HC Deb 10 April 1843 vol 68 cc754-83

The Order of the Day for the third reading of the Registration Bill was read, and the bill read a third time.

Mr. Kemble

said, he understood there was some difficulty in the minds of the law officers as to the clause of which he had given notice, and he would therefore withdraw it.

Clause withdrawn.

Lord C. Fitzroy,

pursuant to notice, moved the following clause:— And be it enacted, that in order to obviate all doubts as to the meaning of the words of the clear yearly value of not less than 10l.,' in the said recited act, every person shall be entitled to vote under the provisions of that act, in the election of any city or borough, as aforesaid, who shall be rated under the act, passed in the 6th and 7th years of the reign of Will. 4th, intitled, an Act to regulate Parochial Assessments,' upon the gross estimated rental of 10l.; and in cases of joint occupiers, upon the gross estimated rental of an amount which, when divided by the number of such occupiers, shall give a sum of not less than 10l. for each and every such occupier, provided that such person be otherwise qualified.

Clause read a first time.

On the question that it be read a second time,

Sir James Graham

objected to the clause. If the bill introduced into that House by the hon. Member for Stroud, for establishing a uniformity of rating had been carried into effect, he should have no objection to the clause. But such was not the case. So far from there being a uniformity of rating, it was different in almost all the counties. The act was, in truth, a dead letter, and there was the utmost diversity of rating. The question under this aspect had already discussed on the motion of the hon. Member for Bradford, and he, therefore, must object to the clause.

Lord C. Fitzroy

said, he hoped the House would not reject the clause, though he was thankful the right hon. Baronet had thrown out enough in the course of his observations to induce revising barristers to act more in conformity with that opinion.

Clause withdrawn

Mr. Colville

moved the following clause:— Be it enacted, that in case the vote of any person so protested against for personation shall have been received, and any other person shall afterwards tender his vote, in respect of the same qualification, stating, at the same time the name or names of the candidate or candidates for whom he tenders such vote, the returning-officer or his deputy shall enter on the poll-book every vote so tendered, distinguishing the same from the votes admitted and allowed at such election.

Clause read a first time.

On the question that it be read a second time,

Sir James Graham

said, there was a difficulty on the subject, arising from differences of opinion as to the nature of the law and the power of the returning-officer. It was contended, on the one hand, that the returning-officer had no power to place the real voter on the poll, and, on the other, that he had. If the returning-officer had ascertained that he had received anerroneous, and the returning-officer befog satisfied of his error, should, on the real voter presenting himself, think it his duty to place that voter on the poll, then there was an occasion for the clause of his hon. Friend. In fact, the clause of his hon. Friend, were the law as he had stated, would not only not gain, but it Would defeat his hon. Friend's object. would place the personated voter in a worse condition than he would be in under the present law. That opinion as to the present state of the law was entertained by persons of high authority, but persons of equally high authority took a different view. They contended that a returning-officer having once carried a vote to account on the poll, had on power to recall that vote, and be could not place the real voter on the poll should be make his appearance after having placed on the poll the person who personated him. If that were the state of the law his hon. Friend's clause would be useful, and would enable the personated voter to prove that he had been personated. He would be entitled to tender his vote, and be enabled to recover his right. Under these different views of the law, he must leave the House to decide concerning his hon. Friend's clause

Mr. Thesiger

maintained that the qualification gave the right to vote, and if the qualification were exhausted, if the returning officer had registered a vote for a qualification, he could not register another vote. That was, according to his view, the present state of the law. There was no power to enable the returning officer to receive the vote of a voter who had been personated, and in his opinion the clause was clearly essential and ought to be introduced into the bill.

Sir George Grey

saw no objection whatever to the clause, and would support it.

The Solicitor-general

took the same view of the law as his hon. and learned Friend the Member for Woodstock. When the returning-officer had once placed a person on the poll for one qualification, be had done his duty, and he could not place another person on the poll for that same qualification. He ought not to do so. There was then a difficulty in the case for which the clause of the hon. Member for Derby was meant to provide.

The Attorney-general

said there was nothing in the bill to authorize the returning officer to reject a vote tendered by a second person in the same name. The second person in such a case was more likely to be the true man, for it could hardly be attempted to personate a man who had already voted.

Sir Thomas Wilde

thought that no second vote could be polled in the same name. The prudent course would be to insert such a clause as was proposed.

Clause was read a second and a third time, and was added to the bill by way of rider.

