§ Mr. T. Duncombe
said, it was his wish, in reference to the last paragraph in that Address, to ascertain from the right hon. Baronet on the other side of the House, whether it were intended, by the wording of that paragraph, to admit the existence of the general distress of the country, because, it appeared to him, that the paragraph had been carefully framed so as not to express an opinion on that subject. He was, however, free to confess, that he had heard many speeches from hon. Members on the opposite benches in their private and individual capacity, wherein the existence of that distress had been acknowledged. Now, it would be observed, that in the original Address—the Address which had been framed by her Majesty's Government—it had distinctly been stated, thatThe House shared the deep sympathy winch her Majesty felt for those of her subjects who were now suffering from distress and want of employment, and that they recognised in her Majesty's expressions upon that matter an additional proof of her Majesty's tender regard for the condition and welfare of her subjects.Now, in the amendment which bad been moved by the hon. Member for Yorkshire, the paragraph wherein it was stated, that the House shared in the deep sympathy which her Majesty felt for those of her subjects who were now suffering from distress and want of employment, had been omitted entirely. He wished to inquire of the right hon. Baronet opposite whether the omission with regard to the House sharing in the distress of the people had been intentional or an accident. The paragraph in the amended Address ran thus:—We assure your Majesty that in the gracious expression of your deep sympathy with those of your subjects who are now suffering from distress and want of employment,And so on. Now, it did appear to him,
§ that that paragraph in the amended Address was not worded in so respectful a manner towards the Crown or towards the people of the country as the paragraph to which he had alluded in the original Address. He wanted, therefore, to know whether it were admitted by the right hon. Baronet that distress and want of employment did exist in the country. If the right hon. Baronet did admit that there was such distress and want of employment in the country, then he said that the paragraph in the original Address was much more explicit upon the point than that in the amended Address, and ought to be adopted. He should hope that the right hon. Baronet, under the circumstances of the case, would have no objection to alter the wording of the paragraph, so as to make it distinctly appear that the House did join in that sympathy of feeling, in reference to the distresses of the people, which had been so graciously expressed by her Majesty. If, however, the right hon. Baronet should decline to do so, he should then deem it to be his duty to move the substitution of the original paragraph in the place of that to the wording of which he demurred.
§ Sir R. Peel
would state, as an individual Member of that House, and in that capacity alone he begged it to be understood he was about to offer his opinion on this subject in reply to the hon. Member for Finsbury, the construction which he put upon the paragraph complained of. He thought, in the first place, he could undertake to declare, that there had been no deliberate intention of departing from the words of the Address, in regard to the recognition of the existence of distress in the country, because, as the hon. Gentleman must be aware, the terms of that Address had not been known at the time when the amended Address had been drawn up. Therefore, as the hon. Member for Finsbury would at once see, there could have been no intention on the part of those on that side of the House to depart from the words of the Address. Well, then, with regard to the want of respect in the wording of the paragraph to her Majesty, he must beg to say, that while he was perfectly willing to allow that the paragraph in the original Address was quite respectful, he could not admit that the paragraph in the amended Address in any way fell short in that respect; because, whilst the Address stated that the House shared with her Majesty 457 in her expression of deep sympathy, the amended Address stated, that in those expressions of sympathy the House recognised an additional proof of her Majesty's tender regard for her subjects. As far, then, as a respectful wording—respectful to her Majesty, and respectful to the people—was concerned, he must be permitted to observe, that in his opinion, there was no want of respect in the paragraph in the amended Address, but that the paragraphs in both Addresses were on an equality in that particular. Then, with regard to the admission, that distress existed in the country, it did appear to him that the fact was admitted in the fullest manner in the amended paragraph. How stood the case? An intimation had been conveyed to the House from the Crown, that there were many of her Majesty's subjects who were suffering from distress and want of employment. Of course, the House upon that assumed that such was the fact, and he, for one, would at once admit that there were many of her Majesty's subjects who were, he lamented to say, suffering from distress and privation. That being so, then he said, that in his opinion, the amended Address fully admitted that there were classes in the country who were suffering from distress and privation, and, further, he contended that the paragraph was worded respectfully both to her Majesty and to the country. He hoped that what he had said had fully satisfied the scruples of the hon. Member for Finsbury on the subject, seeing that the amended Address not only admitted the existence of distress in the country, but that the wording of the paragraph was quite, even if it were not more so, as respectful to her Majesty and to the people as that in the Address itself.
