So much of Queen's Speech at the opening of the Session as relates to Parliamentary and Municipal Elections read, as followeth:—
"I recommend that you should inquire into the present modes of conducting Parliamentary and Municipal Elections, and should consider whether it may be possible to provide any further guarantees for their tranquillity, purity, and freedom"
, in rising to move for a Select Committee to inquire into the present mode of conducting Parliamentary and Municipal Elections, in order to provide further guarantees for their tranquillity, purity, and freedom, said, the great extension of the franchise which was made during the last Session of Parliament gave universal satisfaction to the country, and the demand that was made to keep down corrupt practices by a more stringent mode of inquiring into them afforded public testimony to the desire of the House of Commons to grapple with a great evil. But the satisfaction of the country will not be complete unless at an early period Parliament gives evidence of its desire to rid our electoral system of evils the greatness of which has long been acknowledged. For years past Parliament has been struggling in a vain endeavour to give to our elections the dignity that should preside over ceremonies of such 649 great importance, to rid ourselves of the taint—which may almost be called a national taint—of corruption in our elections, and above all things to secure to the voter freedom, independence, and the right of bestowing his vote according to his conscience. I will ask the House—I will ask both sides of the House with equal confidence—has the result of our legislation been to secure these objects? Is there, or is there not, reason for that strong and deep-seated dissatisfaction which universally exists upon this subject? From the other side of the House I anticipate the same answer as from this. Everywhere there will be an admission of the evil. The only difference will be as to the remedy which ought to be applied to that evil. The object of the Motion which I have now to make, in accordance with the recommendations in the Speech from the Throne, is that this House should appoint a Select Committee in order to inquire into the best methods of getting rid of these admitted evils. Now, what are these evils? One of the greatest, undoubtedly, is the enormous expenditure at these elections. And here I do not simply speak of that expenditure which has been branded as illegal. For my own part, I consider that the expenditure generally considered legal and legitimate is far more corrupting and far more demoralizing than that which is called by the name of bribery. Direct bribery is confined to comparatively a small number of men, and limited to some portions of the country, there being wide districts that are entirely free from it. It has hardly, if at all, reached Scotland; and we all know that it has not extended into Wales. It is not greatly practised at our county elections, and no inconsiderable number of English boroughs are entirely free from it. It was a kind of hereditary disease in certain localities. The offence of bribery—although in itself a considerable one—is not, so far as my knowledge goes, to be compared in its injurious effects upon our elections with the largeness of the expenditure incurred. A Return moved for last Session, which on the face of it is very imperfect, shows that the admitted expenditure at the General Election of 1865 was no less than £752,000; and I believe that £1,000,000 would be far from defraying the actual expenses. I have no means of compar 650 ing the total sum expended in 1865 with that which the election of 1868 cost; but I have some of the Returns for the last election. In North and South Shropshire, the elections cost no less than £20.412. In North Durham, the expenses of one candidate, an hon. Friend of my own, have been returned at £15,302; and, as I observe that in that useful compendium, Dod's Parliamentary Companion, my hon. Friend is in favour of a considerable reduction being made in the public expenditure, I am quite sure I shall have him with me in promoting an inquiry as to whether any measures can be devised for introducing economy into our elections. Other Returns of expenditure are as follows:—South Northamptonshire, £10,257; East Staffordshire, one candidate, £6,546; Bradford, one candidate, £7,000, but according to sworn testimony, the amount was £11,000; Westminster, £10,596; Manchester, £13,596; Sunderland, £8,383; Norwich, £7,000; and a comparatively small place like York, £5,952. The effect of all this expenditure is not only further to demoralize a class already lost to all sense of honesty in these matters, but to reach a far larger and more respectable class. It has further the effect of encouraging useless contests merely for the sake of profit to those who had. better be nameless. It has the effect of introducing a practice which causes to the electors themselves the greatest annoyance and trouble—the employment of paid canvassers. Of all grievances this is perhaps felt to be the most intolerable by the elector. During what I may call the long agony which preceded the General Election of 1868, I often heard, and I am sure nearly every one engaged in a contested election must have heard, complaints from electors upon the subject, how, when they had announced how they were going to give their votes, they were still made the subjects of pressing solicitations; how they were visited by one side or the other every week or every fortnight, and how every sort of influence that could be supposed to affect their votes was brought to bear upon them; and all this was done, not through the voluntary zeal of persons anxious for the success of candidates, but in most cases by persons who wished to justify