Front Page Titles (by Subject) February to August 1867 - 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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February to August 1867 - 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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February to August 1867
Manchester Examiner and Times, 5 February, 1867, p. 6. Headed: “Opening of the Manchester Reform Club.” (A clipping of this version is in the Mill-Taylor Collection.) The speech was reported in London on the 6th in the Daily News and the Morning Star. Mill had travelled down from St. Andrews, where on 1 February he had delivered his Inaugural Address as Rector (see CW, Vol. XXI, pp. 215–57), to attend the inaugural luncheon meeting of the Manchester Reform Club at Spring Gardens. Hugh Mason presided. In addition to Mill, Goldwin Smith was present as a guest (see No. 43 for Mill’s speech in his honour later the same day). After the formal business of the meeting was concluded, toasts were offered, including one by Thomas Bayley Potter (1817–98), M.P. for Rochdale, who proposed “Political progress, the only safeguard of civil liberty,” with which he coupled the names of Mill and Smith. “Mill, on being called upon to respond,” then spoke.
mr. chairman and gentlemen, you have done me the honour of associating my name with the words of “political progress.” It is with you, it is with the men of Lancashire, that that idea should be more particularly connected. We of the south are accustomed to look to you—to the north—as invariably leading the van, not only in the industrial and the commercial progress, but in the political progress of this country. And in doing so you have only confirmed the idea which we have heard from our childhood, which is admitted and even asserted as a general principle by Conservative as well as Liberal thinkers, that manufacturing and commercial populations are always the leaders on the side of progress—(hear),—and that agricultural populations, and particularly the territorial aristocracy and the great landowners, have a different function in the community—a function sometimes necessary, although often it has become excessive—the Conservative function, the function of keeping that which is good, and I am afraid sometimes that which is bad too. a(Cheers and laughter.) But to you it particularly belongs—toa the manufacturing and commercial communities of the world, and to the manufacturing and commercial part of mixed communities, belongs the lead in improvement, both in ideas and above all in the application of those ideas to practice. It is natural that it should be so, because those who are constantly employed in devising more and more new contrivances for making the laws of nature bavailableb for the increase of the national wealth, and for attaining all the objects that are pursued in the economical department of things with ever-increasing facility; those of us, a very large proportion of whom are always men who have made their own position and their own fortunes, who are always rising, a succession of them rising from inferior to higher positions—those are the persons whose practice and whose whole course in life naturally ought to make them, and very generally does make them, habitual improvers and reformersc. (Hear, hear.) Those are the industriesc which turn men’s minds to improvement in all departments of things as well as in their own. I wish it were not, unfortunately, to be set down to the general infirmities of human nature, that even these very men, after they have raised themselves, their fortune completely made, they and their descendants dvery often cherishd the rather low ambition of passing over to the class of territorial magnates—(hear, and cheers), and from that time ewee rather see their influence employed on the Conservative side—often, wholesomely, sometimes perhaps not quite so wholesomely, than on the side on which they have themselves made their position. (Cheers.) Still, it is to them, it is to this class that we must look in all great national movements for political improvement, and it is to them we look mainly for fsuccess for the futuref in the great battle in which we are now engaging against what remains of privilege in this country. (Cheers.) The sentiment which has been given by my friend Mr. Potter gassociatesg political progress, with civil liberty, as being the sole condition of it; and I think no person who uses the smallest reflection can doubt that this is true, for hour history and our principles together combineh in showing, in the first place, that the nation which is not going forward always goes back; the nation which is not constantly employed in improving whatever it has both of iphysical and moral good,i and also of spiritual good, which is not constantly engaged in improving, gets into a state of stagnationj, and actual indolence and indifferencej , the sure consequence of which is decline kin these things, and with decline in these things, with decline either in mental prosperity, in mental or moral culture,k comes necessarily—where a people has been free—the gradual loss of liberty. (Hear, hear.) Consequently it is not to be expected that any country should long retain its liberty which is not engaged in political progress, which does not keep political progress constantly going. And more than this, there is a point which more especially tempts and invites our attention at this present moment, namely, the question of how a country—in the lnewl state of the world—is to protect, not only its liberty, but its national independence, against foreign countries. Look at the armed hosts that are rising up all over the world just now. Look at the immense extent to which the governments of Europe—all the more powerful governments—are devoting their resources,—the whole, almost we may say, of their population,—to the maintenance of enormous armies, and not merely defensive but aggressive armies. (Hear, hear.) Is not that menacing to this country? Does anybody suppose that these governments look with pleasure on the degree of freedom that we enjoy, or upon the contrast whereby, in many respects, our position offers to that of their subjects, min all thism freedom? Not at all. Yet what position are we in? We, with our small army, and I hope we shall never have a large and an aggressive army—we actually cannot keep it up, we cannot get recruits, because—and this is the point to which the most attention, I think, should be turned, as being one of the most remarkable signs of the times—the people of this country, and, indeed, of other countries, but especially of this country, will no longer fight for a cause that is not their own. Men will not be soldiers as a mere profession, or at least the number is constantly diminishing, who will hire themselves out to shed the blood of others when it is not for the protection of their own freedom and laws. And we have a noble example of what a people will do—how a people will fight—when it is for themselves, for their own cause, for their own liberty, or for moral principles which they regard equally with their liberty. We have seen that in the late heroic and glorious struggle of the United States. (Loud cheers.) We have seen there a million of men in arms for their own freedom, but chiefly for the freedom of others, chiefly for the general cause of liberty; a million of men in arms—every family in the country almost had some one of its members in that force, and scarcely a family in the ncountry, or in the free states, is notn in mourning in consequence of that war. Nevertheless they fought on until they had triumphed. They have triumphed, and they have gone back to their ploughs and to their looms, and have resumed the pursuits of civil life, no more thinking to continue a military life, or to make oany invidious encroachmentso on their neighbours, or to engage in any war but such a one as they have carried so nobly to a conclusion—(hear, hear)—any more than if they had never handled a musket. (Hear, hear.) That is the defensive army which we require—(loud cheers)—it is the defensive force we seek—(cheers)—and we ought with the utmost vigour to oppose any attempt to increase it so as to give us an aggressive force. What we want is a defensive force; what we want is that the people shall be a disciplined people, shall be an armed people, shall be ready to fight, and to go forth as the Americans did, in their own cause, por in any cause in which they feel a disinterested concern;p that it shall be for themselves and not for others—and that they shall offer the highest places in that force not to those who have bought, or who are born to it, but to those who qcan showq that they have earned it, and that they deserve it. (Loud applause.)
[Goldwin Smith also responded, and after several more toasts and replies the meeting ended.]
Manchester Examiner and Times, 5 February, 1867. Headed: “Mr. Goldwin Smith’s Lectures. / William Pitt.” (A clipping of the report is in the Mill-Taylor Collection.) No other report has been located. Mill’s second public appearance on this day (see No. 42) was in the evening at the Assembly Room of the Free Trade Hall. Mill, who was in the Chair, “received a very enthusiastic reception from the audience.” His speech introduced Goldwin Smith (1823–1910), Regius Professor of Modern History at Oxford, who was to deliver the last of his four lectures on the Political History of England, which were given to raise funds for the Jamaica Committee.
ladies and gentlemen, if Mr. Goldwin Smith were a stranger here, there are many things which it would be my duty, and still more my pleasure, to have said respecting him; but he was no stranger here before he delivered the lectures which have been so well received here, and which have so well deserved it; and he is still less a stranger after them. I therefore need not tell you who or what Mr. Goldwin Smith is. I will only say this, that what makes him, in my estimation, a perfectly invaluable man at this period in this country, is not his talents, not his acquirements, not even his courage—rare as that quality is, which ought to be the commonest of all public virtues—but it is that these talents, and those acquirements, and that courage have been, above all, exercised and called forth in defence of outraged moral principles. (Applause.) Whenever there is a high moral principle to be asserted against the insolence of power, or against the prevailing opinion of the powerful classes, there Mr. Goldwin Smith is to be found. (Hear.) You all know two of the most conspicuous instances—the stand which he made against the sympathy with the worst of all rebellions, the slaveholders’ rebellion,1 and that which he is now making against the outrages in Jamaica.2 Above all, when any outrage is committed against those united principles, principles which never were dissevered in the best times of our history, and never ought to be dissevered—liberty and law—it is then that we most need the services and the aid, the championship of a man in whom those two ideas are for ever united—ideas which are now so separated in the minds of the powerful that the most lawless outrages are condoned by the proper and authorised defenders of law, provided they are perpetrated against liberty. (Applause.)
[After Smith’s address, the meeting’s thanks to Smith for the series were moved. The motion was carried by acclamation, and Smith responded, commenting that when it was first suggested to him that his friend Mill should preside, he had said that “it would be rather like drawing a champagne cork with a steam engine. (Laughter.) But the steam engine was so kind and unconscious of its own magnitude that it came. (Hear, and laughter.)” Jacob Bright then took the Chair, so that T.B. Potter could move a vote of thanks to Mill. Bright, in putting the motion, remarked that when Mill entered the House of Commons, he “found himself much too large to be a Tory—(laughter)—he was too generous and had too much courage to be a Whig, and he gave his great powers unsought to the cause of the people, which was the cause of humanity. (Cheers.)” After the vote was approved with loud applause, Mill rose again.]
Mr. Mill said: Ladies and gentlemen, I am most sincerely and deeply grateful for the kind feelings with which you have received me, and for the kind vote of thanks you have been pleased to pass, though I do not feel that I at all deserve it, for having come here to give myself the opportunity of hearing the noble address which has kept us all in such a state of delight from beginning to end, and the opportunity also of giving, so far as the case admits of it, my adhesion to the whole tone and tenour of that discourse, and to nearly all the sentiments and statements which it contains. I say nearly all, because it is impossible that, in any address of that length, there should not be some things on which differences of opinion might arise, and if I could wish to suggest any difference of opinion from this noble discourse it would be to put in a word for the poor French Revolutionists. (Applause.) Unfortunately, there is too much of what Mr. Goldwin Smith has brought against them which can neither be denied nor palliated; but I should be very sorry, and I have no doubt Mr. Goldwin Smith himself would be very sorry, that you should suppose that there is not another side to the question—that there is nothing whatever to be said for them. On the contrary, in many of what seem their most exceptionable acts, there were circumstantial justifications of detail which, if they were stated, would very often, in my opinion, justify, and always excuse their conduct. I am speaking of the comparatively good period of the revolution. I would not, any more than the best revolutionists did then, and their greatest admirers have done since, palliate for one instant either the massacre of September or the excesses of the reign of terror. There were many bad men among them, and there were many bad acts; but there were also men of the purest virtue, some of the most heroic characters that ever existed, many of whom gave their lives, not only for their principles, but to preserve the purity and the fame of those principles by preventing, as far as could be, the atrocities with which they were stained, and rather sacrificed their own lives when they could have saved them, than tacitly connive at, or appear to be any parties to those iniquities. For what there was—and there was very much—for which no excuse can be offered, the greatest share of the blame rests where Mr. Goldwin Smith placed it, upon the odious system under which they had hitherto lived, the oppressions under which they had suffered, and the entire failure of their governing classes to establish any claim whatever on their forbearance. But even among those governing classes there were exceptions—a minority of the noblesse in the first States General, the minority which first joined with the people, consisting of about forty-five, among which there is not one name that was not eminent. Those 45 men, or thereabouts, I take to be about as heroic a body of men as ever existed, Lafayette being at their head.3 (Applause.) However, this is not the occasion on which it would be suitable to go any further into this subject. I have only entered upon it at all because I thought that possibly, without any intention on the part of the lecturer, a more unfavourable impression than he intended might be given to some of those who had not studied the history of the period; and I could not help saying what little depends upon myself to reduce this too heavy catalogue of just accusations against the French revolutionists within its legitimate bounds. (Hear.) I cannot sufficiently congratulate this assembly and this city upon what Mr. Brodrick4 has so well called the union between Oxford and Manchester—that is, between the best part of Oxford and Manchester—(laughter and applause)—which is inaugurated, I hope, by Mr. Goldwin Smith’s presence here. (Applause.) Mr. Goldwin Smith is one of that band of reformers who have made Oxford so different from what it was not long ago. (Hear.) There was a time not very distant when it seemed as if the University of Oxford existed for the purpose of preventing all which a university is supposed to exist in order to create. That time has gone by. There is abundant need for reform in Oxford still; but there is abundance of good there. There is a race of men now rising in Oxford in whom the spirit of improvement is as strong and as enlightened as in any other class or body of men who can be found in this country—(applause), who are taking the lead in all Liberal improvements—not only in politics, but in all that with which Oxford is more particularly connected—in ecclesiastical matters. We have an example of this in the two Fellows5 of an illustrious college at Oxford who have appeared among you on this occasion, and uttered sentiments which all present will appreciate. They also form part of this noble band of men from whose exertions England will yet reap admirable fruits, and fruits which will doubtless increase year after year. The improvements which are taking place, and which will take place, are being prepared and will be forwarded and carried into effect in a great degree, as I fully believe, by them all, such men as they are. I am sure that my friend, Mr. Goldwin Smith, may well leave this city with the feelings of satisfaction, of pleasure, and of thankfulness which he has expressed. (Hear.) And I am sure that no less those whom I am addressing sincerely feel the thanks which they have voted to Mr. Goldwin Smith. I am sure that from the lectures he has delivered, and of which I have only had the satisfaction of hearing one, but, if the others were like it, I know what I must have lost—you must be quite aware how much you have yet to look to from him. (Applause.) How he can possibly suppose that his sole means of usefulness is his pen, I know not, and I think the statement must have surprised all of you as much as it surprised me. But I have no doubt that the faculty which appears to have been a secret to himself, but which he has manifested in so remarkable a manner to us, will be yet exercised in many other ways and on many other occasions, equally with his very active pen, for the service, not only of parliamentary reform, but of all other public improvements. (Applause.)
[The meeting then terminated.]
The Royal Commission on Trades’ Unions
Morning Star, 16 February, 1867, p. 5. Headed: “The Trades’ Unions Commission. / Deputation to the Home Secretary.” Reprinted without substantive variants in Report of the Various Proceedings Taken by the London Trades’ Council and the Conference of Amalgamated Trades, in Reference to the Royal Commission on Trades’ Unions, and Other Subjects in Connection Therewith (London: Kenny, 1867), pp. 33–4. The deputation of representative working men called on Spencer Walpole at the Home Office. Mill introduced them and, after others exchanged comments, spoke.
i have no doubt the commission will examine every person that may be produced, and that any person the working classes wish to represent them will get a fair hearing, but if I understand the matter rightly the difficulty was not that witnesses will not get opportunities of giving all the evidence they consider desirable, but that some persons in the interests of the trades’ unions, and properly understanding their working, should be present to answer any charge that may be made affecting the character of any one of the trades. I believe what is desired is, that some persons having practical acquaintance with trades’ unions should be put in position to contradict anything that may be said, through, perhaps, ignorance, damaging to the character of these societies, or to put such questions as would have the effect of enabling the commission to form a better and more impartial opinion than perhaps they otherwise could have done. Very likely Mr. Harrison may do it well,1 but Mr. Harrison with a working man may be able to do it better. If the commission had the power to do what the trades’ unions desired with regard to the attendance of persons to watch the interests of each trade as questions affecting that trade came up for inquiry, no doubt it would be better.
Mr. Walpole: I think the commission can do so, but I should not like to interfere any further.
Mr. Mill then thanked Mr. Walpole for the courteousness of his reception, and the delegation withdrew.
The Metropolitan Poor Bill 
Saint Stephen’s Chronicle, Vol. II, p. 148. Not in PD. The Times, 9 March, p. 6, summarizes Mill’s intervention in a clause. On 7 March (PD, 3rd ser., Vol. 185, col. 1510) Gathorne Gathorne-Hardy (1814–1906), M.P. for the University of Oxford and President of the Poor Law Board, moved that the House go into Committee pro forma on “A Bill for the Establishment in the Metropolis of Asylums for the Sick, Insane, and Other Classes of the Poor, and of Dispensaries; and for the Distribution over the Metropolis of Portions of the Charge for Poor Relief; and for Other Purposes Relating to Poor Relief in the Metropolis,” 30 Victoria (7 Mar., 1867), PP, 1867, IV, 283–324 (as amended). He proposed that the discussion proper should begin on the next day, and Mill spoke at the beginning of that session, concerning the scheduling of the Bill. In reply to a question, Gathorne-Hardy said that he intended to proceed with the Committee on the Metropolitan Poor Bill that evening, and Mill intervened.
the bill with the amendments of the right honourable gentleman is not yet in the hands of honourable members, and they are therefore hardly in a position to go into committee upon it.
[Sir Thomas Chambers (1814–91), M.P. for Marylebone, agreed with Mill, but Gathorne-Hardy concluded the discussion by saying that the importance of the matter entailed continuing immediately, and that the amended version would soon be in members’ hands. For the ensuing discussion, see Nos. 47–9.]
The Straits Settlements
PD, 3rd ser., Vol. 185, cols. 1606–7. Reported in The Times, 9 March, p. 7. Myles William O’Reilly, M.P. for Longford, asked questions of Adderley, the Colonial Secretary, concerning the treatment of officers as a result of the transfer of the Settlement from the India to the Colonial Office. Adderley replied, saying in part that the Colonial Office did not communicate with the superseded officers because it dealt only with its own appointees, not those of the Indian Department. Mill then spoke.
mr. j. stuart mill said, he knew nothing of these particular cases, but he did know something of the Straits Settlements. He hoped that the general proceedings of the Colonial Office were not such as they appeared to have been in this instance. The reason why Parliament desired to transfer the Straits Settlements from the India to the Colonial Office was, he apprehended, because those settlements were totally different from India, in a totally different state of society, and had always been under a totally different system of government. There was no natural connection between the Straits Settlements and India; but as soon as the transfer was made it was thought necessary by the Colonial Office that the officers, who had been conducting the affairs of the Settlements, as seemed to be implied, upon the Indian system, should be superseded by others who would conduct them upon the colonial system. He wanted to know what the colonial system was. He hoped and trusted that there was no such thing. How could there be one system for the government of Demerara, Mauritius, the Cape of Good Hope, Ceylon, and Canada? What was the special fitness of a gentleman who had been employed in the administration of the affairs of one of those colonies, for the government of another of which he knew nothing, and in regard to which his experience in other places could supply him with no knowledge? What qualifications had such a man, that should render it necessary to appoint him to transact business of which he knew nothing, in the place of gentlemen who did understand it, and who had been carrying it on, not certainly upon the Indian system, and he believed upon no system whatever but the Straits Settlements system? He did not know upon what principle the government of the Straits Settlements was to be carried on by the Colonial Office; but he did know that the principle upon which such trusts were administered by the old East India Company was that of retaining a man in the position the duties of which he understood, and they would never have thought of removing a man from an office of which he understood all the details, and replacing him by one who knew nothing about them. He knew nothing of the gentlemen who had administered the government of the Straits Settlements. He was not even aware whether they desired to retain their offices: but he was sure that if they did, it would have been for the public advantage that they should be allowed to keep them. At all events, if they were to be removed, they ought to have been informed of that intention by some Department of the Government, and ought not to have been allowed to learn it from reading in a newspaper that their successors had been appointed.1 That that should have occurred was very discreditable to somebody; and for his own part he should have thought that it was the duty of the Colonial Office to communicate with these gentlemen, because they were still serving in a territory which had been transferred to that Department, and were not then acting under the India Office. They must, indeed, until they ceased to exercise their functions, have been in communication with the Colonial Office upon a hundred other subjects, and it was curious that the only topic upon which the Colonial Department did not think it necessary to intimate its sentiments to them, was that of their removal from their posts, and the appointment of their successors.
The Metropolitan Poor Bill 
PD, 3rd ser., Vol. 185, cols. 1608–10, 1616. Reported in The Times, 9 March, p. 7, from which the variant and responses are taken. Mill indicated in a letter of 9 March to Chadwick that his comments were “imperfectly reported,” though the account in the Morning Star—which Hansard would have used in his collation—was “the best” (LL, CW, Vol. XVI, pp. 1254–5). Mill spoke during Committee consideration of the Metropolitan Poor Bill (for which, see No. 45). Clause 5, on which Mill first spoke, and which was approved, read: “Asylums to be supported and managed according to the provisions of this Act may be provided under this Act for Reception and Relief of the Sick, Insane, or Infirm, or other Class or Classes of the Poor Chargeable in Unions and Parishes in the Metropolis.” Mill’s second intervention came on Clause 9—“the Managers shall . . . be partly elective and partly nominated”—immediately after speeches by Chambers and Torrens that are summarized in the text below.