§ Mr. T. Duncombe
said, that provided the right hon. Baronet admitted, that there was distress in the country, and that the wording of the amendment was not intended to evade the admission of the fact, he was satisfied.
§ The other paragraphs of the amended Address having been agreed to, and Address read a second time,
§ Mr. S. Crawford,
rose to propose, that the following additional paragraph be added to the Address: —That we further respectfully represent to your Majesty, that, in our opinion, the distress which your Majesty deplores is mainly attributable to the circumstance of your whole people not being fully and fairly represented 458 in this House; and that we feel it will be our duty to consider the means of so extending and regulating the suffrage, and of adopting such improvements in the system of voting, as will confer on the working classes that just weight in the representative body which is necessary to secure a due consideration of their interests, and which their present patient endurance of suffering gives them the strongest title to claim.He had, he said, to pray for the kindly indulgence of the House, while he attempted to call their attention to that additional paragraph, of which he had on a former evening given notice of his intention to move. It had not been his desire to take that course, because he had hoped, that some other hon. Member of greater weight and more prominent abilities and standing would have brought the matter under the consideration of the House. He should, indeed, have been much pleased to have been spared the necessity of presenting himself to the House on that occasion, but he stood in a peculiar position with regard to his constituents. He had been selected by the constituency which, he had the honour to represent in a most singular manner, and without solicitation on his part. That constituency had selected him in consequence of the principles which he had professed upon all occasions. That being the fact, he trusted the House would think with him, that it was not very extraordinary, that he should be anxious to fulfil what he conceived to be his duty to that constituency. He stood there as an independent Member of Parliament, as one attached to no party, other than that of the people. He had felt deep regret when he had discovered that her Majesty's Government had not thought proper in the Speech which they had put into the Queen's mouth to allude in any way to those amendments of the elective system which were so absolutely necessary for the improvement of the condition of the people, and he could not but feel, that it was an imperative duty of an independent representative of that class not to permit the Address to pass without at least making an attempt to obtain an expression of feeling on the part of the House in favour of measures which were calculated to improve the condition of the people. The first clause of his amendment to the Address went to state, that the great distress under which the people were suffering was mainly attributable to 459 the whole body of that people not being fully and fairly represented in Parliament; in other words, that there was not a fair representation of the people of England. There was not a fair representation of the people of England, or of those of Ireland, or of those of Scotland, under the operation of the present law. By the official returns which had been laid on the Table of that House, it appeared, that under the present representation of the interests of the people, the franchise of England was enjoyed only by one out of eighteen and a-half; of the population in Scotland by one out of every thirty, and in Ireland by one out of every seventy-seven. Now, he would put it to the House, whether that could be held up as a fair representation of the people. He for one considered, that as the consequence of that want of a fair representation had arisen through unjust and unnecessary laws, that it had led to a system of what was properly denominated, class legislation, and that it had been productive of gross monopolies, of which that in corn, which was so much complained of, was the most flagrant, the most objectionable, and the most oppressive upon the great bulk of the people. Had the people been properly and fairly represented, that monopoly, so grinding to the poor, never could have been placed upon the statute-book of the country. If the people had been properly represented in that House, such a monopoly never would have existed as that of the Corn-laws, and if that body were even now fairly represented, there would in the present day be no question as between the establishment of a fixed duty or a sliding scale, but the question would be, whether the law should not be altogether repealed. If there had been a fair representation of the country in that House, how was it possible that the great bulk, of the people of England could have been reduced to the present state of distress and privation under which it was notorious they were suffering? It was a matter of utter impossibility, that such a state of things could have been arrived at. The amendment which he had the honour of submitting to the House