The Earl of Mansfield
said, that no discussion having been elicited on a former occasion when this Bill was before the House, and there being a very small attendance of Peers, and particularly of those noble Lords to whom he looked for support for his views on this subject, he hoped he might then claim the attention of the House while he expressed his opinion on the statement which had been made of the system of Representation in Scotland as contrasted with that of England, in order, if possible, to remove some prejudices from the minds of those whom that statement might have influenced. As to the dangers which might arise from the system of Representation in England, lately introduced by the Reform Bill, he would not speak. It was natural, he admitted, that his Majesty's Ministers should extend to Scotland some Reform; and it was also natural that the people of that part of the kingdom should feel a very strong wish to participate in the Representation: therefore, he did not object to the second reading of the Reform Bill for that country, nor was he prepared finally to object to it, because he entertained the hope that some amendments might be introduced to remedy, if not all, at least most of the glaring defects which it contained. At the same time, he begged leave to express his surprise when a general measure of Reform, which was to affect the three kingdoms, was determined on, that the whole plan was not simultaneously introduced, so that, in the apportionment of the Representation, a due number of Members might have been assigned to each part of the empire. Had this been the course adopted, Scotland would have been entitled to a greater share of the Representation than was now assigned to her. His wish was, that she should have her fair proportion; though, if he had credited those censures which had been cast upon the existing system of Re- 173 presentation in Scotland, it was possible he might have thought that the proportion of Members given to that country at the Union should have been diminished. But the reverse was the fact:—Scotland had increased in population and in wealth forty-fold, and was entitled not only to a larger proportion of Members than was now to be given to her, as between England and Ireland, but even to a much larger share in the whole Representation. He did not mean to say, that the people of Scotland had been very anxious to have the number of their Representatives increased: and their practical good sense had been eulogized by some on account of their conduct in this respect. Whether, agreeably to the opinion of the proposers of this Bill, it should be a final measure or not, he was certain that that scheme which had been introduced in England, of which this was a mere part, would not be final. It was impossible that the people of this country should be satisfied with this alteration of the old system. An arbitrary qualification had been created over all existing rights—a qualification which could never be gratifying to those who claimed a more extended right of suffrage, and who, in some places, had exercised it without reproach. Nor was it satisfactory to those who thought that property should have a more extensive influence in the Representation. He was convinced that the measure could not be final. The people of Scotland, he was ready to admit, were much disposed to view Parliamentary Reform as a great boon. They had hailed it with delight; but when that good sense which the people of that country generally possess ed, should have returned, then would they, with a due regard to their own interests, perceive that they had not had a fair share of the Representation extended to them; and they would openly demand more, when they recollected that it was originally intended by the proposers of the Bill, that they should have a greater portion of Representatives; but that, by the interference of certain parties, that arrangement was changed. The people of Scotland had, therefore, a right to say that it was not a matter of vital importance to England whether Scotland should have a larger portion of Members of Parliament assigned to her; while, it was very important to the interests of Scotland, that she should have an increased number of Representatives, in proportion to her increased population and wealth since the Union. This question, therefore, must receive the attention of Parliament. He had said, that the elec- 174 tive system of Scotland admitted of improvement; but, at the same time, no man deprecated more strongly than he did the introduction of the English system of Representation. It was true, there were anomalies apparently in the Representative system of Scotland, though he did not think they were well understood; hut, it had never appeared to him, that the system had been attended with any practical disadvantages. It had happened to him, repeatedly, to hear persons in Scotland, differing in opinion on other points, united in expressing admiration of the good practical effect of the Scottish system of Representation, in which the elections were conducted at a comparatively trifling expense, and without that drunkenness and bribery which