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equally triumphed over him by which he intended should be the bringing in a practical measure, foundation of the final settlement and deprecated the introduction of of that question, and yet so ambia principle which would bind guous was the language which he Parliament hereafter. It was made use of, that it was impossible thought fit to declare that no set- to say for certain what was, or was tlement of the tithe question could not the purport of his scheme. at any time he satisfactory which After a speech from the Chandid not embody this principle “I cellor of the Exchequer, the House told you," continued Sir Robert divided, when Sir Thomas Acland's Peel," that your triumph, as pub- motion for the repeal of the clause lic men, would be of short dura. was negatived by a majority of tion. I did not mean official 19. The numbers being 317 to triumph ; it is possible for men to 298, be in office and not triumphant." On a following day, the 18th of He then referred to the mode in May, Lord John Russell gave Sir which ministers had dealt with R. Peel distinctly to understand, the question subsequently ; re- that the tithe measure would cona. minded them how they had op- sist solely of a proposition, to the posed the separation of the bill effect that the composition, then into two parts, as proposed by him existing, should be converted into in 1835, and how Mr. Spring Rice a rent-charge. had told him upon that occasion On the 29th of the same month, that " it would have been much Lord John Russell having moved more decent if he had come down that the House should go into', and asked them to rescind the resolu- Committee on the Irish Municipal. tion they had sanctioned in so many Corporation bill, Sir Robert Peel forms." That, according to Mr. rose for the purpose of declaring, i Rice would have been the more according to his promise, his views straight-forward course. “And and intentions with respect to the': now," said Sir Robert, "when we two great Irish questions." adopt the very suggestion that was After adverting to the advances offered to us, we are told that we made towards an amicable arrangeare making you pass under a dis- ment by the Duke of Wellington graceful and dishonourable yoke.” and himself, he went on to show.
With respect to the negotiations, that the proposal lately made by and the alleged breach of faith Sir Thomas Acland was in non upon his part, Sir Robert Peel wise inconsistent with their proclearly, proved that Lord Johnfessions. He then stated generally Russell's complaint of being over his opinion of the ministerial tithe reached was without a shadow of measure. He should give his confoundation. On the other hand, sent to the proposition for convertbe exposed the suspicious obscurity ing that impost into a rent-charge. of the present resolutions. Did But with respect to the redemption they or not, he asked, contain the of the rent-charge he saw, great appropriation principle? The noble difficulties. The proposal also for Lord's conduct was without a pre- investing the purchase money was cedent. He called upon Parlia- by no means free from embarrass., ment to come to the discussion of ment. To convert the church a great question, upon a motion into a great land-holder was, he
thought, a plan open to objection. He should positively insist, that He should cordially assent to the that franchise should be a bona proposal formerly made by Lord fide one. And he conceived that Stanley, and now renewed, for the the most satisfactory test of the purpose of removing real abuses in franchise would be afforded by the the Irish church. He would con- valuation about to be taken under sent to a reduction of the emolu. the New Poor-law ActHe was ments of livings where the duty ready then to take a 101. franchise, was disproportionately small. Sine. with the condition that it should cures he would entirely abolish. be a bonâ fide franchise. And he In parishes where there were non- meant to propose as a qualification residents, he would provide for a for the elector, in all the towns resident minister.
enumerated, that he should be He then came to the subject of rated to the relief of the poor to municipal corporations. He ad- the amount of 101. value, either mitted that the corporations, if for a house or for a house and land, established at all, should be placed within the limits of the borough ; on the basis of popular election. and that occupation for a year, The bill, which had been read a residence for six months, and
paysecond time, and the object of ment of all taxes and cesses to which was the establishment of which the claimant might have corporations, in a schedule which been rated within the preceding was 'attached to it divided the three months, should be required. towns of Ireland into three classes, And he should further insist upon described as A, B, and C; and he the receipt of alms being a disproposed, in the first instance, to qualification. deal with the first two schedules, With respect to the towns in A and B. These schedules in- schedule C, he would leave it to cluded eleven towns, namely, the option of the majority of rateBelfast, Cork, Dublin, Galway, payers to apply for a charter. But Kilkenny, Limerick, Waterford, he would not impose it upon them. Clonmel, Drogheda, Londonderry, Lord John Russell acknowledged and - Sligo; and these towns were that Sir Robert Peel's communicaof such an extent as to contain a tion of his views had been made population exceeding 15,000 each. in a spirit and manner which Now, with respect to these, he showed no inclination to obstruct should assent to the extension of the settlement of these important corporate rights to the whole of questions. With respect to the them ; and he would assume that value of the franchise, as proposed this was a course which was benc- to be estimated by the right hon, ficial and proper for towns of their gentleman, he admitted that he magnitude. He did not quarrel was not then prepared to express with the duties imposed on the an opinion upon it.
