HC Deb 01 April 1852 vol 120 cc526-41

rose to move for leave to bring in a Bill for the purpose of appointing Commissioners to inquire into the practices of bribery and corruption that were alleged to exist in the Borough of Harwich. He said the Bill which he proposed to bring in was nearly word for word the same as that which had been passed with regard to the Borough of St. Albans. His hon. Friend the Member for St. Albans (Mr. J. Bell) had asked why St. Albans had been selected when so many other boroughs were accused of corruption? He thought he would be able to show, not only that there was a primâ facie case for believing that corruption did exist in Harwich, but he would be able to adduce proofs of its actual existence, and further, that Harwich was in a situation which no other corrupt borough was in. It could not be said that he brought for- ward this Motion for the purpose of impeding the action of the present Government; he had given notice of a similar Motion last year, and he was now only following up the course which he recommended then. Nay, he was following up the course adopted last year by a Member of the present Government, the right hon. the Judge Advocate (Mr. Bankes), who in the course of last Session moved for a Committee to inquire into the corruption that was alleged to exist in the borough, and who had his Committee granted to him, though from circumstances that Committee had never met. He (Sir De L. Evans) thought the right hon. Gentleman was bound to have followed up his Motion this Session, or if the onerous affairs of his office prevented him from doing that, at all events he hoped the right hon. Gentleman would second the present Motion. He (Sir De L. Evans) only proposed to go back ten years with regard to the corruption existing in the borough, though in the case of St. Albans the Commissioners were allowed to go as far back as they thought expedient. When the subject was last discussed, the hon. Member for the West Riding of Yorkshire (Mr. Cobden), and the noble Lord the Member for Marylebone (Lord D. Stuart), expressed their opinion in strong terms. As regarded the evidence of corruption, he (Sir De L. Evans) laboured under an embarras des richesses. The first petition, presented in 1841, was stopped by one of those compromises which induced the hon. and learned Member for Sheffield (Mr. Roebuck) to move his celebrated "Compromise Committee" in 1842. The next petition was in 1848, in reference to the election of 1847, and then Mr. Attwood was unseated on the ground of bribery. There was then another petition against Sir John Cam Hobhouse, who was elected in his place in 1848, but that petition was abandoned, as it was stated, in consequence of Mr. Attwood being unable to sit, even if Sir John Cam Hobhouse had been unseated. Then in the course of 1851 there were two elections, and petitions against both returns; but both parties abstained from carrying on the petitions, lest the borough should be disfranchised. There were, certainly, other boroughs in as bad a repute for bribery and corruption as Harwich; but he believed that there was not a borough in the kingdom which had been twice convicted, as that borough had been, within the last ten years. Now, it must be remembered that in this borough, which was so active with regard to petitions, the population was gradually declining. In the census of 1831 the population amounted to 3,051, and by the census of 1841 it appeared to have a lost 411 of its inhabitants. But the curious circumstance was, that while the population was declining, the number of voters was augmenting. In the Committee on Compromises, to which he had already referred, Mr. Attwood, then a Member of this House, was examined as a witness, and stated with regard to the compromise that one of his agents came to him and told him that it would require 2,000l. to carry the arrangement of this compromise into effect. He thought such a demand very extraordinary, but he gave the money, and there the matter rested. The arrangement was that the petition would be withdrawn if he deposited 2,000l., and if Major Beresford vacated his seat. He further admitted that he had paid 6,000l. before that to his agent, Mr. Moss, but he declined to say how much more the election had cost him, for he kept no accounts; but he added that it was notorious such proceedings as bribery were carried on. This gentleman also spoke of bribery as an indiscreet proceeding, in which he would be very sorry to be again found engaged. In 1847 Mr. Attwood again figured in the blue books, as carrying on most extensive proceedings, for it appeared that he was engaged in corrupting voters, not. only at Harwich, but also at Lyme Regis, and it was said also at Kinsale and Athlone. He had been looking for the blue