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of Lords in their legislative funo On looking back at the English .w Bill it would be found that /ere amendments proposed in that the House of Lords as fully conwith the subject of rating as any present bill. He hoped, therefore, \c House would enter upon the conlion of these amendments, which doubtless, framed with the view of forwarding the objects of the bill otherwise. Perhaps there never was of such vast public moment which .greed to by the House of Commons c absence of all party feeling, and by rge a majority, the third reading of it ig been carried by a majority of 234 ist 59. The .bill had since received mature consideration of the House of Is, and, with the insertion of some ndments, had been agreed to. On whole, considering the importance of subject, and the vast number of proons which were required for the pure of carrying it into effect, and the ersity of interests and opinions which st necessarily be involved by it, even er the principle of the measure was ictioned, he must say, that the amend>nts which the House of Lords had made this measure were less in number and iportance than might have been expected, wo or three of these amendments, how;er, were of considerable importance, ine of the most important was that hereby an approach to the law of settlement was attempted. It was proposed by his amendment to divide the country into Sectoral districts, in order that, whenever i person was received into the workhouse }f the union, the expense of his maintenance should be charged to the particular district to which he belonged. Whilst this was proposed, however, the question of residence was not to be raised, and there would be no exclusion of parties on account of their settlements, to whatever part of the kingdom they might properly belong. He considered, therefore, that this amendment was not liable to the great inconvenience which the law of settlement generally led to, namely, the prevention of the circulation of labour from one part of the country to another; and, therefore, although he felt much doubt as to the practical effect of this provision, which he was inclined to think would remain in a great measure inoperative, and though he certainly should not have proposed it V0L.XL1V.

himself, he should propose that the House should now agree to it. The principle of the amendment was clearly to create a feeling of responsibility and of interest in all parties to attend to the general concerns of their respective districts, which might have a wholesome tendency. He should recommend, therefore, that the House should agree to this amendment with some verbal alterations which he had to propose in it. There was another clause inserted for the punishment of desertion of the wife and child by the husband and father. There was, however, a very material amendment with respect to which it was very probable, that the Speaker might have to consider whether or not it came within the privileges of that House. It was, in the first place, an omission of a clause inserted in that House with regard to 51. tenements; and, in the second place, a substitution of another clause with respect to the charge which might be taken by the owners on the payment by rates of such tenements. According to the bill as it went up from that House, the occupiers of tenements under the value of 51. were not in the first instance to pay the rate, but that they should have the power of charging the whole rate on the landlords. They were, therefore, in limine, exempt altogether from the rate. Now, the House of Lords liad determined that these persons should, in the generality of instances, pay the rate; at the same time they did not alter the total amount of rate, whatever it might be, which was settled by the board of guardians on application to the commissioners, and they proposed another clause by which an arrangement took place between the landlords and tenants -with regard to the small holdings. What the House of Lords proposed was in substance, that the owner and the tenant should make an arrangement between themselves by which the owner might agree to a certain deduction not exceeding ten per cent, for the sum to which the small tenements were liable, and with the approbation of the guardians, and the sanction of the commissioners, that such payment by the owners should exempt the occupiers of tenements. He thought it would be a very vexatious and inexpedient proceeding if they were to insist on their privilege as a ground of objection to this alteration. He thought it one of those alterations which did not touch the general question of taxation. It was not with U

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e power of delegating their powers, letimes happened that one of the ^a\onets was obliged to go to a disand great delay was caused by the tv of forwarding him papers, and ng his assent to some step which d to be promptly taken. The of L.oxds had limited this power of for the body, to the commissioner t in Ireland, but he should propose 2 it to any one of the commissioners, t reference to his residence; and in «.hat there should not be too great a ion of their authority in acting teVy, he intended that they should allowed to do so without the ap,on of one of her Majesty's principal tries of State.

ise, as amended, was agreed to. greater part of the Lords' amendwere also agreed to, and a committee .ed to draw up reasons to be stated • Lordships, in a conference for not g to others.

tSTRATiov Op Electors.] The >y-General moved the third readhe Registration of Electors Bill, id a third time. The hon. and Gentleman then said, he had a clause, with respect to the ad:ment of distances, which he had licated to the hon. Member for ry, who thought it was one in 3th sides of the House would conord Ellenborough and the Court s Bench had decided, that the disiould be measured by the nearest id this House had done the same, vere three legislative enactments 9 judicial decisions recognizing the y of the mode of admeasurement nearest road, by land or water, /ere many difficulties and incones attending the mode of admeaU by a mathematical line or crow's til of which would be obviated by ition of the clause which he pro3 introduce. It would also remove i)t and uncertainty about the state aw, and put an end to conflicting us. The hon. and learned Gentlencluded by moving the addition of a to the effect, that in all cases in X shall be necessary to comput"! the e of seven miles from the borough voter's residence, such computation, i made by the nearest road, by land ■sr.

