HC Deb 13 March 1861 vol 161 cc1890-932

Order for Second Reading read.


in moving the second reading of this Bill said, that the case in favour of the Bill was so extremely simple, its principle was so well understood, and it had so often been discussed in the House, that it would not be necessary for him to detain them at any very great length in moving the second reading. The Bill had this very great merit, that many of its former opponents had now become its warmest supporters. He might say, on the other hand, that the case against the Bill was by no means simple, for it appeared to him to be involved in a great deal of mystery. Hon. Gentlemen who were inclined to oppose the measure did not come forward in a bold and straightforward manner and move a direct negative—move that the Bill be read a second time that day six months. On the contrary they sought to do by indirect means that which he thought they were afraid to do by direct means. He was not at all surprised that there should be a little timidity on the part of those who opposed the Bill, for he could not entertain a doubt, if this Bill were rejected, that sooner or later a similar measure must pass into law, and those who would be enfranchised by the present Bill, if it should pass, or hereafter by a similar measure, would not look with very favourable eyes upon those Members in that House who bad opposed it. They would naturally say to them, "You do not think fit to entrust us with the franchise, to which we feel we have an undoubted right, and we in our turn do not think you are the fit persons to represent us, and we refuse to trust you with the franchise which we have so recently obtained." The principle of the Bill, as an isolated measure, was affirmed two or three years ago upon the second reading by a considerable majority. Some two or three years ago a full House affirmed the principle of the Bill by a majority of very nearly 60. He might say of all the Reform Bills which bad been introduced into that House that part which had been most completely approved of had been that part which went to extend the franchise in counties, while other portions of them were subject to more or less objection. For instance, with respect to the extension of the franchise in boroughs, there were many who felt that the franchise ought not to be lowered in the boroughs at all; and there were others in favour of an £8 franchise, and others again in favour of a £6 franchise in boroughs. Then, again, as to the enfranchisement of large towns, some were in favour of a certain class of towns, and others were for the disfranchisement of certain boroughs. But, on the other hand, those Members who represented the boroughs which it was sought to disfranchise by a Reform Bill, very naturally and properly fought for their own boroughs and objected to their being disfranchised. But the principle of the present Bill bad been sanctioned by that House, and at the last two general elections the great cry raised at the hustings of large constituencies was that the franchise should be extended in the counties. He believed that there was a general impression out of doors that the Bill had actually passed; and those who were more conversant with what had taken place in Parliament felt that the principle was one so just and reasonable in its character, that it must very soon become the law of the land. One objection raised against this measure was that while the boroughs a comparatively small population was represented by a very large number of Members, a much larger popu- lation in the counties was represented by a much smaller number of Members. The population of the boroughs was about 8,500,000, which was represented by 337 Members; while the county population, which was somewhere about 11,500,000, was only represented by 159 Members. He quite agreed that this was a very great anomaly, and he should he very glad to see it rectified. He should be glad to see the county population, as it were, reduced, by giving Members to some very large towns which were at present included in the county constituencies; but he did not think that this anomaly, great as it was, could be fairly urged as an argument against the present Bill, which did not at all touch the question of the proportion of Members to population; on the contrary, the object of the Bill was to proportion the electors to the population. He thought the argument, if they were to go into figures, was most strongly in his favour. In 1843 the county population was 9,708,000; and, according to a Return made about that time there were 522,730 electors. On referring to the Return moved for by the hon. Member for Birmingham (Mr. Bright) in 1859, he found the country electors were 11,203,000, and the electors 506,654, in both cases in England and Wales; so that in sixteen years the county electors had been reduced from 522,000 to 506,000, while everybody must admit that the population of counties, and also their general intelligence, had largely increased. In 1843, one person in eighteen possessed the franchise, now only one in twenty-two. If this Bill were passed with the condition that a house should be attached to the franchise which would prevent fagot votes the numbers of electors in counties would not be so large as the Returnss howed. It was sometimes objected that the urban, population ought not to form a part of county constituencies, that their interests were different to those of the rural population. He thought it a dangerous doctrine to advance, that one class of interests prevailed in the towns and another in the counties. But this argument, such as it was, had now vanished; for his experience had taught him that since the passing of the great free trade measures both town and country had interests in common; and, since there was no promise of any measure of Reform from the Government, he thought there could be no valid objection to the House carrying out a principle which it had already affirmed. When the noble Lord at the head of the Government, on a late occasion, rose to speak upon this measure, he seemed at first hardly to know whether to speak in favour of or against it. He could not oppose it directly, for the simple reason that in 1858, while a Member of the Opposition, he had given his adherence to the principle of the Bill, though he certainly said nothing in its favour, he advanced no argument against it. He made it appear as if he (Mr. Locke King) or the hon. Member for Leeds (Mr. Baines) had been to him and asked for a day. The fact was that a day had never been asked for. He was bound to say that three years ago, when he had lost the day for bringing forward his Bill, the right hon. Member for Buckinghamshire, who was then in office, had given him a day in a very handsome manner, although he disapproved of the principle of the Bill. The noble Lord, in the debate on the Motion for leave to bring in this Bill, adopting a phrase from The Times, said there was a time for waiting. Waiting for what? If the noble Lord was waiting for such an agitation as would carry a Reform Bill through the House, the principle was a dangerous one. Reform was a question of such importance that Government ought to stand or fall by it; and when they saw that the principle of a Bill was sound, would it not be better to adopt it before a pressure came. There was a time for waiting before the Reform of 1832; but what was the result of waiting? Why, that the noble Lord (Lord John Russell) and those who acted with him had to introduce a much larger measure than had been anticipated. The state of the business of the House might be made another excuse against the Bill. But, in fact, there was less business this Session than was perhaps ever known before. The noble Lord said in 1857 that as far as the business of the House was concerned, there was abundant time for discussing so simple a measure as the one proposed. He (Mr. Locke King) felt that the same language applied now: there was ample time. The noble Lord (Viscount Palmerston) on the Motion for leave to bring in the Bill said, he supposed that he (Mr. Locke King) had brought the measure forward in order to show his consistency. The consistency of a private Member was a small matter when compared with the denial or the delay of the rights of citizenship which were claimed by an important class. He wished the House to be both consistent and just, and, therefore, he begged to move that the Bill he read a second time.

Motion made, and Question proposed, "That the Bill be now read a second time."


according to notice, rose to move the Previous Question. He had always been opposed to this measure; and, therefore, personally, he could have no hesitation in moving that the Bill be read a second time that day six months; but, having regard to the general feeling that all questions connected with the framework of the Constitution should for the present remain in abeyance, he was unwilling to ask hon. Gentlemen to place themselves in the position in which they would be put by the complete rejection of the Bill. He had always been of opinion that this measure went in the wrong direction, and that it could not be taken by itself as an isolated measure of Reform, but must be dealt with as part of one comprehensive measure; they could not accept this measure without taking it with its consequences. If it were passed it must lead to electoral districts; they must come to dividing counties equally as regarded area and population. That appeared a necessary consequence of passing the measure, and to such a proposition he believed there was the greatest objection. Now, no one could say but that the present county constituencies, as they at present stood, were open, like many boroughs, to objection on account of the number of electors. The largest constituency in the kingdom was a county constituency, that of the West Riding of Yorkshire, numbering upwards of 37,000 electors; even the dilly of counties as to area, Rutland, had somewhere near 2,000 electors, while the smallest as to population, Radnor, had 1,800 electors, and the wild, barren counties of Merioneth and Montgomery numbered each above 1,000 voters; nay, that fragmentary county, the Isle of Wight—which the sooner it was re-absorbed into the County of Hants the better—showed a constituency not less than 1,300 in number. On examination of the Returns it appears that out of the 283 constituencies which are to be found in England and Wales, the first 162 of these, which all number above 1,000 electors each, include all the counties, while there is not one county to be found among the 121 other constituencies, the electors of which are all below, and many very very much be- low, this number of 1,000. Therefore if this Bill passed it would have the effect of greatly increasing the constituencies in counties, while those in the boroughs would remain as they were. For instance, in regard to the county in which he represented a borough, the county voters were 6,000 and in the borough 600. If this Bill passed, the county constituency would be increased to 10,000 or 12,000, while that of the borough would remain at 600. This was an anomaly which would not be permitted. There were numerous other places in the kingdom in exactly the same position. Guildford at present had 700 electors, and West Surrey 4,000. Hertford had 540 electors, and was situated in a county which had 6,000 electors. It would really be quite impossible to make this change in the counties without making a corresponding change in boroughs. The result would be to do away with the distinction that ought to exist between the two classes of voters. His hon. Friend contended that the non-uniformity of the County and Borough Franchise is dangerous, as likely to beget a feeling of rivalry and jealousy. Now it was not fair to represent this difference in the electoral franchise as dangerous. It is not in the spirit of opposition and antagonism that the electoral privilege is distributed; but in order that whatever the several interests may be, each may be represented in this House to ensure their separate and peculiar objects being cared for. The great principle of representation in the House of Commons was not that of numbers but of particular interests, and of every interest, if of sufficient importance to enjoy that privilege. The inhabitants of towns were a very different class of persons from those that lived in the counties. They had municipal organization, and were accustomed to deal with a great variety of public questions. The towns were the heart and soul of the Liberal party, hut the effect of this measure would be to swamp the borough constituencies; and, therefore, he regarded it as a most dangerous measure for the interests of the Liberal party. He deprecated the discussion of Parliamentary Reform during the present Session; and, indeed, he thought the general understanding of the House was that the question of Reform was one not to be considered in a piece-meal and fragmentary manner. Notwithstanding all the discussions that had taken place they had as yet arrived only at negative conclusions as to the state of public opinion on this question. The public, no doubt, were in favour of improvements in the existing system, but they were not desirous of any change that would not be a decided improvement. They did not wish to take a leap in the dark, and would rather have things remain as they were than run the slightest risk of endangering our institutions. The hon. Member for Birmingham had endeavoured to make this a question of class antagonism, and though he was accustomed to speak strongly in favour of peace, still in puffing the pipe of peace, he raised such a cloud of smoke as to give people a notion of incendiarism. The country, had therefore, become alarmed and was unwilling to take any step in the matter without the most mature deliberation. He objected, also, to proceeding with this Bill because he thought it would naturally lead to the introduction of other proposals of the same partial character for the amendment of our representative system. The result would be that the time of Parliament would be consumed in the discussion of schemes which would in all probability be of no practical advantage, and to distract their attention from what was the legitimate business of the House. There was reason to believe that Governments had brought in measures of Reform to amuse the House and the public, and to call off the attention of Parliament from measures of more serious moment. In the present Session there were several Bills of importance with which they ought to proceed without delay, and there were the Estimates which afforded legitimate opportunities of discussion on almost every subject. If the time of the House were occupied with debates on Parliamentary Reform they would find great difficulty in winding up their business at the usual time without throwing overboard a number of important and valuable measures. The hon. Member concluded by moving the Previous Question.