book, that referred to the elections of 1841 in the Library, but he could not find it; and he was told that it was last traced into the hands of the right hon. the Home Secretary. [Mr. WALPOLE: I have not had it.] He was only going to say that if the right hon. Gentleman had studied that blue book, he was sure he would support this Motion. They had heard much of late of the proceedings of Messrs Blagg and Edwards at St. Albans; but he was sure those who were acquainted with the proceedings of Mr. Moss at Harwich would think that they were mere pigmies compared with him. Mr. Moss not only distributed bribes, and that on a large scale, but he acted as the exponent of the political opinions of his principal. Thus, in the election of 1841, he published an address to the "constitutional electors of Harwich," announcing that Mr. Attwood and Major Beresford would shortly arrive in town; and among other promises he made in their name was one that the electors' Church Rates would be reduced. Being questioned as to this point by the Committee, he said that he did hold out to the electors a hope that their Church Rate debt would be extinguished—that was to say, that it would be paid for them. Mr. Currie, another of Mr. Attwood's agents, stated that he had in his possession a list of thirty-three electors, among whom he had paid away the sum of 3,000l. for their votes, some of them having received considerably above 100l. each. This was far above anything that had been proved against the St. Albans voters, where the bribes amounted only to 2l., 3l., or 5l. Mr. Currie declined to produce this list before the Committee; but if such a Commission were issued as was now proposed, he thought all would be divulged. He would then come to the election of 1847, and the petition of 1841, and though Mr. Attwood stated in 1842 that he would never again be guilty of such an indiscreet proceeding as bribery, yet it would be seen that he had not altogether kept his word, for within a few years he was again very indiscreet; for what was the decision of the Committee in 1848? It was this:— Resolved, that John Attwood, Esq., is not duly elected a burgess to serve in this present Parliament for the borough of Harwich; that the last election for the borough, so far as regards the return of the said John Attwood is a void election; and that the said John Attwood was, by his agents, guilty of bribery at the said election. He (Sir De L. Evans) had already stated that Mr. Attwood did not confine his operations to Harwich. There was a Committee on the Lyme Regis election. Mr. Attwood was not a candidate on that occasion, but the decision at which the Committee arrived was to this effect:— That it appears from the evidence that an hon. Member of the House, John Attwood, Esq., has since the year 1842 purchased a considerable property in the neighbourhood of Lyme, and that he has been in the habit of granting loans of money on property to voters, on condition that Such voters should on any future occasion vote for him or any one he may appoint to be a candidate for the representation. The Committee then stated that it appeared the petition had been set on foot by Mr. Attwood, acting through his agent, Mr. Templer; that he bore the expense of it; and that he also bore the expense of a former petition in 1842, which amounted to 9,000l. The Committee concluded by expressing their desire to impress upon the House the necessity of putting an instant check to such transactions, which operated as a grievous snare to the voter, and totally destroyed all freedom of election. Such had been the proceedings of Mr. Attwood both at Lyme Regis and at Harwich. Since then there had been two or three elections at Harwich; but on petitions the cases of bribery were not gone into, the Members being unseated from other causes; but sufficient had oozed out in evidence to show that corrupt practices had not ceased in that borough. He thought he had now shown that no borough in the kingdom was similarly situated, and that it was in a most wretched state of corruption. With regard to Lyme Regis, it had been stated by a correspondent in the Times that a blight had rested on it; and it had been gradually descending and descending to its ruin until it had become, perhaps, one of the most miserable places in all the country; and all this in consequence of these practices of corruption at the elections. He would not trespass further upon the House, but would appeal to it to give him permission to introduce the Bill he now proposed. Every one who was anxious to promote the morality, the good government, the credit, and the honour of the country, and who considered it a duty to maintain the purity of their representative system, must agree in the Motion which he now submitted to the House.