(Chambers’s amendment was defeated.)
mr. j. stuart mill said, he was too much alive to the extreme difficulty of carrying any measure for the improvement of the law or its administration to be over critical in regard to the present Bill, as it was brought forward with a real desire to improve the administration of the Poor Law,1 and really did so in many important particulars. But he wished to make a few observations, chiefly for the purpose of eliciting the views of the right honourable Gentleman (Mr. Gathorne-Hardy), and of entering a caveat in respect to principles of administration which seemed to him true and just, but which that measure was very far from carrying out to the extent which he was persuaded the House and the country would come in time to think desirable. He wished to ask the reason why the Bill, in the new system which it originated, preserved so much of the fractional character of the old system. Why was it necessary, for example, that there should be one set of managers for asylums, and a different set for dispensaries? Why were asylums to be provided according to districts marked out by the Poor Law Board, while dispensaries were to be provided according to parishes and unions? Both of those institutions, being kindred institutions, must be managed in a certain degree on the same principles, and those who were capable of managing the one must be capable of managing the other. Why was it thought necessary that the management of every separate asylum should be under a separate body, and that every separate dispensary should be under a separate management? No doubt, the right honourable Gentleman meant that there should be the same system of administration for them, and trusted to the powers reserved for the Poor Law Board for establishing it.2 But it was a sound rule that the administration of the same kind of things ought to be, as far as possible, on a large scale, and under the same management. A Central Board would be under the eye of the public, who would know and think more about it than about local Boards. It would act under a much greater sense of responsibility. The number of persons capable of adequately performing the duties in question was necessarily limited, and such persons would be more easily induced to undertake duties on a large scale than on a small one. It was probable that a considerable number of powers now reserved to the Poor Law Board might safely be exercised by such a Central Board; which would, to that extent, preserve the principle of the administration of the local affairs of the people by their own representatives. (Hear.) He was not one of those who desired to weaken the power of the Poor Law Board to guide local authorities, and supersede them when they failed in their duty, for Poor Law administration is not a local but a national concern. But there was much force in what was said by some local authorities, who did not object to the main principles of this Bill, who admitted that its proposals were necessary, who applauded the right honourable Gentleman for making them, yet had fair ground for urging that they ought to have the opportunity of themselves doing what was required, and that interference should take place only when they had failed. With a view to future legislation it would be well worth considering whether the administration of the relief of the sick poor for the whole of London should not be placed under central instead of local management, the Central Board to be constituted by election, or partly by election and partly by nomination. He did not wonder that the right honourable Gentleman (Mr. Gathorne-Hardy) had not chosen to leave the sick poor in the hands of the vestries. Vestry government was hole and corner government, and he hoped the time was coming when they would not tolerate hole and corner administration for any purpose whatever. He hoped, before long, to have the opportunity of bringing this matter before the House in connection with the general subject of metropolitan local government. Of course, some of the vestries had suffered wrongfully for the deficiencies of those who had done worse; but it was in the essence of hole and corner government to be comparatively irresponsible, inefficient, jobbing, and carried on by inferior persons—objections which would not apply to a Central Board. With a Central Board in existence, the duties of the vestries would be those of superintendence rather than of execution. A numerically large Board was unfit for executive or administrative duties, but admirably fitted for looking after those who were intrusted with such duties. Administrative duties were best intrusted to a single hand, which should be responsible, and, if possible, paid (hear, hear); and the executive administration of the Poor Laws should principally devolve on paid officers, who would be watched in the districts by the vestries, which would consist of ready-made critics superintending others with a vigilance with which they did not like others to superintend them. (Hear, hear.) aIn this way an addition might be made to the provisions of this Bill for securing appropriate superintendents.a The proposal to make the asylums medical schools, and thus to secure to them a high degree of publicity and the constant supervision of skilled persons, did the greatest credit to whoever suggested it, and was a proof of a real capacity for practical legislation.3 (Hear, hear.)
[In the discussion of Clause 9, Thomas Chambers moved an amendment to the effect that all the managers should be elected. McCullagh Torrens, while expressing great anxiety that the Bill should pass, argued in favour of the amendment, asserting that opinion outside the House was unanimous that control should not be taken out of the ratepayers’ hands.4 ]
Mr. J. Stuart Mill said, he agreed with the honourable Gentleman, and did not see any reason for the provisions in the Bill by which the Poor Law Board were empowered to appoint a certain number of guardians.5 According to his view, the guardians were, or ought to be, quite competent to perform their duties without any assistance from the Government of any kind; but in the case of the appointment of a manager, in whom special skill was required, popular election might not be altogether so satisfactory as the appointment of a responsible functionary. He was therefore fully disposed to support this particular clause, although he should oppose, with his honourable Friend the Member for Finsbury, that part of the Bill which left the nomination of the guardians in the hands of the Poor Law Board.
The Metropolitan Poor Bill 
PD, 3rd ser., Vol. 185, cols. 1678–9, 1680, 1685, and 1696. Reported in The Times, 12 March, p. 7, from which the variant and response are taken. Mill wrote to Chadwick on the 12th to say that his remarks were “better reported this time than last [see No. 47], though briefly” (LL, CW, Vol. XVI, p. 1256). The Committee consideration of the Metropolitan Poor Bill (see No. 45) continued, with Mill speaking on Clause 45, which provided that the District Medical Officers for the Unions and Parishes should be appointed by the Dispensary Committee, subject to the rules and orders of the Poor Law Board, except that those in employment when the Dispensary Committee was first set up should continue in office under such modifications of their duties and remuneration as should be made by the Poor Law Board.
mr. j. stuart mill said, he had ventured on a former clause to make some suggestions which had been received very courteously,1 and he was now going to make two other suggestions, which were not new, but had been frequently made by, perhaps, the highest authority on the subject, Mr. Chadwick, the only surviving member of the Royal Commission which drew up the Poor Law.2 That Commission was one of the most enlightened and able that ever sat, and so long ago as 1834 proposed principles on the subject of education, which, Parliament being afraid of doing too many good deeds at once, left for adoption by generations to come. He regretted Mr. Chadwick was not himself a Member of that House; there was scarcely any one whose services would be more valuable on many points of administrative improvement. (Hear.) The first suggestion he had to offer was this—if they wished the poor to be effectually taken care of, the medical officers appointed should not be in private practice.3 It was not to be expected in the ordinary run of human affairs that public duty would not be neglected for private practice. It was eminently honourable to the profession that public duties were so well attended to as they were; but medical officers should be under no temptation to postpone their public duties to private practice. Could any one suppose that in a time of epidemic and disorder, when their services would be most required by the poor, that they would not be under the temptation of postponing their public duties for their private practice? One had heard of people advertising for perfection in a schoolmaster for £40 a year, which they were just as likely to get as a Board of Guardians were likely to get a competent medical officer for £100 a year. The other point was as to the mode of the appointment of the medical officers. He thought we might well adopt the practice of the hospitals of Paris, which were the best managed in Europe, where the medical officers were appointed by a medical board after examination; and he would suggest whether it would not be in the power of the College of Physicians and the College of Surgeons, in combination with the Civil Service Commissioners, to have a system of competitive examinations in order to test the capacity of those medical officers who were appointed.4 It was clear that the House was not at present prepared to adopt this suggestion; but he laid it before the House and the right honourable Gentleman, in the hope that it might be taken into consideration on some future occasion.
Mr. Mill saida He did not move any Amendment on the subject.
[Gathorne-Hardy replied (cols. 1679–80) that it would not be possible to employ officers if they were prohibited from engaging also in private practice. As to Mill’s suggestion of competitive examinations, he had no experience of them in such cases, and thought that such a system would lessen the responsibility of those appointing the officers. In fact, the present checks were sufficient. Gathorne-Hardy was followed by John Brady, F.R.S., M.P. for Leitrim, who expressed surprise that Mill, “so well informed on subjects in general,” should argue a case on which he knew nothing. Were he to visit the hospitals, he would find eminent men attending without any salary; if private practice were denied, the officers would be drawn from inexperienced men who would give up the post for private practice as soon as they were qualified. Further, the present examinations for physicians and even more for surgeons were sufficiently severe.]
Mr. J. Stuart Mill said, that as the suggestion which he ventured to make was an administrative, not a medical, suggestion, he did not see why he should be prevented from making it, though he was not a medical man. As to the question of remuneration, he had said before what he now repeated, that if his suggestions were agreed to, the remuneration to medical officers must be considerably raised. Whatever money was spent in this direction was most usefully employed, because they ought to have the best medical assistance that could be obtained for the poor.
[Clause 45 was agreed.]
Mr. J. Stuart Mill said, the clause,5 as he understood it, would empower the Poor Law Board to dismiss the officers of any Poor Law district, on grant of compensation at their discretion, though those gentlemen had hitherto held office for life, except in case of misconduct. Whatever the confidence which those officers felt in the right honourable Gentleman (Mr. Gathorne-Hardy), they did not like to be in the power absolutely of an unlimited line of his successors. They would accordingly be very glad if the right honourable Gentleman would either sanction an appeal or a reference to arbitration, so that they might not be at the mercy or discretion of a single officer.
[Gathorne-Hardy responded negatively (cols. 1685–6). The Clause was agreed.]
Mr. J. Stuart Mill said, he wished to ask if it were worth while risking the popularity of the measure for the sake of the clause.6 Boards of Guardians, who had hardly any power left, except in relation to the outdoor poor, would be quite as fit to inspect asylums, etc., without nominee guardians as with them.
[The Clause was approved, amended to limit such nominees to one-third of the total number.]
The Metropolitan Poor Bill 
PD, 3rd ser., Vol. 185, cols. 1861–2. Reported in The Times, 15 March, p. 5, from which the variants and response are taken. Mill was the first speaker in debate on the third reading of the Bill
(see No. 45).
i wish to make only one or two observations. This Bill effects a great improvement in the existing state of things, and the chief thing to be regretted is that it does not go further. (Hear, hear.) The right honourable Gentleman (Mr. Gathorne-Hardy) has reserved to himself1 the decision of a point which he was urged by several deputations to decide by the Bill itself—namely, the extent and boundaries of the districts, each of which is to have an asylum to itself.2 I wish to urge upon the right honourable Gentleman the importance of making these districts large; as large as the present or future Parliamentary districts. Less than this will not answer the purpose; and I hope the right honourable Gentleman will give us this evening some idea of what are his purposes on this subject. Another point of more importance is, that there should be created, to stand between the Poor Law Board and the local Boards, an intermediate representative body, which might be intrusted with the aexecution of those rules and principles which concerneda the metropolis as a whole, and which, although elected, might have the exercise delegated to it of some of the functions now reserved to the Poor Law Board. I much regret that the right honourable Gentleman has not taken powers to establish such an authority, for we know that he is himself favourable for it.3 The value of large bodies representing large constituencies, as compared with small bodies representing small districts, is indisputable. I will at present confine myself to suggesting one or two practical cases in which it will be found of importance. Take the case of an epidemic likely to affect the whole metropolis, but for the present confined to a single district. In that case the resources of the entire metropolis could, through the administration of the general Board, be applied to the district in which they were wanted. Something like this was done lately in apprehension of a visit of the cholera, by the establishment of a central committee sitting at the Mansion House.4 That committee centralized the charity of the whole of London. Again, there is the case of bsevereb destitution confined to certain districts. In these cases the buildings and beds in some parts of the metropolis are empty, while in the districts suffering the distress they are crowded. The value of a central or intermediate Board between the Poor Law Board and the local bodies, to superintend the application of the resources of the whole metropolis to the immediate exigencies of the distressed districts, is in such cases obvious. This function might well be discharged by a Central Board composed partly of the ratepayers’ nominees, and partly of persons selected by the Commissioners. Another most important consideration is that referring to the providing of food, medicine, and other necessaries for the hospitals. In many cases, also, relief is most advantageously given in kind, which makes it very important that provision should be made for obtaining the best articles possible. To make contracts for the supply of these things is an operation for which no local or small body can be by many degrees so fit as is a central body either in point of efficiency or economy. Jobbing, which is inseparable from hole-and-corner proceedings, need not be apprehended in the case of a body representing the whole metropolis, making purchases on a large scale, and entering into large contracts competed for by opulent firms, for these transactions, being of a public nature, would be carried on under the eyes of the world, and subject to public criticism. No one can dispute, and the right honourable Gentleman must be perfectly aware, that efficiency and economy in contracts are better secured when the body which makes them must do so with publicity—when it stands conspicuous in the public eye. To any one disposed to object to the suggestion for creating an intermediate or central elected Board, like the one I am speaking of, that it is a step on the road to centralization, I would say that if the establishment of such an intermediate body be denied, the denial of it would be a far greater step towards centralization. The powers which such a body is best qualified to exercise have become indispensable. They will therefore be necessarily assumed by a purely Government Board, without any elected body at all—by the Poor Law Board. These are the suggestions I offer to the right honourable Gentleman, and the reasons by which I support them.
[After a few more observations, including Gathorne-Hardy’s that they might institute such a Board if the need for new powers became apparent in the next year and a half (cols. 1864–5), the Bill was given third reading.]
The Reform Bill 
PD, 3rd ser., Vol. 186, col. 1321. Not reported in The Times. Under Public Business, the House was discussing the scheduling of debate on “A Bill Further to Amend the Laws Relating to the Representation of the People in England and Wales,” 30 Victoria (18 Mar., 1867), PP, 1867, V, 521–46 (the Second Reform Bill), and on “A Bill to Provide for the More Effectual Prevention of Corrupt Practices and Undue Influence at Parliamentary Elections,” 30 Victoria (9 Apr., 1867), ibid., II, 213–32. Mill followed Ayrton, who suggested putting the Reform Bill first, and deciding when it had got into Committee whether or not to proceed with the Bribery and Corrupt Practices Bill.
mr. j. stuart mill said, there was a great deal of inconvenience in leaving a matter of so much importance in vagueness and uncertainty. He spoke feelingly on the subject, as he had a Motion on the paper which would be the first Amendment on the Reform Bill when they got into Committee,1 and he was naturally anxious therefore to know whether the Bill would come on on Thursday. He was perfectly ready to bring forward his Motion on that day, or later if the House thought fit; but it was extremely important that he should know on what day he would be called upon to bring it forward.
[Disraeli followed immediately on Mill’s speech (cols. 1321–2), and accepted Ayrton’s proposal.]
PD, 3rd ser., Vol. 186, cols. 1452–3. Reported in The Times, 11 April, p. 6. The variant reading is taken from the St. Stephen’s Chronicle, Vol. III, p. 112. Moving the second reading of “A Bill to Exempt Associations of Workmen from Certain Disabilities for a Limited Time,” 30 Victoria (14 Feb., 1867), PP, 1867, I, 129–30, Charles Neate, M.P. for Oxford, said its main aim was to restore to trade societies the right of summary process against defaulting treasurers that they had enjoyed prior to a recent judgment in the Court of Queen’s Bench. The Government’s contention was that the second reading should not be proceeded with, because the Bill proposed to give sanction to what had just been declared illegal; the societies should change their constitutions to avoid the illegality, and then they would enjoy the protection of the Friendly Societies Act. Mill spoke after two further interventions.
mr. j. stuart mill said, that if he were a party man he should be enchanted at the course taken by the Government on this subject; since what they were now doing took away all the grace from the concession they had made in granting an inquiry into the subject of trades unions.1 As far as mere words went, nothing could sound fairer than to say to the unions—Set yourselves right before the law, and we will then see what can be done for you. But, what was the fact? The law which they were said to have violated was a mine sprung under them.2 No one dreamt of it until the recent decision of the Court of Queen’s Bench.3 Under the power which our law allowed the Judges to assume, of declaring that whatever was in restraint of trade was illegal, anything might be made law; but when a law was made in this way, it was to all intents and purposes a new law. As the law which these societies were said to have violated was a law of which they and everybody else had been entirely ignorant, the only rational course was to preserve the status quo until the whole subject had been reconsidered, which would only be done by legalizing provisionally the course which the societies had pursued, and allowing them to continue in that course until a final settlement was come to. It was a highly demoralizing practice to attempt to prevent people from doing what it was desired they, should not do, not by punishing them, but by enabling any scoundrel to plunder them—by granting him complete immunity for acts which in any other case would be severely punished. The Legislature should not employ the vices of mankind, but their virtues, to carry out its intentions. It would have been infinitely better athat these societies, or their officers, should have been punished long ago for violating the law, than that they should now be put in the position they were placed in by the recent decisionsa .
[Following an argument that the Bill should be withdrawn, the debate adjourned, and the Bill was not proceeded with.]
The Reform Bill 
PD, 3rd ser., Vol. 186, cols. 1492–3. Reported in The Times, 12 April, p. 4, from which the variant and response are taken. Hugh Lupus Grosvenor (Earl Grosvenor) having moved adjournment with the aim of postponing consideration of Reform until after the Easter holidays, the discussion turned on whether Mill’s or Gladstone’s amendments should be first given consideration. For Mill’s amendment, see No. 55. The Times reported that, “Mr. Mill and Mr. Henley having risen at the same time, loud calls arose for Mr. Henley; but Mr. Mill, declining to give way,” proceeded to speak.
sir, I confess I attach the highest importance to the Amendment a which stands on the paper in my name. Nevertheless, I shall waive my right to proceed with it now, entertaining as I do a confident hope that the House, on both sides of which that proposition has most distinguished supporters and sympathizers, will with one consent allow me at some early period an opportunity for a full discussion upon a proposal which I can assure honourable Gentlemen is a most serious one, and is becoming every day more serious from the number as well as the quality of its supporters. I should not for a moment think of interposing this Motion in the way of anything so important as the Amendment of my right honourable Friend the Member for South Lancashire,1 upon which the House is desirous, no doubt, of coming to a decisive judgment before we either adjourn or are dissolved. I am sure that the House is not so eager for its own amusement as not to be willing, if necessary, to sit through a part of next week. (Hear, hear.) To think that the House would rather leave the question as it is than submit to this minute sacrifice of its pleasure or recreation would be so disgraceful to its character, that I cannot think of entertaining so uncourteous a supposition.
[After a long discussion, Grosvenor’s motion was withdrawn, and the House went into Gommittee, where eventually Gladstone’s amendment was considered (col. 1525); it was defeated the next day (col. 1699).]
The Reform Bill 
PD, 3rd ser., Vol. 187, cols. 280–4. Reported in The Times, 10 May, p. 7, from which the variants and responses are taken. The St. Stephen’s Chronicle, Vol. III, pp. 336–7 agrees with The Times in the variants. In Committee on the Reform Bill, when considering Clause 3, dealing with qualifications for voting in boroughs, Disraeli had proposed inserting the italicized words in the third qualification: “Has during the Time of such Occupation been rated as an ordinary occupier in respect of the Premises so occupied by him within the Borough to all Rates (if any) made for the Relief of the Poor in respect of such Premises . . .” (cols. 15–19). The Times reported that Mill “spoke in a low and at times inaudible tone.”
