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thing not to be disputed, the principle | that colonies were productive of no benefit to the mother country. The hon. gentleman must be aware, that in the committee of last year one of the questions put to Mr. McCulloch was this: If an adult man and woman, in a state of hopeless and helpless poverty, cannot be supported in Ireland for less than 20. a year, and if four such can be removed for 80l. to the Canadas, where they may procure for themselves a comfortable subsistence, is it not clear that, when they could be thus settled for four years' purchase, it would be for the advantage of the country to send them out? Mr. M'Culloch's answer was, that, if it cost 201. to support in Ireland, two persons who, by their labours, added nothing to the capital of the country, 80l. would be well disposed in sending away four individuals so circumstanced, provided means were taken to prevent the vacancies left by them in population from being filled up [hear! from Mr. Hume]. He understood the intimation given by the hon. member, but contended, that the condition of leaving vacant in Ireland the place which had been occupied by the emigrant, had always been entertained by the committee as inseparable from the plan of emigration. Mr. M'Culloch considered further, that the removal of poor individuals from Ireland might be carried into effect by the tenants, if the landlords gave securities to the government that the vacancies would not be supplied for the next fifteen or twenty years. He was sure a simultaneous and well-regulated emigration would not be denied to be superior to the desultory departures of straggling individuals; as the numbers who would emigrate under the authority of government would be better superintended, better supported, and better localized. He did not pretend to say whether Mr. McCulloch's doctrine was right or wrong; but, at all events, the very first principle of emigration was, that the persons sent out should be assisted by the mother country for a certain time, until they received such an impetus as would enable them to go forward themselves. Nor could the assistance thus afforded be considered as so much lost or thrown away; for it should be recollected, that the mother country would share in the eventful advantages, and that the capital thus employed, though transferred to another place, still

remained within the empire. He threw out these few observations merely for the purpose of drawing the attention of the House to the subject. The question of emigration mixed itself up with that of the colonial system; and if it were true that, in our trade with our colonies, both the parties were benefitted, it was clear that by means of emigration we should be doubly increasing the aggregate profits of the empire. He threw out this, because there seemed to be a disposition to impeach the present colonial system. He hoped that the question would be brought forward in a distinct shape, that it might be ascertained whether the system of our ancestors was to be departed from or not. He put it to the House, whether a measure which seemed calculated to convert a riotous peasantry into a class of industrious farmers and yeomen, was not deserving of consideration at the present moment, when we were devising improvements in our criminal code, and endeavouring to lessen crime. These were the grounds on which he should move, “That a Select Committee be appointed to inquire into the expediency of encouraging Emigration from the United Kingdom."

Mr. Hume said, he had no objection to the inquiry; for he felt quite satisfied that when the subject was considered by a committee, they would have a report dis approving of the expenditure of the money of the country for such an object. It never could answer for them to incur the expense of 100l. for sending a poor man and his family from Ireland to the Canadas. Give the poor man the 100%., and he would establish himself as comfortably in Ireland as any where else. Mr. M'Culloch's opinion was not favourable to the extension of such a plan. He recollected asking him, on the committee, whether he thought the sending of 100,000 of the population from Ireland would be productive of much benefit. His answer was, that it would be no more than a drop of water in the ocean. Five hundred thousand, he said, might have some effect, provided reproduction could be prevented; for otherwise, in two or three years, we should have the same number again. The question then was, whether 2,000,000%. were to be expended for a temporary relief of one or two years. The inquiry proposed, would, he thought, do good, and he should therefore give the motion his support.

The motion was agreed to.

BRIBERY AT ELECTIONS BILL.] Lord John Russell having moved the second reading of this bill,