seconded the Motion.

Motion made, and Question put— That leave be given to bring in a Bill for appointing Commissioners to inquire into the existence of Bribery in the Borough of Harwich.


hoped the hon. and gallant Member for Westminster (Sir De L. Evans) would not charge him with acting uncourteously because he took that early opportunity of rising to oppose his measure. The question before the House was this. The people of Harwich were at that moment deprived of their constitutional rights; and if the hon. and gallant Gentleman's Bill were brought in now, those rights would be suspended during the whole of the Session, under any circumstances. And believing that no Parliamentary case existed for this measure of disfranchisement, he (Mr. K. Seymer) felt himself obliged to take this the earliest opportunity of opposing the Motion. How stood the case of Harwich? Why was it now before the House of Commons? And why was it that that borough was not in the enjoy- ment of its two Members? He would tell them why? After the second election for Harwich last year, a petition from certain electors of that borough was entrusted to his right hon. Friend the Judge Advocate for presentation to that House, complaining, not of corrupt practices, as might be supposed from the hon. and gallant Gentleman's speech, but of the intimidation which was practised by Her Majesty's late Government. His right hon. Friend subsequently proposed a Committee of Inquiry into the allegations contained in that petition; and he was bound to state in justice that the late Government did not oppose his right hon. Friend's Motion. A division, however, took place, and a Committee was appointed, but in consequence of the late period of the Session no proceedings took place; and he believed that it was on account of his right hon. Friend having moved for that Committee, that the writ for Harwich had been suspended. From circumstances which were connected with Harwich—from its maritime position, and from its having formerly been a great packet station, he believed that Government interference to a considerable extent had taken place in that borough; and he must say that when one man bartered his vote for a situation in the Customs, it was going no great step further if his next-door neighbour did exchange his vote for a 10l. note. Honourable Purists opposite would, however, admit with him that neither of these motives ought to induce an elector to give his vote. The Members of the Harwich Committee over which he (Mr. K. Seymer) presided as Chairman last Session, were indefatigable in the attention they gave to the case which was then brought before them. They entered into a tedious scrutiny, which lasted several days; and he maintained that it was impossible for bribery to have prevailed extensively at the election into which they were inquiring without their discovering it; and he felt sure that if they had found that any of the parties were endeavouring to keep back evidence of bribery, the Committee would have taken ulterior measures with the view of enforcing the production of that evidence. He knew he should be told that there were allegations of bribery in the petitions. Of course there were. They must all know what was the duty of Parliamentary agents in such cases. They were bound to insert anything they were desirous of proving; and a Parliamentary agent having to do with the borough of Harwich, which he (Mr. K. Seymer) confessed had not a very good reputation, would not be doing his duty if he omitted allegations of that sort. He believed also that where local parties—he meant Yellows and Blues, or Reds and Whites—ran high, very few borough elections took place without partial cases of bribery occurring, though not by any means such cases as would justify the issue of a Royal Commission which had disfranchisement for its object. He made this admission at the same time that he was no friend to bribery and corruption. There was nothing peculiarly conservative about bribery and corruption. The influence which was derived from local and hereditary connexion—the popularity which was acquired by an impartial and judicious discharge of magisterial duties—they were legitimate and conservative influences, and they were not at the mercy of any man whom Mr. Coppock might send down from the Reform Club with his bags of sovereigns. He knew that many boroughs were corrupt, but he believed that Mr. Coppock greatly over-estimated his power of corrupting the electors of boroughs throughout the kingdom. And though it appeared to the Committee that there was a certain degree of influence exercised by Mr. Attwood, as influence was exercised in other boroughs—though it appeared, too, that the number of electors at Harwas not great, yet it did not appear that there was such a case of bribery as to call for investigation by this House. If he recollected right, one voter was supposed by the Committee to have been actuated by corruption, and his vote was struck off; but that was all they could say. With regard to what had taken place before the other Committee last year, it appeared that there existed in Harwich the foolish custom, the moment the poll was closed, of rushing and destroying the polling-booth; and it seemed on this particular occasion the people were so anxious to accomplish the work of destruction, that they made the mistake of commencing five minutes too soon, and thus invalidated the election. That was all the case against Harwich at the second election last year. The hon. and gallant Member (Sir De L. Evans) said, that Harwich was a small borough, that its population was decreasing, and that Mr. Attwood had great influence there. But there were other small boroughs besides Harwich which were under influence. Calne, for instance, was a very small borough, and under an influence. Arundel, too, was a very small bo- rough, and under an influence. The noble Lord the Member for London (Lord J. Russell) recently brought forward a measure which he considered a remedy for this evil. If the noble Lord were then present, he (Mr. H. Seymer) should have claimed his vote; for in bringing forward that measure, the noble Lord did not see anything about Harwich to distinguish it from other boroughs. Nor did he (Mr. Seymer). If they were to have a commission issued to inquire into the existence of bribery in boroughs where the voters were few in number, and men might be said to have an influence, he would advise the right hon. Chancellor of the Exchequer to look well to it what became of his surplus, for a good portion of it would pass into the hands of that meritorious and highly-deserving class of gentlemen who were known as barristers of six years' standing. As a proof that in resisting this Motion he was not actuated by any party motives, he might mention that he had been Chairman of the Great Yarmouth Election Committee, which had unseated two Conservative Members on the ground of corruption and bribery. But if hon. Members desired to carry the public with them in their attempts to put down bribery and corruption, they must show that they were actuated by no partial or party spirit, and that what they did for Harwich they were prepared to do for other boroughs. For he could imagine nothing more injurious to the cause of true reform than the existence of a belief in the minds of the people that hon. Members of that House were animated by a feeling with regard either to Mr. Attwood, or to the respective parties in the borough of Harwich. When this question was last discussed, he stated that in case the present Motion was agreed to, he should propose a similar Motion in reference to the borough of Leicester. That intention he had expressed in the heat of debate, and should not persist in it, because he learnt that no bribery was committed in that borough at the last election. But neither ought the Motion now under consideration to be persisted in. Still, though they might be unjust to Harwich, he would not be unjust to Leicester. Here, however, was an extract from the report of the Leicester Election Committee, of which he (Mr. K. Seymer) was Chairman:— It appears to the Committee that the system of bribery and corruption which was carried on at the last election for the said Borough of Leicester was such as to demand the attention of the House. That, he thought, was something stronger than merely unseating Mr. Attwood, and saying that that Gentleman had been guilty of bribery by his agents. It was on these grounds, then, and wishing to see the House take a just and an impartial view of the question, that he had come to the determination of voting against the Motion.


