HC Deb 13 February 1849 vol 102 cc659-60

SIR J. PAKINGTON moved for leave to bring in a Bill for the better prevention of bribery and corruption at elections of Members to serve in Parliament. He said the importance of this Bill, which he had prepared with some degree of care, would be generally admitted. He had learned since he entered the House that the gross and notorious extent of bribery and corruption at the last two general elections was so generally acknowledged, that there was not likely to be any opposition to his Motion to bring in the Bill. He proposed, therefore, to reserve what he had to state for the second reading; and under the idea that he would best consult the convenience of the House by the adoption of this course, he would now postpone the arguments which he intended at this stage to bring forward in favour of the new principle he proposed to adopt. He moved formally for leave to bring in the Bill, and said that on the second reading he would state his remedy for the evils so generally acknowledged, and explain the deficiency of the existing law.


seconded the Motion.


said, he was glad the hon. Member (Sir J. Pakington) had introduced a measure having so desirable an object in view, and that when he saw a copy of the Bill, he would pay the utmost attention to its provisions.


said, that until he saw a copy of the Bill, he could not promise it his support; but that he was decidedly opposed to every species of bribery and corruption at elections. He believed that until the giving of wages and places to those who supported certain candidates was done away with, there could be no end to bribery and corruption; and that the greatest corruption was practised by those hon. Members on the other side of the House who would saddle it, if they could, upon their political opponents.

Leave given to bring in the Bill.