§ Bill considered in Committee.
§ (In the Committee.)
§ Clause 9 (Glasgow to return three Members).
§ MR. GRAHAM
said, that there had been great disappointment felt in Scotland at the result of their proceedings last Monday. The claims of the northern part of this island to a larger amount of increased representation than had been ac- 957 corded to it were so irresistible, so much approved by the House and acknowledged by all parties, that, conscious as the people of Scotland were of the difficulties the Government had to encounter in giving all they were entitled to, and entirely appreciating their good faith and kindly feeling, they had been led to believe, upon the success of the Motion of the hon. Member for Montrose (Mr. Baxter), that a larger increase than was now proposed might have been given them. Glasgow, especially, felt aggrieved, containing, as it did, one-seventh of the population of Scotland, and, though not in historical associations, yet in importance really being the capital of the country. That city concentrated within itself the manufacturing industries like those of Lancashire and a shipping trade like Liverpool, and, in addition, was possessed of an University, which in past times had been an institution of great usefulness, and by the erection of magnificent buildings was preparing for a still greater career. It certainly seemed to the people of Glasgow that the deprivation of a fourth Member was a very hard measure, and that the House did not deal with them with the consideration and the justice to which they were entitled; but when to that was added that Glasgow was the only constituency in Scotland which was to be made a three-cornered one, he must say that the feeling of the community was one of great regret and great indignation. There had been public meetings held in opposition to the arrangements proposed by the Government, and he was in possession of the strongest remonstrances on the subject. One great objection to the proposal of the Government was the unwieldiness and expensiveness of the constituency that would thus be created. It must be within the knowledge of most Members of that House that it must be a most difficult thing to canvass a constituency like Glasgow, with its 16,000 electors; and when, as would be the case by the extension of the franchise, it came to 40,000 or 50,000, he appealed to hon. Members to say, from their own experience, whether a personal canvass by candidates of such a constituency was not wholly impossible. It might be said that personal acquaintance was not required, and that the candidate might rely on his public addresses and their effect on the public mind; but even if some candidates were content to trust to this, any energetic opponent with abundant 958 funds might force another to the labour, anxiety, and expensiveness of a personal canvass. The result could only be to create an organization concentrating political power in the hands of caucuses or cliques, and so controlling in an injurious manner the independence both of the electors and the elected. Then there was another consideration in the expense rendered necessary by such a constituency. Even as it already existed, the election expenses of the constituency of Glasgow were very heavy. It had cost himself something like £4,000 to obtain his seat, and he could faithfully declare that not a penny of that money had been spent in an illegitimate, corrupt, or, as far as he was aware, in an extravagant manner. His hon. Colleague (Mr. Dalglish) was not protected by his long services and the great hold he had upon the people of Glasgow from having to contest the city, and the joint expenses of the three gentlemen who had sought the representation of the city at the late election had been something like £9,000. The increase of expense arising from the extension of the franchise would, he was informed, be something like one-half, and adding the increase that would be caused by the extension of the boundaries proposed by Government, he believed be should be within the mark in estimating the total expense of an election for Glasgow, if contested, at £20,000. The only possible reason, ns far as he knew, for entailing upon the constituency and candidates that enormous labour, anxiety, and expense, was for the purpose of inflicting upon Glasgow that three-cornered representation which was put into the English Bill by the other House at the last moment. They strongly objected to that and he thought it was with very great reason that they did so. He and no wish to discuss the principle of Lord Cairns' Amendment, although utterly disapproving of it; and he was aware that many hon. Gentlemen conscientiously held that that was a wise Amendment on the Bill; but its partial application to one solitary constituency here and there was thoroughly unsound. If the principle be good at all, it must be more widely extended; and if this triangular system could not be made general, if not universal, his belief was that they would have to give it up altogether. Besides, its introduction into England was no reason why they should force it upon a reluctant constituency in Scotland. So far as Glasgow was concerned the proposal of the Bill 959 would reduce the active political influence of Glasgow, on the occasion of party divisions on great political questions in that House, to that of one of those small boroughs which have barely escaped disfranchisement. He held it to be unwise, unjust, and unsafe, to impose upon a great and intelligent community like that of Glasgow a system of that kind, which limited to so large an extent their choice of a representative, and diminished so unfairly their weight in Parliament. He believed it was not for the interest of this country to elect only men of great means; and yet what possibility was there for any man who had not large means to contest such a constituency? The proposal he now made to divide Glasgow into three constituencies would give three distinct constituencies each quite large enough in the experience of Members for any gentleman to canvass. Besides, it must be remembered that those constituencies were not decaying and diminishing ones. The constituency of Glasgow was, of all others, probably the largest and most increasing in this country. It was developing to an extent to which no other of which he was aware was doing. He opposed the proposal of the Government on the ground that it limited the choice of the constituency, involved great labour and expense, and endangered the independence alike of the Members and the electors, and deprived Glasgow of its just weight in the councils of the country. The hon. Gentleman was about to move an Amendment, when—
pointed out that an Amendment of which notice had been given by the Lord Advocate was entitled to precedence.
§ THE LORD ADVOCATE moved the omission of the words from the commencement down to the words "to serve in Parliament, and" inclusive, explaining that as the number of Members for Glasgow had been already fixed at three, the words in the clause which he moved to omit were mere surplusage.
§ Amendment agreed to.
§ MR. GRAHAM
then moved the insertion of words providing that Glasgow be divided into three districts, each returning one Member.
§ Amendment proposed, in page 3, line 27, after the word "Glasgow," to insert the words "shall be divided into three districts, each of which shall return one Member to Parliament."—(Mr. Graham.)960
§ MR. DISRAELI
said, the Committee would observe that, if they acceded to those words, they would run counter to the Resolution at which they arrived last year on the English Reform Bill. He wished the House clearly to understand the issue before them, and to consider whether they would rescind their last year's Resolution that minorities should be represented.
§ MR. BAXTER
remarked, that when introducing the Irish Bill the noble Lord (the Earl of Mayo) stated that if the House decided to divide Dublin, instead of giving it three Members on the minority principle, he should offer no objection, adding that the Government were no great advocates of that principle, and that he should be sorry to see it applied to any great extent in Ireland. Now, the Scotch Members hoped the Government would consent to do for Scotland what they were willing to do for Ireland.
§ MR. SMOLLETT
, as a Member caring little for party arrangements, and representing a constituency connected with Glasgow, intended to vote for the Amendment. He had always objected to triangular representation, and voted last Session against the addition of a third Member to Manchester and three other large towns in the North of England. He did so because he thought the system was an improper one, and because it was never palatable even to the constituencies to which it was applied by the Act of 1832, and he looked upon it as perfectly odious now that the extraordinary principle of the representation of minorities had been grafted upon it. The principle of the representation of minorities had been thrust upon that House by the House of Lords, after it had been repudiated in the House of Commons by a majority of 140 votes. It would, he thought, be better to confine the representation of Glasgow to two Members if the three seats were to be coupled with this ridiculous proposal. Glasgow had about 50,000 or 60,000 electors; it would be very difficult to find three gentlemen of position who would come before such a constituency; and he feared that after the first General Election there would be a great deterioration in the Members for that city. He believed that the third Member for Glasgow, under the proposal for the representation of minorities, instead of being a Conservative, would be much more likely to be the worst of the whole lot, and to be either a trades unionist or at all events a delegate 961 representing the views of those mischievous associations. The hon. Member for Birmingham (Mr. Bright), if he (Mr. Smollett); recollected rightly, contested this principle of the representation of minorities with great force when it came from the House of Lords. He (Mr. Smollett) did not believe that that principle would have been acquiesced in in the House of Commons, after it came from the Lords if a proper opportuinty for discussing the question had been given. The debate was continued on the night of the 8th of August, when hon. Members on both sides of the House were sick of the name of Reform, and when they were anxious to go off as quickly as possible to their grouse-shooting and salmon-fishing in Scotland and Norway. The hon. Member for Birmingham, I knowing the principles of the people of Manchester and Birmingham, repudiated a third Member if coupled with the principle of the representation of minorities. He (Mr. Smollett) believed the people of Glasgow would do the same, if they were applied to, to-morrow. In his opinion, it would have been better if, instead of adopting the proposition of the hon. Member for Montrose (Mr. Baxter), the House had taken the resolution of striking off all the triangular Members from towns and counties in England; and then they would have had twelve seats to dispose of for the representation of Scotland. But, no matter what might be done, the best chance Glasgow had of a diversity of representation in future was to divide it into three distinct wards, and let each have a Member. On that principle, he should support the Motion of the hon. Member for Glasgow (Mr. Graham).
confessed that he much preferred the proposal made by the Government last year with regard to Glasgow to the one which was now before them—he meant the proposal to divide Glasgow into two divisions—one on the north and the other on the south side of the river. The hon. Gentleman the Member for Glasgow (Mr. Graham) now made a proposal to divide Glasgow into three divisions, and to give one Member to each; and the right hon. Gentleman (Mr. Disraeli), if he (Mr. Gladstone) understood him aright, objected to the Motion of the hon Member for Glasgow, on the ground that it would in some manner contravene the decision of the House last year. For his own part he should feel that, if it would at all contravene or overturn the 962 decision of last year, that fact would only recommend it the more. He spoke so far individually and for himself; but he was aware that there were many Gentlemen, even on that (the Opposition) side of the House, who did not think with him on that point—and he wanted to know how it was best that, for the interests of them all, they should dispose of this particular matter. He thought it was obvious that they were all anxious to make rapid progress with the Bill—and it would be advantageous if they could avoid reviving the discussion of last year with respect to the representation of minorities. In his opinion both the friends of the principle and its opponents ought to concur in that. The friends of the minority clause, as far as he was acquainted with their opinions, thought that, in order to give full effect to the virtues of that system, it ought to be tried upon a very extended scale; and the plan of last year they looked upon as a mere morsel, and an experiment which was to give them an idea of the manner in which it would work; but they were of opinion that if according to that experiment it succeeded, it ought to be extended. If that were so, then, without any disparagement to their opinions, he should think the provisions of the English Bill were amply sufficient for that experiment. Why should they re-import into the discussion the whole of this controversy, only with the object of adding one more city to the number of those to which the principle was applied? They who were opposed to the principle were bound to give it a fair trial, which it must have under the provisions of the English Bill. The plan recommended by his hon. Friend (Mr. Graham) had this peculiar recommendation, that it did in some degree, and perhaps in a very considerable degree, meet the views of the advocates of the minority clause, without raising the objections of its opponents. It was a new kind of experiment, and let in a considerable new representation without departing from that old principle of the electoral system of this country, that the majority should rule, and that the opinions of the majority should have weight. The plan certainly involved a novel experiment, and he hoped the Government would not feel it to be necessary to object to the Motion of his hon. Friend. He should desire to see the adoption of any plan in order to avoid this needless and irritating controversy.
§ MR. J. LOWTHER
said, he hoped the 963 Committee would not allow itself to be led away from the real issue before it. The hon. Member for Glasgow (Mr. Graham) naked the Committee to adopt a principle entirely without precedent in any other part of the kingdom. The right hon. Member for South Lancashire said that the Committee might adopt a novel experiment. He trusted that they would do no such thing. The proposal of the hon. Member for Glasgow was in reality to convert the representation for that borough into a simple representation by wards, a proposition which had been on a former occasion discussed and rejected by the House. He asked the Committee to divide Glasgow into three wards with a Member for each, and thus to overturn the decision of Parliament with regard to the representation of minorities. That was the most important principle laid down during the discussion of the Bill of last year, and the Committee would not now allow it to be abrogated by a side-wind. He trusted that in the present advanced stage of their proceedings they would hear no more of novel experiments.
§ MR. NEWDEGATE
said, if the Committee agreed to divide Glasgow into three wards, in no one ward would the minority have the slightest chance of representation or of ever obtaining a Member. The proposal of a representation of minorities was spoken of as the plan of the right hon. Member for Calne, but it had been previously adopted by Earl Russell, who proposed to try it in thirty or forty divisions of counties.
§ MR. DALGLISH
said, he was not quite sure that so large a principle as the representation of minorities ought to be discussed upon this clause. The Government proposed to give three Members to Glasgow: but they also proposed to increase the population returning these Members from 440,000 to 470,000. In the immediate neighbourhood of Glasgow there was a population of 30,000 who were equally connected with the borough, and it would simplify the question if the Government would consent to add 60,000 to the population of 440,000 returning the present Members, making a population of 500,000. They should then divide Glasgow into two divisions, and give two Members to each half. That would be an act of justice, and would save all discussion on this point. He left the matter with confidence to the Government.
