amended, stand part of the bill,

Mr. Brotherton moved that the Chairman report progress.

Lord John Russell

thought, that as they ad debated the clause thus far, it would be better to divide.

Mr. O'Connell

thought, that the very reason assigned by the noble Lord for proceeding to a division, ought to be a reason for adjourning, namely, that they had been discussing the clause the whole night, and had now arrived at twelve o'clock. He would not be taunted with moving an adjournment at this hour, on the bill of the noble Lord opposite (Stanley), and not moving it against that of the Government.

The Committee divided on the question that the Chairman report progress: Ayes 98; Noes 428; Majority 330.

List of the AYES.
Acheson, Viscount Bellew, R. M.
Aglionby, H. A. Blackett, C.
Baines, E. Blake, M.
Beamish, F. B. Bodkin, J.
Bowes, J. Lushington, C.
Bridgeman, H. Lushington, rt. hon. S.
Browne, R. D. Lynch, A. H.
Bryan, G. Marsland, H.
Buller, E. Mildmay, P. St. J.
Busfield, W. Murray, Alex.
Butler, hon. Colonel Nagle, Sir R.
Callaghan, D. O'Connell, Dan.
Chalmers, P. O'Connell, J.
Clements, Viscount O'Connell, M. J.
Collins, W. O'Connell, M.
Corbally, M. E. Ord, W.
Craig, W. G. Oswald, J.
Dennistoun, J. Pease, J.
D'Eyncourt, right hon. C. T. Philips, M.
Phillpotts, J.
Duncan, Viscount Power, J.
Duncombe, T. Protheroe, E.
Easthope, J. Redington, T.
Edwards, Sir J. Rippon, C.
Ellice, Captain Alex. Roche, E. B.
Ellice, E. Salwey, Colonel
Ellis, W. Smith, J. A.
Evans, Sir De L. Smith, B.
Evans, G. Steuart, R.
Evans, W. Strutt, E.
Ewart, W. Talbot, C. R. M.
Fielden, J. Talbot, J. H.
Fenton, J. Thornely, T.
Ferguson, Colonel Villiers, hon. C. P.
Gillon, W. D. Vivian, Major C.
Gisborne, T. Wakley, T.
Greig, D. Walker, R.
Grey, rt. hon. Sir C. Wallace, R.
Hastie, A. Ward, H. G.
Hawes, B. Westenra, hon. J. C.
Hawkins, J. H. White, A.
Hector, C. J. White, S.
Hill, Lord A. M. C. Wilbraham, G.
Hodges, T. L. Williams, W.
Howard, F. J. Wood, G. W.
Hume, J. Worsley, Lord
Hutchins, E. J. Yates, J. A.
Hutton, R.
Jervis, J. TELLERS.
Johnson, General Brotherton, J.
Langdale, hon. C. Hindley, C.
List of the NOES.
Abercromby, hn. G. R Attwood, M.
Acland, Sir T. D. Bagot, hon. W.
A'Court, Captain Bailey, J. jun.
Adam, Admiral Baillie, Colonel
Adare, Viscount Baillie, H. J.
Ainsworth, P. Bainbridge, E. T.
Alexander, N. Baker, E.
Alford, Viscount Baldwin, C. B.
Alston, R. Bannerman, A.
Anson, hon. Colonel Baring, rt. hon. F. T.
Anson, Sir G. Baring, hon. F.
Antrobus, E. Baring, H. B.
Arbuthnott, hon. H. Baring, hon. W. B.
Archbold, R. Barnard, E. G.
Archdall, M. Barnaby, J.
Armstrong, A. Barrington, Viscount
Ashley, Lord Barron, H. W.
Attwood, W. Bateson, Sir R.
Bell, M. De Horsey, S. H.
Bentinck, Lord G. Dick, Q.
Bethell, R. D'Israeli, B.
Blackburne, I. Divett, E.
Blackstone, W. S. Dottin, A. R.
Blake, M. J. Douglas, Sir C. E.
Blake, W. J. Douro, Marquess of
Blakemore, R. Dowdeswell, W.
Blennerhassett, A. Drummond, H. H.
Blewitt, R. J. Duffield, T.
Boldero, H.G. Dugdale, W. S.
Bolling, W. Duke, Sir J.
Botfield, B. Dunbar, G.
Bradshaw, J. Duncombe, hon. W.
Bramston, T. W. Duncombe, hon. A.
Briscoe, J. I. Dundas, F.
Broadley, H. Dundas, D.
Broad wood, H. Dungannon, Viscount