had so frequently been alleged to take place in England, affording a striking contrast. He doubted if their Lordships would find those changes to be improvements; he was certain that, under this Bill, scenes of corruption, drunkenness, and bribery, hitherto unknown in Scotland, would be introduced. If improvements were suggested, it was their duty to consider them; and he only asked their Lordships not to adopt this Bill in all its provisions without giving due consideration to it, and not to assume, be cause the principle of Reform was carried, that it necessarily followed that they must consent to all the enactments of a Bill proceeding upon that principle. Necessary, he admitted it was, that Reform in Scotland should follow Reform in England; but this Bill was professedly not one of Reform, but a novel experiment, the result of which was, therefore, uncertain. He hoped that their Lordships would attentively consider the present system, and not assume, that because defects were imputed, they of necessity existed. The existing qualification of voting in Scotland was detailed to their Lordships by the noble and learned Lord the other evening; but, as that noble Lord did not enter at all into the history of the successive changes which it had undergone, he might, perhaps, he excused if he troubled the House with a few observations on that point. The Parliament of Scotland consisted originally of the great barons and the clergy, to which were added, at a later period, the Commissioners for the royal burghs, and the Representatives of the lesser barons holding in capite. The right of voting at the election of Commissioners for shires or Representatives was restricted to possessors of a 40s. land held in capite actually residing within the shire. In 1661, to this class was added another, com- 175 prising all heritors, life-renters, wadsetters, and others holding directly from the King in capite, who possessed land of the yearly rent, feu-duties deducted, of 1,000l. scots. In 1681 this qualification was altered, from the difficulty which was found to exist in ascertaining what lands really were of the yearly rent of 1,000l. Scots—a difficulty similar to that which their Lordships would have to contend with in some parts of this Bill. In 1681 an Act was passed, declaring such only capable to vote and elect who were possessed of a 40s. land of old extent, held of the King, or of 400l. Scots valued rent, residence also being indispensable. It was clear that the qualification of a voter was holding lands directly from the King, and the qualification of the electors was the same as that of the Representative; in fact, their interests were inseparably conjoined with his. The nature of a Scotch superiority, or qualification for voting, was described to their Lordships the other night, so far as it could possibly be made intelligible to English ears, by the noble and learned Lord on the Woolsack. He congratulated himself that the task did not devolve upon him, for he was confident that he should have been unequal to it. According to the explanation of the noble Lord, it was something of the following nature. Suppose a manor in England, in which the Lord had parted with all his interest, except a quit-rent, he being unable, without the consent of the holder, to enter upon it without trespassing, and they might have some idea of a Scotch superiority. The noble and learned Lord stated, that it would be possible for all the county Members of Scotland to be returned by the bankers in Lombard-street, themselves actually unconnected with the property. He would not say that that was an exaggeration, because he could state a still greater. He had seen it asserted in a petition, that it was possible for one man to possess all the land in Scotland, yet, not being a superior, to have no vote; and for another to have all the superiorities, and yet, possessing no land, to have all the votes. But he begged leave, certainly with great diffidence, to doubt whether a superior was so totally unconnected with the land from which he derived his superiority. That the present qualification was too high, that it was too aristocratical, too confined, and that it should be extended, were fair arguments, but that it was a qualification separate from property he could not admit. The noble and learned Lord read their Lordships a list of the number of voters in the differ- 176 ent counties of Scotland, distinguishing those who really possessed property in them, from those who had no property. He did not remember the exact numbers, nor did he know from what documents they were taken, but he had seen several different statements on the subject, and he had looked over one made by a person who was an advocate for Reform, in which he complained of the number of paper voters in the county of which he more particularly spoke. He said, that the whole number of votes for that county was 140, of which thirty-five were derived from the possession of property, seventy-three were life-rent votes, and the remainder were superiorities. Here, then, this person was compelled to admit, that there were seventy-three voters who derived their