§ Mr. S. Crawford rose,
pursuant to notice, to ask leave to introduce to the House a " bill to secure the full representation of the people, and to shorten the duration of Parliament." He was aware of the difficulties with which he should have to contend in bringing such a question under the consideration of the House. He was conscious of the opposition which would be offered to his motion. The great basis of political liberty was the right construction of the suffrage, and the right mode of bringing the power of the suffrage into practical operation; that was what he wanted by the bill which he desired permission to introduce. In the first place, he would wish to draw the attention of the House to the extent and regulation of the suffrage, and the laws of election in the ancient periods of the constitution. The great extent of the suffrage, previous to the first limiting statute, that of 8th of Henry 6th, c. 7, could be proved by a reference to that act, which, whilst it endeavours to cast unjust opprobrium on the people, is a lasting record of the rights which they before enjoyed. The preamble states, first, that whereas elections of the knights of the shire, have been made by very great, excessive, and outrageous numbers, most part of people of small substance and no value, pretending an equal voice with the most worthy knights and esquires; the 501 preamble then goes on to state—what not that outrage had been committed, but that riots, batteries, and divisions among the gentlemen and other people of the same counties shall very likely rise and be; and for this reason, the act goes on to limit the franchise to those possessed of 40s. freeholds. Thus it appears that previous to this statute, the great body of the people did attend, and vote at elections for knights of the shire, and that they were disfranchised on an imaginary prospective case, without any real charge having been made or substantiated; but it was not necessary to rest this case on the preamble of this statute. The 7th of Henry 4th enacts:—That elections shall take place in full county court, where all shall attend, as well suitors duly summoned, as others in pleno comitatu;which act is recited, and further confirmed by the 12th of Henry 4th, and again by an act of the 6th of Henry 6th, and we have the authority of Pryme, who says that:—By common right every inhabitant and commoner of each county, had a voice in the election of knights, whether he were a freeholder or not.Can it be denied in the face of these statutes and authorities, that in those times the mass of the people had the right of voting? Can the opponents of this position show that there was any limiting statute, any penalty for voting, any voiding of an election because the people voted? They cannot show this; they must admit, that previous to the statute of Henry 6th, the people did enjoy the right; and with regard to boroughs, we know that several of the charters gave the most extended suffrage, even to every man who boiled his own pot upon his fire; and we find in early days, a decision of a committee, asserting that the election of burgesses in all boroughs did of common right belong to the commoners. In the year 1623-4 a most eminent committee of the House of Commons, consisting of the greatest lawyers of the day, was appointed specially to lay down the legal rights of voting. They decided that where there was no certain custom or prescription or constant usage beyond all memory, recourse should be had to "common right," which for this purpose was held, that moreBrevia Parliamentaria Rediviva, Page 186.502 than freeholders only ought to have the right to vote, namely, all men inhabitants, householders resident within the borough. This was the common law right; and it is further confirmed by the acts of the 25th and 34th of Edward 1st., which assert the principle, that no taxes shall be imposed without the consent of all the freemen of the land, and also the petition of right to the same effect in the reign of Charles 1st. Sir T. Smith, an eminent authority, says,Every Englishman is intended to be present in Parliament, either in person or by procuration and attorney, of what pre-eminence, state, dignity, or quality soever he be, from the prince to the lowest person of England, and the consent of Parliament is taken to be every man's consent.Such was the original practice and theory of the constitution. Blackstone, in book 1, chap. 2, states the theory of the constitution as follows:—The construction of Parliaments as consisting of the King and three estates, viz., the Lords Spiritual and Lords Temporal, who sit in one House, and the Commons who sit by themselves in the other. The King and the three estates form the great body politic of the kingdom.He states the object of this construction in the following terms,And herein indeed consists the true excellence of the English Government, that all the parts of it form a mutual check upon each other. … Like three distinct powers in mechanics, they check and counter-check each other, impelling the whole in a direction different from what each would have taken separately, but forming out of all a direction which constitutes the true line of the liberty and happiness of the community.Again, he says, vol. 1, page 158,A law to bind all must be assented to by all.If this be a true description of the constitution, as laid down by Blackstone, that constitution does not now exist. Is there any House of Commons now in existence which answers the description given by Blackstone or by the other authorities quoted? Are we such a House of Commons? Are we the representatives of the Commons of England? Who are the Commons of England? Are they not the whole people? Are the voters as now limited by law entitled to the name of the Commons of England? If the average of voters be compared with the average of population in the united kingdom, the 503 voters arc not in a larger proportion than as one person to every nine families. A petition had been sent to him for presentation from Clipping Hamden, in Glocestershire, addressed to " the representatives of the electors"—instead of the usual term " House of Commons"—but even if the voters were entitled to be called the Commons of England, are we entitled to call ourselves the true representatives even of the electors? Are there not records on the journals and debates of your House which would indicate that a great portion of this House is returned by other means than the voice of the electors? You have made a record against yourselves by your vote of last Session on the motion of the hon. Member for Finsbury, on the occasion of the compromise committee. That hon. Member proposed that the Members serving on that committee should take a test that they had not paid or agreed to pay money contrary to the law for the purpose of obtaining a return. It was alleged that the forcing such a test would upset the committee, and you negatived the proposition by a majority of 160 to 19. Under all these circumstances, are you entitled to assume the position of the House of the Commons of England? and if this be not the House of the Commons of England, what is the consequence? The consequence is, that your boasted constitution is defunct. That you are not the House of Commons is the feeling which prevails among large bodies of the people. The object of the bill now presented is to remove that stigma from the character of this House—to restore the Commons' House to its full integrity, as one estate of the constitution—as one of the mechanic powers described by Black-stone—and thus to restore that balance of conflicting powers which he states to be necessary to insure the liberty and happiness of the community. At present the machine of the state is drawn by one power alone—that which is represented by the House of Lords, namely, an oligarchy of the landed and monied aristocracy. To this power the Crown is compelled to submit—by this power the voice of the people is cancelled; and the constitution, although still holding the name of a free Government, has become practically the worst of all Governments—the Government of a self-interested oligarchy. This evil can only be repaired by going back to original principles, and by restoring 504 the people to their full rights, through the medium of an extended suffrage—rights enjoyed by the common law of England, again and again asserted in all the noble struggles made by Britons. But the rights of the people have been swamped in other modes besides the limitation of the franchise; Parliaments have been unconstitutionally lengthened, through the means of powers assumed by the representatives to prolong their own existence, without an appeal to those who had elected them. Our ancestors considered short Parliaments the great bulwark of the rights of freemen. It appears, from a reference to the earliest authorities, that the practice of prorogations is comparatively new, and that originally Parliaments were summoned for a particular purpose, and dissolved after that purpose was answered; the same Parliament did not sit a second Session. At that time Parliaments were held at different places, according as they were summoned, and could not sit except at that particular place; but the encroachment of the prorogation system put an end to the frequent election of Parliaments, and made the inroad of which the people now complained. That these were the former principles and practice of the constitution can be proved by various statutes and records. The statute of the 34th Edward 3rd, c. 14, provides that a Parliament shall be called every year, or more often if necessary; the 36th of Edward 3rd, repeats the same enactment; and we find, by a reference to the practice, that by this was intended the calling of a new Parliament—not a prorogued one; because it appears from a catalogue of original writs recorded by Pryme as found in the Tower of London, that there were writs for new elections in every year of the reign