HC Deb 07 December 1852 vol 123 cc1087-8

moved for leave to bring in a Bill to establish county financial boards for the assessing of county rates, and for the administration of county expenditure in England and Wales. It would not be necessary for him to go into the details of this Bill, when he informed the House that the principle of the Bill had been sanctioned twice during the last Session, the second reading having been passed without a division; and, there having been two Committees of that House who had paid great attention and given much time and consideration to the question, he thought the House would conceive that the mere asking for leave to bring in the Bill would probably not be opposed. It had been remarked to him by a friend that he was surprised that one who had sat in that House so long as he had, should undertake to bring in a Bill, especially one of so great importance, and containing so many clauses. And certainly his experience of the difficulty of a private Member carrying a Bill in that House, somewhat justified this remark; but he was encouraged to proceed by the observations of the Chancellor of the Exchequer the other evening, when he said he was favourable (as he understood) to the introduction of the representative principle into local administration. That was the principle of this Bill. He proposed to give the ratepayers a control over county expenditure. He did not propose to constitute financial hoards from which the magistrates should be excluded: quite the reverse. He took the security in this Bill that one-half of the board should consist of magistrates; he took care that the judicial power of the magistrates, and their powers as to the regulation of gaols, should not be interfered with by these financial boards. He wished as far as possible to assimilate these county financial boards to town councils, and to give them no more power than was necessary for the control of expenditure and financial matters. He would, therefore, now not trespass on the attention of the House, but would simply move for leave to bring in the Bill.


said, the right hon. Gentleman had certainly twice if not three times brought in Bills on this subject; but these Bills were not the same. One of these Bills was referred to a Select Committee, which made great alterations in it, and then, if he recollected aright, the right hon. Gentleman brought in another Bill last year, which did not contain all the recommendations of the Committee. He should not oppose the introduction of the Bill; but as the clauses were not explained, he reserved to himself the fullest power of expressly disapproving of the second reading if it did not contain, as it ought, a provision that the magistrates should have the fullest power over, and management of, gaols, lunatic asylums, and bridges.

Leave given.

Bill ordered to be brought in by Mr. Milner Gibson and Mr. Barrow.

Bill read 1o