§ Bill considered in Committee.
§ (In the Committee.)
§ MR. LOCKE
moved the following clause:—Where any poor rate due from any occupier in respect of any premises within a Borough on the 5th Jay of January in any year shall remain unpaid on the 1st day of June following, the overseers whose duty it may be to collect such rate shall, on or before the 20th of such month of June, give a notice thereof in the form set forth in Schedule (X) to this Act to every such occupier as would on payment of such rate be entitled to vote in the election of a Member or Members of Parliament for the Borough in respect of his occupation of the said premises; the notice shall be deemed to be duly given if delivered to the occupier or left at his last or usual place of abode, or with some person on the promises in respect of which the rate is payable, or the notice may be sent by the post, free of postage, or the sum chargeable as postage for the same being first paid, directed to the occupier fit his place of abode as described in the rate-book; any overseer who shall wilfully withhold such notice with intent to keep such occupier off the list or register of voters for the said Borough shall, on conviction thereof before two Justices of the Peace, forfeit for every offence a penalty of twenty pounds.The hon. and learned Member said, it would be in the recollection of the Committee that there was considerable discussion upon a clause introduced by the Attorney General, at the instance of the hon. and learned Member for Tiverton (Mr. Denman), and that that clause was, after long debate, ultimately negatived, as it appeared not to give that satisfaction to the Committee which they had a right to expect. That clause was, in his opinion, in many respects exceedingly defective. It did not distinctly state what rates were to be the subject of demand. It left that question open; and, consequently, any rate made subsequently to the 5th of January—which was the date up to which rates now had to be paid in order to entitle any person to be placed upon the register—might or might not be claimed by the overseer. That was a very great omission. Probably it would be said that the 3rd clause of the Bill explained it; but, as to that, there was a great difference 1265 of opinion, and therefore it was not a clause which the Committee could adopt. Another very serious objection to it was that the overseer, by not giving notice to pay the rates, would, by that misconduct, place persons upon the register, while those to whom he had given notice, and who had not paid, would be disfranchised. He had been induced by his hon. and learned Friend the Member for Tiverton to frame this clause, and there it was for the consideration of the Committee. He thought there could be no objection to it. In the first place, it distinctly designated the date I up to which the rates must be paid—namely, up to the 5th of January, and, if those rates should not have been paid previously to the 1st of June following, then the persons should not be entitled to be on the register. He would next refer to the notice of demand, and it was as follows:—To A.B., City (or Borough of) . We hereby give you notice that you will not be entitled to have your name inserted in the list of voters for this City (or Borough) now about to be made, in respect of your occupation of premises up to 5th January last, unless you pay, on or before the 20th day of July, all the poor rates which have become due from you in respect of such premises up to the 5th day of January last, amounting to £ , and, if you omit to make such payment, you will be incapable of being on the next register of voters for this City (or Borough).That notice was clear and well defined; for it stated that, unless persons paid the rates, they would not be placed on the register. He could not conceive that any objection whatever could be made to that notice. He then came to the mode in which that notice should be given; and, as to that, there had been considerable difference of opinion. He thought he had embodied in the clause every ordinary mode of giving notice; and therefore he had left the overseer to take his choice. The noble Lord the Member for Mayo had suggested that a fine should be imposed on the overseer for every act of neglect in giving notice to the ratepayers; but it was thought it would be extremely hard that a fine should be inflicted on that officer in every instance for a mere mistake or inadvertence. He now, therefore, proposed that any overseer who should wilfully withhold such notice with intent to keep any ratepayer off the list of voters should, on conviction before two Justices of the Peace, forfeit a penalty of £20. That would give a check upon the overseer; and the clause, he thought, would, in every respect, answer 1266 its purpose. If this clause were adopted, it would be necessary to strike out certain words referring to a demand in the 3rd clause upon the Report.
§ MR. GOLDNEY
said, the necessity for any clause of that kind had entirely arisen from the insertion of the words proposed in the 3rd clause by the hon. and learned Member for Tiverton (Mr. Donman). Under an Act of 6 Vict., all overseers were required to give public notice on the church or chapel doors of the making of the rates, and that in default of due payment of their rates persons would be unable to vote; and in all the local newspapers announcements appeared that people must pay their rates by the prescribed time or their names would not be included in the register of electors. It was a question, therefore, whether, in addition to that public notice, they should impose the further duty on the overseer of giving, at the end of six months, specific notice to every ratepayer who was in arrear? That was a matter which could be better dealt with on the Report than at the present moment; but if the words "which have been demanded of him in the manner hereinafter mentioned" were struck out of the 3rd clause he believed the general public notice to which he alluded would be quite sufficient. It was very questionable indeed whether a special notification to every ratepayer in arrear should be required from the overseer, because in the large parishes it would entail an enormous amount of trouble. The penalty proposed by the hon. and learned Member for Southwark (Mr. Locke) was so large for any failure on the part of a clerk or an errand boy in delivering the notice that it would be impossible to enforce it.
§ MR. DENMAN
called the attention of the Committee to a letter which he had received from a gentleman in Bath, a former constituent of the hon. and learned Member for Sheffield, in order to show how the present system of merely giving a notice on the church doors that a certain rate had been made of so much in the pound worked. The writer stated that the overseers, wishing to disfranchise a part of the community, used to "figure the rates," as he expressed it in the case of their own political friends, so that they might get a knowledge of the rates having been made, and also of the specific sums due from each of them, while in the case of their political opponents they omitted to give them notice of the amount due, until it was too late for them to pay in time to be placed upon the register. 1267 The result of the course pursued was that many persons who would have voted for the present hon. and learned Member for Sheffield were disfranchised. Under all the circumstances of the case the Government were, in his opinion, as much bound as ever to apply their minds to the task of endeavouring to remedy a state of things which was calculated to give rise to great mischief; but if they should not feel called upon to do so he was perfectly ready to support the clause which was proposed by his hon. and learned Friend the Member for Southwark.
§ MR. BARROW
contended that the elector would have no difficulty in going to the overseer and ascertaining from him after the 5th of January whether any rate had been levied which he was called upon to pay. He would add that if the franchise was of any value to him it was his business to make the inquiry.
