HC Deb 05 August 1853 vol 129 cc1414-6

Order read, for resuming adjourned Debate on Amendment proposed to be made to Question (29th July)— That Mr. Speaker do issue his Warrant to the Clerk of the Crown to make out a New Writ for the electing of two Citizens to serve in this present Parliament for the City of Canterbury, in the room of Henry Plumptre Gipps, esquire, and the Honourable Henry Butler Johnstone, whose election has been determined to be void.

And which Amendment was— To leave out from the word 'That' to the end of the Question, in order to add the words, 'no New Writ be issued for the City of Canterbury during the present Session of Parliament,' instead thereof.

Question again proposed, "That the words proposed to be left out stand part of the Question."

Debate resumed.


said, that having gone through the evidence which had been taken before the Commissioners, he should not offer any opposition to the Amendment of the noble Lord the Member for the City of London, that no new writ be issued during the present Session. He wished, however, to know whether the noble Lord intended early next Session to deal with these boroughs, or whether he proposed that they should remain—be their population more or less—disfranchised, with a view of considering them in connexion with a general measure of Parliamentary reform? The matter was one of considerable importance, as it involved a great constitutional principle. They had issued this Session six Commissions affecting no less than eleven Members; and before that the borough of St. Albans and the borough of Sudbury had been disfranchised; therefore no less than fifteen Members were excluded from seats in that House. It was for the House to consider whether they would proceed to legislate on so great a question as that of a change in the constitution of the House, with these vacancies continuing. He thought it was very desirable that the noble Lord should give some information as to what the intentions of the Government were upon that point.


could only so far state what the intention of the Government was as to say that when all the Reports of the several Commissioners should be printed, the Government would consider what measures ought to be adopted with regard to the different places which were affected by them. As to whether it would be advisable to include them in any general measure, or to deal with them by a separate one, was a question which must be left open for consideration. As to the discussion of any great measure of reform, he did not think any advantage would arise by the House issuing writs for the election of new Members by those corrupt boroughs. Certainly, such a course would not afford any advantage to the House in the consideration of any great measure of Parliamentary reform.

Question put, and negatived.

Words added.

Main Question, as amended, put, and agreed to.

Ordered—"That no New Writ be issued for the City of Canterbury during the present Session of Parliament."

The House adjourned at One o'clock till Monday next.