HC Deb 17 October 1899 vol 77 cc46-53

Ordered, That all Members who are returned for two or more places in any part of the United Kingdom do make their election for which of the places they will serve, within one week after it shall appear that there is no question upon the return for that place; and if anything shall come in question touching the return or election of any Member, he is to withdraw during the time the matter is in debate; and that all Members returned upon double returns to withdraw till their returns are determined.

Resolved, That no Peer of the Realm, except such Peers of Ireland as shall for the time being be actually elected, and shall not have declined to serve, for any county, city, or borough of Great Britain, hath any right to give his vote in the election of any Member to serve in Parliament.

Motion made, and Question proposed, "That it is a high infringement of the liberties and privileges of the Commons of the United Kingdom for any Lord of Parliament, or other Peer or Prelate, not being a Peer of Ireland at the time elected, and not having declined to serve for any county, city, or borough of Great Britain, to concern himself in the election of Members to serve for the Commons in Parliament, except only any Peer of Ireland, at such elections in Great Britain respectively where such Peer shall appear as candidate, or by himself, or any others, be proposed to be elected; or for any Lord Lieutenant or Governor of any county to avail himself of any authority derived from his commission, to influence the election of any Member to serve for the Commons in Parliament."—(. Mr. A. J. Balfour.)

MR. J. LOWTHER (Kent, Thanet)

I desire to submit an Amendment with a view to confining the operation of this Sessional Order to the cases of Lord Lieutenants of Counties. It will not be necessary for me to detain the House for more than a very few moments. My right hon. friend the First Lord of the Treasury gave me credit for very great consistency and persistency in connection with this matter. At the risk of forfeiting his good opinion I own at once that the fact whether Peers do or do not take part in elections is to me a matter of absolute indifference. Many years ago it may have been a matter of national importance, but it has now ceased to be so. There is, however, a question arising out of the Order to which it is impossible to attach too great importance, and that is whether it is to the credit and dignity of the House that it should go on affirming in so positive a manner a Resolution which it has neither the power nor the will to enforce. I need not trouble the House with precedents. I take it we are all on common ground when I say that all Prime Ministers on every side of politics have for the last quarter of a century ignored this Order. And perhaps I may be allowed to remind the House that since this Order was last passed it has been set at naught in a more persistent manner than ever. It was last passed on the 7th February in the present year, and before a week was over two Peers, occupying a high position in their own neighbourhood, and upon different sides of politics, in two different counties, but on identically the same day, set the Order at defiance. I once said that the Order was broken every day. I understated my case: it has been broken twice a day. Again, in a room under the very shadow of this House, practically within its precincts, this Order was set at defiance by no less a person than the Lord High Chancellor of England, who, on that occasion—and this shows that the House is not in earnest in this matter—was moved into the chair by the Chancellor of the Exchequer and by the First Lord of the Admiralty at a meeting which was attended by many Privy Councillors and by no fewer than four Ministers of the Crown. I need make no further comment, although, in passing, I might point out how this example had been followed by the Duke of Devonshire and by a Bishop, whom I need not name. The fact remains that this Order has during the present calendar year been set at defiance by Ministers of the Crown in the House of Lords, aided and abetted and actively instigated by Cabinet Ministers sitting in the House of Commons. Surely then the House should not go on passing a Sessional Order which is openly defied, and which it has neither the power nor the desire to enforce. Without any of the laborious research with which my right hon. friend so generously credited me, I think I have been able to show that the Order is a farce and a sham, and, I venture to say, one discreditable to the House. I beg therefore to move to limit its operation to Lord Lieutenants of Counties.

MR. STANHOPE (Burnley)

seconded the Amendment.

Amendment proposed— To leave out the words from the word 'Kingdom,' in line 2, to the word 'for,' in line 8."—(Mr. James Lowther.)

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

The House divided:—Ayes, 337; Noes, 76. (Division List, No. 1.)

