HC Deb 13 June 1854 vol 134 cc48-114

Sir, in laying the claims of this great question of Reform again before the House, I have neither been encouraged nor rendered sanguine by transient success, and neither discouraged nor dismayed by casual defeat. I have persevered, and, as long as I have the honour of a sent in this House, will persevere, in the advocacy of a cause which I believe to be one of justice and expediency, but which I fear the Legislature of this country will not pass until it becomes a matter with them of compulsion and necessity. If I sought for an example for the course I ant pursuing, Lord John Russell furnishes toe with an irreproachable one. What lover of civil and religious liberty is there, who does not respect the motives, and applaud the pertinacity, with which that noble Lord year after year endeavours to free the Jews from the oppression of bigotry? That, indeed, is an example worthy of imitation. But if the Jews have need of your sympathy, and may claim your aid, equally so may the electors of this country, who labour under equal disabilities. The case of the elector is even stronger than that of the Jew. In the case of the Jew, the principle advocated by the noble Lord is denied. Many conscientious men believe that the Jew ought to be excluded by his religion from enjoying the privileges of other British subjects. Not so with the elector. No one disputes the principle we advocate—no one dares to deny that the elector has a right to his vote, and to record that vote of his own free will, unmolested, unpunished, unrewarded. The question— one of vast importance—resolves itself into a very small compass; it is simply this—shall the electors elect? We say they shall: you dare not say they shall not—but you do worse, you say they shall elect, while you prevent them from electing. Now, I look upon it, that as far as reasoning and argument go, Mr. Grote has triumphantly established the power of secret voting to destroy the corruption of our electoral system, and to permit the elector to elect. We who follow Mr. Grote, have but to contend with the ghosts of arguments slain by him, and which from time to time are brought to mock and gibber at us, and to colour the votes of those who persist in rushing into a recusant lobby. Among those ghosts is the favourite theory of the noble Lord, that the elective franchise is a trust, not a right, delegated to the electors to be used for the benefit of the non-electors, and consequently that voting must be open, to permit the non-electors to stand by and see how the electors discharge their trust. A more delusive and mischievous theory cannot be imagined. Those who uphold this theory uphold the doctrine of punishment and reward, and sanction the intimidation of electors. In the first place, I contend that the elective franchise is a right, not a trust. In the second place, I can show, that, admitting it to be a trust, and not a right, that open voting prevents the trustee from discharging his duty. The loose and vague expression, that the elector holds the franchise in trust for the non-elector may be justified just so far as that we may be said to hold every gift, acquirement, or quality we possess, in trust for the benefit of mankind. Our mental power, our physical strength, our wealth, our position in society, may be said to be held in trust for the benefit of mankind. You may say so of the franchise, but if you attempt, as the noble Lord does, to give more weight to this than as to a mere figure of speech, we tell you at once that you are in error, and that your theory fails when tested by practice. There can be no trust without responsibility, and wherever there is responsibility, there must be admitted the principle of punishment for error. You tell us that voting must be open, that the non-electors may witness how the electors discharge their trust. Now, this is unmeaning jargon, unless you are prepared to define the meaning of an electoral breach of trust. Where is the definition of an electoral breach of trust to be found, and with whom is it to rest? Is it to rest with the Tory non-electors? In that case, voting for a Whig is an electoral breach of trust. Is it to rest with the Whig non-electors? Then voting for a Tory is an electoral breach of trust. Is it to rest with the Radical non-electors? Then voting for either Tory or Whig is an electoral breach of trust. How, then, can you call anything a trust where any attempt at definition of What a breach of trust means involves you in an absurdity. I deny the responsibility of the elector; but Mr. Grote is so triumphantly clear en this point, that I beg to quote him. Thus says Mr. Grote— You hear it sometimes argued that open voting makes the elector responsible to the public; and that secret voting removes that responsibility. This is a mere these of terms. I ant prepared to show you that there neither is nor can be any responsibility in the case. Responsibility can attach to nothing but to the performance of a man's duty; a man is responsible when he is liable to loss in the event of discharging his ditty badly, and when he is protected from loss in the event of discharging it well. Now, what is the duty of anelector? Simply to deliver his own opinion sincerely and conscientiously, let him be in the minority or in the majority—let him agree or disagree with whom he may. My neighbour and I may both discharge our electoral duty with equal fidelity, though he vote for a Tory and I vote for a Radical. It would be wrong in him to vote as I do, and it would be wrong in me to vote as he does. This, then, being the sole duty of an elector, will any man tell me that publicity of suffrage makes him responsible for discharging it well? Will any man tell me that every elector who votes sincerely and conscientiously is protected from loss, and that no elector becomes liable to loss except when he votes otherwise? The reverse is notoriously the fact; and it is because the reverse is the fact that the ballot is demanded. Let it not be pretended, then, that publicity makes an elector responsible for the discharge of his duty: all that publicity does is to make him liable to ill usage from those whom he opposes, and to good usage from those whom he supports. Who will be found to call this by the imposing title of responsibility? Why, it is only seduction and intimidation under a new name. And not only does publicity of suffrage contribute nothing to keep a voter in the right way against his will (which would be the only object of any real responsibility), but it tends most powerfully to drive him into the wrong way against his will. In a contested election, the public are divided into partisans on both sides; no one ever takes the least thought about the sincerity of votes; every one thinks that he is serving the public by multiplying votes on his own side, no matter whether these votes represent genuine convictions or not. It is thus that the real public obligations, the general electoral conscience, is left destitute of all support or guarantee from without, while it is exposed to assault and importunity of every kind from those whose good will or ill will bears closely upon the comforts of the elector. Such are the effects of an open suffrage: so far from creating an efficient public responsibility—so far from providing new securities for conscientious voting—it only lets in fresh dangers, and sows factitious seeds of evil. Let the elector vote in secret, and the path of duty becomes at once smooth and easy: he will have no perils to defy, and no temptations to resist. Thus spoke Mr. Grote in 1838, demolishing the theory so tenaciously clung to by Lord John Russell, by the Secretary at War, and others. Now I beg to illustrate the dangerous tendency of their theory by a practical instance. I refer the House to our blue books (black books they may well be called), as accumulated by Committees sitting on the sins of the last general election. And I select the Cork election for my illustration. At that election Messrs. Murphy, Fagan, and Chatterton were the candidates. I have the honour to know, and highly respect, the three gentlemen. Murphy and Fagan, Liberals and Roman Catholics; Chatterton, a Conservative and Protestant. The Roman Catholic priests took a warm interest in the success of Murphy and Fagan. We have it in evidence that they addressed their congregations after divine service, and, having evidently studied in the Russell school, they spoke much to this effect:—"You see, boys, the elective franchise is held in trust by the electors for you, the non-electors. Now, all those who vote for Chatterton commit a breach of trust, which is a sin. And you are perfectly justified in preventing them from going to the poll to commit that sin." Well, the non-electors took the hint—they did prevent as many of Chatterton's electors from polling as possible. Then followed scenes of violence, but I am not prepared to say, arising from the recommendation of the priests—there is no evidence to that effect, nor had it, of course, the approval of the noble Lord. What followed, however, arose from the dangerous tendency of the doctrine promulgated, both by the noble Lord and the priests, for the non-electors, as desired, watched the polling-booths to see how their trustees (so called) voted, chalked the backs of the sinful who voted for Chatterton, and, when they got these sinful trustees beyond the reach of the military, stoned them nearly to death. A faithful account of this disgraceful occurrence was rendered by my gallant friend, Colonel Chatterton, at a dinner given at Youghal to Isaac Butt, Esq., Member of Parlia- ment, at which my gallant Friend returned thanks for his health being toasted, and thus referred to the Cork election:— Sir, my profession has often compelled me to witness scenes of blood, but I never was more horrified than at one of the many that came under my immediate observation in one of my committee rooms on the day of election. Permit me to describe only one of those scenes. In one corner was laid a poor sufferer almost in a state of insensibility, his head fearfully gashed—in another, a man nearly in a dying state, quite unconscious, groaning in his agonies, and weltering in blood, flowing front frightful wounds on his head and person. On the table was another unfortunate, surrounded by several medical gentlemen, shaving his head, preparatory to operating upon a gaping wound on his fractured skull. But, Sir, I shall no longer pursue the sickening details, which humanity shudders to contemplate, but simply ask what caused all this murderous work—this merciless atrocity? Then, mark how my gallant Friend answers his own question— Because men dared to exercise that right which every free-born man should insist upon, and enjoy—to vote according to the dictates of his conscience. Nothing can be more constitutional than this language of the gallant Colonel, who then proceeds— Amidst such scenes of slaughter and intimidation could it be supposed men would venture their lives to record their votes? Why, of course they would not. Up to this point I have agreed with, and felt deep sympathy in, every syllable uttered by the gallant Colonel. I then turn with amazement to his concluding sentence. I expected to find after the frightful case of bloodshed and intimidation he had described, that he would desire protection for the elector, but mark what follows. The Colonel concluded by saying— Permit me to give one parting word of advice—attend to the registry. "Attend to the registry!" and endure the martyrdom of St. Stephen; "attend to the registry!" when the effect is to have your brains beaten out for your pains! This wonderful conclusion is to be accounted for in the simple fact that the gallant Colonel boasts that lie is "bound heart and soul" in the Conservative cause, and protection to the elector is deemed by all good Conservatives a damnable heresy in their creed. Strange it is then, but true as strange, that the bruised and battered Tories of Cork can only look to their Liberal Members for that protection which their Tory candidate for whom they suf- fered so much refuses to accord. Murphy and Fagan were staunch supporters of the ballot. So much for the constitutional working of the noble Lord's theory, and the pleasures and advantages of open and inspected voting. The elective franchise then, I say, is a limited right—no rarity in this country. Blackstone has a chapter on limited rights. It is a right limited by two stipulations—namely, that the vote shall not be purchased nor placed at the disposition of a Peer of the realm. It is because the barriers which limit this right are trodden down and set at nought by both purchaser and Peer that we ask you for their best protection, a secret suffrage. It is almost incredible the miserable shifts to which those who oppose the ballot are driven, and the dreadful insincerity apparent in their reasoning. I know nothing much more humiliating than to see men of the rarest ability reduced to such a condition. The wildest statements are made, founded on the grossest misstatements. Now, we have the best reason to know that the ballot has never failed wherever it has been adopted; that open voting has often been changed for secret voting, but secret voting has never been changed for open voting. America has been cited as an instance of the failure of the ballot, but an examination of facts will prove exactly the reverse. Within the last twelve months I have been in correspondence with several American gentlemen of distinction, to whom I must express my indebtedness, and I have had the aid of a society in London, numbering among their names that of George Grote, and formed for the purpose of assisting the cause of the ballot, and to them I am indebted for many valuable statistics, showing the condition of the electoral system in America, and which, with the permission of the House, I will now concisely lay before them. The ballot is now enforced in nine and twenty States of the Union out of the thirty-one at present existing. In Massachusetts the ballot was instituted in 1634, and remains in force to the present day. They originally voted by folded papers. Since 1851, they have insisted upon the vote being delivered in an envelope. This has been called the compulsory system of secrecy, as it is intended that no elector should have the power, even though he had the will, of showing how he votes. As to bribery or intimidation, it is not known in Massachusetts, and elections are perfectly peaceful. The proceedings begin at ten in the morning, and terminate at two in the afternoon. At two the result is declared, after which no sign of an election remains. So far from exchanging optional secrecy for vivâ voce voting, the Convention which recently sat in Boston to discuss and adopt certain reforms in the Constitution, declared that secrecy in the giving of votes ought to be made compulsory. In other States of New England the ballot is as ancient as in Massachusetts. In Connecticut, it was adopted in the Constitution of 1639, but in 1818 a new Constitution was decreed, when the ballot was finally confirmed. In New Hampshire, another of the New England States, the ballot is not so old as in Connecticut, but at a Convention solemnly held in Concord, in 1792, it was finally determined that the Senate and House of Representatives, as well as all officers, from the highest to the lowest, should be chosen by ballot. Pennsylvania has practised secret voting in its optional form up to the present day. Election riots have occasionally arisen in Philadelphia, but they have been caused from the facility afforded of giving aliens false naturalisation. It is an evil which is not incidental to the ballot. In New York, where the number of electors is much greater than in Boston, the mode of balloting is also different. It was not until 1777 that the ballot was instituted in New York, and then only as an experiment for two years. Well, at the expiration of that time the system was confirmed, and finally made part of the Constitution. It cannot now be altered, even by the State Legislature. Great use has been recently made in Parliament of certain expressions used by Governor Seward, in several late addresses to the New York Legislature, regarding abuses which have taken place at elections in that State. Now, what was the fact? Governor Seward stated in his message of 1850, that— The alarming increase of bribery in our popular elections demanded their serious consideration. The preservation of their liberties depended on the purity of the electoral franchise, and its independent exercise by the citizens, and he trusted they would adopt such measures as would effectually protect the ballot-box from all corrupt influences. In the State of New York, there is on the one hand, no register of electors, and, on the other hand, a system of printed tickets. This may be called ballot, but it is not secret voting, and the corruption which exists, according to Governor Seward, may be fairly taken rather as an illustration of the evils of open voting, than of the evils of the ballot. It should be also remembered that the abuses complained of exist in the city of New York only, and not throughout the State. In Michigan, and in comparatively younger States, the ballot has been adopted and worked with a degree of care producing the best results. The severest laws are enacted for the punishment, of those who act improperly at elections. For instance, any inspector or clerk who is proved to have wilfully neglected his duty, or is found to have acted corruptly, incurs the penalty attached to misdemeanor, and may be punished by fine of 1,000 dollars, or three years imprisonment. Any one voting twice at the same election is punishable by fine of 200 dollars or six months imprisonment. Any one tampering with the ballot-box, by abstracting or introducing voting papers, is punishable by fine of 500 dollars or twelve months' imprisonment, or both, at the discretion of the court. Every one found guilty of any of these election frauds is disfranchised for two years, and made ineligible to hold any public office of any kind.

The two last States of the Union which surrendered open voting for the ballot were Kentucky and Louisiana, the former making the change about the year 1830. Under the open voting system, in these States the most sanguinary conflicts took place. The poll was kept open for three days. Mr. Stewart, who published a book on America, says, that at Louisville, during an election, he saw three desperate fights in one hour. In short, Kentucky and Louisiana rivalled our Blackburn, Clithero, Six-Mile Bridge, or Cork, and an election under the system of open voting in those States was productive of anarchy and confusion. They have now adopted the ballot, and their elections have become as peaceable as those of Massachusetts and Michigan.