it must be admitted that the Government, by the last concession which they have made, have abated one of the most obvious objections to the most objectionable of all the provisions of the Bill. The compound-householders are not to be burdened with any fine. They are to pay it, but they will be allowed to deduct it from their rent, and will thus be subject to one disadvantage the less. So much has been said about this single disadvantage—so great stress has been laid on what is called the fine—that attention has not been sufficiently directed to the many other impediments which will remain. The honourable Member (Mr. Hibbert) has called the Amendment a great improvement.1 He should rather have called it a real, but a small improvement. Not only will the voter have to keep money by him for a quarterly payment, instead of a weekly payment which gives no trouble, being confounded with his rent; not only will he have to lie out of his money until he has recovered it—perhaps by weekly instalments; but another most essential condition is requisite, on which the honourable Member has justly laid much stress—his landlord must consent.2 And who is his landlord? One of that powerful class, destined henceforward to be more powerful than ever—not a popular class either with this House or with the public—the owners of small tenements: every one of whom, if his solvent tenants take advantage of the Bill, will lose, to say the least, a profitable contract. Let honourable Gentlemen realize to themselves what an obstacle this is, and then say whether it is likely that in the face of it, the Bill will give more than a very limited amount of honest enfranchisement. But I might be better inclined to accept it as an instalment, if it did no worse; if it was satisfied with keeping almost every small householder out, and did not let anybody in by unfair means. But awhat will happen?a If the Bill becomes law in its present shape, no sooner will it have passed than the scramble will begin for the 465,000 compound-householders. It is safe to say that whichever party can put the greatest number of these people on the register, and, what is of still greater consequence, can keep them there, will have a tolerably secure tenure of power for some time to come. Now, success in this will be principally a question of money. We need not necessarily suppose any direct bribery, any payment of rates, anything distinctly illegal. But there will have to be, and there will be, a perpetual organized canvass of the 465,000. Organizations will be formed for hunting up the small householders who are not rated, and inducing them to come on the rate book. The owners of small tenements must be canvassed too, that they may give their tenants leave to register. Every motive that can be brought to bear on either class will be plied to the utmost. Perpetual stimulus will be applied to the political feelings of those who have any, and to the personal interests of all. Both sides in politics will be prompted to this conduct by the strongest possible motive—by that which makes so many men, not wholly dishonourable or without a conscience, connive at bribery—the conviction that the other party will practise it, and that unless they do the same, their side, which is the right, will be at an unfair disadvantage. Now, this annual, or rather perennial, rating and registering campaign among the small householders, will cost much money. I hope that honourable Gentlemen on this side of the House, who, loving household suffrage not wisely but too well,3 have brought matters to this state, intend to come down handsomely to the registration societies in their own neighbourhoods; for the registration societies are destined henceforth to be one of the great institutions of the country. I wonder if any one, possessed of the necessary pecuniary statistics, has estimated how much will be added to the already enormous expenses of our electoral system when this Bill has passed. The Chancellor of the Exchequer knows perfectly well which side is likely to carry off the prize when it comes to a contest of purses (Hear, hear, and Oh!); though, after the profound contempt which I was happy to hear that he entertains for all such considerations,4 it would be uncourteous to suppose that he is in any way influenced by them. But this serviceable piece of knowledge, though the right honourable Gentleman is indifferent to it, is one which I should like to impress upon the clever Gentlemen who are going to outwit the Chancellor of the Exchequer, and make his Bill bring forth pure and simple household suffrage, contrary to the intentions of everybody except themselves who will vote for it. Now, if the Conservatives do, what without doubt the right honourable Gentleman intends they should—namely, by dint of money, bring everybody on the register who is dependent on them, or who they think for any reason is likely to vote with them; what is it expected that the Radicals will do? Every creature must fight with its own natural weapons: honourable Gentlemen opposite carry theirs in their pockets (Oh, oh!): the natural weapon of the Radicals is political agitation. In mere self-defence they will be compelled to be greater agitators than ever, more vehement in their appeals to Radical feeling, more strenuous in counter-working the voter’s personal interest by exalting to the highest pitch every political passion incident to his position in life. This is what will happen even if we make the chimerical assumption, that the money expended in making voters will all be expended in modes which are conventionally innocent—that there will be nothing scandalous, nothing absolutely illegal; not even that decent form of bribery, payment of rates. But is any one so simple as to believe that this will be the case? Encouraged by the brilliant success of your bribery laws,5 you are going to make payment of rates for political purposes an offence against those laws:6 and your reward will be, that whereas you do now and then detect a case of bribery, it is questionable if there will ever be a single conviction for the other offence. You find it difficult enough to prove bribery, committed where all eyes are watching for it, amidst the heat and publicity of a contested election. Will it be an easy matter, think you, to prove judicially that the non-rated householder, who a month or two before the registration, goes quietly to the parochial officer and pays his full, not his composition rate, has had it put into his hands a few days previous, when no one but the registration agent was thinking about him? And if you could prove it, whom could you convict? Not the candidate; at the time of the registration there is no candidate. The offender is a society of gentlemen in the neighbourhood. If you can convict any one, it will be some needy agent, some man of straw, unauthorized by anybody, beyond general instructions to do the best he can for the Conservative or the Liberal interest. I just now called what would take place a scramble for the compound-householders. I might have called it an auction. Except under the impulse of strong political excitement, we may expect that the small householders who will get on the register will generally get there at some other person’s expense. And the work which begins in this way will not end with it. Once paid for his vote, the integrity of the elector is gone. (Hear, hear.) Many a one will go further, and take payment in a grosser and more shameless form. This is the futurity which the Government Reform Bill provides for us. There was but one thing wanting to complete the picture, and that one thing has been vouchsafed to us. It is, that the Minister who is in this way sowing bribery broadcast with one hand, should hold a Bill for the better prevention of bribery in the other.7 That Bribery Bill completes the irony of the situation. (Laughter.) Sir, the point on which we are now deliberating is, in the judgment of this side of the House, the most important of all the points which we shall have to decide. I sincerely hope, in spite of what was said by the honourable and learned Gentleman who spoke last,8 that it is not so in the eyes of the Government. No one now wants to throw out the Bill. (Hear, hear, and Oh, oh.) If it is wrecked it will be by its authors; nobody can wreck it but themselves. The Bill, however, has now come out in its true colours, as a Bill which restricts the suffrage. Of course, I do not mean that it does nothing else. But if it passes, it will make the franchise more difficult of access to a considerable portion of those who are by the present law entitled to it. As regards the new electors, the right honourable Gentleman the Chancellor of the Exchequer has framed his measure very skilfully to effect the greatest apparent, and the smallest real, enfranchisement of independent voters (No, no, and Hear, hear), and the greatest, both apparent and real, enfranchisement of the bribeable and the dependent. Perhaps the House thinks I mean this as a reproach to the right honourable Gentleman, as if there were something tricky and insincere in it. But I am bound to say that the right honourable Gentleman, from as long ago as I remember, has seemed to me remarkably constant to a certain political ideal, which may be defined, an ostensibly large and wide democracy, led and guided by the landed interest. (Laughter.) He has always aimed at shaping our institutions after this type, whenever he has meddled with them, either as a theoretical or a practical politician; and there need be no doubt that he sincerely thinks it the best form of Government. But that is no reason why we should follow him, who like neither his end nor his means. (Hear, hear.) I am afraid that this Bill, so far as it relates to compound-householders, will make ten electors with other people’s money, for other people’s purposes, for every one who will make himself an elector by the exercise of the social virtues: and will greatly increase, instead of diminishing, the influence of money in returning Members to Parliament. I believe that in consequence, instead of attaining the end to which so many honourable Members are willing to sacrifice everything, that of putting the question to sleep, and giving a long truce to agitation, this Bill, if it passes with its present provisions, will achieve the unrivalled feat of making a redoublement of agitation both inevitable and indispensable. Thinking these things, I must resist to the utmost these parts of the Bill; and must vote for bthe Amendment of the honourable member for Oldham (Mr. Hibbert), and for every otherb Amendment (Ministerial cheers) which tends to diminish, either in a great or in a small degree, the obstructions, removeable by money, which the Bill throws in the way of a small householder’s acquisition of the suffrage. (Hear, hear.)
[After a long debate Disraeli’s amendment was carried, Mill voting in the negative.]
The Reform Bill 
PD, 3rd ser., Vol. 187, cols. 738–9. Reported in The Times, 18 May, p. 7, from which the responses are taken. Continued discussion in Committee of the Reform Bill had moved to consideration of an amendment to Clause 3 (see No. 53) proposed by Grosvenor Hodgkinson (1818–81), M.P. for Newark, that would have the effect of removing the issue of compound householders by having all householders pay rates directly
it appears to me that the Chancellor of the Exchequer has held out to us a great and splendid concession,1 which it has been the whole occupation of those of his supporters, who have since spoken, to explain away.2 (Hear, hear.) In the opinion of some of them, we cannot have the complete embodiment of the principle of the honourable Member (Mr. Hodgkinson); and it appears to be the opinion of the Attorney General that we cannot have that embodiment this year at all. That is to say, we are called upon to pass a Reform Bill this year, and to wait until next year for the measure that is necessary to render that Bill tolerable. In what position will the House be placed if they give way to that? A General Election may occur in the meantime, with all the evils which have induced us to oppose that part of the Bill which relates to the compound-householders. We ought to have some security against that. (Hear.) We could have some security, but it must consist in something more than mere general words, which, however sincere they may be, are not to be acted upon until after an indefinite time, and in an indefinite way. No one can be more eager or anxious than I am that the arrangement which the Chancellor of the Exchequer has offered to us should be fairly and honourably carried into effect. I am sure we are all most sincere in that. At the same time, it is absolutely necessary that we should not proceed with the clauses relating to compound-householders as preparatory to doing away with compound-householders altogether. The country feel a great deal more doubt about the sincerity of the House than the Chancellor of the Exchequer seems to think, and I do not think the country will believe that we intend to do away with the compound-householders if we pass the Bill this year, and postpone till next the measure for the abolition of compound-householders. As to the difficulties anticipated by the honourable and learned Member (Mr. Ayrton),3 and by the last speaker,4 I will not undertake to say what reality there may be in them; but the greater the practical difficulties in the way of carrying out the principle of my honourable Friend the Member for Newark, the more important and absolutely essential it is that the House should see the Bill by which these things are to be done before they commit themselves to the Bill of the Chancellor of the Exchequer. (Hear, hear.) There is no need to lose time, because there is a great portion of the Bill which does not relate to the borough franchise, and with that we can go on: If we are only assured by the Chancellor of the Exchequer that he will bring in a Bill to give effect to his undertaking, and that we shall see that Bill before we part company with the present one, it would, in my opinion, be the best course to suspend further action upon the borough franchise clauses, and proceed with the other clauses, and only resume the borough franchise clauses when we have seen the promised Bill. At all events, I think we ought not to read the present Bill a third time until we have read the promised Bill a second time. (Hear, hear.)
The Admission of Women to the Electoral Franchise
Speech of John Stuart Mill, M.P. on the Admission of Women to the Electoral Franchise. Spoken in the House of Commons, May 20th, 1867 (London: Trübner, 1867), and PD, 3rd ser., Vol. 187, cols. 842–3. The text of the pamphlet is reproduced ibid., cols. 817–29, Mill having instructed Trübner to send a copy to Hansard; see CW, Vol. XVI, p. 1277. That Hansard used that text is indicated by the asterisk in PD. (There are no substantive differences except two misprints in PD: “Nor, Sir” for “Now, Sir” at 152.6, and “indirect” for “in direct” at 157.27.) Reported in The Times, 21 May, p. 9, from which variants and responses are taken; the variants are all supported by the report in the St. Stephen’s Chronicle, Vol. III, pp. 475–81. The copies in SC have no corrections or emendations.
i rise, sir, to propose an extension of the suffrage which can excite no party or class feeling in this House; which can give no umbrage to the keenest assertor of the claims either of property or of numbers; an extension which has not the smallest tendency to disturb what we have heard so much about lately, the balance of political power; which cannot afflict the most timid alarmist with revolutionary terrors, or offend the most jealous democrat as an infringement of popular rights (hear, hear), or a privilege granted to one class of society at the expense of another. There is nothing to distract our attention from the simple question, whether there is any adequate justification for continuing to exclude an entire half of the community, not only from admission, but from the capability of being ever admitted within the pale of the Constitution, though they may fulfil all the conditions legally and constitutionally sufficient in every case but theirs. Sir, within the limits of our Constitution this is a solitary case. There is no other example of an exclusion which is absolute. If the law denied a vote to all but the possessors of £5000 a year, the poorest man in the nation might—and now and then would—acquire the suffrage; but neither birth, nor fortune, nor merit, nor exertion, nor intellect, nor even that great disposer of human affairs, accident, can ever enable any woman to have her voice counted in those national affairs which touch her and hers as nearly as any other aperson in the nationa . (Hear, hear.)
Now, Sir, before going any further, allow me to say, that a primâ facie case is already made out. It is not just to make distinctions, in rights and privileges, without a positive reason. I do not mean that the electoral franchise, or any other public function, is an abstract right, and that to withhold it from any one, on sufficient grounds of expediency, is a personal wrong; it is a complete misunderstanding of the principle I maintain, to confound this with it; my argument is entirely one of expediency. But there are different orders of expediency; all expediencies are not exactly on the same level; there is an important branch of expediency called justice; and justice, though it does not necessarily require that we should confer political functions on every one, does require that we should not, capriciously and without cause, withhold from one what we give to another. As was most truly said by my right honourable friend the Member for South Lancashire, in the most misunderstood and misrepresented speech I ever remember;1 to lay a ground for refusing the suffrage to any one, it is necessary to allege either personal unfitness or public danger. Now, can either of these be alleged in the present case? Can it be pretended that women who manage an estate or conduct a business,—who pay rates and taxes, often to a large amount, and frequently from their own earnings,—many of whom are responsible heads of families, and some of whom, in the capacity of schoolmistresses, teach much more than a great number of the male electors have ever learnt,—are not capable of a function of which every male householder is capable? (Hear, hear.) Or is it feared that if they were admitted to the suffrage they would revolutionize the State,—would deprive us of any of our valued institutions, or that we should have worse laws, or be in any way whatever worse governed, through the effect of their suffrages? No one, Sir, believes anything of the kind.
And it is not only the general principles of justice that are infringed, or at least set aside, by the exclusion of women, merely as women, from any share in the representation; that exclusion is also repugnant to the particular principles of the British Constitution. It violates one of the oldest band most cherishedb of our constitutional maxims—a doctrine dear to reformers, and theoretically acknowledged by most Conservatives—that taxation and representation should be co-extensive. Do not women pay taxes? Does not every woman who is sui juris contribute exactly as much to the revenue as a man who has the same electoral qualification? If a stake in the country means anything,2 the owner of freehold or leasehold property has the same stake, whether it is owned by a man or a woman. There is evidence in our constitutional records that women have voted, in counties and in some boroughs, at former, though certainly distant, periods of our history.
The House, however, will doubtless expect that I should not rest my case solely on the general principles either of justice or of the Constitution, but should produce what are called practical arguments. Now, there is one practical argument of great weight, which, I frankly confess, is entirely wanting in the case of women; they do not hold great meetings in the parks, or demonstrations at Islington.3 (Oh!) How far this omission may be considered to invalidate their claim, I will not undertake to decide; but other practical arguments, practical in the most restricted meaning of the term, are not wanting; and I am prepared to state them, if I may be permitted first to ask, what are the practical objections? The difficulty which most people feel on this subject, is not a practical objection; there is nothing practical about it; it is a mere feeling—a feeling of strangeness; the proposal is so new; at least they think so, though this is a mistake; it is a very old proposal. Well, Sir, strangeness is a thing which wears off; some things were strange enough to many of us three months ago which are not at all so now; and many are strange now, which will not be strange to the same persons a few years hence, or even, perhaps, a few months. And as for novelty, we live in a world of novelties; the despotism of custom is on the wane; we are not now satisfied with knowing what a thing is, we ask whether it ought to be; and in this House at least, I am bound to believe that an appeal lies from custom to a higher tribunal, in which reason is judge. Now, the reasons which custom is in the habit of giving for itself on this subject are usually very brief. That, indeed, is one of my difficulties; it is not easy to refute an interjection; interjections, however, are the only arguments among those we usually hear on this subject, which it seems to me at all difficult to refute. The others mostly present themselves in such aphorisms as these: Politics are not women’s business, and would distract them from their proper duties: Women do not desire the suffrage, but would rather be without it: Women are sufficiently represented by the representation of their male relatives and connexions: Women have power enough already. (Laughter.) I shall probably be thought to have done enough in the way of answering, if I answer all this; and it may, perhaps, instigate any honourable gentleman who takes the trouble of replying to me, to produce something more recondite.
Politics, it is said, are not a woman’s business. Well, Sir, I rather think that politics are not a man’s business either; unless he is one of the few who are selected and paid to devote their time to the public service, or is a member of this or of the other House. The vast majority of male electors have each his own business, which absorbs nearly the whole of his time; but I have not heard that the few hours occupied, once in a few years, in attending at a polling booth, even if we throw in the time spent in reading newspapers and political treatises, ever causes them to neglect their shops or their counting-houses. I have never understood that those who have votes are worse merchants, or worse lawyers, or worse physicians, or even worse clergymen than other people. One would almost suppose that the British Constitution denied a vote to every one who could not give the greater part of his time to politics: if this were the case, we should have a very limited constituency. But allow me to ask, what is the meaning of political freedom? Is it anything but the control of those who do make their business of politics, by those who do not? Is it not the very essence of constitutional liberty, that men come from their looms and their forges to decide, and decide well, whether they are properly governed, and whom they will be governed by? And the nations which prize this privilege the most, and exercise it most fully, are invariably those who excel the most in the common concerns of life. The ordinary occupations of most women are, and are likely to remain, principally domestic; but the notion that these occupations are incompatible with the keenest interest in national affairs, and in all the great interests of humanity, is a utterly futile as the apprehension, once sincerely entertained, that artisans would desert their workshops and their factories if they were taught to read. I know there is an obscure feeling—a feeling which is ashamed to express itself openly—as if women had no right to care about anything, except how they may be the most useful and devoted servants of some man. But as I am convinced that there is not a single member of this House, whose conscience accuses him of so mean a feeling, I may say without offence, that this claim to confiscate the whole existence of one half of the species for the supposed convenience of the other, appears to me, independently of its injustice, particularly silly. For who that has had ordinary experience of human affairs, and ordinary capacity of profiting by that experience, fancies that those do their own work best who understand nothing else? A man has lived to little purpose who has not learnt that without general mental cultivation, no particular work that requires understanding is ever done in the best manner. It requires brains to use practical experience; and brains, even without practical experience, go further than any amount of practical experience without brains. But perhaps it is thought that the ordinary occupations of women are more antagonistic than those of men are to the comprehension of public affairs. It is thought, perhaps, that those who are principally charged with the moral education of the future generations of men, cannot be fit to form an opinion about the moral and educational interests of a people: and that those whose chief daily business is the judicious laying-out of money, so as to produce the greatest results with the smallest means, cannot possibly give any lessons to right honourable gentlemen on the other side of the House or on this, who contrive to produce such singularly small results with such vast means. (Ironical cheers.)
I feel a degree of confidence, Sir, on this subject, which I could not feel, if the political change, in itself not great or formidable, which I advocate, were not grounded, as beneficent and salutary political changes almost always are, upon a previous social change. The notion of a hard and fast line of separation between women’s occupations and men’s—of forbidding women to take interest in the things which interest men—belongs to a gone-by state of society, which is receding further and further into the past. We talk of political revolutions, but we do not sufficiently attend to the fact that there has taken place around us a csilentc domestic revolution: women and men are, for the first time in history, really each other’s companions. Our traditions respecting the proper relations between them have descended from a time when their lives were apart—when they were separate in their thoughts, because they were separate equally in their amusements and in their serious occupations. In former days a man passed his life among men; all his friendships, all his real intimacies, were with men; with men alone did he consult on any serious business; the wife was either a plaything, or an upper servant. All this, among the educated classes, is now changed. The man no longer gives his spare hours to violent outdoor exercises and boisterous conviviality with male associates: the two sexes now pass their lives together; the women of a man’s family are his habitual society; the wife is his chief associate, his most confidential friend, and often his most trusted adviser. Now, does a man wish to have for his nearest companion, so closely linked with him, and whose wishes and preferences have so strong a claim on him, one whose thoughts are alien to those which occupy his own mind—one who can neither be a help, a comfort, nor a support, to his noblest feelings and purposes? Is this close and almost exclusive companionship compatible with women’s being warned off all large subjects—being taught that they ought not to care for what it is men’s duty to care for, and that to have any serious interests outside the household is stepping beyond their province? Is it good for a man to live in complete communion of thoughts and feelings with one who is studiously kept inferior to himself, whose earthly interests are forcibly confined within four walls, and who cultivates, as a grace of character, ignorance and indifference about the most inspiring subjects, those among which his highest duties are cast? Does any one suppose that this can happen without detriment to the man’s own character? Sir, the time is now come when, unless women are raised to the level of men, men will be pulled down to theirs. The women of a man’s family are either a stimulus and a support to his highest aspirations, or a drag upon them. You may keep them ignorant of politics, but you cannot prevent them from concerning themselves with the least respectable part of politics—its personalities; if they do not understand and cannot enter into the man’s feelings of public duty, they do care about his personal interest, and that is the scale into which their weight will certainly be thrown. They will be an influence always at hand, co-operating with the man’s selfish promptings, lying in wait for his moments of moral irresolution, and doubling the strength of every temptation. Even if they maintain a modest forbearance, the mere absence of their sympathy will hang a dead-weight on his moral energies, making him unwilling to make sacrifices which they will feel, and to forego social advantages and successes in which they would share, for objects which they cannot appreciate. Supposing him fortunate enough to escape any actual sacrifice of conscience, the indirect effect on the higher parts of his own character is still deplorable. Under an idle notion that the beauties of character of the two sexes are mutually incompatible, men are afraid of manly women; but those who have considered the nature and power of social influences well know, that unless there are manly women, there will not much longer be manly men. When men and women are really companions, if women are frivolous, men will be frivolous; if women care for nothing but personal interest and idle vanities, men in general will care for little else: the two sexes must now rise or sink together. It may be said that women may take interest in great public questions without having votes; they may, certainly; but how many of them will? Education and society have exhausted their power in inculcating on women that their proper rule of conduct is what society expects from them; and the denial of the vote is a proclamation intelligible to every one, that whatever else society may expect, it does not expect that they should concern themselves with public interests. Why, the whole of a girl’s thoughts and feelings are toned down by it from her schooldays; she does not take the interest even in national history which her brothers do, because it is to be no business of hers when she grows up. If there are women—and now happily there are many—who do interest themselves in these subjects, and do study them, it is because the force within is strong enough to bear up against the worst kind of discouragement, that which acts not by interposing obstacles, which may be struggled against, but by deadening the spirit which faces and conquers obstacles.
