HC Deb 07 March 1853 vol 124 c1287

Order read, for resuming adjourned Debate on Question [3d March], "That the Minutes of the Evidence taken before the Select Committee on the Bridgenorth Election Petition, be printed."

Question again proposed.

Debate resumed.


said, it would be of no use to prosecute the persons bribed unless they were determined also to prosecute the bribers. He thought that the evidence ought to be printed in all cases, in order that they might judge whether the Government should instruct the Attorney General to prosecute the parties.


believed the House was on a wrong scent; for if they thought the evidence would disclose any reason why they should suspend the writ for Bridgenorth, they were grossly mistaken. He thought that justice should be done even to the sitting Members. It was alleged in the Bridgenorth case that gross bribery had prevailed—not a shadow of that was proved. It was said that thirty-four houses had been opened for treating; twenty-three of them had entirely vanished. The only case of bribery proved was the payment of an old Bill; and on that question the Committee was divided—the three Government Members voted one way, and the two Opposition Members the other. The case was altogether different from that of Blackburn. Why, the Committee had even allowed the sitting Member a large portion of his costs.

Question put, and agreed to.