§ MR. W. E. FORSTER
said, the necessity for some clause such as this was shown by something that had occurred in Bradford. In 1863, a rate was levied in October, and no stops were taken by the overseers to collect it until the following May. The result of that state of things would have been that 2,000 electors under the present qualification would have been precluded from voting for non-payment of rates, for the simple reason that there was not sufficient time between May and July for their collection. As it was 300 or 400 voters were disqualified, and the sole reason the number was not greater was that the electioneering committees on both sides took steps to induce their friends to go at once and pay their rates to the collector without waiting to be called upon. They might be sure that when they made payment of rates a condition of the franchise it would be absolutely necessary to take precautions respecting notice and payment. If they did not they would only cut out more work for the election agents, who would take care that the rates of their friends were paid. If they made the vote dependent upon the action of the overseer, they would have not only the evil of the overseer interfering with elections, but they would have politics interfering in the election of overseers. It was necessary therefore, as they had made the payment of rates the condition of voting, that they should take some steps to secure that the rate was demanded; and he thought that the suggestion of the hon. Member for Oldham (Mr. Hibbert) to make the penalty 1268 fall upon the parish rather than upon the overseer was in some respects better than that of the hon. and learned Member for Southwark. He had a strong suspicion that if a future Parliament should adhere to the principle of the payment of rates as a condition of the franchise, it would be necessary to appoint special persons to carry it out in place of the overseers, but the House would not listen to such a proposition until it was manifest that the best use had been made of the present machinery.
§ MR GATHORNE HARDY
said, that as far as he understood the Amendment of the hon. and learned Member for Southwark, a man's vote was to be made dependent on the payment of rates, and not on what might be done or left undone by overseers. The hon. Member for Bradford (Mr. W. E. Forster) held that the clause proposed by the Attorney General would have left too much power in the hands of the overseers. For his own part he (Mr. G. Hardy) thought a notice specially made known throughout the borough would be a better plan. It would save expense, and would obviate difficulty; and if the notice appended to the doors of churches and chapels were not enough, advertisements might be inserted in the local newspapers—and nearly every small borough had now a newspaper—for three weeks at least previous to every 20th day of July, so that hardly any one could say, with justice, that he had not received notice to pay his rates. He proposed that, in addition to the notice now given by the overseer, the town clerk should make this publication. With respect to the clause proposed by the hon. and learned Member for Southwark, he thought that it went too far, because where everything had been done in order to collect the rate, and even supposing a person had been summoned for non-payment, it would still be necessary to give the notice; and he agreed with the hon. and learned Member for Sheffield that they ought not to take extra pains to bring upon the register persons from whom there was great difficulty in collecting rates. If then they were to adopt the principle of the clause, it would be necessary so to amend it as to remove the necessity for giving the notice to those who had had a demand made upon them previously, who had been summoned before a magistrate for non-payment of rates, or who had been excused payment of rates on account of poverty. He thought also that the penalty was too heavy for it ever to be enforced, and he should propose 1269 that, instead of being fined £20, the overseer neglecting to make the demand should be deemed guilty of a breach of duty under the Registration Act, which would subject him to a penalty not exceeding £5, and not less than 20s. This would be a fine levied by the revising barrister, a man perfectly disinterested, and who at present had the power of dealing with overseers under the Act of the 6th Vict.
said, the ultimate result of the discussion in which they had been engaged with reference to personal rating would probably be something which would deprive the subject now before the Committee of a good deal of its importance. What he understood was intended by the Government as the principle of the Bill was not that the rate should actually be paid by the ratepayer, but that the rate should be actually paid, and that the ratepayer should be personally liable. The ultimate result of all this must be that the House must consider, if not now, yet at a very early period, what facilities and encouragement Parliament could give compatibly with the fair liability of the ratepayer and with the actual receipt of the rate from the owner for the enjoyment of the franchise by the occupier. The payment of rate by the owner was accompanied by such convenience and advantage to nil parties, and there would be such an anomaly in constantly levying from weekly occupiers three or six months in advance the sum due, that he was convinced that they would have to consider that point without much delay. However, with respect to the question immediately before the Committee, he assumed that they were all of opinion that, as the House had thought fit to confer household suffrage in boroughs, the boon should be given in perfect good faith, and that no man should be placed at a disadvantage in respect to the payment of rates on account of his poverty. The importance of this question was enhanced since the discussion on the 3rd clause by the enormous change made in the Bill by the acceptance of the Amendment of the hon. Member for Newark, which converted half a million of persons who had never paid rates into ratepayers. His hon. Friend near him (Mr. W. E. Forster) said, with perfect truth, that none of them paid their rates till they were demanded. If his own franchise in any particular borough depended upon his hunting up the overseer and inquiring how much he had to pay in order that he might 1270 go back and get the money, or write a check for the amount, he was afraid he should undergo the unfortunate destiny of being disfranchised. It was most important that they should seriously consider how they could best give fair play to parties with regard to the payment of rates. The spirit of the speech of the right hon. Gentleman (Mr. Gathorne Hardy) left nothing to be complained of, for he had accepted the principle that fair play ought to be given to all classes with respect to the payment of their rates, and he (Mr. Gladstone, agreed that it was not desirable to impose unnecessary labour upon public officers, and above all to subject overseers, who were unpaid officers, to penalties so heavy that they would never be levied. On the other hand, however, he did not think that a general notice would suffice, because it would not tell men what they had got to pay. There was a great deal of force in the objection of the right hon. Gentleman to the particular form of the clause, and perhaps the better course would be to adopt the suggestion of the hon. Member for Oldham, that if the rate was not demanded by a certain time it should not be recoverable at law. There should be some efficient mode of making a man aware that he was liable for a certain sum, and that having been done, if he neglected to pay let him be disfranchised.
said, the more this question was argued the greater its difficulties appeared. The hon. Member for Bradford had brought forward the most exceptional case that could be found in the kingdom, where a rate was made in 1863, and though it must, if it had any application to this matter, have been made before the 5th of January, so flourishing was the community in which it was made that it was not thought about being collected till the following May. Besides, at the end of March the parochial officer went out of office, when the accounts were obliged to go through the ordeal of the auditor; and if the overseer did not give a satisfactory reason why the rates were not collected what did the auditor do? The auditor charged him with the amount. And with respect to those who were too poor to pay, the only mode in which the overseer could escape being charged with the amount, was to produce the magistrate's certificate that those parties had been discharged from liability to pay. Surely, there was here security enough, almost a 1271 certainty, that within three months, between the 5th of January and the following April, the rates would be demanded. With regard to the observations of the previous speaker, he reminded the right hon. Gentleman that the compounding of rates was quite a modern device, so that the great majority of the people who had been living under that system should not be quite in that happy state of ignorance as to the payment of rates which had been described. He rather thought this clause calculated to delude people. The humbler classes were not always informed, and the only way to enable them to pay on demand was to take the rates in the regular course when they had received legal notice. Those who had not plenty of money were always anxious to put off the evil day of payment, and when the time came that they must pay they were generally unable to do so. It would be far better to leave such persons to the ordinary operations of the Court. He did not agree with the right hon. Gentleman that the bulk of these people did not know what they had to pay, as the amount of the rates due was always demanded before the end of March.