We are told, Sir, that women do not wish for the suffrage. If the fact were so, it would only prove that all women are still under this deadening influence; that the opiate still benumbs their mind and conscience. But great numbers of women do desire the suffrage, and have asked for it by petitions to this House. How do we know how many more thousands there may be, who have not asked for what they do not hope to get; or for fear of what may be thought of them by men, or by other women; or from the feeling, so sedulously cultivated in them by their education—aversion to make themselves conspicuous? Men must have a rare power of self-delusion, if they suppose that leading questions put to the ladies of their family or of their acquaintance will elicit their real sentiments, or will be answered with complete sincerity by one woman in ten thousand. No one is so well schooled as most women are in making a virtue of necessity; it costs little to disclaim caring for what is not offered; and frankness in the expression of sentiments which may be unpleasing and may be thought uncomplimentary to their nearest connections, is not one of the virtues which a woman’s education tends to cultivate, and is, moreover, a virtue attended with sufficient risk, to induce prudent women usually to reserve its exercise for cases in which there is a nearer and a more personal interest at stake. However this may be, those who do not care for the suffrage will not use it; either they will not register, or if they do, they will vote as their male relatives advise: by which, as the advantage will probably be about equally shared among all classes, no harm will be done. Those, be they few or many, who do value the privilege, will exercise it, and will receive that stimulus to their faculties, and that widening and liberalizing influence over their feelings and sympathies, which the suffrage seldom fails to produce on those who are admitted to it. Meanwhile an unworthy stigma would be removed from the whole sex. The law would cease to declare them incapable of serious things; would cease to proclaim that their opinions and wishes are unworthy of regard, on things which concern them equally with men, and on many things which concern them much more than men. They would no longer be classed with children, idiots, and lunatics, as incapable of taking care of either themselves or others, and needing that everything should be done for them, without asking their consent. If only one woman in twenty thousand used the suffrage, to be declared capable of it would be a boon to all women. Even that theoretical enfranchisement would remove a weight from the expansion of their faculties, the real mischief of which is much greater than the apparent.
Then it is said, that women do not need direct power, having so much indirect, through their influence over their male relatives and connections. I should like to carry this argument a little further. Rich people have a great deal of indirect influence. Is this a reason for refusing them votes? Does any one propose a rating qualification the wrong way, or bring in a Reform Bill to disfranchise all who live in a £500 house, or pay £100 a year in direct taxes? Unless this rule for distributing the franchise is to be reserved for the exclusive benefit of women, it would follow that persons of more than a certain fortune should be allowed to bribe, but should not be allowed to vote. Sir, it is true that women have great power. It is part of my case that they have great power; but they have it under the worst possible conditions, because it is indirect, and therefore irresponsible. I want to make this great power a responsible power. I want to make the woman feel her conscience interested in its honest exercise. I want her to feel that it is not given to her as a mere means of personal ascendency. I want to make her influence work by a manly interchange of opinion, and not by cajolery. I want to awaken in her the political point of honour. Many a woman already influences greatly the political conduct of the men connected with her, and sometimes, by force of will, actually governs it; but she is never supposed to have anything to do with it; the man whom she influences, and perhaps misleads, is alone responsible; her power is like the back-stairs influence of a favourite. Sir, I demand that all who exercise power should have the burthen laid on them of knowing something about the things they have power over. With the acknowledged right to a voice, would come a sense of the corresponding duty. Women are not usually inferior in tenderness of conscience to men. Make the woman a moral agent in these matters: show that you expect from her a political conscience: and when she has learnt to understand the transcendent importance of these things, she will know why it is wrong to sacrifice political convictions to personal interest or vanity; she will understand that political integrity is not a foolish personal crotchet, which a man is bound, for the sake of his family, to give up, but a solemn duty: and the men whom she can influence will be better men in all public matters, and not, as they often are now, worse men by the whole amount of her influence.
But at least, it will be said, women do not suffer any practical inconvenience, as women, by not having a vote. The interests of all women are safe in the hands of their fathers, husbands, and brothers, who have the same interest with them, and not only know, far better than they do, what is good for them, but care much more for them than they care for themselves. Sir, this is exactly what is said of all unrepresented classes. The operatives, for instance: are they not virtually represented by the representation of their employers? Are not the interest of the employers and that of the employed, when properly understood, the same? To insinuate the contrary, is it not the horrible crime of setting class against class? Is not the farmer equally interested with the labourer in the prosperity of agriculture,—the cotton manufacturer equally with his workmen in the high price of calicoes? Are they not both interested alike in taking off taxes? And, generally, have not employers and employed a common interest against all outsiders, just as husband and wife have against all outside the family? And what is more, are not all employers good, kind, benevolent men, who love their workpeople, and always desire to do what is most for their good? All these assertions are as true, and as much to the purpose, as the corresponding assertions respecting men and women. Sir, we do not live in Arcadia, but, as we were lately reminded, in faece Romuli:4 and in that region workmen need other protection than that of their employers, and women other protection than that of their men. I should like to have a return laid before this House of the number of women who are annually beaten to death, kicked to death, or trampled to death by their male protectors: and, in an opposite column, the amount of the sentences passed, in those cases in which the dastardly criminals did not get off altogether. I should also like to have, in a third column, the amount of property, the unlawful taking of which was, at the same sessions or assizes, by the same judge, thought worthy of the same amount of punishment. We should then have an arithmetical estimate of the value set by a male legislature and male tribunals on the murder of a woman, often by torture continued through years, which, if there is any shame in us, would make us hang our heads. Sir, before it is affirmed that women do not suffer in their interests, as women, by the denial of a vote, it should be considered whether women have no grievances; whether the laws, and those practices which laws can reach, are in every way as favourable to women as to men. Now, how stands the fact? In the matter of education, for instance. We continually hear that the most important part of national education is that of mothers, because they educate the future men. Is this importance really attached to it? Are there many fathers who care as much, or are willing to expend as much, for the education of their daughters as of their sons? Where are the Universities, where the High Schools, or the schools of any high description, for them? If it be said that girls are better educated at home, where are the training-schools for governesses? What has become of the endowments which the bounty of our ancestors destined for the education, not of one sex only, but of both indiscriminately? I am told by one of the highest authorities on the subject, that in the majority of the endowments the provision made is not for boys, but for education generally; in one great endowment, Christ’s Hospital, it is expressly for both: that institution now maintains and educates 1100 boys, and exactly 26 girls.5 And when they attain womanhood, how does it fare with that great and increasing portion of the sex, who, sprung from the educated classes, have not inherited a provision, and not having obtained one by marriage, or disdaining to marry merely for a provision, depend on their exertions for subsistence? Hardly any decent educated occupation, save one, is open to them. They are either governesses or nothing. A fact has recently occurred, well worthy of commemoration in connection with this subject. A young lady, Miss Garrett, from no pressure of necessity, but from an honourable desire to employ her activity in alleviating human suffering, studied the medical profession.6 Having duly qualified herself, she, with an energy and perseverance which cannot be too highly praised, knocked successively at all the doors through which, by law, access is obtained into the medical profession. Having found all other doors fast shut, she fortunately discovered one which had accidentally been left ajar. The Society of Apothecaries, it seems, had forgotten to shut out those who they never thought would attempt to come in, and through this narrow entrance this young lady found her way into this profession. But so objectionable did it appear to this learned body that women should be the medical attendants even of women, that the narrow wicket through which Miss Garrett entered has been closed after her, and no second Miss Garrett will be allowed to pass through it.7 And this is instar omnium.8 No sooner do women show themselves capable of competing with men in any career, than that career, if it be lucrative or honourable, is closed to them. A short time ago, women might be Associates of the Royal Academy; but they were so distinguishing themselves, they were assuming so honourable a place in their art, that this privilege also has been withdrawn.9 This is the sort of care taken of women’s interests by the men who so faithfully represent them. This is the way we treat unmarried women. And how is it with the married? They, it may be said, are not interested in this motion; and they are not directly interested; but it interests, even directly, many who have been married, as well as others who will be. Now, by the common law of England, all that a wife has, belongs absolutely to the husband; he may tear it all from her, squander every penny of it in debauchery, leave her to support by her labour herself and her children, and if by heroic exertion and self-sacrifice she is able to put by something for their future wants, unless she is judicially separated from him he can pounce down upon her savings, and leave her penniless. And such cases are of quite common occurrence. Sir, if we were besotted enough to think these things right, there would be more excuse for us; but we know better. The richer classes take care to exempt their own daughters from the consequences of this abominable state of the law. By the contrivance of marriage settlements, they are able in each case to make a private law for themselves, and they invariably do so. Why do we not provide that justice for the daughters of the poor, which we take care to provide for our own daughters? Why is not that which is done in every case that we personally care for, made the law of the land, so that a poor man’s child, whose parents could not afford the expense of a settlement, may retain a right to any little property that may devolve on her, and may have a voice in the disposal of her own earnings, which, in the case of many husbands, are the best and only reliable part of the incomings of the family? I am sometimes asked what practical grievances I propose to remedy by giving women a vote. I propose, for one thing, to remedy this. I give these instances to prove that women are not the petted children of society which many people seem to think they are—that they have not the over-abundance, the superfluity of power that is ascribed to them, and are not sufficiently represented by the representation of the men who have not had the heart to do for them this simple and obvious piece of justice. (Hear, hear.) Sir, grievances of less magnitude than the law of the property of married women, when suffered by parties less inured to passive submission, have provoked revolutions. We ought not to take advantage of the security we feel against any such consequence in the present case, to withhold from a limited number of women that moderate amount of participation in the enactment and improvement of our laws, which this motion solicits for them, and which would enable the general feelings of women to be heard in this House through a few male representatives. We ought not to deny to them, what we are conceding to everybody else—a right to be consulted din the choice of a representatived ; the ordinary chance of placing in the great Council of the nation a few organs of their sentiments—of having, what every petty trade or profession has, a few members who feel specially called on to attend to their interests, and to point out how those interests are affected by the law, or by any proposed changes in it. No more is asked by this motion; and when the time comes, as it certainly will come, when this will be granted, I feel the firmest conviction that you will never repent of the concession.
[At the end of his speech, Mill moved his amendment to substitute the word person for the word man “(hear, hear)” in Clause 4 of the Reform Bill, which dealt with the occupation qualifications for voters in counties. Following seven other speakers, Mill concluded the debate.]
I will merely say, in answer to the noble Lord who requested me to withdraw the Motion,10 that I am a great deal too well pleased with the speeches that have been made against it—his own included—to think of withdrawing it. There is nothing that has pleased me more in those speeches than to find that every one who has attempted to argue at all, has argued against something which is not before the House (hear, hear): they have argued against the admission of married women, which is not in the Motion; or they have argued against the admission of women as Members of this House; or again, as the honourable Member for the Wick boroughs (Mr. Laing) has done, they have argued against allowing women to be generals and officers in the army;11 a question which I need scarcely say is not before the House. I certainly do think that when we come to universal suffrage, as some time or other we probably shall come (oh, oh!)—if we extend the vote to all men, we should extend it to all women also. So long, however, as you maintain a property qualification, I do not propose to extend the suffrage to any women but those who have the qualification. If, as is surmised by one of the speakers,12 young ladies should attach so much value to the suffrage that they should be unwilling to divest themselves of it in order to marry, I can only say that if they will not marry without it, they will probably be allowed to retain it. (Hear, and a laugh.) As to any question that may arise in reference to the removal of any other disabilities of women, it is not before the House. There are evidently many arguments and many considerations that cannot be overlooked in dealing with these larger questions, but which do not arise on the present Motion, and on which, therefore, it is not necessary that I should comment. I will only say that if we should in the progress of experience—especially after experience of the effect of granting the suffrage—come to the decision that married women ought to have the suffrage, or that women should be admitted to any employment or occupation which they are not now admitted to—if it should become the general opinion that they ought to have it, they will have it.
[After Mill’s speech, the question was put, and the amendment lost, 196 to 73, Mill being a teller.]
The Municipal Corporations Bill
PD, 3rd ser., Vol. 187, cols. 882–5, 891. Reported in The Times, 22 May, p. 7, from which the variant and response are taken. Mill spoke in moving for leave to introduce “A Bill for the Establishment of Municipal Corporations within the Metropolis,” 30 Victoria (21 May, 1867), PP, 1867, IV, 447–66.
mr. j. stuart mill said, he did not do so in any spirit of hostility to the Report of the Committee relative to the Local Government of the Metropolis, of which Committee he had the honour of being a Member.1 It was true he had disagreed from the majority of the Committee on several of their Resolutions, but as a whole their Report had his general concurrence, and he considered it a great step in the progress of this question. The Committee, in the first place, freely acknowledged existing defects; and, in the second place, it recognised the general principles upon which, in his opinion, a reform of those defects should proceed. It recognised that good municipal institutions for the metropolis must consist of two parts—namely, local bodies representing districts, and a general body representing the metropolis at large—the latter to take the place of the present Board of Works. Neither was his Motion framed in hostility to the Board of Works. It might at least be said for the Board that it had been appointed to perform a great and laborious work,2 and that it had actually done that work. The Report proposed increased powers and an improved mode of election for the general Board; and with regard to the local district bodies, the Report considered the present districts to be too small, and virtually recommended the abolition of hole-and-corner local government. The Report might be considered in that and other respects as an outline of what municipal reformers desired; and the Bill he proposed to introduce would do something towards filling up that outline with regard to the local bodies only. He had given notice of his intention to ask for leave to bring in a Bill for the establishment of a central federal municipality for the whole of the metropolis,3 but he was not yet prepared with that Bill, and he should not ask the House to read the present Bill a second time until he was able to lay before them the entire plan. The plan he was now about to propose was not his own, but originated with one of the most important vestries in Westminster,4 and it had obtained the warm support of many of the leading vestrymen of the metropolis. He had no hostility to the vestries. Our parochial institutions, with all their defects, had done great things for the country. They had carried down to comparatively low grades of society a familiar acquaintance with the forms of public business and the modes of carrying it on, and in consequence this country possessed an advantage which, perhaps, no other country (except the United States) enjoyed—namely, that when circumstances call for the expression of an opinion by a collective body of citizens, there are numerous persons who know how that opinion should be collected and expressed. These merits could not be denied to our local system; but that system, as established in the metropolis, appeared to him to be on too small a scale. The Report of the Committee did not recognise that fact to so great an extent as he could have wished, and therefore he ventured to propose his plan. The Committee said that the districts of the metropolis were too small and inconvenient in some cases.5 He (Mr. Stuart Mill) believed they were too small in all cases, and that the municipal boroughs of the metropolis ought to be conterminous with the Parliamentary boroughs. He thought it necessary that the municipal districts should be of considerable extent, and highly desirable that they should also be units in themselves. Unless the districts were considerable they were always more or less a kind of hole-and-corner government. It was a common fallacy, now going the round of Europe, but still a fallacy, that the mere circumstance of a body being popularly chosen was a guarantee that it would conduct its proceedings on popular principles. His faith in popular governments did not depend on their being popularly elected. The real value of popular institutions consisted in the popular power of correcting mistakes, and enforcing responsibility to the people. Owing to this responsibility, it would not be possible for any body long to retain its position if it habitually exercised its powers contrary to the public interest as generally understood. Another point was that the greatest attainable publicity should be secured to the business transacted by these bodies; but when the business was on a very small scale it did not excite much attention. The check was not effectual unless the business was of such a nature that the public eye would be fixed on it. It was further desirable, for the sake of greater publicity, that not only should the district be of considerable magnitude and the business important, but that the districts should, if possible, be natural units in themselves, or at least, should be units for other purposes than this special one. The importance of this was, that it would tend to induce a higher class of men to enter these bodies. Three of the metropolitan boroughs (the City, Westminster, and Southwark) were, if not natural, at least historical units; the other districts, though of more recent origin, were gradually acquiring an esprit de corps, and a sense of common interest. It had been at first thought desirable that an additional district should be created out of parts of Marylebone and Finsbury. The great importance, however, of making the municipal and Parliamentary boundaries coincide, had led to the abandonment of this idea, except so far as regarded the formation of a new police district, there being at present no police-office between Marlborough Street and Worship Street in the extreme east. The Bill provided for the division of the Tower Hamlets; but this would be dealt with by the Bill for the Representation of the People. aThere would also be a district for Kensington and Chelsea.a6 He should not ask the House to read the Bill a second time till he had introduced the remainder of the plan of which it formed a part. Whatever merit the plan had, and that merit appeared to him to be considerable, it belonged entirely to his constituents who originated the plan. He himself had no part in it except that, at his own special request, he was permitted to introduce it to the House. (Hear, hear.) He now begged to move for leave to bring in a Bill to establish Municipal Corporations within the Metropolis.
[Mill was followed, inter alia, by Ayrton, who had chaired the committee on the Metropolis that Mill refers to, and Locke, who had served on the committee; Gathorne-Hardy said the Government would not oppose the introduction of the Bill, but indicated hesitation over such a complex matter, on which the Metropolitan members were not themselves agreed. Mill’s concluding sentence follows on Gathorne-Hardy’s remarks.]
Mr. J. Stuart Mill, in reply, observed, that he believed the Bill would be approved of by the City when its provisions became known.
[The Bill was given first reading.]
The Fenian Convicts
Morning Star, 27 May, 1867, p. 6. Headed: “The Fenian Convicts. Important Deputation to Lord Derby.” Reported in the Evening Star (identically with the Morning Star), the Daily Telegraph, the Daily News, and The Times (an abbreviated summary of Mill’s remarks). (Clippings of the Morning Star and Daily News reports are in the Mill-Taylor Collection.) On Saturday, 25 May, in the afternoon, a deputation of about sixty people, mainly Members of Parliament, called on the Prime Minister, Edward George Geoffrey Smith Stanley (1799–1869), 14th Earl of Derby, at his residence, to ask for a Royal pardon for “General” Thomas Francis Bourke, or Burke (b. 1840), who, having been found guilty of high treason for his part in the March uprising in Tipperary, had been sentenced to be hanged on 29 May. The delegation would have been larger, had some Members not gone by mistake to the Prime Minister’s official residence in Downing Street. Mill, who was “sensibly . . . moved by the affecting nature of the task,” spoke second.
my lord, we have come here without distinction of party. (Loud cries of Hear.) We come here with as deep and earnest a feeling as it is possible for human beings to have, to implore your lordship not to erect the scaffold in this country for political offences. It is not, my lord, for the sake of these unfortunate men we say it.1 Heaven knows the punishment of failure, under the desperateness of these cases, is as painful a measure of punishment as almost any. The punishment to which, at all events, those men have subjected themselves, should their lives not be taken, for the rest of their existence, may be supposed to be quite sufficient to vindicate the law, and deter persons—as we all admit they ought to be deterred—from attempting a revolution when there is not a feeling in the country which would enable them to succeed. We most seriously apprehend that the effect of executing these men will be to make them heroes and martyrs. You must remember that the cause of Irish nationality has not yet had aitsa martyrs. Irish wrongs have had martyrs, but long since this has been put an end to as far as we are concerned. Emmett and Fitzgerald were not martyrs to Irish nationality;2 but the execution of these unhappy men will give a sanctity to the cause in which they embarked which must bring about results most unhappy for Ireland and for this country. We ought to think a little of what will be thought in foreign countries if these men are executed. We know what the feeling of foreign countries is on nationalities. They do not know the actual state of Ireland. They do not know with what a deep and sincere desire we have tried to make Ireland prosperous, and give her no cause to regret her union with us. They know nothing of this. They only know that there is one oppressed nationality which is ruled by another nationality, as they think, by force. bI think that state of things can only be remedied when a country can be induced to forget, as Scotland has forgotten, what is past.b In this view, therefore, I think it would be the most fatal thing in the world to put these men to death. The punishment of death, God knows, is not the most severe punishment, but it is a punishment which excites most sympathy. If these men be executed they will be dearly remembered, their memory will be held sacred by the Irish people, and their example will bring hundreds of their fellow-countrymen to their ruin. (Hear, hear.) There is another point in this matter which is not unworthy the consideration of a statesman, and it is this: It is much to be feared that there must be an impression among the American people that when, with respect to the invaders of Canada,3 many persons desired that the severest punishment should be resorted to, yet with a correct morality—for it was a correct morality to condemn people to penal servitude instead of death—the execution of these men did not take place, that that was done because her Majesty’s Government thought the lives of the men could not be taken with safety. There are many other gentlemen on the deputation anxious to address your lordship, and I will not therefore further detain you.
[Mill was followed by a dozen other speakers before Derby replied at length, explaining that while the Government had considered the case for mercy most carefully before rejecting it, he would be willing to place before Cabinet that afternoon any document they might prepare. The deputation, after thanking the Prime Minister for his attention and courtesy, assembled in Derby’s drawing room and prepared a document, signed by them all, and given to Derby, saying: “We the undersigned members of the House of Commons, very respectfully beg to express the hope that the extreme sentence of capital punishment in the case of the convict Burke may be commuted.”]