qualification from life-rents, and thirty-five who derived theirs from property, both of which classes were connected with property in the country; so that, even supposing the whole of the superiorities to be distinct and entirely separate from property, there was in that county a large majority of voters connected with the property of that county. Then it was proposed by the Bill to substitute another qualification for these superiorities—to substitute, in fact, the dominium utile for the dominium directum. Certainly, the extension of the right of voting, in the English Reform Bill, to copyholders as well as to freeholders, was not liable to any objection; but, with regard to this Bill, the landed interest of Scotland, accustomed to a high qualification, would have been better pleased if the qualification under this Bill had been a little higher. Some censure was the other evening bestowed on the old Parliament of Scotland, as well as on the present system, and the conduct of the Representatives of that country. That Parliament did not, perhaps, present a very uniform appearance; that there were many anomalies in it, that it was subject to great changes, and that it was not a very intelligent audience, he was willing to admit; but he was not, at the same time, ashamed to confess, that in his mind, so much knowledge was never compressed into so small a space as was contained in the three small volumes of the Acts of that Parliament, which were always lying on their Lordships' Table. The humanity and wisdom of some of the Acts therein contained, afforded a remarkable contrast to some passed by the English Parliament at the same period. A legal friend of his supplied him with an instance which was a specimen of the English legislation of the time of Ed- 177 ward 6th; and when he came to the House that evening, he looked for the Act alluded to, which he had some difficulty in finding. It was the 1st of Edward 6th, cap. 3, and was intituled "An Act for the punishment of Vagabonds, and for the relief of the Poor and Impotent persons." It ordained, that every person not impotent, loitering, or wandering, and not seeking work, or leaving it when engaged, should be considered as a vagabond; and, being apprehended by his master, should, on conviction before two Justices, be marked with a V., and be adjudged a slave to such master for two years, to be put to any labour, and kept on bread and water, or small drink, and such refuse of meat as his master should think fit. If he ran away, he, on conviction of so running away, was to be branded with S., and become the master's slave for ever; and a repetition of that offence was to be adjudged felony, and the slave was to be condemned to suffer death. But, in this respect, the Parliament of Scotland, he was happy to think, had been guided by principles far more creditable to them, both as men and as legislators, than of those which characterized the acts of the Parliament of England. The noble and learned Lord paid what, he trusted, was not an involuntary compliment to some of the institutions of Scotland—institutions for which she had to thank her Parliament. In adverting to the details of the Bill, he stated, that the duties assigned to overseers in the English Bill were, in this Bill, to be performed by the schoolmasters, and, in so doing, he expressed his regret that those schools, as national schools, were confined to Scotland. He believed those establishments to be excellent institutions; but how far they might be successfully transplanted to other countries, must depend on the habits of the people, and a strict attention to the principles on which they were founded. He did not fear the giving education to the poorer classes of society, but let it be education connected with religion. The noble and learned Lord also said, that instead of barristers, as in the English Bill, the duties connected with the carrying into execution some of the details of this Bill, were to be discharged by those upon whose character and professional exertions he pronounced a just eulogium—he meant the Sheriffs. Might he be allowed, then, in endeavouring to rescue the Parliament of Scotland from the unjust censure which had been passed upon it, to remind their Lordships, that that Parliament overcame a difficulty which they had still to contend 178 with—the establishment of a system of education, and the maintenance of the rights of the clergy with satisfaction to those who knew that that clergy was deserving of support? The Scottish Parliament also established that, the proposal of which had not yet found favour in this country, but which, in the course of time, might be introduced into it—an institution from which the greatest benefits had been derived; he meant a general registry, which had given security to the conveyance of property, and all connected with it. There was another point on which he must touch relative to the conduct of the Representatives of Scotland. He was really exceedingly sorry to have heard the imputation which had been so often made in another place, and so frequently in public, but which he thought every candid person would admit to