HC Deb 17 February 1852 vol 119 cc703-4

moved an Address for sundry returns in connexion with the proposed alteration of the Parliamentary franchise.


said, there was no objection to give the information required by his noble Friend, but he hoped he would not press his Motion in its present shape. A portion of the information would be given in returns moved for by his right hon. Friend the Home Secretary, and another portion in the plan promised by his noble Friend at the head of the Government to the hon. Member for Manchester, both of which would be ready in a few days. With regard to giving the precise number of 5l. houses, it was obvious that it could not be stated until Commissioners were sent down to report on the boundaries. He hoped his noble Friend would not move for what would only be duplicate returns.


said, that the return moved for by the hon. Member for Manchester was for a map setting forth the boundaries of the proposed new boroughs, and the existing boroughs; but what his noble Friend and Colleague asked for was a return of the population of the proposed new boroughs—that was, the number of 5l. householders in each of these aggregation of boroughs. He was looking through the return the other day of the number of 10l. houses in some of the old boroughs which formed part of Schedule A in the first Reform Bill, and which, strange to say, were now to be resuscitated in Schedule B, and he found that one of those boroughs had only fourteen 10l. houses in it. That place was to form a part of a new borough by being added to one of the boroughs which now returned Members to Parliament. Before the House went into Committee on the new Reform Bill, the Government ought to inform them what was the number of 5l. householders in those miserable and contemptible boroughs put together in Schedule B. The Government said that those boroughs in themselves were not fit to return Members to serve in Parliament; therefore, in order to make them fit, they proposed to join them to other places which already returned Members. The object of his noble Friend was to learn how fit those places would be after having been put together. Calne was unfit, Abingdon was unfit, and so on for sixty-seven boroughs. The question was, how were these places by the addition of other equally unfit boroughs to be rendered fit? Previous to the passing of the first Reform Bill, all this information was given, and it was equally necessary that similar information should be afforded now.


said, his hon. Friend was under a complete misapprehension as to the information about to be laid before the House by the Government. Not only would the information asked for by the hon. Member for Manchester be furnished, but the whole of the information which the noble Lord (Lord D. Stuart) wished to obtain would be afforded, so far as the Government could give it. But it was impossible to give the number of 5l. householders of those boroughs, the boundaries of which had not been accurately fixed. If his noble Friend would wait a few days, he thought the return that was about to be made would give him all the information that the Government could at present obtain.


said, that after the appeal of his right hon. Friend, he could not refuse to wait a few days; but if the information he required should not then be supplied, his right hon. Friend must excuse him if he should repeat his present Motion.

Motion, by leave, withdrawn.

The House adjourned at Eleven o'clock.