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and he had a clause, besides, specifying other cases. Surely he should not be the manner in which he should propose to told that ballot would not be a complete have the ballot taken. Two things were preventative of bribery and corruption. necessary-first, to satisfy the House that Under the present system men knew, the principle was good, and next to con- when they had given bribes, whether they vince it that the details for carrying that got value for their money; but under the principle into effect were without objec- system of ballot, the facilities for acquiring tion. It would be idle to enter into the that knowledge would be so diminished, details with those who would not concede that they would hesitate before they the principle; but to those who granted the offered bribes to others over whose votes last, he should be most ready to give way they could possess no control. He did as to the first, and to adopt any of their not mean that the ballot should take useful suggestions. The first question place in the first instance, for he would was, whether the vote by ballot was likely still retain the nomination and the open to accomplish the object of the Bill before voting by show of hands; but if a poll the House, that object being the pre- were demanded, then he thought balloting vention of bribery and corruption? A ought to commence. By preserving these man who gave his suffrage by ballot parts of the old system, he should not would bestow it according to the dic take away from the candidates the adtates of his honest judgment, and while it vantage of meeting the voters, nor from left just and proper influence in operation, the voters that of seeing the men who it rendered all other influence impossible. were candidates to represent them; nor If an elector gave his vote in gratitude to should he put an end to that opportunity a good landlord, or out of regard to a which an election now presented, of friend or relative, that might be called a demanding from the candidates pledges just and proper influence, and that was of their future conduct, and means by untouched and unbroken by the plan now which their subsequent demeanour in that proposed. Upon this position he (Mr. House might be compared with their preO'Connell) placed his foot, and defied any vious professions. It was said by some man by argument to remove him from it persons, that the mode of voting by ballot —that election by ballot left a man as was a sneaking thing that ought to be free to vote honestly as if he gave his avoided. Why, who was guilty of sneaksuffrage openly at the hustings. He also ing? Not the man who, by the means of contended, with equal confidence, that vote by ballot, voted as he thought fit, for election by ballot freed the voter also he performed his duty, but he who was from corrupt and improper influence. prevented from performing that duty by Where detection was impossible, terror a system of open voting which made him of a landlord, for instance, could bave no the creature of another man's will, in opeffect; and corruption could not operate, position to his own, and by which he was because no man would be so silly as compelled to be at once a hypocrite and a to give a bribe where he could have no slave. On him, and not on the other, security that it would be earned. If, must the charge of hypocrisy rest. The however, a bribe were given, the giver House were about to continue the elective being a fool for his pains, no man would franchise in a place where their own be so ready to break faith as one who votes described it to have been grossly would accept it. These were great ad- abused. What, then, was the process by vantages; and if the House really wisher which that abuse was to be prevented in to prevent bribery and corruption at East future? Why, by giving the voter the Retford, here the effectual means were means of voting in future as he pleased. offered to its consideration and acceptance. He had heard it said in that House, that Here they had an opportunity of making it was the right of the landlord to coman experiment, and might bring into im- mand the vote of his tenant. If that mediate play a principle of considerable were so, the tenant was but a slave, and importance, and try whether it were well he might as well have his face blacked at founded or not. By so doing, they might once and be sent to our colonies, to bear not only see whether that principle could the name of slave, which was his condibe made applicable to this particular tion if he could be compelled to vote for borough, but whether the machinery a person he did not like. It had been worked well, and could be adopted in said, that if there was influence on the
