HC Deb 30 May 1872 vol 211 cc843-88

Order for Third Reading read.

Motion made, and Question proposed, "That the Bill be now read the third time."—(Mr. W. E. Forster).


moved that the Bill be re-committed in respect of Rule 26, which, he considered, was antagonistic to the principle of the measure, and would, if it became law, lead to most dangerous consequences. In doing so he had not the slighest intention of opposing the progress of the measure, for he had always been a consistent supporter of the Ballot, not from any admiration of secret voting—indeed, he believed if that House were polled not one hon. Member would be found to be in favour of secret voting in the abstract—but because he regarded the Ballot as having become an absolute necessity for the purpose of doing away with those giant evils which seemed to be inseparable from open voting—corruption and intimidation. Now, the question which he was about to raise was not a party question, for it was evident that such a Bill as that before the House would, if not this year, at all events very shortly, become the law of the land, and that being so, it was the interest of all parties alike that it should be rendered as free from blemish and as little hurtful to the commuity at large as it was possible to make it. Corruption and intimidation, there was abundant evidence to show, were not the special vices of any political section, and so long as a seat continued to be an object of, ambition, wealthy and powerful persons would be found who would exercise their influence to prevent freedom of election. It was to protect the poor and dependent voter that the Bill was intended, and if there was one class more than another liable to be tyrannized over by power and corrupted by wealth, it was that illiterate class who could neither read nor write. He was not one of those who would deprive a man of his vote, because he happened, probably through no fault of his own, to be in that position; but the House ought not, he maintained, to accept a Bill which would inflict enormous injustice on that very class. What had been done with respect to the case of these illiterate voters? There were two classes of illiterate voters—the honest man, who might be poor and dependent, and the dishonest man, who might be anxious to sell his vote. How did the Bill deal with the former? He would be compelled to go before a magistrate and make a declaration that he was unable to read. That declaration he was bound to present to the presiding officer in the polling-booth; and he was then required to direct that officer, in the presence of the agents of the candidates, how his voting paper was to be filled up; or, in other words, to say openly for whom he recorded his vote. So that the House was about to force a voter, whom it ought to protect in the exercise of the franchise, to record his vote in the presence of all the agents of the several candidates, and thus to expose himself to the vengeance of those who might be unscrupulous in the exercise of power—to all the consequences, in fact, which were likely to result from open voting. The dishonest voter who did not know, or pretended not to know, how to read would also have to take his declaration to the Returning Officer, and would have to give his vote probably in the presence of the very agent by whom he had been bribed, who would thus have the most perfect security that the foul compact into which he had entered would be carried out. He regarded that provision as a great blot on the Bill in a moral point of view. He freely admitted that there was much difficulty in dealing with this matter. The presiding officer might not be trustworthy in every particular, and he might get the post mainly to support the interests of a party; and so it had been suggested by the hon. and learned Member for Oxford (Mr. Harcourt) that coloured papers should be used in order that the most illiterate voter could understand for whom he recorded his vote; and the suggestion was one which he thought might meet the difficulty. The right hon. Member for Bradford (Mr. Forster) was anxious to carry his Bill at any cost, though conscious of the grievous nature of this blot; but it was the duty of the Government to confess that they had made a blunder, and to call upon the House to repair it. The right hon. Gentleman had submitted to many blows which had been given to the measure, and which had, more or less, injured its character and impaired its efficiency; but if he assented to the change which the 26th Rule had undergone, he would assent to that which diminished the value of the Bill in the eyes of all men who desired to throw a shield over the most humble and helpless of the community. The Bill was sure to become law, in spite of any resistance from the Opposition benches, and it was, therefore, desirable to make it as perfect and as little injurious as possible, and, above all, to prevent the polling-place from becoming the very spot where the foul bargain of the corrupter might be completed. He knew the right hon. Gentleman and many other hon. Gentlemen had expressed their dislike of the alteration made in the 26th Rule, but thought it better to offer no obstruction to the passing of the Bill on that account. That was not real statesmanship, and every man who adopted that policy of expediency must hold himself responsible for the evils which would ensue. With no opposition to the Ballot and with no admiration for it, but as a supporter of it on the ground of necessity, and desiring to protect the poor from tyranny and corruption, he moved that the Bill be now re-committed in respect to Rule 26.

Amendment proposed, to leave out from the words "Bill be" to the end of the Question, in order to add the words "re-committed, in respect of Schedule I., Rule 26,"—(Mr. Maguire,)—instead thereof.

Question proposed, "That the words proposed to be left out stand part of the Question."


regretted that his hon. Friend did not give the House the benefit of his eloquence at the time the clause was under discussion; for when the Government were compelled reluctantly to yield to what appeared to be the feeling of the majority, his hon. Friend manifested less interest in this matter than he did now, and omitted to vote in a critical division on the question now before the House.


rose to Order. He never once shrank from voting on the Ballot Bill, and on the occasion referred to by the right hon. Gentleman he either directly voted or paired.


said, he had no doubt the hon. Gentleman was right; but he could only say he should have been glad of the hon. Member's advocacy on previous occasions. He trusted the hon. Gentleman would not now press his Motion on the House, because there was inconvenience in going back to a matter which had already been discussed several times, and on which the House had come to a determination by a decisive majority. The Motion of the hon. Member went further than his speech, for the 26th Rule provided for assistance being given to the blind as well as to the illiterate, while the hon. Gentleman's observations only related to the assistance to the illiterate. His hon. Friend exaggerated when he said the Bill had received many blows. The change he had mentioned was the only one of real importance that had been made in the whole measure since its introduction. The Bill had been searchingly discussed 12 nights in Committee and two on Report; and of the five alterations of any moment which had been made in it, this in Rule 26 was the only one of great importance. Of the other four, one had reference to penalties, under Clause 3, for offences as to voting papers and nomination papers, the punishment having been decreased from two years' hard labour to six months; another referred to penalties, under Clause 4, for the infringement of secrecy, three months' hard labour having been altered to six months; personation had been declared felony instead of misdemeanour; and what was, no doubt, an important change—the hon. and learned Member for Oxford (Mr. Harcourt), after defeating the attempt of the hon. Member for Huddersfield (Mr. Leatham) to bring in his Amendment, having suggested certain words which the Government gladly adopted—after altering them, the effect of which was, that six months' hard labour could be given to any person who, either in the booth or out of the booth, attempted, directly or indirectly, to induce a voter to display his voting paper. The most important alteration in the Bill, however, was that now under consideration; and he must demur to the assertion of his hon. Friend that this was but one of many important changes. His hon. Friend asked why the Government did not accept his proposal before the measure left the House. All he need say in reply was that it would be perfectly fruitless if they did accept it, as they would be unable to carry it. There was no doubt of the difficulty of the question as regards the voter unable to read. The Government thought this a matter of such importance that they sent out to the different Australian Colonies to ask how they treated the voters in this case; and it would be some comfort to his hon. Friend to learn that, although the Ballot did work well in all the Australian Colonies and in New Zealand, there was only one of them—South Australia—in which this assistance was not given to the voter who was unable to read; the presiding officer being, in all the other colonies, empowered to give the assistance required by the illiterate voter, or rather to mark the voting paper for him. He had seen many deputations of working men on the subject, and he had put the question to them as one of the most difficult in the Bill; but he had not found any strong opinion in favour of no assistance being given to the illiterate voter. The Government, after much consideration, thought the best way of avoiding the difficulty would be to frame the voting paper so that the voter who was unable to read might with average skill be able to fill it up; but after the discussions in the Committee—first on the Motion of the hon. Member for Westminster (Mr. W. H. Smith) for the omission of the word "physical," when he had a most difficult task to perform, and afterwards, on the Amendment proposed by the hon. Member for Salford (Mr. Charley)—he saw clearly that there was a strong feeling in favour of some additional assistance being given, and they were compelled to assent to it on condition of a declaration being signed. Was it now advisable to re-open the question? He thought it would be very unadvisable, because it would merely delay the Bill without altering the result. But he had another reason. He believed the Bill, as brought in, would have afforded sufficient assistance to the voter who was unable to read; but there might be many persons in the country who thought sufficient assistance was not given, and a feeling might be raised against the working of the Ballot. In the interest of the Ballot, therefore, which he had strongly at heart, he thought it best to put up with the inconvenience of the Amendment rather than contend against it. At the same time, there ought to be a strong inducement to the voter unable to read to do his best to make use of the voting paper as it stood, and that inducement, he believed, the declaration would supply. He thought the number of persons making use of this Rule would be very small, for three reasons—first, because of the unwillingness to take the trouble of making a declaration; secondly, because it would diminish secrecy, though it must be remembered that there would be a strong penalty for giving information; and, lastly, because there would be a natural reluctance in the minds of illiterate voters to acknowledge that they were unable to read. His hon. Friend referred to two classes of voters—the independent voter and the corrupt voter; but he was at a loss to discover how either of them would be placed in a worse position than at present. The independent voter, if he loved independence, would rely on his own good sense in the matter and vote on the voting paper without troubling himself with any declaration. With regard to the corrupt voter, it was possible there might be a conspiracy; an agent might discover how he voted, and the result might possibly be, as at present, bribery or intimidation. But if it should be discovered that this provision was abused—magistrates conniving with intimidators, and declarations being obtained for the purpose of intimidation or bribery—the Bill, of course, ought to be amended, and this provision would be taken away. But, in the meantime, in the interest of the Bill, and with a view to its speedy operation in the country, he asked his hon. Friend to be content with having made his speech and not put the House to the trouble of a division.


said, he thought it might have been as well if his right hon. Friend had waited to hear what objections might be urged by independent Members to the Bill as it now stood before he rose to reply. He had watched with considerable—he might say painful—interest the course of the Ballot Bill ever since the noble Lord the Chief Secretary for Ireland (the Marquess of Hartington) had taken the question out of the hands of his hon. Friend the Member for Huddersfield (Mr. Leatham), and now at the eleventh hour he must join with the hon. Member for Cork (Mr. Maguire) in entering his protest against sending a Permissive Ballot Bill up to "another place." If secret voting was a right thing to adopt, it should be enacted there should be no permissive secret voting. There was no intention to exclude the blind or illiterate from seeking or obtaining the assistance of the presiding officer; but he objected to some half-dozen agents of as many candidates taking their place in the polling-booths to observe the presiding officer marking the voting papers of those who claimed his assistance. That would open the door very widely to the worst forms of bribery and intimidation. He trusted that if the Bill were sent up to the other House in its present state it would meet with the same reception as it did last year, on the ground that it was an incomplete measure. In that case he should unite his voice to the voices of hon. Members opposite, in desiring that another opportunity might be afforded to the country of expressing its opinion as to the adoption of the Ballot, and as to the nature of the Ballot which it desires. He had not the slightest doubt that in that case the country would declare itself in favour of secret voting.