§ SIR LAWRENCE PALK
said, that the very poorer classes were scarcely, if ever, called upon to pay rates, and he thought it of vast importance that the next class above them should receive notice that if they did not pay their rates by a particular day they would lose their vote. He thought, however, that the penalty imposed upon the overseers for neglect of their duty was excessive.
§ MR. AYRTON
said, the hon. and learned Member for Southwark and the hon. and learned Member for Tiverton had consulted him as to this clause. The number of persons upon whom the notice would have to be served would be comparatively small, seeing that they must be five months in arrear before it would have to be served. The question was whether sufficient notice would be given to such persons by the notice being affixed to the church doors, or whether they ought to receive personal notice. The hon. and learned Member proposed to correct the error which existed in Clause 3, which put the power of giving or withholding the right of voting in the hands of the overseer, by striking out the words giving the overseer such power; and in order to protect the ratepayer he proposed that be should receive a special notice, so that he might not be deprived 1272 of his vote by the neglect of the overseer. The right hon. Gentleman the Secretary of State for the Home Department thought it would be sufficient if the notices were published in a newspaper; but it was very unlikely that persons living in houses under £10 a year would look through the advertisement columns of a newspaper for a notice of that kind. He thought that the Government, in order to carry out the effect of their own agreement, should assent to the notice being served upon the ratepayer personally.
§ THE CHANCELLOR OF THE EXCHEQUER
I think it would be better, in the first place, to read the Clause of the hon. and learned Member for Southwark a second time, and then to consider, and I hope agree to, the Amendment of the Secretary of State for the Home Department.
§ Clause read the second time.
§ Then Clause amended by omitting the words "shall on conviction thereof before two Justices of the Peace forfeit for any offence a penalty of £20," and inserting in lieu thereof the words "shall be deemed guilty of a breach of duty in the execution of the Registration Acts."
§ Further Amendments made.
§ Clause, as amended, agreed to, and added to the Bill.
§ Then the Notices in reference to Cheltenham, Over Darwen, Knaresborough, Marylebone, were severally withdrawn.
§ MR. COWPER
proposed a clause to the effect that the borough of Hertford should comprise the towns of Ware and Hoddesden. The right hon. Gentleman said that though this proposal only applied to one locality, it was founded on considerations of general policy, and met with the approbation of both parties in the district. Ware was within half a mile of Hertford; its history dated back to the time of the Saxons, and it was known in modern times as the greatest seat of the malting trade in the kingdom. On the other hand, Hoddesden was within three miles of Hertford, and was a place of great enterprize and commercial activity. Although one third of the population of the county was urban there was only one Parliamentary borough within it, and he believed that great public good would arise from joining these two towns to Hertford.
§ MR. DIMSDALE
, in seconding the proposition, said the circumstances of Hertford 1273 were very peculiar, and it presented special grounds for the consideration of the Government. The largest of the towns in the county contained a population of 7,625. The town of Hertford contained only a population of 6,873, Ware 5,137, and Hoddesden 2,500, making a total of about 15,000. This was a proposal which could not interfere with the scheme of the Government. The population of the county was 173,000, and to be represented by four Members. He hoped that the clause proposed by his right hon. Colleague would receive the patient consideration of the Government.
§ THE CHANCELLOR OF THE EXCHEQUER
thought these discussions only showed that the Committee were not sufficiently aware of the powers of the Boundary Commissioners, who would be enabled to deal with cases like the present one. He did not suppose they would recommend that Hoddesden, which he believed was five miles from Hertford, should be comprised within that borough; but Ware was very near to Hertford, and there was a population rising up between those two places. If, therefore, the enlargement of the boundaries of the Borough of Hertford was deemed desirable, the Boundary Commissioners would probably recommend the House to adopt it.
§ Clause withdrawn.
§ CAPTAIN HAYTER
, who had a Notice of an Amendment on the Paper for uniting the towns of Shepton Mallet and Glastonbury with Wells, said that what had just fallen from the Chancellor of the Exchequer was perfectly satisfactory to him, and he desired to withdraw his Amendment; the point raised by which was one that be should wish the Boundary Commissioners to consider.
§ SIR GEORGE GREY
asked whether they were to understand that the Boundary Commissioners not only might recommend the extention of the limits of boroughs, but might go further, and recommend the grouping of unrepresented towns, perhaps ten miles distant, with Parliamentary boroughs.
§ THE CHANCELLOR OF THE EXCHEQUER
had no intention in what he had stated to express his opinion to the Committee that the powers of the Commissioners would extend to grouping. If the case just brought forward involved grouping, he would give no opinion upon it; but he had thought it referred to a very 1274 different state of affairs, His impression, however, certainly was that the Boundary Commissioners would not have power to group.
§ SIR EDWARD DERING
moved that the county of Kent should be divided into three divisions, and each division return two Members to Parliament. The proposal of the Government was not to divide the whole county equally, but only to divide West Kent into West Kent and Mid Kent, thereby totally ignoring any claims East Kent might have to additional representation. He was quite aware that the population of West Kent exceeded that of East Kent by 110,000, but when Gravesend with Milton and Northfleet were taken out there would still be an excess in West Kent of about 80,000 inhabitants, and it was to that small excess that it was proposed by the Schedules of the Bill that two additional Members should be given. Now, what he asked for was not any additional representation beyond that which the Schedules conferred for the county, but that the Boundary Commissioners should have power to act in its case as with South Devonshire, South Lancashire, and South Staffordshire, and that their discretion should not be fettered.
§ MR. BERESFORD HOPE
, as a resident of the eastern division of the county of Kent, and without inquiring into the political bearing of the question, considered the proposal of the hon. Baronet a very fair one, and one that the Chancellor of the Exchequer might very fairly concede.
