HC Deb 16 June 1871 vol 207 cc195-6

called attention to the vacancies existing in the representation of Ireland, and pointed out that in consequence of the disfranchisement in 1869 of the boroughs of Cashel and Sligo, Ireland had not had during the last three years her full complement of Members in the House, the number having been 103 only instead of 105, the number Ireland was entitled to by the covenant between the two countries Considering that no Irish measure, except that for the protection of life and property in Westmeath, had occupied attention this Session, he had hoped that the Government, with the majority they had at their back, would have attempted to dispose of the two vacant seats; and he brought forward the matter now with the hope of extracting a pledge from the Government with regard to next Session, because he wished the seats to be disposed of by the present Government. He trusted the seats would be given to boroughs, the representation of which was less adequate than that of the counties. If the Government would only fix upon the places they could easily carry a Bill.


said, the Government were desirous as soon as possible, of providing for the allocation of the vacant seats; but he declined to give any pledge on the part of the Government as to the time when and the manner in which the Government would attempt to dispose of them. There had been no general re-distribution of seats in Ireland as there had been in England, and many hon. Members were of opinion that there ought to be such a re-distribution; and it was therefore a question whether the allocation of these vacant seats ought not to be postponed until there had been a favourable opportunity of considering the wider question. As to the claims of particular boroughs, it mitigate that there were other constituents which would have still greater claims. He could assure the hon. and learned Baronet that the political complexion of any proposed constituency was a matter that had never crossed the minds of the Government at all.

Main Question, "That Mr. Speaker do now leave the Chair," by leave, withdrawn.

Committee deferred till Monday next.