Colonel Sibthorp opposed the clause. The mode of admeasurement by the crow's flight or mathematical line was preferable, and was that which should be adopted, and such was the decision of the present Baron Foster, of the Irish bench, and also the opinion of Mr. Thesiger, which he considered quite equal to that of the hon. and learned Gentleman opposite, or of any other Member of the profession. He would move the insertion of a clause in accordance with this view.

The House divided on the clause. Ayes 50; Noes 18.—Majority 32.

List of the Ayes.

Adam, Admiral
Aglionby, H. A.
Ball, right hon. N.
Bannerman, A.
Barnard, E. G.
Blake, W. J.
Bridgeman, H.
Briscoe, J. I.
Brodie, W. B.
Brotherton, J.
Bruges, W. H. L.
Clayton, Sir W. R.
Crawley, S.
Crompton, Sir S.
Curry, W.
Ferguson, R.A.
Finch, F.
Hall, Sir B.
Hayter, W. G.
Ileathcoat, J.
Hector, C. J.
Hobhouse, Sir J.
Hobhouse, T. B.
Hodges, T. L.
Howick, Viscount
Hume, J.

James, \V.
Jervis, S.
Labouchere, H.
Lefevre, C. S.
Lushington, Dr.
Maule, hon. F.
Morris, D.
Parker, J.
Parnell, Sir H.
Pechell, Captain
Phillpotts, J.
Power, J.
Rickford, W.
Russell, Lord J.
Stock, Dr.
Style, Sir C.
Thornely, T.
Townley, R. G.
Troubridge, Sir E.
Turner, E.
Vigors, N. A.
Warburton, II.
Yates, J. A.


Campbell, Sir J.

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of the public establishments at to late a period of the Session, and because he suspected that the Government brought forward the measure, which created new appointments, not from considerations of public advantage, bot for the purpose of giving themselves the disper:« tiati of patronage. Three new comii>i<Mouersliips were to be created by the lull, aud they were to be patent offices; so th it, however badly the duties might be, the holders of them could not b* removed. This change, which would throw an additional harden of 1,900/. on the counlrv, was proposed without any good reason, and he should therefore move, by way of amendment, that the bill be taken ioto consideration that day six months.

Mr. Govlburn thought the change proposed by the bill called for some statement from the Government to justify it. If it were intended to appoint the commissioners for life, he should certainly object to such a proposition.

The Chancellor of the Exchequer said, the Government could not fairly be accused of introducing this bill from a desire of patronage, for their object was to make a change the necessity for which had been long felt. So long ago as in 1797, under Mr. Pitt's Government, the change now proposed had been recommended, and the consolidation of the Scotch and Irish postoffices with the English Post-office since that period made thechange more requisite. Under Lord Liverpool's Government, too, a report in favour of this change was presented by the commission of which Lord Wallace was the head. He quite concurred with the right hon. Gentleman in thinking that the head commissioner should not be a pennant officer, the great object being to obtain Parliamentary responsibility. But the other two commissioners should be permanent, in the same manner as the subordinate commissioners of the Woods and Forests, or the official under secretaries of state for the various departments. A more effective system of post-office administration was absolutely necessary. As an authority on this subject he might quote the Duke of Richmond. If ever there was an individual qualified to give perfect satisfaction as Postmaster-General, it was the Duke of Richmond; and yet, notwithstanding the great energy of mind and assiduity of application which he brought to t)-'

his administration was far from gmr.g satisfaction, owing entirely to the fsndamentally defective system which prevailed in that department. He hoped the bS wonld be allowed to go into Committee, especially as it had passed the House list Parliament, while its principle had beea sanctioned by at least five successive commissions.

