HC Deb 22 February 1901 vol 89 cc874-901

Motion made, and Question proposed, "That Mr. Speaker do issue his warrant to the Clerk of the Crown to make out a new writ for the electing of a Member to serve in this present Parliament for the Borough of Maidstone, in the room of John Barker, esquire, whose election has been declared to be void."—(Mr. Herbert Gladstone.)

MR. CAINE (Cornwall, Camborne)

I understand from the statement of the Attorney General that this evidence has been laid upon the Table of the House in manuscript, but this is not convenient for the general perusal of the Members of this House. Only a few minutes will be required to enable me to state the reason why I move this Amendment admit that it is quite within precedent that the right hon. Gentleman the Member for West Leeds should move this writ, but there are many reasons why it should not be issued, at present, at any rate. On many occasions the House has suspended writs for short periods for the printing of the evidence—for instance, there are the cases of Nottingham, in 1843, Harwich, in 1848, Clitheroe, in 1853; but the best precedent is that of Norwich, in 1875. The case of Nottingham was on all fours with this. The judges reported that Mr. John Walter was, through his agents, guilty of bribery without his knowledge and consent, and that is precisely what has been reported of Mr. Barker at Maidstone. I want to show the House how similar this Nottingham case is to Maidstone. In the Nottingham case, in which the Earl of Lincoln gave notice of motion in precisely the same terms as mine, twenty-six persons were scheduled as guilty of bribery, and twenty-five persons were scheduled in Maidstone. In the case of Maidstone it is the third offence, for this is the third time that a Member for Maidstone has been unseated. In this case it is a member of the party to which I belong who has been unseated, but in the two previous cases it was a member belonging to the opposite party. In the Nottingham case, upon a division the writ was suspended for a week, and at the end of that time it was moved "that the writ do now issue"; and after an exhaustive debate on the printed report, in which sixteen Members took part, the writ was issued. In the case of Harwich, which was another first offence, the writ was moved, and a long debate resulted, and it was subsequently ordered that a copy of the evidence be laid on the Table of the House.


What date was that?


In the year 1848. In the case of the Norwich Election Report there they unseated the Members for bribery and corruption. In this case a Royal Commission was instituted, and the writ was suspended for five years—until the following General Election—when it was issued along with the others. That, I think, was a very wholesome punishment, and it had a very whole-some effect upon subsequent elections. I believe that if some such course were taken in the case now under consideration, it would have a similar result, and would purify the constituency considerably. I do not want to go into any details, but I hold that this writ ought not to be issued at all. This borough is notoriously and incorrigibly corrupt. In the present case the bribery has been shameless and extensive, and this is the; third time that the election has been declared void upon petition. Twenty-five persons are scheduled as bribed and eleven persons as guilty of bribery, and among these eleven three have been refused certificates of indemnity, and one of these is Mr. Levi Barker, the brother of the unseated Member. I hear that the unseated Member is also engaged canvassing in the constituency, although the evidence went to show that he had practically been guilty of bribery by giving large orders for goods to tradesmen in his constituency. One of the judges censured him severely, and told him that he had gone very near the mark indeed in the matter. Everyone admits that the bribery was widespread and general on both sides, for, although the unseated candidate only had a majority of thirty-eight, the seat was not claimed by his opponent. I have had a great number of letters from Maidstone itself imploring me not to go on with this motion, including one from one of the most influential leaders of the Liberal party there. He states that if I there was any delay in the issuing of the writ it would give the Conservatives time to organise bribery in all the low public-houses. I therefore appeal to the House to delay the issuing of the writ until the House has time to examine the evidence, which I think will result in the appointment of a Commission. I beg to propose the Amendment standing in my name.

* MR. HENRY HOBHOUSE (Somersetshire, E.)

I am very glad to have the opportunity of seconding this Amendment, because I think the House should recognise that this is no party issue. There are Members on this side of the House who are quite as anxious for the purity of election as Members on the opposite side. I hope the House will regard this question upon somewhat broader grounds than those which have been advanced by the Attorney General in his answer to a question to-day. It is quite true that we have the Report of the election here, but it is a very short document, in which the judges answer certain questions put to them; and it does not give us any further information except the most important fact that has already been mentioned by my hon. friend, that as far as their inquiries have gone they have discovered twenty-five persons who have been bribed, and eleven persons who have acted as bribers. My hon. and learned friend the Attorney General said there was no precedent for the House interfering with the issue of the writ. I am told that in 1881 there was an instance (Gloucester) in which only three cases of bribery were actually proved, but the writ was suspended and an inquiry held. That is what we really ought to do here, because we already have from the newspapers the knowledge of the average man on this subject. I do not believe, whatever may be thought in this House, that outside they will think we have acted with due regard to our professions in our own constituencies of desiring purity of elections if we proceed with this somewhat indecent haste to issue a writ for this borough at the very earliest moment that it is possible to do so. We do not know whether what was stated in the press was true or not until these Papers have been printed and circulated. In order to give proper grounds to this motion, and to call the attention of the House to what was reported in the papers to have been said by the judges in the case, I will read some very strong expressions which Mr. Justice Kennedy is reported to have used. He said— As to corrupt practices, it would seem from the evidence that there existed among the voters in the borough a number of the lower class who always expected to receive some payment or reward for their votes…There seemed to be a more or less systematic provision made by some person for the satisfaction of the corrupt wants of those voters to whom he had referred. The proved cases of bribery extended through all the wards, and the uniformity of the payments pointed to a certain pre-arrangement on the part of some persons, the existence of something like a plan, something more than the casual and unpremeditated expenditure of some unscrupulous partisan. I venture to think that those are very strong words, especially when coupled with the fact that no less than eleven persons are reported to have been guilty of bribery, and I think the inference might fairly be drawn that there were considerably more than twenty-five persons who might have been proved to have been bribed if further inquiry was made. I do not intend to find fault with our judges, but I do find some fault with another official, whose statutory duty has been made clear by the Corrupt Practices Act. By that Act it is clearly laid down that the representative of the director of public prosecutions should be present at the trial, and, with or without directions, if it appeared to him that any person was able to give material evidence on the subject of the trial, he should call and examine such person as a witness. I am surprised that that course was not taken in this case, remembering what discussions ensued and the manner in which the case was presented. The petitioner stopped his evidence as soon as he had unseated the sitting member. The efforts of the defendant's counsel were entirely directed to show that he (Mr. Barker) had not been guilty of corrupt practices. And having done that, neither party had any interest in prolonging the inquiry. I may go further and say, both had considerable interest in stopping the inquiry. The state of the facts is clearly brought out by a curious remark of the judge. I do not know whether it is accurately reported, because we have not had the advantage of looking at the official record of the proceedings. Mr. Justice Channell said this: "Well, if no one will ask the question I must ask it." That remark proves pretty clearly that the inquiry in this case was not pursued in a thorough and proper manner, as it should have been, and we, therefore, have a right to have further evidence, and I think the House would be extremely unwise in not taking this opportunity of enforcing it. It is very well known, unhappily for the candidates, that there is a considerable amount of corruption in not a few constituencies, but it is very rarely that any of these cases come before the Courts because of the question of cost and the unpopularity involved, both candidates probably being equally guilty—all those things conduce to make an inquiry before the Election Courts very rare indeed. Therefore, having regard to the importance of the question, we ought to see that this writ should not be issued until further inquiry has been made, and the matter has received our careful consideration. If this House rejects this Amendment and the very reasonable request that is contained in it, it will make the cause of electoral purity still more hopeless than it is at present, and will give encouragement to practices which we all deplore and condemn.