On the question that the bill do pass,

Sir Thomas Wilde

wished to call the attention of the House for a few minutes to clauses 42, 48 58, 72, and 94, all being connected with the same matter, those /> clauses referred to the jurisdiction of that House with respect to matters connected with the right of voting, and their object was to transfer from the House that jurisdiction, and to give it to the revising barrister, subject to an appeal on questions of law. Those clauses introduced to the House a question of greater magnitude than had been before it for a considerable period. Looking to the history of the House of Commons, there was no contest more severe, and no triumph admitted to be of greater importance, than that which secured to the House what it was now proposed voluntarily to surrender. He behaved that the House owed if not its existence, its vital utility, to the jurisdiction and authority now proposed to be surrendered. He apprehended it was the duty of every statesman, in dealing with matters of such greet practical importance, to be governed mainly by experience—to look to what had been the evils to which the constitution had been exposed, and to mark the remedies which had from time to time been applied, and applied effectually, to those evils. It would be waste of time to occupy the House by going into any antiquarian details respecting the constitution of Parliament, but he thought it important to look back to the state in which it existed at the Revolution, and had continued ever since. Attempts were made to interfere with the return of Members to that House, in the reign of Queen Elizabeth, and more particularly in that of James 1st. In the year 1604 the famous protest was drawn up by Lord Coke, the first lawyer and statesman of the age, against the attempt of the Crown to interfere with the representative principle interest in the Commons of England. During the recess, the Lord Chancellor issued a writ for the return of a Member to the House. The House also issued a writ in the same case. Two Members were returned, and it became a question which Member had a right to sit. That House solemnly protested against the right of the Crown or the Chancellor to issue any writ except upon the motion of that House. A severe contest ensued. The House entered the protest of the journals. The king sent for the journals, and tore it out. That protest, however, remained on the record. He need not trouble the House by reading it; it would be in the recollection of every Member who had bestowed attention the subject, that it stated the vest emphatic language, that it was the inherent privilege of the House not only to cause writs to be issued for the return of Members, bat to regulate tat matters relating to their seats. The language could be more impressive, no assertion could be more distinct, than was employed on that occasion. The contest terminated by the House consenting for a time that both Members should retire, and that a new election should take place. Another writ was then issued, and from that hour to the present the right and control of the House over the elective franchise had never been disputed. It was true, that in the great case of Ashby and White, an attempt was made to raise the question regarding the right of voting in the form of action against the sheriff for refusing vote; but notwithstanding the contest led to the commitment of many persons, it was admitted on both sides, so even by the counsel advocating the cause, that with regard to seats in the House, the House had exclusive jurisdiction. It had been considered and treated by every reflective statesman and by every well-trained politician, as the corner stone of its authority and independence. In what custody could the guardianship of the elective franchise be so securely placed? Where could the constitution so safely deposit it as in that House-that House, which was responsible to the people; and which had, and ever ought to have a sympathy with the people in maintaining that franchise in full force, and in independent of any other authority whatsoever. They had now full power over that right—they were solemnly pledged to uphold it; and yet by this bill but it was proposed, and that too, with a precipitation that he confessed surprised him. It carried within it the seeds of an eventful change in the constitution which should put every Member on his guard to part with this power. They were about to surrender the decision of the right of voting—the power to judge of exercise of that right. And to surrender it to what? to a tribunal to which no hon. Member could conscientiously entrust it—they were about to deliver it over to a barrister of three years' standing. He could not believe till ocular evidence forced the belief upon him, that it could ever have been proposed, as was done by this bill, that the registration should be final—that it should be handed over to a barrister of three year' standing—and that his decision should be conclusive without appeal; save only that what were to be deemed questions of law, should be left to the Court of Common please, He looked to what were called questions of fact; and such questions might go very far in excluding most questions of law. The clauses, as they now stood, made the registration final: and the only appeal from the barrister was to be an appeal to the Court of Common Pleas on matters of law. He should rejoice, indeed, to find that the anxiety which he felt on this subject, was unfounded. He perceived that his hon. and learned Friend, the Solicitor-general, did not seem to participate in that anxiety, but he hoped his hon. and learned Friend would never consent to part with this jurisdiction. He should be happy to find that he was in error, but as he read the clause the registration was final, and justified the observation it had drawn from him. The 94th clause was rather long, but it began by reciting the former act, and it was as follows:— And whereas in and by the said first-recited act it is provided that upon petition to the House of Commons, complaining of an undue election or return of any Member or Members to serve in Parliament, any petitioner, or any person defending such election or return, shall be at liberty to impeach the correctness of the register of voters in force at the time of such election, by proving that, in consequence of the decision of the barrister who shall have revised the lists of voters from which such register shall have been formed, the name of any person who voted at such election was improperly inserted or retained in such register, or the name of any person who tendered his vote at such election improperly Omitted from such register; and the select committee appointed for the trial of such petition shall alter the poll taken at such election according to the truth of the case, and shall report their determination thereupon to the House, and the House shall thereupon carry such determination into effect, and the return shall be amended or the election declared void, as the case may be, and the register corrected accordingly, or such other order shall be made as to the House shall seem proper: And whereas doubts have arisen as to the true intent and meaning of the said enactment with respect to the power and authority of any such committee to inquire into the validity or invalidity of the vote of any person being on the register of voters in force at the time of such election j be it therefore declared and enacted, that it shall and may be lawful for any such committee to inquire into and decide upon the right to vote of any person who, being upon the register of voters in force at the time of such election, shall have voted in such election, or not being upon such register, shall have tendered his vote at such election, in case the name of such person shall have been specially retained upon such register, or inserted therein, or expunged or omitted there from, by the express decision of the revising barrister who shall have revised the lists of voters from which such register shall have been formed, or by the decision of the said court of appeal; and also that it shall and may be lawful for such committee to inquire into and decide upon the right to vote of any person who, being upon such register, shall have voted in such election, so far as the same may be disputed on the ground of legal incapacity at the time of his voting, under and by virtue of any statute now or hereafter to be in force, or on the ground of any other legal incapacity at the time of his voting, which may have arisen subsequently to the expiration of the time allowed for making out the list of voters from which the register of voters in force at the time of such election shall have been formed; but that, except in such cases or on such grounds as aforesaid, the register of voters in force at the time of such election shall be final and conclusive, to all intents and purposes, as to the right to vote in such election of every person who shall be upon such register. He did not know whether he understood it, but he supposed that the election committees of that House were to have the same powers preserved to them which they had at present.

The Solicitor-General

observed, that the words now objected to were introduced in consequence of reported decisions of committees of that House. It Was for the purpose of making the law uniform. Committees had decided that they would not inquire into the validity of a Vote Unless an objection had been taken before the barrister. If there had been no objection offered before the barrister, then the committees had determined to make no inquiry as to the validity of the vote. The object of the clause was to make that clear which before had been doubtful.

Sir T. Wilde

considered that it was otherwise. The register of the voters should be final and conclusive as to the rights of the electors, as it appeared on the register.

The Solicitor-General

remarked, that was the case at present. He referred the hon. and learned Gentleman to the 60th section, and there it would be found that restriction was imposed, which was now complained of. The fact was, that it was the Reform Bill that determined that they could not examine into the validity of votes unless an objection to them had been taken and expressly decided upon by a revising barrister. Therefore, it was the Reform Bill that took from them this jurisdiction. If the barrister decided upon a vote objected to, they could inquire into the validity of that decision. The object of the clause was to make that clear and intelligible which had been before determined upon, that the register was to be final and conclusive upon a committee of that House, except in certain cases, when the vote had been objected to and expressly decided upon. That had been the law before; it was the law at present. The power of the House was parted with by the Reform Bill, and that power was not restored by the present bill.