§ THE CHANCELLOR OF THE EXCHEQUER
said, the county of East Kent had a population exceeding 160,000, and that it was originally proposed by the Government that it should be divided. Ultimately, when the Schedules had to be modified, in consequence of the decision at which the Committee had arrived on the Motion of the hon. Member for Wick, it was determined that Kent should return six Members, as at first intended; but it was not deemed desirable to interfere with East Kent, inasmuch as the population of the county, as a whole, was pretty fairly divided, and it was thought important that the boundaries of the county should not be unnecessarily disturbed, The county of West Kent was divided, there being in one division 150,000 inhabitants, in Mid Kent 130,000, while the number in East Kent was 160,000. That seemed to be a very just division, involving no disturbance of the population of East Kent, and 1275 he should have imagined that any one representing it would have been desirous that the boundaries should not be unsettled. He hoped the hon. Baronet would not consider it necessary or desirable to press the Amendment.
§ Clause withdrawn.
§ MR. CORRANCE
It is under a sense of some discouragement that I venture to bring before the House the clause which Stands in my name, not only from the announcement of the right hon. Gentleman the Chancellor of the Exchequer, that the Government would resist all such claims, but from a conviction that at this time the temper of the House is not such as to afford a chance of fair consideration to a proposal such as this. By this time it is not surprising that this House should have learned to regard with not unreasonable impatience the Motions thus made, and should have ceased to discriminate between the real claims and those put forward for effect. The one I now make is no such, but rests on substantial grounds, as I hope to convince this House. Since I first placed this Motion upon the list some great changes have taken place in these Schedules, and I will not deny that among these changes there are some which weaken the claim I am desirous to make. By Her Majesty's Government it has been determined—I cannot doubt upon sufficient ground — to confer additional Members upon the large towns; that determination I will not dispute, nor have I any desire to do so, so long as the principle shall be fairly and justly applied and honestly carried out. But while thus far I concur with Her Majesty's Ministers, allow me to say this—that there are among the details of this measure some to which I must dissent. To these let me call the attention of this House. In this instance it is necessary to show not only the claims and the grounds upon which they are made, but also to proceed by comparison with some other places upon this list. Now, this is, perhaps, the most invidious portion of our task, and one which, in this instance, I am most reluctantly obliged to undertake. I must nevertheless direct attention to the county of Durham and the new boroughs I find scheduled upon this list. They are no less than three in number, by no means otherwise of considerable importance or wealth. Hartlepool, Darlington, and Stockton, each under 20,000 inhabitants. Now, 1276 proceeding by comparison, what I find is this—
—One word upon this latter head, Hon. Gentlemen may be deceived about this, for referring to the Parliamentary Returns they will find the numbers set at 10,663. This, however, refers to the borough alone, with limits long since past; and between this town and its extra municipal parts there is now no more division than that of the parishes between here and Temple Bar. In fact no division exists, and the numbers I have given I believe to be correct. And as regards population we have had some interesting statistics as to increase. Let me call attention to one fact, that is—in this town of Lowestoft the increase has been far exceeding even that of the town of Luton during the last ten years, amounting to 63 per cent; Stockton, Darlington, and Hartlepool standing respectively at 33, 41, and 29 per cent. So much for comparison; and what is the position of this town in other respects? The number of vessels sailing from this port to foreign lands is 300 or thereabout; while of foreign ships about 1,000 annually put into the port. Nor is the trade unimportant. In fish alone about 250,000 tons are annually caught, the value of which is set at about £1,000,000 sterling. Now I think these are substantial considerations even if we take them apart; but my case rests upon broader grounds than this. When a special interest like this is concerned, we must consider it as one of a collective class, and as embracing all other local interests of a similar nature to itself. The Member representing one such interest must be considered, at least locally, to represent all similar interests of a given class. Now, in this division of the country there are seven ports unrepresented, embracing a total population of 31,000 souls—who enjoy, in respect of their special occupation, no direct representation in this House. Now of our population are these any unimportant part? These are no straw plaiters, but men the very pith and marrow of your strength. Why are these denied representation in this House? Is our trade of less importance, and our commerce and shipping less? In this instance I have 1277 shown that this is not the case. By the disfranchisement of Yarmouth you have made in our local representation a great gap. I ask you on no insufficient grounds to fill it up. In pursuance of my duty I have brought to your notice certain facts, these facts it will be for others to disprove. Should they fail in doing so, or to show reasons to justify the course it is now proposed to adopt, then I must hold that this Motion I have brought forward is worthy of the serious consideration of Her Majesty's Ministers, and the more careful attention of this House.
Population. County of Durham (South) 170,412 County of Suffolk (East) 184,780 Hartlepool 12,245 Darlington 15,781 Stockton 13,359 Lowestoft 16,261
§ MR. HENNIKER-MAJOR
said, as the Committee were anxious to proceed with the Schedules of the Bill, and now that there was no longer any chance of further disfranchisement, he did not feel justified in going at length into the subject of the Amendment which stood in his name on the Paper; but he must ask the Committee to grant him a very few minutes' indulgence while he stated very briefly, without going into minute details and statistics, the grounds on which he brought it forward. In the first instance he claimed more representation for the county of Suffolk, as one of the largest counties not included in the Schedules, on the ground that the counties of England and Wales were very inadequately represented in comparison to the boroughs; although a great concession, it might no doubt be said, had been made in giving twenty five more Members to counties by this Bill, yet he thought it was not asking more than in all fairness could be demanded in claiming still further representation for the counties; for on examination of the statistics it would be found that, with every addition and deduction made for the action of the Bill now before them, the boroughs with a gross estimated rental of £41,068,325, will be represented by 308 Members of Parliament, and in the ratio of one Member to every 29,437 of the population, while counties with a gross estimated rental of £69,010,393 will only be represented by 187 Members, and in the ratio of one Member to every 58,821 of the population. Despite what might be said as to certain boroughs representing indirectly the county interests through their representatives in Parliament, he could not but think that county Members could best represent county interests, and that by an addition to their number the representation of counties in the House of Commons would be more permanently secured. Under these 1278 circumstances he thought Suffolk, as one of the largest counties in point of population not included in the Bill, and proportionately, in point of wealth, he believed the largest, had a very strong claim for more representation. In the next place he would take the three Eastern counties, Essex, Norfolk, and Suffolk; their interest were almost if not entirely identical; and he found that in point of population and wealth they were, taken together, much under-represented in comparison to the average representation of counties throughout England and Wales, added to which seven Members had been taken away from the boroughs in these counties; two from Yarmouth, two from Sudbury, one from Thetford, one from Harwich, find one from Maldon; only four Members had been given in return, although a very large population had been thrown upon them by the disfranchisement of Yarmouth. He thought, taking these points into consideration, the county of Suffolk, as the only one of the three counties not included in the Bill, ought to have more representatives given to it. In the last place he would take the case of Suffolk as a county by itself; its individual claim for further representation as an agricultural county, and one in which a very large maritime interest existed. Its sea-board was a very large one, and now that Yarmouth was disfranchised this important and increasing maritime population was for a very great distance along the coast entirely unrepresented by any borough; he for this reason had, in making as equal a division of the county in point of population as possible in his Amendment to the Schedule, divided the county so as to give an adequate proportion of representation to this interest. On going into the statistics he found that Suffolk, with a population of 277,939, taking in the population of Gorleston, returned only four Members to Parliament—or in the ratio of one Member to every 69,484 of the population, while counties throughout England and Wales were represented on the average in the ratio of one Member to 58,821 of population. He also found that in point of wealth Suffolk was in proportion much under represented. It must be remembered that four Members had been virtually taken away from Suffolk, two from Sudbury, one from Yarmouth, and one from Thetford, and that none had been given in return. He thought he had proved without going into many figures that Suffolk had a strong claim for more 1279 representation on the ground of its being one of the largest counties not included in the Bill, and that counties in general were inadequately represented; on the ground that it was one of the three Eastern counties, and that they had not their fair share of representation; and lastly, that it had a strong claim of itself, being much under-represented according to the average representation
|BOROUGHS TO RETURN ONE MEMBER ONLY IN FUTURE PARLIAMENTS.|
|Wells||Poole||Newport (Isle of Wight)||Dorchester|
§ Schedule read the first and second time.
