HC Deb 21 June 1842 vol 64 cc348-418
Mr. Ward

rose to bring forward his motion relative to the ballot. He did so with a sincere sense both of the difficulty and of the importance of the task of submitting the question of the ballot for the first time to the consideration of the present House of Commons. When he talked of the difficulty of that task, he did not mean merely the difficulty which he most unaffectedly felt, and which all men of inferior powers must feel, in attempting to en- gage the attention of that House on a question involving so much both of principle and detail, but the additional difficulty of weaning his own mind from the recollections of the admirable ability, the aptitude for illustration, the closeness of reasoning, the high mental and logical power which had been brought to bear on this question by his hon. Friend the late Member for the City of London (Mr. Grote)—a gentleman whom those who knew him must admit to have been an ornament to that House, however much they might differ from him in political opinion—and who had devoted to this question, during the three first Parliaments elected under the Reform Bill, the best efforts of his highly cultivated mind. But, while there was nothing that he so much deprecated as any comparison between the manner in which this question was brought forward by Mr. Grote and by himself, he felt encouraged to follow in the path of his hon. Friend by the recollection that time had brought many to be of his opinion as to the consequences of continuing the system of open voting. What had been disputed ten years ago, could not now be denied. Instead of reasoning on abstract principles, and asking the House to provide a remedy for evils in the existence of which many persons at that time disbelieved, he could now appeal to the acts of the House itself; to the reports of its own committees; to the records of its own proceedings; to the painful and humiliating discussion which had taken up so much of their time, and which showed that the tendency of the open system of voting had been progressing from bad to worse—that its effects were most demoralising and most discreditable to this country in the eyes of the world. Some remedy was indispensable, unless the House was to forfeit the confidence, alienate the respect, and outrage the moral feeling of the country. They were called the Bribery Parliament, and, they deserved the name. Let him profess with the utmost sincerity, in the first instance, that he did not mean to deal with this question in any way as a party question. He looked at it as a question in which both sides of the House were equally interested; and in bringing it forward, he trusted he was actuated by better motives, and animated by better hopes, than he should be if he brought it forward merely with party views. He admitted at once, and at the outset of the argument, that corrupt influences in the late conflict and party struggle had been just as unscrupulously applied by Liberals as by Conservatives. Both parties had acted on the same system. But that system was a bad system, and one which no honest man could pretend to justify on sober reflection, although he might have been tainted with it himself. It. was a system which no well-wisher of his country would defend. He saw with great satisfaction that there was at present a disposition manifested on both sides of the House to look seriously to the dangers which such a system must entail upon the country. He had heard bribery denounced by the leaders on both sides in terms which would seal its fate in six months if those terms were sincere. He had a right to question the sincerity of parties, until he saw them follow up the expression of their opinions by practical remedial measures; and he did consider that the best test of sincerity would be to renounce the power in which the abuse originated. It could be shown that by renouncing that power the abuse could be eradicated—that they could destroy that security which was the basis of the contract between the briber and the bribed; that they could disarm intimidation by taking away from the landlord, the customer, or the employer of labour, the power of ascertaining whether the promises extorted by his threats had been kept or not. He said, therefore, that every man who was sincere in his denunciation of corrupt influences—every man who wished well to his country would concur in the advantage of ridding his party of the contamination of such allies, by adopting a system which would prevent them more effectually than any punishment, because punishment never could be impartially applied, and seldom reached those who were really most guilty. He thought the present time was particularly favourable for this attempt. There was no great party contest going on, the balance of power in that House was not so nicely distributed that the slightest change in the representative machinery would give a decided preponderance to one party or the other. On the contrary, so far as the ordinary calculation of political chances went, the ascendancy of one party was now secure. With common prudence it might be so. He was bound to say that the leader of that party had, on every occasion which bore at all on the subject of the present motion, shown a proper sense of the responsibility of his own situation, and an earnest and sincere desire, he believed, to discharge the duties which it imposed on him. He alluded more particularly to those speeches which had been made by the right hon. Baronet opposite on the Nottingham, Southampton, and Belfast writs. In speaking on the Belfast writ, the observations of the right hon. Baronet expressed so much better than he could do what he believed was the real position of the House with regard to the country, that he might be permitted to recall them to the recollection of the House. The right hon. Baronet said, He now thought, considering the extent to which corruption was alleged to have been carried—considering the general impression that prevailed as to the extensive system of bribery that was said to pervade the country —he did think, and he would now state it as his deliberate opinion, that it would not be for the honour or dignity of the House of Commons to interpose technical objections against full inquiry into such practices. He wished to prevent grounds being laid for great and extensive constitutional changes; but he felt perfectly confident, if that House manifested a disposition not to inquire when cases of corruption were brought under its notice, that the means of resisting constitutional changes would be greatly impaired. If Gentlemen proceeded on a different principle—if one party said, 'We will protect our friends,' and another party said, 'We will protect ours,' it would not tend to support the character or credit of the House. For his own part, he gave this public notice, that he would not act on that principle. If parties guilty of bribery, or of a corrupt compromise to get rid of an inquiry into alleged bribery, were brought under the notice of the House, he certainly would not in any way interfere with the proceedings. He gave this notice publicly (but he did not mean to say that there were any parties there who might wish him to act otherwise), that he would not use the influence of office to prevent a full inquiry into any strong primâ facie case of bribery at elections; for he felt, as every man must feel, that such practices had a manifest tendency to diminish the character and dignity of Parliament. He, therefore, most certainly would not exercise the influence of office to prevent the fullest inquiry into any cases of corrupt practices that might be brought before the House. Looking to his side of the House, there was a similar disposition to recognise the extent of the evil. His noble Friend, the Member for London, had brought in a bill, which he hoped he would succeed in carrying with the full concurrence of both sides of the House. There was still stronger evidence of the nature of the present sys- tem, and of the necessity of applying some remedy to the corruption which prevailed, in the testimony of a noble Lord, whom he was sorry not to see in his place, who had been one of the most formidable enemies of the ballot—he meant the noble Lord, the Member for Sunderland. In the last speech in which that noble Lord had delivered his opinion on the question of undue influence at elections, he seemed to him to have completely changed his views. The noble Lord, the Member for Sunderland, in his speech in 1837, rested his opposition to the ballot on the fact that there was a striking improvement in the landowners of England generally—that they were less inclined to exercise undue influence over their tenantry—and that we might safely trust to their forbearance the rights of all who were connected with them. But looking at the speech which the noble Lord had delivered at the declaration of the poll at Alnwick, and after the experience of the last election, a singular change seemed to come over the spirit of his dream. He found in that speech the most sweeping charges brought against the whole landed proprietors of the important county which the noble Lord formerly represented, its terms were most unmeasured; and he might say that he never heard from any advocate of the ballot expressions of more cutting censure upon the undue practices and illegitimate influences exercised at that time. He told the noble Lord that he meant to refer to his speech, in which he found charges against the noble Lord opposite of unworthy trickery—promises unscrupulously violated—undue means taken to influence the electors, by two Peers of Parliament, Lord Tankerville and the Duke of Northumberland. I challenged (said the noble Lord) my opponents to declare that no tenant, no tradesman, no person employed by them should suffer for the conscientious discharge of his duty. You all saw how that challenge was evaded. … I knew from that moment that the influence of the proprietors would be used in the most unsparing manner against me, and certainly that expectation has not been disappointed. … You are all aware with what extreme absence of all reserve, or concealment, the great power of our neighbour at the Castle has been exercised; but, for that I was prepared. … Even the little miserable pledge, given with respect to certain tenants upon Lord Tankerville's estate, at Wark, had been violated; Lord Ossulston, in person, having been instrumental in inducing these poor men, dependents of his father, to break their solemn promises, upon the plea that they had not been previously informed of his intentions and wishes. The noble Lord added— I presume Lord Ossulston would not break his own word—would not violate his own deliberate promise—but I wish to ask you, where is the distinction between breaking one's own word, and compelling others to break theirs? Does Lord Ossulston imagine that because men happen to be poor and dependent, because they happen to be of a lower rank in life than himself; they are, therefore, insensible to those feelings of honour which ought to exist in the bosom of every honest man? He would be satisfied to rest his case for the ballot on the speech of the noble Lord, and he thought he ought to claim his vote on the strength of that speech. He would now merely hand the noble Lord the extracts from his speech which he had been reading, and ask how, after that speech, the noble Lord could refuse to support the present motion with his vote? He came now to the Bribery Bill of the noble Lord the Member for London. The noble Lord admitted as fully as he did the extent of the evil, and the necessity of a remedy. It only remained for the advocates of the ballot to prove the superiority of their remedy. He believed that penal enactments against bribery would not be effectual. We had had such these hundred years. It had been tried in every variety of shape, without success. As to intimidation, the noble Lord himself would admit, from its Protean character, and the endless variety of disguises it assumed, that it could not be reached by any laws whatever. There was no want of stringency in the existing laws, nor was there at former periods, when similar evils were felt. He found the following passage in De Foe's Review, written a hundred and thirty-five years ago.— We have lately had two or three acts of Parliament to prevent bribery and corruption at elections. I have already noticed that we have in England the best laws the worst executed of any country in the world. Never was treating, bribing, buying of voices, freedoms, and freeholds, and all the corrupt practices in the world, so open and barefaced, as since these severe laws were enacted. And in another passage, written in 1708, he says, I have seen the possibility, aye, and too much the practice, of men's voting implicitly here for ale, there for influence, here for threats, and there for persuasion. And God knows, I speak it with regret for you all, and for your posterity, it is not an impossible thing to debauch this nation into a choice of thieves, knaves, devils, or anything, comparatively speaking, by the power of various intoxications. There was little hope of getting rid by the legislative enactment of the noble Lord of practices which were constantly recurring, though constantly denounced, because they were privately connived at, while they were publicly condemned. He would ask any man in that House, did he think that this system could last? Could it continue without producing those effects, which the right hon. Baronet at the head of the Government himself pointed out in the speech from which he had already quoted? Millions of eyes were fixed at the present time on our electoral system— those of the millions in this country who were excluded from it, because they were told that a property qualification was the best criterion of fitness to exercise the franchise. When they turned their attention to those who possessed the franchise, to whom it was exclusively confided—when they looked to the 10l. householders, to the 50l. tenants-at-will, who, according to the theory, should be examples of integrity, disinterestedness, and patriotism, they saw the whole tenantry of England sunk into a state of the lowest slavishness; and amongst the electors of the towns the most wholesale, barefaced, and unblushing profligacy. Since the last election no less than fifty-five petitions have been prevented, complaining of undue returns, and affecting no less than seventy-eight seats. Every man on both sides of the House knew perfectly well that a great many of the very worst cases of corruption escaped notice altogether from the perfect community of guilt. No party had sufficiently clean hands to appear as a petitioner for inquiry. There had been, as he said, fifty-five petitions against seventy-eight seats. Several of these cases had been brought to issue before committees of that House, and upon some of them special reports had been made. What did these reports say? He had made extracts from five of them, which he would read to the House:— Southampton.—" That James Bruce, Esq commonly called Lord Bruce, and Charles Cecil Martin, Esq., were, by their agents, guilty of bribery at the last election for the said borough. That the evidence given before your committee, relative to an extensive system of treating, carried on through the means of local associations, the payment of large sums to chairmen and colour-men, many of whom were voters, and the expenditure of a sum of money for the purposes of the election, amounting to nearly 5,000l., and, therefore, far exceeding the ordinary legal charge, is deserving of the serious consideration of the House. Ipswich.—Resolved unanimously, "That Rigby Wason, Esq., and George Rennie, Esq., were, by their agents, guilty of bribery at the last election for the borough of Ipswich."— Resolved unanimously, "That this committee are of opinion, from the evidence given before them, that extensive bribery prevailed at the last election for the borough of Ipswich, and that the issuing of a new writ for the said borough ought to be suspended until the said evidence shall have been taken into consideration by the House. Sudbury.—"That the committee are of opinion that gross, systematic, and extensive bribery prevailed at the last election for the borough of Sudbury; and they also consider it their duty to express to the House their unanimous opinion that the borough of Sudbury should be disfranchised, and that a new writ ought not to be issued for the said borough, Lyme Regis.—"That the committee think it right to inform the House that, although the general charge of bribery alleged in the petition has not been gone into, yet it has appeared in evidence that a corrupt practice has for some years prevailed in the borough of Lyme of lending money upon notes of hand, bills of sale, or other securities, to a considerable portion of a constituency, which did not exceed 280 by the last registration. Newcastle-under-Lyne.—"That John Quincy Harris, Esq., was, by his agents, guilty of bribery at the last election. That, from the evidence taken before the committee, it appears that a most objectionable practice has existed for many years, and still prevails in the borough of Newcastle-under-Lyne, of distributing money under the appellation of 'Market money,' 'Dinner money,' or some other local term, to the poorer voters after the election. The silence of the committees on other cases was no proof of the innocence of the parties concerned, or of the exemption of these boroughs from similar offences, because they had already been compelled by their own sense of justice, and by the demands of public opinion, to refer to a separate committee the cases of Nottingham, Penryn, Reading, Harwich, and Belfast—in all of which, except the last, the committee had reported that the sitting Members had been duly elected; and in the case of Belfast, no proof of bribery had appeared before them. To withdraw a petition was now almost synonimous with a confession of guilt. He believed he could prove, if the House had not already enough of that kind of business on its hands, that all the petitions that had been withdrawn, with one single exception, had been withdrawn by compromise, though they had not attracted the notice of his hon. Friend the Member for Bath: with a single exception, every petition withdrawn had been compromised by a private arrangement, so as to withdraw it from the jurisdiction of the House. They were told, by the way, in extenuation of this practice, that it was an old one—that there were similar cases in the last Parliament— that Norwich was a crying case, in which Members of both parties were concerned. He believed that that was no extenuation of the offence whatever. It was no reason why it should not be inquired into. It did not render bribery less discreditable to the character of that House. This was the evil which they had to grapple with at present. Unless it was checked, it was certain to progress with frightful rapidity. When once a man contaminated his fingers with base bribes, he became morally degraded. The appetite grew by what it fed on, until every check of honour, conscience, and public morality was lost. He fully believed that they must go back to first principles, if they meant to have any principles at all. The first principle of representative Government, as he understood, was, that there should be a free independent right of voting. The voter must be a free agent. He must speak his own sentiments, and not be the tool or mouth-piece of any-body else. The State was bound to secure to the voter the power of recording his own unbiassed will. When he said unbiassed, he did not mean free from the influence of example, of advice, of superior intelligence. These must always have their effect, so long as there were weak minds and strong minds in the world. He meant unbiassed by dictation or corrupt influence of any kind. He did not believe under a system of open voting that there ever could be an unbiassed expression of the feelings of the majority of the electoral body—open voting proceeded on the principle that the feelings of the majority of the electoral body were not to be entrusted—that it must be checked or controlled by some other influence brought to operate upon them—in a word, that the machinery of a popular Government could not be worked by its own inherent power. That opened a very wide field indeed. It opened the whole question relative to the merits of the different kinds of Government. He did not mean to enter into that question at all. He assumed that everybody was satisfied with the representative form. He assumed also that when we talked of representation we meant real representation, and that when we talked of responsibility, we meant real effective responsibility of the executive power to Parliament, and of Parliament to the people. If they did mean that, then the necessary inevitable consequence was that there should be a free and independent right of voting as the basis of the whole superstructure. Look at the dilemma in which they were placed. They began by limiting the franchise, because they said it was necessary to limit it in order that it might be properly used. Then they claimed a right to control those who had the franchise, in order that they might exercise it rightly. Now, if the electoral body were fit to have the franchise at all, the actual opinion of the majority should prevail on the election of representatives. If they were not fit to exercise it, the evil to deal with was in the composition of the electoral body, and not in the freedom of voting. He affirmed that with open voting there never could be a free expression of the majority of the constituencies—one moiety of them would be coerced and the other bought. In both cases, instead of voting according to his better judgment, the elector would be compelled to take the course which was least detrimental to himself. Upon this subject he might refer to the opinion of the hon. Member for Pontefract. The hon. Member had a leaning to corruption in its milder form. He came forward as the friend of the poor man. He hoped he was not taking an undue liberty in attributing to the hon. Member a recent pamphlet on Purity of Elections. So far from disavowing it, the hon. Member had done him the honour to give him a copy himself. The hon. Member appeared in the character of the poor man's friend, and said of the elector:— While in the limitation of his views, and in the weakness of his reason, the candidate who discharges his arrears, who places him in a happy and easy state of mind, seems his best friend, and obtains the support of his vote. The hon. Member believed it possible to put a stop to this species of corruption by legislative aid, but he adds, and not without much truth,— There is another evil already existing to a great extent, which any coercive law against bribery would leave in full action, and to