Front Page Titles (by Subject) November 1850 to July 1865 - The Collected Works of John Stuart Mill, Volume XXVIII The Collected Works of John Stuart Mill, Volume XXVIII - Public and Parliamentary Speeches Part I November 1850 - November 1868
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November 1850 to July 1865 - John Stuart Mill, The Collected Works of John Stuart Mill, Volume XXVIII The Collected Works of John Stuart Mill, Volume XXVIII - Public and Parliamentary Speeches Part I November 1850 - November 1868 
The Collected Works of John Stuart Mill, Volume XXVIII - Public and Parliamentary Speeches Part I November 1850 - November 1868, ed. John M. Robson and Bruce L. Kinzer (Toronto: University of Toronto Press, London: Routledge and Kegan Paul, 1988).
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November 1850 to July 1865
Fabian Society typescript, headed in ink, “Secular Education.” The occasion is not known. Printed by Laski in his edition of Mill’s Autobiography, pp. 326–30, with the comment, “Not delivered,” and dated 1849 (no evidence given). Laski’s dating is clearly wrong, as Mill refers to events later than 1849. There are no substantive differences between the two versions; the typescript is followed in accidentals.
sir, the commencement at Manchester of a movement for a national education not under the control or management of either established or non-established clergy has already, it would seem, made no inconsiderable impression on the public, or else The Times has made a false move and miscalculated the signs of the coming public opinion; for already at the very beginning of the agitation that journal has discovered, what it did not find out in the case of the Corn Law League until the fourth or fifth year of its existence, that the thing is not merely a good thing, but what is so much better in the estimation of The Times, a thing destined to succeed.1 The promoters doubtless thought no less, but they probably did not expect so early a recognition of their prospects. How much then it is to be lamented that an enterprise of so much promise should have been inaugurated by an act of truckling and compromise; that for the sake of conciliating people who are not to be conciliated and whom it ought not to have been an object to conciliate, the Association should have let itself be persuaded by Mr. Cobden, aided by some dissenting ministers, to sacrifice its distinctive flag, and instead of calling itself an Association for secular education should have sheltered its timidity under the ambiguous designation of unsectarian.2
If this is only a change in words and means nothing it deserves no better name than that of deception; if it does mean anything, if by unsectarian is to be understood something different from secular education, the broad principle of religious freedom which was to be the foundation of this great educational movement is abandoned.
In the debates of the Conference there was a good deal of misunderstanding, some of it I fear rather wilful on the part of Mr. Cobden and his supporters respecting the import of the word secular. There is no uncertainty about it. There is not a better defined word in the English language. Secular is whatever has reference to this life. Secular instruction is instruction respecting the concerns of this life. Secular subjects therefore are all subjects except religion. All the arts and sciences are secular knowledge. To say that secular means irreligious implies that all the arts and sciences are irreligious, and is very like saying that all professions except that of the law are illegal. There is a difference between irreligious and not religious, however it may suit the purposes of many persons to confound it. Now on the principles of religious freedom which we were led to believe that it was the purpose of this Association to accept, instruction on subjects not religious is as much the right of those who will not accept religious instruction as of those who will. To know the laws of the physical world, the properties of their own bodies and minds, the past history of their species, is as much a benefit to the Jew, the Mussulman, the Deist, the Atheist, as to the orthodox churchman; and it is as iniquitous to withhold it from them. Education provided by the public must be education for all, and to be education for all it must be purely secular education.
When, then, the Association refuses to say that their education is secular but are willing to say that it shall be unsectarian, what do they mean? Doubtless that it is still to be exclusive, though in a minor degree. That religion is to be taught, but not sectarian religion. That they are not to have Church of England teaching, or Catholic teaching, or Baptist, or Methodist, or Unitarian teaching, but I suppose Christian teaching; that is, whatever common elements of Christianity are supposed to be found in all these sects alike. How far this is likely to conciliate the various classes of sectarians the Association will probably hear loudly enough from the sectarians themselves. I am much mistaken if they will be at all thankful for any religious teaching which expresses no opinion on a subject on which Christians differ in opinion, or if the substratum of universal Christianity which it is proposed to teach will appear to them at all different from Deism. But this is their concern. I take higher ground. I maintain that if you could carry all the sects with you by your compromise you would have effected nothing but a compact among the more powerful bodies to cease fighting among themselves and join in trampling on the weaker. You would have contrived a national education not for all, but for believers in the New Testament. The Jew and the unbeliever would be excluded from it though they would not the less be required to pay for it. I do not hear that their money is to be refused, that they are to be exempted from the school rate. Religious exclusion and inequality are as odious when practised towards minorities as majorities. I thought the principle of the Association had been that of justice, but I find it is that of being unjust to those alone who are not numerous enough to resist.
I cannot help remarking how much less confidence professed Christians appear to have in the truth and power of their principles than infidels generally have in theirs. Disbelievers in Christianity almost always hail the advance of public intelligence as favourable to them; the more informed and exercised a mind is, the more likely they account it to adopt their opinions: but I cannot find a trace of similar confidence in most of the professedly religious. If they hold their belief with the same full assurance as the others their disbelief, surely infidels and the children of infidels are those to whom, even more than to any others, they would be eager to give all instruction which could render their minds more capable of pursuing and recognising truth. A person is without religious belief, or in other words is in their estimation in a state of the most pitiable, the most calamitous ignorance by which anyone can possibly be afflicted, and for this reason they refuse him instruction, they refuse him knowledge and the cultivation and discipline of the intellect, as if they thought that mental cultivation could not possibly be favourable to Christianity, unless the mind is first strongly prepossessed on its behalf. Such sentiments as these are not complimentary to Christianity nor to the sincerity of their belief in it. Its greatest enemy could say nothing worse of it than that either ignorance or early prejudice is the soil it must have to flourish in, and that to instruct unbelievers, to make them rational and thinking beings, is but to confirm them in unbelief. I hoped that the founders of the Lancaster Association3 had been persons who thought that mental cultivation opens the mind to all truth, whether expressly taught or not. Let us hope that this conviction is still theirs and will guide and animate their labours; but they have missed through pusillanimity a splendid opportunity for inscribing it on their banner and proclaiming it in the face of the world.
The Reasoner (then subtitled The Secular World and Social Economist), XXVIII (1 May, 1864), 116–17. Dated in text “Easter Monday.” Headed: “Great Co-operative Soiree in London. / Speech of Mr. J.S. Mill.” Also in The Co-operator, No. 52 (June 1864), pp. 4–6. Both journals were the property of George Jacob Holyoake, who says, in his J.S. Mill as Some of the Working Classes Knew Him (London: Trübner, 1873), p. 5: “The first time [Mill] appeared at a public meeting and made a speech was at the Whittington Club, before a large tea gathering of co-operators with their wives and families. I was asked to urge him to speak. . . . [H]ad it not been for the evidence of so many women taking part in co-operative economy, . . . he, I suspect had not spoken then.” The organizing group was the London Society for Promoting Co-operation. The Chair was taken by Edward Vansittart Neale. His speech was followed by those of Lloyd Jones, Dr. Bowker, and Henry Pitman (editor of The Reasoner). Then Mill spoke.
i have very little to say, but that little will be to express my sense of the great value of such societies as this is, as a central organ in London, and possibly for much more than London. It appears to me that the value of such a society consists not solely or principally in the great advantage it affords, to bring into a single focus the interests and efforts of its members, so as to carry on, as this purposes to do, that joint operation for their common benefit; it is not this merely which seems to me to constitute the principal value of a central organ like this—but it is also to be a moral organ, to keep before the eyes of co-operators true principles. What does this mean? Does it mean merely a contrivance by which a small number of persons, or a small number of societies can eat or drink that which is wholesome, and eat and drink it at the lowest price? This is certainly not an unimportant thing; but this is a small thing, and co-operation is a great thing. No doubt it is very desirable, and, indeed, important, that some hundreds of persons or societies should improve their condition—if they should do so, I would be very glad, and should greatly rejoice at it,—and that they should purchase what they want more cheaply and of better quality than they have been accustomed to do. But this is not co-operation. It is not co-operation between a few persons to join for the purpose of making a profit from cheap purchases, by which one, two, or more might benefit. Co-operation is where the whole of the produce is divided. aWe want, not to benefit a few, but to elevate the whole working class.a This principle has been so well stated before, that I should not venture to insist upon it after the admirable manner in which it has been put by previous speakers; but it is absolutely necessary to insist upon it, and it is impossible to insist upon it too strongly. It is not bgenuineb co-operation, where any of the cco-operators are excluded from the division of the whole producec . Anything else than such participation in the produce, is nothing more than raising working people into the position of employers. Now, what is wanted is, that the whole of the working classes should partake of the profits of labour. (Cheers.) We want that the whole produce of labour shall, as far as the nature of things will permit, be divided among the workers. The nature, however, of things dfixes certain limitations. But the whole of the produce of labour can be divided amongst the workers only to the extent that it is obtained fromd their own industry. So long as profits are thus obtained, and the workers are in possession of capital, they will naturally receive,—as they are entitled to receive,—the whole of the produce; but as long as they are not in possession of means sufficient, or cannot employ their labour, they will need to be aided by greater means—by the capital of those ewho, ore whose progenitors have accumulated it by their labour for acquired it by their intelligence. Thosef who furnish a portion of the capital, will, no doubt, be entitled to a portion of the profit. The earnings of capital are not large—its remuneration is not great. Three per cent. is but little for its use; that is the rate with the Government, where the security is the best given. Capitalists are satisfied with four per cent. from some of the railway companies, where the security is not so good. This is all that can be obtained for the risk implied in its investment. Now, we are not to suppose that co-operation may not be made as safe as railway companies. Indeed, you may ultimately hope that the workers will be able to divide among themselves the whole produce, with the exception of the small amount I have mentioned. Three, or four, or five per cent., five pounds out of £100, is but a small deduction. Who can say that this is too much, or that it is unreasonable for the use of capital to be applied to the purposes of labour? Few societies would think of offering a less consideration gthan that to their own members to induce them to save, and put their savings into the joint concerng . Many people think, although the co-operatives have very judiciously and very rightly shown no hostility to any other class—no desire on their own account to bring any other class down, yet that their aims are unattainable. A difficulty is felt; and it is said, what is to become of capital, if you succeed to the extent you hope for? In the first place, it is necessary to state that this is a gradual process; for as long as there are hany working people who are dishonest—as long as there are any who are idle, who are intemperate, who are spendthrifts—so long there will be working people who are only fit to beh receivers of wages. We are enabled to judge of those who are honest and trustworthy in the same way as we are to judge who is untrustworthy, so that, while we ought not to give our confidence rashly, there is also a danger in withdrawing it rashly when it has been once reasonably, and after due consideration, given. Here are two dangers; and it follows, that, so long as there are persons unworthy to take a part in great operations, there must be persons receivers of wages. iIt is only when the entire working class shall be as much improved as the best portion of them now are that our hopes will be realised, and the whole mass of the people will practically adopt co-operation.i There is no fear that there will be any disturbance of existing interests, that there will be any disposition to avoid taking part in the working out the problem. Nothing will last any longer than the circumstances which necessitate it. There is no fear that co-operation will spread faster than the co-operators jimprovej . It is not an easy thing. It is certain there will be, for many generations a great scope for labour in common way of wages. It is only in proportion as the lower grades rise to the level of the higher classes—it is only in proportion as that great change takes place, that the advantages of co-operation will be individually felt; and persons will become ashamed of not taking their due share in the work; and no difficulty whatever will be felt of obtaining capital to co-operate with labour. This will be a new millennium, which it requires but little knowledge to comprehend as entirely practical. We want, then, the co-operation of all workers—such ought to be our object. We ought to proceed towards this cautiously and tentatively, and never attempt to do an act which we feel will not be recommended by right principle. We ought to be content with steady persevering co-operation. I do not mean that the industrial or commercial operations of co-operatives can or ought to be carried on on some gigantic scale; for all such operations as you contemplate are in their essence limited. That which can be carried on from your side, must be necessarily small. The duty of all such co-operative societies is first, that they should help one another, that they should encourage those who have gone first, and shown the others the way to go,—how to succeed, and the sort of success worth having. (Cheers.) How to succeed will be learned by degrees. Co-operators will learn by practice. It is not an easy thing: if it had been, people would not have waited until this period for it. It cannot advance further than the minds and morals of the people engaged in it knor faster than honest and competent men and women can find howk to manage its concerns. It cannot progress faster than the lability to distinguish those who are trustworthy, and the willingness to trust them when foundl . These are the points on which co-operators are most in danger of failing—in the first place in not having competent and trustworthy managers; and, in the next place, to have them and not to know them. (Hear.) Then, what is the success to be kept in view! mBut when this great improvement in the mind of the people has taken place,—when all have become capable of co-operation, and most have adopted it,—I believe that the owners of property will be ashamed to be the only persons who do not take their share in the useful work of the world, and will be willing to invest their capital in co-operative societies, receiving a fair interest for its use. This is the millennium towards which we should strive. I do not mean that the industrial or commercial operations of particular co-operative societies can or ought to be carried out upon some gigantic scale. All that such societies as this can do, is in its nature limited. But this co-operative societies can do—they can help one another. Those who have succeeded can encourage and show the way to others; and they can keep constantly in view both the way to succeed, and the sort of success worth having. How to succeed will be learned by degrees—co-operators will learn by practice.m I confess, if there were no other object in view than that persons who are original members should make themselves a little better off, I should not be addressing you to-night. I should be glad of it. I should be rejoiced at any person being improved in his position. This, however, is a small thing compared with co-operation. What we ought to aim at is, not to enable a small number of persons to rise, but all workers to share in the profits of labour. It all depends upon keeping right principles in view. All depends upon the disposition to put into practice the excellent principles that Mr. Lloyd Jones has expounded.1 I believe there are many co-operators who are fully imbued with these principles, and I believe that the number is increasing. It is because I believe this n—and therefore feel assured thatn co-operation will ultimately regenerate the masses of the country, and through them society itself, that I have ventured to address you this evening. (Loud cheering.)