said, it mattered little to him whether the case made out against Harwich by his hon. and gallant Friend (Sir De L. Evans) was such as would be received in a Court of Justice or not, or whether the corruption in that borough was imputable to the late, the present, or any other Government—though, for the credit of all Administrations, he trusted they were all equally free from such disgrace. For him, in a matter of this kind, notoriety was all he required, and he should be greatly surprised if any hon. Gentleman told him that it was not a matter of notoriety that corrupt practices were carried on at Harwich. He had it on the authority of a gentleman who was intimately acquainted with the borough, and whose statements this House would put faith in, that at the election in 1841 two men, father and son, received between them 1,000l. for their votes. These men were large barge-owners, and with the money they bought two new barges, one of which they named the Attwood, the other possibly the Plumper, in audacious commemoration of their own disgrace. In other instances he was informed that voters were made so intoxicated that they never became sober again, but died drunk. Now, if the House would do that which he (Mr. Clay) was determined to do, in the case of all boroughs, large or small, where there was a fair suspicion of corrupt practices, and vote for the issue of such a Commission as was now proposed, he believed that they would, in two or three years, make more progress towards putting it down, than they had done in the last two or three centuries by Election Committees.


said, the hon. Gentleman opposite (Mr. K. Seymer) seemed to have a notion that the writ for Harwich had been purposely withheld in order to keep out some Gentleman who, if elected, would have taken his seat on the Ministerial side of the House. He (Mr. Bagshaw) thought the best thing that could happen for Harwich was to let the matter remain as it was until the next general election, and by that general election to let the borough be judged. If the people at Har- wich were wise, they would know how to act on that occasion. It was by doing what was strictly honest, just, and correct, that they could hope to do away with the Stain that had stuck close to them since 1841. If the course suggested by him were adopted, he thought that the constituency of Harwich, a constituency for which he felt a great respect, would be reinstated in the good opinion of the country.


