Front Page Titles (by Subject) 412.: THE WESTMINSTER ELECTION  UNPUBLISHED [CA. 28 APR., 1865] - The Collected Works of John Stuart Mill, Volume XXV - Newspaper Writings December 1847 - July 1873 Part IV
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412.: THE WESTMINSTER ELECTION  UNPUBLISHED [CA. 28 APR., 1865] - John Stuart Mill, The Collected Works of John Stuart Mill, Volume XXV - Newspaper Writings December 1847 - July 1873 Part IV 
The Collected Works of John Stuart Mill, XXV - Newspaper Writings December 1847 - July 1873 Part IV, ed. Ann P. Robson and John M. Robson, Introduction by Ann P. Robson and John M. Robson (Toronto: University of Toronto Press, London: Routledge and Kegan Paul, 1986).
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THE WESTMINSTER ELECTION 
This item and No. 414 are concerned with the parliamentary election of 1865, in which Mill was a successful candidate. One of the two Westminster seats had become vacant with the retirement of George de Lacy Evans (1787-1870), who had represented the borough 1833-41 and 1846-65; the other was held by Sir John Villiers Shelley (1808-67), like Evans a Liberal, and M.P. since 1852. The first new Liberal candidate for the election of 1865 was Robert Wellesley Grosvenor (1834-1918), a representative of the wealthy Grosvenor family, headed by the Duke of Westminster, whose estates included much of Westminster. On 13 Feb., however, the Liberal electors held a meeting at which they resolved to solicit eminent men to run as their representatives; Mill and Viscount Amberley were suggested (see The Times, 14 Feb., 1865, p. 6). Mill explained his principles in two letters, which were published, to James Beal (1829-91), the Committee Chairman, who had announced to him that he was their choice (see LL, CW, Vol. XVI, pp. 1005-7). He also urged the Committee to persevere in their proposed plan of soliciting names of candidates from the Liberal electors at large. The following MS draft of a letter to be used for this purpose is in Mill’s hand in University College London, attached to a copy of his letter to Chadwick of 28 Apr., 1865 (LL, CW, Vol. XVI, pp. 1038-9). Whether it is of Mill’s own composition, or is a revision of someone else’s is not known. It is not listed in the bibliography of his published writings, and no published version has been found; however, the opinions are those he expressed elsewhere.
“a committee of —” or “The Liberal Committee” (or whatever is its proper designation) having taken into consideration the prospect of a vacancy in the representation of Westminster, have determined, before nominating any candidate to ascertain by a direct appeal to the electors, what candidates they would prefer, and have appointed a Special Committee for carrying this resolution into effect, whose names are adjoined.
You are therefore, as an elector of Westminster, earnestly requested to read and consider the documents herewith submitted, and having done so, to fill up the form hereunto annexed, with the names of the two persons for whom, without any personal solicitation, you would be willing to vote.
The Committee have adopted this mode of proceeding for the following reasons.
1st. To afford to the electors a wider range of choice, and enable them to obtain a better quality of representatives. They do not think it worthy of Westminster to accept the first man, of wealth or aristocratic connexion, who offers himself under the appellation of a Liberal. The largest and most intelligent constituencies in the Kingdom should aim at being represented by persons of proved capacity for public service, and of a high order of intellect. It is for the electors to select, among such persons, those whom they would most wish to adopt as their candidates, in order that the necessary steps may be taken to give effect to their wishes.
2dly. To avoid the useless and wasteful expenses, by which the choice of the electors is virtually limited to rich men, and seats in parliament are, in effect, made purchaseable by money, for no higher purposes than personal distinction or party convenience.
3dly. To give to every elector an equal opportunity for expressing his opinion, with the least possible trouble and inconvenience, and without the intrusion of paid canvassers, or the exertion of undue influence to obtain the promise of his vote.
The Committee were desirous of bringing before the electors, along with the names now submitted, the greatest number possible of other persons whose character, and proved qualifications, would render them suitable representatives of a place which, like Westminster, has for a century aspired to be represented by the most eminent names in the party of Reform and Progress. But, of the persons known to possess such qualifications as would make them worthy to be elected without personal solicitation and free of expense, some were prevented by other engagements, and some by personal reasons, from consenting to be proposed to the electors. The Committee have been thus precluded from submitting authentic statements of the claims of any other candidates than those herein specified. They do not, however, presume or desire to put any restrictions on your choice, but will gladly receive and record the expression of your preference in favour of any person by whom it would be more agreeable to you to be represented.
After the receipt of replies from a sufficient number of electors, the two persons for whom the greatest number of preferences have been expressed, will be put in nomination at the hustings. It would have been gratifying to the Committee if the friends of the sitting member, and those of the gentleman who first presented himself to supply the vacancy, would have consented to refer the pretensions of their candidates to the same test. This, however, they have refused. It now, therefore, rests with the electors to declare, whether they are so perfectly satisfied with the qualifications of these gentlemen, as to prefer them to the candidates now submitted for your choice, and to all others who could be obtained. The Committee earnestly hope that by returning the paper with the blanks filled up, you will afford them the means of judging whether this is the case with yourself.