of Edward 3rd, between his 34th, when the first act insisting on annual Parliaments was passed, and his 50th year, with the exception of three years, in two of which we know from other sources that Parliaments were called; and also writs were in existence for new elections in each of the five eighteen years of the next reign. Such were the law and practice of these times, and up to the reign of Henry 8th, the Commons served only for the Session, with the exception of three or four Parliaments; but it was afterwards relaxed, and the statute of the 16th of Charles 2nd makes the first inroad upon the right of annual Parliaments that 505 was made by any statute law. It does not formally repeal the acts of Edward, but it provides that the intermission of Parliaments shall not be longer than three years, and then the statute of the 6th of William and Mary, c. 2, gives a legal sanction to the prorogation system, by enacting that no Parliament shall have longer continuance than three years; and lastly, the Parliament which passed the statute of the 2nd of George 1st made the climax on these encroachments by prolonging its own existence for seven years, and by enacting that future Parliaments may exist for seven years. That these were violations of the constitution, if any doubt exists, is proved by an authority which this House can hardly reject—it is proved from a quarter not too prone to assert the rights of the people, it is proved by the protests of the House of Lords. When the Triennial Act was passed a protest against it was signed in the Lords, on the grounds—Because it tended to a continuance of this present Parliament longer than, as we apprehend, is agreeable to the constitution of England.Now let it be remarked that this allegation was made even against the triennial duration to which many hon. Members would now desire to recur; but afterwards, when the Septennial Act was passed, a most remarkable protest—a document most honourable by its noble principles of liberty—was entered against it, signed by no fewer than thirty-one Peers. This document records the right of the people to frequent and new Parliaments—As the fundamental constitution of this kingdom. That representatives who continue themselves by their own power are not the representatives of the people. That foreign powers have never objected (as alleged in the act) to make treaties with us, on the grounds of our relations being uncertain in consequence of short Parliaments; they say, on the contrary, that it cannot be expected that any prince or state can rely upon a people to defend their liberties or interests who shall be thought to have given up so great a part of their own. That by making the seat an object of greater value it will tend to increase expenses and corruption. That it will be a greater object to a Ministry wishing to maintain itself against the people to purchase the members when they have so long a term of their trust; and that they will have a greater opportunity of exerting corrupt influence over these members by means of that prolongation; and that therefore the ancient and primitive constitution of frequent and short Parliaments should be adhered to.506 The last authority he would quote on this subject was not the least. It was the recorded declaration of the noble Alfred—It is just that the English people should ever remain as free as their own thoughts;" 'and in an assembly of Parliament he enacted this for a perpetual custom,' that a Parliament should be called together twice every year, or oftener, in times of peace, to keep the people of God from sin, and that they might live in peace, and receive right by certain usages and holy customs.Such were the ancient principles of our constitution with regard to the duration of Parliaments. Another mode was taken to subvert the rights of the people, in demand of qualifications for Members of Parliament. It cannot be shown that in the early periods qualifications were required. The first act, so far as he could find, was the 23rd of Henry 6th, c. 13, which provided—That those chosen should be esquires of the county able to be knights, and no man to be such knight as standeth under the rank of yeoman.Coke on Littleton says—No manner of property qualification was required of citizens and burgesses.So this remained till the 9tb of Anne, when the qualifications which existed previous to the alterations made by a late act were provided. No qualifications were required for Members of the Irish Parliament. None is required for Scotch Members, for Members of the Universities of Oxford, Cambridge, or Dublin, or for the eldest sons and heirs-apparent of Peers or of commoners qualified to serve as knights of the shire. Why then should these anomalies remain? Is it found that any practical advantage has been derived from the qualifications which exist; and if there be not such practical advantage why keep up such laws? why limit the people's choice? why not recur to the ancient principle of the constitution? And in connection with this part of the subject, we find another practice undoubtedly existing, that of the payment of Members. All attempts at a free representation of the people must be nugatory without the adoption of this system. If the representative be called on in any shape or form for the gratuitous expenditure of his income, the choice of the electors must be thereby limited to a class of persons who by their large possessions are able to spend this money, and the foundation is thus laid for every species of corruption and 507 unfaithful service. The payment of a knight of the shire was and is by the common law As. per day, and for a burgess, 2s. The act of the 23rd Henry 6th, c. 10, directs the mode of levying the wages by assessment of the sheriff from the several hundreds in each county; and the 12th of Richard 2nd, c. 12, further confirms this by making the lands purchased by Peers liable to the assessment as before they were purchased. These acts are still unrepealed. Thus it appears the ancient principle and practice of the constitution were—extended suffrage, annual Parliaments, no money qualifications, and payment of Members. He proposed to recur to these principles— and to these it seemed to be necessary to add the protection of vote by ballot. If the voter could be induced to perform the fearless duty of voting openly, without fear or favour, he would not deny that open voting would be preferable; but under existing circumstances this seemed impossible. As the question of the ballot had been so often debated, it was not expedient to take up the time of the House on this occasion with a repetition of the arguments. It also seemed necessary, in order to effect a fair representation of the people, to make a new arrangement of the electoral districts, and thus to remedy the strange anomalies which now exist, and under which nothing approaching to a fair representation could be obtained. To attain these objects, and by these means to secure a full and free representation of the people, he was desirous to obtain the leave of the House to submit a bill to their consideration. In contending, however, for these rights of the people, he admitted that every right existed only in subservience to the general interests of society at large. Those were his opinions, and he wished fairly and freely to enter with the House into the discussion of them and the question which he desired to discuss was this,—whether the property qualification should be continued, or the right of suffrage extended to the whole mass of the community? He wished that an opportunity should be given to the people at large to state what was the amount of electoral privileges they required; and a similar opportunity given to the Legislature to come to a decision as to how much they would concede. He would put it to hon. Members to say, was it fair that one class of the community should say to the rest, "We hold the 508 elective franchise in our hands, and you I shall have nothing to do with it?" He knew it had often been said, that the people were poor and ignorant. Many of them might be but little acquainted with the science of politics, but surely it was not necessary to decide upon matters of state in order to exercise the elective franchise. The poor might be as good judges as any portion of the community as to whether a candidate was a man likely or unlikely to betray their interests —whether, in short, he was a man of fair and unimpeached character. To the poor a representative was especially essential, because the poor man wanted protection much more than did those who belonged to the middle classes. Then the upper orders should recollect that they were themselves the sources of those bribes which the poor electors were said to receive; let them abstain in future from setting that evil example, and there would then be no risk in letting the poor enjoy the benefit of the franchise. The principles for which he contended were the ancient principles of the constitution, and such as had been advocated by Reformers in all ages. Sixty years ago the Duke of Richmond took a leading part in the advocacy of reform, and it was his opinion that annual elections were indispensable to the effective exercise of the franchise. Those were the opinions of the Duke of Richmond; but he (Mr. S. Crawford) begged the House to understand that he was willing to go into the question with them calmly and dispassionately; he was not for revolution, but for reform, and he was perfectly ready to submit his proposition to the House in the form of a bill, if they would permit him. The public mind was in a more agitated state now than it had ever before been—it was in a state which might lead to convulsion and all he wanted the House to do was to take measures to save the country from scenes of violence and bloodshed. The hon. Member concluded by moving for leave to bring in a bill to secure the full representation of the people and to shorten the duration of Parliaments.