Well, then, if the ballot produce in America peace, order, and freedom of election, the exact reverse of open voting in England, it produces the same results in Switzerland, Holland, and Belgium. As regards Switzerland, I cannot do better than ask permission to read a few extracts from a letter addressed to the Editor of the Norfolk Herald, by a Norwich man, giving a graphic account of a contested election in Geneva. Sir—When I arrived in Geneva, I found state of things wonderfully like that which I had seen at home on the approach of an election—party spirit very strong: Conservatives who were called Aristocrats, Radicals who were called Revolutionists, and Democrats who were called Socialists and Red Republicans; three journals, each ascribing every possible excellence to its own section, and every possible demerit to the others. The 14th of November last was the day. On that day the Canton of Geneva was to choose the 'State Council' of seven, to whom the Executive Government of the Republic is confided for two years. The constituency is about equally divided into the inhabitants of the town and the population of the adjoining country. The former, of course tradesmen, are for the most part Protestants; the latter, tillers of the soil, are for the most part Roman Catholics; and at this moment religious rivalry enters largely into the questions which disturb the State. The electors went up each to his own department, identified his name with that on the printed list, and received his ticket, on which the clerk inscribed for him, if he wished it, the names of his favourite candidates, or he was free to write them on it himself, if he preferred to vote in secret. He had then nothing to do but to walk up to the urn and quietly drop in his bulletin, just as we put letters into the post office. This operation went on steadily and in tolerably equal time. No crowding, no shouting, no passion nor confusion disturbed the scene, not one drunken man was to be seen, and this be it remembered in a country where every man drinks wine, and where almost every man has wine to drink. Thus quietly, in a few hours' time, in less than a short winter's day, were given nearly ten thousand votes, and many more could have been given if required. On the morrow, the President declared the Opposition had won by a narrow majority. The election was over; the old Government, after a reign of seven years, was dethroned; and the new Government reigned in its place. Such were the facts of the election as they presented themselves to the eye of a stranger. They warrant, as I think, some inferences not unworthy the attention of the British public. In the first place, they warrant the inference that, even amongst a population recently enfranchised, vote by ballot leads to a more orderly and peaceable conduct of elections than is common in England. They lead to the inference, that vote by ballot tends to give a true expression of public opinion, by protecting the voter from intimidation and bribery. They lead irresistibly to the inference that vote by ballot does not favour the choice of ignorant legislators. The candidates chosen on this occasion are every one of them men belonging to the Democratic party, and yet they receive the hearty and unanimous support of the Conservatives, who express themselves perfectly content with the choice they have made. I will only add, that it was my good fortune to witness the election in company with an intelligent young American, who asserted that these inferences were quite as fairly deducible from the experience of our Transatlantic cousins. You have thus evidence of the practical results of the ballot when tried both in the largest and the least Republic in the world. I am, Sir, yours, &c. A NORWICH MAN IN GENEVA. Dec. 26th, 1853. I think there can be no doubt of the beneficial effect of the ballot in Switzerland. In Belgium it is equally successful; but I have so recently laid the electoral condition of Belgium before the House that it is almost too early for Members who oppose this measure to pretend to forget it. Well, then, France affords a brilliant instance of the well-working of the ballot; but as the opponents of the measure have taken exception to France, and actually, in 1852, made the election of the French Emperor their grand cheval de bataille against the ballot, I must be allowed one word on that subject. Need I remind the House that shortly after the celebrated coup d' état Louis Napoleon held in English estimation about the same kind of degraded place as Marshal Haynau, of woman-flogging memory. Why, Lord Palmerston was hunted like a bag fox, because he did not join in the outcry against the French Monarch, who was then represented as a kind of mixture of the murdering propensities of our Richard the Third, with the religious hypocrisy of our Henry the Eighth— In him the double tyrant sprang to life. Why, Sir, we were told that this blood-thirsty Monarch was propped on his throne by the bayonets of his troops. Go to war he must, to indulge the warlike propensities of the French, or be assassinated. "To your tents, O Israel!" was the cry, and actually without a threat, without a foe, we rushed to arms, called out our militia, fortified our forts, built ships of war, and for this state of war in a time of peace we were told we had to thank the ballot-box. What a handle of this was made by the opponents of the measure—the ballot had been weighed in the balance and found wanting—for of the ballot came this dreadful Monarch. From one end of the country to the other the cry against the ballot was raised; Members of Parliament, Ministers of State, demagogues at public meetings, candidates on the hustings; the present First Lord of the Admiralty alluded to it; the Secretary at War of the last Whig Ministry, Lord Panmure, then Mr. Fox Maule, told his constituents at Perth that he could no longer vote for the ballot since it had returned the Emperor of the French; and the Times newspaper embalmed this notable declaration in a leading article. In short, you tied the ballot-box round the neck of the unpopular Frenchman and condemned them together. In vain did we represent that the only value we attached to the ballot-box was as to a piece of mechanism giving to the elector secrecy, and, consequently, safety; but perfectly inadequate to compel those who use it to make a virtuous or vicious choice. We were clamoured down. Now, then, tell me why in 1854 I should not take up the ground you assumed in 1852, and confound you with your own claptrap? Why should not I tell you to thank the ballot-box for placing on the throne of France a Monarch whose sentiments and actions are alike constitutional—a Monarch who, so far from pandering to the warlike propensities of his people, has boldly told them that the days of conquest are passed never to return—who is unwilling to draw the sword until it can only rest in the scabbard with disgrace—and who now displays the oriflamme of France, not for the subjugation of free nations, not for the lust of empire and vainglorious ambition, but for the rights of nations, the just balance of power; against the oppressor for the oppressed; and lastly, I tell those hon. Gentlemen who attacked the ballot through Louis Napoleon, that the other day, during that splendid Elizabethan pageant which took place at Portsmouth, when our truly English Queen reviewed our gallant fleet as they sailed to the Baltic, the thought uppermost in every English mind—the thought expressed by the tens of thousands present—the remark iterated and reiterated by the press—was, that only one addition was necessary to make that the finest spectacle in the world—the presence in our waters of the French fleet, and on the quarterdeck of Her Majesty's yacht Her august ally, now eulogised by you all as faithful, loyal, and brave, the ballot-elected Monarch of France. I trust that hon. Members will not suppose that I rely upon such wretched claptrap as they do to make my cause good; so far from it, I take the ground I always did, and readily admit that the vices or virtues of a man elected by ballot form no criterion whatever, on which to judge of the merits or demerits of that institution. Well, then, France furnishes the strongest possible instance of the success of the ballot, and forms a splendid contrast, with the peace and order of her elections, to the tumult, disorder, and demoralisation of the elections in this country. Such, then, is the result of a fair inquiry into the working of the ballot in other countries. Now, no doubt I may be asked the question—Why bring on this measure of reform when the Government have given up their Reform Bill? How stands the case? The Government bring in a Reform Bill, not containing one word of protection to the elector; I give my usual notice, to ask for a Bill to protect the elector. The Government give up their Bill. Is that a valid reason for dropping mine? Why, Sir, when hon. Members tell me that I ought not to ask for protection for the elector, because Government do not persevere with their Reform Bill, I may as well tell them that they ought not to go this summer to shoot grouse in Scotland because Lord Aberdeen does not play on the bagpipes. But while Government drop their Reform Bill, they load the table of this House with Bills for the prevention of bribery and intimidation, and certain Members do the same. I firmly believe those Bills to be useless, and I also believe that the ballot will do exactly what those Bills will not do; and, therefore, I urge it on the attention of the House. I rejoice that you have laid your Reform Bill aside, because it does not contain the ingredients necessary to produce ultimate success, and because it contains within it the elements of destruction to the present able, strong, and, I hope, Liberal Ministry. While I say this, I must add that there is, in my humble judgment, much of good in the measure, and I should certainly have supported the second reading. But the causes which ensured the failure of your Reform Bill are those which militate against the success of the ballot. You cannot persuade men to give up political power—you must compel them to do so. The people alone can do that. You cannot persuade some ninety Members to follow you into the doors of a lobby with the certainty of turning themselves out of the doors of this House. The people alone can compel such a political suicide. Before you can regenerate this House, the people must feel sufficient interest in your Bill as to take it upon their shoulders and lay it on the table of this House, as they did in 1832. The people will not do that until your Bill has more of the ingredients of popularity, an easier understood, and a greater extension of franchise, and protection to the elector at the poll. Well, the Reform Bill slumbers—requiescat in pace; but the Bills pretending to upset bribery and intimidation are before the House. I believe that those Bills will have exactly the same success which every measure has had of that sort. In Defoe's time the state of our electoral system was the same as it is now. I have often called to your attention that great man's opinion of the ballot. Take now his opinion of severe laws, and their utter inability to repress electoral corruption. Thus writes Defoe— We have lately had two or three sharp laws to prevent bribery and corruption at elections. Now, never was treating, bribery, buying of voices, freedoms, and freeholds, and all the corrupt practices in the world, so open and barefaced as since those severe laws were enacted. Thus thought, and thus wrote Defoe, at a remote period. Now hear one of the first authorities of the present age, and observe how completely he agrees with Defoe in the utter inutility of penal laws to put down intimidation. That authority is the right hon. Thomas Babington Macaulay. You cannot, I am afraid, repress intimidation by penal laws. Such laws would infringe the most sacred rights of property. How can I require a man to deal with tradesmen who have voted against him or to renew the leases of tenants who have voted against him? What is it that the Jew says in the phty:—'I'll not answer that, but say it is my humour;' or, as a Christian of our own time has expressed himself, 'I have a right to do what I will with mine own.' There is a great deal of weight in the reasoning of Shylock and the Duke of Newcastle. There would be an end of the right of property if you were to interdict a landlord from ejecting a tenant, if you were to force a gentleman to employ a particular butcher, or to take as much beef this year as last year. The principle of the right of property is that a man is not only to be allowed to dispose of his wealth rationally and usefully, but to be allowed to indulge his passions and caprices to employ whatever tradesmen and labourers he chooses; and to let, or refuse to let, his land according to his awn pleasure without giving any reason, or asking anybody's leave. If it be impossible to deal with intimidation by punishment, you are bound to consider whether there be any means of prevention, and the only mode of prevention that has ever been suggested is the ballot; observe with what exquisite accuracy the ballot draws the line of distinction between the power which we ought to give to the proprietor and the power which we ought not to give him. It leaves the proprietor the absolute power to do what he will with his own. Nobody calls upon him to say why he ejected this tenant or took away his custom from that tradesman. It leaves him at liberty to follow his strangest whims. The only thing which it puts beyond his power is the, vote of the tradesman, the vote of the tenant, which it is our duty to protect. Then there is a Bill brought in by my right hon. and learned Friend the Member for Essex, who proposes to act upon the consciences of venal electors by a tremendous oath. Why, have we not oaths enough, and appalling violations of oaths? Do not men sell their votes as pigs, poultry, sacks of corn, flour, apples, and go to the polling booths and swear by their Maker they are guiltless of bribery? Why, any one who has taken the trouble to look into these matters, knows that evil-doers are not restrained by the stringency of an oath. I know an instance of an elector who took the bribery oath at an election, with the Testament in his right hand, and a five-pound note in his left, with which he had been bribed; that man eased his conscience by kissing his thumb, and not the book. I know the ease of another elector who was fought for on his way to the poll by two contending parties. One party contrived to slip a five-pound note into his right hand; the alter party insisted on the bribery oath being put. The man turned short round, and ran away. People, of course, said, "Oh! he cannot stand the oath." But what was the fact? He came up at the end of the day, swallowed the oath, and voted; and he afterwards explained that having the five-pound note in his right hand, he could not lay hold of the book without exposing it. Does my hon. and learned Friend suppose that he could deal with such cases as these by any tremendously worded oath? As for intimidation, the only attempt made in all these Bills to put down that, by far the most flagrant of our electoral evils, is to be found in the following specimen of legislative puerility in a Bill now before the House for the prevention of bribery and intimidation— This Bill enacts that every person who shall by himself, or by any other person on his behalf, make use of, or threaten to make use of; any force, violence, or restraint, or shall inflict or threaten to inflict any injury, harm, or loss, or in any other manner exercise intimidation towards any person on account of the manner of giving his vote, or in order to induce or compel such person to vote or refrain from voting, shall be deemed to have committed the offence of undue influence, and to have incurred the penalty (say 50l.), together with full costs, to be awarded to any person who shall sue for the same. Does this meet the intimidation of landlords, of customers, of creditors? Is the landlord obliged to avow his reasons for turning out his tenant? Is a customer obliged to avow his reason for dismissing his tradesmen? Is a creditor obliged to assign a reason for carrying out the judgment of the law? At the present moment the true cause for such proceedings is not avowed in nine cases out of ten. If you pass your Bill, the true cause will never be avowed, but the punishment of recusant electors will proceed exactly as at present. Away with such miserable tinkering work, such patching and botching as you are now making in your committee room upstairs! Like all tinker's work, when done, it will fall to pieces. Away with such deception, such insincerity! The ballot is the only remedy, and you know it. Now I have two remarkable cases of intimidation before me, neither of which could be reached by any laws at present existing, nor yet by these abortive Bills. The first I find in an able speech made by Sir James Graham in Carlisle, 4th January, 1838, after his defeat for East Cumberland, and published as a pamphlet. In that speech Sir James Graham uses that quiet irony and sarcasm, of which he is such a master, with great effect, against us poor Whig Radicals, as he delighted to call us. Poor Mr. Hume came in especially for his share, the right hon. Gentleman considering him a very bad politician and something addicted to rebellion; he found also great fault with Lord Palmerston for having been indiscreet enough to vote for Leader and Evans, and then the right hon. Baronet, after garnishing his discourse with sundry pleasant allusions, and particularly with one taken from the Cumberland wrestling ring, thus proceeds to lay it well into the Comptroller of the Royal Household, and these are his words— What was the course which Ministers pursued at the last general election? Upon that occasion Mr. Leader stood for Westminster, in opposition to a man who was not untried. He was a distinguished officer, almost the right hand of the Duke of Wellington in the Peninsular war—a man eminent for his public services, for the moderation of his opinions, and the great suavity of his demeanour. What decision did Her Majesty's Government come to between two such candidates? I blush to state it. An officer high in Her Majesty's service, no less a person than the Comptroller of the Household—a person who, on the accession of the new Sovereign, has the power of appointing the tradesmen to supply the Royal Household in the metropolis, and, therefore, possesses extraordinary influence over the constituency of Westminster—was, with the full consent of Government, appointed chairman of the committee of Messrs. Leader and Evans, in opposition to Sir George Murray. [Cries of "Shame."] You may suppose that I have stated the whole of the case—nothing like it. We have heard much of the intimidation said to have been employed by landlords during the last general election, but what was the conduct pursued by this chairman of the Radicals' Committee, this Comptroller of the Royal Household? He actually withheld the warrants of appointments until the election was over, for the avowed purpose of influencing that election. [Groans.] Now I selected this case because it is per- fectly edifying to see how virtuous a Tory can be when he thinks he has got a case against a Whig, and how virtuous a Whig can be when he thinks he has got a case against a Tory. Here Sir James evidently thought to use the language of the ring, that he had got a Whig's head into Chancery, and he pummelled away in fine style, and then finished off the Comptroller with a regular Cumberland cross buttock. I only hope that, now the right hon. Gentleman has come hack to us whig Radicals, he will look sharply after the Royal Household. Now none of the Bills before Parliament touch this case. Comptrollers of the Royal Household may still carry their influence with Westminster electors as far as they please, but they must not avow it. How strange that the right hon. Baronet, who so vividly portrays the abuse of power, should not feel that the best protection against Comptrollers of the Royal Household, great chamberlains, little chamberlains, great sticks, little sticks, and all the numerous Sticks which command patronage, is to be found in a secret, safe, and silent vote; there is and can be no other remedy. I next turn to the second case of intimidation, which I have been in possession of ever since the year 1841, when it took place. I at once tell the House that I cannot give up the names of parties implicated, nor will I in any way indicate the locality. I pledged myself not to bring forward the case during the lifetime of one of the parties. I am now absolved from silence on that score, but I feel confident that when the House hears the case, the innate delicacy of Gentlemen will cause them to approve of the caution I use. It appears that a master tradesman, an active Conservative in a certain borough, voted for the Liberal candidate, as well as influenced five tenants and workmen to vote the same way. It may be as well to observe that neither of the candidates knew anything of the case; both of them were too honourable men not to have turned their backs upon the guilty agent with indignation. Well, this tradesman did not hesitate to say he had been intimidated into voting as he had done by a man of property, to whom he was under deep obligation, owing him a very large sum of money. The creditor was a country gentleman, residing in a distant county, and likewise a strong Conservative. But now I come to the point: the country gentleman, the creditor, had a sister well married and settled in the borough where the debtor resided. On the day previous to the election, an attorney called upon this lady; he produced a packet of letters, and said— "Through the death of a client of mine, these letters have come into my possession; I know them to have been written by you previous to your marriage. Look at them. if they fall into your husband's possession, ruin and disgrace will overtake you. I know that your brother has advanced large sums of money to a man in this town; I must have that man's vote and influence for the Liberal candidate, or your husband will have possession of these letters." In short, this election agent applied to this unhappy lady the screw of ruin; the sister applied to the brother the screw of compassion; and the brother applied to the debtor the creditor's screw; the debtor applied to his workmen and tenants the master's and landlord's screw; and this ramification of atrocious election screws was applied to five electors, to compel them to betray what they believed to be the best interests of their country, and tell a lie before their God. Now, if hon. Gentlemen will reflect on the wear and tear of conscience, the excess of mental anguish involved in this horrible conspiracy; and when they know that under the system of open voting such cases are liable to occur, and that under a system of secret voting their occurrence is impossible, I emphatically ask, can you hesitate? Let me not be told that this is an extreme case. A most abhorrent case it is, I readily grant, so abhorrent that it is, to my thinking, enough to condemn any system under which it could take place; but tell me not of an extreme case, when it can be matched with cases of tenants ejected and their families starving, tradesmen dismissed, their business shattered, debtors consigned to prison, and an array of horrors, given in evidence against the present system, showing that no language is too strong to depict the tyranny arising from open voting, and the slavery which crouches beneath its influence. I have now only to ask the friends of justice and humanity to record their votes in favour of liberty of conscience. The aid of such hon. Members I invoke, let them be of what politics they may. I have never treated this as a party question, although I do not deny that for seventeen years I have been a partisan of those Liberal Ministers who, during that period, have held the reins of Government; but on this question I am of no party, I belong to neither of your factions. I am neither Montague nor Capulet; but I can say, and I do say heartily and emphatically, a "plague on both your houses," for between you the electoral rights and liberty of conscience of my countrymen are stabbed well nigh to the death. I implore you, then, to save your constituents from this moral assassination, permit the elector to veil his vote you thus secure his safety, and preserve the integrity of the suffrage. With the high and constitutional object of obtaining purity of election, I ask for leave to bring in this Bill.