Amendment proposed— To leave out, all the words from the word 'That,' to the end of the Question, in order to add the words no new writ for the electing of a Member to serve in this present Parliament for the Borough of Maidstone ought to be issued until the House is in possession of the printed evidence and judgment taken by the deputies of the shorthand writer of the House of Commons."—(Mr. Caine.)

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

* SIR F. DIXON-HARTLAND (Middlesex, Uxbridge)

The last motion of this kind made in this House was made in respect of my own constituency in 1880. A petition was presented, and the same motion to delay the issue of the writ until the judges' notes were placed on the Table was made and agreed to. Eventually the writ was re-issued. What was the result? The result was that a new election was held, and another petition presented with regard to that election, but it was of a somewhat different character to this. In that case I claimed the seat, and after a trial extending over seventeen days the judges found forty-eight cases of corruption on the same side where it existed before. It does seem important to me that in the case of a borough with the character which Maidstone possesses, the House ought to have an opportunity of seeing the notes upon the Table before they consent to issue a new writ.

MR. T. M. HEALY (Louth, N.)

However corrupt Maidstone may be, there is a law to deal with it, and I think the attitude of the House upon this matter is opposed to the Constitution. This House surrendered its rights to deal with election matters in 1868, and relegated these questions to the judges. Subsequently, in 1883. it made further provisions. Now Maidstone is entitled by statute to a representative in this House, and the Act of 1883 put upon the judges the duty of stating whether corrupt practices prevail or not. I think this House made a most profound mistake in relegating this matter to the judges, and I think it is to be deplored that we parted for a moment with the power to investigate these cases; but are we now, after the judges have heard the witnesses and pronounced judgment, to take up the evidence and sit as a court of appeal, and find that the judges have failed in their duty, and the Public Prosecutor in his? Look at the case from an Irish point of view. Take the case of intimidation. Bribery is unknown in Ireland, but over and over again elections have been upset through intimidation. Take the case of the two Divisions of Meath, where intimidation was so rife seven or eight years ago. Is the House to punish a whole constituency because on one occasion intimidation upset the election? Either let us repeal all the provisions which remit these matters to the judges, or else leave them as they are, and not attempt to set ourselves up as an independent and irregular tribunal. If the tribunal as constituted is not satisfactory, and we are to go back to the system of other days, we must repeal the Acts of 1868 and 1883, a proceeding in which I shall be happy to assist.


said he thought everyone would sympathise with the motives of the proposer and the seconder of the Amendment. They desired to do everything they could to promote the greater purity of elections, and he was sure that everyone in the House would gladly co-operate with them in carrying that idea into practice. But the House should be extremely careful that it did not run into a great evil—an evil for which there was no compensation. They had constituted a Court for the trial of election petitions, and the reports of the judges were sent to the House. Was it proposed that this House should have the evidence before it, should sit as a court of appeal from the decision of the judges, that every Member should read the evidence, and that they should debate upon the question of how far the House agreed or did not agree with the findings of the judges upon any election petition? He submitted that anything of the kind would be most mischievous. If they were dissatisfied with the trial of election petitions by judges, let them provide some tribunal which might be considered more appropriate. But he doubted whether there was any desire to return to the old system of Committees. On the whole, the present system of trial had given much more satisfaction than existed under the old system. The hon. Member who proposed the Amendment had alluded to a great many cases, but no useful purpose was served in quoting cases previous to the Act of 1868. In the present case, as the judges had not reported extensive corruption, what possibility was there of the House overruling their finding without having had the opportunity which the judges had of seeing the witnesses and hearing the evidence? It was impossible to do so, and hon. Members would be rash in pronouncing an opinion whether the judges were right or wrong under such circumstances. The question was by no means a new one. A similar Amendment arose in the case of Rochester in 1893. In that case a new writ was moved for on 3rd February, 1893, and the Amendment was moved by the hon. Member for the Scotland Division of Liverpool. The Amendment was debated at considerable length, and the late Lord Russell of Killowen, the present Lord Chief Justice, and Lord James of Hereford, all of whom were then Members of the House, expressed their views very strongly against any attempt to interfere with the present system. He submitted that the only proper and dignified course for the House to take was that recommended by the hon. and learned Gentleman opposite. So long as there was this mode of trial the House should accept the judges' report, and act upon it.


What was the decision of the House with regard to the case referred to by the Attorney General?


The Amendment was withdrawn.

MR. ASQUITH (Fifeshire, E.)

I venture to say that we are at one in the opinion on both sides of the House that we should do everything in our power to promote purity of election. I am not quite agreed with the proposition, at any rate in the absolute terms in which it was expressed and put forward by my hon. and learned friend, that this House in delegating certain power to the judges has absolutely surrendered its own power. I do not think that is the case. What has happened? We have the report of the judges. They had the advantage of seeing the witnesses, watching their demeanour, living for some time in the atmosphere of this incriminated place. We have the report of the judges who enjoyed all these advantages, and although it was proved that corrupt practices were committed, it was not proved, nor have we reason to believe, that corrupt or illegal practices extensively prevailed. When the power to hear election petitions was delegated to the judges, of course it was supposed that by their trained faculties and their judicial experience they would be more competent to sit in a matter of this kind than a Committee selected from the various parties of this House. What are we asked to place against that but the suspicion—for it is nothing but a suspicion, or, to put the matter accurately, the possibility—that from the evidence, when it is printed and circulated, perhaps a majority of the Members of this House might arrive at a different conclusion, and might come to the belief, contrary to that which the judges expressed, that corrupt practices extensively prevailed? It has never been the practice of this House to refuse the issue of a writ unless there is ground to believe in the existence of extensive corruption. I venture to say that never since this jurisdiction was delegated to the judges—a period of thirty years—has the House acted in a matter of this kind in violation of the express and definite opinion given by the judges. I think the House would take a serious responsibility if it were to go back on that established practice. I hope the House will agree to the motion of my right hon. friend.

