HL Deb 23 November 1837 vol 39 cc133-4
The Duke of Norfolk

presented a petition from Sheffield, pointing out the defects in the registration clauses of the Reform Bill, and praying for their amendment.

Lord Brougham

had been requested to support the prayer of the petition, and could bear testimony to the great respecta- bility of the petitioners. No objection could, he thought, be urged against correcting such defects as had by chance or oversight crept into the measure, and were found by experience to operate injuriously. He should not, however, be doing justice to himself, or to his old colleagues, in speaking on matters connected with this subject, if he did not, at the same time, state that he did not think, that mere corrections and amendments in the details of the Bill would suffice to render that measure practicable and effective for producing the great end which was had in view by those who framed the Bill, by those who supported it, and by those who adopted it— namely, the securing to the people of this country a free and full representation in the Commons House of Parliament. Experience had plainly shown the absolute necessity of amending the measure in some important particulars, and he alluded especially to the elective franchise. He was as firmly convinced, after the experience they had had, of the necessity of such an amendment, as he was at the time when their Lordships adopted the Bill, of the necessity which existed, for passing the measure itself.

Petition laid on the table.