said, he rose to second the Motion, and after the eloquent, witty, forcible, and convincing speech of his hon. Friend it was only necessary for him to say a few words. it was, he believed, the earnest wish of the people of this country that the ballot should be established, because they felt that all Bribery Bills and similar attempts at legislation would prove ineffectual. He was himself always in earnest in political matters, and he liked to see Government in earnest too, whether the matter in hand was war with Russia or the removal of grievances. He knew that his hon. Friend below him (Sir J. Shelley) not long since got into sad disgrace for using the word "sham." Awed by that example, he (Lord D. Stuart) would be more cautious, but he yet would venture to say that he could not understand how any Government earnest in the cause of reform could say one word against the ballot. Since the Motion was last discussed in that House he had taken the opportunity of speaking to several Americans upon the subject, and amongst others, to the late American Minister at this Court, a most distinguished and able man. The reply of the American Minister to his inquiries was this, that although there might be different grades of opinion in the United States on the subject of the ballot, yet he believed that if it. were proposed to abolish it, every American would refuse to be a party to such a measure. He (Lord D. Stuart) thought as all former means of staying corruption and intimidation had failed, it was only just to the country and to the House to give the ballot a trial. It was endeavoured to set people against it by crying it down as un-English. He would not pretend to say whether it was English or not, but he certainly thought the practice was a most "gentlemanly" one. Whenever any set of gentlemen were called upon to vote they invariably used the ballot. Since last year a striking instance of this had occurred in the Christ Church School election. There the candidates were persons occupying most dignified positions—the one the chief magistrate of the City of London and the other a Prince of the Royal blood. Did the governors of the charity vote openly? Of course not; the un-English, but nevertheless almost universal, practice of the ballot prevailed. There was a passage in the address of the noble Lord (Lord John Russell) to the electors of the City of London which showed that the noble Lord still remained an opponent of the ballot, and hence the opposition of the Government was to be looked for on the present occasion. The noble Lord boasted that there was no vote which he had not given openly. Of course that must be so while time ballot was not time law of the country. He (Lord D. Stuart) was not, however, quite without a hope that the noble Lord would yet have to give a secret vote, for he trusted that the day was not far distant when the House of Commons would agree with him in thinking that the ballot was the only way in which the voice of the people of this country could be fairly and freely heard.

Motion made, and Question proposed—

"That leave be given to bring in a Bill to cause the Votes of the Electors of Great Britain and Ireland to he taken by way of Ballot at Parliamentary Elections."


said, he thought it impossible for any arguments to get over the case made out in favour of the ballot by the most able speech of his hon. Friend (Mr. Berkeley). He agreed with those who thought that the ballot would be found a specific remedy against intimidation, but he did not think it would be found an equally certain remedy for corruption. The ballot had saved France more than once, and the time might come when it would be necessary here, because it was a protection against popular violence as well as against the intimidation of masters. If his hon. Friend should be unfortunately beaten upon the present occasion, he hoped the day would yet come when the ballot would not be considered a party question, but a matter of detail as to the best mode of carrying out our electoral system, and time means of doing away with those election excesses which reflected so much discredit upon this country. [Cries of "Divide!"]


Notwith- standing, Sir, the impatience of the House, which is very natural at this time of day (it was seven o'clock), and upon a subject which has been so often discussed, I trust I ratty be permitted to state a very few words the grounds upon which I shall give my vote at against the Motion of my hon. Friend. I am not insensible to the advantages which may accrue from any arrangement or system which may prove an effectual remedy against intimidation and bribery; but, in the first place, my opinion is—and it has not been lightly formed, and is of long standing—that the ballot, as it is proposed by my hon. Friend, would utterly fail to be accompanied with that secrecy which is the foundation of ad the beneficial results which it is proposed to accomplish. Why, Sir, will any man persuade me that you can get rid of canvassing. or that you can persuade men to keep to themselves the political opinions which they entertain—that they will not tell to their friends and companions the political feelings and opinions by which they are animated—that they will not declare the preferences they have for this or that candidate—and that en the day of election it would not he known, as well under the ballot as under a system of open voting, how the great majority of the electors intend to give their suffrage? Why, Sir, no mechanical contrivance, no legislative enactment that Parliament can devise, will, in my opinion, prevent the opinions and the votes of the great majority of the electors from being as fully known under the system of the ballot as under the present system of open voting. We have been told a great deal of the example of other countries, but let any hon. Member ask any citizen of the United States whether the ballot does produce that secrecy which We are told is the essential foundation of a proper system of voting. It is perfectly well known that it does not, amid that the opinions of the electors in the United States are as will known to their fellow-citizens, and are as systematically avowed, as in the United Kinadom—that men go to the poll with the balloting tickets in their hats, and with coloured papers in their hands, indicating the candidate for whom they mean to vote. Sir, the electors of this country are too honourable and too manly nut to avow their opinions. They are not ashamed to declare the name of the candidate who is identified With the political system which they intend respectively to support. Therefore, away with this nonsense—away with the attempt to create a delusion in the public mind which is inconsistent with all the known facts On this subject. Well, then, Sir, for the great bulk of the electors there would he no secrecy as to their vote. They would scorn secrecy upon such a matter—it would he repugnant to their personal feelings, and at variance with their political predilections. To some of the electors I admit the ballot might be secret—to some shopkeepers or tenants, or a few persons who might be under the apprehension that a certain vote might be productive of some injury to their condition or to their fortunes—and they might take care that in giving their vote there should be no knowledge of the manner in which they intended to vote. But what would he the condition of such a man during the period intervening between the commencement of the canvass and the giving of his vote on the day of election? Would the ballot prevent him from being solicited by one side or the other for his vote? Would it prevent those who had influence over him from extorting a promise that he would vote for their candidate? It does not follow that because a man's vote is given, as some one has said, in an envelope, and because he puts his hand in a hole to the right or left, as the case may be—it does not follow that the man who thinks that he may command a vote would not use that screw upon whiles my hon. Friend has dilated order to obtain a promise from the elector. That promise will either be given or withheld. If it be given, and if the Mall votes according to his promise, of what use is your ballot? If the promise is given and broken, what becomes of the improvement in the morality of your electoral system? The ballot will then exercise a degrading and demoralising, instead of a beneficial, influence. You would be lowering the people instead of raising them in time scale as social and civilised men. If the elector refuses to give that promise will that save hint front the resentment of those who have an influence over him? Will not those persons ask why he should refuse to make that promise unless he intended to vote the other way? Sir, no man will persuade me that the consequences to such a man will not be the same as they are at present if he goes to the poll and gives a vote; and, therefore, the ballot in either case, whether as regards morality, or secrecy, or protection from the consequences, would not be effectual. My first objection to the ballot is, that it would not accomplish the purposes for which those who propose it put it forward for the acceptance of Parliament. I object to it, indeed, first, because it will not succeed; and, next, because it may succeed. The House will he reminded of the person who said that the Pretender was not the son of James II. A friend said to him "How can you be so unreasonable and illiberal as to say that?" "Well, then," was the reply, "I object to him because he is son of James II" My objection to the ballot is the same whether it succeeds or not. I object to it, if it were to succeed, because secrecy in such a matter its voting for Members of Parliament would be an entire change in the habits and practices of the people. I think that to make men hold secret political opinions, and to debar them from those political manifestations of their partialities and antipathies, would be the violation of an important element of the British Constitution, and that to compel men to conceal in their own bosoms their opinions upon political affairs would be a great national calamity. If you succeeded in obtaining that secrecy which is desired, you would, I think, lose a great element of political virtue. Now, Sir, there is another objection which I have to the ballot. I think that, if it succeeds in accomplishing its purpose, it will be a great evil as bearing upon the political organisation of this country. I thank that, upon principle and theory, it is an error to say that a vote at an election should not be known. I must contend that a vote for a Member of Parliament is a trust exercised by the elector for the benefit of the country. It is a trust in the present limited range to which the vote goes; but even, if the state of things indicated by what I roust say is the jargon of universal suffrage, but which is not universal suffrage at all, should prevail, and if every man of a certain age were to vote, I should still say that the vote is a trust. So long as a part only of the community have a vote, it is a trust for the rest, and even if every man, woman, and child in the country voted, I should still maintain that the vote was a trust that. every individual was hound to exercise for the benefit of the nation. I hold that, according to the spirit of the Constitution of this country, every man who exercises a political right. or performs a public duty, ought to do it openly and in the face of the country. My hon. Friend (Mr. H. Berkeley) has quoted a passage from a highly respectable individual (Mr. Grote) to show that this view of the question is a fallacy. Now, with all due deference to my hon. Friend and to Mr. Grote, I must say I never heard a passage in which there were more fallacies than that; it was a play upon words, and not an argument of reason. I say that the suffrage is a trust which every elector has to perform when he votes for a representative to sit in this House, and it appears to me most evident that every man who has a political. function to perform and a political act to do should do it subject to the responsibility attaching thereto. We are told that there is no responsibility, and there can he no punishment, attaching to an abuse of the exercise of a voter's right. And then, we are asked, who is to judge in such a case? Are the Tories to judge the Whigs, and the Whigs to judge the Tories? I say that there is a responsibility, and that every man who has a vote is responsible to public opinion, to his neighbours, to those who know the act and who know the elector's opinions. This responsibility has a great and governing influence on the mind of every honourable man, and I will not be one to deprive him of that publicity which keeps him in the right course. If such votes could be given, and if every man could vote without the public knowing how he had voted, you would, I think, lose an inestimable advantage in beeping alive those feelings of political right and wrong which are so essential for the well-being and welfare of the country. Sir, on what ground is it that this question is argued? It is said that every man who has a vote ought to be protected from suffering. Now, I do not. admit that. I say that every man, be he high or low, who has a public function to perform ought to make up his mind to suffer whatever inconvenience may arise frown the honest and faithful discharge of his duty. Upon the same reason that electors are to give a secret vote, why should not Members of this House also give votes in secret? And so it is in countries where secret voting at elections is established. ["No, no!"] I say yes; in other countries, and inn France particularly, the principle has been carried out to its natural conclusion. if you give to the elector that winch is supposed to be the protection of secret voting, why not introduce the same secrecy of voting into the legislative body itself, for, if justice requires it at all, it requires it in the one case as much as in the other? Tire Mem- bers of this House are, it is true, a smaller body than the electors of the kingdom, but they are equally a body intrusted with political privileges, and one which exercises political functions bearing upon the general interest and welfare of the country at large; and why should not a Member of this House be at liberty to vote in secret, according to his conscience, and without fear of any consequences to himself, as well as those electors who send him to Parliament to occupy the scat he now fills? No man will tell me that a Member of this House, who has a proper feeling of ambition, would not think it as great a grievance to be visited at the election on account of the votes he has given, as the tradesman to incur the displeasure of his customer, or the tenant that of the landlord from whom he holds his farm. As to the real amount of injury which has resulted from influence of this sort, I must say, as far as my own knowledge goes, I believe it to be grossly exaggerated, and in many of the cases in which tradesmen profess to be the victims of persecution for their vote, their fortunes were damaged before, and they lay that upon their vote which ought to be placed at the door of their own imprudence. In general, what a man loses from his political opponents he gains from his friends; the account is pretty equally balanced, and, although there may be a few eases, such as those mentioned by my hon. Friend, in which great abuses prevail, yet, taking the aggregate, I do believe that there is a great deal more clamour than there is any real and just foundation for. Not to detain the House longer than is necessary, I will merely state a general outline of my objections, which are shortly these—that the ballot would not be effective to produce secrecy; that it would not protect the voter from the consequence of his political bias; and if it did produce secrecy, I think it would inflict a great injury upon the British Constitution.


said, he had hoped that the numerous debates which had taken place on the subject of secret voting, had almost, if not altogether, exploded the arguments which had been just used by the noble Lord (Viscount Palmerston). It might be very well for the noble Lord and others in his independent position to speak of Englishmen going openly to the poll; but the noble Lord should bear in mind that the ballot was intended to protect those who were not independent, but who were subject to coercion. It was very true that the noble Lord could go to the poll with his ticket in his hat; but how was the poor man, Who was under the control of his employer, or the agricultural labourer or tenant farmer, under the control of his landlord, to exercise this right in the independent manner of which the noble Lord had spoken? It might answer the view of the noble Lord to call secret voting un-English, and state that it would lead to hypocrisy; but he should remember that its being un-English was falsified by the fact of the ballot being more used in England than in any other country in Europe. But there was a simple test by which to try the validity of this assertion—to ask ourselves the question whether it was more un-English to vote openly and notoriously against our conscience and convictions, or secretly in accordance with those convictions? This would, he thought, decide the question as to the ballot being at least in the spirit of right. Again, the noble Lord urged that it would lead to hypocrisy. He (Sir J, Walmsley) could not but think that the spirit of hypocrisy attached much more to those who made such a statement. In fact, the very assertion presupposed a right to interfere with the independent exercise of the vote—a right which neither did nor ought to exist, and which, consequently, could not be fairly urged. Sufficient had been urged by the mover of the measure to show that gross oppression was used by the numerous acts of intimidation which he had cited. The noble Lord had given no reply to these, but argued that the voter should patiently bear them. That, in other words, for the exercise of a constitutional act, he should be placed in the most painful position, and subject to serious wrong. It appeared to him (Sir J. Walmsley) that to give a man a vote, and not sustain him in its independent exercise, was both unjust and impolitic. This opinion was so general in the manufacturing districts, that at the Reform Conference, at a very large meeting of employers and employed, it was unanimously declared that any extension of the franchise unaccompanied by the ballet would be little better than mockery. In his opinion the only possible partial objection to the ballot was the limited character of the franchise, but with a wide extension of the franchise the ballot would be as necessary to the middle-class voter as it now was to their less opulent fellow subjects. The question necessarily involved that of Parliamentary reform generally, but he would not trespass on the time of the House by entering into detail, but content himself with recording his opinion, which he did with perfect sincerity, that any extension of the franchise though accompanied by the ballot, which did not enfranchise the great body of our artisans, would fail either to meet the necessities of the case or the reasonable expectations of the people. Now a 6l. rating, with a three years' residence, would effectually exclude the great bulk of that class from the franchise. In the borough he had the honour to represent, out of 14,000 houses there were only 4.000 voters, including some 1,500 freemen. Now the Bill proposed by the noble Lord (Lord John Russell) the late Member for the City of London would have eventually removed the latter; and as a 6l. rating would only have increased the number of voters as housekeepers by 610, the constituency would have been reduced nearly 1,000. On the other hand, if a bonâ fide rent were taken as the basis of the franchise in boroughs, the constituency would have been doubled. He would not have introduced the subject of reform generally had it not been referred to by the mover of this question, and were not the ballot intimately mixed up with the subject of reform. For his own part, he believed that any measure of reform would be imperfect without the ballot, and that the ballot would necessarily require, to ensure its popularity and usefulness, a large extension of the franchise.


said, in justice to the large constituency he represented, who were much in want of that protection which it was the object of the ballot to give, he must support the Motion. There was, in his opinion, a wide distinction between Members of Parliament and constituents voting secretly. The people of England had a right to know how Members, who were responsible, discharged their duty; but such a principle did not apply to the electors themselves, and he was rejoiced that his hon. Friend (Mr. H. Berkeley) had not been deterred by the postponement of the Reform Bill from again pressing the subject on the attention of the House, for it might well be considered independently of the large question of reform, which could be taken upon its own merits. He should have thought that the disclosures made before Election Committees, and the difficulties in which the House had been involved in consequence, would have been sufficient to produce a favourable consideration of this question. In some cases they had been compelled to suspend writs—and he asked whether something more than Bills of pains and penalties was not needed, and whether they ought not to call upon hon. Members to give a practical proof of the sincerity of their professions against bribery and corruption, by voting for a measure winch would tend to make die practice extremely difficult, if not impracticable? In France the ballot had worked roost successfully, and had prevented all that naked and undisguised purchase of votes which made our electoral system a standing reproach both at home and abroad. No doubt men of independent circumstances mid feeling would always vote openly; but it was for the timid voter, who was exposed to the ruin-of himself and his family for giving a conscientious vote, that the protection of secrecy was demanded. The habits of dissimulation engendered by the practice of compulsory voting caused a greater deterioration of the national character than the operation of the ballot could ever produce. But not only would the ballot check bribery and intimidation, it would also put an end to the turmoil and confusion that prevailed at the elections for our towns and boroughs; and it would likewise discourage the setting in motion of the machinery frequently resorted to in public house parlours to decide doubtful and wavering voters. [Cries of "Divide."] He would not detain the House any further, but he trusted that if the ballot were not successful that evening, it would, ere long, be adopted as the only mode of securing freedom of suffrage to the constituencies of England.


said, he had witnessed so many scenes of oppression in Ireland arising out of open voting, that he felt constrained to support the Motion. There the electors were kidnapped, maltreated, and coerced, by their landlords to vote according to their wishes, and that fact alone should be sufficient to induce scrupulous minds to give the elector the protection of the ballot. Since his election he had received letters from some of Ids constituents, imploring him to intercede with their landlords to prevent their being ejected, in consequence of their having voted in his favour, while in many places in Ireland the landlords had had recourse to the aid or the military to compel electors to vote against their Surely, then, the best remedy for these abuses was the ballot, which he hoped to see carried during the Session.