[Following Mill, the Rev. Henry Solly (a long-time friend of Mill’s family) and George Jacob Holyoake spoke.]
Corruption at Elections
In Frederick D. Maurice, Corruption at Elections (London: Faithful, 1864), pp. 14–16. Briefly noted in the Daily Telegraph, 5 April, 1864 (copied in the Beehive, 9 April, p. 2), and the Law Times, 16 April, p. 277. The Department of Jurisprudence and Amendment of the Law, a section of the National Association for the Promotion of Social Science, met at its offices, 3 Waterloo Place, Edwin Chadwick (1800–91) in the Chair, to consider the standing committee’s report on the paper by William Dougal Christie (1816–74), which is included, with Chadwick’s speech, in the pamphlet and was issued as Suggestions for an Organization for the Restraint of Corruption at Elections (London: N.A.P.S.S., 1864). After mention by G.W. Hastings of registration in Ireland, letters were read in support of the report, and then Mill spoke.
it is unnecessary here, though it might be necessary in some other places, to insist upon the magnitude of the evil to which this report relates. What is at stake is nothing less than the vitality of representative government. If the majority or a preponderant portion of the House of Commons represented only their own pockets, we should, indeed, have what Mr. Disraeli called a Venetian Constitution,1 and that in a very bad form. It would be a great mistake to suppose that we have seen the worst of this evil. I am persuaded that we are only in the beginning of it. When we consider the rapid growth of manufacture and commerce, and the number of persons that are constantly becoming wealthy, whose sole ambition is to obtain what wealth alone has not yet given them, namely, position, we see what a rapidly increasing number of persons there is to whom it is worth any money to acquire the only thing purchaseable by money, which will give them the grand object of their desire. I have been told by one who has filled a distinguished position in Australia2 that there were within his knowledge five or six persons, Australians, who were only waiting for a general election to offer themselves to English constituencies, with the object I have mentioned. I mean nothing uncomplimentary to Australians. I believe them to be a very intelligent community. But the instance suggests the class of persons who make this evil an increasing one—the vulgar rich, to whom it is worth while to spend any amount of money for the sake of station in society. Persons of established position are often wishing to spend money corruptly, but there is a limit to the amount they will spend. They can gain comparatively little in importance by lavish expenditure. Their position is made, and they may even impair instead of advancing it if they spend too lavishly. But to a person of the other kind a seat in Parliament may be worth half his fortune. Now I think the Society must feel that, saving exceptions (admirable exceptions there are sure to be,) this class of persons, whether they act the part of flunkies, crouching at the feet of the aristocracy, or of envious demagogues anxious to bring them down, or, as will often be the case, are ready to turn from either of these parts to the other, according to convenience, are about the most undesirable and the most dangerous class of persons who can obtain admission to Parliament. It may be thought that the only evils to be apprehended from them are those of what may be called plutocracy; but, in reality, we should have those of democracy too, for if the costliness of elections limited the choice to such men, the electors, finding no one to vote for whom they could trust to act according to his own judgment and conscience, if they themselves have any regard to their own particular opinions, will bind them strictly by pledges to abide by subjects which the electors care about. The House of Commons would be an assembly of delegates, while on other subjects the member would vote according to his own interests or caprice, or according to the questions in which he desired to curry favour. Now as to the remedying of this, I am not one of those who think that legal means would necessarily be insufficient. I think there are legal measures which could be made effectual, but only if backed by a moral demonstration of a sufficient number of honest men, who would league themselves together against the political crime, expressly or virtually pledging themselves both to abstain from it personally, and to use all their influence to prevent it. They would probably be able to obtain from the Legislature any such enactments as may be desirable, while they would supply the only powers which could enable those enactments to be enforced. Great credit is due to Mr. Christie for having, as it seems to me, “hit the right nail on the head.” As to the persons who should take this in hand, I think there is none so fit as this Society. aNo individual, and no self-elected committee could address themselves to the leaders of parties, and to influential politicians throughout the country, nor would they be listened to if they did. But this Association, not to mention the larger society of which it now forms a part, could address itself to anyone.a
[Mill concluded by moving the reception and adoption of the report; the motion was seconded by Frederick Hill, and adopted after discussion. A report on Walter Crofton’s paper on the convict question was read, received, and adopted, and the meeting adjourned.]
Hare’s Plan for the Metropolis
Morning Star, 11 April, 1865, p. 3. Headed: “Corrupt and Pernicious Influences at Elections.” Also reported in summary form on 11 April in the Daily News, and The Times, and (apparently copied from the Morning Star) in The National Reformer, 16 April, pp. 250–1. The well-attended evening meeting, with many women members present, of the National Association for the Promotion of Social Science and the Society for Promoting the Amendment of the Law was held in the Rooms, Adam Street, Adelphi, with Lord Stanley in the Chair. The principal speaker was Thomas Hare (1806–91), author of A Treatise on the Election of Representatives, Parliamentary and Municipal (London: Longman, et al., 1859), which had a profound effect on Mill (see Autobiography, CW, I, 262–3). Hare read his paper, “On such an organisation of the metropolitan elections as would call into exercise the knowledge and judgment of the constituencies, and as far as possible discourage all corrupt and pernicious influences” (The Times, 11 Apr., p. 10). In the ensuing discussion seven members spoke before Mill.
mr. j. stuart mill dilated at much length on the details of the plan submitted by Mr. Hare, and pointed out that the objections raised to it were caused by a misapprehension on the part of those who, either through a want of interest in the matter or a determination to adhere to the present state of things, neglected to pay sufficient attention, so as to properly understand it. aIt seemed to him that the plan proposed was as simple as possible, easy to be understood, and if given a trial would be found to be effectual and salutary in its results. Mr. Mill then referred in caustic terms to the manner in which contending parties under the present system get themselves represented, dwelling particularly on the part the great clubs play during election times.abFor instance, he remarked that no sooner a vacancy for a Liberal or Conservative candidate occurred than some one went down from a club with 3,000l. or 4,000l. at his back, saying, “I am a Liberal,” “I am a Conservative,” as the case might be.b But by the plan proposed by Mr. Hare this system would be checked. cBoobies would no longer be able to go down to constituencies with any chance of success; and besides, public interest would be elicited to a far greater extent than at present.cdHe referred to the injustice of the existing system, in leaving the minority, say 19,000 out of 40,000—the election being carried by 21,000—practically unrepresented.d He considered the proposition of Mr. Hare both feasible and just, and he trusted the discussion that evening, and a little better understanding of the plan submitted, would have the effect of gaining for it that public support it so well deserved, and that the result would be that it would at all events get a fair trial. eThis evil would be remedied by the proposed plan, which, in answer to the objection that it was complex and impracticable, he said was much more simple than the multiplication table, and might be easily understood by anyone who took the trouble to examine it fairly. Mr. Hare’s plan, he knew, was anxiously thought of by some of the leaders of the working classes, and he should not be surprised if, before long, it became part of their political programme. He claimed for it the merit of giving ascendancy to none and justice to all.e He considered that the metropolitan constituencies offered a good field for the purpose of trying the experiment, and he urged the desirability of doing so.
[After discussion, Hare replied. A motion of thanks to Hare, calling for his paper to be printed and circulated to members, was passed, and the meeting concluded with a vote of thanks to the Chair.]
The Westminster Election of 1865 
Daily Telegraph, 4 July, 1865, p. 3. Headed: “Election Intelligence. / Westminster.” The evening meeting was called by Mill’s general committee in one of the large rooms of St. James’s Hall. This was Mill’s first speech on his return to England to stand for election, and, as he indicates, it was impromptu; he had prepared for a speech on the 5th (see No. 6). This occasion clearly involved a surprise: “although it was only what was termed a meeting of the general committee, it was to all intents and purposes an open meeting, between 300 and 400 gentlemen being present” (Daily News). There “were present on the platform most of the leading Reformers not only of the city of Westminster but of the metropolis at large.” Though many were present “who formed no part of the body invited to meet Mr. Mill, . . . the proceedings throughout were undisturbed” (The Times). “The chair was taken at eight o’clock by Dr. Brewer [William Brewer (d. 1881), a prominent physician and medical writer, a consistent supporter of Mill], who introduced Mr. Mill in a highly eulogistic speech.” Then Mill, who “was received with great cheering,” spoke.
gentlemen, I can most sincerely say that our excellent chairman has not in the slightest degree exaggerated anything in what he has said respecting my want of preparation for a speech to-night. I did not at all expect that I should be called upon to make an address. I understood there was a day appointed when I should make a speech and express my sentiments as far as you desire to hear them. I thought that I should only be expected to meet you to-night as friends, and for the purpose of joining in friendly conversation—(hear, hear)—and thus have the opportunity of giving any explanation that you might wish respecting my political views—upon points which I have not sufficiently made known, or may not have sufficiently explained. For this, I was ready, but I was not in the least aware of the public character of this meeting (referring to the reporters). Therefore, I hope you will, in consideration of my want of experience in such cases, excuse the imperfections which must necessarily arise from my want of preparation. (Applause.) Let me begin by saying, that if our chairman has not made any exaggeration in that respect, I am afraid that he has in many others, for I do not know how it will be possible that I should fulfil all that he has said respecting me, in case I have the honour of being elected your representative. I say it will be difficult for me to fulfil the high expectations which must have been raised—(no)—by the friendly and favourable opinions which have been uttered respecting me throughout the whole of this election—friendly and favourable opinions, too, from quarters whence I could little expect them. The mere fact of the number of distinguished persons who have consented to have their names placed on my committee is a matter for which personally I cannot possibly be too thankful. It is a most distinguished honour itself, besides the fact of having been selected by such a body, as a candidate for the important post of representing Westminster, perhaps the most important seat in the whole House of Commons. (Hear, hear.) A higher honour than this can scarcely be conceived. But, though one of the highest, it ought not to be considered as a favour. (Applause.) If it be considered as a favour I have no right to ask ita, and the electors would have no right to confer ita . It is not a favour; it is an onerous duty which you are anxious to impose upon me, and which I cannot but feel flattered to the highest degree at being thought worthy and capable of properly holding. (Cheers.) If I should receive your support and be elected to the House of Commons, I feel that I must fall below your expectations. (Loud cries of No, no.) Notwithstanding the utmost exertions which I could make, I feel that I must necessarily remain behind. (Renewed cries of No, no.) One thing I will say, no one can feel stronger than I do the importance of that part in the contest which has nothing to do with me individually—and that is purity of election. (Cheers.) I am obliged to say that you give me too much honour when you bestow on me the glory of that. If you are victorious, the praise will not be mine, the praise will be wholly yours. (No.) It is all very well for me to say how desirable are these things, but you have to accomplish them, therefore to you will be the credit. You have to maintain the fight to elect me on what you suppose are my qualifications, and which are my only recommendation. I am a person almost entirely unknown to you except through my writings. You have not only undertaken to elect a person on these grounds, but you have also undertaken to do it and bear all those expenses—ordinary expenses—which ought never to be borne by the candidate. (Great applause.) For those charges which are legitimate ought to be borne by the public or the municipal body—(hear, hear)—and those which are illegitimate ought never to be incurred at all. (Cheers.) You have undertaken to abstain from the illegitimate expenses, and to bear the burden of the legitimate. (Yes, and cheerfully.) This you have performed, and not only so, but you have done it having to bear up against a candidature which is conducted on opposite principles1 —a candidature conducted on principles of the most lavish expenditure. (Hear, hear, and cheers.) And neither is this all, for you have not only to contend against this, but you have to evoke a spirit in the constituency which shall rise superior to those opposite principles, and to a level with those which you have adopted. (Hear, hear.) Therefore the praise will be yours. It is easy for me to say that I will use no illegitimate or even bwhat were usually consideredb legitimate means. Yours will be the deserved credit. I do not think that it is right a candidate should make any other pledge than a complete sincerity cand that he ought not to canvass the electorsc . (Hear, hear.) It costs me nothing to say this, but it costs you much, for it is you who have to bear the burden. (Cheers.) Whatever honour I may receive, it will be you who have gained it for me. I cannot help thanking the worthy chairman for having paid the tribute he has done to one to whom in my early life I owe everything—to my father (applause)—a man who has done more, infinitely more, for the public cause than I can ever do; because he lived in times when there were few to do it—when the fact of being Liberal—Liberalism which was worth anything—stood most seriously in the way of a man’s advancement in life, and especially of men who had their bread to gain.2 He had to win his bread by his pen, and had to do this at a time when his opinions were such as necessarily to produce not only the ill-favour of the chiefs and recognised leaders of political parties, but to compromise him with all the powerful classes of this country. I say he did this at a time when there were very few to favour or praise him. Nothing that I can do will compare with this—it will not have a tenth, a hundredth, a thousandth part of the merit which belongs to those who went before me. To him I am indebted for everything which has made me at all capable of following in his footsteps. As it is, I may say, if there is a time when a person may be allowed to speak of himself, it is on such an occasion as this. I may perhaps say something which may make you better satisfied with me, when I affirm that I have sat by the cradle of all the great political reforms of this and the last generation; and I have not only sat by the cradle of these reforms, but before I was out of my teens I was up and stirring, and writing about them. (Hear.) I have stood by these reforms, which now count followers by millions when their followers did not count tens of thousands, nay, not thousands, nor hundreds. (Cheers.) When they only counted tens I was amongst them. Nay, I may say, when their followers only counted units—when that which is now the universally received principle respecting the government of our colonies was not always so. I can recollect the time when there were two men amongst the active political writers of this country who recognised it—two men, Mr. Roebuck and myself.3 (Great cheering.) I can remember another thing which many of you may—which, indeed, you must have heard—the Wakefield doctrine for finding funds for supplying the population of the colonies.4 The Wakefield principle is to put a price on uncultivated land, and employ the proceeds in paying the expenses of immigrationd, which would prevent them from settling down as Irish cottiersd ; the price, at the same time, being an obstacle to the too great dispersion of the inhabitants. That was in 1831, when there were three persons who held that—Mr. Wakefield, the inventor or discoverer, myself, and one other.5 And we so worked the principle that in four years a new colony, South Australia, was founded on the principle. (Cheers.) eIn a few years afterwards it was a principle which was very greatly extended over all our Australian Colonies. From that date, long before the discovery of the gold mines, these colonies entered upon a career of prosperity which has continued, and those colonies now constitute one of the most splendid offshoots of the English people.e (Cheers.) I have said this for the purpose of showing I have never been one of those who have left difficult things for others. (Cheers.) I have never been one of those who have left things alone when they have been an uphill fight, but I have left them when the fight was no longer difficult. When the thing was prosperous I have left it for a time, and have said, “This matter no longer requires me,” and I have therefore transferred my services to those who did. (Loud cheers.) I have left that prosperous thing, and have turned to something else—to something that was still a crotchet, still an abstraction, still something that no practical person would battle with. (Hear, hear.) For I have been accustomed even in my life—and all history confirms the same thing—I have been accustomed to see that the crotchet of to-day, the crotchet of one generation, becomes the truth of the next and the truism of the one after. (Cheers.) I have lived long enough to see the three steps of this process taking place with a number of my opinions. I have told you a number of my crotchets now, and perhaps they will be truisms by-and-by. (Hear, hear.) I think, gentlemen, as all of you have consented to be members of my committee, I may take it for granted that you have a sufficient general idea of my political opinions for you to be aware what course I should take if you do me the honour of electing me. (We will.) But if there is anything respecting which you wish to know more, or anything upon which you would wish further explanation, and to ask my sentiments, here I am to answer. (Hear, hear.) Coming, as I said, unprepared, I have stated that which came uppermost in my mind. It rests with you upon what other topic I shall speak. If any of you will do me the honour of putting any question, I will endeavour to answer it. (Cheers.)