§ COLONEL DYOTT
moved an Amendment to leave out Lichfield. He wished to show the extreme inconsistency and injustice of partially disfranchising the city of Lichfield and leaving Tamworth untouched. The very close proximity of the two small boroughs rendered this inconsistency more apparent and this injustice more felt. Lichfield itself contained a larger population than Tamworth itself; but the parish of Tamworth contained a larger population than that comprised within the Parliamentary boundaries of the city of Lichfield. But if Lichfield were dealt with in the same way as Tamworth the population of Lichfield would be at least as large as, he believed larger than, the population of Tamworth; and he protested against the invidious distinction which had been drawn between Tamworth and Lichfield. He believed that he would not have done justice to the town of Lichfield, with which his ancestors had been connected for the last three centuries, if he had not made this statement. But after the decision the Committee had come to last night he had little hope that justice would be done to Lichfield; he should not, therefore, further press the Motion of which he had given notice.
§ Amendment withdrawn.
§ of counties throughout England and Wales. He thanked the Committee for listening to him so long, and would move his Amendment in its place in the Schedule D.
§ should be unsuccessful. He thought it the more unfortunate that one Member should be taken from Bodmin, because the town might be said generally to represent the interests of the county of Cornwall.
§ MR. DARBY GRIFFITH
said, that, considering that the Election Committee of the Session of 1866 reported that there was reason to believe that "corrupt practices have extensively prevailed at the last election for the Borough of Bridgwater," which would in the course which had been invariably pursued since the passing of the Act 15 & 16 Vict. c. 57, have resulted in the issue of a Commission had not the Chairman of the Committee declined to move for the same, it would be desirable that Bridgwater should return only one Member in future Parliaments.
§ Schedule A agreed to, and added to the Bill.
§ [For New Schedule (B) see next page.]
§ MR. AYRTON
said, he had given notice of an Amendment to omit "Durham, Darlington," &c, and substitute "Surrey, Wandsworth, Clapham, Tooting, Streatham, St. Mary Battersea, Putney, and so much of the parish of Lambeth as is not included in the borough of Lambeth," but if it was the desire of the House to dispose of the Schedules that night, he would postpone proceeding with it until the Report was brought up. He begged to withdraw his Amendment.
§ Amendment withdrawn.1281
|[New Schedule B.]|
|NEW BOROUGHS TO RETURN ONE MEMBER EACH.|
|County.||Places to be Boroughs.||Temporary Contents or Boundaries.|
|Durham||Darlington||Townships of Darlington, Haughton-le-Skerne, Cockerton|
|Hartlepool||Municipal Borough of Hartlepool—Townships of Throston, Stranton, Seaton Carew|
|Stockton||Municipal Borough of Stockton, and the Township of Thornaby|
|Kent||Gravesend||Parishes of Gravesend, Milton Northfleet|
|Lancashire||Burnley||Townships of Burnley, Habergham Eaves|
|Lancashire and Cheshire||Staleybridge||Municipal Borough of Staleybridge, remaining Portion of Township of Dukinfield, Township of Stalley, the District of the Local Board of Health of Mossley|
|Staffordshire||Wednesbury||Parishes of Wednesbury, West Bromwich, Tipton|
|Yorkshire, North Riding||Middlesborough||Township of Linthorpe, and so much of the Townships of Middlesborough, Ormesby, and Eston, as lie to the North of the Road leading from Eston towards Yarm|
|Do. West Riding||Dewsbury||The Townships of Dewsbury, Batley, Soothill|
§ THE CHANCELLOR OF THE EXCHEQUER
I have been in correspondence more or less since 1859 with the intended borough of Hartlepool, and this sentiment on the part of its inhabitants has never been expressed to me before. I do not think that we should accede to the Motion of the hon. Member without further inquiry, because he may have been misled by some morbid feeling expressed by those who have been in communication with him on this subject. I think it would be better if he were to postpone his Amendment, and when we report Progress he can telegraph to Hartlepool upon the subject for further information.
§ Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.
§ MR. CORRANCE
moved after "Seaton Carew" to leave out "Stockton," and insert under county of Suffolk "township of Lowestoft, with parishes of Kirtley, Pakefield, and Wessingland."
§ Amendment negatived.
§ MR. CHEETHAM
moved that the Parliamentary boundary of the borough of Staleybridge be confined to the municipal borough, and that the words "remaining portion of the township of Dukinfield, 1282 township of Staley, the district of the local board of health of Mossley," be omitted.
§ MR. W. EGERTON
said, that this question was one that could be settled more easily by the Boundary Commissioners than in Committee. He thanked the Government for having entertained the claims of Staleybridge.
§ THE CHANCELLOR OF THE EXCHEQUER
said, the population of Staleybridge by the last Census was 24,900, and it had since probably increased. The places proposed to be included within the Parliamentary borough were immediately contiguous; but this was clearly a case for the Boundary Commissioners. They were instructed to consider the situation, or other local circumstances, and if the proposed arrangement was not the natural one, they would recommend an alteration.