I am quite sensible, Sir, that many hon. Members are very anxious, at half-past seven o'clock, to put an end to any debate that may happen to be in progress, because it will give time to dress for dinner to those who intend to come down anti vote on some other question that may be before the House at eleven or twelve to-night. I am, however, disposed to think that we may just as well be employed in a little further discussion of this question as in going to a division that could, at any rate, only settle the point. whether this Bill shall be introduced or not. I shall not attempt an elaborate argument on the subject of the ballot, because I agree very much with the hon. Member for Bristol (Mr. H. Berkeley), that there is little to be said in addition to what was said in its favour twenty years ago; but if there be any speech that I Lave ever heard in this House which is worthy to rank with those of Mr. Grote on this question, I should say it is the speech of the hon. Member for Bristol, in asking for leave to introduce this Bill to-night, and Which must have produced, I believe, a very considerable effect upon the opinions of the House. I said I should not enter into any elaborate argument now, because the question has been brought within a very small compass, inasmuch as all, or very nearly all, the grounds on which we advocate the establishment of this system are admitted upon both sides of this House. It is not in the least denied that bribery to a very large extent existed at the last general election; and I think every Commissioner's Report on the boroughs that have been specially brought before this House, declares that this bribery took place not only at the last election, but prevailed extensively at previous elections. If there were any difference of opinion with regard to bribery, there certainly could be none as to intimidation; for I could not believe—and I declare it honestly, I although it may be contrary to the courtesy of this House—I say I could not believe any Member who said he was of opinion that intimidation did not prevail at almost all the contested elections in the United Kingdom. Some hon. Gentlemen opposite occasionally boast that these disgraceful seenes are confined to the boroughs, and that the counties carry on their elections in a manner highly creditable to themselves and honourable to the constitution of the country. But these Gentlemen know, as well as I do, that the difference between the counties and the boroughs is just this, that in the boroughs there is a sufficient degree of independence under which a man can sell his vote, and does sell it in many instances; and in the counties there is no such independence, and the electoral system there is "sham" for the most part, because electoral life and all that spirit of independence which the noble Lord the Member for Tiverton (Viscount Palmerston) has pictured in such glowing colours are dead, and in fact the great landed proprietors are the real constituency,, by whose influence the county Members mostly sit in this House. I do nut go into facts to prove this, because every man must admit in his conscience, if he does not admit it openly in this House, the accuracy and truth of what I am stating. We have heard in this House, amid particularly front the hon. Members for North Warwickshire (Mr. Spooner and Mr. Newdegate), what is the state of things in Ireland—that the Catholic priests exercise an undue influence at elections there; and I have no intention of denying it. I think it highly probable that Roman Catholic priests do act at Irish elections as many others do, and exercise a power which they have no right to hold under the stimulus of a strongly contested election. But if Catholic priests in Ireland have that power, the Irish landlords have the same power too; and the unfortunate Irish tenant is in this position, that on the one hand he is threatened it may he with tile loss of all temporal good, while on the other he is sail (although I know not that it has been sufficiently proved to he so) to be threatened with the loss of all spiritual good, if he act in accordance with the dictates of his own conscience, or, at least, as he chooses to do. Now, I take the last election for Hertfordshire, and I see in the report of the proceedings that took place at the declaration of the poll that the unsuccessful candidate, who was only beaten by forty or fifty votes, affirms that, if the had only hoisted the banner of the ballot, eighty or ninety of the farmers would have voted for him. Well, if this gentleman made this statement publicly in Hertford shire, I may take it as some evidence in favour of the preposition of the hon. Member for Bristol. I rose, however, to speak on a somewhat different branch of the subject. The noble Lord the Member for Tiverton has made, I think, what he said was the first speech he has ever made in his life on die ballot. Well, having never spoken on it before, I am surprised that he did not say something more original. He used arguments that I have heard every Session in the discussion of this question since I have sat in this House. He talks of the "un-English" system we are asked to adopt; but, however, he certainly showed that he was perfectly acquainted with that system by the expert manner in which he explained the name in which votes would ha given by taking the balls in the right hand or the left, and depositing them in the way in which the thing is usually done when the noble Lord votes to elect or reject members in the club of which he is himself a member. Now, I will not discuss whether the practice is un-English or not—a phrase which I know is intended to enlist sympathy for what has no argument on its side, and is used to cover up those disgraceful facts which we all know to take place at our elections—circumstances that are ten thousand times more un-English, if by that term is meant more dishonourable and flagrant, than anything that happens in any country in the world where the ballot is adopted at elections. But the noble Lord thinks this remedy would be no remedy at all. He said he would not have it if it Were a remedy. but he does not believe that it is one. Well, he bas the misfortune to differ with those who sit near find behind me, and also with the great majority of the electors of this country. The constituencies, so far as they are at liberty to do so, have expressed their opinion with considerable unanimity on this subject; they have returned to this Parliament at least 200 Members who have on one occasion or another given votes in favour of the ballot; and if the number. of 200 is no creator, it arises, to a large extent. from the fact, not that there is any difference of opinion with regard to the ballot in the constituencies which return ballot Members and Members adverse to the ballot, but that in the great number of constituencies such is the necessity for this mode of voting that the real and honest opinions or the electors with regard to this question are not expressed, and are, therefore, not represented in this House; and I may refer to the gentleman who was so nearly being returned for Hertfordshire as a witness with regard to this fact. But, if amongst the constituencies there be such a considerable unanimity on this subject, and if there be 200 Members on this side of the House Who have frequently voted in its favour, what I wish to ask is this—how collies it that this question of the ballot makes no sensible progress in the House of Commons? The noble Lord (Viscount Palmerston) is to-night the loader of this House. His Colleague the late Member for the City of London is waiting to be re-elected, but Lord John Russell is just as obstinate and as resolute an opponent of the ballot as the noble Lord the Member for Tiverton. It is not long since we—the supporters of the ballot—were sitting on the Opposition side of the House with these two noble Lords, They, by means of a combination of circumstances and of parties, and by the failure of some schemes of hon. Gentlemen opposite, walked over to this—the Ministerial—side of the House, and we walked over with them, and we accepted them—I am speaking not so much my own sentiments as those of the Gentlemen I see before me, and to the left of me—we accepted them in some sort as the leaders of the party to which we are attached, and we took no security, no guarantee whatever from them, that they should in any of their measures consult the views which we held. They had security which all Governments have, that they would not he needlessly disturbed; that we would give our votes, at any rate, whenever we could with any sort of conscience, in their favour. Now, hon. Members opposite oppose the ballot. Nothing could be more natural—I do not in the least complain of it. I do not deny that it is a question on which hon. Gentlemen may honestly differ in opinion, but, at any rate, hon. Gentlemen opposite are consistent; they are not in favour of anything that may have the flavour of democratic progress: they do not want this House to be that power or that assembly which the Constitution, as I understand it, intended it should be. They desire that it should owe strong allegiance to the other House of Parliament, and that the noble Lords and great proprietors who have seats there should also sit here by their nominees and representatives, to influence, to a large extent, the deliberations and conclusions of this House. I do not blame them fur that—that is their theory of our Constitution and Government; but, at all events, that is not the theory of the noble Lord the Member for the City of London. I would not say so much of the noble Lord the Member for Tiverton; but I say of Lord John Russell, that he has professed to hold—whether in their entirety he holds them I know not—principles of a more popular, and, in some sense, more democratic character. But, now, what is the state of the case? Why, that 200 Members sit on this side of the House who are pledged in favour of the ballot—not merely pledges because they have told their constituents that they are in favour of it, but by their conviction that it is the only remedy for the disgraceful practices at elections. Why, we come here and acknowledge as our leaders a number of Gentlemen who sit on the Treasury beench, who, on this great and vital question, deny altogether that we are right, or appear, at least, as if they deny the soundness of the course we wish them to pursue, and they ally themselves, Session after Session, on this question with hon. Gentlemen opposite, to whom they profess to be opposed in polities. And not only those who sit near me, but Gentlemen on that bench, look at the position in which many of them stand. I have here a list of the opinion of what are called generally subordinate Members of the Government. I ought to state that one is not a subordinate Member because he sits in the Cabinet. Now, take first the law officers of the Crown. I have got the Warne of Cockburn down here, and the name of Bethell—and names more eminent cannot be found in the roll of existing English lawyers. Is this a foolish or absurd proposition that we make, that men so distinguished have always been consistently its advocates? Next there is the hon. Member for Kilmarnock (Mr. Bouverie), the Chairman of Ways and Means, who, if he is not a Government officer, is at least an eminent Member of this House. I have also the names of Colonel Boyle, the hon. Mr. Fortescue, Mr. Keogh, the Solicitor General for Ireland, Mr. Osborne, a Gentleman who could make an admirable speech on this question if he happened to sit below the gangway, Lord Alfred Paget, Mr. Charles Villiers, and a right hon. Gentleman whom, perhaps, I ought not to reckon—and yet the occurrence which has changed his position is so recent—I mean the right hon. Edward Strutt. Now, it is an unfortunate thing for us who are in favour of the ballot that the noble Lord the late Member for London, whilst in a very kind manlier, as I understood, he invited the late Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster to leave the Government, has taken into it the right hon. Gentleman the late Member for Morpeth (Sir G. Grey), who is against the ballot, whilst 200 Members on this side are in favour of this measure, and whilst not less than twelve Members of the Government have voted in its favour, and yet an advocate of the ballot is excluded from the Government, and a Gentleman taken into the Cabinet who, when he was Member for Devonport, was also an advocate of that measure, but who, since he became Member for Northumberland, and afterwards Member for Morpeth, has turned round and voted against it. A ballot man is shut out of the Government, and also a quondam ballot man; but one whose inconsistency is glaring is taken in as part of the Cabinet. Then there is the right hon. Baronet the Member for Southwark (Sir W. Molesworth). I observed, not long ago, that he, in a speech to his constituents, adhered to his ancient opinions in favour of the ballot, and he voted last year in support of it; and I have not the slightest doubt at this moment that on all future occasions he will pursue the same course. He holds the opinion that I now hold, that the ballot is the real remedy for the grievances and the evils of which we complain. And when the noble Lord the late Member for London stands up, and when the noble Lord the Member for Tiverton gets up, as he has done to-night, and in a very showy manner appeals to hon. Gentlemen opposite, with whom his sympathies always seem to go, and makes a speech against this proposition, which has the support of 200 Members of this side of the House, and almost the unanimous support of the constituencies of the country where they can speak out—I say the right hon. Baronet the Member for Southwark is a man whose opinion on a question of this nature is as much worth taking as that of any of his Colleagues; and I have some confidence that Parliamentary, and even official, etiquette will not on all occasions prevent his expressing his free and honest opinion to this House. Why, the right hon. Gentleman entered the Government under peculiar circumstances. It was the boast of the framers of the present Government that it represented all shades of the Liberal party. Now, I do not think the Cabinet does ade- quately represent that shade of the Liberal party understood to be connected with the question of the ballot; but I think we may trust in the right hon. Gentleman (Sir W. Molesworth), whether in this House or in the Cabinet, or wherever he is—and I think his past course shows that we may rely upon him—and feel satisfied that, at any rate, he will lose no opportunity for maintaining amongst his Colleagues those principles which he maintained amongst his constituents, and whilst he was an independent and unofficial Member of Parliament. Now, the question that occurs to my mind is, what should we do to have the ballot passed? I admit that I am thoroughly weary of this discussion. I did not believe it possible for anybody to make a speech at once so amusing and so convincing as the hon. Member for Bristol (Mr. H. Berkeley) has done, on a question that has been so much discussed as this has; but, nevertheless, I am weary of the discussion, and should be very glad not to have to open my mouth again in favour of the ballot. I would rather see it practised in the counties and boroughs. But what should we do? There is a duty of the electors and a duty of the elected in this matter. The electors in every borough, where they have had an opportunity, have returned a Liberal Member to Parliament. I should prefer to use a better term than "Liberal" if we had it, but I mean a Member on this side of the House. I hope all the constituencies will make up their minds soon, that, be the candidates what they may be in other respects, they will make this question of the ballot a testing question, and not allow men to come into Parliament in their name—in the name of what is liberal, just, and free, and then, in my opinion, to violate all that I think they do violate when they declare that the great body of the electors of this country—poor men, as many of them are, and exposed to these evils—shall not have the shelter of secrecy of voting in the exercise of their franchise. Well, now, what is our duty—the duty of 200 Members of this House? By whose suffrages, I ask, do these men sit on the Treasury bench? Why, very often, I must, say, by the suffrages of hon. Gentlemen opposite. Whose were the cheers winch the noble Lord the Member for Tiverton received to-night? Why, I heard but one feeble voice from a back Ministerial bench—feeble, no doubt, as the mental power which brought its utterer to the conclusion at which he appears to have arrived—I say, with the exception of that solitary feeble voice, I did not hear a single cheer from this side in favour of the noble Lord; but his whole speech, on the other hand, was received with perfect enthusiasm and rapture by hon. Gentlemen Opposite. Well, I only wish if the noble Lord be the natural leader of hon. Gentleman opposite that they really had him. For my part I repudiate altogether the leadership of men who, pretending to be liberal, and acting by the support of the votes of men on this side of the House, pertinaciously refuse, year after year, the smallest concession on a question on which the great majority of the House has made up its mind long ago. I appeal to hon. Gentlemen opposite. Do not we occupy a very absurd position? I am not at all ashamed to confess it; I have held this opinion for a long time. We have in this particular respect and in some others a Conservative Government. You will never have a more Conservative Government than this. Lord Derby's Government never could be called more Conservative, nor could the Government-which is no doubt preparing in some secret recesses to which we have no access, but which we may hear of hereafter as the successors of the present Government, possibly be more Conservative. Yet we are professing to hold our own opinion on this question, which is one of a magnitude that is most vital and important, and we regularly make it a part of our addresses to our constituencies, and annually the hon. Member for Bristol brings it before the House, supporting it by arguments that no man is capable of meeting, and yet the moment the division is over, the whole question of the ballot is stifled, and we hear no more of it till the same hon. Gentleman picks up the courage to bring it on and discuss it in another Session. Why, what we want to do is this, and any fifty Members on this side of the House can do it, that is, to say to the leader of the House when he comes back amongst us, and say also to Lord Aberdeen and those hon. Gentlemen who have come to find that the air of the Treasury bench agrees remarkably well with them—to say to them, "We do not wish to take your places, and send you to the other side of the House, but if you mean to be the leaders of this party, if there is one thing that we are more resolved upon than another, and about which we are unanimous, it is the question of the ballot, and we insist upon it that you take up that question, and by our help pass it through Parliament. or else you understand that you are not our leaders, and we are not your followers. You may have your followers, and there may be those who wish to have you as their leaders—make your arrangements with your supporters, and carry on the Government with their support; we at least are determined to stand up for our own policy and our own convictions, and would infinitely prefer to sit on the other side a the House in opposition, maintaining what we believe to be true, than to sit behind you watching you betray and oppose everything that we believe to be most essential for the interests and welfare of the country." Now, that the course I would recommend hon. Gentleman on this side of the House to adopt; and I will tell them boldly and freely that they will not do their duty to their constituents, who are anxious for the settlement of the question, nor do their duty towards public morality. which suffers so much from the want of the success of this measure, if they go on in this way year after year discussing, arguing for, dividing upon, and registering their opinions in its favour, and take no further step whatever to carry those opinions into practical effect. Now, the noble Lord (Viscount Palmerston) does not think the evils which exist are very great. I will not argue the point with him, because I feel convinced that every lean knows that they are great. I believe there is no man in this House who pays the slightest regard to what happens notoriously in the country who will not admit that at almost every contested election at which he is present, scenes. and many scenes, take place that he feels are not only degrading to his country, but degrading to human nature itself. I believe so great is this evil, that it very much warps all your efforts, whether by education or by religious influence, to improve the standard of morality, patriotism, and honourable feeling amongst your countrymen. I cannot find that any won who is opposed to this question has been able to show—however he might dispute the amount of good it would produce—that any harm would arise from the experiment of the ballot. The only argument which the noble Lord had used was that which had been always used, namely, that if a man were forced to promise against his conscience, and voted against his promise, he would be guilty of a lie, and his morality would be injured. The noble Lord appears not to be aware of the fact that if a man is made to promise contrary to his conscience, he by that promise is equally guilty of immorality; and if he votes in accordance with that promise, he doubly violates the rule which the noble Lord professes to support. The effect of the ballot would be that men would not be going round, in the same manner, as at present, with a lawyer, with a landlord, or with a customer, or a half dozen or one dozen of men who are supposed to have a lime twig for every voter they come amongst. That considerable class of electors who do not vote at all, and it is a large percentage of the whole number—that class that is forced to vote against their will, or vote conscientiously at an imminent risk—all those classes, sheltered under this power, would spurn the men who came to ask them, and the men who would ask them would feel that under the shelter of this ballot they would have no power over their victims. The candidate would not then get a vote by intimidation or threats, but might get a vote by kindness, argument, and persuasion. I do not see why this should be a party question, for I believe that there are many cases in which the return would not be influenced by the ballot; but when I see cases of hardship and tyranny, such as are enough to break the heart of any man, if, by giving the shelter of the ballot, I can give only to a few of those unfortunate slaves of will and power in this country, liberty and freedom. I would on that ground alone be induced to vote for this measure. I was looking at the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Midhurst (Mr. Walpole) during the speech of the hon. Member for Bristol. because that right hon. Gentleman is sitting with me on a Committee upstairs, where he is endeavouring to prevent bribery at election, and to put an end to those evils without die ballot. The right hon. Gentleman thinks he is engaged in a hopeful, but he is engaged in what I consider to be a hopeless attempt. I do not think it is possible for any mode of punishment to prevent the commission of these offences. In cases of bribery, both parties—the giver and the receiver of the bribes—were interested in keeping the transaction secret. It was not like a case of pocket-picking, where one party was aggrieved and the other was an aggressor, and where the party aggrieved endeavoured to bring the aggressor to punishment. In those cases both parties are equally guilty, and you cannot by any system of punishment put an end to it. The noble Lord the Member for Tiverton says the ballot is un-English; but if a man Were afraid of a mob, and wished to drive to the hustings in a cab instead of walking through the mob, the noble Lord might as well say it is an un-English practice for that man to conceal himself within that cab. It is not the adoption of a new principle that is proposed; it is merely that the voter shall give his vote by a certain machinery which will protect him against die influence of his landlord, his creditor, or his customer; and, having given him a vote you should allow him to give that vote in accordance with the dictates of his own conscience. You have given the voter the trust, and, contrary to every principle of law, you refuse him the menus absolutely necessary to fulfil the trust committed to him. I am ashamed of having detained the House so long, but I was induced to do so because I was satisfied that the question of the ballot was one about which the electoral body cared morn than any other, and I am convinced that if fifty Gentlemen on this side of the House are determined to have the ballot, or not to be the supporters of a Government who will not sanction it, then, that either the present Cabinet, or one hereafter to be formed, would introduce the question with a view to its being carried.


