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interest as at present. Some of and to enter upon a new and the Unions in Ireland had incurred better state of existence. incumbrances, which prevented fur- Mr. French expressed an unther efforts on their part, through favourable opinion of the liberality their exertions in providing work- of the propositions, of which Mr. house accommodation, and debts Monsell took a different view, condue to contractors for supplies of sidering that the Government had food, which were not paid owing made an advance towards the imto the impoverished condition of provement of the couutry. these Unions. In no less than The Earl of Arundel, Colonel ten their effects had been seized Sibthorpe, Mr. P. Scrope, and other under execution in consequence of Members, having made a few rethese debts. It appeared to the marks upon the Government proGovernment that these difficulties positions, were mainly owing to the famine Mr. Bright called the attention of former years, and that if these of the Government to the fact he Unions were relieved from these alleged, that in certain parts of incumbrances they could begin Ireland the rates were exacted afresh, and would be able to di- from occupiers whilst owners were minish their expenditure by pro suffered to be in arrear. He did viding means for applying the not object to the advance of money, workhouse test. They proposed, but he did object to rates being therefore, to make an additional uncollected from owners of land, advance for the discharge of these and he thought the poor- law audebts, to be repayable by instal- thorities ought to have power to ments within forty years, bearing seize the lands of proprietors reinterest. At the end of December fusing to pay the rates. last the amount which these dis- Mr. Herbert repelled the attack tressed Unions had to pay was
made by Mr. Bright, upon anony270,0001.; and it was proposed mous authority, upon the landto advance 300,0001., which would lords of Ireland, and called upon make the whole amount repayable him to give up the names of the by Ireland 4,783,0001. The noble parties and his authority, otherLord then proceded to state what wise he should stigmatize the statehad been done with respect to ment as a calumny, and the most the rate in aid, out of which cowardly of all calumnies, an (the whole being calculated to anonymous calumny. produce 320,0001.) 150,0001. of the After a few words in condemna250,0001. advanced under sanction tian of the measure, of the Legislature, on the security Sir W. Somerville reminded Mr. of the rate in aid, had been paid. Bright that there was a difference Recapitulating his propositions, between arrears and uncollected Lord John concluded by observing rates, and stated that, although that he should not be justified in the whole amount of rate was upmaking them if he did not be- wards of 7,000,0001., there had lieve that there was now a pros- been collected and actually lodged pect, if her burdens were light- in the treasurer's hands (as he ened, of Ireland being able to afterwards explained) 94 per cent. recover from her late depression, of that amount, and of the remain. VOL. XCII.
ing 6 per cent. only 2 per cent. diency of this measure, which havwould be irrecoverable.
ing been for several Sessions enMr. Grogan and Sir W. Bar- tertained and constantly postron denounced the charge brought poned, was at length this year against the landlords of Ireland, carried into effect without any the latter descanting upon the dis- very strenuous opposition, although astrous effects produced in that in its progress through the two country by late legislation. Houses the original proposition of
Mr. Bright explained that he the Government underwent conhad merely asserted that in cer- siderable modification. Sir Wm. tain Unions (which he named) the Somerville, the Secretary for Irelargest portion of the arrears of land, in a brief and unpretending rate appeared from the books of speech,
moved for leave to bring the Unions to be due from owners in the Bill, stating that it did not of land; but he declined to give differ in principle from that which their names, for the reasons he had been introduced last year, and assigned.
which did not encounter any maThis subject, thus incidentally terial objection. The main feature introduced, led to a good deal of of the Bill was the extension of discussion. Upon the main ques. the franchise to all occupiers of tion,
land to the amount of 8l. per anMr. Muntz refused to vote for num, adopting the rating as the this “ grant,” as he considered it, ultimate standard of value. for the money would never be re- Mr. Stafford regretted that in. paid. The industrious people of stead of such a measure as this, of England asked how long the effects a political character, some means of famine were to last? It was of alleviating the distress in the his full impression that next year famine - stricken districts of the there would be another grant. The West of Ireland had not been demoney ought to be raised in Ire- vised by the Government. The land.