the payment made to them or to swell its amount. Another evil consequence of 651 this excessive expenditure is that men of moderate means, although, perhaps, of great abilities, are kept out of Parliament, and we are in danger of being a Parliament of rich men. However much we may profess a desire to see all classes, and especially the working classes, represented in Parliament, we appear to deny it by permitting the enormous expenditure which even the cheapest election entails. If we are in earnest in acknowledging this evil, I hope we shall be equally in earnest in applying ourselves to devise a remedy. Although bribery is a limited and partial evil, the steps hitherto taken to diminish it have been singularly ineffectual. Act after Act has been passed imposing penalty after penalty, fines have been inflicted upon bribers and bribed. You have had disabilities and disqualifications affixed to the offence, and yet little progress has been made in stopping it. Perhaps under the terror of local inquiry the practice of bribery may have been discontinued for a time, but it has been resumed again, and the Returns show that there has been no practical diminution in the amount of election expenses. It may be said we have adopted the most effectual means we can to check it by localizing inquiry; but I think the House will admit, although local inquiry may occasionally have been efficacious, it has proved to be quite inadequate as a remedy. In the first place, what certainty is there, even where bribery has prevailed, that an inquiry will be instituted? There are many reasons why it may not. One is the great cost of an inquiry; and the deterrent effect of such cost does not appear to have been diminished by making the inquiry local. Not only do the expenses of inquiry appear to be very great, but the rule generally, though not uniformly followed, of making the expenses follow the event, even when there appeared to be bonâ fide reason for prosecuting the petition, will, I think, be a discouragement to those who wish to contest the validity of an election. Then, again, there is the fear that the case made out may be too good, and that the result will be the disfranchising of the constituency. There is no doubt that that fear has operated in more than one case. Another cause of inaction in these cases is the fear that success in unseating the sitting Member would not be followed by any gain to the petitioners 652 or the parties they represent. All these causes have operated in preventing prosecutions for bribery when bribery was known to have existed. The same may be said of the sister crime of treating. It is an evil the greatness of which must be well known to all who have had any experience of elections. It demoralizes the lower classes, and it is difficult of proof. See what goes on at every election. Committees and sub-committees are formed, and meet at several public-houses in succession, and every encouragement is given to expenditure, the liability for which it is often found impossible to trace. It may be, perhaps, that the treating overflows from the preceding municipal election; but whatever may be the cause, there exists an evil which is a very wide-spread one, and which the great extension of the suffrage is likely to render still more dangerous. The greatest of the evils connected with elections, and one which most vitally affects the great body of the electors, is that of intimidation. I do not deny that there has been a great improvement within my recollection in this respect. Many persons, a few years ago, would have supposed they were only exercising an ordinary right in compelling tenants to vote on their side, or in using influence in the strongest manner over their workmen. I do not deny that all this has been greatly altered; but still that intimidation exists, and exists very widely, and that its influence was greatly felt at the last election no honest and truthful man will, I think, venture to deny, while in many counties, even where it had been perfectly well ascertained that the opinions of the electors were identical, you might put the letter "L" or the letter "C" against the names of the inhabitants of whole villages when you had ascertained whose property they were. Then comes the question as to what extent the employer influences the employed. Now, the amount of the real opposition of this kind is very great, but, no doubt the extent of it is much exaggerated in the minds of the voters themselves. Many a workman imagines intimidation that was never intended, but his fear is none the less real to himself. A great portion of the electors, too, are seriously desirous of doing their duty, but they feel they have duties as regards their families as well as themselves. They say they 653 cannot, for the sake of discharging a political obligation, run the risk of ruining their families and themselves. The consequence is that a very estimable class of men, from want of self-sacrifice, perhaps, withdraw almost entirely from public life and endeavour to strangle in the bud all those manly feelings which would elevate them by cultivating their sense of public responsibility. Again, Sir, it is very easy for those who run no risk to laugh at the fears of tradesmen, but we know what has occurred even at the last election. There are many hon. Members who would be able to state of their own experience that the conscientious performance by a tradesman of his duty as an elector has been followed by the withdrawal of custom he could ill afford to lose. But this sort of interference with the conscience of an elector is, I am bound to say, not confined to the higher classes. I myself have seen pressure brought to bear upon small tradesmen by workpeople themselves, who visit a tradesman and inform him that their custom