be unfounded—an imputation upon the Representatives of Scotland of an indiscriminate support of every Ministry. It had been said, that they were in Parliament a perfect nonentity. To the charge of having been the supporters of the Ministers they must submit, but so must also the majority of the country, because, without the support of that majority no Ministry could stand; but that support without reference to the character of the Minister, or of his measures, had been servilely given to those in office and power, was an insinuation to which he never yet had given credit, nor ever would. To his knowledge, such conduct would be utterly inconsistent with the character of those Gentlemen—it would be totally at variance with the observations which he had made, and the opinions he had formed of their feelings and sentiments. He might advert to a change which had already taken place in the qualification of one part of Scotland, in proof of the attention which had been paid to the improvement of the system. There was the county of Sutherland, in which the qualification underwent an alteration: it was diminished from 400l. to 200l. by an Act of George 2nd, in consequence of the greater part of the property in that county being held by one individual, it was impossible to find freeholders who held directly from the King in capite; the right of voting was, therefore, allowed to be exercised by them when holding from their superior. He would gladly see the continuance in Scotland of the system under which she had prospered, although it might be susceptible of improvement. Allow him humbly to advise their Lordships to consider well before they altered that system. This was an opportunity by which, if they had 179 been too hasty in legislating on another matter, they might, in some degree, retrace their steps, and partially prevent the evils which would otherwise arise from it. They had created, under the English Bill, a much too popular constituency; they might now, by continuing the present system in Scotland, repair that evil. He would not deny that some improvements might be safely and beneficially introduced into the present system; but they were, by such a measure as the present, going too far, in causing the destruction of the existing institutions of Scotland. He must repeat his apprehension, that they had created a constituency of persons possessing, he admitted, some property, and some intelligence, but who, from their numbers and character, would be disposed to rash measures, and who had, indeed, already begun to exact specific pledges from their future Representatives. He must venture to think that, in establishing these popular electors, they were placing power in the hands of men who, like the mercury in the thermometer, which was perpetually affected by the ever-varying temperature of the atmosphere, would be constantly influenced by every breath of popular clamour. Under such a system, the changeful character of the Government would present a melancholy contrast with the stability which it had enjoyed under the old form; it would, with such a fluctuating opinion, he impossible for any Minister to remain in office for eighteen months. To that too popular system the close Representation, as it was called, would have afforded a counterpoise. Let him, then, advise their Lordships not to neglect the opportunity which was now afforded of, in some degree retrieving their error, and to consider this Bill as the means of so doing.
The Earl of Camperdown
could but eulogise the temperate and elegant speech of the noble Earl, but he regretted to be compelled to express his dissent from the doctrines advanced by the noble Earl. He (the Earl of Camperdown) availed himself of that opportunity to express his perfect approbation of the measure proposed, which he considered would be productive of very great benefit to Scotland. He was surprised at the proposal of the noble Earl, that the present system should be kept up contrary to the wishes of the Scottish people, as a counterpoise to the Reform measure in England. After that measure had passed, he was astonished that any noble Lord could get up, and contend that the same principle should not be applied to Scotland. On the question of Reform, indeed, he had taken a 180 different view from that of the noble Lord, who was, or rather had been, opposed to all Reform in Scotland, but who now admitted that some amendment might be made in the Representation of Scotland. He believed that the boon was about to be granted in time to prevent bad consequences, for he agreed with the noble and learned Lord (the Lord Chancellor) that however much England stood in need of Reform, Scotland required it much more. It was perfectly true that the elections in Scotland were quietly conducted, so much so that the people did not know when elections were going on, and he thought that there was no stronger reason than this for their Lordships to interfere. As a Scotchman, merely, he would add that, he should have been glad had additional Representatives been given to Scotland, though he had not seen one Petition on the subject of Reform containing any such prayer.