on that occasion, stated, thatWe feel it to be our duty to consider the means of so extending and regulating the suffrage, and of adopting such improvements in the system of voting, as will confer on the working classes that just weight in the representative body, which is necessary to secure a 460 due consideration of their interests, and which their present patient endurance of suffering gives them the strongest title to claim.The question, then, which was here put to the House, and which he was desirous of obtaining an expression of opinion on, was not, as to the adoption of any particular description of suffrage, but with a view to gain a manifestation of a disposition on the part of the House to regulate the system of voting in proportion to the number of the population. He did not call upon the House to pledge themselves in his peculiar opinions alone, but he was anxious to obtain an evidence on their part of an inclination or a disposition to take the subject into consideration, with a view to the attainment of a better representation of the people, so as to provide some means of protection to the voter against bribery, intimidation, corruption, and undue influence. It had been said, that it would be a dangerous experiment to extend the suffrage to the working classes; but that was an assertion that he would take upon himself to deny the truth of. The working men had as great an interest in the well-being and prosperity of the country as any other class of her Majesty's subjects [Cries of "Question."] — The working men felt as great an interest in the welfare of the country as any other class of persons—the more so as they were well aware that their employment, whereby they obtained the means of their existence, depended mainly on the maintenance of the tranquillity and prosperity of the country. It had been also said, that if the benefits of the franchise were to be given to them they would be liable to corruption; but let them tell the House that that would not be so if there were not a higher class to corrupt them. Was there corruption amongst the working classes? If there were, allow him to ask from whom did that corruption proceed? It had likewise been stated, that the working classes, if the right of exercising the franchise were to be given to them, would be open and liable to undue influence. That was another proposition which he would take upon himself to deny. Let him ask, however, in what other class of her Majesty's subjects there had been shown so much devotion to the cause of public liberty as in the ranks of the working men? He was prepared to contend that the British constitution had been 461 founded on the great principle that the whole of the people should be fairly and equally represented in Parliament. The truth of that construction of the constitution was to be found in the fact that the House of Lords was supposed to represent the monied or rich classes—the aristocracy—whilst the House of Commons was conceived, as it had been intended, to represent the feelings, the views, the interests, and the sentiments of the people at large. The manifest intention of the framers of that constitution had been in reality that the one House should be, as it were, a check upon the other. If hon. Members on the other side of the House would but favour him with their attention he would call upon them to support his amendment. He called upon those Members to show by supporting his motion that they had an interest in the welfare of the great mass of the people. Let the hon. Gentlemen on the other side of the House —those especially who were to constitute a part of the new Administration—upon that occasion, establish for themselves some degree of popularity with the people, by not setting up in opposition to his proposition. The present Government had gained an unpopularity with the country, because they had ceased to advocate, as in former days, popular rights. Let, then, the supporters of the Government that was in expectancy prove, that they were the friends of the people, by giving their votes in favour of his amendment, and thereby voting in favour of an extension of the franchise. If they refused to adopt that course, it would be an admission on their part, that the majority which they appeared to possess in that House, was not the majority of the representatives of the people. He would ask the hon. Members on the other side of the House by what means it had been, that they had gained their present majority? Had it been by the support of the majority of the electors, and in opposition to the views of the people? If that were so, then he was willing to admit, that it was the duty of those hon. Members to endeavour to maintain the right of franchise at its present standing. But if that were not the case, but that they had been returned by the wishes of the people, then he called upon them to show, by supporting his amendment, that they had a feeling for the interests of that people by consenting to an extension of the franchise. If, 462 however, those hon. Members, declined to adopt that course, then it would be considered as an admission on their part that their majority in