and the custom of their friends will in future depend upon his supporting a particular man. The evil, therefore, requires to be guarded against upon all sides, and the question for the House to consider is whether any remedy can be found for it. There is one other feature connected with our system of election which I think will be generally condemned; I refer to those scenes of rioting and violence which so frequently characterize a contested election. I know not how the House may regard the matter, but to me nothing is more humiliating than to witness the conduct of the large bodies of men who collect together on days of nomination. There is no inconsiderable number of the humblest of our countrymen who take an earnest and disinterested part in political affairs, and who are willing to make the greatest sacrifice to promote views which they believe to be to the interest of the country; but there is also a large number who look upon an election as an occasion for amusement and wild excitement, and these are the people who come to the front and who make their presence most sensibly felt on the day of nomination and on the day of the declaration of the poll. Well, are these ceremonies a necessary part of our electoral system? Is it necessary there should be a nomination day? Is it 654 necessary there should be a declaration of the poll, at which the candidates must appear? Why, at every other election, and we have several besides Parliamentary Elections—at the municipal elections, at the election of Boards of Health and Boards of Guardians—personal nomination has ceased to be the rule; the nomination is by papers, and the declaration of the poll, instead of being made every hour or so, exciting the electors inordinately, is made, not by the returning officer personally, but by advertisement and placards. In one of our colonies, which has supplied itself with great vigour to the perfection of electoral machinery—Australia—the system of personal nomination does not exist; it has been replaced by that of nomination by papers, and the result is a state of tranquillity which, as compared with our own election scenes, I may describe as truly enviable. Well, Sir, the question we have to ask ourselves is, whether Parliament shall confess itself unable to remove these evils? Is the inquiry I ask for so obviously useless, and must it of necessity be so barren in result, that it ought to be refused? On behalf of the people, I am bound to say there is a deep-rooted conviction that there is an effectual remedy for this. Rightly or wrongly—and I am not going to say whether rightly or wrongly—a remarkable unanimity prevails, and has prevailed for many years, throughout the country among a vast majority of the people in favour of a system of secret voting. Over and over again I have heard, the electors express their astonishment that, considering how deep and how general this conviction is, especially on the part of the electors who supported the Liberal candidates, it has not received the sanction of Parliament. Now, I can make that statement as free from any personal motive, perhaps, as any Member in this House. I have sat for the last sixteen years representing an eminently Liberal constituency, where, I believe, every nine out of ten of the electors were in favour of the ballot, and yet, during the sixteen years I have sat in Parliament, I have never voted for or against the ballot. I have not voted for the ballot because I felt the system of open voting had many advantages. I felt that the general moral effect of open voting was to encourage manliness and truth; that the general effect of 655 secret voting was to encourage mystery, which in itself is often an evil. Secret voting, I have always felt, might lead to falsehood. I never doubted that the machinery of the ballot would secure a great improvement in the practices at our elections; it would secure tranquillity, would, somewhat diminish bribery, and probably lead to the disappearance of intimidation altogether. On the other hand, my objection to the system aimed at its very root; but I confess that the scenes I witnessed during the last election have made me doubt very much whether, admitting to its fullest extent all that can be said against the system of secret voting, the arguments on the other side are not the weightier. Let me at once meet the chief objection to the ballot which has influenced the votes of most of those who have opposed it in this House; for the evil consequences of secresy have weighed, not only with Gentlemen on the other side of the House, not only with the representatives of the old Whigs, but they have been powerfully urged by many gentlemen whom it would be no offence to describe as advanced Liberals. We know that Mr. Mill has written very powerfully against the ballot. We know that at least two Members whom I may venture to name as advanced Liberals—the Members for Frome and Perthshire, (Mr. Hughes and Mr. Parker)—oppose the system of secret voting as being in itself objectionable. But, admitting what they say, that in every State opinions should be openly expressed, and that public opinion is formed by open expression, and admitting that deceit and falsehood, may be resorted to in order to conceal the vote after it has been given, we must look to the ultimate result, and see what would be the effect of the introduction of the system—whether, on the whole, it would, be good or ill. This conviction has come to me very slowly, but I will undertake to say, that in less than five years after the introduction of the ballot, the practice of pressing a man for his vote, or even of asking him for it, would entirely disappear. It has been often said that if the ballot were introduced at all it should be optional, but it has been demonstrated over and