seconded the Amendment. Three years had now elapsed since he had felt it his duty to move an Amendment similar to the present to the measure of the hon. Member for East Surrey (Mr. Locke King). He then thought the measure uncalled for and inopportune, and his opinion was that it was ten times more uncalled for and inopportune at the present period. He thought it inopportune three years ago, because there was looming in the distance the consideration of the whole question of that Parliamentary Reform, which it was presumed the voice of the country demanded; and there had been pledges of Reform given from both sides of the House. He thought it ten times more so now when that question had been fully, honestly, and fairly debated in two successive Parliaments, and under the auspices of two different Administrations; and when, in spite of the energetic demonstrations of Members below the gangway, it must be admitted that the country had viewed the result of those discussions, if not with pleasure, at least with indifference. At the commencement of the Session the noble Lord the Secretary for Foreign Affairs, in commenting on the want of excitement on this subject, recommended those Members who were enthusiasts in the cause, if they thought the subject ought no longer to be kept in abeyance, to get up indignation meetings throughout the country. A period of five or six weeks had elapsed since the noble Lord made that speech, but there had been only one solitary specimen of an indignation meeting since, the history of which had appeared in the leading journal of that morning. This meeting took place at Birmingham, which might be called the centre of focus of ultra views on Parliamentary Reform; but out of a population of 300,000 there was at no time more than 300 present in the building. So much for the state of public opinion o the subject of Parliamentary Reform. The hon. Member for East Surrey taunted them with having no new argument to urge against his measure; but he (Mr. Du Cane) had been unable to detect any very remarkable novelty of argument in the two speeches he had made in favour of it. The speech made by the hon. Member that day reminded him very much of the speech which he (Mr. Du Cane) had opposed three years ago. The arguments he had advanced in favour of his measure were two—first, that the principle of the measure had been repeatedly sanctioned in the House; and second, that £10 householders resident in non-represented districts were as good and substantial Members of society as £10 voters in boroughs, and ought not to be excluded from the franchise. Now as regards the first of these arguments it was true that the House agreed to the second reading of this measure three years ago; but since then we had had a Ministerial crisis and a dissolution of Parliament, and he did not see that the Parliament of 1861 should consider itself implicitly bound by any hasty and ill-advised act of a Parliament that had preceded it, But on that occasion the noble Lord at the head of the Government (Viscount Palmerston) stated that be only voted for the second reading in order to affirm the principle that the county franchise ought to be reduced. Others shared this opinion, some, including Lord Herbert of Lea, being of opinion that the county qualification of £50 should be reduced to £20. Therefore that decision only went to affirm the proposition, which he thought no one was inclined to deny, that in any great scheme of Parliamentary Reform the county franchise might with propriety undergo reduction. That that vote had tended in no slight degree to fetter the Government of Lord Derby in constructing its Reform Bill, and induced them to introduce a £10 county franchise as part of their measure, he (Mr. Du Cane) would not pretend to deny; but that £10 franchise, in consequence of the conditions with which it was accompanied, was a very different thing from the present isolated proposal. It formed part of a large and comprehensive system, and was so mitigated and neutralized by the introduction of other franchises and stipulations of various kinds, that as he (Mr. Du Cane) well remembered no one more energetically protested against the Bill of Lord Derby bearing the slightest resemblance to the Bill of the previous year than did the hon. Member for East Surrey himself. He pathetically lamented that his old friend appeared before him with such a new face that he was most reluctantly obliged to cut his acquaintance, and he (Mr. Du Cane) for one much regretted that he had sought to renew it on the present occasion. As far, however, as the measure of Lord Derby's Government was concerned it never even survived to a second reading. We had a subsequent dissolution of Parliament and a Ministerial crisis, and the subject of Parliamentary Reform was very quietly dropped for the remainder of the year. He, therefore, did not think that so far as the year 1859 was concerned the House had evinced any lively sympathy with the principle of this Bill. Still less did he think that the hon. Member could pride himself on what occurred last year, when, as they all remembered, the measure of the noble Lord the Member for London after having run the gauntlet of the House of Commons for more than six weeks, only struggled through a second reading on the solemn promise that every feature it con- tained should be open to alteration and amendment in Committee. All that the House then affirmed was in fact a formal Resolution (which a month afterwards it as formally recanted), to the effect that it was expedient to deal with the question of Parliamentary Reform. He maintained, therefore, that nothing had over occurred to bind the House to a second reading of an isolated measure of this kind. As to the second argument, that £10 householders in counties were as good members of society as £10 householders in boroughs, and ought not to be excluded from the franchise, that was an argument which, if it was good for anything at all, would go much farther than the present measure. It would, in fact, lead to nothing less than electoral districts and universal suffrage. They had only to take the freemen in boroughs who were at present at the bottom of the electoral scale apply the same argument as regards the class existing between them and the £10 householder, and down must go the borough suffrage at once to the level of the freemen, But once having done that they could not stop there as a similar claim might then be urged with almost irresistible force on behalf of the whole mass of agricultural labourers, who to his (Mr. Du Cane's) mind were a class quite as honest, intelligent, and trustworthy as the borough freemen. He did not for one moment mean to argue that a £10 householder living in a non-represented town or a rural district was not as substantial and respectable a member of society, as one whose lot was cast within the limits of a boroughs but what he would ask was would they be said to be at that moment entirely unrepresented? The proportion of borough Members to county Members was as three to one. The vast majority of borough constituencies consisted almost entirely of £10 householders. Now a Member who was returned to that House by a constituency mainly composed of a certain class was not to be regarded merely as the representative of the somewhat narrow and petty local interests of the place he represented, but was to be taken as an exponent of the general sentiments of that class throughout the country. He considered, therefore, that the borough Members were not merely the representatives of the electors who returned them, but that indirectly they were the representatives of the whole £10 house-holding community throughout the country. And it was because, indirectly if not directly he considered that that class was already unduly represented in that House in proportion to its numbers and importance, that he objected to the complete transference into their hands of political power that this measure inevitably tended to effect. He shared the regret which had been expressed on a former occasion by his hon. Friend the Member for North Warwickshire (Mr. Newdegate) that the Lords' Committee of last year had not inquired more minutely into the probable effect of a reduction of the county qualification to £10; but all the evidence which had been received upon that subject went to show that the statistics supplied by the Government last year greatly misstated the precise character of the addition which would by this means be made to the county constituencies. Mr. Baxter, who was the principle witness examined by the Lords' Committee upon that point, showed that in the West Riding of Yorkshire, under the present measure, an addition would be made to the county constituencies from the inhabitants of towns in the proportion of fifteen to one, as compared with the existing number of voters; while the addition that would be made from the inhabitants of rural districts would be only in the proportion of one to four as compared with the existing number. The rural portion of the county electors would thus be completely swamped by an inundation of town voters if that Bill were adopted; and let it be remembered that the proportion of borough Members to County Members already stood as three to one. He objected to that complete transference of power into the hands of the inhabitants of towns to which that Bill would naturally lead. He would quote to the House an extract from the work of Mr. John Stuart Mill on the question of Parliamentary Reform, for the purpose of showing what would be the operation of that measure. Mr. Mill was not a very narrow-minded authority on the question of Parliamentary Reform, for he told them in that pamphlet that "in every perfect system of representation every human being ought to have the means of exercising, through the electoral suffrage, a portion of influence on the management of public affairs;" and he instanced as one of the most glaring defects in our present representative system the number of large and flourishing towns that were without representatives. He then added— If, indeed, every elector in the disfranchised boroughs, and every £10 householder in the unrepresented towns, obtains a vote for the county by the adoption of the new Reform Bill of Mr. Locke King's proposal (already once affirmed by the House of Commons), the two objections just mentioned will cease to exist. But in that case those objections will give place to a still more fatal one; for such a measure would be little less than the complete extinction of the rural districts. Except in the few places where there is still a yeomanry, as in Cumberland, Westmoreland, and, in some degree, north Yorkshire and Kent, there exists in the agricultural population no class but the farmers intermediate between the landlords and the labourers. A £10 franchise will admit no agricultural labourer; and the farmers and landlords would collectively be far outnumbered by the £10 householders of all the small towns of England. To enable the agricultural population to hold its fair share of the representation under any uniform and extensive suffrage short of universal, it seems absolutely necessary that the town electors should, as a rule, be kept out of the county constituencies. And the sole alternative is to form them, or the great bulk of them, into constituencies by themselves. If the hon. Member for East Surrey thought the £10 householders in non-represented boroughs were so much aggrieved as to stand in need of more direct representation, why did he not act on the hint thrown out by Mr. Stuart Mill, and bring forward a measure to extend the area of the borough constituencies? He did not say that, looking at the present state of public feeling on this question, he would support him in such a proposal; but at all events it would have a certain outward show of fairness, as it would go some way to remedy the existing disparity between the electors and members of county and borough constituencies instead of aggravating a hundred fold as the present measure proposed to do. He would ask the hon. Gentleman what advantage he proposed to the House and the country by insisting on the second reading of his Bill at the present moment? He might carry it through this stage, but it would not be difficult to foretell its subsequent fate. This, although an isolated measure, was, at the same time, a comprehensive and sweeping measure, and it was impossible for the House to agree to it without resuscitating the entire question of Parliamentary Reform—the borough franchise, the distribution of seats, the fancy franchises, and the whole paraphernalia of a complete Reform Bill. The hon. Gentleman might carry the second reading, but he would be inundated with Amendments and Instructions on going into Committee. In vain would he attempt to stem the torrent, and he would be left to realize the picture of the poet— The waters wild Close o'er his child And he is left lamenting. The question of Parliamentary Reform had been amply and ably discussed during the last two years, and if he might interpret the wishes of the majority of that House, he would say they desired a little breathing time this year, in order that they might direct their attention to those measures of internal improvement which, owing to those discussions, had been so much neglected. The species of guerilla warfare now waged for Parliamentary Reform had no other effect than to obstruct the course of public business, and bring discredit upon a great constitutional question. For these reasons he trusted that the House would refuse its assent to the second reading of this Bill.


