Sivut kuvina

learned Gentleman had not taken the trou- | before the period had expired, it was clear ble to read the judgment of the Court of they put the voter in a position of great Common Pleas. [The ATTORNEY GENE- disadvantage. All he asked was, either RAL: Hear, hear!] Nothing was more that the practice of the Treasury should clear than that the hon. and learned Gen- be altered, or that by some legislation they tleman was entirely unconscious of the should assimilate the law to it. question at issue. The fact was, that the MR. WALPOLE thought the hon, and extension of the time from three to six learned Gentleman had entirely mistaken months had had the effect of misleading the question before the House. The ratethe public altogether. Payment of taxes paying clauses were inserted in the Reform was made half-yearly by order of the Bill for two purposes : to obtain distinct Treasury, as being more convenient, and evidence of occupation in respect to the the circumstance was overlooked in putting property for which the voter claimed the in the date of the 5th of January. It right to vote, and to have the test of his had since been found out that although credit, respectability, and independence. by the legal direction of the Treasury no Whether they should continue the Reform demand was made for taxes due on the Act on those principles was a distinct sub5th of January, yet if the voter did not go ject for discussion, which ought to be brought and search for the tax collector, and pay before the House on a distinct Motion, and the amount before it was demanded, he not confounded with the question whether lost his vote. The consequence was, that six months was a sufficient time for the the Bill of 1848 secured no extension payment of those taxes in respect to the whatever, and the limit still remained at qualification for which the voter claimed to three months. This was delusive to the vote. [Sir De L. Evans: We want a voter, and had been declared delusive by bona fide six months.] However he would the Court of Common Pleas. Would the first refer to the rates and then to the House then stultify itself, and refuse to taxes. If any rate was imposed any time correct an error which might lead to the before the 5th of January, there was clearly disfranchisement of thousands of electors ? from the 5th of January to the 20th July The hon. Member for Montrose (Mr. Hume) for payment. The Poor Rate was the had given himself unnecessary trouble the principal rate, and they all knew there was other night, in asking whether it was the hardly an exception to the rule of demandintention of the present Government to ex- ing the poor-rate within a month or two of tend the franchise, as he might be quite the time of the rate being imposed; so that sure, from what now occurred, that the de- in point of fact the voter had the right sire of Her Majesty's Ministers was not to secured to him of notice from at least the extend but to restrict it.

month of March to the 20th of July. The Sir ALEXANDER COCKBURN said, amount could only be a few shillings, and it did appear to him, that by the pre- he had those months for the payment of sent plan of collecting taxes a delusion was a few shillings. The real question was practised on the voters, and that something whether giving six months, or four months ought to be done, either by the House or at least, after notice, was not a sufficient the Treasury, to put matters on a more latitude in point of time. With regard to satisfactory basis. No man paid taxes until the assessed taxes, upon which, he prehe was asked. The law required, in order sumed, his hon. and learned Friend rested to give the franchise, that taxes due up to his argument that a delusion was practised, a given period should be paid by the par- he thought he would find he was totally ties claiming the vote, and they were not mistaken. The obligation was to pay all asked for those taxes till the time was gone assessed taxes due and payable in respect by when, by the Act, they ought to have to the premises for which the voter claimed been paid. He did not say it was inten- to vote on the 5th of January preceding, tional that the order of the Treasury or, in other words, to pay the Assessed should have that effect. He did not say Taxes for the house he occupied for the hon. Gentlemen opposite wished to dis- preceding year. The assessed taxes ran franchise voters; but if the Parliamentary from the 5th of April to the 5th of April franchise was to turn upon the payment of following in respect to the premises occutaxes, they ought not to have the practice pied in that preceding year. The first of collecting those taxes in disunion with half-year of those assessed taxes became the law requiring payment within a given payable long before the month of January, period. If they did not ask for the taxes and there was the period from January to July for payment. He should agree with | amended, put, and agreed to ;-Second the hon. and learned Gentleman, that it Reading put off for six months. was reasonable to require an alteration if The House adjourned at a quarter behe could show that either rates or taxes fore Two o'clock. were not invariably payable at a period which allowed the voter some three or four months before he was called to pay those

II OUSE OF LORDS, taxes. Under all the circumstances he

Thursday, December 9, 1852. certainly thought there was no justification for any alteration in the time allowed for MINUTES.] Took the Oaths.-Several Lords.

Public Bills,-18 Commons Inclosure. the payment of taxes as a qualification for the exercise of the franchise.

3a Oaths in Chancery, &c.; Bank Notes. MR. CROWDER thought the right hon.

The House met ; and having gone Gentleman (Mr. Walpole) had fallen into a

through the business on the paper, great mistake as to the payment of assessed taxes. It was to that point that his hon.