over again, that optional secret voting is no protection at all to the voter. Electors have said to me, "Give me the power of voting as I 656 please, secretly or openly." I have always replied, "As long as it is in the power of a man who wishes to influence your vote to say, 'You can vote openly if you please, and unless you do, I shall assume you are voting against me;' and as long as it is in the power of a briber to say to the voter he wishes to bribe, 'I cannot pay you unless you vote openly,' the ballot will be useless. To be efficacious it must be compulsory. The vote must be given in secresy, so as that no man shall know how another man votes." And I say now that, under those circumstances, it will be perfectly idle for anybody to attempt to influence the vote of his neighbour by intimidation. The only effect would be to irritate the elector and secure his opposition, and, as I have already said, before five years were over, the system of personal solicitation and personal canvass would disappear; men would learn to swim without bladders; they would become accustomed to act independently, and would not be afraid to express their opinions openly, and that lofty view of Englishmen which is embodied in the line—Pride in their port, defiance in their eye"—instead of being limited to a small number, might be extended to the whole electoral community. If, therefore, to my own satisfaction, and I hope to the satisfaction of others, who, like myself, doubted for a long time as to the propriety of the ballot, I have answered the objection that it was no better than an instrument of deceit and fraud, I feel that the rest of my task will be plain sailing indeed. At elections in Australia personation, so common in America, is not known; and not only is personation unknown, but bribery also has been greatly reduced. Whatever remedy exists against bribery in this country exists equally there, and with superadded guarantees. As for intimidation—that evil which of all others is most felt by the electors of this country—it would, as I have said before, be simply preposterous under the system of the ballot. Now, if it can be demonstrated, as I am informed it can, before a Committee, that all these advantages would arise from secret voting; that the moral evils resulting from it would in a short time be greatly mollified, and at last probably disappear, I have to ask the House to appoint a Select Committee with the object—I avow it openly—of inquiring 657 whether a system of secret voting cannot be devised which will bring security, freedom, and independence to the elector. Sir, I anticipate no opposition from either side of the House. I believe that hon. Gentlemen opposite who distinguished themselves during the late Sessions by their zeal for electoral reform and for extending the rights of voting to such large classes of their fellow-countrymen, who have themselves introduced a measure for giving greater stringency to inquiries into corrupt practices at elections—I believe that those hon. Gentlemen have as great an interest as we have in the honour and character of this House. Now, the honour and character of this House depend entirety upon the manner in which its Members are elected. It cannot be that men who are elected by the power of money or by intimidation can really be regarded by the people of this country as their true representatives. Among us, no doubt, are men who deservedly enjoy the popular favour, and are freely chosen by the popular franchise; but if it is proved to the satisfaction of candid men that persons are sent to this House, not from any merits of their own or by the free choice of the electors, but by individual influence or the lavish expenditure of money, how can the people give us that confidence which they would give if they really felt that we were the true representatives of the country? It is my anxious desire that we should be the country's true representatives, and that by the improved machinery of our elections we should give to this House a character that it has never yet fully possessed; that we should strengthen our Parliamentary institutions, and especially that great representative body upon whom the labour of legislation and the heaviest portion of the government of the people of this country mainly rests.
§ MR. ROBERT TORRENS
said, he rejoiced that the right hon. Gentleman (Mr. Bruce), in his Motion, had coupled municipal with Parliamentary elections, because it was during the former that the corrupt practices of which they all complained were mainly developed and fostered. The machinery of bribery was organized at the municipal elections. He did not wish to detract from the merits of the measure which had been carried through the House last year by the right hon. Gentleman the 658 Member for Buckinghamshire (Mr. Disraeli). He (Mr. Torrens) considered that that measure was a great improvement in their electoral machinery, and a great step towards the suppression of corrupt practices; still there were many circumstances which were not, and could not, be considered when that measure was before them. By the light which had been thrown upon it by recent inquiries, and by the Reports of the Judges, it was clear that the measure was very defective, and had failed in its great object—that of being deterrent. Petitioners ceased to prosecute further inquiries when once they had succeeded in unseating their opponents; in fact, it was not their interest to do so. A great want had been felt in the absence of a public prosecutor, whose duty it would be to take means for punishing all those who, by corrupt practices, offended against the law. The Act, therefore, required considerable amendment in this respect. In transferring the jurisdiction from Committees of that House to the Judges, a great