§ The Earl of Shaftesbury moved that the bill be read a first time.
was not disposed to offer any opposition to the motion of the noble Earl, that this bill should pass through its preliminary stage. He begged to give notice, however, that it was his intention, shortly after Easter, to bring the whole subject of registration before the House. His decided opinion was, that something must be done for the improvement of the existing system of Registration, but he should call the attention of the House to the absolute necessity of considering whether some change was not necessary to be adopted in the general principle of registration. The existing system, in his opinion, contained in itself all the evils of annual Parliaments, without any of their advantages; and having, at the time of the introduction of the Reform Bill, expressed his apprehension that some of its details might be found defective, he should not now shrink from endeavouring to remedy the existing insufficiency of the law.