said, he would be content to leave the question of principle to the argument of the noble Lord the Member for Tiverton. The hon. Member for Manchester (Mr. Bright), had frankly avowed that he would not argue the question—and he showed his discretion by keeping his word. He (Mr. Whiteside) was satisfied that the noble Lord (Viscount Palmerston) had spoken the sense of the House and of the country on the question, and had placed it in a position which it had not occupied before by his manly, eloquent, and purely English speech. which he (Mr. Whiteside) thought ought to convert, if it had not converted, the right hon. Member for Southwark (Sir W. Moles-worth). The hon. Member for Manchester said, that there was no argument in the speech of the noble Lord; but, nevertheless, the noble Lord had pressed one argument upon the point which, in his (Mr. Whiteside's) mind, and he believed also in that of the House, was irresistible—namely, that the franchise was in the nature of a trust, to be exercised fur the use and benefit of the community at large; and that it should, therefore, be exercise openly and above beard. That argument had not been answered by the hen. Member for Manchester, except in a mode to which that hon. Member was only too touch accustomed, and which only satisfied the hon. Member himself; for the hon. Member assumed that every loam must he morally wrong who differed in opinion from him. The hon. Member for Walsall (Mr. C. Forster) had asked how an English House of Commons could refuse the ballot to Englishmen when they saw how it operated in France. But he (Mr. Whiteside) would ask, in return, had the ballot preserved constitutional freedom in that country? On the contrary, had it not, by other aid, utterly annihilated and destroyed it? Another hon. Gentleman had referred to America. Had the ballot repressed external violence and bloodshed at elections in America? He (Mr. Whiteside) had preserved an account of the late election for New York, the capital of the great Republic, and what story did it tell? The statement was to the effect that, the scenes of disorder and violence that ensued would take volumes to detail. If the ballot was what the hon. Member described, why should violence, disorder, and bloodshed have characterised the election at New York? That simile fact countervailed the argument of the hon. Member in the most effectual manner. He (Mr. Whiteside) did net mean to say that these scenes were produced by the ballot or that the ballot was adverse to the republican form of Government; but he did mean to say that it was entirely unsuited to a limited monarchy, and that it was not of power to prevent disorder, bloodshed, and violence. It was urged that the ballot would ensure secrecy, and so protect the voter. If, however, any great example could be shown where it did not effect these objects, the assertion fell to the ground. That such was the ease, he (Mr. Whiteside) thou ht lie could prove. The hon. Member for Manchester said the landlords in this country persecuted their tenants if they voted otherwise than in accordance with their wishes. He (Mr. Whiteside) believed that to be exaggeration as regarded the gentry of England, who certainly were not tyrants by nature, but who, on the contrary, were the preservers of that liberty which had been obtained for them by the blood of their forefathers. But supposing them to be tyrants, what operated upon them at present to repress their assumed tendencies? Why only public opinion, a free press, and the expression of the just indignation of all honest and moral men in the community. If, however, the ballot was adopted, there would be no longer any check upon them; the landlords in that case might persecute as much as they chose, and to any remonstrance they might reply that the vote being secret they knew nothing of it, and therefore could not be presumed to persecute on that score. The ballot consequently would protect the persecutor, if such there was, as well as the voter. But even supposing the hon. Gentleman could protect the voter against his landlord, how could he protect him in Ireland, for example, against the priest? He would admit that the influence of a landlord might operate unfavourably upon the mind of a tenant voter; but at the same time, he could not allow that the influence of property, station, education, and ability was other than a wholesome influence, and not tyranny. But even admitting that the landlord's influence was improperly exercised, he (Mr. Whiteside) would ask, was the influence of the priest never exercised in the same manner? How did the hon. Gentleman propose to protect the voter, therefore, from the priest and from the confessional? He had no doubt that every hon. Gentleman returned by those influences would vote for the Motion in order to give increased power to the priesthood in the elections, and at the same time it would give the voter no protection against them. The hon. Member, however, when he complained of the persecutions of landlords in this country, should also look at the election records of Ireland, and should note the scenes that took place in Cork, Clare, and other parts of that country, where property, fortune, and intelligence were beaten down and trampled under foot by priestly influence. There was, in fact, only one body in the empire exempt from its fatal effects—that body was the Freemasons, who had set it at defiance, though many Members of that body were Roman Catholics. Bat what was the result? Why the society was denounced by the priests because it professed secrecy. The fact was that the boasted ballot of the hon. Gentleman would disclose to priests all that which he was so anxious to conceal; and so leave the voter still more unprotected than he was at present—at least in Ireland. The hon. Gentleman had alluded to America in illus- tration of his case. But had the ballot taught freedom to America—freedom in its right sense? Had it taught them to grant liberty to their slaves. If the system of England was contrasted with that of this boasted Republic, it would be found, even on the most cursory view, that the rights, of humanity which were trampled under foot in America were here held sacred. The ballot. in fact, had not taught Americans to liberate their fellow men from bondage; and they would continue disgraced, in the words of Chaining, and a stain would rest on them, until they copied the vote of the English Parliament and set their slaves free. The hon. Gentleman had said the ballot would cure bribery and corruption, and he had stated that there was a number of cases of corruption arising out of the last elections. He (Mr. Whiteside), however, asserted that not one case had been shown in which there was any hesitation on the part of the House to unmask corruption, and that in no instance in which it was proved did it escape punishment. But was the hon. Gentleman right when he argued that corruption would be punished through the ballot and the briber reached? He (Mr. Whiteside) for one saw no machinery by which those objects could be accomplished. As to the notion of preventing bribery by punishment, that was a thing not to be done. As long as human nature was vicious, so long would corruption be of effect, and lie feared it would he more effective under the operation of the ballot than before. Much had been said of the freedom of the secret vote, but what country in Europe enjoyed real liberty, except this country, where the ballot had no existence? What need to speak of France, Belgium, or Sardinia? If the liberty of England became the prey of tyranny, how long would the system in either of those countries stand? Not a moment. Liberty was not preserved by the ballot, and it would exist when the ballot was no longer heard of. Liberty existed alone through the virtue of the great mass of the people, and it was unfair, therefore, to this country to say that it was going backward, because it had not the secret vote. Of all the political crotchets ever invented, he thought time secret vote was that the least calculated to increase the stock of public virtue in any country, or to stimulate the intelligence of the people. If there were, as the hon. Member (Mr. Bright) stated, a body of persons in this country who could not exercise the right to vote which they possessed without injury to their pocket, that only proved that the franchise had gone too low. The franchise was given to a man because he was supposed to possess a free will; and it should not be given to him if he did not. There was a great, an intelligent, and an independent body of persons in this country who could exercise a beneficial influence upon the public mind; but it was different in other portions of the empire. The argument of the noble Lord, however, had in his (Mr. Whiteside's) opinion answered every suggestion in favour of the ballot; and ha fully coincided in that argument.


*Sir, my hon. Friend the Member for Manchester (Mr. Bright) has appealed to me in such strong but courteous terms that I cannot refrain from addressing the House on this subject. The hon. and learned Gentleman (Mr. Whiteside) who spoke last supposed that I must have been converted by the speech of my noble Friend (Viscount Palmerston) near me. I listened to that speech, as in duty bound, but though I always admire everything that comes from my noble Friend, I must say I do not think his arguments against the ballot were very convincing. In fact, they were nothing more than the stock-in-trade arguments of the opponents of the ballot, which we have heard refuted over and over again usque ad nauseam. I assure my hon. Friend that I have never wavered or faltered in opinion on this subject since the period when my Friend (Mr. Grote) made his celebrated Motions in favour of the ballot, one of which I had the honour of seconding eighteen years ago. Since then that question has been repeatedly and ably discussed in this House, and I think that I must have heard every argument urged that can be urged either for or against secret suffrage. The result has been to strengthen my conviction that no measure ever can or ever will be really effectual in checking either bribery or intimidation which does not contain a provision that the votes of electors shall be given in secret.

As I have never heard any argument of any force in refutation of the position that the ballot is the only legislative measure which could put an end to intimidation, I will confine my observations chiefly to the disputed question of the efficacy of the ballot in arresting the progress of bribery. This is a most important question at present; for every one admits that bribery has prevailed of late to such an extent as to compromise, and seriously compromise, the character of this House, and to cast discredit upon the representative institutions of this country. Both Houses of Parliament have, therefore, in reply to the Speech from the Throne, declared that it is necessary to take new and more effectual precautions against corrupt practices at elections. Now, what ought those new and more effectual precautions to be? Ought they to be analogous to the old ones, which after so many amendments have proved unsuccessful, or ought they to be of a new and different description? That is the question at issue between the friends and the opponents of secret suffrage.

My conviction, that no measure will ever prove effectual in checking bribery which does not contain the ballot, is founded upon an examination of the reasons why the laws which have been passed against bribery have failed. That those laws have failed both sides of this House admit, for both sides have brought in a Bill to amend those laws. Those Bills have been referred to a Committee upstairs; but I agree with my hon. Friend the Member for Manchester that the labours of those hon. Gentlemen will prove vain and useless, unless we assist them with the ballot. Why have the laws against bribery failed? I attribute their failure to the fact that they are merely penal enactments, the object of which is to deter persons from giving or accepting bribes through fear of the punishment to be inflicted in the event of detection and conviction. Now, a penal enactment can only fail from two causes—either from the inadequacy of the punishment threatened, or from the difficulty of detecting the offence and convicting the offender. To which of these two causes is the failure of the laws against bribery to be attributed? Not, certainly, to the inadequacy of the threatened punishments, for they are severe, consisting of pecuniary penalties varying from 500l. to I,000l., accompanied by disfranchisement or disqualification. If the severity of these punishments were to be increased, the public would probably consider them to be excessive and out of proportion to the moral turpitude of the offence; then judges and juries would become more unwilling to convict than they are at present, and the result would be increased impunity. And, indeed, there is reason to believe that the public consider that the punishments at present at- tached to giving or taking bribes are excessive; because, though hon. Gentlemen are sometimes unseated by Committees of this House, for bribery by their agents, yet they are rarely convicted, and generally acquitted, of any personal knowledge of the bribery, and I do not remember any instance of an hon. Member having been convicted a bribery by a court of justice; yet I think there can be no reasonable doubt that, after every general election, there must be many hon. Members in this House who are morally guilty of bribery. I think, however, that the impunity which generally attends bribery should be attributed to the difficulty of detecting the offence and convicting the offender. That difficulty arises from the peculiar nature of the offence of bribery. which is very different from that of the great majority of offences. Generally speaking, when an offence is committed, there is some overt and patent act which manifestly inflicts sensible wrong upon some person, as, for instance, when a man is robbed or assaulted; then the injured person knows that he is injured, feels that he is wronged, and is prompted by his knowledge and feelings to seek out the offender and to bring him to justice. Not so when the offence of bribery is committed. In that offence there is no overt nor patent act winch manifestly inflicts sensible wrong upon any person. For the offence of bribery consists simply in the transfer of money or money's worth from the briber to tie bribed; that act need only be known to the two persons concerned in it, who are not injured by it, but who have strong motives to conceal it—strong in proportion to the punishment threatened for it—and it they keep their counsel. the person injured by the bribery can never know that he has been injured nor feel that he has been wronged. This essential difference between bribery and the generality of offences was clearly pointed out by my noble Friend the Lord President of the Council (Lord J. Russell) when he introduced his Bill to amend the laws relating to bribery, treating, and undue influence at elections. My noble Friend justly remarked that it was a very difficult task fir the Legislature effectually to arrest the progress of bribery. I believe that the Legislature will never accomplish that task by means of penal enactments alone. For we cannot by such enactments so alter the nature of the offence of bribery as to render it less difficult of detection, and if we were to endeavour to counterbalance the hope of impunity arising from difficulty of detection by threats of severest punishment, our Draconic laws could not he enforced, and our threats would prove vain. Therefore, if we want to arrest the progress of bribery, we must not rely only upon penal enactments to deter men from committing that offence, but must try to combine with such enactments treasures calculated to take away the motives to commit bribery, by diminishing its efficacy, and by rendering it less difficult of detection.

