HL Deb 25 July 1898 vol 62 cc1076-7

Amendment proposed— Page 80, lines 34 and 35, leave out 'except in the county boroughs of Belfast and Londonderry.'"—(Marquess of Londonderry.)


This Amendment, my Lords, deals with the cities of Belfast and Derry, and I am informed that both of those cities have a municipal franchise almost similar to that under the Bill. Belfast obtained that franchise in 1887 and Derry in 1897. The last municipal general election, on 25th November, was conceded by the Government, and they considered it unnecessary to have a new election for these cities. The councillors for Belfast and Derry retire one-third each year, and this 'mode of retirement is reserved in this Bill. The Bill as originally drafted preserved the day of election fixed by the Municipal Corporations Act—the 25th of November, but in some boroughs it was stated by the clerks that they could not have the burgess lists ready by then. That is entirely wrong, so far as Belfast and Derry are concerned, because the lists can be ready in good time without the slightest difficulty, and the date would be more convenient as preserving the existing state of matters; and should the date of the Bill—15th January—be adopted, there will have to be a lot of unnecessary changes made that would not be required if the existing date was adhered to. The fiscal arrangements are made on 1st January, and the whole machinery of the corporation is based on the November election, and the people of those two cities consider that great expense and inconvenience would be caused should the date of the election be made on 15th January. Under the circumstances, I therefore move the Amendment standing in my name.


It is most desirable that there should be some uniformity and general rule laid down, and that is the reason that one day is fixed for the whole of these elections to take place. My noble Friend wishes, by his Amendment, to make an exception in the case of Belfast and Derry; but I do not think it will be desirable, or that it would lend itself to general convenience. I think that the clause as it stands, to have one day for all the elections, is by far the wisest course, and therefore I trust that my noble Friend will not press this Amendment.


After what the noble Lord has said I will not press the Amendment, but will withdraw it.

Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.

Motion made and question put— That clauses 109 and 110 stand part of the Bill.

Agreed to.

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