§ Amendment negatived.
§ MR. MILBANK
proposed that the description of the temporary contents or boundaries of the proposed borough of Middlesborough should be omitted, and the words "the municipal borough of Middlesborough" inserted instead. The borough of Middlesborough now contained 32,000 inhabitants, and 6,000 houses rated at £5 and upwards; and he could not understand on what principle it was proposed to include within its boundaries an electoral district six miles in length and three in width. The only result would be to take away a vast number of county votes. The proposal was one that had been unanimously 1283 condemned by the inhabitants of Middlesborough; and though he was unwilling now to press his Motion on the Committee, he trusted that the Boundary Commissioners would give it their best attention.
did not wish to interpose any obstacle to the withdrawal of the Amendment; but he thought the distinction should be clearly drawn between the boroughs now existing and the new ones. In the case of the old ones the Boundary Commissioners would have a clear starting point, and nothing could be added to them or detracted from them without some reason were shown. He wanted to know whether a similar authority attached to the new boroughs with their temporary boundaries. The understanding, he thought, was that no authority should attach to the temporary boundaries. He understood that it was the intention of Parliament to consider and define the proper boundaries of the places named in the Schedule quite irrespective of the temporary boundaries, and it was very desirable that no misunderstanding should exist on that point.
§ THE CHANCELLOR OF THE EXCHEQUER
said, that the language of the clause respecting the Boundary Commissioners appeared to him to be quite satisfactory—namely, that they should inquire into the temporary boundaries of the boroughs created under the Act, with the power to suggest such alterations therein as they might deem expedient. With regard to what had been said by the hon. Member (Mr. Milbank), who seemed to suggest that the boundaries of Middlesborough had been drawn with a sinister design of affecting the county constituency, he could only observe that Middlesborough was first introduced to Parliamentary consideration in the Bill of last year, and he believed that the boundaries proposed in the present Schedule were the same as those proposed in that Bill.
§ SIR LAWRENCE PALK
inquired, whether the Boundary Commissioners would have the same powers in regard to the new divisions of counties as they had in respect of the boundaries of the newly-created boroughs?
§ MR. SAMUDA
asked, whether the Boundary Commissioners would have the power of omitting altogether a district included in the provisional boundaries, or whether they would only be enabled to enlarge or contract those boundaries.
§ THE CHANCELLOR OF THE EXCHEQUER
said, that the Commissioners would have no power to diminish any existing boundaries, but they might enlarge them if they thought fit. The new boundaries they would be able to diminish, or to suggest, in fact, any alterations in them that they might deem proper. In reference to the question of the hon. Baronet (Sir Lawrence Palk), the language of the clause showed that they would be empowered to inquire into the divisions of the counties, to select the places wherein to hold courts, and to consider what alterations should be made therein; and he thought this quite sufficient.
§ MR. W. E. FORSTER
observed, that some time ago he had asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer a question on the subject, and he then understood that the Government assented to the view that the provisional arrangements of the new boroughs and the new divisions of counties were to be considered as mere blank paper.
§ MR. BOUVERIE
thought the presumption was that the Commissioners would adopt the arrangements of the Schedules, and would require cause to be shown for any deviation from them. He was of opinion therefore that in the case of places already having a separate municipal existence the fairer plan would be to adopt the municipal boundaries in the first instance. The start should be made with them, and then they could be modified, if advisable.
§ MR. MILBANK
said, 1,000 acres of the area proposed for Middlesborough were at present under cultivation, so that the town must considerably increase before it extended so far.
§ Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.
§ MR. H. BEAUMONT
desired to move that Rotherham be inserted in the amended Schedule. It had a population of 33,000, and was in the midst of a large and important mineral and manufacturing district.
§ MR. HADFIELD
supported the claim of Rotherham to have a representative. Considering that Sheffield was not to have a third Member, they might at least give Rotherham a representative, as it was in such near proximity to Sheffield, and was a most important town.
§ Motion withdrawn.1285
§ Motion withdrawn.
§ Motion negatived.
|NEW BOROUGHS FORMED BY DIVISION OF THE BOROUGH OF THE TOWER HAMLETS.|
|Name of Borough.||Places comprised in the Borough.|
|Borough of Tower Hamlets||.||.||.||.||The Parish of St. George in the East|
|The Hamlet of Mile End Old Town|
|The Poplar Union|
|The Stepney Union|
|The Whitechapel Union|
|The Tower of London|
|Borough of Hackney||.||.||.||.||.||The Parish of St. John, Hackney|
|The Parish of St. Matthew, Bethnal Green|
|The Parish of St. Leonard, Shoreditch|
§ Schedule agreed to and added to the Bill.
§ THE CHANCELLOR OF THE EXCHEQUER
then moved new Schedule (D) in lieu of Schedule (D) in the Bill.CHESHIRE.—Division: North Cheshire.—Parts comprised in such Division: The Hundred of Macclesfield.—Place for holding Courts for Election of Members: Macclesfield.Division, Mid Cheshire.—Parts comprised in such Division: The Hundreds of Bucklow, and Northwich.—Place for holding Courts for Election of Members: Knutsford.Division: South Cheshire.—Parts comprised in such Division: The Hundreds of Broxton, Eddisbury, Nantwich, and Wirrall; and also the City and County of the City of Chester.—Place for holding Courts for Election of Members: Chester.DERBYSHIRE.—Division: North Derbyshire.—Parts comprised in such Division: The Hundred of High Peak, and the Wapentake of Worksworth.—Place for holding Courts for Election of Members: Bakewell.Division: South Derbyshire. — Parts comprised in such Division: The Hundreds of Repton and Gresley Morleston and Litchurch, and Appletree.—Place for holding Courts for Election of Members: Derby.Division: East Derbyshire. — Parts comprised in such Division: The Hundred of Scarsdale.—Place for holding Courts for Election of Members: Chesterfield.DEVONSHIRE.—Division: North Devonshire.—Parts comprised in such Division: The Hundreds of Bampton, Braunton, Crediton, Frenington, Halberton, Hartland, Hayridge, Henyock, North Tawton, Shebbear, Sherwill, South Molton, Tiverton, Winkleigh, Witheridge, and West Budleigh.—Place for holding Courts for Election of Members: South Molton.Division: East Devonshire. — Parts comprised in such Division: the Hundreds of Axminster, Cliston, Colyton, East Budleigh, Exminster, Ottery
§ Schedule B agreed to and added to the Bill.