House adjourned till To-morrow. and gallanıt Friend (Sir De L. Evans) referred when he spoke of a body of persons being disfranchised by the decision of the II O USE OF COMMONS, Court of Common Pleas. He begged permission to state the position in which he

Thursday, December 9, 1852. understood the matter practically to stand with reference to the collection of these TIE WEST GLOUCESTERSHIRE taxes. They might or might not be due

ELECTION. quarterly. Undoubtedly some lawyers main- MR. IIUME presented a petition from tained the one proposition on one side, and Mr. Grantley Berkeley, setting forth the others the other, but practically that did violations of tic law which had taken place not affect the question as to the way in at the last clection for West Gloucesterwhich these taxes were collected. It was shire. The petitioner prayed the House well known), and he thought it was well to institute a full inquiry in the matter known by his right hon. Friend (Mr. Wal- complained of. Hc (Mr. Ilume) presumed pole), that the collection of assessed taxes that the Ilouse would not refuse to enterwas by the half-year, and that two quarters tain the petition, as it did not contain any became due in April and October. The allusion whatever to the sitting Members, two quarters falling due in April included and could not, therefore, be said to come a quarter due in January, and the collec. within the limits of an election petition. tion of those two quarters which terminated Mr.GRENVILLE BERKELEY moved in April was made in the month of July, that the petition be read by the Clerk at and in the month of July the collector the table. might call for the payment of those quar- The Clerk having read the petition, ters, which would include the quarter due MR. SPEAKER said, that the present in January, and not before, and therefore petition was open to the same objection as in truth it was a delusion on the part of the the one which had been previously offered payer of these taxes, if, not being called and withdrawn-that was, that it was a on, without the slightest disposition to petition complaining of an undue return, avoid payment, he was disfranchised. Ile in consequence of bribery and corruption thought his hon. and learned Friend the having been employed to influence the Member for Southampton (Sir A.Cockburn) return of an hon. Member of that House. had put the matter in its true light, and That being the case, and the petition not he fully agreed with him that there ought having been presented within the time either to be legislation such as that pro- prescribed for the presentation of election posed, or a different mode of collecting petitions, it could not be received. these rates, so that practically the parties MR. HUME said, he wished to know if might have six months for their pay- it was to be understood that the door was ment.

henceforth to be closed against all inquiry Question put, " That the word 'now' in such cases, when the complaining parstand part of the Question."

ties were not in a position to bear the The House divided :-Ayes 67; Noes expense of prosecuting an clection peti103: Majority 36.

tion. The object of the Bill of the noble Words added :- Main Question, as Lord the Member for London (Lord J. Russell) it was generally supposed, was to and was willing to be guided by the aumeet cases of this kind. The petition was thority of the Chair. worded, as far as possible, so that it should MR. SPEAKER: Then my opinion is not be regarded as an election petition, that the petition should be withdrawn. nor was there any thing in it, as far as he saw, that could affect the seat of the sit- THE FINANCIAL STATEMENT_THE ting Member. There could be a Commis

BUDGET. sion issued to inquire into the facts, and MR. HUME said, he begged to inquire place them before the country, exposing whether the right hon. Gentleman the the violence and contravention of the law Chancellor of the Exchequer would detail which had taken place.

the course which he intended to pursue MR. HILDYARD begged to remind with regard to the public business of tothe House of a petition presented in the morrow? By the paper which he held in last Parliament of a similar nature, in his hand, he saw that the right hon. Genwhich precisely the same question was tleman proposed to bring forward—first, raised. That petition, which had refer- the question of the Inhabited House Duence to the then recent election for the ties; second, that of the Tea Duties ; Falkirk burghs, alleged that treating had third, that of the reduction of the duty been carried on to an alarming extent, and upon Malt; and, lastly, the Property and prayed for inquiry; but the then Attorney Income Tax. The House must vote seGeneral (Sir A. Cockburn) held that the parately upon all these propositions, and allegations of the petitioner were such as,

he wished to know whether one vote was if proved, would amount to those of an to decide the fate of all. election petition; and that as no election

The CHANCELLOR OF THE EXCHEpetition had been presented within the QUER said, he desired that the decision of prescribed time, it was not competent for the House should be taken upon the whole the House to deal with the question ; and of the financial scheme. He understood according to that view the House decided that to be the wish of the House, and it Now, with this decision before them, it was certainly the wish of the Government. was impossible, he thought, for the House It was for that reason he had placed all the to entertain the present petition.