I think the ballot is a measure of this description. My position is, that it would diminish the efficacy of bribery, and put an end to every kind of positive bribery except that which is the least effectual and the least difficult of detection. To sustain this position, I must observe that positive bribery may be divided into three kinds, according to the period when the payment of the bribe is made. The first kind is, when the bribe is paid before the elector votes, on his promising to vote for the bribing candidate, whom I will call A. The second kind is, when the bribe is paid after the elector has voted, and in consequence of his having voted, for candidate A. The third kind is, When the bribe is paid after the return of candidate A, and in consequence of his return. I contend that the ballot would put an end to every one of these three kinds of bribery, except the third kind, which, with the ballot, would be the least effective and the least difficult of detection. I must, therefore, ask the House to consider what would be the effect of the ballot on each of these three kinds of bribery.

The first kind of bribery—namely. when the payment of the bribe is contingent only on the promise of the corrupt elector, is rarely and never willingly practised by skilful and experienced agents, even with open voting; for when the bribe has been paid beforehand, the briber has little security that the bribed will fulfil his dishonourable engagement, and not sell his vote for a second bribe to the opposite party; in fact, the briber has no security except such as may arise front a feeling of false honour on the part of the bribed, or fear of being reproached for not keeping his promise. It is evident that the strength of these feelings would be very much diminished, and in many cases entirely destroyed, by secret suffrage. With the ballot corrupt electors would, when they could, take bribes from both sides, and then vote honestly according to their convictions. For corrupt electors frequently have strong Political opinions, for which they are willing to make considerable pecuniary sacrifices; and it is a well-known fact that corrupt electors will oftentimes vote for a popular candidate for a less bribe than for an anti-popular one. I think, therefore, that with secret voting the first kind of bribery—namely, paying before the vote is given—wil will rarely, if ever, practised, and when practised that the result will frequently be honest voting.

The second kind of bribery which I have mentioned. is when the payment of the bribe is contingent on the fact being ascertained that the corrupt elector his voted for the bribing candidate. This is the ordinary mode of bribery, the most bust ness-like and economical one, in which the least money goes furthest; for money is only paid when it is known that votes have been actually given for the bribery, candidate. The definition of this kind of bribery shows that it must necessarily cease with open voting.

The third and last kind of bribery to which I have to call attention, is when the payment of the bribe is contingent upon the return of the bribing candidate. It is evident that this kind of bribery might be practised with secret as Well as with open voting, but with this most important difference, that with open voting, in the event of the bribing candidate being returned. only those electors would be paid who had fulfilled their promises of voting for candidate A; but with the ballot the electors who had promised to vote for A would have to be paid, whether they had performed their promises or not. It would seem on first thoughts that this kind of bribery would be the most advantageous for a bribing candidate, for he Would only have to pay when the object of his wishes was accomplished, and his return obtained. But with open voting it is rarely, if ever, practised; and the reason is obvious on reflection. It holds out far less temptation to the corrupt elector than the ordinary mode of bribery. For in the ordinary mode the corrupt elector is paid for having voted for candidate A; and as the payment is contingent upon an act within the power of the elector. the payment is certain if the elector wills it. On the other hand, in the third mode of bribery, the payment is contingent on the return of candidate A. The payment is, therefore, uncertain, and de- pends upon an uncertain event, over which the individual elector can have no control, except in the rare case of his vote being the casting vote of the election. Consequently, corrupt electors prefer the first to the third mode of bribery; and it is evident, likewise, that a much smaller sum of money, to be expended in the payment or votes as soon as they are given. would be far more efficacious in determining the votes of electors thin the promise of a much larger sum of money to be paid only in the uncertain event of A being returned. Therefore, the third kind of' bribery would be much more expensive than the first kind; it could only be practised by larger capitalists, and, consequently, by fever persons.

It is supposed, however, that bribery of the third hind would be much practised with secret voting. I do not believe that it would be. But if it were, my position is, that with secret voting it would be much less efficacious and much less difficult of detection than the ordinary mode of bribery with open voting; and therefore that the ballot. by putting au end to every other kind of bribery, would do much towards arresting the progress of corruption. To prove this position I must institute a comparison between the two kinds of bribery to which I have just referred—namely, between the ordinary mode of bribery with open voting, in which the bribe is paid to the elector who has promised to vote for candidate A as soon as he has fulfilled his promise, and the supposed mode of bribery under the ballot, in which the, bribe would only be paid to the elector who had promised to vote for candidate A when A was returned. In the ordinary mode of bribery with open voting, the corrupt bargain is clear, simple, and direct. "Vote for A" (says the briber to the corrupt elector), "and you shall have a 5l. note; vote for B, and you shan't have a farthing from us." But in the supposed mode of bribery under the ballot the corrupt bargain would be, "If A be returned you shall have a 5l. note, whether you vote for or against him; and if B be returned, you shan't have a farthing whichever way you may vote." Therefore, with open voting, the temptation to the elector to vote for A is the certainty of obtaining a 5l. note; with secret voting, the temptation to the elector to vote for A would depend upon the elector's opinion of the effect of his vote on the probability of A being returned. If the elector thought that the return of A would depend upon the elector's own individual vote, then the temptation to vote for A would be nearly the same as with open voting, and equal to the certainty of receiving a 5l. note. But if the elector thought that the success or failure of A was independent of the elector's own individual vote, then he would have little or no motive to vote for A against his convictions; because by the hypothesis in the elector's opinion the return of candidate A, and consequently the pecuniary result to the elector, would be the same whichever way he voted. Now, as it rarely happens, even with open voting, that an elector thinks that the result of a contest will depend upon his casting vote, I think that with secret suffrage an elector, acting singly and alone, would be little influenced in his vote by the promise of a bribe to be paid in the uncertain event of the bribing candidate being returned.

It is said, however, that with secret suffrage corrupt electors would not act singly and alone, but in combination, and that collective bribery would be substituted for individual bribery. For instance, it is said that a body of electors, sufficient in number to decide a contest, would combine together to be bribed; that a bargain would be made with them to the effect that each of them should receive a certain bribe—say 5l.—in the event of candidate A being returned; that each of them would perceive that if they acted together and voted together, candidate A would be returned and they would be paid. Thence it is inferred that they would act together and vote together, and that their temptation to do so would be nearly equal to the certainty of obtaining a five-pound note a-piece, or nearly equal to what it is in the ordinary mode of bribery with open voting. I will, for the sake of argument only, assume the validity of these positions; though I must remark that many an elector who would take a five-pound note, put it into his pocket, and vote for A, hoping that nobody but the briber would know anything about it, and that the blot on his character would never be hit—would be ashamed to deliberately combine with all the scoundrels of the neighbourhood, and would be very reluctant to have his corrupt conduct generally known to his neighbours. Men, except of reckless character, are unwilling to have their sins known even to fellow sinners. Therefore I believe that collective bribery could only be practised upon the corrupt and hardened. But I maintain that such collective bribery would be very liable to detection, and much less likely to escape detection than the ordinary nude of individual bribery with open voting. For how is bribery generally practised with open voting? The briber says to the elector, "Vote for A, and you shall receive five pounds." Then, when the day of election comes, the corrupt elector goes to the poll, votes for candidate A, receives a ticket, takes it to a stranger in a dark room in an out-of-the-way street, and receives a five-pound note; there the transaction ends. It needs only be known to the three persons concerned in it, namely, the bribed, the briber, and the stranger; and if they keep their own counsel, detection is almost impossible. But with collective bribery and secret voting the promise of the bribe must be made, not to individual electors separately (for I have shown that an elector acting singly and alone would be little influenced by the promise of a bribe to be paid in the uncertain event of a bribing candidate being returned), but the promise must be made to the body of electors who are assumed to be leagued together for bribery and combined action. Each of them would therefore be aware that many electors besides himself were to be paid in the event of candidate A being returned. Now, it is evident that to produce any effect by this mode of collective bribery with the ballot, the promise of a bribe must be made to a considerable body of electors—considerable, I mean, in proportion to the numbers of a constituency. For with the ballot it would be no use to promise a dozen or so of electors that they should be paid in the event of candidate A being returned. At present, with open voting, even in a considerable constituency, an election may be gained in a close contest by the judicious purchase of a small number of votes; but with the ballot nothing of this kind could be done. With the ballot the only effective bribery must be wholesale and collective. A moment's reflection must convince any hon. Gentleman that if with the ballot he should wish effectually to bribe a constituency, he must promise to pay in the event of his return as many electors as, in addition to those upon whose unbought promises he could confidently rely, would constitute a majority of the constituency. For instance, suppose the constituency to be bribed contained 1,000 electors—suppose an hon. Gentleman could confidently rely upon the unbought promises of 300—thirty per cent (a large proportion in a corrupt constituency with the ballot)—then to secure his return the hon. Gentleman would have to promise to pay in the event of his return a body of 201 electors in order to be certain of a majority; in the same manner, in a constituency containing 10,000 electors, the hon. Member would have to promise to pay, in the event of his return, a body of 2,001 electors. Now a promise made to so many electors, and known by each of them to be made to so many, could not be kept secret from the rest of the bribable class of the constituency; then not only those who had voted for A, but those who had voted for his antagonist, would demand payment in the event of A being returned. In what a horrible dilemma an hon. Member would be placed who had obtained his return in this manner! I ask any hon. Gentleman who is conversant with this subject to put himself in the position of such an hon. Member; to fancy that he had secured his return by a promise to pay a large body of electors; that, having fulfilled his promise, he received applications for payment from a large number of other electors. What would you do? What would you say? You could not refuse payment to any elector on the ground that he had not voted for you, because with secret suffrage you could not tell how he had voted. If you were to refuse on the ground that he was not one of the body of electors whom you had promised to pay in the event of your being returned, he would probably tell you that it was a shame that you had not promised him; that he was as ready and willing to be bribed as any one; that he had voted for you; and as you were returned, that he had as good a right to be paid as his neighbours. If you still persevered in your refusal, you would make an enemy who knew your secret, who had perhaps voted for you, who would be revenged upon you, and who would do his best to have you detected and convicted. On the other hand, if you paid him out of fear, you would have to pay every one of the bribable class of electors in the constituency; therefore, in some constituencies, you would have to pay all who had voted for you and all who voted against you; you would be ruined in consequence of the numbers whom you would have to pay, and in proportion to the numbers whom you did pay would be the chance of your detection. Therefore, in all cases your chance of detection would be much greater than at present—in many cases it would amount to a cer- tainty. Then you would be convicted, severely punished, disqualified from sitting in Parliament; your constituency ought to be disfranchised, a new and pure one substituted, and its purity would be preserved by the ballot.

One of the most beneficial consequences which I should expect from the ballot, would be the preservation of the purity of constituencies that with open voting are in perpetual danger of being corrupted. I firmly believe, that if the ballot had formed part of the Reform Bill—if it had then been adopted Lord Grey's Government, many constituencies which have since been a disgrace to our representative system, would have remained pure. For I have shown that the ballot would have put an end to every kind of bribery except wholesale and collective bribery. Now, wholesale and collective bribery cannot be introduced at once into a pure constituency. The adage "Nemo repente fuit turpissimus" is as true of constituencies as of individuals. The history of corrupt constituencies shows that bribery has been gradually introduced into them. I think such gradual introduction of bribery would be impossible with secret suffrage. I will state my reasons for this opinion.

If the history of the constituencies which have been corrupted since the passing of the Reform Bill be examined, the origin of the corruption may be traced either to a closely contested election or to the bribery of unsuccessful candidates. In the case of the closely contested election, the contest was generally decided towards the close of the poll by the votes of a few electors who were bribed. In such a case parties were nearly equal and animated by strong party feelings. When the day of election came, the race between candidate A and candidate B was neck and neck; alternately the one, alternately the other, leading. Towards the end of the day nearly one-half of the electors had voted from party feelings for A, and the other half from similar feelings for B. The constituency was nearly polled out, only a dozen or so electors remained unpolled—a number sufficient, however, to decide the election; they were the scum of the constituency; open voting made them the arbiters of the contest, and empowered them to determine who should be the representative of the constituency. They were indifferent to the merits of A or B; they might, perhaps, have been influenced by threats, but they were most easily acted upon by hopes of immediate gain. In the excitement of the contest, such hopes were held out to them by some friend, or agent, or Partisan of A. A was returned, and bribery was introduced into the once pure constituency. Bribery once introduced, A's party could never again be confident of success without bribing those whom they had bribed before; and B's party could never hope to defeat A without also having recourse to corruption. A corrupt struggle then commenced; each party strove to seduce and corrupt the electors of the opposite party, and with each successive contest the number of bribed electors increased. Both parties, being equally guilty of corruption, equally abstained from attempting to punish each other. Now it is evident that in the first instance the motive which induced A's party to bribe was founded upon an exact knowledge of the state of the poll, and that the few votes of the unpolled electors would decide the contest. With the ballot such knowledge would not have been possessed, the motive to bribe would not have existed, bribery would not then have been introduced, and, protected by the ballot, the constituency might have remained pure.

With regard to the corruption of constituencies by the bribery of unsuccessful candidates—in this manner many constituencies have been gradually corrupted since the passing of the Reform Bill. At first these constituencies were very pure; they prided themselves upon returning their Members free of expense. This conduct, however, was distasteful to some persons, who had knowledge or experience of the profits of a contested election. They determined to get up a contest; then one of their number—generally a Inky attorney—went to London to search for a candidate; he haunted the purlieus of the clubs till he found some person with more money than principle, frequently some rich parvenu who aspired to the social position of a Member of Parliament. This person—whom I will call the bribing candidate—was informed that there was an opening in such and such a borough for a candidate of opposite opinions to the sitting Member; he was invited to hold those opinions and to stand, and he was told that he might be returned for a few hundreds. The invitation was accepted; a contest ensued on the first opportunity; during the contest large sums of money found their way from the pockets of the bribing candidate, through mysterious channels, into the pockets of some of the electors who had manifested their approbation of his political opinions. In the first contest he was defeated, for the great majority of the electors were pure; and being defeated, his corrupt practices, though known, Were not punished. Thus the seeds of corruption were sown in the pure constituency; they germinated rapidly, and produced fruit. Those who had once tasted the fruit of corruption longed to taste it again; they communicated their longing to their neighbours. In a second contest the number of electors willing to be bribed increased, and the bribing candidate was defeated by a smaller majority. So it went on; in each successive contest more electors were bribed, and the bribing candidate was defeated by narrower and narrower majorities; finally he obtained a majority, or the opposite party commenced bribing in self-defence; in either case the constituency became thoroughly corrupt. It is evident that this process of seduction and corruption could not have gone on with secret suffrage; for I have shown that the ballot would put an end to every kind of bribery except that in which the payment of the bribe would be contingent on the success of the bribing candidate, and, consequently, it would put an end to all bribery by unsuccessful candidates.

I have shown that the ballot would put an end to every kind of bribery except that in which the payment of the bribe would be contingent upon the return of the bribing candidate; that such bribery, to be effective, must be wholesale and collective; that wholesale and collective bribery would be very liable to be discovered, and far less difficult of detection than the ordinary mode of bribery with open voting. Thence I infer that by the aid of the ballot the penal enactments against bribery. which, in consequence of the difficulty of detecting bribery, have hitherto proved inefficacious, would become effective in arresting the progress of bribery—a progress which all friends of constitutional liberty must deplore, as it casts discredit upon this House, and saps the foundations of our representative institutions.