Mr. Speaker, the speech which we have just heard from the hon. Member for Cork demonstrates the real position of this question. The hon. Member has uttered the fervent wish that the country may have an opportunity of expressing its opinion upon the subject. That, Sir, is a wish in which we all participate; but that is an object which Her Majesty's Government are intent upon defeating. Let me advert for a moment to the speeches of the hon. Member and the right hon. Gentleman who has charge of the Bill; and I ask, was it possible to have a command conveyed in terms more distinct than by the speech of the hon. Member for Cork? The hon. Member took Her Majesty's Government to task because they ventured to accede to the wish of this House, to partially invalidate the sacred principle of secret voting. Then up rose the right hon. Gentleman who has charge of the Bill, and humbly apologized for the conduct of this House, because, out of consideration for those voters who happen to be illiterate, we have ventured to invest the presiding officer with the function of taking down the vote of the illiterate voter, as it is the duty of the election officer to record the votes under the present system. The hon. Member for Cork was eloquent against corruption, and against the use of money; but he said not one word upon the subject of another species of influence—that of intimidation. The hon. Member commenced his speech by declaring that, in the abstract, he was not in favour of secret voting, and yet the whole tenor of his speech was to condemn Her Majesty's Government and condemn the House because, in one particular, we have invaded the sacred principle which he represents. An hon. Member put a question before this discussion began which was very pertinent. We have lately had delivered by a Judge, acting by our appointment, one of the most remarkable charges that have ever issued from the judicial bench. It describes not the effect of corruption, for Judge Keogh has declared that in the Galway Election Inquiry there was not a shadow of reliable evidence of the slightest corruption having been practised; but he has described in the most graphic terms the system of priestly intimidation which has lately convulsed that county; and he has added words which I will quote to the House, because it is necessary that they should be known to Parliament—to both Houses of Parliament—before this Bill passes through its present stage. If this Bill passes, I say that it will pass, not by the deliberate judgment of the House of Commons, but by the coercion exercised upon the Liberal party by those whom the hon. Member for Cork represents. I will show their object. They represent the priesthood whose interference in the Galway election has just been exposed before a judicial tribunal; and then we have a Roman Catholic Judge, be it spoken to his honour, discharging his judicial functions in a manner that goes far to vindicate the Roman Catholic body from the imputation of being the slaves of the priests, for he has shown that there are Roman Catholics in Ireland who are still freemen. Now, Judge Keogh has given us a warning, and that a warning which the Legislature ought to respect touching this very measure. We have two several reports of the judgment of Mr. Justice Keogh, and I will read an extract from each that the House may test its accuracy. In The Times' report the words are these— Father Cohen had said from the altar, while in his vestments celebrating mass, that his parishioners were bound to Vote for Captain Nolan, and that even if they had previously promised to vote with their landlords, they were bound to break their promise. This was sworn, and like the rest was not denied. Every word of that statement would be sufficient to unseat 100 Members. It had been reluctantly admitted by Mr. Bernard O'Flaherty, who was taken out of his bed to give the evidence, that Father Cohen had said that priests would use the Confessional under the Ballot Bill, if necessary; but the Ballot Bill was not yet law, and Parliament was still sitting, and the Ministers and the Legislature ought to know this avowal of Father Cohen. That is the version of The Times; and here is the version given in The Standard, which has a different report of the same passage in the judgment of Mr. Justice Keogh— Priests had announced that they should use, under the Ballot, the Confessional, which it was an article of Catholic faith was closed from the public, as much as the Delphic oracle or the Holy of Holies. The Ballot Bill was not yet the law of the land. Parliament was still sitting. He had lived a public life, but he should do his duty, and the Ministry and the Legislature should know the Catholic clergy represented by the Rev. Mr. Cohen meant to use the Confessional for the purposes of election intimidation, in case the Ballot became the law of the land. This is The Standard report; but it will be seen that the two reports are the same in substance. Therefore, let the House remember that they have first the testimony of Mr. Fitzgibbon, a Master in Chancery, which I have quoted to the House on a previous occasion, that it is the policy of the Roman Catholic priesthood to obtain the Ballot because, under its operation, their means of intimidation will not be controlled, although it may, perhaps, afford some check upon the use of bribery and corruption at elections, which, however, is contrary to the experience of the United States. But, besides the evidence of a Master in Chancery, Mr. Fitzgibbon, we have now the declaration of Mr. Justice Keogh in his judgment that the measure which you are engaged in forcing through this House will not check the priestly intimidation which disgraces Ireland, but that it will have this effect—it will render the detection of it impossible, or so difficult that it will defeat the law by which you are to save the freedom of election and the rights of the electors in the county of Galway. I say, then, that you are passing this measure at the dictation of the Roman Catholic priesthood, and, in the interest of some Members of this House, like the hon. Member for Huddersfield, who has been detected in the grossest practices of corruption—["No!"]—as proved before a Committee of this House. ["Order!"]—


I rise to Order. The hon. Gentleman is surely not justified in speaking of me as having been detected in the grossest practices of corruption. It is really too bad.


intimated that the hon. Member for North Warwickshire would see the propriety of withdrawing the expression.


I am quite willing to withdraw anything but the evidence which is before this House; and I say that there is a Report of a Commission in which the name of that hon. Member appears, and that that document is to be found in the Library. ["No!"]—


I rise to Order. The hon. Member is now repeating his statement in another form instead of withdrawing it.


I have to apologize to the hon. Member, Sir. I find that I ought to have said the brother of the hon. Member for Huddersfield, and that is a fact. I say that the inducements for passing this Bill are not such as are creditable to the House. I speak plainly, because I look on the measure as one not passed by the freewill of Parliament. I look upon it as a measure that is calculated to effect a revolution in our electoral system, to be followed by further measures of a revolutionary character. I speak plainly, and if in speaking plainly I unfairly accused the hon. Member for Huddersfield, I apologize; but I point to documents which are before the House, and if they apply to his brother and not to himself, still I appeal to the fact that those who are most urgent for the passing of this Bill are connected with those who have suffered for corrupt practices. I will now call the attention of the House to another subject. We have a new system to deal with in the Roman Catholic Church, particularly among the priesthood; and we have that system repudiated by Roman Catholics in Ireland, and we have it condemned by a Roman Catholic Judge. I will describe that system, and that there may be no mistake upon the subject, I will not use my own unlearned language. Now, this is the system with which we have to deal, as described by Dr. Döllinger in his letter to the Archbishop of Munich. Dr. Döllinger says— It is known that the Jesuits, when they determined to elevate to a dogma of faith Papal absolutism in Church and State, invented the so-called sacrifizio dell' intelletto— the sacrifice of the intellect—and assured their partizans and disciples, and really convinced many—among whom are even some Bishops, that the most beautiful homage to be offered to God, and the noblest Christian heroism, consisted in this—that man, renouncing his own intelligence, his acquired knowledge, and his discernment, should throw himself with blind faith into the arms of the infallible Pontifical ruler, as the only sure foundation of religious knowledge. To this monastic Order is due in great part the success of raising in the eyes of very many indolence of spirit to the dignity of a sacrifice religiously meritorious, That is the doctrine of obedience upon which the Roman Catholic hierarchy and priesthood have acted in Galway. That is the system which is condemned by Mr. Justice Keogh. And here I have an American authority to the same effect. Here I have an Ultramontane publication declaring that this sacrifice of the intellect, and the will is hereafter, under the new dogma of the Papacy, to be the test of religious virtue. Well, we have an example of its action in the election of Members to this House, and yet the House, under the influence of Her Majesty's Government, will not pause before it passes this Bill until the judgment of Mr. Justice Keogh is before it. There is evidence of the most important kind as to the exercise of this power. You are warned that the measure which you are asked to pass will in no way interfere with the exercise of that system of priestly intimidation; yet, with their eyes open to the existence of this new system of tyrannical control, Her Majesty's Government are as obedient as ever to the dictation of the hon. Member for Cork, whilst the majority of this House are apparently so helplessly committed to the system of secret voting—secret, that is, as against everyone except the priest—that they are about to pass this measure for Ireland as well as England; and I have heard many Irish Members say in private that had they known the revelations which the Galway Election Inquiry was going to produce, they would never have supported this Bill at all, but voted against it. It is now, however, of no use. The majority are committed to the measure. This Bill, we are told, must pass, and must go to the House of Lords. But I am determined that it should not leave this House before I remind the House that a court which the House has appointed, in supersession of its own Committees, has through its Judge warned you that, although you may hope to avoid exposure or to correct bribery, this measure will afford no protection against the priestly intimidation which has disgraced the election for Galway.


