§ Viscount Melbourne
rose for the purpose of moving the second reading of the Registration of Electors Bill. It was a bill for the purpose of consolidating the laws relating to the registration of Parliament- 871 ary electors, and he would state to their Lordships what were its most important provisions. Their Lordships were aware, that at present the preliminary proceedings respecting registration rested with the overseers, and it had been found in many cases that there had been great negligence on the part of those overseers, and that much inconvenience resulted from their taking erroneous views in regard to the forms required to be observed. To obviate those evils the bill before their Lordships made all proceedings in regard to registration begin with the clerk of the peace, and it was hoped, that this arrangement would insure greater regularity, and obviate the inconvenience which had resulted from the present practice. The bill had originated with a Committee of the House of Commons which sat in 1835, and was framed on the principle of excluding everything from its enactments in regard to which there existed any difference of opinion. The object of the framers was, to remedy those evils which all parties acknowledged, and it had almost unanimously passed the other House of Parliament. The noble Viscount briefly described the several clauses of the bill and concluded by asking their Lordships to give a second reading to the bill.
§ Bill read a second time.