§ MR. SCHREIBER
said, the Scotch Members seemed already to have forgotten 964 the plea they originally put forward when it was their object to secure additional Members. Then Scotland was to be regarded as an integral part of the Empire. He was reminded that when the remains of Napoleon were brought home from St. t Helena to France, observant Frenchmen I said they were not only bringing back the bones of that great man, but also his principles. Well, when the English seats were to be taken across the Scotch border, it was not the English seats only, but also the English principle that was to be taken there; and that English principle was the representation of the minority. He protested against the narrow spirit of provincialism which cropped up among Scotch Members immediately the question of an English principle arose. The representation of minorities was a true and a good principle, and as one of the few Conservative principles, if not the only one, contained in the Reform Bill of last Session, he would not consent to yield it without a struggle.
§ MR. OSBORNE
said, he hoped the Committee would not be led away by the bones of Napoleon nor by the assertion that that Motion was a novel experiment. The principles now invoked on the 28th of May were not discussed as principles at all on the 8th of August last. They were last year all too happy to get away from that question, upon which they then voted under the pressure of extreme heat and equal disgust. He should now vote with the hon. Member for Glasgow, not in any spirit of provincialism, about which the hon. Member for Cheltenham (Mr. Schreiber) had lectured them; but because he hoped his vote would be the means of hereafter upsetting the most abominable of all experiments, the representation of minorities in England. He believed that a more mischievous experiment had never been introduced into our legislation. He trusted that all hon. Gentlemen who were shaky on that particular question would keep this in their eye—that by voting for this Motion they would eventually get rid of the representation of minorities.
§ MR. BERESFORD HOPE
was much obliged to his hon. Friend the Member for Nottingham (Mr. Osborne) for having so ingenuously let the cat out of the bag. The hon. Member had confessed that his object in opposing the proposal for bestowing the third Member upon Glasgow upon the minority principle, was the desire to get rid of that principle for England also— 965 using the Scotch Reform Bill as other Members had done, ns the instrument for tinkering the English Reform Act, For his own part, he was not afraid to say that among many absurd and mischievous propositions embodied in that Act as it had received the Royal Assent, he regarded this one as possessing some substantive merit. It was in the grammatical, and not in the partizan sense, a Conservative provision, inasmuch as it conserved for large masses of the population who would otherwise have been virtually disfranchised, a share in the national representation. There was, however, one point on which his hon. Friend had been prudently ambiguous. He had been almost pathetic on the discomforts of the August fight upon the minority principle during the Session of 1867, when the English Reform Bill had come back from the Lords, but he had forgotten to explain whether he intended his present opposition to the representation of minorities to bear practical fruit in the present Parliament, or to be a protest intended to influence the mind of the coming one. If he intended to follow up the advantage during this Session, the House might again be debating the point in August; and, for his own part, he (Mr. Beresford Hope) hoped it would be doing so. If it were but a protest thrown out to futurity, he could only declare against the idle attempt to bias the untried Parliament of an unknown constituency. The minority constituencies in towns like Birmingham counted respectively by tens of thousands, and he therefore declined to argue the superiority of their claim to be represented over that; of the hundreds or at most thousands, who would form the entire constituency of many of the smaller seats existing under the Act of last year. In spite of his hon. Friend he was prepared to support the minority suffrage both in England and in Scotland.
§ MR. J. STUART MILL
said, the hon. Member for Nottingham (Mr. Osborne) had called on Gentlemen on that side to support the Motion of the hon. Member for Glasgow (Mr. Graham), holding out to them the inducement of getting rid of the principle of the representation of minorities. That was the strongest possible reason why those who were in favour of the representation of minorities — not as being a Conservative measure, but as a measure of justice—should vote against the present Motion. Nothing could be more unfair than to speak of the representation of 966 those persons who happen to be in a minority, whatever might be their political opinions, in any constituency, as being in any exclusive sense a Conservative principle. On the contrary, it was not only the most democratic of all principles, but it was the only true democratic principle of representation, and they could not have a complete system of representation without if, Man for man, those who happened to be in a minority had just as much claim to be represented as the majority.
I have only this moment entered the House, and have not hoard the discussion; but I wish to take an opportunity of reminding the Committee that last year a majority of more than 140 Members of this House objected to this proposition, and that the circumstances under which it afterwards became law were very peculiar. The right hon. Gentleman now at the head of the Government on that occasion made, what I then described, and I now repeat the observation, as the most earnest and resolute speech which he made during the whole of the Reform Bill discussions, in opposition to the proposition supported by my hon. Friend the Member for Westminster (Mr. Stuart Mill). The House, following his advice and the advice of a great many others, by a large majority—more than 140— rejected the proposition. Well, what then happened? The Bill went up to the House of Lords; and what occurred there soon afterwards? The House of Lords proposed some five or six Amendments of various kinds and various degrees of importance in the Bill. It came down to this House for those Amendments to be considered here. I need not state what all those Amendments were; but the two principal ones had reference, the one to the question of the representation of minorities, and the other to voting papers. The minority clause was the last of the Lords' Amendments that came to be considered in this House. All their other Amendments, as they were brought before the House, were rejected. The voting papers, which had been agreed to in the other House, were rejected in this. We came then to this question, whether this minority clause—being the only one of the Amendments of the other House which we had not rejected—should be rejected like the rest, or should be consented to? Then what happened was this. I speak it from no mean authority. I know exactly the truth of what I am saying, it was felt by Her Majesty's Government that if this 967 House rejected every one of the Amendments of the other House of Parliament, it might be regarded as a little severe upon them; that, possibly, that House might have an excuse for suspending the Bill, refusing to go on with it, and postponing it till next year. And, more than that, perhaps Lord Derby felt—which was not unreasonable—that it would be hard for him, the Leader of the Conservative party, and so long its Leader in that House, to do anything that appeared to be like offering a rebuff or a humiliation to the House of Lords. The result was that the measure which the right hon. Gentleman at the head of the Government had denounced in the most forcible terms, which Lord Derby himself—and I ask hon. Gentlemen opposite to bear this in mind — had described ns utterly unconstitutional—a measure the mischief of which he pointed out with singular force, and which he declared could only be limited by the extent to which the proposition itself was limited — that very measure, in order that they might not appear to be a party to doing something like offering a rebuff to the House of Peers, the Government turned round and supported in this House, not having altered their opinion in the least — the right hon. Gentleman's opinion at this moment is exactly what it was then—hon. Gentlemen opposite, I say, some 200 of them, turned round, and the proposition which the House had rejected by a majority of 140 was carried by a majority of 30 or 40 on a subsequent occasion. Now, the noble Lord the Chief Secretary for Ireland the other night, in discussing the Irish Reform Bill, intimated what we all know to be true, that the Government are not very anxious to adhere to this minority principle, and would not care much if it were rejected. Let me tell the Committee in what condition this question stands in the country. I represent a borough to which this new system applies, and I am also intimately acquainted with what is going on in the city of Manchester, to which it also applies. Now, in these two boroughs—and I am told it is the same in the City of London—there is the utmost dissatisfaction—nay, indignation—expressed at the new system. Every person, I do not care what his politics may be, sees that there is a new element introduced into the election proceedings of the borough — a new element which can scarcely be comprehended, but which, at least, must lead necessarily to a state of chaos. For ex- 968 ample, you have an election committee to manage the contest in Manchester, or Liverpool, or Birmingham, or the City of London. In three of these boroughs you have three candidates to be elected, and in the City of London four. Now, I will take the case of Birmingham or Liverpool. It is obvious that you cannot have a joint committee for the three candidates, because you cannot canvass for three. The canvassers can only ask for votes for two candidates. No matter how pure or impure the constituency, the organization of election is utterly disarranged, and, in fact, made almost impossible. The one of the three candidates who may fancy he is not being treated fairly by the committee or the canvassers will have great reason to complain; and, in all probability, you will have some one candidate at the head of the poll who happens to be the popular man, and where the others will be I do not know, though I suppose they will be like some of the unfortunate horses which we read about yesterday. As a matter of course, the minority in all these places will bring forward two candidates only, and will poll all their voters for both of them. They will have, therefore, a great advantage in that respect; but the majority will do nothing of the kind, and consequently their whole arrangements will be thrown into the greatest confusion. With respect to two of these great constituencies — Liverpool and Manchester—they consider the House, in agreeing to the principle of the representation of minorities, treated them in a manner not honourable to the House nor fair to them. They did not ask you to give them an additional Member in order to have this odious system introduced. They would not have come here and asked for another Member if they had known that you would have introduced a system which did not allow their representation to be increased, but which really diminished their effective power in the House. If I were a member of the minority at one of those places—for instance, if I lived at Liverpool, and were a Liberal, while the majority was Tory—I would never give my vote at any of these elections. And if these constituencies to whom this House has dealt out this measure of injustice, and, I may say, of gross folly, would take my advice, they would resist all representation to the House under these conditions, I agree with Lord Derby as to the utterly unconstitutional nature of the proposition, and I am ready 969 to endorse every syllable which the right hon. Gentleman now at the head of the Government spoke last year when he denounced this system. Then look at the utter humiliation to which we in this House were subjected because we adopted that which we had previously rejected by a majority of 140; and this merely in order to prevent a small temporary difficulty which the Government was likely to experience in dealing with the House of Lords in regard to the Reform Bill. As to this particular vote, it is of no great consequence whether another town is added to the four which have been injured in this manner. It is no use saying this is a matter of great importance as fur as the mere extension of the principle to one more town is concerned; but I venture to say that after an election under this system you will find that the greatest hostility will exist in all these constituencies to the course which you have pursued; and if you give a minority vote to Glasgow, that town will simply be added to the other four large towns which will ask in some future and early Parliament that this disability should be removed. I do not know whether any hon. Gentleman thinks I am overstating the case; I myself am sure I am not. In the two English constituencies to which I have referred there exists the greatest possible objection to the system; and I believe the experience of the elections will show that they have not objected more than they ought to object. In point of fact, one of two things must happen— either the representation must be utterly confused in these boroughs or else destroyed, one party putting up one man and the other two men, so that Manchester, Liverpool, Birmingham, and London will be reduced to that monotonous, lifeless condition which has existed in some small boroughs ever since the Reform Bill of 1832, and which will probably exist in them as long as they have any representation at all. May I, therefore, ask the Committee not to proceed further in a course for which they have no sort of argument except that which has just been urged by my hon. Friend the Member for Westminster (Mr. Stuart Mill), who, however, admitted last year that this was not the kind of representation of minorities which he advocated, and that, in point of fact, he did not advocate the representation of minorities at all, but a system under which everybody should be represented. There has been no argument whatever to overthrow the views enunciated 970 by Lord Derby last year in the House of Peers, and by the right hon. Gentleman in this House. Furthermore, I maintain that there is not a single constituency in the United Kingdom which is in favour of this proposition. Hitherto you have had no trial of it by practical experience; but it has been received as a great, a grievous, and an unparalleled injury by some of the greatest constituencies in the kingdom. I appeal, therefore, to the House, and if yon take my advice—and you will afterwards be glad to have taken it.—you will not establish north of the Tweed a principle which, if I be not greatly mistaken as to the temper of my countrymen, will only be more hated on the south of the Tweed the more we have experience of it.
COLONEL LOYD LINDSAY
said, he wished, as a representative of a minority county, to say a few words on the plea of justice. If the principle of representation of minorities was not to be maintained in large towns it ought not to be maintained in counties. When last year he voted for that measure, being a Member for a minority county, he did so under the distinct belief that the principle would be extended to large towns also, being of opinion that by such an arrangement the spirit of Conservatism might be kept alive in the great centres of industry. But if the principle were now to be broken through, and towns were to be exempted from this system, he maintained that counties ought also to be exempted. In such an event the whole matter ought to be re-considered, for we ought not to legislate for Scotland in a different spirit from that in which we legislated for England. He felt that this was the first step towards dividing the country into equal electoral districts, and he trusted the House would not make an experiment in that direction.
§ MR. CARDWELL
said, he was one of those who gave a silent but unhesitating vote in favour of the experiment that was tried last year, and he thought it perfectly fair that they should also try the experiment proposed by the hon. Member for Glasgow (Mr. Graham). It was quite evident that the experiment of last year was altogether novel; it was the first time in the history of the representation of this country that such a principle had been applied; and if the present also were a novel experiment he should not shrink from trying it at a moment when they were making; these great changes in the electoral system. But it was not in the same sense an ex- 971 periment that the former was. When they were creating very large constituencies, amounting in Glasgow to not less than 60,000 persons, they were anxious in a spirit of fairness, whether Conservative or Liberal, that a small majority in those constituencies should not have a monopoly of the representation. But if they were to divide Glasgow into three parts it did not follow that the majority in each of the divisions would be the same as the majority of the whole, and he thought this a very fair mode of giving effect to the principle which guided the vote of last year. Last year a great objection was urged against the adoption of the principle of triangular voting and it was this. It was contended that if any Gentleman were forced to seek reelection during the existence of Parliament he would be placed in a very great difficulty in seeking again the suffrages of a triangular constituency. No such objection could, however, be urged against the present plan, and he trusted it would be accepted by the House.
