HC Deb 28 May 1862 vol 167 cc85-6

Order for Second Reading read.


said, he rose to move the second reading of the Bill. Its object was to limit the time for polling at elections in Ireland to one day, and thus assimilating them to the time in England. In order to accomplish that object be would propose to increase the number of polling-places, which did not exceed one for each barony. That part of the Bill, however, would be permissive only. He saw no reason why the expenses of the altered system should exceed the present.


said, he was afraid that the Bill would not lead to a diminution of expense and inconvenience in the Irish counties. The erection of additional polling-places would lead to a new outlay; and Ireland was not supplied, like England, with an extensive network of railway communication, which could most readily secure the success of such a measure.


said, that the argument of the lion. Member for the King's County, founded on the non-existence in Ireland of a network of railways, was not applicable, as it was proposed by the Bill to increase the number of polling-places.


said, be believed that lessening the duration of elections in Ireland would have the effect of doing away | with some of the excitement that prevailed at those elections.


remarked, that under the Bill the increase in the number of polling-places would be made on the petition of magistrates to the Lord Lieutenant. He thought that such a step should be taken only on the joint application of the sitting Members; or, at all events, that the sitting Members should have a veto on the application.


said, he had no objection to shortening the duration of county elections in Ireland; but a machinery already existed for increasing the number of polling-places in cases where it was necessary to do so.


said, he had no doubt that the limitation of the polling to one day would prove beneficial in Irish counties, as it bad in English. If the existing law afforded sufficient facilities for increasing the number of polling-places, the clause to effect that object might not be necessary; but that point could he settled in Committee.

Motion agreed to.

Bill read 2°, and committed for Tuesday next.