HC Deb 14 February 1901 vol 89 cc59-65

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 any thing 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 do 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 light 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 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."—(Mr. A. J. Balfour.)

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

MR. WHARTON (York, W.R., Ripon)

formally seconded the Amendment.

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

MR. T. P. O'CONNOR (Scotland, Liverpool)

With reference to this Sessional Order as to the interference of Peers in the elections, the Amendment of the right hon. Gentleman does not deal with the main question. In every session the right hon. Gentleman has pressed his objection to this rule, and upon one occasion I found myself—as much to my own astonishment as to that of the right hon. Gentleman—in the same lobby with him. I have arrived at the conclusion to which I came upon grounds entirely different to those which induced him to propose this Amendment. It is quite evident that a rule of this kind, if it is not observed, should not be on the Statute-book of the country and should not remain an Order of this House. If the law is good it should be obeyed, and if it is bad it should be repealed. I think it was General Grant who laid down the wise dictum that the very best way to get rid of a bad law is that it should be put into operation. This rule has been proved to be inoperative, and I think the breach of the high privileges of this House is in voting that Peers should not be allowed to take part in elections and then allowing the law to be disobeyed. I know that some hon. Gentlemen on this side of the House will not approve of the support I give to the proposal of the right hon. Gentleman. I know that some gentlemen on the opposite side are of opinion that if this rule were abrogated it would be in the interest of the party they represent. I have heard it said that if this rule were repealed, and if Peers were allowed to offer themselves for election to the House of Commons, fifty or sixty constituencies in the country would be certain to be represented by Peers. I am prepared to face a contingency of that kind I cannot understand how anyone who approves of equal political rights can be in favour of a policy of exclusion and disability by which you prevent any citizen of the country from seeking to represent his fellow-citizens. I am sure that the right hon. Gentleman is absolutely impartial in this matter, and I accept his assurance that he does not look for any party advantage. I will be perfectly candid with the right hon. Gentleman and tell him that I regard his motion as anticipatory of more serious and more important movements. It is perfectly impossible that we could have Peers taking part in the election of Mem- bers to this House and at the same time deprive the people of the right to share in the choice of the Members of another Chamber. It is an anomaly and an anachronism that one man simply by right of birth should have the same rights of legislation and administration as the representative of 100,000citizens of the country. That anomaly would, I think, be made very much more flagrant by the resolution of the right hon. Gentleman. I

think it would pave the way for the disappearance of that anomaly. I am in favour of the right hon. Gentleman's Motion, and I will vote for it because I think the best way of getting rid of the privilege is by getting rid of the rule.

Question put.

The House divided:—Ayes, 326; Noes, 123. (Division List No. 1.)