§ Mr. W. Williams
seconded the motion. He thought that, from the manner in which his hon. Friend had submitted his proposition to the House, no hon. Member who felt the necessity of amending the present system of representation could object to record his vote for it. He would vote for the motion, but he 509 should not consider himself bound to all the details of the bill. He contended that the strongest argument in favour of a reform was to be found in the events of the few last years. When the noble Lord the Member for London introduced the Reform Bill, he said that the measure would enable the voice of the people to be heard in Parliament—that the Members who would be returned to the House of Commons, under its enactments, would be the real representatives of the people, and that the result would be to secure good and cheap Government for the nation. Had the noble Lord's promise been fulfilled 1 Quite the reverse. That measure was a complete failure. It was a curious circumstance that the leading Members of the present Government were also the leading Members of the Government which existed immediately previous to the introduction of the Reform Bill. Before the last general election, which placed the present Ministers in office they declared that they would conduct the Government on the principles which they professed before the passing of the Reform Act, and they had kept their word. The bribery which took place at the last election was equal to any that was practised under the old system; the electors were bought and sold, as used to be said formerly, "like cattle in Smith-field market." This was clearly proved by the committee obtained by the Member for Bath, and is notorious to all. Then, as to cheap Government, which had been promised as the result of the Reform Bill; he would remind hon. Members, they were now in the 28th year of peace, and yet they were augmenting the national debt, whilst the amount of taxation could scarcely be borne. Within the last three years the taxes had increased 8,000,000l., and within eight years 42,000,000l. had been added to the permanent debt. Before the French war, in 1792, the army did not exceed 36,000 men, the taxes were under 19,000,000l., and the public establishments limited to the wants of the country. He could not say that at present. In fact, since the Reform Bill we had had a dearer Government than any one which had existed under the borough mongering Parliaments. This year the army was 120,000 men, and the taxes expected to produce 56,000,000l., which is a larger amount than the taxes of any year during the last war, taking into consideration the depreciated value of money then 510 as compared with the present. The noble Lord (Lord J. Russell) who was now the advocate of the finality of the Reform Bill, when that measure was before this House said, " I propose that the people should send to this House real representatives, to deliberate on their wants and consult on their interests, to consider their grievances and attend to their desires." But he denied that the Reform Bill had accomplished these objects. This House did not really represent the people. He knew not an instance in which the wants, wishes, and desires of the people had been attended to; on the contrary, he believed the acts of this House were generally in direct opposition to their wants, wishes, and desires. The noble Lord had also boasted of the immense power the House possessed by its hold of the purse-strings of the nation. He had had the honour of a seat in the House ever since the passing of the Reform Bill, with the exception of two years, and he had never seen thirty Members who opposed any expenditure that was proposed, however profligate it might be. Why, under the boasted Reform Bill, there were at present five boroughs returning ten members to that House, the constituency of the whole being only 1,088; there were thirty-seven boroughs returning sixty-one Members, the constituency of the whole being less than that of Manchester; one fifth of the whole House was elected by towns which had an aggregate constituency little more numerous than that of the West Riding of Yorkshire; and there were many other glaring defects in the representation, which, in order to save the country from a state of things which would destroy that protection to life and property which all should enjoy, he should wish to see amended. He trusted that the noble Lord, the Member for the city of London would abandon his finality doctrines, and then he might again become the leader of the Reform party in that House. He would give his vote in favour of the motion, although he did not agree in all the principles the hon. Mover advocated.
§ Mr. Curteis
was not prepared to carry the franchise to such an extent as the hon. Member advocated in the present state of the people; but he had seen so much corruption, and so much intimidation, that he had become a convert to the ballot. He was also in favour of shortening the duration of Parliaments, although on that point he thought the people had not much 511 reason to complain. He was asked one day whether he would vote in favour of triennial Parliaments, and he said, " Yes, with pleasure, for it would save me much trouble and expense, for I have had rive elections during seven years."
§ Mr. Fielden
was understood to deprecate inattention to the prayers of the people on these and other subjects, considered by them as important to their welfare. The character of the measures which emanated from the Legislature as at present constituted, was not likely to recommend it to the people. He alluded particularly to Ireland, emphatically condemned the injudicious imposition of a poor law on that country akin to that which had caused so much dissatisfaction in this country. The operation of that law was most distressing, and tended to excite the utmost hostility on the part of the people. As to this country, the distressed position of the manufacturing population, and the apathy with which their distress was regarded by a Legislature which had voted 20,000,000l. for the sake of slave owners' "compensation," was to say the worst of it most unfortunate. The poor-law had been worthily followed up by the introduction of a most unnecessary and unconstitutional police force; when the people asked for bread they had been given a stone, and a serpent was offered for a fish. A similarly unconstitutional spirit had marked the attempts to supersede insidiously the trial by jury by the "Juvenile Offenders Bill." The people seemed always doomed to suffer from the Legislature, which was generally injudicious, even when well meaning. Then great contests had arisen upon the question of the Corn-laws, which affected class interests much more than the welfare of the poor; for he believed there was amply sufficient soil in this country to grow corn for the supply of all her population; and, for his part, he had rather our people were fed with corn grown at home and the result of home labour. There were many waste lands in this country which ought to be cultivated, but that was a subject which had been neglected by the Legislature. There were many other and far deeper evils in the existing state of society, which required the remedy of, really impartial and disinterested Legislation—a remedy not to be expected till Parliament was more opened to the influence of the working classes.
