§ On Mr. Blackstone moving the order of the day for the second reading of this bill,
§ Sir J. Graham
said, that without in any way dissenting from the principle of the bill, he wished to call attention to a point affecting the privileges of the House. This bill delegated to the Crown the power of appointing a commission, which commission might directly interfere with the might of returning Members to Parliament. He could state on the highest legal authority that there was no precedent whatever for a commission so appointed; and as this was a matter of great importance, he thought that when the bill was in committee, it would be worth consideration whether, instead of leaving the appointment of a commission to the Crown, they should not themselves name, say two persons, barristers of eminence, to constitute the court of enquiry? In that case the other House would either agree at once to the bill, or, if they made any alteration in it, then it would be open to the Commons to object to such amendments thereby preventing any control of other parties over so important a matter as a question affecting their privileges.
§ Bill read a second time.