MAJOR RASCH (Essex, Chelmsford)

I hope the House will refuse the application made by the right hon. Gentleman the Member for West Leeds, because I think if it does otherwise it will stultify itself, and the public will not unnaturally say, What was the use of spending all this time over the Corrupt Practices Act some time ago if a glaring case of this kind is to be condoned? There is a county of the name of Essex, which is known for the correctness and the purity of its elections, but we have boroughs which are rather flagrant examples the very opposite way, and yet I know that the Essex boroughs would stand aghast if they had the example of Maidstone before them. We know the case on the evidence given during the inquiry at Maidstone, but there was evidence which might have been produced and which was not given. There was any amount of evidence which would have been revealed if the case had not been withdrawn, and probably it would have sent some people to Maidstone Gaol if it had come to the surface. I think it is high time that the House put its foot down on this sort of proceeding. Bribery has increased, and is increasing, and should be abated in many constituencies. We all know what happens. It does not matter what colour a man wears before an election. A man goes down—God knows where he comes from—and sows the country with sovereigns and papers the place with £5 notes, and when the election is over everybody knows perfectly that the amount stated in the official return only represents one-half of what the candidate has spent. I think some attempt ought to be made to bell the cat. The House ought to put its foot down and make an example of this place.

MR. JOHN ELLIS (Nottinghamshire, Rushcliffe)

I am very gladthatthis motion has been brought forward. This is not a matter in which the House can delegate to the judges of the realm its responsibility. I have discussed this matter out- side the House with some of those who were concerned in the passing of the Corrupt Practices Act of 1868, and very grave doubt exists in certain quarters as to whether the House did a wise thing in delegating certain of its powers to the judges. I venture to say the Attorney General has given a most substantial illustration why this motion should be carried. It must be within the knowledge of everybody who has taken an interest in politics during the last fifteen or twenty years that the Corrupt Practices Act has very largely failed in many respects in producing the effects which its promoters expected. As I understand, all that the mover and seconder of the motion have asked is, that every Member of the House of Commons should, if he desires, be in possession of the evidence on which the decision of the judges was founded.

MR. STUART WORTLEY (Sheffield, Hallam)

I am quite aware that this is a matter in which the House should proceed with great care, lest it should lay itself open to the charge of deviating from the usual form. This is one of the cases where the House has clearly, on the face of the Statute-book, reserved to itself full discretion. It was reserved to the House to say whether a constituency should be temporarily or permanently disfranchised. This is not a case in which the judges have in unqualified terms said that they did not consider that corrupt practices had extensively prevailed. On the contrary, they have shown considerable doubt and hesitation, and this case, moreover, is distinguished from other cases of the same kind. The right hon. Gentleman the Member for East Fife says the judges had the opportunity of hearing and seeing the witnesses. What we say is that there were probably other witnesses, in addition to those who tendered evidence, who might have been forthcoming had the trial proceeded, and whom the judges would have seen, but under the circumstances did not see. I suggest that there is another way out of the difficulty, and that is that the right hon. Gentleman the Member for West Leeds should not have chosen this particular day on which to move for the issue of the writ. I would ask him to deliver the House from its difficulty by withdrawing the motion, thus leaving further time to elapse, and enabling the House to show, in a case like this, that kind of hesitation which His Majesty's judges have themselves shown.


The House has had the advantage of having the law laid very clearly before it by gentlemen learned in the law, speaking with high authority on both sides, and I think it is quite clear that the precedents are in favour of the House proceeding with the issue of a new writ, unless there is a direct report from the judges which would induce the House to take a different course. The right hon. Gentleman who has just sat down says that we should be guided, as I understand him, not by the evidence that was given, but by the evidence that might have been given before the judges. I think that is rather a curious position to take up; but the answer to it in this instance, I imagine, is that if the judges entertained any sort of suspicion that the further prosecution of the case would have disclosed a much more extensive and serious chain of bribery than had already been unfolded they would have insisted on the matter being proceeded with. If I remember rightly, at the time the announcement was made that the case was no longer to be defended, the judges took time to consider whether they should not go on listening to evidence notwithstanding the decision to which the defendant in the matter had come.


That was so, and further evidence was given.


Therefore, it is quite clear that the judges whose duty it was to fully enlighten Parliament on the subject must have concluded that nothing more was to be gained, and no further knowledge to be obtained, by seeking further evidence. I am bound to say that when my hon. and gallant friend the Member for Chelmsford talks in the strongest terms of a town like Maidstone being practically corrupt, I think he says what he is hardly entitled to say, and for my part I must confess that when he talks about the corruption, degradation, and vitiation of elections, I am not so sure, after all, that the process he described—apparently with so intimate a knowledge—of the man who goes down with a large sum of money and then disappears when he has accomplished the purpose for which he has come—I am not so sure that that is so bad as another system which prevails much more extensively, and which is degrading a much larger mass of the people of this country, namely, the nursing and practically bribing and obtaining the favour of constituencies by the squandering of money in the more open ways of charity, and the subvention of local beneficent objects. To come back to the point with which the House is dealing. Whatever our views may be on this particular case, as presented to us by the Report of the judges so far as we have received it, we all have at all events a great desire to prevent these nefarious proceedings when they are detected; and, above all, we wish to proceed warily in the matter, and not to allow a state of things to continue which any action of ours could do something to prevent. Therefore, although I agree that the precedents in such a case as that in which we find ourselves are in favour of the issue of the writ, I still say that it might be advisable to postpone the issue for a few days until the fuller Report of the judges, which has been laid upon the Table only this afternoon, and from which the hon. and learned Gentleman read, is in the hands of Members, so that the House may be able to judge for themselves more fully than they can at present what the real attitude of the judges in their judgment was.