St. Mary, Haytor, Teignbridge, and also the Castle of Exeter and the Hundred of Wonforde except such parts of the Hundred as are included in the limits of the City and County of Exeter by the 2nd and 3rd Will. IV. cap. 64.—Place for holding Courts for Election of Members: Castle of Exeter.
Division: South Devonshire.—Parts comprised in such Division: The Hundreds of Black Torrington, Coleridge, Ermington, Lifton, Plympton, Roborough, Stanborough, and Tavistock.—Place for holding Courts for Election of Members: Plymouth.
ESSEX.—Division: North West Essex.—Parts comprised in such Division: The Hundreds of Freshwell, Uttlesford, Clavering, Dunmow, Harlow, Waltham, Ongar, and Chelmsford.—Place for holding Courts for Election of Members: Chelmsford.
Division: North East Essex.—Parts comprised in such Division: The Hundreds of Hinckford, Lexden, Tendring, Winstree, Witham, Thurstable, and Dengie.—Place for holding Courts for Election of Members: Braintree.
Division: South Essex.—Parts comprised in such Division: The Hundreds of Becontree, Chafford, Barstable, and Rochford, with the Liberty of Havering.—Place for holding Courts for Election of Members: Brentwood.
WEST KENT. — Division: West Kent.—Parts comprised in such Division: The Lathe of Sutton at Hone.—Place for holding Courts for Election of Members: Blackheath.
Division: Mid Kent.—Parts comprised in such Division: Remainder of the Division.—Place for holding Courts for Election of Members: Maidstone.
NORTH LANCASHIRE.—Division: North Lancashire.—Parts comprised in such Division: The Hundreds of Lonsdale, Amounderness, and Leyland.—Place for holding Courts for Election of Members: Lancaster.
Division: North East Lancashire.—Parts comprised in such Division: The Hundred of Blackburn.—Place for holding Courts for Election of Members: Blackburn.
SOUTH LANCASHIRE. — Division: South East Lancashire.—Parts comprised in such Division: The Hundred of Salford. — Place for holding Courts for Election of Members: Manchester.
Division: South West Lancashire.—Parts comprised in such Division: The Hundred of West Derby.—Place for holding Courts for Election of Members: Liverpool.
LINCOLN.—Division: North Lincolnshire.—Parts comprised in such Division: The Wapen-takes, Hundreds, or Sokes of Manley, Yarborough, Bradley Haverstoe, Ludborough, Walshcroft, Aslacoe, Corringham, Louth Eske, and Calceworth, so much as lies within Louth Eske.—Place for holding Courts for Election of Members: Glanford Brigg.
Division: Mid Lincolnshire.—Parts comprised in such Division: The Wapentakes, Hundreds, or Sokes of Well, Lawress, Wraggoe, Gartree, Candleshoe, Calceworth, except so much as lies within the Hundred of Louth Eske, Hill, Bolingbroke, Horncastle, Boothby Graffoe, and Langoe and Lincoln Liberty.—Place for holding Courts for Election of Members: Lincoln.
Division: South Lincolnshire.—Parts comprised in such Division: The Wapentakes, Hundreds, or Sokes of Loveden, Flaxwell, Aswardhurn, Winnibriggs and Threo, Aveland, Beltisloe, Ness, Grantham Soke, Skirbeck, Kirton and Holland Elloe.—Place for holding Courts for Election of Members: Sleaford.
NORFOLK. — Division: West Norfolk.—Parts comprised in such Division: The Hundreds of Wayland, Launditch, South Greenhoe, Gallow, Brothercross, Smithdon, Freebridge Lynn, Freebridge Marshland, Clacklose and Grimshoe.—Place for holding Courts for Election of Members: Swaffham.
Division: North East Norfolk.—Parts comprised in such Division: The Hundreds of East Flegg, West Flegg, Happing Tunstead, Erpingham (North), Erpingham (South), Eynsford, Holt and North Greenhoe.—Place for holding Courts for Election of Members: Aylsham.
Division: South East Norfolk.—Parts comprised in such Division: The Hundreds of Walsham, Blofield, Henstead, Humbleyard, Loddon, Clavering, Diss, Deepwade, Earsham, Guiltcross, Shropham, Taverham, Forehoe and Mitford.—Place for holding Courts for Election of Members: Norwich.
SOMERSETSHIRE.—Division: North Somerset.—Parts comprised in such Division: The existing Sessional Divisions of Long Ashton, Keynsham, Weston, Axbridge, and Temple Cloud, as established by virtue of the Order of Her Majesty's Justices of the Peace for the County of Somerset, and also all such other places in the said County as are locally situated within or are surrounded by the said Sessional Divisions, or any of them, and are not mentioned in the said Order.—Place for holding Courts for Election of Members: Bath.
Division: South West Somerset.—Parts comprised in such Division: The existing Sessional Divisions of Dunster, Dulverton, Williton, Wiveliscombe, Bishop's Lydeard, Wellington, Taunton, Bridgwater and Illminster, as established by virtue of the Order of Her Majesty's Justices of the Peace for the said County of Somerset, and also all such other places as are locally situated within or are surrounded by the said
Sessional Divisions, or any of them, and are not mentioned in the said Order.—Place for holding Courts for Election of Members: Taunton.
Division: South East Somerset.—Parts comprised in such Division: The existing Sessional Divisions of Crewkerne, Yeovil, Somerton, Shepton Mallet, Wincanton, Wells, Frome and Kilmersdon, as established by virtue of the Order of Her Majesty's Justices of the Peace for the said County of Somerset, and also all such other places in the said County as are locally situated within or are surrounded by the said Sessional Divisions, or any of them, and are not mentioned in the said Order.—Place for holding Courts for Election of Members: Wells.
STAFFORDSHIRE.—Division: North Staffordshire.—Parts comprised in such Division: The Hundreds of Totmonslow and Pirehill North.—Place for holding Courts for Election of Members: Stoke-upon-Trent.
Division: West Staffordshire.—Parts comprised in such Division: The Hundreds of Pirehill South, Cuttlestone, and Seisdon.—Place for holding Courts for Election of Members: Stafford.
Division: East Staffordshire.—Parts comprised in such Division: The Hundreds of Offlow (North), Offlow (South). — Place for holding Courts for Election of Members: Lichfield.
EAST SURREY.—Division: East Surrey.—Parts comprised in such Division: The Hundred of Tandridge, and so much of the Hundred of Wallington as includes and lies to the east of the Parishes of Croydon and Sanderstead and so much of the Hundred of Brixton as includes and lies to the east of the Parishes of Streatham, Clapham, and Lambeth. — Place for holding Courts for Election of Members: Croydon.