The Earl of Haddington
begged to move an instruction to the Committee. He had taken the liberty the other night of stating, among other reasons for inducing him to think that the people of Scotland was not fairly dealt with in this Bill, that in respect to their Universities no Representation was given, while on the other hand it was proposed to give a second Member to the University of Dublin. It was then said, that it would be all very well to give the University of Scotland a Representation if there existed any constituency, but that there was none. Now, he thought, that without detaining their Lordships more than two minutes, he could prove there was a constituency. By the Returns which he had moved for before the Bill was passed in the House of Commons, it appeared, that the number of degrees taken in the Universities of Edinburgh, Glasgow, St. Andrew's, &c., amounted to 6,879, from 1800 to 1830. It appeared that the Universities of Edinburgh did not grant many degrees in Arts, for during the last thirty years it had granted only 199, while the number of Graduates in Medicine during the same period, was no loss than 2,524, making a most formidable body. But at the same time he must state that the majority of those degrees were conferred on persons not being natives or inhabitants of Scotland, a great number of degrees being conferred on natives of the United States of America. In Glasgow University it appeared, there had been degrees conferred on 712 Masters of Arts, 410 Doctors of Medicine, besides 87 Doctors of Divinity. In St. Andrew's the 181 number of degrees of Doctor of Physic was more considerable than that of Master of Arts, there having been 649 Doctors of Medicine, and 59 Masters of Arts. In Marischall College Aberdeen, there had been 1,018 degrees of Masters of Arts, and only 282 of Doctors in Medicine. In King's College, Aberdeen, 740 degrees of Masters of Arts, and 286 Doctors of Medicine. Thus it appeared, that the total numbers of degrees of Masters of Arts, conferred by the Scotch Universities, chiefly from those of Glasgow and Aberdeen, amounted to 2,728. It was not possible to say, how many out of all the persons who had taken degrees were still alive; but this calculation went to the year 1830, and he should therefore conclude, that of the 2,728 Masters of Arts 1,500 were resident in Scotland; that of the degrees of Doctors of Medicine taken up in the last thirty years one-half of the parties might be reckoned as resident in Scotland. Of those who had taken up the degree of Doctor in Medicine in Edinburgh the noble Earl thought 1,500 might be reckoned; and of those of Glasgow (410) 210 might be said to be in Scotland. The noble Earl concluded by moving an instruction to the Committee to provide for the Representation of the Universities of Scotland, by giving one Member to Represent the University of Edinburgh, King's College, Aberdeen, and Marischall College, Aberdeen, and one Member to Represent the Universities of Glasgow and St. Andrew's; the right of voting to be in the office-bearers and graduates resident in Scotland.
The Lord Chancellor
regretted, that the noble Earl had not brought forward sufficient materials to establish the right of the Scotch Universities to send Representatives to Parliament. If their Lordships thought that a constituency could be formed for the Scotch Universities, to consist of Masters of Arts, as in the English Universities, or any thing parallel to it, they grossly deceived themselves. In England the Universities conferred degrees after a considerable period of residence, after much labour performed, and if they were not in all respects so rigorous as the statutes of the Universities required, nevertheless it could not be said, that Masters of Arts were created at Oxford and Cambridge as they were in Scotland, without any residence, or without some kind of examination. In Scotland all the statutes of the Universities which enforced conditions on the grant of degrees were a dead letter. And it could not be doubted 182 that if the amendment were adopted the Universities would be prodigal of their grants, if it were only for the purpose of trying to swamp each other at the election of their common Representative. They must, then, before they could entertain the noble Lord's proposition, consider of a new interior Constitution for the Universities of Scotland. He was not one of those who were violently enamoured of the University Representation of England and Ireland. If it were to do over again he should hesitate to give the right of Representation to any Universities whatever. It was better that the stillness and quietness of literary pursuits should not be interrupted by political struggles. He did not think, that upon the whole a balance of advantage was introduced by the University Representation. It had a tendency to make men politicians prematurely, and to convert those into political partizans, who, after spending the earlier part of their lives in academic retirement, and in superintending the education of their younger countrymen, passed at length into the sacred office of the Ministry, and thus it produced a confusion of character which was neither graceful nor beneficial. He was not prepared to propose an amendment to the Bill, but he sincerely regretted, that instead of giving Members to the Universities, it did not withdraw the franchise from the Scotch clergy. They had their Church Courts, in which all questions relating to the ecclesiastical affairs of the country were discussed and decided, and he lamented that they were not, he would not say disfranchised by the Bill, but freed and liberated from the burthen-some and unseemly charge of political duty. His only reason for not pressing an amendment to effect this was the apprehension, that after such an amendment had been proposed and negatived in the other House of Parliament, it might appear invidious in him to do so, and might also, perhaps, in some instances, have the effect of making clergymen more active and zealous politicians than the measure as it stood. He understood, indeed, from good authority, that such a proposition now would be considered as casting a stigma upon the Scottish clergy, and as establishing an invidious distinction between them and their brethren of the English Church, He hoped, that notwithstanding this measure the clergy of Scotland would adhere to their good old practice of keeping aloof from political contests, and if they exercised the franchise which was now given 183 them, he hoped they would do so with the moderation and conscientiousness befitting their sacred character and, that they would beware of degenerating into tools of political parties. From what he had heard, he hoped that such would continue to be the case; while for the reasons already stated, he felt it his duty to oppose the amendment of his noble friend.
