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for seven years, should, at the expiration of Ist, which gave the right of admission that term, claim as a right his freedom to the freedom of the town and Corporation both of the town and the Corporation upon of Galway, and also to the Company or taking the oaths. There could be no Corporation to which their respective reason whatever, that such an anomaly as trades might belong, without the payment any part of this Bill should continue, when of any fees, to artisans of all descriptions the 40s. freeholders throughout Ireland who had followed their trades for seven generally had been disfranchised, unless it years within the town, and which also exwas with a view to adınit into the Corpora- empted such persons from certain Corporation of Galway a body of 4,000 or 5,000 tion taxes and fines. This, then, was the footpersons of the lowest class, who would ing on which the Corporation of Galway claim the right of voting for Members of now stood, and he knew many Protestant Parliament. On account of these reasons, freemen who had supported their right it was evident the Bill of the noble Mar- although the guilds of their trades had quis was altogether at variance with the fallen into disuse, and notwithstanding 4th of George Ist, and it never could be the opposition of the Corporation of that consistently engrafted on it. The better place. The noble Duke did not dispute way, therefore, was, to repeal the old and the policy of putting the freemen of both offensive law altogether, for which purpose religions on an equality, but he adopted the he should beg to move as an Amendment, novel principle of legislation, that because “ That from and after the passing of this a certain wrong had gone on for some Act,” at page 3, line 2nd, there be in- time it was necessary to take away an unserted the words “the whole of the above- questioned right which had previously recited Act to be repealed."
existed and been exercised. There was The Marquis of Clanricarde said, he another very important reason for not was somewhat surprised at the course repealing the Act of 4th George ist, for pursued by the noble Duke. If his amend- it enabled the Lord Lieutenant to appoint ment were carried, it would effect a great four additional Magistrates, besides those and extraordinary change in the Corpora- of the Corporate body, to which, before, tion and constituency of the town of Gal- the Magistracy had been entirely confined. way. The noble Duke proposed to repeal This power had been most beneficially exthe whole of the Act of the 4th of George ercised on several occasions. So far from 1st, but it was not only by virtue of that violating Corporate rights by passing the Act, but by a charter granted by Charles Bill now before them, their Lordships would 2nd, that the freemen of the Corpora- be only protecting existing privileges. It tion had a right to return Members 10 was the Corporation of Galway which had Parliament. Even prior to that by some violated Charters ; they had been guilty of centuries, in the reign of Richard 2nd, peculation, and were insolvent. The Corabout the year 1376, they had received a poration had made no complaints of incharter from that Monarch. There was evi- justice being done to them by this Bill dent proofs that the borough of Galway worth notice, and the petitions that had was a Corporation, not only by virtue of been presented, and public opinion, were various charters, but also by prescription. decidedly in favour of the Bill. It had Previous to the Act of the 4th of George been said, that a number of persons had 1st, the right of admission into the Corpo- been excluded from the right of voting ration was enjoyed by all persons resident under the 4th George ist, but there in the town. In 1715, however, the matter was no proof of the number being large. had been brought before the Irish House It was, however, for their Lordships to conof Commons, who had resolved, that the sider, whether by the repeal of the whole freemen of the several trades of the county of the Act under which the Protestants of the town of Galway were part of the had enjoyed the right, they would consent constituency; and, therefore, as such to commit an act of great injustice. He entitled to vote for the town this was of felt assured the Committee would not course subsequent to the charter of Charles think of upholding a monopoly which had 2nd, by which the privilege of voting prevented individuals of a particular class was to be obtained, either by admission from locating in Galway, and which had into the inferior guil by admission to obtained the whole power and control over the Corporation. This chapter was after the municipal affairs of the town. The wards followed by the Act 3 4th George I prayer of the whole respectability of the
town and its vicinity was in favour of the never be called on to exercise their votes' Bill now before their Lordships.
