On the motion of Mr. W. O. Stanley
the report of the Southampton election committee was read as follows:—That James Bruce, Esq., commonly called Lord Bruce (now Earl of Elgin), and Charles Cecil Martyn, Esq., were not duly elected burgesses to serve in this present Parliament for the town and county of the town of Southamption.That the last election of burgesses to serve in Parliament for the said town and county of the town was a void election.And the said determinations were ordered to be entered in the journals of this House.House also acquainted, that the committee had come to the following resolutions:That James Bruce, Esq., commonly called Lord Bruce, and Charles Cecil Martyn, Esq., were, by their agents, guilty of bribery at the last election for the town and county of the town of Southampton.That Charles Combe Callan was bribed with 10l., paid to his wife for him; that Joseph Whitmarsh was promised a bribe of 20/., the whole or some portion of which was afterwards paid; that Joseph Redwards was bribed with 5l.; that William Andrews was bribed with 3l; and that Giles Paskin was bribed with 3l.; each of them to vote for Lord Bruce and Mr. Martyn.That it has not been proved before the committee that these acts of bribery were committed with the knowledge and consent of Lord Bruce or Mr. Martyn.That the evidence given before the committee relative to an extensive system of treating carried on through the means of local associations; the payment of large sums to chair- 1613 men and colourmen, many of whom were voters, and the expenditure of a sum of money for the purposes of the election, amounting to nearly 5,000/., and, therefore, far exceeding the ordinary legal charges, is deserving of the serious consideration of the House.That the committee feel they have been prevented from ascertaining the exact mode in which the whole of this money was expended, by the loss or destruction of the vouchers and other documents connected with these payments, especially in the case of William Rouse Mabson, who, after having been served with the Speaker's warrant, disposed of those in his possession.
§ Mr. W. O. Stanley
said, that he could not propose his motion without taking that opportunity of expressing his sense of the obligations of the House and the country to the right hon. Baronet at the head of the Government for the assistance he had given towards raising the character of that House by the course he had taken respecting the alleged cases of bribery and corruption at the late elections. With respect to the committee, he thought that it was desirable that it should be constituted as fairly as possible, and that the Members forming it should not be in any way biassed by previous opinions. The hon. Member moved that a select committee be appointedTo inquire into the special report of the select committee appoited to try the matter of the petitions complaining of the last Southampton election; and to inquire into the matters contained in the several petitions hereinafter mentioned, namely, the petitions of the electors of Southampton, presented on the 9th day of May, and the 1st day of June; the petition of John Sadler Moody and other electors of Southampton, presented on the 1st day of June; the petition of William Hooke Steere and other electors of Southampton, presented on the 1st day of June; the petition of John Wren, presented, and printed with the votes, on the 30th day of May; the petitions of Abraham Abraham and William Henry Mackey, presented, and printed with the votes, on the 13th day of June, and to report their opinion thereupon.
§ Motion agreed to.