said, he was prepared to support the second reading of the Bill, but wished to offer a few remarks on the effect which it would produce on the present system of Parliamentary representation. It was time that the enormous expenses of county elections should be diminished. In one county—Northamptonshire—in one year from the dissolution of the last Parliament—namely, from February, 1858, to February, 1859—the expenses of the conveyance of voters alone amounted to £12,000, or very close upon it. This was a manifest evil, and one which it was desirable should be immediately removed. What was the effect of such a system upon the constituencies? They had only two or three men to choose from out of the whole county. There might be seventy, eighty, or a hundred men of moderate fortune who would make admirable Members, but they could not come forward because the expense of contesting the county would be certain ruin to them. What was the effect of such a system upon candidates? Why, there was not a county family of any standing that had not been crippled in its means, either by mortgages, by lands sold, or debts incurred. And yet this Bill, as it stood alone, would increase rather than diminish the expense of county elections. Another evil of the present system was that it kept the county representation in the hands of two or three of the great aristocratic houses of the county. These were rather oftener Whigs than Conservatives. The great body of the Conservatives were gentlemen of middle rank, and they were entirely eliminated from the county representation. If one or two of this class did get into Parliament it was as the representative of some great lord or squire; and he was known as Lord So and So's Member. A noble Lord once told him he returned six Members to that House. Such instances justified the assertion of the hon. Member for Birmingham, that half of the counties were no better than nomination boroughs. He should be sorry to see the 40s. freeholders swamped by the influence of the great freeholders, as it would be under this Bill. In Northamptonshire he doubted whether it would add 10 per cent to the county voters; but in counties like Dorsetshire, where property was much subdivided, an estate of 1,000 acres might be let to forty or fifty occupiers, and the landlord would swamp the influence of all the freeholders around him. He believed that some protection to voters was necessary against the overbearing power of the landlord, which turned so many of the counties into nomination boroughs. He believed that the proposal made by the Derby Government in their Reform Bill to allow the votes of non-resident voters in the counties to be taken by voting papers would be a great improvement in our electoral system, and tend much to cheapen the cost of county elections. He was far from thinking that such a system of voting papers would injure the Liberal party. This Bill, however, related only to resident voters. He should give his vote for the second reading of the Bill, although the House might perhaps think that he had not said much in its favour. He thought the House much indebted to the hon. Member for East Surrey for the manner in which he had put the question before it.


said, that the hon. Gentleman, the Member for East Surrey, had reason to congratulate himself on the support he had obtained for his Bill. He had obtained, first, the support of the Government, who expressed regret that they were bound to give it, and who hoped to obstruct the progress of the Bill in its further stages. The hon. Gentleman had next obtained the support of the noble Lord (Lord Henley), who had expressed his perfect dissatisfaction with all the main features of the measure. The speech of the noble Lord was only another proof that if private Members attempted to deal with the question of Parliamentary Reform they were sure to be defeated by their nominal supporters. An isolated proposal, belonging to a much larger subject like the present was sure to be met by a thousand sug- gestions which would be fatal to its success. A great question like Parliamentary Reform could only be treated as a whole. Some men had a talent for making and others for mending constitutions; but neither of these talents was exhibited by a Member who, in season and out of season, had only one fragmentary portion of a great question to propose. Such a course was absolutely playing with a great question and endangering the best interests of the country. He himself saw a great anomaly in the present system, whereby the 40s. freeholders in towns controlled the representation in some counties, and while that extraneous influx of urban influence remained he was not willing that the influence of the towns should be further extended in the counties. He would, however, willingly, conveniently with other amendments, agree to an extension of the County Franchise and the abolition of the arbitrary distinction which made tenure its basis, and occupation that of the borough franchise. Let each area have its own representation, and wider by all means than at present. But he objected to dealing with an isolated point. The second reading of a Bill was the time to decide upon its principle; but how were they to extract the principle of this measure? He saw no principle involved in the mere proposal of a £10 county franchise. The hon. Member told the House his Bill would secure uniformity; but between a £10 occupation in counties and a £10 occupation in boroughs there was no more necessary connection than between 10s. and £10—no further connection, in fact, than the figure 10. A £10 rent in the two cases indicated a various not an uniform standard of qualification. The only speech made in support of the Bill consisted wholly of objections to it; and the hon. Gentleman must have discovered by this time that he could not deal with this point without opening up the whole question. If the hon. Gentleman thought the House had time usefully to consider his Bill, let him join issue with the Government, who asserted the converse. The hon. Member could not, at all events, expect to carry the Bill by such support as he had received from the noble Lord who had just sat down. He regretted that the Government had not dealt more boldly with this measure. If they had told the hon. Member, as they had told the House, that the present was not a fitting opportunity for raising this question, they would have taken a course at once more consistent with their own dignity and with the interest of the public.


said, he wished to caution the House and the Government not to mistake the feeling of the people of England upon the great question of Parliamentary Reform. It was evident to any one who regarded the signs of the political horizon that there was a feeling of dissatisfaction and distrust springing up. Reformers had been taunted with the fact that there had been no indignation meetings held—that no storm had arisen; but there were signs of one coming. Did the Government desire to wait for a storm? For years past promises had been made and pledges given that the representation of the people would be amended, and yet up to this time nothing had been done. At present the people were patient and reasonable; but deceive them and they became impatient and unreasonable. They thought the House and the noble Lord at the head of the Government were in earnest when they promised Reform. But how did the matter stand now? It was true there had been no excitement in the country; but he could assure the House that the people in the midland counties, still more than those of the Metropolis, were looking forward to the Bill now before the House, and were watching the conduct of the Government in relation to it. The treatment by the House of the Bill introduced by the hon. Member for Leeds, and its conduct on other occasions, in reference to a fair representation of the people, would be taken as indices of what the people were to expect at the hands of the House. He was surprised to hear the taunt that no storm of indignation had been raised. It was unbecoming the character of the House to adopt such an argument. He hoped the Bill would be supported by the Government, and that it would pass by a considerable majority, as well for its intrinsic merits as for the favour with which it was regarded by the people of England.


who had also put a Notice on the paper to move the Previous Question said, he did not rise to find fault with the conduct of the hon. Member for Truro (Mr. A. Smith), though he felt that his putting on the notice paper an Amendment similar to his (Sir Lawrence Palk's) was somewhat singular. He was glad, however, to find that the Amendment had come from the other side of the House; and he could wish that all pro- jects of Reform should be loft to the opposition of hon. Gentlemen on the other side, as he was sure the question was safe in their hands. The present state of the Reform question arose much from the conduct of the Reformers towards Lord Derby's Government. That noble Lord pledged himself to bring in a measure of Reform; he fulfilled his pledge; he did more, he appealed to the country on it, and in his measure was the very principle embraced in this Bill. Then came the Government of the noble Lord, who also pledged himself to a measure of Reform, and also redeemed his pledge. His measure was not opposed by the Conservatives; it died of the speeches on the other side he admitted, therefore, that both sides were pledged to Reform, and he would not have opposed the farther progress of the measure if he did not believe that the present time was singularly inopportune. When Parliament re-assembled for this Session, the Queen's Speech contained no reference to Reform, and though six weeks had elapsed the people had not complained. Nay, in that old hotbed of Reform, Birmingham, all the indignation had evaporated in a meeting, where he found that a Mr. Parkes had recommended that the Sunday-school teachers should bring the principles of political Reform before their scholars and imprint it on their minds. But even this recommendation was shelved at the large meeting, which consisted at one time of 100 persons. So that even at Birmingham Reform was dead. He thought, then, that this measure would excite no enthusiasm in its favour—that it could not pass—that it would only further encumber and impede the business of the Session. He did not think the country would stand another Session like the last, whore men rose not to proclaim their sentiments, but to conceal them, and where there was a game of shuffle going on among the Ministerial Members to conceal their opposition. He objected to this Bill because from the progress of wealth in the country this Bill would have the effect of enfranchising many persons who would he compelled to place their vote's at the disposal of those who employed them, and thus to rivet still tighter the chains of inequality that already galled the rural population so much. It appeared that the hon. Mover of the Bill boasted of the support of the noble Lord at the head of the Government. But it seemed to him that the noble Lord when he gave his vote for the second reading of the Bill, did not give it because he approved of the Bill, but because he wished to strangle it in Committee. If, indeed, the hon. Member had the support of the noble Lord and leading public men on both sides he must be singularly unfortunate to be obliged to come to the House year after year with his "rejected addresses." The fact was, the country thanked the hon. Gentleman for his exertions, and gave all credit to his good intentions; but they objected to discussing questions on isolated points. He was surprised when his noble Friend (Lord Henley) concluded his able speech by declaring that he would vote for the second reading, having given most conclusive reasons why he should not. It reminded him of a witty Minister, now no more, who asked a friend, "Whether shall I speak for yon and vote against you, or vote for you and speak against you?" and was answered, "Pray give me your vote, and speak any way you please." He hoped the noble Lord on the next occasion when this Bill should be proposed, would speak for it and vote against it. He thought he knew something of the expense of county elections, but he had no idea of their reaching anywhere £10,000—[Lord HENLEY: £12,000.] Surely every Northamptonshire voter must be conveyed to the poll in a coach and six. This measure, however, he was satisfied, would double the expense of county elections. Personally he would not object to this, as he believed that equivalent to giving the present county Members a lease of their seats for life, for he was satisfied that the increased expense would deter opposition. Believing that this Bill had no chance of passing, and that it was a subject that ought to be dealt with as part of a comprehensive measure and not in an isolated Bill, he should vote against its further progress.


said, he had been under the impression that both sides of the House were more or less pledged by past speeches and past votes in favour of the reduction of the county franchise and the present Bill, according to its title, was merely a measure for the reduction of the franchise. He believed that no one assenting to the principle of the Bill was bound thereby to vote in Committee in favour of the reduction of the franchise to the particular amount of £10; and he had not allowed his name to be placed on the back of the bill, because, though anxious that some measure of Reform should pass during the present Session, he wished to reserve to himself the right of voting for such Amendments in Committee, as might obtain the greatest amount of support and thus afford the prospect of a successful issue. He, therefore, thought that hon. Gentlemen might assent to the principle of the Bill, which was in favour of a reduction of the county franchise. As to the objection on the score of time, he must observe that if the same tactics should be adopted as were acted on last year by Gentlemen on both sides of the House it would be hopeless to attempt to pass the Bill; but if it were thought that bit-by-bit Reform was more likely to obtain a favourable reception than comprehensive measures like those of 1859 and 1860, and if it should be agreed to consider the reduction of the county franchise in this year and of the borough franchise in the next, he did not see what objection there could be to the second reading of the present measure. In redemption of the promises made, and he believed rightly made, to the constituencies at the last election, he for one, while reserving to himself the right to vote in Committee for Amendments which might be beneficial to the measure, and render it more likely to pass through Parliament, should give his vote most heartily in favour of the second reading.