Mr. Probyn said that a rumour had been circulated by the Conservatives that Mr. Mill did not intend to go to the poll.fThis was utterly false; for not only did they intend to go to the poll, but they believed by next Tuesday night that Mr. Mill would be one of the members for Westminster. (Cheers.)fHe would simply venture to mention the American question as one upon which he would wish to ask Mr. Mill to give them some little explanation—viz., with respect to the doctrine of non-intervention. He read a paper of Mr. Mill’s, which in 1857 was published in Fraser’s Magazine, and which well pleased him.6Its doctrine was that we as a country ought not to intervene in the domestic, in the purely internal events which occurred in any particular country, whatever our sympathies might be; but this did not preclude our interfering in the affairs of the continent when any one power or any two by their attitude or acts jeopardised a third power, and which might be a free power. In that case we ought to interfere for the sake of freedom, and in so doing we did not contravene the real doctrine of non-intervention.
Mr. Mill said that this was a correct quotation from his writings. gHe did not think it was possible for a nation more than an individual to say that if it should cost anything, it would not help people who were struggling in a good cause. He thought intervention was generally wrong, not on account of the nation interfering, but of the nation with which it interfered. He thought every nation was the best judge of its own affairs.g (Cheers.)
Professor Masson strongly advocated the claims of Mr. Mill.
A gentleman in the body of the room asked the honourable candidate’s views respecting Church and State and the Maynooth grant.7
Mr. Mill said that as he had said before he would not give a pledge; but this would not prevent him from stating what was his sincere opinion. His sincere opinion was that it was best that Church and State should be perfectly distinct. He was against all connection between Church and State. As things stood, he did not think this was a practicable object. hHe thought their object should be to exercise all the influence the State had over the Church, to improve its spirit.h He thought most present would agree with him that the State was considerably more Liberal than the Church. (Cheers.) iThere had been occasions on which the State had tended to corrupt the Church, but at present matters stood the other way.i He had a great opinion that at present those who held the most liberal sentiments—and by liberal he did not mean lax, but who took the most Christian view of religion—had a much greater chance of being in the highest places of the Church than if the Church were separated from the State. Respecting the Maynooth grant, he should be quite ready to discontinue it as soon as no State endowment was granted to any other religion. (Hear, hear.) As long as there was, and especially that jutterly condemnablej body, the Irish Church Establishment—(hear, hear)—he should think it a very great shame to take away from the religion of the body of the people the small pittance which they were allowed. (Applause.)
The Westminster Election of 1865 
Morning Star, 6 July, 1865, p. 2. Headed: “Election Intelligence. / Meeting of Mr. J.S. Mill with the Electors of Westminster.” The speech exists in a shorter version in manuscript (Mill-Taylor Collection, printed in Appendix D), and was reported fully on 6 July also in the Daily Telegraph, the Daily News, and The Times (the last in the third person). The meeting was held in St. James’s Hall in the evening. “A considerable time before the hour for the commencement of the meeting the hall was crowded to excess by an audience, a large portion of whom seemed to be electors. The meeting displayed a feature not common at election assemblies. Both side galleries were occupied by ladies, who appeared to take a warm interest in the proceedings.” (Morning Star.) Edwin Lankester (1814–74), surgeon, coroner for central Middlesex, and professor of natural history, long known to Mill, was in the Chair. He said “it gave him great pleasure in introducing Mr. John Stuart Mill as a candidate for the suffrages of the electors of the ancient city of Westminster. (Cheers.) Mr. Mill was not unknown to them by name: he was not unknown to the people of England by reputation. (Hear.) He was known wherever the interests of humanity lay deep in the hearts of men, wherever progress and civilisation formed an element in the thoughts of men. (Hear, hear.)” (Morning Star.) “They saw before them the great philosopher of the day, and he should have been still better pleased if they could have elected him without seeing him” (Daily News). “They would find that Mr. Mill was not an advocate of chimerical theories as had been represented, but a man of large and practical views. He was a great politician and a great practical philosopher, [“and though some of his ideas were termed crotchets, they would turn out to be the seed from which they would hereafter have abundant results” (Daily News)]; and he trusted they would not from any imaginary difference of religious views push him from the pedestal on which he now stood. (Cheers.). The opposition to Mr. Mill on account of his religious opinions was disgraceful to Westminster. (Loud and prolonged cheers.)” He mentioned the “great religious teachers of the day”: Charles Kingsley (1819–75), Anglican priest and author; Frederick Denison Maurice (1805–72), also priest and author, an acquaintance of Mill’s since the 1820s; Connop Thirlwall (1797–1875), historian and Bishop of St. David’s since 1840, also known to Mill since the 1820s; and Arthur Penrhyn Stanley (1815–81), author and professor of ecclesiastical history at Oxford, Dean of Westminster since 1864: all had publicly expressed support for Mill’s candidature, in the face of his anti-Church attitudes. Those men, Lankester said, “had perfect confidence in his opinions; and he hoped therefore that they would away with the wickedness and uncharitableness which sought to reject Mr. Mill on account of his religious views. (Loud cheers.)” (Morning Star.) “Mr. Mill, on rising to address the meeting, was received with the utmost enthusiasm. The people rose en masse, and waved their hats and cheered, and again and again renewed the cheers. When silence was restored” (The Times), Mill spoke.
ladies and gentlemen, it is probable that many persons present desire that I should explain why I have hitherto abstained from all the ordinary practices of candidates, and from appearing at public meetings of the electors. My reasons for doing so have been stated in the letter in which I consented to be made a candidate;1 but that is no reason why I should not repeat them here. When I stated in my letter that for my own sake I should not desire to sit in Parliament, I meant what I said. I have no personal objects to be promoted by it. It is a great sacrifice of my personal tastes and pursuits, and of that liberty which I value the more because I have only recently acquired it after a life spent in the restraints and confinements of a public office; for, as you may not perhaps know it, and as many people think that a writer of books, like myself, cannot possibly have any practical knowledge of business, it is a fact that I have passed amany hours of every day fora thirty-five years in the actual business of government.2 These personal considerations I have cast aside—(cheers)—but there is one thing which it is not so easy to cast aside—a rooted dislike to the mode in which the suffrages of electors are ordinarily sought. To be selected by a great community as the representative of what is highest in their minds, their consciences, and their understanding—of their sincere convictions and their patriotic sentiments—is one of the highest honours which it is possible for the citizen of a free country to receive. (Hear, hear.) But to be sent into Parliament as representative of that part of the electors whose minds are to be got at by money—who are to be reached by trickery—by saying one thing and meaning another—by making professions which are not intended to be acted upon, and which being contrary to one’s own convictions it would be a greater breach of morality to keep than to violate—that I regard not as an honour but as a disgrace. (Cheers.) Therefore, when a body of this great constituency did me the honour to make the most unexpected and flattering proposal of presenting me as a candidate for your suffrages, I answered that I should not be willing to spend £10,000 in corrupting and debauchingb the constituents who are debauchable and corruptible; that neither would I give any pledge except the single pledge to be always open and above board (loud cheers); and that neither would I solicit your votes. I hold the whole system of personal solicitation to be a mistake. Not that I would condemn those who merely have conformed to a bad custom, and have done nothing to make that custom worse than they found it. A seat in Parliament ought not to be a matter of solicitation, because it cannot be a matter of favour. I have no right to ask it as a favour; you have no right to grant itc . You have no right but to select the man who appears to you to be fittest. That was my answer, and to the honour of Westminster—I may say that much, though I am a party concerned—a body of men were found who were sufficiently alive to what is due to public principle, who were sufficiently solicitous for their own honour, and for the honour of this constituency, to say dthat not the man who did those things, but the man who would not do them, was the man of their choice. (Cheers.) It remained to be seen if the electors of Westminster thought so too. (Cheers.)d That, gentlemen, is the way in which I became a candidate, and it would have been quite inconsistent with a candidature grounded on these considerations to have gone about amongst you and asked for your votese . (Hear, hear.) My principle is that you are bound to elect the fittest man. Would it have been decent in me to have gone among you and said, “I am the fittest man”? (Hear, hear.) What would have been thought of the candidate who said, “It is your duty to elect a man of merit; here am I, elect me.” (A laugh and cheers.) Gentlemen, I am not here because I proposed myself; I am here because I am proposed by others. I hope you don’t suppose that I think all the fine things true about me which have been said and written with so much exaggeration, but with a depth and strength of kind feeling towards myself, for which I never can be sufficiently grateful, by numbers of persons almost all personally unknown to me. I know that you will excuse fthese strong encomiumsf , knowing how much a man is liable to be overpraised, as well as unjustly attacked, at a contested election. (Hear, hear.)
Perhaps you may ask, since for those reasons I have during all these weeks not come among you, why I come now. I come for two reasons. I was told by those who had good means of judging that many of you desired to know more of me than you have been able to collect from what I have written. Such a statement as that left me no option, for you have a right to know my opinions and to have an opportunity of judging for yourself what man you are to select. Whatever you think right to ask concerning my political opinions it is my duty to tell you, I stand pledged to answer you—and it is the only pledge I will give—not only truly, but with perfect openness. (Cheers.) It would have been as easy for me, as it is for many others, to have put forth a plausible profession of political faith. It need not have been one of those wishy-washy, meaningless, and colourless addresses—(cheers)—of which the papers are now so full, and which a Tory, Whig and Radical might equally have signed—which bind them to nothing, and which are consistent with almost any vote that they can give. (Cheers.) I need not have been reduced to such an extremity. (Hear, hear.) I might have made out a long gbona fideg list of political questions on which I have the high satisfaction of believing that I entirely agree with you. I might have passed gently over all subjects of possible difference and observed a discreet silence about any opinion that might possibly have startled anybody. (Laughter and cheers.)h I did the very reverse. I put forth no address, but instead I undertook that whatever questions you put to me concerning my political opinions I would answer fully. (Hear, hear.) The questions that you did put to me I answered with a degree of unreserve which has been a sort of scandal in the electioneering world. (A laugh and cheers.) What compelled me to say anything about women’s votes or the representation of minorities? Is it likely that any one would have questioned me upon those points? Not one of you probably would, but you asked what my opinions on Reform were, and being asked, I did not think it consistent with plain dealing to keep back any of them. (Cheers.) I dare say I lowered myself prodigiously in the eyes of those persons who think that the cleverest thing in a candidate is to dissemble, to finesse, and to commit himself to nothing if he can possibly help it. “How injudicious!” said one; “How impractical!” said another; “How can he possibly expect to be elected on such a programme?” thought even sincere friends. In answer to all that I beg them to consider—1st, that perhaps if I had the choice I would rather be honest than be elected—(loud cheers, which continued for several minutes); and 2nd, that perhaps the electors of Westminster have a taste for honesty and may think that man who deals honestly with them before he is elected is the more likely person to deal honestly with them after he is elected. (Renewed cheers.) Of one thing I am sure—thati, even though a man should lose his election by it,i the most practical thing in the world is honestyj, and perhaps they would live to learn this lessonj . (Hear, hear.)
