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days' notice of the holding such election. opportunity of consulting his colleagues He believed that the Bill would be greatly upon the subject. If his hon. and learned improved by the introduction of these Friend would withdraw his instruction, the clauses.
House might go into Committee on the MR. BECKETT DENISON did not Bill at once, and proceed to the considerathink that any hon. Gentleman would ob- tion of its details without further delay. ject to the substance of the hon. and LORD HARRY VANE said, he was of learned Gentleman's proposition, as the opinion that, if the Bill passed, additional feeling of the House was, that all these polling places in counties would be indisproceedings should be shortened as much pensably necessary. In the hope that the as possible; but with respect to the period objectionable parts of the Bill would be between the nomination and polling, he rectified in Committee, he would not opcertainly thought that, if the polling should pose it in its present stage. be limited to one day, it would not be un- Lord JOHN RUSSELL said, that the fair to allow more time than at present for principle of the Bill having been agreed preparation between the nomination and to by the House, it was desirable that they the poll. He had been informed by elec- should carry it into effect with as little tion agents that there would be no diffi- delay as possible. With respect to the culty in taking the poll in one day, pro- polling places, no doubt if the polli vided the number of polling places was in- confined to one day, it would not only be creased. He thought, too, that as little desirable but necessary to increase the trouble as possible should be given to the number of those places, for he thought voters, and that the election should be that a person going to vote at a county taken to the electors instead of the elec- election ought not to travel further than a tors to the election, He would not at pre- person who had to vote for a city or sent refer further to the suggestion that the borough, and resided within seven miles poll should be taken by voting papers; of it; but that could be accomplished by but as it was the disposition of the Ilouse the law as it at present stood. It was to deal very stringently with treating and competent for Justices of the Peace to the expenditure of money during an elec- propose any increase in the number of tion, it was quite clear that if the candidates polling places that they might think expewere not allowed by Parliament to bring dient, and the power of carrying out their voters up to the poll, they would not be got recommendation was reserved to the Queen up. There was only one point more, and in Council. There was no reason to supthat was, that in some districts it would be pose that the magistrates would not be impossible to get the poll-books up in time actuated by a desire to consult the conto make the declaration of the poll on the venience of the electors, by recommending day following the election, and he would the erection of additional polling places in therefore suggest that the declaration such situations as they, judging from their should be deferred until the day but one local knowledge, might consider most adafter the election.
vantageous. The hon. and learned GenMR. WALPOLE said, he had supported tleman (Mr. G. Butt) who moved the inthe Bill on its second reading, and intend-structions had raised a question as to the ed to support the Motion for going into time between the issuing of the writ and Committee upon it now; and if the noble the time of the election. He thought it Lord (Lord R. Grosvenor) confined it to would be better to propose that in a sepathe object he had just stated, he had no rate Bill; but he would ask whether, doubt that much time would be saved, and rather than abridging the time, it would the Bill speedily passed. As to the Mo- not be better to extend it. Suppose a tion of his hon. and learned Friend (Mr. Member of that House died, and the writ G. Butt), he would not say whether his were issued immediately, the constituents hon. and learned Friend's Amendments ought, in such a case, to have time to conwere desirable or not; but the House sider which candidate would be the best should consider whether it ought to enter- representative, and he thought three days tain an instruction to the Committee on a would not be too much for that purpose. question of this kind, which instruction The question was one of importance, and had been placed upon the Votes only the perhaps the hon. and learned Gentleman night before. For his part, he had not would bring it forward in a separate form. seen his hon. and learned Friend's notice MR. MULLINGS said, that in the until that morning, and he had had no course of twenty-five years' experience he
had had the management of many county his instructions; but after the recess he elections, and from that experience he would introduce a measure embodying the could say that if the polling was confined provisions to which he had adverted. to one day, and the polling places, conse
MR. VINCENT SCULLY said, he conquently, were increased in number, the sidered the Bill of great importance, not expense would be also greatly increased, only in regard to England but to Ireland inasmuch as there must be a large addi- also. He was, however, afraid that the tional staff of persons engaged to conduct machinery of it could not be beneficially the proceedings. If, too, the polling were applied to Ireland. By the system which confined to one day, the halt, the lame, was generally adopted at the elections in the maimed, and the blind would all be the sister country in administering the brought up the first day at a great ex- bribery oath, and two other oaths, for the pense, whereas now they were reserved purposes of delay, only from 100 to 200 for the second day, and not brought up votes could be conveniently polled in one unless they were really wanted. There day. This was a scandalous practice, and was one thing, however, in the Bill that should be put a stop to.