Sir T. Wilde

conceived, that it went much further. The election committee of that House was a committee to be appealed to, and not one of original jurisdiction, and by this clause it was excluded from doing that which ought to be so left to it. That clause must be read in connection with the 42nd clause, to which he had already called their attention; and, as he conceived, that House should maintain that which they had already secured with great cost and hazard, and ought always to possess the power of determining finally upon the franchise, instead of being, as it was proposed, precluded as to matters of law by the opinion of courts of law. The period, too, at which this was attempted was most inauspicious. It was when they were engaged in the discussion of questions as to the jurisdiction of courts of law. It never had been denied that, to a very great extent Parliamentary law was distinct from the common law. He had always considered that committees of that House were too much trammelled, and bound down by the ordinary and technical rules which prevailed in courts of law. They Were now, however, not merely to introduce the practices of the courts of law, and permit them to interfere with Parliamentary tribunals, but they proposed to refer questions of law to the Court of Common Pleas. They had determined to leave questions of law—and these might include more than questions of law—to be decided by the technical rules of the courts. The mode of doing this, he considered, was one which ought not to be assented to. It was open to very serious objections —it was one assimilated to a class of cases against which complaints were the loudest, and the mode of proceeding regarded as most anomalous; he meant the session cases, wherein that was confirmed by one court, on which appeal was made on the case stated by another court. He appealed to every professional person, whether the law, as laid down upon these appeal cases, and thus carried from one court to another, was not precisely that law which had given the least satisfaction. There were introduced into these adjudications a conflict of decisions and as uncertainty which did not belong to any-other class of cases; and yet they proposed to do the same thing here. But it was to be only in certain cases, for it appeared it was to be left to the sic volo of a barrister of three years' standing whether that appeal should be given or refused. He referred to the clause, which provided— And be it enacted, that it shall be lawful for any person who, under the provisions hereinbefore contained, shall have made any claim to have his name inserted in any list, or made any objection to any other person as not entitled to have his name inserted in any list, or whose name shall have been expunged from any list, and who in any such case shall be aggrieved by or dissatisfied with any decision of any revising barrister on any point of law material to the result of such case, either himself or by some person on his behalf, to give to the revising barrister in court, before the rising of the said court, on the same day on which such decision shall have been pronounced, a notice in writing that he is desirous to appeal, and in such notice shall shortly state the decision against which he desires to appeal; and the said barrister thereupon, if be thinks it reasonable and proper that such appeal should be entertained, shall state in writing the facts which according to his judgment shall have been established by the evidence in the case, and which shall be material to the matter in question. He had always had a strong objection to the appointment of the barristers being made by the judges. A more objectionable principle he thought could not have been introduced. They were the very last body that should be open to the influence involved in patronage of this description. Nothing, he thought, could be more michievous as regarded the independence of the bar, or more destructive as respected the interests of the people, as connected with that independence, than that a large portion of the bar should be looking up to the judges for the advantages thus placed within their gift. This House, it was to be remembered, could not find fault with the conduct of the judges, without doing serious injury to the administration of justice. The House had acted, and properly acted, on that principle. They could not, then, deal with the judges as they did with other authorities; and the effect of bringing complaints against them in that House, as to their appointment, in any instance, of young barristers, wholly inadequate to the very responsible duties they were called upon to discharge, was a matter that was objectionable, in every point of view. It was a position in which the judges ought not to be placed. When he considered that there was to be a certain fixed scale of remuneration—that it was the same for one gentleman in the West Riding of York as for another who had the revision of a small borough, and that there was a very great advantage in a particular appointment, considering the remuneration for the labour, he found additional reasons for objecting to the system under which these appointments took place. It excluded, moreover, a considerable number of the bar. It gave to those who were the least experienced—to those whom they would not allow to argue their own cases, even the least important of them—it gave to them the power of deciding on the most important questions relating to the constitution of that House—and invested with this power, were also to decide whether an objection to their adjudications was reasonable and proper. He was not now to be told, that they were not to presume that the barristers would refuse any case that was reasonable and proper. He knew what was said of other tribunals, that the only case on which they would consent to hare an appeal would be a tolerably clear case—that judges were jealous of their jurisdiction being overlooked in a doubtful case. Then they were to leave, not questions of law, but questions that were reasonable and proper, to be determined by those barristers; and would thus surrender the rights of the people. The barrister was not to submit for appeal any questions but those that he might consider as reasonable and proper. What was the sense of this? What did they mean by it? Was it to depend upon what the barrister by his single opinion decided was so reasonable as to admit of no degree of doubt? He objected wholly to any such proposal. When he appealed on a bill of exceptions, it did not depend upon the judge who tried the cause to determine whether those exceptions were reasonable and proper. He believed that no writ of error would be granted at all, if it were to depend upon judges alone what was reasonable and what proper in the objections tendered to them. And yet they thus li- mited the right of the subject! "Reason" and "proper" were words of very indefinite meaning; they admitted of a construction so wide as to neutralize the clause altogether. But then Gentlemen might say that such points only were to be reserved as were material to the decision of the court. He begged of the House to remember that they were dealing with questions of law relating to the elective franchise—that the interpretation of some of those questions was exceedingly difficult, and that they were now to be no longer decided by the House, but transferred to gentlemen from whom they excluded the assistance of counsel altogether. They placed these young gentlemen with solicitors only to contend before them, and thus, too, without the assistance which even the judges would have—without that information which even the judges would require. They