HC Deb 27 June 1898 vol 60 cc218-9
Mr. COGHILL (Stoke-upon-Trent)

I beg to ask the First Lord of the Treasury whether he is aware of the growing dissatisfaction of the large towns of this country at the inadequate number of their representatives in the House of Commons; and whether it is the intention of the Government next Session to bring in a Bill for the Redistribution of Seats, so as to secure that, on the basis of population, the large towns shall have the number of representatives in the House of Commons to which they are fairly entitled?


The Question of my honourable Friend is substantially the same as one of which an honourable Friend of mine has given me private notice. I have only to say that I have already admitted, on behalf of the Government, the anomalies to which my honourable Friends have drawn attention, and that they are real, that they are increasing, and deserve the serious attention of the House. I cannot give my honourable Friends any pledge as to the Parliamentary course to be pursued on this subject, only reminding them, however, that by constitutional usage a reform of this kind is an immediate prelude to a Dissolution. But, as I have already stated, this matter is engaging, and will engage, the earnest attention of the Government.