Reform of Parliament
Daily News, 27 May, 1867, p. 2. Headed: “Reform Meeting at St. James’s-Hall.” Reported in the Daily Telegraph, the Morning Star (identically in the Evening Star), and the Morning Post (all of these with similar texts of Mill’s speech), The Times and the Evening Mail (these two with similar reports that rearrange and summarize the speeches and events), the Morning Post (a condensed version of the Daily News text), and the Standard. (Clippings of the Daily News, Daily Telegraph, and Evening Mail reports are in the Mill-Taylor Collection.) This second meeting of the National Reform Union (with many members of the Reform League present) was held on Saturday evening at 7 p.m., chaired by Samuel Morley, who had also chaired the first meeting on Wednesday, 15 May, at which Mill was on the platform though he did not speak. It might have been expected that fewer would attend than at the first, but “such was not exactly the case; for although there was not so much pressure as to put the physical endurance of a large part of the audience to a severe trial, yet every available place, whether for sitting or standing, was occupied; while an ardour, not to say enthusiasm, prevailed, which rivalled the demonstrativeness of the former meeting. Doubtless owing to the fact that Mr. Stuart Mill was announced as the leading orator of the evening, the fair sex was more fully represented than on the previous occasion; many of them, we will not say invading the platform, but occupying places there.” (Daily Telegraph.) After preliminaries by the Chair, a resolution congratulating the reformers of the country on having won from the Government concessions in favour of household suffrage was moved and seconded. Mill “rose to support the resolution, and was received with loud and prolonged cheering, the audience rising in a body and waving hats and handkerchiefs.”
brother and sister reformers—(laughter and cheers)—since I had the satisfaction last week of looking from this platform upon you or other reformers, equally numerous and equally aearnesta , many things have happened. At the beginning of the week it really seemed as if the greatest of the objects for which you are agitating had actually been attained.1 It seemed as if we had got household suffrage, real, honest household suffrage, and that there was very little for us to do but to sit down and congratulate one another. (Laughter.) It is very fortunate that you did not think so, and that you stood to your guns, for here is our friend the compound-householder up again, and as strong as ever. (Laughter.) We have the whole battle to fight over again from the beginning. (Hear, hear.) We hope that we shall fight it out successfully (hear, hear), and we shall have you to thank for it. I will explain how this matter stands. It is not we who object to the compound householder. We do not object to householders compounding for their rates. It is a very great convenience, and it is very desirable that we should ahve the whole subject properly discussed without any reference to political questions, which ought to have nothing to do with it. b(Hear, hear.) It is the government that has forced this upon us; because the government—as it would not quite do to say there was no principle at all in their bill, and as they did not see that they had a very firm hold on any other—somehow attached all their self-consequence to sticking to this little principle. (Laughter.) I am very glad it is not a greater. (Laughter and Hear, hear.) For it seems they would insistb to the very last—the principle that no one should compound and vote too. (Laughter and cheers.) There is no reason in the nature of things why a person should not compound and vote too. Compounding may be a good thing, and I am sure voting is a good thing, and I do not see any incompatibility between them. (Hear, hear.) However, the government do (laughter), and they appear determined that you shall not give every householder a vote unless you prevent him from compounding. Mr. Hodgkinson proposed that, and we thought they had conceded it. (Laughter.) But what have they done? They say, it is very true, that everybody shall be rated unless he objects himself, but if the landlord and he apply to compound they may be allowed to compound, and then he shall lose his vote. Well, that does not suit us. (Laughter and cheers.) cIt is not only that we want every householder to have a vote, as we do;cdthat is not all. See what would happend . If the Chancellor of the Exchequer’s clause pass, the householder’s having a vote will depend upon his landlord.2 (Hear, hear.) Now that is what we have been afraid of all along (hear, hear), because it is the landlord’s interest that he should not have a vote if he cannot have a vote and compound too. It is the landlord’s interest, and it is the interest of vestries, local boards, and eother authorities in parishese , that he should compound, and therefore it is their interest that he should not have a vote unless he can compound too. Well, if that is the case, observe what would happen. The landlord, it being his interest that such householders should not have a vote, and his consent being necessary, he will not consent unless it is made worth his while; and we know what that means. (Laughter and cheers.) It means that if the landlord wants the votes of his tenants for a political purpose, or if anybody else fcan make it worth his while to want their votes for a political purpose, they will have the vote; and if not, notf . (Laughter and cheers.) That is not what we want, and we are not disposed to stand it. (Loud cheers.) We know very well that if we once get household suffrage, though we may be obliged to give up the convenience of compounding, when all these small householders have got votes, if they want to compound, if it is for their interest, convenience, and advantage to compound they will soon alter the law so that they may compound without the monstrous political consequences wanted to be attached to the act. (Cheers.) This is very like all that has been going on ever since the beginning of these reform discussions. It has been a succession—I will not say of tricks, because I do not like to use hard words, especially when I cannot prove them (laughter), but of what is called in the vernacular, trying it on. (Great cheering and laughter.) The object is just to see what you will bear, and anything that you will bear you shall have to bear (laughter), but if you show that you will not bear it, then perhaps it may not be required of you. (Renewed laughter and cheers.) I dare say that it is thought by the people who do it, and by many others, to be fair political strategy. Well, if the government were our enemies, I mean the enemies of our objects, if we are trying to get the most parliamentary reform that we can, and they are trying to give us the least, if we are openly attempting to take every advantage that we can against one another, these things may be fair enough. If that is the case they should tell us so. (Hear, hear, and a laugh.) But they do not, they leave us to find it out. (Loudlaughter.) I must say that Mr. Disraeli cannot be charged with having broken faith with us. Men of his ability seldom do gbreak faith with anybodyg . (Laughter.) He has been very careful hand guarded, indeedh , and no one can say he has deceived us; but I think he has encouraged us a good deal to deceive ourselves. (Laughter.) I ought, perhaps, to be ashamed to make the confession, but he certainly succeeded with me this time. (Loud laughter.) I certainly thought when Mr. Disraeli came forward in the house, and with that bland and conciliatory, and frank and open manner—(cheers and laughter)—which he always exhibits when he chooses (laughter)—and during this session he has often so chosen, except towards our great leader, Mr. Gladstone—i(shame)i —when he came forward in this way, as soon as Mr. Hodgkinson asked for the abolition of the compound household, jin order that we might not disfranchise the small householders,j he claimed that idea as his own—(laughter)—as what he had wanted from the beginning, what he had not only no objection to, but what he positively loved.3 (Laughter.) When he did this I really thought we were going to have real household suffrage. But he has taught me a lesson—(cheers and laughter)—which I did not think I needed; but I did—(laughter)—and that is, to be a precious great distance out of the wood before I holloa in future. (Laughter and cheers.) This may not be so kbad as it looks. Some of our friends—some of the liberal members—k place a deal of trust, I am sorry to say, not in the Chancellor of the Exchequer’s virtues, but in the bad opinion they have of him, for they think that in all this that looks a little equivocal in his conduct, as if he is going both ways, he is trying to impose upon his own party. I do not know that he is trying to impose upon anybody. If I thought he was I should think at least if he was going to impose on anybody it was not so likely to be on his friends as on his foes. (Laughter.) I think rather that if he were disposed to impose on anybody it is likely to be upon us. I hope we shall be mistaken, and that on Monday next, when the subject comes up again, we shall really get the household suffrage that we want. (Loud cheers.) If we get that we can afford to smile when Mr. Disraeli gets up in an exulting tone—whether we have beaten him or he us, it is all the same to him—he always thinks it his victory—(laughter)—and we can smile when he tells us that we have all come over to him. He tells us that with the gravest face in the lworldl . But we are not quite so patient, and ought not to be so, when he gibes at those to whom we really owe all this, when he mcalls them “blunderers,”m talks of their “blundering hands,”4 and gives it to be understood that they have not been able to carry reform and he can, and that it is not their measure. He is quite satisfied if he can say to Mr. Gladstone, “You did not do it.” But Mr. Gladstone did do it. (Loud and long-continued cheering.) He could not carry his measure last year5 because Mr. Disraeli and his friends opposed it; Mr. Disraeli can carry his Reform Bill because Mr. Gladstone will not oppose anything but that which is not real reform, and will support to the utmost that which is. (Cheers.) I have no objection to thank everybody for their part in it when once we have got it, but I will always thank most those to whom we really owe it. (Cheers.) The people of England know that but for the late government this government would have gone one hundred miles nout of their wayn before they would have brought in any Reform oBill at all. (Hear, hear.) Ando every good thing we have got in this bill, even that which seems to be more than Mr. Gladstone was prepared to give, has only been given for the purpose of outbidding Mr. Gladstone. (Hear, hear.) pI have nothing more to say on this subject, but I should like to say something on another. I am reminded by my friend on my right (Mr. Gilpin)6 —one of the most thorough and determined reformers in the House of Commons—that I had the gratification of being along with him in thep deputation to Earl Derby qwhich he mentioned to youq , to endeavour to save the life of a poor convict. We do not know what the result will be.7rWe met under very great disadvantages.r The deputation was arranged last night when the house was very thin, and when the news that sthese poor men weres8 to be executed came upon us like a clap of thunder. (Cries of Shame.) tWe had to hunt up all the members of Parliament we could, many of them as it was the night before (Friday) were out of town, or were going out, having formed engagements, and under the circumstances we gott together some 50 or 60 English, Scotch, and Irish members, including some of the most honoured names in the house u—(cheers)—and saw the Prime Ministeru . We do not know what the result is. I myself, from Lord Derby’s tone, felt a good deal discouraged; but some of my friends, vwho know more of him, andv who are much better judges than I am, think there is a great deal of hope. As long as there is a chance of this hope being gratified, I would not say a word to mar the grace of the concession. I am willing to give the most hearty thanks to her Majesty’s government if they change the resolution which they are understood to have come to wonlyw by a majority, in which some of the most eminent members of the government did not join. (Hear, hear.) I do not wish to say anything that could excite any hostile feeling against the government, since I hope it will appear that they have not deserved it. But I should like to elicit a little feeling from you. (Cheers.) I should like to know, first, whether you think that we have any right to hold Ireland in subjection unless we can make Ireland contented with our government. (Cries of No, no.) That expression of your sentiment will resound through Ireland, and win the hearts of her people to you. (Cheers.) Let me ask you now: Do you think the Irish people are contented with our government?9 (Cries of No, no.) Is that your fault? (No, no.) Do you think those men who have been driven desperate by the continuance of what they think misgovernment—although it is not so intentionally, if it was once; the reason we govern Ireland badly is because the ruling classes do not know how to do it better—do you think that these poor men, who do not understand the English people, and do not understand that you are determined to do them justice, and do not know that you are going soon to be strong enough to do it—(cheers)—and because they do not know this, their patience is worn out, and in most desperate circumstances they endeavour to get rid of what they think misgovernment at the risk of their lives—do you think, I say, that those men are not fit to live for that reason? x(Cries of No.)x It is necessary to punish them. (Hear, hear.) It is necessary to punish any unsuccessful revolutionists (Oh, oh); because no man has a right to endanger the lives of his fellow-creatures, to raise civil war in the country, unless the event proves that there was such a feeling in the country at the timey, and that the circumstances were altogether suchy that he had reasonable prospect of success.10 (Hear, hear.) If people did not risk anything by making these attempts we should have them made upon all sorts of absurd grounds by small minorities. It is necessary, then, to punish these people, but it is not necessary to hang them. (Cheers.) It is important that the world should know that you, the people of England, abhor the idea of staining the soil with the blood of political zoffendersz . (Loud cheers, and a cry of Hang the Government.) I hope that we shall not have to reproach any one for this. But if it is done, I hope that you will show that it is not your doing—that you do not sympathise, that it is not you who want to hang the poor men who aimed to obtain the liberty of their country even by the amost mistaken meansa . (Hear, hear.) Political malcontents are very seldom bad men; they are generally better than the average. They very often do wrong things; but the man who will risk his life and all that is dear to him for a public object is generally a better man than the common—he is an object of pity, and not of hatred. (Cheers.) If he is not successful, his failure will itself be a terrible blow to him. b(Some person in the body of the hall here askedb“How would you punish them?”) I assume that it is unnecessary to punish all. It is only necessary to punish the leaders, and I would punish them by imprisonment, but not for life. They should not be treated like the scum of the earth; and we would always hope that the time would come, and we would do our utmost to make the time come, when an amnesty would let them all out of prison. (Cheers.) These things are done even in some of the most despotic countries of Europe, and I am sure that the people of England will not bear that their government should be the only one except those of Spain and Russia, which does such things. (Cheers.) If the government were so unfortunate as to hang these men, they would have the sympathy of none but Marshall Narvaez and General Mouravieff.11c(Cheers.)c I could not help addressing you on this subject. (Cheers.) Many of us who went up to Lord Derby feel deeply that it will be a most fatal thing for the honour of this country, for its estimation in the eyes of all other countries, for its future prosperity, for the future good feeling between class and class, and, above all, for the future good feeling between Ireland and England, which was so precious to them all, if the government should persevere in the dcalamitousd resolution to which they have come, but from which many of our friends feel econfident, and I feele considerable hope, that they will virtuously abstain. (Loud and continued cheering.)
[The resolution was passed unanimously, and then Thomas Mason Jones moved a second one, condemning the government’s “breach of faith” over compounding. In his speech Jones said, “as an Irishman,” he must thank “the most illustrious philosopher in Europe—(loud cheers)—for the speech . . . worthy of even the great reputation of John Stuart Mill” (Morning Star). Later in his speech, Jones referred to a conversation in which Mill indicated that though he had been opposed to the ballot, he “was so convinced of the dangerous state of things in Ireland, that he was willing the ballot should be tried in that part of the kingdom—(great cheering)—that, if the experiment were to be tried at all, that was the place to try it” (Morning Star). When Jones finished, Mill rose again.]
gMr. J.S. Mill: My friend who has just addressed the meeting, and whose enthusiasm has led him greatly to overrate my merits, has misunderstood in some degree the communication which took place between him and me on the subject of the ballot. I have never concealed from you any opinion which you dislike. (Hear, hear.) I did not do so at my election, and you won’t expect me to do so now. I am not in favour of the ballot. I think there are great objections to it, and that we are getting strong enough to do without it. (Hear, hear.) I was not able to say so much of the unfortunate Irish. I said, and I say again, if the ballot is to be tried, try it first in Ireland. (Cheers.)g
[After the unanimous passing of this and another resolution, and thanks to the Chair, the meeting agreed to send a memorial to the Queen, praying that she spare the lives of the Fenian convicts. Morley’s response to the vote of thanks closed the meeting proper, as the “vast assemblage” of some 3,000 separated. A few of those most involved, including Mill, then gathered in a smaller room to draw up the memorial concerning the Fenian prisoners, of which the substantial clause read: “We, your Majesty’s humble memorialists, beg earnestly to pray your Majesty to exercise your Royal prerogative of mercy in sparing the lives of our unhappy countrymen in Ireland now lying under sentence of death for high treason.” It was sent with a covering letter by Morley to Gathorne-Hardy, recently appointed Home Secretary.]
The Reform Bill 
PD, 3rd ser., Vol. 187, cols. 1142–3, 1185, 1188. Reported in The Times, 28 May, p. 9, from which the responses are taken. In the renewed discussion in Committee of Clause 4 of the Reform Bill, Disraeli made an extended defence of the Government’s intentions, in the course of which he referred to Mill’s having attended a meeting (see No. 58) and “if not [moving] at least [supporting] or sanction[ing] a resolution to the effect that I, representing Her Majesty’s Government, had committed a breach of faith with the House of Commons on this matter” (col. 1139). Mill’s first intervention is in response to that accusation.
i hope the Committee will kindly indulge me for a few minutes. No one, so far as I am aware, on the occasion to which the right honourable Gentleman has alluded, charged him with having broken faith with the House or with the country on the subject of the compound-householder. I most explictly acquitted him of having done so. If such a charge has been made I most willingly admit, and justice would compel me to admit, that he has most clearly and satisfactorily answered it. (Cheers.) I was well aware that the shaft with which he had transfixed us was taken from our own quiver. (Hear.) When the Amendment of the honourable Member for Pontefract (Mr. Childers) was announced,1 I felt, and said, that if it were carried it would entirely destroy us (hear, hear)—that we should be obliged to begin again at the beginning and fight the whole battle over again. If that Amendment had proceeded from this part of the House I should have opposed it, and I shall oppose it now. I had not in my mind that my honourable Friend the Member for Newark (Mr. Hodgkinson) had expressed concurrence in that Motion. I now remember that he did concur in it. But the Committee know that he withdrew that concurrence by placing a fresh Amendment of an entirely different character on the Paper. As the right honourable Gentleman has done me the honour to attend to what I said in another place, he no doubt is well aware of the reasons why I think the 3rd and 4th clauses are entirely inadmissible. I have said this to set myself right with the right honourable Gentleman, against whom I have always endeavoured to avoid saying anything personally offensive. On the occasion referred to, I spoke with studied moderation.
[The Committee moved from Clause 4 to Clause 34, also bearing on the issue of compound-householders; Mill’s second intervention, on an amendment by Ayrton (col. 1183) that would have the effect of making landlords liable for payments not made by short-term occupiers who had been rated in order to gain the franchise, came after Gathorne-Hardy had indicated that the basis of the Government’sobjection to payment of compounded rates through the landlord was “that men would get on the register without paying the full rate, and that persons therefore paying unequal rates would be equally entitled to the franchise” (col. 1185).]
Mr. J. Stuart Mill said, that in addition to the objection mentioned by the right honourable Gentleman, the Amendment would place the weekly tenant of a dwelling-house in a worse position than the weekly tenant of a lodging who would not have to pay any poor rate.
[Ayrton also moved that where “the dwelling-house or tenement shall be wholly let out in separate apartments or lodgings, the owner of such dwelling-house or tenement shall be rated in respect thereof to the poor rate” (col. 1186); Mill’s subsequent motion came after some discussion of the matter.]
Mr. J. Stuart Mill moved the omission of the words “separate apartments or” in the Amendment.
[The amendment was withdrawn so that a substitute amendment using the words “apartments or lodgings not separately rated” could be agreed to.]
Personal Representation. Speech of John Stuart Mill, Esq., M.P. Delivered in the House of Commons, May 29th [sic], 1867. With an Appendix Containing Notices of Reports, Discussions, and Publications on the System in France, Geneva, Germany, Belgium, Denmark, Sweden, the Australian Colonies, and the United States, 2nd ed. (London: Henderson, et al., 1867), and PD, 3rd ser., Vol. 187, col. 1362. Reported in The Times, 31 May, pp. 7–8, from which variants and the responses are taken; the report in the St. Stephen’s Chronicle, Vol. IV, pp. 44–7, supports the readings in The Times, but may derive from a common source. The first and main part of the speech is given in PD, 3rd ser., Vol. 187, cols. 1343–56. The incomplete listing in Mill’s bibliography reads “Speech in the House of Commons on Blank in MS. 1867, in moving for the adoption of Mr. Hare’s system of representation: reprinted in a pamphlet with other writings on Mr. Hare’s plan entitled Blank in MS.” (MacMinn, p. 97). The copy in Mill’s library, Somerville College, has no corrections or emendations. He spoke first.