, who had on the Paper a Motion to amend the Amendment of the hon. Member for Cork (Mr. Maguire), by adding the words— And also for the purpose of amending the second schedule by inserting a provision for printing the names of the several candidates on the ballot paper in different colours, to be determined by the Returning Officer, said, he desired to bring the House back to the Amendment before it. He regretted that the hon. Member for North Warwickshire (Mr. Newdegate) should have brought a charge which he had very inadequately proved against his hon. Friend the Member for Huddersfield (Mr. Leatham). For his own part he certainly intended to vote for the third reading of the Bill; but he should not do so under the influence of the Roman Catholic priesthood, nor because it could be proved by documents in the Library that he or even his brother had been guilty of corruption. As the hon. Member for North Warwickshire had asserted that only those two classes of persons would support the Bill, he begged to assure him that he did not belong to either. Passing to the 26th Rule, which his hon. Friend the Member for Cork proposed to strike out, he ex- pressed his regret that the Vice President of the Council could not support the proposal, especially as his right hon. Friend disapproved the Rule altogether.


said, he disapproved of assistance being given to the illiterate voters; but the Rule went a great deal further.


said, that substantially the hon. Member for Cork only wished to get rid of that part of the Rule. He believed that the majority of the House disapproved of the Rule, and the question of delaying the Bill for 24 hours for such an object was really too insignificant to be considered, and ought not to stand in the way of the opinion of the House being taken on it. He knew that he had been accused of being hostile to the principle of secret voting; but he denied that there was any truth in the charge. The fact was that this provision did not protect the secrecy of those who desired protection; and when his right hon. Friend argued that after all the provision would be very little made use of, that only went to prove that it was in the nature of a sham. In truth, it would be made use of by those chiefly whom it was not desired should benefit by it—namely, those that, having bargained to be paid for their vote, would be under the necessity of letting it be known how their vote was given. He could not help thinking the House had got into the present difficulty because they had devoted their attention not so much to perfecting the machinery of the Bill as to devising penalties which could never be enforced. It might be argued that if they got rid of Rule 26 they would disfranchise illiterate voters; and it was to meet that objection that he had placed his Amendment on the Paper. He knew that it had been raised before, but only under circumstances that prevented its being properly discussed; and he hoped, therefore, that the Government would consent to the opinion of a full House being again taken on it.


said, he thought the measure had been converted into a Permissive Ballot Bill, not by the adoption of this clause, but by the rejection of the Amendment proposed by the hon. Member for Huddersfield (Mr. Leatham), the result of that rejection being that every elector might, while in the compartment, allow his ballot paper to be seen by the candidates' agent. If, in the first instance, Her Majesty's Government had adopted the principle of printing the names of the candidates in colours, as was now suggested by the hon. and learned Member for Oxford (Mr. Harcourt), the proposal of his hon. Friend the Member for Cork (Mr. Maguire) would not have been made, because it would not have been necessary. As far as that Motion was concerned, he could not support it, unless the Government adopted the Amendment of the hon. and learned Member for Oxford. It rested, therefore, with Her Majesty's Government to afford Parliament an opportunity of further considering the question which was involved in the proposal immediately before the House, and that with reference to printing the names of the candidates in different colours.


said, he wished it to be understood that he only desired to expunge from the Bill so much of the Rule now under consideration as referred to illiterate voters.

Question put.

The House divided:— Ayes 279; Noes 61: Majority 218.


entered his protest against a measure which was sure to injure and endanger the character of a deliberative Assembly which had long been the admiration of the civilized world. That House, which had always been pointed to as a model for all other kindred institutions to copy, was now about to take a step which would deprive the electors of the power of expressing their views and opinions, and of acting in public as they hitherto had been accustomed to do, and deprive hon. Members of that invigorating influence of public opinion and public responsibility on which they had always laid such enormous stress. If it had been proposed to deprive the public of the knowledge of the transactions of that House—if it had been proposed that the voting in the House of Commons should be taken in secret—it would have been no greater change than the one contemplated by the Bill which required that the electors should poll in secret. He had no doubt that the hon. Member for Cork (Mr. Maguire) who said that in the abstract secrecy was injurious to the individual who practised it, and also to the influence and power of the House, merely expressed the general feeling; but the hon. Member justified the course he was about to adopt in voting for the third reading on the ground that it was absolutely necessary. But if there ever was any real necessity for the Ballot the evidence submitted to Committees of that House showed that that time had completely passed away. He had had the honour of sitting upon the Ballot Committee appointed in 1869, and in no point was that evidence more conclusive than in this, for it showed that bribery, intimidation, and other electioneering practices of a similar character were gradually disappearing. The impression left on the minds of the majority of the Committee was, that there had been a decidedly progressive improvement in public morals, in the sense of public duty with regard to the exercise of the franchise. Since the Act passed by the right hon. Member for Buckinghamshire (Mr. Disraeli) there had been a change in the feeling of both candidates and agents. Formerly it was considered a skilful and clever thing to procure a seat in that House either by bribery or intimidation, or any other undue influence, it being held that the end justified the means. But such conduct was now stamped by public opinion as disgraceful in the extreme. If they desired a healthy House of Commons they must have a healthy publicity brought to bear upon those who constituted that body. It was of supreme importance that public opinion should guide, influence, and control the action of the electors, upon whose course the full light of day should be let in. When they looked to see how the Ballot worked they naturally turned to America; but there they found the Ballot acknowledged to be an instrument of tremendous and enormous corruption. In Australia they found a new and very sparsely populated country, between which and England no satisfactory comparison could be instituted; because there was scarcely anything in common between the constituencies of Australia and the constituencies of Yorkshire, Middlesex, or any of the large boroughs, such, for instance, as those into which London was divided. He objected most strongly to the argument that the rich, powerful, and independent should record their votes in secret.


explained that he had argued upon the assumption that society was composed only of the rich and independent.


was glad to be corrected. His hon. Friend admitted it would be a shame to require the rich and independent to vote in secret if there were none poor and dependent; why, then, should the independent be brought down to the level of the poor and ignorant, simply because the poor and ignorant existed? If it was an insult to be required to record one's vote in secret that insult should not be offered in any case, and Parliament should apply itself to the punishment of those who interfered with the free exercise of the franchise. The object of all reform was to obtain a full expression of the views of the people; he consequently objected to this Bill because he did not believe it would add to the completeness of the representation. The popular dislike to secrecy would exhibit itself in positive disgust at being obliged to vote in secret, and instead of 75 per cent of a constituency only 25 per cent would be found going to the poll. And this 25 per cent would be made up of the least informed and least influential part of the community, in whose hands would reside the power of controlling the policy of the country. People generally took no pleasure in doing a public act unless they had the full credit of it. Most people liked to show that they had voted for the man of their opinions, and unless they could do this thousands would refrain altogether from voting. Thus, the indifference to the discharge of public duties which was becoming common would increase, and the character of the House itself would suffer. He objected to the Bill also because it would promote corruption in the small constituencies, which would be quite within the powers of an election manager. Of course, the bribery would be dispensed on the principle of payment by results, a system much favoured by the Education Department, and a candidate with an elastic conscience would no doubt find his account in making an arrangement with a local club upon the basis of results. This would be followed by a cry for the disfranchisement of the smaller boroughs as a matter of course, and a demand for equal electoral districts. He was not prepared for that, because the very inequalities which existed tended to represent more fully and freely the wants, interests, and policy of England than any scheme that might be carefully contrived on the most nicely-balanced number principle. He did not believe that if they could split up the constituencies of the country into 5,000, each returning a single Member, they would secure such a varied representation as they had at present. There was also a danger of corruption peculiar to this Bill. The ballot box would remain in the possession of the Returning Officer and two partizans; the public would not be represented either personally or by the Press, and what could be easier than for an arrangement to be made between these three? Hitherto the votes were recorded and the elector could cheek the record; but under this Bill all would be done in the dark, and so easy would it be to tamper with the voting papers by substituting fictitious papers for the real, that although he himself believed it would never be done, it would often be suspected and many unfounded charges would be made against the officers employed, because tampering would be the only explanation which would suggest itself in the case of unexpected results. There was nothing to identify the vote—even the voter himself could not say that a particular voting paper was his; and there was, under the system of ballot papers, absolutely no provision, nor any possibility of making one, to prevent a man who was so minded, and who had the opportunity, from changing the voting papers after they had been placed in the ballot box. He believed there was an amount of honesty among men charged with public duties in this country, even although they were taken almost out of the street for the occasion, which would prevent incidents of that kind from becoming frequent, or influencing to any large extent the result of elections. But, with the unexpected results which he was sure would come from the adoption of the Ballot, the belief would exist that all sorts of abuses had crept in and every conceivable kind of fraud been practised in respect to the ballot boxes. If there were no other mode of securing peace, quietness, and order at elections than the Ballot, a good deal might be said in its favour, however un-English it was, however opposed to the sentiments of the great majority of the people. But he was satisfied that the evils against which the Ballot was directed could easily be repressed by other means. The excitement and other ill effects produced by the publication of the state of the poll at intervals during the election might, for instance, be prevented by prohibiting such publication. Another argument against that Bill was that it did not even satisfy the supporters of the Ballot themselves. The hon. Member for Huddersfield (Mr. Leatham)—one of the most earnest and able advocates of the Ballot—had spoken of that Bill as maimed and unsatisfactory in almost every respect, although he regarded it as one which ought to be accepted as a basis for future legislation. Now, as he (Mr. Smith) did not wish to have a measure which was thus looked upon as a starting point for further agitation, he said if they were to have a Ballot Bill let it be one which the friends of the Ballot would declare to be satisfactory as far as they were concerned. But he accepted the challenge thrown out by the hon. Member for Gloucester (Mr. Monk). He believed the feeling and opinion of the country to be entirely and distinctly opposed to the Ballot, and he had no doubt that an appeal to the country would result in the return to that House of a large majority of Members who would vote against any Ballot Bill. That feeling had grown in consequence of the conviction that there was not now that necessity for such a measure which might have existed many years ago. Therefore, he desired to say "No" to the third reading of that Bill, and he hoped the House would refuse to pass it, that the feeling of the country might be taken on the question in order to find out clearly whether it was not, as he firmly believed, in favour of the open, manly, and straightforward discharge of the public duty with which every voter was intrusted, not for his own individual advantage, but for the benefit of the State.