There is one objection to the ballot which I must now notice. It is sometimes said, that in secret, electors would vote contrary to their known opinions from corrupt motives, who would be deterred from openly doing so by the public opinion against bribery, and thus that the influence of public opinion against bribery would be weakened. It would be easy to show that there is no validity in this objection to the ballot. But, omitting other answers to it, I will content myself with expressing a strong doubt whether the public opinion that influences the actions of the bribable class of electors is hostile to bribery, or ever will be hostile to bribery as long as intimidation is practised by the upper class of electors.

I must observe, that the public opinion that determines the actions of particular men is not the opinion of the whole community, nor of the majority of the community, nor of the respectable, nor of the intelligent portion of the community, but of the class or section to which the men belong. Now, the class to which the takers of money-bribes belong, especially in corrupt constituencies, do not look upon the taking of a bribe as a blameable or discreditable act. If you converse on this subject with an intelligent man of this class, he will justify his conduct by specious arguments difficult to refute. He will cite the example of his betters—of his superiors in station or in rank. He will say to you—

"Why should I, who am a poor man, refuse to make a few pounds by my vote, for the benefit of myself, my wife, and my children? In taking a bribe, is my conduct more corrupt than that of the shopkeeper, who votes against his conscience to secure the custom of his customers; or that of the tenant, who sees in his vote the means of currying favour with his landlord, and procuring an abatement of his rent? It is true that I desire to be rewarded for my political conduct; but so do many others, my superiors in station, wealth, and education; so does the squireen, who influences half a dozen electors; so does the large landowner, whose fifty-pounders are counted by the score; so does the mill-owner, who can put the screw on a hundred ten-pounders; so does the great territorial magnate, who intimidates a whole county. If I desire money in return for my vote, they expect money's worth in return for their influence. The squireen asks for his dependents petty places in the Customs or Excise; the large landowner wants for his younger sons a clerkship in the Treasury or an attachéship to an embassy; the rich mill-owner aspires to gain in social position, to be called Sir John This or Sir Thomas That; the great territorial magnate desires a peerage, or a step in the peerage—the Lord Lieutenancy of his county, a ribbon, or a garter; and if the expectation of any of these worthies is disappointed, marvellous is the change that sometimes comes over his political convictions, and those of his dependents, at the next general election."

It is very difficult to persuade the bribable class of electors of the fallacy of these arguments. In their eyes, intimidation is a graver offence than bribery; for, say they, the magnitude of an offence is in proportion to the evil that it does to society, and the pain that it inflicts upon individuals. The evil to society from an elector voting against his convictions is the same, whether he does so for the sake of gaining a 5l. note or from the fear of losing one—whether he is seduced by a bribe or intimidated by a threat; but to the individual elector the difference between seduction and intimidation is very great—all the difference between pleasure and pain. An elector seduced by a bribe feels that he is a free man, for he does what he likes; an elector who is intimidated by a threat, feels that he is a slave, for he acts under compulsion. Therefore, I repeat, in the eyes of certain classes, intimidation is a far graver offence than bribery. They ask, "Why should one class be permitted to reap the fruits of intimidation, and another class be forbidden to enjoy the sweets of bribery? When you attempt to put a stop to the one, you ought simultancously to put an end to the other." For these reasons I am convinced that you can never produce a general feeling hostile to bribery until you have put an end to intimidation by the upper classes.

I will not trespass upon the House by attempting to show that it would be absurd and ridiculous to try to put down intimidation by means of penal enactments. You cannot so define intimidation as to constitute it a punishable offence. Intimidation of the most potent kind may be conveyed by a nod, a wink, a gesture, a seemingly casual expression of opinion, nay, even by an invitation to a breakfast or a dinner. I have heard of the intimidation of a numerous tenantry by an invitation to a breakfast. The breakfast was on the polling-day. Those who partook of it, as a matter of course, accompanied their landlord to the poll, and what tenant dared to refuse the invitation?

It is said that intimidation has decreased of late years. I find, however, much difference of opinion on this subject; one opinion being held by the intimidating, the opposite by the intimidated classes. If you talk to one of the intimidating classes, to a landlord or to a mill-owner, he will tell you that he never intimidates his tenants, his workmen, or his artisans, and that the ballot is not wanted. But if you talk to one of the intimidated classes, you will hear a different story. The shopkeeper, the tenant farmer, the workman, and the artisan will tell you, "We know too well the opinions of our customers, of our landlords, of Our employers, to dare to vote against them. Though they have not positively threatened to punish us if we were to do so, yet we are afraid to vote according to our consciences, in opposition to their wishes, without the protection of the ballot." From these conflicting opinions I arrive at the conclusion that the grosser and more outrageous forms of intimidation have become less common, and in fact they are condemned by public opinion; but that the milder, and more decent, and not less effective forms are practised to a great extent; and I doubt very much whether the real influence of intimidation on the vote of electors has much diminished. It is notorious, that if in an agricultural district you know the opinions of the chief landowners—if in a manufacturing district you know the opinions of the chief mill-owners, you can tell very nearly what candidate will have the majority of votes in the district. I was much struck at the last general election by an instance of this description with regard to the county which I inhabit—I mean East Cornwall. There were three candidates for that division, two Protectionists and one Free-trader. I was told jest before the election that the free-trade candidate had a bad chance, that all the farmers were Protectionists, and that my tenants would vote against me to a man. I replied that I had no doubt they were Protectionists, but how did their landlords intend to vote? and I asked the opinion of So and So, mentioning half a dozen of the chief landed proprietors of the division. I was told they were with us. Then, said I, "Never mind the opinions of the farmers; we shall have a large majority," and so we had. The free trader was far ahead on the poll. If we had known our strength, we could easily have returned two Freetraders. But what amused me most was to find that my tenantry, with one or two exceptions, plumped for the free-trade candidate. Now I did not use any intimidation. My tenants were only aware of the fact, which every one knew, that I had always been a determined free-trader, that twenty years ago I had represented that division as a free-trader, and was a most zealous supporter of the free-trade candidate. The result of that election showed, that without the ballot the hon. Gentleman opposite (Mr. Kendall) would not have the slightest chance of being returned again fur East Cornwall, if he be opposed.

It appears to me that there are only three conceivable modes of preventing intimidation. Take, for instance, the case of a customer and a shopkeeper. To prevent a customer from intimidating a shopkeeper, you must either conceal from the shopkeeper the opinions of his customer, or you must forbid the customer from ceasing to deal with the shopkeeper in consequence of his voting against the opinions of the customer; or you must conceal from the customer the vote of the shopkeeper. You cannot conceal from the shopkeeper the opinions of his customer, unless you prohibit the customer from ever expressing his opinions—an inconceivable prohibition. Secondly, you could not prevent a customer from ceasing to deal with a shopkeeper in cansequence of his voting against his customer's opinions, sinless you were to pass an enactment forbidding any customer from ever ceasing to deal with any shopkeeper who had ever voted against his customer's opinion—an impossible enactment. Therefore, there remains only the alternative of concealing from the customer the vote of the shopkeeper, and that alternative is the ballot. Similarly in the cases of a mill-owner and his workmen, and of a landlord and his tenant. If you wish to prevent a landlord from intimidating his tenant, you must either conceal from the tenant the opinions of his landlord, which would be impossible; or you must prevent a landlord from ejecting any tenant who had ever voted against his landlord, in which case the tenant who had voted against his landlord would have a perpetual holding; or you must conceal time vote of the tenant from the landlord by means of the ballot. Therefore it appears to me that any serious attempt to put down intimidation by means of penal enactments would give birth to laws of such intolerable vexation and severity, that all the intimidating classes would cry aloud for the protection of the ballot. But even if by means of penal enactments an end could be put to intimidation by the upper classes, such enactments would not put down intimidation by the lower classes. To protect the elector from the violence and the intimidation of the mob you must conceal his vote from the mob.

It is said there is one kind of intimidation which the ballot could not put an end to; that, for instance, a landlord who suspected that with secret suffrage his tenants would vote against his wishes would prevent them from going to the poll; that this kind of intimidation would be much practised in Ireland, where, in consequence of the wide difference between parties, it is more easy to foresee how electors would vote than in this country; that, for instance, Protestant landlords would sometimes compel all their Roman Catholic tenants to abstain from voting. I do not deny that acts of gross and outrageous intimidation of this description might be practised under the ballot; but, in consequence of their very grossness, they would be rare. They would only be practised by the most unscrupulous intimidators; and, as I have already observed, public opinion condemns the grosser forms of intimidation. I should likewise observe that a landlord who with secret suffrage would prevent his tenants from voting would, with open voting, compel them to vote against their convictions. Now, it is a greater evil to the community, and a greater pain to an elector, to be compelled to vote against his convictions, than to be compelled to abstain from voting altogether. Therefore, even if the ballot were not to put a stop to this kind of intimidation, it would substitute a lesser evil for a greater one, and that would be a gain to the community. Moreover, for a landlord to forbid his tenantry to vote, would, as I have already said, he an act of gross intimidation of so outrageous a character, that if any act of intimidation could or ought to be punished, that act could and ought. I should, however, doubt the expediency of making it a punishable offence. I should leave it to be put down by the force of public opinion, which, under the ballot, would become very strong against acts of gross and flagrant intimidation. For the ballot, by putting an end to all the ordinary and mild modes of intimidation, would much diminish the number of persons who could or would intimidate. Then only a few persons would possess the means of intimidating and be unscrupulous enough to use them—and only those few would approve of the em- ployment of such means in the outrageous manner in question—and the conduct of those who did employ such means would meet with the condemnation of all the rest of the community, both of the intimidated classes and of those who, in consequence of the ballot, had ceased to belong to the intimidating classes, and who would therefore be loudest in the condemnation of the exercise of a power of which they had been deprived.

I am convinced, therefore, that the ballot, by diminishing the number of persons who could bribe or intimidate, would tend to create a strong public opinion against bribery and intimidation. For the position of Hudibras, that men Compound for sins they are inclined to By damning those they have no mind to, is equally true of sins which men have no power to commit. This is the answer which I should give to the assertion of my noble Friend the Secretary of State for Home Affairs, that with the ballot there would be much promise-breaking. I admit that promises extorted from an elector to vote against his convictions would, with the be broken; but eminent moralists justly assert that it is better to break a wicked promise than to keep it. Moreover, to extort from an elector a promise to vote against his convictions, and which he will probably break, is a sin. Now men rarely commit sins from which they expect no profit; therefore, with the ballot few men would commit the useless sin of extorting promises from electors; and the conduct of tae few who did commit that sin would be severely condemned by the rest of the community, who, with the ballot, would have neither the power nor the inclination to imitate such conduct. Therefore, for the reasons l have already stated, I feel convinced that the public opinion which would spring up under the ballot would soon put down such attempts at extorting promises as would lead to much promise-breaking.

I have now stated my reasons for thinking that the ballot would put an end to every kind of bribery except gross, outrageous, and wholesale bribery, which might easily be detected and punished; and also that it would put an end to every kind of intimidation except gross, outrageous, and wholesale intimidation, which public opinion would severely condemn.

Before I sit down I wish briefly to refer to one or two of the arguments which have been used by my noble Friend (Lord Palmerston) against the ballot. [Cheers and cries of "Divide!"]

Hon. Members opposite ought not to be impatient. They should remember that on the present occasion I have been called upon to speak, and that I represent some dozen Members of the Government. I will not, however, detain them much longer, but reply very briefly to my noble Friend's arguments.

My noble Friend said the elective franchise is a trust (this is a very common objection to the ballot), that the elective franchise is a trust confided to an elector for the public benefit—the trust being to choose a representative. He said that the elector is responsible for the exercise of his trust, and therefore that he ought to vote openly, in order that the public may judge of and pronounce a judgment upon his choice of a representative. Why so? To affirm that an elector ought to vote openly, in order that the public may pronounce a judgment upon his choice of a representative means, if it means anything, that the elector ought to be influenced in his choice of a representative by the opinion of the public. But for what reason ought an elector to be so influenced? The only reason that can be assigned must be that the public are better judges of who ought to be chosen than the elector is. But if the public arc better judges of, they are fitter to choose, a representative; and if they are fit to choose, they ought to choose, and therefore they ought to have votes. But who are the public whom you consider fit to choose a representative? The whole community, or a portion of the community? If the whole community are fit to choose a representative, then they ought to have votes, and the suffrage should be universal, for to vote for a candidate is so simple an act that there is no reason why it should be done by a delegate or representative. If, on the other hand, you consider that only a portion of the community are fit to choose a representative, then you affirm that the other portion are unfit to choose. It is evident that only those who are fit to choose ought to have the franchise, and they ought to be able to choose freely; therefore, they ought to be protected in their choice of a representative from the influence of those who are unfit to choose, and the only means by which they can be so protected is the ballot. Therefore the arguments upon which the doctrine of the responsibility of the elector is placed, may lead to an extension of the suffrage or to universal suffrage, but they are not inconsistent with secret suffrage; on the contrary, they show the use of the ballot in protecting those who are fit to choose a representative from being influenced in their choice by those who are unfit to choose one.

My noble Friend has used another argument, which Las been so often answered, that I hardly dare trespass on the patience of the House by mentioning it. He said that if the electors are to have the ballot, we ought to have the ballot in this House. Really I cannot discover any analogy whatever between the two cases. When an elector chooses a representative, what ought he to do? He ought to select as his representative the. man, whom on account of his political opinions, he considers fittest to sit in this House. The elector has therefore a right to know whether his representative does or does not act up to his political professions. And if, after an bon. Member has taken his seat in this House, he changes his opinions on any important matter upon which he has declared his views to the electors, it is his duty to resign his seat, and to give the electors the opportunity of choosing another representative. The elector has therefore a right to know whether his representative fulfils his promise, and this the elector could not know if we voted in secret. On the other hand, the elector ought to promise nobody—but to choose without fear of punishment or hope of reward the representative whom he considers fittest; and this, in many cases, he could only do with the ballot.

The last objection to the ballot which I will notice is, that it would be a democratic measure. Now the term "democracy" has two significations—one good, and the other bad. In the good sense of the word, democracy simply means popular government; and in this sense of the word I admit that the ballot would be a most democratic measure, for I believe that it would conduce more to good popular government than any other institutional change—than any Reform Bill that can be devised. On the other hand, democracy in its bad sense means the government of an ignorant and violent mob. But in this sense I maintain that the ballot would be a most anti-democratic measure, because it would protect the elector in the exercise of his franchise from every kind of intimidation, and especially from the intimidation of an ignorant and violent mob. In fact, if the term conservative be used as the opposite of democratic in its bad sense, the ballot would be a most conservative measure, for it would enable an elector to preserve his principles whilst giving his vote.

