§ SIR H. DRUMMOND WOLFF
, in moving for leave to bring in a Bill to relieve certain Occupiers of Dwelling Houses from being disqualified from the right of voting in the Election of Members to serve in Parliament by reason of their underletting such Dwelling Houses for short terms, said, those persons paid the rates of the house during the time it was let—a time that they 530 might have gone merely to a watering-place for the benefit of health and re creation; but as the law stood they were not considered occupiers, and they were consequently disfranchised. That was a state of the law which called for amendment, and he therefore hoped the House would give its consent to the introduction of the short Bill which he proposed to amend a defect which had been the cause of great annoyance, and which was a blot on the Parliamentary electoral system of the country.
§ SIR FRANCIS GOLDSMID
expressed his satisfaction at the course taken by the hon. Member for Christchurch in regard to the withdrawal of the first Bill.
THE SOLICITOR GENERAL
concurred with the hon. Member who moved for leave to introduce the Bill that the law as it now stood was very defective in the manner he had pointed out, and called for amendment. Practically, persons who let their houses for a short time only paid all rates, and might be regarded as residents; but as the law stood they were subject to be disfranchised, if objection was made to their names being retained on the Register. He approved of the course which had been pursued by the hon. Member in withdrawing the former Bill on the subject, for, as it stood, he (the Solicitor General) would have felt himself bound to oppose it; whereas with regard to the one now substituted for it, he should be prepared to give it his support.
§ SIR EARDLEY WILMOT
agreed that the law required amendment in the manner proposed, and was also prepared to support such a Bill as that proposed by the hon. Member.
§ MR. FORSYTH
thought that his hon. Friend who moved for leave to bring in a Bill to amend the law in the manner proposed had hit upon a blot in the Parliamentary electoral system. It was a great hardship to a man to be deprived of his right to vote during the ensuing year, because he had let his house during a short time that he might require to go out of town.
Motion agreed to.
Bill to relieve certain Occupiers of Dwelling Houses from being disqualified from the right of voting in the Election of Members to serve in Parliament by reason of their underletting such Dwelling Houses for short terms, ordered to be brought in by Sir HENRY WOLFF, Sir CHARLES LEGARD, Sir CHARLES RUSSELL, Mr. CALLENDER, and Mr. RYDER.
§ Bill presented, and read the first time. [Bill 164.]