HC Deb 26 March 1862 vol 166 cc111-3

Order for Committee read.

House in Committee.

Clause 1 (Clerks of the Peace and Town Clerks to prepare Alphabetical Lists of Voters for Counties, Cities, and Boroughs).


said, he objected to the proposition to throw the expense of the register on the rates. In the constituency which he had the honour to represent, he found that the expense for printing the register and making out the index would be about £80. The hon. Member (Mr. L. King) wished that the index should form part of the register. By the law, as it stood at present, the register should be prepared by the 20th of November in each year; in practice that was rarely done; but if an index was to be added, as its preparation would, according to the constituency, take perhaps from three to six weeks, the difficulty would be greatly increased. He would suggest, therefore, that the index should be added after the register had been made out.


said, he thought the expense would be very trifling. His great object was to have that most important book of reference carefully indexed, for without an index it would be of no use whatever. The compilation of an index was really scissors work; some of his children had amused themselves at home by making one for a constituency of some 5,000 electors, and had made a very excellent index. If the index were not brought out together with the register it would be of no use. He wished to propose, by way of Amendment, to except cities or boroughs not comprising more than six parishes. He should therefore move, in line 7, after "borough" to insert "comprising more than six parishes, wards, or districts."

Amendment proposed, page 1, line 7, after the word "borough," to insert the words "comprising more than six parishes, wards, or districts."


said, if the making of the index was so very small a matter that it could be done in any gentleman's house, it would be too bad to throw the expense of it on the rates.


said, he saw no reason for omitting constituencies where there were only six parishes. He and his constituents thought the measure a very useful one.


said, the intention of the hon. Member for East Surrey was that there should be an index for the benefit of the constituents and not of the candidates. It appeared to him to be unnecessary to have an index to the register of names where there were only six parishes, and he therefore approved the proposition of the hon. Gentleman.


said, even where there were only two or three parishes such an index would be a great convenience.


said, if the Bill were to pass at all, it ought to have a general operation, and it would be found to be a great convenience to the public, and particularly to Members of that House.


said, he thought the Bill would be of no advantage to the borough which he represented (Nottingham), or to boroughs generally, though it would to counties.


observed, that he did not approve of the burden being thrown on the rates. He should be glad if the hon. Gentleman would insert twenty parishes instead of six.


said, he was in the hands of the House whether to extend the proposition to boroughs or not. He had intended the Bill originally for counties only, but had been induced by representations which had been made to him to extend it to boroughs.


said, he hoped the hon. Gentleman would not withdraw his Amendment. In the large borough which he had the honour to represent (Portsmouth) there were only two parishes, and the register would not be of the slightest use.


said, he would beg to move that the words "wards or districts" be left out.

Amendment proposed to the said proposed Amendment, to leave out the words "wards or districts."

Question, "That the words proposed to be left out stand part of the said proposed Amendment," put, and negatived.

Question put, "That the proposed Amendment, as amended, be inserted."

The Committee divided:—Ayes 43; Noes 46: Majority 3.

Question put, "That Clause 1 stand part of the Bill."

The Committee divided:—Ayes 64; Noes 28: Majority 36.

House resumed.

Bill reported, without Amendment; to be read 3° To-morrow.