HC Deb 09 March 1854 vol 131 cc585-6

said, he rose to call the attention of the House to the petition of the inhabitants of Kingston-upon-Hull, presented on the 27th of February, and to move that the Report of the Chief Commissioner be laid before the House. The facts of the case were, of course, known to hon. Members, as the petition had been printed with the votes. He grounded his Motion on what was the practice observed by the House with regard to its own Committees. It had often happened that a well-considered Report was prepared by the Chairman, and submitted to the Committee; but that afterwards either the whole Report was turned into a few words, or it was so altered by the majority of the Committee that the House, on having the Report presented to it, was left in total ignorance of what really had passed in Committee, or what the evidence was that had been given before it. A standing order was therefore established to this effect—that a minority in every Committee should have an opportunity of stating what was their opinion. A majority of the Committee might overrule that opinion by an Amendment, but it was ordered that the document prepared by the minority should be appended at the end of the Report. This would enable the House to know what were the opinions of the minority as well as of the majority. It was with a view to effect the same object in the case of the Commission of Inquiry at Kingston-upon-Hull, that the petition from the inhabitants of that town had been entrusted to him. He wished, therefore, that the Report of the Chief Commissioner (Mr. Flood), which had been sent into the Home Office, should be laid on the table of the House, in order that the House might have every opportunity of arriving at a knowledge of all the facts of this case.


said, there could be no possible objection to laying this Report on the table, although, after the extraordinary expense which had already been incurred in producing the Report and the evidence in this case, the hon. Member would not ask that this second Report should be printed. Of course it must be taken just for what it was worth. It could scarcely be called the Report of the Chief Commissioner, because at the time the Report was made Mr. Flood was not a Commissioner at all.

Motion agreed to. Address for "Copy of Report of Mr. Solley Flood, upon the existence and extent of corrupt practices at the last Elections for the Borough of Kingston upon Hull.

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