I suppose you would hardly expect me to travel over a whole catalogue of political questions, and tell you things which you know quite as well as I do. kIt would be better that I should answer questions afterwards, and give you any explanations that you may desire on particular points. What I will do now is to attempt to give you an idea of the general tendency of my opinions.k I am here as the candidate of advanced Liberalism—(cheers)—and I should like to tell you what in my estimation these words mean. Mr. Gladstone (cheers) in one of those memorable speeches which have made every sincere reformer look to him as our future Parliamentary leader—(cheers)—has given us a definition of the difference between Tory and Liberal. He has said that Liberalism is trust in the people, limited only by prudence; that Toryism is distrust of the people, limited only by fear. (Cheers.)3 That is a distinction which in one of its aspects is a most important one; but there is a still larger view that may be taken of the difference. A Liberal is he who looks forward for his principles of government; a Tory looks backward, (Cheers.) A Tory is of opinion that the real model of government lies somewhere behind us in the region of the past, from which we are departing further and further. Toryism means the subjection and dependence of the great mass of the community in temporal matters upon the hereditary possessors of wealth, and in spiritual matters to the Church, and therefore it is opposed lto the last moment,l to everything which could lead us further away from this model. When beaten the Tory may accept defeat by a necessity of the age, but he still hankers after the past, and still thinks that good government means the restoration in some shape mor otherm of the feudal principle—(hear, hear)—and continues to oppose all further progress in a new direction. The Liberal is something very different from this. nThe probability is,n that we have not yet arrived at the perfect model of government—that it lies before us and not behind us—that we are too far from it to be able to see it distinctly except in outline, but that we can see very clearly in what direction it lies—not in the direction of some new form of dependence, but in the emancipation of the dependent classes—more freedom, more equality, and more responsibility of each person for himself. (Loud cheers.) That, gentlemen, is the first article of my political creed. Now for the second. Believing as I do that osociety ando political institutions are, or ought to be, in a state of progressive advance; that it is the very nature of progress to lead us to recognise as truths what we do not as yet see to be truths; believing also that pby diligent study, by attention to the past, by constant application,p it is possible to see a certain distance before us, and to be able to distinguish beforehand some of these truths of the future, and to assist others to see them—I certainly think there are truths which qthe time has now arrived forq proclaiming, although the time may not yet have arrived for carrying them into effect. (Cheers.) That is what I mean by radvancedr Liberalism. sBut does it follow that, because a man sees something of the future, he is incapable of judging of the past? Does it follow that, because a man thinks of to-morrow, he knows nothing of to-day?s That is what the dunces will tell you. (Cheers and laughter.) I venture to reverse the proposition. The only persons who can judge for the present—who can judge for the day truly and safely—are those who include to-morrow in their deliberations. tWe can see the direction in which things are tending, and which of those tendencies we are to encourage and which to resist. That is a policy to which we look for all the greater good of the future.t But while I would refuse to suppress one iota of the opinions I consider best, I confess I would not object to accept any reasonable compromise which would give me even a little of that of which I hope in time to obtain the whole. (Cheers.)
There is one more topic upon which I have something to say. I have told you one reason why I have now come amongst you. There is another. The contest has changed its character. It uno longer relates to me personallyu . What you are called upon to decide is not whether you prefer me to somebody else: it is whether the representation of Westminster, up to this time the most honourable seat in the House of Commons, is to continue hereafter, as it has been heretofore, to be obtained by the honest choice of the constituents, or is to be had for money? (Cheers.) The very fact that such a question can be put—much more that there should be a doubt as to the result—is enough to fill with shame any inhabitant of Westminster who knows the ancient reputation of his city. (Cheers.) vWev Reformers have been accustomed to demand that the great landed nobility and gentry should no longer have it in their power to hoist their sons and protégés into Parliament over the heads of the constituents, passing over their minds, and addressing themselves either to their personal interests or to their hereditary subserviency. wWe object to this, and with reasonw ; but what shall we gain, what will it profit us, to weaken aristocratic ascendancy if seats in Parliament are to be put up to auction? (Hear, hear.) What is it but putting them up to auction if they are to be knocked down to the man xwith the longest purse, and who is willing to spend his moneyx ? (Cheers.) Of all the political nuisances of the day this is one which it most behoves everyone to make a stand against, because it is the only one which is increasing while almost all the others are rapidly diminishing. The great facilities for money-getting which arise from the unexampled prosperity of the country are raising up a crowd of persons who have made large fortunes or whose fathers have made large fortunes for them—(laughter)—and whose main object in life is by means of these fortunes to purchase position—that is to say, admission into the society of persons of higher rank than themselves. In this country there is only one way in which that can be done by money, and that is by getting a seat in Parliament: Was it for this purpose that the House of Commons was instituted? (Cheers.) I am the very last person to say anything disparaging of the class of persons I am speaking of and to assert that they have no business in Parliament. Many of them have strong claimsy, by their knowledge and abilities,y to a seat in the House of Commons, and are an element which it could ill spare. (Hear, hear.) But the mischief is that it is precisely those who have the least chance of getting elected on their own merits zwho have no chance of getting into good society by their talents, their education, and their breeding. It is exactly those personsz who are under the strongest temptation to employ the only other means open to them—viz., a lavish expenditure of money, in corrupting the electors—I say corrupting, not meaning necessarily a violation of the law. There is a great deal of corruption which is not technically bribery. (Hear, hear.) aIt makes no difference if a working man is paid for his vote or paid for putting a placard in his window.a Everyone who gets into Parliament by such means as these—by opening the public-houses—goes there to represent the vices of the constituency. (Cheers.) It is vain to hope that men will be shamed out of these things as long as they are not cut in societyb . But if you cannot prevent them from doing these things you can prevent them from succeeding. (Cheers.) The experiment is being tried upon you. A strong effort is being made to bring in a Tory candidate by an expenditure of money more profuse than a Tory ever attempted in this city. (Cheers.) It is tolerably well known that the majority of the electors of Westminster are not Tories—(a laugh)—and it is not uncharitable to suppose that the supporters of the Tory candidate rested their hopes upon money. If they thought that you had turned Conservative, that you had had enough of Reform, that constitutional improvements had gone far enough, and that it was now time to stop—(a laugh)—they would have selected for the distinction of representing this city one of their eminent men—one of the men who are an honour to their party—such a man as Lord Stanley.4 (Cheers.) When, instead of the man of the greatest merit they offer you a man who is willing to spend most profusely, they show plainly in what it is that they put their trust. (Cheers.)
Will you let them succeed? (Cries of No, no.) It is no exaggeration to say that all eyes are upon you. Every friend of freedom and purity of election in the country is looking to you with anxious feelings. There is another class of persons who are also looking at you, and they are thosec—and there are many of them—c who cultivate contempt of the people. All these are watching you, and hoping to find you worthy of their contempt. They are chuckling in the hope of succeeding in the attempt to debauch you. They say dthat it is not in you to elect any man except he is willing to spend his money, thatd you have no public virtue, and that public virtue is not to be expected from such people as you are. They are waiting eagerly and anxiously for you to justify their opinion. I hope you will disappoint them. (Cheers.) If you elect me and I should turn out a total failure—if I disappointed every expectation—you would have nothing to be ashamed of. You would have acted an honest part and done that which at the time seemed to be best for the public good. Can the same thing be said if you return the candidate of a party against which for a century past Westminster has in the most emphatic manner protested, for his money? If this great constituency should so degrade itself it will not only be the deepest mortification to all who put faith in popular institutions, but Westminster will have fallen from her glory, and she can never hold her head as high as she has done, because the progress of popular institutions, which cannot possibly be stopped, will have to go on ein futuree without her. (Mr. Mill resumed his seat amid loud and prolonged cheers.)
fMr. Harrow (a non-elector) asked what were Mr. Mill’s views with respect to marriage with a deceased wife’s sister .5(Great laughter and cries of Oh, and Hear, hear.)f
Mr. Mill said he ghad not considered the outs and ins of the question of marriage with a deceased wife’s sisterg , but as he did not see any hconclusiveh reason why such marriages should not be permitted, he would vote for freedom in the matter. (Cheers.)
[In reply to Mr. Morrison, an elector of the City of London] Mr. Mill said he would do away with the Irish Church, root and branch. (Cheers.)
[An elector, Mr. Whitely, asked if Mill was in favour of the Permissive Bill.]6
iMr. Mill replied that this was a question on which it was painful for him to touch, because the answer which he was conscientiously compelled to give was one contrary to the opinions of persons for whom he had a sincere respect and sympathy. (Hear, hear.) He agreed thoroughly with the teetotallers and the temperance leagues in the objects they had in view, because he believed that the prevalence of drunkenness was one of the greatest obstacles to real national progress. (Cheers.) But for all that he could not say that because some persons abused the liberty now given to use intoxicating liquors, others should be deprived of the power of using them temperately. The Permissive Bill gave the power to the majority to coerce the minority in that respect, and therefore he could not assent to such a measure. (Cheers.) He trusted to improved education to render all such coercive legislation unnecessary. (Cheers.)
Mr. Whitely—I am perfectly satisfied. (Cheers.)i
In reply to other questions,
Mr. Mill said he was jnot opposed toj capital punishment in extreme cases—in cases where murder was aggravated by brutalityk—because, although death by hanging was less painful than death in bed, and was more merciful than imprisonment for life, it had a more deterrent effect on the imaginationk . He was in favour of the opening of the British Museum and similar institutions on Sundays, under proper regulations.
Mr. Malleson then moved a resolution declaring Mr. Mill a fit and proper person to represent Westminster, and pledging the meeting to make every effort to secure his return. (Cheers.) He announced, amid loud cheers, that the split in the Liberal party was likely, he might say certainly, to be removed, and hoped that the great Liberal party would vote for Mill and Grosvenor.
[The resolution was supported by Fawcett, Lord Stanley who “appealed to the constituency of Westminster as the ‘aristocracy of democracy’ to set a good example to the country at large by electing Mr. Mill,” Potter, Montague Chambers, and Henry Vincent.]
lBefore the resolution was put, a lady in the body of the room obtained permission to make a speech. Addressing the assemblage as “Gentlemen and ladies,” she, in a vigorous and well-finished style of public speaking, said she supposed it would be needless for her to tell them she was not an elector of Westminster—(laughter)—but she had heard as a secret, and as a woman was bound to tell it, that Mr. Mill was in favour of manhood suffrage and womanhood suffrage. (Loud cheers and laughter.) It seemed to her that the complaints against Mr. Mill on that account were not complaints against vice, but against excess ofvirtue. (Cheers.) The electors of Westminster had been called the aristocracy of democracy. Let then their honour be on the side of virtue. (Cheers.) It was said that men consulted their wives as to whom they should vote for—(laughter, and a voice, That’s true)—and she had heard that members of Parliament also who had wives asked them what votes they should give. (Laughter and cheers.) It was a motto of the ancient Spartans that a free man could never be the son of a bond woman. That might be so; but wherever there was intellect, wherever there was character, conscience, responsibility, there ought to be representation, although the sex might be female. (Cheers.)
The lady’s remarks were attentively heard, but at this part of her speech the Chairman, finding time was pressing, requested her to postpone further observations until the resolution was put.l
[The resolution was carried unanimously, amidst long-continued cheers, and the meeting ended with a vote of thanks to the Chair.]