In conclusion, I must say that my firm conviction, founded upon the fact that your penal enactments against bribery, though repeatedly amended, have always failed, is that you may patch and mend those enactments to all eternity, you will never arrest the progress of corruption or put an end to intimidation till you try the experiment of the ballot; nod if, contrary to my expectations and convictions, that experiment should fail, von will not be worse off than at present, but you would have the satisfaction of knowing that you have done your best to cure great and crying evils, which, be assured, cast deep discredit on this House, and tend to sap the foundations of your representative system.


said, that placed between the arguments of two Cabinet Ministers, be had no hesitation in voting with the noble Lord the Member for Tiverton (Viscount Palmerston) on whose side he certainly thought the weight of the argument inclined. When the Members of the Cabinet agreed, their unanimity vi as wonderful; when they disagreed, their discordance was marvellous. The right hon. Baronet the Chief Commissioner of Works said he represented a dozen Members of the Government. He (Mr. I. Butt) had fallen into the mistake of supposing that be represented only himself. And he must say, that if his arguments were a fair specimen of the logic of the other twelve, their accession was not likely to aid the cause of the ballot. The right hon. Baronet the Member for Southwark (Sir W. Molesworth) began by telling the House that the success of penal measures against bribery and corruption was prevented, either by their severity, or the difficulty of detection; and, having shown to the House that those measures were at least severe enough, he went on to advocate a measure which he (Mr. I. Butt) believed would make detection impossible. The right hon. Baronet, retorting on his noble Colleague, maintained that public opinion ought to have no share in influencing the elector in giving his vote; but on what other principle was the whole administration of public affairs conducted in this country but on that of the influence of public opinion? He could perfectly understand and agree in the argument of tile noble Lord when he asked, why should the elector alone be exempted from the elector of public opinion which was applied to every one else? The right hon. Baronet had completely failed to answer that argument. He did not mean to follow the right hon. Baronet through his lecture on bribery and corruption, which, had it proceeded from any less distinguished purist, would have tempted him to apply the line— He hest earl paint them who has felt them most. For, in truth, the question was not to be decided by this anatomical illustration of bribery, nor by an inquiry whether voters could be influenced by priests and landlords; but his vote would be decided by the consideration whether the ballot was a mode of voting "most calculated to elevate the character of the constituent body of this country, and most conducive to the independence and high-mindedness of the electors. No man was more anxious to put an end to bribery and intimidation than he was, but he did not believe that any advocate of the ballot had shown that it would have that effect, nor did he think it was possible for them to establish such an argument. But his great objection to the ballot was founded upon the fact that it was an un-English mode of voting. The object which they professed to have in view, that of enabling electors to vote in secrecy, could only be attained at the risk of leading them to forget their pledges, to conceal and falsify their votes, and of inducing falsehood, treachery, and cowardice. The example of America had been quoted by an hon. Member, but he (Mr. I. Butt) would ask, had the ballot banished bribery, intimidation, and violence from the elections there? The example, too, of France had been quoted, and they were told that they were indebted to the ballot for Louis Napoleon. No man was more ready than he was to express his admiration of the brave and loyal conduct of that Monarch, but he believed, that if the ballot were introduced into this country, the time was not very far distant when we should have to invoke the assistance of an unconstitutional military Governor to preserve the institutions of the country. The real secret of the demand for the ballot was to be found in the democratic ambition to be free from all constraint, nod, believing that institution exercised an influence on citizens, he should vote against the ballot even if he had no other reason, because it taught a man that he was coming to the poll to exercise an act of absolute power for which he was amenable to no one. He believed this mode of voting would not have the effect of suppressing bribery and corruption, and, even if it were likely to have such an effect, it would only be at the expense of the deterioration of the national character of the people.


said, he wished to make a few observations, as the representative of a constituency who felt deeply on this subject, and had made more sacrifices for their principles than almost any other constituency in the kingdom. He was anxious to express his deep satisfaction at the speech of the right hon. Baronet the Member for Southwark, who showed that those hon. Members who agreed with him in opinion had a fearless expounder of their sentiments at the Council Board. The hon. and learned Gentleman who spoke last had expressed a belief that secret voting would vitiate the character of Englishmen, and make them false, treacherous, and cowardly; but, if that were so, were not all the Members of that House who belonged to clubs—were not the East India Directors—false, treacherous, and cowards? He was deeply disappointed and surprised at the speech of the noble Lord (Viscount Palmerston), identifying himself, as he did by it, with all the arguments of the other side of the House. The noble Lord had spoken as if corruption did not prevail, and as if no remedy were necessary; but he told the noble Lord that his right hon. Colleague's speech marked an era in the question, and that it would eventually be carried by the united voice of the people smarting under the wrongs of intimidation. It was not the real aristocracy who intimidated, but a mushroom aristocracy, halfpay captains, men of 500l. or 600l. a year, who intimidated the class immediately beneath them. He did not believe it was a democratic question, or that secrecy was valuable. He should prefer to see every man exercise the franchise openly, fearlessly, and manfully; but it was necessary to find a remedy for corruption, and to throw protection around the voter. He contended that the franchise was a trust, just as wealth and intellect were trusts, for the exercise of which the possessors were accountable to no one but their Maker, and should, therefore, support the introduc- tion of a measure which would protect men in the exercise of that trust.


said, the right hon. Baronet the Member for Southwark must have presumed on his modesty—which he knew to be very great—preventing him from rising to address the House, or he would not have ventured to refer, as he had done, to his election, because there was perhaps no greater proof than his own case that the ballot would not at all answer in England. Although he was a man of long standing, perhaps of old family in Cornwall, he was a man of small means, and he had the strongest possible influences working against him among the yeomanry and tenantry, none of them being stronger than that of the right hon. Baronet, as he found to his cost a few days before the election. He was not anxious to represent his county, and had refused to canvass or take any steps in order to do so, and the cry of the "big loaf" was a most enormous cry against him, because no cry in the world was like that of a man's stomach. He would not join in that cry; he stood as an out-and-out Protectionist. and, notwithstanding the most powerful influence, was triumphantly returned. As the right hon. Baronet (Sir W. Molesworth) said, when a landlord used his influence, it was very powerful indeed. When the right hon. Baronet came down he won from him certain votes. A man said to him, "I'm very sorry, your honour, but I went to the first breakfast, and it was a most wonderful breakfast, and I thought I 'd go the second day, and the second was as good as the first, so I gave your honour one vote instead of a plumper." He was asked to relax his Protectionist principles, but he would not yield a single point. He had fought it to the last; but, notwithstanding all these influences, there he was in that House of Commons, returned principally by the yeomanry of Cornwall, against those influences, and he did not think it possible to adduce a stronger argument to prove that the ballot could be of no possible use. It had struck him while the right hon. Baronet was speaking, that he should be obliged to rise and present himself as an example of the perfect uselessness of the ballot to men of upright and honourable feeling; and he could assure the right hon. Baronet that if he were not to be returned to the House except by the ballot, he hoped never to be in the House at all.


Sir, I might be expected to say a few words in reply to my noble Friend (Lord Palmerston), but I really think that I have no cause for doing so. The House will hardly expect me to answer, nor can I expect their attention while I reply to the stale argument of the unmanliness of secret voting, repeated by the opponents of the ballot, usque ad nauseam, and answered an hundred times. Sir, I need say the less, since the question has become a kind of Cabinet question, and one Cabinet Minister has completely answered the other. The hon. and learned Member for Enniskillen (Mr. Whiteside) has referred to certain disturbances which were said to have taken place at New York during an election. I cannot consider that an argument against the ballot. I really thought that I had gone so thoroughly into the condition of the American electoral system that I had entirely forestalled the learned Gentleman's argument, but it is amusing to see the pertinacity with which hon. Members persist in raising from the dead the ghosts of exploded arguments. The hon. and learned Gentleman also disparaged the institution of the ballot in America, because slavery is an American institution. I really do not feel the force of that argument; but I would remind him that in America the ballot is out of favour with the slave owners, and by them sought to be abolished, and open voting substituted, and why? Mark the answer, because the friends of the abolition of slavery find their security against violence in the secrecy of the ballot-box. As there are really no other arguments to refute, I will not detain the House by any further observations.


said, this was a question which was felt intensely by a large portion of the electoral body in Ireland. He could assert that there was not a Liberal constituency in Ireland that had not pledged itself to the ballot. He knew that if a landlord said to his tenantry he desired they should vote according to his views, they must do so, even though it was against their own views and principles. One hon. Member asked what was to prevent the influence of the priest. He (Mr. Maguire) would tell him—the ballot. But if a clergyman—who from being a clergyman, did not surely thereby cease to be a freeman—if he saw his flock dragged to the hustings, to act against their own convictions, was it at all astonishing that the clergyman should be dragged from the sanctuary to rescue his flock. A gentleman, who had been a Member of that House, told him that when he was in trade in Oxford Street, it was amazing the audacity of intimidation used by ladies towards him at election times; and an Englishman who was driving a large trade in Ireland, told him that he wished he had no vote at all, so greatly was he annoyed by similar influences. If they could prove that all the electors of Ireland and of this country enjoyed the free power of recording their votes according to their consciences, then he should be ready to oppose the ballot; but as he considered there was no freedom of election under the present state of things, he should certainly support the Motion before the House.

Question put.

The House divided:—Ayes 157; Noes 194: Majority 37.

List of the AYES.
Adair, H. E. FitzGerald, Sir J.
Aglionby, H. A. Fitzgerald, J. D.
Alcock, T. Forster, C.
Anderson, Sir J. Fox, R. M.
Atherton, W. Fox, W, J.
Barnes, T. Freestun, Col.
Bass, M. T. Gardner, R.
Beamish, F. B. Gibson, rt. hon. T. M.
Bell, J. Goderich, Visct.
Berkeley, Adm. Goodman, Sir G.
Berkeley, hon. C. F Gower, hon. F. L.
Bethell, Sir R. Greene, J.
Biggs, W. Grenfell, C. W.
Blackett, J. F. B. Greville, Col. F.
Bland, L. H. Hadfield, G.
Bouverie, hon. E. P. Hall, Sir B.
Bowyer, G. Hankey, T.
Brady, J. Headlam, T. E.
Bright, J. Henchy, D. O.
Brocklehurst, J. Heywood, J.
Brockman, E. D. Heyworth, L.
Brotherton, J. Hindley, C.
Brown, H. Horsman, E.
Butler, C. S. Hutchins, E. J.
Byng, hon. G. H. C. Hutt, W.
Challis, Mr. Ald. Jackson, W.
Chambers, M. Keating, H. S.
Cheetham, J. Kennedy, T.
Clay, Sir W. Keogh, W.
Cobbett, J. M. Kershaw, J.
Cobden, R. King, hon. P. J. L.
Cogan, W. H. F. King, hon. P. J. L.
Collier, R. P. Kirk, W.
Corbally, M. E. Langston, J. H.
Craufurd, E. H. J. Langton, H. G.
Crossley, F. Laslett, W.
Currie, R. Layard, A. H.
Dashwood, Sir G. H. Lee, W.
Davie, Sir H. R. F. Lindasy, W. S.
Duke, Sir J. Locke, J
Duncan, G. Loveden, P.
Duncombe, T. Lucas, F.
Esmonde, J. M'Cann, J.
Ewart, W. MacGregor, John
Ferguson, J. M'Taggart, Sir J.
Maguire, J. F. Rice, E. R.
Mangles, R. D. Robartes, T. J. A.
Marshall, W. Sadleir, Jas.
Martin, J. Scholefield, W.
Massey, W. N. Scobell, Capt.
Miall, E. Scrope, G. P.
Milligan, R. Scully, F.
Mills, T. Scully, V.
Milner, W. M. E. Seymour, W. D.
Mitchell, T. A. Shafto, R. D.
Moffatt, G. Shee, W.
Molesworth,rt.hn.SirW. Shelley, Sir J. V.
Morris, D. Sheridan, R. B.
Muntz, G. F. Smith, J. A.
Murrough, J. P. Smith, J. B.
O'Brien, Sir T. Strickland, Sir G.
O'Brien, C. Strutt, rt. hon. E.
O'Connell, D. Swift, R.
O'Connell, J. Talbot, C. R. M.
O'Flaherty, A. Tancred, H. W.
Oliveira, B. Thicknesse, R. A.
Otway, A. J. Thornely, T.
Paget, Lord A. Uxbridge, Earl of
Paget, Lord G. Villiers, rt. hon. C. P.
Pechell, Sir G. B. Vivian, J. H.
Peel, Sir R. Vivian, H. H.
Pellatt, A. Walmsley, Sir J.
Phillimore, J. G. Warner, E.
Phinn, T. Wickham, H. W.
Pigott, F. Wilkinson, W. A.
Pilkington, J. Willcox, B. M.
Pollard-Urquhart, W. Williams, W.
Price, W. P. TELLERS.
Ricardo, J. L. Berkeley, H.
Ricardo, O. Stuart, Lord D.
List of the NOES.
A'Court, C. H. W. Davison, R.
Alexander, J. Deedes, W.
Annesley, Earl of Denison, E.
Archdall, Capt. M. Dering, Sir E.
Bailey, Sir J. Disraeli, rt. hon. B.
Bailey, C. Dod, J. W.
Baines, rt. hon. M. T. Drumlanrig, Visct.
Ball, E. Duff, G. S.
Barrow, W. H. Duff, J.
Bateson, T. Dunlop, A. M.
Beckett, W. Dunne, Col.
Bective, Earl of Du Pre, C. G.
Bennet, P. East, Sir J. B.
Bentinck, Lord H. Egerton, Sir P.
Bentinck, G. W. P. Egerton, W. T.
Berkeley, Sir G. Egerton, E. C.
Bernard, Visct. Elcho, Lord
Boldero, Col. Elliot, hon. J. E.
Booker, T. W. Elmley, Visct.
Bramston, T. W. Evelyn, W. J.
Brand, hon. H. Ferguson, Sir R.
Brooke, Sir A. B. Filmer, Sir E.
Buck, L. W. Floyer, J.
Burroughes, H. N. Forbes, W.
Butt, G. M. French, F.
Butt, I. Frewen, C. H.
Cabbell, B. B. Galway, Visct.
Cairns, H. M. Gaskell, J. M.
Carnac, Sir J. R. George, J.
Cecil, Lord R. Gilpin, Col.
Child, S. Gladstone, rt. hon. W.
Christopher, rt. hn. R.A. Gladstone, Capt.
Clive, R. Goddard, A. L.
Cobbold, J. C. Gooch, Sir E. S.
Coles, H. B. Goulburn, rt. hon. H.
Colvile, C. R. Graham, rt. hon. Sir J.
Granby, Marq. of North, F.
Greenall, G. Oakes, J. H. P.
Greene, T. Ossulston, Lord
Grogan, E. Packe, C. W.
Gwyn, H. Palk, L.
Hale, R. B. Palmerston, Visct.
Harcourt, G. G. Parker, R. T.
Harcourt, Col. Peel, F.
Hawkins, W. W. Peel, Col.
Heathcote, Sir G. J. Pennant, hon. Col.
Heathcote, G. H. Percy, hon. J. W.
Heathcote, Sir W. Philipps, J. H.
Heneage, G. H. W. Phillimore, R. J.
Henley, rt. hon. J. W. Pritchard, J.
Herbert, H. A. Pugh, D.
Herbert, rt. hon. S Repton, G. W. J.
Herbert, Sir T. Rolt, P.
Hervey, Lord A. Rumbold, C. E.
Hildyard, R. C. Rushout, Col.
Hogg, Sir J. W. Sandars, G.
Horsfall, T. B. Sawle, C. B. G.
Hotham, Lord Seymour, H. K.
Hughes, W. B. Seymour, Lord
Hume, W. F. Shelburne, Earl of
Jones, Capt. Smith, Sir W.
Jones, D. Smith, W. M.
Kendall, N. Smyth, J. G.
King, J. K. Spooner, R.
Knatchbull, W. F. Stafford, A.
Knightley, R. Starkie, Le G. N.
Knox, Col. Sutton, J. H. M.
Knox, hon. W. S. Taylor, Col.
Lacon, Sir E. Thornhill, W. P.
Legh, G. C. Tollemache, J.
Lennox, Lord A. F. Trollope, rt. hon. Sir J.
Liddell, H. G. Tudway, R. C.
Liddell, hon. H. T Tyrell, Sir J. T.
Lindsay, hon. Col. Vance, J.
Lisburne, Earl of Vane, Lord A.
Lockhart, A. E. Vernon, L. V.
Lockhart, W. Vyvyan, Sir R. R.
Macartney, G. Walcott, Adm.
Mackie, J. Walpole, rt. hon. S. H.
Mackinnon, W. A. Walsh, Sir J. B.
MacGregor, Jas. Welby, Sir G. E.
Malins, R. Whitbread, S.
Mandeville, Visct. Whiteside, J.
Masterman, J. Whitmore, H.
Miles, W. Wilson, J.
Michell, W. Wood, rt. hon. Sir C.
Montgomery, Sir G. Woodd, B. T.
Moody, C. A. Wortley, rt. hon. J. S.
Mostyn, hn. T. E. M. L. Wrightson, W. B.
Mowbray, J. R. Wyndham, Gen.
Mulgrave, Earl of Wyndham, H.
Mullings, J. R. Wynn, Major H. W. W.
Mundy, W. Wynne, W. W. E.
Naas, Lord Yorke, hon. E. T.
Napier, rt. hon. J. Young, rt. hon. Sir J.
Neeld, John
Newark, Visct. TELLERS.
Newdegate, C. N. Hayter, rt. hon. W. G.
North, Col. Jolliffe, Sir W. G. H.