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dFact, iPtrttott, antr :11atttíæ.…




"}l\ HOUSE OF COMMONS. THURSDAY. Mr. Cobden presented petitions from places in Ayrshire and Lancashire, praying for a repeal of the corn laws. Mr. Ferrand gave notice that on Thursday, the 30th of March, he would move for leave to bring in a bill for the en- closure of waste lands. Mr. Mackinnon stated thlt he would postpone for the present, the motion of which he had given notice for the ap- pointment of a select committee to ascertain the revenue ex- penditure. and condition of the harbours and lighthouses on the coast, from the mouth of the Thames to Portsmouth. Colonel Sibthorp gave notice, that during the week after the Easter recess he would bring forward a motion for the reduction of the duty on fire insurances. At half-past 4 o'clock, there being only 35 members pre- sent, the House adjourned. FRIDAY. The House resumed the consideration of the Voters' Re- gistration Bill in committee. Lord Howick, on the 57th clause, which provides a gross remuneration of 200 guineas to each revising barrister, took occasion to state his objections to the general constitution of their tribunal. Sir James Graham explained that the present arrangement was a pecuniary saving on that of the Reform Bill. He ob- jected to the turmoil which would be constantly kept up throughout the country by a circuit necessarily lasting a great part of every year; and, considering how many disputable points would be cut off by the explanatory clauses of this bill, and how great a security would be afforded by the ap- pellate tribunal which this bill was to erect, he trusted that the House would see fit to give the measure a fair trial. A little coversation followed, but the clause was passed. The clauses constituting an Appeal Court, to consist of occasional Judges^ were disapproved by Mr. Berual and others, who, for the most part, declared in favour of a ffxed tribunal, but to this Sir James Graham objected, on the ground that there would not be occupation enough for more than a few days in the year. It being suggested that the Legislature would do better to vest the jurisdiction of appeal in the Judges of the Superior Courts, than, as proposed by this bill, in Judges to be nominated by the two Chief-Justices and the Chief Baron, Sir James Graham agreed to withdraw the clauses relating to the appellate tribunal, and introduce others, by which the jurisdiction of appeal from the revising- barristeis should be committed to the judges of Westminster hall. The 76th clause, which provides that joint occupiers, although they may have changed their lands, shall retain their votes for counties, where the joint rent is, and has throughout been, sufficient to make a £50 tenancy for each, was opposed by Lord Howick, on the ground that a father, when called on, as he would be by his landlord, to take his sons as joint tenants with himself in his lease, would, by thus converting them into partners, lose the due parental control over them; and that a temptation would be created to multiply the number of families living on the same farm in the way which experience had shown to be so injul ious in Ireland. He moved that the right of voting in respect of these successive occupations should be limited to a single tenant in each case. Lord Ebrington supported Lord Howick's motion. Sir James Graham begged to know, before the discussion went further, whether Lord Howick proposed to narrow in the same manner the right of voting upon joint occupations in cities and boroughs. If not, why in counties? If so, was it fitting to propose without notice, so extensive an al- teration in the franchise created by the Reform Act 1 The clause passed, after discussion. Colonel Sibthorp proposed on the 79th clause that the seven mi es within which the borough elector must reside should be computed from the circumference of the borough; but the suggestion was not adopted. The 84th clause, abolishing the question hitherto put under the Reform Act to the voter at the poll, whether he retains the qualification for which he stands registered, was much commended by several members; but this abolition being ac- companied with an enactment that the voter in a city or borough may be asked whether he continues to reside therein, or within seven miles thereof, it was objected by Mr. Christie that in all cases of electors who had quitted the place, the evils of the third question would thus be kept in operation. The expense connected with out-voters was no doubt an evil, but not an evil to be compared with the fraud, uncertainty, and cost, which an inquiry into residence would occasion. He proposed, therefore, to exclude this requisition of resi- dence. Sir James Graham cited an opinion of Mr. Tierney upon the great importance of excluding outvoters. If, in addition to your abolishing the tie of qualification by property, you were now to abolish also the tie of residence, thus dissolving all local connexion between the voter and the borough, you would let in a class of voters who would almost uniformly be venal. Some clauses were then brought up by Sir James Graham to prevent personation of voters. These sections extending only to all voters then living or those dead, a case was sug- gested where ideal voters were put UpqB the register, and re- presented by real persons at the poll. Sir James Graham said, he certainly had not thought of that case, and must leave it to be provided for by any member who thought such a provision necessary. The clauses were passed, and the bill ordered to be re- ported.