unless the calamity, which God forbid, Lord Ellenborough said, as far as he occurred-namely the death of the hon. understood the argument of the noble member for Galway before the next SesMarquis, he appeared to object to the sion of Parliament. He could not underamendment proposed by the noble Duke, bestand why this Bill was brought in, instead cause it would tend to disfranchise certain of one for the repeal of the Act of George Protestant freemen who had obtained the 1st; and if it were supported by his right of voting under the 4th George Ist. Majesty's Ministers, he could only say, it He assured the noble Marquis there was bore the appearance of being a most scanno such intention on the part of those who dalous job. proposed the total repeal of that Act. At The Duke of Wellington said, he did not the same time there would not be the least understand that the Charter gave the right objection, if the Amendment was carried,to of voting to those freemen claiming that preserve the right of voting to those indivi- right in respect to the exercise of their duals for their lives, such a proposition trades; but in order to form a correct was perfectly consistent with justice and opinion of the Charter it ought to be before
As to himself individually, he was the House. He was ready to admit there ready to acknowledge, that he had great was a Resolution of the Irish House of objections to disfranchise any person, but Commons in 1715, which stated, that the poble Marquis had no such scruples, persons holding their freedom as artizans for he had recently voted for the disfran- had the right of voting, but then the chisement of upwards of fifty boroughs Act of the 4th George Ist passed two without the electors having been guilty of years after, in 1717. Now, with respect any'offence. He (Lord Ellenborough) had to the difference which existed between voted for the second reading of the Bill the Act and the Resolution, it might be now before them, because, after the pass- accounted for easily, because in framing ing of the Catholic Relief Bill in 1829, he the enactment it was found necessary, in considered the principle of this measure, all probability, to revert to the terms of the which went to equalize the franchise be- Charter. If there were any persons whose tween persons of both religions, Protest interests would be effected by the total reants as well as Catholics, was a proper peal of the obnoxious Act, let a special one to be adopted. The 4th George is:, provision be made in their behalf. lle for certain reasons stated in the pream- wished everything to stand on the same ble, drew a distinction between Catholics footing with respect to Galway as before and Protestants, and gave the latter speci- the passing of that Act; that would leave fically certain rights. If that was so the whole question respecting the Corporwhen
every other distinction be-ation open for decision hereafter. tween the two religions had been abro- The Marquis of Clanricarde said, after gated, it was quite right that an Act which the remarks that had been made, he kept up local distinctions should be wholly wished to state some facts relating to the repealed. He, therefore, was of opinion, local situation of Galway itself, and his that the course recommended by the noble connection with that district. In the first Duke was the safest, and he thought it place, there was the town of Galway itself, was a better plan to expunge from the and then there was the county of the town, Statute-book an Act totally at variance which extended some distance round it, with the spirit of the present times towards and contained a numerous population. Roman Catholics, than to engraft on it His property was in the county of the an Act like that proposed by the noble town, and a considerable number of perMarquis. The Bill proposed to enfran- sons who resided in it had the right of chise a certain number of persons of the voting. Another gentleman was in the Roman Catholic persuasion, and to give same situation with himself as to property them the rights of freemen of the town of and influence, and there were several Galway; but it should be recollected that, smaller proprietors who possessed a less according to the assurances of his Majesty's number of tenants. His influence was, Government, a Reform Bill would soon therefore, considerable as it stood at prepass into a law which would destroy the sent, but this Bill would let in so many rights of those very freemen; and if the town voters, that it would be completely predictions he heard were true, they would I swamped by their number; this was the best answer he could give to the charge for to appoint four Justices of the Peace of this Bill being a job on the part of for Galway, and that obviated any
venience that could arise from a repeal of Lord Plunkett said, he thought it im- the Act alluded to by the noble and learnpossible that the noble Duke's amendment ed Lord. could be adopted, because, if the whole of Lord Plunkett said, the noble Duke was the 4th of George Ist was repealed, the quite right as to the provisions of the Act power of appointing Magistrates for the he had quoted, but the appointment could town of Galway would be taken away. only take place under particular circumHe wished also to suggest to the noble stances, and much inconvenience might Duke, that he was in error as to the con- arise if vacancies in the event of the destitution of the Corporation of the town cease of any of the present Magistrates of Galway. The noble Duke appeared could be only filled up by the Lord Chanto suppose
it was only regulated by cellor, after application to the Lord Lieuthe Charter of Charles 2nd ; but he tenant in Council. With respect to the assured him that was not the case. The noble Baron's remark that it was inconCorporation, to his knowledge, held their sistent to bestow a franchise now, to take rights under more than one Charter. In- it away next year, he had not shown that deed, there could be no doubt but that it it was to be taken away, and therefore his was a borough by prescription, and if the remark went for nothing. whole of the 4th George Ist was repealed, Lord Ellenborough said, he would perit would create great inconveniences with sist in saying, that it was inconsistent on respect to the municipal government of the part of the promoters of the Reform the place. For the last century the facility measure, which went to abrogate, Corof obtaining the freedom of the place had porate rights, to create a constituency of been possessed without a question, and so that character at present. long as these facilities had been enjoyed The Earl of Mulgrave said, he consiexclusively by Protestants there had been dered it perfectly consistent with the prono objection to them. The change of cir- moters of the Reform Bill to pass this euinstances, however, consequent upon measure, and he regretted the noble Baron the great measure of Catholic Emancipa- had not put the House in possession of tion bad made it necessary that this privi- his sentiments when that question was lege should be extended to Catholics. before them, rather than now deal out his The noble Baron (Lord Ellenborough) bit-by-bit speeches on a subject of so imhowever, considered that because a mea- portant a nature. sure might be hereafter introduced which Amendment negatived, and the Bill would ultimately do away with, or at least went through the Committee. alter the principle of voting in Corporations, therefore it was a work of superero- REFORM.] The Lord Chancellor pregation to confer the right of voting by sented a Petition from the Royal Burgh of means of this Bill on the persons who Inverness, signed by 929 persons, in favour would be entitled to it; but really no such of the Reform Bill. thing would take place, because the rights Lord Holland presented a Petition to and privileges of such persons would be the same effect from Deptford, in Kent, continued for their lives, and, therefore, if signed by 1,300 persons. they once got possession of them, they The Earl of Harrowby said, he did not would, of course, retain them.