But they corporations under this bill; and were agreed upon the principle, the material point for consideration and the only question between would be, therefore, the franchise them regarded a higher or lower which it was intended to grant; amount of value. and the House was bound to de- On the lst of June, the confine the nature of the franchise sideration of the subject was rewhich it was proposed to give. newed, the House being in Com
mittee. Mr. Shaw moved, that a state to be worth the rent. And schedules A and B should be con- this is the kind of value upon which solidated, which would leave but assessment usually attaches. two schedules instead of three. The ministerial party, on the other The first to contain the towns to hand, contended that the value which corporations were to be ought to be estimated by the gross given, with an uniform 101. fran- rental. And that whoever paid chise : the second to contain those 101. a year to his landlord, together in which the majority of the 101. with the tenants' taxes, should be householders might, according to considered a 101. householder withtheir option be incorporated, and the out any deduction for repairs. And right hon. Gentleman further pro- they very forcibly urged that the posed that Sir Robert Peel's mode restriction now insisted upon by of estimating the qualification of the other party, was not imposed electors should be adopted.
on the 101. householder who voted Lord John Russell consented to for members of Parliament in Engthat part of the proposition, which land, or for municipal officers in regarded the distribution of the Scotland; while the English mutowns to be incorporated, but, at nicipal bill was content to require the same time, intimated that it rateability alone, without regard seemed to the Government that an to the amount. By the 101. franuniform 101. franchise, to be mea- chise nothing could be meant but sured by a rating to that amount, the parliamentary qualification of would be too high a qualification. that denomination. But Lord
It was upon this article that John Russell readily admitted the two parties finally found it that, under the existing system of impossible to come to terms. The valuation in Ireland, much room question was shortly this. The was afforded for perjury and fraud,* bill, as first introduced, enumerated and he therefore had no objection forty-seven boroughs to which to the assessment as a test of valuje corporations were to be extended. —but insisted, in that case, upon In seven of these, a 101. franchise, a reduction of that value. He and in the remainder a 51. fran- accordingly proposed an assessment chise, without the test of rating, of 51. as the qualification, which were to be established. We have was resolutely refused by Sir seen the alterations which obtained Robert Peel, who stood out for the sanction of Lord John Rus- 101. and the assessment. sell. He also agreed to admit the It is understood that the ministest of rating if accompanied with try seeing the determination of a reduction of the 101. franchise to their opponents, and being, to all 51. Here issue was joined. The appearances, sincerely anxious to Conservatives measured the value settle the matter, if possible, took of a house by the rent which it the sense of their party at a would give the landlord, he pay- meeting which assembled at the ing all such charges (such as re- Foreign office. But the result pairs) as were necessary to enable him to command that rent: or in other words by the rent which it
See upon this point the voluminous
evidence taken by the committee of the fetched, deducting what might be House of Commons on " fictitious votes necessary to keep the premises in in Ireland.”
was unfavourable to any further The House divided
the compromise. On the 11th of Amendment to the franchise clause, June, Sir Robert Peel, in ,com when there appeared for the mittee, moved to substitute 101. Amendment 96; against it 36 : for 5l. as the proposed qualifica- Majority 60. tion; this amendment was finally On the 27th of July, Lord negatived on a division by a ma- Melbourne proposed that the Bill jority of 20; the numbers being be read a third time. He said, 286 to 266.
that, though he did not concur in The bill came on for the third the various amendments which had reading, on the 25th of June, on been introduced, he wished to subwhich occasion, Lord Francis Eger- mit that the bill should be sent to ton moved, that it be read that day the other House. His Lordship three months. The House divided, with some truth observed, that the after a debate which consisted of Bill was a concession on the part little but a repetition of former of that House; it bespoke an arguments, at no time very diver- abandonment of a principle which sified, and the bill passed by theretofore they were very resoa majority of 35. Ayes 169: lutein maintaining. Now it noes 134.
