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amendment introduced by theit Lordships, establishing as a qualification for the burgesses under the bill, the occupation of a tenement rated at 10/., including repairs and insurance, appeared to him very objectionable. They all knew that the actual value of a tenement was far beyond llie value at which it was rated. He held in his hand a statement of the actual value of many houses in different towns in Ireland—in Belfast, in Dublin, in Limerick, and others, by which it appeared that the actual value of tenements was far, very far, beyond the value at which they were rated. Such was the case in England, and such, he apprehended, was the case everywhere; and he believed, that it was perfectly certain, that the value of a tenement rated at 10/. would probably vary from 12/. to 15/. By adopting the amendment which had been proposed, their Lordships would consequently be establishing in Ireland a qualification which was evidently a great deal too high, and which, he feared, would have the effect of constituting governing bodies for the corporate towns in Ireland, not much less exclusive than those at present in existence. If that were the case, their Lordships must perceive, that their own expectations with regard to the working of the bill would not be answered, and that they would be passing a measure which could neither be satisfactory to the country, nor answer the ends for which it was intended—viz., the establishment of a free and regular government for municipal towns in Ireland, based on the principle of popular election, including and bringing into its sphere and operation all that was generally respectable, and entitled to have a share in the government of those towns. He was aware that the great body of their Lordships had adopted the amendment, under the impression, that a high qualification was very advantageous in aiding those principles which were generally considered as Conservative. He did not know on what ground it was, their Lordships formed such an opinion. They had already tried an experiment of that kind in Ireland. They had raised the freehold qualification in counties from 40s. to 10/., and making all allowance for the means by which the franchise was procured, for the perjury which was said to exist, and the false valuations said to be palmed on the revising barristers, still it was impossible, he apprehended, to deny that that change was a considerable raising
of the county qualification in Ireland. Now, he begged their Lordships to consider whether the effect of raising the franchise, had ibeen such as they had expected; and whether, in point of fact, it had not strengthened those opinions and principles which they never wished to strengthen 1 Had they then any reason to expect a dissimilar effect from a similar provision with regard to municipal voters? He begged to say, that he entirely objected to the amendment, which he considered would be a great source of strife, and blemish in the bill, calculated to countervail its advantages, and to prevent its proving ultimately satisfactory. But, at the same time, as their Lordships' opinion in favour of the higher qualification had been so distinctly expressed, and supported by such a large majority in Committee, it was not his intention again to stir the question, to propose any amendments to the bill on the present occasion, or to take the sense of their Lordships again on the subject. But he gave notice, that he should, on the third reading, move the addition of a certain number of towns to schedule A; and also the addition of another schedule, containing several other towns, to which he thought corporations and municipal government ought to be given by the bill, with a lower rate of qualification. He now moved, that the Report be received.
Lord Brougham wished to say a few words, having been accidentally prevented from taking a part in the former discussion on this bill. He concurred with the noble Viscount in what had just fallen from him, and he confessed, that he was greatly disappointed in the two amendments of his noble and learned Friend. His noble and learned Friend, instead of forcing corporations on some towns, proposed to give those towns means of obtaining corporations on application to the Crown, in the meantime vesting the corporate power in certain commissioners. He thought with his noble and learned Friend that the towns in schedule B were too numerous, and that by granting corporations to all they would be going too low. For the same reason in the schedule of the Scotch Burghs Reform Bill in 1833, he had yielded to the opinions of a noble Earl for whom he entertained great respects he had given up some of the towns in the schedule, and instead of having gone too far, he thought that if he had given up
eight or ten towns mere, in which it had
1 .ord f.yyirfhvrft said: By no means, quite the contrary; he meant only a bouse which was let for 10/. bond fide, the tenant paving those taxes which usually fell upon the tenant, and were usually paid by htm.