Allan, William (Gateshead) Crombie, John William Helder, Augustus
Archdale, Edward Mervyn Currie, Sir Donald Hemphill, Rt. Hon. Charles H.
Arnold, Alfred Curzon, Viscount Henderson, Alexander
Arnold-Forster, Hugh O. Dalziel, James Henry Hermon-Hodge, Rob. Trotter
Arrol, Sir William Davies, M. V. (Cardigan) Hickman, Sir Alfred
Asher, Alexander Denny, Colonel Hill, Rt. Hn. A. Staveley (Staffs.
Atkinson, Rt. Hon. John Dewar, Arthur Hill, Arthur (Down, West)
Bailey, James (Walworth) Dixon-Hartland, Sir F. Dixon Hill, Sir Edward Stock (Bristol
Baillie, Jas. E. B. (Inverness) Donkin, Richard Sim Hoare, Edw Brodie (Hampstead
Bainbridge, Emerson Dorington, Sir John Edw. Hoare, Sir Samuel (Norwich)
Baker, Sir John Doughty, George Holland, Wm. H. (York, W. R.)
Baldwin, Alfred Douglas, Rt. Hon. A. Akers- Hornby, Sir William Henry
Balfour, Rt. Hon. A. J. (Man.) Douglas, Charles M. (Lanark) Horniman, Frederick John
Balfour, Rt. Hon. G. W. (Leeds) Douglas-Pennant, Hon. E. S. Houldsworth, Sir Wm. Henry
Banbury, Frederick George Doxford, William Theodore Howard, Joseph
Barnes, Frederic Gorell Drage, Geoffrey Hozier, Hon. James Henry Cecil
Barry, Rt. Hn. A. H. S. (Hunts) Duckworth, James Hubbard, Hon. Evelyn
Barry, Sir Francis T. (Windsor Dunn, Sir William Hudson, George Bickersteth
Barton, Dunbar Plunket Dyke, Rt. Hn. Sir William Hart Jeffreys, Arthur Frederick
Beach, W. W. B. (Hants.) Edwards, Owen Morgan Jenkins, Sir John Jones
Beckett, Ernest William Elliot, Hon. A. Ralph Douglas Johnston, William (Belfast)
Begg, Ferdinand Faithfull Evans, Samuel T. (Glamorgan) Johnstone, Heywood (Sussex)
Bemrose, Sir Henry Howe Evans, Sir Francis H. (South'ton Jollife, Hon. H. George
Bethell, Commander Fardell, Sir T. George Jones, D. Brynmor (Swansea)
Bhownaggree, Sir M. M. Fellowes, Hon. Ailwyn Edw. Jordan, Jeremiah
Biddulph, Michael Ferguson, R. C. M. (Leith) Kay-Shuttleworth, Rt. Hn. Sir U
Bigwood, James Fergusson, Rt. Hn. Sir J. (Man.) Kearley, Hudson E.
Bill, Charles Field, Admiral (Eastbourne) Kemp, George
Billson, Alfred Finlay, Sir Robert Bannatyne Kenyon, James
Blakiston-Houston, John Firbank, Joseph Thomas Kenyon-Slaney, Col. William
Blundell, Colonel Henry Fisher, William Hayes Keswick, William
Bond, Edward Fison, Frederick William Kimber, Henry
Bonsor, Henry Cosmo Orme FitzGerald, Sir R. Penrose- Kitson, Sir James
Boscawen, Arthur Griffith- Fitzmaurice, Lord Edmond Knowles, Lees
Bowles, Capt. H. F. (Middlx.) Flannery, Sir Fortescue Lafone, Alfred
Brassey, Albert Fletcher, Sir Henry Langley, Batty
Broadhurst, Henry Flower, Ernest Lawrence, Sir E. Durning (Corn
Brookfield, A. Montagu Folkestone, Viscount Lawson, John Grant (Yorks)
Brown, Alexander H. Foster, Colonel (Lancaster) Lea, Sir Thos. (Londonderry)
Bryce, Rt. Hon. James Fowler, Rt. Hon. Sir Henry Lecky, Rt. Hn. William E. H.