said, he had also served, like the hon. Member who had just sat down, on the Committee which inquired into that subject, and had come, like him, to a conclusion against the Ballot. The evils connected with elections could be better remedied by other means than the Ballot. The history of that Bill was a curious one. Adopted as one of the Articles of the Charter more than 20 years ago, and then scouted by all reasonable men, the Ballot was afterwards taken up by a Member of that House (Mr. Berkeley), who, however highly esteemed, was not much thought of for his wisdom, and it was long laughed at and rejected by every responsible politician. All at once, however, it was suddenly discovered to be an important Cabinet measure, and it was subsequently adopted by the House. The Ministry, thinking it necessary to get a case for the Ballot, appointed a Committee, some of the evidence taken before which had had a remarkable light thrown upon it by the circumstances of the last few days. Many of the Members of that Committee thought the measure would be good for England and Scotland, but doubted whether it would be equally applicable to Ireland. Now, the inquiry which had just closed in Ireland had shown that the votes given could not be concealed from the Roman Catholic priesthood. A great deal of evidence had been adduced before the Committee to show that it was impossible to ascertain how the votes would be given, and it was said that if the Roman Catholic priesthood interfered at all, they would only do so by words of counsel. One of the questions asked of the Rev. Mr. M'Dermott was— Of your own knowledge, have you ever known a priest address an audience in reference to a coming election? The reply was—"Yes." He was then asked— In your experience, did they use words of counsel only or words much stronger—words of denunciation, if the votes were not given in a particular manner? The answer was—"Only words of counsel, and not words of denunciation." On evidence of that kind the foundation of the Report of the Committee was based. Another important witness examined before the Committee was asked this question— I understand that the confessional would not in any way aid the priest in obtaining a knowledge of how a man voted? The reply was—"Decidedly not." Now, how was this evidence to be reconciled with the statements made by Mr. Justice Keogh in his judgment upon the Galway Election case? Father Cohen had declared that the confessional could be used, if necessary, to defeat the Ballot Bill, which measure, however, he added, had not become law. Mr. Justice Keogh further stated that he would report the Roman Catholic Archbishop of Tuam, two other Bishops of that Church, and a large portion of their clergy, as having been engaged in an organized attempt to interfere with the free exercise of the franchise by the electors. The evidence given before the Committee had been entirely contradicted by the statements made before the learned Judge. It seemed to him (Sir Frederick Heygate) most extraordinary that a Bill like the present, which had so few friends in the House, should be considered necessary to pass into a law. In the present day, however monstrous a proposition might be, if it were brought forward again and again, people began at last to believe that it was necessary to accept it. Instead of endeavouring to improve this measure, the House should unhesitatingly kick it out, when it would never be heard of again. He did not believe that the country wanted such a Bill, which was really nothing but a gigantic sham, and which would fail in curing electioneering evils that might more certainly be got rid of by other means. The Irish Land Act had deprived landlords in Ireland of all influence, legitimate or illegitimate, and therefore this Bill would in no way affect them; but still if this measure became law the ignorant voter, whom Parliament had declared to be unfit to enter into a contract, would be left without any guide whatever as to which way he was to vote, because he would not know how the educated classes voted. If the Ballot were adopted, suspicion would be aroused in the event of unexpected results occurring with regard to elections, and the greatest dissatisfaction would exist among the non-electors, who at present possessed some amount of political influence. Following closely upon the Ballot must come universal suffrage, which ought, indeed, to precede it. If the experiment of the Ballot must be tried at all, let it be tried first in England for a limited term of years, at the expiration of which he was satisfied it would fall to the ground. If it were extended to the whole of the United Kingdom, the result would be to throw the entire management of elections into the hands of two classes of people—of the priests in Ireland, and of the Press in England. He begged the people of this country and the House to throw off the hypocrisy of pretending that they were bound to pass this measure into law. If the country were really anxious to have it, the matter ought to be sub- mitted to it by means of a General Election, when the real views of the people with regard to it could he ascertained.


congratulated the right hon. Gentleman in charge of the Bill on the able and skilful way in which he had steered it through Committee. He had always felt that, considering so many Members on his side of the House, and supporters of the Ballot were evidently not earnest in their desire to have a secret voting measure in all its integrity, great allowances ought to be made for the difficulties with which he had had to contend. The Bill had been described by its enemies and those who hoped to destroy its efficiency when put in practice, as having been emasculated in Committee, and rendered altogether ineffectual as a security for protecting the voter by secrecy, and having been made, in fact, nothing but a sham Ballot. From this view he entirely dissented. Having carefully watched its progress in Committee, and having since had an opportunity of conferring with some of his own constituents, who were warm advocates of the Ballot, he and they were satisfied that, as it stood, it provided perfect security and protection to the voter by the absolute and inviolable secrecy of the mode of voting. It seemed to him that the Ballot, in order to afford a real protection to the coerced or intimidated voter, must not only provide a means of voting secretly, but must go further, and compel the voter to vote secretly. Permissive secrecy left the coerced or intimidated voter open to the alternative of compulsory publicity. His position was precisely that which was expressed by the law which said that "may" in certain statutes had the force of "shall," which only meant that when a general duty or force commanded them to do all they could in a particular direction, the mere ability to do a thing became instantly converted into an obligation. He could quite understand people objecting to the Ballot altogether, but he could not understand anyone being in favour of a permissive Ballot. His own natural instincts led him at first to dislike any system of secret voting, and he even now deplored the necessity for it. He had that day spoken and voted boldly on another question in a manner which he knew would be very displeasing to many of his constituents, and it might readily be supposed that, with his temperament, he should prefer the exercise of the franchise in a manly open way, in the face of day, and with all the responsibility of publicity; but the misery, wretchedness, and unnecessary trials to which he had seen plain and simple people subjected by tyranny and coercion had made him, some years ago, an unwilling but firm convert to the Ballot in all its integrity as a compulsory system of secret voting. Coercion and undue influence was not chargeable more to one side than to the other, nor was it exercised for the most part—so far as his observation went—by the great landed proprietors, but was resorted to chiefly by petty squires and owners of cottage property and local magnates surrounding county towns, who wished to curry favour with their more aristocratic neighbours. The tyranny and discomfort which such persons inflicted on the small trades people and artizans was intolerable, and had driven them to the Ballot as an unfortunate necessity, if the franchise was to be exercised by the people; and how could it be contended that a system of permissive secrecy would afford even a shadow of protection to voters so situated? He never could understand the honesty of such an argument. Suppose, for example, that in a district a proprietor had 300 small tenants—that the privilege of voting secretly was permissive, and that 275 of those tenants declared that they would, like men as they were, vote openly, and so voted in favour of their landlord, he should like to know how anyone could candidly say that the remaining 25 could derive any real protection from the Ballot. He wished to show that the provisions of the present Bill afforded a perfect security; but, before doing so, he wished to remove a misconception which he found to prevail respecting the secrecy aimed at by the Bill. It never was intended to be proposed that any elector should be prohibited from declaring which way he intended to vote, or which way he had voted—the whole scheme of the Ballot was directed and limited to enforcing secrecy in the act of voting, it being obviously impracticable to prohibit a man from talking about the way in which he intended to vote, or how he had voted. In order to secure and enforce compulsory secrecy, it had been proposed at one time by the hon. Member for Hud- dersfield (Mr. Leatham), that the disclosing by a voter of a voting paper after it had been marked should be made an offence punishable, summarily before a justice, with six months' imprisonment. He thought at the time that that was a formidable proposition, and that it would have been far better to have summarily punished the disclosure of the voting paper by forfeiture of the vote, or some trifling fine, and to have confined the severer punishments to those who induced the voter to violate secrecy. That hon. Member's proposition was, however, negatived; and since then it had been loudly proclaimed and boasted by hon. Gentlemen opposite, that as the Bill now stood it would be no violation of the law for a voter openly to show his ballot paper in the polling-place after he had marked it, so that it might be seen and known which way he had voted. He had no hesitation in saying that that was a total misrepresentation of the nature of the Bill. It could not be too clearly or too widely known that, according to the present Bill, it would be a violation of the law for an elector to show his ballot paper open after he had marked it; and that his doing so in such a manner as to enable it to be seen which way he had voted might render himself and others liable to several serious consequences. Clause 2 ran thus— The voter having secretly marked his vote on the ballot paper, and folded it up so as to conceal his vote, shall place the same in a box, &c. Now, here was a direct and positive enactment that the voter should secretly mark his vote, and then fold the paper up so as to conceal his vote; a violation of which would be a violation of the Act of Parliament, which would be attended with more serious consequences than some people were perhaps prepared for. Then, again, Clause 4 said— Every officer, clerk, and agent in attendance at a polling station shall maintain and aid in maintaining the secrecy of the voting in such station. And further— No person shall directly or indirectly induce any voter to display his ballot paper after he shall have marked the same, so as to make known to any person the name of the candidate for whom he has voted. And further— Every person who acts in contravention of this section shall be liable to imprisonment for six months, with or without hard labour. In the face of such provisions as these, it was astonishing that hon. Members could get up in that House and state that under the present Bill it was optional with the voter either to show his voting paper or not, and that his doing so would be no violation of the law. He thought that this fallacy and misrepresentation could not be too widely exposed. It should be fully known and understood that the language of the Bill commanded the voter to observe secrecy in the act of voting. And further, that if the voter attempted to show his paper it was the imperative duty of all persons at the station to prevent him from doing so, to abstain from looking at it, and to aid generally in maintaining the secrecy of the voting, and that a violation of this duty was punishable summarily with six months' imprisonment. There was no doubt that this secured absolute and inviolable secrecy in the act of voting, so far as the law could secure it; and if the Bill contained no other provision than that, he would have been perfectly content with it. When it was fully understood what the law was, he believed that there was loyalty enough on the part of the agents and all parties concerned—at least, in that part of the country with which he was best acquainted—fairly and honourably to carry out the intention of the Legislature without the necessity of resorting to any punishments to enforce the law. As to bribery, he did not know what would be the probable effect of the Bill. Bribery was totally unknown in Wales. [An hon. MEMBER: You have intimidation in Wales.] Intimidation and undue influence were exercised in Wales, and his object in supporting a real and effective Ballot Bill, such as he believed this to be, was to put a stop to such practices. He did not believe that either political party would in the long run obtain any particular advantage; but it would undoubtedly promote freedom of election and bring out the honest opinion of the country, and for that reason alone it would be a valuable measure. It was said the country did not want the Ballot at all. If that was true, he would admit that the Bill ought to be rejected by the other House; but there was an extraordinary misconception on this subject. He had taken great pains to ascertain the real truth; and if there was no excitement or agi- tation in the country, it was because the Ballot was regarded as a foregone conclusion. The constituencies had made up their minds that the Ballot would become law, and they meant to have it. That such a feeling should be construed as indifference was a circumstance deeply to be deplored. He trusted that this long contested question would be speedily settled, and that Parliament might thus be enabled to devote its time and attention to remedial measures, which were much required. If, on the other hand, through a misconception as to public feeling on the subject, the Bill should in "another place" be either so far altered as to be deprived of its essential provision for compulsory secrecy, or be thrown out altogether, he believed a storm of agitation would be raised throughout the country, and beneficial legislation would be postponed for an indefinite period. Of one thing he felt certain—that the country was determined to have an honest and complete system of secret voting.