Brocklehurst, J. Du Pre, G.
Brodie, W. B. East, J. B.
Brooke, Sir A. B. Eastnor, Viscount
Brownrigg, S. Eaton, R. J.
Bruce, Lord E. Egerton, W. T.
Bruce, C. L. C. Egerton, Sir P.
Bruen, Colonel Eliot, Lord
Bruges, W. H. L. Elliot, hon. J. E.
Buck. L. W. Ellice, rt. hon. E.
Buller, Sir J.Y. Ellis, J.
Burr, H. Erie, W.
Burroughes, H. N. Estcourt, T.
Byng, G. Euston, Earl of
Calcraft, J. H. Farnham, E. B.
Campbell, Sir H. Feilden, W.
Campbell, Sir J. Fector, J. M.
Canning, rt. hn. Sir S. Fellowes, E.
Carew, hon. R. S. Filmer, Sir E.
Castlereagh, Viscount Fitzalan, Lord
Cavendish, hon. C. Fitzpatrick, J. W.
Chetwynd Major Fitzroy, Lord C.
Chichester, Sir B. Fitzwilliam, hn. G.W.
Childers, J. W. Fleetwood, Sir P. H.
Cholmondeley, hn. H. Fleming, J.
Christopher, R. H. Follett, Sir W.
Chute, W. L. W. Fort, J.
Clay, W. Fortescue, T.
Clayton, Sir W. R. Fox, S. L.
Clements, H. J. Freemantle, Sir T.
Clerk, Sir G. French, F.
Clive, E. B. Freshfield, J. W.
Clive, hon. R. H. Gaskell, J. Milnes
Cochrane, Sir T. J. Gladstone, J. N.
Cole, hon. A. H. Gladstone, W. E.
Colquhoun, Sir J. Glynne, Sir S. R.
Compton, H. C. Godson, R.
Conolly, E. Gordon, R.
Cooper, E. J. Gordon, hon. Capt.
Copeland, Alderman Gore, O. J. R.
Courtenay, P. Gore, O. W.
Cowper, hon. W. F. Goring, H. D.
Cresswell, C. Goulburn, rt. hon. H.
Crewe, Sir G. Graham, rt. hn. Sir J.
Cripps, J. Granby, Marquess of
Dalmeny, Lord Grant, Sir A. C.
Dalrymple, Sir A. Grattan, H.
Darby, G. Greene, T.
Darlington, Earl of Greenaway, C.
Dashwood, G. H. Greg. R. H.
Grey, rt. hon. Sir G. Law, hon. C. E.
Grimsditch, T. Lefroy, rt. hon. T.
Grimston, Viscount Lemon, Sir C.
Grote, G. Lennox, Lord A.
Hale, R. B. Lincoln, Earl of
Halford, H. Lister, E. C.
Hall, Sir B. Listowel, Earl of
Hamilton, C. J. B. Litton, E.
Hamilton, Lord C. Loch, J.
Handley, H. Lockhart, A. M.
Harcourt, G. G. Long, W.
Harcourt, G. S. Lowther, hon. Colonel
Hardinge, rt. hn. Sir H. Lowther, Viscount
Harland, W. C. Lowther, J. H.
Hayes, Sir E. Lucas, E.
Hayter, W. G. Lygon, hon. Gen.
Heathcoat, J. Macaulay, rt. hn. T. B.
Heathcote, Sir W. Mackenzie, T.
Heathcote, G. J. Mackenzie, W. F.
Heneage, E. Mackinnon, W. A.
Heneage, G. W. Maclean, Donald
Henniker, Lord Macnamara Major
Hepburn, Sir T. B. Mahon, Viscount
Herbert, hon. S. Martin, J.
Heron, Sir R. Marton, G.
Herries, rt. hon. J. C. Master, T. W. C.
Hill, Sir R. Mathew, G. B.
Hillsborough, Earl of Maunsell, T. P.
Hinde, J. H. Melgund, Lord Visc.
Hobhouse, rt. hon. Sir J. Meynell, Captain
Hobhouse, T. B, Miles, P. W. S.
Hodgson, F. Miller, W. H.
Hodgson, R. Milnes, R. M.
Hogg, J. W. Milton, Viscount
Holmes, hon. W. A'C. Mordaunt, Sir J.
Holmes, W. Moreton, hon. A. H.
Hope, hon. C. Morgan, C. M.
Hope, H. T. Morgan, O.
Hope, G. W. Morpeth, Viscount
Hotham, Lord Morris, D.
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Howard, hon. E. G. G. Neeld, J.
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Howard, hn. C. W. G. Nicholl, J.
Hughes, W. B. Noel, hon. C. G.
Hurt, F. Norreys, Lord
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Irton, S. O'Callaghan, hon. C.
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Stanley, hon. E. J. TELLERS.
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Mr. Hume