which indeed it would give still freer scope. The spirit of political corruption, checked as far as possible in its milder form, would throw all its energy into the shape of intimidation. Here at least is a corruption which confessedly can foil all positive enactment: 'conscience of political rights or the fear of public opinion,' can alone prevent any man from discharging a tenant or a labourer who has voted contrary to his desire, from ceasing to employ a tradesman who has displeased him, from depriving of his charity the opponents of his will. If a million of money went down among the people from the upper classes at the last election, as has been asserted (a sum by the by not twenty times as much as was spent on many a county election in the old time), it must at least have conferred a great deal of material happiness, while the intimidation which should take away any portion of that sum from the comforts of the people, or threatened to do so, could only produce unqualified misery; legislation might diminish the amount given, but it can do nothing with that arbitrarily withheld: the corruption which gives pleasure may perhaps be checked, while the corruption that gives pain goes its way unchallenged. He thought that the corruption which gave pleasure was quite as pernicious as that which gave pain. He had as strong an objection to head-money at Pontefract as to any kind of intimidation. He thought the advocates of this doctrine were sowing insidiously the seeds of unlimited corruption. It would lead to the destruction of all popular institutions; and he was sorry to see the hon. Member for Pontefract lending to such a doctrine the aid of his talents and the sanction of his name. But then the hon. Member said they might trust, as we understood, to public opinion, to check the abuse. The noble Lord, the Member for Sunderland had said the same thing at one time; but he preferred the speech of the noble Lord at Alnwick, to what he had uttered on a former occasion. He abided by the noble Lord's last speech at Alnwick. He abided by his last sentiments instead of his first, for he himself had no faith in anything in this country—but in the growth of the abuse. But then, if they wanted to know the extent of the abuse of intimidation, they must look to the counties of England. He spoke in the presence of a great many Gentlemen, who knew well what a county election was. They knew well that there was no exaggeration in his saying that almost without an exception, the votes of the tenants were regarded as a portion of the chattels of the estate. No man dared to canvass his neighbour's te- nants. Persons would as soon think of doing so, as of robbing their deer parks, or shooting in their pheasant preserves. When persons heard of a county contest, they reckoned as to the result not by the number of acres in the possession of particular families, not by the peculiar views of the tenants, but by the votes, which in the hands of their tenantry each family could command. When Lord Chandos's motion was carried it was so, on the distinct allegation that they were a most independent class of voters, and as free to exercise their right as any other class in the community. The system was now reduced to such a nicety in the counties, that neutrality was reckoned an offence, they forced the tenants to register first, in order that they might force them to vote afterwards; and it was found that the whole result of an election might turn upon the death of the owner of a large property. He might mention in reference to this, that at the last election for the West Riding of Yorkshire, it was a very memorable contest, and never was there more canvassing, and never greater activity employed in a canvass than upon that occasion. He recollected that at that time there was one little oasis in the desert— there was one spot exempt from all the noise and bustle of a conflict—that was the spot occupied by the tenantry of the late Duke of Leeds. The Duke of Leeds happened to die, as the canvassing began; and nobody ventured to ascertain, for some time, what the opinion of the present Duke of Leeds was likely to be. The tenants, therefore, remained unsolicited, awaiting that impulse which was sure to come from above. It was at this time, and before the sentiments of the Duke of Leeds were ascertained, that he was engaged in his own contest at Sheffield. He was walking one evening in the neighbourhood of that town, in company with a friend, just as the uncertainty was about to terminate. They met a farmer on horseback—the man was a fine burly-looking man; he was as good a specimen of a Yorkshire yeoman as one would wish to see, and a person, it might be supposed, little likely to be influenced by another. This farmer was asked "how it was to go," and what was his answer? "Why, we have got our orders at last. We are all to be Yellows this time." Now, this man happened to be very well disposed to be a Yellow; but if the man were Blue to the backbone, the result would have been the same. Now, no man would venture to affirm that the Duke of Leeds' tenantry were more coerced then those of others. That which was done on the one side was also done on the other. It was assumed at once the subserviency of the tenantry, and no one dreamt of consulting them; and if they looked to the manner in which the electors had voted at the last contest for the West Riding, they would find that, to a man, they had polled for Milton and Morpeth. There was, then, the Wigtonshire election. There the parties were nearly balanced. For upwards of three weeks, Lord Stair was made the object of a series of the bitterest attacks from the Conservative press. It was said to be a shameful, iniquitous, profligate attempt upon their liberties, to buy an estate on which there were no less than thirty votes; that he should do this to get the control of such a number of votes as were to turn the scale at the election. Now it happened that Lord Stair had been in treaty for the purchase of this estate some time before the election, and what was the grievance of which the opposite party so loudly complained—that he had got an estate, on which it was said that promises had been given to Mr. Blair before the estate became the property of Lord Stair. The hardships of the unfortunate tenantry were greatly complained of; because it was said they would be obliged to vote for the gallant officer (Captain Dalrymple) who now represented the county, and was returned but by a majority six. To hear these complaints it might be supposed that coercion—that interference with the tenants were unknown to the opposite ranks. And yet what was the fact? Upon the day of nomination, a very remarkable letter was read at the hustings. It was written by one of the greatest landed proprietors of the county, Mr. Murray, who spoke of the system of coercion exercised by the Tory gentry, and stated that it was not to be equalled in the annals of electioneering profligacy, and that charge he brought to their faces before the whole country. He challenged an answer to his charge, and no man had dared to answer it. The letter which he addressed to the hon. Member for Cocker-mouth was read at the hustings by Mr. Horsman, and he would read it to the House. My dear Horsman,—I regret exceedingly that, owing to the second day's polling for this county taking place on the same day that has been fixed for the nomination of the candidates for the county of Wigtown, it will be impossible for me to be present at the latter. It was my intention, but for this unlucky coincidence, to have proposed Captain Dalrymple. I should have done so because I consider him eminently fitted by his station and character to represent the county: but, still more, because I know that he regards with disgust and abhorrence that odious system of intimidation and tyranny by which so many of the Wigtownshire proprietors have attempted to stifle the honest voice of the electors. I consider these attempts to coerce the voters, and to force them to do violence to their conscience, as quite as bad, if not worse, than the proceedings of the slave-dealers on the coast of Africa. It is, in fact, a subornation of perjury, and an effort to insult, degrade, and brutify the constituency. So, far then, for the counties. He now went to the towns, and they found there substantially the same state of things. They knew through the election petitions sufficient of the bribery in towns; but persons were much mistaken if they supposed that intimidation was confined to the counties. On the contrary, they found the most cruel variety of intimidation exercised on the borough constituency. In the towns every man was known to the other; and the means were diligently employed, with respect to the elector, "how to get at him." The great inquiry, as to the most active agent, was one who knew the different electors, and, to use the phrase, knew how "they were to be got at." It began with the elector at the registration courts—it followed him in his business—it visited him at his lawyer's, and went with him to his banker's—it was to be found with him at his creditor's—it pervaded and perverted every relation of social life. And then, when the election came on, there was the odious personal canvass — there was exclusive dealing—there was the published list of voters, as at Cambridge, the seat of one of their universities—there was the mockery writs for ruin of the honest man, who had voted according to the dictates of his conscience. The book that he now held in his hand, and from which he was unwilling to make any extracts, contained the evidence which was taken before the intimidation committee. He did not want the book, for he had enough of new matter without it; but it would be found to teem with facts such as he described. And was it not, he asked, disgusting, that while they went through the form of those inquiries, while that House was pretending or affecting to disbelieve the facts stated to them, still the strings of the whole machinery of corruption should be held by some five or six members sitting on the two opposite benches—that it was they who chose the candidates who controlled the funds, and who, according to the demands of the constituency to be supplied, pitted them against one another, according to their respective means, and then came back there to boast of their public purity, and to visit with the virtuous indignation of Parliament the unhappy agents who might be detected in the execution of their plans, and to whom their party was indebted for its success. This was the truth, and they all knew it. It was known to both sides; and when they talked of the possible corruption that might exist in America, because they held their Caucuses, he said that they were nothing to equal in power and profligacy the Caucuses which they had established here. The noble Lord on the one side, and the right hon. Baronet on the other, he believed stood aloof from them; but still the Caucuses to which he referred were a part of the machinery of the Government, and persons high in their confidence were employed to work that machinery. He thought that the ballot would break up this system, and nothing else could. They might try legislation, but it was his opinion that bad habits were stronger than the best laws, when there was a perverted morality to sanction the violation of the law. But when the law failed, they would find that did something by giving up the power to do wrong. When the law failed the ballot would slip in, with its silent efficacy, to correct the abuse which the law did not reach. Let them once make the voter aware that secrecy was his safeguard and his right, and that it was given for the purpose of protecting him, and the whole of the mischief would be put an end to. If the publicity of the vote were the ground of reward or punishment, a man would not be punished on suspicion—the tenant would not, could not, be ejected on a mere suspicion; it would not be done, when it could not be proved that he had not complied with his landlord's desire, unless it was that a man wilfully would add oppression to injustice, and he believed it would soon be found impossible to reconcile the consciences of men to the exercise of any such powers. It was his belief that men would cease to exact promises, when they must know that it would lead to no certain result. He was quite aware of the answer that would be given to this—that it would encourage men to break their promises—-that it was immoral and un-English. All pretty phrases, coined to aid corruption in the foul use of bad means to attain the worst ends. But he might answer these questions by asking another—Was it moral for one to vote against his conscience? Was it English that he should be brow-beaten or bribed? The voter cheated the State when he voted for a man that his better judgment disapproved, and was induced to do this influenced by hope, or oppressed by fear. If the State placed a barrier between corrupt influences and the man who had the vote, those who would trench upon the natural rights of their neighbour, and violate the law, could not complain if they were defeated in the bad end they had in view. For himself, he believed that intimidation would be put an end to by the ballot. Let them, then, see how it would act on bribery. No one could make out that he had redeemed his conditions on which the bribe was to be given. They must then come to a wholesale bribery of the members of the constituency, if it were brought into operation at all. Two things, then, must be necessary. First, the constituency must be very small; and next, thoroughly corrupt. There must not be one honest man on either side, or otherwise the system must be exposed at once. As to the size which the constituencies ought to be, that was a matter which he did not mean to mix up with the present discussion; although he had a strong opinion upon it. He believed it to be absurd that the same political power should be given to Harwich and the West Riding. He would admit, then, to his opponent that the constituency must be small, and it must also be corrupt, for the due execution of their plans. He attached some importance to this point, because he was for some time of opinion, that provided they bought the whole of the constituency, bribery would be facilitated by the ballot. Let them admit now that all circumstances concurred in their favour—that the candidate had chosen as his agent an old tactician—a man well acquainted with all the tricks of the day. Let him tell to that man that he bad lodged 3,000l., that he should have 200l. and his fee, if be were unfortunate, but that he might dispose of the whole 3,000l. if he were successful. Now, they must place themselves in the confidence of a great number of persons, who were to receive their 6l. or 8l, for a vote. Let them then suppose that the votes were covered by the number of promises given, they had then to come to a division of the spoil. Let them recollect that they would have no proof of a man's claim beyond his own assertion—they had no check upon him but his conscience— and of 300 voters, they might rest assured of, they would have 500 claimants to satisfy. They dare not reject any one claimant without the fear of being exposed. Even all those who had voted for the defeated party might, and, no doubt, would, come forward as claimants. Let them look to see what check they could have upon their consciences. Let them put a 10^. note upon one side, and a Sudbury conscience on the other, and they would find that the man who held the bribe in one hand and the Bible in the other would be one perfectly ready to come forward and swear he was entitled to the bribe he had not earned; and, in point of fact, double the amount should be paid, in order to buy the whole constituency. A single rejected claim must terminate in making the election void, for the inducement must be public and the distribution easy of proof. It was a mistake to suppose that the House would not retain its jurisdiction in a matter of this kind. In all matters relating to bribery or personation on a large scale —free access to the poll—proper formation of register of votes—the jurisdiction of Parliament must remain the same. Wholesale cases of bribery could be visited by punishment from that House as it was now; and the noble Lord's bill could then be brought into exercise with greater effect than it could now. It was, he knew, fashionable to say that the ballot could not secure secrecy; but the real objection to it was, that it would, and all knew that it would. The efficacy of the ballot was its great recommendation. It would put a stop to intimidation in others, and it would diminish the probability of bribery; but he believed that the ballot would do much more—it would give a healthy tone to opinion. It would make canvassing what it ought to be, the reverse of what it is. It would make it an appeal to the intelligence of the electors, and not to their sordid interests; it would make an honourable communication between man and man, and not by browbeating, by mean cajolery, trickery, and fraud, as it was now. One noble Lord had declared the franchise to be a trust exercised for the benefit of the non-electors, and that it would be unjust to deprive the non-electors of their control over it. Now, if the non-electors not of the upper classes attempted to exercise that control, they could only do it in such numbers—it could be only by that coarse and clumsy intimidation which the law would put down, and very properly so, because it was akin to physical force: while influence which came from above had so many decent pretexts, and so many a specious garb, that it could never be reached or punished, nor prevented of having the opportunity of punishing the elector who had voted according to the dictates of his conscience. He believed that the beneficial influence of non-electors would be more fully exercised if all illegitimate influences were withdrawn. But then, if the argument of the noble Lord were good for anything, it was good for this, that it went to show that there ought to be an extension of the suffrage. It proved that large masses were excluded from the franchise who ought to have the constitutional means of making their influence felt. Then, he said, enlarge the constituency—widen the basis—admit those who were now excluded. Such a change he considered as desirable—such a change he believed to be inevitable. If he did not think the ballot would advance it, he should not be its advocate that night. But then those opposed to the ballot said it would destroy the legitimate influence of property altogether. He believed there was but little foundation for such an assertion. He did not think that one particle of legitimate influence would be lost through the ballot. He believed that character, intelligence, and worldly advantages, where they were wisely and properly used, would retain their influence with the ballot as well as without it. But the whole of the fallacies on this subject were so admirably exposed by one of his own constituents, that he could not refrain from reading a short extract: — The higher classes in this country have so long exercised a power over the community by means of the brute force of rank and riches, applied to the hopes and fears of those below them, that they have accustomed themselves to regard it as a salutary and even necessary control. It has relieved them, too, from a great part of the trouble of being intelligent, active, and virtuous. They have found it much easier to arrive at the office of legislator by throwing away a few thousand pounds for a seat, or ejecting a few miserable tenants, than by winning affections through their virtues, or commanding esteem by their superior intelligence and well-directed activity. They dread a change which would annihilate that unjust influence in elections which they have hitherto enjoyed from mere wealth and station; and, apprehending that to maintain themselves on the vantage ground where they have been set down by fortune they would have to task all their faculties, they shrink from the hardship of being useful, and recoil from the labour of thought. Now, there was no man who knew what numbers of statesmen and orators the English aristocracy had given to the world, who must not say that there were brilliant exceptions to Mr. Bailey's views. The fact was, that the ballot would compel the aristocracy of the country, as a class, to forego adventitious advantages, and to throw themselves, as it was said by the right hon. Baronet that he did, upon the reason and the intelligence of the community. It was, he said, "a consummation most devoutly to be wished." He was not one who would wish to shut out wealth and rank from the legislation of the country. He thought with Mr. Mill, that the business of the Government "was the business of the rich;" but, then, he wished them to arrive at it by fair means; he wished them to raise their own character as well as that of the community, instead of depraving both, which the present system of open voting was now doing. They ought, he said, to change that system, of which it was impossible to exaggerate either its evils or its dangers. He believed that if it were allowed to go on for a few years longer, it would destroy this country, for the system formed the basis of morality, of honesty, and feeling, and it was in principle a huge word of mockery and contempt. It would waste the strength and substance of popular government, and leave them nothing but the semblance and the shell. Who was it, he asked, that gained by it? Was it individuals?—No; for let them look to families that had been beggared by it. Who gained by it? was it patrons?—No. Why, if history taught them anything it taught them this, that nothing was permanent or safe in a rotten system. Why, if there was nothing more noble than a proper object of ambition—if there was nothing more honourable, nothing more lasting, nothing more worthy of affection or respect, than the character of an honest man aiming to be the leader of a free people, and having his command over them, upon their intelligence and public virtues; so there could be nothing more precarious and nothing more fluctg- ating, than that power which was based upon general demoralisation, and dependent upon its caprice. It was to this that all parties were verging, and as the best means which his humble judgment could suggest, he called upon them to renounce the power which was the origin of the abuse, to throw themselves upon then-public merits and their public services, and, standing upon public opinion, to put an end to that odious system, to put an end to the usurpations, to the tyranny, the hypocrisy, the fraud of which open voting was the source, by giving their assent to the motion which he respectfully placed in the hands of the Speaker, "that in all future elections of Members of Parliament the votes should be taken by way of the ballot."