§ Mr. Ward
considered the proposition 512 now before the House as a practical one, and although he might not agree with his hon. Friend the Member for Rochdale, that the franchise should be extended to every person of sane mind and twenty-one years of age, yet as his hon. Friend had justly said in committee, they would be able to discuss the point how far a full representation could be made compatible with the public welfare. On the subject of the ballot he was quite agreed with his hon. Friend, and their views had been supported in that House by minorities numbering more than 200. For shortening Parliaments, also, large minorities had expressed themselves. As to property qualification, there was none in Scotland; but he was yet to be informed that the want of qualification operated at all his-advantageously to Scottish members. To the working class the question now before the House was all in all. Whatever mental power a man of that class might have, to throw a new light on the subject discussed in Parliament, the property qualification made it impossible for such a man to enter the House; yet he believed that the House would derive great benefit from some infusion into their debates of the views and sentiments of the working class. Agreeing, therefore, on so many points with his hon. Friend, he held it to be his bounden duty to vote for the proposition. The House ought not to disguise from itself the extent to which the opinion was spreading among the people that this House did not represent the feelings of the people. When he first went to Sheffield the franchise question excited no interest. There were people indeed who thought the Reform bill ought to have fixed a lower franchise, but among the constituency there was no general feeling in favour of a further extension; and when he had himself expressed an opinion to that effect, he found that he was going beyond the opinions of his constituents. A great change had since taken place. He had received within a few days letters, bearing 800 signatures, praying him to support the motion of his hon. Friend the Member for Rochdale to its fullest extent. Much of this feeling in favour of a further extension of the suffrage had no doubt arisen from the course taken by the noble Lord the Member for London, who, it was long expected, would have shown a greater desire to carry out the principles of the Reform Bill. With respect to the violent opinions laid to the charge against 513 the working classes, he felt bound to say that the most dangerous opinions of the Chartists—those on the subject of machinery, for instance—had been quite as strongly expressed within the walls of that House. He believed that Parliament might with perfect safety reconsider the representation of the country; and he believed that the franchise might, with perfect safety, be thrown open to a large proportion of the working classes.
said it appeared the argument was to be all on one side, but he could assure them that the feeling excited on this question out of the House was very different from that manifested within its walls; and he believed the House acted most unwisely in not taking a more serious view of this matter. The Reform Bill had given the people a worse House of Commons than they had before the passing of that bill. The present House paid much less attention to the wishes of the people than did the uniformed House. The hon. Member for Coventry had noticed the great increase of taxation, but he had adverted to the great reduction in the price of all commodities which had also taken place. While the amount of taxation had increased, the value of all produce which enabled the people to pay taxes, had fallen one-third, or in some cases a half. That made the present taxation unbearable. Some years ago, a petition praying for much the same thing as was now contemplated, and bearing upwards of a million of signatures, was presented by the hon. Member for Birmingham. Did they suppose the people were satisfied with the rejection of their petitions? He was as fully convinced as of his own existence, that sooner or later the House must come to all the points of the bill now proposed; the people were determined to have these changes made; they were suffering the greatest distress, and they saw that that House had done nothing to relieve them. All that was now asked was for leave to bring in a bill to secure the full representation of the people. Objection had been taken to the word " full"—but had not the people a right to be fully represented? and were they so represented? That was the whole question. Entertaining the opinions which he did he should cordially support the motion.
§ Mr. Ross
said, that he was in the manufacturing districts in the north of Eng- 514 land for some time last year, and there he heard doctrines propounded which appeared to him so monstrous, and he was sorry to say so widely spread, that if this bill became law, the country would have such a deluge of these doctrines as would carry all before it. At some of the public meetings held in these districts he heard speakers express a wish for the demolition of all the factories throughout the kingdom; and he heard one man addressing a meeting of 10,000 men say, that he should like to see all the follies of the Monarchy swept away. His hon. Friend the Member for Rochdale was present, and also Mr. J. Bright, who said that these feelings pervaded the manufacturing districts. Now he was a friend to the Monarchy, and should not like to see the Constitution destroyed. He therefore could not vote in favour of a measure the tendency of which seemed to him to enforce such doctrines as he had referred to. At the same time, he was not. satisfied with the representation of the people in that House; for he thought it did not fairly represent the sense and understanding of the country. An amendment might be made in the representation of the people. Members of literary institutions and all similar bodies should undoubtedly have votes. He did not object to the extension of the suffrage on account of the ignorance. of the people, for they might be qualified to express an opinion with respect to a candidate, but he was afraid that much error prevailed throughout the country, and he was more afraid of the consequences of erroneous doctrines than of the effects of ignorance. Under these circumstances he should neither vote for nor against the proposition of his hon. Friend.
§ Sir R. Peel
said, the hon. Gentleman who had just spoken had not assigned a very satisfactory reason for the course he intended to take. The hon. Gentleman objected to the proposition of the hon. Member because he thought the tendency of the bill was to introduce a republican form of Government in the place of that limited monarchy to which he said he had the deepest and warmest attachment; but yet he would not make such a demonstration of his attachment as to give a vote against the motion. He thought if the hon. Gentleman's attachment to our limited monarchy was so warm, he might, in its support, make the sacrifice which would be involved in his walking out with 515 those who were opposed to this motion. But the hon. Gentleman had another reform of his own, and he knew no reason why the hon. Gentleman, at the same time that he voted against this motion, should not give notice of his own proposition. However, he did not exactly know how the hon. Gentleman would carry out his principle of reform. The hon. Gentle man did not object to the ignorance of voters; he thought that enlightened men, under certain restrictions, should have the franchise, and he also thought that ignorant men, under certain restrictions, should have that right. The hon. Gentleman did not fear ignorance, but he feared erroneous opinions, and he should be curious to see what test the hon. Gentleman would apply in respect to erroneous opinions. The hon. Member said, he would admit the Members of literary institutions; but really then he must take great care that the literary institutions which may be formed for qualifying electors, are not literary institutions propagating erroneous opinions. He should be curious to see the process by which the hon. Member determined what opinions were erroneous and what were not—and what were the literary institutions which would come within his description. That, however, was not the question before the House, with respect to which he did not intend to take the course which the hon. Member adopted. The hon. Gentleman said, he should neither vote for nor against the proposition of his hon. Friend, and he thought the hon. Gentleman, the author of the motion, would say he was treating the motion more respectfully by frankly avowing his dissent from it, than if he had absented himself from the discussion and the division. From the respect he had for the integrity of that hon. Gentleman's motives and his character, he thought it was more respectful towards him and those who concurred with the hon. Gentleman, that he should frankly avow his statements, than remain altogether silent. He should decline, however, entering into any lengthened discussion. The subject was so extensive that properly to discuss every matter involved in it would necessarily require him to go into details which he did not think the House was prepared for, and he doubted whether it would be a satisfactory way of discussing the