asir,a the proposal to which I am about to call the attention of the House, and which I move as an amendment to the redistribution clauses,1 because if it were adopted it would itself constitute a complete system of redistribution, has been framed for the purpose of embodying a principle which has not yet been introduced into our discussions—a principle which is overlooked in the practical machinery of our constitution, and disregarded in most of the projects of constitutional reformers, but which I hold, nevertheless, to be most important to the beneficial working of representative government; and if while we are making great changes in our system of representation we omit to engraft this principle upon it, the advantages we obtain by our changes will be very much lessened, and whatever dangers they may be thought to threaten us with will be far greater and more real than they otherwise bneedb be; and this I think I can establish by reasons so clear and conclusive, that, though I cannot expect to obtain at once the assent of the House, I do confidently hope to induce many members of it to take the subject into serious consideration. I cannot, indeed, hold out as an inducement that the principle I contend for is fitted to be a weapon of attack or defence for any political party. It is neither democratic nor aristocratic—neither Tory, Whig, nor Radical; or, let me rather say, it is all these at once: it is a principle of fair play to all parties and opinions without distinction: it helps no one party or section to bear down others, but is for the benefit of whoever is in danger of being borne down. It is therefore a principle in which all parties cmightc concur, if they prefer permanent justice to a temporary victory; and I believe that what chiefly hinders them is that, as the principle has not yet found its way into the commonplaces of political controversy, many have never heard of it, and many others have heard just enough about it to misunderstand it. In bringing this subject before the House I am bound to prove two things: first, that there is a serious practical evil requiring remedy; and then, that the remedy I propose is practicable, and would be efficacious. I will first speak of the evil. It is a great evil; it is one which exists not only in our own, but in every other representative constitution; we are all aware of it; we all feel and acknowledge it in particular cases; it enters into all our calculations, and bears with a heavy weight upon us all. But as we have always been used to think of it as incurable, we think of it as little as we can; and are hardly aware how greatly it affects the whole course of our affairs, and how prodigious would be the gain to our policy, to our morality, to our civilization itself, if the evil were susceptible of a remedy. This House and the country are now anxiously engaged, and certainly not a day too soon, in considering what can be done for the unrepresented. We are all discussing how many non-electors deserve to be represented, and in what mode to give them representation. But my complaint is that the electors are not represented. The representation which they seem to have, and which we have been quarrelling about the extension of, is a most imperfect and insufficient representation; and this imperfect and insufficient representation is what we are offering to the new classes of voters whom we are creating. Just consider. In every Parliament there is an enormous fraction of the whole body of electors who are without any direct representation, consisting of the aggregate of the minorities in all the contested elections, together with we know not what minorities in those which, from the hopelessness of success, have not even been contested. All these electors are as completely blotted out from the constituency, for the duration of that Parliament, as if they were legally disqualified; most of them, indeed, are blotted out indefinitely, for in the majority of cases those who are defeated once are likely to be defeated again. Here, therefore, is a large portion of those whom the constitution intends to be represented, a portion which cannot average less than a third, and may approximate to a half, who are virtually in the position of non-electors. But the local majorities, are they truly represented? In a certain rough way they are. They have a member or members who are on the same side with themselves in party politics; if they are Conservatives, they have a professed Conservative; if Liberals, a professed Liberal. This is something; it is a great deal, even; but is it everything? Is it of no consequence to an elector who it is that sits in Parliament as his representative, if only he does not sit on the wrong side of the House? Sir, we need more than this. We all desire not only that there should be a sufficient number of Conservatives or of Liberals in the House, but that these should, as far as possible, be the best men of their respective parties; and the elector, for himself, desires to be represented by the man who has most of his confidence in all things, and not merely on the single point of fidelity to a party. Now, this is so entirely unattainable under the present system, that it seems like a dream even to think of itd. As a rule, thed only choice offered to the elector is between the two great parties. There are only as many candidates of each party as there are seats to be filled; to start any others would divide the party, and in most cases ensure its defeat. And what determines who these candidates are to be? Sometimes the mere accident of being first in the field. Sometimes the fact of having stood and been defeated on some previous occasion, when the sensible men of the party did not engage in the contest, because they knew it to be hopeless. In general, half a dozen local leaders, who may be honest politicians, but who may be jobbing intriguers, select the candidate: and whether they are of the one kind or the other, their conduct is much the same—they select the gentleman who will spend most money (Oh!); or, when this indispensable qualification is equally balanced, it answers best to propose somebody who has no opinions but the party ones; for every opinion which he has of his own, and is not willing to abnegate, will probably lose him some votes, and give the opposite party a chance. How many electors are there, I wonder, in the United Kingdom, who are represented by the person whom, if they had a free choice, they would have themselves selected to represent them? In many constituencies, probably not one. eThere might be a single exception.e I am inclined to think that almost the only electors who are represented exactly as they would wish to be, are those who were bribed (a laugh); for they really have got for their fmember the gentlemanf who bribed highest. Sometimes, perhaps, the successful candidate’s own tenants would have voted for him in preference to any one else, however wide a choice had been open to them. But in most cases the selection is the result of a compromise, even the leaders not proposing the man they would have liked best, but being obliged to concede something to the prejudices of other members of the party. Having thus, as I think, made out a sufficient case of evil requiring remedy, let me at once state the remedy I propose. My proposal, then, is this: That votes should be received in every locality, for others than the local candidates. An elector who declines to vote for any of the three or four persons who offer themselves for his own locality, should be allowed to bestow his vote on any one who is a candidate anywhere, whether put up by himself or by others. (Laughter, and Hear, hear.) If the elector avails himself of this privilege, he will naturally vote for the person he most prefers—the one person, among all that are willing to serve, who would represent him best; and if there are found in the whole kingdom other electors, in the proper number, who fix their choice on the same person, that person should be declared duly elected. Some number of electors there must be who may be considered entitled to one representative: what that number is, depends on the numbers of the House, compared with the total number of electors in the country. Suppose that there is one member for every 5,000 registered electors, or one for every 3,000 actual voters: then every candidate who receives 3,000 votes would be returned to this House, in whatever parts of the country his voters might happen to live. (Laughter, and some cries of Hear, hear.) This is the whole of my proposal, as far as its substance is concerned. To give it effect, some subsidiary arrangements are necessary, which I shall immediately state. But I must first notice an objection which presents itself on the threshold, and has so formidable an appearance that it prevents many persons from giving any further consideration to the subject. It is objected, that the plan destroys the local character of the representation. (Hear, hear.) Every constituency, it is said, is a group having certain interests and feelings in common, and if you disperse these groups by allowing the electors to group themselves in other combinations, those interests and feelings will be deprived of their representation. Now I fully admit that the interests and feelings of localities ought to be represented: and I add that they always will be represented; because those interests and feelings exist in the minds of the electors; and as the plan I propose has no effect but to give the freest and fullest play to the individual elector’s own preferences, his local preferences are certain to exercise their proper amount of influence. I do not know what better guardian of a feeling can be wanted than the man who feels it, or how it is possible for a man to have a vote, and not carry his interests and feelings, local as well as general, with him to the polling booth. Indeed, it may be set down as certain that the majority of voters in every locality will generally prefer to be represented by one of themselves, or one connected, with the place by some special tie. It is chiefly those who know themselves to be locally in a minority, and unable to elect a local representative of their opinions, who would avail themselves of the liberty of voting on the new principle. As far as the majority were concerned, the only effect would be that their local leaders would have a greatly increased motive to find out and bring forward the best local candidate that could be had, because the electors, having the power of transferring their votes elsewhere, would demand a candidate whom they would feel it a credit to vote for. The average quality of the local representation would consequently be improved, but local interests and feelings would still be represented, as they cannot possibly fail to be, as long as every elector resides in a locality. If, however, the House attaches any weight to this chimerical danger, I would most gladly accept by way of experiment a limited application of the new principle. Let every elector have the option of registering himself either as a local or as a general voter. Let the elections for every county or borough take place on the local registry, as they do at present. But let those who choose to register themselves as members of a national constituency, have representatives allowed to them in proportion to their number; and let these representatives, and no others, be voted for on the new principle. I will now state the additional, but very simple arrangements, required to enable the plan to work. Supposing 3,000 voters to be the number fixed upon as giving a claim to a representative: it is necessary that no more than this minimum number should be counted for any candidate; for otherwise a few very eminent or very popular names might engross nearly all the votes, and no other person might obtain the required number, or any number that would justify his return. No more votes, then, being counted for any candidate than the number necessary for his election, the remainder of those who voted for him would lose their vote, unless they were allowed to put on their voting paper a second name, for whom the vote could be used if it was not wanted by the candidate who stood first. In case this second candidate also should not need the vote, the voter might add a third, or any greater number, in the order of his preference. This is absolutely all that the elector would have to do, more than he does at present; and I think it must be admitted that this is not a difficult idea to master, and not beyond the comprehension of the simplest elector. The only persons on whom anything more troublesome would devolve are the scrutineers, who would have to sort the voting papers, and see for which of the names written in it each of them ought to be counted. A few simple rules would be necessary to guide the scrutineers in this process. My amendment entrusts the duty of drawing up those rules to the judgment and experience of the right honourable gentleman who presides over our deliberations; subjectg, as in other cases,g to the approbation of the House. (Hear, hear, and a laugh.) Let me now ask honourable members—is there anything in all this, either incomprehensible or insuperably difficult of execution! I can assure the House that I have not concealed any difficulty. I have given a complete, though a brief, account of what most honourable members must have heard of, but few, I am afraid, know much about—the system of personal representation proposed by my eminent friend, Mr. Hare2 —a man distinguished by that union of large and enlightened general principles, with an organizing intellect and a rare fertility of practical contrivance, which together constitute a genius for legislation. (Hear, hear.) People who have merely heard of Mr. Hare’s plan have taken it into their heads that it is particularly hard to understand and difficult to execute. But the difficulty is altogether imaginary: to the elector there is no difficulty at all; to the scrutineers, only that of performing correctly an almost mechanical operation. Mr. Hare, anxious to leave nothing vague or uncertain, has taken the trouble to discuss in his book the whole detail of the mode of sorting the voting papers. People glance at this, and because they cannot take it all in at a glance, it seems to them very mysterious. But when was there any act of Parliament that could be understood at a glance? (Hear, hear, and a laugh) and how can gentlemen expect to understand the details of a plan, unless they first possess themselves of its principle? If we were to read a description, for example, of the mode in which letters are sorted at the Post-office, would it not seem to us very complicated? Yet, among so vast a number of letters, how seldom is any mistake made. Is it beyond the compass of human ability to ascertain that the first and second names on a voting paper have been already voted for by the necessary quota, and that the vote must be counted for the third? And does it transcend the capacity of the agents of the candidates, the chief registrar, or a committee of this House, to find out whether this simple operation has been honestly and correctly performed? If these are not insuperable difficulties, I can assure the House that they will find there are no others. Many will think that I greatly over-estimate the importance of securing to every elector a direct representation, because those who are not represented directly are represented indirectly. If Conservatives are not represented in the Tower Hamlets, or Liberals in West Kent, there are plenty of Conservatives and Liberals returned elsewhere; and those who are defeated may console themselves by the knowledge that their party is victorious in many other places. Their hparty, yesh : but is that all we have to look to? Is representation of parties all we have a right to demand from our representative system? If that were so, we might as well put up three flags inscribed with the words, Tory, Whig, and Radical, and let the electors make their choice among the flags, and when they have voted, let the leaders of the winning party select the particular persons who are to represent it. (A laugh.) In this way we should have, I venture to say, an admirable representation of the three parties: all the seats which fell to the lot of each party would be filled by its steadiest and ablest adherents, by those who would not only serve the party best in the House, but do it most credit with the country. All political parties, merely as such, would be far better represented than they are now, when accidents of personal position have so great a share in determining who shall be the Liberal or who the Conservative member for each place. Why is it, then, that such a system of representation would be intolerable to us? Sir, it is because we look beyond parties; because we care for something besides parties; because we know that the constitution does not exist for the benefit of parties, but of citizens; and we do not choose that all the opinions, feelings, and interests of all the members of the community should be merged in the single consideration of which party shall predominate. We require a House of Commons which shall be a fitting representative of all the feelings of the people, and not merely of their party feelings. We want all the sincere opinions and public purposes which are shared by a reasonable number of electors to be fairly represented here; and not only their opinions, but that they should be able to give effect by their vote to their confidence in particular men. Then why, because it is a novelty, refuse to entertain the only mode in which it is possible to obtain this complete reflection in the House of the convictions and preferences existing in the constituent bodyi—to make the House, what we are so often told that it ought to be, the express image of the nationi ? By the plan I propose, every elector would have the option of voting for the one British subject who best represented his opinions, and to whom he was most willing to entrust the power of judging for him on subjects on which his opinions were not yet formed. Sir, I have already made the remark, that this proposal is not specially liberal, nor specially conservative, but is, in the highest degree, both liberal and conservative; and I will substantiate this by showing that it is a legitimate corollary from the distinctive doctrines of both parties. Let me first address myself to Conservatives. What is it that persons of conservative feelings specially deprecate in a plan of parliamentary reform? It is the danger that some classes in the nation may be swamped by other classes. What is it that we are warned against, as the chief among the dangers of democracy? not untruly, as democracy is vulgarly conceived and practised. It is that the single class of manual labourers would, by dint of numbers, outvote all other classes, and monopolize the whole of the legislature. But by the plan I propose, no such thing could happen; no considerable minority could possibly be swamped; no interest, no feeling, no opinion which numbered in the whole country a few thousand adherents, need be without a representation in due proportion to its numbers. It is true that by this plan a minority would not be equivalent to a majority; a third of the electors could not outvote two-thirds, and obtain a majority of seats; but a third of the electors could always obtain a third of the seats; and these would probably be filled by men above the average in the influence which depends on personal qualities, for the voters who were outnumbered locally would range the whole country for the best candidate, and would elect him without reference to anything but their personal confidence in him; the representatives of the minorities would, therefore, include many men whose opinion would carry weight even with the opposite party. Then, again, it is always urged by Conservatives, and is one of the best parts of their creed, that the legislators of a nation should not all be men of the same stamp—a variety of feelings, interests, and prepossessions should be found in this House—and it should contain persons capable of giving information and guidance on every topic of importance that is likely to arise. This advantage, we are often assured, has really been enjoyed under our present institutions, by which almost every separate class or interest which exists in the country is somehow represented, with one great exception, which we are now occupied in removing—that of manual labour. And this advantage many Conservatives think that we are now in danger of losing. But the plan I propose ensures this variegated character of the representation in a degree never yet obtained, and guarantees its preservation under any possible extension of the franchise. Even universal suffrage, even the handing over of political predominance to the numerical majority of the whole people, would not then extinguish minorities. Every dissentient opinion would have the opportunity of making itself heard, and heard through the very best and most effective organs it was able to procure. We should not find the rich or the cultivated classes retiring from politics, as we are so often told they do in America, because they cannot present themselves to any body of electors with a chance of being returned. Such of them as were known and respected out of their immediate neighbourhood would be elected in considerable numbers, if not by a local majority, yet by a union of local minorities; and instead of being deterred from offering themselves, it would be the pride and glory of such men to serve in Parliament; for what more inspiring position can there be for any man, than to be selected to fight the uphill battle of unpopular opinions, in a public arena, against superior numbers? (Cries of Agreed, agreed.) All, therefore, which the best Conservatives chiefly dread in the complete ascendancy of democracy would be, if not wholly removed, at least diminished in a very great degree. These are the recommendations of the plan when looked at on its conservative side. Let us now look at it in its democratic aspect. (Agreed, agreed.) I claim for it the support of all democrats, as being the only true realization of their political principles. What is the principle of democracy? Is it not that everybody should be represented, and that everybody should be represented equally? Am I represented by a member against whom I have voted, and am ready to vote again? Have all the voters an equal voice, when nearly half of them have had their representative chosen for them by the larger half? In the present mode of taking the suffrages nobody is represented but the majority. But that is not the meaning of democracy. Honest democracy does not mean the displacement of one privileged class, and the instalment of another in a similar privilege because it is a more numerous or a poorer class. That would be a mere pretence of democratic equality. That is not what the working classes want. The working classes demand to be represented, not because they are poor, but because they are human. No working man with whom I have conversed desires that the richer classes should be unrepresented, but only that their representation should not exceed what is due to their numbers; that all classes should have, man for man, an equal amount of representation. He does not desire that the majority should be alone represented. He desires that the majority should be represented by a majority, and the minority by a minority, and jhe only needs to have it shown to himj how this can be done. But I will go further. It is not only justice to the minorities that is here concerned. Unless minorities are counted, the majority which prevails may be but a sham majority. Suppose that on taking a division in this House you compelled a large minority to step aside, and counted no votes but those of the majority; whatever vote you then took would be decided by the majority of that majority. Does not every one see that this would often be deciding it by a minority? (Laughter and cries of Agreed, agreed.) The mere majority of a majority may be a minority of the whole. Now, what I have been hypothetically supposing to be done in this House, the present system actually does in the nation. It first excludes the minorities at all the elections. Not a man of them has any voice at all in determining the proceedings of Parliament. Well, now, if the members whom the majorities returned were always unanimous, we should be certain that the majority in the nation had its way. But if the majorities, and the members representing them, are ever divided, the power that decides is but the majority of a majority. Two-fifths of the electors, let us suppose, have failed to obtain any representation. The representatives of the other three-fifths are returned to Parliament, and decide an important question by two to one. Supposing the representatives to express the mind of their constituents, the question has been decided by a bare two-fifths of the nation, instead of a majority of it. Thus the present system is no more just to majorities than to minorities. It gives no guarantee that it is really the majority that preponderates. A minority of the nation, if it kbek a majority in the prevailing party, may outnumber and prevail over a real majority in the nation. Majorities are never sure of outnumbering minorities, unless every elector is counted—unless every man’s vote is as effective as any other man’s in returning a representative. No system but that which I am submitting to the House effects this, because it is the only system under which every vote tells, and every constituency is unanimous. This system, therefore, is equally required by the Conservative and by the Radical creeds. In practice, its chief operation would be in favour of the weakest—of those who were most liable to be outnumbered and oppressed. Under the present suffrage it would operate in favour of the working classes. Those classes form the majority in very few of the constituencies, lbut they are a large minority in many, and if they amount, say to a third of the whole electoral body, this system would enable them to obtain a third of the representationl . Under any suffrage approaching to universal, it would operate in favour of the propertied and of the most educated classes; and though it would not enable them to outvote the others, it would msecurem to them and to the interests they represent, a hearing, and a just share in the representation. I am firmly persuaded, Sir, that all parties in this House and in the country, if they could but be induced to give their minds to the consideration of this proposal, would end by being convinced, not only that it is entirely consistent with their distinctive principles, but that it affords the only means by which all that is best in those principles can be practically carried out. It would be a healing, a reconciling measure; softening all political transitions; securing that every opinion, instead of conquering or being conquered by starts and shocks, and passing suddenly from having no power at all in Parliament to having too much, or the contrary, should wax or wane in political power in exact proportion to its growth or decline in the general mind of the country. So perfectly does this system realize the idea of what a representative government ought to be, that its perfection stands in its way, and is the great obstacle to its success. There is a natural prejudice against everything which professes much; men are unwilling to think that any plan which promises a great improvement in human affairs has not something quackish about it. I cannot much wonder at this prejudice, when I remember that no single number of a daily paper is published whose advertising columns do not contain a score of panaceas for all human ills; when, in addition to all the pamphlets which load our tables, every member of this House, I suppose, daily receives private communications of plans by which the whole of mankind may at one stroke be made rich and prosperous, generally, I believe, by means of paper money. But if this age is fertile in new nonsense, and in new forms of old nonsense, it is an age in which many great improvements in human affairs have really been made. It is also an age in which, whether we will or not, we are entering on new paths; we are surrounded by circumstances wholly without example in history; and the wonder would be if exigencies so new could be dealt with in a completely satisfactory manner by the old means. We should therefore ill discharge our duty if we obstinately refused to look into new proposals. This, Sir, is not the mere crotchet of an individual. It has been very few years before the world, but already, by the mere force of reason, it has made important converts among the foremost public writers and public men in Germany, in France, in Switzerland, in Italy, in our Australian colonies, and in the United States. In one illustrious though small commonwealth, that of Geneva, a powerful association has been organized and is at work, under the presidency of one of the most eminent men in the Swiss federation, agitating for the reform of the constitution on this basis.3 And what in our own country? Why, Sir, almost every thinking person I know who has studied this plan, or to whom it has been sufficiently explained, is for giving it at least a trial. Various modes have been suggested of trying it on a limited scale. With regard to the practical machinery proposed, neither I nor the distinguished author of the plan are wedded to its details, if any better can be devised. (Hear.) If the principle of the plan were admitted, a committee or a royal commission could be appointed to consider and report on the best means of providing for the direct representation of every qualified voter, and we should have a chance of knowing if the end we have in view could be attained by any better means than those which we suggest. But without some plan of the kind it is impossible to have a representative system really adequate to the exigencies of modern society. In all states of civilization, and in all representative systems, personal representation would be a great improvement; but, at present, political power is passing, or is supposed to be in danger of passing, to the side of the most numerous and poorest class. Against this class predominance, as against all other class predominance, the personal representation of every voter, and therefore the full representation of every minority, is the most valuable of all protections. Those who are anxious for safeguards against the evils they expect from democracy should not neglect the safeguard which is to be found in the principles of democracy itself. It is not only the best safeguard but the surest and most lasting: because it combats the evils and dangers of false democracy by means of the true, and because every democrat who understands his own principles must see and feel its strict and impartial justice.
[Viscount Cranborne followed Mill, dissenting from the measure as impracticable, but arguing that it should be given a full hearing, as the evil Mill described was a real one. After other speeches, Mill concluded the debate.]
Mr. J. Stuart Mill said, he would obey what appeared to be the general wish of the House, and would not press his Amendment to a division; but there were many things which he might have said in reply if the temper of the House had permitted. He must, however, follow his honourable Friend behind him4 in thanking the noble Lord the Member for Stamford (Viscount Cranborne) for his able speech, and for the conviction he had expressed that statesmen must make up their minds to think upon this subject as the only way of getting over a difficulty that must be got over.5 He must also express his warm acknowledgments to the Chancellor of the Exchequer for the manner in which he had dealt with the question.6
[The amendment was withdrawn.]
The Bankruptcy Acts Repeal Bill
PD, 3rd ser., Vol. 187, col. 1572. Reported in The Times, 5 June, p. 7. Mill spoke in the debate on going into Committee on “A Bill to Repeal Enactments Relating to Bankruptcy in England, and to Matters Connected Therewith,” 30 Victoria (14 Mar., 1867), PP, 1867, I, 377–80.
the laws of this country on the subject of debt have passed, not suddenly, but by a succession of steps, from one bad extreme to another. After having continued the old savage treatment of debtors far into an advanced state of civilization, we have now gradually lapsed into such a state that the debtor may be guilty of any kind of misconduct, short of actual fraud, and escape with practical impunity. Last year, for nearly the whole of the Session, I had a Notice on the Paper for an Instruction to the Committee, that it have power to remedy this evil by introducing provisions for the punishment of such debtors as might be shown on inquiry to have, with culpable temerity, risked and lost property which belonged to their creditors.1 The Bill of last year2 never reached such a stage that I could move that Instruction. The present Bill has passed the stage when a similar Instruction could be proposed. Under these circumstances I shall give my best support to the Amendments to be proposed by the honourable and learned Member for Cambridge (Mr. Selwyn),3 and I shall move other clauses going further in the same direction.
[The discussion concluded with a deferment of the Committee until 7 June, whenit was again put off. Mill indicated to Helen Taylor on 10 June that he hoped to speak again on the matter (CW, Vol. XVI, p. 1281), but the Bill was withdrawn without discussion on 11 July.]
