HL Deb 30 July 1840 vol 55 cc1112-3

Viscount Duncannon moved the second reading of the Municipal Districts and Compensation to Corporate Officers (Ireland) Bill. The bill, he observed, contained provisions which were in conformity with the wishes expressed by noble Lords on a former evening. It contained clauses for compensation, clauses for regulating boundaries, and clauses for the maximum of taxation with reference to rates.

Lord Lyndhurst

was quite satisfied with the manner in which this bill was framed. It was calculated to carry into effect the views of himself and his noble Friends, and he, for one, readily consented to it.

Lord Brougham

was not at all surprised to hear his noble Friend express his approbation of the bill, for he believed the measure to be wholly and entirely his work. Indeed, his noble Friend seemed to have had the matter all his own way. The Irish Municipal Corporations Bill had, it appeared, been postponed, with the understanding, that unless certain amendments were introduced, the noble Duke opposite and his noble and learned Friend would oppose that measure on the third reading. This new bill was in consequence introduced, although in 1838 there was an understanding that the Irish Municipal Corporations Bill would be allowed to pass without any such measure being attached to it as that which was now under consideration.

The Duke of Wellington

said, this question of Irish Municipal Corporations had been under discussion for several years, and, as the bill for settling that question was now about to be passed, he hoped that no contest would be raised on either side of the House to retard that event. It was, he conceived, most desirable that this subject should now be set at rest for ever.

Lord Brougham

said, he had no desire to create any contest. As to the concession which had been made to the opinion of noble Lords opposite, he did not mean to express any disapprobation of it. He should only say that he and his Friends had not got such terms as they had hoped for—namely, that the Irish Corporation Bill would have been allowed to pass unaccompanied by the present measure.

The Marquess of Lansdowne

said, the great question was, whether the division of districts was to be vested in the town-councils or the grand juries. He still retained his opinion, that it would be better if the power were given to the town-councils. But still he thought that that was not a point of sufficient importance to justify any delay in passing a measure of so much interest as the Irish Municipal Corporations Bill.

The Earl of Haddington

regretted that the clause which he wished to introduce on the subject of compensation had not found favour in another place. It was a clause which would have become law, if the Irish Municipal Corporations Bill had passed in 1838. The clause simply went to allow officers employed under the present corporations three months to consider of their resignation; and if within those three months they thought proper to retire, that then they should, like other parties, be allowed proper compensation.

Lord Carbery

complained of the injustice which the city of Cork would suffer in consequence of the new settlement of the boundaries. Persons connected with a district comprising sixty-five square miles round Cork would have the power of voting for a rate to which they would not contribute one farthing.

The Bishop of Exeter

said, the question was not whether this bill was in conformity with any preceding proposition. No; the matter for the consideration of that House was, whether the measure contained provisions that were unjust in themselves, and were likely to lead to consequences that their Lordships might hereafter deplore. If the statement of the noble Baron (Carbery) were correct, the operation of this bill was calculated to produce most mischievous results. By whomsoever the blunder had been committed, it was a blunder that was calculated to affect most injuriously the Protestant interest in Ireland, by extending the right of voting beyond what was contemplated by the Reform Bill. In his opinion, they could not pass it without sacrificing the Protestant interest in Ireland, and he trusted that their Lordships would do their duty by rejecting the measure.

Bill read a second time.

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