The Westminster Election of 1865 
Daily News, 7 July, 1865, p. 3. Headed: “Westminster.” Reported also in the Daily Telegraph, 7 July. The evening meeting of the Westminster electors was held in the Regent Music Hall, Regent Street, Vincent Square, which “was densely crowded by an enthusiastic audience” (Daily Telegraph). Thomas Hughes took the chair and, alluding to Mill’s great practical qualifications, mentioned his advocacy of cooperation and exhorted the electors to vote on Monday or Tuesday. Hughes being obliged to leave the chair, Westerton took his place. Mill, who was “received with loud cheers, the assemblage rising and waving their hats” (Daily Telegraph), then spoke.
he explainedin almost precisely the same terms as he used at St. James’s-hall1the reasons that had induced him to come forward and to meet the electors personally. He said that he accepted the office of candidate on the condition that he should neither solicit nor buy votes. There was an old saying, not altogether true, perhaps, that he who buys will sell, and it was certainly not fair that a candidate who did not intend to sell the votes should be called upon to buy them. This meeting had been called for the purpose of giving what were termed the working classes an opportunity of seeing him and asking him any questions. He did not like the phrase “working classes,” because it implied the existence of non-working classes, and nobody in this country had any business to be idle. Indeed there was a growing feeling among those who could afford to be idle that they ought to be usefully employed. There was abundant scope for the spread of education among the richer classes as well as among the working men. For his part he never desired to be paid for being idle or for work which he did not do. His sympathies were all with working people. (Cheers.) There was a much greater distinction than there ought to be between those who worked with their head and those who worked with their hands. It would probably be better for the head workers if they worked a little more with their hands; it would be better for their health, it would tend to make them more cheerful, and it would lead to increased human fellow feeling and public spirit. It was, perhaps, not generally known that he was one of the first persons in the kingdom who had suggested the adoption of the principles of co-operation in a practical shape. aFive years before the Rochdale Pioneers society was established he wrote an article in the Westminster Review ,2 the object of which was to show the radical party of the House of Commons, then almost on the eve of dissolution, how it might be reconstructed and rendered more in unison with the radicals out of doors.a At that time the radicals in the house did not go for universal suffrage, while those out of doors demanded nothing less, and his object in writing that article was to show the radical party in the house that the best way of getting out of its difficulty was to redress the practical grievances of the working classes, and he then pointed out the fact that by the operation of the then existing law co-operative societies could not be established; when the law was altered,3 and co-operative societies were established, they went on with surprising rapidity (hear, hear), and a way was soon found by which the working classes could raise themselves without pulling down anybody, but, on the contrary, with advantage, not only to themselves, but the country at large. The principle of co-operative societies went on extending itself, and the conviction of the truth of that principle eventually became so strong that it found an advocate bof all other places in the worldb in the pages of the Quarterly Review (oh).4 That implied an immense change in public opinion; the working men were in fact emancipated, and their cause was in their own hands. With respect to the extension of the suffrage, he went much further in his views of the concessions which he thought ought to be made to working men than did even those who sympathised warmly with working men, although, on the other hand, some might imagine that he had not gone far enough. It could not be a perfect government cin which one class of the community could legislate for another which was not representedc , and he certainly agreed in the opinion that no man who was competent to manage his own affairs ought to be without a vote. He thought the House of Commons ought to be placed in the position of da fair, just, and impartial umpire ord arbitrator between contending interests, and that any mode which would secure the return of one-half of the members who were devoted to the interests of the employed, the other half representing landed property, capital and their sympathisers would be in a position to reason justly on any grievance of the working men. Class distinctions should be abolished were it possible to do so; but so long as they existed they ought to be fairly represented in parliament. He would not permit the employer class to be represented in such a way as to be able to outvote the representatives of the employed, while so far as the suffrage itself went, he thought it ought to be given to all persons of age who could read, write, and cypher. eBut, though he was prepared to give to every man and woman who was of age, and capable of managing his or her affairs, a voice, he was not prepared to give them such an equality that, whether they were right or wrong, they should be able to outvote everybody else. (Hear, hear.)efAlthough he had suggested plans of his own to accomplish this ,5 he was quite ready to consider those of any other person. If he was returned to Parliament, he would give his earnest attention to any reform measure which might be proposed, and anything which would bring them nearer to that which they wanted would receive his support, as a compromise; but he would accept nothing which did not increase the influence of the working classes, and give a great many more representatives in Parliament. (Hear, hear.)f
gA person in the body of the hall put a question, quoting from a placard by the Tories, to this effect: “ ‘The result of observation is borne out by experience in England itself. As soon as any idea of equality enters the mind of an uneducated English working man, his head is turned by it. When he ceases to be servile he becomes insolent.’—Mill’s Principles of Political Economy, People’s Edition, p. 68.”6
Mr. Mill said that he did not want uneducated men voters, and was in favour of an educational test—reading, writing, and simple arithmetic. If the suffrage were not to depend upon that, it would be universal. The honourable candidate then highly praised the conduct of the Lancashire operatives, and expressed his belief that it was owing to their intelligence they knew the cause of their distress.7 This was mainly owing to the cheap press. (Loud applause.) They had seen the discussions respecting the subject, and that they owed to the cheap press. If they had not learnt to read, they could not have benefited by the cheap press, and the press now gave to any man, however humble his circumstances, the means of acquiring the best information respecting political knowledge, written by some of the most able men of the country. (Cheers.) To men, therefore, who had the qualification of reading, writing, and arithmetic, he would entrust a share in the management of the destinies of this country, when they had those excellent means of learning the opinions of the ablest men. (Applause.) Respecting the malt tax, Mr. Mill said a question had been sent up to him, “Will you vote against it?”8 If that meant, would he advocate free trade in intoxicating drinks, without asking leave of any person in opening a public-house, he would say, “No”—(hear, hear)—because public-houses were very often a nuisance, and it was of great importance that nuisances should be out of the way. (Cheers.) There must be such things, but they should be out of the way as much as possible consistent with the public convenience. He would have some public authorities whose duty it should be to see that they were not a nuisance. He thought that it was much better to tax stimulants than necessary articles. He would, in the present state of affairs, vote for the Maynooth grant, and was in favour of opening museums on Sundays. The ballot should be an open question. The shopkeepers were much more in need of it than the working classes.
Other questions having been satisfactorily answered, a vote approving of Mr. Mill as a candidate was carried, and the meeting separated.g
The Westminster Election of 1865 
Daily Telegraph, 10 July, 1865, p. 2. Headed: “Election Intelligence. / Westminster.” Reported fully on the same day in the Morning Star; brief summaries appeared also in the Daily News and The Times. The meeting of electors and non-electors on Saturday evening in the Pimlico Rooms, Winchester Street, was chaired by Charles Westerton. “The room was densely crowded by a most enthusiastic audience” (Daily Telegraph).
mr. j.s. mill,who upon rising to speak was received with loud cheers, again and again repeated, said that, as the electors of Westminster must all pretty well know what were the principles upon which he rested his candidature, it was not necessary that he should occupy their time by recapitulating them. But he should like to say a few words upon a most important principle, which was involved in this contest—that this was a protest against the “money power” employed in elections. (Cheers.) He was not going to say anything which could possibly offend any party or anybody—nothing about the misuse of money—about using it for the purposes of corruption, giving it to electors to return any particular candidate. If it were stated to candidates that before going to the poll they must spend £2,000, £3,000, £4,000, or any other sum of money, “for the good of the public,” things would be pretty much as they now stood, with the important difference, that then the candidate who had to pay this money, as most had, would know that it was used for some other purpose than it was now, viz., the demoralisation of the electors. (Cheers.) Did they think it was the right and best thing that the House of Commons should be composed exclusively of rich men, or men with rich connections? (No.) There were a good many reasons why this was not desirable, and one was that the rich naturally sympathised with the rich. (Hear, hear.) The rich had sympathies enough for the poor when the poor came before them as objects of pity. Their feelings of charity were often highly creditable to their dispositions; and, besides, they had almost universally a kind of patronising and protective sympathy for the poor, such as shepherds had for their flocks—(laughter and cheers)—only that was conditional upon the flock always behaving like sheep. (Renewed laughter, and Hear, hear.) But if the sheep tried to have a voice in their own affairs, he was afraid that a good many shepherds would be willing to call in the wolves. (Cheers.) Now this sympathy of the rich for the rich had manifested itself in a very decided way during the last two or three years, by the extraordinary good wishes of the higher classes of this country for the success of the American slaveholders. He did not make this a matter of reproach against the rich and higher classes of this country, for he was quite ready to let bygones be bygones; but they were not at liberty to renounce the privilege, nay, the duty, of drawing lessons from the very things before their eyes—(hear, hear)—and he should like to make a few remarks upon the cause and meaning of the sympathy of the rich for these slaveholders. It was not that they loved slavery; he acquitted them of that. (Hear, hear.) But he could not acquit them of not having realised to their own minds by experience or reflection what a dreadful thing slavery really is, and what are the results it produces and gives rise to. It gives a power—whether those who have it use it or not—of torturing human beings to death at their caprice. (Hear, hear.) The government which the slaveholders endeavoured to establish, has fortunately been frustrated, or there would have been a kind of reign of evil on the earth. It is this which has given rise to the Bowie knife and the revolver—not the pure government of democracy. (Hear, hear.) Our privileged classes did not consider this, or he believed that they would have acted in a different manner from that which they did. They merely saw one thing—a privileged class opposed by those who they thought wanted to take the privilege away; and when they saw that, they said “These (the Southerners) must be gentlemen, with whom gentlemen ought to sympathise.” He believed that to be exaggerated. (Hear, hear.) The man who nearly murdered Mr. Sumner on the floor of the House of Congress—that man was a gentleman!1 and the wives and daughters of slaveholders, who raised subscriptions to mark their approval of his conduct—they were gentlewomen! but the refined and polished, the highly intellectual society of Massachusetts, the poets, orators, philosophers, the popular preachers, the brightest and best, those who took a lead against these enormities—men such as Channing, Emerson, Theodore Parker, Palfrey, Lowell, Bancroft, Motley, etc.—these were not gentlemen, they were low Radicals and vulgar demagogues.2 (Cheers.) So blind were these people—these privileged ones—on our side of the water, that they did not know or care that the people whom they were thus attacking were those known to all Americans as lovers of England, lovers of English literature, sympathisers with the English people, admirers of us, and ignorant of much that was bad in our institutions. He did not make this a matter of reproach to any one, because when so many joined in it, it would not be right to apportion a share. Many who were well worthy of their respect had yielded to this general perversion of sentiment: and the moral he drew from it was this, that they had here one of the most signal instances, and so recent that it could not be objected to as belonging to olden times, of how far men could be carried away by their bias, unconscious and unintentional bias he was persuaded, but still one that made the rich sympathise with the rich, the privileged with the privileged; and the practical lesson which he deduced from it was this, that it was a very just and proper thing that there should be rich men in Parliament for the purpose of watching over the interests of the rich, but also, if they wanted a similar care to be taken of the poor, they had better not shut the door of the House of Commons upon the poor man. (Loud cheers.) The only people they would do well to keep clear of were those kind of poor men who would be glad to use a seat in Parliament to get rich—(hear, hear),—or pin themselves to the skirts of those who were rich. They would not suppose that he was one of those. (Loud cries of No, no.) A great writer had said that those who wanted to be well governed should look out for those who did not want to be governors.3 They knew that he had not thrust himself upon them. (True.) If he were as certain of being up to the mark in everything else as he was that he had not sought to force himself upon them, his mind would be quite at ease. Perhaps they might wish him to refer to his general ideas of reform as applied to the Constitution—(hear)—and also whether he would be a supporter or non-supporter of the present Ministry. He could not look forward to any time in the history of this country when he should not think any Liberal Ministry preferable to any Conservative Ministry. (Cheers.) Whatever the shortcomings of a Liberal party or Government might be, they did not bear in their very names the profession of wishing to keep things as they were.4 (Hear, hear.) Their name implied that they wished to improve them; and although between the least liberal of Liberals and the most liberal of Conservatives there might only be a little difference, a short distance, still it should be ever borne in mind, and seriously remembered, that this least liberal of Liberals was surrounded by those who were far better men than himself, politically speaking, while this most liberal of Conservatives was surrounded by men who, politically speaking, were far worse than himself. (Loud applause.) Suppose York was half-way between Edinburgh and London, and two travellers met there from either place, there would be very little, if any, difference in the respective distances they had to go, but that did not decrease in the least the hundreds of miles which London was distant from Edinburgh. (Hear, hear.) If he were returned to Parliament, what he should do, and that which he should recommend others to do, would be to vote for any Liberal Government on questions as between them and the Tory Government, but he should not let himself be muddled under the pretence of keeping a Liberal Government in; therefore he would advise the independent Liberals always to vote as they thought best, and to let the Government or Ministry shift for themselves, and take their chances of whatever might be the result of a full and free discussion. As regarded Reform and improvements of details, he thought they might be pretty sure that they would go on under any Government. One of the admirable effects of the reforms and improvements which had already taken place was that the spirit of improvement had penetrated even into the Tory camp—(hear, hear)—and he thought that in all the subordinate departments of public affairs the Tories and the Whigs would vie and compete with each other in improvements of that sort. The fact was, they had a difficult problem to solve, let alone how to deal with what were called “proved abuses.” There was a general conviction, and one in which he fully shared, that most of the departments of public affairs—almost all the public business—was either badly done or done not nearly so well as it ought to be done. (Cheers.) What they had to do to remedy this—without introducing fresh evils—was to reconcile a skilful management of public affairs by trained and specially qualified people with the preservation and extension of their local liberties and the responsibility of all public functionaries to the people. (Cheers.) In short, they wanted a system of administration which should at once be skilful and popular. This was not an easy matter. It would task the best minds, both in and out of Parliament, for a considerable time. But that was what they had to do. He had no doubt that in this some assistance would be rendered by the Conservatives, because, without speaking of such a brilliant exception as Lord Stanley, there were Sir John Pakington, Sir Stafford Northcote,5 and others, who would be glad to assist in improvements of that sort—(hear, hear)—as far as they saw the way, and they often saw a good way. But still, while good service could be got out of such men, the Tories must be looked to as a body, as a party; and as a party they showed what they were, a long way behind the Liberals. The only way in which the Tories could at all distinguish themselves was by actually showing that they were “a little bit worse” than the Liberals. (Laughter.) This at least was the best excuse that could be found for them, though recently they had showed that they were a good deal worse than the Liberals, in dealing with such subjects as the church rates and the Catholic Oaths Bill.6 (Hear, hear.) In conclusion Mr. Mill expressed his readiness to answer any questions, and resumed his seat amidst considerable applause.
Several of those present availed themselves of the opportunity to examine Mr. Mill respecting certain of his political doctrines.
