HL Deb 07 June 1866 vol 183 cc2020-1

said, that in consequence of the numerous Amendments which had been made in this Bill he proposed, as more convenient to their Lordships, that the Bill should be committed pro formâ with a view to its being reprinted in its amended form.


said, he was strongly impressed with the importance of this Bill. He hoped some alteration would be made with regard to the plea of insanity in cases of murder, in order to permit a verdict of manslaughter to be returned in cases where such a plea was made out, He also thought it was a most improper course of proceeding in capital cases to admit the accused to adduce evidence to show that he was intoxicated at the time he committed the offence, as he regarded intoxication as an aggravation rather than as an extenuating feature in such cases. Such a course ought never to be permitted in a Court of Justice. He further wished to point out the necessity for steps being taken for the prevention of bribery, an offence which had prevailed to a great extent during the last election. The other House might, by an alteration in their Standing Orders, make such regulations as would put a stop to the practice, by requiring a stringent declaration on the part of the Member; or an Act of Parliament might be passed making the offence punishable. He thought such an alteration in the law would be most effectual in deterring persons from committing the offence; as, although many men might be willing to risk their money, few would like to run the chance of being sent to the treadmill in the hopes of obtaining a seat. If they acted as firmly in regard to bribery as they had in regard to the slave trade, their object would be speedily attained.

House in Committee: Amendments made: The Report thereof to be received To-morrow, and Bill to be printed as amended. (No. 145.)