Mr. H. Berkeley

seconded the motion. He would remark upon the extent to which intimidation was carried at elections; the "screw" was unscrupulously applied. It was formed by the agent diving into the proceedings of the voter's life; by instituting strict and searching inquiries into his liabilities, and all his connections in business, and then using the knowledge thus acquired for the purpose of obliging the voter to record his vote against his conscience. In the country, those most subject to the operations of the screw were small freeholders, or those holding property under those little connected with the county. Those persons had an idea, an antiquated notion, that they possessed some little right to vote according to their consciences. But the corn factor acted as the screw upon the corn farmer in the rural districts; the brewer acted in a similar way with respect to the hop grower; but the worst screw of all was the banker's screw. He had taken the trouble of inspecting memorandums contained in the books of Tory agents in various parishes, and he found such entries as the following:— Mr. So-and-so. See this man; he works for So-and-so. Has borrowed money on a bill. See the attorney. Is a publican, behind-hand with his brewer. Has borrowed money on a mortgagee. Find out the mortgagee. Now, was this a manly system? Was it a system which could be supported on the ground that the ballot would introduce unmanly prastices? He now came to the tenantry on large estates. It was true, that they had a high pressure engine of their own, in the shape of a landlord. It was as notorious as the sun at noonday that the landlords of great estates took the votes of their tenants as regularly as they did their rents; and the process of enforcing one was just as summary as that for enforcing the other. If a man was backward in his rent, the landlord distrained him; if he was backward with his vote, the landlord ejected him. The landlord would wink to his steward, "Send my fellows to the poll, and make them vote for Mr. So-and-so." And so the tenantry were sent to the poll with about the same ceremony as they themselves employed in driving their beasts to the next market. The quadruped was sold in open market, and was then doomed to the knife; the biped was driven to the polling-place; and what were polling places in such cases, but mere moral shambles, where the life of the victim, indeed, was safe, but where his liberty of conscience, and consequently his independence and self-esteem, were for ever sacrificed. Yet, in their love for truth, they addressed the poor object of the screw, and showed their consistency, by dubbing him a "free and independent elector." Free! free to do what? To vote as he pleased? He was not. Independent! Independent of whom? Independent of his landlord. They knew it was a farce. The franchise, in these cases, was like the air-drawn dagger of Macbeth, offered to the eye, but impalpable to the grasp. And these men were the boasted yeomanry of England, whom they praised, whom they went out of their way to praise; for let the army estimates. or some such subject come on for consideration, and should some intrepid Member dare to say one word in depreciation of the merits of these men of the yeomanry, either as military or constables, one side of the House would straightway burn with squirarchal indignation, or bristle with yeomanic valour. They denied these men independence: they legislated for them; and this gave cause to the complaints of class, legislation. What was the fear which prevented landlords from giving their tenants free liberty to vote as they should see fit? Did they dread the loss of political influence? That was, he believed, what they dreaded. Unjust and undue influence would of course be lost by the operation of the ballot, but no influence would be lost which ought to be enjoyed. The landlord should stand in loco parentis to his tenantry; but those landlords who entrusted their tenantry to the tender mercies of a steward, let him be as honest as he would, and who only visited his estates for the purpose of shooting a partridge or a pheasant—such a man would always be regarded by his tenants as step children regard a step father. By the operation of the ballot such a man would in a great measure lose his influence, and he deserved to lose it. He considered the hereditary landlord of a body of tenantry as placed in such a position that if he well fulfilled his duties, the performance of those duties would shine back on him and benefit himself. Such a man need never fear the ballot. It was a libel on human nature to say so. Having said so much with respect to county constituencies in general, he would now advert to that which he represented. In the former part of the evening he had presented a petition, numerously signed, from the city which he had the honour of representing. He considered that that petition had been entrusted to him in the way of a brief, and acting on that consideration, he might appeal to the petition to prove some of the allegations which he had been making, as at present existing in the constituency of Bristol. The hon. Gentleman read extracts from the document in question, setting forth that bribery existed in Bristol to such an extent, as called forth the deepest feelings of disgust and indignation in the breast of every honest man, and that the system of intimidation was still more extensively acted upon. First, as regarded bribery at the election in 1837, money to the amount of 5,0001. was expended by the Tory party in Bristol, and somewhere about 2,500l. by the Liberals, amounting altogether to a sum of between 7,000l. and 8,000l. None of this money ever passed through his hands. He stated this circumstance merely on the authority of hearsay, and if they were to ask his hon. Colleague whether he believed that this money was spent legally and constitutionally, he did not know what his answer might be, but he knew that his own to such a question would be in the negative. He had more evidence as regarded the election of 1841. He held in his hand a bill issued by Mr. William Fripp, dated the 29th of May, 1841. [The hon. Gentleman read the document, which stated that Mr. Fripp declined being put in nomination, because it was made a condition that he would contribute a greater sum of money than was expended by the Tories in 1837.] The hon. Gentleman continued. Upwards of 10,000l. was required to be paid for the city of Bristol in 1842. They did those things there boldly. Even in the municipal elections of Bristol he had seen printed on the walls in large letters the ominous words "vote for blue—money no object." He did not think that there could be much mistake as to what the 10,000l. was required for. He now came to the intimidation part of the subject. Here he had a hand-bill issued at Clifton, dated June 29, 1841. This document was distributed at all the hotels of that watering-place as a guide to the visitors in selecting tradesmen, in order to promote exclusive dealing. That was a fact which could not be denied. He had, too, another piece of evidence to lay before the House. He had already referred to the proceedings of agents; and he had here a document for the instruction of these personages, issued by the Conservative Association. It was ruled with ledger lines, and furnished with printed heads for the direction of candidates. Nothing could be more proper than that the names of the voters should be thus laid before the candidate, but here the screw was to be applied, not however, at the discretion of agents, for there were printed directions for its application; but he trusted that such contrivances were peculiar to Bristol. In the first place, there was registered the name of the occupier of the House; next came that of his landlord; next the landlord's residence and principles; next the names of persons likely to have influence with the occupiers, and then a space was set apart for general remarks, relating to his circumstances, &c. Now, he thought that he had made out something of a case in support of the petition which he had presented. He would add but a few words more in regard to his own canvass. When he canvassed the city of Bristol in 1837, neither an easy nor a pleasant task, the principle feature of the canvass struck him as being the number of electors, who expressed themselves interested in the success of the cause for which he appeared, and the evident power which existed in keeping those persons from supporting him at the poll. He would mention the instance of the second or third man whom he visited on his first day's canvass. He had entered the shop of a small tradesman; the owner came forth, and seemed to meet him with the greatest satisfaction, and congratulated him in appearing as a candidate in what he called the "old cause." He then expressed a hope, that he (the voter) would allow his name to be placed upon the list as promising a plumper in his favour. He, however, declined. He then said, "If so, then I presume you will give me one of your votes." The man actually burst into tears, and exclaimed, "I not only cannot vote for you, but I must give both my votes against you." At that moment a gentleman who was with him came into the shop, and seeing how matters stood, took him by the arm and led him away. If you stay," (said the gentleman in question), "a moment longer in the shop, John So-and-so will promise you his vote; if he does promise you his vote, he will keep his word, and if he keeps his word, he and his family are ruined for ever. When such instances came before them could any language be too strong in which to characterize them? For himself, he turned away with honest indignation and blushed to be a man. He glowed with indignation at the way in which honest men were defrauded of that which was their right. He would mention one case more—that of a man, who had reported to him that he had always been compelled not only to vote but to register; and he had complained to his hon. Friend, the Member for Halifax, when he stood for Bristol, that he felt that he should be compelled to vote against him; and in order to prevent this, he contrived to get himself struck off the register. When the next registration time came round the Tory agent came with it, and he said to the person in question, "You put yourself off the register last year — if you do so again it will be visited on you as if you had given your vote for the Liberals, for your landlord is determined that no man shall live under him who does not vote as he orders." This man had used all manner of subterfuges to avoid voting. At one time, he had taken physic, and sent for a doctor to give him some more, which he hoped would make him worse. What was the consequence? On the day of the poll, a Tory doctor was sent to wait on him with a sedan chair, in order to carry him to the poll. The doctor accordingly felt his pulse, pronounced him to be in perfect health, and he was accord- ingly marched off to the poll. He did I not intend to charge these practices as existing solely among the Conservatives; far from it. He did not wish to treat this as a party question, but it so happened that the instances which he had quoted had come under his own notice, and they were all on the Tory side. If his hon. Friend and Colleague were present, and inclined to greet him with a tu quoque, he would willingly meet him. Knowing his character, he was sure he would say nothing but the fact, and if he said that similar practices existed among the Liberals similar to those which he had proved had taken place amongst the Tories, he would say to him "then join with me—let us put down those evils— walk into this lobby, and vote for the ballot."

Captain Layard

would give the motion his warmest support. He believed that honest and conscientious men would use the ballot as a shield to protect themselves from oppression in the conscientious discharge of their duties as electors. They were told of the increase of falsehood which the ballot would give rise to; but had similar arguments proved any stumbling-blocks in the way of recent measures? Did not the right hon. Baronet at the head of the Government believe that falsehood and perjury would follow from his own Income-tax? Was it because a man was sometimes foolish enough to make promises, and then wicked enough to break them, that the community were to be deprived of the benefits which would flow from a great measure like the ballot? He feared that the bill of the noble Lord the Member for the city of London would not prevent intimidation, although it might put a check to the progress of bribery; and with these views, he could not but support the motion of the hon. Member for Sheffield.

Mr. Christie

I should have thought, Sir, that on a question of a measure in favour of which there is certainly a considerable feeling among the public, some of those who are presently in such numbers going to vote against it, would have thought it right to explain the reasons on which their votes will be given. But, Sir, as no one has risen on the other side to answer speeches which, when they go forth, the country will think worthy of some notice, I will venture to rise, and come forth on the same side, in the hope that I may be engaged in not altogether an unprofitable task in clenching the able recital of existing evils addressed to the House by the hon. Member for Bristol, by putting a new one or two of the principal points of the question which has been so clearly, ably, and comprehensively treated by the hon. Member for Sheffield. Now, Sir, first of all, what is it that we propose to do by the ballot; and how is it that we expect to do what we propose to do? The hope and the object of those who support the ballot is, to diminish, to a very great extent, the practice of bribery and intimidation at elections; and I beg the House to mark the word "diminish." We expect to diminish bribery and intimidation. We don't hope entirely to remove them—it belongs to no human expedient to be entirely successful; but we say, that the ballot will diminish these evils to a very great extent; and, being an expedient that will be most simple and direct in its operation, stopping the briber and the intimidator in the doing of the foul deed, instead of waiting till the deed is done, then to punish him, and act on others by example, it will diminish them to a greater extent than any other expedient which can be suggested. Now, Sir, this distinction being observed, there is an end at once, of a very favourite argument with opponents of the ballot, which consists in alleging some mode, often imaginary, but sometimes, I will admit, really probable, in which bribery and intimidation may still be practised, and then exclaiming, what becomes of the efficacy and success of the ballot? For instance, it is said that if the vote cannot be seen as it is given, for a person anxious to punish a voter, there will yet be other ways of coming to something like a knowledge of his vote. Or again, if there is no intimidating or bribing a voter to give the vote you want, you may still intimidate or bribe a man to stay away; now, I say, granting all this, and a great deal more, what does it prove, but that, first, bribery and intimidation will be more difficult of practice with the ballot than without it, else why resort to these clumsy circuitous expedients? And secondly, that the entire removal of these evils is not to be looked for; while at the same time, the ballot may be most efficacious and successful to diminish bribery and intimidation. The diminution, then, of bribery and intimidation, being the object of the ballot, how is this object to be attained by it? Simply in this way. The voter will deposit his voting-card in the box unseen by any one, and may thus elude the intimidator, and foil the briber. I don't say he will, but he may do so. Had the voter promised his vote in deference to a threat, or in return for a bribe, he might keep his promise, but the intimidator or briber could never know that he did, could never know that the threat had not been nugatory, that the money which had been paid had not been thrown away. In this state of necessary uncertainty, as to the result, will threatening and bribing of voters continue undiminished? Will a man, as heretofore, incur the labour and risk the odium of intimidation, when he has no longer the means of securing its efficiency. Will a man give his money for a vote when he cannot see that vote given, and cannot know, except by the assurance of the voter, which, in a case of a man who has taken a bribe will hardly convince, whether the vote has been given to him or not. I say, then, that the ballot will take away the inducements to bribe and intimidate. And now, Sir, I come to consider by anticipation—as by anticipation I am compelled to do it—to to consider one or two objections often brought against the ballot. One of these is, that the franchise is a trust, and that those in whose behalf the trust is conferred, the unrepresented portion of the community, should see the vote given, and control the exercise of the trust. Why, Sir, if the unrepresented portion of the community is not invested with the franchise because it is judged unfit to hold it, what is the consistency and propriety of saying, that this portion is fit to control those who, by reason of superior fitness have the franchise. There is another objection made to the ballot, that of its tendency to encourage lying, and indeed (it is generally put thus) of its doing the good that it is intended to do through the medium of lying, enabling a man to promise his vote one way to his landlord or master, or to a briber, and then, under the protection of the ballot box, vote the other way. Now, Sir, I wish to deal fairly with this objection; and I will therefore say, at once, that I do not at all agree in the answer generally made to it, that the man who would tell the lie, if he voted secretly, would vote under the influence of a threat or a bribe, and give the lie, therefore, to his own opinions, under a system of open voting, and that the unconscientious vote being a lie, no additional harm will come of the ballot. Now, Sir, I say, this is no answer at all; and I say at once, that I can see no comparison between the actual lie in the one case, and the metaphorical lie in the other; and that if I believed no other answer could be given than this, I would at once yield to the objection, and cease to advocate the ballot. But, Sir, let us consider this objection a little more closely. The way in which the ballot is to act, is by rendering threats profitless and bribes to no purpose, by taking away the motives to spend money and exercise the influence of one's position, by removing therefore all occasion for those questions which, if men have bribed, or have threatened, or intend to threaten, it may be very natural for them to put, but which, if they do neither the one nor the other, would be entirely useless, and would not be put; and if questions are not put, lying answers cannot be elicited. And he, by way of another answer to this objection, would say, are corrupt constituencies anxious for the ballot, which they ought to be, if the ballot is merely to give to corruption the additional protection of mendacity? What does Sudbury say? In the extracts which have been lately made from the handloom weavers' report, I find that the ballot is there the most unpopular of topics. [The hon. Member then read an extract, to the effect that a candidate had been damaged at Sudbury by the support of the ballot.] I believe, then, candidly, that the ballot will not do mischief in any proportion to its good, and that it will effectually diminish the evils of intimidation and bribery, which now so widely prevail, and the effects of which are to degrade voters, lower the tone of feeling among persons who resort to these practices, and foil the purpose for which the Reform Bill has bestowed the franchise. And if the ballot will do this, it cannot now surely, Sir, be needful, when every day unfolds to us some new tale of corruption worse than that which went before, to impress upon the House the necessity of adopting it. Rather would I say that, next to giving bread to those who are starving, it is our first duty to stay this moral pestilence which is fast spreading day by day, and which, as it spreads, threatens to destroy all honour, virtue, truth, courage, manliness, among the humbler orders of our society. And I hope I may be forgiven in saying, Sir, that when I had heard the right hon. Baronet opposite; at the head of her Majesty's Government, more than once make his tariff and his Income-tax the reason for postponing investigations into bribery, or declining to undertake legislation upon the subject, which has, in consequence, been undertaken by the noble Lord below me, I have thought—presumptuously it may be, but yet sincerely—I have thought that this was not the course which should be taken by the first Minister of the country on a question more vitally than any other question affecting the morals of the nation, and, as a moral question, requiring his first care. Why talk of the credit of the country, which the Income-tax was to maintain, or of its military renown, which it was to give the means of upholding; or talk, again, of the glory of our commerce and manufactures, which your tariff, without any adaptation to the effect, is yet in some miraculous way to restore? Why, at a time, Sir, when the virtue and morality of the nation are in peril, and those who aspire to power are doing their worst to make slaves and base hirelings of the electoral body, and are perverting those institutions, which were given for freedom's sake, and to elevate those who hold the franchise to the enslaving and debasing of our countrymen— I say, if the measures of the Government were infinitely less exceptionable, and infinitely more likely to do good than they are, must it not occur to every one who sees and trembles at this work of demoralization which is proceeding, that, unless it is stopped—and stopped instantly—all these promises of material prosperity and of fame with other nations, must be at an end; and for a people whose internal elements of greatness have gone, they will be nothing better than so much gilding and tinsel hiding filth and rottenness within. If you will adopt the motion of the hon. Member for Sheffield, you will, I believe, indeed serve the cause of morality, while you at the same time vindicate the electoral institutions which we have, and, preparing for their yet wider extension, gives a worthy impulse to the social and political progress of the nation.