He knew a case very much counterbalanced the disadvan. in which only sixty persons were enabled tage of the increased expense—that the to poll in the one day in consequence of polling being confined to one day would the many difficulties which the existing law tend very much to prevent the occurrence permitted the opposing parties to throw in of those dreadful scenes that had in many the way. He was of opinion that a beneelections been the result of the first day's ficial change would be effected in the law polling
if those oaths were ordered to be taken MR. HUME said, he was surprised that before a magistrate, and not at the polling difficulties should be interposed in the way booth. of this measure. Let hon. Gentlemen Mr. MONSELL said, he was anxious to look at the evidence taken before the Com- see how the
would work for mittee of 1836, and they would find what England before the principles of it were were the practices resorted to for the pur- made applicable to Ireland. pose of bringing up the halt, the lame, CAPTAIN SCOBELL said, he knew that and the blind, after the polling had com- many of the disturbances which took place menced. The whole pressure of an elec- at contested elections, arose principally tion was now over at 12 o'clock, and he from the circumstances of the polling booth thought that any measure would be a great being errected on the premises of a publicimprovement which would put a stop to house, He would in Committee move a the scenes of bribery and corruption which proviso to prevent the continuance of that had heretofore disgraced our elections. practice.
MR. HENLEY said, that the county COLONEL SIBTHORP said, he had always papers were generally only circulated once entertained the same opinion upon this à week in the county, and the notice of subject. He thought that the Reform Bill nomination and of the election was often was intended to settle all questions of this not published in the county paper for kind, but it appeared that that was not so. several days after it had been determined | The present measure was essentially a upon. Thus, three-fourths of the county mean one. He must say he did not wish by this means did not know what the other to see any change made in the law of fourth was doing. In his opinion, there- elections. He was perfectly satisfied to fore, more time ought to be extended, in- represent the city which he had had the stead of having it diminished.
honour of representing for so many years, MR. VERNON SMITH said, be be- and he had the vanity to think that his lieved that, by having more polling places, constituency did not wish to see any change much expense would be saved to the in their representation. The House was voters, and that an end would be put to told that this measure would check bribery. those practices which generally took place Now, he had heard a great deal about on the first night of the election. He, bribery, He supposed it would be consitherefore, hoped that the noble Lord (Lord dered an act of bribery if a man held out R. Grosvenor) would not risk that which his hand to discharge a mere Christian duty was good in his measure by mixing it up to his suffering fellow-creature. He had with the question of voting.
no reliance on the Ilouse of Commons, MR. G. BUTT said, that after what and therefore what he should do, would be had taken place, he would beg to withdraw to keep clear of the present proceeding. He relied on another place, which was not I had any means of affording protection to so liable to be actuated by violent party the passengers on board the ships that carmotives as that House; and he hoped that ried Her Majesty's mails ? Because, if as they had done on former occasions, they had not, the public ought to be they would again exercise that constitu- warned not to take passages in vessels tional care for the liberty of the subject which had a Government contract, for, in wbich the Upper House had ever displayed; such cases, they would obtain no redress and that they would throw out this Bill, for any grievance they might have to comwhich was a mean, dirty, shabby contri- plain of. vance to save money going out of their MR. STAFFORD said, that there could pockets. Hon. Gentlemen would no doubt be no objection on the part of the Admigo to the hustings, and tell their beer con- ralty to granting the Returns which the stituents that they wished them all to be hon. Member asked for; and he begged to happy, and that their pledges should not take the opportunity of this Motion to say be broken, but upheld. All this time it a few words, which, if they did not give was well known that their conduci was the exact state of the case as regarded the influenced by selfish motives. He would Melbourne, would, at all events, be far therefore take every opportunity to check nearer it than that which had appeared in these pretences, which he thought would the public papers-he meant at least as reflect little credit upon the honour and regarded the Admiralty. And the reason character of that House.
why the public could not possibly be in MR. DEEDES said, he had no objection possession of the whole state of the case to the principle of confining the taking of was this-that an inquiry had been ordered the poll to one day; but he thought it should into the conduct of the captain on his rebe accompanied with other provisions of an turn to this country, which, of course, had important character that were necessary to not yet taken place, though it was known remedy many erils of their present election that the Company liad sent out Captain law. He should like to see a much more Henderson with orders to supersede Capextensive measure introduced than the tain Cox, and to send out the vessel under present one.
the charge of the officer next in command, MR. GEORGE said, he quite concurred or to act otherwise in the matter as he in the necessity of limiting the polling in should think best fitted for carrying on the the counties of Ireland, as well as elsewhere, voyage. The hon. Gentleman had asked to one day.
