Motion made and Question proposed,
That leave may be given to bring in a Bill for the reduction of the municipal franchise in the city of Londonderry, for the alteration and increase in the number of the municipal wards, and of the number of Aldermen and Councillors elected for the said city, for the extension of the municipal limits and improvement of the city, for the raising of further moneys, the issue of stock; and for other purposes."—(Dr. Farquharson.)
§ MR. VESEY KNOX (Londonderry)
said, this Bill was concerned with a city which at the last census had a population of 33,000 people, but the promoters of the Bill wanted to extend the municipal boundaries larger than those of Berlin. The Catholics formed the majority, but under the circumstances they got no adequate representation. He hoped an end would be put to jerrymandering. He asked the Members from Ulster on the other side of the House to take the opportunity that was presented by that Bill and the Belfast 1055 Bill to remove what was a disgrace to Ulster. The Catholics of Derry and Belfast had no power in municipal affairs. ["Hear, hear!"] He trusted before the Second Reading of the two Bills they might be able to come to such an agreement as would prevent them washing their dirty linen in public. ["Oh!"] Let them see if they could not now remove this long-standing grievance.
§ MR. ARNOLD-FORSTER (Belfast, W.)
said, hon. Members would hardly gather from the remarks of the hon. Member the true state of the facts. They would hardly realise that the proposal as to extending of the boundaries had been withdrawn. He denied that there was any jerrymandering, and the system which the people had was one that best suited the district. They were certainly willing as to Belfast to consider any reasonable proposal, but he protested against any insinuations being made.
§ Question put, and agreed to.
§ Bill ordered to be brought in by Sir Thomas Lea and Mr. Dane.