HC Deb 11 May 1853 vol 127 cc192-4

Order for Committee read,

House in Committee, commencing with Clause 4, which regulates the constitution of the Financial Boards.


said, he wished to move an Amendment, to the effect that the justices forming part of the boards should be selected by the quarter-sessions in each county, instead of being elected by the guardians. He did not propose to alter the number of the boards at all. He understood that the noble Lord the Secretary of State for the Home Department (Viscount Palmerston) intended to propose a clause making the Bill a permissive one.


said, that no distinct notice to that effect had been given by the noble Lord; he merely threw out the suggestion for the consideration of the promoters of the Bill.


said, that, in that case, he would deal with the Bill as a compulsory measure, and it would be his object to make it as good a measure as possible. He objected to the boards of guardians having the power of electing the members of the financial board, as they were merely an elected body themselves. Seeing the number of Amendments on the paper, he thought it hopeless that the measure could pass this Session.


said, there were no less than seven Amendments on this particular clause; and if the one now proposed were adopted, it would prevent discussion on the others, which involved some of the most important parts of the measure.


said, he wished to propose an Amendment on the Amendment of the hon. Member for East Somersetshire (Mr. Miles), if it were adopted, to the effect that not more than one of the justices elected should be resident in the same Union. He did not think it would be wise to make the Bill a permissive measure.


said, he would submit, that they had better either give up the Bill, or determine to go on with it. Numerous Amendments were proposed, incompatible with each other, and some at variance with the principle of the Bill, which the House had affirmed. He would refer to the provisions of his original Bill introduced in 1835, and he considered that the present measure, though not so complete as he wished it, would prove highly beneficial. He hoped it would pass in its present form. The ratepayers were disatisfied. They imagined they were robbed, and it was important to give them the means of looking into their own affairs. He hoped the Government would either take up the Bill and enforce it, or let it be dropped at once.


said, the amount of rates over which these Boards would have control, was comparatively small, and it was not worth while to create the complicated and expensive machinery which this Bill provided. He could not avoid charging the hon. Member for Montrose (Mr. Hume) with obstructing the progress of the Bill, by making an irrelevant speech just as the Committee were entering on the consideration of an important Amendment. He (Sir John Pakington) disapproved of the Bill as it stood, and should give it all the opposition in his power. At this period of the Session he thought it hopeless to attempt to pass a Bill of 135 clauses, and would suggest to the right hon. Member for Manchester whether it was worth his while to come down Wednesday after Wednesday in the vain hope of progress being made with the Bill.


said, he was willing to believe that the various Amendments had been proposed in the hope of improving the Bill. He regretted that the right hon. Baronet (Sir J. Pakington) still threatened opposition to the whole Bill, in which he hoped the Committee would not join him. As the present question was between the hon. Member for East Somersetshire (Mr. Miles) and the hon. and gallant Member for Bath (Captain Scobell) as to the precise form of the Amendment, he would suggest that they should meet and settle it in private. Meantime, for the convenience of the other business to come before the House, he would now move that the Chairman should report progress.

The House resumed.

Committee report progress.

The House adjourned at ten minutes before Six o'clock.