HL Deb 05 August 1885 vol 300 cc1195-6

House in Committee (according to Order).

Clauses 1 and 2 severally agreed to.


, after presenting a Petition from ladies in Kensington in favour of extending the franchise to women, moved to insert in the Ballot Act an Amendment declaring that all women not legally disqualified, and who had the same qualification as the present electors, should have the right to vote at Parliamentary elections. With reference to the statement made by the noble Earl the Chairman of Committees (the Earl of Redesdale) on a previous occasion, when a similar Amendment had been moved, he declared that it was a dangerous thing to lay down the principle that no alteration could be made in any of the Acts included in the Expiring Laws Continuance Bill. He submitted that if his Amendment were accepted it would set a difficult question at rest for ever. Both sides of the House, he thought, were agreed as to the justice of his demand, and he hoped to see women on the Parliamentary Register either this year or next.

Amendment moved, after Clause 2 add the following clause:— Provided that the Act 35 & 36 Vict. c. 33. continued as aforesaid, shall he hereby extended so as to admit all women not leglly disqualified who have the same qualification as the present electors for counties and boroughs to vote for the election of Members of Parliament for counties and boroughs."—(The Lord Denman.)

Amendment negatived.

Remaining Clauses agreed to.

Bill reported, without Amendment; and to be read 3a To-morrow.


repeated that it was against every rule and practice to attempt to amend an Act in the Expiring Laws Continuance Bill. It would be extremely injurious to legislation if anyone could, get up and move extravagant Amendments to existing measures. It would be adding new legislation to continued legislation; and if the principle were adopted it would lead to a great many hurried and faulty Acts being passed.


said, he looked upon the principle laid down by the noble Earl as most tyrannical, as if every continued Act were stereotyped, so a hundred bad measures might all be grouped, as was attempted in the Bankruptcy Bill of 1832. The new legislation of a retiring pension of £6,000 a-year might be carried, as was attempted by Lord Brougham, in a Bill for Bankruptcy, which had passed the House of Lords. As it was, however, the country had come round to his views on nearly every question upon which they had differed hitherto. He was now an old man, being 80 years of age, and he desired to see this measure of justice to females aimed at by the Amendment passed before he died.

House adjourned at half past Two o'clock, till To-morrow, Four o'clock.