said, that the arguments of the noble Lord the Member for Middlesex (Lord Enfield) in favour of the Bill mainly determined him to vote against it. The scope and purpose of the Bill was to introduce the town element into the county constituencies, and to give to that class which had in the House a preponderating influence, an influence still greater. He considered the House was pledged to a reduction of the county franchise. He was himself favourable to a reduction of the franchise to £20 provided that it formed part of a general Reform Bill with which he was in the main satisfied. But he objected to deal with this measure by itself, nor to consent to any reduction until it was known in what way the whole question of Parliamentary Reform was to be dealt with. He also reminded the House that the Government which came into office on the pledge of Reform had found themselves unable to carry through their measure; and was it likely that an independent Member would be more successful? He did not blame the Government; he thought they were justified in abandoning their measure; and he thought the vote of the House on the Amendment to the Address moved by the hon. Gentleman the Member for Brighton (Mr. White), had released them from their pledge. But if that were so, what was the use of hon. Gentlemen taking up the question without the countenance of the Government, or at least with such a countenance that no one knew whether they were blowing hot or cold? The noble Lord (Lord Enfield) truly said that the £10 franchise might be altered in Committee. He admitted that, but he was not willing to risk the experiment, as he believed that if the Bill was once in Committee the figures that were now in italics would be printed in different characters. If that were to be so he believed that the Conservative character of the county representation would be altered, and that the franchise by occupation would be one-half of the whole county franchise. It was said that this proposition formed a part of Lord Derby's measure, and that was true; but then it was a part of a general measure, and there were compensating qualities. For instance, the 40s. freeholders in towns were to be confined to the towns. It could not be doubted that the 40s. freeholders joined the Liberal element in the counties, and that they were greatly altered from their original character. The noble Lord the Member for Northampton (Lord Henley) had made some remarks on the character of this franchise, but he thought the noble Lord had understated the change which had taken place. A great many Members of this House were familiar with the statute of Eton College, providing that the boys should on certain occasions have their choice of threepence or half a sheep. Now, if a sheep in Henry VI.'s time was equivalent to a sixpence, it was clear that a 40s. freehold would be equivalent to £120 a year—in fact, its possessor would be a substantial yeoman. He would also remind the House further that in all the charges which had been made respecting bribery and corruption, no county, nor division of a county, had been represented as tainted with these vices. His noble Friend the Member for Northampton (Lord Henley) had referred to the additional expense that this Bill if passed would throw on the candidates for counties; and he (Mr. Hunt) was sorry to hear that the noble Lord did not intend to follow up that declaration by stating that he should vote for the Previous Question. He could only account for that by supposing that the opinion the noble Lord expressed was his own, and that the vote he was about to give was that of his constituents.


said, that when it came to be seen what was the policy of the great Liberal party, it would have been no matter of surprise to him if some one on those benches had invited the hon. Member for East Surrey to withdraw his Bill, lest hon. Members should have to commit themselves to inconvenient pledges. He must say that the treatment of the great question of Reform proposed by this Bill was a mere trifling with it:—at all events those who intended to support the Bill now before the House ought to have voted for the Amendment on the Address brought forward by his hon. Colleague (Mr. White). Such a course would have been intelligible and straightforward; but this incessant mooting of petty details of the Reform question, or this bringing forward Resolutions which were to be withdrawn at the request of some hon. Friends of the Movers, was bringing the great Liberal party into contempt, and only served to show up the shallow pretensions of some of those who called themselves Reformers in that House. So long as the House of Commons was constituted as at present, the clamour for retrenchment and reform bad found no echo within those walls. That was not the only question of the franchise which they were about to discuss, for an hon. Member had given notice of a Motion for the reform of the borough franchise as well. Now, he ventured to affirm that if that hon. Member had any serious expectation that such a measure could be carried, the natural and proper proceeding on his part would have been to have given such vote on the Amendment to the Address as would have made known to the Government that theirs must be the duty of bringing forward such a measure. But no such thing. The hon. Member who had given that notice walked out of the House on the occasion of the Amendment on the Address. Therefore he said it was an idle waste of time for that hon. Member for East Surrey and those who acted with him to pretend to bring forward measures which they knew well enough would not be carried, and which they knew could not be carried against the united strength of the Government and their Conservative supporters. He had risen simply for the purpose of placing his non-vote upon that occasion in its true light. He certainly did not intend to take any part in the division, but, at the same time, he desired that his abstinence should not be interpreted as evincing on his part an hostility to the £10 county franchise—a proposal which he was perfectly prepared to support when it was embodied in a complete Reform Bill. But, following the example of the hon. Member for Leeds on the Amendment to the Address, though in a very different spirit, he left to those who were more interested than he was in the settlement of party questions to determine as to the matter now before the House. He was a sincere Reformer, thoroughly opposed to the shams and hypocrisy by which the question of the amendment of the representation of the people of England was now too much disfigured, and one who firmly believed that at no distant day those who trifled with great questions like that would be called to an account in a summary manner, from which they could not hope to escape scatheless.


contended, in reply to the observations of the noble Lord, the Member for Northampton (Lord Henley), to the effect that in many counties a great amount of influence was exercised by the members of influential families at elections, that the operation of the Bill under discussion would be not to do away with that state of things, but rather, by increasing the numbers in constituencies, to give those families increased power. Passing, however, from that point to what he considered to be the general objections to the Bill, he must say that, in his opinion, one of the greatest of those objections was that there appeared to be scarcely any demand for a reform of the constituencies in counties. To the fact that such was the case, he should call the course taken by her Majesty's Government in not bringing forward a measure of Reform this Session to bear testimony, for if public feeling pointed in a contrary direction, there could be no doubt that such a measure would have been introduced. It might, indeed, be said that their policy in the matter had been dictated by the state of affairs throughout Europe at the present moment, when England was the only country in which quiet prevailed; nor was it, perhaps, unwise that they had not sought to trouble that repose by laying such propositions before Parliament as some hon. Gentlemen opposite seemed to think it was their duty to submit to its consideration. Having stated that he objected to the Bill on the ground that it was not called for, he might further observe that he was opposed to it because its tendency would be to swamp the landed interest in many counties. In proof of that assertion he should adduce the case of South Lancashire, which he had the honour to represent. In that electoral division there were, in 1859, 19,000 voters; the number in accordance with the registry of the present year standing at 24,000. Now it was calculated by persons perfectly competent to form a judgment on the matter, that if the Bill under discussion were to pass into a law the constituency would be extended to 40,000; that a great amount of purely urban voters residing in large unrepresented towns, such as St. Helen's and Staleybridge, would be created; and that those connected with land would, as a consequence, be almost completely overwhelmed. For these reasons he was opposed to a £10 franchise, while he was prepared to admit—without, however, giving any pledge on the subject—that a fair compromise of the question might be arrived at by reducing the franchise to say £25 or £20.


Sir, it has been observed by more than one hon. Gentleman in the course of this debate that there are two modes of dealing with the important question of the amendment of the representation of the people. The one is that the Government should propose a comprehensive measure legislating for the principal heads of the subject—the extension of the county and borough franchises, and the distribution of seats; the other that either the Government or private Members should submit to the notice of the House fragmentary Bills, each relating to different portions of one great whole. Now, Sir, the Government, at the commencement of the Session, having previously taken into their consideration the expediency of adopting the former of these modes, came to the conclusion that, after the experience of last year, it would be unadvisable to lay a comprehensive measure of Reform before Parliament. I was a party to that decision. I entirely concurred in its wisdom, and I still retain the opinion that the decision was a correct one—an opinion in which I am strengthened by the vote at which the House arrived on the first night of the Session, and by the general acquiescence on the part of hon. Members with which the course pursued by the Government has since been received. I say I am strengthened in my opinion by the vote at which the House arrived on the first night of the Session' because nothing could be clearer than the words of the Amendment which was then proposed, pledging the Government "to introduce at an early day a measure for the extension of the Parliamentary franchise in boroughs and counties;" and yet that Amendment was opposed by 129 Members, while it obtained the support of only 46—unmistakable evidence being thus afforded that it was not the wish of the House that Her Majesty's Ministers should bring forward a scheme of Parliamentary Reform in the present year. Now, Sir, nothing has, so far as I am aware, since occurred to show that the opinion of the House on the subject has undergone a change, or that the decision at which it arrived was unsatisfactory to the country. Well, that being so, some hon. Gentlemen seemed to think a good opportunity for legislating on the question in the shape of isolated propositions presented itself; and accordingly we have laid before us two Bills, dealing respectively with the county and borough franchises; the third branch of the subject—that which relates to the re-distribution of seats—being left as yet untouched. Now, Sir, I can understand an hon. Member supposing that, in the present unexcited state of public opinion, any measure which professed to deal with the entire question of Reform, and whose very comprehensiveness might combine against it a large number of opponents, would have very little chance of being passed into a law, and deeming it better, therefore, to propose bit-by-bit legislation as being more likely to meet with success. Indeed I will go so far as to admit that solid arguments might be advanced in favour of the adoption of that course. But this is not the policy which is now being pursued; because, taking the two Bills before the House, that relating to the county and that to the borough franchise, together, they in reality constitute a large and comprehensive measure of Reform. There is, I may add, this inconvenience associated with these Bills, that they are proposed by different Members, who may not agree with respect to the various parts of the scheme embodied in their proposals, and who do not present those proposals simultaneously to the House. A considerable portion of the speech of my hon. Friend who moved the Previous Question (Mr. Augustus Smith), was founded upon the argument that while you are enlarging the constituencies in counties, where the number of voters is largest, you do nothing for enlarging the constituencies in boroughs, in a large proportion of which the number of voters is small and insufficient. That was an argument against this Bill standing by itself. But if this Bill were coupled with that of the hon. Member for Leeds (Mr. Baines), a great deal of the argument would be irrelevant. That difficulty necessarily arises for the separate consideration of the subject, and my hon. Friend has a perfect right to use the argument, because one Bill may pass and the other may not pass. Indeed, it must be clear to anybody who has followed the course of this discussion that the greatest difficulties arise in the consideration of any one portion of the question of Parliamentary Reform when it is taken apart from another with which it has an intimate connection. I cannot better illustrate my meaning than by referring to a measure which I had, a short time ago, the honour to introduce with respect to the disposal of certain unassigned seats. That measure was unfavourably commented on because of its alleged minuteness. I may, however, in reply to that charge, be permitted to remark that there was a time when the transfer of four seats was regarded as being a matter of great importance. There was a time when the transfer of the franchise of Grampound to Leeds, as agreed to by this House, and subsequently transferred by the other House of Parliament, to the county of York, was looked upon in that light. At the present day, however, there are many Gentlemen in this House who appear to have taken the Abbé Sièyes for their model, who keep new constitutions in their pigeonholes, and think nothing worthy of consideration which does not put the whole constitution of the country into a crucible and recast it uno flatxi; and who look upon a measure which assigns a seat to the West Riding, one to the Southern Division of Lancashire, and which proposes to confer two others on populous and important communities in boroughs, as so utterly insignificant that I ought to be ashamed to have submitted it to the notice of the House of Commons. Now, let me ask what would be the alternative if the Government had not adopted that course. Why, that we should have, in all probability, several different Bills introduced dealing with those four seats and disposing of each of them in various ways; and I ask whether any mode of legisating on the question could he more fraught with inconvenience, and whether the plan of the Government, which at once deals with the subject and proposes to assign the four seats by one Bill is not the best mode of obtaining the decision of the House? There are, no doubt, some advantages in proceeding gradually in the direction of Parliamentary Reform, and I am not prepared to deny that solid arguments may not be put forward in support of the view that the Government should pursue that line of policy. While, however, I make that admission I feel bound to say that the practical objections to the adoption of such a course seem to me to be almost insuperable, and I cannot help thinking experience will prove that the great question of Reform, to be disposed of satisfactorily, must be dealt with in a more comprehensive shape than the Bill now before us assumes. The Bill is, at the same time, simply a portion of a measure which the Government introduced last Session, and embodies a principle—the extension of the county franchise—to which we have expressed ourselves favourable. As the Bill stands I do not look upon it as pledging any hon. Member who may vote for the second reading to fix the franchise at any particular amount, inasmuch as the preamble simply states that it is expedient to extend the franchise in counties to many of Her Majesty's subjects by whom it has not hitherto been enjoyed. There is nothing to preclude any Member who votes for the second reading from contending that in Committee it is open to any Amendment that may be proposed with respect to the exact definition of the franchise. I express no opinion as to whether £10 would be the best limitation of the franchise; but I only say that those who vote for the second reading are not to be considered as agreeing to any particular amount. As to the Motion of "the Previous Question," I will only observe that the effect, if carried, will be only to postpone the second reading from this day, for I apprehend that it would not decide the fate of the Bill. If this Amendment were carried, I apprehend that it would be competent for my hon. Friend who moves the Bill to place it on the Orders-to-morrow. I apprehend that on Motion he could restore the Order to its place amongst the Orders of the House, and could move that it be taken into consideration on to-morrow or on any other day. Therefore, affirming "the Previous Question," on an Order of the Day cannot decide the fate of the Bill, except the House should be so disposed to consider it. My vote will be given in favour of the second reading of the Bill—but at the same time I retain the opinion—which I expressed just now—that this is not a favourable opportunity for bringing the subject under the consideration of the House. If I had thought that this was a favourable moment for pressing the House on the subject of Parliamentary Reform, I would not have concurred in the decision of the Government to abstain from proposing a measure of their own. If I had not thought that in the existing state of opinion, both in this House, and out of it, it was not likely that a measure of Reform would make progress, I would not have assented to that conclusion; but entertaining the opinion that even with the advantages that a Government must always have in this House for the promotion of such a measure, it was not likely to meet with success, I can hardly think that even with the abilities of my hon. Friend the Member for East Surrey, and with the tact he has acquired by repeatedly bringing forward such measures, he is likely to carry it to a successful result. I therefore must think that although he has shown great energy and great zeal and ability in arguing the question and pressing it upon the House, this is not a favourable moment for asking the House to entertain it, and I cannot anticipate that he will be able to bring it to a successful issue. In the exercise of his discretion, my hon. Friend has asked the House to vote upon the second reading, and having put the question to me whether I will say "aye" or "no," I will give my vote in the affirmative—at the same time entertaining the opinion I have expressed—as to the ultimate success of the measure which he ventured to lay before the House.