I listened to the speech of the right hon. Gentleman the Leader of the Opposition with feelings of considerable surprise and some dismay. I am perfectly aware, I am a sufficiently old Parliamentary hand to know, that the general feeling of the House I am now addressing is distinctly in favour of the Amendment of the hon. Gentleman opposite, and I presume it is the knowledge of that feeling which induced the right hon. Gentleman who has just sat down to throw over his colleague on the left, and initiate a new practice, which I fear may have very serious consequences. I shall content myself with saying that I think the course which the right hon. Gentleman now suggests to the House is the wrong one. I am perfectly aware that I am not uttering a popular sentiment in saying that, but if the House will give me one moment I will explain to them why I hold that view. We are judging a general practice upon a particular instance, without in the least considering what effect upon the general practice our decision may have. That is a most dangerous practice for this House to indulge in. The Leader of the Opposition appears to think that he has saved his consistency by suggesting that the House should wait two or three days until it has in its hands the transcript of the evidence taken at Maidstone. The suggestion is, and indeed the only rational support for such a course must be, that when the evidence is in the hands of hon. Members they will read it, and in the light of that reading either endorse or reverse in their minds the decision of the judges, that they will come to the conclusion that the judges are right or that the judges are wrong, and that having come in foro conscientice to that private judicial opinion they will then proceed to act upon it in the House. Now observe what that means. One of two things: either that this House in its collective capacity, and not through the organ of a Committee of the House, is going to constitute itself a tribunal to revise judicial decisions and to re-try a case—


Not a decision, a Report to this House.


A Report to this House made by a judicial body. Does anybody in this House think that the House in its collective capacity—the 670 Gentlemen who compose the House—can transform themselves into a judge and jury at once to try questions of fact? I am certain that no man who hears me thinks that we are fitted for such duties, or that we ought to impose such duties upon ourselves. What is the alternative? The alternative is that if we think the evidence does not bear out the decision of the judges, or the report of the judges, we should constitute a Committee of this House to re-examine the whole case. That is a return to the old system. To con- stitute a Committee of this House to re-try or to look into the case at Maidstone is to go back to the old system. It is to go back to the old, and I thought universally discredited system which this House voluntarily abandoned more than thirty years ago. ["No."] It has abandoned that practice for more than thirty years, and no responsible statesman on either side of the House, I do not care who he may be, has ever, so far as I know, suggested that this House should do, what, of course, it could do if it wished—namely, go back to the old method of having a Committee drawn up on party lines by the party managers to discuss the party questions which must inevitably come up before such a Committee. And observe: you cannot run these two systems of dealing with contested elections side by side. You cannot leave the judges to act in five cases out of six, and take away from the judges the sixth case. It would be an insult to the judiciary of the country. ["No."] Yes, it would be an insult to the judiciary of the country, and would make the whole of the system absolutely impossible. How can you go to the judges and say: "We put upon you these very difficult and delicate duties, duties somewhat apart from your ordinary judicial practice, which throw upon you very great responsibility, and which bring you almost into the vortex of political controversy; but if you do not happen to please us every time you give a decision we will revise what you do first in the whole House, and then in a Committee of the House; and if our Committee happens to disagree with you we shall publish the fact that the judges with evidence before them came to one decision, but the Committee of the House, reviewing the same evidence without seeing the witnesses, came to another decision." Is it possible? It may be true, as has been stated, that as men of the world, as men with some general knowledge of election matters, our view of what has taken place at Maidstone leads us to the suspicion that corrupt practices are more prevalent than the judges supposed. That may be our view, but is that a reason for upsetting in consequence of one instance this long-tried practice which, whatever may be its faults, certainly has saved this House from many a well deserved rebuke, from many a humiliating discussion, and from bringing itself into conflict with the best elements of public opinion? I am sure I am echoing the opinions of every man who has had to consider this question for more than a generation when I say that it would be most unwise to do that, even at the prompting of a generous and disinterested feeling— and I admit that all on either side are disinterested and generous, and that no element of party feeling has come into the discussion either on the part of the Gentlemen opposite or of any other Gentlemen. I am perfectly sure that at this moment the House is not a party machine, that it is animated solely in the action it is about to take by its desire for the purity of our elections. But, Sir, let us be careful not to upset a good general practice because we think that in one particular case it has not worked well. This is a subject upon which the Government are not the movers. The motion comes from the Front Bench opposite, and it is for them to carry their motion to a division and to appoint tellers. If they go to a division, as I hope they will, I shall vote with them, and I earnestly hope that, putting aside all private interests and party affections, every Gentleman who can turn his mind from the particulars of this isolated case to the broad general principles which ought to guide our policy will also support the motion.

MR. JAMES LOWTHER (Kent, Thanet)

I fully share the view of the Leader of the House that no greater mistake could be made by the House than in any way to endeavour to set up the old system which prevailed up to 1863. If the suggestion before us was that this House should constitute itself a body to overhaul the judgment of the judges at Maidstone I should certainly support my right hon. friend. But, with the right hon. Gentleman's permission, while I quite share his view that it would be mischievous of this House to set itself up as a court of appeal upon issues tried by judges, I would venture to draw his attention to a precedent already touched upon, though not fully developed, which I think has a direct bearing on the case be-fore us. I refer to the Evesham case. The writ was moved in this House on the 17th June, 1880,* and an Amendment was moved that the issue of the writ be suspended until the shorthand writers' notes were printed and in the hands of Members. The then Attorney General (Sir Henry James) said— The judges, instead of reporting that there was no reason to believe that corrupt practices had extensively prevailed, said that, from the evidence before them, and to which they had confined themselves, they had no reason to believe that corrupt practices had extensively prevailed. He ends by saying that— in the particular circumstances the Government would offer no objection to delay in the issue of the writ, but it must be understood that when the shorthand writers' notes of the evidence had been produced the motion for the issue of the writ would be almost immediately renewed. And Mr. Gladstone at the conclusion said that— perhaps it would be better to withdraw the motion, if the hon. Gentleman would withdraw the Amendment, on the understanding that it would not be renewed until after the evidence and the report of the judges had been received. All I want the House to understand is that what is now proposed, similarly to what was proposed in 1880, is not the overhauling of a case before the judges, not the reopening of the question, but simply to consider whether the House should direct a further inquiry to be made into a matter in regard to which obviously the judges had not pronounced in the statutory form "that the evidence before them did not justify such a conclusion." The case seems to me to be almost identical, and I think the right hon. Gentleman the Member for East Fife was hardly justified in saying that there was no precedent.


What was the judges' report?