Lord BroHpham continued: What he wanted, then, to caution noble Lords against was, the supposition that what was applicable to England was applicable in the same degree to Iroland. The test proposed mwht, for aught he knew, be excellent in England, but circumstances were different in 1 relantl. How little etVect would repairs and insurance have in raising the value in Ireland - Whoever thought that a 10.\ tenement wcuM cost much to keep it iu repair? Whoerer heard of »
landlord to Ireland repairing such a tene-
pablte asea 1a natiorjiJ affair*: bot all lint »»* required under the Mnoicipal franr-bite, mat, that the voter should be ab3e to teJl whether the town was well and rightly governed, whether the local affairs were properly conducted, whether the charities were properly administered; and he said, that the roost unlettered and unlearned individual in the town was as capable of forming a right opinion as to who was best to trust and to vote for in his own town fur town affairs as the clergyman, the banker, the attorney, or the best educated man in the borough. He believed, that there was some fear of Catholics promoting Catholic ascendancy by pursuing a just cause, but he thought that it was niggardly and improper to legislate on such grounds. He considered it both foolish and shameful to give a higher qualification to Ireland than was required in England. For these reasons he objected to the noble and learned Lord's amendments, although he would not object to the settlement of these too long unsettled questions upon the basis now proposed, the ground of his acquiescence being, that it would not be possible for many years to retain the test which was now proposed, for so surely as the system of rating should be a few years in operation, would the Irish have strong grounds for re-opening the question. They would appeal to their Lordships for justice, and he thought that their appeal to the justice of that House, and upon such grounds, must be attended with success.
Russell moved the appointment of the Committee on Militia Estimates.
Mr. Hume objected. He did not see that any benefit could result from its labours, and he did not believe, that in time of war the militia staff would be anything but useless.
Lord John Russell had consulted the Duke of Wellington upon this point, and he found that the opinion of the noble Duke differed very much from that of the hon. Member for Kilkenny.
Mr. Divett said, that it was impossible if a war broke out, that a militia staff could be of any use whatever.
Lord John Russell intended to introduce a measure by which the militia force would be rendered more effective.
Colonel Salwey said, that the militia was a most useful and constitutional force, and he regretted, that the noble Lord had taken the advice of the Duke of Wellington and reduced it. If the noble Lord would take the advice of his political friends they would be much better pleased.
Mr. Hume moved, that the committee have power to send for persons, papers, and records. He was desirous, as the committee was appointed, to have the subject fully investigated.
Sir H. Hardinge said, that if the hon. Member wanted to take the committee out of the hands of Government, he had better move for a select committee.
Mr. Hodges hoped, that the noble Lord (Lord John Russell) would take for the basis of any measure affecting the militia, a rule, that whenever they were assembled at any time they should be subject to martial law.
Lord John Russell said, he thought it better that an inquiry such as that proposed by the hon. Member for Kilkenny should be instituted at the commencement of the next Session.
The House divided on Mr. Hume's motion: Ayes 15; Noes 10'2 : Majority 77.
List of the Ayes.
Hughes, VV. B.
Burrell, Sir C.
Glass Duties.] The Chancellor of the Exchequer moved the third reading of the Glass Duties Bill.
Sir C. B. Vere wished to put a question to the right hon. Gentleman with respect lo an invention of a gentleman of
the name of Rutledge, of an instrument for ascertaining the quality and quantity of spirits distilled during the process of distillation. Such an invention would be a benefit to the distillers and also to the country. A report had been made by Dr. Birkbeck, which was favourable to the invention, and, he understood, that Professors Lubbock and Brantle also spoke favourably of it. He wished to know whether any step had been taken by Government lo test the invention?
The Chancellor of the Exchequer said, it was true that, for some time, the attention of the Government had been called to the invention of Mr. Rutledge, and he (the Chancellor of the Exchequer) was satisfied, that if the experiment proved successful the result would be most important to the trade of this country and to the revenue. When he recollected the amount of public revenue that was derived from spirits, he felt it was his duty to approach such a subject with the greatest caution. He had availed himself of the services of some eminent men of science to consider this subject. Dr. Birkbeck entered into the fullest details, and he was, at the present time, of opinion, that the instrument would answer all the purposes for which it was intended. Two other eminent men, Professors Lubbock and Brande, had also expressed a favourable opinion, but they had not given the subject quite so much of their attention as Dr. Birkbeck. Three experiments had been tried in connexion with the Board of Excise, but no experiment testing the amount used as compared with the total amount of spirits produced had as yet been brought to a final result. He could only add, that he was taking the best means of bringing the matter to a final result, and if it succeeded no man would be more gratified than himself at such success.
The bill read a third time.
Mr. Hawkes then moved the insertion of the following clause: "And be it further enacted, that no maker or makers of glass shall make of common bottle metal any bottle or bottles smaller, or of less size or content, than what is commonly deemed or reputed an half-pint bottle; and if any maker or makers of glass shall make of common bottle metal, any bottle or bottles smaller, or of less size or content than aforesaid, the maker or makers of glass so offending shall, for every such