HC Deb 02 May 1853 vol 126 cc1004-9

said, he would now move that a new writ should be issued for the borough of Rye. The Committee presided over by the right hon. Member for Droitwich (Sir J. Pakington), which inquired into the state of this borough, had reported that the existence of direct money bribery had been disproved, though it certainly appeared that an extensive system of corrupt loans prevailed. Now, although nothing could be more fatal than this to the independence of boroughs, still, as the Committee had not reported in favour of the issue of a Commission of Inquiry into the borough, he thought that the House could not take any further steps in the matter, and that they would not therefore be justified in longer withholding the writ.

Motion made, and Question proposed— That Mr. Speaker do issue his Warrant to the Clerk of the Crown, to make out a New Writ for the electing of a Baron to serve in this present Parliament for the Town and Port of Rye, in the room of William Alexander Mackinnon, esquire, whose Election has been determined to be void.


said, that although he thought it was of the highest importance that the House should take steps to put an end to the system of corrupt loans which had prevailed in the borough of Rye, he did not think that, pending the adoption of such measures, they would be justified in withholding the issue of the writ.


said, many of his constituents were anxious to have this case fully investigated; but after the statement of his right hon. Friend he would not divide the House on the subject.


said, as Chairman of the General Committee on Election Petitions, it was the feeling of the Committee that many corrupt practices existed which never came before the Committees in consequence of compromises, withdrawal of petitions, and such like; and it would not be out of place to state now that it was his intention, when all these cases were closed, to call the attention of the House and of the noble Lord opposite (Lord John Russell) to the state of the law as it at present existed, with a view to provide a remedy.


said, he could not consent to the issuing of the writ, as it was proved that various sums of money had been lent for corrupt purposes, and there was no proof that that power had ceased. He would therefore move that the debate be adjourned.

Debate adjourned till To-morrow.

The House adjourned at Three o'clock.