that House was not a majority in accordance either with the wishes of the people, or a majority in advocacy of the interests of that body. He believed the fact to be, that the great power which had been obtained by the party on the other side of the House was attributable, not to the circumstance of the people's being favourable to their principles, but to the fact that they had become disgusted with the conduct of those to whom they had intrusted the advocacy and the protection of their rights. He called on the Administration of the country not to oppose the amendment he had proposed. As the Ministry of the country, how was it that they had not the majority of the voices of the electors? It was because the voice of the electors was not the voice of the people at large. He besought the Ministers, then, to increase their power, by giving to the majority that franchise which they did not now possess, and he called on them to give their support to his proposition — a proposition which had for its object an extension of the elective rights to those who were at present deprived of them. If the Ministers would but rely on the people, their power and strength would in no way be impaired. He called on them to advocate popular rights in the same manner as they had done in former days. If they were to do that, they would soon be restored to their former places. He acknowledged many services which the country had received at the hands of the present Government; but, whilst he did that, he could not refrain from pointing out what he conceived to have been their errors. He must ever lament that one of the greatest errors of which they had been guilty—an error, too, allow him to say, that had been the source of all the evils which had accrued in the career of the Government, was their abandonment of the Irish appropriation clause. Upon every consideration he felt that he had a right to look to the Government for support on the present occasion. In what other way could they successfully oppose what had been properly described as the Chandos clause, but by an extension of the suffrage? [Oh, oh.] He was extremely sorry that the subject which he had brought forward did not appear to possess sufficient importance to command 463 the attention of the House. [Increased signs of impatience.] He conceived the question to be of the utmost importance to the best interests of the country, and yet the House seemed entirely deaf to the arguments which he had advanced. The hon. Member concluded [the House being very impatient] by moving that the additional paragraph be added to the Address.
§ Colonel Johnson
felt great pleasure in seconding the amendment, in which he fully concurred. It fully embodied his own opinions. It had been impossible for him to vote for the original Address, because that would have implied an approval of all the measures of the Administration; and he considered that they had been guilty of a wasteful expenditure of the public money, and of an unjust and impolitic interference with the internal affairs of foreign powers, acting, therefore, against the principle they had laid down on taking office. He had not, on the other hand, been able to vote for the amendment of the Member for the West Riding of Yorkshire, for that would have implied confidence on the other side. And on looking back to years past, and recollecting the misconduct of former Tory Governments, he could not say that he could repose any confidence whatever in them. There was nothing in the speech of the right hon. Baronet last night but flowing words. It was true that at the late elections, he had by one means and another obtained a majority in that House, and he had a majority in the House of Lords; but there was one thing wanting, he had not the voice of the people with him, nor their good will, and he must materially alter his conduct before he could expect to obtain it. He would give his cordial support to the present amendment, because he believed that it stated what was perfectly true, that the present state of distress of the country arose mainly from the want of a due representation; and till there was this and some arrangement of the debt, this country never would prosper.
§ Mr. Ward,
amidst much confusion, said, that concurring, as it was well known that he did, in all the principles which were involved in the amendment of the hon. Member, he wished to state to the House in a very few words the reasons why he felt it to be his duty to decline giving his support to that amendment on the present 464 occasion. He was not one of those who, like the hon. Member behind, thought that with the conveniences or practices of the Parliament they had nothing whatever to do. In his opinion, the more important the question—and a more important question than that before the House was not to be found—the more cautious and the more careful ought they to be in the manner and in the time of its discussion. For himself, in this instance, he was bound to say, that he could not but regard it as an insult offered to the popular interests in that House to bring forward a question of the magnitude of that which was involved in this motion at a moment