said, there was an old proverb, "Live and learn," and he had learned something that evening. When the House was discussing this subject last year he was not, he confessed, fully alive to the great sagacity displayed by the Prime Minister in directing his friends and supporters to maintain a total silence in regard to the Bill. This year, although he heard many able arguments against the Ballot Bill from the Opposition benches, he had listened to nothing in point of stringency and force to compare with the speeches of those who had intended to speak most strongly in favour of the Bill. The hon. Member for Cork (Mr. Maguire) had begun his speech by telling the House that if it expressed its candid opinion there would not be found 10 Members in favour of the Ballot. The hon. Gentleman had said that this Bill would become the law of the land. He would not presume to enter into a contest of prophetic powers with the hon. Gentleman; but he must be allowed to be a sceptic on that point. He would ask the hon. Gentleman, as a man of long Parliamentary experience, whether he could refer to any instance of a Bill dealt with by the House as this Bill had been which had become the law of the land? In his own experience he knew nothing of the kind. All the most stringent clauses had been struck out by a House of Commons which was said to be strongly in favour of the Ballot. [Mr. W. E. FORESTER: No. Which clauses?] The clauses which the right hon. Gentleman himself said were essential to the character of the Bill—the only clauses which could enforce secret voting. The hon. and learned Member whom he had the pleasure of following was quite accurate when he said that corruption was not confined to any particular party. No; corruption was practised by every party, especially in electioneering matters; and it was because it had been established upon indisputable evidence that nothing could so much facilitate corruption as the passing of a Bill for secret voting, that he had always opposed this measure. The hon. and learned Gentleman went on to say that secret voting would put a stop to bribery; but he (Mr. Bentinck) was of opinion that most people would think that secret voting would prevent the detection of bribery. He had not heard any hon. Gentleman get up to grapple fairly with this question, and to show how it was possible by secret voting to prevent unmitigated corruption. The hon. Member for Westminster (Mr. W. H. Smith), who had made a most able speech to-night, had said, with great truth, that the people did not want the Ballot, and were really not in favour of it. An attempt, however, had been made by the hon. and learned Member (Mr. Watkin Williams) to prove that there was a strong feeling in favour of the Ballot, and he indulged in a practice sometimes adopted by hon. Members, who took what was called a popular view on the subject, he predicted all sorts of dreadful consequences if noble Lords in "another place" presumed to differ in opinion from the Assembly which he had now the honour of addressing, in which Assembly, however, the most active supporters of the Ballot were strongly disinclined to this measure. He trusted that in "another place" it would not be forgotten that the two men in this House most at issue on the principle of this Bill were the right hon. Gentleman who had charge of the Bill and the right hon. Gentleman at the head of the Government. These two right hon. Gentlemen were distinctly at issue upon a most important principle. The right hon. Gentleman (Mr. Forster) had told them that he was the advocate of secret voting. There could be no mis- take upon that subject, and he thought it was proper to give the right hon. Gentleman a reminder on the subject. The Prime Minister used words which he would now quote. It was true the right hon. Gentleman would say they were addressed to a few gentleman at a country house. But 16 or 17 gentlemen were present on that occasion, representing a very large deputation, and the speech occupied two columns of The Times, so that it could hardly be called a mere conversational statement. Alluding to the Ballot Bill, the right hon. Gentleman said— We mean to put it into the power of the voter to vote secretly, if he likes. The principle on which we proceed is, that the voter must be the best judge whether he needs protection. Where he needs protection the Ballot will give it; where he does not, there will be no secrecy, and his vote will be pretty nearly as well known as it is now. [Loud cheers.] It is in that sense that I hope the Ballot Bill will speedily become law. Now, it was impossible for the English language to convey an opinion more strongly in favour of making this measure apply only to men who wished to resort to it, leaving to others the option of open voting. Unless these conflicting statements could be reconciled, the Bill must go to "another place" marked in this way—the Prime Minister saying that the Bill was to be optional, whereas the right hon. Gentleman who had charge of the Bill said it was to be enforced by penalties. There was another point to which he wished to direct attention, which had been adverted to by the hon. Member for North Warwickshire (Mr. Newdegate). Hon. Members were aware of the observations which had been made during the last few days by a learned Judge (Judge Keogh) in the sister country, and he (Mr. Bentinck) would ask whether any man in his senses, having regard to what he had there learned respecting the conduct of the Roman Catholic priesthood in Ireland, would vote with satisfaction for the extension of this measure into that country? Was it possible to conceive, on the part of a Protestant country—and he hoped England was yet a Protestant country—a more complete surrender of all the rights, privileges, and independence of the electors of Ireland, than to place them in the power of the Roman Catholic priesthood by such a Bill as this? If the Bill had been re-committed in accordance with the Motion of the hon. Member for Cork (Mr. Maguire), he should have moved the insertion of a clause exempting Ireland from the operation of the Bill, and he hoped that such a clause would be introduced in the other House of Parliament. Meanwhile, it should stand on record that the right hon. Gentleman who had carried the Bill through the House with so much courtesy, good humour, and ability was most attached to the penal clauses.


said, it was scarcely fair to refer at present to the judgment of Mr. Justice Keogh, a very imperfect report of which had appeared in the London journals.


said, the hon. Gentleman, having moved the Amendment and spoken to the Question, was not entitled to speak again.


said, as this was said to be the last time on which the principle of the Bill could be discussed, he would like to have a quiet growl at it. He could not quite make out what the Bill did. It certainly abolished the nomination day, which he thought should be maintained, its abuses being corrected. But, without obtaining secrecy, it seemed to him that the Bill encouraged bribery, while it in no way that he could see prevented intimidation. Now, secrecy was the summum bonum of those who favoured the Ballot system; but the most ardent supporters of the Ballot could not say that they had obtained secrecy under the Bill. A voter might have a wife—he was not bound to hold his tongue to her—or by some means or other his vote might become known. Persons who sought to intimidate or coerce might in the period elapsing between one General Election and another make it their business to find out how a man had voted, and by a process of exhaustion the discovery would not be difficult: at all events, such persons would act on their supposition. He was convinced that a landlord or any other person desirous of ascertaining how a man had voted would be able to do so within a few months after the election, and that he would thereupon act as he had acted hitherto. As to bribery, the Bill would certainly encourage and facilitate it. What would be easier than for a gentleman anxious to become a candidate for a constituency to wait on the organizers of the party, learn what the cost of the seat would be, and undertake to pay the amount upon being returned? It was said, indeed, that persons would not disburse money without being sure of a return for it; but people were found to bet money on the Derby 12 months beforehand, taking the risk of the particular horse dying or becoming disabled, and in the same way money would be hazarded on the event of an election. The hon. and learned Member for Denbigh (Mr. Watkin Williams) had talked of compelling people to vote secretly; but how could that be effected? He should probably give offence to his political friends by the remark he was about to make; but he maintained that the whole Ballot system was un-English. He would explain what he meant by that. If the Ballot had any value it was as a protection to the weak voter. Now, his employer would have as much a right as at present to ask him how he was going to vote, so that the only protection of the Ballot would consist in his telling a downright falsehood. Did Parliament intend to teach people to tell falsehoods in the exercise of the most important duty of citizens? What was the cause of the great disaster in France? It was that nobody had been telling the truth. From the Emperor to the peasant they—he would not use a strong word, but they did not tell the truth. This system culminated in the last plébiscite, when the poor peasants eagerly voted for the Empire on the assurance that it signified peace—the country in a few months being plunged into grievous disasters. He was sorry to disagree with hon. Members among whom he sat, and with whom he was probably at one on every other political question; but entertaining strong feelings on the matter, he had felt himself bound to give expression to them.


said, he thought it would have been extraordinary had these debates concluded without the introduction of the argument that the Ballot was un-English. He believed not a single Member opposite had resorted to it, and he felt rather ashamed that the cry should have been raised by an hon. Gentleman on his own side of the House. hon. Members were all in good spirits at having got rid of Ballot debates, for they had certainly had enough of them this Session and last. Indeed, he had found that during the two Sessions there had been 129 divisions on the subject. It was creditable to hon. Gentlemen opposite to have made so gallant a fight against superior numbers; but they had happily only been able to damage the measure when aided by deserters from the Ministerial side. The Bill was not perfect, for the House was not in the habit of passing perfect Bills on any subject; but it was a great measure, and, as the embodiment of the principle that a man's vote was his own, it would effect a revolution in election proceedings. With honest officials it could be satisfactorily worked. If honest officials could not be found, the country must be in a much worse way than anybody believed to be the case. The allegation that the Ballot would increase bribery was sufficiently disproved by the experience of our colonies and other countries. The Bill was not without faults, and he regretted the rejection of the clause proposed by his hon. Friend (Mr. Leatham); but he believed it contained provisions which would ensure that the vote would be given secretly and that the paper would not be shown when marked to any person. He thought, too, that when secret voting became the law of the land, many even of those who disliked it would honourably shrink from any infringement of it. Another defect in this Bill was the provision which enabled the ballot paper of the illiterate voter to be marked by another person; but if it should in practice be found to be a great evil, it would be easy to put the matter right afterwards by a short Bill. He thanked his right hon. Friend who had charge of the Bill for the care, ability, and good feeling he had exhibited in conducting it through the House, and he was sure that the right hon. Gentleman would feel more pleasure in passing a measure to promote peace and good order, with the aid of his Friends, than in having passed two years ago, with the aid of his enemies, another Bill calculated to produce a contrary result. The right hon. Member for Buckinghamshire (Mr. Disraeli) stated last year that he had ransacked the election addresses of hon. Gentlemen, and found that very few of them alluded to the Ballot; but they all knew what had been declared by the votes of the Liberal Members in that House, and they were all aware of the unanimity with which the Bill had been supported by the Liberal party. After to-night the Bill would go to "another place" where, perhaps, it would encounter greater dangers than it had met in that House; but he hoped that if the House of Lords should spoil the Bill, and strike out the provisions which enacted that the vote should be given secretly, the Government would have the courage to reject the measure so altered rather than pass a sham Bill. Let the country have a real Bill, for a sham Bill would be worse than no Bill at all; and he believed that if the Government took the course he recommended they would safely get over every difficulty.