Bullard, Sir Harry Garfit, William Leese, Sir J. F. (Accrington)
Burdett-Coutts, W. Gibbons, J. Lloyd Lewis, John Herbert
Burt, Thomas Gibney, James Llewelyn, Sir D.-(Swansea)
Butcher, John George Gilliat, John Saunders Lloyd-George, David
Buxton, Sydney Charles Gladstone, Rt. Hon. H. John Loder, Gerald Walter E.
Caldwell, James Goddard, Daniel Ford Long, Col. C. W. (Evesham)
Campbell, J. H. M. (Dublin) Godson, Sir Augustus Fredk. Long, Rt. Hon. W. (Liverpool)
Campbell-Bannerman, Sir H. Gold, Charles Lowe, Francis William
Carlile, William Walter Goldsworthy, Major-General Lowles, John
Carmichael, Sir T. D. Gibson- Gordon, Hon. John Edward Lowther, Rt. Hn. J. W. (Cumb'd)
Causton, Richard Knight Goschen, George J. (Sussex) Loyd, Archie Kirkman
Cavendish, R. F. (N. Lanes.) Goulding, Edward Alfred Lubbock, Rt. Hon. Sir John
Cavendish, V. C. W. (Derbysh.) Graham, Henry Robert Lucas-Shadwell, William
Cawley, Frederick Gray, Ernest (West Ham) Macartney, W. G. Ellison
Cayzer, Sir Charles William Greene, W. Raymond-(Cambs) Macdona, John Cumming
Cecil, Lord Hugh (Greenwich) Gretton, John MacIver, David (Liverpool)
Chaloner, Captain R. G. W.) Grey, Sir Edward (Berwick) M'Arthur, Charles (Liverpool)
Chamberlain, Rt. Hn. J. (Birm. Griffith, Ellis J. M'Arthur, William (Cornwall)
Chamberlain, J. A. (Worc' r.) Gull, Sir Cameron M'Calmont, H. L. B. (Cambs.)
Channing, Francis Allston Gurdon, Sir William Brampton M'Calmont, Col. J. (Antrim, E.)
Charrington, Spencer Hall, Rt. Hon. Sir Charles M'Crae, George
Clarke, Sir Ed. (Plymouth) Halsey, Thomas Frederick M'Ewan, William
Cochrane, Hon. Thos. H. A. E. Hanbury, Rt. Hon. Robert Wm. M'Iver, Sir L. (Edinburgh, W.)
Cohen, Benjamin Louis Hanson, Sir Reginald M'Killop, James
Colston, Chas. Edw. H. Athole Hardy, Laurence Malcolm, Ian
Colville, John Hare, Thomas Leigh Manners, Lord Edward W. J.
Commins, Andrew Harwood, George Marks, Henry Hananel
Compton, Lord Alwyne Hayne, Rt. Hon. Charles Seale- Massey-Mainwaring, Hn. W. F.
Cook, Fred. Lucas (Lambeth) Hazell, Walter Mellor, Colonel (Lancashire)
Corbett, A. Cameron (Glasgow) Healy, Maurice (Cork) Mendl, Sigismund Ferdinand
Cornwallis, Fiennes Stanley W. Healy, Thomas J. (Wexford) Meysey-Thompson, Sir H. M.
Courtney, Rt. Hon. Leonard H. Healy. Timothy M. (N. Louth) Middlemore, J. Throgmorton
Crilly, Daniel Hedderwick ThomasCharles H Milton, Viscount
Milward, Colonel Victor Round, James Trevelyan, Charles Philips
Monk, Charles James Runciman, Walter Tritton, Charles Ernest
Montagu, Sir S. (Whitechapel) Russell, Gen. F. S. (Cheltenham Valentia, Viscount
Moon, Edward Robert Pacy Russell, T. W. (Tyrone) Verney, Hon. R. Greville
Morley, Charles (Breconshire) Rutherford, John Vincent, Col. Sir C. E. H.
Moulton, John Fletcher Ryder, John Herbert Dudley Wallace, Robert