when there was no Minister present—at a time too, when, in fact, he might say, that there was no Ministry in existence. The Ministry must, in fact, be looked upon as defunct, whilst the Ministry which was to be constituted had not yet been formed. Was such a moment, then, a fit time for such a proposition as this, to be dashed, as it were, upon the waters, without the slightest caution—without the slightest consultation, or without the slightest consideration—was that, he asked, a proper time to put forth such a question—a question upon which no five men in the House had been consulted, and with regard to which no ten men were agreed as to the course to be pursued in the event of its being carried—was that a time to launch such a question to take its chance of approval or defeat, and having done so, then to call the present a test of popular principles? He denied that it could be looked upon in anything like the light of a test of those opinions, and therefore although he would not record his vote against principles in which he fully concurred, he should not, for the causes he had just stated, be found voting in favour of the motion which had been brought forward in so inconvenient a manner. Although it was a matter of notoriety that he did not coincide in the political views or principles of the right hon. Baronet opposite, still he was prepared to state to the House that he considered the right hon. Baronet was fully entitled to a fair and unprejudiced consideration of those measures and questions which he intended to bring forward, questions in respect of which the right hon. Baronet had on the previous night assumed the entire responsibility. He regarded the right hon. Baronet as the representative of the majority in that House 465 of the representatives of the constituency of the country, and therefore he held that the right hon. Gentleman was fairly entitled to the respectful consideration of his measures. At the same time he would declare that he had no confidence in the right hon. Baronet, and he had little hope that any measures which he might bring forward would be calculated to be productive of good to the great mass of the people. Notwithstanding that conviction, however, he felt that he was bound to give those measures his most respectful attention and consideration; and that attention and that consideration they should have. He deemed it no more than an act of common justice to the right hon. Baronet that he should have time to consider his measures previously to his assuming the reigns of Government. With respect to the proposition before the House, he must beg to decline to commit himself by voting for it, having been, as it had, brought forward at such an unfavourable moment. But whilst he should not support the motion, he should not record his vote against it, and therefore, if it were pressed to a division, he should feel it his duty to withdraw from the House.
§ Mr. Roebuck
fully concurred in the observations which had just fallen from his hon. Friend, the Member for Sheffield. His sentiments with respect to the principles of the motion could not be doubted; but, like his hon. Friend, he thought that the present moment, there being no responsible Government, to deal with the question, was so ill-timed and so ill-judged for bringing such an important subject under the consideration of the House, that most undoubtedly he should decline voting upon it. Besides, it was as clear as the light of day, that the majority of that House was represented by the right hon. Baronet opposite, and it was no more than common justice that he should be placed in a fair position. That the right hon. Baronet stood on the high ground he had described him to occupy, had been fully established by the division of the preceding night. That being so, it was just to the opinions of the majority of the constituency, that a fair opportunity should be afforded to the right hon. Baronet to bring forward his measures. Individually he thought, that the people would be disappointed in their expectations in reference to those measures, but, notwithstanding that such was his own conviction 466 upon the subject, still it was but right that they should wait until the right hon. Baronet had been fairly installed in office, and then, that they should be prepared to give him and his measures a fair trial. He was himself determined to give the right hon. Baronet and his friends that fair trial. Well, then, further allow him to say, that questions of such magnitude as that embraced by the motion of the hon. Member behind, ought not to be brought forward at the tail of a long and tiresome debate, at a time, too, when there was no responsible Government. He was not afraid of compromising himself by the declaration of his opinion with regard to this proceeding, because his principles and sentiments upon the subject were well known. But to bring forward a motion of that description at such a moment, was, he conceived, a great want of respect to the country. He would not peril the question by voting upon it; but, if a division were called for, he should think it his duty to take up his hat and withdraw from the House.