Sir R. Peel wa> not content to rest this question entirely upon authority. The Duke of Richmond had been referred to by the right hon. Gentleman as a high authority—the man of all others best fitted to administer the Post-office department; and yet what course had the noble Duke taken with respect to this very bill? When it reached the House of Lords last year, he gave it his most decided opposition. Then the right hon. Gentleman cited the commission of 1797, which reported in favour of the principle of this bill; but if Mr. Pitt approved of it, why did he not adopt it? Why had the successive Governments since that time not carried the principle into effect? The right hon. Gentleman's reference to authority upon this matter had not the slightest weight or applicability. If it was thought necessary to have a Parliamentary officer with a seat in that House, instead of the Postmaster-General, why was the same principle not to be applied to the other revenue boards of Customs and Excise? At present the Post-office was administered by a political officer— the Postmaster-General, with a salary of 2,500/. per annum, and a secretary; now it was proposed to have three Commissioners, the first having 2,000/., and the other two 1,200/. each, with, he presumed, a secretary besides. He objected to the increase of expense from 2,500/. to 4,400/., and he very much doubted whether the advantage of having the head Commissioner, a Member of that House, subject to change with different Administrations, would be anything like an equivalent. He thought the bill very clumsily drawn; the superfluous phrases with which it abounded, were quite amusing. He should oppose the committal of the bill.

Mr. Labouchere said, the present system of administering the Post-office, was a most vicious one, and had beeu condemned by every man who had paid any attention to the subject. The best system for the management of the Post office, in "is view, would be to place it under the

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charge of a Commissioner, who should devote his whole time and energies to the duties of his office, and have a seat in that House, in order that he might be immediately responsible to it. He was rather surprised to hear the right hon. Baronet lay so much stress on the difference between the salary of the Postmaster-general, and those of the proposed Commissioners. When the management of a revenue of 1,500,000/. and the whole correspondence of the country, was to be considered, he thought it the most miserable impolicy to regard the difference of 1,000/. The right hon. Baronet had talked of the good old system under which the affairs of the Post-office were formerly managed. He would only remind the House that in those days, the late Secretary for the Post-office had an income of 5,000/. or 6,000/. a-year, which was more than was now sought for the salaries of all the proposed Commissioners. There were also two Postmasters-general with 2,500/. a-year, two more for Ireland, and one for Scotland. He did not think that this department could be compared to the Customs or Excise. Besides the other important functions fulfilled by it, it was often engaged in negotiations with foreign Governments, to which there was nothing analogousin the business of theother Revenue boards. As to the objection that the officeof the Chief Commissioner was to be of a political nature, he did not think it would be right or fair to any Government to debar them from placing at the head of such a department as the Post-office, some political friend in whom they might have confidence. Whether or not the proposed change were adopted, of this he was quite sure, that no system could be worse than that which now existed, and if they wished to place it on a better footing, they should begin by reforming the office of the Postmaster-general.

Sir R. Inglis defended the memory of the late Secretary of the Post-office from the aspersion cast upon it by the right hon. Gentleman. He thought that respect to his memory would have been sufficient to ward off their attacks, and he regretted that more good feelings had not been evinced than to make them. There was no department of the public service better managed than the Post-office under Sir F. Freeling, and the public had never a belter servant.

Mr, Labouchere explained: He had

said nothing in diparagement of Sir F. Freeling, he had not even mentioned his name, and any observations he had made were directed against the system and not against those individuals who may have had the management of it.

Captain Boldero said, that the sum of 5,000/. or 6,000/. a-year enjoyed by Sir F. Freeling, was a great part of it, in lieu of perquisites appertaining to his office, which he had conditionally relinquished. He had heldthat most onerous and responsible situation for a period of fifty years, and a better servant the public never had. It was too bad, therefore, that he should now be disparaged, and the feelings of his family hurt by the observations of the hon. Member.

Mr. Labouchere again denied, that he had said anything disparaging of Sir F. Freeling, and asserted, that in anything he had said, he had not the slightest intention of reflecting for a moment on his memory. He did not make the remotest charge against him, and he believed, that the Post-office and the public had derived benefit from his services.

Mr. Warburton thought it would be a great improvement to issue a temporary commission for two or three years, to superintend the great changes now taking place in our internal system of communication, and to prevent the Post-office from becoming exclusively a revenue department, instead of a great public engine for facilitating and increasing the intercourse between various parts of the country. No Administration could hold place which resisted the demands of the public for a speedier and cheaper system of conveying letters.

•Mr. Wallace did not think it would be for the advantage of the Post-office that the Chief Commissioner should have a seat in that House, and could not see, if that principle were recognized, why the members of the Board of Customs or Excise, should not also have seats. With regard to putting this office under a commission, he believed that it was absolutely necessary; he believed that the time had come when a great change must take place, and really working men be put into that department. They must no longer have the absurdity which ran through the whole establishment of the Post-office. He should most cordially support the proposition for a commission, however much he might object to some of the details.

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