might be right in them to take As this bill was very shortly their stand on principle, and to disposed of in the House of Lords, oppose themselves to popular clait may be convenient to follow it mour. But there was nothing so at once into that Assembly, where imprudent, as when they were it came under deliberation on the prepared to make a concession, not 12th July. Lord Lyndhurst, in to make it sufficiently extensive; committee, moved the amendment there was nothing so unwise as to the 51. clause. It seems to have not to take care that they obtained been an improvement upon that the object for which they gave proposed in the Commons, and a way.
way. The Bill was then read a nearer approach to a bond fide third time. value. It provided that to the It came under consideration in amount of rating should be added the other House, in its amended the estimate for landlord's repairs, shape, on the 2nd of August, and for insurance, and if these when Lord John Russell entered sums together amounted to 101. into a detailed examination of the they would constitute a qualifica- Lords' amendments. The original tion. This certainly would ap- Bill saved all rights to which freepear to be a very fair proposal. men were entitled by birth, serviThe matter, however, is an intri- tude, or marriage; but the Lords cate one, requiring, as Lord Lynd. had added the words “and all hurst observed, " the most minute rights to which they may become inspection, and a vast deal of con- entitled.” This Lord John Russell sideration of various bills to under- observed was a suspicious amendstand the point."
ment as regarded the City of DubLord Lyndhurst proposed, at lin, where an anomalous practice the same time, various other alter- existed of admitting freemen by ations, which will be noticed, when the corporate body, who had not we accompany the bill on its re- the claims which the Irish Reform turn to the House of Commons. Act and which the present bill, as VOL. LXXX.
framed by the Commons, recog- property which Town-councils in nized. A large class of the Lords' England and Scotland possessed. amendments were intended to These amendments he insisted were preserve to members of the existing framed with the interested, narrowcorporations, rights, offices, powers, minded, perhaps factious view, of and privileges, which it was the preserving as much power as posobject of the Commons to transfer sible to the old, and giving as little to newly-constituted bodies. The as possible to the new corporations: present corporation trustees of it was for Parliament to consider charities, and for lighting, paving, whether the peace and good goand cleansing the towns, were to vernment of Ireland would be best continue in office; whereas in secured by such a policy. It was England, under the Corporation most impolitic to deprive the new Act, the powers possessed by the Town-councils of essential funcabolished corporations were given tions; leaving them in fact little to the new ones. The present
to do but to debate, and withcorporations were empowered to drawing their attention from the mortgage their property for debts local concerns on which it was so due before the passing of the act; desirable that it should be fixed. now, was it not probable that the If political agitation should follow whole of the property would be the establishment of elective cormortgaged for debts which nobody porations, the authors of the had ever heard of? The suspicion amendments would
have only he entertained was not his indi. themselves to thank for the mis vidual fancy, for the legislature chief. had declared the existing corpo- With respect to the amendment rators unfit to exercise the author- which limited the bestowal of cor. ity they held. Another amend- porations to twelve towns, leaving ment preserved in their places the others to be governed in a different entire body of the present local manner, Lord John said, that officers, Town-Clerks,
Town-Clerks, Bailiffs, though he could not say, that he Treasurers, Weighmasters, Assay. concurred in it, he was not then masters, Clerks of markets, and prepared to object to it. There others, in all the boroughs whose were a number of new clauses and corporations were abolished by the provisions relating to the boundbill, until they shall be removed aries of towns, which the House by Commissioners who might be would not have sufficient time to appointed under the Act, or if consider, since they could only be there were no Commissioners, by discussed at the present stage of the Lord-lieutenant. Now this Lord the Bill. The power of appointing John contended was a provision sheriffs had been taken entirely not only for retaining certain per- from the Council and given to the sons in office, but for the preserva- Crown. A very great alteration tion of the abuses which it was had been made in the franchise. the object of the bill, as it passed The five-pound rating had been the Commons to remove. Various
Various changed to a ten-pound rating; other provisions were carefully and instead of a six months' occu. framed to take from the Town- pancy, (though six months had councils to be elected under the been preserved in one of the act that control over the corporate clauses, ) twelve months' occupancy