§ Order for Committee read.
§ Motion made, and Question proposed, "That Mr. Speaker do now leave the Chair."
§ MR. HOWES
begged to propose, as an Amendment, that the House resolve itself into the said Committee on that day six months. The Bill proposed to collect in one general alphabetical list for each county all the voters' names, which were at present alphabetically arranged according to parishes. Such a list would simply 1056 be of advantage to candidates, and he saw no reason why the cost of preparing and printing them, which should be defrayed by the candidates themselves, should be thrown on the ratepayers at large.
§ Amendment proposed, to leave out from the word "That" to the end of the Question, in order to add the words "this House will, upon this day six months, resolve itself into the said Committee,"— instead thereof.
§ MR. COLLINS
said, that in those counties in which there was no contest at an election, the money expended in the formation of those lists would be absolutely thrown away. He opposed the measure, therefore, in the shape in which it stood; but he should withdraw his opposition if the hon. Gentleman by whom it was introduced would consent to give the magistrates in quarter sessions the power of deciding that no alphabetical register of voters should be made in those counties in which they might consider it unnecessary. He objected to imposing the expense of the lists of voters upon the counties.
§ SIR BALDWIN LEIGHTON
said, that he also thought this Bill would entail an unnecessary expense upon the counties. Such a list as the one proposed would only be for the convenience of candidates, and therefore the expense of making it ought not to fall on the ratepayers.
§ MR. KER SEYMER
said, he thought that the Bill was a good one as far as it went, but that there was nothing of great importance in it. He believed that the expenditure likely to be incurred in carrying out the measure had been very much exaggerated.
MR. LOCKE KING
said, that the registers at present were to a great extent in a state of much confusion. The expense of preparing the lists which the Bill proposed to have made out would be small, and the advantage of them would be greater to electors than candidates.
§ MR. MITFORD
said, that he did not think there was any grievance that required redress by such a Bill as the present.
said, that he should oppose the measure, on account of the unnecessary expense to which it would pat the county ratepayers.
§ Question put, "That the words proposed to be left out stand part of the Question."
§ The House divided:—Ayes 129; Noes 104: Majority 25.
§ Main Question put, and agreed to.
§ House in Committee.
§ Clause 1 (Clerks of the Peace to prepare alphabetical List of Voters for Counties).
§ Amendment proposed, in page 1, line 5, after the word "county," to insert the words "whenever directed by the general or quarter sessions for the county."
MR. LOCKE KING
said, that he opposed the Amendment. He believed that the Bill as it stood would be beneficial, and its provisions ought, in his opinion, to be made compulsory.
§ MR. DODSON
begged to observe, that the quarter sessions could not be regarded' as representing the taxpayers.
§ Question put, "That those words be there inserted."
§ The Committee divided:—Ayes 76; Noes 99: Majority 23.
§ Remaining Clauses agreed to.
§ House resumed.
§ Bill reported, without Amendment; to be read 3° To-morrow.