§ Mr. Wallace
differed with the two last speakers. [Mr. Ward, Mr. Roebuck, and about fifteen or twenty Members quilted the House.] He did not regret the departure of his Friends, those who remained could maintain their principles well enough without the leadership of the hon. Members who had deserted them. He was not aware of the existence of any Parliamentary rule against the introduction of such a motion as the present, even though the time selected was during the absence of Ministers, or though it were in the presence of their successors alone. If, however, he were to receive an intimation from the Speaker, that there was such a rule, then, of couse, he should most willingly be bound by that intimation. In his opinion the amendment then before the House, was a most judicious and a most timely one, and he considered, that the hon. Member was entitled to the thanks of the House and the country for having brought it forward. At all events he felt himself to be individually indebted to the hon. Member for having done so. The question was, whether or not this were the proper time to discuss this motion. He thought the motion was most judicious and timely, and he disputed the judgment of those hon. Members who had left the House. Notwithstanding the scene which had just taken place, hon. Members oppo- 467 site would be much mistaken if they supposed that any division existed in the Radical ranks. His opinions were well known, and he defied any man to say he was ever afraid of announcing them. He hoped the occurrences of this day would reach the ear of the Sovereign indirectly, for he knew it could not reach her directly, and that her Majesty would know that a certain number of the House of Commons were willing and ready to support an extension of the suffrage. He should give his cordial support to the amendment, with thanks to the hon. Member who had brought it forward.
§ Mr. T. Duncombe
was not surprised, that, after consuming the time of the House for some days in a most unprofitable debate, hon. Members should not like such a discussion on the present occasion, though followed by another defeat. He said, an unprofitable debate, because not one word of hope, of comfort, or consolation, was offered to the industrious millions of this country. The whole scene that had occurred was worthy of the House—not only what occurred then, but what occurred for the last four nights, and even this long time past. Hon. Gentlemen opposite might well triumph when they saw this division in the ranks of the popular representatives. He considered the hon. Gentleman had exercised his right to propose any measure he thought fit at any time he pleased, and especially upon an Address to the Crown. The hon. Member was but discharging his conscientious duty; and when hon. Gentlemen said, he had no right to propose his amendment without consulting them, they quitted the House, and left them in the hands of their enemies. He liked to see open and manly enemies better than professing friends. He himself would vote for the amendment, because it was consistent with his former actions. In the year 1839, he proposed a very similar amendment upon an Address to the Crown. He then proposed—To assure her Majesty, that as the amendment of the representative system enacted in 1832, has disappointed her Majesty's people, and as that measure is not, and cannot be final, her Majesty's faithful Commons will take into further consideration the further reform of the Commons House of Parliament.That, in fact, was the essence of the present amendment, to which he could not put give his assent. Eighty-six Re- 468 formers voted for his amendment, and 426 Members against it. He doubted very much whether that majority would not be considerably increased now. If it were, to what conclusion would the people of England come, except that there was a greater proof the House required further reform? He thought his hon. Friend, the Member for Rochdale, was perfectly justified in standing upon his right to bring forward his motion for a great principle, and take the sense of the House upon it, and he was about to give him his support. He did not believe, that the present motion would do any harm to the cause of reform. It was totally impossible, that the present state of the representation could be satisfactory to the people, or that it could much longer continue. He knew, that the right hon. Baronet considered the Reform Bill an irrevocable and final settlement of the question of the representation, but they would feel no peace or contentment in the country till the question was resettled, and the base of the representation extended. He presented last Session a petition signed by 1,400,000 persons, for an extension of the suffrage, and such a manifestation was well worthy of deep consideration. He trusted, that there would be many more petitions of a similar nature. It was a matter of perfect indifference whether two, twenty, or 200 persons voted for the amendment, but he hoped it would be persevered in. He would give it his most cordial support.
§ Dr. Bowring
said, he would support the motion of his hon. Friend, and he would try, in the midst of the dejection which would be caused in the country by that morning's division, to infuse into it one drop of sweetness by his own vote.
