HL Deb 05 July 1895 vol 35 cc246-7

THE LORD CHANCELLOR moved that this Bill be read a second time. It had been agreed to by the other House, and he thought it was the unanimous desire to provide some kind of barrier against a practice, which was alleged to be increasing, of obtaining the suffrages of a particular constituency by slanderous statements made in respect of the candidates. Legislation on this subject had been greatly wanted, and the Bill had been almost unanimously accepted. He thought, perhaps, the criticisms made upon the Bill would be rather that it was too weak than that it was too strong. The Bill was not too strong in the direction in which it went, and had received the general assent of both sides of the House which was principally interested in dealing with election matters.


said, of course it was impossible to do anything but accept or reject the Bill. He sympathised with its objects, but he did not feel altogether sure that the wording of the first clause might not include erroneous statements with regard to political conduct, which nobody would wish to include.


said, he did not pledge himself to an approval of the exact drafting of the Bill. He was not prepared to say that he altogether disagreed with his noble and learned Friend, but the effect of amending the Bill now in any form would be to kill it.

Read 2a (according to Order); and (Standing Order No. XXXIX. having been suspended) committed to a Committee of the Whole House forthwith; Bill reported without Amendment; Standing Committee negatived; Bill read 3a, and Passed.