Mr. G. Vernon,

after a considerable pause, and loud calls for a division, spoke to the following effect: Sir, I had no intention to address the House on this motion, but I think it imperative on me to interpose in order to prevent a division on it in a House so thin as to afford to the country no fair criterion of its opinion. This is the first discussion of it in a new Parliament; and, as I believe the question to have lost ground in this House, I am anxious that no false impression shall go forth on that matter owing to the accidental absence of Members. Under other circumstances I should have remained silent, in the conviction that this subject has been already settled in the mind of the thinking public, not only by its frequent discussion during the last ten years within these walls, but still more by the able pamphlets in which it has been treated since those discussions. I may refer especially to one, the composition of a clever divine, whose reasoning on this subject appeared to me not less remarkable for the cogency of its demonstration, than for effectiveness of its wit. I rose from its perusal satisfied that if the question should be revived in this House, it would be sufficient for any one to refer Members to the argument of that pamphlet, and that having done so, one might address the Mover thus: "Solvuntur risu tabulœ; tu missus abibis." I will briefly notice the prominent topics by which the Members who have preceded me have supported the motion; and especially was I tempted to rise to protest against the remonstrance addressed by the Member for Weymouth, in forcible language, to the First Lord of the Treasury. He has appealed to him not to confine himself to attempts to impart material benefits to the community by his tariff and other measures tending to their physical welfare, but rather to attend to the furtherance of their morality and virtue. Now, it is on this very point of the operation of the ballot on the morality of the people that I should be most desirous of joining issue with its supporters. If there be any means of rendering it effective as an instrument for its proposed end, if its authors should succeed in making the public avail themselves of its alleged protection, it would convert the habits of the electoral class into one continued lie. Cunning would flourish through the land. Let us consider the cases which the Member for Bristol has cited in a seriocomic speech. I hope that the descriptions which he has given from copious means of knowledge of the habits of electors, and of influential parties in the county of Gloucester, are not a fair sample of the practices of other parts of the kingdom. Wherever they prevail they are to be deprecated — but how would the ballot remedy the grievance. Take, first, the case of his poor tradesman. It seems that he was known by his habitual acts and language to be a Whig, and was grieved to be compelled, by the fear of ruin in his business, to vote at the last election for a Tory. Now, if his vote had been cloked by the ballot, no one would doubt that he would have given it according to his professed sentiments, whatever protestation he might make to the contrary in order to save his custom. The result would be, that the custom would be withdrawn by anticipation, and transferred to some tradesman of recognised Tory principles, and thus this tradesman would actually be ruined, and be thereby incapacitated from exercising the franchise at all. He clearly prefers at present the privilege of uttering freely his political opinions, and giving his vote for a Member of Parliament contrary to those opinions. Whatever may be urged as to the political result, at least to the elector himself, this state of things is much more agreeable than the alternative of ruin, or of a life of dissimulation. There is little satisfaction to a man in professing political opinions, or even the exercise of political privileges, if it must remain a matter to which his own conscience alone is privy, and if entertaining those opinions, he is regarded by his neighbours as belonging to the party opposed thereto. Now, as to the landlord. If the stewards at present exert on their behalf so stern a despotism as ha been alleged, and which I do not believe to be true to that extent, such landlords and stewards would not hesitate to adopt the methods which would still be open to them to enforce their political opinions generally in defiance of the ballot. There would arise a deplorable system of spying and watching the conduct and language of the tenants, and only such tenants would be retained or selected as left no doubt of their political tendencies after a jealous scrutiny. I do not say, that I believe that such a result would be general —because I am convinced that the manly spirit of Englishmen would generally repudiate the proffered protection, and would take pride in proclaiming their opinions and their votes—but, even then, there would remain room for painful sus- picion and malevolent insinuation, which would demoralise many more than the few who might reap casual benefit from the disguise. It has been assumed that the influence of the landlord over the tenant is that of coercion. I believe abstract political opinions to be rare in the class of agricultural tenantry; and, on the other hand, the mutual relation being that of benefits received, and of a common interest, the tenantry entertain a feeling of pride in supporting the cause of their landlord, and act willingly in concert with him from the "Esprit de Corps." Now, as to bribery, I will mention a fact which came to my knowledge as to the borough of Sudbury. It was proposed to two gentlemen to become candidates for it on the terms of their paying 3,000l. a piece on being elected—one of them asked whether a severe contest was expected—he was told that if a contest should arise it would probably cost less, the stipulated sum being in fact a contract price for the entirety of the voters. Thus engagements would be made conditional on the success of the party under the ballot system, in which every voter would become interested in securing his share by supporting the candidate whose credit stood highest on Change. The complaints at present made by tradesmen and others of injury endured in consequence of independent votes must not be received with too implicit faith. They often proceed from jobbers, who hope by representing their loss of one customer of the one party to obtain, perhaps, ten from the other, under the colour of being a martyr to their cause. The Member for Cork county, who professes loudly the doctrine of purity of election, and who has, nevertheless, avowed the expenditure by his friends of 16,000l. at his first Clare election, must have become well aware on that occasion of the exaggeration and fraud employed by parties alleging loss or injury, and seeking indemnity or compensation. It may be fairly assumed, that as between the great parties which divide opinion in this country, there would be little gain or loss by any of the protecting effects which its advocates augur from the ballot. Possibly, however, some increased strength might be acquired under that system, in any contest between the holders of property and those who possess none, by the democratic party, which I should regard as a mere evil, menacing the framework of our well balanced Constitution. It has been plausibly urged by the hon. Member for Sheffield, that the unrepresented population have no claim to exercise control over the electoral class unless we admit them to be also entitled to share the franchise, and he thus meets the argument against the ballot derived from the responsibility to public opinion which ought to attach to every exercise of a public trust. But it is a very different thing to invest the whole community with the means of acting by opinion, as a constant check, from what would be the result of imparting direct power to the masses. The average operation of opinion in a well-governed population may be right and salutary; while on occasions of excitement, the precipitate and tumultuous exercise of actual power on their part might be inconsistent with the safety of the state. I am, therefore, desirous of seeing the franchise used subject to that controlling influence. The irregular exertion of that influence, whether by intimidation or bribery, is doubtless an evil, but it is an evil less than the universal demoralization which would ensue from the ballot, if it should ever be made effective. I must add, that during this Parliament no demand has been made by any considerable number of petitions to obtain this measure. I do not believe that the people at large desire it. It is a temporary cry raised at every contested election, under the influence of excitement or disappointment. As to the spread of bribery, which is proclaimed as the special reason for renewing the demand for this remedy, I am afraid that its prevalence results from causes incident to human nature, and which lie too deep for acts of Parliament. For the mitigation of this evil I look for the gradual working of public opinion, which I would therefore promote by facilitating discussion instead of introducing dissimulation and distrust; and I expect a material improvement therein from the increased diffusion of education and the consequent elevation of the standard of morality among all classess of the community.

Captain Berkeley

had been always opposed to the ballot, on the ground that public opinion wag the best corrective of the voter. But when it was notorious that a sense of public duty did not control the voter—since it was equally notorious that he did not vote as he pleased, he thought be had a fair reason for changing his opinion, and voting as he meant to do. He had voted for the clause in the Reform Bill continuing the freemen, because in most instances he thought they had an inherent right to the franchise; and he supported the 50l. clause, because he thought those who qualified under it would be likely to act with independence. For these reasons he had voted differently from those with whom he had been in the habit of acting. But those who were more clear-sighted than himself, urged that those clauses would give the greatest possible handle for the ballot, As it was impossible to go back, and as we could not now narrow the franchise, he thought the best corrective of the evils of the present system would be to pass the ballot. One of the results confidently predicted from the passing of the Reform Bill was, that it would abolish bribery. Now he appealed to both sides whether it had any such effect. Whenever a candidate was beaten (whether he happened to be on one side or the other) the exclamation was, "Oh, he must have been returned if it were not for excessive bribery." Though an act of Parliament had been proposed for the purpose of stopping it, it could have no effect in suppressing the evil. He thought the ballot supplied the only means of mitigating, if it did not remove this odious system of corruption. On the midland circuit Lord Abinger said, in allusion to the withdrawal of some actions concerning bribery, "I am sorry for it, as 1 should have been extremely glad to have an opportunity of investigating a practice which has been found to be the abomination of the land." With such an authority to back his change of opinion, he was not ashamed to admit, that his views on the ballot had altered.

Captain Bernal

congratulated the Government on the successful trial of the "silent system" which they had made that night on the Ministerial Benches. The right hon. Member for Dorchester had called the late Government a "shabby" Government; but what could be more shabby than shirking a question which had been brought forward with the ability displayed by the hon. Member for Sheffield? Many respectable persons amongst his constituents were opposed to the ballot; but he justified his opinion in its favour on the ground that it afforded the best means of avoiding the snares of corruption and the threats of intimidation. There was much bad morality promulgated on this subject. It was, that if the Ballot were adopted the consequence must be a breach of faith with the landlords. But nobody now complained of the betrayal of the public trust committed to the voter when he acted in violation of his conscientious conviction. Great intimidation had been exercised towards persons who had voted for him at the last election. Many an honest and independent voter was now suffering from the vengeance of an aristocratic Whig, who was graduating in high Tory principles, and insisted on his right to do what he pleased with his own. To afford protection to persons who were placed in similar circumstances, he would vote for the motion of the hon. Member for Sheffield.

Mr. Monckton Milnes

said, that if the hon. Member who had just spoken had had more experience in that House, he would have been aware, that it was not the practice for the Members of the Government to rise and address the House at so early a period of the debate. With regard to the question before the House, it had been already so fully discussed, that he thought it unnecessary to occupy the time of the House by many observations, but he trusted he might at the outset be permitted to express his regret at the absence from the House of that hon. Gentleman who had, at a former period, been accustomed regularly to bring this question under the notice of the House with great ability and a calm philosophic demeanour. In reference to certain observations which had fallen from the hon. Member for Sheffield, in introducing the subject that evening he begged leave most distinctly to deny that he had ever publicly or privately, advocated the sin of bribery; but he did believe that to attempt to eradicate bribery by coercive measures was a superficial proceeding. They might provide means for the easy detection of bribery, and meet it, when detected, by moderate and certain penalties; but the real cure for it lay in the increased intelligence of the people, and their appreciation of political privileges. He contrasted the opinion which prevailed of the corrupt character of the individual Members of that House in Sir R. Walpole's time with the more honourable reputation now enjoyed by the Members of the House of Commons. How had this change come about? It had not been effected by legislative enactments, but by the influence of public opinion, and the spread of a better state of feeling. Much had been said respecting the vast increase of bribery which had manifested itself of late years. He did not believe in this extension of bribery. He believed that a certain amount of money, which had before been expended in the purchase of rotten boroughs, was now applied to electoral purposes. But, taking all that into consideration, he was of opinion that fewer votes had been bought at the last election than at any hard fought electoral struggle in former periods. Intimidation had also been much spoken of; but when, let him ask, had there occurred such instances of the failure of the influence of great and wealthy families as at the last election? Let them look to Yorkshire. There Lord Fitzwilliam, with all his great qualities and wealth, was defeated in his own neighbourhood and among his own people by the contrary torrent of public opinion. Did not a similar case occur in Bedford, while Lord Gainsborough was defeated in Rutlandshire, and the influence of Lord Grey proved unavailing in Northumberland? Those who uttered so much declamation about the intimidation and bribery which they said had been practised, only joined in the cry of the Chartists, who, in a paper he now held in his hand, and which was signed by Mr. Sturge, stigmatized that assembly as a corrupt House of Commons. If the House of Commons had been elected by these unjust and unconstitutional means, the majority of the present Government was not a majority representing the people. But he did not adopt that line of argument, and was not therefore answerable for its consequences. He asked, what was the character of the proceedings which took place in that House night after night? It was nothing but a system of exposure. Nothing was to be kept secret, nothing to be hid, everything was to be exposed to the light of day. He confessed he had not joined with pleasure in this system of exposure. If the reputation of the hon. Member for Bridport suffered by it, he should be sorry, and if the character of the hon. Member for Nottingham should suffer from the exposure which was threatened in his case, he should also regret it. He found no satisfaction in these things. He did not believe that by these means any practical good would be done; but he did think it most extraordinary that while this system of exposure was daily going on, a proposition should now be made to give protection to secret voting. It did seem palpably inconsistent that on the very evening which the noble Lord the Member for London had fixed upon for bringing forward his bill for the better discovery of bribery, the hon. Member for Leeds should make a motion for its better concealment. The hon. Member for Leeds surely must allow, that though the amount of bribery should be diminished under his proposed system of the ballot, yet that the amount left would be more effectually concealed than ever. He believed that the ballot would not afford any efficient remedy against bribery, whilst it would give a very large additional influence to resident landed proprietors. Therefore, in objecting to the present motion, he did not oppose it on any party grounds whatever. The real question was whether or not the ballot would not leave that intimidation, which, after all, must be considered the great corruption with which they had to struggle, unaffected. He feared that as the democratic feeling increased, and republican institutions advanced, in the same proportion intimidation would be found to prevail; and they saw that in America, notwithstanding the existence of the ballot, intimidation was very prevalent. Still, it must be allowed that there might exist a state of things requiring the ballot. He thought that at the elections for Carlow and Cork the ballot might have been of great service; and if the system of intimidation went on increasing, he could not say but that at last he might vote for the ballot himself. If opinions should be persecuted by bodies of men banded together in unions, and individual independence should be lost, then he thought the House of Commons might be induced to adopt the ballot as the lesser evil of the two. He would himself take the ballot as the remedy for an evil for which he could see no other remedy; but he did not believe that at the present moment this exigency had arrived. He held too the hope that the people were advancing in political intelligence and the appreciation of political rights, and that they would learn to value the privilege of their franchise, even at the risk to themselves of some temporary discomfort. He believed that public opinion would make it up to those men who suffered in consequence of the independent exercise of their votes, and that any man who might be considered a martyr would in the end be no loser, and that the injury inflicted on him would at last result in his good; whilst those who had done the injury and carried on a system of intimidation would find that it brought on them nothing but degradation and shame. He was of opinion that if the ballot were established, suspicion would produce very much the same result—though not quite the same—as certain opposition to the will of a superior now produced; for the man who did wrong was not very careful as to the extent of wrong he perpetrated. Believing that there did not exist at present a necessity for so large an organic change as that proposed, that it was not called for by the people, and regarding the ballot in this sense, and this sense only, as un-English, because it would not work harmoniously with the habits and feelings of the people, he should vote against the motion. Were the ballot adopted, it would not, he felt persuaded, meet the expectations of its advocates. Great disgust would be created by its failure; and then some new organic change would be proposed; and they would thus proceed from one change to another, until, at last, they arrived at that state of things when they should not know whether the changes they made were for better or for worse.

Mr. C. Ponsonby

expressed an opinion that the ballot would be found an effectual cure for the prevalent sin of bribery. Every law which had been passed had proved insufficient to check, much less to eradicate the evil; but the ballot would knock it on the head at once. The people of England were thoroughly satisfied that the representative system was corrupted at its very source. The late exposures left no room for doubt upon that subject. Ought not the house, then, to make an effort to wipe away the stain which attached to it? Let them set an example to the constituency by reforming themselves. The public were not to be deluded by the proceedings relative to bribery which had occurred during the present Session, and which were strongly marked by party feelings. Thus Nottingham was punished on the one hand, whilst Ipswich was allowed to escape on the other. If the House wished to give the people a decided proof of their desire to put a stop to the practices which they were so unanimous in deprecating, they would adopt the motion of the hon. Member for Sheffield.

Mr. Byng

said if he could bring himself to believe that the ballot would be productive of any advantage, he would vote for it; but, in the first place, he thought that the establishment of vote by ballot would essentially alter the character of Englishmen, and would be of no real service to them, because a real Englishman would never conceal his feelings and opinions. We were from our infancy brought up to love the truth—" Magna est Veritas et prevalebit"—and he was certain that an Englishman could not conceal his real opinions. If he were to attempt to do so, he would be in a state of misery for a month before and for months after an election. He would be afraid of opening his lips to his best friends. If the ballot should be established it would put a stop to canvassing. Now, he always liked to come face to face with his constituents, and to account to them for every act of his life. He considered it to be an essential part of his duty to canvass as many of his constituents as possible. Once, upon the occasion of the "No-Popery" cry, a worthy friend, Mr. Alderman Coombe, who always voted with him, would have lost his election, owing to his not having had a full opportunity of explaining his vote upon that important question. Alderman Coombe would certainly have lost his election upon that occasion if his opponent had not got wet feet, caught cold, and died. In consequence of that event they had the advantage of ten days' longer canvass; in the course of which he had an opportunity of satisfying the Dissenters, who were opposed to Alderman Coombe, that they were in the wrong. In the end he and his friend were unanimously elected, and ever since then he had been fonder of canvassing than ever.

