HL Deb 28 July 1834 vol 25 cc579-80
The Marquess of Lansdown

as Chairman of the Committee to which the Bill on Bribery at Elections had been referred, presented the Report of the Committee accordingly, and said, that he could not do so without stating the character and extent of the Amendments proposed by the Committee. The noble Lords appointed upon that Committee could have but one desire, which was, to promote the great object of the Bill sent up to them from the Commons. The Committee had received suggestions of a most valuable nature from the noble Duke opposite (the Duke of Wellington), and also from his noble and learned friend on the Woolsack. It was not proposed by the Committee to make any alteration in the manner in which the House of Commons at present instituted inquiries into the question of Bribery at an Election, but the Committee proposed that when the House of Commons adopted the Resolutions of an Election Committee, and declared that gross Bribery had taken place at an election, the House of Commons should communicate that Resolution to the House of Peers, which, with the other House of Parliament should then present an Address, stating the fact to the Crown, upon which it was proposed that his Majesty should issue a Commission to inquire into the Bribery, at the head of which Commission should be placed one of the Judges, and the rest of the Members should be selected from both Houses of Parliament. In this House it was proposed that, at the commencement of the Session, the Lord Chancellor, as Speaker of the House, should select a certain number of persons, and that the Speaker of the House of Commons should name a number of persons not to exceed 100, and, as occasion should arise, that from these two bodies should be selected, of the members of the House of Commons seven, and of the Members of this House five, who, together with the Judge, should constitute the Court of Inquiry. It was proposed that this Court should have the power of summoning witnesses, and compelling their attendance, should require them to give evidence, and exempt them from the consequences of that evidence. This Court should then report the general state of the case to both Houses, and that report should be the foundation of such legislative proceedings as the two Houses in their wisdom might think fit to agree to. He hoped that the Report would meet with their Lordships' approbation. He now moved, that it be printed, and that it be referred to the Committee on the Bill to-morrow.

Agreed to.