HC Deb 07 March 1853 vol 124 cc1286-7

(the Chairman of the Chatham Election Committee) appeared at the bar and reported to the House that the Committee had determined, that Sir John Mark Frederic Smith is not duly elected a Burgess to serve in this present Parliament for the Borough of Chatham: that the last Election for the said Borough is a void Election; and that the Committee had agreed to the following Resolutions: That it was proved to the Committee that Joseph Greathead, an Elector of Chatham, had been bribed by a situation as a letter carrier in the Post Office, obtained for his son, Charles Great-head, by Sir John Mark Frederic Smith. That it was proved before the Committee, that a large number of the Electors are employed in Her Majesty's Dock Yard and other public departments at Chatham, and that they are under the influence of the Government for the time being; and it appears that there is no instance of a Candidate being elected for this Borough who has not had the support of the Government. Under these circumstances, it will be for the House to determine, whether the right of returning a Member should not for the future be withdrawn from the Borough of Chatham. That it is the opinion of this Committee, that there are strong grounds for believing, that Stephen Mount, in giving his evidence before the Committee, has been guilty of wilful and corrupt perjury.

Report to lie on the table.

Minutes of the Evidence taken before the Committee to be laid before this House.