Mr. M. J. O'Connell

said that the hon. Member for Sheffield had brought forward this motion under great advantages after the scenes that had taken place at the last election. The ballot was brought forward as a practical remedy for acknowledged existing evils, and the hon. Members for Bristol and Poole had shown the extent to which those evils did exist. He could easily understand the feelings of the hon. Member for Middlesex on this subject. That hon. Gentleman had long been popular and beloved among his constituents, and well deserved to be. It was easy to understand how an hon. Gentleman under such circumstances should delight in the spontaneous expression of a crowd of electors, but all counties could not boast of a body of electors like those of Middlesex. The ballot, it might be contended, would not be found an effectual remedy against corruption. The remedy for that evil must must be one of a different nature; still he agreed with the hon. Member for Poole, that under the ballot bribery would be of more easy detection than at present; but intimidation was the evil which the ballot would have the effect of destroying; and not only the intimidation of mobs, but also that which the hon. Member for Edinburgh had well described as the more unassailable form of intimidation, namely, that which addressed itself to the pockets of the electors. It was singular that during the present debate no allusion had been made to Ireland, or to the Catholic priesthood of that country, who in all former debates had formed the staple argument of those opposed to the ballot. Now he was ready to admit that undue influence of that kind, where it really existed, could not be guarded against by the ballot. For influence of that sort there must be a different remedy; whether that influence was exercised over the elector by his priest, or over the farmer by holding out the dread that the Pope was to be brought into the country. It was lamentable that such influence could be exercised; but no legislation could apply a remedy. It might seem a paradox to some hon. Members, but he believed that the ballot, instead of leading to the commission of falsehood, would very greatly lessen it, for by taking away the power of ascertaining the way in which an elector had voted, they would to a great extent take away the inducement of inquiring into the manner in which he had voted. In the United States of America the ballot had been found effectual. He had been told of the case of a free negro there, a domestic servant, whose mistress had expressed a determination to prevent Scipio from voting, and for that purpose, on the polling-day, she had set him to bottle some wine by way of keeping him employed. The negro went, nevertheless, and voted, and when questioned on the subject, he said he had been out to get some corks, and while the corks were measuring, he had run and given his vote. They were not now called on to discuss the mechanical part of the question— namely, how the ballot-box should be constructed, though he anticipated no difficulty in that question; but the point under discussion at present was only whether a man's vote should be his own or another's? If it was thought desirable to give greater influence to the wealthier classes, the best way would be to let them exercise that influence directly, by giving them a greater number of votes; but, at all events, let that influence not be given them by allowing them an unfair control over the votes of others. Whatever evils might be connected with the ballot, those of the present system were much greater, and with that conviction upon his mind he should give his support to the motion of the hon. Member for Sheffield.

Lord J. Manners

thought the example of the American negro, cited by the hon. Gentleman who had spoken last, was in in no way calculated to demonstrate the advantages of the ballot. He believed that the majority of the constituencies throughout the country were decidedly opposed to the ballot. If the contrary were the case would they not have heaps of petitions in favour of the measure? There was no excitement on the subject in the country—the people did not desire the ballot. This was an insuperable objection to the plan; so likewise was the extreme difficulty of obtaining the sentiments of the constituencies on the subject. The latter could only be effected by open voting, which would resolve the whole question into an absurdity. Was the House prepared to affirm that the constituency of the country was so degraded as not to be trusted with the exercise of their franchise? He hoped not, and therefore be should oppose the motion.

Mr. Shell:

It is more than difficult to give freshness and originality to the subject which has been introduced with so much ability by my hon. Friend, and if it were incumbent on those who take a share in its discussion to impart to it that sort of interest which arises from speculations equally novel and refined, I should not have ventured to interpose; but so far from thinking that the ballot offers an appropriate occasion for a display of that dexterity in disputation, from which, if some entertainment, little instruction can be derived, I feel persuaded that a great and simple cause must be damaged far more than it can be promoted by any subtlety of disquisition which may be indulged in its sustainment. Where manifest abuses exist—abuses not only capable of proof, but of which the evidence amounts to demonstration, and arguments founded on indisputable facts can be so readily adduced, political metaphysics ought to be avoided. It is far wiser, in place of straining for ingenuities in favour of the ballot, to revert to those reasons which long-continued evils have long presented to us, and as it is by repealed appeals to their sense of justice, that the opinion of the people of this country is ultimately influenced, as the ballot is to be carried in the same way in which all the great changes of which we have been the witnesses have been accomplished, and as in those signal instances it was necessary again and again, and Session after Session, to urge the same obvious motives for the measures which were pressed with a strenuous reiteration upon the Parliament and the country; so in this important discussion, the circumstance that an argument has been advanced, or a striking fact has been stated before, furnishes no just reason for not again insisting upon it. 1 do not, therefore, hesitate to revert in the outset, although it may have been already mentioned, to what took place in reference to the ballot when the Reform Bill was originally propounded. I attach great importance to the facts which ought to put an end to the dispute regarding what is called the finality of the Reform Bill, in reference to the question before the House. The noble Lord, the Member for London, has been, I think a good deal misrepresented on this head; for some among his supporters have naturally conjectured that he regarded the Reform Bill as a monument where he should "set up his everlasting rest." But I for one never understood the noble Lord to have spoken in the sense ascribed to him. I admit, that if the Members of Earl Grey's Government had entered into an agreement, that not only no ulterior alteration of the franchise should be ever supported by them, but that, in reference to the mode of exercising it, no change should ever be proposed, that compact, no matter how preposterous, might be plausibly relied upon, against those who were parties to it —against any further movement upon their part, it might be pleaded as an estoppel; but it can be proved, by evidence beyond dispute, that as far as the ballot is concerned, no such bargain as has been imputed to the Whig Government was ever thought of; the direct contrary of what has been so frequently insinuated is the truth. A committee of five distinguished men, all of them more or less conspicuous for agitation in the cause of reform, was named by the Government to draw up a plan of reform. A scheme was accordingly framed by them, and the vote by ballot formed a part of it. The measure of which the noble Lord approved in 1831 cannot be of that immoral and debasing character which its antagonists have sometimes represented it to be. My more immediate purpose, however, in referring to a fact announced by the noble Lord himself, is to introduce with greater effect the declaration made by the noble Lord on moving to bring in the Reform Bill, in March, 1841. The report in favour of the ballot was not adopted, but it was agreed, that upon the question, no decision should be formed one way or the other, and that the Reform Bill should be laid before the House without prejudice to the future adoption of the ballot. This was unequivocally declared by the noble Lord in his celebrated speech on moving that bill, which, on account of his great services to the cause of freedom, was so appropriately confided to him. I cannot, conceive, how, after such a declaration, made under such circumstances, by the noble Lord, in language as clear as the English tongue can supply, there can be any doubt as to the question of fact, namely, that the Reform Bill was not in any way to affect the question of ballot. But in the progress of that bill what befel? When the Chandos clause was proposed, Lord Althorp resisted it, declared it to be contrary to the spirit of the Reform Bill, and said that it would furnish a strong argument for the ballot. Thus, it appears, that before the Reform Bill was brought forward the ballot was proposed by certain Members of the Government. When the Reform Bill was brought forward there was an express reservation in favour of the right of thereafter proposing the ballot, and during the discussion of the measure the leader of the House of Commons deliberately stated that a principle had been grafted on the measure which altered its character and afforded good grounds for demanding the ballot. Let us follow the bill to the House of Lords. Lord Grey made this most important statement: —He said that the agricultural interest had already been greatly strengthened by the Reform Bill; that the Chandos clause conferred on that interest an accession of influence which was excessive and undue, and that that clause, not originally contemplated by the Ministry, would furnish strong reasons for the ballot. Well might Lord Grey have said so. He had, in devising the Reform Bill, adhered to his plan of reform brought forward in 1782, and cut the counties of England into sections. This had, it is manifest, the direct tendency to augment the agricultural interest, and to strengthen the influence of individuals in the localities where their property was situated. Lord Grey, however, did not intend that tenants at will, whose subserviency is implied by their designation, should be invested with the franchise; and when he found that this vast addition was made to the local power of the landed gentry in every county in England, he saw, with his habitual perspicacity, that the abuse of that power, thus unexpectedly augmented, would lead to a demand for that mode of exercising the franchise by which that power should be reduced to its proper limits. Lord Grey foretold that the landed interest would acquire, by the Reform Bill thus altered, an injurious power. Let us turn from the prediction to its fulfilment, and from the most illustrious prophet of the consequences of the Chandos clause, to a most distinguished witness to its effects. If an ordinary man had stated in the House of Commons that the result of the Reform Bill was, that when the opinions of a few great proprietors in the section of an English county were known, it was fortunately easy to foresee the inevitable result of the election—that statement would, from its important truth, have attracted notice; but when one of the leading Members of Lord Grey's Administration—when one of the men who had been most conspicuous in advocating the cause of reform in the House of Commons, and whose eloquence was only surpassed by his spirit of fearless adventure in going all lengths for its attainment— when the noble Lord the Member for Lancashire announced with an anomalous triumph, that the counties of England had fallen into the hands of a few nominators, and that, in fact, the spirit of the old close borough system had been extended to the chief agricultural divisions of England, no wonder that an admission made by that eminent person, who thus made an involuntary contribution to the cause of reform, from which he had seceded, should have produced a great and lasting sensation through the entire country. In his address to the electors of London, the noble Lord who represents it, referred to that admission of the noble Lord the Member for Lancashire, and dwelt upon the state of things in the English counties, which he described. I confess that when I read the address of my noble Friend, I could not help exclaiming, "Now Lord John must come round to the ballot." Perhaps I was too sanguine, but if to the ballot he has not come round, what remedy is he prepared to apply to the evil, in evidence of which he has thus cited the noble Lord? What is to be done? If nothing is to be done, why was the disastrous truth set forth so conspicuously and prominently in the letter of the noble Lord? Why exhibit the disease? Why disclose the foul distemper? Why conceal the gangrene in the very vitals of our system, unless you are prepared to adopt the only efficient remedy for its cure? I do think that after this admission, to insist upon the fact that there exists an undue influence which it is necessary to control in this country, is almost superfluous. It has been more than once confessed by the right hon. Baronet the Member for Tam-worth that intimidation was carried to a most criminal extent. I recollect that in 1837 it was imputed to him that he had used coercion over his dependents at Tarn-worth, and that with a most honourable indignation he repudiated the charge, and demanded a retractation, which he obtained. I have heard him say in this House, and I believed him, that he abhorred intimidation. What will he do for its repression? You are anxious, honestly anxious, to put a stop to bribery; you have given proof of your honourable solicitude in this regard; and in this useful and honourable wish you have incurred the censures of men, who are more anxious to extend the Church, than the morality of which the Church should furnish the example. But is bribery to be corrected, and is intimidation to be left unchecked and unrestrained? The right hon. Baronet observed that his party were not interested in supporting bribery. Passing by the reasons, let me ask, are his party interested in maintaining intimidation. You will answer—No. Well, will you do something to put a stop to it? You will say, perhaps, that the ballot will not do it. Let us consider whether it will or not, and let ns at the same time consider the objections in a social and moral point of view, which are urged against it. The ballot will not secure secresy. This objection to its inefficiency as a protection, is very much at variance with the allegations of its efficacy, as an instrument of fraud. But by the ballot why should not secrecy be secured? When applied to the purposes of social life, in our clubs, and in various institutions, it gives concealment. I have inquired most particularly into the working of the ballot under Hobhouse's Act in the parish of St. James, and I am assured that those who desire to conceal their votes can do so if they please. The majority of the householders in that parish give their open Parliamentary votes for the Tory candidates, and their secret parochial vote for the Whig candidates; and I this evening presented a most important petition from that parish in favour of the ballot. Pass to other countries—France for example. It is not pretended that the ballot does not meet the object for which it was devised. It is suggested that men who voted by ballot would betray themselves by their rash disclosures. I do not think that secrets, which might well be designated "secrets of the prison-house," from the consequences to which they would lead, would be told. But landlords would act on a conjecture—I cannot think so ill of them. The open vole in defiance of a proprietor is regarded as an insult; the secret vote could hardly be construed into an affront. Under the vote by ballot men would not be stimulated to vengeance by their political associates; they would not be cheered and hallooed on in the work of devastation; and I feel convinced, that under our present system, much of the cruelty that is inflicted, arises from the urgency with which men are invoked by their confederates to make examples of the wretches who dare to resist their will — to turn a whole family out upon the road upon a mere guess would be a frightful proceeding, and one to which few would be sufficiently remorseless to resort. But, Sir, the real, the only substantial objection to the ballot, is grounded on the diminution of the influence which property ought to possess. The legitimate influence of property is one thing, and its despotism is another. I do not think that that rightful influence would be materially impaired. There is in every country, but especially in these countries, where the aristocratic principle prevails so much through all gradations of social life, a natural deference to station and authority, and a tendency in all classes to acquiesce in the wishes of those who stand in a relative superiority in their regard. A man may render himself odious by his misdeeds, and denude himself of the sway which property confers; such a man would have no weight, nor ought he to have it, over his dependents. A violation of the duties of property might incur a forfeiture of its rights, but I cannot bring myself to believe that a good man, who sought his own happiness in the diffusion of felicity, would not exercise over the objects of his bounty the influence with which his virtues ought to be attended. His dependents would resort to him for counsel and for guidance; his example would furnish the light by which their way would be directed, and he would himself derive from the consciousness of that authority, derived from minds so lofty and so pure, a far higher pleasure than he could find in the exercise of a stern and arbitrary domination. But supposing that the influence of property would be to a certain extent diminished by the ballot, are you sure that the influence of property has not been pushed so far beyond its due limits, as soon to endanger itself by the excess to which it has already reached? Before the Reform Bill, the nomination system was carried so far, and had created such an oligarchical interest in the state, that to save the state itself a change was indispensable. In the course of the ten years which have elapsed since the Reform Bill, how many boroughs have fallen into the hands of individual proprietors, and what, formidable abuses arise from the preponderance of large properties in small divisions of intersected counties Every day the evil will increase, and every day the demand for a redress of this signal grievance will become more loud and impera- tive; the feeling of the Parliament, elected under peculiar circumstances and in a moment of re-action, will be at variance with the feeling of the people; the tide, having ebbed to the lowest mark, will flow back again, and sweep away the barriers that were intended to restrain it. If something be not done by those who ought to derive a warning from the past, and beware of the influences of transitory success in producing a vain and self-deceptive exultation, do not in time adopt the measures requisite to correct abuses proved and indisputable, the next requisition for a change, which shall be made, perhaps by an excited people, will be far more formidable than that which we propose, and may lead to consequences by which the worst prognostications may be realised. One, and one only remaining objection to the ballot remains to be noticed. It is said that the morals of the people would be affected by clandestine voting—that it would conduce to the propagation of the most pernicious habits — that falsehood and dissimulation would be its natural results—men would make promises which they had no intention of keeping, and suspicion and mistrust would arise where confidence and reliance now happily pre-rail. I am persuaded that promises spontaneously made, flowing from a free and unbiassed volition, would be observed under the ballot as faithfully as they now are; and with regard to promises purchased from corruption or wrung from fear, they belong to that class of engagements of whose inchoate depravity the profligate performance is the infamous consummation. I am well aware, that generally speaking, citations from the writers of antiquity are little applicable to our system of Government and our code of morality; the opinions of men who lived upward of 2,000 years ago have little weight, but there is a passage with reference to the moral of the ballot, in a speech of the great Athenian, which I have never seen quoted, so forcible and so true, that 1 shall be excused for adverting to it. "If," says Demosthenes, in his speech on the false embassy, addressing an assembly of five hundred judges, who were to vote by ballot,— If there he any man here sufficiently unfortunate to have been betrayed into a corrupt engagement to vote against his conscience and his country, let him bear in mind that to the fulfilment of that promise he is not bound—that those with whom he has entered into that profligate undertaking will have no cognizance of its performance, but that there is a divinity above us who will take cognizance of his thoughts, and know whether he shall have fulfilled that duty to his country which is paramount to every other obligation; your vote is secret, you have nothing to apprehend, for safety is secured, to you by the wisest regulation which your lawgivers ever yet laid down. To all times and to all countries, the principle thus powerfully expressed is appropriate. A dishonourable contract is void, and to the discharge of a great trust impunity should be secured. The franchise, you often tell us is a trust granted, but for whom? If for the proprietor of the soil, if for the benefit of the landlord, if it is in him indeed that the beneficial interest is vested, by all means let the vote be public, and let the real owner of the vote have the fullest opportunity of knowing, with what fidelity the offices of servitude have been performed; but if the franchise is a trust for the benefit of the community, and if the publicity of its exercise conduces to its violation, then in the name of common consistency, do not insist upon our adherence to that system of voting, by which the object you have, or ought to have, most of all at heart, is so manifestly counteracted, nor dwell upon the deception which may be practised through the ballot between those who make these false promises, and those who have no right to demand them, while to the fraud upon the country practised under the system of open voting you seem so reckless. I am a good deal struck with the vast importance which is attached by certain Gentlemen to the public morals at one moment, and their comparative indifference at another. When the ballot is in question they exclaim "Good God! shall we introduce into England a system of voting by which duplicity and dissimulation, and all the base results that follow from them shall be propagated amongst us.?" But let the great Conservative leader propose a measure which he himself acknowledged to be conducive to falsehood and to per. jury and most debasing in its operations, their horror of these immoralities all at once subsides and they seek a refuge from their own consciousness of the inevitable consequences of their proceedings, in the old sophism of authority, that proverbial plea, to which power has a tendency so irrepressible, whenever it is its convenience to have recourse. But there are political as well as fiscal exigencies, and of the favourite plea of her antagonist, let freedom be permitted to avail herself. The ballot has its evils, but it is justified by necessity, and great as these evils may be, they are more than countervailed by the abuses which are incident to our existing system. I am free to acknowledge, that if the public exercise of the franchise were accompanied by that freedom, of which the noble etymology of the word gives us the intimation, I should infinitely prefer the system of open voting, which is more congenial with your habits. I own that an Englishman, who advances with a firm step and a high independent bearing to the hustings, and in the face of his country, gives his honest independent vote for the man in whose public virtue, in whose personal integrity, in whose capacity to serve the State he places an implicit confidence, and if his confidence by his vote gives the public an honourable proof, does present to me, advocate of the ballot as I am, a fine spectacle. Yes, some statesman, for example, the hereditary proprietor of some segment of a mountain, reclaimed by the industrious man from whom it has come down to him, exempt from all tribute, and every incident of dependency, some Cumberland statesman, whose spirit is as free and liberal as the air which he inhales, whose heart beats high with the consciousness of the high trust reposed in him, and of the moral responsibility which attaches to its performance, does present to me, in the uncontrolled and unshackled exercise of the great prerogative of the people, an object to which my admiration is promptly and sincerely given. But turn from Cumberland and its statesmen, to the mournful realities which are offered to you in the land from which I come, and look at the 10l. voter who has bad the misfortune to pass through the registration court, and who receives from his landlord a summons to attend the hustings, and in a contest between a Liberal and a Tory candidate, to give his vote on one side, all his feelings (feelings like your own) all his national predilections, all his religious emotions, all his personal affections, are enlisted:— perhaps on one side he sees a man whom he has long been accustomed to regard as the deliverer of his country—whom he looks pon as the champion of his creed and of his priesthood—of the land in which be was born, and for which, if there were seed, be would be prompt to die—his eye fills, and his heart grows big, and prayers break from his lips as he beholds him; and on the other side—the side on which he is called upon to vote—he beholds some champion of that stern ascendancy by which his country had long been, trodden under foot, by whom his religion had long been villified, its ministers had long been covered with opprobrium, and the class to which he belongs has long been treated with contumely and disdain; for such a man he is called upon, under a penalty the most fearful, with impending ruin, to give his false and miserable suffrage; trembling, shrinking, cowering, afraid to look his friends and kinsmen in the face, he ascends the hustings, as if it were the scaffold of his conscience, and, with a voice almost inarticulate with emotion, stammers out, when asked for whom he votes—not the name of him whom he loves, and prizes, and honours—but of the man whom he detests, loathes, abhors; for him it is, it is in his favour, that he exercises the great trust, the sanctity of which requires that it should be exercised in the face of the world; for him it is, it is in his favour, that he gives utterance to that, which, to all intents and purposes, is a rank and odious falsehood; but perhaps he resists, perhaps, under the influence of some sentiment, half religious, half heroic, looking martyrdom in the face, he revolts against the horrible tyranny that you would rivet on him, and he votes, wretch that he is, in conformity with the dictates of his conscience, and what he believes to be the ordinance of his religion. Alas for him! a month or two go by, and all that he has in the world is seized; the beast that gives him milk, the horse that drags his plough, the table of his scanty meal, the bed where anguish, and poverty, and oppression were sometimes forgotten—all, all are taken from him, and with Providence for his guide, but with God, I hope, for his avenger, he goes forth with his wife and children upon the world. And this, this is the system which you, and you, but I hope not you (turning to Lord John Russell) are prepared to maintain! This is the system under which what is called a great trust is performed in the eyes of the country; this is the system under which, by the exercise of the great prerogative of freemen, open and undisguised, every British citizen invested with the franchise should feel himself exalted! Oh, fie upon this mockery! and if I can- not say fie upon them, what shall I say of the men who, with these things of a constant and perpetual occurrence staring them in the face, talk to us of the immorality of the ballot, and tell us, forsooth, that it is an un-English proceeding. Un-English! I know the value of that expressive and powerful word. I know the great attributes by which the people of this country are distinguished, and of the phrase which expresses the reverse of these habits, I can appreciate the full and potent signification. Fraud is indeed un-English, and dissimulation, and deception, and duplicity, and double-dealing, and promise-breaking, all, every vice akin to these vile things, are indeed un-English 5 but tyranny, base, abominable tyranny, is un-English; hard-hearted persecution of poor fanatic wretches, is un-English; crouching fear on one side, and ferocious menace and relentless savageness upon the other, are un-English! Of your existing system of voting these are the consequences; and to these evils, monstrous as they are, you owe it to your national character, to truth, to justice, to every consideration, political, social, religious, moral, at once to provide the cure. What shall it be? Public opinion! Public opinion? We have been hearing of it this long time—this many a day we have been hearing of public opinion. In the last ten years and upwards, whenever the ballot has been brought forward, we have been told, that for corruption, for intimidation, for everything, public opinion would supply the cure—that marvellous and wonder-working principle, that sedative of the passions, that minister to the diseases of the mind, that alternative of the heart, was to extinguish cupidity, was to coerce ambition, allay the fears of the slave, mitigate the ferocity of the tyrant, and over all the imperfections of our nature to extend its soft and salutary sway. Well, how has it worked? Public opinion, so far as bribery is concerned, is given up; few, except the Members for the University of Oxford and the University of Dublin, those amiable gentlemen, among whose virtues a peculiar indulgence for Parliamentary frailties are conspicuous, would recommend that Southampton, and Belfast, and the rest of the delinquent boroughs, should be consigned to public opinion. But if for bribery public opinion has lost all its sanative operation, is it in the name of common consistency, for inti- midation, that this specific is to be reserved? Upon bribery, of the two, public opinion would have the greater influence. To bribery there is attached some sort of discredit; but intimidation is not only openly practised, but ostentatiously avowed. Men do not deny, but take pride in it; they applaud themselves, too, for the wholesome severity which they have exercised, and the salutary examples they have made. So, far, indeed, is the principle of intimidation carried, that a regular theory of coercion has been established, and the great patricians of the land compress their notions of their privileges into a phrase, to lay down the dogmas of despotism in some trite saying, and, in some familiar sentence, to propound the aphorisms of domination. When these doctrines are unrecanted in language, and in conduct are unrecalled—when such doctrines are defended, vindicated, and applauded—when they are acted upon to an extent so vast that it is almost difficult to suggest where they have not been applied—how long, how much longer, are we to look to public opinion as the corrective of those evils, which, without the application of some more potent remedy, it is almost an imposture to deplore? Show me a remedy beside the ballot, and I will at once accede to it. Show me any other means by which the tenants of your estates and the retailers of your commerce, and all those whose dependence is so multifariously diversified, can be protected— show me any other means by which a few men of property, confederated in the segment of a divided county, shall be frustrated in conspiring to return your fractional county members—show me any other means by which this new scheme of nomination shall be baffled and defeated—show me any other means by which a few leading gentlemen in the vicinage of almost every agricultural borough shall be foiled in their dictation to those small tradesmen whose vote and interest are demanded in all the forms of peremptory solicitation. Show me this and I give up the ballot. But if you cannot show me this—for the sake of your country, for the sake of your high fame; upon every motive, personal and public; from every consideration, national and individual—pause before you repudiate the means, the only means, by which the spirit of coercion now carried into a system shall be restrained, by which the enjoyment of the franchise shall be associated with the will, by which the country shall be saved from all the suffering, the affliction, and the debasement with which a general election is now attended; and without which, to a state of things most calamitous and most degrading, there is not a glimpse of hope, not a chance the most remote, that the slightest palliative will be applied.