Acland-Hood, Capt. Sir Alex. F. Crombie, John William Hambro, Charles Eric
Allen, Chas. P. (Glouc, Stroud Cubitt, Hon. Henry Hamilton, Rt Hn Lord G. (Mid'x
Allsopp, Hon. George Dalrymple, Sir Charles Hamilton, Marq. of (L'nd'derry
Archdale, Edward Mervyn Davies, M. Vaughan-(Cardigan Hardy, Laurance (K'nt, Ashford
Arkwright, John Stanhope Dewar, John A. (Inverness-sh. Harmsworth, R. Leicester
Arnold-Forster, Hugh O. Dickson, Charles Scott Harris, F. Leverton (Tynemth.)
Arrol, Sir William Dickson-Poynder, Sir John P. Harwood, George
Asher, Alexander Digby, John K. D. Wingfield- Haslem, Sir Alfred S.
Ashton, Thomas Gair Dimsdale, Sir Joseph Cockfield Haslett, Sir James Horner
Bain, Colonel James Robert Dixon- Hartland, Sir F. Dixon Hayne, Rt. Hn. Charles Seale-
Balcarres, Lord Douglas, Rt. Hon. A Akers- Hayter, Rt. Hn. Sir Arthur D.
Balfour, Rt. Hn. A.J. (Manch'r) Douglas, Charles M. (Lanark) Healy, Timothy Michael
Balfour, Rt. Hn. G.W. (Leeds) Doxford, Sir William T. Helder, Augustus
Balfour, Maj. K. R. (Christch. Duke, Edward Henry Helme, Norval Watson
Banbury, Frederick George Duncan, James H. Hemphill, Rt. Hn. Charles H.
Bayley, Thomas (Derbyshire) Dunn, Sir William Hermon-Hodge, Robt. Trotter
Beach, Rt. Hn. Sir M.H.(Bristol Durning-Lawrence, Sir Edwin Higginbottom, S. W.
Beaumont, Wentworth C. B. Elibank, Master of Hoare, E. Brodie (Hampstead)
Bentinck, Lord Henry C. Elliot, Hon. A. R. Douglas Hoare, Sir Samuel (Norwich)
Bhownaggree, Sir M. M. Emmott, Alfred Hobhouse, C.E.H. (Bristol, E.)
Black, Alexander William Evans, Samuel T. Hobhouse, Henry (Somerset, E.
Blundell, Colonel Henry Fiber, George Denison Holland, William Henry
Boscawen, Arthur Griffith- Fardell, Sir T. George Hope, John Deans (Fife, West)
Bowles,Capt. H. F.(Middlesex) Farquharson, Dr. Robert Horner, Frederick William
Brassey, Albert Fellowes, Hon. Ailwyn Edward Horniman, Frederick John
Broadhurst, Henry Ferguson, R. C. Munro(Leith) Houldsworth, Sir Wm. Henry
Brodrick, Rt. Hon. St. John Fergusson, Rt. Hn Sir J. (Manc'r Hoult, Joseph
Brookfield, Colonel Montagu Ffrench, Peter Howard, Capt J. (Kent, Faversh
Brown, George M. (Edinburgh Finlay, Sir Robert Bannatyne Howard, J. (Midx., Tottenham)
Bryce, Rt. Hon. James Fisher, William Hayes Hozier, Hon. James H. Cecil
Bullard, Sir Harry Fitzmaurice, Lord Edmond Hudson, George Bickersteth
Burdett-Coutts, W. Fitzroy. Hon. Edward Algernon Humphreys-Owen, Arthur C.
Burt, Thomas Flannery, Sir Fortescue Johnston, William (Belfast)
Buxton, Sydney Charles Flavin, Michael Joseph Jones, D. Brynmor (Swansea)
Caldwell, James Foster, Sir Walter (Derby Co.) Jones, William (Carnarvons.)
Cameron, Robert Fowler, Rt. Hon. Sir Henry Kennedy, Patrick James
Campbell-Bannerman, Sir H. Fuller, J. M. F. Kenyon, James (Lancs., Bury)
Causton, Richard Knight Furness, Sir Christopher Kenyon-Slaney, Col. W.(Salop)
Cautley, Henry Strother Garfit, William Kimber, Henry
Cavendish, R. F. (N. Lanes.) Gordon, Hn. J. E. (Elgin&Nairn King, Sir Henry Seymour
Cavendish, V. C. W. (Derbysh. Gordon, J. (Londonderry, S.) Kinloch, Sir John Geo. Smyth
Cecil, Evelyn (Aston Manor) Gordon,Maj Evans-(T'rHmlets Knowles, Lees
Chamberlain, Rt. Hon J.(Birm. Gore, Hon. F. S. Ormsby- Lambton, Hon. Frederick W.
Chamberlain, J Austen(Worc'r Gorst, Rt. Hn. Sir John Eldon Langley, Batty
Chamberlayne, T.(S'thampton Goschen, Hon. George Joachim Law, Andrew Bonar
Channing, Francis Allston Graham, Henry Robert Lawrence, William F.
Chaplin, Rt. Hon. Henry Grant, Corrie Lawson, John Grant
Chapman, Edward Gray, Ernest (West Ham) Layland-Barratt, Francis
Charrington, Spencer Greene, Sir E.W. (Bury St. Ed. Leamy, Edmund
