§ MR. BRIGHT
said, he wished to put a question to the noble Lord the Home Secretary, with reference to his Bill for the better regulation of the police in counties and boroughs. He observed that the noble Lord had seen a large deputation on the subject of this Bill, and the impression was, that the measure would be withdrawn. He (Mr. Bright) saw, however, in a morning paper of that day, that arguments were used in defence of the Bill, and applause given to the noble Lord for bringing it in; and some apprehension was excited that it was not to be absolutely withdrawn. He should, therefore, be glad to know what course the noble Lord intended to pursue with the measure.
§ VISCOUNT PALMERSTON
said, that a deputation waited upon him the other day of persons connected with many of the principal towns in the country, and they stated to him their objections to portions of this Bill. Now, without himself admitting the force of their objections, he could not deny the fact that they existed. He attached very great value to the principle of local self-government; and although he did not believe his Bill infringed that principle, still, if others thought so, that was a material element to guide his conduct in regard to the measure. Though he believed the Bill a good one, he would not consider it rendering a good service to the country to force it upon boroughs against their own will, because great advantage arose from harmonious co-operation be- 751 tween the local authorities and the Government. Therefore, in deference to their objections, he would certainly withdraw the present Bill, reserving to himself whether he should bring in another measure, omitting those portions to which such strong objections had been felt. He quite admitted that it would be useless to ask the House to read a second time a Bill which was understood to be liable to great modifications in Committee. The best course would, therefore, be for him to withdraw the present Bill, and then consider whether it could be so modified as to make it acceptable to the House and useful to the country. The Bill stood for Friday, and before that time he would be able to determine whether he should drop it for the present Session, or bring in a modified Bill for the consideration of the House.