Sir James Graham:

It has been truly remarked by the right hon. Gentleman who has just resumed his seat, that this is a subject to which eloquence and astuteness could add nothing of freshness, and it must be acknowledged that the right hon. Gentleman has implicitly relied upon shortness of memory on the part of those Members who sat in a former Parliament, and the absence of curiosity on the part of those new Members, in abstaining from referring to that useful repository of the proceedings of former days—I mean "Hansard"— for certainly everything in the splendid declamation at the conclusion of the right hon. Gentleman's speech, is to be found in the speech delivered by the same right hon. Gentleman in 1839. The right hon. Gentleman has observed that this question is to be treated historically, and he referred to what took place when the Reform Act was introduced by the noble Lord, now Member for London. I was anxious to precede the noble Lord on this occasion, in order that if I should fall into any inaccuracy in the statement I have to make, the noble Lord may correct me. The right hon. Gentleman was not accurate in saying that the committee of Lord Grey's Cabinet consisted of five Members. The number of Members was only four, and they were Lord Durham, Lord Dun-cannon, the noble Lord, the Member for London, and myself. The noble Lord, in 1836, declared that he had received the permission of his late Majesty to make a full disclosure of the councils, the secret councils, which had led to the introduction of the Reform Bill. £Lord John Russell: As much as I might think necessary to disclose.] I never received such permission, and am therefore at a disadvantage. I may, however, be permitted to say, that the committee appointed by Earl Grey's Cabinet prepared the measure, not as one which they themselves implicitly and fully recommended, or to which they were individually pledged, but as a scheme to be considered by their Colleagues. If the ballot was a part of that scheme, it was taken in connection with other propositions, and the whole was framed ad referendum; and I repeat that the measure introduced by the noble Lord opposite, the then Paymaster of the Forces, on the part of the Cabinet of Earl Grey, was the measure which, on full deliberation, we unanimously adopted, to which, as a Cabinet we were pledged, and to which we were bound individually and generally to give a firm and unflinching adherence. In 1839 I quoted what it will be again my duty to quote, in order to show what were the opinions of Lord Grey's Cabinet, and even of those Members of it who, before the introduction of the Reform Act, were friendly to the ballot. On no one occasion have 1 ever supported or voted for the ballot. Not so with Lord Althorp, who, before the introduction of the Reform Bill, had voted in favour of the ballot. Observe, then, what was the declared opinion of Lord Althorp upon that question, as a Member of Lord Grey's Government, and subsequent to the introduction of the Reform Bill. On the 25th of April, 1833, Mr. Grote brought forward his motion in favour of the ballot; Lord Althorp opposed it, and in doing so said, He appealed to any Gentleman who was in the last Parliament, and who knew the whole proceedings while the Reform Bill was going on, whether the promoters of that measure did not contend, that as far as the representation of the people was concerned, it was to be considered and was proposed as a final measure. Now, there has been some dispute as to the origin of the word "finality" as applied to the Reform Bill. The noble Lord opposite, the Member for London, has disclaimed it, and this expression used by Lord Althorp is clearly the origin of that term, for the noble Lord went on to say that, He had stated this frequently to the House. If he were now to vote in favour of Mr. Grote's motion, he should be acting most inconsistently with everything he had stated during the whole progress of the Reform Bill. He was conscious that he was liable to an attack for inconsistency for the vote he should give" (he had voted for the ballot before, he was now about to vote against it,) "but if he voted the other way he should be liable to a still more merited attack. an attack, as the noble Lord of course meant, more merited and affecting his personal honour, because during the period of the consideration of the Reform Bill he had invariably maintained the finality of that measure. Now, I do not urge these as binding considerations except upon those who were Members of Lord Grey's Cabinet, but I do contend, that with regard to those individuals the Reform Bill must be considered as a final measure, inasmuch as the ballot was brought under their consideration, and was, after due deliberation, rejected by them. With respect to the opinions of the noble Lord the Member for the City of London, I have hitherto agreed entirely in opinion with that noble Lord upon this question, and I have no doubt that the noble Lord adheres to the opinions which he formerly expressed. The noble Lord stands in precisely the same position with respect to this question as myself. I am not aware that the noble Lord has ever supported the ballot—I am not aware that he is now about to vote for it—yet, as far as the pledge involved by his conduct as a Member of Lord Grey's Cabinet binds him, the noble Lord certainly stands in the same position with myself. Now, what are the noble Lord's opinions? He states that he is opposed to the ballot, because so far from thinking it an efficacious remedy for the evil it professes to cure, he believes it to be a serious evil in itself. In that opinion I entirely concur. If I could believe, with the right hon. Member for Poole who spoke in the earlier part of the evening, that by granting the ballot we should be raising a barrier to further change, I would give the ballot my support, although, even then, I should think it open to great objections. But so far from that being the case, it would tend necessarily and unavoidably to induce the greatest possible change—a change as extensive as the Chartists themselves desire. With the right hon. Member for Dungarvon, I have no doubt that the franchise is a trust. The right hon. Member said, that he advisedly termed it a trust, If it be a trust, however, it necessarily involves the exclusion of a large body of the people from the privilege of voting, and were such a trust to be exercised secretly, I say that the great body of the people would speedily overbear that secrecy, and would insist either upon a return to open voting, or else a free participation in the suffrage. Therefore, I agree with those who think that, if we once open the door to ballot, universal suffrage would be the inevitable and necessary consequence, But the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Dungarvon, said, that the suffrage is a trust which might be exercised in an improper manner from fear of the consequences of its free exercise, and that intimidation might operate on the voter. I confess I am unwilling to refer more pointedly than is necessary to the circumstances of my own position in this House, but the county of Cumberland having been mentioned, and as I am closely connected with one division at least of that county, I may be excused a reference to that part of the right hon. Member's argument. In Cumberland I am possessed I may say of considerable property, and I received the support also of a large body of the landed proprietary of that county. But yet, under the system of open voting, when public feeling ran high, and when my public acts were not sanctioned by the freeholders- these circumstances proved unavailing, and I stand here a remarkable example, not only of the independence of the freeholders, but of the independence of the 50l. tenants, many of whom gave votes contrary to the principles and opinions of their landlords, and in a manner which I must say was at once bold, fearless, and independent. I repeat, therefore, 1 stand here an example of the independence of the Cumberland tenantry at least. But I must say, that apart from all these circumstances, I am of opinion with the hon. Member for Middlesex, that the whole system of secret voting is inconsistent with the English character. I say that to preserve silence both before and after the election is impossible, and even if a man could preserve such a silence, his own acts must betray him. To carry out appearances he must belong to the wrong club, he must wear the wrong colours, he must drink the wrong toasts, he must profess friendship for the wrong man; in short he must act in discord with himself. All this it is impossible for an Englishman to do with success. If he be an honest man and a firm friend, he will not want the ballot—if he skulks he will not avail himself of it. The only persons to whom the ballot would be valuable would be those dirty hypocritical cowards-men whose faces belie their purpose-men who pretend to be your friends only to deceive and betray you, who flatter you with vain hopes of support which they have no intention to realise; men who talk of intimidation, but seek the opportunity of gratifying their sordid envy, their revenge, and that bitter hatred which, combined with their cowardice, marks them as the most contemptible of mankind. Those are the men who demand a measure that is a mere recipe,ߞ To lend to lies the confidence of truth. The ballot is inconsistent with our manners, our habits, our feelings. It is inconsistent with that character which, I am proud to believe belongs to the people of this country. It is inconsistent with our institutions. Some gentlemen have alluded to the United States of America. I remember a passage in a speech of General Jackson in 1835, wherein he said that the American Government is supported by the ballot-box, and not by muskets; and that it is in its essence a Republican institution. In that opinion 1 fully concur. The ballot is republican in its nature, it is republican in its effect; and I am satisfied that, should we introduce the ballot here, not only universal suffrage must follow, but a republic would supersede our mixed form of Government. Agreeing with the noble Lord(Lord J. Russell) "that whilst the storm is brewing around us, while the horizon is black with clouds, it is well not to lift the anchors of the monarchy." I shall give my decided opposition to this motion. I am consistent in my opposition to the ballot. I have stated frankly why I have been and am, thus opposed to it, and why I believe that no circumstances can arise to change my conviction of the necessity for such opposition. Until it shall be my misfortune to despair of the state, and the institutions under which I have been brought up, and which I anxiously seek to preserve, I cannot support the ballot. I have never entertained a stronger or firmer opinion with regard to the danger of such a proposition, and I moat sincerely hope that the present motion will be rejected by a large majority.