The Earl of Haddington
concurred in the observations of his noble friend, as to the Scotch clergy, though he did not see how they applied to the Motion before their Lordships. He would not press his Motion to a division.
§ Amendment negatived.
§ The House resolved itself into Committee.
§ On the reading of the first clause,
The Earl of Haddington
rose for the purpose of moving, that the figures "61" be substituted for the figures "53." The ground upon which he moved that amendment was, that Scotland, by the Bill as it then stood, would not receive an adequate share of Representation as compared with England and Wales. Ministers in their measures of Reform, professed to proceed upon the principles of population and wealth. Considered in that light, Scotland, her population and wealth compared with that of England and Wales, would be entitled to sixty-three instead of fifty-three Members. Eight of the most considerable counties in Scotland were to receive but one Member each, or eight in the whole, while eight counties in England of similar wealth and population were, under the English Bill, to receive eighteen Members between them. This taken upon the principles upon which the Government now professed to proceed, was neither just nor fair to Scotland. But even if the main principle as that adopted at the time of the Union of the two countries were now acted upon, Scotland would clearly be entitled to a larger share of Representation. If the Representation of the three kingdoms were dealt out in strict proportion to the population, and to the amount of taxation contributed by each, England and Wales would then be entitled to 489 Members, Scotland to 64, and Ireland to 103. Or again, which was still more curious, if the Representation of each of the three kingdoms were to be determined in proportion to the amount of the Excise Revenue collected from each, England and Wales would be entitled only to 362 Members, while Scotland would have a claim to 98, and Ireland to 197. Again if the Re- 184 presentation were to be determined by the relative amount of population and revenue paid respectively by each people, supposing the number of Representatives for England and Wales to be 500, Scotland would have a claim for 65, and Ireland for 106; or taking together the relative population and amount of Excise duties paid, Scotland would be entitled to 87 Members, and Ireland to 175; supposing England to have 500. His (the Earl of Haddington's) Motion, however, was not founded upon these calculations, because, however just it might be to ask that the Representation of Scotland should be rendered strictly proportionate to that of England, being founded upon the same principle, he felt that it was now too late to urge a proposition of that kind. But at the same time he thought it no more than reasonable that the Representation of Scotland should be extended to the degree to which it was clearly entitled if considered upon the principle adopted at the time of the Union. Upon that principle, he contended justice had not been done to Scotland, for example the county of Aberdeen with a population of 177,651, and possessing property to the amount of 325,218l. per annum was to have only one Member, while Rutland with a population of 19,000 and a rental not exceeding 130,000l. would return two Members; conceiving this to be a gross injustice, he should, therefore, beg leave to move, that the figures "61" be substituted for the figures "53."