§ MR. JOHN HARDY
said, that what was called the minority principle was last year supported on the grounds that it put an end to the monopoly of large towns; and there was no reason why a man living in one borough should have three times as many votes as a man living in another borough. The system of representation of minorities would, in his opinion, act as a check upon large constituencies, which might otherwise demand more than their fair share of Members. Manchester, for instance, had, he believed, asked no less than seven, and he did not know to what extent the claims of Birmingham had been urged; but now that this principle of the representation of minorities had been adopted there was less danger of such demands being made in future. If Glasgow wanted to try an experiment he would not divide it, but would let each man give a single vote, and then each representative would be really elected by his supporters.
§ MR. LIDDELL
said, they all knew that the hon. Member for Birmingham (Mr. Bright) was a devoted adherent to American principles. ["Oh, oh!"] Gentlemen might demur to the remark; but the hon. Member had openly and manfully avowed it over and over again in that House.
I beg leave to say, Sir, that there is not a syllable of truth in what the hon. Member has said. ["Order!"]
I beg to call the attention of the hon. Member for Bir- 972 mingham to the expression which has just I fallen from him, and which I am sure he will upon consideration see is somewhat in excess of the liberty of speech that is allowed in this House.
The hon. Gentleman said that I was a devoted adherent of American principles, and that I had openly avowed them. In return I say that such a charge is entirely without foundation. I have no doubt the hon. Member has made the observation under a mistake. I myself beg to assure him that he is entirely mistaken, and that there is not the least foundation for the statement he has made.
§ MR. LIDDELL
felt bound to accept the explanation. But whether the hon. Member for Birmingham was an admirer of American principles or not he had proved himself at least an admirer of American manners. The hon. Gentleman disliked the application of the principle under consideration to Birmingham, because he knew that the minority in that place, which had so long been kept under subjection by the iron will of the majority, was about to be emancipated. That was the true reason why he viewed the scheme with disfavour which the House solemnly established last year. It was getting too much the fashion to forget what was done last year. But the principle of the representation of minorities was adopted after one of the fullest and ablest discussions that took place last Session. He had merely risen for the purpose of putting a single question to the House. He desired to know whether there was anything specially sacred or peculiar about Glasgow, or whether it was be wholly different from other places that it should have special principles of legislation applied to it? That was the second time in the course of the week that a totally new principle of legislation was sought to be introduced with respect to Glasgow. First of all they were asked to give Glasgow four Members, and now they were asked to divide it into wards. He deprecated such a course of action. The minority plan was applied to all other towns which had three Members; and what was good for the great towns of England must be beneficial for the great towns of Scotland, and he therefore trusted that the House would abide by the system established last Session.
§ MR. DISRAELI
I do not exactly understand the speech of the right hon. Gentleman the Member for the city of Oxford (Mr. Cardwell). He voted last year, he 973 said, for the minority principle because it was an experiment, and now he says he is going to vote against the minority principle, also because it is an experiment; but the right hon. Gentleman gave some colour to the explanation of this inconsistent course on his part by his declaration that the course he takes to-night differs from that he pursued last year in consequence of the great size of the constituency of Glasgow. But the constituency of Glasgow is not greater than will be the constituencies of Birmingham, Manchester, Liverpool, and other places; and therefore I do not understand that this is any mitigation of the course which the right hon. Gentleman is taking. Before we divide I wish to draw the attention of the Committee to the assumption running through the speech of the hon. Member for Birmingham (Mr. Bright), which was that this was a controversy between voting according to what is called the minority principle, and the usual plan of voting that has prevailed in this country; but that is not the case. The controversy now is between the minority principle, which the House thought fit to adopt last year, and a now scheme utterly unknown to the Constitution. If, indeed, the hon. Member for Glasgow (Mr. Graham) had proposed that the whole constituency should vote for three Members, that would be a fair and legitimate subject for the Committee to discuss; but the hon. Member for Glasgow has proposed to us a new scheme utterly unknown to the Constitution, and which, I think, it would be most imprudent for the House to adopt precipitately without discussion. Therefore, on the whole, I think the wisest course for us to pursue is to adhere to the Resolution at which the House arrived last year; and I, for one, shall vote that the city of Glasgow be dealt with as proposed in the clause before us.
§ MR. HORSMAN
denied that the principle sought to be established by the hon. Member for Glasgow was unknown to the Constitution. At the time of the Reform Bill of 1832 the metropolis was divided upon the same principle as that now proposed, the only difference being that each ward in the City of London was to have two Members instead of one.
§ SIR GEORGE GREY
said, there was a still more recent precedent in the division of the borough of the Tower Hamlets last year. It was only just that the representation of a large place should be influenced 974 by the fact that the minority was nearly equal to the majority; and therefore he voted last year for the minority clause; but all he had heard since satisfied him that the principle was extremely obnoxious to all those places to which it had been applied. The question now was, not the rescinding of the vote of last year, but the trial of an experiment in Glasgow. Liverpool objected to division, but Glasgow asked to be divided; and he was willing to try an experiment which was in accordance with the wishes of the people to be affected by it, without at all giving up the principle that, in certain cases, it was desirable the minority should have an opportunity of being represented. In many cases the division of a large borough would destroy the monotony of its representation. For these reasons he was prepared to vote with the hon. Member for Glasgow (Mr. Graham).
MR. BAYLEY POTTER
said, that the division of large boroughs into wards was a proposal which had been stamped with the approval of to high an authority as Mr. Cobden, who expressed favourable views of it in a letter which he wrote in 1865. He (Mr. Potter) would support the Motion of the hon. Member for Glasgow (Mr. Graham).
§ MR. SERJEANT GASELEE
said, he believed the decision come to last year was injurious, absurd, and derogatory to the dignity of the House. He would support the Amendment, although he would have preferred to have given three votes to the electors constituting the majority in Glasgow.
§ Question put, "That those words be there inserted."
§ The Committee divided:—Ayes 185 Noes 244: Majority 59.977
|Acland, T. D.||Bright, (Birmingham)|
|Adam, W. P.||Bright, J. (Manchester)|
|Agnew, Sir A||Bruce, rt. hon. H. A.|
|Allen, W. S.||Buller, Sir A. W.|
|Amberley, Viscount||Buller, Sir E. M.|
|Andover, Viscount||Candlish, J.|
|Anstruther, Sir R.||Cardwell, rt. Hon. E.|
|Antrobus, E.||Carnegie, hon. C.|
|Ayrton, A. S.||Carter, S.|
|Baines, E.||Cave, T.|
|Barnes, T.||Childers, H.C.E.|
|Barron, Sir H. W.||Cholmeley, Sir M. J.|
|Baxter, W. E.||Clive, G.|
|Beaumont, W. B.||Colebrooke, Sir T. E.|
|Biddulph, Colonial R. M.||Collier, Sir R. P.|
|Blake, J. A.||Colthurst, Sir G. C.|
|Bouverie, rt. hon. E. P.||Corbally, M. E.|
|Craufurd, E. H. J.||Lefevre, G. J. S.|
|Crawford, R. W.||Lewis, H.|
|Cremorne, Lord||Lorne, Marquess of|
|Crossley, Sir F.||Lusk, A.|
|Davey, R.||M'Laren, D.|
|Davie, Sir H.R.F.||Martin, C. W.|
|Denman, hon. G.||Martin, P. W.|
|Dent, J. D.||Matheson, A.|
|Dering, Sir E. C.||Matheson, Sir J.|
|Dilke, Sir W.||Melly, G.|
|Dillwyn, L. L.||Merry, J.|
|Dixon, G.||Milbank, F. A.|
|Duff, M. E. G.||Miller, W.|
|Dundas, F.||Milton, Viscount|
|Edwards, H.||Mitchell, T. A.|
|Eliot, Lord||Moffatt, G.|
|Erskine, Vice-Ad. J. E.||Moncreiff, rt. hon. J.|
|Esmonde, J.||Monk, C. J.|
|Ewart, W.||Nicholson, W.|
|Eykyn, R.||Nicol, J. D.|
|Fildes, J.||Norwood, C. M.|
|FitzGerald, rt. hn. Lord O. A.||O'Brien, Sir P.|
|Fordyce, W. D.||Ogilvy, Sir J.|
|Forster, C.||O'Loghlen, Sir C. M.|
|Forster, W. E.||Osborne, R. B.|
|Fortescue, rt. hn. C. S.||Otway, A. J.|
|French, rt. hn. Colonel||Owen, Sir H. O.|
|Gaselee, Serjeant S.||Paget, T. T.|
|Gilpin, C.||Palmer, Sir R.|
|Gladstone, rt. hn. W. E.||Parry, T.|
|Glyn, G. G.||Pease, J. W.|
|Goldsmid, Sir F. H.||Peel, A. W.|
|Goschen, rt. hon. G. J.||Pelham, Lord|
|Gower, hon. F. L.||Philips, R. N.|
|Gray, Sir J.||Potter, E.|
|Gregory, W. H.||Potter, T. B.|
|Grenfell, H. R.||Price, W. P.|
|Greville-Nugent, A. W. F.||Pryse, E. L.|
|Greville-Nugent, Col.||Ramsay, J.|
|Grey, rt. hon. Sir G.||Rebow, J. G.|
|Grove, T. F.||Robartes, T. J. A.|
|Hankey, T.||Robertson, D.|
|Hanmer, Sir J.||Rothschild, Baron L. de|
|Harris, J. D.||Rothschild, N. M. de|
|Hartington, Marq. of||Russell, A.|
|Hay, Lord J.||St. Aubyn, J.|
|Hay, Lord W. M.||Salomons, Mr. Ald.|
|Hayter, A. D.||Samuda, J.D'A.|
|Headlam, it. hn. T. E.||Saunderson, E.|
|Henderson, J.||Scott, Sir W.|
|Hervey, Lord A. H. C.||Seely, C.|
|Hibbert, J. T.||Seymour, A.|
|Holden, L.||Sherriff, A. C.|
|Holland, E.||Smith, J. B.|
|Horsman, rt. hon. E.||Smollett, P. B.|
|Howard, hon. C. W. G.||Speirs, A. A.|
|Hughes, W. B.||Stansfeld, J.|
|Hurst, R. H.||Stone, W. H.|
|Hutt, rt. hon. Sir W.||Stuart, Col. Crichton-|
|Jackson, W.||Sykes, Colonel W. H.|
|Johnstone, Sir J.||Taylor, P. A.|
|King, hon. P. J. L.||Thompson, M. W.|
|Kinglake, A. W.||Tomline, G.|
|Kinglake, J. A.||Trevelyan, G. O.|
|Kinnaird, hon. A. F.||Vanderbyl, P.|
|Laing, S.||Villiers, rt. hon. C. P.|
|Lawrence, W.||Waldenrave-Leslie, hon. G.|
|Layard, A. H.|
|Leatham, E. A.||Watkin, E. W.|
|Leatham, W. H.||Weguelin, T. M.|
|Leeman, G.||Western, Sir T. B.|
|Whalley, G. H.||Woods, H.|
|Whatman, J.||Young, G.|
|Williamson, Sir H.||Graham, W.|
|Winterbotham, H. S. P.||Dalglish, R.|
|Adderley, rt. hon. C. B.||Dunne, rt. hon. General|
|Akroyd, E.||Dyke, W. H.|
|Annesley, hon. Col. H.||Dyott, Colonel R.|
|Archdall, Captain M.||Eaton, H. W.|
|Arkwright, R.||Eckersley, N.|
|Aytoun, R. S.||Edwards, Sir H.|
|Bagnall, C.||Egerton, E. C.|
|Bailey, Sir J. R.||Egerton, Sir P. G.|
|Baillie, rt. hon. H. J.||Egerton, hon. W.|
|Baring, T.||Elcho, Lord|
|Barnett, H.||Ellice, E.|
|Barrington, Viscount||Evans, T. W.|
|Barry, A. H. S.||Fane, Lieut.-Col. H. H.|
|Bass, A.||Fane, Colonel J. W.|
|Bateson, Sir T.||Fawcett, H.|
|Beach, Sir M. H.||Feilden, J.|
|Bective, Earl of||Fergusson, Sir J.|
|Beecroft, G. S.||Fitzwilliam, hn. C. W. W.|
|Bentinck, G. C.||Floyer, J.|
|Benyon, R.||Forde, Colonel|
|Beresford, Capt. D. W. Pack-||Galway, Viscount|
|Bernard, hon. Col. H. B.||Gaskell, J. M.|
|Blennerhassett, Sir R.||Goddard, A. L.|
|Bonham-Carter, J.||Goldney, G.|
|Booth, Sir R. G.||Goldsmid, J.|
|Bowyer, Sir G.||Goodson, J.|
|Brett, Sir W. B.||Gordon, rt. hon. E. S.|
|Brown, J.||Gore, J. R. O.|
|Browne, Lord J. T.||Gore, W. R. O.|
|Bruce, Lord C.||Gorst, J. E.|
|Bruce, Major C.||Gray, Lieut.-Colonel|
|Bruce, Sir H. H.||Greene, E.|
|Bruen, H.||Griffith, C. D.|
|Burrell, Sir P.||Grosvenor, Earl|
|Butler-Johnstone, H. A.||Grosvenor, Lord R.|
