HC Deb 15 July 1853 vol 129 cc341-3

Order of the Day for considering the Amendments to this Bill read.

clause— Provided always, that none of the provisions herein contained shall prevent or interfere with any of such matters as aforesaid for any lawful purpose, or upon any lawful occasion, entirely irrespective of and not having any reference whatever to any such Election, or the business or arrangements of the same. Brought up, and read 1o.


said, that he wished to propose several additional Amendments, and he hoped the further consideration of the measure would be postponed to some day on which a discussion could take place.


said, he would suggest that the hon. Member for Montrose should defer the provisions he wished to engraft upon the Bill until next Session, when the noble Member for the City of London intended to bring forward a general measure on the subject of the representation.


said, he had never heard of any complaint in Scotland with regard to the proceedings to which the Bill referred, and he would, therefore, oppose the application of the measure to that country.


said, he could not see, if this Bill was a good one, as he supposed it was, why it should not apply to Scotland as well as to England.


had before said that he looked upon this as a mean, dirty, shabby Bill, and he still entertained the same opinion. Entertaining that opinion—however he might regret that an hon. Friend of his should be excluded from the House—he hoped that that would be the effect of the Bill. Whoever dared to attempt to deny his constituents the power of expressing their proper feelings on such occasions, was unworthy to be returned by them. He should only have expected such a Bill from one who had not a shilling in his pocket. He should move that the further consideration of this Bill should be postponed till that day three months.


said, he felt very strong objections to this Bill, because he thought it attempted to do that which never could be done—namely, to put down the expression of popular feeling. There was a large class of the community who were not intrusted with the franchise, but, at the same time, it was admitted that those who were intrusted with it were trustees for those who were not. Well, then, this large class of non-electors had scarcely any means of expressing their opinions, if the Legislature put down the use of all outward em- blems, such as mustering under flags, and marching in procession with music. Those classes had a right to express their opinions, and if they were deprived of the means of peaceably expressing them, they would be driven to adopt a way which would be more difficult to deal with, and greatly more injurious. Besides, there was often a great deal of undue influence exercised at elections, which it was very difficult for a man to withstand without the legitimate excitement which took place on such occasions.


said, he only wished to express the strong objection which he entertained to the practice of bringing on opposed and debated Bills at such a late hour [half-past 1 o'clock].


said, he thought that this Bill had been allowed to pass through its previous stages without due deliberation, for it seemed to him that its provisions were by much too stringent. One clause, for instance, exposed a Member to the loss of his seat if it were proved that he had been instrumental in causing other persons to play on instruments; while another clause provided that if a person totally unconnected with the candidate blew on a French horn or beat a drum, or the like, he should be taken before two justices and heavily fined. He thought the House should rather endeavour to improve the taste of the public for music, than try to stop it in this way.

Motion made, and Question put, "That the further Consideration of the Bill, as amended, be deferred till this day three months."

The House divided:—Ayes 60; Noes 66: Majority 6.

Clause read 2o, and added.

Bill re committed for Wednesday, 3rd August.

The House adjourned at a quarter after Two o'clock till Monday next.