rose, and said it was highly important, when threats were held out on the other side that the bill should not be allowed to pass, that the House should know whether the noble Lord meant to go on with the bill? Was it not better at once to withdraw it, and put an end to the matter? When the hon. Baronet opposite had declared it to be his intention to vote against the clause, would the noble Lord say that he meant to proceed? To go to a vote on this clause at that hour of the morning appeared to him ridiculous.

Mr. O'Connell

believed he was in order in proposing to move that the Chairman do leave the chair.

Mr. Bernal

said the last question put was, that the Chairman do report progress and since then it had been moved, that the Chairman do leave the chair.

Mr. O'Connell

Then I will withdraw my motion. [Cries of "No, no"]

Mr. Bernal

Is it the pleasure of the House that the motion be withdrawn. [No, no.]

Mr. Hume moved, that the Chairman do report progress, and ask leave to sit again on Monday.

Mr. Bernal

repeated that the question was, that the motion of the hon. Member for Dublin be withdrawn.

Mr. Wakley

said the House was placed in a very awkward predicament, by the peculiar course pursued by the Government with regard to this bill. If this bill were lost, then the House would have to entertain the bill of the noble Lord opposite. He had voted in the first instance for the 5l. proposition. Then he was called on to vote for an 8l. franchise; afterwards he was called on to vote against the 5l., and now again he was asked to support the 8l. franchise in the clause now before the House. He must say, that he thought that himself and others had been placed in a situation of extreme difficulty by what might fairly be denominated the vacillating conduct of the Government. When a proposition of this nature was brought forward—one that affected the interests of the whole nation—and was made by the executive Government, it was to be presumed that every inquiry would have been made, and every material collected that could possibly illustrate the subject; and it was not fair in the Government either to the House or to their own supporters, to come down one day with one proposition, and another day with a totally different one, and yet at the same time to ask their supporters unhesitatingly to support both. Those persons who acted in political affairs without fixed principles, such persons might not feel that there was any difficulty in such conduct, they might think that there was in it nothing that presented any obstacle to the ordinary course of the human mind. But those who desired to act upon fixed principles in politics must feel themselves in an awkward position, in being called upon to act in such a manner. If the present motion were carried, there was an end of the bill. What would the Government do next? They would be obliged to allow the House to take into consideration the bill of the noble Lord the Member for North Lancashire. But if it should happen that the bill was carried, they would then be taunted by those who called themselves the friends of Ireland with being instrumental in causing the bill to be passed. He for one felt at a loss to comprehend the tactics of the noble Lord. Had he occupied a seat on the ministerial benches, and been placed in the situation in which Ministers had been placed that evening, he did not think that he could have appeared there as the noble Lord had appeared; he did not think that he could have had the courage to face that House, as the noble Lord had done that night. ["Order."] He believed he was strictly in order. Herepeated, that he could not have appeared there, as the noble Lord had done, and declared his determination to go on with a bill on the principle of which he had been defeated by the amendment of a former evening. The decision of the House on that amendment had been acknowledged to be a complete invasion and inversion of the principle of the bill, and he certainly had not expected to see the noble Lord come down afterwards with another proposition of a totally different nature, which he called upon them to support. He really did not see what course he could pursue with credit to himself, or with advantage to any parties connected with the measure. The first principle which they had been called upon to affirm was now abandoned. That being so, what was the loss that Ireland would sustain by the bill not being carried into a law, and what would be the reproach visited on those who declined to vote on the present motion? He was desirous of acting in a manner that would be free from reproach, and at the same time of acting honestly to Ireland. He wished to see a good constituency for Ireland. He was told that