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HOUSE OF COMMONS, TUESDAY, JUNK 20. The Speaker took the chair shortly before four o'clock. CALEDONIAN RAILWAY (BRANCH ACROSS THE CLYDE AND GLASGOW STATION). On the motion that the report oa this bill be engrossed, Mr. Hume mo red that the consideration of the bill be post- pmcd until next session. Mr. Fox Maule, Lord Lincoln, and Captain Fitzroy took parI in the discussion. The House then divided, when there appeared— For Mr. Hume's amendment 19 Against it 129 Majority HO oJ CHURCH li VTR3 O,b ""C gnve notice that on an early day he should move for leave to bring in a bill to abolish church-rates. PARLIAMENTARY REFORM.-MR. HUME'S MOTION. The Speaker intimated to the House that it would he expe- nent for ho i. members, who had petitions in favour of the mo- tion of the hon. member for Montrose, to present them then. I Jon. members then presented an immense number of peti- tions in favour of the extension, of the suffrage, vote by ballot, triennial Parliaments, and equal cle-toral districts. The pre. r<n,tatioii occupied nearly an hour. We find that the following P'-tifioii-t were also presented from ^alcs. Irom Anglesca, Merionethshire, Wrexham, Holywell, Mc-rthyr lydfil, Llan- gollen, Pontypool, Carnarvon, Monmouth, Cardiff, and other pi ices' In some instances six or seven different petitions were Irom the same locality. Mr. Hume himself presented 211 with 2,000 signatures. Mr Hume rose, at half-past six o'clock, to submit to the House the motion of which he had given notice, and which was cou'-lied in the fallowing terms That this House, as at pro- fit constituted, does not fairly represent the population, the property, or the industry of the country, whence has arisen great and increasing discontent in the minds of a large portion uf the people; and it is therefore expedient, with a view to a nend national representation, that the elective franchise shall b > so extended as to include householders that votes shall be l iken by ballot; that the duration of Parliaments shall not "xcee-'l three years and that the apportionment of members to Population shall be made more equal." In so doing, the hon. nitfenvm expressed his conviction that the number of pcti- ^o'iis which had been presented on that, and on the previous evening, conclusively showe:), notwithstanding the unfortunate dUl. (rft'ion of Lord John Russell about a month ago, that some interest was taken throughout the country at large on the sub- ject of further Parliamentary reform. He could state, with Y> afe t sincerity, that no arrangement had been made by those whom he acted for getting up such petitions, nor had any or°- misation been resorted to for such a purpose and he trusted that the House would agree with him that the noble lord s "x tte:ll,nt lud been completely answered by the petitions pre- y-it e ft-) it. It was not to create unnecessary disturbance or agitation that he had consented to bring forward the motion v.lc& stood upon the paper in his name. For many years back, t'l public peace had been frequently disturbed by the political content tif- huge.masses —a discontent which could not exist without a cause— and which it was important as speedily as t) jssihje to. allay. It well became Parliament, in the present st ite of Europe, to consider whether the complaints in which th.'se disturbances had originated were well-founded. IfNvell- founded, it would be unwise and impolitic to suffer them to continue. The lion, gentleman then contrasted our condition with that of the other states of the continent, attributing the tr mquillitv and safety of England for many years past to the a'Henc" of reliance on the part of the Government upon great military establishments. But latterly we had been imitating our continental neighbours in a military people, from which, unless we retraced our steps, he, nntieipated the most deplorable consequences. He had no desire to indulge in a vholesalp denunciation of the Reform bill. Although not all, i, h vt ensured some of its purposes. It had effected one great ia. securing. the peaá of the kingdom. But it should h ive been carried further and it was because it had not been further that he now submitted his motion for further r.jtonil t o tie House. The hon. gentleman then proceeded to It dow.i his canons of representative Government. Parlia- ment w ts but the mere instrument whereby the country as to lie «Mvernod, llv the theory of the constitution, it purpprted to be a full and f-tir representation of the people. By the piue- tu-e of- tho constitution, it only represented a section of the neople. It were better to have no Parliament at all, than to h ive o le vv Inch, ni.rsrepresented ths people. Ag tin, taxation ail represent ition should go together. Everyone who was II ible to be called upon to defend or serve the State, either by (,e>'otin<r ii « >rtion. of his property or his personal services in its Cvidf shoiill be represented in the legislature. Parliament w'ili'thu-i stand, as it should stand, upon the broadest po.ssi- hl ■ b"'sis." R-tt how stood the case? Instead of justice being ,-lV.ie to all clisses, live out of every, six of the adult mal s of t khig I ).m were unrepresented in Parliament, lie then u'iotp i ill iuv weighty authorities to show that tie cxteu^io-iof t i suffrage foy .which he contended, was not a favour, but a tI •■'it.' 'Aften.which, he proceeded to demonstrate, by a variety c, ligations, the startling and indefensible inequalities which distribution of the representation, drawing s j-er il of his proofs, in this respect, from, Mr. Atexan ler M te- le :v's 'pamphlet o.i the State of the Representation, to which, eoot uai i'r an accurate accoitti- of the constitution of the H •-[- he Aj.ve.tc-l tlia attentionoChonourable,members. Whjit. he called upon the House to do was to exten,d the suffrage and equalise the representation. At present the suffrage rested on no parti ular or intelligible basis, there being now ho less than eighty-live different kinds of suffrage. As thus constituted, the suffrage was complicated, difficult to be obtained, and only to he preserved at great expense, both of time and money. Instead of this it should be simple, uniform, and easy to be obtained and defended (hear, hear v. He would counsel the House to adopt a uniform rule of suffrage. v lle, thought that every male person of full ag-, of sound mind, and unconvicted of crime, who occupied 'a house or a part of a house, and was rated to the poor for twelve months, should be registered as an elector fot twelve months, and entitled to vote for that pe- rind;, and that for the purpose of securing the franchise under this rule, every lodger should be entitled to claim to be rated to the poor. They should abolish all existing qualifications in .boroughs, and substitute, in their stead the principle which he had just enun- ciated. It would &dmit a large class within the pale of the fran- chise who would only