advantage, no doubt, had been gained, because bribery and corruption were at once stamped as a disgraceful offence, which had not been the case before. As he had just emerged from a petition against Ms return, he was anxious to state the impressions it had made on his mind. These were, first, that the investigation should be made not only into alleged corrupt practices of the winning side, but into the other side also; and, secondly, that it would be well if petitioners instead of merely signing a petition as at present, were compelled to substantiate the allegations on oath. Such an alteration would be a protection to those who, on frivolous pretences, might be subjected to a painful and invidious course of proceeding. He wished to bear his testimony to the successful working of the ballot in Australia. He, like the right hon. Gentleman, had been made a convert to that system. As a Member of the Legislature and Minister of the Government in Australia, he had used every effort in his power to prevent its adoption; but when he saw that system operated as a specific to the evils of which they had complained, and that it was not followed by any of the bad consequences which he had apprehended, he was driven by the force of facts to recant the opinions he had publicly expressed and to acknowledge that he had 659 been mistaken. It was the arguments of the late Lord Palmerston and of Mr. Stuart Mill that had previously convinced, or he would say prejudiced, his mind against the ballot. When he found that the facts in working did not correspond with what they had predicted he began to inquire into their arguments. It was often urged against the ballot that the franchise could not be a right, otherwise a man would be entitled to sell his vote. But there was a fallacy in that argument, because the franchise itself might be a right without necessarily implying the right to sell it. It resembled in that respect many incorporeal rights and easements attaching to the possession of land, which did not carry a right to sell. Those who maintained that the franchise was a trust would do well to consider whether it was not better for the public weal and for the good of those for whose benefit that trust was said to be held that the trustee should be placed by the ballot in a position to exercise his privilege freely and according to the best of his judgment, than that he should be subjected, by the system of open voting, to the corrupt arts of the rich, the intimidation of the mob, or the undue influence of his landlord or employer. In the borough with which he was connected he had been made painfully aware of the degree of pressure which was often applied to some of the voters, and he had no hesitation in saying that the adoption of the ballot would be hailed in many parts of the country with as much satisfaction as the extension of the franchise itself had given; for it was vain to offer people a vote unless they were protected against coercion in its conscientious exercise.
MR. GATHORNE HARDY
Sir, in answer to Her Majesty's gracious Speech the House expressed its readiness—To inquire into the present modes of conducting Parliamentary and Municipal Elections, and to consider whether it may be possible to provide any further guarantee for their tranquillity, purity, and freedom.To that pledge—given alike by this side of the House and by the other—we are perfectly prepared to adhere; but it must not be taken that we consent to this being made in any sense a one-sided inquiry. My right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for the Home Department has avowed openly the change, or, at least, the maturing, of his convictions 660 during the last sixteen years regarding the ballot, and those convictions have now attained a strength and a permanence which leave no doubt almost as to what effect any evidence which may be obtained on that subject hereafter will have on his mind. In the course, however, of his very able speech I was surprised that, coming as he does from a district which has been disturbed by another kind of intimidation than that to which he alluded, he omitted to notice that kind of intimidation. I refer to the intimidation practised by mobs—a matter which I trust this Committee will take into its serious consideration. That intimidation is exercised not merely at the hustings, but during the polling day. Grievous injury is inflicted on voters by infuriated mobs and property is destroyed for which the sufferer can obtain no redress or compensation because the perpetrators of these outrages cannot be ascertained in many instances, and also because their acts are said not to be felonious. In the county of Monmouth the houses of electors who had voted in a particular way had been picked out with the greatest precision, the furniture they contained destroyed, as I understand, and the houses much wrecked and damaged; but because those outrages are supposed not to have been feloniously committed, no compensation for them can be obtained from the Hundred. I hope, therefore, that care will be taken that the neighbourhoods in which riotous mobs act in that way will be made to suffer, even though their acts may not be felonious. The man who avows his opinions openly will always be exposed to the vengeance of the mob, and, therefore, whether you have secret voting or not, it will be necessary to protect those voters—who will, I believe, always be the vast majority in this country—who are not afraid to avow their opinions. I shall not now enter into the question of the ballot, but will only add that I hope the proposed Committee will be, as far as possible, an impartial one—that it will inquire in an impartial manner into these subjects; and that it will not prove a mere cloak for men who have already changed their minds.