Mr. Serjeant Murphy

said, that when he had heard, as he had heard with great regret, the speech delivered that evening by the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Middlesex, he could not but bethink himself of certain expressions that hon. Member had once used, and more especially that remarkable expression addressed to his constituents, "that the people of England were groaning under the great tyranny of an irresponsible aristocracy." When, too, he heard the cheers with which the hon. Gentleman's speech was received by the other side, he could not but recall to mind how he had been vilified by the party in power how the paper of that party had attacked him treating him with none of the respect due to his venerable age with none of the consideration due to one of his high character and standing. The hon. Gentleman had now a proof before him that the irresponsible aristocracy had prevailed. The unpalatable truth could not be concealed, that in the absence of vote by ballot the indomitable aristocracy had prevailed, and that the people of England were bound hands and feet, and delivered over to them. The people of England had obtained an extended suffrage, they had acquired greater enlightenment, they had secured the Reform Act, and under that act had elected the Ministers of their own opinions, which opinions they had seen no reason to change. He repeated his assertion. The people had seen no reason to change their opinions, and the cause of the change which had occurred was, that a new element was brought into play by the aristocracy-the element of corruption, which swept all honour and honesty away before it. He had been accustomed to give the right hon. Baronet the Member for Dorchester great credit for logical reasoning, but he must say that a more illogical speech than that he had just delivered he had never heard within or without those walls. The right hon. Baronet chose to assume that the ballot was a bad system, because, as he said, he had always viewed it as such. But if the system was so vile as the right hon. Baronet had described it, if it was "mean, dirty, paltry, and cowardly," if its natural tendency was to render man a hypocrite, why, let him ask, was a system so bad recommended by the right hon. Baronet himself in his report as one of the committee to draw up the Reform Bill in 1832? He had tried to address his mind to get the right hon Baronet out of this dilemma, but he defied any man to reconcile the present description of the ballot as base, mean, vicious, and hypocritical, with the recommendation to adopt it which was made at the period of the Reform Bill. Did the right hon. Baronet deny that his report in which he recommended this vile system of ballot was framed ad referendum? He said that he who made the means to secure the end was as bad as he who adopted them; and he asked, if a 20l. franchise would have answered as a code of morality in 1832, was it in 1842 that 10l. was to make a difference? The right hon. Baronet and the noble Lord the Secretary for the Colonies, as well as most of the others who changed their opinions with them, were very apt to refer to what they were pleased to call the finality of Lord Grey's Reform Act? But he would ask was this Lord Grey's Reform Act? Was it Lord Grey's act now that it contained the 50l. tenantry clause, which even Lord Grey himself had described in the House of Peers as an unseemly excrescence? Was it fair, he would ask, to refer to a measure as final which had been so clogged in its progress? No, they could not consider such a measure a final measure. Indeed, the right hon. Member for Dungarvon had shown that it was not a final measure, for he had proved that, throughout the passing of the bill the ballot was contemplated as a possible contingency-that it was contemplated when the treating clause was passed, and he might have looked still further, and have said that it was contemplated as the only remedy whenever it was found that the aristocracy were trenching too closely upon the people's rights.'

Sir J Graham

I think it very desirable that there should be no misapprehension on one point; and I therefore deny that I am bound by any recommendation whatever of the ballot at any time. I have twice stated what I now repeat, that the whole of those measures which were enumerated in a report drawn up by four Members of Lord Grey's Cabinet were points to be submitted for the consideration of that Cabinet, upon the fullest and most distinct understanding that, as Members of the Cabinet, each individual was to have the utmost latitude of discussion in that Cabinet with respect to all the points therein contained.

Mr. O'Connell

And that was a recommendation of a system generating mean, paltry, dirty, and cowardly conduct. Why, no one could tolerate such a system for one moment. No man can be a party to such a recommendation. Does such a system require discussion or argument? Is not conviction immediate? And yet the right hon. Gentleman was conjointly one of the few who recommended it. Oh, but there was to be full discussion, there was to be deliberation, before the ballot was embodied in the scheme. [Mr. Sheil: "Adopted."] Was "adopted" the word-could it be possible? Yes, it was. The words were: "It is suggested that the vote by ballot be adopted." And this was his mean, dirty, paltry, cowardly system. Oh yes; it was easy to use these words; but he wanted to know this,-was it the poor wretch who was forced to give his vote unwillingly, was it the poor individual who was forced to give his vote to support his family that was all this? It might be so; but who made him so? It might be so; but who continued him so? [Cheers.] Ay, he was proud of that ironical cheer. He knew they were not the people to stand between the trembling victim and he who would sacrifice him to his love of wealth. They were not the people to adopt the ballot-an honest system. ["Oh, oh."] Yes, he repeated it -an honest system. Ay, they thought no system honest unless in a commercial point of view, to give their money, and get the full value for it. And had they no compunction at the bribery which prevailed under the system? Had they no horror at the perjury which followed it? He had read to them the other night, when the Newcastle case was discussed, how a father took his son to the polling-booth, and saw him perjure himself, and when asked why he permitted it, replied "So many others were perjuring themselves also." That was their system. That was the system that did not engender aught mean, dirty, paltry, or cowardly. Was it in England that the hideous, horrible, and extensive bribery took place, which had been exposed before the Sudbury Election Committee. They talked of conscience, and refused justice to others who differed from them in faith; but fortunately they were all agreed as to morals; and yet there were those who would not consent to a measure which would take away from the wretch who was willing to be bribed that which gave value to the bribery. There was a plan for doing away with perjury by abolishing bribery, but the very remedy denoted a foregone conclusion, and showed how extensive was the perjury which was thus to be provided against; but still the corrupt voter would remain the same self-degraded wretch, and the same hateful miscreant as he was under the present system. The highest value, however, which he set upon the ballot was, that if the voter was not to be bribed, the question arose how was he to be influenced. He could then only be influenced by the public worth and services of the candidate, and the consequence would be, that in endeavouring to win the suffrage in his behalf, the candidate, instead of endeavouring to corrupt the public by bribing, would recommend himself by his virtues, and become noble, generous, and humane. The discussion taking the shape which it had done spoke in favour of the original principles of the Reform Bill, as it showed that the majority in that House had the modesty, at least, to shun the test of the ballot-box, well knowing what would be the result. The de_ grading effect of the ballot, he meant of the present system, was well known, and, indeed, admitted by all, for none stood up to deny the extent of the bribery which had been alleged, and in the bill of the noble Lord, the Member fur London, that bribery would be stamped in perpetual record.

Lord J. Russell

Having been so directly referred to by the right hon. Baronet, and hon. Gentlemen, could not allow himself to give a silent vote on this motion. With respect to the historical part of the question, the right hon. Gentleman had referred to what took place at the time of the Reform Bill; and he did not know, that the account which he had to give, materially differed from that which had been given by the right hon. Baronet. He would allude only to what were his own opinions and expectations on that occasion. The late Lord Durham, in 1833, in a speech at Gateshead, stated, that there was a committee consisting of four Members of Earl Grey's Government, who had been commissioned to draw up a plan of reform. That statement led to another, which, to the minds of all in any way conversant with the transactions of that period, bore the clear character of having proceeded from some Member of Earl Grey's Government. On this occasion, he thought it necessary to apply to his late Majesty, William 4th, for permission, to make his statement of what had happened as to the Reform Bill, as far as concerned his own character. He received that gracious permission, and some time after made that statement to which the right hon. Baronet had alluded. That statement, as the right hon. Baronet had mentioned, referred to the recommendation made by the committee in question. Now, with respect to these recommendations, they were undoubtedly recommendations, as to various heads of reform, a general outline, which was to be considered by the Cabinet before they were finally adopted. There were two points with respect to which the committee made recommendations which were not adopted by the Cabinet; these were, secret voting and the duration of Parliament. The votes which fie gave previous to that occasion were in conformity and consistency with the votes which he had given ever since,-namely, against the ballot. He entertained an opinion-not an opinion which he acquired after the discussions which had taken place on the questionߞbut an opinion, partly gathered from his own reflections,—partly from the speech made on the subject by Mr. Brougham in the House of Commons, showing, as he thought, that secret voting could not be carried into effect; and there were various reasons, besides, in reference to what he considered likely to be the increase of bribery upon the adoption of the plan. It was considered, however, most desirable to make, if possible, the Reform Bill, when introduced, a final measure; and it seemed to him that, to have these questions of the ballot and the duration of Parliament, to be afterwards debated, would tend to disturb the settlement which was then likely to be made. This was the reason which operated in his mind-not any preference of secret over open voting -to concur in the opinion that the ballot should form part of the outline of the plan. However, the Cabinet, on mature consideration, rejected these two parts of the scheme, and he very willingly consented to propose the Reform Bill without those features. In making his statement, he made a declaration to this effect:—that in the bill there was no provision for the adoption of the ballot, or for shortening the duration of Parliament; that the Government did not consider these subjects were finally disposed of; but that, if hereafter it should be considered that changes in these respects might be usefully adopted, Government would consider themselves at liberty to recommend them. This was the substance of what he then said. It differed, as the right hon. Baronet had shown, from the statement afterwards made by Lord Althorp, who considered that at that moment the Reform Bill was a settlement of the whole question. Now, he did not see that it followed from that statement, either with reference to him, or with reference to any other Member of that Government, that he or they were not at liberty to take any objection to the ballot which they might deem to be a valid objection. He did not understand that any man who had thought it proper to give, not an enthusiastic vote in favour of the ballot, but an assent that the ballot should be taken into considera- tion, as the suggested part of a great scheme of reform, should not be at liberty afterwards to take any objection to it which might occur to his mind, whether derived from the state of the country or from secret voting itself, or from the state of opinion, as to other measures of reform. Hon. Gentlemen on that side of the House seemed to suppose that there was some insuperable bar to his now raising an objection, but he did not himself perceive any sort of reason why he should not object, and why he should not vote according to that objection. The statements that had been made that night respecting the ballot, seemed to him to have this difficulty in them; no doubt the hon. Member who brought forward the proposal, and who had made a very able speech in support of it, considered the line he had taken the most advantageous; but it appeared to him a very great objection that the proposition did not contain the whole plan which those who were favourable to the ballot were disposed to support. This proposal as to the ballot had reference to the electoral body as now constituted. Now he should say, that if the ballot were adopted with the electoral body constituted as at present, the effect would be that in the smaller boroughs wholesale bribery would be committed, and in constituencies of 300 or 400, 250 would be secured by some attorney or agent, and there would be no means of detecting the bribery or tracing it home to the parties. There was another objection, that this plan, which was designed to place the representation on a better footing, would itself be pregnant with dissatisfaction. He could not imagine the country in general satisfied with the secret voting of those who now held the franchise. They had heard from the hon. Member for Montrose, that only one male out of seven had the right to vote for Members of Parliament. This point had been much urged in the House, and still more so amongst the people out of doors. There was a great body of men who called themselves Chartists who advocated what they called the People s Charter, and who, among other things, demanded universal suffrage. If the House were to enact a law, by which one man in seven only had the power of voting, and that power of voting were made secret and irresponsible, would that give satisfaction to the other six? Would it not, on the contrary, be increasing the discontent which now prevailed? That had been the language of the persons referred to at public meetings, in reference to the ballot. Did it exhibit an inclination to accept the ballot? Far from it; the Chartists declined the ballot, if not accompanied by the other measures which they required. He would ask, then, the hon. Gentleman who proposed the ballot, did he think that the adoption of the ballot alone would be sufficient—that the corruption and intimidation, that the various evils which unhappily now prevailed, would be remedied by his proposal? and that, having given the ballot, the House might sit down and rest satisfied that it had accomplished the great and noble scheme of the full, fair, and free representation of the people? The hon. Gentleman could hardly think this. The hon. Gentleman himself was an advocate for an extended suffrage; he did not know to what extent, whether household suffrage, or further; but this, at any rate, was quite perceptible, that the ballot was riot an ultimate plan, but an introduction or preface to something further. He was, then, obliged to say, that if such were the case, he would neither discuss the plan as now before the House, nor could he, of course, discuss the rest of the plan which was kept from the House. What he would say was this: let the House have before it the whole plan, so that they might judge whether it were on the whole, a better plan than the existing representation; let the ballot be part of the plan to be thus proposed, but let it be submitted as part and parcel of the whole scheme, and not a part by itself. Let not the House be seduced into a vote upon the ballot, thinking that therein they were introducing a sound and pure system, and then be told, after they had given the ballot—"You have now only increased the discontent; you have now only given fresh grounds to the great body who are excluded from the representation, to complain of the secret, clandestine, and irresponsible manner in which the franchise is exercised. The extension of the franchise must now follow as a logical, certain, and inevitable result, and you must, therefore, give it." He would be ready to discuss the complete plan when it came before the House; but, in the mean time, he might fairly ask those hon. Gentlemen, who on former occasions had voted for the ballot, as if the ballot were alone sufficient in the present state of the franchise, to pause and inquire, as he did, what were the remaining measures which were to give satisfaction to the people, as to the representation For these reasons, he very much differed from the hon. Member for Poole, who had spoken that evening, and who had expressed himself with great ability and clearness. The hon. Gentleman said, hem was opposed to further changes in the representation, and that he should vote for the ballot, as for a barrier against greater changes. In this view, he could not con. cur with the hon. Gentleman, and he wished that the hon. Gentleman would a little reflect upon the opinions of those who were advocates for the ballot in that House, in connection with those who advocated the extension of the suffrage, arm the extreme doctrines of the Chartists before lie made up his mind, that by von ting for the ballot alone he should be able to impose the barrier which he contemplated, or give the institutions of them country that stability which all had at heart. The right hon. and learned Gentleman who spoke last gave the ballot very high character, stating that it would produce a superiority of the moral condition, and make men generous, humane kindly, and noble-minded. These were great recommendations, but he must own he very much doubted the efficacy of the plan; and he was surprised that when the question was brought forward in them House so few of its advocates referred to those countries in which the ballot hat been adopted. With respect to ancient history, the right hon. Baronet opposite on a former occasion, had produced some passages most applicable to this question showing clearly what was the effect, during the Roman history, of secret voting. They all knew that in the later period of Rome secret voting was introduced, and they knew that it was introduced in the most corrupt times of Rome; they knew, too that it could not avert that corruption that it did not make the people noble, minded, generous, and humane; but that on the contrary, the most base, the most cruel, the most bloody period that eve occurred in the history of the civilize world, was contemporaneous with them ballot in Rome. The ballot was in existence in our own times in two great coon tries, in France and in America; now, h had watched several elections in France and he had always found it stated, as a matter of certainty, that the government knew what all the people who held appointments, did at these elections, and which way they voted; and be found complaints made in the chambers that men had been turned out for voting against government; he found government defending itself against these charges; he found various allegations, one way or the other, but he never found any allegations such as he should naturally have expected, to this effect:ߞ"We have in this country secret voting; the ballot is established, and it can never he known which way a man votes; a man cannot be turned out of office for voting this way or that, for we have that machinery and contrivance which makes it impossible to find out how a man has voted." No such allegations as these were to be found in the French press or the French chambers. In the United States of America, too, they had the ballot; and what said Mr. Tickner, the American gentleman who gave his evidence before the intimidation committee? He said that no man's vote was secret in the United States. The adult males were there the sovereign power, and there was no influence of property or institutions to prevent that sovereign power carrying into effect its will, its absolute will. He was not called upon to make any observations as to the superiority of the one form of Government or the other-the republican or the monarchical. But there was one example of the ballot, going with that which agreed with the ballot, which was consistent with it, namely, the universal suffrage of the whole people. He would ask if the ballot had never been found to produce wholesome and salutary effects in other countries, was it likely to produce them in this country? He said with his hon. Friend the Member for Middlesex, that he could imagine nothing more contrary to the English character than secret voting. He could well imagine that there were, as he was told there were, ingenious persons who had carried to perfection the machinery of the ballot-box—that they could place the voter in a room with a certain contrivance, by which, without the possibility of anybody watching him, or seeing what he did, his vote might be se, cretly taken. He could conceive that the ingenuity of the promoters of the ballot in mechanism might be so far successful. But tell him where was the mechanism that would make Englishmen, English far- mers, and English tradesmen, reserved, cunning, and secret in all their transactions? Let the advocates of the ballot show him, if they could, that contrivance by which the character of Englishmen could be so changed, that landlords would be unable to tell a year before what was likely to be the opinion of his tenant—or how he would throw his vote into the ballot-box. Show him the contrivance which would be such, that in no club, —at no dinner, —in no privacy of domestic life, —and upon no occasion of public excitement, —would the elector betray his sentiments, but that on the day of voting, and on the day of voting alone, he would evince his opinions, and from that time forth, as on every day before, that he should keep them perfectly secret and concealed. This was a thing contrived in a great degree by the Senate of Venice. The Senate of Venice had an ingenious contrivance by which the election of the Doge was effected after eight or ten different votings. Seven electing forty-nine—forty-nine electing five—five electing thirty-six, and so on, in a way which was taken to insure secret voting, and to give as the ultimate result an election without bribery, intimidation, or undue influence of any sort. That might suit the close and reserved character of Venetian senators, but did not suit the character of Englishmen. For his part, he must confess he rejoiced that it did not. If they introduced the ballot-box, and could bring the character of the English people into perfect harmony with the practice of secret voting they might get rid of many evils. They might prevent much intimidation—they might give some check to bribery. But they would introduce a monstrous and gigantic evil, which would far overpower all those good effects —in the loss of that honest, brave, frank English character, which nothing afterwards could ever repair. He had now stated the reasons on which he had acted on former occasions with regard to the ballot. He had stated, with respect to the change now proposed, that he could not imagine it to be the only one which its advocates considered necessary. He had, therefore, asked to have the whole of the plan introduced before voting for any change of this kind. Taking the Ballot also, he said that he doubted its efficacy. He knew no country in which it had produced those excellent and benefi- cial effects which it was said it would produce in this country. In itself it was calculated to produce, if successful, fraud and concealment, most injurious to the character of the people, and he must, therefore, now, as on former occasions, record his decided vote against the motion of his hon. Friend.

