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---__----------M Li BRIGHT…






HOUSE OF COMMONS.—MONDAY. The Speaker took the chair at four o'clock. LOCKED LAMPS IN COLLIERIES. Mr ROLLS asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department with reference to the recent death of Stephen Hutton, through a fall of stone from the roof at Kose Heyworth Pit, Cwmtillery, and to the verdict of the jury at the inquest thereon, if the use of locked lamps ought to have been enforced by the Government inspector in this colliery against the wish of the workmen in the colliery, and employers, and the finding of the I jury. Sir W. HARCOURT said this question related to a matter of great importance involving the preser- vation of life in mines. The inspector had en- deavoured to enforce the usage of locked lamps, and speaking of this colliery the inspector said that upon his recommendation the late manage- ment adopted the of locked lamps, and during the five years they were in use there had been no explosion in the mine. But since 1831, when the men took to the use of lamps, there had been several small explosions, burning men more or le-s severely, aud he expressed his opinion that unless the use of locked lamps was returned to a severe explosion would occur. He (the Home Secretary) could not discourage the enforcement of a useful legulati ni by the inspector. The miners, the in- spector said, became so inured to the danger of open lights that they did not see the necessity of closed lamps. He could not discourage the i- spector in his endeavour to protect tile men. NEW MKMBKK. Mr H. II. Ince, the newly-elected member for Hastings, took the oath aud his seat, and was greeted with loud cheers from the Ministerial side side of the House. THE CORRUPT PRACTICES BILL. The House then went int0 committee on the Parliamentary Elections (Corrupt and Illegal Practices) Bill, and resumed the consideration of clause 7—" expense in excess of the maximum to be an illegal practice." S;r R. Cuoss, with the view of providing against the expenditure of large sums of money by out- siders, proposed the addition of words to the effect that no further sum and no further expense should be incurred on account of the conduct and management of the election by any person other than the candidate or his election agent. The ATTORNEY-GENERAL agreed with the prin- ciple of the amendment, but thought it was already carried out by the twenty-second clause. The amendment was not pressed. Mr BIGGAR moved the omission of the third sub-section, which provided that nothing in the clause should affect the right of a creditor who. when the expense was incurred, was isrnorant of its being incurred in contravention of the clause. The ATTORNEY-GENERAL said the sub-section was put in in the interest of the honest creditor, but he was not sure whether withont it any crediter would not bo entitled to recover, not- withstanding that the maximum of expenditure had been exceeded. On a division the sub-section was carried by IH to 73, and the clause was agreed to. On clause 8, "procurement of voting by un- qualified voters to be illegal practices," Mr GOHST moved an amendment with a view of putting a stop to house-to-house canvassing by candidates. He believed that constituents did not like the practice, and that it was degrading to the candidate. Lord R. CHURCHILL opposed the amendment, observing that in small boroughs a house-to-house canvass was absolutely necessary. The ATTORNEY-GENERAL agreed that the prac- tice was pernicious, but did not think the amend- ment would be practicable. Mr MONK supported the amendment, which was opposed by Mr Onslow, who assumed that, if it was carried, candidates would utilise their wives and daughters for the purpose of canvassing. Mr BROADHURST was in favour of the total, absolute, and complete abolition of canvassing for votes by anyone. After some further discussion, the amendment was lost, 011 a division, by 75 to 18. Mr LAEOUCHERE proposed to add words, enacting that any candidate, or his agent, or person acting under the instructions of either of them, who sent a letter or circular asking a voter how he intended to vote, should be guilty of an illegal practice. The ATTORNEY-GENERAL opposed, and the amendment was rejected by 69 to 8. The clause was ordered to staud part of the bill, as was also clause 9, which provided for the punishment, on convictiou, for illegal practice. On the 10th clause, which deals with the reports of election courts respecting illegal practices, a.nd provides for the punishment of a candidate found guilty, The ATTORNEY-GENERAL agreed to mitiga.te the penalty in the case of illegal practice committed with the knowledge of the candidate, so as to dis- qualify him for seven years instead of for ever from being elected for the same constituency, and the clause, so amended, was agreed to. The Util clause, which extends the Elec- tion Commissioners Act of 1852 to the case of illegal practices, and the 12th clause, which declares the providingof money for illegal purposes to be an illegal payment, were also ordered to stand part of the bill. After further discussion the committee divided, and the clause was carried by 151 to 38. To clause 14, which states certain employments to be legal, Mr LABOUCHERE moved to add a, sub-section enacting that if any person should for the purpose of prompting or procuring the election of any other person for a. constituency of which he should be representative obtain a baronetcy, knighthood, or any other title within five years of his ceasing to be the representative of the constituency, or if he should obtain a title within five years of .his election for a constituency which he would ut, in the opinion of a. judicial tribunal, have obtained had he not been a candidate, he should be deemed guilty of an illegal practice. The object of the amendment was, as he described it, that the public should not regard them as a set of humbugs. Lord R. CHURCHILL mentioned, as instances of bribes offered by the Prime Minister, the circum- stances connected with the retirement of the mem- ber for the Radnor Boroughs, in the Parliament befpre last, and the resignation by Sir Harcourt Johnston of his seat for Scarborough, in the pre- sent Pjfcliament, to make room for Mr Dodson. Mr GLADSTONE observed that Mr Labouchere bad found an\excellent opportunity for exercising bis faculty of sarcasm, and denied that there was word of truth irt the noble lord's statements. Sir Harcourt Johnston was a person whom from ilis high character, his public service and large Eo^unfc, h« Had long liad in &is mind to recom- mend to her Majesty for a, peerage. Entirely without any communication from him, Sir Har- court Johnstone offered to vacate his Beat without reference to any reward, so as to afford Mr Dodson an opportunity of laying his claims before the constituency, and eighteen months elapsed before he was offered the peerage. Mr LABOUCHERE desired to withdraw his amendment, but leave was refused, and a division took place, the result of which was that the amendment was rejected by 186 votes to 11. Clause 14 having been agreed to, progress was reported. The House adjourned at twenty minutes past one o'clock. 0-