if the Admiralty had received any account MR, PACKE, said, he would not press of the extent of the injury which had been his Amendment.
done to the mails. The facts on that point Amendment, by leave, withdrawn. would be found fully detailed in the papers Main Question put, and agreed to; which had just been moved for; but in the Bill considered in Committee, and reported; meantime he might state that the accounts as amended, to be considered on Friday. which had appeared in the papers of the
damage to the mails were very much exagTHE “MELBOURNE" STEAMER. gerated, and that the statement that the MR. DRUMMOND) moved for Copies of mails had been saturated in the brine of the Reports received at the Admiralty from Bay of Biscay was altogether erroneous. Commander Wolridge, of Her Majesty's The state of the case with regard to the Adship Inflexible, relative to the Melbourne miralty and the Melbourne was this : the (late Her Majesty's screw steamer Green- Melbourne was one of the four iron screw ock), now belonging to the Royal Austra- steamers which were ordered by the Admilian Steamship Company, having put into ralty in 1845. This vessel, however, was Lisbon in a defective condition. He would not built till 1848, and was not finally beg to refer to the sufferings which had launched till April, 1849. On trial it was been endured by the passengers on board found that she stood too deep in the water; the Melbourne in consequence of the de- and, to remedy this, her engines, which fective accommodation which had been were 500-horse power, were taken out, provided for them. He wished to know and replaced by engines of 250-horse whether the Admiralty had received any power. He had no wish to express a preinformation respecting the amount of dan- mature opinion of the conduct of the capage that had been done to the mail-bags tain, but this at least he might be per. that were on board, and also whether they mitted to say, that though it was notorious that the Admiralty had found the engines
THE DERBY ELECTION. too heavy, and had replaced them by Report of the Gentlemen named on the lighter engines, the first thing the captain General Committee of Elections brought did was to take on board 160 tons of pig up, and read as follows :iron at Woolwich. The responsibility of
« The Gentlemen named on the General Comthis rested of course with the Company mittee of Elections, who were instructed to seand the captain, and not with the Admi- lect a Committee of Five Members to take into
Consideration the matter of the Petition of Inralty. The Admiralty could not be responsible for a ship that was altered subse- habitant Ilouseholders of the Borough of Derby,
have selected a Committee of Five Members acquent to its sailing. In the contract be- cordingly, namely, Mr. Goulburn, Lord Harry tween the Company and the Government Vane, Viscount Barrington, Sir William Moles, it was expressly provided that an Admiralty worth, Mr. Deedes." surveyor should be permitted to survey the
Report to lie on the table. vessel before sailing, and that proper ac
The House adjourned at Three o'clock. commodation should be provided on board for the officer who had charge of the mails. With respect to accommodation for the HOUSE OF LORDS, passengers, that was left to be arranged between the Company and the passengers
Thursday, December 2, 1852. themselves. If the accommodation was
MINUTES.] Took the Oaths.—The Lord Pongood, passengers would be more likely to
sonby. avail themselves of it; and if it was bad, Public BilL._1* Bank Notes. the interests of the Company would suffer from the consequent loss of remuneration. COMMERCIAL LEGISLATION. All that the Admiralty were bound to The MARQUESS of CLANRICARDE: look to was the security of the mails and My Lords, in reference to the conversation the accommodation of the naval officer which took place the other evening, I wish who was placed on board to watch over to state shortly to your Lordships the course them.
I now propose to take, in regard to a ReMR. DIVETT said, tbat from the time solution which I had intended to move, the Australian Royal Steam Company had and which, I thought this House should commenced its operations till now, there adopt. I stated the other evening that had been a continual series of complaints nothing was so much in my mind as to against their management; and he thought obtain from your Lordships' House an that it was the duty of the Admiralty, who unanimous Resolution, or one as nearly were paying the Company an immense sum unanimous, as the great and important for the conveyance of the mails, to take subject to which it referred would possibly every precaution to secure the safe and admit of. I think there would have been rapid transit of the passengers. He hoped the greatest possible advantage if the that the hon. Secretary of the Admiralty noble Earl opposite (the Earl of Derby) would take care that there should be a had thought it right to adopt the Resoproper investigation in this case.
lutions which have been come to by the MR. HUMË wished to know whether other House of Parliament. I think there any complaint had been made to the Ad- would have been great advantage, great miralty respecting the conveyance of the force, and great weight in the two mails, to the effect that the Company had Houses adopting a concurrent vote on not fulfilled their agreement with the Ad- this question. But I am free to say miralty-for that was the point to look that I think there will still be great to ?