The judges reported that, although they had no reason to believe that corrupt practices extensively prevailed, they went by the evidence before them, and did not go outside it. Having taken some part in the discussion of the Corrupt Practices Act in 1868, and devoted some attention to the subject, I entirely concur with *See The Parliamentary Debates [Third Series], Vol. ccliii., page 203. my right hon. friend that it would be a most dangerous thing for this House to set itself up in any way as a court of appeal to decide issues which have been remitted under statute to a duly constituted tribunal. But I do not understand that we are asked to do that. I should certainly vote against any idea of doing anything of the kind. I understand, however, that a wholly different proposal is made, and one which in the Evesham case was decided in the sense of adjourning the issue of the writ until the House had seen the evidence. Mr. Gladstone, as the Attorney General will see, said that it was not usual to print the evidence in each instance unless asked for. As it is, I beg to advise the House to adjourn the discussion.


I should like, with the leave of the House, to say one word. I desire to point out to the House that the Evesham ease is different from the present one, because in the Maidstone case we have a finding of the judges in the form contemplated. There is a perfectly definite finding that the judges had no reason to believe that corrupt or illegal practices extensively prevailed. My right hon. friend read the paragraph, and by permission I will just read it again, and the House will at once see the difference between this finding and the finding in the Evesham case. I will read from what was said by the Attorney General, Sir Henry James— "Primâ facie, there ought to be no unnecessary delay in the issuing of a writ. A constituency was entitled to representation, and it was not desirable to prolong the electioneering contest. Unless there was some special circumstance upon which objection could be founded, there ought not to be undue delay. If the judges reported to the House that there was reason to believe that corrupt practices had extensively prevailed, there was no discretion left, and a Commission must be appointed. Let him remind the House of the position it was placed in. By the Act of 1808 the House of Commons had delegated all authority for the trial of election petitions to a tribunal; but what could the House do in this case if it came to the conclusion that corrupt practices had prevailed? No provision was made for further inquiry. Now comes the passage to which I call the attention of the House— In this case, however, the report of the judges was somewhat peculiar. Instead of reporting that there was no reason to believe that corrupt practices had extensively prevailed, they said that, from the evidence before them, and to which they had confined themselves, they had no reason to believe that corrupt practices had extensively prevailed. And then the Attorney General goes on to say— The House could not properly act upon the suggestion made that there had been an arrangement by which persons had been kept out of the witness box, nor could it be influenced by the general description of a place as corrupt. The House must apply a general rule, apart from any particular character which hon. Members might choose to give to a place, and it must be careful not to suspend a writ without a good reason for doing so. If, however, an attempt were made in this case to prevent the reading of the evidence before the issue of the writ, it would be thought there was some reason in the background why the issue of the writ was forced on. In the particular circumstances the Government would offer no objection to delay the issue of the writ; but it must be understood that when the shorthand writers' notes of the evidence had been produced, the motion for the issue of the writ would be almost immediately renewed. Mr. Gladstone said at the close of the debate— There was already a rule that the short" hand writers notes in cases of this description should be laid on the Table; but it was not usual to print them, unless they were asked for on some special ground. This case appeared to be of a special character, and, as his hon. and learned friend had explained, the Government were willing to postpone the issue of the writ. Perhaps it would be better to withdraw the motion, if the hon. Gentleman would withdraw the Amendment, on the understanding that it would not be renewed until after the evidence and the report of the judges had been received. Now I hope the. House will see clearly that that was an absolutely different case from the present. It proceeded entirely on the fact that the finding of the judges was a peculiar and of a special kind. If a man says. "From the evidence before me, to which I am confined, I have no reason to believe that corrupt practices extensively prevailed," most men of the world would come to the conclusion that corrupt practices had extensively prevailed. But in the present case the finding is not in that form at all. It is a perfectly, absolutely clear finding that the judges had no reason to believe that corrupt practices had extensively prevailed. I therefore submit that the Evesham ease has no bearing on the case now before the House.

* MR. BLAKE (Longford, S.)

I do not suppose that any hon. Member condemns the present system of trial of election petitions as inferior to a trial by a House Committee; nor do I suppose that there has been any such dissatisfaction with the judgment of the Court in any particular ease as would induce the House to unseat a man who had been seated, or to seat a man who had been unseated by the Court. That would be absurd. I acknowledge that the House has considerable inherent powers notwithstanding the statute. But the House will act wisely in the spirit of accepting the decisions to which the judicial tribunal comes, so long as the tribunal keeps within the statute. The trouble in this case is not because the judges' finding is special, nor because it embraces very much of the so-called specialty referred to in the Evesham case; as to which I would like to know what it is to which you would desire to call the judges' attention. You do not expect that judges should decide on anything but the evidence before them; and therefore I attach no importance to the supererogatory words used in the finding of the judges in that case. That is not the real trouble. The fact is, the system under the present law is defective with reference to the question of the extensive prevalence of political corruption in a constituency. Apart from the evidence actually submitted, there is no proper provision for inquiry where the evidence is incomplete owing to the action of either of the parties to the petition. Twenty-five years ago, in another Parliament, I met that difficulty by inserting a provision for a special report by the judges, in which they should state whether the inquiry had been rendered incomplete by the action of either of the parties to the petition. That is what was wanted here. We all know it. We all know that at a very early period of the prosecution the respondent admitted that he could not resist the fact that there had been bribery; thereon there was nothing more for the petitioner to do to win the battle, and no more witnesses were required to come forward for that purpose. But the petitioner did not venture to claim the seat after all. We know what that implies. Having regard to the jealousy which the country naturally feels in these matters, it is probably as well that the papers should come down before the writ is ordered. But after all it is inevitable that the judges' finding on the case before them should be accepted, no matter what our view of it may be, and that this constituency should not in the present state of the law be penalised by a refusal to issue the writ on what you will find in the papers. But what you ought to do is to alter the law in the direction I have indicated, and so provide for the future.


The House is in a very strange situation. A right hon. Gentleman on the Front Opposition Bench has made a motion to which an hon. Member, also on that side of the House, has moved an Amendment which was seconded on this side of the House. The Leader of the Opposition is in favour of the Amendment, and says he thinks; it advisable that the delay asked for by the Amendment ought to be given. The Leader of the House is against the Amendment, seconded from his own side, and in favour of the motion moved by the hon. Gentleman opposite. Which way am I to vote? The First Lord of the Treasury has made a speech with the infallible brilliancy and poetic fervour which characterises him, and has raised some spectres, although he has failed to destroy them. They are, however, only spectres. It is not a question of our abandoning any practice now in vogue, or of reinstating any former practice. The question is whether, here and now, we are going to issue a writ. We cannot escape from that. We have got to vote whether there is to be a writ on a report, signed by one of His Majesty's judges, which we have not yet seen, and on evidence we have not yet perused. What was the purpose of the rule that a judge should make such a report? The object was that this House should decide whether the Report gives ground for the issue of the writ.


The Report was read by Mr. Speaker.