question. The hon. Member had called the attention of the House to several propositions, first, the abolition of all qualifica- 516 tions on the part of the candidate; next, limiting the period of the duration of Parliaments; next, to vote by ballot; next, what was called, although the hon. Member did not contend for this object in its full extent, universal suffrage; and lastly, the division of the country into new electoral districts. He was quite sure that no one who was aware of the extreme importance of those subjects would deny the impossibility of discussing them in all their bearings on the Constitution in this method—subjects, each of which would require, efore there could be any satifactory conclusion formed with regard to them, a very lengthened discussion. It would be quite impossible that to discuss so many subjects at once could lead to any good result, and on that ground, and not from any insensibility to the importance of the subjects, he should decline entering into them at length. The hon. Member said that, though he contended for universal suffrage in the abstract, still he was perfectly ready to listen to any modification that may be proposed. He did not understand how the hon. Member could admit any modification of his principle, because he said that every man who was not allowed to exercise that right was in the condition of an alien and a slave. How, then, could the hon. Gentleman, with his opinions as to the consequences of being excluded from the suffrage, listen to any modifications? How could the hon. Gentleman be convinced that any considerations of expediency would entitle the House to subject any man to the reproach of being an alien and a slave? He (Sir R. Peel) totally differed from the right hon. Gentleman as to the existence of the right, and as to the consequences which must result from an application of this principle. If the hon. Gentleman's principles were correct he could not conceive how the hon. Gentleman could propose to maintain a House of Lords, to control the decision of the popular assembly. He did not consider them to be at all compatible with the maintenance of a limited constitutional monarchy in this country. The hon. Member contended for the right of each man to have an equal influence in conducting the affairs of the country, without reference to his property, his stake in the country, or his knowledge. On that principle, the most democratic and republican form of Government might be founded, 517 but how it could be consistent with the ancient form of monarchy established in this country, he could not conceive. He was placed apparently in the position of being a defender of the Reform Bill, to the passing of which he was opposed. He saw at present no one of the immediate authors of that measure in the House. [A >voice, "Look behind you."] Certainly there was his right hon. Friend (Sir James Graham), but none of those right hon. Gentlemen were in their places who were bound to defend the Reform Bill. The conclusion which he should draw from several of the speeches he had heard was, not that we should make a further experiment in reform, but that we should repeal the Reform Act, and reconstitute Parliament on the basis of the arrangement existing before that act was passed. So far from having received any encouragement to proceed with the experiment, the inference which followed from the speeches of two or three hon. Gentlemen was, that the unreformed Parliament was infinitely better than the reformed; and that an infusion of more of the popular principle into the representative assembly of this country bad worked nothing but evil. The hon. Gentleman the Member for Coventry had told the House that in the unreformed Parliament, before we ventured on this experiment of reform, the estimates of expenditure were much more reasonable than they had been of late years; that public taxation had progressively increased since the reformed Parliament had been in existence, and that the unreformed Parliament had shown much more attention to the general interests of the country than the reformed Parliament. When he recollected all the prophecies which were made as to the consequences of reform, he confessed he much distrusted the more lavish promises now made as to the blessed consequences of the further application of the principle. The hon. Gentleman said,See what the estimates were in 1792: you had then an army of only 36,000 men, moderate establishments, the taxes limited, and the military force not beyond the exigencies of the country.Well, but these estimates were voted by an unreformed Parliament. Seeing these accusations against the reformed Parliament, he certainly was not encouraged to adopt the principles of the hon. Gentlemen opposite. Indeed, from some of the 518 principles avowed to-night by Members who certainly would be returned to Parliament if the motion of the hon. Gentlemen were carried under a much more extended franchise, he very much doubted whether the legislation of the new Parliament would be marked by much more wisdom than that of its immediate predecessor. Take, for instance, the gallant Officer who spoke shortly before, and who maintained this principle, that provided there had been a reduction in the price of produce, there ought necessarily to be a reduction of taxation; so that according to the hon. and gallant Officer, if you could not get the same price for a yard of calico which you used to do, it would be absurd to levy the same amount of taxation on the people. He always thought that the sound doctrine of political economy was, the more the people saved in the prime cost of an article, the greater was their ability to bear taxation. To suppose there was any analogy between the price of a yard of calico and the amount of taxation which the country was able to bear, was a confusion of ideas which he did hope would be corrected before the hon. and gallant Officer took his seat in the new Parliament. There were a thousand causes which affected the price of goods; and for the hon. Member to say, that the taxation of the country must necessarily have a reference to the prime cost of each article, as corn or calico, showed there would be no great chance of benefiting the country from a Parliament composed of such Legislators. He would undertake to show that the price of a yard of calico, at the present moment, was probably one-third, or at least one-fifth or one-sixth less than in 1780; and he could account for all the causes which had reduced the price; but he would also maintain that it did not follow that the country was not therefore able to bear the same amount of taxation as in 1780. The other hon. Member for Oldham had stated charges against the present Parliament. One of them was, that a bill had been proposed by some individual Member, for the purpose of subjecting juvenile offenders to summary jurisdiction. He could only say that the motives for introducing the bill, if he recollected them rightly, could not be termed adverse to popular rights. Great complaints had been made that the character of very young children who might 519 have committed some trifling offence was ruined by subjecting them to a long imprisonment before they were brought to trial, while the country was put to vast expense by the cumbrous process used for the purpose of punishing boys who might have pilfered a few turnips or apples, and it was considered desirable that means should be taken to rescue these children from the contamination of the society of the gaol. Accordingly a Mem-of the House proposed that summary jurisdiction in such cases should be given to magistrates. There might be many reasons against the proposal, but he thought it hardly fair to denounce a constitution because an individual Member, with motives and objects such as he had mentioned, proposed a measure of this description. Then, with respect to the measure of making 5l. notes a legal tender, that was advocated by many hon. Gentlemen who were not opposed to the extension of popular rights. He had predicted the evil consequences which were likely to flow from it, and had given his opinion against it. But that was surely a matter which might be considered without its being supposed that the proposers or opposers of it had any hostile design against the liberties of the people. He was rather afraid that an alteration of the currency was one of the measures which would be popular with a Parliament returned under the system proposed by the hon. Member. Then the hon. Member said,See what the late Parliament has done; it has increased the paper currency, and laid the foundation of joint-stock banks, which gave facilities for extending it, the tendency of which, he said, was to diminish the rights and liberties of the people.If the hon. Member would consult the hon. Member for Birmingham, who sat near him, who was returned by a popular constituency, and respected popular rights, he would no doubt be told that this plan was perfectly consistent with public interests, and with the comforts of the working classes; and that though possibly the hon. Member might not wish to promote the issue of 1l. or 2l. notes, at any rate, he would contend for a very considerable extension of the currency, and would expect to give material relief to the public burthens by a measure of this nature. He said then, that the hon. Member had no right