I think, Sir, that I am quite safe if I say that I regard the speech of the right hon. Gentleman who spoke last as a very fair acceptance of 661 the proposal of my right hon. Friend When we come to discuss a general Motion of this kind, which involves every part of the procedure connected with the conduct of an election from beginning to end, it is by no means unnatural that the interest of the House and whatever discussion arises should centre round the ballot, because the ballot has been for more years than many persons recollect a subject of the liveliest interest in connexion with the procedure at elections. But undoubtedly it would be a mistake to suppose that the inquiries of this Committee are intended, so far as we are concerned, to be confined to the matter of secret voting, or that the Government, as a Government, proposes this Committee with any view to a foregone conclusion. The purpose of the Committee is this—My right hon. Friend, in the fairest and most ingenuous manner, stated the change that has taken place in his own mind. So far as the ballot goes, I think that in every Liberal Government which I can recollect—I know not whether it has been the same in Conservative Governments or not—but in every Liberal Government which I can recollect, the ballot has been an open question; and my right hon. Friend has very frankly avowed the change which his own mind has undergone on the subject—a change which has, perhaps, reached, or nearly reached, maturity. So far as the collective view of the Government is concerned, it can hardly be said—and I speak under correction—to go beyond this-—It is quite evident that the very large extension of the franchise which has taken place has altered—in some cases, perhaps, slightly, in many very greatly and even fundamentally—a number of the conditions under which elections are carried on. This, then, appears to us a fair occasion for examining into the whole subject; and, undoubtedly, as respects the exercise of the suffrage with freedom, that has become a matter, if possible, more vital than at any former time, in proportion to the larger number of persons interested in it. Here, the right hon. Gentleman (Mr. Hardy) says, "I hope the Committee will be allowed to inquire into the intimidation by mobs," Most cordially do I hope so, too; for no doubt intimidation must form one main chapter of this inquiry. The Committee, I hope will endeavour to gain evidence on all 662 these questions—on questions that bear on intimidation by violence, questions that bear on intimidation in other forms than by violence, questions that bear on treating and drunkenness, questions that bear on excessive expenditure, and questions that bear on bribery; these being the chief evils connected with elections. But we must remember that intimidation has a double form; it may come either from above or from beneath. Possibly the more stealthy and subtle form of it comes from above; but it is equally our duty to detect and take effectual securities—if we can—to prevent the intimidation that comes from beneath. As I apprehend, the purpose and formation of the Committee will have to be carefully watched, but its main function will be to collect facts bearing upon the various questions of procedure connected with elections; and undoubtedly, it will also be within its province to consider what are the most appropriate remedies with a view to the diminution or removal of the evils attendant on them. But I think we have no reason to complain of the manner in which the right hon. Gentleman has met the proposal.
§ MR. GOLDNEY
said, the existing state of the law was so defective in respect to riotous proceedings at elections that, even although such proceedings were anticipated, it was almost impossible for the authorities to take steps for providing the requisite protection against them, without incurring expense or loss in their individual capacity. In his opinion the Committee should inquire with respect to the appointment and expenses of special constables, and also as to the power to grant damages for the destruction of property. At present the machinery for that purpose was complex and costly.
§ MR. EYKYN
said, he had heard with the greatest satisfaction the announcement which had been made from the Treasury Bench. He hoped that at the next General Election votes would be recorded by ballot. He was glad that the subject of municipal elections was to be inquired into, for he regarded those elections as a perfect school for corruption.
§ SIR GEORGE JENKINSON
said, it had been pointed out on the other side of the House that election expenses were very heavy in the United States where 663 the system of vote by ballot was in force, This showed that the ballot would considerably increase the cost of elections, both as to bribery and other expenses. He trusted that in any future inquiry the questions of the conveyance of voters to the poll, the introduction of voting places, and the extension of polling papers to every parish, would be duly considered.
§ Motion agreed to.
§ Select Committee appointed, "to inquire into the present modes of conducting Parliamentary and Municipal Elections, in order to provide further guarantees for their tranquillity, purity, and freedom."—(Mr. Secretary Bruce.)
§ And, on March 16, Committee nominated as follows:—The Marquess of HARTINGTON, Mr. GATHORNE HARDY, Mr. BRIGHT, Mr. HUNT, Sir GEORGE GREY, Mr. VILLIERS, Sir FREDERICK HEYGATE, Mr. BRAND, Mr. CROSS, Mr. WHITBREAD, Mr. RAIKES, Mr. LEATHAM, Mr. STAVELEY HILL, Mr. LOCKE, Mr. HENRY SMITH, The O'CONOR DON, Mr. GRAVES, Mr. DALGLISH, Sir MICHAEL HICKS BEACH, Mr. JAMES, and Mr. HOWES:—Power to send for persons, papers, and records; Seven to be the quorum.
§ And, on March 19, Mr. FAWCETT, Mr. EDWARD EGERTON added.