Cochrane, Hon. Thos. H.A.E. Grenfell, William Henry Lecky, Rt Hon William Edw. H.
Collings, Rt. Hon. Jesse Gretton, John Lee, Capt A. H. (Hants, Fareh'm
Colville, John Grey, Sir Edward (Berwick) Leese, Sir Joseph F.(Accrington
Corbett, A. Cameron (Glasgow Griffith, Ellis J. Legge, Col. Hon. Heneage
Corbett, T. L. (Down, North) Grores, James Grimble Leigh, Sir Joseph (Stockport).
Craig, Robert Hunter Gurdon, Sir William Brampton Leigh-Bennett, Henry Currie
Cranborne, Viscount Hain, Edward Leng, Sir John
Cremer, William Randal Halsey, Thomas Frederick Leveson-Gower,. Fredk. N. S.
Levy, Maurice Philipps, John Wynford Talbot.Rt.Hn. J.G.(Ox. Univ.)
Lewis, John Herbert Pierpoint, Robert Taylor, Theodore Cooke
Lockwood, Lt.-Col. A. R. Pilkington, Richard Tennant, Harold John
Loder, Gerald Walter Erskine Platt-Higgins, Frederick Thomas, David A. (Merthyr)
Long, Rt Hn. Walter (Bristol, S) Plummer, Walter R. Thomas, F. Freeman-(Hastings
Lonsdale, John Brownlee Powell, Sir Francis Sharp Thomas, J A (Glamorgan,Gow'r
Lowe, Francis William Pretyman, Ernest George Thomson, Frederick W.
Lowther, Rt. Hn. J. W. (Penrith Price, Robert John Thorburn, Sir Walter
Loyd, Archie Kirkman Purvis, Robert Thornton, Percy M.
Lucas, Col. Francis (Lowestoft) Quilter, Sir Cuthbert Tomkinson, James
Lucas,ReginaldJ(Portsmouth) Radcliffe, R. F. Tomlinson, W. Edw. Murray
Macdona, John Gumming Randles, John S. Trevelyan, Charles Philips
Maconochie, A. W. Rankin, Sir James Tufnell, Col. Edward
M'Crae, George Redmond, John E.(Waterford) Valentia, Viscount
Majendie, James A. H. Reid, James (Greenock) Walker, Col. William Hall
Malcolm, Ian Remnant, Jame Farquharson Wallace, Robert
Manners, Lord Cecil Renshaw, Charles Bine Walton, Joseph (Barnsley)
Mansfield, Horace Kendall Renwick, George Wanklyn, James Leslie
Martin, Richard Biddulph Ridley, Hn. M. W. (Stalybridge Warner,Thomas Courtenay T.
Maxwell, W.J (Dumfriesshire) Ridley, Samuel F. (BethnalGr'n Warr, Augustus Frederick
Melville, Beresford Valentine Rigg, Richard Wason, Eugene(Clackmannan)
Meysey-Thompson, Sir H. M. Ritchie, Rt. Hon. C. Thomson Wason, Jn. Cathcart (Orkney
Middlemore, John Throgmor't'n Roberts, John Bryn (Eifion) Webb, Col. William George
Mildmay, Francis Bingham Roberts, John H. Denbighs.) White, George (Norfolk)
Mitchell, William Robson, William Snowden White, Luke (York, E.K.)
Molesworth, Sir Lewis Rolleston, Sir John F. L. White, Patrick (Meath, North
Montagu, G. (Huntingdon) Rollit, Sir Albert Kaye Whiteley, Geo. (York, W.R.)
Moon, Edward Robert Pacy Ropner, Colonel Robert Whiteley, H.(Ashton-u.-Lyne)
More, Robert J. (Shropshire) Rothschild, Hn. Lionel Walter Whitley, J. H. (Halifax)
Morgan, D. J. (Walthamstow) Round, James Whitmore, Charles Algernon
Morris, Hon. Martin Henry F. Rutherford, John Whittaker, Thomas Palmer
Morton, A. H. A. (Deptford) Sassoon, Sir Edward Albert Williams, Osmond (Merioneth
Moulton, John Fletcher Schwann, Charles E. Williams, Colonel R. (Dorset)
Murphy, J. Seely, Charles Hilton (Lincoln Willoughby de Eresby, Lord
Murray, Rt. Hn. A. G. (Bute) Sharpe, William Edward T. Wilson, A. Stanley (York, E. R.
Newnes, Sir George Shaw, Thomas (Hawick B.) Wilson, Chas. Hy. (Hull, W.)
Nicol, Donald Ninian Sinclair, Capt. J. (Forfarshire) Wilson, John (Falkirk)
Nolan, Col. John P. (Galway, N. Sinclair, Louis (Romford) Wilson, John (Glasgow)
Norman, Henry Skewes-Cox, Thomas Wilson, J. W.(Worcestersh. N.)
Nussey, Thomas Willans Smith, Abel H.(Hertford, East) Wilson-Todd, W. H. (Yorks.)
O'Donnell, T. (Kerry, W.) Smith, H. C. (NorthumbTynesd Wodehouse, Rt Hon E. R.(Bath)
O'Kelly, J. (Roscommon, N.) Smith, J. Parker (Lanarks.) Woodhouse, SirJ T. (Hudd'rsf'd