MR. BARROW (who rose with Mr. OSBORNE)

said, that he represented the independent freeholders of his county, and it was because he believed that the Bill would give the greatest possible discontent to those independent freeholders that he now claimed the privilege of speaking as an independent Member. He believed that the franchise which belonged to those men was exercised more independently than by any constituency that returned Members to that House, and he believed it to be the most ancient franchise under the Constitution. It had been said that the 40s. franchise was granted in the time of Henry VI.; but that was not so, for it existed long before that period in the ages of that remote obscurity in which we placed the origin of our Constitution. The Act of Henry VI. did not enfranchise the 40s. freeholders; it disfranchised all those below that amount. He believed that there was no franchise so valuable as the 40s. freehold, as it tempted the labouring man to exercise the greatest possible frugality and led him to an honourable ambition to share in the representation, and it was a great encouragement to him to cultivate those habits by which the prosperity of the country was promoted. For these reasons he (Mr. Barrow) could not assent to a Bill which would annihilate the privileges of that particular class.


—Sir, it appears to me that this question of Parliamentary Reform which, in connection with the great subject of the departure of Sir Baldwin Walker from our shores, we discuss every night is involving us in inextricable confusion, and if we desire greater confusion, I think we have been materially aided by the right hon. Gentleman, the Secretary for the Home Department, in attaining the object of our wishes. Indeed, I should be much puzzled to discover, after the speech we have just heard from him, in which pigeonhole of the Abbé Sièyes that right hon. Gentleman would search for a constitution. I may add that my hon. Friend the Member for East Surrey seems to me to be now in the position of an unfortunate but too confiding female, to whom, in her early days, the right hon. Gentleman had promised marriage, but out of his engagement with whom, now that she is "in the sere and yellow leaf," he is disposed to shuffle altogether, on the plea that the moment is not favourable to its performance. I failed to perceive anything in the speech of the right hon. Gentleman except the statement that the present is, in his opinion, not a favourable moment for bringing forward this question, because of the division which took place at the commencement of the Session, on the Amendment to the Address. The right hon. Gentleman, it is true, admires the proposition of the hon. Member for East Surrey as much as ever he did, and says, "I will give my vote in favour of the Bill," but, then, he all the while "damns it with faint praise," and, as it were, throws the too-confiding Member on the streets of this Metropolis. The question of Reform, which, at one time, was made the great stalking-horse of party in this House, has now become sim- ply ridiculous, and the Liberal party are doing all they can, with the Home Secretary at their head, to make it still more absurd. I cannot conceal from myself that both parties in this House have rather over-rated the great desire for Reform which is supposed to exist in the country; but, at the same time, having given my promise of marriage to my hon. Friend the Member for East Surrey on a former occasion, I cannot afford to imitate the conduct of that very advanced Liberal the hon. Member for Brighton (Mr. Coning-ham) and walk out of the House without recording my vote for the present Bill. I shall remain in my place, and shall go into the same lobby with my hon. Friend the Member for East Surrey. Not that, in the words of the Homo Secretary, I think the present "a favourable opportunity "for dealing with the question of Reform, but I really am not prepared, like the right hon. Gentleman, to destroy my former character for consistency. Gibbon says in his Decline and Fall, "that two Roman augurs could not meet without laughing in each other's faces." In like manner it must be impossible for any two Members of the Government—say, for example, the noble Lord at the head of the Ministry and the right hon. Gentleman the Home Secretary—to look each other in the face when the question of Reform is mentioned without bursting into laughter. When we remember the great meeting of the Liberal party which took place in the tea-room of this House, and which resulted simply in the Chairman and Secretary being put into office—when we recollect the other great meeting of the same party which took place in Willis's Rooms, and at which we all pledged ourselves upon the question of Reform, and when we are told that the present is not a favourable time for passing a Bill, though the country has been agitated right and left, I really think that the less the great Liberal party say about the matter the better. I do not so much blame the noble Lord the Member for the City of London. I think he and the hon. Member for Birmingham are the only two really sincere Reformers in the House. It is not Ministerial treachery that I complain of; it is Parliamentary insincerity altogether. We came here fresh from the hustings, some of us having spent more than was convenient, and we did not want to be sent back again to our constituencies, which we should have been if we had passed a Reform Bill in our first Session. That is the whole history of the great Reform question. I must confess that nobody is so much to blame for having injured the cause as the hon. Member for Birmingham. He has frightened the middle classes out of their wits. I do not say so in any offensive spirit, because I believe that if the hon. Member were allowed to put his Bill on the table it would be found to be a mild, moderate, and workable measure; but his speeches during a certain recent vacation were so very hot and furious, and they were delivered in such an energetic and impressive manner, that they thoroughly frightened the middle classes, who, I am confident, would now be satisfied with a very small and a very bit-by-bit Reform. In most of our great towns the very insignificant measure which the Home Secretary has proposed—I allude to the Appropriation of Seats Bill—will be deemed satisfactory. But do not let the House deceive itself. I have either heard or read of the noble Lord, the Member for the City of London, having stated at the commencement of the Session that we must wait for a breeze to carry a Reform measure over the bar of the House of Lords. Let the noble Lord take care that while indulging in the nautical amusement of whistling for a wind he does not invoke a hurricane. In my opinion, there could be no better time than the present for passing a moderate and well-considered measure of Reform. I believe all parties are anxious to pass a moderate measure. In voting for the second reading of a Bill which establishes a £10 franchise in counties, I do not think I am doing more than giving my assent to a lowering of the suffrage. I am willing to vote for any moderate measure of Reform—for any compromise—and I believe now is the time for a compromise. There is no violent breeze ruffling the waters, and we might without much difficulty pass a Bill which the country would accept and approve. But to go on as we are now doing,— Letting I dare not wait upon I would, making ourselves believe that the present is not a favourable opportunity, is to discredit not only the question of Reform, but the House of Commons itself. What is the country to think of us? Last Session we were asked to vote to pay the little Bill of Messrs. Baxter and Rose for preparing the Bill of 1859. That is all we did practically in the way of Reform last year, and he must be a sanguine man indeed who expects that we shall have a really good measure, either in the present Session or in the next. If we take the advice of the Government we shall do nothing until there is a row out of doors, and then we shall, probably, do too much. Why cannot we do the thing plainly, calmly, and sensibly now? The people are prepared to accept a moderate, not an excessive measure, because they are tired of seeing the game of cup and balls played with the Reform question. I regret, for my own part, that we did not take the Bill which was offered to us by the hon. Gentlemen opposite when they were in office. We committed a fatal mistake upon that occasion; we lost a great opportunity of settling the question. Do not let the House be so foolish as to fall into the same error again. Let us give a second reading to the Bill of my hon. Friend, the Member for East Surrey; and, above all, let us assure ourselves that if we listen to speeches from the Treasury Bench, such as that which we have heard to-day from the Home Secretary, and if we throw this question again upon the country, we need not hope for a satisfactory settlement for at least ten years to come.


regretted that, after the declaration made by the Government at the commencement of the Session, certain hon. Gentlemen, fired with enthusiasm to distinguish themselves in the cause of Reform, should have thought fit to introduce their own pet measures, which they regarded with peculiar and paternal affection. There is a story told that some one entering Beau Brummel's room saw a number of white neckcloths scattered about, and on inquiry was told "Oh! these are the failures." So he believed that those hon. Gentlemen would only add to the failures with which the Journals of the House were already filled. The present electoral system was founded upon a balance of various interests, and if those interests were disturbed who would be found able to reconcile the differences which must inevitably ensue? Perhaps the hon. Member for East Surrey and the hon. Member for Leeds might be disposed to say— Non nostrum tantas componere lites, leaving it to other and more responsible heads to arrange the differences caused by their own rashness. Excellent reasons had been given why the Bill of the hon. Member for East Surrey ought not to have been introduced in the present Session. The Bill itself was highly objectionable. It is right that persons residing in non- represented towns should have a fair share of influence in the county representation, but this Bill would give them a preponderating; influence, and, while extending the franchise to occupiers of £10 who lived in £6 houses would still exclude occupiers of £40 who lived in £5 houses. His own opinion was that if the franchise was to be extended in counties it should be coupled with conditions such as ought to form part of any Reform Bill—education, intelligence, and worth. With regard to the extravagant amount spent in some counties for the conveyance of voters, he could only say that he found electors anxious to save the candidates any useless expense. They themselves took voters to the poll as far as was practicable—an example well worthy of being followed. He denied that landlords exercised a preponderating influence in county elections, and cited the case of the last election for South Wilts, where the Liberal candidate was compelled to abstain from going to the poll, though, by his own admission, he had the support of the chief landowners of the county.


said, the House had had several Reform Bills brought before it, all of which had been rejected; and in the present Session the Government brought in a Bill to give away the vacant seats. He wished to express his thanks to them for having recognized the claims of Birkenhead; he wished they had also recognized the claims of Staley-bridge. He was of opinion that the whole subject of Reform ought to be brought forward by Government, and for that reason he should oppose this Bill. He wished distinctly to say that he was in favour of an extension of the county franchise, but not to the extent involved in this Bill. He should support the Previous Question.