The Lord Chancellor
was clearly of I opinion, that the noble Earl's judgment had I been led astray by one of those arithmetitical illusions which not unfrequently I dazzled the sight, and confounded the senses, of the most ingenious and learned of mankind. It was strange to reflect upon the wonders which by calculations of figures men had proposed to effect. By simple calculation it might appear perfectly easy to pay off the national debt in five minutes. It was in the practical application of those calculations, that the difficulty arose. The noble Earl, rejoicing in the figures, the good round numbers which he had collected together, and which, worked by the rule of three, seemed to produce such irrefutable proofs of the correctness and justice of his argument, forgot that counter statements of figures worked by the same rule, might be adduced which would completely annihilate all that he had advanced. The noble Earl stated, that eight counties in Scotland, containing a population of somewhere about 185 300,000 inhabitants, were to Lave but eight Members among them; and this presumed insufficiency of Representation he endeavoured to prove by comparing it with the Representation of eight similar counties in England. But what was the fact? There might be certain districts in England, which compared with certain other districts in Scotland, had certainly a greater degree of Representation. But again, there were other districts in England which had infinitely less. For instance, look at the West Riding of Yorkshire, only the division of a county, with a population of 980,000 souls, and only two Representatives. Again, if the arithmetical views of the noble Earl were acted upon, how would Scotland fare when compared with the two great English counties of Yorkshire and Lancashire? The counties of the Rival Roses originally returned but four Members; that was under the good old system, in which his noble friend had opposed all improvement. Scotland, at the same time, with less population than these two counties, returned its forty-five Members. There were various other anomalies which were not yet got rid of. Why the small county of Selkirk, with 6,000 inhabitants, had its Member, and what an ill-used portion of the people, by the rule laid down by his noble friend, must the people of the West Riding of Yorkshire consider themselves; in consequence of the division of Yorkshire the two counties mentioned had returned six Members; and now, under the Reform Bill, they were to return no more than ten. Yet the population of those two counties amounted to 2,500,000, equal to the whole population of Scotland. Continue the comparison, and as far as such numerical deductions as the noble Earl had drawn were concerned, it still turned in favour of England. Twenty-three counties in Scotland, containing together a population of 800,000 souls, would return at least twenty—he believed he was not mistaken in stating twenty-three Members—while the West Riding of Yorkshire, with its 980,000 inhabitants, would have but two. The same arguments held good as to the Revenue and taxes of different districts, in fact there would be no end of changes if they were to follow out the principles, as to population and wealth, laid down by his noble friend. The practical point was, could they have so many Members? It was admitted on all hands that Parliament was already too numerous; and what places were to suffer to make room for the additional Mem- 186 bers proposed to be given to Scotland by his noble friend? As to population, Scotland was better off than Ireland for Representatives, and even as well off as that country, considering the amount of its wealth. In short if the noble Earl's rule-of-three calculations were admitted, it would not be difficult to prove, that England in many instances, should have tens and even hundreds of Representatives where Scotland had one. The practical question, however, was—could they re-open the whole system? Was Manchester or Birmingham to lose its Members, or were they prepared to have a new schedule A? The addition proposed by his noble friend would not be in proportion to the population of Scotland any more than the present number. Upon these grounds, believing that full justice was done to Scotland, and believing also that the same arguments might, on any occasion, be brought against the sixty-one Members as against the fifty-three he should decidedly oppose the Amendment.
The Earl of Haddington
said, it was from the English Representatives, that ha would subtract the Members he proposed to give to Scotland.
§ Amendment negatived, and the clause agreed to.
§ On reading the next clause,
The Earl of Mansfield
objected to the separation of several parishes from the county of Perth, for the purpose of adding to the counties of Clackmannan and Kinross. This he observed, had given rise to great discontent in the county of Perth, and in his opinion, ought to be corrected.
§ Clause agreed to, as were the clauses to the 12th.
§ Upon the clause providing for the qualification of county voters superiorities.
The Earl of Mansfield
observed, that those who were to lose by this Bill their rights as owners of superiorities were in his opinion, entitled to some compensation, and he also thought this could not come with greater propriety from any quarter than from those who were to receive the elective franchise under this Bill.
The Lord Chancellor
said, this was a question of some delicacy; as it would be usurping the privilege of the Commons, were they to take out of their hands the 187 apportionment of pecuniary compensation to such persons. If any thing were to be done in this case, it must be done by a separate Bill, which ought to originate in another House.
§ Clause agreed to.
§ The House resumed.—Bill to be further considered in Committee.