HC Deb 18 February 1867 vol 185 cc467-8

said, he would beg to ask Mr. Chancellor of the Exchequer, Whether, in the Statement which he has promised to make on going into Committee on the Representation of the People on Monday, the 25th instant, he will specify the proposed amount of the County and Borough Franchises; and whether he could, for the convenience of the House, give that information on an earlier day?


Mr. Speaker, it is the hope of Her Majesty's Government that they may introduce and pass a Reform Bill adequate to the national necessities, which will re produce concord among classes, and will permit Gentlemen, of whatever political opinions they may be, and to whatever party they may belong, if they sit upon this Bench, to have an opportunity of pro- posing those measures of improvement which the country requires, and which, until this question is settled, I fear will not be introduced. But with these views, and with that great responsibility, I trust the House will feel it not unreasonable or in any degree presumptuous on our part, if we wish at least to have the privilege of disposing of the course of public business in that manner which we deem to be most conducive to the end which we are desirous of accomplishing. Under these circumstances, I must say that I think it would be most inexpedient were I to deviate from that course of proceeding which, on the part of Her Majesty's Government, I have already intimated that we are ready to take. There are many reasons which induce me to believe that if we were to alter our course we might injure that chance which, from intimations I have received from many quarters of this House, I confess I view with a sanguine spirit, of coming to a solution of this question. I trust the House will believe that it is from no desire to delay the progress of this business, but from a sincere conviction, founded on the information we have received, that the course we have indicated is best qualified to accomplish the end we all desire, that I must request the hon. Gentleman will not press me to change that course, and I shall be prepared on Monday to offer those explanations which are due to the House.