Sir, in rising to give my opinion upon the Bill now before us, I trust I may be permitted to advert to circumstances which, though they do not concern the present measure, are yet of great interest in respect to the general question of Reform. In 1848 and in 1849 I expressed my belief that there ought to be a further extension of the right of voting for Members of Parliament. I did so, in the first place, because I thought the foundations of the Constitution would be strengthened by the admission of a greater number of persons who were well qualified to vote; and, in the second place, because the question was beginning to be debated, and especially by Gentlemen belonging to the Liberal party, with a good deal of eagerness. I remember that the question of Catholic Emancipation used to be discussed quietly and calmly in both Houses of Parliament, with sometimes a majority of five in favour of emancipation, and sometimes a majority of six against it in this House, but with a great majority always against it in the House of Lords. I remember, however, that there came a time when immense mobs were collected in Ireland, and when the country was brought to the verge of civil war. I remember that, immediately it saw a prospect of civil war, Parliament, which had previously discussed the question as if it were a pure matter of speculation, gave way before the great crowds which were organized in Ireland, under powerful and popular leaders, and what the people of Ireland had long been contending for received the sanction of Parliament. So, too, with respect to the question of the corn laws. For a considerable period parties were very evenly balanced in this House upon that question, but there was always a large majority against repeal in the House of Lords. Indeed there was hardly any one in the other House of Parliament who would stand up and say that the corn laws ought to be repealed. Then there came a time of agitation; there was a failure of the harvest; the country became violently excited, and Parliament was again obliged to give way. The whole question was given up and the corn laws were totally abolished. It appeared to me that acts such as these tended to lower the authority of Parliament. If Parliament in its wisdom, after long deliberation, had not seen fit to emancipate the Catholics or repeal the corn laws; if the arguments against concession had been so powerful as to induce it not to interfere, surely it was a great weakening of its authority that it should suddenly, in a moment of panic, abandon its position, and that the popular will, whether of England or Ireland, expressed with clamour and menaces should effect an object which all the reasoning of some of the wisest Members of Parliament had not been able to accomplish. Such was the impression which the transactions to which I have alluded had produced upon my mind, and I, therefore, came to the conclusion that a further extension of the suffrage, being just in principle and likely to find favour with the country through the advocacy of this House, of Members of known talent and energy, should be carried into effect when Parliament could decide the question in a deliberate and satisfactory manner, and that we should not wait until the agitation which had taken place upon the questions of Catholic Emancipation and the abolition of the corn laws should be repeated, and should overawe our deliberations. I confess, however, that as the movement has gone on, as the matter has been discussed, there has been less and less of favour shown to any further amendment of the Constitution. I am bound to say also, that the opposition has not been such as that which was offered to the Bill of 1832, and to the general question of Reform before that measure was introduced. The opposition which we had to contend with then was an opposition of a particular class of persons interested in the close monopoly which existed previous to 1832; whereas the opposition which manifested itself so sensibly last year was an opposition which came more particularly from the middle classes. In the discussions which took place upon the Reform Bill of 1832 we who proposed it never attempted to disguise that it was a transfer of power to the middle classes. That has been its actual effect: and we now say that the middle classes would do well to share that power with a greater proportion of their poorer fellow-countrymen. But the fact can no longer be concealed that for two or three years past—especially last year—the middle classes have taken a different view, that they are not in favour of the admission of the working classes into the number of those who hold the franchise, and that the opposition given to the Bill of last year proceeded far more from the middle classes than from either the House of Lords or from any portion of the upper classes of this country. Such being the state of affairs, I am much disposed to concur, as a general question, in an observation made by the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Buckinghamshire, that if you wish to deal with the question of Reform you ought to do so in one comprehensive measure rather than by several particular measures, introduced from time to time by private Members. But I will say more than this. I will say that in the present state of parties, both in this House and in the country, I do not think that any comprehensive measure of Reform would be likely to succeed, even though it were founded, not upon the opinions of one party or upon the interests of one class, but upon a general consideration of the prevailing opinions among different parties, and upon the interests of all classes. It may be long before such a general agreement can take place. But coming to this Bill it seems to me that it is not necessary that Parliament, under the plea of waiting for the introduction of a comprehensive measure which, unlike the Bill of 1832, might he carried without violence, should refuse to discuss the particular Bill which is now before us. I have heard, to my gratification, that the franchises established by the Act of 1832 are universally regarded as belonging to the old constitution of the country; hut, coming to the question raised by the present measure, it must be recollected that a very great change was made in the county franchise at the time of the Reform Bill, and that that change, instead of being, as I think all the other changes were, for the general advantage of the country, and for the extension of popular rights, was a change very much for the worse. It was a change proposed by one of the most determined enemies of the Reform Bill, and it was carried against the opinion of Lord Althorp, the leader of this House, and the representative here of the Reform Government and the Reform party. Lord Althorp said in effect—"If you gave £50 occupiers a vote you will not be extending the franchise to those who will exercise it freely and independently. Those who exercise the franchise freely and independently are the 40s. freeholders now in existence, and therefore we propose still to maintain the right of voting by that tenure. But the proposal to give the franchise to occupiers at will is, in fact, giving the power of returning Members for counties to the owners of the land, according to whose will or pleasure the greater part of these persons will vote." [See 3 Hansard, vi.] Such was the substance of Lord Althorp's speech—a speech so true and wise that I have always lamented it had not more weight with the House. It was addressed to a House, remember, in which the Reform party had an immense majority, for those who had opposed Reform had been beaten in the general election; but many of the Reformers thought the proposed ex-tension of the franchise to occupiers of £50 ought to be accepted simply as an extension, and that, at all events, it would; add to the number of voters in counties, In my opinion, it was a subtle poison introduced into the blood of the Constitution. We very mm found that comity elections would not in future be determined, as before, by the freeholders. I believe there is no better franchise than that of a county freehold. County freeholders are a large and respectable body of independent men, and the right of voting could not be placed in better hands than theirs; but they are overpowered by occupiers holding at the will of the landowners. The question was considered before the Reform Bill was introduced, and the Government of Earl Grey, although of opinion that the operation of the £50 occupation franchise would prove most injurious, were compelled to bow to the decision of this House. They could not help themselves;—the House of Commons having affirmed the proposition by a considerable majority, it was right to bow to that majority. But surely there was nothing in the introduction of the £50 occupation franchise into the Bill of 1832 to prevent any Government or any private Member from proposing any enlargement of the franchise in counties which the progress of time might show to be desirable. I must say I admire the courage and constancy with which my hon. Friend the Member for East Surrey, whether in season or out of season, has at all times proposed that extension of the franchise which he thinks expedient. I agree with him in thinking, to quote the words of the preamble of his Bill, that "it is expedient to extend the elective franchise to many of Her Majesty's subjects who have not heretofore enjoyed the same." My hon. Friend proposes that the franchise should be extended to occupiers of £10; but, of course, the reading of the Bill a second time will not bind the House to the adoption of that precise proposition. Let me remind the House that we have not hesitated to extend the county franchise in one part of the United Kingdom, although we were not at the time altering the Reform Act in any other particular. We found that the county franchise established in Ireland was operating injuriously, and we brought forward a Bill which gave the franchise to occupiers rated to the amount of £8. That Bill was not rejected in the House of Lords; it was modified, and now all persons rated to the amount of £12 in an Irish county are entitled to vote. Here, then, is an instance in which Parliament did not think itself precluded from extending the county franchise, although it was not dealing with the whole frame of the Reform Act for Ireland or for counties generally. I believe the step taken by Parliament in that innovation has been justified by a great amendment in the state of the elective franchise in Ireland; because the undoubted frauds which were committed in Ireland in connection with the freehold franchise have not occurred with the rating franchise which now exists. If the House should agree to the second reading of this Bill, it will be for my hon. Friend, the Member for East Surrey, to take whatever course he may think proper with respect to the details of his measure. All I can say is, that if he could obtain the assent of Parliament to a useful extension of the franchise, even although it should not he the particular extension which he himself prefers, he would confer a great benefit upon the country. That, however, is a matter for his own consideration. I shall give my vote, of course, in favour of the second reading of the Bill. I think my hon. Friend is justified in bringing forward this Motion for the extension of the franchise, and that there is no objection to the principle of his Bill. Before sitting down I must say a few words upon a statement which has been made in this debate, namely, that the majority of this House who rejected the Bill introduced by the Government of Lord Derby acted very unwisely, and lost a good opportunity of settling the Reform question. I have never thought that because a Bill was called a Bill to amend the Representation, therefore it was a Bill that would effect that object. Without going at present into the merits of that Bill, there was one provision which would alone have induced me to think that it was the duty of any House of Parliament to reject it; namely, the provision with regard to the small boroughs in the country. Landowners acting according to the way that landowners used to act in the last century, and of which there are many wo-ful examples in our Parliamentary history—a landowner in Northumberland or Cumberland could get a small property in a borough in Cornwall; he could insert in the list of voters for that borough 100, 200, or 300 of his servants and tenants on his property in Northumberland and Cumberland, and could send by the post their votes, which were registered, and might have been given at the poll for that borough, thereby defeating the votes of all the burgesses resident in the borough. Well, I think that provision so monstrous that alone it quite justified the House in rejecting that Bill; and I cannot but think that such a provision, if passed by Parliament, would not only have not been an amendment of the constitution, but would have totally destroyed all the benefit obtained by the Reform Act. Any one who looks at the Parliamentary history of this country knows that long ago—two or three centuries ago—the persons who voted in these boroughs were burgesses with small holdings, who belonged to the boroughs, and who gave their votes according to their local interests; but, when Parliamentary interest became a subject of great desire and contention, the great landowners of the country and persons taking a Parliamentary lead in politics went to these boroughs, bought freeholds in them, and established their power there, so that the boroughs became, in fact, nomination boroughs. They could send down any man or any name to these nomination boroughs, and return their nominees to this House. Under the Bill introduced by the late Government that power would have been restored, and after a time we might again have seen a similar state of things. I will say further with regard to the general question, that I do not think that this is a time to introduce any general measure. I said so on the first Jay of the Session; and what has happened in the country shows that the country does not wish this year a large and comprehensive measure of Reform to be introduced; but to such a measure as that proposed by my hon. Friend I shall give my support, and will vote for the second reading.


