HC Deb 13 June 1842 vol 63 c1491
Viscount Mahon

wished to ask the noble Lord opposite a question in reference to his bill for the correction of bribery. Several clauses of that bill rested on the supposition that election committees would continue, as at present, within the jurisdiction of the House. Now the noble Lord was aware that he and many other Members thought that the House would better consult the ends of justice by parting with that jurisdiction. The bill which regulated that jurisdiction was to expire with the present Session, and the question of its renewal was probably to be discussed with in a few days. He therefore wished to ask the noble Lord whether he would consent to postpone the second reading of the bill until the principle which he here pointed out had been discussed and decided?

Lord J. Russell

considered that as the jurisdiction of deciding on election petitions, and as to who were lawfully and; rightly elected, had remained in the House for more than 200 years, they could not, as matters now stood, act on any other supposition than that the jurisdiction would so continue. Of course, if the House here-after decided upon parting with this jurisdiction, the House would make its other regulations and proceedings conformable to the change, and the measure now before the House, if passed into a law, would be ! also made conformable; but at present he saw no reason to postpone the second reading of his bill, on the mere supposition that the House might, perhaps, on some future day, take a view of this part of the subject altogether different from its long established principle.

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