I am coming to that point. I should like to have the evidence before us. The Attorney General has quoted the Evesham case, and has descanted on the differences between that and the present case. But he has omitted the most important. The Evesham case was fought out and this was not. We all know that when any two parties take part in a litigious battle, and both find it inconvenient to go on in a court of law, they make an arrangement by which the case is settled out of court. There is a vehement suspicion that that is the case here, and it behoves this House to pause before it proceeds to the extreme step of whitewashing the constituency of Maidstone and providing it with a new Member. I know not who the candidates are, but I will not be a party, without waiting to hear the evidence and without giving the House an opportunity of deciding whether there is a ground for issuing the writ, to sanctioning the motion that it should be issued? know there are Members who believe that this House has surrendered all its powers to Ministers and all its honour to judges. The House has not surrendered all its powers in regard to elections, and this very motion has necessarily been made in the belief that the House has so retained its powers in order to have the opportunity of acting or withholding action in cases such as this. It is true that we have given over to His Majesty's judges a delegated power of deciding as to the validity of elections—and properly so given over. I believe it has been attended with the most excellent results, but whether you pause, or postpone the issue of the writ, that does not affect the delegation of your powers to the judges. The House must decide for itself whether it will issue or withhold the writ. It may withhold it, as in the case of Evesham; but if there is no ground for withholding it, we would not wish to deprive the constituency of the services of its representative for any longer or shorter period. I cannot regard this as a mere matter of form, or that we ought to be asked to issue this writ as a matter of course, after what has occurred.

* MR. WALLACE (Perth)

I will not detain the House for more than a minute. I want to understand why the House is asked to postpone the issue of this writ for a week. It is suggested that the object is that the evidence taken at the trial of the election petition may be in the hands of hon. Members first. The hon. Member says he has already read or heard read the report of the judges on the case, but that he wants to read for himself the evidence on which that report is based. What is the object of the hon. Member in reading the evidence? To ascertain the effect of it upon his own mind. And certainly if the hon. Member, after reading the evidence, comes to a different conclusion from that formed by the judges, he is going next week to come before the House as a court of appeal to alter the decision of the judges. I venture to say that there is only one safe course for this. House to adopt; and that is, to stand by the practice which it has followed for many years; and that is, that if His Majesty's judges have reported that corrupt practices have extensively prevailed, to withhold the writ and issue a commission of inquiry. Hitherto, if the report of the judges was to the contrary, the writ was issued as a matter of course. That prevented all political feeling, all discussion, all difference of opinion existing here as between the House and the judges. I trust that my hon. friend who moved the issue of the writ will persevere with his motion, and I, for one, will vote for it.

MR. BARTLEY (Islington, N.)

It seems to me that we have discussed this matter too much from the legal point of view. I think there is-an aspect of it which ought to be considered—I mean, what the man in the street will think of it. The question is whether the issue of the writ means that there has been prevalent bribery in the constituency of Maidstone or not. It seems to be admitted that there has been a considerable amount of bribery in this borough. It has been convicted of bribery on three occasions in modern times, and the man in the street will be likely to say, unless we take some action, that the House is not very particular as to corruption, seeing that it issued a new writ after the recent disclosures. The effect will be disastrous. It seems to me that we ought to strengthen the hands of those who wish to make elections purer, and I think that to issue the writ so hurriedly is to weaken that position. All our legislation is very drastic in regard to bribery, but when we come to deal with it, and apply it in the way suggested by the present case, it would appear that we are apt to shrink from it. I think much more harm will be done by issuing the writ in haste than by postponing it for a few days until we have seen the evidence taken in the case before the judges. Altogether, I am convinced that a great deal of good will be done to the constituency if the issue of the writ is postponed for a few days.

SIR J. FERGHSSON (Manchester, N.E.)

From the course which the discussion has taken, I believe that the House is liable to drop into one or two pitfalls. My hon. friend who has just spoken tells us what the man in the street will say. That is a curious sort of doctrine to use in this House in regard to the case in hand. We are here to judge for ourselves; and we know a great deal better than the man in the street whether the light course is to act according to rule or precedent; and we need not consider what the man in the street will say after he reads his paper in the morning. That argument is singularly weak, and altogether unworthy of my hon. friend. The danger will be in following his example, which would constitute every man his own leader. My hon. friend the Member for King's Lynn says that he wants, in the plenitude of his industry, to study and review the finding of the judges; but what we have got to do is to carry out the finding of the judges, otherwise, what is the use of sending these judges down to investigate the facts? The judges have reported in explicit terms that in their opinion there is no evidence of extensive corruption in this constituency, and there the matter ought to end.

MR. JOHN REDMOND (Waterford)

I quite recognise the great importance to the House and the country of this motion; but I cannot help regretting that it has come on this afternoon, and has cut so very materially into the very short time at the disposal of the Irish Members for the consideration of Irish questions. I will not be guilty of speaking, under these circumstances, more than one sentence. I intend to vote in favour of the Amendment of the hon. Member for Camborne, and I do so for this reason: I do not believe that the House of Commons has parted, or ever intended to part, with its power over election petition cases in the complete sense that some hon. Members suppose. And if, in consequence of the rinding of the election judges, this House is to be deprived of the power of suspending, even for one hour, or a day, or a week, the issue of a writ, then the power of the House of Commons to issue a writ should be taken away altogether. This is a very bad case. It is a case where, by his own action, the petitioner is afraid to claim the seat, and where the respondent by throwing up the sponge leads one to think that extensive bribery had prevailed. If the Member for Chelmsford is right in saying that this bribery is extensive, notwithstanding the Corrupt Practices Act, throughout Great Britain, then I say, in the interests of the people, and more especially in the interests of poor candidates, that a stand ought to be taken in this House in cases of this kind. And without any desire to penalise a constituency or permanently deprive it of its Member, I shall vote in favour of the temporary postponement of the issue of the writ.

Question put.

The House divided.—Ayes, 224; Noes, 157. (Division List No. 7.)