did not give, where the right of the subject was to be maintained, and the franchise to be upheld, that aid and protection which they would require for the smallest particle of property. They left the barrister without proper assistance, and then they permitted him to decide whether it were reasonable and proper to appeal against his decision, and what it was that it was reasonable and proper on which the appeal should be determined. In his own recollection he could state this to have happened: in settling a special case he proposed that a certain matter should be introduced as proved. The learned and eminent judge before whom the case was tried declined to put it in— he then said that he declined to sign the case. That learned judge, who was not more remarkable for his learning than his courtesy, kindly consented to make the addition that he proposed, and upon that very passage the case was decided in his favour. It was the great mining case in Cornwall. He said, then, that it was most unsafe to leave powers to a barrister which ought not to be left to a judge. An attorney might put in evidence—it was possible he might have taken advice upon doing so; he might prove certain facts, and require that such facts should be stated as proved in the appeal—and it was to be in the power of the barrister not to put that in, and for that they had no remedy. The case so stated might not contain enough for the decision of the court. Thus, they would not only withdraw from the proper and the constitutional tribunal the decisions with respect to the elective franchise, but they did it in the most crippled and infirm farm that it was possible to do it. But then he said, what was the occasion for this—what occasion had that House to surrender that protection which British subjects had a right to receive, with respect to the elective franchise? Formerly the House had decided questions of the franchise. These had been determined by the House itself. They had gone on improving their tribunal; and now, when they were in a better state than ever, they chose—voluntarily too—to surrender their rights. The bill brought in by the head of her Majesty's Government had been an improvement. They had heard of no decision since the last election, by their committees that could well be objected to. Had there not been a marked and great improvement in the tribunals of that House, and yet, with this before them, they ran from an evil that possibly might happen, to another and a certain evil, and one of much greater magnitude. Why abandon the right hon. Baronet's bill, when they attempted no further improvement in it? and he considered that it would admit of considerable improvement. In the first place, he objected to the franchise being decided in a court of law at all; but next, if they wanted to have it decided by law, still they would have that accomplished by election committees, If there were a vacant chief-judgeship, where would they go to supply the place? Surely not out of that House. Why then not make up by the legal knowledge that they had in that House? Or why not bring assistance in from Westminster-hall, instead of going there? Why not bring in assessors? Did they think they would have uniformity of decision? They would be disappointed. But if they went to courts of law, he objected to their going only to one court. He most distinctly objected to that proposition. When one class of cases was decided exclusively by one particular court, it was not satisfactory. Even in cases where there was not an appeal, the mere fact that other courts had to decide upon them, acted as a control, and ultimately are greater satisfaction to suitors. He distinctly objected to the confining the decisions in these cases to any one court; but he objected to giving them to any court. He would not part with this constitutional principle. The safety of the Home required that they should maintain the control over the elective franchise. It would be found to be no light evil to part with that power, and in the doing so, in the present instance, they could obtain no compensating good. Let them remember, that when once they parted with this power and control, it was gone, and forever. That House never had made a greater mistake than in passing the Grenville Act. It might have, by means of resolutions, done as well, and by its own authority have accomplished all that was of value in that act. They had still the power of amending the bill of Sir Robert Peel. They might have the advantage of the assistance of the best authorities in Westminster Hall, with the exception of the Beach; they might have the advice and best assistance of those who were in that House. He was sure that there was no Member who came to that House would flinch from any portion of that duty which attached to his situation. Their committees were in every way defective, they were capable of great improvement. The general complaints on the subject of the committees of that House he did not think fairly justified. There was a complaint as to the uncertainty of decisions, and of political bias; but he feared that under no transfer of authority could this complaint be wholly removed. As to diversity of judgment—as to uncertainty of opinion—they were incidental to every human tribunal. He submitted that the power ought to remain with the House. In no other hands could its exercise be so comprehensive, so constitutional, so complete. Even were any transfer of it meditated, it ought to be the subject of a separate and distinct bill. It ought to be most deliberately considered in a committee, when they would receive statements, and be convinced by proofs, that it was utterly impossible to gain the advantages which were expected by the proposed clause. Another consideration occurs. Who was to pay the expenses of the appeal of the voter, when there might be an uncertainty as to who was to be the candidate, how the elector might vote, or whether there was to be a contest at all? No provision was made for an appeal on matters of law. They let the rights of the electors be thus frittered away—the appeal was to be before an election, when no one had a specific purpose in maintaining the right that was disputed. Then, let it be supposed that it was expedient to hear the appeal, should the power be given to the barrister to determine what was the evidence, and what the facts, on which the rights of the parties should be conclud- ed? It was his opinion, that the Government bill ought to pass, without the appeal clauses. Courts of law, they ought to know, were not always favourable to popular rights. It was the decision of the Court of King's Bench, on the subject of corporations, that made the necessity for reform in those bodies to be felt, and that had advanced that question. They saw that, the tendency of those courts was not to extend popular rights, but to restrict them. If they wished to restrain the right of voting, then let them send these questions to the courts of law; but they could not do so without deserting their duty to their constituents, and this, too, when they had, as he conceived, abundant means within that House of upholding the franchise. The right hon. Baronet (Sir R. Peel) had said, that if once they parted with their jurisdiction, they might shut the doors of that House. In this case, he thought that they ought to protect their constituents. He regretted that these clauses were sanctioned and supported by her Majesty's Government. They were, in his opinion, at variance with the constitutional rights of the House, and the real interests of the people. The hon. and learned Gentleman concluded by moving the omission of certain words in clause 42.