Muntz, Philip A. Samuel, Harry S. (Limehouse) Wanklyn, James Leslie
Myers, William Henry Samuel, J. (Stockton-on-Tees) Ward, Hon. Robert A. (Crewe)
Newark, Viscount Sassoon, Sir Edward Albert Warr, Augustus Frederick
Nicholson, William Graham Saunderson, Rt Hon Col. E. J. Webster, Sir Richard E.
Nicol, Donald Ninian Savory, Sir Joseph Weir, James Galloway
Northcote, Hn. Sir H. Stafford Schwann, Charles E. Welby, Lieut.-Col. A. C. E.
Palmer, Sir C. M. (Durham) Scoble, Sir Andrew Richard Wentworth, Bruce C. Vernon-
Paulton, James Mellor Scott, Sir S. (Marylebone, W. Whitmore, Charles Algernon
Pease, H. Pike (Darlington) Sharpe, William Edward T. Williams, John Carvell (Notts.)
Pease, J. A. (Northumbl'd) Shaw, Charles Ed. (Stafford) Williams, J. Powell (Birm.
Philipps, John Wynford Sidebotham, J. W. (Cheshire) Willoughby de Eresby, Lord
Phillpotts, Captain Arthur Simeon, Sir Barrington Wilson, Frederick W. (Norfk)
Pickersgill, Edward Hare Sinclair, Capt. J. (Forfarshire) Wilson, Henry J. (York, W. R.)
Pierpoint, Robert Sinclair, Louis (Romford) Wilson, J. W. (Worcestersh, N.)
Pilkington, R. (Lancs, Newton Skewes-Cox, Thomas Wilson-Todd, W. H. (Yorks.)
Pilkington, Sir G. A. (Lcs. S. W. Smith, Abel H. (Christchurch) Wodehouse, Rt. Hn. E. R. (Bath)
Platt-Higgins, Frederick Smith, Hon. W. F. D. (Strand) Wolff, Gustav Wilhelm
Plunkett, Rt. Hn. H. Curzon Soames, Arthur Wellesley Woodall, William
Powell, Sir Francis Sharp Spencer, Ernest Woodhouse, Sir J. T. (Hudd'rsf'd
Price, Robert John Stanley, Hon. A. (Ormskirk) Woods, Samuel
Priestley, Sir W. O. (Edin.) Stanley, Edward J (Somerset) Wortley, Rt. Hn. C. B. Stuart-
Pryce-Jones, Lt.-Col. Edward Stanley, Sir H. M. (Lambeth) Wylie, Alexander
Purvis, Robert Stanley, Lord (Lancashire) Wyndham, George
Quilter, Sir Cuthbert Steadman, William Charles Wyvil, Marmaduke D'Arcy
Rankin, Sir James Stevenson, Francis S. Yerburgh, Robert Armstrong
Renshaw, Charles Bine Stewart, Sir M. J. M'Taggart Young, Comm'nd'r (Berks, E.)
Rentoul, James Alexander Stone, Sir Benjamin Young, Samuel (Cavan, East)
Richardson, Sir T. (Hartlep'l) Strachey, Edward Younger, William
Rickett, J. Compton Strutt, Hon. Charles Hedley Yoxall, James Henry
Ridley, Rt. Hn. SirMatthew W. Stuart, James (Shoreditch)
Ritchie, Rt. Hon. Chas. T. Sturt, Hon. H. Napier
Roberts, John Bryn (Eifion) Thomas, D. A. (Merthyr) TELLERS FOR THE AYES.—
Roberts, John H. (Denbighs.) Thorburn, Walter Sir William Walrond and Mr. Anstruther.
Robertson, Herbert (Hackney) Thornton, Percy M.
Rothschild, Hon. Lionel Walter Tollemache, Henry James
Abraham, Wm. (Cork, N. E.) Fox, Dr. Joseph Francis Norton, Capt. Cecil William
Allen, W. (Newc.-under-Lyme) Galloway, William Johnson O'Brien, Patrick (Kilkenny)
Allhusen, Augustus H. Eden Gourley, Sir Edwd. Temperley O'Connor, Arthur (Donegal)