Acland-Hood,Capt.SirAlex.F. Bailey, James (Walworth) Brunner, Sir John Tomlinson
Agg-Gardner, James Tynte Bain, Col. James Robert Bryce, Rt. Hon. James
Agnew, Sir Andrew Noel Balfour, Rt. Hn.A.J.(Manch'r Bullard, Sir Harry
Aird, Sir John Balfour, Rt.Hn.Gerald W.(Leeds Buxton, Sydney Charles
Allhusen, Aug. Henry Eden Banbury, Frederick George Caldwell, James
Allsopp, Hon. George Barlow, John Emmott Cameron, Robert
Anson, Sir William Reynell Beach,Rt.Hn.SirM.H.(Bristol Campbell-Bannerman, Sir H.
Anstruther, H. T. Beaumont, Wentworth C. B. Carlile, William Walter
Archdale, Edward Mervyn Bignold, A. Causton, Richard Knight
Arkwright John Stanhope Bill, Charles Cautley, Henry Strother
Arnold-Forster, Hugh O. Blundell, Colonel Henry Cavendish, V. C.W.(Derbysh)
Ashmead-Bartlett, Sir Ellis Boscawen, Arthur Griffith- Cecil, Evelyn (Aston Manor)
Asquith, Rt. Hon. H. Henry Boulnois, Edmund Cecil, Lord Hugh (Greenwich)
Atkinson, Rt. Hon. John Bowles,Capt. H. E. (Middlesex) Chamberlain, Rt.Hn.J.(Birm.
Austin, Sir John Brand, Hon. Arthur G. Chamberlain,J. Austen(Worc'r
Chaplin, Rt. Hon. Henry Joicey, Sir James Rolleston, Sir John F. L.
Chapman, Edward Kearley, Hudson E. Ropner, Colonel Robert
Charrington, Spencer Kenyon,Hn. Geo.S. (Denbigh) Sackville, Col. S. G. Stopford-
Clancy, John Joseph Kenyon-Slaney,Col. W. (Salop) Samuel, Harry S. (Limehouse
Coddington, Sir William Knowles, Lees Seton-Karr, Henry
Compton, Lord Alwyne Lambert, George Sharpe, William Edward T.
Corbett, T. L. (Down, North) Law, Andrew Bonar Shaw-Stewart,M.H. (Renfrew)
Cranborne, Viscount Lawson, John Grant Shipman, Dr. John
Crombie, John William Lee, Capt. A. H. (Hants, Fareh'm Simeon, Sir Barrington
Cubitt, Hon. Henry Leigh, Sir Joseph (Stockport) Sinclair, Capt. Jn. (Forfarshire)
Davies, Alfred (Carmarthen) Leigh-Bennett, Henry Currie Sinclair, Louis (Romford)
Dewar, John A. (Inverness-sh.) Leveson-Gower, Frederick N. S. Smith,H.C.(North'mbTyneside
Dewar,T.R(T'rH'mlets,S.Geo. Lockwood, Lt.-Col. A. R. Smith, James Parker(Lanarks.
Dickinson, Robert Edmond Long, Col. C. W. (Evesham) Smith, Samuel (Flint.)
Dixon-Hartland,Sir F.Dixon Long Rt. Hn. Walter(Bristol,S Spear, John Ward
Douglas, Rt. Hon. A. Akers- Lonsdale, John Brownlee Spencer, Rt.Hn.C. R. (Northants
Dunn, Sir William Loyd, Archie Kirkman Spencer, Ernest(W.Bromwich)
Durning-Lawrence, Sir Edwin Lucas, Col. Francis(Lowestoft) Stanley,Hn. Arthur(Ormskirk
Dyke, Rt. Hon. Sir Wm. Hart Lucas,Reginald J. (Portsmouth) Stanley, Edw. Jas. (Somerset
Egerton, Hon. A. de Tatton Lyttelton, Hon. Alfred Stanley, Lord (Lancs.)
Elibank, Master of Macdona, John Cumming Stevenson, Francis S.
Evans, Samuel T. Maconochie, A. W. Stirling-Maxwell, Sir John M.
Faber, George Denison M'Calmont,Col.J. (Antrim,E.) Stone, Sir Benjamin
Farquharson, Dr. Robert M'Iver,SirLewis(Edinburgh W. Stroyan, John
Fellowes, Hon. Ailwyn Edw. M'Kenna, Reginald Sturt, Hon. Humphry N.
Ferguson, R. C. Munro(Leith) M'Killop, James (Stirlingshire Talbot, Lord E. (Chichester)
Fergusson,Rt. Hn.Sir J.(Manc'r Majendie, James A. H. Talbot,Rt.Hn. J.G.(Oxf'dUniv.)
Finlay, Sir Robert Bannatyne Manners, Lord Cecil Tennant, Harold John
Fisher, William Hayes Markham, Arthur Basil Thomas, A. (Glamorgan, E.)
FitzGerald, Sir R. Penrose Max well, W. J. H. (Dumfriessh. Thomas,F. Freeman-(Hastings
Fitzmaurice, Lord Edmond Mellor, Rt. Hon. John William Thomas, J. A. (Glam., Gower)
Fitzroy, Hon. E. Algernon Milner,Rt. Hon. Sir Fredk, G. Thorburn, Sir Walter
Flannery, Sir Fortescue Milward, Colonel Victor Thornton, Percy M.
Fletcher, Sir Henry Molesworth, Sir Lewis Tufnell, Colonel Edward
Flower, Ernest Montagu, G. (Huntingdon) Valentia, Viscount
Forster, Henry William Moore, William (Antrim, N.) Vincent, Sir Edgar (Exeter)
Foster, Sir M. (London Univ.) More, R. Jasper (Shropshire) Walker, Col William Hall
Foster, Sir Walter (Derby Co. Morrell, George Herbert Wallace, Robert
Furness, Sir Christopher Morris, Hon. Martin Henry F. Walrond, Rt. Hon. Sir W. H.
Goddard, Daniel Ford Morton,ArthurH. A.(Deptford Walton, John L. (Leeds, S.)
Gordon, J. (Londonderry, S.) Mount, William Arthur Warner, Thomas Courtenay T.
Gordon, Maj. Evans (T'rH'mlts Murray,Rt.Hn.A Graham(Bute Wason, E. (Clackmannan)
Grenfell, William Henry Nolan,Col. John P. (Galway,N. Wason, John C. (Orkney)
Grey, Sir Edward (Berwick) Norman, Henry Webb, Col. William George
Guthrie, Walter Murray Orr-Ewing, Charles Lindsay Welby,Lt.-Col. A.C.E (Tauntn
Hamilton,Marq of (L'nd'nd'rry Palmer, Walter (Salisbury) Wharton, Rt. Hn. John Lloyd
Harmsworth, R. Leicester Parkes, Ebenezer White, Luke (York, E. R.)
Harris,F.Leverton(Tynem'th) Paulton, James Mellor Whiteley,George(York,W. R.)
Haslett, Sir James Horner Peel, Hn.Wm.Robt.Wellesley Whitley, J. II. (Halifax)