|Buxton, C.||Gurney, rt. hon. R.|
|Buxton, Sir T. F.||Gwyn, H.|
|Capper, C.||Hamilton, Lord C.|
|Cartwright, Colonel||Hamilton, Lord C. J.|
|Cave, rt. hon. S.||Hamilton, I. T.|
|Cavendish, Lord E.||Hamilton, Viscount|
|Cecil, Lord E.H.B.G.||Hardy, rt. hon. G.|
|Clinton, Lord E. P.||Hardy, J.|
|Cochrane, A.D.R.W.B||Hartley, J.|
|Cole, hon. H.||Hartopp, E. B.|
|Cole, hon. J. L.||Harvey, R. B.|
|Corrance, F. S.||Hay, Sir J. C. D.|
|Cooper, E. H.||Henley, Lord|
|Corry, rt. hon. H. L.||Henniker-Major, hon. J. M.|
|Cox, W. T.||Herbert, rt. hn. Gen. P.|
|Cubitt, G.||Hildyard, T. B. T.|
|Dalkeith, Earl of||Hogg, Lieut.-Col. J. M.|
|Davenport, W. B.||Holford, R. S.|
|Dawson, R. P.||Holmesdale, Viscount|
|Dick, F.||Hope, A. J. B. B.|
|Dimsdale, It.||Horsfall, T. B.|
|Disraeli, rt. hon. B.||Hotham, Lord|
|Doulton, F.||Howes, E.|
|Du Cane, C.||Huddleston, J. W.|
|Duff, R. W.||Hughes, T.|
|Duncombe, hon. Adml.||Hunt, rt. hon. G. W.|
|Duncombe, hon. Colonel||Jones, D.|
|Karslake, E. K.||Portman, hon. W.H. B|
|Karslake, Sir J. B.||Powell, F. S.|
|Kavanagh, A.||Pugh, D.|
|Kekewich, S. T.||Read, C. S.|
|Kelk, J.||Repton, G.W. J|
|Kendall, N.||Robertson, P. F.|
|Kennard, R. W.||Royston, Viscount|
|Keown, W.||Russell, Sir C.|
|King, J. K.||Sandford, G. M. W.|
|Kingscote, Colonel||Schreiber, C.|
|Knatchbull-Hugessen, E.||Sclater-Booth, G.|
|Knight, F. W.||Scott, Lord H.|
|Knightley, Sir R.||Scourfield, J. H.|
|Knox, hon Colonel S.||Selwin-Ibbetson, H. J.|
|Lacon, Sir E.||Seymour, G. H.|
|Lamont, J.||Simonds, W. B.|
|Langton, W. G.||Smith, A.|
|Lascelles, hn. E. W.||Smith, S. G.|
|Leader, N. P.||Somerset, Colonel|
|Lechmere, Sir E. A. H.||Somerset, E. A.|
|Lennox, Lord H. G.||Stanhope, J. B.|
|Leslie, C. P.||Stanley, Lord|
|Liddell, hon. H. G.||Stirling-Maxwell, Sir W.|
|Lindsay, hon. Colonel C.||Stronge, Sir J. M.|
|Lindsay, Colonel R. L.||Stuart, Lt.-Col. W.|
|Long, R. P.||Stucley, Sir G. S.|
|Lopes, H. C.||Sturt, Lt.-Colonel N.|
|Lopes, Sir M.||Sturt, H. G.|
|Lowe, rt. hon. R.||Surtees, C. F.|
|Lowther, J.||Surtees, H. E.|
|Lowther, W.||Sykes, C.|
|M'Kenna, Sir J. N.||Talbot, C. R. M.|
|Mackinnon, W. A.||Thompson, A. G.|
|Mahon. Viscount||Thynne, Lord H. F.|
|Mainwaring, T.||Tollemache, J.|
|Malcolm, J. W.||Torrens, R.|
|Manners, Lord G. J.||Treeby, J. W.|
|Manners, rt. hn. Lord J.||Trevor, Lord A. E. Hill-|
|Marsh, M. H.||Turner, C.|
|Mayo, Earl of||Turner, E.|
|Miles, J. W.||Vandeleur, Colonel|
|Mill, J. S.||Verner, E. W.|
|Mitford, W. T.||Walker, Major G. G.|
|Montagu, rt. hn. Lord R.||Walrond, J. W.|
|Montgomery, Sir G.||Walsh, hon. A.|
|Morrison, W.||Warner, E.|
|Mowbray, rt. hon. J. R.||Warren, rt. hon. R. R.|
|Neate, C.||Waterhouse, S.|
|Neeld, Sir J.||Welby, W. E.|
|Neville-Grenville, R.||Wise, H. C.|
|Newdegate, C. N.||Woodd, B. T.|
|Newport, Viscount||Wyndham, hon. H|
|North, Colonel||Wyndham, hon. P.|
|Northcote, rt. hn. Sir S.||Wynn, C. W. W.|
|O'Neill, hon. E.||Wynn, Sir W. W.|
|Paget, R. H.||Wyvill, M.|
|Pakington, rt. hn. Sir J.||Yorke, J. R.|
|Parker, Major W.|
|Patten, rt. hon. Col. W.||TELLERS.|
|Paull, H.||Taylor, Colonel|
|Pim, J.||Noel, hon. G. J.|
§ SIR EDWARD COLEBROOKE moved to strike out all the words after "Glasgow" in the second part of the clause, which would have the effect of preventing the extension of the boundaries of Glasgow. The proposal of the Government was without any precedent in the English Bill. He protested against it, because it was opposed 978 to the wishes of the inhabitants of those burghs (Partick and Govan) and also to the wishes of the people of Glasgow, as evidenced by the fact that public meetings had been held, where resolutions were passed protesting against any such extension. It was quite clear that the inevitable result would be a large extension of the municipal boundaries. The county of Lanarkshire should at least have four Members. He protested in the name of these towns and of Glasgow against this measure being forced upon them.
§ MR. ELLICE
said, he altogether objected to the extension of the borough of Glasgow. He did not want to be compelled to vote against the proposition that each elector should only have two votes. If, however, he had to vote on the whole clause be would have to vote against it.
§ After some further discussion,
§ MR. BOUVERIE
then moved as an Amendment to leave out all the words after "comprise the" to the end of the clause, for the purpose of inserting "existing Parliamentary boundaries," the object being to limit the constituency to those boundaries.
§ MR. DALGLISH
said, that by adopting the Amendment they would withdraw the franchise from 7,300 electors—a principle which was opposed to the whole spirit of the Bill.
§ MR. M'LAREN
said, he begged to remind the Lord Advocate that these two boroughs (Govan and Partick) were as completely constituted boroughs as was the city of Glasgow. During the Recess, a deputation of gentlemen from them came to Edinburgh to ask the Lord Advocate not to include them within the boundaries of Glasgow. These gentlemen, being in Edinburgh, asked him if he would receive them in his house, which he did. They came from the Lord Advocate's house to his, and they said there was hardly any difference of opinion in these two boroughs against being attached to Glasgow. It was not enough for this House to inquire what Glasgow wished. They ought to inquire what these two boroughs would like. When this plan might be altogether disapproved of the moment the Select Committee had reported against the extension of English large boroughs, why should they hurry on the people of Glasgow into a union with towns which repudiated it? As for giving them household suffrage, 979 they did not want household suffrage on these conditions. The Lord Advocate said he was going to include some additional territory; in short, he was going to add 50,000 inhabitants to Glasgow, the population of which was already nearly 440,000. Would it not be better to make such a new district a borough, and give it a Member of its own?
§ SIR JAMES FERGUSSON
said, that if the districts which it was proposed to unite to Glasgow were not so united, the inhabitants of those districts would not have the franchise. He therefore hoped the Committee would consent to the extension of the boundary, though he was sorry they had not been able to get another Member for Glasgow.
§ MR. MONCREIFF
said, the proposal was one most arbitrary and most unjust, and was very repugnant to the people whom it affected; and for this plain reason, that the inclusion within the Parliamentary boundary would be the first step towards inclusion within the municipal boundary.
THE LORD ADVOCATE
admitted there was some difference of opinion on this subject among the people in the districts proposed to be united to Glasgow. Some part of the municipal boundary of Glasgow was at present outside the Parliamentary boundary. This was a matter which might be settled by a Boundary Commission. As the town had increased very much since 1832, was it not reasonable that there should be a re-arrangement of boundary now, so as to include districts that ought properly to be deemed to be within the Parliamentary borough?
§ MR. J. STUART MILL
said, Glasgow having grown to so great an extent, it was not unreasonable that its boundaries should be revised and extended, provided its representation were extended also. He apprehended that its fair proportion of Members, in reference to its population and wealth, would be not less than six. The arguments of the Government would be extremely good then; but as the vast population of Glasgow was represented by an inadequate number of Members, he could not admit that in order to admit an additional number of persons to share in that inadequate representation, a large proportion of them should be deprived of their county vote, which was really valuable to them.
§ SIR EDWARD COLEBROOKE
said, he was perfectly aware that there were portions of Glasgow where the boundaries 980 have extended, and he did not wish for a moment to stand in the way of any proposition of the Government to give a fair boundary to the burgh. That was, however, a question of principle, not of detail, to be referred to a Commission. He had no objection to refer it to a Commission, if the Commission were instructed to inquire, having reference to the municipal boundaries and the burghs.
§ MR. GATHORNE HARDY
said, the hon. Member for Lanarkshire (Sir Edward Colebrooke) admitted that there were certain portions of the municipal boundaries of Glasgow that ought to be brought within the Parliamentary boundaries. "With respect to those parts, the inhabitants were all unanimous in wishing to bring them within the Parliamentary limits. Now, this must be settled by the schedule, and Members by allowing the clause to pass in its present shape would not be precluded from discussing what the precise boundaries should be when the schedule was considered, while further time would thus be given for weighing the point which had been raised.
§ MR. BOUVERIE
remarked that if his Amendment were carried, it would still be competent for the Government to move a rider extending the boundaries.
said, he had understood from the statement of the Lord Advocate, as well as that of the right hon. Gentleman, the Home Secretary, that the Government were disposed to receive favourably the proposition made from that side of the House. With respect to the large English boroughs, they had had a Commission which reported that the same thing should be done as was now proposed to be done at Glasgow. But that Report, with regard to most of the great boroughs of England, had been entirely unsatisfactory, because the Commission paid no regard to the wishes of the people. When the Report came before that House, the House was compelled to appoint a Committee of the House to re-consider the decisions of the Commission. Of course, they knew not either when the Committee would report, or what they would report. But it was quite clear that, according to the principle the House adopted with regard to the large boroughs of England, it would be very unsatisfactory to accept at once a proposition like that which was shown to be equally unsatisfactory to all those persons within the burgh of Glasgow, and to those who were proposed to be brought 981 within it. Let the right hon. Gentleman propose to extend the boundaries of the burgh as far as the municipal boundaries. It clearly could not be right to disregard the opinions of thousands of persons who objected to have their own municipal institutions merged in the municipal institutions of a larger and neighbouring city.
§ MR. GATHORNE HARDY
said, that what the hon. Member proposed was exactly what he bad said. He should propose that the schedule should be filled up as fines the municipal boundaries, leaving the other question open for consideration.
§ MR. MONCREIFF
suggested that the Amendment should include both the municipal and Parliamentary boundaries.
§ Amendment proposed, in line 28, to leave out from the words "comprise the" to the end of the Clause, in order to add the words "space included within the existing Parliamentary or municipal boundaries."—(Mr. Bouverie.)
§ Question put, "That the words proposed to be left out stand part of the Clause."
§ The Committee divided:—Ayes 112; Noes 112.
§ And the numbers living equal, the Chairman stated it was evident that the Committee hesitated to make the alteration proposed in the Clause contained in the Bill as it had been read a second time in the House; considering, also, that if the Clause were maintained in its present form the Committee would have a further opportunity of discussing the question when it leached the Schedule, he felt he should best fulfil his duty by giving his vote with the Ayes.
§ THE LORD ADVOCATE
proposed a proviso—That at a contested Election for Glasgow no person shall vote for more than two candidates.
§ MR. BAXTER
rose to protest against this proceeding on the part of the Government. Clause 6 was postponed with a general understanding that this question should be discussed with the postponed clause, and brought up in due course on Monday night.