rise to oppose the reception of such petiLord Ellenborough said, all he had con- tions, but, on the contrary, to express his tended for was, that if the Reform Ques- satisfaction at seeing such petitions pretion was to be brought forward again next sented. Their presentation was a proof Session, these parties would stand precisely that the people did not consider that the in the same position they did now. They late decision of that House shut the door were not freemen at present, and the upon all Reform. The fact of such petieffect of that measure would be to declare tions being presented, showed that the that such freedoms would not in future be people looked on that decision in a proper allowed to exist.
light, and that they did not take for The Duke of Wellington said, that by granted, that all who opposed the specific the 7th of George 4th, the Lord Lieu-measure which was then brought forward, tenant could authorize the Lord Chancel- did not entertain sentiments favourable to a change in the constitution of the House | new Representatives. He was, in quesof Commons to a greater or lesser extent. tions of this description, not disposed to From what had fallen from the noble Earl | act upon a general principle in reference at the head of his Majesty's Government, to all individual and particular cases ; in the course of the discussion on the Re- nevertheless, by diminishing or extinguishform Bill, and from other noble Lords on ing the franchise in places the least conthat side of the House, the inference might siderable in point of wealth and populabe attempted to be drawn, that the oppo- tion, he would propose to make room for sition of their Lordships was extended to the additional Representatives from the all Reform, and that it was not confined, larger and more wealthy places to be as it really was, to the specific measure of enfranchised. He would not, however, Reform which they had then to consider. admit any precise limit of population He, at least, was not to be included as standard for the disfranchiseamongst any individuals, if such there ment of boroughs. That he looked upon were, who had expressed an opinion as one of the very objectionable parts of against all Reform whatever. In order the late Bill. Whatever objections might that there should be no misconception on be urged against making population merely that point, he would just briefly re-state the basis of Representation, there were what he had said in his former address to great objections to making it the criterion their Lordships, in the course of the dis- and the basis of disfranchisement, and to cussion last week, with regard to the ex- the disfranchisement upon such a printent and species of Reform to which he ciple, and without any proof of corrup(the Earl of Harrowby) was willing to give tion, of a number of boroughs, possessing his assent. He then stated, that he felt, a great diversity of franchise, rights, and that if any change was to be effected in privileges. He objected to the establishthe constitution of the House of Comment of one uniform kind of franchise, and mons, it should be effected only when it he objected to the qualification of the was demanded by a large portion of the voters as being too low, and as being intelligent community of the country; thereby calculated to lead to bribery and and when, if such a change were not ef- corruption. Those were his principal obfected, the Government would not be able jections to the Bill which his Majesty's to conduct the affairs of the country with Ministers had brought forward. Instead efficiency, and for its advantage, happi- of objecting to the regulations for diminess, and tranquillity, on account of hav- nishing the time of elections, and for taking ing lost the confidence of the intelligent the poll in one day, he, on the contrary, part of the public. Believing that they thought that the adoption of such regulawere placed in such circumstances at pre- tions would be most desirable. These sent, he was not the man to say, that he were the sentiments which he entertained would oppose any change which in his on this subject. Their Lordships could conscience he believed would not place us not be surprised that he was anxious to in a worse situation than we now were in. re-state them, in order to set himself and He would take the liberty to repeat what the body to which he belonged, right with he stated last week—that he was friendly the public on this point, and to do away to the extension of the franchise to wealthy with the impression, if any such prevailed, and populous places, possessing such dis- that because they had thrown out the late tinct and important interests that it would Reform Bill, they were opposed to every be for the good of the country at large that species of Reform. they should obtain a separate Representa- The Earl of Haddington was anxious to tion. He was for an extension of the express his entire concurrence in what had franchise in that way, and he begged to fallen from his noble friend who had just say, that he would not be niggardly in sat down. He was not opposed to all carrying that principle into practice. He Reform, and whenever a measure of Rewould further say, that he would be far form should be brought forward, founded from objecting to an extension of the con- upon principles which he should consider stituency in the large counties, and if he consistent with the safety of the establishwas ready to do that, as a consequence he ed institutions of the country, and of the would be ready to agree to the cutting off Constitution itself, he would be most ready of a certain number of boroughs on the to give such a measure the fullest considerother side, in order to make room for such I ation, trusting to see it carried into effect,