to find in any such changes as these 520 an intention on the part of Parliament to limit and confine the privileges of the people. Whatever effect these changes ultimately might have upon the political freedom of the lower orders, they were agreed to by this House without any view to such effect, and without any belief that they would be productive of such effect. Therefore, he thought the charges brought by the hon. Member against the existing constitution of Parliament rested on no good foundation. It was very doubtful, whether, if the principles of the hon. Member for Oldham were adopted, the public interests would be promoted, or the popular will satisfied. The hon. Member declared himself decidedly adverse to the Corn-laws, but said he viewed with satisfaction the consumption of our own corn in preference to that of foreign countries. Then he exclaimed, look at the waste lands of England and Ireland, which have been neglected by the madness of the Parliament, and he proposed the application of large capital to their cultivation, for the purpose of encouraging the growth of domestic corn. If these views were to prevail, he must again doubt whether, in the new Parliament, any great advance would be made in the application of popular principles. With the encouragement of the existing Corn-laws, these lands had not yet been cultivated by individual enterprise. What was the legislation by which the hon. Member proposed to secure his object? Would he lay out the public money for the purpose, and undertake the promotion of agriculture at the charge of the state? If individual exertion the hope of gain, the competition of capital, had not been sufficient to bring these lands into cultivation, would that object be attained by the means proposed by the hon. Member? If the hon. Member thought so, he would find many Gentlemen on his own side of the House who would deprecate the measure, because, however captivating it might be, as tending to promote the interests of the labouring classes, they would tell him it was their bounden duty to resist plausible theories and popular arguments, by which they might be supported, and look only to the ultimate results. Then with respect to the Poor-law, why that law was introduced by many of the most strenuous advocates of popular rights in this country, and was intended for the benefit of the working classes. The hon. Member de- 521 preciated the law, and laid its character was atrocious; but could it in fairness be said, that it was introduced by the aristocracy, or that it was introduced for the purpose of maintaining the rights of the aristocracy or for any other purpose than this, that the condition of the working classes was so depressed at the time, from a habit of depending on the poor-rates instead of on their own industry, that many of the most fervent friends of the rights of the people thought it expedient to make a great change in the Poor-law, in order to remove that depression! He doubted, whether, if alterations in the constitution were now made, and laws passed for the purpose of gaining popular favour, they would not find precisely the same condition of opinion as at present, and whether the tendency of their changes would not be to injure the firm, comprehensive, and permanent interests of the country for the purpose of making experiments of popular and plausible measures which were great favourites of some hon. Gentlemen opposite. He had now fulfilled the object for which he had risen; he had been unwilling to meet an important motion of this kind with merely a silent negative. He had slated generally the grounds on which he opposed it, believing that it was entirely inconsistent with the existence of the constitution of this country, which, whatever might be the difficulties to which we were now temporarily subjected, had on the whole, secured to the people of this country more of real freedom than had existed in any other part of the globe, under any form of Government whatever.
§ Mr. T. Duncombe
could not allow the aspersions which the hon. Member for Belfast had thrown on the working classes, especially those in the manufacing districts, to go altogether unnoticed, and he must give them the most unqualified contradiction. Where his hon. Friend the Member for Rochdale had introduced the hon. Member for Belfast it was impossible for him to say; but he could say he had seen very large assemblages of the working classes in the manufacturing districts and no sentiments of the character attributed to them by the hon. Member had he ever on any occasion heard. The rights of property he had always heard them respect and profess their readiness to uphold. What they claimed for themselves was equality of 522 political rights, and to that, he maintained they were entitled. As to the revolutionary doctrines they were said to hold—that they wished all the factories in the country to be destroyed, that as they themselves were in a state of poverty and distress, they wished their masters and their families also to be ruined—he should like to ask the hon. Member for Belfast, and all who came from the manufacturing districts, who were acquainted with the feelings and wishes of the working classes, whether they could not have gratified these desires, had they entertained them, during the disturbances of last autumn? Did not the House know that the town of Manchester had been in the hands and at the mercy of the populace for three days, and that they might have levelled every factory in Manchester and the adjacent manufacturing towns with the ground, if they had had any such intentions as those attributed to them. He denied that they had any such intentions; he said it was a libel on the working classes to attribute them. Would his hon. Friend tell them where he met the persons of whom he spoke? [Mr. Boss; "About four miles from Rochdale."] He understood his hon. Friend also to say, that Mr. Bright had said these sentiments pervaded the manufacturing districts. [Mr. Ross: "Yes."] A most extraordinary thing, if they did pervade the manufacturing districts, that they should not have exhibited themselves during the disturbances of last autumn, when, he believed, neither in Manchester, nor in any other of the manufacturing towns, was there a single atom of property injured by those engaged in the disturbances. They had prevented, by violence, threats, and intimidation, a large number of the working classes from pursuing their daily vocation. Nothing could be more culpable than this part of their proceedings, but he believed that not the least damage was done to property. With respect to the motion of his hon. Friend, it was not for him to excuse her Majesty's late Ministers, or to offer any apology for their absence. He supposed, as they had seen their successors take up a considerable portion of their free-trade principles, they thought they might safely leave their finality principles in the hands of the right hon. Baronet; and he must say, a more efficient advocate of those principles they could not find. It was really too absurd to say, that the conse- 523 quence of allowing every man to have a vote, must be that the aristocracy and the monarchy would be swept away. What was that House called? They named it the people's house; and all that he and his hon. Friend asked was, that it should be identified with the people, and become part and parcel of the people. The House of Lords would remain exactly where it was, though the working classes might be admitted to vote. There was no intention on the part of the working classes to do away with the House of Lords, or offer any disturbance to the Sovereign on her Throne. He did believe that such an intention never entered their heads; all they wanted, all they required was, that their interests should be represented in that House. The hon. Member for Oldham had given them his views, not only of the state of the country, but of the proceedings of the House, in the reformed and the unreformed Parliament. He could discover no great act of benefit to the people accomplished by the reformed Parliament. Catholic emancipation, repeal of the Test Act, the Reform Act itself, had been passed by unreformed Parliaments, and he knew of no other great measure carried, except that of negro emancipation, at the cost of 20,000,000l. to this country, and he did not know that there was any thing that might not be carried in this country by money, at the expense of 20,000,000l. He believed they might carry the repeal of the Corn-laws at much less; if they gave the country gentlemen only one-half of the 20,000,000l., he ventured to say they might carry the repeal of the Corn-laws to-morrow. He, therefore, did not give the House the slightest credit for negro emancipation, when carried at such an enormous cost to this country. He had not intended to take part in this debate, but he could not hear the statements of the hon. Member for Belfast without giving them an unqualified contradiction. The working classes did not wish for revolution, but Gentlemen would find, if they knew them better, that they had no right to attribute any such opinions to them. If treated with kindness, it would be found that, if they did not surpass they at least equalled hon. Gentlemen in their anxiety to support their character for loyalty to their Sovereign, and to maintain the honour of their country.