said, he thought that there could be but one feeling of sympathy with the hon. Member who had just sat down, that the congratulation he was prepared to offer for the success of the Bill had been somewhat spoilt by the little bitterness which had been infused into the cup by the hon. Member who preceded him, and who revived the good old phrase, and described the Bill as "un-English." Now, he (Sir Stafford Northcote) did not know why they should be particularly ashamed of reviving that old phrase, which was singularly apposite in expressing the objections felt to the Bill. They who sat on the Opposition side of the House did say that this was an un-English Bill, not because there was necessarily anything un-English in giving a vote secretly under certain circumstances, but because it was at variance with the whole history of the growth of their English freedom, and because the arguments by which it was supported were drawn not so much from English, but from foreign authorities. He felt that they in England might consider themselves rather the leaders than the followers in the establishment of political freedom, and might consider it better to follow their own precedents than those of other countries. He contended that, speaking broadly, the course which English history had followed had been a course of open contest against great difficulties and dangers; and the English nation had attained to the proud position it held among the constitutional Nations of the world by manfully facing dangers and difficulties far greater than those which this measure was intended to face. Looking back upon English history, and upon those struggles which from time to time the people of this country had gone through; against the undue influence of the Crown, or of the Barons; against undue ecclesiastical influence, popular fanaticism, corruption, or a hundred other influences which the people had to contend with, they had no need now to fear to meet other struggles which might be in store for them with the same manly spirit which animated their forefathers, and which led them to the position which they now occupied. In the political institutions of the country, and in the general life of the country, which was the expression of those political institutions, they had that for which they might be thankful and proud. There was no other Nation that possessed such an Assembly as the British House of Commons, which furnished an attraction for men of rank and position, men who might enjoy every luxury with case and respect, but who were yet proud and anxious to make great sacrifices in order to take their part in the councils of the Nation, to fight openly in those contests in which they in that House were engaged, and in which, whilst they had no private end to gain, they felt that they were doing a public duty. But did that spirit only animate those who were elected as Members of Parliament? It permeated the whole community; and numbers among that community would be found prepared to sacrifice time, to encounter odium, and difficulty, and labour for the sake of promoting the cause which they thought was, on the whole, the broad national cause. There was that spirit abroad, and it was not desirable to see that spirit sicklied over or diminished. He did not deny that there was a reverse to this picture; and the reverse was that the electoral system was subject to various drawbacks and evils which they would be glad to get rid of, if they could remove them without destroying the old spirit and principles of the system itself. The standard complaint was that the period of election was a period of riot, Saturnalia, intemperance, and debauchery on the part of the people. Another and sad complaint was that the elections were to some extent tainted with bribery and corruption, vitiated by intimidation and coercion, and were not entirely free from the danger of fraud. Well, those evils were admitted, and it was acknowledged to be a great object to contend against them, and to try to get rid of them But for that purpose was it necessary to go through this revolution prepared by the Government? Were there no other modes by which those evils might he dealt with, and had not they already adopted some of those modes, the effect of which had, to a certain extent, been tried, and which were in harmony with the genius and spirit of the Constitution and people? Might they not, then, in any struggles of the future, look to such remedies for the same results as had been experienced in the struggles of the past? He did not think the elections of the present day were more chargeable with those evils than elections of half-a-century ago. Never was there a time when there was a more earnest desire than at present honestly to put down those evils by the legitimate pressure of the law, and by discouragement on the part of public opinion. The laws were made more stringent, and public opinion was vastly gaining strength against them. He did not know whether what was now proposed would take away from the force of the law; but he was sure that it would greatly take away from the force of public opinion. If it were true that elections were now less disgraced by rioting and debauchery than in times past, and that bribery, intimidation, and coercion were less prevalent, to what was that owing? To the force of public opinion brought to bear on all those evils. They had a striking instance now before them of the manner in which these most formidable evils were dealt with, which would be referred to all over the country. He spoke of that courageous judgment which had just been delivered in Ireland. He said it was that kind of spirit and expression to which they must look if they would really eradicate these evils from their system. He did not say they might not put them out of sight by such a measure as this; they might smother, but they could not cure these evils. If their object was to eradicate these evils from the English people and system, they must attack them by open, not by secret means. Was it necessary to have recourse to this measure for the repression of these evils? He answered boldly—he said that it was not. He went further; he asked would this measure really prove a cure of those evils? Rioting and debauchery it would have nothing to do with; and with regard to bribery he very much doubted whether anyone in the House, with the single exception of the right hon. Gentleman having charge of the Bill, really in his heart believed that this measure would to any sensible extent diminish bribery. Probably it would to some extent change the form of bribery, but it would not put a stop to it. The right hon. Gentleman never said anything he did not believe; and whenever he was challenged on this subject he always got up and said one thing, which was this—that he could not believe a man would think it worth his while to bribe if he did not know how the person bribed had voted. Now that was an argument which might pass muster once in a speech, but which could not satisfy the mind of any reasonable man when it was calmly examined. If a man now gave £5 for a vote he had no security that the vote would be given for him. The money was paid, and nothing was more common than the statement on an election that So and so had taken bribes and voted against the man who had bribed them. They had now no check against that; for a promise to vote was not like an engagement to plough a field. If a man failed to do so he might be sued for breach of contract, or he might be told he would never be employed again; but they could not enforce an immoral contract. The risk run would be the same as at present, and the briber would be able to take measures in 50 different ways to secure that he got his money's worth. One suggestion frequently made was that there would be bribery by organization; a certain number of men would undertake, if paid so much, that so many votes should be given, and they would find a way of providing them. He thought, therefore, the inducement to bribe would be pretty nearly, if not quite, as strong as at present. The difficulty of detection would be greatly increased; and setting one against the other he believed this measure would go rather to increase than to diminish the temptation to bribery. Then, with regard to fraud, everybody admitted there would be much greater danger of fraud than at present. The only question was whether this measure, in any satisfactory way, would stop the greatly increased temptation to fraud. He feared it would be found exceedingly difficult. The measure would introduce new frauds. There was great danger of fraud on the part of the officers engaged in conducting the election, and if they shook the confidence reposed in those officers they would shake the very foundation of the whole electoral system. He ventured last year to mention some instances of the kind of dangers and frauds which might arise, and he would not now go back upon them, but the House might depend upon it they deserved serious consideration. But the main point of all urged in favour of the Bill was that it would stop intimidation and coercion. Now, did they really believe it would have that effect? He had no doubt the right hon. Gentleman did believe it. But would it diminish the more insidious forms of those evils? There was one class of coercion—moral, religious, spiritual coercion, against which they might be able to guard, as in the judgment to which he had alluded; but he did not speak only of coercion by priests of a particular religion, because difficulty might arise among other classes. Many persons might appeal to moral considerations, and exercise a very serious coercion over the minds of the people, and induce them to vote otherwise than they might do if they were free to vote. That might be so not only with regard to ecclesiastical systems, but he should be surprised if it were not found to be so under the organization of trades unions. No argument had more force with certain Members, especially on his side of the House, than this—the Ballot was not so much a protection against the landlord or employer as against the customer and the trades union; and the alarm created by trades unions had no doubt a very considerable effect in making converts to the Ballot. But did they really think that the Ballot was going to protect them against the intimidation of trades unions? He did not believe it would. If trades unions took it into their heads that it would be important for them to interfere with an election, and they determined to exercise coercion and intimidation over their members to induce them to vote in a particular way, they would be able to coerce and intimidate under the system of the Ballot as well as under the system of open voting. He did not deny there were some evils that might be stopped by a system of, he might call it temporary Ballot or temporary secrecy, preventing the vote being known at the moment or intimidation being practised on the day of polling; but he argued against the system of voting where the vote was not to be known afterwards. The voting might be kept secret in certain cases, but not in the case of trades unions. An organization of men dealing with their fellows, seeing them day by day, having a regular system of espionage, a regular system of questioning and cross-examining, would be able sooner or later, by a species of moral torture, to find out how the men voted. The hon. and learned Member for Denbigh (Mr. Watkin Williams) said that permissive secrecy was no secrecy at all. Take, for example, the case of a man with 300 tenants, and that 275 desired to vote openly, whilst 25 asked to vote secretly. Could he not make a pretty shrewd guess of the way in which the latter voted, although their votes were supposed to be given secretly? The case would be the same with trades unions or any other similar body of men. Did they suppose that some process of this kind would not be resorted to in order to discover how certain men, who were suspected by the officers of trades unions or other large bodies, were about to vote, or had voted? In such cases they would have the intimidation of suspicion substituted for open and direct intimidation. The crop of evils they were endeavouring by this Bill to smother would spring up under other and new forms. He contended that this Bill would not be effective in suppressing those evils, but it would prove productive of other and greater evils. The Bill would greatly help to extinguish that political courage in the country which it ought to be their endeavour to foster and encourage. Some of the reasons given by its advocates for the Ballot were in his mind base reasons. It was to be imposed on nine-tenths of the electors who did not want it, for the sake of the one-tenth who did, who were the weakest, least courageous, and least conscientious portion of the public; and it would protect the weak and the feeble, who lacked courage, at the expense of other qualities. Having enlarged their constituencies, what they required to do was to cultivate manly, honourable, and honest political feeling, and that sense of honourable shame which would make a man afraid to give a vote from private pique and private interest instead of voting for that which he believed to be for the public good. So far as party feeling conduced to keeping up that honourable shame, it was an excellent principle; and, kept in check, as it ought to be, by the expression of public opinion, it was a quality which they would rue to get rid of. Were they really to go on the principle of protecting persons from unpleasant consequences that might follow the discharge of public duties? He trusted not. Voting at elections was not the only public duty the performance of which exposed one to danger. There recently appeared in the papers a thrilling narrative of the sufferings of a poor woman who was savagely assaulted for giving evidence in a Court of Justice, which she did simply from a sense of public duty. Were they, therefore, to say that evidence should be given secretly for the protection of witnesses? They did all they could to protect witnesses by bringing public opinion and the law to bear upon those who interfered with them; and were they to make the election of Members of Parliament an exception to that rule? That was an English measure contrary to the whole spirit of English institutions, and though that night's vote against it might be only a protest, he hoped the public mind was not so completely made up as to be insensible to the objections to the Ballot. The Government had seen how their own supporters fell off from unwillingness to endorse the extreme features of the measure, which they felt were contrary to the genius of English institutions, and those defections faithfully represented the feeling of doubt which pervaded the country as to the wisdom of the policy of the Bill. The party with whom he acted did not deny that the Government had brought the measure forward for good objects. But they on his side of the House had the same good objects in view. Their ends were the same; but the mode by which they wished to attain those ends were widely different. In opposing this Bill they were not less anxious than the Government to put down anything in the shape of illegitimate influence—such as corruption, intimidation, and fraud; and it was because they believed that bringing public opinion and the law to bear upon admitted evils was the more excellent way that they entered their protest against the third reading of this Bill.