said, he proposed, before the House went to a division, to state the view taken by Her Majesty's Government of the Motion of the hon. and gallant Member (Sir De L. Evans), involving as it did a very important question. The House was called upon, on the ground of the notoriety, as it was termed, of bribery and corruption in Harwich, to issue a Commission superseding the common course of the law of the land. But such a Commission ought not to issue except upon a case of gross corruption, clearly established and proved to have recently happened. Such a Commission would have power to call upon parties to give evidence even against themselves, under guards and provisions sufficient to protect them from the penal consequences which would otherwise flow from it; and then in their anxiety to obtain a searching inquiry, the powers exercised by such a Commission were of the most unlimited and extraordinary kind—were, in fact, unless they were called for by an urgent necessity, absolutely unconstitutional; for such Commissions would give to a majority in that House such an enormous means to get rid of boroughs, or even to counties, opposed to their own views, that he, for one, could never consent to such a proceeding unless there was something like a clear proof of the truth of the charge that was brought against them. He wished the House to bear distinctly in mind what was the case with regard to Sudbury and St. Albans, which had been mentioned as precedents for the course they were now called on to take. In Sudbury the bribery was so great that, out of the 276 who voted for Mr. Dyce Sombre, not less than 200 were proved to have taken bribes; and the Commissioners reported that, in their belief, the bribery had been still more extensive, because the sum of 3,000l., which had been sent down to Sudbury, would not have been exhausted by the payment of the ordinary rate of 7l. per head to each voter. In St. Albans, according to Mr. Coppock, "to bribe or bleed" was the general practice; the great majority had been always known as men to be bought or sold, without regard to principle or anything else; and Sir Robert Carden, who expressed his experience of the practices prevaling in that borough, declared that the people carried their principle in their breeches' pockets. The Commissioners summed up their Report in these strong words:— The system had so long prevailed, and corruption was so widely extended, that the moral sense of the inhabitants was deadened, and they evinced no shame when they avowed their participation in these practices. From this sweeping charge we are happy to be able to exempt the clergy of all denominations, and some of the principal inhabitants of the town, who united their efforts to put an end to so degrading a system The bribery and corruption was not merely partial; it was general and systematic, and was shown to be the accompaniment of every contest. At one of the elections it was proved that out of 270 votes there were only thirty who had not been bribed; and on another occasion, out of 276 voters, 186 were clearly proved to have been bribed. There was then, he would observe, systematic, general, and almost universal corruption; and not only that, but it was recent corruption that had taken place. That, however, was not the case with Harwich: against that borough there was no charge of bribery since the election of 1847, though there had been two elections there since. It could not be said, then, to be just to issue a Commission armed with such unconstitutional powers, when no bribery had taken place at the last election there. The principle on which they should proceed was, that where bribery was extensive, and had recently taken place, they ought immediately to inquire. But they ought not to inquire under less urgent circumstances. With respect to Harwich, though there were petitions against the returns at the two elections which had taken place since 1847, and the sitting Member had on one of those occasions been unseated, it was not on a charge of bribery, but of want of qualification. If they once proceeded on the principle of the Motion, they could not stop short of inquiring into any place at which any Gentleman might declare that bribery had taken place some time or other. Let them take care of vesting such a power in the majority of that House. If there was one thing more than another the House was bound to do, it was to protect the minority. [Laughter.] Yes, they might laugh, but he repeated that they should take care the minority was not overridden by a majority in that House claiming enormous and unconstitutional powers. He felt very strongly on this point, for he thought that they might be involved in great inconsistency by adopting the course proposed. They had not a very long Session before them, and they had already disfranchised one borough (St. Albans), though the hon. Member was still allowed to retain his seat, while there was a seat left open for Harwich, which was not disfranchised at all, and which had as much right to its representative as any other place, till corruption had been proved against it. The right course appeared to him to be, first, to prove corruption at a recent election, and next, to institute an inquiry immediately; for if they kept a seat open for twelve months or two years without ascertaining the truth of the charges against the borough, they were depriving the country of its proper number of representatives. He thought it would be very indiscreet, inexpedient, and unwise, on the mere ground of notoriety, to issue a Commission of Inquiry into matters which had occurred two years ago. In this instance he did not think it advisable to move for a writ to fill up the vacant, seat, first, because they had already kept it open so long, and, secondly, because they were now on the eve of a general election. He could not give his support to the Motion of the hon. and gallant Member.


