HL Deb 12 August 1835 vol 30 cc392-3

The Duke of Newcastle afterwards entered the following reasons against going into a Committee upon the Municipal Corporations' Bill.

  1. "1. That Parliament can or ought to have no power which is not founded on wisdom, justice, or equity.
  2. "2. That Corporations hold by prescription and by royal charter, which give as good a title, and confirm to them the possession of their rights, privileges, and property, by a guarantee as secure and binding as that by which any 393 individual British subject whatsoever claims to enjoy his possessions, whatever they may be.
  3. "3. That the King alone is by law instituted visitor of Corporations, and has the right to inquire into and redress any delinquencies through his Majesty's Court of King's Bench, or their Courts, and therefore that the irregular interference of Parliament is a fearful assumption of power, and a perilous inroad upon the royal prerogative.
  4. "4. That the Bill called "An Act to provide for the regulation of Municipal Corporations in England and Wales" is, in fact, a Bill of Pains and Penalties, founded upon the Report of an illegal Commission.
  5. "5. That the House of Lords, in its judicial capacity, cannot go into the allegations of such a Bill until sufficient ground for doing so be proved by Evidence at the Bar.
  6. "6. That, therefore, no step ought to have been taken, nor the Bill pass through any of the usual stages, until such evidence has been heard and the charges substantiated.
  7. "7. That the principle of the Bill, as well as the Bill itself, is opposed to all constitutional justice and political wisdom, and may fairly be suspected, by a sacrifice of the defenceless Corporations, to be intended to commence the overthrow of our civil, ecclesiastical, and all other ancient and cherished national institutions.

"For these reasons I emphatically protest against the Bill going into Committee, or passing into a law.