Mr.Wynn said, that as he understood it, the principle of the bill was, that upon complaint made to the House, a select committee should be appointed to try the issue, and that their decision should be absolute and final. To this there was this obvious objection-that the decision of no committee could be binding upon the House. The inquisitorial powers of the House might be delegated; but not the judicial. A body might be appointed to bring in a true verdict as to fact; but the question of corruption was a question of inference. All that a committee could do, was to report to the House; and the House could then do what they pleased upon it-either proceed further, or let it sleep. The bill also gave power to present petitions of complaint within six years from the period. This he thought too long. He also objected that there was no penalty or punishment assigned to an unfounded charge. Experience ought to show them the necessity of some such thing. In 1788, it was found necessary to enact, that any person presenting a frivolous petition should pay the whole costs. Now, this bill enacted, that the public should pay the costs of the whole inquiry. This would give rise to a thousand evils, of which they had at present no idea. It would, beyond question, lead not only to vexatious but to malicious charges; and moreover, for the bringing of such charges, no penalty was declared. To the system proposed for choosing the committee of inquiry, too, he objected. The provision as to the appointment of the nominee was perfectly unfair. The nomineeship was perhaps the worst part of the existing system. Each party, in a petition of the kind in question, now named some one person upon the committee in whose discretion he thought he could confide: and that nominee invariably became a counsel in the case rather than a judge. But the noble lord's bill gave the accuser the power of appointing such a nominee, and withheld it from the defendant-an alteration which made that course partial and unjust, which was objectionable enough already. The House had already possessed powers amply sufficient to correct bribery whenever a case of the kind was fairly made out. He never knew an instance in which the House had failed to deal severely with those against whom

corrupt practices at elections had been substantiated.

Mr. Warre was of opinion, that, in point of principle, no fair objection could be raised against the present measure, because they all knew perfectly well, that election committees were in the habit, under particular circumstances, of making special reports, the matter contained in which gave rise to ulterior proceedings. He could by no means go along with the right hon. gentleman in his statement, that the law, in its present state, was sufficient to put an end to those corrupt and disgraceful practices which were known to be carried on in elections. The House ought to be allowed a more extended period than was now granted, for hearing complaints on the subject of bribery and corruption. The call for reform should not be confined to those only who were within parliament; it ought to reach those who were without the walls of that House. Reform was as much required amongst the electors as amongst the elected; and if the noble lord could devise a plan, by which notorious and scandalous practices of the sort to which his bill referred could be put an end to, a most beneficial object would be gained. In some of the boroughs those practices were notorious. If the provisions of the present measure were hung over them in terrorem, it would produce a very good effect. He trusted, therefore, that the bill would be suffered to go into a committee, and that gentlemen would lendtheir cordial endeavours to render its provisions effectual.

Mr. Lockhart denied that the House had, under the existing law, sufficient power to correct the evil. The right hon. gentleman had not denied that corrupt practices existed; and it was well known, that in some boroughs those practices were carried to an enormous extent. Surely such a system should be done away with.

Mr. Hudson Gurney thought the provisions of this bill so extremely objectionable that if any member would divide the House, he would vote against the second reading. Its principle went to keep alive, in all the boroughs, a state of neverceasing dissention, and to involve the House in litigations without end.

Mr. N. Calvert observed, that every means ought to be taken to put down bribery at elections. The right of voting ought to be considered as a trust, and not treated as if it were a property; and the

moment the electors of any place were found guilty of corrupt practices, they ought to be disfranchised. The hon. gentleman adverted to a case in which it was clearly proved that the election of an individual was secured by a plentiful supply of new Bank of England notes, that individual being connected with the Bank.

Mr. Pearse defended the Bank of England from having any knowledge of the transaction to which the hon. member had alluded.

Mr. N. Calvert said, he happened to be on a committee, where it was proved that new Bank notes came down to the election in consecutive numbers, and some of them were traced to the voters.

Mr. Wynn said, he had ever supported the principle of disfranchising whenever abuse could be proved; but he was in doubt whether the present bill was calculated to remove or to promote the evils which it proposed to remedy.

Colonel Davies reminded the House, that the proof of a single act of corruption, in an individual elector, vitiated the return of the candidate whom he had supported. Would hon. members say, that the corruption of an individual should be held as the act of all his fellow electors, and sufficient to disfranchise the entire borough? Mr. W. Smith thought that the evil which this bill was intended to repress required correction. Some years ago he had had a negotiation for one of those open boroughs, as they were called; but when he came to inquire into the business, he found that the former member had promised 10. to each of the electors, which debt had been left unpaid. Now, what was the new candidate called on to do? He was told, that he must put into the Post-office a certain number of 10l. notes, directed, under cover, to such and such persons, before he could proceed further. How they were to be afterwards disposed of, the candidate, of course, could not exactly say, though he could easily guess. Any person paying the least attention to election proceedings in many places, must see that corrupt practices were carried on, although, in most cases, it would be difficult to bring the charge home to any individual.