Resolutions upon the table. It would of MR. HUME would ask if he was to decision of the House upon the first Reso

course be necessary formally to take the understand that complaints of infractions of the election law, were not in future to cision as conclusive of the general policy

lution, but he would look upon that debe inquired into by that House, except they had recommended. when brought before them by means of the

ŠIR JOHN SHELLEY begged to give costly process of an election Committee?

notice that he would move, as an AmendIf any mode was pointed out by which an ment of the right hón. Gentleman's Reinquiry could be obtained, he was ready solutions, that the whole subject should be to adopt it.

postponed until after the Christmas recess. MR. T. DUNCOMBE said, that the

The CHANCELLOR OF THE EXCIE. question before them was, whether this QUER begged to state that with repetition referred to matters that could be spect to the Committee which he should inquired into in the ordinary way before an move the House to resolve itself into, it election Committee, or under the Corrupt had been a question whether it should be Practices at Elections Act? It appeared a Committee of Ways and Means, or one to him that the complaint was against cer- upon the Bill. He had consulted the highest tain individuals who had spent their money authority upon that subject, who was of at the election in favour of a particular opinion that it might be either. It was his candidate, and not generally against a con- intention, therefore, to propose with respect stituency. If the petition charged the to the first Resolution, that the House reconstituency in general with corruption, solve itself into a Committee of Ways and then no doubt, under the Act he had re- Means, and upon the Tea duties he should ferred to, it would have been open for his

move that the House go into Committee hon. Friend to move an Address to the


the Bill. Crown to institute an inquiry; but, as far Mr. FREWEN said, he would now give as he understood it, it did not.

notice that he should move, as an AmendMR. HUME said, he was only anxious ment upon the Malt Resolution, that the that some investigation should take place, Duty on Hops be repealed altogether. VOL. CXXIII. (THIRD SERIES.)

2 P

SIR DE LACY EVANS said, as he ob- I was expected from Sir George Grey, under served a difference between the Financial whose jurisdiction the Auckland Islands Statement and the Resolutions which were were, and, pending the Report, Mr. Enlaid upon the table of the House, he should derby's resignation had not been accepted. wish to know whether the right hon. Gen- Under these circumstances his answer must tleman the Chancellor of the Exchequer be, that the Government had no intention had abandoned his original intentions ? of sending out any Governor in place of

The CHANCELLOR OF THE EXCHE- Mr. Enderby, or of taking steps to colonise QUER said, that in Resolutions of this na- these Islands. ture it was not customary to explain the reason of any alterations. But it was not

THE SUGAR DUTIES. his intention to alter in any important point MR. J. WILSON said, he wished to call the general statement which he had the the attention of the House to the effects of honour of submitting to the House on a the Sugar Acts of 1846 and 1848 upon previous occasion.

the British Sugar Colonies, and upon the Subject dropped.

Sugar Trade of the United Kingdom. It

might, perhaps, be objected that, after the THE AUCKLAND ISLANDS

speech made the other night by the right MR. ENDERBY.

hon. Gentleman the Chancellor of the ExMR. MILLER said, he would beg to ask chequer, he ought not to persevere with the right hon. Secretary for the Colonies this Motion ; but he felt it his duty to whether Mr. Enderby had been recalled draw the attention of the House to this from the Auckland Islands; if so, the cir- subject, not for the purpose of placing the cumstances under which his recall had taken Government in an unpleasant position, but place; and whether the right hon. Baronet in order that the anxieties of the Colonists had any objection to place upon the table might be put an end to upon this most imof the House the Correspondence relating portant subject. On Friday last the right thereto, together with a Copy of any graut, hon. Gentleman the Chancellor of the Erlease, or charter made in relation to the chequer stated what he intended to do with Auckland Islands, either to Mr. Enderhy regard to the Colonists, and if he had or any other

person or persons; also whe- confined himself to that statement, he (Mr. ther it is the intention of Her Majesty's Wilson) should have been satisfied to have Government to appoint any other Governor let the question rest where it was. But in the place of Mr. Enderby, or to take any the right hon. Gentleman, not merely consteps with a view to the colonisation of the tent with stating what he intended to do, said Islands?

thought proper to impugn the acts of that Sir JOHN PAKINGTON said, in the House, on this question during the last first place Mr. Enderby had not been re- four or five years, as acts of injustice and called from the Governorship of the Auck- harshness towards the West Indian Cololand Islands, therefore, he could not state nies. Now, he thought that if these acts the circumstances under which that recall thus stigmatised were capable of vindicatook place. He would beg to remind the tion, they should be vindicated, and if they hon. Member of the circumstances under were not, that justice should be afforded which Mr. Enderby came to the appoint- to the Colonists; and it was because he ment of Lieutenant Governor of these Is- took the former view of the question, that lands. In 1848 a lease was granted by the he.determined to persevere with this MoCrown to a Company for the purposes of tion. The exact position in which the the whale fishery, and Mr. Enderby was question now stood was this. It might be sent out by that Company as their Commis- recollected that about a year ago they had sioner, and it was in compliance with the information that the great battle to be Company's request that Mr. Enderby re- fought between the two great parties in ceived from the Crown the Commission as that House would be upon the question of Lieutenant Governor that he might pre- the Sugar Duties. And they were aware serve order in the Islands. At à subse- that a very extensively organised systemquent period the Company became dissatis- he did not say that the right hon. Gentlefied, and sent out other Commissioners, man was connected with that organisation who prevailed on Mr. Enderby to send in -had been established throughout the his resignation. The whole of the circum- whole of the Sugar Colonies, by petitions stances had been brought to the notice of to Parliament and otherwise, for the purthe Governor of New Zealand, and a report pose of repealing or arresting the descend.