said, it was not his intension to have taken any part in this deviate; but as St. Albans had been dragged into it, he begged to make a few remarks. He must revert to the admission made by the right hon. Gentleman who had just addressed the House, namely, that the powers which had been recently exercised in reference to St. Albans were unconstitutional. St. Albans was bad enough, without being made worse than it was; and he thought it was rather severe to exaggerate the amount of corruption which had been proved in that borough. According to the Report of the Commissioners, he thought there were more than 200 electors against whom there was no allegation of bribery or corruption. He thought it unfair, therefore, to state that the corruption was universal there. He would not take any part in the division, as he felt that if he were to vote in favour of the Motion, he should be voting in opposition to the arguments which he had uniformly used against the late proceedings at St. Albans; and if he were to vote the other way, he would be apparently voting in favour of corruption. All he desired was justice, and he felt that any proceedings which the House might adopt which were not founded on justice, would not be productive of any good.


said, in reply to the opinion which had been expressed by the hon. Member for Hull (Mr. Clay), as to the non-effective working of Election Committees, that he had sat last year upon two of those Committees, and in both of them the Members were unseated, one of the cases being for the smallest possible amount of bribery. He believed the alterations in the law effected by the late Sir Robert Peel had been attended with the best possible results, and that the decisions of the Committees were now given totally uninfluenced by any party feelings or consideration.


explained that he had not intended to throw any doubt upon the character of Election Committees, but considered that, as at present constituted, they were not the best tribunals to inquire into the subject of bribery at elections.


said, he was surprised to hear the right hon. the Secretary of State for the Home Department assign as a reason for not issuing the writ for the borough of Harwich, the fact that a general election was near at hand. If that argument were to be allowed any weight, the writ might be withheld from any large constituency whose Members might die, because an election might probably take place in "May, June, or July." The reason why the writ had not been issued before was, that the inquiry was pending. The House was now bound to do one of two things—either to grant leave to bring in the Bill asked for by his hon. and gallant Friend (Sir De L. Evans), or else issue a new writ to-morrow. It was an act of great injustice to withhold the issue of the writ to a borough which they were told was so pure and immaculate as the borough of Harwich. On the other hand if the borough was so pure, what objection could there be to allowing the Bill to be brought in? If the Motion were not agreed to, he would move to-morrow the issue of a new writ for the borough of Harwich.


begged to explain, that he did not lay down the opinion that it was a constitutional course to suspend the issuing of a writ on the eve of a general election. But, coupling it with the fact of their having suspended the writ for more than twelve months, he for his own part did not think it right to move that it should be now issued. The House might do it if it chose.


said, that, upon one petition from Harwich the Member was unseated on the want of qualification; and that, upon the next election, the same Gentleman lost his seat by no more than five votes. A petition was sent to him, stating that three of the five voters who constituted the majority at the last Harwich election had been intimidated by the late Government. The petition had been placed in his hands by persons whom he believed to be respectable; and he had no further interest in the matter whatever. At the beginning of the present Session there had been no petition praying for a renewal of the inquiry, and therefore although the same Government was then in office, he had not thought it his duty to press the subject. It was quite true that he had moved for a Committee, but that was a very different thing from a Commission. With regard to the case of St. Albans, there had been a technical difficulty as to the adjournment of the Committee, and that had vitiated their whole proceedings. So far was he from wishing to stretch the power of the Constitution, that he had voted against that Commission, thinking that its powers should be entrusted to Members of that House; and he wished they had been so. The House would have stood higher had that inquiry been conducted by its Members. That Commission had shaken their jurisdiction, and had tended to invalidate the decisions of their Committees. At present, he saw no ground for the proposed Commission. Had a Committee been proposed, supported by such a petition as he had presented, he would have voted for it. If the hon. Member for Finsbury (Mr. T. Duncombe) would move the issue of the writ for Harwich, he would vote with him.