Mr. Hobhouse said, that an intelligence had gone abroad on this, as well as on other subjects, which rendered it impossible that the law should be continued in its present state. He saw no great force in the observations of an hon. gentleman,

that the electors ought to reform themselves; because it was evident, that if there were none to offer bribes, none could be bribed. The House ought, therefore, to begin with those who were desirous of procuring seats in parliament. The law ought to be so framed as to make it impossible for any person to introduce himself into parliament by base and dishonest means. The state of the law was extremely imperfect; and, in many instances, the House had not neglected its duty, but was unable, in consequence of that state of the law, to perform it. There was a striking instance in that House, at the present moment, of the inefficacy of the law. A petition was presented against the return of a certain borough, and one of the individuals connected with that election was sent to prison, while the other took his seat in that House, where he still remained, although there was little difference in the two cases. He knew not whether the noble lord's bill would have the effect which was contemplated; but he would support it, because he was glad to see the House taking any step on this subject, considering, as he did, that bribery at elections was the root of every evil which afflicted the country. It was notorious that corruption prevailed to a very great extent. There was a standing order of that House forbidding the interference of peers in the election of members of parliament; but it was well known that it was not regarded. His hon. friend needed not to have introduced the statement relative to the borough, the electors of which were to be paid up their 10l. arrears. It was not necessary to point out isolated cases, when it was well known that many gentlemen who sat in that House were only representatives of their own money. One individual, who had distinguished himself as much as any individual of the age, had paid 1,000l. a-year to serve as member for a place which he never saw. When he heard gentlemen congratulating one another on the purity of parliament, and gravely declaring that there was no necessity for reform, he could not help thinking of the words of Cicero: "I wonder how one augur can ever meet another without laughing." Ia like manner, he wondered how, on such occasions, one member of parliament could look in the face of another without laughing. When the whole system was one great blot, he knew not where to com. mence the cleansing process; but he

would always support the efforts made by | of society, warranted him in saying, that others for that purpose, although they this bill, or one of a similar nature, must might fall short of his own views and finally be carried. wishes.

The Bill was then read a second time.

MUTINY BILL-FLOGGING IN THE ARMY.] On the order of the day for the third reading of the Mutiny bill,

Mr. F. Palmer was perfectly convinced that some sort of reform in parliament, for which the people had been calling for the last twenty years, ought to be introduced. The people looked to that House for Mr. Hume observed, that the feeling such a reform; and, if the House did not of the country, which had been so pointreform itself from within, it would ulti-edly referred to in the discussion of the mately be reformed from without. In saying this, he was making use of an old expression; but such was, in his opinion, the feeling which pervaded the people.

Lord J. Russell said, that the statements which had been made that night, proved that some measure of the kind was absolutely called for. The general election was fast approaching, and no doubt could be entertained that bribery and corruption were now going on. This rendered it the more necessary to make a speedy alteration in the law. It was notorious, that the returns to that House were, in many instances, made in virtue of money, and nothing else. He did not mean to make any remark on what had fallen from the hon. member for Hertford, or the hon. member for Devizes, relative to the Bank; but it was a remarkable circumstance, that when the hon. member for Penrhyn (Mr. Grenfell) had apprised his constituents, that he would decline making any advances to that borough, if likely to be attended with pecuniary expense, a person connected with the Bank immediately went down to form a connexion with that place, where he was not at all known; and it certainly was doubtful, whether some of the newly-issued Bank of England notes would not find their way to Penrhyn in the course of the next election. While such notorious practices were carrying on, was it not the duty of the House to take steps to check them? He had himself known instances in which the electors, when the member had been in the House for fourteen days without any petition being presented against his return, had come forward and said, "the fourteen days are now over, and we call upon you to pay us for returning you." Such disgraceful conduct ought to be put an end to. He did not know that his bill would have the complete effect, but he hoped that it might be so modeled as to answer the purposes for which he intended it. The high tone of feeling in the country on this subject, and the improved state

question just now disposed of, was, without question, diametrically opposed to the system of military fogging. He hoped the time would soon arrive, when Englishmen would no longer be the only European subjects whom it was thought necessary to goad to the completion of their duty with the whip. Why should it be presumed that British soldiers would fail in that sense of honour which animated all other troops? The reason was to be found in the very nature of the punishment. They brutalized men by their discipline, and then complained that the men acted as brutes. He protested against the continuance of the system.