Mr. W. Williams
was not surprised at interruption, when the people's grievances were under discussion, and that he had perfect patience to wait till the House would listen to him. He saw no magic influence in the Treasury Bench, that should prevent any hon. Gentleman from expressing his opinion, or should prevent the House laying its feelings at the foot of the Throne, if that Bench were unoccupied. He did not subscribe to the doctrine that the House ought not to express an opinion unless it was also the opinion of the Minister of the day. He thought, that when the House of Commons was called upon to vote an Address, it was to contain the opinion of the House of Commons, and 469 not the opinion of any minister; but if the principle which had been laid down by hon. Members who had left the House were correct, the House had no right, and it would be contrary to the assumed practice of the House, to express any opinion contrary to that of the Minister for the time being. He would support the amendment of the hon. Member for Rochdale. What did the amendment propose? Her Majesty, in her Speech, stated, that there was distress among the people of this country, and proofs had been furnished during the course of the debate, that the distress existed to an extent unknown before. What did the hon. Member state by his amendment? Why, that the people were not represented in that House, and he concurred in that opinion, and that that was the cause of their distresses. That was the opinion of millions in this country. They complained from one end of the country to the other of their distresses, and the cause of it—that they were not represented in that House. The hon. Member for Rochdale wished to communicate the fact to her Majesty, and such being his object, was he to be told, that because they had no responsible Minister they were not to make such a representation? Since he had sat in that House he had not been a party man, and whatever support he had given to Ministers, was not to the men, but to their measures. He would tell the right hon. Baronet, that he would act towards him precisely as he had done with respect to the present Ministers. He would give his most cordial support to every measure, that should be brought forward by the right hon. Baronet, if he thought the proposals good, and that the measures were calculated to benefit the country. He would not detain the House further, but he must protest against the doctrine, that when an Address to the Crown of this kind was being considered, no opinions were to be expressed contrary to the Minister of the day, and no representations made to the Crown of the people's wishes, unless the Treasury benches were filled.
§ Mr. Protheroe
had withdrawn from the House with the hon. Member for Sheffield, but in consequence of what had been stated by the hon. Member for Finsbury, with respect to the agreement between the course taken in a former year and this year he wished to make one observation. He had given his cordial support to the motion of the hon. Member, but there was this distinction between the time at which that 470 was brought forward and the present. There was no Government at present in existence, and he thought it respectful, both to the past and future Ministers, not to enter upon such a discussion as this without some Advisers of the Crown being appointed. In the former year, there were Ministers in office, and such as they might consistently think they could influence. He only wished again to express his opinion, that there ought to be an improvement in the Reform Act, but he could not vote with the hon. Member for Rochdale, because he did not think such a course would be respectful to the Reform Bill itself; and, because, however much he might regret the advent to office of the right hon. Baronet, he could recognise in him only the representative of the opinion of the majority of that House. He should, therefore, take that opportunity of withdrawing.
§ Mr. Turner,
although he thought the constituency ought to be enlarged, especially in the counties, still, under the circumstances of the present time, he could not consistently vote for the amendment of the hon. Member for Rochdale.
§ Colonel Rawdon
could not agree with the hon. Member for Sheffield, that this was an improper time for considering the motion of the hon. Member. He thought the motion strictly in accordance with the principles of the constitution. They were on the eve of a change of Government. The first act of a new Government would be to ask for a vote of credit. Then, before granting money, they ought to discuss, at least they ought to make the grievances of the people known, and to require a redress. As he thought, that the franchise was not sufficiently extended, he could not refuse to vote for the amendment of the hon. Member for Rochdale. He was sorry, that there was any division on that side of the House, but he must carry out his own opinions honestly and fearlessly.
§ Several more hon. Members from the Ministerial side left the House, which divided on the question that the words moved by Mr. Crawford be added:—Ayes 39; Noes 283: Majority 244.
|List of the AYES.|
|Aglionby, H. A.||Bowring, Dr.|
|Bell, J.||Bridgeman, H.|
|Blake, M.||Brotherton, J.|
|Blake, M. J.||Butler, hon. Colonel|
|Blake, Sir V.||Cobden, R.|
|Blewitt, R. J.||Collins, W.|
§ Sir R. Peel
observed, that upon occasions similar to the present it had been customary that another motion should be made. That motion was, that Her Majesty's Speech should be taken into the consideration of the House. In order that by no possibility any disrespect might be supposed to be offered to the Crown, he should take the liberty of moving, therefore, that the Queen's Speech be taken into consideration on Monday next, when the House could dispose of it as it should deem meet.
§ Motion agreed to.
§ House adjourned.