introduction of the Bill, however, After a few further observations was not opposed, and leave was at from Lord John Russell and from the same time given for a Bill to Mr. M. O'Connell, the resolu- shorten the duration of elections tions were agreed to, and a Bill in Ireland. Upon the second readfounded upon them was subse- ing of the Franchise Bill, however, quently brought in and passed being proposed, without any material opposition. Mr. Napier objected to the mea
A measure for the extension of sure, as an attempt to introduce a the elective franchise in the coun- vital change in the elective franties and boroughs of Ireland was chise in Ireland, whilst that of the next subject connected with the England remained unaltered; and sister country which occupied the he urged various reasons against consideration of Parliament. The the change, as inexpedient, unjust, great reduction in numbers which and liable to abuse. had taken place in these constitu- Mr. Hume objected to the Bill encies by reason of the impoverished upon a different ground: although state of the tenantry and other ostensibly enlarging the franchise causes, had suggested the expe« in Ireland, it placed it upon a narrower basis than that of the Cape representation of England, and it of Good Hope, and Irishmen would be better now to make such should be treated as liberally as a change in Ireland as would harHottentots.
monize with the new general sysMr. Reynolds likewise con- tem. demned the measure as niggardly; The further discussion, which the Bill had greatly disappointed embraced points of detail and queshim, and would disappoint the tions connected with the machinery people of Ireland. If the consti- of the Bill, diversified by an unsuctuency had dwindled (which was cessful attempt by Sir John Tyrell the pretext for the measure), so to read a statement made before the had property, and it was a dan- Poor Law Committee, but not regerous remedy so to extend the ceived as evidence, was shared suffrage as to strengthen the de- amongst Mr. Grogan, Mr. W. Famocratic element.
gan, Lord Castlereagh, Mr. MonMr. M. J. O'Connell was pre- sell, Mr. Sadleir, Mr. O'Flaherty, pared to accept gratefully that part and Mr. Keogh. of the Bill which related to the Sir W. Somerville replied to the county franchise ; but he thought objections offered to the principle it would grievously diminish the and policy of the measure, which, leasehold suffrage.
he was satisfied, the more it was Captain Taylor admitted that considered, would appear more just some points of the Bill were good, and fair. Any proposal for amendbut many were objectionable. ing its details would be attended
Colonel Rawdou accepted the to by the Government. Bill as a very great improvement The Bill was read a second time. of the present defective state of The Bill having been committed, the representation of Ireland, with- several attempts were made to alter out affording any ground for ap- the clause which fixed the amount prehension.
of qualification. Mr. G. A. HamilSir J. Young spoke in favour of ton proposed an amendment, reservthe Bill generally, and obviated ing the existing kinds of franchise, some of the objections of Mr. to which the Government assented. Napier.
Another was moved by Mr. Henley, Mr. F. O'Connor was thankful with the object of making the for the measure, small as the in- franchise dependent on the valistalment was, and though a mea- dity of the occupant's tenure, insure of policy rather than of prin stead of making occupancy de facto ciple on the part of the Govern- confer the right to vote. This proment.
position after some debate was reLord C. Hamilton suggested jected. Mr. G. A. Hamilton then some objections to the Bill in proposed to substitute a rating of matters of detail; and
151. instead of 81. as the qualifi. Mr. Bright pointed out faults cation. This amendment, which in it as respected both the county was opposed by Lord Castlereagh, and the borough franchise. It was negatived by 213 to 144, and was, however, he confessed, a great several other propositions for alterimprovement; bat a measure would ing the first clause shared the same soon be indispensable for altering fate. Clause 2, giving a vote to the franchise and improving the each joint occupant where the total
rating yields an 81. value to each, Sir James Graham supported the was opposed by Sir R. Ferguson, on measure as a whole, though he the ground that it would open the disapproved of the second clause, door to extensive frauds. Sir R. as mischievously tending to create Peel, however, supported the mi- “ split and faggot votes." Mr. nisterial proposition, which was Disraeli said, that Ministers were adopted on a division by 144 to 104. about to throw on " another place" The next clause, creating a county the responsibility of rejecting lefranchise for freeholds of the rated gislation confessed by the highest value of 51., was opposed by Mr. authority” in the House of ComReynolds, and his objections were mons to be “most crude.” On a seconded by Sir F. Thesiger. The division, the third reading was amendment, however, was lost by carried by 254 to 186-amidst 106 to 30. The rate of 81, occu. cheers from the Opposition at the pancy for the borough franchise largeness of the minority. was criticised by many hon. Mem- It was in the Upper House, bers as being too high a value. however, that the Irish Franchise Lord Castlereagh, Mr. Monsell, Bill had to encounter the most and Mr. M‘Cullagh urged a recon: formidable opposition. The Lords sideration of the subject in favour having gone into Committee on of a 51. franchise. These sugges- the Bill on the 2nd of July, the tions, however, were firmly resisted first amendment, moved by Lord by Lord John Russell, who urged St. Germans, and proposing that the improbability of the Bill being the franchise should only be excarried at all if altered in confor- tended to the occupiers of land mity to these views. The proposi- rated to the poor-rate at a net antion of a 5l. value was defeated by nual value of 121., instead of 81., 142 to 90. The system of a strict as provided by the Bill, was postregistration of voters, on which the poned, after an explanation by Bill was framed, was likewise much Lord Lansdowne of his willingness canvassed, and several attempts to adopt the principle of an 8l. were made to set it aside, but with household rating, instead of a ratout success.