Petition Concerning the Fenians
PD, 3rd ser., Vol. 187, cols. 1894–5. Reported in The Times, 15 June, p. 9, from which variants and responses are taken. On 3 May, John Bright had submitted a petition, signed by Edward Truelove, Richard Congreve, Frederic Harrison, and eight others, condemning Fenianism because of its secrecy and premature dedication to violence, but nonetheless asserting the political nature of the offences, and asking that the sentences already assigned to prisoners be revised, that they be segregated from common criminals, that moderation be shown in applying the law in Ireland, and that Fenian prisoners be treated well before trial, and judged and sentenced leniently (Petition 8687, Reports from the Select Committee of the House of Commons on Public Petitions, 1867–68; the wording is in App. 530, pp. 223–4). The Report now having been printed, Augustus Henry Archibald Anson (1835–77), M.P. for Lichfield, moved (cols. 1886–90) that the petition itself be “discharged” and that its wording in the Appendix be “cancelled,” on the grounds that its aim was to encourage Fenianism and insult the British army. He referred to criticisms made in the House by Perronet Thompson in 1858 concerning the army’s reaction to the Indian Mutiny.
i rise, not for the purpose of discussing the question raised upon the Motion submitted to us, which I cannot imagine, especially after the opposition made to it by the Chairman of the Committee on Petitions,1 that the House will think of adopting. I rise, moved by a feeling of self-respect, to say that if the honourable and gallant Gentleman thought it his duty to move that the petition be expelled from the House, he should go further, and move that I be expelled from it, for there is not a single sentiment in the petitiona, as far as I am aware,a which I do not adopt. (Oh, oh!) I will not say that I adhere to every word in it, but to every sentiment in it I most implicitly do, and I thank my honourable Friend who presented it for having given utterance for once in this House to a feeling which nearly all bEurope and the civilized world entertain, respecting certain acts done in the dependencies of this countryb .2 The honourable and gallant Gentleman is mistaken in supposing that utterance to be an attack on his profession. I have been infinitely more disgusted in reference to the Indian transactions referred to, by the inhuman and ferocious displays of feeling made by unmilitary persons, persons in civil life, who were safe at home, and who, it seems to me, were far more culpable than those who committed excesses under such provocation as there is no denying was given in the case of India. Even the deeds there done of inhuman and indiscriminate massacre, the seizing of persons in all parts of the country and putting them to death without trial, and then boasting of it in a manner almost disgraceful to humanity, cas was the case in innumerable instances which were described at the time,c were by no means confined to the army. I have no doubt that in many cases the habitual discipline of the army, and their professional feelings, prevented them from being guilty of such deeds. I could tell the House of gentlemen who resigned their commissions and left the army because they could not bear the deeds which they not only saw done, but were compelled by their orders to do. (Name, name!) I decline to name them, and by naming them to expose them to attacks (Oh, and Hear) like those which have been made to-night against a well-known public man, formerly a Member of this House, for the vindication of whom I return my sincerest thanks to the honourable Member for Bradford.3 With respect to the sentiments contained in the petition dand its alleged palliation of the conduct ofd the Fenians, I beg to point out that it contains a very decided and strong condemnation of their conduct. All it said was that it was conduct esuch as honourable but mistaken men might be capable ofe . That cannot be denied. It cannot be denied that such men as Wolfe Tone,4 Emmett, and Lord Edward Fitzgerald, however wrongly they may have acted, were the very stuff of which patriot heroes are made. The errors of the Fenians may be more blameable than theirs. Do I exculpate their conduct? Certainly not. It was greatly culpable, because it was contrary to the general interests of society and of their country. Still, errors of this character are not errors which evince a vulgar mind—certainly not a mind likely to be guilty of ordinary crime and vice—rather a mind capable of heroic actions and lofty virtue. Such acts have been committed by the most self-devoted and admirable persons. fHow far that is so in the present instance I am unable to say, because, not knowing the antecedents of those whose conduct was implicated, I cannot form an accurate judgment upon the point. I feel, at the same time, sure that the acts for which they have been made amenable to the law, and which the good of society demands should be punished with severity, do not brand them as detestable, but only as pitiable.f (Hear.)
[After further debate, Anson’s motion was lost.]
The Sunday Lectures Bill
PD, 3rd ser., Vol. 188, cols. 99–103. Reported in The Times, 20 June, p. 8, from which variants and responses are taken. In moving the second reading of “A Bill to Amend the Act of the 21st Year of George III, c. 49, intitled ‘An Act for Preventing Certain Abuses and Profanations on the Lord’s Day, called Sunday,’ ” 30 Victoria (2 Apr., 1867), PP, 1867, VI, 367–70, John Russell, Viscount Amberley (1842–76), M.P. for Nottingham, pointed out (cols. 89–95) that the Bill affected only lectures and speeches to which admission was charged; it did not apply to amusements, or even to performances of sacred music. Immediately before Mill spoke, Alexander James Beresford Hope (1820–87), M.P. for Stoke-upon-Trent, suggested (cols. 97–9) that a Select Committee should look thoroughly into the whole subject.
there is much good sense and good feeling in the speech of the honourable Member for Stoke-upon-Trent (Mr. Beresford Hope). I agree that it is desirable that this question and others should be dealt with in a much broader way than they usually are by the House. But whose fault is it that they are not? Not my noble Friend’s.1 If I may be permitted to say so, it is the fault of the House, which never will look at any subject except by fractions, and will not consent to legislate otherwise than bit by bit. If it would, there would be many things different in our laws and in our discussions. (Hear.) My noble Friend professes wider views on the subject than correspond with the breadth of the measure he has proposed. In his Bill he has dealt with a small portion, a corner of the subject upon which he thinks it hardly possible that there can be a difference of opinion among reasonable persons. (A laugh.) He gives the House credit for being capable of stopping where it likes, and deciding how far it will or will not go. He thinks that wherever the line ought to be drawn, it ought not to be drawn where it is now; and that there is something to be done in the way of promoting useful and instructive amusements, to call them nothing more, on a Sunday, in place of mere sensualities. I am not going to say anything, although much might be said, about the value of the instruction and recreation which these lectures afford. I am going to put it on the lowest ground, and ask whether you will have these or the public-house. (Hear, hear.) It is true that the honourable Member for Chichester (Mr. J.A. Smith) has proposed, and probably will receive much support in proposing, to take away even this from the working man, and leave him nothing whatever to do on Sunday but to go to church, if he should be so disposed.2 But there is no incompatibility between going to church and going to these lectures also. If you are not able to make the churches so attractive to the class of persons who are most in need of moralizing influences as to induce them to go there, you will, if you induce them not to go to the public-house, be doing some good. I refer to the question of closing the public-houses on Sunday, because that is a remedy which probably many gentlemen would propose. They would say, “You have not to choose between scientific lectures and the public-house, because you may close the public-house, and shut up the working people in their homes,” such as those are. There are two ways of keeping people out of what is considered to be mischief. One is to exclude them from what is regarded as hurtful indulgence, without giving them any other. The other is to facilitate their obtaining indulgences, amusements, recreations, to use no higher term, which if possible may be beneficial, and which certainly cannot be noxious. The latter plan appears to me the better, not only for the interests of society, but for the interests of religion itself. If you prevent any but a strictly religious employment of the Sunday, the only leisure day which is possessed by the mass of working men, what happens? You compel mankind, made as they are of flesh and blood, and needing a great deal which is not provided for by the church service—you compel them to look to the church service, and to their religious observances, not merely for spiritual instruction or spiritual edification, but also for all their excitement, and even for all their amusement. And this has two consequences equally serious and equally mischievous, and certainly equally undesirable in the eyes of arationallya religious people. One is to make the churches places of display, places of amusement and levity. The other is to make them places of boundless fanaticism. (Hear.) Both the love of lighter and the love of serious and grave excitement seek their gratification in this way, when others are denied them. The consequence is, that you are very likely to have, under cover of religious observances, all sorts of worldly feelings and worldly excitement, or else bigotry and fanaticism raised to their highest point. Speaking, therefore, in the interests of religion, it is not desirable that all places but churches should be closed on the only day of leisure which the mass of the community enjoy. Then as to the mode in which Sunday is to be employed bafter a certain portion of it is left open for religious observances, other employments being allowedb , I would ask any reasonable religious person whether, if he cannot have all that he would think best, he ought not to desire to have what is next best—and which he thinks nearest to religion: science, or sensuality? (Hear, hear.) With regard to the question of taking money at the doors for admission to these exhibitions, services, or whatever they are called, I understood my honourable Friend the Member for Perth (Mr. Kinnaird) c—for whom I entertain a degree of respect with which nothing I shall say will be in the slightest degree inconsistent—c to say that those who are anxious to give interesting instruction to the people may do it if they choose to defray the expenses themselves; but that it shall not be allowed that those who seek it shall themselves pay the expenses.3 That may be very well for once, twice, or thrice, but can it be expected to last? Is it to be desired that this instruction should be denied to the working classes unless others are willing to do what they themselves are not allowed to do—namely, to keep up a constant succession of these lectures, at the expense of others, and not at the expense of those who are able and willing to pay for them? Surely that is not what would be thought just and desirable in any other case. But perhaps my honourable Friend is of the opinion which seemed to be entertained by the right honourable Gentleman the Home Secretary (Mr. Gathorne-Hardy) on another occasion, when, with a degree of irascibility which I have not seen him exhibit upon any other subject, he spoke of “miserable philosophers” who are never willing to sacrifice anything for their opinions;4 not perhaps sufficiently considering that “miserable philosophers” have not always the means of making great endowments (hear, hear), and that there seems to be no very strong reason why the promulgation of opinions should be left exclusively to those who are able to provide such endowments. As to the evil consequences which my honourable Friend expects to follow if money is taken at the door on these occasions, which, he appears to think, would necessarily lead to the licensing of all sorts of amusements on Sunday, he does not appear to have sufficient confidence in the legislative capacity of the House, or to believe that it is capable of defining what shall be permitted and what shall not. I may, however, observe to my honourable Friend that this Bill actually does draw a line. My honourable Friend says that he once attended these lectures, and that the great attraction was the sacred music. But the Bill of my noble Friend does not include music. He has purposely excluded it, and therefore, also, the paid singers. With regard to that invidious expression, “paid singers,”5 are not the singers at our cathedrals paid? Is there anything necessarily unedifying in sacred music, because those who even thus humbly minister to the altar live by the altar? (Hear.) With reference to my honourable Friend’s fear that if music were allowed dancing must be allowed also, he cannot be indifferent to, or unaware of, the difference between sacred and other music. Is it not the distinctive characteristic of sacred music that its effect upon the mind is at the same time calming and elevating? and therefore I suppose the best preparation for any desirable and good form of religious sentiment. I am not aware that there is any such thing as sacred dancing (a laugh), at least according to our notions, although there is according to the ideas of other nations. Therefore there is no ground for the apprehensions of my honourable Friend. I apprehend that in this matter it is perfectly possible to draw a line of distinction if we choose to do so; to say what modes of amusement—if we put it only upon that ground—we consider to be, if not absolutely edifying, not inconsistent with edification, and what we think it desirable to put under restraint for one reason or another. As to these reasons, and the extent to which they would carry restraint, probably no two persons in this House are agreed. There is therefore—not that I apprehend there could be any reasonable objection to passing my noble Friend’s Bill—ground for assenting to the proposal of the honourable Member for Stoke, and referring the question to a Select Committee. I concur with him as to the desirability of considering these questions in the broadest possible way, and deciding what are the modes of amusement to which there is no objection, and what are those which, from their more suspicious and more dangerous character, require restraint. It is probable that if a Select Committee be appointed, it will extend rather than restrict the scope of my noble Friend’s Bill, and will find that on no broad principle that can be laid down will it be necessary to restrict the measure so much as my noble Friend has done. If the Bill is read a second time I shall be willing, as I presume from what he said my noble Friend will be, to consent to its being referred to a Select Committee, which will probably receive a great deal of valuable evidence—throw some light upon the subject, and I hope remove some prejudices. (Hear, hear.)
[The Bill was lost (col. 116).]
The Libel Bill
PD, 3rd ser., Vol. 188, col. 546. Reported in The Times, 26 June, p. 7. In Committee on “A Bill to Amend the Law of Libel, and Thereby to Secure More Effectually the Liberty of the Press,” 30 Victoria (8 Feb., 1867), PP, 1867, III, 391–4, Colman Michael O’Loghlen (1819–77), M.P. for County Clare, moved to add a new clause: “No action or prosecution shall be maintainable for the publication of any defamatory matter contained in any report, paper, votes, or proceedings of either House of Parliament, which either House of Parliament shall have ordered to be published; nor shall any action or prosecution be maintainable against a printer or publisher for the publication of any defamatory matter in any periodical or other publication, if such defamatory matter shall be a true and fair report of the proceedings of either House of Parliament”
mr. j. stuart mill said, the first part of the clause provided that there should be no remedy for any defamatory matter contained in any document ordered by the House to be printed. Remembering the multifarious sources of the documents which the House ordered to be printed, he could not help thinking that if there was to be no remedy against the public, as there could be none against the House, for the circulation of any defamatory matter, the House could not do less than appoint some person to look carefully over all documents and see that no defamatory matter was needlessly introduced.
[Eventually the clause was withdrawn (col. 547).]
The Reform Bill 
PD, 3rd ser., Vol. 188, cols. 635–8. Reported in The Times, 28 June, p. 7, from which the variant and responses are taken. In a further Committee on the Reform Bill (see No. 50), Disraeli moved a new Clause A to provide for increased polling places (cols. 616–17). To an amendment putting the expenses of elections on the local rates, a sub-amendment was attached, requiring the payment of £50 (boroughs) and £100 (counties) by anyone demanding a poll (col. 627). Joseph Warner Henley (1793–1884), M.P. for Oxfordshire, spoke before Mill, pointing out that in county towns a factious candidate might gain nomination by a show of hands; then the other candidate would have to demand and so be put to the expense of a poll; at present, each candidate put down a deposit.
the right honourable gentleman who has just addressed the House appears to me to have raised a difficulty which is, in fact, no difficulty at all, and which he himself pointed out the means of removing. The obvious remedy against relieving the sham candidate, who might have the show of hands, at the cost of the bonâ fide candidate, with a chance of election, was to require deposits from all. But I cannot help thinking that a great deal too much is said of the danger of sham candidates. The expense of the hustings, or the returning officer’s expenses, are not only a very small part of the expense of elections as they now are; but I am afraid bear a very small proportion to the expense which it is impossible to prevent. Though a great amount of expense, which, though not corrupt, is very noxious, ought to be, and can be, prevented, it is impossible to prevent, or defray out of a public fund, such expenses as those of advertisements, printing, public meetings to address the electors. The candidates of whom all seem so much afraid, and who have no chance of being elected, cannot present themselves to the electors without incurring a certain amount of these expenses, and if they cannot pay these it is obvious nobody need care for their candidature. The honourable and learned Member for the Tower Hamlets (Mr. Ayrton) has said that if this sham candidature is kept up, the counties or the other candidates may be put to expense.1 But I have no doubt the general opinion would so strongly condemn this, that it would be hardly possible for anyone who cares for the opinion of the constituency, and wishes to make himself favourably known to them, to present himself in this capacity. It may happen, perhaps, or the public may be led to think, that under this horror of sham candidates there is concealed a greater fear of real candidates. This is, as was well observed by the honourable Member for Stoke-upon-Trent (Mr. Beresford Hope),2 part of a much greater question, that of election expenses generally, with which, in all its parts, this House must necessarily have to deal; and I hope it will see the necessity of dealing with it soon. (Hear, hear.) But this particular expense, though a small part of the total cost of elections, is a part which it is really in the power of the House to control. It is a necessary part of the expenditure of the country, like any other portion of the public charges. If a foreigner asked how this country provided for that part of its expenditure which attends the election of its representatives, would he not be astonished to hear that it was done by a tax on candidates? (Hear, hear.) Of all sorts of taxation, was there ever such a partial and unjust specimen as that would be? But it is really a great deal worse. I can compare it to nothing short of requiring a Judge to pay large sums towards the cost of the administration of justice. It is true that you make men pay for commissions in the army, but you do not apply the price of these commissions towards defraying the expense of the army. Does this House, in any other case, arrange to defray any part of the necessary expenses of the country by a special tax on the individuals who carry on its service? The honourable Member for Stoke-upon-Trent (Mr. Beresford Hope), though he has fears of the consequences of the constitutional change we are making, which I by no means share, has expressed an anxiety in which, I think, we must all participate—a sense of the duty under which this House and the country now lie, to provide for educating, in the morality of politics, that large class who are now for the first time to be admitted to the electoral suffrage. What sort of a lesson are we giving them—what sort of instructions do we offer—when we lead them to believe that the great trust of legislating for this country is a thing to be paid for, that it is worth while paying for it, and that men can be made to pay for it? What more natural than that they should think it might as well be paid for directly to those who confer it? The noble Lord who spoke earlier in the debate (Lord Hotham)3 seems to consider that the law of demand and supply should be left to regulate these matters, so that, in fact, those who are willing to pay money should have a clear field, and that the representation should be knocked down to the highest bidder. That is, perhaps, to a certain extent, done already (a laugh); but the House ought not to extend and perpetuate the practice. There is in this country a large and growing class of persons who have suddenly and rapidly acquired wealth, and to whom it is worth any sacrifice of money to obtain social position. The less they have to recommend them in any other respect—the less chance they have of obtaining a place in what is called good society—esteem, either by qualities useful or ornamental—the more sure they are to resort, if they can, to the only infallible and ready means of gaining their end, the obtaining a seat in this House. This is a growing evil which ought to be guarded against. (Hear.) I hope the Government will deal with this subject in all its parts, as it is certainly highly needful to do; but we have now an opportunity of dealing with one part which is entirely in our control, and which forms an element of the question we are now discussing. We can deal with that small part of election expenses which is an unavoidable part of the expense of governing the country, and which, though the right honourable Gentleman the Member for Oxfordshire (Mr. Henley) said it would be extremely shabby to throw on the constituencies,4 I think it would be a monstrous deal more shabby to throw on the candidates. (Hear, hear, and a laugh.) When a man has no personal object of his own to gain by obtaining a seat in this House, it is not for the House to require that he should pay the expense which the country and the electors incur by his election: if he has any such object, we ought to do everything in our power, and to throw every obstacle in his way, to prevent him from obtaining it by money. Above all, it is our duty to show to the new electors, and that large portion of the old who, I am sorry to say, still need the lesson, that the business of election is a thing far removed from aught of buying and selling; that the business of a Member of this House is a laborious and onerous task, and when not sought from personal motives, one which it requires a high sense of public duty to undertake, and that the burthen, therefore, ought not to be increased by throwing any part of the expense on the candidate. aIf members, indeed, are not to be paid for undertaking the business of legislation, they certainly ought not to be made to pay for leave to govern the country.a (Cheers and laughter.) We ought, above all things, to show the electors that they are doing what we and the world consider disgraceful, if they put the candidate to any expense, and thus tempt him to use his seat for his personal advantage. (Hear.)
[Both the sub-amendment and the amendment were defeated.].
