HC Deb 06 March 1885 vol 295 cc401-4

Order for Consideration, as amended, read.


said, he understood the right hon. Baronet the President of the Local Government Board (Sir Charles W. Dilke) intended to so amend the Bill that it would apply to the country at large. If that was the right hon. Gentleman's intention, it would be necessary to insert in Clause 1 some word which would include every constituency.


said, the hon. and learned Gentleman (Mr. Healy) would see from the Paper that Amendments were put down to Clause 1, and that it was also intended to amend the title. He now proposed, after Clause 2, to insert the following Clause:—

(Repeal of 41 and 42 Vic. c. 4, and 47 and 48 Vic. c. 34.) Upon this Act coming into operation 'The Parliamentary Elections (Metropolis) Aet,1878,' and 'The Elections (Hours of Poll) Act, 1884,' shall he repealed, without prejudice to anything previously done in pursuance thereof.

Clause brought up, and read the first time.

Motion made, and Question proposed, "That the Clause be now read a second time."—(Sir Charles W. Dilke.)


said, that since the Bill was last discussed, he had had the advantage of conferring with a large number of the electors of the city he had the honour to represent (Liverpool). The right hon. Baronet (Sir Charles W. Dilke) threw out the suggestion that if it was thought desirable to close the poll in the middle of the day for the convenience of the gentlemen engaged in taking the votes about 3 o'clock in the afternoon would be a very reasonable hour. It was felt in Liverpool that if the suggestion of the right hon. Gentleman could be adopted it would prove a great relief to the Returning Officers and others associated with them on the election day.


said, it was quite true he threw out the suggestion in reference to some remarks which had been made by an hon. Gentleman. He, however, expressed the opinion that it would be best to keep the poll open during the whole day. Surely it was possible for the polling officials to get refreshments while they were working. Of course, an election was a hard day's work; but then it was an exceptional occurrence.

Question put, and agreed to.

Question, "That the Clause be added to the Bill," put, and agreed to.


desired to propose a new clause.


The hon. and learned Gentleman has not given Notice of the clause.


I gave Notice of it to Sir Arthur Otway.


The Notice was not sufficient to comply with the Rules of the House.


said, it was his intention to propose that the Bill be re-committed for Thursday next. The hon. and learned Member (Mr. Warton) would then have an opportunity of moving his clause. Perhaps he would give Notice of it.

Clause 1 (Hours of polling in counties).

On the Motion of Sir CHARLES W. DILKE, the following Amendment made:—In page 1, line 5, after "every," insert "Parliamentary and every municipal."

Amendment proposed, in page 1, line 5, leave out from "election," to "within," in line 6.—(Sir Charles W. Dilke.)

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


said, that if he might make a suggestion to the Government, it would be to the effect that the better thing to do would be to leave out "within the meaning of the Act," then to leave the second Amendment, and insert instead of "every election," "the election for a University." They would then get rid of the Definition Clause, which seemed extremely awkward.


said, he did not think it would be well to vary the words, inasmuch as they followed the precedent of all the Acts relating to Parliamentary and municipal elections.


asked, if the right hon. Baronet would consent to the Act extending to Town Commissioners?


said, it was not possible for him to do so.

Question put, and negatived; words left out accordingly.

Clause, as amended, agreed, to.

Clause 2 (Definition).

Amendment proposed, In page 1, line 10, leave out from "Act," to end of Clause, and insert,—"The expression 'Parliamentary election' means an election for a county, city, borough, place, or combination of counties, cities, boroughs, and places (not being any university or universities), which returns any Knight of the Shire or Member to serve in Parliament, and where the same is divided for the purpose of such return includes an election for such division; The expression 'municipal election' means an election of a councillor, Commissioner of Police, or auditor, or (in Ireland) an alderman in any municipal borough or in any ward thereof; The expression 'municipal borough' means,—"As regards England, a borough subject to 'The Municipal Corporations Act, 1882;' and As regards Scotland, a burgh or town which has a town council or Police Commissioner; and As regards Ireland, a borough subject to the Act of the Session of the third and fourth years of the reign of Her present Majesty, chapter one hundred and eight, intituled 'An Act for the Regulation of Municipal Corporations in Ireland,' and the Acts amending the same."—(Sir Charles W. Dilke.)

Question proposed, "That those words be there inserted."


said, that at present the Bill would not apply to small towns. It was very desirable that they should receive the benefit of this legislation, and it could easily be given to them by inserting the words "town commissioners" after the word "councillor."


said, he could not agree on this occasion to put in any words of the kind suggested, because he would be putting in words of which he did not fully understand the meaning. He had always steadily resisted any dealing with Local Board elections in England in Municipal Acts. It was impossible to deal with Local Board elections satisfactorily until Local Government generally was dealt with. He could not speak definitely upon the Irish part of the question; but if the hon. Gentleman (Mr. Small) would raise the matter by Notice on the Paper for Thursday, he would endeavour to make himself acquainted with the facts.


said, that out of 80 towns in Ireland only 11 were incorporated under the Act of 1840. Some of the towns which were not incorporated were more important than some of those which were.


said, he should be glad if the hon. Gentleman would let him have the facts in writing.


said, he should be very glad to do so; and he would advise the right hon. Baronet to read the very able essay on Local Government in Ireland written by Mr. Richard O'Shaughnessy, the late Member for Limerick.

Question put, and agreed to; words inserted accordingly.

Clause, as amended, agreed to.


Amendment proposed, to leave out in Title the words "elections in counties," and insert "and municipal elections."—(Sir Charles W. Dilke.)

Question, "That the words 'elections in counties' stand part of the Title," put, and negatived.

Question, "That the words 'and municipal elections' be there inserted," put, and agreed to.

Bill re-committed for Thursday next, and to be printed. [Bill 85.]

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