Sir, the noble Lord commenced his observations with some of those historical references in which he occasionally indulges for the edification of the House. The noble Lord told us that he remembered the great demand there was for a repeal of the corn laws and for the relief of the Roman Catholics in olden days; how that neglected demand on the part of Parliament led to prolonged and dangerous agitation; and that he, wise by these warnings, felt it his duty in 1851 to deal with the question of Parliamentary Reform. But the noble Lord forgets that there is no analogy between these instances of the repeal of the penal laws against the Roman Catholics and of the corn laws and this question of Parliamentary Reform. There is a fallacy in all the observations of the noble Lord which were drawn from these illustrations, because he forgets that there was a settlement of the Reform question in 1832, while there had not been a settlement as regards the penal laws or the corn laws. They were great grievances which had been neglected—which, in consequence of that neglect, brought about widely-extended dissatisfaction, and led to that state of affairs which the noble Lord justly laments. But there was a great settlement of Parliamentary Reform in 1832, for which the noble Lord made himself in no slight degree responsible; and, therefore, what the noble Lord had to consider in 1851, when he reopened the question, was, whether the settlement of 1832 had been an adequate and sufficient settlement, and whether the circumstances then existing in 1851 justified him, as Prime Minister, in counselling Her Majesty to recommend a further change in the laws affecting the representation of the people from the Throne. Therefore, I must repeat, the analogy between the historical instances brought forward by the noble Lord—and that not for the first time—is entirely fallacious. But there is no doubt of this—there is no fallacy on this head, that it is the noble Lord who is responsible as the statesman in modern times, who did feel it his duty to revive this question of Parliamentary Reform and bring it again before the consideration of the Legislature. Sir, our vindication of the course we took—for the noble Lord has referred to the measures we brought forward—is founded upon the conduct of the Ministers who went before us. It is not merely that we found the question recommended three times from the Throne; but the House was in this situation, that we were having a Reform Bill carried in detail. There were different measures on different portions of the main subject brought forward and carried, with all the evils which I maintain are incident to a great constitutional question affecting the distribution of political power being considered in detail. And what are those evils? Not giving a due consideration to the various interests of the country—giving paramount importance to some interests to the injury of other interests, without that ample information and mature thought which those responsible for power can alone acquire and exercise. Sir, I maintain the soundness of that principle which has been acknowledged by the noble Lord to-night, and which I reassert, that you cannot deal with a subject such as the representation of the people except in a complete and comprehensive manner. The noble Lord himself admits that there is justice in an observation to that effect I made the other night; but the noble Lord while sanctioning that sentiment, with extraordinary inconsistency adds—"I think that sentiment perfectly just. You can and you ought only to deal with Parliamentary Reform in a complete and comprehensive manner—I agree therewith the right hon. Member for Buckinghamshire; but, although nothing can he more sound than that principle, I must make an exception in regard to the county franchise." Now, why make an exception in regard to the county franchise? Is the county franchise that portion of the franchise for which we find the largest number of applicants? Is it in the counties where you find persons most eager to claim the possession of the franchise? Is the county constituency in point of number inferior to the borough constituency? Is it not a notorious fact, that the constituency represented by 150 county Members of this House is more numerous than the constituency represented by more than 300 borough Members? Then I want to know, if the noble Lord admits the principle that we ought to deal only in a complete and comprehensive manner with the subject of Parliamentary Reform, on what grounds can the noble Lord justify the exception he is now making? Now, Sir, the noble Lord has felt, at last, that it was necessary he should in some degree vindicate the course he took with regard to the measure brought in upon the subject by the late Government. I beg the House to observe that it is not I who introduce the subject. For myself and my colleagues I may say we never complained of the decision at which the House arrived on that or any other measure we brought forward. With, I trust, due self-respect, we always bowed to the decision of the House, and we cheerfully quitted the seats opposite. But when we are attacked on the measures we brought forward, when unintentionally, I presume, misrepresentations are put forward by our successors in office, I trust the House will agree that, in order to explain or vindicate those measures, there is nothing arrogant or intrusive on my part if I for a moment revert to the subject. The noble Lord has to-day, in a spirit of curious revelation, explained to us the cause of that conduct which a couple of years ago astonished—and, I think, in some degree annoyed—the country. We now know the reason why the noble Lord then thought it his duty to oppose the measure of the late Government. Taking out of a measure which included several hundred details one connected with the borough franchise, the noble Lord held it up to public odium and said—"Because faggot votes could by this machinery have been created in a borough, this is the chief reason why I thought it my duty to oppose the measure brought forward by the late Government." Well, but if that were your chief reason, why did you not mention it in the Resolution which you then asked the House to approve? Extraordinary reserve! extreme delicacy of reticence, that, in the possession of this secret, feeling himself justified in taking the course which certainly astonished Parliament at the time, the noble Lord did not feel himself justified in communicating to the House the sufficient reason for his conduct! Why, Sir, it is too late in the day to invent these shadows to perplex public opinion. Everybody knows the clear issue that was taken upon the measure which I brought forward as the organ of Lord Derby's Government on the subject of Parliamentary Reform. It was this, or it was nothing—would you, or would you not, lower the borough franchise? That was the broad and intelligible issue. Upon that issue the opinion of the House was taken, and by virtue of that opinion, and in order to carry it into effect, the present Government was formed. Well, Sir, I am told sometimes that we counselled an appeal to the people, and that the people decided against us. Did they decide against the policy of not lowering the franchise in boroughs? I think it has been pretty well settled by the conduct of the Government, by the conduct of this House, and by the feeling of the public generally, that we measured accurately and soundly, public opinion upon that subject,—that we tested, and wisely, the sentiment of the nation. I do not reproach the noble Lords opposite for not forcing a measure founded on such a principle through the House. I have always given them credit for conscientious opinions in the course they have taken. But what I do protest against, and what I could not pass over in silence, is that the noble Lord on second thoughts—nearly two years afterwards, in consequence of a very general expression of disappointment even from his own supporters, and on his own side of the House, that the Bill of Lord Derby was not allowed a second reading—should now come forward with this finical reason, which no- body ever heard of before, founded on an obscure detail in a Bill full of details—an obscure detail which nobody can recollect—to vindicate a policy which at the time outraged public opinion, and led to results which we can look to at least without mortification, but which the noble Lord must be framed very differently from other men if he can find in them topics of self-gratulation and self-respect. Now, Sir, with regard to the Bill before us I object, to dealing with this question of the extension of the suffrage but in a complete and comprehensive measure. I deny that we can consider the due and legitimate incidence of the county franchise unless we take into consideration, at the same time, the franchise in the boroughs; and not merely that subject, but unless we take into consideration all which affects the representation of the people in Parliament. That would be with me a sufficient reason for not entering into this discussion. But I will not say, as others have said, that if a large measure were brought before us and this were portion of it I could approve it. I entirely disapprove this measure. I state, without equivocation, that this is not in any degree, either in its form or spirit, the measure which we proposed with respect to the county franchise in our Bill. The other day we were told that the measure we brought forward with respect to the franchise in counties was identical with that brought forward by the hon. Member for East Surrey. It was not so. The primary qualification in our Bill certainly arose from a £10 occupation—but it was a £10 occupation of land—our Bill, too, included a county franchise founded on personal property; a lodger franchise; franchises founded on the possession of intelligence, had franchises of other kinds; but the mode by which a bonâ fide and virtual representation of the landed interest in all its classes was secured, was not confined merely to the invention of franchises. We have been reminded to-night that in that Bill there was a provision that the possessor of a freehold should vote in the locality in which the freehold was placed. At the same time that we agreed that the £10 occupier in unrepresented towns should vote for the county; we also took care that the urban influence should not be overwhelming by regulating that the possessor of a freehold in a town should vote in the locality with which he was legitimately connected. There was no disfranchisement of 40s. freeholders in the Bill I brought forward. That charge has been made in this House to-night. A Bill which was not allowed to be read a second time is of course liable to misrepresentation. We looked upon the 40s. freehold franchise as one of the soundest, most valuable, and most constitutional in the country; it was the very last we should have dreamt of abolishing. All we proposed was that in a large scheme consisting of so many franchises the elector should vote in the locality in which his qualification was situate. But is that all? We have heard to-night of the great mischiefs that would occur if the Bill of the hon. Member for Bast Surrey were carried, by swamping, as the phrase is, the natural constituency of the counties representing the predominant property and prime industry of the counties. Did we not provide against that? Did we not secure in our Bill the revision of borough boundaries? What would occur under the Bill of the hon. Member for East Surrey is that Manchester or Birmingham, or fifty other great towns, might overwhelm the natural constituency of a county by a population which really is homogeneous with the civic and urban constituency of Manchester or Birmingham. What provision is there against such a result in the Bill of the hon. Member for Surrey? None; our revision of the existing borough boundaries met the difficulty. Take, again, the instance mentioned to-night by my hon. Friend the Member for Cheshire (Mr. Egerton). He is afraid, and naturally, of being overwhelmed by towns like Staley-bridge. That is an evil which could not have occurred under our Bill, because Staley-bridge would have been represented in this House. I say all our arrangements for the county franchise were framed with this view—while we increased the garrison of the Constitution, while we enlisted in support of the landed interest of the country a great variety of sympathies and influences, we endeavoured to secure for the landed interest that predominance which is necessary to public liberty; and that was the object, and the only object, we had. It was not to secure any petty interest of our own; hut we recognized in the due preponderance of the land in the constitutional scheme the best and most efficacious security for local government and public liberty. Sir, I will not trespass further on the time of the House, for the hour is come when we must divide. I may not have completely, but I have at least sincerely, vindicated the course we took when we were in power in proposing a measure on the subject of the extension of the franchise and the representation of the people. I may remind the House still further that in that Bill with respect to the county franchise we had, by a complete system, worked out a self-acting registration, and by the multiplication of polling places we had been in a position to propose to Parliament that all election expenses should be illegal; and that, Sir, would alone have been a better security for purity of election than the fantastic schemes now proposed. Sir, I am confident that Bill will be appealed to hereafter for the many valuable provisions it contains; and after the attack which the noble Lord has made on it to-night, I will only say, though it was not successful, I am at least as proud of having been the organ of bringing it before the notice of Parliament as the noble Lord can be of having obtained office under the conditions he did, and of the political and constitutional franchises which in consequence he has been enabled to bestow on his countrymen.


in reply, said, he would only make one remark in justice to the memory of Mr. Joseph Hume, whose name had been mentioned in the debate, that his revered Friend had not only always voted for his Motion, but, on one occasion, seconded it.

Whereupon Previous Question put, "That that Question be now put."

The House divided:—Ayes, 220; Noes 248: Majority 28.