Division: Mid Surrey.—Parts comprised in such Division: The remainder of the present Division.—Place for holding Courts for Election of Members: Kingston-upon-Thames.
YORKSHIRE, WEST RIDING.—Division: Northern Division.—Parts comprised in such Division: The Hundreds of Ewecross, and Staincliffe, Claro, Skyrack, Barkstone Ash, and Osgoldcross.—Place for holding Courts for Election of Members: Leeds.
Division: Mid Division.—Parts comprised in such Division: The Hundred of Morley.—Place for holding Courts for Election of Members: Bradford.
Division: Southern Division.—Parts comprised in such Division: The Hundreds of Agbrigg, Strafforth and Tickhill, and Staincross.—Place for holding Courts for Election of Members: Wakefield.
§ SIR ROUNDELL PALMER
, remarking upon the absence of anything in the Schedule descriptive of the temporary character of the division of the counties, moved the addition of the word "temporary" before the words "parts comprised in such division," in the heading of the third column, and the words "temporarily appointed places for holding courts for election of Members," in the heading of the fourth column.
§ Amendments agreed to.1289
asked if there was any objection to designate the divisions of Somersetshire as East Somerset, Mid-Somerset, and West Somerset, instead of Somersetshire North, South-West, and South-East?
§ Amendments agreed to.
§ SIR EDWARD M. BULLER
moved Amendments in the proposed divisions of Staffordshire (Schedule D), with a view to divide the county into North, Middle, and South Staffordshire, and to effect certain consequential re - distribution of districts. He should be content if the Boundary Commission were empowered to deal with that matter.
said, that as far as he was aware, the hon. Baronet was the only advocate of the division of Staffordshire in the manner he had suggested, and that the proposal of the Government was far better and more satisfactory.
§ COLONEL DYOTT
also thought it was impossible to divide the county in a more appropriate manner than was done in the Schedule of the Government.
§ After a few words from Mr. W. O. FOSTER,
§ SIR EDWARD BULLER
withdrew his Amendment, on receiving an assurance from the Chancellor of the Exchequer that the words of the Act were intended to authorize the Boundary Commission to consider the question.
§ MR. HENNIKER-MAJOR
moved an Amendment in the Schedule, with a view to divide the county of Suffolk into the three divisions of North-East Suffolk, East Suffolk, and West Suffolk, with a consequential re-distribution of districts.
§ After a few words from Mr. NEWDEGATE,
§ Amendment negatived.
§ Schedule, as amended, agreed to, and ordered to be added to the Bill.
§ Schedule E (Form of Claim for Lodgers) agreed to, and Schedule X (Notice to Occupants in respect of Poor Rates) amended, and agreed to; and added to the Bill.
§ On Question, "That the Preamble be agreed to,"1290
§ SIR RAINALD KNIGHTLEY
said, he wished to make a suggestion with regard to the printing of the Bill. It was usual at this stage to re-print every Bill; and on a measure of this importance he wished to suggest that there should at the same time be printed the Bill as it was originally introduced, so as to show the various omissions, erasures, additions, and alterations that had taken place; — that they might see how much of the Bill was the original proposition of the Government, and how much had been added by the House. ["Oh, oh!"] Such an edition of the Bill would be a very curious historical and literary document; and though he did not know that he could make a Motion to that effect, he would suggest that the Chancellor of the Exchequer should put himself in communication with the highest authority in the House to ascertain whether it could be done or not.
§ MR. HENRY SEYMOUR
thought that great injustice had been done to his borough (Poole), and he hoped that the Boundary Commissioners might be empowered to inquire into its present population before it was disfranchised.
§ MR. CANDLISH
asked whether the Bill would be printed and delivered into the hands of Members to-morrow morning?
§ MR. GATHORNE HARDY
I understand that if hon. Members should not have it to-morrow morning, they will be able to procure it in the course of the day at the Vote Office.
had no objection that the Report should be taken as soon as possible, it must, at the same time, be borne in mind that the Bill involved a great many local questions which could not be duly considered without communication with the country, and, as the Bill could not be sent down into the country until to-morrow evening, it would be difficult to receive the information which might in some instances be requisite if the Report were taken on Thursday.
§ THE CHANCELLOR OF THE EXCHEQUER
I do not know what the "local questions" to which the right hon. Gentleman refers can be; but a great deal may be said upon the Report. We might sit on Friday morning; and, from what I hear, there will be no difficulty in sending off the Bill by post to-morrow afternoon.
§ SIR ROUNDELL PALMER
The chief difficulty will be in giving notice of the Amendments which may be proposed.
§ VISCOUNT CRANBORNE
We should understand either that the Bill shall be delivered to-morrow morning, or that the Report shall not be taken until Friday morning. The Amendments on Report are not discussed unless all the Notices are given on the Paper. If the Bill be not in the hands of Members until the afternoon to-morrow, or Thursday morning, it will be impossible to give the necessary Notices for Thursday evening. I cannot see why the saving of one day should be considered of so much consequence in a measure of such importance.
§ Preamble agreed to.
§ House resumed.
§ Bill reported.
§ On Motion "That the Bill, as amended, be considered on Friday next,"
§ THE CHANCELLOR OF THE EXCHEQUER
I desire, as far as possible, to defer to the wish of the House, and, at the same time, to do full justice to the matter we are upon. I think, after all that has been stated, and having given it the best consideration, the best course will be that the House should meet on Friday next at two o'clock to receive the Report, with the understanding that, if necessary, we should continue our labours that evening. I should hope that that would lead to a satisfactory result.
I presume that the meaning of the right hon. Gentleman is that hon. Members should not move Amendments on going into Committee of Supply. That however cannot be done without altering the Standing Orders.
§ MR. HENRY SEYMOUR
said, there were many matters on the Paper for Friday at nine o'clock, and it would be desirable to ascertain whether hon. Members would give way.
§ VISCOUNT CRANBORNE
It is natural that the right hon. Gentleman should be anxious to get the Bill to the House of Lords in time, and perhaps he looks forward to reading the Bill a third time on Monday. If the right hon. Gentleman finds it necessary, he may move to suspend 1292 the Standing Orders. This is a thing which occurs only once in a generation, and therefore we should not be in a hurry to get rid of it.
§ Motion agreed to.
§ Bill, as amended, to be considered upon Friday, at Two of the Clock, and to be printed. [Bill 237.]