HC Deb 01 May 1866 vol 183 cc279-80

, Chairman of the Lancaster Election Committee, said, that after the discussion that had taken place that evening with reference to the other reputed boroughs, he thought it was unnecessary for him to take up the time of the House by entering in detail into the circumstances connected with the last election for the borough of Lancaster. The Committee had unanimously reported that they had reason to believe that bribery extensively prevailed at the last election for Lancaster. He might, however, further add that it was the unanimous opinion of the Committee that bribery was practised there in an open, and unblushing and systematic manner. And it was admitted by the counsel for the petitioners that the unsuccessful candidate was unable to claim his seat because his agents could not come out of the proceedings with clean hands. It was admitted as fact that there was as much bribery practised on one side as on the other.

Motion made, and Question proposed, That an humble Address be presented to Her Majesty, as followeth:— Most Gracious Sovereign, We, Your Majesty's most dutiful and loyal Subjects, the Commons of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland, in Parliament assembled, beg leave humbly to represent to Your Majesty, that a Select Committee of the House of Commons, appointed to try a Petition complaining of an undue Election and Return for the Borough of Lancaster, have reported to the House, that they had reason to believe that corrupt practices extensively prevailed at the last Election for the Borough of Lancaster: We therefore humbly pray Your Majesty, that Your Majesty will be graciously pleased to cause inquiry to be made pursuant to the Provisions of the Act of Parliament passed in the sixteenth year of the reign of Your Majesty, intituled, "An Act to provide for more effectual inquiry into the existence of Corrupt Practices at Elections for Members to serve in Parliament," by the appointment of W. F. Fletcher Boughey, esquire, Thomas Irwin Barstow, esquire, and Robert M. Newton, esquire, as Commissioners for the purpose of making inquiry into the existence of such corrupt practices.

Motion agreed to.

Ordered, That the said Address be communicated to The Lords, and their concurrence desired thereto.—(Mr. Howes.)