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MR. BAINES'S REFORM BILL. There were two important debates in the House of Commons, on the 3rd and 8th inst-both on one sub- subject—Mr. Baiues's bill for extending the franchise to t6 householders in boroughs the motion before the house being, that the bill be read a second time." It was important, as shewing the defection of several liber- al members from the cause of reform and also the va- cillation of the government, as well as in the evident in- crease of Conservative feeling in the House. This was evinced by the division come to on Monday evening; when there were, for the second reading 214; against 2S8 being a majority of 74; and this, when the house is on the eve of dissolution, and the members will shortly have to appeal to their constituents. This does not look as if they thought that a desire for reform," as it is termed,—or a reekless longing after change, as it might, with more propriety he denominated,—had made much way atuougst the people. The lead in the opposition to the member for Leeds' political panacea, was not taken by decided Conservatives, -avowed and consistent followers of Earl Derby. The principal speakers in opposition to the measure were Lord Etcho, and Mr. Gregory, who call themselves Liberal Conservatives and Mr. Lowe and Mr.Horstnan, who are supposed to be liberals. The speech of Mr. Lowe took the House and the public by surprise, as much as that of Mr. Gladstone, in support of Mr.'Baines's bill, did last session. It was one of the best speeches the aember for Calne ever delivered it has been truly de. stribed as the speech" of Wednesday's debate, for clearnesi, decision, and ability;" and though several attempts were made to answer it, none succeeded. He was UWed Mr. Leatham, Mr. Bright's brother-in-law, the member for Huddersfield, and the chastisement that gentleman received from the iratory of the member for CaIne-he will not easily forget. The only member of the Cabinet that spoke was Sir George Grey, on Monday evening. Ile, in the absence oi Lord Palmerston—who, though he presided at a Cabinet Council on Saturday, was not able to take his "W in the House—declared that it was the intention of Government to support the bill,-but, "he wished the tote to go for no more than what it was worth;" and distinctly declared, that Government did not mean to 8° to the electors "pledged to,"—nor "did they intend ask the support of the country, or the advocates of,- real measure of parliamentary reform."—"I wish," he l!al'l, "to be explicit. We do not want to get up any parliamentary reforms when we do not know what the opinion of the next House of Commons may be on the 8Uject" declaration which means-if it means any- thing-that ministers have an opinion of their own on the subject; but will adopt whatever the House of CotaulorLs may dictate, in order to keep their places. ilr. Forster, the member for Bradford, who followed h If George Grey, did not spare the G overment on this head. The speech of Monday evening was Mr. Disreali's c closed the debate; and it ought to be Printed in a cheap form, and a copy put into hand of every householder, rich or poor, III the kingdom. We are no particular admirers of Mr. Disraeli. Agreeing with him in abstract princi- ples, we frequently differ from him in practical details; but in his observations on parliamentary reform, and in his defence of the bill introduced by Lord Derby s government, in 1859, we fully agree. In that bill he 'says-speaking for himself and his colleagiies-" We endeavoured to make propositions, which were in accord- ance with the genius of the constitution. We did not consider that a mere phrase. Our constitution is a monarchy, tempered by co-ordinate estates of the realm. The House of Commons is an estate of the realm,-that is, a political body, invested with political power for the government of the country, for the public good. It is, therefore, a body founded upon privilege and not upon right. That in the noblest sense of the word it is, therefore, an aristocratic body, and from the first it has had that character." The reform bill of 1832 had not changed, and that of 1859 would not have changed that character and the member for Buckingham has cau- tioned the House against sanctioning any step in the direction of democracy; contending that "the principle of the bill he introduced,—the principle of extension, not degradation, of the franchise,—was the only one that will be acceptable to the country." We believe it is so and hopo, that, after the next election, the Conser- vative party may be so strengthened as to be able to carry the Reform Bill of 1859; which, we firmly believe, would not only be a great boon for the public, but would settle the question of Reform," for many years.






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