ing scale of the Sugar Duties. When classes of Her Majesty's subjects.” [3 Hansard, Parliament met on the 3rd of February,

cxix. 1036.] the result of this agitation manifested it. At the same time the noble Lord at the self. On the first night of the Session, head of the Government said in the other the right hon. Baronet the Secretary for House on the 10th of June-the Colonies came down to the House and

Whatever other alleviation might be afforded put a notice upon the books, asking the to the distress of the planters, they could only be House to go into a Committee upon the enabled effectually and permanently to meet the Sugar Duties. A change of Government competition of foreign countries by some measure took place, and the notice was changed which should have the effect, if not of establishing from the 21st of February to the 27th of the further reduction of those which now subthc same month, and it was ultimately al- sisted between British and slave-grown sugar.” lowed to drop. Soon after the new Ministry was formed, he (Mr. Wilson) put a As a matter of course, all persons interestquestion to the right hon. Gentleman-ed in colonial matters were greatly anxious then become Secretary for the Colonies—to know what the views of the Government whether he intended to persevere with the might be after the general election. It Motion of which he had given notice? The was quite true that petitions had come in right hon. Gentleman's reply was this :- from all our Sugar-growing Colonies, signed

by all classes of persons, portraying dis“Sir, I felt it to be my duty, as a member of tresses of an unexampled character, and the Opposition, to press upon Her Majesty's Ministers what I believed to be the disastrous effects

that there had been no cessation of of their own acts. I refer to the Act of 1846, anxious effort on the part of the Colonists, modified by the subsequent Act of 1848, regulat- and of those who represented them in this ing the duties on sugar. Sir, as a member of country, to press on the House, and on Her Majesty's present Government, which is in the country, the distress of the Colonies, an acknowledged minority in this House, I conceive it to be no less my duty to take whatever and the claims they conceived themselves course I may think best for the promotion of the to have on the Government and on the Leobject we have in view; and we do not think that gislature of the home country, in conseit would tend to the relief of West Indian distress

quence of what they deemed-supported if we were, during the present Session, to press by the opinions of the present Government forward views and plans against which there are recorded majorities on several occasions during while in opposition and since—the harsh the present Parliament. Sir, we further think and unjust legislation of recent years.

That that there is nothing in the question of the Sugar very evening the right hon. Secretary for Duties sufficiently special or sufficiently exception: the Colonies had presented a petition in able to justify us in making it an exception to that intention on the part of Her Majesty's Govern

this sense from the merchants of Liverment, which has been announced in another place pool—the second presented by the right by my noble Friend the Prime Minister, that in-hon. Baronet from that place on that subtention being not unnecessarily to press upon Par-ject within the last few days. It was verted questions of policy which we think it best therefore highly expedient, the Government to reserve for the judgment of another Parlia- having virtually given up this question, ment. Sir, for these reasons it is not my inten- which they had so long sustained, that the tion to bring forward during the present Session Government should state to the House, and the Motion to which the hon. Member for West- to the public, and to the colonists, why it bury has alluded. But, Sir, I must beg leave to add one word more. The opinions which I have

was that, upon further reflection, they had repeatedly expressed in this House upon the Acts changed their views, and given thus, so of Parliament regulating the duties on sugar, far, a vindication of the course which the whether in relation to their effects upon the Legislature had lately pursued on this subthe great question of slavery and the slave trade, ject. He would, in the first place, call the have undergone no change whatever.

On the attention of the House to the circumstances contrary, I am now receiving, almost daily, the in which the sugar trade stood in 1845, most painful proofs of the distress which has ex- / when the law was first altered. It might isted in the British Colonies; but, without being at all indifferent to that distress, we have deter appear a very remarkable fact, but nevermined that those questions, like others of the theless it was a fact, and a fact of great same nature, ought to be kept for the considera- significance, that for thirty-five years pretion of a future Parliament, reserving distinctly ceding that time the consumption of sugar to ourselves the right hereafter to deal with this in this country might be said to be entirely question, if we shall be in a position so to do--to stationary. In 1810, according to a Par. shall consider to be required by the justice of the liamentary paper which he held in his hand, case, and by a due regard to the interests of all the consumption of sugar in the United

« EdellinenJatka »