Question: How do you explain your writing that the upper classes are liars, and the lower classes—the working classes—habitual liars?7
Mr. Mill said such was his writing. He thought so, and so did the most intelligent of the working classes themselves, and the passage applied to the natural state of those who were both uneducated and subjected. If they were educated and became free citizens, then he should not be afraid of them. Lying was the vice of slaves, and they would never find slaves who were not liars. It was not a reproach that they were what slavery had made them. But those persons who quoted this passage were not candid enough to read on. (Applause.) He said that he was not speaking of the vices of his countrymen, but of their virtues, and that they were superior to most other countrymen in truthfulness—(cheers)—and that the lower classes, though they did lie, were ashamed of lying, which was more than he could venture to say of the same class in any other nation which he knew. (Hear, hear.)
Mr. Mill said he would have no difficulty in answering the question. For one thing he never had said that the working classes had not as much right as the higher classes, but that they had no more right.8 Neither had a right to have more children than they could support and educate. The higher classes had no more right than the lower classes to overstock the labour market. If this was a reproach it was a reproach which attached to almost all the writers on political economy during the last half century. Their views on this subject were dictated by the strongest wish for the best interest of the working classes. They felt that as long as wages were as low as they then were, and as they still were, it was not possible to hope for a great political and moral improvement in the country. The interests of the working classes required that their wages should be higher, not only for the obvious reason that they were not sufficient, but because it was a necessary condition of proper education. They felt that wages, though other causes might have helped, were a great deal kept down by excessive competition for employment, and although that excessive competition had been to some extent relieved by emigration, they saw no hope for altering this state of things except by a moral resolution on the part of the labouring classes not to overstock the labour market. Some people said it was absurd to expect this. He said that, on the contrary, all morality was a triumph over some of their natural propensities. The strongest of their natural propensities had been overcome by the various inducements that had been addressed to mankind—by public opinion, by education, by religion, none of which influences had ever been sufficiently or satisfactorily brought to bear on this particular end. Such was his faith in human nature and in the effect of these influences, that when they were brought to bear on the over-multiplication of mankind they would have an influence on all classes of the community. No class who might be called rich had a right to have more sons and daughters than they could provide for, because if they could not leave them well off they might be quartered on the public. (Cheers.)a
Question (from a person on the platform): How can Mr. Mill reconcile his doctrine with the Scriptural injunction, that we are to increase and multiply?9(Much laughter.)
Mr. Mill: It says we are to eat and drink, but not to over-eat and over-drink ourselves.10 (Cheers and laughter.)
Mr. Mill said he was sure that the opinion which he had expressed on this point was only not shared by reformers generally because it was not understood. His idea of representation was that not a part only, even if it were a majority, but that everybody should be represented. cFor instance, if there was a constituency of 5,000, and it had to elect one member, and there were two candidates, and 3,000 voted for one candidate and 2,000 for the other, the man elected would represent the 3,000 voters; but why were the 2,000 to go unrepresented if there could be found another 1,000 to agree with it in returning some other person? The number to be fixed would of course depend on the proportion between the number of representatives and the number of voters; but he would certainly give a member to every 10,000 or 8,000, whatever the number might be, who could agree in electing a representative.c This was what they had heard of as Mr. Hare’s plan, otherwise the system of personal representation which, instead of being the complicated and unintelligible thing which some people represented, was the simplest thing in the world.11 Mr. Hare’s was the most practical and organising head that he knew, and he believed that they could not carry out the principle of popular representation or democratic government without this plan.b
Question: Will you support a bill for purifying the Church of England from Romanising practices and tendencies?
Mr. Mill had often thought that one of the most important uses of a representative constitution was that it caused great questions to be discussed. He was never more sensible of this truth than just now, and this question had given him an opportunity of saying something which he had not been able to do before. The question meant, would he chase out of the Church of England the Tractarian party?12 That he would not do, because he thought the greatest argument against an Established Church was that it tied up the minds of its clergy. He wanted, within certain bounds, that the clergyman should not have to sign away his mental liberty; that he should have the power, as far as was consistent with an Established Church, of forming his own sincere convictions as to what Christianity was; and although many of the clergy might come to different, and perhaps some to wrong perceptions, he would not turn them out for that, so long as they thought their opinions ought not to turn them out—which some of the Tractarians had done. But if they asked him whether he would leave it in the power of any single clergyman to suppress any of the customary services, or introduce others, he would not give them such power. (Applause.) If any body of persons wanted any particular sort of worship, let them have it at their own expense. He did not admit that the clergy had a right to determine what the ceremonials of the Church should be. That ought to rest, if any one had to determine it, with the majority of the parishioners. In short, although in the Church he would have the utmost mental liberty, yet with respect to the ceremonial part, of whatever kind, that ought to rest with the laity, and not with the clergy. For it was not the collective clergy, much more one clergyman, who were the Church, but the clergy and laity. No clergyman, or collective clergy, therefore, ought to have the power of introducing ceremonials into the services against the wishes of the parishioners. (Hear, hear.)
Question: How do you reconcile this—to open the museums on Sundays and obey the Divine command to keep the Sabbath day holy?13(Hear, hear.)
Mr. Mill said that those who were of opinion that this injunction was intended for the Christians, and not for the Jews exclusively, were quite right in not being able to reconcile it. But his opinion was that the Sabbatical institution was an institution for the Jews alone. (Hear, hear.) The Christian Sunday appeared to him to be an institution of quite a different character. (Hear, hear.)
Question: Has Mr. Mill any confidence in and sympathy with the religion taught by Jesus Christ and his apostles; and does he believe that a State Church is a benefit to this nation or otherwise? (Cries of Don’t answer.)
Mr. Mill: He had already declared that he could not consent to answer any questions about his religious creed. (Loud applause, and “Quite right.”) The question about the State Church was very different, and his opinion was this, that in principle there ought to be no such thing, but he did not think the time had yet arrived when it would be any use to try and abolish it. The thing was not pressing, and at all events the State was more Liberal than the Church, and now the best men in the Church had an opportunity of getting the highest places in it. At present he thought it would be much better to try and improve the Church itself through the State, than to abolish the connection which in principle he objected to; and he had no hesitation in saying that they ought not to be combined.
dQuestion: What are the disadvantages we labour under in not having a vote, and the advantages we should possess in having one? (Oh.)d
Mr. Mill: The gentleman who had asked that question had asked him in effect to make a speech which would last the rest of the evening. The difference would be this—the man would be a citizen—(loud cheers)—and he would feel that he was a citizen. Let them look at America now. Look at the grand display of patriotism; was it not the wonder of the world? Did anybody dream it would be so? Did anybody think that all those millions would be ready to give the blood of their families, and incur a national debt equal to ours—putting it at the lowest—for the nationality of their country? He did not suppose there was a family in New England which had not lost a member. Was it not something to have such a feeling in the whole body of the people? Did they not think that that had something to do with everybody having a vote? (Hear, hear.) eIt seemed to him that the interests of citizenship—an equal right to be heard—to have a share in influencing the affairs of the country—to be consulted, to be spoken to, and to have agreements and considerations turning upon politics addressed to one—tended to elevate and educate the self-respect of the man, and to strengthen his feelings of regard for his fellow-men. (Cheers.) These made all the difference between a selfish man and a patriot. (Hear, hear.) To give people an interest in politics and in the management of their own affairs was the grand cultivator of mankind. (Cheers.)e That was one of the reasons why he wanted women to have votes; they needed cultivation as well as men. He could not conceive that a country was what it ought to be without an extension of a share of political right to all. (Cheers.) Those left without it seemed a sort of pariahs. Independently of this, there were plenty of practical considerations. There were many, many questions before Parliament in which it was of the greatest consequence that those who had so large an interest in them should be heard on their own behalf, and that in the very place where the questions had to be decided. It was as necessary that they should be heard when they were wrong as when they were right. When such was the case, if a man asked more than he ought, then he had the chance of either being enlightened or shamed out of it. (Cheers.)
Question: What are your principles of non-intervention?
Mr. Mill: He did not understand what was meant by “principle” of non-intervention, because that would be a principle of utter selfishness. His opinion was that every nation was much more capable of settling its own affairs than another Power for it. (Hear, hear.) But if a Power in trying to establish its own affairs was threatened by a foreign despot, that was another thing, and then it was perfectly legitimate to interfere—not to prevent the first Power from doing that which they thought best for themselves, but to protect them from being persecuted by the despot. (Cheers.)
Question: Is it legitimate for a voter to be told that he must vote for Mr. Smith, or lose custom; or for a person to order a pair of boots and not demand the “exact” price? (Loud cries of Shame! shame!)
Mr. Mill: I think that the feeling of the meeting has sufficiently answered the question already.
Question: What are your opinions respecting primogeniture?
Mr. Mill: Entirely against it, both politically and privately. He thought that the practice of making the oldest son heir by law was in itself unjust. fHe thought that a man should be allowed to leave what belonged to him to whom he liked, but that in cases of intestacy it should be divided equally among the children.f
Question: The ballot?
Mr. Mill did not think it was now necessary, especially to the working classes, and that if it was necessary it was amongst shopkeepers.
[After other speeches, a resolution was passed by acclamation approving of Mr. Mill as a fit and proper candidate, and pledging the meeting to support his election; the proceedings terminated.]
The Westminster Election of 1865 
Morning Star, 11 July, 1865, p. 2. Headed: “Westminster.” The nomination meeting, at the hustings in front of St. Paul’s Church, Covent Garden, at midday, was also reported on the 12th in the Daily Telegraph, The Times, the Daily News, and the Standard (the last two in the third person). There was considerable excitement, for this would be “a great political contest such as Westminster had not seen for many years”; by 11:30 nearly 3000 people had assembled, and just before noon they began “to show signs of animation. The quiet which had hitherto prevailed was relaxed, and some good-humoured larking and hustling commenced.” (Morning Star.) The High Bailiff, H. Scott Turner, the returning officer, appeared, followed by the first of the candidates, Robert Wellesley Grosvenor (1834–1918), a member of the leading Whig family in Westminster and (after an initial period of uncertainty as to his political credentials) Mill’s Liberal running mate. He “was received with cheers by his supporters, and yells by the rest of the crowd.” Next came Smith, “who received a warm welcome from his supporters,” and then Mill arrived, to be “greeted with enthusiastic cheers from his supporters, mingled with yells from the friends of Mr. Smith.” Mill occupied the central position, with Smith on his right and Grosvenor on his left. The crier in vain called for silence during the reading of the writ by the high bailiff. “Indeed throughout the whole proceedings, a continuous volley of yells and howls, mingled with cheers for the respective candidates, was kept up. The speeches of neither proposers, seconders, nor candidates could be heard except by those close beside them, and in most cases the speakers wisely addressed their remarks to the reporters, and made them as brief as possible. It is right to state that the uproar came chiefly, not from the respectable portion of the electors and non-electors, but from bands of ruffianly lads, who seemed to be organised for the purpose.” (Morning Star.) Grosvenor was proposed and seconded, and then Brewer nominated Mill “amidst great uproar. He alluded to Mr. Mill’s high intellectual character and attainments, and to his Liberal and practical and statesmanlike views, and said it would be an honour to Westminster to be represented by such a man.” Malleson seconded. Smith, characterized as a man of moderate opinions, was proposed and seconded. Grosvenor was the first of the candidates to speak. Mill then stood forward to address the electors, and “was received with great enthusiasm by his friends in the assemblage. But the shouting and noise still prevailing his remarks could only be heard by those in his immediate vicinity.” (The Daily Telegraph says he “obtained a much better hearing, though great noise prevailed.”)
It would be entirely useless for me to attempt to make a speech, which it would be impossible that any of you could hear; and I will only therefore attempt to say a few words. (Noise and cheers.) I am not here by my own seeking; I am here because a numerous and distinguished body of the electors of Westminster, thinking that that numerous and important portion of this constituency who are advanced Liberals are entitled to a representative (cheers), and that my opinions, which have been fully, freely, and unreservedly expressed both in amy letters and at very crowded meetings of the electorsa , qualify me to be that representative. They thought also that in electing me you would be asserting a principle which has been honoured in Westminster—the principle of selecting your representatives for some other reason than for their money. (Cheers.) It now rests with the electors of Westminster, who have bhad the means of forming their ownb opinions on the manner in which the contest has been carried on, to judge whether I have a claim to the votes of the friends of purity of election and of advanced cLiberalism as against a Conservative opponent of all Liberalism whatever. I have nothing further to say.c (Cheers from Mr. Mill’s supporters.)
[Smith spoke, amidst continued uproar. Again silence was ordered, and the high bailiff called for a show of hands.] dFor Captain Grosvenor a considerable number were held up; for Mr. Mill the display of hands was much larger; and for Mr. Smith a great number were held up. As far as could be judged, the numbers in favour of Mr. Smith and Mr. Mill were nearly equal, and there can be no doubt that each of them was larger by three to one than the numbers in favour of Captain Grosvenor. To the surprise, however, of everybody, the high bailiff declared the show of hands to be in favour of Mr. Smith and Captain Grosvenor. We do not know whether this functionary’s organs of vision are imperfect, or whether in theexcitement he did not attend sufficiently to the show of hands for each of the candidates but that he made a mistake was manifest to every one who had a view of the assembly.dMr. Mill’s supporters demanded a poll, and the mistake will be of little importance if he and Captain Grosvenor should be placed at the top of the poll.1
[Smith moved and Grosvenor seconded a vote of thanks to the high bailiff.]
Each of the candidates, on leaving the hustings, was loudly cheered by his supporters. The assembly, which though noisy and uproarious throughout, was in no way mischievous, then gradually dispersed.