§ Dr. Bowring
thought that neither ignor- 524 ance nor poverty should be a bar to representation; indeed, he wished that even erroneous opinions should be represented in that House, in order that they might be brought into the arena of public discussion. The opinion was widely spread throughout the country that the people were not adequately represented; but the organization out of doors was becoming stronger every day for the purpose of making legislation more subservient to public opinion and popular interests; and, whatever the decision of the House might be now, the time was not far distant when it would be impossible for them to hold the reins of power without ceding much to public opinion. He should support the motion of the hon. Gentleman.
§ Mr. Muntz
denied that he had advocated an unlimited increase of paper circulation with the view of obtaining a temporary prosperity. He had never recommended anything of the kind. He complained that the value of money did not bear a proper relation to the price of corn, and that they must, either alter the money value or the corn laws. With respect to the present motion, he was favourable to a considerable extension of the suffrage; he believed it to be due to the people and absolutely necessary; but, although he wished the duration of Parliaments to be much abridged, he could not support the proposition to make them annual. If Parliaments were annual, then legislation would be nothing but a system of electioneering. He had the deepest sympathy with the people in the privations, the sufferings, and the miseries they now bore so patiently, and he knew that many attributed them entirely to the want of fair representation in Parliament. If the petitions of the people were properly attended to—if justice were done—he felt assured they would give up political agitation altogether.
§ Mr. Ferrand
entirely agreed with the hon. Member for Birmingham. If that House paid more attention to the real grievances and petitions of the working classes there would be no more agitation for universal suffrage. During the last Session of Parliament a select committee was appointed to inquire into the injurious effects of the truck system; and the witnesses who were examined before it proved that the working classes were most cruelly treated by their roasters in many parts of the country. The evidence taken had 525 been laid on the Table, but up to the pre-sent moment no measures had been adopted to put an end to that system of cruelty and oppression. During the present Session a great many petitions had been presented, imploring that immediate steps should be taken effectually to abolish the truck system, and he did hope the Government would pay attention to this subject. There was another subject on which the people in the north of England felt deeply aggrieved—he referred to the cruelties inflicted upon them by the New Poor Law. At this very moment the working classes in the Bradford Union were compelled to walk nine miles to their labour, and after working under a taskmaster all day were obliged to walk nine miles home in the evening. Could men sit down patiently under such treatment as this? The working classes were a patient, enduring, and loyal race of men, devoted to their sovereign and anxious to support the laws and the institutions of the country; it was therefore but right that fair attention should be paid to their petitions. While that House paid so little attention to the petitions and complaints of the people, even when those complaints had been proved before Parliamentary committees, it was less surprising to find them agitating such questions as universal suffrage; but if they would only do the working classes justice they would be content to earn their bread with the sweat of their brow, and leave legislation in the hands of those whose position in society gave them leisure and disposition to attend to it.
§ Mr. Stansfield
opposed the motion. Without a great improvement in the education and morals of the people at large the advantages which the hon. Member for Rochdale contemplated by the success of his motion never could be realized. It would only create hopes to disappoint them.
§ Lord J. Manners
did not think that a debate of so much importance could well be closed without some further observations being made on his (the Ministerial) side of the House. He opposed the motion, not because he differed from the hon. Gentleman on trivial grounds of expediency. If his difference of opinion were merely one of time or circumstances, he should not vote against it; but differing, as he did, on the abstract principles on which he conceived the motion to be founded,—denying altogether the position 526 that the people were the source of all legitimate power,—believing, as he most conscientiously did, that all political power derived its only sanction and incurred its chief responsibilities from a source far higher than that abstract something or nothing—the people, he felt himself bound to oppose the motion. Furthermore, he conceived that as the principles he advocated were departed from, so the comforts of the people bad diminished. For the last 150 years the principles contended for by the hon. Member for Rochdale had been more or less put into practice, and as power was taken away from the mitre and crown, and transferred either to the people in that House or out of it, their physical and moral happiness had been lessened. This fact had been so happily expressed by Sir Edward Bulwer, that he could not help quoting his words. Referring to questions of this sort, Sir Edward Bulwer said:—They tell thee in their dreaming school,Of power from old dominion hurled,When rich and poor with juster rule,Shall share the altered world.Alas! since time itself began,That fable has but fooled the hour,Each age that ripens power in manBut subjects man to power.He would extend the feeling of responsibility between the rich and the poor, and shorten the interval which in his opinion was growing too wide between those for whom wealth was made and those who made it. Thus they would most materially promote the welfare of all classes. It was because he was convinced that the happiness and prosperity of the people were intimately connected with the triumph of those principles—principles which, as they demanded ready obedience on the one hand, involved the most serious and awful responsibilities on the other—principles which, while they would render the church triumphant, and the monarchy powerful, would also restore contentment to a struggling, overworked, and deluded people—that he opposed the motion of the hon. Member.
§ Mr. Trelawny
would not support a motion for annual Parliaments and universal suffrage, but he was favourable to a considerable extension of the suffrage and triennial Parliaments. The noble Lord who had just sat down talked of "that abstract something or nothing, the people"; and he could not help thinking 527 such a designation came with peculiar appropriateness from a noble Lord who supported the corn laws, thinking no doubt, that an " abstract something or nothing" must be incapable of eating and drinking.
Sir W. James
felt all the responsibility of addressing the House on such a question in the present state of the country. He was a decided opponent of all organic changes in the constitution, and was, moveover, of opinion that all such attempts, as far as they had been carried, had hitherto proved failures. It was thought by many hon. Members that the Reform Bill, at the time when it became law, would prove a remedy for all abuses; and it was little short of heresy, at that time, to venture a suspicion as to its perfection. Yet how many had since confessed it to be an utter and complete failure. It was thought by the lower orders that that measure was to improve their condition and give them cheap bread; but it had failed, as he believed every further experiment on the side of democracy would fail. The hon. Member's motion, if successful, must overturn the institutions of the country before the lapse of many years; for one of its first effects must be to stir up a conflict between the upper and the lower branches of the legislature, in which the humiliation of one was certain, a state of things which had resulted from a former measure in its early operation. If the present motion were carried, what would the Sovereign become but the chief magistrate of a republic? From the time of Henry VII. to the treaty of Vienna there had been a constant struggle between the House of Commons and the Crown; but since the latter period the struggle had been between a certain portion of the House of Commons and the democratic principle out of doors. It was said by Lord Chatham, on undertaking the Government at a very critical period, that he could save the country, and no one else could. He wished to see this feeling animate the right hon. Baronet opposite. He thought the measures of the past year were all in a right direction, and that the worst consequences would have ensued if they had not been adopted. He hoped all the upper classes would see that the time was come when they must make sacrifices to set the labourer free from the consequences of the competition now going on. The simultaneous increase 528 of the price of corn and the national debt from 1790 to the peace was evidence that a virtual bargain was struck between the state and the people; but as the state received taxes so it should have the power of issuing currency which would enable the working classes to cast the burthen of taxation upon their superiors. Since that time, however, we had changed the system, and thrown a much greater burthen on the labouring classes than it had ever been thought they would be likely to bear. He thought it was the duty of the House to promote the physical comforts and happiness of the lower orders, but as he did not think it likely to effect that object he could not give his support to the motion.