§ MR. GATHORNE HARDY
said, that the question had been raised by hon. Gentlemen opposite, the whole discussion having turned on the question whether the proposal of the hon. Member (Mr. Graham) should be adopted, or whether the principle of representing minorities should, as the Government proposed, be carried out. It clearly could not be said that the matter had been raised without notice, since the other side of the House had distinctly raised it. He could see no reason for reserving a question which had been decided by so large a majority.
§ MR. BOUVERIE
said, that although the division of the city into three wards had been negatived, it might be proposed to give two Members to that part of Glasgow on the north side of the Clyde, and one Member to that on the south. It was only fair that time should be given for fully considering the matter.
§ MR. GATHORNE HARDY
, rather than delay the progress of the Bill, would consent to defer the question, though, he believed the feeling of the Committee would be as strong upon it on a future stage as it was now.
§ Proviso, by leave, withdrawn.
§ Clause, as amended, ordered to stand part of the Bill.
§ Clause 10 (New District of Burghs to return One Member).
§ MR. YORKE moved, that the clause be postponed.
§ MR. GATHORNE HARDY
stated that the Government were willing to postpone this and the following clauses until it had been decided what course should be taken with the counties.
§ MR. CRAUFURD
said, he was going to propose an Amendment on that clause, of which he had given Notice. He wished to raise the question as to whether the two counties should not be united.
§ MR. GATHORNE HARDY
suggested that the best course to adopt would be to allow his right hon. Friend (The Lord Advocate) to move that the county of Selkirk cease to return one Member, and that the county of Peebles cease also to return one Member, and that the two be united and jointly return one Member, and then any discussion could be taken on the matter.
§ MR. CRAUFURD
said, he was quite willing to accede to the suggestion which had just been made by the Home Secretary.
§ "Motion, "That the Clause be postponed," by leave, withdrawn.
§ THE LORD ADVOCATE
then moved, in page 3, line 30, after "burghs," to insert—And Towns of Hawick, Galashiels, and Selkirk, specified in Schedule (B.) hereto annexed, shall be constituted into a District of Burghs, and such District shall return one Member to servo in Parliament.
§ MR. MONCREIFF
said, as far as his own feeling went in the matter, he was entirely against the proposed course of action, and he thought that was the general impression of the Scotch Members. If counties were to be doubled up in that way —he did not say that Selkirk and Peebles did not form a very strong case for the application of the principle; but, on the other hand, he said that it was a course which he did not think ought to be followed. If they once adopted that system, there was no knowing where it was to stop. However, he admitted that in the discussion of that Bill it was not desirable to have too many contests; and he should not carry his opposition further than the remarks which he had made, though he could not refrain from expressing the strong opinion which he held against the advisibility of adopting the proposed system.
§ SIR JAMES FERGUSSON
said, he was very glad the right hon. and learned Gentleman (Mr. Moncreiff) did not propose to carry his opposition further than the remarks which he had just made, and he (Sir James Fergusson) must say that he thought the proposition deserved a more generous reception at his hands. He ventured to think that there was a great principle involved, and that principle was one which ought to commend itself to hon. Members. The towns in their schedule were rising towns — not very large, perhaps, from an English point of view, but still large for Scotland; and in proposing that Selkirk should cease to return one Member, they only proposed its disfranchisement for a special purpose—namely, to unite it with Peebles. He did not think that, under the circumstances, the Committee ought to consider the proposition of the Government anything but a liberal one, and he was surprised that it had been 984 received in the manner it had by the right hon. and learned Member for Edinburgh.
§ MR. LAING
said, he must also express his surprise at the observations that had fallen from the right hon. and learned Gentleman (Mr. Moncreiff), and that he should be opposed to this proposition. He (Mr. Laing) thought the Scotch Members ought to look to the opinions of their constituencies. The right hon. and learned Gentleman said that this proposition was against the opinion of the Scotch representatives. Now, he must say that assertion was entirely contrary to the fact; because the opinion of the Scotch Members was strongly in favour of the scheme originally proposed by the hon. Member for Montrose (Mr. Baxter), in which several large constituencies would have obtained additional representation. Not being able to carry out that—because they have only succeeded in getting seven, instead of ten Members—the question now comes, whether, by uniting those very small counties in Scotland, which were obviously below the standard of county representation in England and Wales, they could get additional Members to supplement the inadequate representation at present existing in some parts of Scotland. A Conservative Government—he must do them the justice of saying—had made a step in that direction, and they had volunteered and offered what was really a Liberal measure, and then opposition was made by the Law Adviser of the late Liberal Government to any more progress being made in that direction. Of the two counties in question one had a population of 10,444 and the other of 11,408. They would in future be represented by one Member, and that would enable the Committee to give one Member to Perthshire, with a population of 100,000, or to the city of Aberdeen, with a population of 90,000, and which would have 7,000 voters under the new Bill.
§ MAJOR CUMMING BRUCE
, referring to a statement that no such thing as a union of counties existed in Scotland, reminded the Committee that he represented the counties of Nairn and Elgin. When the right hon. and learned Gentleman (Mr. Moncreiff) talked about the Scotch Members having objected to this proposition, he forgot to say that some of the Scotch Members had never heard of some of the meetings which had been held until after they were over.
§ MR. M'LAREN
said, the assertion of his right hon. and learned Colleague (Mr. Moncreiff), that the Scotch Members were not favourable to this proposal required to be explained a little, because it was apt to convey an erroneous impression. The Motion for uniting those two counties was put upon the Paper by himself a month ago, and at the meetings of the Scotch Members which had been held, he was not aware that any Member objected to it. One hon. Gentleman certainly did ask him if he was going to persist in it, and he said he was. This was all that occurred. On the merits of the question, therefore, he thought that the hon. Baronet (Sir James Fergusson) had a right to appeal to this side of the House. There were towns in that district which had increased in an extraordinary degree; the three burghs would have 25,000 inhabitants, and he did not think there were 25,000 more industrious, active, or energetic people anywhere. Only to-day he had a letter from a gentleman, expressing the pleasure universally felt at the fact that the Government had agreed to the proposition.
§ MR. PERCY WYNDHAM
said, that the hon. Member for Birmingham (Mr. Bright) had said that this was not a question of nationality, and that Scotland was only the name of that portion of Her Majesty's dominions north of the river Tweed; and further, that if a place was worthy of representation it ought to have it. In both of those opinions he coincided, and wished them to be applied to England; for it was well known that some of the enfranchised counties of Scotland were not so numerous and wealthy as some in England which had no representation at all.
§ MR. AYTOUN
begged simply to say that he was exceedingly surprised to hear the right hon. and learned Member for Edinburgh (Mr. Moncreiff) declare that the Scotch Members as a body agreed with him in feeling a dislike to the system of uniting counties, as proposed. He was in favour of that principle when it could be done without straining, because he desired to adopt any means which would diminish the undue influence of very large land owners, and he was delighted to see any measure proposed or carried which would effect that object. When the right hon. and learned Gentleman makes the remark which he has done, he was bound to tell him that he did not think he had taken 986 the trouble to ascertain the opinion of the Scotch Members to whom he alluded.
§ MR. G. YOUNG
reminded the Committee that the only question before it was that the counties of Peebles and Selkirk should be united, and as that proposal was not opposed it was only a waste of time to continue the present discussion.
§ LOUD HENRY SCOTT
said, as representative of one of the counties (Selkirk) that was to be amalgamated, he could state that if his constituents were to make the sacrifice required of them, it could be only upon the understanding that the seat should be disposed of within the district. He could speak as to the energy, industry, and intelligence of the inhabitants of these towns. He had represented in Selkirkshire a manufacturing rather than an agricultural constituency, and he could speak to the importance of the great woollen manufactures in which they were engaged. He thought the Government deserved credit for this proposition, and he hoped the inhabitants of the towns when they got their Member would remember it was due to the Government, and not to hon. Gentlemen opposite.
§ Clause agreed to.
§ MR. CRAUFURD
wished to move the insertion, after the words which had just been adopted, of the words—And the City of Aberdeen shall return two Members to serve in ParliamentHis object was to give the additional Member obtained by uniting the counties of Peebles and Selkirk to the city of Aberdeen, instead of to the group of small boroughs—namely, Galashiels, Selkirk, and Hawick — which the Lord Advocate proposed to constitute. The proposal of the learned Lord would destroy the whole effect of the Amendment to which the Committee had just agreed, because, having amalgamated the counties of Peebles and Selkirk on account of the smallness of their population, it was now proposed to cut them down again by taking out the towns in order to form them into a group. He therefore proposed, instead of creating such a group, returning one Member, to give the Member thus gained to the city of Aberdeen.
§ SIR GRAHAM MONTGOMERY
said, he was surprised that the hon. Member for Ayr (Mr. Craufurd) should have made this proposal to the Committee. The in- 987 tention of the Government in uniting the counties of Peebles and Selkirk was to provide a Member for a set of populous and rising places in the South of Scotland. The county of Peebles, which he represented, had no objection to sacrificing a Member in order to provide representation for these populous places; but it was absurd to think that they would be willing to make that sacrifice for the purpose of giving another Member to the city of Aberdeen.
congratulated the right hon. Gentleman at the head of the Government on his recognition of the principle that representation, population, and contribution to the public Revenue ought to bear some relation to one another. The admission of the principle in the present instance established the claims of Aberdeen to an additional Member, remarkable as that city was for its progress, industry, accumulation of wealth, and the intellectual character of the majority of its inhabitants. The question the Committee had to determine was, whether or not they would give the liberated Member to Aberdeen, That city had at present 4,236 electors, and when the Scotch Reform Bill was passed the number would be closely approximate to 9,000. According to the official Returns of the Town Council, it had a population of about 90,000. The trade of the city had received a great impulse. Manufacturing industry was flourishing, and the character of its shipbuilding was known all over the world. The valuation of the city had risen from £193,000 in 1860, to £257,000 in 1867–8, an increase of 23 per cent. Its harbour, which was one of the largest in the Kingdom, of thirty acres in extent, having cost £250,000 would be rendered more convenient to the mercantile world—a Bill having passed through the House enabling the energetic people of Aberdeen to alter the course of the river Dee, and to improve the harbour, at a cost of £238,000, and when completed it would form a harbour of refuge for the east coast of Scotland. These were not small claims upon the consideration of the House and the country. Then the paper manufactories and granite works of Aberdeen should be remembered; and in referring to the latter he felt no remark was necessary on his part to justify their high character, since most great ornamental works in Great Britain testified to the tribute paid to the Aberdeen granite manufactors. Since 1861 the city had built 620 988 houses, accommodating 2,000 families. Its commercial and intellectual activity was evidenced by the fact that last year the number of letters delivered amounted to 4,090,000. There were numerous other instances which he could cite to establish the claim of Aberdeen to a second Member, but he did not think it was necessary to enter into minute details beyond what he had already stated. He would appeal to the right hon. Gentleman at the head of the Government, and ask him whether, after having had these claims brought under his consideration, he was to place Aberdeen, with its flourishing industries, its great intellectual status, in the same category as the three burghs he had abstracted from Scotland, and which were left to what?—to flourish in Scotland? no, but to rot in England? Was Aberdeen to be left in the same category with these? He could not think it possible and he felt assured that after the sense of right shown by the right hon. Gentleman lie would by hook or crook give another Member to Aberdeen.
§ MR. MILLER
considered that Leith had stronger claims to another Member than Aberdeen; for although the population was not so large, the electors in proportion to the population were more than at Aberdeen; and further, Leith contributed more to the Revenue than any place on the East coast excepting Hull. He had placed an Amendment on the Paper, to the effect that Musselburgh and Portobello be joined to Dalkeith and Lasswade, in forming a group of boroughs to send a Member to the House.
§ SIR EDWARD COLEBROOKE
expressed his surprise that the Government had not recognized the importance of places near the Clyde and erected them into a borough. They were places of the highest importance and if they were not formed into on independent borough they would prefer remaining in the county.
§ MR. BAXTER
said, that this country should be treated as a united Empire, as far as England, Scotland, and Ireland were concerned; and where constituencies were found too small for representation, the House should not necessarily look to the immediate neighbourhood. Therefore, in his opinion there was no force in the argument that because Selkirk and Peebles were too small to return one Member each room should be found for the second Memder in a burgh. He represented a larger bistrict than Leith, and his constituents 989 had used pressure upon him to get a second Member; but he had steadily refused, and for this reason—that he believed they were not entitled to a second Member, He thought if they were to act on the principle of taking one Member here, and putting another there, they would find themselves by-and-by in a position of considerable difficulty. To his hon. and gallant Friend (Colonel Sykes) he would say, "Have patience." Glasgow, with a population of nearly 500,000 of inhabitants, and with an extension of its Parliamentary and municipal boundary, had three Members; and he was perfectly satisfied that before two or three years had passed over it would have fair representation in the House. He was told that this matter was "squared" and arranged already. He appealed to the present House of Commons and to the right hon. Gentleman (Mr. Disraeli), and he was confident that, as they had left the burgh untouched, and left Glasgow, with its population of upwards of 400,000, untouched, their successors would take up the question in a different spirit, and that in future years Scotland would have a fair representation in the Commons House of Parliament.