advantage in recording the opinion of MR. A. DUNCOMBE, in reply, begged this House to be unchanged—such as it to state that no such complaint had been was when it passed the measure of 1846, received by the Admiralty; and, in the ab- and such as it has been proved to be on sence of correct information, it would be different occasions since that time, when injudicious in the House to prejudge the the commercial policy of the country has case. He had to request the hon. Member been discussed in this House. I think, to add to his Motion the words “ also copies I say, there will be a great advantage of letters from Captain Phillimore, the Go- in a unanimous, or nearly a unanimous, vernment agent on board the vessel.”
vote on this subject, by which your Lord. Motion agreed to.
ships may avoid all those personal and
recriminatory attacks to which unfortu-, tainly think it my duty to take a stand nately the subject might lead, but which on the Resolutions passed by the House would tend to no public advantage. With of Commons. I shall not have foregone this view it was my hope, indeed, that the advantage which I think I shall have your Lordships would have adopted the had, of being supported by the high authoResolutions adopted by the House of rity which passed those Resolutions; nor Commons; and I was very much surprised should I have abandoned them except for when the noble Earl stated that he had the chance of obtaining that which I wish an objection to those Resolutions. so much-namely, a unanimous vote of not going to canvass the grounds of this House. I wish, however, that this that objection, such as they might be indi- matter should not be hostilely moved or cated from anything which fell from the discussed at all. I shall not oppose the noble Earl on that occasion, or such as I adoption of the form of words which the myself might suppose them to be. I a am noble Earl thinks the most advisable. But not going to argue on the subject at all. it is only proper that I should read to your It has been my desire to find words which Lordships the Resolution which I myself should accord with the suggestion thrown have prepared, and which I think most fitout by the noble Earl as well as I could, ting under the circumstances. It is in in order to attain as nearly as I could the these words :main object I had in view—namely, the “ That this House acknowledges with satisfacpronouncing of an opinion by this House, tion that the cheapness of provisions, occasioned if cot unanimous, yet agreed to by a large by recent legislation, has mainly contributed to majority, although I might fail in ob- the comfort of the industrious classes ; and that taining a concurrent vote with that of the unrestricted competition having been adopted, other House of Parliament. I therefore after due deliberation, as the principle of our comthought it right to take a Motion which mercial system, this House is of opinion that it is was made, by way of Amendment, by the wise and expedient unreservedly to adhere to that
policy.” right hon. Gentleman the Chancellor of the Exchequer in the House of Commons, I confess I see nothing that any
noble Lord and upon that to frame a Resolution for on either side of the House ought to object your Lordships' consideration, which would to in such a Resolution as this. I only be in substance and in meaning the same hope that the opinion of this House may as the Amendment moved in the House of be recorded in a satisfactory manner on Commons, but which should contain some this question. I do not wish to make any difference in language, which I thought, repetition of any of the hostile controverupon constitutional grounds, and upon other sies we have had on the subject. All I grounds, it might be advisable to make, thought it my duty to do was, in a constiwithout introducing any matter that might tutional point of view, to see that, at a be deemed objectionable to your Lord time when Parliament was assembled to ships, especially to those by whom that pronounce their opinion on a great quesResolution must have been approved. I tion, the opinion of this House should be have conferred, however, with the noble taken, as well as the opinion of the other Earl opposite; and, he approving rather of House of Parliament. I thought it right the words which he himself has prepared in a constitutional point of view; and I only as the draft of a Resolution, I certainly wished to submit such a Resolution to your shall not give this House the trouble of Lordships as I could concur in without any dividing, or entering into any violent or dereliction of principle, and as noble Lords warm discussion, on the subject, provided with whom I formerly differed in opinion the noble Earl, on reconsideration, thinks on this question might concur in without that the form of words, to which I any feeling of pain; and I shall be content see no strong objection, is calculated to that the opinion of this House shall be reconvey the meaning which we all desire corded in any language that fully recog. to express, in the least objectionable terms. nises the policy on which the country has I shall read the Resolution which I have entered. prepared, and which I had intended to The Earl of DERBY: My Lords, I offer to your Lordships, provided it had must, in the first place, express the satisbeen accepted. But tnis I think it right faction which I have felt at the calm and to say if I find myself driven to come temperate manner in which the noble Marto a contest in this House, and to a hos- quess has treated the qnestion of which he tile controversy and division, I shall cer. had given me notice, that he intended to