Lord Holland said, that the petition with the opinion which had been expressed which he had presented was not in favour by the noble and learned Lord. of Reform generally, but was in favour of Lord Wynford thought, there was a that particular Bill which their Lordships previous question which he wished their had postponed. Glad, however, as he was Lordships to decide. The Bill assumed to hear the sentiments which had fallen two things which were false. It assumed from the noble Earl (the Earl of Har- that the judgment ordered the cause to be rowby) he should not quarrel with that tried by a Special Jury of merchants, noble Earl's logic, which deduced from the whereas the judgment only directed that presentation of such a petition, the infer- the cause should be tried by a Special ence that the people did not think that Jury, and said nothing about merchants. their Lordships were opposed to Reform, This was the order of their Lordships, and and he was ready to agree in the conclu- the Court of Session ought to have comsion to which that noble Earl had come, plied with it. The Court of Session, howthat the decision of their Lordships the ever, had not thought proper to do so. other day, with regard to the Reform Bill, Now, if he, when presiding over the Court was not final or fatal on that subject. He of Common Pleas, had thought proper to (Lord Holland) confidently believed and deal with any order of their Lordships as trusted that such a measure as that which the Court of Session had dealt with this had been recently postponed, would, ere order, he had no doubt that he should long, become the law of the land. As that have been brought before the House to Bill had been, strictly speaking, only post- answer for his conduct. Another thing poned by their Lordships, the presentation which the Bill assumed was, that the of petitions in its favour was not irregular. Court of Session had no power to examine
The Lord Chancellor had but one word the parties before a Jury. This was not to say on this subject. He would not go true. The Court of Session had the power, into the subject now, nor would he discuss and if they were not aware of the fact, the question whether the scanty contribu- they ought to be informed of it. He took tion of the noble Earl was one that would it, also, to be as clear as day-light, that be calculated to satisfy the people. He the House had the power to amend their wished merely to state, that the petition order without a Bill of this kind. The Bill, which he had presented did not prove any therefore, was unnecessary.
As to resuch thing as that which had been as- hearing a case, he spoke upon good ausumed by the noble Earl. That petition thority when he said, that their Lordships was from Inverness, and it was not phy- ought not to re-hear any case, however sically possible that the decision of that erroneous the judgment they had proHouse on Saturday last could have been nounced in it might be; because it was known there time enough to allow of a better even that injustice should be done petition, now presented, to be adopted in one case, than that the foundation upon subsequent to the arrival of the intelli- which all property was held should be gence in that place. The fact was, that uncertain and unsettled. As to the judgthis petition was on its way to town last ment in this case, it was not erroneous. week, and it would have been presented He had the authority of his noble and before this to the House if it had reached learned friend (the Chief Baron) for saying him sooner.
this. His noble and learned friend had Petitions to lie on the Table.
examined the case, and had pronounced
the judgment to be right. In conclusion, Scotch1 APPEAL Case.] The Lord he must again observe, that the parties Chancellor said, that he had made inquiry would have been in possession of their into this case, and found that no material money long before this, if the Court of loss would result to either party, by risk- Session had not taken upon themselves to ing the postponement of it till another Ses-neglect the order of their Lordships. sion. Under these circumstances, and The Lord Chancellor said, that this was being of opinion that it would be much a matter in which he could have no inbetter not to proceed in the matter with terest-a matter of perfect indifference to out investigating all the precedents that him. He did, however, think it necessary bore upon it, he should not, for the pre- to notice what had fallen from his noble sent, press the Second Reading of the Bill. and learned friend respecting the Judges
Lord Ellenborough perfectly concurred of the Court of Session, lest something