HL Deb 18 June 1833 vol 18 cc954-5

Lord Western moved the second reading of this Bill. He stated that the object of it was to lower the qualification of those who voted for the appointment of the Select Vestry, or that part of them to whom was intrusted the management and direction of the poor. There were 16,000 houses in the parish, and yet the number of persons capable of voting was very small. This was in consequence of the reduced value of property. The qualification to give the right of voting was by the Act of 1808. fixed at the renting a house assessed at 30l. per annum. In consequence of the change in the value of property since that period, many of the houses that then let at 30l per annum, now let for only 20l. a-year. The object of this Bill, therefore, was to carry into effect the intention of the former Act, which was now in some degree frustrated by a change of circumstances. The principle of this Bill had been already recognized by the Legislature, for a Bill had been last year passed to lower the qualification of the voters for the trustees of the lighting and paving in the parish. That Act worked well; and the inhabitants wished the principle of it to be extended to the case of the appointment of the Directors of the Poor. He thought there would be no difficulty in their Lordships agreeing to adopt the same principle now which they had already recognized. If there should be any objections to the details of the Bill, they might be amended in the Committee. He moved that the Bill be read a second time.

Lord Segrave moved, as an Amendment, that the Bill be read a second time this day six months. The former Bill on this subject had stated, that "great dissatisfaction" prevailed in the parish with respect to the present system. The word "great" was now struck out, and he was informed, that among the parishioners at large there was no dissatisfaction whatever. There were now 1,274 Vestrymen, and this Bill would increase that deliberative assembly to 3,000; for it was in fact a Bill to lower the qualification of a Vestryman.

Lord Kenyan

was likewise opposed to the Bill, and should support the Amendment.

Lord Suffield

thought there was some misunderstanding; for, as he was informed, there were but forty-eight Directors of the Poor, and the object of the Bill was to increase the constituency of that body. That object had his decided support.

Lord Wharncliffe

should not vote against the second reading while the object of it was thus in doubt. He wished for information on oath on the subject. But if he found, as he believed he should, that, by Sir John Hobhouse's Bill, all the persons rated in a certain way were Vestrymen, and that the object of this Bill was to increase the number of Vestrymen, he should vote against it.

Lord Wynford

believed, that that was the case. He thought 1,274 Vestrymen sufficiently numerous, and should vote for the Amendment.

The Earl of Suffolk

thought, that while the matter was in doubt they ought to go into the Committee.

The House divided on the Amendment: Contents 18; Not Contents 7—Majority 11.

Bill thrown out.

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