Upon the question being put,

Sir James Graham

I labour under many disadvantages in rising to answer the very able speech of the hon. and learned Gentleman. In the first place, I am not at all prepared to enter upon the wide field of discussion opened by the speech of the hon. and learned Gentleman, who gave no notice of his intention to bring forward as a subject of discussion, the question which he has so fully debated. After the third reading of the bill, I was not prepared for the discussion of a principle so important. I entertain the greatest respect for the talents of the hon. and learned Gentleman—I feel the most unfeigned admiration for the boldness, integrity, and resolution with which, under all circumstances, and on all occasions, he defends the privileges of the House. If I thought the clauses in question involved any surrender of the rights and privileges of the House, so far from agreeing to them, I would give them my most hearty opposition; but I differ from the notion that the clauses involve any such surrender, and I must observe, that it appears to me, that the speech of the hon. Gentle- man was mainly founded on a misconception of one of these clauses, the 94th. It is clear from the course of the argument of the hon. and learned Member, that the hon. Gentleman, from inadvertence, put an erroneous construction on that clause, at the outset of his speech, and it is equally clear that the original misconception pervaded his argument to its close. Now, as I understand the 94th clause, it only sets forth in express terms, for the purpose of removing all doubt, that which is now the established usage, on the part of Parliamentary committees, in putting an interpretation on the 60th clause of the Reform Act. It does not extend one jot further, except in this single particular, that under the clause to which the hon. Gentleman referred, it is proposed to make the decision of a court of law final on the point of law submitted to its judgment, and binding upon committees of the House of Commons. The decisions of the Court of Common Pleas are to be strictly con-find to points of law, submitted as cases to their judgment. With this exception, the power of committees of the House of Commons is preserved intact and unaltered, exactly as it now stands under the 60th clause of the Reform Act. Now, the hon. and learned Gentleman has stated that the constituency of the United Kingdom has a deep interest in the question of registration, and as I understood him, that interest consists mainly in the principle which the clauses particularly under discussion, propose to alter, and to which alteration the hon. and learned Gentleman objects. The hon. Gentleman was not present on two former occasions when the measure was discussed, and when I heard the hon. and learned Gentleman allude to the constituency in general terms, I hoped that it was for the purpose of touching upon that point which I put to the noble Lord opposite upon a former occasion, with reference to the case of Ireland. The hon. and learned Gentleman stated, that he entertained great objections to placing a point of law affecting the qualifications of a voter under the jurisdiction of the judges of the land. Now, if I mistake not, the hon. Gentleman was himself one of the legal advisers of the late Government, when they introduced the bill to which I have alluded, with respect to the registration of voters in Ireland, and yet the hon. Gentleman now objects to give the power of appeal to English judges, which that bill allows to Irish judges. What is the state of the law in Ireland? It allows an appeal from the revising barristers to a single judge on circuit. The hon. and learned Gentleman was a party to that act, and yet he now tells us, that the present limited proposition, falling very far short of the enactment for Ireland, is a violation of constitutional principles. But the hon. Gentleman has gone still further upon this occasion—he has raised incidentally a question of very great importance, and as it appears to me has impugned the leading provisions of the Reform Act itself. The hon. and learned Gentleman has objected to the revising barristers being appointed by the judges. That was a tribunal appointed by the Reform Act. Now we have had various propositions for the amendment of the Reform Act, and various registration bills have been proposed; but in these bills no proposition was ever made for depriving the judges of the power of making the appointments in question. The last registration bill was introduced by Lord Campbell, at a time when the hon. and learned Gentleman was one of the legal advisers of the Government, and I am confident that in that bill no proposition was made for taking away the power of appointing revising barristers from the judges. The hon. and learned Gentleman has observed, that the clause gives the revising barrister power to authorise an appeal to the Court of Common Pleas only if he should think it "reasonable and proper," and the hon. Gentleman objects to these words. Now, I may remark, that if the revising barristers should not deem the case sufficient to justify an appeal, then all will remain in statu quo: the jurisdiction of Parliamentary committees is not touched; everything relating to disputes, both of law and matters of evidence, remains for the consideration of the committee just as the law reserves these points at present. But even if the case be referred on appeal to the judges, we have a far greater security, the appeal being strictly limited to a point of law, than we possess in Ireland, where the appeal of the judge is not so confined. I quite agree with the hon. and learned Gentleman, that it would be quite indefensible were I to rest the measure which I propose upon the characters of the judges now composing the Court of Common Pleas. I put the case upon no such ground. I quite concur with the hon. and learned Gentleman in the eulogium which he has passed upon the character of the Chief Justice and of the other judges of that court; but I repeat that I should not defend the measure, unless 1 was fully prepared for the contemplation of another state of things, and for the rule of judges of a very different character. But my reliance is upon judicial authority being exercised in the presence of the public and of an intelligent bar. The hon. and learned Gentle man has stated, that it is not expedient upon light grounds—frequently or in any manner derogatory to the character of the judges—to bring under the investigation of this House their proceedings in courts of law. But there could be no great abuse of the authority delegated to the judges by the bill before the House, which would not give rise to comments, and something; more than comments, within these walls. The hon. and learned Gentleman mentioned an instance in which a learned and venerable judge adopted a suggestion made to him by the hon. and learned Gentleman with reference to the insertion of a particular plea. At first the judge hastily refused to accede to his suggestion, but on consideration, and at the earnest request of the hon. and learned Gentleman, he consented to the introduction of the plea. On the very plea which was thus inserted contrary to the wish of the judge in the first instance, judgment was given on the ground of the justice of the case. Now, it is impossible to state a case which appears to me to tend more to raise our confidence in the judges; and when I consider the power of public pinion, ad the influence of the presence of the bar, it confirms me in my opinion that the very limited power now proposed to be committed to the judges may be most; safely confided to their hands. Now, I must say, that the hon and learned Gentleman's prejudices, whenever the rights or privileges of this House are touched in the slightest degree, are so sensitive, that his excellent judgment is betrayed into a degree of captiousness. The hon. and learned Gentleman is quite alone in saying, that the passing of the Grenville Act was a misfortune and a detriment. I would remark to him, and to the noble Lord near him, who also entertains such high notions of the privileges of this House, that until the passing of the Grenville Act the House had no power of tak- ing evidence on oath—there was no power of declaring the opposition to a petition, or the pressing of a petition to be frivolous and vexatious—there was no power of awarding costs. All these important points have been guaranteed by the statute so much decried by the hon. and learned Gentleman. I deny that the bill before the House interferes with the jurisdiction of the tribunals constituted by the Grenville Act. All questions of fact are left to their decision as heretofore, and, as I had said before, only pure points of law are to be referred to the Court of Common Pleas. I am sorry, that on all the occasions on which the bill has been discussed, the hon. and learned Gentleman has been absent from his place. He is wrong in supposing that the clauses to which he objects were adopted hastily—on the contrary they have been fully considered. The original proposition brought forward by Government was different from that now before the House. The suggestion of the withdrawal of some parts of that measure, and the substitution of the proposed appellate tribunal in lieu of that at first proposed, emanated from the Opposition side of the House; and indeed I may say, that I am not aware of having ever seen, in a matter involving considerations of a party nature, such a general coincidence of opinion as was manifested by both sides of the House in favour of the clauses now objected to by the hon. and learned Gentleman. This assertion does not rest on any vague surmise. The clauses have already been submitted to a division, and carried by an overwhelming majority. With all my respect, therefore, for the honourable and learned Gentleman, I can yield neither to his authority nor his argument; and I feel the force of that argument less because I believe that it is completely founded on misconception of the nature of the clauses in dispute. I once more repeat, that they reserve to committees of the House intact and entire the jurisdiction which they now possess, and which they now exercise, save only the reservation of judgment on points of law when submitted on appeal lo the Court of Common Pleas. The hon. and learned Gentleman has stated that the clauses would be found in effect to be inoperative. I do not think so; the effect, I am satisfied, will be salutary. 1 entirely dissent from the hon. and learned Gentleman's views of their probable operation, and I believe that they contain no important surrender of the jurisdiction of the House of Commons. On points of law the opinions of the courts of law will be much safer and sounder than the opinions of the committees of the House. Indeed the hon. and learned Gentleman himself appeared to feel no great confidence—with all his fondness for the power of committees—in their decisions, where points of law were concerned. He proposed that after all they should call in the aid of lawyers—of assessors. Who, then, is to appoint them? The hon. and learned Gentleman said, that it was impossible we could get rid of political bias in cases of the nature in question. He said that judges were but men; and I reply that assessors are but men also, and that we should find them, moreover, frequently animated by political feeling. But when the hon. and learned Gentleman said that the House should nominate assessors, he must have meant the majority of the House; and I tell you that from the moment you should give the majority the power of appointing assessors—with all the hon. and learned Gentleman's jealousy of transferring judicial power, touching the rights of voting—he would soon come to prefer the Court of Common Pleas as an appellate tribunal to assessors animated by the political feelings of the majority of the House, and certainly chosen with a very strong party bias on the part of that majority. I have just heard somebody suggest on the opposite side of the House that the appointment of assessors should be left to the Speaker. My respect for you, Sir, is sincere and heartfelt, and nothing would grieve me more than to see you so situated; for, if I am sure of anything, I am certain of this, that if these invidious powers were entrusted to you, with all your firmness, and all your high integrity—although you would exercise them honestly and fearlessly—yet that, from the day on which you were called to wield them, the united and unanimous support of this House would fail you, and you would cease to enjoy the undivided confidence of all its Members, With the exercise of all those qualities which so adorn you, you would not only be unable to discharge your new duties to the satisfaction of all, but you would become the object of angry suspicion and would have cause even to lament the day when you were raised to the high honour of taking the chair.