§ MR. LAING
said, the representation of seats in Scotland should not be settled upon mere questions of local jealousies and prejudices, nor yet be the subject of arrangement out of doors between hon. and learned Members on either side of the House. He thought they ought to look at the matter broadly, and do what the public opinion of Scotland expected them to do. They might do themselves infinitely more harm by securing this matter than by acting on intelligible principles; and the principle they contended for was, that the same system of representation which existed south of the Tweed should be extended northward. The claims of Aberdeen were, in his opinion, peculiarly strong. It was not a mere ordinary burgh town, It had been for many centuries the provincial capital of a large and important district of Scotland. It was the centre of intellectual life and education, and as a commercial place, its position was one of great importance. The population was between 80,000 and 90,000. It would have a constituency under the new Reform Bill of between 8,000 and 9,000 electors, belonging to a class than which, in his opinion, none more intelligent or independent could be found anywhere. He ventured to say that the people of Scotland would look upon this settlement as a job. Great 990 misfortune would attend it, because it would undoubtedly lead to the re-opening of this question under the new Parliament. He confussed he was a very moderate Liberal, and in the exertions he made last year for a better re-distribution in England, he did so very much on the ground that he wished for a settlement which would stand for a long term of years. He was therefore disappointed that in the case of Scotland it was proposed to net on principles that would necessitate the opening of this question at an early date. He should vote on the earliest opportunity for giving a second Member to Aberdeen.
MR. GRANT DUFF
supported the claim of Aberdeen to increased representation. If that claim were not now allowed the question would speedily have to be reopened.
expressed a hope that the hon. Member for Dublin (Mr. Pim) would point out some places in Ireland from which Members might be transferred to Aberdeen and Edinburgh.
§ COLONEL FRENCH
recommended the union of Scotch counties where the constituency numbered only 180 in order to provide additional Members for Edinburgh and Aberdeen.
§ MR. SERJEANT GASELEE
thought Scotland should be treated in the fame way as England. Aberdeen had a right to another Member. The throe seats obtained from England and still left undisposed of should be kept in reserve to meet other wants that might arise. He was inclined to deprive some small Irish boroughs of their representation.
§ MR. M'LAREN
questioned the correctness of the figures which bad been put before the Committee by the hon. and gallant Member for Aberdeen (Colonel Sykes), and stated that according to the Census recently taken by the local authorities, Hawick had 11,000 inhabitants, Galashiels about 10,000, and Selkirk 4,000.
§ MR. LAMONT
said, he felt that upon this subject he ought not to return a silent vote. Should the hon. Gentleman (Mr. Craufurd) press his Motion to a division, he should certainly follow him to the Lobby, and whatever might be the result, he hoped 991 that the Government would not ignore the claims of the large and important city of Aberdeen. He wished also to say, as a Liberal Member, that he thanked the Goveanment for having sacrificed some Members by the union of those two counties.
§ MR. CRAUFURD
said, he was very much satisfied with the discussion raised upon the Amendment which he proposed, and he could not hesitate to say that he felt the force of the arguments put by his hon. Friend the Member for Aberdeen (Colonel Sykes). He perhaps had not raised his Amendment in the manner most advantageous to Aberdeen, and he thought it would not be desirable in a matter of this kind to detain the Committee by a division. But he thought he gathered the feeling of the Committee as being that the claims of Aberdeen to an additional Member were fully sustained and endorsed. His feeling was that it would not be fair to remove the Member who was liberated in the southeast of Scotland as far away as Aberdeen. As there was another Motion about to be made presently, either by his hon. Friend or himself, for liberating another Member, he thought be should consult the interests of Aberdeen better by withdrawing the present Motion.
§ THE LORD ADVOCATE
then proposed to insert after the words "burghs and towns" the words "Hawick, Galashiels, and Selkirk."
§ MR. CRAUFURD
said, the decision of the Committee had been taken as to joining the counties of Peebles and Selkirk, and a further proposal was now made to take out of those counties a very large population. He wanted to know if he was to understand that the Committee were agreed to go back from their previous decision, and content that the remnant of the county of Selkirk should be added to the county of Peebles, for that was what it really amounted to? They had decided that the whole of the county of Peebles and the whole of the county of Selkirk should be added together. Now, it was proposed to take out of the county of Selkirk a population of between 6,000 and 7,000; so that when they were joined together they would only have a joint population of barely 15,000. He did not think that the proposal now before them was one which could be entertained. If it were true that some arrangement had been come to out of the House, that this thing had to be assented to in order to save a similar grouping taking place in another part of Scotland, he should be most unwil- 992 ling to give credit to it. He should, however, be able to ascertain the truth presently, when the Motion was made for grouping two other counties of Scotland. It was a matter which ought to be resisted altogether, and he thought that the subject was one which ought not to be settled without some discussion.
§ Amendment agreed to.
§ THE LORD ADVOCATE
said, that Selkirk was a Royal borough, and that Galashiels and Hawick had boundaries constituted under the General Police Act of Scotland, and they would not be disturbed unless there should be a Boundary Commission.
§ Clause ordered to stand part of the Bill.
§ Clause 11 (Towns added to certain Districts of Burghs).
§ MR. LAING
thought that the decision which the Committee had come to with regard to Selkirkshire and Peehlesshire virtually decided the question in respect to Sutherlandshire, for the Committee had decided that the two former counties were not large enough to return a representative each. The county of Sutherland had only 180 electors, and the new constituency would only increase that number by 118, so that Sutherlandshire would only have 300 voters under the new Reform Bill. If two counties which had each constituencies of 700 were not worthy of a single representative each, then a county having only 180 electors, and which under the Reform Bill would not have 300 voters, ought not to continue to send a single Member to Parliament. He always wished to avoid touching upon personal questions; but it seemed to him that there were circumstances which were of much public notoriety, and it would be quite impossible to shut their eyes to them. The county of Sutherland happened, with the exception of one small estate, to belong entirely to one single proprietor. Of course, it was impossible for the people of Scotland or of England, in weighing a question of this sort, to shut their eyes to such a fact. The principle extensively acted upon in England in disfranchising "pocket" boroughs was that, when a borough was clearly under the influence of one individual, it ought not to have one share in the representation possessed by an ordinary constituency. He did not say 993 the same principle should not be applied to "rotten" counties as well as to "rotten" boroughs. The Committee, in considering the re-distribution of scats, could not come to the conclusion that it was fair that a great centre of intelligence and commerce like Aberdeen should not receive a second Member, while a miserable county like Sutherlandshire should be left to return a representative to Parliament. The only question which could arise was as to the county with which it should be united—whether with Ross and Cromarty to the south, or with Caithness to the north; and, in deciding that question, it would be proper to consider the amount of population and constituency, the similarity of circumstances, and the convenience of intercommunication. The circumstances of Sutherland and Caithness were totally dissimilar, while those of Sutherland and Ross were entirely identical. The new constituency of Caithness would be 1,277, that of Ross and Cromarty 1,162. Ross-shire was a Highland county, inhabited, like Sutherland, by a Gaelic population; Caithness, with the exception of one parish, had a purely Lowland population, consisting of small owners and occupiers, who, either as fish curers or owners of a herring boat, or a share in one, formed as intelligent and independent a constituency as they could wish for. The county of Caithness represented a branch of industry which was most important to a maritime country like this. It was said that the city of Amsterdam was built upon herring bones, and the same might be said of the county of Caithness. It contained a hardy population bred to the sea, which, in case of exigency, would be of great service to this country. He thought, therefore, they had a claim to separate representation. With regard to the question of proximity, they ought to look, not to mere geographical distance, but to facility of communication. Now, it so happened that the bulk of the population of Sutherland lay on the east coast; that the county town was within sight of Tain, in Ross-shire; both were connected by railway, and could communicate with one another in the course of a single day. On the other hand, Sutherland was cut off from Caithness by a great range of mountains, and it might be long before a railway was carried so far north. In the meantime, there was practically next to no communication between the two. That Sutherland with its 180 electors should return a Member was a rank job 994 which stunk in the nostrils of the people of Scotland. On the other hand, the claims of Aberdeen or Perthshire were exceedingly strong. He begged to move that the county of Sutherland be added to the adjoining county of Ross and Cromarty, for the purpose of returning jointly one Member to serve in all future Parliaments.
Amendment proposed, at the end of the Clause, to add the words—
The county of Sutherland shall lie added to the adjoining county of Ross and Cromarty for the purpose of returning jointly one Member to serve in all future Parliaments"(Mr. Laing.)
§ Question proposed, "That those words be there added."
LORD RONALD LEVESOX-COWER
said, that he did not mean to take up the time of the Committee with his own personal affairs, but the attack which had been made on his county required refutation. It was not correct to say that there was any difficulty about the communications, which were good throughout the county, and therefore he saw no reason why it should be treated so badly as was proposed by the hon. Member for Wick (Mr. Laing). His own county (Sutherland) had got a population of 25,793, which was larger than the population of two English counties—Rutlandshire and Radnorshire — the former of which had a population of 21,861, and the latter 18,305. He believed the way in which the counties had been attacked lately was owing entirely to the borough interest. He did not think the boroughs had got so much to say for themselves. He had got a list of half a dozen of them, all of which bad a smaller population than that of Sutherland. The Dumfries burghs had a population only of 22,996; the Inverness burghs of 20,380; Kirkcaldy, 23,476; St. Andrews, 16,777; Wigton, 10,385; and Wick only 16,995. Then there were three boroughs in England which were to retain their representatives, and which bad populations under 5,000 —namely, Evesham, with 4,680 inhabitants; Marlborough, with 4,893; and Northallerton, with 4,755. He thought it quite unfair to swamp the landed interest in Scotland, as was evidently the design of those Gentlemen who had brought forward this Motion. It should never be said of him, however, that he was willing —To throw away the dearest thing he owned Ask were a careless trifle.
§ MR. CRAUFURD
said, lie hoped that the Committee, having amalgamated the two counties of Peebles and Selkirk, the joint constituency of which would be over 1,100, would apply the same principle to Sutherland. Whether it should he united with Ross or Caithness was for the decision of the Committee.
§ MR. H. BAILLIE
said, that if the Committee had the slightest regard to its own consistency it could not refuse to vote for the Motion of the hon. Member for the Wick Burghs (Mr. Laing). The noble Lord the Member for Sutherland (Lord Ronald Leveson-Gower) had been voting with all his might for the disfranchisement of a number of English boroughs, not one of which had not a much larger number of electors than the county which he represented. To unite Sutherlandshire with the constituency of Ross and Cromarty would be a great mistake. These questions must be decided, as those of the English boroughs had been, according to population; and the population of the counties of Ross and Cromarty was larger than that of Caithness and Sutherlandshire together; while the two latter counties were, he believed, under one sheriff, one set of Customs' officers, and one police organization, and were, in fact, virtually united. All they wanted was to Lave a representation in common, and that lie wished would be the decision of the Committee.
§ MR. BOUVERIE
said, he thought the case against Sutherlandshire was not quite so clear as the hon. Members for Wick and Ayr (Mr. Laing and Mr. Craufurd) seemed to think. There was a large tract of country, consisting chiefly of sheep farms, and thinly populated, but with a considerable population of small householders on the coast. It was all very well to talk of the number of electors, but population had guided the House hitherto; and this enormous tract of country had a population of 25,000, larger than that of the county of Bute or than that of the county of Rutland, which returned two Members, or the proposed united counties of Peebles and Selkirk. He knew it was said the whole tract belonged to one proprietor, who held, as it were, the seat in his pocket, and could return what Member he pleased; and that he argued was not a desirable state of things. But this was an accident which did not exist twenty-five or thirty years ago, and which might not exist that time hence; and Scotch tenant-farmers were capable of 996 taking political questions into their own hands, and rebelling against their landlords, as they did at the last election for Aberdernshire, while there were some who wished to protect the independence of tenants by means of the ballot. Was this body of tenantry to be deprived of the privilege of returning a Member because the land happened to be in the hands of one proprietor? There were English boroughs in the same position; he knew one in the West of England where the great landowners had returned a Member ever since the passing of the Reform Act, and yet no question had been raised about it. He was not satisfied they would be doing right to act upon the notion that because a county belonged to one proprietor it ought to be disfranchised. In this case he believed the population to be entitled to independent representation.