§ Mr. Hindley
rose amid cries of " Divide," and said, that after the observations made by the hon. Baronet who had last addressed the House, he was surprised that the hon. Gentleman had not voted the other evening in favour of the motion of the hon. Member for Wolverhampton (Mr. C. Villiers). He was glad to hear the hon. Baronet express so much anxiety for the improvement of the condition of the labouring classes. He must at the same time observe, that he thought there was some inconsistency in the conduct of the hon. Gentleman, who, professing great anxiety for the welfare of the people, still opposed the repeal of the Corn-laws. They had been told that having demanded " the bill, the whole bill, and nothing but the bill," and having obtained their request, they ought to be satisfied; but the question was—had they got what they had demanded? They had got the bill and something more. Two clauses had been subsequently introduced, which completely swamped the rest of the bill, and but for those clauses hon. Gentlemen opposite had never enjoyed their majority. He certainly thought that one class of the community ought not to have the power of imposing taxes which another class was compelled to pay. He believed that if the people had justice done them, they would not seek for further reforms, as he believed if the legislature had done justice to the people of Ireland, the agitation which now prevailed in that country on the subject of repeal would never have arisen.
§ Mr. S. Crawford,
in reply, said that his hon. Friend the Member for Belfast (Mr. Ross) had alluded to a meeting at which he (Mr. Crawford) was present, and 529 at which one of the speakers expressed a desire for the destruction of machinery throughout the country. He remembered that one of the speakers on that occasion adverted to the injurious effects of machinery, with regard to the operatives; but he could not recollect that any such expression as that mentioned by the hon. Gentleman was used. He might also observe, with respect to another allusion of the hon. Member for Belfast, that he was present at a meeting at Leeds, at which one of the speakers referred to the dangers which might result to the monarchy if fair and just reforms were not conceded; but certainly such strong language as that stated by the hon. Gentleman was not uttered. He had no recollection that any language was used on that occasion which could be construed into a desire to subvert the monarchy.
§ House divided—Ayes 32; Noes 101: Majority 69.
|List of the AYES.|
|Blake, Sir V.||O'Brien, J.|
|Blewitt, R. J.||Pechell, Capt.|
|Bowring, Dr.||Plumridge, Capt.|
|Brotherton, J.||Roebuck, J. A.|
|Christie, W. D.||Scholefield, J.|
|Collett, J.||Strickland, Sir G.|
|Collins, W.||Tancred, H. W.|
|Curteis, H. B.||Thornely, T.|
|Duncan, G.||Trelawny, J. S.|
|Ewart, W.||Villiers, hon. C.|
|Fielden, J.||Wakley, T.|
|Gibson, T. M.||Ward, H. G.|
|Hatton, Capt. V.||Wawn, J. T.|
|Hindley, C.||Williams, W.|
|Muntz, G. F.||Crawford, W. S.|
|Murphy, F. S.||Duncombe, T.|
|List of the NOES.|
|Acton, Col.||Corry, rt. hon. H.|
|Allix, J. P.||Craig, W. G.|
|Arbuthnott, hon. H.||Cripps, W.|
|Arkwright, G.||Damer, hon. Col.|
|Baillie, Col.||Darby, G.|
|Baillie, H. J.||Davies, D. A. S.|
|Barnard, E. G.||Divett, E.|
|Blackburne, J. I.||Douglas, J. D. S.|
|Borthwick, P.||Dowdeswell, W.|
|Botfield, B.||Eliot, Lord|
|Boyd, J.||Escott, B.|
|Browne, hon. W.||Farnham, E. B.|
|Chetwode, Sir J.||Ferrand, W. B.|
|Childers, J. W.||Flower, Sir J.|
|Clayton, R. R.||Ffolliott, J.|
|Clerk, Sir G.||Forbes, W.|
|Colquhoun, J. C.||Gaskell, J. Milnes|
|Compton, H. C,||Gladstone, rt. hn. W, E.|
|Graham, rt. hn. Sir J.||Marsham, Visct.|
|Greene, T.||Masterman, J.|
|Grimston, Visct.||Maxwell, hon. J. P.|
|Halford, H.||Meynell, Capt.|
|Hamilton, W. J.||Nicholl, rt. hon. J.|
|Hampden, R.||Northland, Visct.|
|Hardinge, right hon. Sir R.||O'Brien, A. S.|
|Peel, rt. hon. Sir R,|
|Hawes, B.||Peel, J.|
|Hay, Sir A. L.||Polhill, F.|
|Henley, J. W.||Pringle, A.|
|Hepburn, Sir T. B.||Richards, R.|
|Herbert, hon. S.||Rose, rt. hn. Sir G.|
|Hervey, Lord A.||Scarlett, hon. R. C.|
|Hill, Lord M.||Smith, rt. hn. T. B. C.|
|Hinde, J. H.||Somerset, Lord G.|
|Hope, hon. C.||Sotheron, T. H. S.|
|Hope, G. W.||Stansfield, W. R. C.|
|Howard, P. H.||Stewart, J.|
|Hughes. W. B.||Sutton, hon. H. M.|
|James, Sir W. C.||Taylor, T. E.|
|Jermyn, Earl||Tollemache, J.|
|Jones, Capt.||Trench, Sir F. W.|
|Kelburne, Visct.||Trotter, J.|
|Kemble, H.||Vane, Lord K.|
|Lawson, A.||Vesey, hon. T.|
|Liddell, hon. H. T.||Vivian, J. E.|
|Lincoln, Earl of||Waddington, H. S.|
|Lindsay, H. H.||Wellesley, Lord C.|
|Lowther, hon. Col.||Wemyss, Capt.|
|Lygon, hon. Gen.||Young, J.|
|Manners, Lord C. S.||Fremantle, Sir T.|
|Manners, Lord J.||Baring, H.|