Lord John Russell

could not allow what had been considered the rights of the House of Commons for several centuries—those rights on which the existence and power of the House of Commons had ere this depended in the most troublesome times—to be given up without again stating his reasons for dissenting from what would probably be the judgment of the House. He did not think that it was fair that these rights should be given up without further discussion, or that it was idle and impertinent to make some still further stand for the privileges of the House. The right hon. Baronet to-night, as well as on other occasions, had alluded to the proposition made during the time when the late Ministry was in power with respect to the Court of Appeal established in Ireland. The right hon. Baronet seemed to think, that that proposition was decisive against him (Lord John Russell), and that it was a great authority in favour of the measure which the right hon. Baronet now brought forward, a compliment which he appreciated and acknowledged. He thought at first, from what the right hon. Baronet stated, that he was wrong with reference to the last registration bill which had been introduced; but, upon referring to that measure, which had been brought in by Lord Morpeth, he found that it gave power to the judges appoint three barrister to be the court of appeal, and were to sit in Dublin, That had been the proposition of the late Government, as brought in by Lord Morpeth. But with respect to the Irish franchise, he found that it was in so vague and unsatisfactory a state, that he was deeply impressed with the necessity of adopting some remedy, and it was, therefore, proposed, in a bill brought forward by one of the law officers of the late Government, to leave to the judge of assize the decision of questions relating to the franchise. He could not say, that what had occurred in Ireland was to him a great inducement to invest the English judges with a similar power to that reposed in the Irish judges. He remembered, that on one case there were eleven judges who gave an opinion on a question affecting the franchise, and of the eleven, there were eight holding Tory principles, who gave an opinion in accordance with those principles, and three Whigs, who also gave an opinion in accordance with the advancement of Whig interests. It could not be denied, that there had been in Ireland a strong political bias among the judges; but was it desirable that they should see, in the Court of Common Pleas here, four judges give opinions, and knowing their respective politics be able to say that as were their politics, so would be their decisions. Was it a system of that kind which they wished to introduce? Even supposing the present proposition took away no powers from the House, would they like to see such consequences follow from its enactment? And yet they had held up Ireland as an example to the House, when it was seen from that example that the political feelings of judges conformed with their judicial decisions in favour of one legal view or other of the franchise. The right hon. Baronet had, on the last occasion on which the subject was discussed, brought forward another example, in order to show hon. Members they might leave the matters in dispute to the decision of the judges; and that example was, the fact that the Legislature had left the decision as to libel in the hands of the judges. But what had happened when that was left to them? They used to tell the jury that the only fact which they had to decide was the question of actual publication Whether the publication were innocent or guilty, the jury were not to decide. The judges told them that they had merely to say whether the publication had taken place, and having found that fact, that it was for the, the judges, to say whether the alleged libel were treasonable and seditious, or whether it were innocent. And what became of that law? Was Parliament satisfied with it? Did not Mr. Fox, with the consent of the House, when he was the leader of a small minority—did he not, seconded by Mr. Erskine, introduce a bill to change the law, because the liberty of the press was injured by it? Was it, then, on a model such as was furnished by the old libel law, that the right hon. Gentleman proposed that the House should act? The question had been decided at various times. On one occasion, all the legal Members of the House had taken one side, and the great majority of the House had taken the other, and in that case, to which his hon. and learned Friend had referred, the case of Ashley? White, some of the greatest legal authorities in the country, then Members of that House, argued that though the House itself could finally de- cide who should have the right of sitting in the House, yet with respect to the power of deciding who should have the right of voting, that the courts of law might exercise that authority as well as the House. And he believed it was argued by Mr. Cowper, afterwards Lord Chancellor, that two different courts might have jurisdiction in the same matter if not for the same object. He said, for instance, in the ecclesiastical courts, they might decide whether a marriage was good or not; and afterwards, when a question relative to the descent of property was raised in the same case, of course the courts of law would decide that. Though the question might be the same question, yet, as the ends were different, both courts might have jurisdiction in the matter. But, in spite of that argument, and many other able arguments, the House decided, by a very great majority, that both with respect to the right of voting and the right to a seat in this House, it was the sole and only judge. What was now proposed was, that with respect to all points of law which might be raised in a case on which there should be an appeal to the Court of Common Pleas, the decision of that Court should be binding on the committees of this House. They were told by the right bon. Gentleman the First Lord of the Treasury, the last time this matter was discussed, that this measure would so clear up all the difficulties with respect to the law, that so little would remain to be discussed, that, in fact, no great power at all would be given to the Court of Common Pleas. Well, what did the House see to-night; There occurred a difficulty with respect to a question connected with the bill, when the Attorney and Solicitor-generals differed on a point of law, and the Attorney-general appealed to his hon. and learned Friend (Sir T. Wilde) and desired his opinion upon it. Could they expect, after this, when there was such difference of opinion before the bill passed as to what might be the law, that there would be no difficulty when the bill came into operation?—Could they expect that all would be clear when the bill came into operation, if even now the great law authorities in this House were undecided as to the interpretation of the law; But, in fact, sometimes the most difficult and unforeseen questions had come before the courts of law and been decided by them according to their view of the law, affect- ing most materially the privileges of the subject. His hon. and learned Friend mentioned the cases of corporations. Very difficult and nice questions of law decided by the judges had in these cases materially affected the subject's privileges. And he expected, if this bill came into operation, that they would find a very different state of the law prevail to what had hitherto prevailed as to the freehold franchise of 40s. He knew not what passed in the revising courts, but he had frequently seen such questions decided according to the old election law when very little evidence was required with respect to 40s. freeholds. It was taken upon the evidence of the party himself, corroborated by the land-tax books; general credence was given to the assertions of the voter, and the 40s. freehold was allowed to reside in him. But if these points were to be made nice questions of law, they might have cases to settle the right of a 40s. freeholder as intricate as Chancery suits. They might require the applicant to bring his titles. They might go into the question of how he had acquired them, and thus utterly defeat by such complex and tedious proceedings, one of the most valuable rights enjoyed by the people of this country. Various questions might arise. His hon. and learned Friend had adverted to the decision of revising barristers against the right of peers to vote at elections. Such a question as that might come before the Court of Common Pleas, and a decision in favour of the peer be pronounced. If that should happen, where was the remedy? This House would have entirely parted with the remedy, and with all the oft-asserted laws of the House they would have parted with the right of altering the decisions so made, and the decisions of the Court of Common Pleas would be conclusive. He must confess that he thought those questions might have been safely left to the election committees of the House. He had not seen anything, either in former or later times, to induce him to think that the right of voting for Members of Parliament should be left entirely to the decisions of a common-law court. Mr. Fox, in one of his speeches, he believed it was in introducing his Law of Libel bill, said, that there were two great securities for the liberties of the people of England—the one, their representation in the House of Commons, the other the trial by jury. Nowhere was one of these most important rights—the right of the electors to vote according to the interpretation by the House of Commons of the laws affecting its Members and their constituents, to be taken away; because the House was no longer to decide by means of a select committee on questions of franchise, nor were they to be intrusted to the judgment of a jury, but to the decisions of certain judges according to their sole and separate view of the law. They were thus parting with a great power for the loss of which they could have no compensation. An hon. Gentleman had said, and he believed that the feeling was pretty general in the House, that were the clauses to be agreed to, they would get rid of delay and expense. It might be so as respected Members of that House, and it might be convenient for them to get rid of much delay and expense; but they should remember that all popular rights under a free government were rights attended by delay and expense—were rights which could only be asserted and maintained, and defended at the cost of considerable delay and expense. If they wished to have a court for deciding these rights, resembling that of, common legal tribunals, acting according to forms of law, without regard to the spirit of a free constitution, they might thus get rid of some delay and expence, but they would sacrifice with it one of those means of keeping up the liberties of the people which their ancestors had maintained, and by dint of which they had made the House of Commons what it now is.

