HC Deb 24 March 1859 vol 153 cc691-2

said, he would beg to ask Mr. Chancellor of the Exchequer whether the Government is to be under-Stood to persist in maintaining the uniformity of the town and county franchise as the principle of its Bill for the Reform of the Representation of the people?


Sir, the question addressed to me by the hon. Gentleman is not precisely that which he first put upon the Paper, but I have no objection to reply to it. It is impossible, however, for me to give a categorical answer to a question of this kind addressed to me at this moment. It would demand a statement, both of argument and of detail, which could not be compressed within the legitimate scope of a reply to a question put to a Minister on this occasion. But, Sir, this I will say to the hon. Gentleman, that when I introduced the Bill for the Amendment of the Representation of the People it was the opinion of my Colleagues that there was no provision in that measure which might not in Committee be beneficially submitted to that calm and impartial consideration, which the House had pledged itself to her Majesty to give to this question, and without which pledge on the part of this assembly, considering the circumstances under which we acceded to power, that Bill would certainly not have been introduced.