one hand, there were terror, and the force election shall not be determined on of violence, and the fear of mobs on the view of the votes of the freemen and other. Supposing that to be true, it others claiming a right to vote at the said shewed the excellence of the ballot; election, but that a poll shall be required, it was a remedy for the latter as well as shall take such poll by ballot in the way for the former; and while it would prevent hereinafter mentioned.” the exercise of the influence of the Mr. Hume said, that he seconded the superior, it would at the same time Motion with great pleasure, because no destroy the terror of the mob, who would questions had occupied more time, nor any have no means of knowing how the more uselessly, than those in which the secret vote had been given. These were House endeavoured to punish individuals the advantages possessed by the plan he for corrupt practices at elections. He proposed [Question was here called). He therefore conceived that any mode which knew the lateness of the hour; and he enabled a man to give a vote free from knew, too, that this subject was now the influence of a superior, or from direct brought forward by an insignificant indi- bribery, was very desirable. He thought vidual, who was now, and was ever likely the plan now proposed would be more to remain, unconnected with party; and likely than any other to effect what he had who was besides a believer in the excel- heard Members in that House again and lence of Radical Reform. Under these again desire to see, namely, every voter circumstances, it was perhaps little won- able to vote as he pleased. It would derful that the House should be weary of effect that which repeated Acts of Parliathe discussion ; but he was in England, ment had been unequal to achieve. Since in a country which was said to be a land he had had a seat in that House, he had of common sense, and he now proposed a seen frequent instances of vote by ballot, plan which had plain common sense to and what was that done for, except to put recommend it. His plan would do away an end to influence? but unfortunately with undue influence, with direct corrup- from the state of that House it did tion and with all those evils of which not answer the end proposed; for lists complaint was now so often made. It were prepared and put into the hands of
true, that he who gave money individuals who were obliged to give the for his seat in that House, might be names on those lists as of their own choice. a philanthropist-he might be a In large bodies of voters there would be a of most excellent character; there had different result. The plan of voting by been such, but they were not always ballot was now almost universal. In the so; and it often happened that they pur- United States 250,000 people voted by chased their seats for the advantage ballot, without the slightest confusion, of themselves or their families. He had and every officer in the State was elected the honour to be the representative of by ballot. It was said that ballot was a an uncorrupted and unintimidated po- sneaking mode of expressing a man's pulation — of a population that had opinions; but he would ask, whether fearlessly given him their disinterested there was anything in the character of votes. He did not, therefore, ask the the people of the United States that House to adopt the plan of ballot from shewed ballot to be the proof of a sneakany personal experience of its absolute ing or cowardly spirit? He would say necessity. But still he knew how often exactly the reverse. Neither did he think votes had been influenced in other places, that the charge of hypocrisy could be and he called on all the Members of that truly brought against this mode of voting, House to support him, if they wished, as for in that respect the other was much they said they did, that elections should worse. The practice of voting by ballot be conducted fairly and incorruptly. He was adopted by all clubs. If what had would subjoin the clause he meant to been stated by the opponents of the meamove to that which related to the duties sure was true, it would be more manly in of the returning officer. The hon. and the clubs to vote openly, but they did not; learned Member moved the following and it should be recollected that the clause :-“ And be it further enacted, members of the clubs were gentlemen, that such proper officer, to whom any writ while electors, in general, were in a difshall be directed for electing a Burgess ferent situation, and were by no means so for the said Borough, in case the said independent in their circumstances. No
If he had any
member of these clubs had a right to say to the highest respect, who declared that that the mode of voting by ballot was the ballot system was productive of so hypocritical or improper; for he did that many evils in their country, that they which men in much humbler situations wished it could be got rid of, and viva ought to be allowed to do, but which he voce voting adopted in its stead. He was refused them the liberty of doing, upon a a representative of 5,000 or 6,000 voters, pretence of impropriety that was much who came openly and boldiy, and good more applicable to himself. Another ex-humouredly, to the hustings to give their cellent advantage in the plan was, that it vote, and he never would give a vote would put an end to those scenes of riot which would deprive them of the pleasure and disorder which now disgraced elec- they felt at publicly displayin gtheir sentitions. Those who really wished to put ments. The hon. and learned Gentleman an end to these scenes would vote for the should have his vote for any measure of plan now proposed. On these grounds, reform which would not be inconsistent he considered the plan beneficial for with the constitution. the interests of the community, and he Mr. Warburton observed, that all policould not think that any hon. Member tical measures should lead to good who looked at what had taken place in Government, and the question was, wheFrance would hesitate in believing in the ther this measure would or would not efficacy of the measure.