Ambrose, Robert Haldane, Richard Burdon Oldroyd, Mark
Austin, M. (Limerick, W.) Hayden, John Patrick O'Malley, William
Bayley, Thomas (Derbyshire) Heath, James Pirie, Duncan V.
Boulnois, Edmund Heaton, John Henniker Priestley, Briggs (Yorks.)
Bowles, T. Gibson (King's Lynn Hogan, James Francis Reckitt, Harold James
Buchanan, Thos. Ryburn Howorth, Sir Henry Hoyle Redmond, William (Clare)
Cameron, Sir Chas. (Glasgow) Hutton, John (Yorks. N. R.) Reid, Sir Robert Threshie
Carson, Rt. Hon. Edward Jacoby, James Alfred Richardson, J. (Durham, S. E.)
Carvill, P. George Hamilton Jones, William (Carnarvonsh. Sandys, Lieut.-Col. T. Myles
Clark, Dr. G. B. (Caithness-sh.) Kinloch, Sir John Geo. Smyth Scott, Chas. Prestwich (Leigh)
Cranborne, Viscount Labouchere, Henry Smith, James Parker (L'n'rks)
Curran, Thomas B. (Donegal) Lambert, George Souttar, Robinson
Dalbiac, Colonel Philip Hugh Logan, John William Sullivan, Donal (Westmeath)
Dalkeith, Earl of MacAleese, Daniel Sullivan, T. D. (Donegal, W.)
Davitt, Michael MacDonnell, Dr. M. A(Qu'n's C Ure, Alexander
Dilke, Rt. Hon. Sir Charles Maclean, James Mackenzie Wedderburn, Sir William
Dillon, John Maclure, Sir John William Wharton, Rt. Hon. John L.
Donelan, Captain A. MacNeill, John Gordon Swift Wilson, Charles Henry (Hull)
Doogan, P. C. M'Ghee, Richard Wrightson, Thomas
Drucker, A. M'Kenna, Reginald
Duncombe, Hon. Hubert V. Maddison, Fred. TELLERS FOR THE NOES—
Ellis, John Edward Maden, John Henry Mr. James Lowther and Mr. Philip Stanhope.
Farquharson, Dr. Robert Mellor, Rt. Hn. J. W. (Yorks.)
Fenwick, Charles Milbank, Sir Powlett Chas. Jn.

Main Question put, and agreed to.

Resolved, That it is a high infringement of the liberties and privileges of the Commons of the United Kingdom for any Lord of Parliament, or other Peer or Prelate, not being a Peer of Ireland at the time elected, and not having declined to serve for any county, city, or borough of Great Britain, to concern himself in the election of Members to serve for the Commons in Parliament, except only any Peer of Ireland, at such Elections in Great Britain respectively where such Peer shall appear as a candidate, or by himself, or any others, be proposed to be elected; or for any Lord Lieutenant or Governor of any county to avail himself of any authority derived from his Commission, to influence the election of any Member to serve for the Commons in Parliament.

Resolved, That if it shall appear that any person hath been elected or returned a Member of this House, or endeavoured so to be, by bribery, or any other corrupt practices, this House will proceed with the utmost severity against all such persons as shall have been wilfully concerned in such bribery or other corrupt practices.

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