§ MR. DENMAN
Surely the Chancellor of the Exchequer will give the House some information as to what kind of a Bill it is to be. It is a matter in which we all take a great deal of interest; it is of the utmost importance that the House should have some information of the principle on which we are about to legislate on this subject.
§ SIR STAFFORD NORTHCOTE
There is no discourtesy intended. On the occasion on which my right hon. Friend stated the provisions of the Bill for the amendment of the Representation of the People, but before the scope of it was finally settled, he described as a portion of it certain clauses he proposed to insert with reference to the subject of bribery and corruption at elections. He then stated generally the nature of the provisions he intended to include. Subsequently that Bill was abandoned, and on a later occasion my right hon. Friend introduced the measure which is now before the House. In doing so, he omitted the clauses with regard to bribery; and stated that, though it was his intention to proceed with the scheme mentioned in his first speech, he thought it would be more convenient to make it the subject of a separate Bill to be passed pari passu with the Reform Bill. The other night my right hon. Friend said that he should be prepared to bring forward such a Bill on Thursday next. A wish, however, having been expressed by the House that the Committee on the Reform Bill might be the first Order of the Day on Thursday, at a late hour last evening my right hon. Friend proposed that the second reading of this Bill should be made the second Order on that day, in order that it might not stand in the way 1383 of the House proceeding with the Reform Bill. The general provisions of the Bill have been already described by my right hon. Friend. He has just been obliged to leave the House on other business; but he hopes that there will be no objection on the part of the House to the introduction of the Bill, the second reading of which will, if such is the pleasure of the House, be fixed for Thursday. It will then rest at the option of the House to discuss it, after going out of Committee on the Reform Bill, if so disposed.
§ Motion agreed to.
§ Bill to provide for the more effectual prevention of corrupt practices and undue influence at Parliamentary Elections, ordered to be brought in by Mr. CHANCELLOR of the EXCHEQUER, Mr. Secretary WALPOLE, and Mr. HUNT.
§ Bill presented, and read the first time. [Bill 119.]