The Westminster Election of 1865 
Daily Telegraph, 11 July, 1865, p. 4. Unheaded; the account comes immediately after the report of Mill’s speech at the hustings on the same day (No. 9). The meeting was not reported in other papers. “Last night, at eight o’clock, Mr. John Stuart Mill addressed a meeting at St. Martin’s Hall, Long-acre. The large room was densely crowded by a most enthusiastic audience, amongst whom was a large number of ladies. The Count de Paris occupied a seat on the platform.”
the honourable candidate,who was received with great applause, referred to most of the subjects upon which he spoke at the meeting at the Pimlico Rooms on Saturday night, which was fully reported in yesterday’s Daily Telegraph,1 especially on the purity of election, the great questions between employers and employed, and co-operation. He next noticed the vast improvements which had taken place in the condition of the working classes. Mr. Gladstone had done a great deal for the working classes. (The name of Mr. Gladstone was received with enthusiastic applause.) Mr. Gladstone was a statesman who did not hold back his good things till they were wrung from him. He employed his mind in conceiving measures for the benefit of his country, whether they had been demanded or not. That was his (Mr. Mill’s) idea of a great Minister. (Applause.) He believed that the future social condition of the working classes was safe. He hoped some day there would be no such thing as a class distinction; but, while it lasted, they had to take care that the House of Commons should not exercise class legislation. They (the working classes) would not be truly represented unless they had their fair share of the voices in the national tribunal. He thought that a Reform Bill would not give the labouring classes an effectual share in and control of the House of Commons, unless they had fully one half of the House of Commons—(cheers)—and the remainder of society the other half. In answer to questions, Mr. Mill said that he would vote for the opening of the Crystal Palace on Sunday. He did not think it would be a wrong thing to open well-conducted theatres on that day, though he should not be prepared to vote for that at present, as he thought it would be considered an affront to the religious opinions of a large and highly respectable portion of the public. Neither upon this nor any other question would he press his opinion on the Legislature, if he thought the vast majority of the people were not prepared for the proposed change. He did not think that the exercise of the franchise should depend on the payment of rates. The duration of Parliament should be from three to five years. Mr. Hubbard’s proposal respecting the income tax was, he thought, a good one.2 If a primâ facie case were made out that it was necessary for convents to be inspected, he would have them inspected; but if there were any such “dreadful mysteries” in the convents,3 he believed the inmates of those places would be a vast deal too clever for her Majesty’s inspectors to find them out. A variety of other questions were put, and answered to the complete satisfaction of the meeting. A resolution expressive of confidence in Mr. J.S. Mill as a fit and proper candidate was carried amidst great applause. Some other speeches were delivered, and the meeting separated.
The Westminster Election of 1865 
Morning Star, 13 July, 1865, p. 2. Headed “Westminster.” The meeting was also reported in The Times, the Daily News, and (very briefly and in the third person) in the Daily Telegraph. The official declaration of the poll was at the hustings in Covent Garden at 2 p.m. A “dense mass of people” gathered in front of the hustings, crying out such remarks as “Where is Smith now?” A watering cart showered the crowd with cold water, quieting them briefly. The candidates and their friends began to appear on the hustings, Mill being “greeted with loud and long-continued cheers.” Grosvenor was also given an enthusiastic reception; Smith did not appear. The poll was declared: Grosvenor at the head with 4534; Mill a very close second with 4525, and Smith with 3824. (The Daily News uniquely gives 3224, undoubtedly in error.) Grosvenor spoke first. “Mr. Mill then proceeded to address the assembled crowd. Previous to doing so he was treated to a most enthusiastic ovation. The vast mass of persons present set up a cheer of the most hearty, thrilling character, which was kept up for some minutes, and which certainly must have had rather a startling effect on those who did not take part in it. Mr. Mill looked upon the exciting scene before him with that quiet, benign, and thoughtful expression of countenance for which he is so remarkable under all circumstances, and seemingly not the least moved or discomposed, except what was denoted by a pleasing smile which his intellectual features could not conceal, however desirous their owner may have been to do so. When the enthusiasm had subsided,” Mill spoke.
electors of westminster—not omitting the non-electors, many of whom have worked most vigorously in this cause—you have achieved a great triumph. (Cheers.) You have vindicated a principle awhich has been the glory ofa Westminster for generations. (Renewed cheers.) That principle is that members of Parliament should be elected on public grounds alone (Hear, hear, and cheers) and you have done this against all the means, legitimate and illegitimate, which could possibly have been brought to bear to prevent you. (Cheers.) This victory of yours illustrates very strongly two things. In the first place, it teaches a lesson which has been renewed from age to age, but which many have found it extremely hard to learn—bthe power there is inb sincere, earnest, and disinterested conviction. All our working was the working of volunteers against opponents who were a disciplined and paid body. (Hear, hear, and cries of Smith.) All our friends voluntarily gave their time and their labour, which to most of them is money, and to some of them their cmeans of dailyc bread, and even many of them gave money in addition for the purpose of defraying expenses rendered necessary by the bad system of carrying on elections which prevailsd, but which they felt, even if necessary, ought to be paid for by any one rather than the candidate himself (hear, hear)d . All this they have done in the face of much opposition, and they have been successful. (Cheers.) Another thing to be learned from this victory is that it may induce persons to consider whether that mode of returning representatives can be good under which ethe side starting upon principles of electioneering purity is heavily weighted in the race—so heavily weighted, indeed, as to make the contest resemble a race between a man on foot and one on horseback? This simile may be regarded ase literally true, because my supporters had to walk to the poll, whilst the supporters of our opponents were carried there in cabs and carriages not paid for by themselves. (Hear, hear, and a cry of Why did Grosvenor do it?) One of the greatest writers and orators which this country has produced, and who was at the head of the Liberal party fduring the bestf years of his life—I mean Burke—gsaid, “That system cannot be good which rests upon the heroic virtues.”1 I dog say that the mode of election which rendered necessary such heroic exertions as have been made during the last few weeks to maintain purity of election cannot be good. (Hear, hear.) There is one more lesson which the electors of Westminster have given by the victory they have achieved. They have shown that whatever differences of opinion may exist amongst the several shades of Liberals, whatever severe criticisms they may occasionally make on each other, they are ready to help and co-operate with one another when the time of need arrives. This has been very provoking to many people. (A Voice: Yes, to Mr. Smith, and laughter.) I have often observed that those who are in the wrong think it a great shame when those who are in the right show some degree of common sense, as in the present instance—(hear, hear)—and that they entertain the notion that those who are honest must be fools as well. (Great laughter and cheering.) But you have proved to these persons that it is possible to be honest, sensible, hand patriotic at the same time.h The Tories have done their worst. They have exercised all the powers that they could, particularly the force of money power—(hear)—but they have received a lesson they will not soon forget, and possibly they will think twice before they repeat it iamongst the electors of Westminsteri . j(Loud cheers.) Gentlemen, I have done. (Loud and prolonged cheering.)j
This concluded Mr. Mill’s remarks. On ceasing to address the assembly the enthusiasm which greeted his first appearance on the hustings was renewed.
On the motion of Dr. Brewer, seconded by Capt. Grosvenor, a vote of thanks was, amidst cries for Smith, who did not put in an appearance, passed to the High Bailiff for the courtesy and efficiency he had displayed in the election.
[1 ]For its prediction of success for the movement for non-sectarian national education, see its leading article on the question, The Times, 4 Nov., 1850, p. 4. Its belated prediction of success for the Anti-Corn Law League (which was founded in 1839) is in a leader of 19 Dec., 1845, p. 4.
[2 ]On 30 October, 1850, during a conference of the Lancaster Public School Association at which its name was changed to the National Public School Association, Richard Cobden (1804–65), the well-known free-trader, a founder of the anti-corn law campaign, successfully objected to the use of the word “secular” because it suggested “not religious” rather than “non-sectarian.” See “Conference at the Mechanics Institution on Secular Education,” The Times, 31 Oct., 1850, p. 5.
[3 ]Two of the main founders of the Association were active at the meeting of 30 October: Samuel Lucas (1811–65), author of works on education, and William McKerrow (1803–78), a liberal Presbyterian minister.
[c-c]C producers are excluded from the profits
[d-d]C which is too strong for all of us, will not allow that the labourers should have the whole produce of labour, unless they own the capital; and they can only do this when they have acquired it by
[f-f]C and intelligence, and accumulated it by their own frugality; and those
[g-g]C] R for it than that
[h-h]C] R working people, there will also be the idle, the imprudent, and the spendthrift, who will remain the
[i-i]C] R We are looking forward to the time when the whole mass of the people shall adopt the true principles of co-operation.
[j-j]C] R desire
[k-k]C , than honest men and women can be found
[l-l]C] R power to trust a person when you find him trustworthy
[1 ]The speech by Lloyd Jones (1811–86), socialist activist and author, which preceded Mill’s, is given in The Reasoner, XXVIII, 116.
[n-n]C] R , that I believe
[1 ]See Vindication of the English Constitution, in a Letter to a Noble and Learned Lord (London: Saunders and Otley, 1835), pp. 139, 168, 173, and 176, and Coningsby; or, The New Generation, 3 vols. (London: Colburn, 1844), Vol. II, pp. 229–31, and Vol. III, pp. 128–30, by Benjamin Disraeli (1804–81), Conservative statesman and author.
[2 ]Possibly Charles Gavan Duffy (1816–1903), Irish nationalist, a correspondent of Mill’s, who emigrated to Australia in 1855, and had served in the Victoria government as Minister of Land and Works; or perhaps Henry Samuel Chapman (1803–81), another correspondent, who had been a politician and lawyer in Australia since 1851.
[a-a]DT,B The Law Amendment Society had the power of aiding this, not being a self-elected body, but deriving authority from the eminence of its members.
[a-a]DN It was the great merit of the plan that it did not contemplate the elected representing only the opinions and interests of those who voted for them. It would not leave the House of Commons the representatives of only three shades of opinion—whig, tory, and radical—but the opinions of the whole country would be represented, and property as well as numbers. The voter would no longer be compelled to vote for any booby sent down by the dominant party.] TT The great beauty and merit of Mr. Hare’s system was that it would not leave the election to mere political opinion—to the three shades of opinion, Whig, Tory, and Radical. The voters would have the choice of the whole country—of all the eminent men in the country.
[b-b]TT The clubs would no longer be able to send a mere booby with 3,000l. or 4,000l. in his pocket.
[c-c]DN Boobies would no longer be sent down as candidates—men of merit would be sent down, or if they were not, the constituencies would find men of merit for themselves.] TT If they did not send down a man of merit, the electors would choose a man of merit for themselves. At present the Liberals must vote for the Liberal candidate, and the Tories for the Tory candidate, though each of the two candidates might be nothing more than a booby.
[e-e]+DN] TT It was enough to put one out of temper to hear intelligent gentlemen say they could not understand Mr. Hare’s plan. It was not anything like so difficult as the multiplication table.
[1 ]I.e., that of William Henry Smith (1825–91), proprietor and son of the founder of W.H. Smith and Son, who was running as a Liberal Conservative, or Conservative Liberal (both labels were used).
[2 ]James Mill (1772–1836), an active propagandist for radical Benthamite and Ricardian views through articles, pamphlets, books, and personal influence, had lived by his pen until he joined the East India Company in 1819, rising to the head of the Examiner’s Office, a position J.S. Mill also attained.
[3 ]John Arthur Roebuck (1801–79) had been a close associate—initially a disciple—of Mill’s in the late 1820s; he was a leading Radical in the House of Commons after the Reform Act of 1832. Though personally estranged from Mill during most of their adult lives, he remained an admirer, joined in the movement for Mill’s election, and offered him advice on effective performance in the Commons.
[4 ]See, e.g., Edward Gibbon Wakefield, Plan of a Company to Be Established for the Purpose of Founding a Colony in Southern Australia (London: Ridgway, 1831).
[d-d]+DN] TT , and the application of this prevented the people from settling on the land like Irish cottiers.
[5 ]Robert Gouger (1802–66), early and ardent advocate of Wakefield’s scheme; for evidence that he is the one intended, see Wakefield, A Letter from Sydney (London: Cross, et al., 1829), pp. 169–80, and Appendix, pp. iii-xxiv.
[e-e]DN After that, but not to a very great extent, it was applied to all our Australian colonies, and some of the colonies which had languished revived. Western Australia, which had been a failure, had entered upon a career of prosperity.
[f-f]DN He assured the electors that he would poll to the last hour, and that he would then be found at its head. (Loud cheers.)
[6 ]“A Few Words on Non-Intervention,” Fraser’s Magazine, LX (Dec. 1859), 766–76 (CW, Vol. XXI, pp. 109–24).
[g-g]DN] DT He thought a people were much the best judges of their own internal affairs but this spirit of non-intervention did not apply in the case which had been put forward.] TT [He] considered no nation should interfere in the internal affairs of another nation; but that when a despotic government interfered with a nation which desired to be free, then a free country would be in duty bound to interfere on the side of right.
[7 ]8 & 9 Victoria, c. 25 (1845) provided Maynooth College, a Roman Catholic seminary in Ireland, with a special building grant of £30,000, and increased its annual subsidy from £9,000 to £26,000.
[j-j]DN anomalous and contemptible
[k-k]DN] DT The Committee then proceeded with private business.
[8 ]See Nos. 6, 7, 8, and 10.
[1 ]To James Beal (7 Mar., 1865), published inter alia in the Daily News, 23 Mar., p. 1 (CW, Vol. XVI, pp. 1005–7).