§ MAJOR CUMMING-BRUCE
said, he objected to the proposed amalgamation of Sutherlandshire with Ross and Cromarty instead of Caithness, seeing that Caithness and Sutherlandshire were contiguous and connected by railway as well as in local administration; and he objected to the virtual disfranchisement of Sutherlandshire, whose people distinguished themselves in the last war, and who were entitled to all the more consideration because of their distance and separation from the seat of Government. When the right hon. Member for South Lancashire was referred to as having defended small constituencies, he said he did not defend them, but nomination boroughs. This was the case of a nomination county, and therefore the right hon. Gentleman must consistently oppose its absorption in a larger constituency, which it was proposed should embrace not two but three counties—Ross, Cromarty, and Sutherlandshire. Ross and Cromarty had a population of 81,000, which was larger than the united populations of Sutherlandshire and Caithness, and the property Returns also gave Ross and Cromarty a pre-eminence.
§ MR. HORSMAN
said, he wished to remind the Committee that there were on the Paper twenty pages of Amendments. They were on the eve of the Whitsuntide holydays, and if the Committee did not get through the Bill to-night a new crop of Amendments would turn up, and nobody knew when they would get through the Bill. The only way they could do that would be by the Government propounding, or by there being propounded from some 997 other quarter, a basis on which they might the Prime Minister to a Question in the all agree. He thought that the Answer of early part of the evening gave them a fair prospect that the Bill would be advanced rapidly through the Committee. All the Scotch Members must have felt that the right hon. Gentleman tried to meet them in a fair and conciliatory spirit, which was reciprocated on that (the Opposition) side of the House. The right hon. Gentleman, in answer to a question put to him, said, he was prepared to adhere to the scheme propounded by him at a late hour on the last evening they had this question before them, a few minutes before a division, when there was really no time to consider the question at all. When the right hon. Gentleman said he intended to adhere to that plan, they all thought it was n well-considered scheme of the Government; and on that understanding the Opposition assented to the plan of the Government. Now, of these Amendments, there was hardly one in favour of which a good deal might not be said, and if one were carried there was no telling how far the Committee might not have to go. The hon. Member (Mr. Laing) rested his case entirely on the number of electors; but what you wanted to know was the amount of population and the interests to be represented; you must take the population as a basis of representation, not the mere number on the electoral roll. Sutherland had a greater population than that of some English counties; it was greater than Rutland, which had two Members, while Sutherland only had one. By raising such questions yon opened a wide door to further discussion, and no one could tell when the labours of the Committee would close. The Government had agreed that seven Members should be given; to Scotland. He thought that Scotland was entitled to ten; but, in return for the concessions which had been made by the Opposition, the Government ought to stand by their scheme.
§ MR. DISRAELI
The scheme of the; Government was one framed with a due regard to the interests and the wishes of both sides of the House; and, on the whole, I am of opinion that, under the circumstances, it was calculated fairly and reasonably to satisfy those interests and wishes. I think it of great importance that we should close the Committee, if possible, on this stage of the Bill to-night. We know well, from our experience of last year, that on such a subject as the re-distribution 998 of representation and the re-adjustment of our electoral system there is no end to the Amendments which may be proposed, all of which you can prove by statistics to be the most just which can possibly be brought forward. The proposition submitted by the Government was made with as much regard to the interests and wishes of those sitting opposite as of Members on this side of the House, and it was made with the hope of bringing the question to a settlement. I am not therefore prepared to support any further alteration in this clause. I understood that there was, not a secret compact, but an understanding in favour of a scheme which would bring the discussion of the present Bill to a close to-night, and I must therefore resist any proposition made from either side of the House in favour of further changes. At the same time, without, reference to any such understanding as I have mentioned, but upon the abstract merits of the question, I should certainly oppose this proposal to disfranchise Sutherland. It is an extensive tract of country; the population is very considerable—as considerable as that of some counties in England represented by a larger number of Members—and I should he opposing that interest which I have always for the sake of our constitutional liberty endeavoured to uphold in this House—namely, the real representation of the landed interest—if upon a Motion of this kind I agreed to disfranchise Sutherland. The Bill has been fairly considered, and after sonic difference of opinion it has been generally, if not unanimously, adopted by the House; and for my part I am not prepared to countenance any further alterations in it.
I need hardly say that there is no understanding between me and the right hon. Gentleman at the head of Her Majesty's Government other than that which may have been arrived at across this table; but I am bound to say that I think the language of the right hon. Gentleman on the present occasion is the language of good sense. The question of opening up the representation of the county of Sutherland is nothing but the first of a long list of questions, and if you concede to the plausible motives which have been urged and adopt this Motion you will bitterly repent it before you come to the end of your labours. My hon. Friend the Member for the county of Inverness (Mr. H. Baillie) said that if the Committee has any regard to consistency it must adopt this Motion. Now, I dispute the proposi- 999 tion altogether, in spite of the high and almost overwhelming authority of my hon. and learned Friend the Member for Portsmouth (Mr. Serjeant Gaselee). It requires great audacity to offer the smallest doubt, or qualification, or exception to anything which falls from the hon. and learned Gentleman, either by way of speech or cheers; but on this particular occasion I must take the liberty of differing from him. Now, let us see how we stand with regard to this question, We on this side of the House were firmly persuaded that Scotland had a good claim to ten additional seats, and also that these ten additional seats might most conveniently and properly be obtained by drawing a line, which happened to coincide with the population, at the figure of 5,000. The House, however, was pleased to give a vote the other night which implied, though it did not directly affirm, that only seven additional seats were to be given to Scotland. Now, if we are to enter upon a consideration of conflicting claims in Scotland, as they are likely to be advanced by Gentlemen who are strongly impressed with the merits of their own individual schemes, one effect will be that we shall be compelled to re-open what I, for one, have no anxiety to re-open—namely, the question of English seats, with a view to the fuller satisfaction of the claims of Scotland, and thereby to begin again at the beginning after we have so nearly got to the end. I must protest entirely against the doctrine of my hon. Friend as regards the consistency of the House. How is it consistent after giving a Member to two counties with a population of some 22,000 we should take away one from a county containing a population of 25,000? He says there are more voters, but how is the electoral roll made up in the counties of Selkirk and Peebles? What number of the electors in Selkirk and Peebles does he think have a bonâ fide interest and tenure in the soil and real property in those two counties? But I think my hon. Friend is wrong in his fundamental proposition. And first as to the question of property. I think my hon. Friend the Member for Wick (Mr. Laing) was not accurate in what he said as to the whole county of Sutherland belonging to one individual, with the exception of the small estate. I am aware that the Duke of Sutherland has an overwhelming share in the property of the county; but I believe that about one-fifth of the county is in other hands. ["No!"] Well, one estate which did not belong to the Duke of Sutherland was sold 1000 the other day for £130,000. Now, the question to be considered is, whether it is expedient and convenient for the House, in determining the distribution of representation, to inquire what proprietors are possessed of large properties in the different counties and boroughs; for if that is to begin in Scotland it cannot stop there. There may be some hon. Members who are conscious that there exist divisions of counties which are not altogether different in this respect from the county of Sutherland, and there are certainly boroughs which must be disfranchised if the county of Sutherland is, on the ground of the great bulk of the tenantry belonging to one individual, to be disfranchised. [An hon. MEMBER: Not disfranchised.] Yes, as much as Thetford is disfranchised. Every man in Sutherland having a county qualification will be represented in another county, and consequently Sutherland will be disfranchised as a county. ["No, no!"] If Sutherland is to undergo that operation, call it by what name you like, on the ground of its belonging to one particular person, an inquiry will have to be instituted in other cases, and while I do not assert that there may not be plausible reason for instituting such inquiry, I maintain that, on the whole, the inconveniences attendant thereupon would be much greater than the benefits to be derived from it. But my hon. Friend (Mr. Laing) takes the number of electors in Sutherland; but if we were to propose to increase that number by lowering the county franchise, my hon. Friend would meet the proposal with stern opposition, I confess for my own part I think it has pleased the House to establish such a discrepancy between the borough and county occupation franchise in this island as is not likely to be very endurable; but, independently of that, I must say that the principle of our representation is founded on the basis of population. This doctrine of disfranchising on account of there being only a certain number of electors is a totally novel doctrine. It overlooks the fact that our movements in regard to the franchise are movements forward. Do not suppose that there is not in the county of Sutherland a most intelligent population, for I will venture to say that in the whole of this island there exists not a more intelligent population connected with the labouring and industrial interests than the population of the county of Sutherland, particularly on its eastern coast. If, then, you are prepared to found your representa- 1001 tion on any other ground than that of population, you must re-consider all you have done. We disfranchised certain boroughs the other day because they had loss than 5,000 population; but if we had taken the number of electors the results would have been totally different, and some boroughs which now retain their Members would have been included in the list if we had proceeded on the principle that the number of electors ought to be the test according to which representation is to be distributed. Then, it is only fair to remark that this population of the county of Sutherland is almost entirely without borough representation, for there is only one small borough, which is, in point of fact, a village with a purely agricultural population. Now, if you are prepared to say that a seat should be withdrawn from a community of 25,000 persons in order to satisfy your notions of equality, you will be laying down a principle of which you ought to measure well the consequences and results before you adopt it by implication by agreeing to a Motion of this character. Whether you are satisfied or not with the proposal of the Government, I believe the wise course to take if you mean to go forward with the Bill will be to adopt their proposals as far as re-casting the distribution is concerned and to reject the Motion of the hon. Gentleman (Mr. Laing).
§ SIR WILLIAM STIRLING-MAXWELL
said, it appeared to him that a Reform Bill, whether for England or Scotland, must necessarily be a thing of surprises. At the commencement of the evening he was very much surprised to hear his right hon. and learned Friend the Member for Edinburgh (Mr. Moncreiff) protesting against the creation of a popular constituency in the South of Scotland. The right hon. Member made that protest in a few faltering sentences, and his speech then came to an end with a suddenness very unusual with his right hon. and eloquent Friend. Later in the debate lie found the two counties of Selkirk and Peebles, with an electorate of over 1,000 and a population of 22,000, joined together without the Committee going to a division on the subject. Soon afterwards, he was surprised to find his right hon. Friend at the head of Her Majesty's Government, which proposed this extinction of one county constituency, defending from a similar fate another county constituency, with an electorate of only 180. He was yet more astonished, however, to hear the right hon. 1002 Gentleman Use Member for South Lancashire (Mr. Gladstone) describe the language of the right hon. Gentleman the First Minister as the language of good sence. This was certainly the most surprising of all these occurrences. Then the speech of the noble Lord the Member for Sutherlandshire (Lord Ronald Leveson-Gower), who had made so spirited and agreeable a defence of his county, was also to some extent a surprise. Those who had the honour of sitting in that House at the time when the noble Duke who had been so frequently alluded to was a Member of it, must have perceived that the invariable tendency of the noble Duke's votes and action was towards the achievement of what had now been actually achieved—namely, a Reform Bill with considerable disfranchisement. Seven seats had been taken from England in order to supply the wants of Scotland, In spite of the ingenious arguments of the right hon. Gentleman the Member for South Lancashire, and his—he would not say menaces, but his solemn warnings to both sides of the House to mind what they were doing, it appeared to him a perfectly monstrous thing that this anomalous county constituency should be allowed to continue its existence. He (Sir William Stirling-Maxwell) should have thought that, so far from the representative of the county of Sutherland objecting to the Motion before the House, he would have been the first person to propose it; having himself always been disposed to sympathize with the noble Duke in what he conceived must have been his feeling of disappointment that he had never been able to obtain in any Liberal Reform Bill the disfranchisement of the county of Sutherland. In making the suggestion that the county of Sutherland should be united to the county of Ross and Cromarty, he had been deferring to the local knowledge of the hon. Member for Wick (Mr. Laing). However, after what he had heard on the subject in the course of this discussion, he confessed that his own judgment in the matter had been premature; and he should vote for the Amendment of which his hon. and gallant Friend the Member for Elgin (Major Cumming-Bruce) had given Notice—to unite Sutherland, not with Ross, but with Caithness.
§ MR. SERJEANT GASELEE
, in reference to the remarks of the right hon. Gentleman the Member for South Lancashire, begged to say he had yet to learn that an 1003 independent Member below the Gangway was not entitled to express his opinion, as well as hon. Gentlemen who sat on the Treasury Benches. He certainly, upon most points, had an opinion of his own, and that generally a decided one, and if that required any apology, he found it in his having been so long an humble follower of the right hon. Gentleman. Though one Scotch Member, without any acknowledgment had stolen half his plan, and another the other half, he was the first Member to propose in that House the disfranchisement of the small English boroughs—Hos ego versiculos feci, tulit alter honores.But he did not want applause. He got, by the kindness of the House, too much of it. He felt that he should not be acting consistently with his own principles if he did not vote for uniting Sutherlandshire with some other county. A pocket-borough was bad enough, but a pocket-county was very much worse. He hoped the right hon. Member for South Lancashire would allow him to remind him without another lecture, that to unite Sutherlandshire with another county would not be to disfranchise it. Not a single freeholder would be disfranchised by that operation; but each of the 182 voters in the county of Sutherland would only have that power of voting to which he was entitled.