said, it would ill become him to detain the House at any length at this ultimate stage of the Ballot Bill—indeed, he should have contented himself with thanking it for the patience with which it had borne with him throughout these protracted discussions, were it not that, having charge of the Bill, there were two or three remarks which had been made which should not be allowed to pass without some observation from him. No doubt, the object on both sides of the House was the same—to make elections pure and free, and to encourage honest political feeling; and it was for these objects he so earnestly supported the Bill. In the present state of their social arrangements they could not secure honest political feeling in any better way, nor in any other way, than by making it clear that the vote was the voter's own; that he was responsible to his conscience for it; and that no man had a right to interfere with the giving of it, nor to ask how it was given. It was all very well for them to talk of voters manfully contending with their difficulties; but they must put themslves in the position of voters exposed to undue influences. Every person who intimidated, bullied, or bribed knew at present how a man voted, and therefore it was thought necessary to take away this knowledge, in order to take away from everyone to whom a vote was not given the power of interfering with the man whose duty it was to give it. The right hon. Gentleman (Sir Stafford Northcote) used one extraordinary argument. He said that the effect of their Bill would be to substitute for the present influences moral coercion. He (Mr. Forster) had no objection to replacing the present coercion of employers, or landlords, or trades unions, by moral coercion. Their policy was to replace coercion by persuasion, and persuasion was moral coercion. What they desired was, when the Bill became law, that the enormous majority of voters who desired it should be accessible to persuasion, but should not be approachable by coercion. That was the object and ground of the Bill; that was the reason why the constituencies of the kingdom desired that it should become law. As respected bribery, he still believed very strongly that by no means could they stop an illegitimate trade more completely than by making the buyer very uncertain whether he wanted the article for which he paid. That had been found to be the result of the operation of the Ballot wherever it had been fairly tried. The late Prime Minister of Sydney (Mr. Cook) said he had never heard of a case of bribery since the introduction of the Ballot—secret voting prevented it; and in the course of the debates on this Bill it had been admitted by the noble Lord the Member for North Leicestershire (Lord John Manners) that candidates would not convey voters to the poll because it would not be known how they voted. Possibly the operation of the Ballot might lead to wholesale bribery, which could be practised now; but still the Bill, so far as it produced such bribery, would drive men into an uncertain and dangerous method of bribery instead of a comparatively easy one. It would be as easy under the Bill as it was now to detect bribery. It was not necessary to a conviction that you should know how a man voted. He now wished to remove some misconceptions as to the real character of the Bill. Often had he observed that every measure of importance had to go through three stages before it became law. First, their opponents endeavoured to prevent its being passed at all; next, they tried to spoil it; and, on this attempt failing, they exaggerated faults and deficiencies in the hope that even some of the original supporters might be induced to give it up. The latter course had been adopted to a considerable extent by hon. Gentlemen opposite, and he was not surprised at it, because it was good policy on their part to do so; but he would remind the supporters of the Bill that the more their opponents lamented over the Bill that it was not strong enough, the greater his suspicion that they wished to get rid of the measure, because it was strong enough to make them thoroughly dislike it. The hon. Member for West Norfolk (Mr. Bentinck) had made a most extraordinary statement that evening, that all the most stringent clauses had been struck out by large majorities, and that the only clauses which enforced secret voting had been expunged. He would, therefore, briefly state the provisions for secret voting in the Bill as it stood, as it was important there should be no misconception in the country on the subject. The 2nd clause stated that the voter must secretly mark his vote on the paper, seal it up, and place it in the ballot box. After that clause was passed the Amendment of the hon. Member for Huddersfield (Mr. Leatham) was rejected by the Committee, and that circumstance led him to think it would be better to make still more clear the object of the Bill in regard to the mode of voting. Consequently, he introduced in the 25th sub-section, 1st Schedule, an Amendment, which was passed unanimously, adding these words—"and fold it up so as to conceal his vote, and shall then put his ballot paper so folded up into the ballot box." Therefore he could not understand how the hon. Member for West Norfolk could assert there would be no secret voting. Any transgression of this clause would be an infringement of an Act of Parliament, and any offenders in this respect would be guilty of a misdemeanour. He did not say, however, it was probable that an action would—nor did he think it desirable that it should—be brought except in the case of a determined endeavour to defeat the object of law; but as the law at present stood such a determined endeavour could be met. It was quite true the special penalty proposed by his hon. Friend the Member for Huddersfield had not been accepted by the Committee. If he had deemed it a vital Amendment, he could not be excused for not having brought it forward; but the ground he took was that, although it was certainly an additional safeguard, he much doubted whether the House would feel inclined to pass that special provision. He need not remind the House that the 4th clause provided, under stringent penalties, that all persons in the booth should preserve secrecy as to the way votes were given, and that no person, in or out of the booth, should, directly or indirectly, induce a voter to decipher his vote. To the allegation that this was a Bill of Pains and Penalties, his reply was that if they were to have secret voting they had a perfect right to impose penalties on those who tried to defeat the law by inducing a voter to declare how he had voted. This was done in a clear manner by the 4th clause, and the result was that this was the strongest Bill for secret voting;—with the exception of that passed in South Australia—which had ever been brought before any Legislature. The Bill would leave that House that night, and he believed it would become law that year. Of course, it was not for anybody in that House to prophecy what the other House in the exercise of its constitutional power might do; but he entertained a strong and confident conviction that the Bill would become law, because the other House of Parliament would feel this was a matter specially concerning the House of Commons, and one on which the House of Commons had unmistakably shown their opinion. He also thought their Lordships could not be blind to the fact that the constituencies of the country were determined the measure should become law. ["No, no!"] There could be no doubt as to the large majority of the constituencies. [An hon. MEMBER: Try them.] The Members for Liberal constituencies were the best judges of the feelings of their own supporters, and there could be scarcely a Liberal Member who was not aware that if an election came on to-morrow his supporters would expect him again to vote for the Ballot. Nay, he would go further, and state his belief that the same opinion was held by a large proportion of the Conservative constituencies of the country. He based that statement on two undoubted facts. Recently there had been two important meetings, at which most influential Members of the party opposite attended. First, there was a meeting held a few weeks ago at Manchester. When the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Buckinghamshire (Mr. Disraeli) went to Manchester, all the Lancashire Conservatives, as was natural, gathered round him. The right hon. Gentleman entered into almost all the questions interesting to the country with the exception of the Ballot. When this Bill was introduced, the right hon. Gentleman took the opportunity of declaring that to its principle he should give his unceasing and unflinching opposition. But if the Conservatives throughout the country were as hostile to the Ballot now as they were two or three years ago, would not the right hon. Gentleman have taken advantage of the opportunity afforded by the meeting at Manchester to have rallied them round him in support of his unceasing and unflinching opposition to the principle of the Bill? Would not the country have been immediately informed that Lancashire had spoken out against the Ballot? The Ballot was the only question of importance which was not alluded to either by the right hon. Gentleman or any person who addressed that meeting, as far as he could find from the reports of what occurred. Again, there was the meeting, almost as important, recently held in Bradford, at which his right hon. Friend (Mr. G. Hardy) whom he was glad to claim as a fellow-townsman, and the right hon. Member for North Northamptonshire (Mr. Hunt), attended. Well, at that meeting also almost every political subject was treated of except the Ballot. These facts would have their weight in the other House, as they must have here, and would convince that Assembly that the time had now arrived when the unmistakable desire of the large majority of the constituencies ought not to be any longer interfered with.


remarked that hon. Members who denounced the Ballot as un-English, nevertheless used it in their clubs. The Ballot would afford to the constituencies a protection which they desired and had a right to demand, and which Parliament could not in justice or with safety refuse.


desired to say a few words in reference to the statement of the right hon. Gentleman who had charge of the Bill with regard to the state of feeling in Lancashire upon this question. Among the Liberals in that county there was, without doubt, a feeling in favour of the Ballot; among the Conservatives the feeling was one of complete indifference, a feeling the existence of which he, for one, regretted. They had a majority in both the county and borough representation, and he felt convinced that if the mode of voting was altered to-morrow their majority would be increased, rather than diminished. With regard to the theory of the Ballot, the Conservatives of Lancashire maintained the opinion that it was erroneous, and as to some extent the representative of that opinion, he should record his vote against the third reading of the Bill.


, as one of the Liberal Members returned by a Lancashire constituency, testified to the feeling which existed in favour of the Bill, a feeling based on the belief that the Ballot would enable the working-class electors to vote according to their conscientious opinions.

Main Question put.

The House divided:— Ayes 274; Noes 216: Majority 58.

Bill read the third time, and passed.