The Solicitor-General

was sorry to trespass on the House, but he felt called upon to do so in consequence of what had fallen from the noble Lord and his hon. and learned Friend (Sir T. Wilde.) His hon. and learned Friend had spoken of this bill as being of equal importance to the Septennial Act, and the noble Lord said that this bill was an inroad upon the constitution, and that they were called upon to part with some of the jurisdiction of the House which their ancestors had struggled to maintain. Now, he trusted that both his hon. and learned Friend and the noble Lord would pardon him for saying, that it appeared to him, from what they had slated, that they did not understand the clause. He was sure that his hon. and learned Friend, when he rose to address the House, was under the impres- sion that the registration was to be final, subject only to an appeal to the judge; and his hon. and learned Friend seemed to think that the House was about to part with a great portion of its jurisdiction. Now let them see what, in reality, were the provisions of the bill. The noble Lord side that his right hon. Friend near him had referred to the case of the Irish registrations as if he wanted to derive and have a precedent furnished him by the noble Lord. Now he did not think that his right hon. Friend had referred to the case of the registration in Ireland for any such purpose. But his right hon. Friend had referred to it to show that the Legislature had sanctioned a similar principle, and that the Government, of which the noble Lord and his hon. and learned Friend opposite were Members, had introduced bills into that House for the purpose of carrying to a further extent the provisions of the Irish Registration Act, and so make the decision of the court of law final and conclusive, even against a committee of the House of Commons. They were told that they were now parting with their jurisdiction; but let them see what was the state of their jurisdiction at the time when those bills which had been referred to were introduced. By the Irish Registration Act, which existed prior to the Reform Bill, the assistant barrister registered the voters, and an appeal was given to the judge of assize both upon the law and upon the fact—sometimes with, and sometimes without, the intervention of a jury. The Irish Reform Bill afterwards passed, and what was the construction put upon that act by several election committees? The construction put upon it was this, that the provisions of the Reform Bill prevented a committee of that House from examining into the validity of any vote when once placed upon the Irish register. Now, when they heard of political decisions, it should be recollected that these decisions declaring the registry to be final, proceeded from those who belonged to what was called the Liberal party. Now that was the state of the law with respect to registration in Ireland, when the bill referred to was introduced into the House. The bill was introduced by the late Master of the Roils, Sir Michael O'Loughlin, for the purpose of clearing up doubts with respect to Irish registration, and declaring that the registry, after the appeal to the judge, should be final, and that any committee of the House of Commons should be precluded from examining into the registry. Now, these being the provisions of the bill introduced by the late Government, they were told by the noble Lord that they were now acting unconstitutionally, and that they were violating the principles of the constitution. But, under one of the sections of the Reform Act, a committee of the House of Commons, whatever might be their opinions as to the validity or want of validity of any vote, had not the power to take a vote off the register unless it had been objected to by the revising barrister. Supposing that a number of bad votes had been placed on the list by the overseer, and the revising barrister, who might not be of more than three years' standing, for there was no restriction in this respect under the Reform Act, had admitted those votes, and allowed them to remain upon the register—the committee of the House of Commons had no power to strike off these votes unless they had been objected to before the revising barrister. His hon. and learned Friend told him that he was about to surrender the privileges of that House, though the very same power had been parted with by the Reform Bill, by the Irish Registration Bill, and again by the bill subsequently introduced by the late Government, with a view of making the Irish Registration Bill more stringent; and yet, seeing all this, the noble Lord told them that they were about to part with that power which their ancestors had struggled to retain. Now this was the very argument which had been used against the Grenville Act, and his hon. and learned Friend said, that he considered the Grenville Act to have been an unfortunate act. But did his hon. and learned Friend recollect the scenes that had passed in the House before the Grenville Act had passed? Did the House recollect that every decision was given as a party vote; nay, that it was upon the decision upon a contested election that the vote was come to which had induced Sir R. Walpole to resign office? [Sir T. Wilde: I said that I regretted that the House had not proceeded by resolution.] Proceed by resolution ! Resolution of what kind did his hon. and learned Friend mean? Was it to mean this? Here was a contested election; a person was charged with bribery, with something that affected his honour. That was to be investigated. Give him then at least this safeguard—if witnesses were to be examined let him have them examined under the sanction of the law, and liable to an indictment for perjury if they swore falsely. But his hon. and learned Friend said, "Why don't you pass a resolution to examine them at the bar on oath?" Did his hon. and learned Friend mean to say, that the House of Commons had power to examine witnesses on oath? His hon. and learned Friend knew that it was essential to have the authority of the Legislature to oblige witnesses to be examined on oath, and to inflict upon them the penalty of perjury. And he knew also that it was necessary to have a legislative enactment to give costs against those who presented frivolous petitions. What resolution? Would they adopt a resolution according to the opinion of a majority of the House in one Session, which resolution, when the majority was the other way of thinking, might be rescinded? And so you might go on alternately exercising and receding from your power. Was that the course they would adopt? But the hon. and learned Gentleman stood alone; for he never heard of any one in modern times who said he regretted the passing of the Grenville Act. [Lord J. Russell: Lord Campbell had so expressed himself.] He was not before aware of that, and he did not think the noble Lord meant to say, that he agreed with that opinion. So that supposing the noble Lord to be correct, his testimony came to this—that the Attorney and Solicitor-general of the late Government were opposed to the Grenville Act, and no body else. He should assume then for a moment that the passing of the Grenville Act was not to be regretted. Then by that act they had parted with the privileges their ancestors struggled for, and given it to their committees. By the Reform Act they had materially limited the power of a committee of the House of Commons to review the registry; in Ireland they had left it a doubt whether a committee of the House of Commons had the power to inquire into any vote when once placed upon the register. By the clauses now under discussion, they did not seem to take from the committees any power over voters at all, or any right to inquire into disputed elections. It was not sought to take that jurisdiction from the House; but simply this, that haying provided a court of appeal for the decision of questions coming before revising barristers, they had constituted that court of precisely those persons who were most likely to give satisfactory decisions. His hon. and learned Friend (Sir T. Wilde) seemed to mistake the provisions of the act. All that was made final was the decision of the Court of Common Pleas in the individual case, and upon the particular point of law submitted to them. There was nothing else made final at all. His hon. and learned Friend said, he objected to the discretion given to the barrister to state the case to the court. The barrister might refuse to do so or not, as he thought fit. Supposing he did not, what was the consequence? They would present a petition to the House of Commons, to which everything was open, the law, the fact, and everything else. Nothing was changed or altered. The party aggrieved would not be without remedy; for if there were no appeal to the Common Pleas then he had it to a committee of this House. Then an objection was made to the method of appointing the revising barrister. But the plan proposed was as old as the Reform Bill, and should have been objected to when that measure was before Parliament. His hon. and learned Friend said, that from the remuneration provided they would be likely to select those least able to perform the duties. But if his noble Friend had looked into the bill he would see that the remuneration was higher than before. Their object was not to lessen the remuneration but to diminish the number, and he saw no reason why they should not be able to obtain as able assistance from revising barristers under this bill as under the Reform Bill. He would now come to some objections urged by the noble Lord, and which he was sorry had fallen from the noble Lord, because, coming from him, they would be likely to have great weight with the country. When the noble Lord said, that he distrusted the judges of the land—that he did not like to entrust them with the decisions of cases of this kind—he (the Solicitor-general) was sorry to hear such a declaration coining from the noble Lord, Did the noble Lord mean, when referring to the Judges in Ireland, and saying that one portion of them gave their decision in favour of one line of politics, and another in favour of another, that when these questions came before the Court of Common Pleas any political consideration would influence the judges of that court in their determinations. He could say this, and he was expressing the unanimous feeling of Westminster-hall and of the country, that every one would have perfect confidence in the decisions of that court. And he was sure the judges of that court would not allow the slightest feeling of political bias to influence their decision in any case that might come before them. Nor did he think that it could possibly arise. They would not have to decide upon the validity of a return at an election, and to say whether A or B was elected; but a case would be sent up from which neither the judge nor counsel would know how a particular decision would affect a political party. They would have to decide without any knowledge of the political bearings of the case. The noble Lord had referred to the law of libel. Now the cause of the alteration in the law of libel was, that the judges themselves, in consequence of an act that had passed, had taken upon themselves to say, that the question of libel was a question of law, and not of fact. They treated it as a question of law; and of course, their decision would be the right one. That was a question for them not a jury. The Legislature thought—and he (Sir W. Follett) did not say unwisely— that it was far better in political libels that the whole question should be submitted to the jury; but that very act of Parliament directed that the judge who tried the cause, should at the same time state his opinion, whether, in point of law, the matter complained of was a libel or not. But this alteration was introduced by the Legislature for the purpose of putting before the jury in a case of libel the same point submitted to juries in other cases—namely, a mixed question of law and fact. But did the noble Lord mean to say, because the Legislature passed that act, that therefore the tribunals for appeals now sought to be established ought not to exist? Where was the analogy between the two? Under the Reform Act difficult questions had arisen as to the franchise; and it had been shown that legal assistance ought to be obtained. Barristers had been appointed to revise the register of voters, and it was thought advisable that there should be an appeal against their decisions. It was at first proposed to create an Appellate Court, to be composed of three barristers, but when that proposition was submitted it seemed to be the unanimous opinion that that tribunal would not be as good, or as satisfactory, as a court of law, and therefore, his right hon. Friend (Sir J. Graham) had proposed to substitute the Court of Common Pleas as a Court of appeal. But they were told that in appointing this appeal to the Court of Law, they were violating the constitution, and abandoning the privileges of the House. He trusted that the House would feel that, in adopting this clause, they were not abandoning any privilege, nor committing any infringement of the constitution, but that they were carrying out that which it was their desire to carry out, namely, the establishment of a good, a perfect, and an effectual court of appeal from the revising Barristers' Court. They were called on to do no more than this, and he hoped they would be able to do that with effect.