said, he had acted as Chairman of the second Harwich Election Committee. No evidence as to bribery was laid before them, nor was any conclusion come to on that subject. The Committee's decision was founded entirely on a point of law as to whether the poll was kept open the proper time—whether it had been interrupted by improper violence—and whether the returning officer had taken the steps he ought to have taken. The Committee thought he had not done so, and consequently deemed it a void election. He disagreed with the hon. Member for Finsbury (Mr. T. Duncombe) in the opinion that if a borough was immaculate, a Commission of Inquiry ought to be issued whenever any hon. Member considered it right to move for it. He could not help thinking that Harwich was rather hardly dealt with, and he saw no reason why a writ should not issue. It was altogether an unfair proceeding.


, in reply, said, he was not aware that the minority had any such peculiar claims to consideration as had been urged by the right hon. Home Secretary; he (Sir De L. Evans) had always understood that the majority decided everything. He felt justified in asking for the appointment of the Commission by reference to the case of St. Albans, from which he contended great benefit had resulted.


said, he could not agree with the right hon. Gentleman the Home Secretary that a Commission was founded on a principle adverse to the law of England; for he (Mr. Roebuck) denied that any man was called on to give evidence against himself. The witness was protected from the consequences, and called on to tell what had occurred. But he considered that for the laches which had occurred in not prosecuting the inquiry into the case of Harwich, the House was alone blameable. The inquiry ought to have been instituted earlier, and it appeared to him that it was now too late to open up the question. He could not see why at this time of the day they were to issue a Commission of this sort, and, moreover, he felt certain that the House ought not to allow that night to pass without issuing a new writ for the borough. If the Motion for an inquiry had been made a year ago, he would have supported it; and it seemed to him that the best thing they could now do was to allow Harwich to have another chance of removing from it the imputations which had been attached to it. He had very little doubt, from what he knew of the place, that it was very corrupt; but as Parliament had not had the courage to institute the inquiry a year ago, he had not the courage to support a Motion for doing so now.

The House divided:—Ayes 95; Noes 137; Majority 42.