List of the AYES.
Acton, Sir J. D. Biddulph, Col.
Adair, H. E. Biggs, J.
Adam, W. P. Black, A.
Adeane, H. J. Blake, J.
Agnew, Sir A. Bonham-Carter, J.
Alcock, T. Bouverie, rt. hon. E. P.
Angerstein, W. Bouverie, hon. P. P.
Anson, hon. Captain Brady, J.
Antrobus, E. Brand, hon. H.
Atherton, Sir W. Bright, J.
Ayrton, A. S. Briscoe, J. I.
Bagwell, J. Bristow, A. R.
Bailey, C. Bruce, H. A.
Baines, E. Buckley, Gen.
Baring, rt. hon. Sir F. T. Buller, Sir A. W.
Barnes, T. Bury, Visct.
Bass, M. T. Butler, C. S.
Baxter, W. E. Butt, I.
Bazley, T. Buxton, C.
Beale, S. Caird, J.
Beamish, F. B. Calthorpe, hn. F.H.W.G.
Berkeley, hon. H. F. Cardwell, rt. hon. E.
Berkeley, Col. F. W. F. Carnegie, hon. C.
Bethell, Sir R. Childers, H. C. E.
Churchill, Lord A. S. James, E.
Clay, J. Jervoise, Sir J. C.
Clifford, C. C. Kershaw, J.
Clifford, Col. Kinglake, A. W.
Clive, G. Kingscote, Col.
Cobbett, J. M. Kinnaird, hon. A. F.
Coke, hon. Col. Knatchbull, H. E.
Colebrooke, Sir T. E. Langston, J. H.
Coningham, W. Lanigan, J.
Craufurd, E. H. J. Lawson, W.
Crawford, R.W. Layard, A. H.
Crossley, F. Leatham, E. A.
Dalglish, R. Lee, W.
Davey, R. Levinge, Sir R.
Davie, Col. F. Lewis, rt. hon. Sir G. C.
Dent, J. D. Lindsay, W. S.
Dillwyn, L, L. Lysley, W. J.
Dodson, J. G. M'Cann, J.
Douglas, Sir C. MacEvoy, E.
Duff, M. E. G. Mackinnon, W. A.
Dunbar, Sir W. Maguire, J. F.
Duncombe, T. Marjoribanks, D. C.
Dunlop, A. M. Martin, P. W.
Ellice, rt. hon. E. Martin, J.
Ellice, E. Massey, W. N.
Enfield, Visct. Matheson, A.
Ewart, W. Mildmay, H. F.
Ewart, J. C. Miller, W.
Fenwick, H. Mills, T.
Ferguson, Col. Milnes, R. M.
Fermoy, Lord Mitchell, T.A.
Foley, J. H. Moffatt, G.
Foley, H. W. Moncreiff, rt. hon. J.
Foljambe, F. J. S. Morris, D.
Forster, C. Norris, J. T.
Forster, W. E. North, F.
Foster, W. O. Ogilvy, Sir J.
Fortescue, hon. F. D. Onslow, G.
Fox, W. J. Osborne, R. B.
Freeland, H. W. Paget, C.
French, Col. Palmerston, Visct.
Gavin, Major Paxton, Sir J.
Gibson, rt. hon. T. M. Pease, H.
Gifford, Earl of Peel, rt. hon. F.
Gilpin, C. Peto, Sir S. M.
Gladstone, rt. hon. W. Pilkington, J.
Glyn, G. C. Pinney, Col.
Glyn, G. G. Pritchard, J.
Goldsmid, Sir F. H. Puller, C. W. G.
Gower, hon. F. L. Raynham, Visct.
Graham, rt. hon. Sir J. Ricardo, J. L.
Greenall, G. Ricardo, O.
Greene, J. Rich, H.
Gregson, S. Roebuck, J. A.
Grenfell, C. P. Roupell, W.
Grey, rt. hon. Sir G. Russell, Lord J.
Gurdon B. Russell, A.
Gurney, J. H. Russell, Sir W.
Gurney, S. St. Aubyn, J.
Hadfield, G. Salomons, Mr. Aid.
Hanbury, R. Scholefield, W.
Handley, J. Scrope, G. P.
Hankey, T. Seymour, Sir M.
Hanmer, Sir J. Seymour, W. D.
Hardcastle, J. A. Shafto, R. D.
Headlam, rt. hon. T. E. Shelley, Sir J. V.
Heneage, G. F. Sheridan, H. B.
Henley, Lord Smith, J. B.
Howard, hon. C. W. G. Somerville, rt. hon. Sir W. M.
Humberston, P. S.
Hutt, rt. hon. W. Stacpoole, W.
Ingham, R. Staniland, M.
Jackson, W. Stansfeld, J.
Steel, J. Westhead, J. P. B.
Thompson, H. S. Whalley, G. H.
Thornhill, W. P. Whitbread, S.
Tite, W. White, J.
Tollemache, hon. F. J. Wickham, H. W.
Tomline, G. Williams, W.
Trelawny, Sir J. S. Winnington, Sir T. E.
Turner, J. A. Wood, rt. hon. Sir C.
Verney, Sir H. Woods, H.
Villiers, rt. hon. C. P. Wyld, J.
Vivian, H. H. Wyvill, M.
Vyner, R. A.
Warner, E. TELLERS.
Watkins, Col. L. King, L.
Wemyss, J. H. E. Russell, H.
Western, S.
List of the NOES.
Adderley, rt. hon. C. B. Du Pre, C. G.
Arbuthnott, hon. Gen. Dutton, hon. R. H.
Archdall, Capt. M. East, Sir J. B.
Astell, J. H. Edwards, Major
Baillie, H. J. Egerton, Sir P. G.
Ball, E. Egerton, hon. A. F.
Baring, A. H. Egerton, E. C.
Baring, H. B. Egerton, hon. W.
Barrow, W. H. Elcho, Lord
Barttelot, Major Elphinstone, Sir J. D.
Bathurst, A. A. Estcourt, rt. hn. T.H.S.
Beach, W W. B. Farquhar, Sir M.
Beaumont, W. B. Farrer, J.
Beaumont, S. A. Fellowes, E.
Bective, Earl of Fergusson, Sir J.
Beecroft, G. S. Filmer, Sir E.
Bentinck, G. W. P. Fitzgerald, W. R. S.
Bentinck, G. C. Forester, rt. hon. Col.
Benyon, R. Forster, Sir G.
Beresford, rt. hon. W. Franklyn, G. W.
Bernard, T. T. Gallwey, Sir W. P.
Blackburn, P. Galway, Visct.
Bond, J. W. M'G. Gard, R. S.
Botfield, B. Garnett, W. J.
Bramston, T. W. George, J.
Bridges, Sir B. W. Getty, S. G.
Brooks, R. Gilpin, Col.
Bruce, Major. C. Gladstone, Capt.
Burghley, Lord Gordon, C. W.
Cairns, Sir H. M'C. Gore, J. R. O.
Cartwright, Col. Graham, Lord W.
Cave, S. Greaves, E.
Cayley, E. S. Gregory, W. H.
Cecil, Lord R. Gray, Captain
Clive, hon. G. W. Grey, do W. Visct.
Cobbold, J. C. Grogan, Sir E.
Cochrane, A. D. R.W.B Haliburton, T. C.
Codrington, Sir W. Hamilton, Lord C.
Cole, hon. H. Hamilton, Visct.
Collins, T. Hanbury, hon. Capt.
Conolly, T. Harcourt, G. G.
Corry, rt. hon. H. L. Hardy, G.
Cross, R. A. Hardy, J.
Cubitt, G. Hartopp, E. B.
Curzon, Visct. Hassard, M.
Dalkeith, Earl of Heathcote, Sir W.
Damer, S. D. Heathcote, hon. G. H.
Deedes, W. Henley, rt. hon. J. W.
Dickson, Col. Hennessy, J. P.
Disraeli, rt. hon. B. Henniker, Lord
Duncombe, hon. A. Hervey, Lord A.
Duncombe, hon. W. E Heygat, Sir F. W.
Dunne, Col. Hill, Lord E.
Hill, hon. R. C. Pakington, rt. hn. Sir J.
Holford, R. S. Palk, Sir L.
Holmesdale, Visct. Papillon, P O.
Hood, Sir A. A. Parker, Maj. W.
Hope, G. W. Patten, Col. W.
Hopwood, J. T. Paull, H.
Horsfall, T. B. Peacocke, G. M. W.
Hotham, Lord Peel, Sir R.
Howes, E. Peel, rt. hon. G.
Hume, W. W. F. Pennant, hon. Col.
Hunt, G. W. Phillipps, J. H.
Ingestre, Visct. Potts, G.
Jermyn, Earl Pugh, D.
Johnstone, hon. H. B, Quinn, P.
Jolliffe, rt. hn. Sir W.G.H. Repton, G. W. J.
Jones, D. Ridley, Sir M. W.
Kekewich, S. T. Rogers, J. J.
Kelly, Sir F. Rolt, J.
Kennard, R. W. Rowley, hon. R. T.
Kerrison, Sir E. C. Salt, T.
King, J. K. Sclater-Booth, G.
Knatchbull, W. F. Selwyn, C. J.
Knightley, R. Seymer, H. Ker
Knox, Col. Shirley, E. P.
Knox, hon. Maj. S. Smith, A.
Lacon, Sir E. Smith, S. G.
Leader, N. P. Smyth, Col.
Lefroy, A. Smollett, P. B.
Legh, Major C. Somerset, Col.
Legh, W. J. Somes, J.
Lennox, Lord G. G. Spooner, R.
Lennox, Lord H. G. Stanhope, J. B.
Leslie, C. P. Stanhope, Lord
Leslie, W. Stanley, Lord
Liddell, hon. H. G. Steuart, A.
Lindsay, hon. Col. Stewart, Sir M. R. S.
Lockhart, A. E. Stuart, Lieut. Col. W.
Long, R. P. Stracey, Sir H.
Longfleld, R. Sturt, H. G.
Lovaine, Lord Sturt, N.
Lowther, hon. Col. Talbot, hon. W. C.
Lowther, Capt. Taylor, Col.
Lyall, G. Thynne, Lord E.
Lygon, hon. F. Thynne, Lord H.
Macdonogh, F. Tollemaehe, J.
Mackie, J. Torrens, R.
Mainwaring, T. Trefusis, hon. C. H. R.
Malcolm, J. W. Trollope, rt. hon. Sir J.
Malins, R. Upton, hon. Gen.
Manners, rt. hn. Lord J. Valletort, Viset.
Maxwell, hon. Col. Vance, J.
Miles, Sir W. Vandeleur, Col.
Miller, T. J. Vansittart, W.
Mills, A. Verner, Sir W.
Montagu, Lord R. Walcott, Adm.
Montgomery, Sir G. Walker, J. R.
Moody, C. A. Walpole, rt. hon. S. H.
Mordaunt, Sir C. Walsh, Sir J.
Morgan, O. Watlington, J. W. P.
Morgan, hon. Major Welby, W. E.
Mowbray, rt. hon. J. R. Whiteside, rt hon. J.
Mundy, W. Whitmore, H.
Mure, D. Woodd, B. T.
Murray, W. Wrightson, W. B.
Naas, Lord Wynn, Col.
Newdegate, C. N. Wynn, Sir W. W.
Newport, Visct. Wynne, C. G.
Nicol, W. Wynne, W. W. E.
Noel, hon. G. J. Yorke, hon. E. T.
North, Col.
Northcote, Sir S. H. TELLERS.
Packe, C. W. Smith, A.
Packe, G. H. Du Cane, C.