the constituency that would be created by this clause would not be a good constituency. But if they did not have that they must have a worse, and he was therefore disposed to choose the least of two evils. He would be very glad if the noble Lord would at once get up and state to the House what it was his fixed determination to do. If the noble Lord would get up and say he would adopt such and such a course, and that nothing should divert him from it, he would soon understand the minds of Members, and their attention would really be devoted to the consideration of the real subject under discussion. The noble Lord would then no longer deceive himself, or be deceived, nor would he continue to place his supporters in the awkward position in which they had been for some time past.

Lord J. Russell

said—With respect to the conduct which the Government have thought fit to pursue, I am ready to answer for it. I do not know why the hon. Member attacks the Government. The hon. Member for Finsbury has stated, that one of the causes of the division of opinion that prevails in the House at the present moment is the course that has been taken by the Government. I don't well know what the hon. Member means. I do not think that if the Government adhered to the 5l. qualification, instead of altering it to 8l., there would be the least difference in the position of the Government, because really the question at present does not turn on a 5l. or an 8l. qualification, but upon the question whether or not the House is prepared to vote to maintain this clause. With respect to the alterations in the amount of the franchise, I can only repeat what my noble Friend near me stated in an early part of the evening, namely, that it appeared to me that, in the opinion of many Members who had paid great attention to the subject, the 5l. franchise was considered to be too low, and that if we persevered in maintaining that franchise, we could not expect the support of those who held that opinion. Then considering what was the prospect of carrying the bill as it was originally, I made those alterations which I considered would be acceptable to those Members. I say that I made those alterations, as I considered it my duty to do—or as I consider it would be the duty of any government to do, for I never saw any government which in fact ever did maintain every proposition brought forward by them without amendment or alteration. This was not done by the right hon. Gentleman opposite and his friends, when they held high situations in the Government of this country, and I think that, in a mixed Government of this kind, which must always depend on the support of a popular assembly, attention must always be paid to the opinions of men to whose opinions the Government are bound to look with a proper degree of respect, and in so acting I do not feel that the Government have taken any course that was not honourable and right. The hon. Member for Finsbury, standing in the character of the English Cato, has talked of an inflexible adherence to public principles. When I see the hon. Member placed in a situation to act up to this model of inflexible virtue and magnanimity, I shall be ready to give him the humble tribute of my admiration and applause, and I hope without exhibiting any of that acrimony which I must say the hon. Member has thought fit to exhibit. With respect to the question which has been asked by my hon. Friend the Member for Kilkenny, I will state what my intentions were. I came down to the House this evening with the intention of fairly placing before the House the main clause, as I justly thought that the division taken the other night could not be correctly considered a division upon the principle of the clause, and after a fair discussion upon the principle of that clause, and when the House should have come to a decision upon it, it was my intention to state what the Government proposed to do. It was my intention to state, that should the clause be carried by a majority, the Government would proceed with the other clauses of the bill, but if the clause were negatived, in that case the Government did not intend to proceed further with the other clauses of the bill. The hon. Member for Kilkenny cannot deny that I placed the question fairly before the House. I am sorry that the hon. Member for Dublin placed the question before the House in a way that would have the effect of causing the House to come to an indirect decision upon the bill, and I am sorry that the hon. Members opposite have refused to allow the hon. Member to withdraw his motion. I hope, therefore, that the House will allow the motion to be withdrawn, in order that we may be enabled to come to a decision on the direct question.