List of the AYES.
Adair, H. E. Martin, J.
Adair, R. A. S. Matheson, Col.
Alcock, T. Milligan, R.
Anderson, A. Milner, W. M. E.
Baines, rt. hon. M. T. Moffatt, G.
Bouverie, hon. E. P. Molesworth, Sir W.
Boyle, hon. Col. Morris, D.
Bright, J. Mowatt, F.
Brocklehurst, J. Norreys, Lord
Brotherton, J. O'Flaherty, A.
Bunbury, E. H. Ogle, S. C. H.
Carter, J. B. Osborne, R.
Cavendish, hon. C. C. Pechell, Sir G. B.
Childers, J. W. Peto, S. M.
Clay, Sir W. Pilkington, J.
Clifford, H. M. Price, Sir R.
Cockburn, Sir A. J. E. Ricardo, J. L.
Cowan, C. Ricardo, O.
Davie, Sir H. R. F. Romilly, Col.
Dawes, E. Salwey, Col.
D'Eyncourt, rt. hn. C.T. Scholefield, W.
Duff, G. S. Scobell, Capt.
Duff, J. Smith, rt. hon. R. V.
Duke, Sir J. Smith, M. T.
Duncan, G. Stanton, W. H.
Duncombe, T. Strickland, Sir G.
Ellis, J. Strutt, rt. hon. E.
Enfield, Visct. Stewart, Adm.
Evans, W. Stuart, Lord D.
Ewart, W. Talbot, C. R. M.
Foley, J. H. H. Tennent, R. J.
Geach, C. Thompson, Col.
Glyn, G. C. Thornely, T.
Greene, J. Townshend, Capt.
Hall, Sir B. Trelawny, J. S.
Hardcastle, J. A. Verney, Sir H.
Harris, R. Wakley, T.
Hastie, A. Walmsley, Sir J.
Hervey, Lord A. Wawn, J. T.
Heywood, J. Willcox, B. M.
Higgins, G. G. O. Williams, J.
Hindley, C. Williams, W.
Hobhouse, T. B. Willyams, H.
Howard, hon. C. W. G. Williamson, Sir H.
Humphery, Ald. Wilson, M.
Hutt, W. Wyvill, M.
Kershaw, J. TELLERS.
King, hon. P. J. L. Evans, Sir De L.
Langston, J. H. Clay, J.
List of the NOES.
Acland, Sir T. D. Bramston, T.W.
Adderley, C. B. Bremridge, R.
Archdall, Capt. M. Bridges, Sir B. W.
Arkwright, G. Brooke, Sir A. B.
Bagot, hon. W. Bruce, C. L. C.
Baillie, H. J. Buck, L. W.
Baldwin, C. B. Buller, Sir J. Y.
Bankes, rt. hon. G. Burrell, Sir C. M.
Baring, T. Cabbell, B. B.
Barrow, W. H. Carew, W. H. P.
Bennet, P. Chandos, Marq. of
Bentinck, Lord H. Child, S.
Beresford, rt. hon. W. Christopher, rt. hn. R. A.
Blandford, Marq. of Christy, S.
Boldero, H. G. Clerk, rt. hon. Sir G.
Bowles, Adm. Clive, hon. R. H.
Clive, H. B. Lockhart, W.
Cobbold, J. C. Long, W.
Codrington, Sir W. Lygon, hon. Gen.
Collins, T. Manners, Lord C. S.
Compton, H. C. Manners, Lord J.
Cotton, hon. W. H. S. March, Earl of
Cubitt, Ald. Masterman, J.
Davies, D. A. S. Maunsell, T. P.
Deedes, W. Maxwell, hon. J. P.
Dick, Q. Miles, W.
Dod, J. W. Mitchell, T. A.
Duckworth, Sir J. T. B. Morgan, O.
Duncombe, hon. W. E. Mullings, J. R.
Dunne, Col. Naas, Lord
Du Pre, C. G. Napier, J.
East, Sir J. B. Newdegate, C. N.
Edwards, H. Newport, Visct.
Egerton, Sir P. Noel, hon. G. J.
Estcourt, J. B. B. O'Brien, Sir L.
Farrer, J. Ossulston, Lord
Filmer, Sir E. Packe, C. W.
Forester, hon. G. C. W. Palmer, R.
Freshfield, J. W. Portal, M.
Fuller, A. E. Reid, Gen.
Gallwey, Sir W. P. Renton, J. C.
Galway, Visct. Repton, G. W. J.
Gore, W. O. Rushout, Capt.
Goulburn, rt. hon. H. St. George, C.
Greene, T. Seymer, H. K.
Grogan, E. Smollett, A.
Gwyn, H. Somerton, Visct.
Hale, R. B. Sotheron, T. H. S.
Halford, Sir H. Spooner, R.
Hallewell, E. G. Stafford, A.
Hamilton, G. A. Sutton, J. H. M.
Hamilton, Lord C. Taylor, Col.
Harris, hon. Capt. Tennent, Sir J. E.
Heald, J. Thesiger, Sir F.
Heneage, G. H. W. Trevor, hon. G. R.
Henley, rt. hon. J. W. Trollope, rt. hon. Sir. J.
Hildyard, R. C. Tyler, Sir G.
Hill, Lord E. Tyrell, Sir J. T.
Hope, Sir J. Vesey, hon. T.
Hope, H. T. Villiers, Visct.
Hotham, Lord Walpole, rt. hon. S. H.
Hughes, W. B. Whiteside, J.
Inglis, Sir R. H. Wigram, L. T.
Jolliffe, Sir W. G. H. Willoughby, Sir H.
Jones, Capt. Wodehouse, E.
Knox, hon. W. S. Wynn, H. W. W.
Langton, W. H. P. G. Yorke, hon. E. T.
Lennox, Lord A. G. TELLERS.
Lewisham, Visct. Bateson, T.
Lindsay, hon. Col. Lennox, Lord H.
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