HC Deb 13 May 1847 vol 92 cc788-9

MR. SPOONER moved for leave to introduce a Bill for the more effectual suppression of trading in Seduction and Prostitution, and for the better protection of females. In compliance with the suggestions of the right hon. Gentleman (Sir G. Grey), his present measure was principally directed towards two objects. In the first place, any person trading in seduction would be liable to be indicted, and might be subjected to imprisonment. he proposed, in the next place, that if any brothel keeper should be convicted of keeping a brothel, it should be within the discretion of the court to make void any term he might have in the house. No one could reasonably object to such provisions; and he would now simply move for leave to bring in a Bill.


objected to the Motion. Too much of the time of the House had already been taken up with that subject during the Session. He believed that in mooting the subject, the hon. Member had done much injury by directing the attention of people towards it, when many might otherwise never have heard of it. The hon. Gentleman had much to answer for in this respect, for every discussion on this subject was injurious. He was sorry that the Government should allow this Bill to be brought in— a Bill in which the term "trading" in seduction had not been defined by the hon. Member; he did not know how to define it; and, he would add, that the Bill tended to excite discussion after discussion, and increased the evil which it proposed to suppress. He regretted that an hon. Member, like the hon. Member for Birmingham, should bring before the House his experience in such matters. [Laughter.] Yes! the hon. Member could not have grown grey without being acquainted with those matters; and although the hon. Member's experience might induce him to come forward in such a cause, he could not agree in the opinion that such discussions were not injurious. Let his hon. Friend, if he wished to put an end to vice, set the example himself—let him form a league for the promotion of virtue and its reward; and let him, by his own example, do that which would not be effected by legislation. He would oppose the Motion; and it was his intention to take the sense of the House upon it.


had yesterday explained the grounds upon which he objected to the Bill previously introduced by the hon. Member for Birmingham with reference to this subject, and the hon. Gentleman acquiesced in the justice of his objections. He had stated, however, that he was prepared to agree to a Bill limited to one object, which, he believed, this Bill was intended to effect. He did not think that there would be any difficulty in accomplishing that object; the existing law was, as he had before stated, defective in some points; and he hoped, therefore, that the hon. Member for Montrose would not persevere in his opposition.


was not present when the discussion on this subject took place yesterday; but he could be no party to the concern, and he felt it his duty to divide the House.

The House divided:—Ayes 57; Noes 11; Majority 46.

List of the AYES.
Acland, Sir T. D. Grey, rt. hon. Sir G.
Aglionby, H. A. Halford, Sir H.
Armstrong, Sir A. Hawes, B.
Bailey, J. Jun. Heathcoat, J.
Bankes, G. Hill, Lord M.
Baring, rt. hon. F. T. Hobhouse rt. hon. Sir J.
Bennet, P. Hudson, G.
Bentink, Lord G. Hughes, W. B.
Beresford, Maj. Jolliffe, Sir W. G. H.
Brotherton, J. Mackenzie, W. F.
Clayton, R. R. M'Carthy, A.
Cowper, hon. W. F. Maitland, T.
Dodd, G. Masterman, J.
Ellis, W. Maule, rt. hon. F.
Farnham, E. B. Mildmay, H. St. J.
Finch, G. Monahan, J. H.
Forbes, W. Morpeth, Visct.
Frewen, C. H. Morris, D.
Gibson, rt. hon. T. M. Newry, Visct.
Gisborne, T. Packe, C. W.
Greene, T. Parker, J.
Perfect, R. Tufnell, H.
Rashleigh, W. Vyvyan, Sir R. R.
Romilly, J. Wakley, T.
Rutherfurd, rt. hon. A. Ward, H. G.
Scrope, G. P. Wodehouse, E.
Somerville, Sir W. M. Wood, rt. hon. Sir C.
Stanton, W. H. TELLERS.
Tancred, H. W. Spooner, R.
Thornely, T. Borthwick, P.
List of the NOES.
Bowring, Dr. Talbot, C. R, M.
Duncombe, T. Trelawny, J. S.
Escott, B. Waddington, H. S.
Leader, J. T. Wood, Col. T.
Napier, Sir C. TELLERS.
Pechell, Capt. Hume, J.
Sibthorp, Col. Berkeley, hon. C.

Leave given.