Mr. J. Jervis

supposed that it was the intention and desire of Members on both sides of the House to have a fair discus- sion of this question, and to come to an honest conclusion respecting it. He hoped, therefore, that they would allow the technical proposition to be withdrawn; fur if that proposition were carried it would be a defeat of the bill. He would put it to the right hon. Baronet opposite, whether he considered it fair to take the division in this indirect manner, and whether it would not be better and more satisfactory to come to a direct decision upon the question?

Sir T. D. Acland

said, that, as the hon. Member for Dublin supported the bill for the sake of the clause, he (Sir T. D. Acland) was prepared to vote against the clause from his dislike to the bill. With respect to what had been said by the hon. Member opposite, he thought that after a debate of eight hours on the subject the House had a right to come to a decision on the question, in the only way in which hon. Members opposite would permit the decision to be come to— nec lex est justior ulla Quam necis artifices arte perire sua.

Mr. C. Wood

hoped that hon. Members opposite would allow the present motion to be withdrawn. He was prepared either now or at a future time to accord his opinion by voting against the clause, but after what had been stated by his noble Friend the secretary for the Colonies as to the course which the Government were prepared to pursue, he (Mr. Wood) thought that the House would place their conduct more fairly and intelligibly before the country by coming to a decision upon the direct question.

Sir R. Peel

said—I feel that I and those who act with me, have in the course of the evening given decided proof that our main object is, to have a fair and decided expression of the opinion of the House on the merits of this clause. Indeed I thought that the amendment which the I noble Lord first proposed, had been decided upon that point. However, with the sense which I entertain of the importance of the clause, I think that a decision on the merits of the clause in the usual way would be more satisfactory, and I think that in the course of the evening we at this side of the House have given decided proofs of that opinion, because nothing would have been more easy for us than to have come to an indirect division on the clause either by uniting with the hon. Member for Kilkenny, who proposed to insert "one year" instead of "fourteen," or by joining with another hon. Member, who proposed to substitute 5l. for 8l. Entertaining this opinion, however, I have a strong feeling, which is shared by my noble Friend, that the House is now in a state in which it can decide the question, and I think that any further postponement would be most unsatisfactory, and in this opinion my noble Friend entirely concurs, I think, therefore, that if we consent that the House shall not come to a decision upon the present question, we ought to be met in a corresponding spirit, and that it should be distinctly intimated to us that this bill should to-morrow evening have precedence over every other business, in order that the House may come to an unequivocal decision on this question Therefore on the part of those with whom I act, if I consent to relinquish the division on the present question, it is on the distinct understanding that the debate shall be resumed to-morrow, in order that in the most unequivocal manner the sense of the House may be taken on the direct question.

Mr. O'Connell

said this advantage was not so great as was supposed, as the only motion would be to move the recommittal of the bill.

Lord J. Russell

had no objection at once to accede to the proposition of the right hon. Baronet. However, he could not say whether the bill would come on at five o'clock, without first having obtained the consent of hon. Members who had motions on the paper.

Mr. O'Connell's motion withdrawn.

Mr. Hume and other hon. Members who had motions on the papers for the next day, consented to waive their precedence. The debate was adjourned to the next day, upon the understanding that it would have precedence over all other business.

The House resumed. Committee to sit again on the next day.