O'Neill, Hon. Robert Torrens Smith, Samuel (Flint) Wortley, Rt. Hon. C. B. Stuart-
Orr-Ewing, Charles Lindsay Spear, John Ward Wrightson, Sir Thomas
Palmer, Sir C. M. (Durham) Spencer, Rt Hn C.R. (Northants Wylie, Alexander
Palmer, Grorge W. (Reading) Stanley, Lord (Lancs.) Wyndham, Rt. Hon. George
Palmer, Walter (Salisbury) Stevenson, Francis S. Wyndham-Quin, Major W.H
Parkes, Ebenezer Stewart, Sir M. J. M'Taggart Young, Commander (Berks, E.
Partington, Oswald Stirling-Maxwell, Sir John M. Yoxall, James Henry
Pease, Sir Joseph W. (Durham) Stone, Sir Benjamin
Peel, Hon. Wm. Robert W. Strachey, Edward TELLERS FOR THE AYES
Pemberton, John S. G. Stroyan, John Sir William Walrond and
Percy, Earl Talbot, Lord E. (Chichester) Mr. Anstruther.
Abraham, William (Cork, N. E. Carew, James Laurence Dyke, Rt. Hon Sir William Hart
Abraham, William (Rhondda) Cawley, Frederick Ellis, John Edward
Ambrose, Robert Churchill, Winston Spencer Farrell, James Patrick
Atherley-Jones, L. Clancy, John Joseph Fenwick, Charles
Bailey, James (Walworth) Colomb, Sir John Charles Ready Fison, Frederick William
Baldwin, Alfred Condon, Thomas Joseph Flynn, James Christopher
Barlow, John Emmott Crean, Eugene Gibbs, Hon. Vicary (St. Albans)
Barry, E. (Cork, S.) Cullinan, J. Goulding, Edward Alfred
Bartley, George C. T. Dalkeith, Earl of Greene, W. Raymond-(Cambs.)
Bell, Richard Dalziel, James Henry Guthrie, Walter Murray
Bignold, A. Delany, William Haldane, Richard Burdon
Blake, Edward Dewar, T. R. (Tower Hamlets) Hardie, J. K. (Merthyr Tydvil),
Boland, John Dickinson, Robert Edmond Harrington, Timothy
Bond, Edward Dilke, Rt. Hon. Sir Charles Hay, Hon. Claude George
Bowles, T. G. (King's Lynn) Dillon, John Hayden, John Patrick
Brunner, Sir John Tomlinson Donelan, Captain A. Heath, Arthur H. (Hanley)
Caine, William Sproston Doogan, P. C. Hope, J. F. (Sheffi'd, Brightside)
Campbell, John (Armagh, S.) Dully, William J. Jacoby, James Alfred
Joicey, Sir James Morley, Rt. Hon. J. (Montrose Redmond, William (Clare)
Jordan, Jeremiah Muntz, Philip A. Reid, Sir Robert T. (Dumfries
Joyce, Michael Murnaghan, George Roche, John
Kearley, Hudson E. Nolan, Joseph (Louth, South) Roe, Sir Thomas
Kitson, Sir James O'Brien, James F. N. (Cork) Russell, T. W.
Labouchere, Henry O'Brien, Kendal(Tipper'y, Mid Sackville, Col. S. G. Stopford-
Lambert, George O'Brien, Patrick (Kilkenny) Sadler, Col. Samuel Alexander
Laurie, Lieut.-General O'Brien, William (Cork) Scott, Chas. Prestwich (Leigh)
Lundon, W. O'Connor, J. (Wicklow, W.) Seton-Karr, Henry
MacDonnell, Dr. Mark A. O'Connor, T. P. (Liverpool) Shaw, Charles Edw. (Stafford)
Macnamara, Dr. Thomas J. O'Doherty, William Shipman, Dr. John
M'Calmont, Col. J.(Antrim, E.) O'Dowd, John Soares, Ernest J.
M'Dermott, Patrick O'Kelly, Conor (Mayo, N.) Sullivan, Donal
M'Fadden, Edward O'Malley, William Tanner, Charles Kearns
M'Govern, T. O'Mara, James Thomas, J. A. (Glam., Gower)
M'Hugh, Patrick A. O'Shaughnessy, P. J. Tully, Jasper
M'Killop, W. (Sligo, North) Pease, Herbert P. (Darlington Vincent, Col. Sir C.E.H.(Shef'd
Maple, Sir John Blundell Penn, John Welby, Lt.-Col. A.C.E. (Tauntn
Marshall Hall, Edward Pickard, Benjamin Wilson, John (Durham, Mid)
Mellor, Rt. Hon. John William Pirie, Duncan V. Young, Samuel (Cavan, East)
Milward, Colonel Victor Pryce-Jones, Lt.-Col. Edward
Montagu, Won. J Scott(Hants.) Pym, C. Guy TELLERS FOR THE NOES
Mooney, John J. Reckitt, Harold James Mr. James Lowther and Mr. Wharton.
Morgan, Hn. Fred (Monm'thsh. Reddy, M.

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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