Acland, Sir T. D. D'Arcy, M. P.
Adair, H. E. Davies, R.
Akroyd, E. Delahunty, J.
Allen, W. S. Denman, hon. G.
Amory, J. H. Dent, J. D.
Anderson, G. Dickinson, S. S.
Anstruther, Sir R. Dilke, Sir C. W.
Antrobus, Sir E. Dillwyn, L. L.
Armitstead, G. Dodds, J.
Ayrton, rt. hon. A. S. Dodson, rt. hon. J. G.
Aytoun, R. S. Dowse, rt. hon. R.
Backhouse, E. Duff, M. E. G.
Bagwell, J. Dundas, F.
Baines, E. Edwards, H.
Barclay, A. C. Egerton, Capt. hon. F.
Bass, A. Ellice, E.
Baxter, W. E. Enfield, Viscount
Bazley, Sir T. Ennis, J. J.
Beaumont, Captain F. Erskine, Admiral J. E
Beaumont, H. F. Ewing, H. E. Crum-
Beaumont, S. A. Ewing, A. Orr-
Beaumont, W. B. Eykyn, R.
Bentall, E. H. Finnie, W.
Blennerhassett. R. (Kry.) FitzGerald, right hon. Lord O. A.
Bolckow, H. W. F.
Bonham-Carter, J. Fitzmaurice, Lord E.
Bouveric, rt. hon. E. P. Fitzwilliam, hn. C. W. W.
Bowring, E. A. Fletcher, I.
Brady, J. Fordyce, W. D.
Brand, H. R. Forster, C.
Brassey, H. A. Forster, rt. hon. W. E
Brewer, Dr. Fortescue, rt. hon. C. P.
Bright, J. (Manchester) Fortescue, hon. D. F.
Brinckman, Captain Fothergill, R.
Bristowe, S. B. Gavin, Major
Brogden, A. Gilpin, C.
Brown, A. H. Gladstone, rt. hn. W. E..
Browne, G. E. Gladstone, W. H
Bruce, Lord C. Goldsmid, Sir F.
Bruce, rt. hon. H. A. Goldsmid, J.
Buckley, N. Goschen, rt. hon. G. J.
Buller, Sir E. M. Gourley, E. T.
Bury, Viscount Gower, hon. E. F. L.
Cadogan, hon. F. W. Gower, Lord R.
Candlish, J. Graham, W
Cardwell, rt. hon. E. Gray, Sir J.
Carter, R. M. Greville, hon. Captain
Cavendish, Lord F. C. Greville-Nugent, hon. G. F.
Cavendish, Lord G.
Chadwick, D. Grieve, J. J.
Childers, rt. hn. H. C. E. Grosvenor, Capt. R. W.
Cholmeley, Captain Grosvenor, hon. N.
Clay, J. Grove, T. F.
Clifford, C. C. Guest, M. J.
Coleridge, Sir J. D. Hamilton, J. G. C..
Colman, J. J. Hanbury, R. W
Corrigan, Sir D. Hanmer, Sir J.
Cowen, Sir J. Harcourt, W. G. G. V. V.
Cowper-Temple, right hon. W. Hardcastle, J. A.
Harris, J. D.
Crawford, R. W. Hartington, Marquess of
Dalglish, R. Headlam, rt. hon. T. E.
Dalrymple, D. Henderson, J.
Henley, Lord Ogilvy, Sir J.
Henry, M. O'Loghlen, rt. hon. Sir C. M.
Herbert, hon. A. E. W.
Hibbert, J. T. O'Reilly-Dease, M.
Hoare, Sir H. A. O'Reilly, M. W.
Hodgkinson, G. Osborne, R.
Hodgson, K. D. Palmer, J. H.
Holland, S. Parker, C. S.
Holms, J. Parry, L. Jones-.
Horsman, rt. hon. E. Pease, J. W
Hoskyns, C. Wren- Peel, A. W.
Howard, hon. C. W. G. Pelham, Lord
Howard, J. Philips, R. N.
Hughes, T. Pim, J..
Hughes, W. B. Playfair, L.
Hutt, rt. hon. Sir W. Plimsoll, S
Hutton, J. Potter, E.
Illingworth, A. Potter, T. B..
James, H. Powell, F. S
Jardine, R. Power, J. T.
Jessel, Sir G. Price, W. P.
Johnston, A. Rathbone, W.
Johnstone, Sir H. Redmond, W. A.
Kay-Shuttleworth, U. J. Reed, C.
Kensington, Lord Richard, H..
King, hon. P. J. L. Richards, E. M
Knatchbull-Hugessen, E. H. Robertson, D.
Roden, W. S.
Lambert, N. G. Rothschild, N. M. de
Lancaster, J. Russell, A.
Lawrence, Sir J. C. Russell, Sir W.
Lawrence, W. Rylands, P.
Lawson, Sir W. Salomons, Sir D.
Lea, T. Samuda, J. D'A.
Leatham, E. A. Samuelson, B.
Leeman, G. Samuelson, H. B.
Lefevre, G. J. S. Sartoris, E. J.
Lewis, J. D. Seely, C. (Lincoln)
Lloyd, Sir T. D. Seely, C. (Nottingham)
Lowe, rt. hon. R. Seymour, A.
Lubbock, Sir J. Shaw, R.
Lusk, A. Sheridan, H. B.
Lyttelton, hon. C. G. Sherlock, D.
Macfie, R. A. Sherriff, A. C.
Mackintosh, E. W. Sinclair, Sir J. G. T.
M'Arthur, W. Smith, E.
M'Clure, T. Smith, J. B.
M'Lagan, P. Stacpoole, W.
M'Laren, D. Stansfeld, rt. hon. J.
M'Mahon, P. Stapleton, J.
Magniac, C. Stepney, Sir J.
Maguire, J. F. Stevenson, J. C.
Marling, S. S. Stone, W. H.
Martin, P. W. Storks, rt. hn. Sir H. K.
Mellor, T. W. Strutt, hon. H.
Melly, G. Stuart, Colonel
Merry, J. Synan, E. J.
Miall, E. Talbot, C. R. M.
Milbank, F. A. Tipping, W.
Miller, J. Tollemache, hon. F. J.
Monk, C. J. Torrens, W. T. M'C.
Monsell, rt. hon. W. Torrens, R. R.
Morgan, G. Osborne Tracy, hon. C. R. D. Hanbury-
Morley, S.
Morrison, W. Trevelyan, G. O.
Mundella, A. J. Verney, Sir H.
Muntz, P. H. Villiers, rt. hon. C. P.
Nicholson, W. Vivian, A. P.
Norwood, C. M. Vivian, H. H.
O'Brien, Sir P. Wells, W.
O'Conor, D. M. West, H. W.
O'Conor Don, The Whitbread, S.
White, hon. Colonel C. Woods, H.
White, J. Young, A. W.
Whitwell, J. Young, G.
Whitworth, T.
Williams, W. TELLERS.
Wingfield, Sir C. Adam, W. P.
Winterbotham, H. S. P. Glyn, hon. G. G.
Adderley, rt. hn. Sir C. Feilden, H. M.
Agar-Ellis, hon. L. G. F. Fellowes, E.
Amphlett, R. P. Figgins, J.
Annesley, hon. Col. H. Finch, G. H.
Arbuthnot, Major G. Floyer, J.
Archdall, Capt. M. Forde, Colonel
Assheton, R. Galway, Viscount
Baggallay, Sir R. Garlies, Lord
Bagge, Sir W. Gilpin, Colonel
Bailey, Sir J. R. Goldney, G.
Baring, T. Gooch, Sir D.
Barnett, H. Gordon, E. S.
Barrington, Viscount Gore, J. R. O.
Barttelot, Colonel Gore, W. R. O.
Bates, E. Gray, Colonel
Bateson, Sir T. Gregory, G. B.
Bathurst, A. A. Guest, A. E.
Beach, Sir M. Hicks- Hambro, C.
Beach, W. W. B. Hamilton, Lord C.
Bective, Earl of Hamilton, Lord C. J.
Bentinck, G. C. Hamilton, Lord G.
Bentinck, G. W. P. Hamilton, I. T.
Benyon, R. Hamilton, Marquess of
Beresford, Lt.-Col. M. Hardy, rt. hon. G.
Bingham, Lord Hardy, J.
Birley, H. Hardy, J. S.
Bourne, Colonel Hay, Sir J. C. D.
Bright, R. Henley, rt. hon. J. W.
Brise, Colonel R. Henry, J. S.
Broadley, W. H. H. Herbert, rt. hon. Gen. Sir P.
Brooks, W. C.
Bruen, H. Hermon, E.
Burrell, Sir P. Hervey, Lord A. H. C.
Butler-Johnstone, H. A. Hesketh, Sir T. G.
Buxton, Sir R. J. Heygate, Sir F. W.
Cameron, D. Hick, J.
Cartwright, F. Hildyard, T. B. T.
Cawley, C. E. Hill, A. S.
Charley, W. T. Hoare, P. M.
Child, Sir S. Hodgson, W. N.
Clive, Col. hon. G. W. Hogg, J. M.
Clowes, S. W. Holford, J. P. G.
Cole, Col. hon. H. A. Holmesdale, Viscount
Corbett, Colonel Holt, J. M.
Corry, rt. hon. H. T. L Hood, Cap. hn. A. W. A. N.
Crichton, Viscount Hope, A. J. B. B.
Croft, Sir H. G. D. Hunt, rt. hon. G. W.
Cross, R. A. Jackson, R. W
Cubitt, G. Jervis, Colonel
Dalrymple, C. Kekewich, S. T.
Damer, Capt. Dawson- Kennaway, J. H.
Davenport, W. Bromley- Keown, W.
Dawson, Colonel R. P. Knight, F. W.
Dimsdale, R. Knightley, Sir R.
Disraeli, rt. hon. B. Knox, hon. Colonel S.
Duncombe, hon. Col. Lacon, Sir E. H. K.
Du Pre, C. G. Laird, J.
Dyott, Colonel R. Langton, W. G.
Eastwick, E. B. Laslett, W.
Eaton, H. W. Learmonth, A.
Egerton, hon. A. F. Legh, W. J.
Egerton, Sir P. G. Legh, Lieut.-Col. G. C
Egerton, hon. W. Lennox, Lord G. G.
Elliot, G. Lennox, Lord H. G.
Leslie, J. Scott, Lord H. J. M. D.
Liddell, hon. H. G. Scourfield, J. H.
Lindsay, hon. Col. C. Selwin-Ibbetson, Sir H. J.
Lopes, H. C.
Lopes, Sir M. Shirley, S. E.
Lowther, J. Simonds, W. B.
Lowther, hon. W. Smith, A.
Mahon, Viscount Smith, R.
Manners, rt. hn. Lord J. Smith, S. G.
Manners, Lord G. J. Smith, W. H.
March, Earl of Somerset, Lord H. R. C.
Matthews, H. Stanley, hon. F.
Meyrick, T. Starkie, J. P. C.
Milles, hon. G. W. Steere, L.
Mills, C. H. Straight, D.
Monckton, F. Sturt, Lt.-Colonel N.
Monckton, hon. G. Sykes, C.
Montagu, rt. hn. Lord R. Talbot, J. G.
Montgomery, Sir G. G. Talbot, hon. Captain
Morgan, C. O. Taylor, rt. hon. Col.
Morgan, hon. Major Thynne, Lord H. F..
Mowbray, rt. hon. J. R. Tollemache, Major W. F
Muncaster, Lord Trevor, Lord A. E. Hill-.
Neville-Grenville, R. Turner, C.
Newdegate, C. N. Turnor, E
Newport, Viscount Vance, J.
North, Colonel Verner, E. W.
Northcote, rt. hn. Sir S. H. Walker, Major G. G.
O'Neill, hon. E. Walsh, hon. A.
Paget, R. H. Watney, J.
Pakington, rt. hn. Sir J. Welby, W. E.
Palk, Sir L. Wells, E.
Parker, Lt.-Colonel W. Wheelhouse, W. S. J.
Patten, rt. hon. Col. W. Williams, C. H.
Peek, H. W. Williams, Sir F. M.
Pell, A. Wilmot, H.
Pemberton, E. L. Winn, R.
Phipps, C. P. Wise, H. C..
Plunket, hon. D. R. Wyndham, hon. P
Powell, W. Wynn, C. W. W.
Raikes, H. C. Wynn, Sir W. W.
Read, C. S. Yarmouth, Earl of
Ridley, M. W. Yorke, J. R.
Round, J.
Sandon, Viscount Dyke, W. H.
Sclater-Booth, G. Noel, hon. G. J.