lead to such an object. Sir R. Wilson observed, that every one objection to the adoption of the ballot in who looked to the signs of the times must | Bassetiaw, it was because the number of see that the cause of reform had assumed voters not so great as might be a different aspect from heretofore. The wished; for the fittest places for this opinion that reform was necessary was no measure were those where there were great longer a clamour occasioned by temporary numbers of voters. There was no place distress it was the settled conviction of where intimidation and influence were intelligent men. The subject deserved, carried to a greater pitch than in London; therefore, to be fairly examined by the and there the ballot would be beneHouse. He gave the hon. and learned ficial. There were some places, therefore, Member for Clare full credit for sincerity where the ballot would be proper,-others in bringing forward his proposition; and where it would be improper. He meant, he hoped that hon. Meinber would give however, to vote for the Motion of the him the same credit for sincere motives hon. Member for Clare. [" Question," in opposing it. The proposition was of a Question.") most extensive character. The hon. and Mr. D. W. Harvey said, he could assure learned Member admitted that it was an in- | the tempestuous part of the House, that novation, and intended as an initiative of a he would agitate them but for a very few total change in the elective franchise : moments. His opinion was generally in but there was something in the con- favour of reform; and before he voted, he cealment and muffing up, which the wished to explain the reasons why he did system of ballot proposed, repulsive to not support the Motion of the hon. and his feelings, contrary to the English cha- learned Member for Clare. He had racter, and to that publicity which every listened to the hon. Member, and underelector ought to be desirous of seeking. stood the object of his proposition to be, It was a system suited to a peculiar class to check and stifle corruption in indiof people, and to juniors in the repre- viduals. Then was this the best mode? sentative system; and an experiment to He thought not. He thought that the try how far a nation was adapted to re- | best and only effectual mode of preventing ceive such a system. We talked of the corruption was, to place the representative march of intellect, but this was a retro- in the same situation in that House as the grade march,—we were going backward ; electors at the hustings, and oblige Memand any foreigner who heard such a pro- bers to swear at the bar that they had position would consider that its adop- not offered a bribe. This was the only tion would be a proof of our degradation. effectual remedy; though he was the only The circumstances of France and of Member the other night who divided America were totally different from ours; with the hon. Member for Beverley (Mr. but he had conversed with North Ameri- Stewart) on a Motion for this object. cans, persons whose opinions were entitled The hon. and learned Member had said that the ballot would check hypocrisy and relief which was legally administered to stifle corruption. Suppose it did, would the poor. He would 'therefore suggest, it not destroy the influence of example? that the Bill proposed should be withdrawn And he should like to know if the House for at least another year. At all events, would have had the pleasure of listening no person could deem it expedient to to the hon. and learned Member for Clare, enter on a discussion of the subject at so or if the hon. and learned Member would unseasonable an hour. have had the opportunity of detailing his Lord Althorp recommended that the proposition in the House, but for the au- Bill should be then read a second time, thoritative influence of example? He must pro forma, with the understanding that withhold his support from the Motion, its principle should be discussed when the because it was an adjunct to anotherSpeaker was about to leave the Chair, in universal suffrage. Universal suffrage' order that the House might resolve itself and annual Parliaments were the two | into committee. prominent features of the radical creed. Bill read a second time. He knew the people of this country were generally in favour of reform; but not HAYMARKET.-St. James's PARK.) such reform as was contained in those Lord Lowther moved the second reading propositions. If the Constitution were to of the Haymarket Removal Bill, on which be changed,-all titles and hereditary Mr. W. Smith remarked, that no oprank abolished, the monarchy itself position on any side would be offered to to be done away,-he would then vote the removal of the market; but he apprefor universal suffrage; but till then he hended that the place to which it was should be content with that reform which intended to remove it would be found tended to restore the representation to its inconvenient to numbers, and the Bill constitutional purity.
might, on that account, create some disMr. Jephson said, that he should vote satisfaction. for the Motion of his hon, and learned Mr. Hobhouse said, he should take the friend the Member for Clare, but for present opportunity to ask two questions reasons diametrically opposite to those he of the noble Lord who presided over the had assigned.
department of Woods and Forests. The Mr. W. Smith said, he should vote for first related to the proposed carriage-road the election by ballot, as it appeared to which it was expected would have been him to be the only course by which they opened in St. James's Park from Pimlico could secure free election in the borough to Storey's Gate. The improvement was of East Retford, now that it was joined generally understood to have been agreed with the hundred of Bassetlaw.
upon and arranged, when the ground was The House then divided on the question taken in for the erection of the new palace ; that Mr. O'Connell's clause be brought but there was at present no appearance of up, when there appeared
any preparation for opening such a road. Ayes 21, Noes 179; majority against He therefore wished to know, whether the the introduction of ballot 158.- Bill passed. design had been abandoned. The seList of the Minority.
cond question was on a subject no less Althorp, Lord
Monck, J. B. interesting to many of his constituents, Blandford, Lord Nugent, Lord
and likewise related to another improveBurdett, Sir F. Palmer, C. F.
ment in the same Park, which there was Cholmeley, M. Protheroe, E. Davies, Colonel Smith, W.
hitherto no prospect of being carried into Dawson, A. Waithman, Alderman
effect. It had been understood, that after Ebrington, Lord Warburton, H. the pulling down of Carlton-house a comGordon, R. Wells, J.
munication would haye been made from Hobhouse, J. C. Whitbread, s. Waterloo Place into St. James's Park by Jephson, C.D.O.
means of two openings through the newlyMaberly, J. O'Connell, D.
erected terrace; but if he might judge Marshall, w. Hume, J.