§ LORD ELCHO
observed, that some hon. Gentlemen seemed to suppose that with reference to the proposition now before the Committee, there had been an understanding between the two front Benches. Whether that were so or not, the duty of independent Members was to take what appeared to them to be the right course in the matter. As a rule, he did not think it was a judicious proceeding to disregard time-honoured divisions of the country; for by so doing they would drive men who did not wish to see the whole country governed by the towns to adopt the principle of electornl districts. It appeared, however, that the system of joining counties had been established in 1832, and it had been again acted on in an early period of this evening. If the principle of grouping was sound in the case of Peebleshire and Selkirkshire, it was equally sound with regard to Sutherlandshire and Rossshire and Cromartyshire. He was opposed to any such junction; but if this were determined on, he would rather see Sutherland joined to Caithnessshire. In former times very intimate relations had existed between these two counties. There was still an old leaf- 1004 less tree pointed out in the former county, whereon the Earls of Sutherland were accustomed periodically to hang the Earls of Caithness.
§ LORD HENRY SCOTT
was understood to protest against the counties of Selkirk and Peebles being spoken of in a depreciating manner.
§ MR. M'LAREN
said, that at the time of the Union six counties were joined in pairs; and in 1832 six were dealt with in the same way, only that under the junction arrangement made at the time of the Union each of the two counties joined together returned a Member to Parliament alternately; while by the Reform Act of 1832 the counties then united in pairs always returned one Member jointly for each pair. It was ridiculous to talk of the great importance of Sutherland when the number of sheep and deer there as compared with the number of men was mainly what was taken into consideration.
§ Amendment made to the proposed Amendment, by leaving out the words "Ross and Cromarty," and inserting the word "Caithness."— (Major Gumming Bruce.)
§ Question put, "That the words of the proposed Amendment, as amended, be there added."
§ The Committeedivided.:—Aves 103; Noes 195: Majority 92.
§ MR. H. BAILLIE
rose to propose an Amendment, the object of which, he said, like that which had just been negatived, was to show that to a certain extent Scotland was able to help herself. The district of burghs which he proposed to disfranchise contained a number of electors very little larger than that of some of the English pocket-boroughs which were about to be disfranchised for the benefit of Scotland. The right hon. Gentleman opposite (Mr. Gladstone) had argued that population was the proper test; but he maintained that the number of electors was the proper criterion, since it involved property as well as numbers. The Wigton district consisted of four towns, if they could be dignified by that name, or rather of one town, Stranraer, with 6,500 inhabitants, and three villages—namely, New Galloway, with 450 inhabitants; Whithorn, with 1,623; and Wigton, with 2,100. The number of electors was less than 500, while in Northallerton, which was to be disfranchised, it was upwards of 450. Now, what was sauce for the goose was sauce for the 1005 gander, and if English boroughs were to be disfranchised for the sake of Scotland, these small districts ought to undergo the same fate if the large towns were to have additional representation. The hon. Gentleman concluded by moving—That from and after the present Parliament the Wigton district of Burghs shall no longer return a Member to serve in Parliament; the Burghs of Stranraer and Wigton shall be added and form part of the Dumfries district of Burghs; and the City of Edinburgh shall return a third Member.
expressed an opinion that the Amendment should have been proposed on Clause 10, which created or extinguished constituencies, whereas the present clause only added certain towns to existing districts of burghs.
SIR JOHN HAY
said: Sir, rise to entreat the Committee nut to be led away by the arguments of my right hon. Friend the Member for Invernessshire (Mr. Baillie) and I trust that my right hon. Friend the First Minister will give this proposal his most strenuous opposition. It may, no doubt, be argued that the Wigton burghs are the smallest burgh constituency in Scotland, but the Committee has just refused to sanction the partial disfranchisement of Sutherland—a county whose constituency is not half that of the Wigton burghs. Stranraer, the principal town of the group, is a most rising seaport, and has increased and is increasing most rapidly both in wealth and population. The burgh of Wigton is also rapidly improving. I live near Stranraer, and am able to speak on this subject with the greatest impartiality. I do not agree in political views with my hon. and learned Friend the Member for the Wigton burghs (Mr. Young), but I feel bound to do all in my power to resist this disfranchisement. These towns sent representatives to the Scotch Parliament, and since the Union have had a separate Imperial political existence. Though the present feeling in this district is to support the party opposite, it is unfair to say that this will always continue, or that it is brought about by undue influence. Indeed, not many years since, a Conservative candidate polled within one of the Whig who was returned. These burghs have a separate interest, and, owing to their geo- 1006 graphical position, could not well he added to any other existing group. It is impossible for the Committee to sanction their union with the Dumfries district, as Stranraer is more than ninety miles from some towns in the Dumfries group, and which have no community of interest to recommend this grouping. I trust the Committee will resist the proposal.
§ Amendment negatived.
§ Clause ordered to stand part of the Bill.
§ Clause 12 (Certain Counties to be divided, and each Division to return a Member).
§ SIR EDWARD COLEBROOKE
proposed to emit the clause, on the ground that it would divide Lanarkshire, with its 200,000 inhabitants, in an unequal find objectionable manner, leaving one division with a population of only 20,000, another with one of 60,000, and a third with a population of 120,000.
§ MR. BAILLIE COCHRANE
said, he was surprised to hear such an objection coming from the hon. Member for Lanarkshire. The object of the clause was to divide the county so as to have the mercantile and manufacturing interest represented in that House as well as the agricultural interest. It was somewhat extraordinary to find an hon. Member opposing the representation of a district in which his property was situate, lie trusted that the hon. Baronet, on consideration, would not persevere with his Amendment.
§ MR. MONCREIFF
thought that the hon. Member for Honiton (Mr. B. Cochrane) was open to the charge of inconsistency ill the course he had just advocated in respect to Lanarkshire and that which he bad supported when the question of the representation of Glasgow was under consideration. It appeared to him that the proposition of his hon. Friend the Member for Lanarkshire (Sir Edward Colebrooke) was a reasonable one. The uniform practice was that two Members should sit for each county without having any division.
§ THE LORD ADVOCATE
said, that this was the first opportunity which had arisen of discussing the question how two Members should be allotted to one county. In England divisions of counties were represented by two Members; but in the present case the county was seventy miles in length and fifteen miles broad, and it would be a great convenience to have a division. The proposal to divide Aberdeen-shire met with approval, and the proposal 1007 to divide Ayrshire was not objected to. The only objection was in the case of Lanarkshire. The division of the county inserted in the Bill of last year was, however, the same as that now proposed, and he then understood that the hon. Baronet did not object to it, if the county were to be divided at all. On the whole the plan of the Government was thought the best for large and extensive counties.
§ MR. LOCKE
observed that there appeared to be a great difficulty amongst the Scotch Members as to the mode in which they should divide the spoil. Seven Members, to be taken from England, were to be appropriated to Scotland, but there did not seem to be any inhabitants to receive them. He understood the proposition was to divide the county, and give a Member to a certain number of agricultural individuals. He should support the proposition of the hon. Member for Lanarkshire (Sir Edward Colebrooke), as he objected to leave one Member to be returned for a division in which there appeared to be no constituency at all.
§ SIR EDWARD COLEBROOKE
said, as the learned Lord Advocate had referred to a private communication which he had had with him in his office when the right hon. and learned Gentleman invited him to inspect the plan of the boundaries to be proposed, he (Sir Edward Colebrooke) thought it only fair to refer to what had really passed on that occasion. No doubt on that occasion he had expressed a strong suspicion that an unfair division would take place; but the right hon. and learned Gentleman did not when he went to him propose any distinct plan, but named several propositions which he had under his attention. The impression left was that the right hon. and learned Gentleman had not made up his mind, and he (Sir Edward Colebrooke) said that if a fair and equal division were proposed the right hon. and learned Gentleman would stand upon strong ground. In his opinion, however, this had not been done, and no division of the county could be made which would separate the commercial from the agricultural population.
§ MR. FORDYCE
thought that so far as Aberdeenshire was concerned, the division proposed by the Government was most fair and equitable, and he hoped the proposal would be persevered in. He had presented two petitions from Aberdeen in favour of it, one largely and influentially signed, and another from the Committee of Supply of 1008 the county. The county contained, he believed, 1,250,000 inhabitants, widely scattered so that none but the most wealthy could hope to canvass the entire county. He trusted the hon. Baronet (Sir Edward Colebrooke) would not include Aberdeenshire in his opposition.
§ SIR WILLIAM STIRLING-MAXWELL
said, he had never heard a word of weight against the Government's proposed division.
§ MR. CRAUFURD
said, he believed strong local feeling existed in favour of having the two Members for the undivided county.
§ SIR JAMES FERGUSON
said, his experience as a Member for the county differed from that of the hon. Member (Mr. Craufurd). He knew from personal experience the difficulty attending a canvass of the county, and remarked incidentally that it was of not the slightest importance to any party how the matter was decided.
§ Question put, "That the Clause stand part of the Bill."
§ The Committeedivided.—Ayes 206; Noes 141: Majority 65.
§ Clause ordered to stand part of the Bill.
§ Clauses 13 and 14 ordered to stand part of the Bill.
§ Clause 15 (Liferenters, Joint Owners, and Joint Occupants).
§ MR. CRAUFURD
proposed the omission of certain words, with a view to prevent joint occupiers below £50 in counties, with certain exceptions, from exercising the franchise.
§ THE LORD ADVOCATE
said, he was surprised that any objection should be taken to this clause, which was precisely similar in its terms to the 27th Section of the English Act. He did not see why a distinction should be drawn between the two countries.
§ MR. ELLICE
proposed the insertion, in line 9, page 5, after "joint tenants," of the words "or joint owners," so as to provide that only two joint tenants or two joint owners should have a vote for the same property.
§ Previous Amendment withdrawn; Clause, as amended, agreed to.
§ Clauses 16 to 19 ordered to stand part of the Bill.1009
§ Clause 20 (Registration of Voters).
§ MR. YORKE moved that the Chairman report Progress. ["No, no!"]
§ MR. DISRAELI
said, He hoped the hon. Member would withdraw his Motion, They were now getting on very well, and he trusted some further progress would be made with regard to the Bill.
§ Clauseagreed to.
§ Clauses 21 and 22agreed to.
§ Clause 23 postponed.
§ Clause 24 agreed to.
§ Clause 25 (Rooms to be hired for polling wherever they can be obtained).
§ MR. M'LAREN
said, that he had an important clause to propose, and he thought it would be better to report Progress. ["No, no!"] The hon. Member then moved after "burgh" to insert—And all the expenses for or connected with such polling booths or rooms, including therein the fees for clerks and poll sheriffs employed by the Returning Officer within the same, shall, in burghs, be defrayed in the same manner as the registration expenses incurred under the Acts of nineteenth and twentieth years of the reign of Her present Majesty, chapter fifty-eight; and in counties shall be defrayed in the same manner as the registration expenses incurred under the Act of the twenty-fourth and twenty-fifth years of Her present Majesty, chapter eighty-three, are now defrayed.
§ THE LORD ADVOCATE
opposed the Amendment, on the ground that a similar proposal had been made in the English Bill, and had been rejected.
§ Amendment negatived.
§ Clause agreed to.
§ Clauses 26 to 36, inclusive, postponed.
§ Clauses 37 to 50, inclusive, agreed to.
§ Clause 51 (In event of Dissolution of Parliament before 1 Nov. 1868, Elections to take place as heretofore).
§ MR. MONCREIFF
suggested the postponement of the clause, as there was a great desire on the part of both sides of the House that the dissolution should take place, if possible, before the 1st of November. ["No, no!"]
§ Clause negatived.
§ Clause 52 agreed to.1010
§ Postponed Clause 6 (Restriction on Number of Votes in Glasgow).
§ MR. DISRAELI
said, there were some other postponed clauses to be considered; for instance, the clause relating to the seven seats to be given to Scotland; and he supposed they would like to get those seven seats.
§ MR. GRAHAM moved that the clause be postponed, with a view to consider the alternatives that might be submitted for adoption—namely, that there should be a division of the city into two parts—one division to return two Members, and the other one Member—or to consider whether it was advisable that Glasgow should take a third Member under the circumstances.
§ MR. CRAUFURD moved that the Chairman report Progress.
§ MR. DISRAELI
said, he thought it would be discourteous, after the assistance they had received, to oppose the Motion,
§ House resumed.
§ Committee report Progress, to sit again upon Monday 8th June.