HC Deb 26 June 1857 vol 146 cc444-5

MR. WILSON moved that the House at its rising do adjourn until Monday.


said, he would take that opportunity of asking the First Lord of the Treasury, Whether Members for boroughs will have equal right with Members for counties to recommend persons' names to be inserted in the Land Tax Commissioners Bill to be introduced this Session? He asked the question, because, having recently recommended some of his constituents as fit for that situation, a letter was sent to him from the Treasury, stating that the recommendations ought to have been signed by a Member for the county of Surrey. He had been a Member of that House upwards of twenty years, and that was the first occasion on which he discovered that there was any distinction between the privileges of borough and county Members.


said, the distinction between county and borough Members with reference to the matter alluded to by the hon. Gentleman was not arbitrarily established by the Government, nor did it depend upon the Government to enforce or relax it. It was established by an Act of Parliament, and so long as that Act continued in force, he apprehended that Her Majesty's Government had no choice but to obey the law; and with regard to any course which the hon. Member had pursued and intended to pursue, he submitted that if borough Members were equal with county Members, one of the duties of all Members, whether representing counties or boroughs, was to obey the law; and he did not see how the hon. Member was asserting any legitimate prerogative belonging to him if he intended, on every occasion when opportunity offered, to propose something which was at variance with the law of the land. He was unable to state on what ground the distinction was established which drew the line between county and borough Members, and he was not prepared to say why a borough Member should not be entitled equally with a county Member to recommend to such appointments. But so long as the law continued in its present state, there was no choice in the matter. If the hon. Member, instead of asking the House to go against the law, would bring in a Bill to alter the law, he was not prepared to say that he saw any great objection to making the change required; but so long as the Act he had alluded to continued in force, it was no disparagement, he considered, to borough Members to yield obedience to the law.