HC Deb 29 April 1872 vol 210 c1932

said, it appeared to him to be essential that the House should know whether it was to be called upon to pass the Ballot Bill pure and simple, or whether the Committee to which that Bill had been referred would also proceed with the Corrupt Practices Bill, which was also referred to it on the 29th of February last. He begged, therefore, to ask the First Lord of the Treasury, If he is prepared to state whether it is the intention of the Government to proceed further with the Corrupt Practices Bill this Session?


What has happened, Sir, with regard to this Bill is probably in the recollection of the House. There were many clauses of the Bill which appeared to many hon. Gentlemen to have a special connection with the Ballot Bill—namely, the clauses relating to personation. These clauses have, in conformity with the engagement given at an earlier period of the Session, been now incorporated in the Ballot Bill, and therefore the special relation as to time between the two Bills no longer subsists in the form in which it appeared at first. Consequently, we shall consult the general convenience of the House with regard to the time of bringing forward the Corrupt Practices Bill during the present Session. It is necessary, however, that we should go forward with it in consequence of the dependence upon it of the Elections Petition Act of 1867, and of other laws for the prevention of corrupt practices. It is, therefore, our intention to go forward with it, although it is not now in the same close and immediate connection with the Ballot Bill as it was formerly.


said, in consequence of this answer, he would give Notice that in Committee on the Parliamentary and Municipal Elections Bill he should on the first Motion being put from the Chair, move that the Chairman report Progress and ask leave to sit again, with the view of calling attention to the course taken by the Government with reference to the two Bills.