Mr. Wakley

was not surprised at the cheers—ironical he presumed—which had been so plentifully bestowed on the noble Lord from the other side, just as the right hon. Baronet (Sir J. Graham) had been so loudly cheered from the Opposition side. The noble Lord and right hon. Baronet had taken precisely the same course on this occasion as they had done in 1831, when, as members of the committee to whom the Cabinet intrusted the preparation of a plan of reform, they agreed in recommending to Lord Grey's Government, that the ballot should be one of the provisions of the measure. He could not consider, under these circumstances, that the ballot was fairly treated. Such conduct was calculated to exemplify the character of our public men, and show to the people of this country how recklessly, how thoughtlessly, and how dishonestly public men could make a recommendation at one time, which they could as recklessly abandon at another. This was not a fortunate or commendable example. He regretted it for the character of that House, he regretted it for the character of the country. It must be supposed, that the recommendation was either heartlessly or dishonestly meant. He did not believe it was dishonestly meant, and therefore he would maintain, that the greatest and most important measures affecting the rights and character of the people, were often brought forward by public men holding responsible offices, without due examination and reflection. That inference was perfectly just, after the confessions of the noble Lord and the right hon. Baronet. He was placed in rather a disagreeable position with reference to the ballot. The only argument against the ballot which the noble Lord had brought, was, that it would inevitably lead to other changes, the most important of which would be the extension of the suffrages. His conviction was directly the reverse. He sincerely believed, after the most mature examination of this question in all its bearings, that if the ballot were granted to the present constituencies, there would be no extension of the suffrage. The effect of that measure would be to give to those constituencies a monopoly of the privilege of voting in secret. At present, public opinion had its influence over the voter, whose conduct was watched by the non-elector. Give the Ballot, and that influence would be removed. If, then, you proposed any extension of the suffrage, to whom would it be given? To persons beneath the electors in wealth, and whose numbers would completely swamp their influence. The hon. Member for Montrose had stated the proportion of electors to the unrepresented to be as one to seven. Did the House believe, then, if they gave to the present electors the privilege of voting in secret, free from any control, that they would consent to swamp their own votes, and make their privilege valueless, by letting in the multitude of the disfranchised? Look at the case of France, in which the Chamber of Deputies represented the electoral body, but not the people. It would be so in England with the Ballot and limited suffrage. There never had been such gross and unblushing corruption in this country as at the last general election—there had been equal dishonesty on both sides⁁there had been no difference in the conduct of the two parties. He asked the House, then, would they give to dealers in corruption the privilege of voting away their country for money? He (Mr. Wakley) was of opinion that any constituency which had shown the slightest symptoms of dishonesty ought not to have the ballot. It ought to be a shield of protection only to the honest and conscientious voter. He thought the motion had never on any occasion been brought forward under more unfavourable circumstances. Millions of the people would say, if you are disposed to give us the ballot, first give us the suffrage. That was the opinion he had always entertained, and consequently, although he should vote for the motion, if the ballot were carried, and if he could not succeed in connecting with it an extension of the suffrage, he begged leave to assure the House that no person would give it a more hearty, consistent, or determined opposition than he should.

Lord Worsley

(amidst much noise) was understood to say that intimidation and corruption were practised by both sides; that a system of secret voting would place the real power of voting in the proper hands, instead of giving it to the landlords; and that having well considered the subject, he should give his support to the motion.

Mr. Hard

, in reply, contended that all the statements and arguments he had urged in support of his motion remained unanswered. The noble Lord the Member for London seemed to consider ballot as but one step, and that it was mainly advocated as a measure likely to lead to something ulterior. He admitted that one-half of those who would vote for his proposition would not consider the ballot as final; but all he would say was, that this was the most beneficial proposal of a change which the present circumstances of the country would admit, and if it did not prove a complete cure for bribery and intimidation, it would at least go a great way in preventing it.

The House divided:-Ayes 157; Noes 290;-Majority 133.

List of the AYES.
Aglionby, H. A. Dundas, Adm.
Aldam, W. Dundas, hon. J. C.
Anson, hon. Col. Easthope, Sir J.
Bannerman, A. Ellice, E.
Barnard, E. G. Ellis, W.
Bellew, R. M. Elphinstone, H.
Berkeley, hon. C. Esmonde, Sir T.
Berkeley, hon. Capt. Evans, W.
Bernal, Capt. Ewart, W.
Bernal R. Farrell, D. H.
Blake, M. Ferguson, Col.
Blake, M. J. Fielden, J.
Blake, Sir V. Fitzroy, Lord C.
Bowring, Dr. Gibson, T. M.
Brocklehurst, J. Gordon, Lord F.
Brodie, W. B. Gore, hon. R.
Brotherton, J. Granger, T. C.
Browne, R. D. Grey, rt. hn. Sir G.
Bryan, G. Guest, Sir J.
Buller, C. Hall, Sir B.
Busfeild, W. Harris, J. Q.
Byng, rt. hon. G. S. Hastie, A.
Callaghan, D. Hawes, B.
Chapman, B. Hill, Lord M.
Christie, W. D. Hindley, C.
Clay, Sir W. Hollond, R.
Clive, E. B. Horsman, E.
Cobden, R. Howard, hon. J. K.
Collins, W. Howard, hon. H.
Craig, W. G. Hume, J.
Crawford, W. S. Humphery, Ald.
Currie, R. Hutt, W.
Dalrymple, Capt. James, W.
Dennistoun, J. Johnson, Gen.
D'Eyncourt, rt. hn. C.T. Langston, J. H.
Drax, J. S. W. S. E. Langton, W. G.
Duke, Sir J. Layard, Capt.
Duncan, Visct. Leader, J. T.
Duncan, G. Listowel, Earl of
Duncombe, T. Macaulay, rt. hn. T.B.
M'Taggart, Sir J. Rundle, J.
Mangles, R. D. Russell, Lord E.
Marjoribanks, S. Scholefield, J.
Marshall, W. Scrope, G. P.
Marsland, H. Seale, Sir J. H.
Martin, J. Sheil, rt. ho. R. L.
Maule, rt. hon. F. Smith, J. A.
Mitcalfe, H. Somers, J. P.
Mitchell, T. A. Somerville, Sir W. M.
Morris, D. Standish, C.
Murphy, F. S. Stewart, P. M.
Murray, A. Stuart, Lord J.
Napier, Sir C. Stuart, W. V.
Norreys, Sir D. J. Strickland, Sir G.
O'Brien, C. Strutt, E.
O'Brien, J. Tancred, H. W.
O'Connell, D. Thornely, T.
O'Connell, M. J. Towneley, J.
O'Connell, J. Tnoubridge, Sir E. T.
O'Connor, Don Tufnell, H.
Ogle, S. C. H. Tuite, H. M.
Ord, W. Villiers, hon. C.
Oswald, J. Vivian, J. H.
Paget, Col. Vivian, hon. Capt.
Paget, Lord A. Wakley, T.
Parker, J. Walker, R.
Pechell, Capt. Wall, C. B.
Pendarves, E. W. W. Wallace, R.
Philips, M. Watson, W. H.
Plumridge, Capt. Wawn, J. T.
Ponsonby, hn. C. F. A.C. Westenra, Hon. J.
Ponsonby, hon. J. G. Wilde, Sir T.
Protheroe, E. Williams, W.
Pryse, P. Wood, B.
Pulsford, R. Wood, Sir M.
Ramsbottom, J. Worsley, Lord
Redington, T. N. Yorke, H. R.
Rice, E. R.
Ricardo, J. L. TELLERS.
Roche, E. B. Berkeley, H. F.
Roebuck, J. A. Ward, H. G.
List of the NOES.
Acland, Sir T. D. Bateson, R.
Acland, T D. Beckett, W.
A'Court, Capt. Bell, M.
Adderley, C. B. Benett, J.
Alford, Visct. Bentinck, Lord G.
Allix, J. P. Beresford, Maj.
Antrobus, E. Blackburne, J. I.
Arbuthnott, hn. H. Blakemore, R.
Archdall, Capt. Bodkin, W. H.
Arkwright, G. Boldero, H. G.
Ashley, Lord Botfield, B.
Astell, W. Bradshaw, J.
Bagge, W. Bramston, T. W.
Bagot, hon. W. Broadley, H.
Bailey, J. Broadwood, H.
Bailey, J. jun. Brooke, Sir A. B.
Baillie, Col. Browne, hon. W.
Baillie, H J. Brownrigg, J. S.
Baird, W. Bruce, Lord E.
Bankes, G. Buck, L W.
Baring, hon. W. B. Buller, E.
Barneby, J. Buller, Sir J. Y.
Barrington, Visct. Bunbury, T.
Baskerville, T. B. M. Burrell, Sir C. M.
Byng, G. Glynne, Sir S. R.
Campbell, Sir H. Gordon, hon. Capt.
Campbell, A. Gore, M.
Cardwell, E. Gore, W. O.
Cartwright, W. R. Goring, C.
Cavendish, hon. C. C. Goulburn, rt. hn. H.
Cavendish, hon. G. H. Graham, rt. hn. Sir J.
Chapman, A. Granby, Marquis of
Charteris, hon. F. Grant, Sir A. C.
Chelsea, Visct. Greenall, P.
Chetwode Sir J. Greene, T.
Cholmondeley, hn. H. Gregory, W. H.
Christopher, R. A. Grimsditch, T.
Chute, W. L. W. Grimston, Visct.
Clerk, Sir G. Grogan, E.
Clive, hon. R. H. Halford, H.
Cochrane, A. Hamilton, W. J.
Cockburn, rt. hn. Sir G. Hampden, R.
Codrington, C. W. Hammer, Sir J.
Colborne, hn. W.N.R. Harcourt, G. G.
Collett, W. R. Hardinge, rt. hn. Sir H.
Colvile, C. R. Hardy, J.
Conolly, Cot. Hawkes, T.
Corry, right hon. H. Hayes, Sir E.
Courtenay, Lord Heathcote, G. J.
Cowper, hon. W. F. Heneage, G. H. W.
Cresswell, B. Heneage, E.
Cripps, W. Henley, J. W.
Darner, hon. Col. Hepburn, Sir T. B.
Darby, G. Herbert, hon. S.
Dawnay, hon. W. H. Hervey, Lord A.
Denison, J. E. Hillsborough, Earl of
Denison, E. B. Hodgson, F.
Desart, Earl of Hodgson, R.
Dick, Q. Hogg, J. W.
Dickinson, F. H. Houldsworth, T.
Dodd, G. Holmes, hn. W. A'Ct.
Douglas, Sir H. Hope, hon. C.
Douglas, Sir C. E. Howard, hon. C.W.G.
Douglas, J. D. S. Howard, Lord
Dugdale, W. S. Howard, hon. E. G. G.
Duncombe, hon. A. Howard, P. H.
Duncombe, hon. O. Howick, Visct.
East, J. B. Hughes, W. B.
Eastnor, Visct. Hussey, T.
Eaton, R. J. Ingestre, Visct.
Egerton, W. T. James, Sir W. C.
Egerton, Sir P. Jermyn, Earl
Eliot, Lord Jocelyn, Visct.
Escott, B. Johnstone, Sir J.
Estcourt, T. G. B. Johnstone, H.
Farnham, E. B. Jolliffe, Sir W. G. H.
Fellowes, E. Jones, Capt.
Ferguson, Sir R. A. Kemble, H.
Feilden, W. Knatchbull, rt. hn. Sir E.
Ferrand, W. B. Knight, H. G.
Filmer, Sir E. Knight, F. W.
Fitzroy, hon. H. Knightley, Sir C.
Fitzwilliam, hn. G. W. Labouchere, rt. hn. H.
Flower, Sir J. Lascelles, hon. W. S.
Follett, Sir W. W. Law, hon. C. E.
Ffolliott, J. Lawson, A.
Forbes, W. Lefroy, A.
Fuller, A. E. Legh, G. C.
Gaskell, J. Miles Leicester. Earl of,
Gladstone, rt. hn. W.E. Lemon, Sir C.
Gladstone, T. Lennox, Lord A.
Liddell, hon. H. T. Rushbrooke, Col.
Lincoln, Earl of Russell, Lord J.
Lindsay, H. H. Russell, C.
Lockhart, W. Ryder, hon. G. D.
Lowther, J. H. Sanderson, R.
Lowther, hon. Col. Sandon, Visct.
Lyall, G. Scarlett, hon. R. C.
Lygon, hon. Gen. Seymour, Lord
Mackenzie, T. Seymour, Sir H. B.
Mackenzie, W. F. Shaw, rt. hon. F.
Maclean, D. Shirley, E. J.
M'Geachy, F. A. Sibthorp, Col.
Mahon, Visct. Smith, A.
Mainwaring, T. Smith, rt. hon. R. V.
Manners, Lord C. S. Smyth, Sir II.
Manners, Lord J. Smythe, hon. G.
March, Earl of Sotheron, T, H. S.
Marsham, Visct. Stanley, Lord
Martin, C. W. Staunton, Sir G. T.
Martin, T. B. Stewart, J.
Marton, G. Stuart, H.
Masterman, J. Sturt, H. C.
Meynell, Capt. Sutton, hon. H. M.
Miles, P. W. S. Talbot, C. R. M.
Miles, W. Taylor, T. E.
Miles, R. M. Thesiger, F.
Mundy, E. M. Thornhill, G.
Murray, C. R. S. Towline, G.
Need, J Trench, Sir F. W
Neeld, J. Trollope, Sir J.
Neville, R. Trotter, J.
Nicholl, rt. hon. J. Turner, E.
Norreys, Lord Tumor, C.
Northland, Visct. Vane, Lord H.
O'Brien, A. S. Vere, Sir C. B.
Ossulston, Lord Verner, Col.
Packe, C. W. Vernon, G. H.
Waddington, J. S. Vesey, hon. T.
Palmer, R. Vivian, J. E.
Palmerston, Visct. Waddington, H.
Patten, J. W. Walsh, Sir J. B.
Peel, rt. hon. Sir R. Welby, G. E.
Peel, J. Whitmore, T. C.
Pemberton, T. Wilbraham, hn. R. B.
Pigot, Sir R. Williams, T. P.
Plumptre, J. P. Wilshere, W.
Polhill, F. Wood, C.
Praed, W. T. Wood, Col. T.
Pringle, A. Wortley, hon. J. S.
Pusey, P. Wrightson, W. B.
Rashleigh, W. Yorke, hon. E. T.
Reid, Sir J. R. Young, J.
Repton, G. W. J.
Richards, R. TELLERS.
Rose, rt. hon. Sir G. Baring, H.
Rous, hon. Capt. Fremantle, Sir T.

House adjourned.