Mr. Hobhouse congratulated himself on having been one of the minority of fortyseven who voted against flogging the other evening. He felt the more justified in that sentiment, by the recollection that his hon. colleague (sir F. Burdett) when he first introduced the subject to the House, was one in a minority of six at the utmost. Last year the minority was considerable, and this year more so. After the holidays, he proposed to move for returns for two different periods, which would show the progress which this subject had made in the public mind. It was highly satisfactory to know the opinion entertained of it by the commander-in-chief and several of the first generals of the army. But if, according to the opinion inculcated by those high military authorities, and enforced by their practice, the discipline of the army had notoriously improved by the relaxation of that inhuman mode of punishment, how could gallant officers assure the House that it was necessary that the power of inflicting it should remain with the officers of the army? The House must feel great deference for the opinion of practical men, but could not listen to them when they proposed to the House to act upon what they considered to be a safe understanding as distinguished from feeling. The fact was, that the House would be safer

in legislating upon feeling, which in such a case would be an indication of the soundest general opinion, than upon understanding taken in hostility to feeling. He hoped to live to see the day when those who abetted the continuance of this discipline would be ashamed of their former opinions, and feel glad that more humane sentiments had prevailed.

The bill was then read a third time.

Mr. Abercromby reprobated the wanton accumulation of expense which these illegal indulgences of the commissioners occasioned. He held in his hand the bill of costs of a bankrupt commission, in which there were dinner bills to the amount of 471. Now this was a serious abuse. He was aware that if the commissioners participated in the abuse, they were disqualified from acting; but what he complained of was this, that the commissioners themselves were made judges of their own conduct; for the bills of costs in which these expenses were charged were positively taxed before the commissioners. So much for the legal redress. The whole amount of costs in the commission to which he had alluded was 2,000/.

Mr. Hume said, it was no answer that there existed a law on the subject, if that law was not carried into effect. Two years ago a return was laid on the table, by which it appeared that 224,000/. had been expended by the commissioners of land tax, in open defiance of five acts of parliament.

HOUSE OF COMMONS. Wednesday, March 15. COMMISSIONERS OF BANKRUPTS TAVERN EXPENSES.] Sir Robert Wilson rose to bring forward the motion of which he had given notice. It was one of considerable importance to the trading world, as being a feature in the heavy list of Mr. W. J. Bankes contended, that the charges to which the estate of a bankrupt law as it stood was sufficiently remedial. was liable in transitu to his creditors. It should not be forgotten that the comThe tavern expenses incurred by commissioners acted under an oath, and that missioners of bankrupt in working com- if they winked at abuses, they would be missions in the country were enormous guilty of perjury. and illegal. It was desirable that so wanton an expense should be put a stop to. The best means of judging of the extent to which this abuse had been carried, was by ascertaining the amount of expenses incurred within the last three years. This might be attended with difficulty, but it was not impracticable. There was an officer called the secretary of bankrupts, upon whom the House might call for all the information in his power, and he again might be required to address circulars to all the solicitors for country commissions within the last three years, to deduct from the mass of items the particular expense of each commission, and the whole might be arranged by the secretary and presented to this House. He concluded by moving, "That there be laid before the House an account of all Tavern Expenses incurred by commissioners of bankrupts under commissions executed in the country for the last three years."

The Solicitor General observed first, upon the difficulty of complying with the motion; and, secondly, upon its irrelevancy, as all the abuses (if any existed) were provided against by act of parliament. If the commissioners were guilty of any abuse, they were liable to be disqualified, upon complaint made to the Chancellor. The law was not, therefore, defective, and there appeared to him no necessity for the returns.

Mr. S. Bourne thought the gallant member should confine the return to the year which had elapsed since the passing of the act alluded to. The abuses complained of were a gross violation of the law, and he did not know why proceedings should not be instituted against the persons guilty of them.

Mr. Bankes said, if the gallant member would confine himself to the date when the law began to operate, he would not object to it.

Mr. Wynn said that, according to the terms of the motion, the parties were bound to make a return, even of the expenses which they paid out of their own pockets. Now, it would be better to direct prosecutions to be instituted against the persons guilty of such offences, than to call upon the whole body to make admissions which would expose them to prosecutions.

Sir R. Wilson said, he had no objection to confine the return to the time when the act came into operation last year. The motion was agreed to.

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