from the progress which the work had Poor Laws.] Mr. Slaney moved the already made towards completion, that second reading of the Poor Law Amend- expectation was not destined to be realment bill.
ized. He wished, however, to learn from Mr. Benett thought that the present the noble Lord whether it were determined was not a fit time for interfering with the that any such openings should be made,
Lord Lowther regretted he could not ning. Coals were also a necessary of life gratify the hon. Member by his answer among all classes, and the tax fell parconcerning the passage which he had just 'ticularly heavy on the poor. In the third mentioned, as no public communication place, it was a most partial tax, and esinto the Park would be made through the pecially burthensome to those who lived on terrace at the end of Waterloo Place; nor the sea coast, and on those parts of the would such a measure be authorized by country which were farthest from the the Minutes already submitted to the coal districts, and where coals, indepenHouse on the 18th of January 1827. dently of the tax, must be very dear. The With respect to the road alluded to, he tax was, besides, most enormous in its was happy to inform the hon. Gentleman amount, as compared with the price of that it would be opened very soon, and he the article at the mouth of the pit. It would have the satisfaction, in a very short increased the price three-fold, and postime, of seeing it ready for the accom- sessed all the evil qualities of the worst modation of the inhabitants.
tax without any redeeming virtues. He Bill read a second time.
was himself a coal-proprietor, but he thought the subject was, on every account,
one which loudly called for attention. HOUSE OF LORDS.
Petition referred to the Coal Committee Tuesday, March 16, 1830.
above stairs. MINUTES.] The Twelve Millions Exchequer Bills' Bill and the Transfer in Aids' Bill were read a third time and passed.
IRISH Poor Laws.] Earl Darnley The Mutiny Bills, and Personal Estates Duties' Bill, were rose, according to notice, to call the at
brought up from the Commons by Sir ALEXANDER GRANT tention of their Lordships, as he had freand others.—Read a first time. Petitions were presented against the East India Company's quently done before, to the most important Charter :-- by the Duke of Gordon, from the Merchants
, subject of the adoption of a system of Manufacturers, and other Inhabitants of Aberdeen :-- by Poor-laws in Ireland. The poor in EngLord WHARYCLIFFE, from Beeston and Churwell in York. shire. Complaining of Distress and praying for relief:- by ¡ land, it was well known, were entitled to the Earl of LIMERICK, from the Weavers of Limerick :
relief, and he would certainly recommend by Earl RADNOR, from Dunsley (Gloucestershire), and from certain Merchants, Manufacturers, and Tradesmen of that some law should be adopted to afford London:--by Earl STANHOPE, from the Hundred of Laun- a compulsory relief to the sick, the aged, diteh, Norfolk. Against the Bread and Beer Tax:--by Lord and the infirm in Ireland. He saw that KING, from a district in Gloucestershire. Against the extension of Poor-laws to Ireland:-- by the Earl of GLENGALL his noble friend (the Earl of Limerick) on from a place in Cavan. Against the Truck System :— by the other side was already prepared to Lord CALTHORPE, from the inhabitants of Darlaston; and take the alarm, and to give his decided against the Punishment of Death for Forgery :-by BATHURST, from Cirencester.
opposition to any project of the kind, as
he had done before, when he took occaCoal Tax.] Lord Wharncliffe, in sion to call the attention of their Lordships presenting a Petition from the Dyers and to this subject. He must admit, that on Manufacturers of Norwich against the that occasion, his proposition was not parTax on Sea-borne Coals, said, that ticularly well received. But since that this was a most unjust tax, and when so time, à considerable change had taken many taxes were taken off it was most place in public opinion with respect to the unfortunate that this was not among the Poor-laws; and political economists in number. It was a direct tax on produc- England, Scotland, and Ireland, as well as tive labour, and fell particularly heavy on others, had come over to his opinion. He the petitioners, as coals were essential to was far, however, from meaning to advothe use of the machinery by which their cate the introduction into Ireland of the trade was carried on. To shew their same system of Poor-laws as prevailed in Lordships the effects of this tax he would England; but when he could prove, as he mention one curious fact. The people of had offered to do on a former occasion, Norwich were actually obliged to send that people in Ireland had died of want their wool to Yorkshire to be spun, and in the streets and highways, it was high after being spun, it was sent back to time to adopt some method of comNorwich to be manufactured into camlets pulsory relief for the aged, the sick, and and other stuffs. This was entirely owing the helpless. How far the compulsory to the cheapness of fuel in Yorkshire, relief should go, he was not then prepared which enabled the people there to apply to say. It might, perhaps, be asked, why the steam-engine to the purpose of spin- he did not move for a Committee of In