[a-a]DN] MS my days for the last [reporter’s error]
[2 ]I.e., from 1823 to 1858 in the Examiner’s Office of the East India Company.
[b]Manuscript (by strictly legal means of course)
[c]Manuscript : you are conferring a solemn trust
[d-d]TT] MS that no man who would do these things ought to represent Westminster. (Cheers.) We will see if the electors don’t think so too.
[e]Manuscript directly and personally
[f-f]Manuscript what is excessive in these eulogiums
[h]Manuscript Did I do this?
[i-i]+DN] DT , even if a man loses by it,] Manuscript as DN . . . man may now and then lose his election by it, in the long run]
[j-j]+TT] Manuscript and this is a lesson politicians will have to learn
[k-k]DN] MS What I will do now is to give you an idea of the general tendency of my political opinions.] DT It is better that I should confine myself to questions you ask me; but I will attempt to show you the general tendency of my opinions.] Manuscript It is better that I should confine myself to giving explanations on any points on which you think they are needed.
[3 ]William Ewart Gladstone (1809–98), who was, following the death of Lord Palmerston, to become the leading Liberal in the Commons in the next session, Speech at Chester, 1 June, 1865 (The Times, 2 June, p. 5).
[l-l]+DT,DN,TT] Manuscript , up to the last moment
[m-m]Manuscript , perhaps a shape better adapted to the time
[n-n]DT] MS,DN He probably thinks] TT He was of opinion] Manuscript He thinks
[p-p]+DT] DN by patient study of the past and a sufficient application of our thoughts to a great subject,] Manuscript by a diligent study of the past, and application of thought to great questions
[q-q]DN which a few are now holding and
[s-s]DT] MS Does it follow that because a man sees something of to-morrow he can do nothing about to-day?] DN But does it follow that because a man can see something of the future he is not capable of judging of to-day?] Manuscript But does it follow, because a person has something to say about the future, that he must be incapable of judging of the present? That if he thinks for tomorrow, he can know nothing about today?
[t-t]DT I can see much tendency now which we ought to encourage, much to resist; but we ought to take care that the policy of the moment will be such as to fit us, and not unfit us, for the policy of the future. (Hear, hear.)] DN If we see towards what things are tending, what the tendencies are which we ought to encourage and what to resist, we shall take care that the policy of the moment shall be such as to fit us, and not unfit us, for the future. (Cheers.)] Manuscript : who can see what things we are tending to; which of the tendencies we should favour and which resist; and who will take care that his policy of the moment shall fit us instead of unfitting us for the greater good of the future. [The clause previous to this passage is in the singular.]
[u-u]DT is no longer a mere personal matter] DN now no longer regards me] Manuscript is no longer foremost to myself
[v-v]+DN,Manuscript] DT What
[w-w]+DT] Manuscript This we object to, and with reason
[x-x]+DN] Manuscript who has the longest purse, and is willing to open it widest
[z-z]DT , and who have no chance of getting into society by their talents or their education,] DN , who have no chance whatever of getting into society by their own talents, or education, or influence,] Manuscript —who have no chance of making their way into what is called good society by . . . as MS . . . breeding—it is exactly those
[a-a]DT It makes no difference to a working man whether he be paid for working or be paid for putting a placard in his window.] DN It is not more corruption to give money to get into parliament than it is to pay a man for exhibiting a placard in his window for the purpose of inducing him to vote for the man who pays him.] Manuscript To gain a seat by giving money to the electors is not less corruption because the elector does not receive the money for his vote, but for ostensible services: it makes no moral difference whether a working man is paid for voting, or for putting, for instance, a placard in his window.
[b]MS for doing them
[4 ]Edward Henry Stanley (1826–93), the son and heir of the 14th Earl of Derby, at this time M.P. for King’s Lynn, known for his abilities and his political moderation.
[c-c]+DT] Manuscript (they are very numerous)
[d-d]+DN] Manuscript that you have it not in you to elect any person but the man who will spend most money among you—that
[e-e]+DN] Manuscript for the present
[f-f]DN] MS In reply to Mr. Wanold
[5 ]A recurring question in these years, opposed by strict interpreters of the religious injunctions against marriage within the prohibited degrees of consanguinity. For the most recent legislative attempt, see “A Bill to Render Legal Certain Marriages of Affinity,” 25 Victoria (11 Feb., 1862), PP, 1862, III, 133–4 (not enacted). The question anticipates the bringing in of “A Bill to Render Legal Marriage with a Deceased Wife’s Sister,” 29 Victoria (6 Mar., 1866), PP, 1866, III, 501–3 (also not enacted).
[g-g]DN did not expect that would be the first question put to him
[6 ]Another recurrent question, most recently seen in “A Bill to Enable Owners and Occupiers of Property in Certain Districts to Prevent the Common Sale of Intoxicating Liquors within Such Districts,” 27 Victoria (10 Mar., 1864), PP, 1864, II, 357–64 (not enacted).
[i-i]DN] MS Mr. Mill said he warmly sympathised with the efforts of the temperance reformers. He believed drunkenness to be the bane of the working classes, and to be one of the greatest obstacles to their political advancement. But he could not violate principle, and did not think that it was right because some persons abused a benefit that others should be deprived of it. He relied mainly on moral means, such as education, for improving the habits of the working classes.] DT On the Permissive Bill and Maine Liquor Law, agreeing as he did with temperance, anti-drunkenness, and almost with total abstinence, on the ground that a twig sometimes required to be bent the wrong way in order to be set straight, still he could not consent to give power to the majority to tyrannise over the minority. He would trust more to improvement of morals and education, of which he believed the promoters of the Permissive Bill were also supporters.
[j-j]DT] MS only in favour of the infliction of
[1 ]See No. 6.
[a-a]DT Five years before 1839, when the Rochdale Pioneers’ Society was established, he wrote an article in the Westminster Review, the object of which was to show that the law ought so to be altered that these co-operative societies might exist, which at that period they could not.
[2 ]“Reorganization of the Reform Party,” London and Westminster Review, XXXII (Apr. 1839), 475–508; in CW, Vol. VI, pp. 465–95. For the comments on co-operation, see pp. 486–7. The Rochdale Equitable Pioneers’ Co-operative store opened in December 1844.
[3 ]By 15 Victoria, c. 31 (1852).
[b-b]DT] DN even
[4 ]“Workmen’s Benefit Societies,” Quarterly Review, CXVI (Oct. 1864), 318–50, by Samuel Smiles (1812–1904), the advocate of self-help.
[c-c]DT which enabled one class to legislate for its own benefit. (Applause.)
[d-d]DT] DN an
[f-f]DT] DN It was not likely that he should be able to bring in a reform bill of his own, but if returned he should give his attention to the plans of others, and he should stand by the principles he had laid down. At the same time he would accept any enlargement of the franchise as a step in the right direction provided they were not called upon to pay the price of a worse distribution. (Cheers.)
[5 ]See Considerations on Representative Government (1861), in CW, Vol. XIX, pp. 371–577, esp. Chaps. vii and viii.
[g-g]DT] DN A great many questions were put to the honourable candidate, most of which have been put and answered before, and the proceedings concluded with a resolution to the effect that the meeting considered Mr. Mill to be a fit person to represent Westminster in parliament, which was carried by acclamation.
[6 ]Principles of Political Economy (1848), Bk. I, Chap. vii, Sect. 5 (in CW, Vol. II, p. 109); the passage, added in the 3rd ed. (1852), is in the People’s Ed. (1865) at p. 68.
[7 ]The cotton industry collapsed because the Union forces in the U.S. Civil War denied access to the Confederate States’ cotton, and great distress resulted in Lancashire, especially in 1862–63. Nonetheless, the operatives expressed support for the North.
[8 ]“A Bill to Allow the Charging of the Excise Duty on Malt According to the Weight of the Grain Used,” 28 Victoria (19 May, 1865), PP, 1865, III, 1–6, had been enacted as 28 & 29 Victoria, c. 66 (1865). It was expected that the matter would be raised again.
[1 ]On 22 May, 1856, Preston Smith Brooks (1819–57), a Congressman from South Carolina, angered by a violent speech attacking Senator A.P. Butler of South Carolina by Charles Sumner (1811–74), Senator from Massachusetts and abolitionist, beat Sumner senseless with a gutta percha cane. Though a vote to expel him from the House of Representatives failed, Brooks resigned, but was unanimously re-elected by his constituents.
[2 ]For these supporters of the Union position, see App. H.
[3 ]Plato (427–347 ), Republic (Greek and English), trans. Paul Shorey, 2 vols. (London: Heinemann; Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 1946), Vol. I, p. 80 (I, i, 19).
[4 ]A radical catchphrase, probably deriving from William Godwin (1756–1836), Things As They Are; or, The Adventures of Caleb Williams (1794).
[5 ]John Somerset Pakington (1799–1880), Conservative M.P. for Droitwich, who was a leader in the movement for reform of elementary education, and Stafford Henry Northcote (1818–87), at this time Conservative M.P. for Stamford, who had worked on reorganizing the Board of Trade and the Civil Service.
[6 ]In the debates and votes on “A Bill for the Commutation of Church Rates,” 28 Victoria (21 Feb., 1865), PP, 1865, I, 135–54 (not enacted), and “A Bill to Substitute an Oath for the Oath Required to Be Taken by the Statute Passed in the Tenth Year of the Reign of King George the Fourth, for the Relief of His Majesty’s Roman Catholic Subjects,” 28 Victoria (21 Mar., 1865), PP, 1865, IV, 375–8 (not enacted).
[7 ]Cf. Thoughts on Parliamentary Reform (1859), in CW, Vol. XIX, p. 338. For Mill’s later comment on this exchange, see Autobiography, CW, Vol. I, pp. 274–5.
[8 ]Cf. Principles of Political Economy, CW, Vol. II, p. 358 (II, xii, 2).
[9 ]Genesis, 1:28.
[10 ]Cf. Ecclesiastes, 2:24.
[c-c]DT Suppose, for instance, and he took the number at random, that a constituency consisted of 5,000 voters, and these 5,000 voters had to elect one member; and suppose that of these 2,000 were Conservatives, and 3,000 were Liberals, or that 2,000 were Liberals, and the 3,000 Conservatives; in either case it was quite right that the 3,000, the majority, should have the member. But why were the other 2,000 voters to be without a member? They were entitled to one. Well, if these 2,000 could go somewhere else, and find another 1,000 who would agree with them, he would so have it, and give them a representative. (Hear, hear.) He would have the number fixed, by simple arithmetic, of those who were entitled to representation, say 5,000, 10,000, 20,000 or any number they liked. Well, if these 5,000, 10,000 or 20,000 agreed upon a representative, he would give them one. If that were so, there would not be a single person unrepresented.
[11 ]See No. 4.
[12 ]A recent move to purge the Church of England of Tractarian (or Puseyite) practices had been made by George Hampden Whalley (1813–78), Liberal M.P., in his Motion on the Church of England, Illegal Usages and Ornaments (23 May, 1865), PD, 3rd ser., Vol. 178, cols. 774–5.
[13 ]Exodus, 20:8.
[d-d]MS Another Elector asked what advantages would be gained by giving the working classes a vote. (Oh, oh, and laughter.)
[e-e]MS] DT It elevated the self-dignity of a man; it made all the difference between the selfish man and the patriot. (Cheers.) Only think of the mental culture it implied
[a-a]DN private and in public meetings
[b-b]DT] MS the means of expressing their
[c-c]DT] MS Liberals as against a Conservative and an opponent of all Liberalism whatever.] DN liberal as contradistinguished from a conservative opponent, who had declared no liberal opinions whatever. He had nothing further to say.
[d-d]DT There were but very few for Captain Grosvenor, and about four to five times as many for Mr. Smith and Mr. Mill. Notwithstanding this, however, the Returning Officer declared that the show of hands was for Messrs. Grosvenor and Smith. (Hisses, laughter, and It’s a lie.)
[1 ]The Times, the Daily News, and the Standard all agree that the returning officer was mistaken.
[1 ]See No. 8.
[2 ]John Gellibrand Hubbard (1805–89), then M.P. for Buckingham, who proposed a different tax rate for incomes derived from investments and from employment. See his “Draft Report” and “Memorandum” as Chairman in “Report from the Select Committee on Income and Property Tax,” PP, 1861, VII, 303–18. For Mill’s evidence before that Committee, see CW, Vol. V, pp. 549–98.
[3 ]For an example of these words used in the context of Roman Catholicism, see a leading article on convents, The Times, 29 Mar., 1854, p. 9.
[a-a]TT,DN] MS glorious to Westminster, a principle which has been glorious to
[b-b]DN] MS a lesson which gives a power based on] TT the power of
[c-c]DN] MS means of] TT daily
[e-e]TT] MS purity of election has to start so heavily weighted in the race as to be something like a man on foot against a man on horseback. (Hear, hear.) That is
[f-f]TT] MS for many
[g-g]TT] MS had a saying that that system cannot be good which rests on heroic efforts, and I] DN has a saying that that system cannot be good which rests on the heroic virtues, and I do
[1 ]Edmund Burke (1729–97), Mr. Burke’s Speech in Presenting to the House of Commons . . . a Plan for the Better Security of the Independence of Parliament (1780), in Works, 8 vols. (London: Dodsley [Vols. I-III], Rivington [Vols. IV-VIII], 1792–1827), Vol. II, p. 240.
[h-h]TT , aye, and practical too. (Cheers.)