Mr. Hume

said, the case was one of some difficulty, but be thought that it was likely that it would not be single cases, but classes of cases, that would be determined by the court of appeal, and as he thought the reference 10 the Court of Common Pleas would compel the revising barristers to act on some uniformity of principle, he should support the motion.

The House divided on the question that the words proposed to be left out stand part of the bill. Ayes 102; Noes 26: Majority 76.

List of the AYES.
Ackers, J. Davies, D. A. 8.
Acland, T. D. Dickinson, F. H.
A'Court, Capt. Duncombe, hon. A.
Acton, Col. East, J. B.
Aglionby, H. A. Egerton, W. T.
Aldam, W. Eliot, Lord
Allix, J. P. Elphinstone, H.
Arbuthnot, hon. H. Escott, B.
Arkwright, G. Estcourt, T. G. B.
Astell, W. Feilden, W.
Baillie, Col. Fitzroy, hon. H.
Baring, hon. W. B. Flower, Sir J.
Barron, Sir H. W. Follett, Sir W. W.
Bentinck, Lord G. Gladstone,rt.hn.W.E.
Bernal, It. Gladstone, Capt.
Botfield, B. Gordon, hon. Capt.
Bowring, Dr. Goulburn, rt. hon. H.
Bramston, T. W. Graham, rt. hn. Sir J.
Bruce, Lord E. Greene, T.
Buck, L. W. Grogan, E.
Chapman, A. Hamilton, J. H.
Chetwode, Sir J. Hlarcourt, G. G.
Clerk, Sir G. Hardinge, rt. hn. Sir H.
Clive, hon. R. H. Hardy, J.
Colebrooke, Sir T. E. Heathcote, Sir W.
Collett, W, R. Henley, J. W.
Hervey, Lord A. Pollock, Sir F.
Hodgson, F. Powell, Col.
Hodgson, R. Pusey, P.
Hope, A. Richards, R.
Hope, G. W. Rose, rt. hon. Sir G.
Hume, J. Round, J.
Inglis, Sir R. A. Smith, rt. hn. T. B. C.
Jermyn, Earl Somerset, Lord G.
Kemble, H. Stanley,
Lord Knatchbull, rt. hn. Sir E. Stewart, J.
Knight, H. G. Sutton, hon. H. M.
Lacelles, hon. W. S. Tennent, J. E.
Lincoln, Earl of Thesiger, F.
Lowther, J. H. Tollemache,'J.
Lyall, G. Trelawny, J. S.
Mc Geachy, F. A. Trotter, J.
Mainwaring, T. Tyrell, Sir J. T.
Manners, Lord J. Vernon, G. H.
Marton, G. Williams, W.
Masterman, J. Wodehouse, E.
Maxwell, hon. J. P. Wood, Col.
Newdegate, C. N. Wood, Col. T.
Nicholl, rt. hon. J. Yorke, H. R.
O'Brien, A. S.
Palmer, R. TELLERS
Patten, J. W. Freemantle, Sir T.
Peel, J. Baring, H.
List of the NOES.
Arundel and Surrey, Morris, D.
Earl of Parker, J.
Barnard, E. G. Pechell, Capt.
Bodkin, J. J. Plumridge, Capt.
Brocklehurst, J. Protheroe, E.
Brotherton, J. Russell, Lord J.
Browne, hon. W. Scholefield, J.
Busfeild, W. Sibthorp, Col.
Collett, J. Stock, Mr. Serj.
Duncan, G. Winnington, SirT. E.
Hatton, Capt. V. Wood, G. W.
Heathcoat, J.
Heneage, E. TELLERS.
Jervis, J. Hill, Lord M.
Marshall, W. Wilde, Sir T.

Bill passed.