Hayne, Rt.Hon.Charles Seale- Percy, Earl Willox, Sir John Archibald
Hayter Rt. Hon.Sir Arthur D. Plummer, Walter R. Wilson, A.Stanley(York,E.R.)
Healy, Timothy Michael Pretyman, Ernest George Wilson,Fred. W. (Norfolk,Mid)
Helder, Augustus Purvis, Robert Wilson, John (Falkirk)
Henderson, Alexander Pym, C. Guy Wilson, John (Glasgow)
Hope,J.F.(Sheff'ld,Brightside Rea, Russell Wodehouse, Hon. A. (Essex)
Howard, Capt. J. (Faversham) Remnant, James Farquharson Wodehouse, Rt.Hn.E.R.(Bath
Howard, J. (Midd.,Tottenham Rentoul, James Alexander Wyndham, Rt. Hon. George
Hozier, Hon. James H. Cecil Rickett, J. Compton
Hudson, George Bickersteth Ridley,Hn. M. W. (Stalybridge TELLERS FOR THE AYES
Jeffreys, Arthur Frederick Ritchie, Rt. Hon. Chas, T. Mr. Herbert Gladstone and Mr. M'Arthur.
Johnston, William (Belfast) Robertson, Edmund (Dundee)
Abraham, Wm. (Cork, N.E.) Bowles, T. G. (King's Lynn) Colville, John
Allan, William (Gateshead) Boyle, James Condon, Thomas Joseph
Allen, Chas. P. (Glouc.,Stroud Brookfield, Colonel Montagu Corbett, A. Cameron (Glasgow
Ambrose, Robert Burdett-Coutts, W. Crean, Eugene
Atherley-Jones, L. Burke, E. Haviland- Cremer, William Randal
Baird, John George Alexander Burns, John Cross, Alexander (Glasgow)
Barry, E. (Cork, S.) Burt, Thomas Cullinan, J.
Bartley, George C. T. Campbell, John (Armagh, S.) Cust, Henry John C.
Bayley, Thomas (Derbyshire) Carvill, Patrick Geo. H. Dalkeith, Earl of
Bell, Richard Churchill, Winston Spencer Dalrymple, Sir Charles
Blake, Edward Cogan, Denis J. Daly, James
Boland, John Colomb, Sir John Charles R. Delany, William
Dilke, Rt. Hon. Sir Charles Lambton, Hon.FrederickWm. O'Malley, William
Dillon, John Laurie, Lieut. General O'Mara, James
Disraeli, Coningsby Ralph Lawrence, William F. O'Shaughnessy, P. J
Donelan, Captain A. Layland-Barratt, Francis O'Shee, James John
Doogan, P. C. Leamy, Edmund Palmer, George W. (Reading)
Douglas, Charles M. (Lanark) Lecky,Rt. Hn. William Edw. H. Pease, Herbert P.(Darlington)
Doxford, Sir William Theodore Leighton, Stanley Pemberton, John S. G.
Duffy, William J. Lewis, John Herbert Philipps, John Wynford
Ellis, John Edward Lloyd-George, David Power, Patrick Joseph
Emmott, Alfred Loder, Gerald Walter Erskine Rasch, Major Frederic C.
Farrell, James Patrick Lowther, Rt.HonJames(Kent) Redmond, JohnE.(Waterford)
Fenwick, Charles London, W. Redmond, William (Clare)
Ffrench, Peter MacDonnell, Dr. Mark A. Reid, James (Greenock)
Field, William Macnamara, Dr. Thomas J. Richards, Henry Charles
Fielden, Edward Brocklehurst M'Arthur, Charles (Liverpool) Roche, John
Flavin, Michael Joseph M'Cann, James Russell, T. W.
F'lynn, James Christopher M'Fadden, Edward Sandys, Lieut.-Col. T. Myles
Garfit, William M'Govern, T. Saunderson, Rt. Hn. Col. E. J.
Gilhooly, James M'Hugh, Patrick A. Soares, Ernest J.
Gordon, Hn. J. E. (Elgin&Nairn M'Killop, W. (Sligo, North) Strachey, Edward
Goulding, Edward Alfred Melville, Beresford Valentine Sullivan, Donal
Grant, Corrie Minch, Matthew Thompson, E.C.(Monaghan,N.
Greene,HenryD. (Shrewsbury) Mooney, John J. Trevelyan, Charles Philips
Gurdon, SirWilliamBrampton Morgan,J.Lloyd (Carmarthen) Tully, Jasper
Hain, Edward Murnaghan, George Vincent,Col.SirC.E.H(Sheffld)
Halsey, Thomas Frederick Murphy, J. Wanklyn, James Leslie
Hammond, John Nannetti, Joseph P. Welby,SirCharlesG.E. (Notts.
Hardy, L. (Kent, Ashford) Nolan, Joseph (Louth, South) White, Patrick(Meath,North)
Hay, Hon. Claude George Norton, Capt. Cecil William Whitmore, Charles Algernon
Hayden, John Patrick O'Brien, James F. X. (Cork) Whittaker, Thomas Palmer
Heath, James(Staffords,N.W.) O'Brien, It. (Tipperary, Mid) Willoughby de Eresby, Lord
Hemphill, Rt. Hon.Charles H. O'Brien, Patrick (Kilkenny) Wilson, Henry J.(York, W.R.)
Hope, John Deans (Fife,West) O'Brien, P. J. (Tipperary, N.) Wilson, J. W. (Worcestersh. N.)
Jacoby, James Alfred O'Brien, William (Cork) Wortley, Rt. Hn. C.B. Stuart-
Jameson, Major J. Eustace O'Connor, J. (Wicklow, W.) Young, Commander(Berks,E.)
Jones, David B. (Swansea) O'Connor, T. P. (Liverpool) Young, Samuel (Cavan, East)
Jordan, Jeremiah O'Doherty, William Yoxall, James Henry
Joyce, Michael O'Donnell, John (Mayo, S.)
Kennedy, Patrick James O'Donnell,T. (Kerry,W.) TELLERS FOR THE NOES
Kimber, Henry O'Dowd, John Mr. Caine and Mr. Henry Hobhouse.
Kinloch, Sir J. George Smyth O'Kelly, Conor (Mayo, N.)
Labouchere, Henry O'Kelly, J. (Roscommon, N.)

Main Question put, and agreed to.

Ordered, That Mr. Speaker do issue his warrant to the Clerk of the Crown to make out a new writ for the electing of a Member to serve in this present Parliament for the Borough of Maidstone, in the room of John Barker, esquire, whose election has been declared to be void.

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