HL Deb 02 August 1839 vol 49 cc1143-5

On the bringing up the report, and on the question that the amendment be agreed to,

The Lord Chancellor

proposed the restoration of the 6th clause in the form in which it originally stood. The clause had been framed upon the principle adopted in the English and Irish Reform Acts, and the English Municipal Corporation Act, and the effect of it was to preserve the inchoate right of voting of persons who by any means should become freemen. The effect of the amendment was to extend the right of voting to all persons who should hereafter have the capacity of be- coming freemen, and this was complained of, because the consequences would be that the power of corporations to manufacture honorary freemen would be reinstated; all rights should, no doubt, be maintained, but that was not the effect of this clause, but it was rather to confer new rights, and new powers. The noble and learned Lord (Lord Lyndhurst), by whom this clause had been amended, was doubtless unaware of the effect which his amendment would have; but, although he was so unaware of it, those by whom the clause had been submitted to him, were evidently pretty well acquainted with the history of corporations in Ireland.

Lord Lyndhurst

said, that the effect of the amendment would not be to extend the power of voting one iota beyond that which existed before this bill. The amended clause was allowed to remain in the original amended bill, and was actually agreed to by the House of Commons, and he thought that it was not very fair now at almost the latest stage of the measure, to propose this re-alteration of the proposed provision. If the original clause were allowed to stand, a large body of persons who had hitherto been entitled to vote would be disfranchised, and therefore it was that the principle was proposed, that persons who should be now or hereafter entitled to vote, should still possess that right.

The Earl of Wicklow

said, that it appeared that it was the wish of noble Lords to remedy a defect in the Parliamentary Reform Bill. This ought not to be done in a corporation bill, and therefore their Lordships ought not to agree to the alteration suggested by the noble and learned Lord on the woolsack.

Their Lordships divided on the original question;—Contents 64; Non contents 37; Majority for Lord Lyndhurst's amendment 27.

[Who voted in favour of the amendments proposed by the Lord Chancellor in Irish Municipal Corporation Act.]

Pairs same as before.

Report agreed to.