strengthen the institutions of the country-by adding to the numbers of those attached to law and order. He then justified his conjunction of all the four points in one resolu- tion. In that resolution the committee, in whose behalf he was then justified his conjunction of all the four points in one resolu- tion. In that resolution the committee, in whose behalf he was then speaking, had merely embodied the principle, leaving it to the country afterwards to sny how far they should go. He did not seek to effect any violent changes, which were always to be not seek to effect any violent changes, which were always to be deprecated. lIe would not disturb the present distribution of the representation between the three kingdoms; nor would he do away with the distinction in the House between the town and the county. But he would so apportion the representation between the boroughs as to render each constituency sufficiently extensive to be independent. There was no difficulty in effecting this. To a certain extent it had already been done in Scotland and Wales. If leave were given him to bring in a bill, he would have the whole matter cut and dry for them in iti different provisions. If this point-was no, so important as the extension. the suffrage, it was not far from i'. Bat both these would be imperfect^reforms unless the voter were protected by the-ballot. As to triennial parliaments, he could only justify them on the acore.of their being more convenient than if they were made-annual. This was the four points of {lis resolution, to which he would add a fifth,she,abo- lition of property qualification. He saw no reason why, ,in this respect, there should be one rule for Scotland, and another for the rest of the country. He concluded by warning the House against the danger of resisting, in the present position of the world's affairs, a measure of further parliamentary reform, of which reason, policy, and expediency were all in fitv-our, and the adoption of which would give security to our institutions, many of which were excellent and ought to be preserved. If the Ministers were faithful councillors to her Majesty, they would at once advise her to make concessions to a people who would be grateful for them. Let them not delay until an exasperated people were driven to seek by coercion that which might be denied to reason. The hon. gentleman resumed his seat amidst loud cheers. Dr. Bowring seconded the motion. Mr. 'Drdmnioiul it was worth while to consider from whom the demands embodied in the resolution proceeded, They were, in the first place, persons who, from various causes, were suffering great distress, and who were clamorous for some- thing to remedy that distress. There WAS another class, that of-the intellectual operatives, who were unrepresented., and who also were clamorous for something abetter tlieix.plxysjcal -condition, which was the great and the only, object. they hatpin view. The other class was that of a higher order, and more dangerous descriptio.ii.—'the class of intellectual .speculators, led by, if not chiefly composed of, doctors A^ithout patients, and lawyers without briefs. Lord John Russell observed that he rose thus early itl-the debate, because the House was entitled to an explanation from him of his views with regard to the honourable gentleman's motion, lie concurred with. Mr. Hume that to the reform bill was chiefly attributed the peace of the country in the present crisis. The proposition submitted was vague and indefinite, pointing out distinctly, neither those who were to be included lll, nor those who were to be excluded from, the franchise. He differed entirely from the hon. gentleman as to the foundation of his whole scheme. In his opinion what every persoii of full age was entitled to in this country, as well indeed as the whole population, was the best possible Government, and the best le- gislation which it was possible for it to give them. The mixed constitution of England had for a long period provided for the happiness of its people. Viewing the matter from tliis point, the question for 'them to consider was, whether a Parliament elected by householders and lodgers would be a better Parlia- ment than such as was returned by the present body of electors. If they conceded universal suffrage, lie could not see how they O'lc' r, could avoid the division of the country into equal electoral dis- tricts, and he had no. hesitation in saying that a Parliament springing from such sources would not be as good a-Parliament as that which resulted from the present system. The inequa- lity which characterised the distribution of the representation, instead of being accompanied with the evils attributed to it, gave rise to many advantages. As to tlie ballot, he thought that it would be no effectual remedy against intimidation. The pre- sent duration of Parliaments, in his opinion, gave it stability. i. He was satisfied with the present duration of Parliaments, and would certainly give no vote in favour of departing from it. What Mr. Hume proposed would effect a great change in the constitution, lie, on the other hand, was for gradual reform. He was, therefore, not disposed to say that you could not bene- ficially alter or improve the Reform Act; but he was not. pre- pared at present to introduce bills to carry the amendments which lie had mentioned into effect. He trusted that the House would not select the present as the time for making a reform, which stopped, indeed, short of the charter, but which iritist ultimate terminate in it; but that it would think it due to-the other branches of the Legislature, and to that great people' of which it was the representative, to give a decided negative- to this resoltitioii Mr. Fox Said that the question then before the House -was this:—Are.the working classes .of this country represented as they ought to be and, if they are not, can they be so repre- sented without injury to our institutions r" (Mr. Fox) de- clared that they were not represented—that .they were Helwts in the lititcl-tlitt they were serfs on the soil which bred them —and that they had nothing to do with the laws except to obey them. He then proceeded, in a speech of great eloquence, to contend thit this system was u.iju-st to the unenfranchised, and injurious to the whole community. Mr. Disraeli made the House merry with a ludicrous de- scription of the mode in which the agitation on this subject had been got up and continued, and concluded a speech full of wit and eloquence by declaring his determination to vote against Mr. Hume's resolution. Mr. Osborne moved an adjournment of the debate. Lord J. It us-tell sai.l that in the present state of public busi- ness he could not consent to give up a Government night for the discussion of the. honourable gentleman's resolution (cries of Divide"). The gallerv was then cleared, but no division took place, and the debate was adjourned to Friday.





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