ing to the same amount on the land. The last stage of the measure met Lord Desart then proposed an with a vivacious opposition from the amendment to substitute 151. for Irish Conservative party, reinforced El., as the lowest amount of occuby the English Protectionists; and pation which should confer a vote. gave rise to defensive speeches of The Bishop of Down supported freshercomplexion than might have the lower qualification, and bore been expected on the exhausted testimony to the respectability of topic. Mr. Sheil declaimed with the class of persons in his own animation against the folly of leav- diocese whom it would enfranchise. ing room for the revival of the two Much anxiety was felt on the subgreat causes of defunct Irish agi- ject in Ireland, and great disaptation, the concurrence of a great pointment would be experienced if question and a great man like a higher qualification were required. Daniel O'Connell :
Lord Stanley denied that the 81. once more contribute the same facul. ratepayers, even in the diocese of ties, but surely you will not again Down, were persons of such intelfurnish the same opportunities.” ligence, or in such a position, as
would enable them to form a sound Lord Carlisle could not forget judgment or exercise independent that he had once the honour of reaction in public affairs. He had presenting a constituency of 55,000, no desire to varrow the franchise, while the whole county electors of but with a 151. qualification they Ireland were only 30,000. He would have, exclusive of freehold quoted statistics to prove that the ers, 180,000 county electors in 151. qualification proposed by the Ireland, which would give a much amendment would very inadequatelarger average than the English ly recruit the Irish constituency, - counties possessed. With the 81. but entreated their Lordships to qualification, which the Bill pro- act in the spirit of enlightened posed, an overpowering influence foresight, which they had so often would be thrown into the hands of displayed, and take advantage of the lay and clerical agitators, and he present lull of political excitement urged their Lordships to remem- to place the franchise on a reber that this was a case in which spectable footing, and give Ireland they could not undo their work. a constituency of which she need
Lord Shrewsbury would extend not be ashamed. the franchise to the small shop- Lord Brougham thought that keeper and the small farmer, for he the adoption of the 8!. qualificahad no doubt that they would exer- tion would seriously and signally cise it in favour of protection. deteriorate the House of Commons.
Lord Wharncliffe proved by sta- They were not legislating for Engtistics, which he quoted at length, land, or even for the north of that even if the 81. qualification Ireland only, but also for the south, were adopted, there would be in and he desired their Lordships to Ireland but one elector to 22 of observe not only the proportion of the population, while in England voters, but of paupers to populathere was one in 24, and in Wales tion. Why, one-third of the whole one in 23. The present state of people were paupers! He had althings was most dangerous, and he ways been in favour of extending hoped that the change would be the franchise to the great body of made now, when all was quiet, in- our intelligent, hard-headed artistead of waiting until Parliament sans, who were much more indemight be compelled to make larger pendent than most of those who concessions.
were already electors ; but he proLord Mountcashell supported tested against the Reform Act bethe amendment, and Lord Dufferin ing altered without better reasons the lower qualification. He was than had been shown in this case. convinced that the class which it After some explanations from would admit to the franchise was Lord St. Germans, who deprecated at least equal in respectability and the virtual rejection of the Bill by intelligence to the ordinary Eng. the adoption of Lord Desart's lish elector. Lord Londonderry, amendment, and repeated his own however, feared the influence which suggestion of a 1a. rating as a the 81. franchise would give to the compromise, Roman Catholic priests and the Lord Fitzwilliam reminded Lord Presbyterian clergy, and contended Brougham of his celebrated adstrenuously for the higher qualifi- dress to their Lordships on the cation.
Reform Bill, and recommended the