Morning Star, 29 June, 1867, p. 6. Headed: “National Reform Union. Meeting Last Evening.” An identical report is in the Evening Star; The Times has a full report in the third person; shorter reports appeared in the Daily News, the Daily Telegraph, and the Morning Post. (Clippings of the Morning Star and The Times are in the Mill-Taylor Collection.) The evening meeting, under the auspices of the National Reform Union, was held in St. James’s Hall, to protest against the government’s redistribution scheme, on the grounds that it discriminated against the large boroughs. The Chair was taken by Jacob Bright, and Mill (“who was received with prolonged cheering” [Daily News]), was in the platform party. After Bright spoke, a resolution regretting the government’s refusal to introduce an Irish Reform Bill in the present session was moved, seconded, and passed. A second resolution condemning the government’s redistribution plan was passed, as was one (seconded by Beales, who also praised Mill), endorsing continued action by the National Reform Union. Then, at 11:10 p.m., in response to repeated calls, the Chair called upon Mill. “The immense audience at once rose en masse, and hats and handkerchiefs were set waving, and the cheering lasted for several minutes.”
there is not the smallest need that I should address you this evening, for you have already heard many excellent speeches, and there is nothing which I have to say, or that I think it useful to say on this subject on this occasion which has not already been anticipated by some speaker. I had hoped, therefore, that you would have excused me; but as you may wish to hear my view of this question—(cheers)—and as possibly there may be many of my constituents present to-night who have a right to hear what my sentiments are, I will atherefore at this late hour verya briefly explain them. (Hear, hear.) I think that Reformers will only do their duty if they continue to agitate until they obtain a bill far better than the present one in the essential point of the redistribution of seats,1 and, above all, I think no Reformers ought to be satisfied unless the large towns obtain, not a third member here and there, but a great number of additional members—(cheers)—and when I speak of the large towns, I include amongst them the metropolitan districts, which bare eminently entitled to a large representation—(hear, hear)—and I say this ought to be the case even from what our opponents admit.b Mr. Disraeli has, from the beginning, proclaimed and declared with frequent iteration that the counties must have a larger representation than they have at present, because if you take the whole numbers of their population they are more populous than the towns.2 Now, if this argument is good for the counties it is good for the great towns; and the great towns are far more populous than some of the counties. In this metropolis you have over 3,000,000 in population, and if you allow to the counties 12,000,000,3 which is exceeding Mr. Disraeli’s calculation, it follows that London ought to have one-fourth of the amount of representation which the counties have—(hear, hear)—and at that rate London would be entitled to forty or fifty members—(cheers)—and the other large towns of the country would have to have a proportionately large increasec, this increase, of course, being at the expense of the representation of the small townsc . But let us look a little more closely into this question of the counties. Now what is the population of which these 11,000,000 are composed? First of all there are the landlords, and then there are the farmers. Well, they do not count 11,000,000. Then there are the small shopkeepers and professional men dliving in the small unrepresented townsd , and we do not know how many of these will have votes, but theirs is a fair claim as far as it goes. But how is the remainder of the 11,000,000 made up? Why, it is made up by counting the agricultural labourers. (Cheers.) Now, I should like to know whether these gentlemen will have the face to stand up in the House of Commons or anywhere else and say that ethe landlords as county memberse represent the agricultural labourers. (Cheers.) Why, fthose are precisely the only people that the agricultural labourers ever have any dispute or quarrel with. But let them look at the subject in another point of view. Thesef agricultural labourers have not even votes, and this bill is not going to give them any—(hear, hear)—and they are not to have votes either in the counties or in the boroughs g; but if they possess no votes the Conservatives have no right to count that portion of the population as forming a part of the county constituenciesg . But it may be said that if they are not represented directly, they are represented indirectly. Well, sometimes those who are not represented directly are represented indirectly by those who have the same interest as themselves. But I want to know, has the agricultural labourer the same interest as the landlords and the farmers? (Cheers.) It is very well to say that the interests of all classes of the nation are much the same in the long run. I am not going to say anything against that, but mankind are much more governed by their immediate than their ultimate interestsh, and if I had any immediate interest to be settled I should much prefer that the man who has to decide the matter should not be chosen from persons who have opposite interests to my ownh . (Hear, hear.) Now if there are any persons in the community that the agricultural labourers would not wish to be represented by, I should say it is the landlords. (Hear, hear.) Why, the town members represent them better. (Hear, hear.) We town representatives have no disputes with them. (Hear, hear.) We are not their masters, and people do not like to be represented by their masters. (Hear, hear.) We are not their employers, and we never have any dispute with them about wages as the farmers have, and moreover we want to educate them, and farmers generally, I think, do not want to do that. (Cheers.) They think, in the first place, that education makes the labourers too independent; and, in the next place, they want them to make them labour a great deal too early so as to render it impossible for them to remain at school. I do not say this of the landlords. I am now referring to the farmers. Many of the landlords are desirous that the agricultural labourers should be educated, and perhaps things would get on much better if it was not for that accursed subject—game. (Cheers.) Now, we town representatives never have any quarrels with the agricultural labourer on that subject. (Hear, hear.) But such is the state of things and feeling on the subject of game, which has taken possession of the landed interest, that I cannot conceive that any agricultural labourer, if he had his choice, would like to be represented by any man who kept a gamekeeper. (Laughter and cheers.) I am told by persons who live in the country that it is a fixed belief with agricultural labourers that a bench of magistrates think that the word of a gamekeeper is law, and that whenever a gamekeeper charges a person with an offence against the game laws, that person is sure to have to go to prison. (Hear, hear.) Now, I do not know whether this is true or not, but so it is asserted, and it is a great pity that every now and then something happens which gives a great deal of colour to this assertion. (Cheers.) Many present may have noticed a recent case, which is very striking in its features, and we should have known nothing of it had it not been for a noble-hearted clergyman who brought the facts before the public.4 A gamekeeper who had had the satisfaction or accident to make a mistake before in charging a person wrongfully, made oaths that two persons had been seen by him in the act of poaching. The father and mother of each of these two supposed delinquents gave positive evidence that these two young men were in their respective houses on the night in question. The gamekeeper, however, was believed by the magistrates, and the two young men were sent to prison. One was sent for a short period, which he served. While the other was still in prison, two persons who had really committed the offence came forward and confessed that they had done so. Now, what would you suppose this circumstance would have inspired in the minds of the magistrates? One would have thought at least a doubt respecting the testimony of the gamekeeper. (Hear, hear.) Not so, however, because they did not see their way to letting the confined man out of prison—(cries of Shame)—and he would have remained in prison to the end of his sentence had it not been for this clergyman who gave publicity to the affair, and after considerable delay and consideration the Home Secretary5 let the man out. (Cheers.) iAs to any atonement being made to the man, such a thing was never to be dreamt of. Nay, more, after all, the man, though innocent, was held to bail.i Now, I believe that these things do not often happen, but one such thing in a year is quite enough to reveal the difference of feeling between a country gentleman and an agricultural labourer. (Cheers.) And it makes it not at all probable that agricultural labourers, if they had any choice, would choose landlords to be their representatives. (Cheers.) I say, therefore, whatever claims the counties may have for representation, those claims should not at all events be put forward as regards the agricultural labourers, who, as I have already said, are better represented by the town members. (Cheers.) jIt is said that these labourers have no votes; but that is not strictly correct, for some of them have votes. I may be asked where. Why, in the towns and, still more, in those petty sham counties—that is to say, in those places hardly better than villages which have large landed districts attached to them. All the agricultural labourers will have votes, but these will count as town votes, and, therefore, as I have said before, the town representatives are the more real representatives of the agricultural labourers than the landlords. Well, it being assumed that the great towns ought to have more representatives, the question, then, to be considered is where are those additional members to come from. I would call attention in respect to this point to those small sham counties of which I have spoken. They are Cricklade, Aylesbury, and Shoreham. By the disfranchisement of other boroughs these have had the surrounding districts added to them, and ought, therefore, to be counted among the county representatives. By the Reform Bill of 1832 many of these boroughs were created. A Conservative member of the House of Commons the other day gave the history of Wenlock, which covered 75 square miles, while the town was not larger than a village, and yet it returned two members to Parliament .6 I should like to know where they could find a better place than this for disfranchisement, which would give them two members to be disposed of elsewhere. There are other places of a similar description, such as Thetford, Tavistock, and Totnes, all of which return two members, the plan generally being that the patron returns one member, and the people the other member. Some of these places are to be deprived of one of their members, and the question is who will be the loser, the patron or the people? (Cheers.) Where there is no member to be disposed of I fear the patron will be stronger than the people, but all such ought to be considered county representations. I will give the Government what credit may be due to them for giving additional members to the metropolis, and also a member to the London University; but while they have added largely to the representation of the counties they will not grant any additional member to the great towns. (Cheers.)j
[The meeting concluded towards midnight with the customary vote of thanks to the Chair, during which Harriet Law (whom the Daily News, not knowing her name, identified as “a lady in a sailor’s hat”), who “had shortly before taken her seat by the side of Mr. Mill,” made “a long oration on the subject of women’s political rights. She called for a show of hands in favour of Mr. Mill’s proposition to admit women to the suffrage, and the meeting, which had half dwindled away, cordially answered the appeal” (Morning Post).]
William Lloyd Garrison
Proceedings at the Public Breakfast Held in Honour of William Lloyd Garrison, Esq., of Boston, Massachusetts, in St. James’s Hall, London, on Saturday, June 29th, 1867. Revised by the Speakers; with an Introduction by F.W. Chesson, and Opinions of the Press (London: Tweedie, 1868), pp. 33–5. Reported in full in the Morning Star, and much compressed in the Daily News; the Daily Telegraph gives only a one-sentence summary of Mill’s remarks. Some 300–400 people, including a large number of women, sat down to breakfast, with John Bright in the Chair. After letters were read from the American Ambassador and the Comte de Paris, regretting their inability to attend, Bright gave a lengthy eulogy of William Lloyd Garrison (1805–79), the prominent anti-slavery advocate and pacifist. Then George Douglas Campbell (1823–1900), Duke of Argyll, read an address to Garrison composed by Goldwin Smith. Argyll was followed by Lord Russell; then Mill spoke.
mr. chairman, ladies, and gentlemen,—The speakers who have preceded me have, with an eloquence far beyond anything which I can command, laid before our honoured guest the homage of admiration and gratitude which we all feel is due to his heroic life. Instead of idly expatiating upon things which have been far better said than I could say them, I would rather endeavour to recall one or two lessons applicable to ourselves, which may be drawn from his career. A noble work nobly done always contains in itself, not one, but many lessons; and in the case of him whose character and deeds we are here to commemorate, two may be singled out specially deserving to be laid to heart by all who would wish to leave the world better than they found it.
The first lesson is,—Aim at something great; aim at things which are difficult; and there is no great thing which is not difficult. (Hear, hear.) aDo not pare down your undertaking to what you can hope to see successful in the next few years, or in the years of your own life.a Fear not the reproach of Quixotism band impracticability, or to be pointed at as the knight-errants of an idea. (Hear, hear, and a laugh.) Afterb you have well weighed what you undertake, if you see your way clearly, and are convinced that you are right, go forward, even though you, like Mr. Garrison, do it at the risk of being torn to pieces by the very men through whose changed hearts your purpose will one day be accomplished. (Cheers.) cFight on with all your strength against whatever odds, and with however small ac band of supporters. (Hear, hear.) If you are right, the time will come when that small band will swell into a multitude: you will at least lay the foundations of something memorable, and you may, like Mr. Garrison—though you ought not to need or expect so great a reward—be spared to see that work completed which, when you began it, you only hoped it might be given to you to help forward a few stages on its way. (Cheers.)
The other lesson which it appears to me important to enforce, amongst the many that may be drawn from our friend’s life, is this: if you aim at something noble and succeed in it, you will generally find that you have succeeded not in that alone. A hundred other good and noble things which you never dreamed of will have been accomplished by the way, and the more certainly, the sharper and more agonizing has been the struggle which preceded the victory. The heart and mind of a nation are never stirred from their foundations without manifold good fruits. In the case of the great American contest, these fruits have been already great, and are daily becoming greater. The prejudices which dbeset every form of societyd —and of which there was a plentiful crop in America—are rapidly melting away. The chains of prescription have been broken; it is not only the slave who has been freed1 —the mind of America has been emancipated. (Loud cheers.) The whole intellect of the country has been set thinking about the fundamental questions of society and government; and the new problems which have to be solved, and the new difficulties which have to be encountered, eare calling forth new activity of thought, and that great nation is savede , probably for a long time to come, from the most formidable danger of a completely settled state of society and opinion—intellectual and moral stagnation. (Hear, hear.) This, then, is an additional item of the debt which America and mankind owe to Mr. Garrison and his noble associates; and it is well calculated to deepen our sense of the truth which his whole career most strikingly illustrates—that though our best directed efforts may often seem wasted and lost, nothing coming of them that can be pointed to and distinctly identified as a definite gain to humanity; though this may happen ninety-nine times in every hundred, the hundredth time the result may be so great and dazzling that we had never dared to hope for it, and should have regarded him who had predicted it to us as sanguine beyond the bounds of mental sanity. So has it been with Mr. Garrison. (Loud cheers.)
[The address was passed unanimously, and Garrison spoke to great applause. Other speeches followed, and the meeting concluded with the customary vote of thanks to the Chair.]
PD, 3rd ser., Vol. 188, cols. 912–14. Reported in The Times, 3 July, p. 7, from which the variants and response are taken. The debate was on a motion (col. 903), based on a charge by the Lord Chief Justice to the Grand Jury at the Central Criminal Court on 10 April, 1867, that would make it clear that martial law could not be invoked in the United Kingdom.
there appears to be, as far as the discussion has gone on both sides of the House, a real disposition to consider this question with reference to the future rather than the past. Certainly it is most desirable that when we are considering what is essentially a question of legislation, we should not allow ourselves to be diverted to the consideration of past transactions any further than they throw light upon questions which may exist or arise in the future. At the same time it appears to me that certain considerations of great importance have not yet been touched upon, and which I think it is particularly necessary should not remain unstated when we see an obvious desire to explain away and get rid of the effect of the Charge of the Lord Chief Justice of England.1 I do not mean to say that what has been stated by the right honourable Gentleman the Home Secretary in diminution of the validity, in a legal point of view, of this Charge is unfounded.2 We know, on the contrary, that it is well founded. We know that the Charge to the Grand Jury is not law, because it has not undergone the preliminary processes necessary to make it law. At the same time there can be no doubt that such a declaration as this Charge contains, supported by such a catena of authorities afrom the very earliest period of our historya , and coming from a Judge of such high character and reputation, so elaborately produced and bearing the marks it does of most diligent and careful study, is, at all events, an exceedingly strong corroboration of that view of this subject which some of us have taken from the beginning, and which I will briefly state. Our opinion has beenb—and it has been confirmed by this charge—b that the law is what I shall now venture to state, and that if it has not been so, it ought to be made so. Our opinion was, that there is not, properly speaking, as regards non-military persons, such a thing as martial law, and that it has no existence except for military cpurposesc . Of course, Parliament can give it existence, because Parliament can make any law, however inexpedient or unjust. But the Crown, being only one branch of Legislature, cannot dmake that to be law which is not lawd . We have thought that, although there was no such thing as martial law, except for military purposes, there was a law of necessity. There may be a public necessity in case of rebellion, requiring that certain acts not justified by the ordinary law of the country should be done; but these acts should be acts of suppression and not of punishment. Now, a point which has not been noticed, and to which I attach the highest importance, is this—that in a case of public necessity, as in any analogous case of private necessity, those who act upon it, and do under the supposed necessity that which they would not ordinarily be justified in doing, should be amenable to the laws of their country for so doing. As in the case of killing any person in self-defence, so in the case of putting any person to death in defence of the country, the person who does it ought to have the onus thrown upon him of satisfying the ordinary tribunals of the country that this necessity existed. What, therefore, we say does not exist, and ought not to exist, and which if it does exist we should do our utmost to put an end to, is, the idea that any proceeding, such as a declaration of martial law, can or ought to exempt those who act upon it from amenability to the laws of their country. We contend that the law of necessity, of which nobody denies the existence, would justify the Executive in doing these things if no such thing as martial law had ever been heard of, and that by using the term martial law you ought not to be able to get rid of all responsibility. We demand that the officers of the Government of this country should not be able to escape or get out of the region and jurisdiction of the law; but, that whatever they do, if it be against the law, they should be compelled to justify. They must show the necessity which existed, not to the satisfaction of a court martial merely, but of the regular tribunals of the country. When it is said by the right honourable Gentleman the Home Secretary that it is much better that the officers who intend to assume this power, and act on this supposed necessity, should declare beforehand their intention of doing so,3 by all means let them do so; but do not let them, or any one else, think that by using the term martial law, or by announcing that they mean to make a military tribunal one of the instruments by which they will exercise their power of superseding the law, they will clear themselves from all responsibility. (Hear, hear.)
[The motion was withdrawn (col. 918).]
The Reform Bill 
PD, 3rd ser., Vol. 188, cols. 1024, 1026, 1029. Reported in The Times, 5 July, p. 7, from which the response is taken. The variants are taken from the report in the St. Stephen’s Chronicle, Vol. IV, pp. 426–7. The discussion in Committee of the Reform Bill (see No. 50) turned to a new clause: “That no committee of any candidate . . . shall sit, or hold any meeting, or transact any business . . . in any hotel, tavern, public-house, or other building licensed . . . for the sale or consumption of wine, spirits, beer, porter, or other intoxicating liquors; and if any such candidate shall, by himself or his agents, cause or permit any breach of this enactment, the Return of such candidate shall be null and void, and no expenses incurred by such committee [in these circumstances] . . . shall be recoverable by law from such committee . . . or from any such candidate . . .” (col. 1019). Mill spoke on an amendment by Joseph Henley (cols. 1023–4) to change “of any candidate” to “appointed by any candidate,” immediately after Gabriel Goldney (1813–1900), M.P. for Chippenham, had pointed out that people quite unknown to the candidate could constitute themselves a committee and call a meeting in a public house.
mr. j. stuart mill said, he thought the object which the honourable Gentleman who had just sat down, as well as that the right honourable Gentleman the Member for Oxfordshire had in view, was a legitimate one. He would suggest that if some such word as “sanction” were substituted for the word “permit,” the clause would be made efficient for its purpose.
[Mill’s second intervention came after Gathorne-Hardy had commented (col.1026) that it was preposterous to make candidates liable for practices over which they often had no control.]
Mr. J. Stuart Mill said, he would remind the right honourable Gentleman that the first part of the clause did not touch the candidate. (Hear, hear.) He also proposed to insert the word “sanction” instead of “permit,” as to the second part amaking the election void only if the expense were sanctioned or permitted by the candidatea .
[Henley’s amendment was successful; it was then moved to insert “or on behalf of” after “appointed by” (col. 1026), and the Attorney General suggested “no committee appointed by or with the consent of any candidate” as a better alternative; Mill’s third intervention was in reply.]
Mr. J. Stuart Mill said, that in that case the committee might be appointed first and sanctioned afterwards. bHe thought that “recognized by” was much more satisfactory than “with the consent of.”b
[That amendment being lost, another was offered, to insert “acting on behalf of and with the consent of” (col. 1029), prompting Mill’s fourth comment, which was not acted upon.]
Mr. J. Stuart Mill said, he would suggest the addition of the words “recognized by.”
[Eventually the whole clause was rejected.]
Tancred’s Charity Bill
Saint Stephen’s Chronicle, Vol. IV, p. 432. Not in PD. Reported in The Times, 5 July, p. 8, from which the variant is taken. The debate was on Shaw Lefevre’s motion to go into Committee on “A Bill [as Amended by the Select Committee] for Continuing a Scheme of the Charity Commissioners for the Several Charities Founded by the Settlement and Will of Christopher Tancred of Whixley in the County of York, Esquire, Deceased,” 30 & 31 Victoria (25 June, 1867), PP, 1867, VI, 381–4. Mill spoke immediately after Lefevre.
mr. j.s. mill said this was a question of considerable importance, and he trusted, therefore, that the noble lord1 would not press the Bill forward at so late an hour (aquarter to 1 o’clock) aas there were various amendments on the paper, all of them worthy of discussion. (Hear, hear.)a
[After Montagu replied and Ayrton spoke, the House went into Committee.]
The Reform Bill 
PD, 3rd ser., Vol. 188, cols. 1102–7. Reported in The Times, 6 July, p. 8, from which one variant and the responses are taken. The concluding sentence is taken from the report in the St. Stephen’s Chronicle, Vol. IV, pp. 442–4. The discussion in Committee of the Reform Bill (see No. 50) turned to a new clause proposed by Robert Lowe (M.P. for Calne): “At any contested Election for a County or Borough represented by more than two Members, and having more than one seat vacant, every voter shall be entitled to a number of votes equal to the number of vacant seats, and may give all such votes to one candidate or may distribute them among the candidates as he thinks fit” (col. 1068). John Bright (M.P. for Birmingham) had argued (cols. 1090–7) that he had always invited the House “to march along the ancient paths of the Constitution,” while Lowe’s plan would put an end to contests for representation.
i hope my honourable Friend the Member for Birmingham will forgive me if the highly Conservative speech which he has delivered, almost the first which I ever heard him deliver with which I could not sympathize, has not converted me from the eminently democratic opinions which I have held for a great number of years. (A laugh.) I am very glad that my honourable Friend stated so candidly the extremely Conservative vein of thought and tone of feeling which is the foundation of his political feelings. It is true that it is almost as opposite a frame of mind from my own as it is possible to conceive; but, fortunately, in the case of most of the practical questions that we have to decide we draw nearly the same conclusions from our so different premises. Nevertheless, I am extremely glad that my honourable Friend has shown that it is upon the principle of standing by old things, and resisting new-fangled notions, that his antipathy to the proposal of my right honourable Friend the Member for Calne, which I most strongly support, has been derived. It is the less necessary that I should address the House at any length upon this question, because on a previous occasion I expressed myself strongly in favour of the principles upon some of which this Motion rests,1 and expressed my strong sense of the necessity for a change in our mode of election, directed in some degree to the same ends as those pointed out by this almost insignificant makeshift—a makeshift not, however, without considerable real efficacy, and resting in part upon the same principles upon which Mr. Hare’s system of personal representation is founded. There are two principles which we must mainly regard. In the first place, it appears to me that any body of persons who are united by any ties, either of interest or of opinion, should have, or should be able to have, if they desire it, influence and power in this House proportionate to that which they exercise out of it. This, of course, excludes the idea of applying such a system as this to constituencies having only two Members, because in that case its application would render a minority of one-third equal to a majority. The other principle upon which I support the representation of minorities is because I wish—although this may surprise some honourable Members—that the majority should govern. We heard a great deal formerly about the tyranny of the majority, but it appears to me that many honourable Gentlemen on both sides of the House are now reconciled to that tyranny, and are disposed to defend and maintain it against us democrats.2 My own opinion is, that any plan for the representation of minorities must operate in a very great degree to diminish and counteract the tyranny of majorities. I wish to maintain the just ascendancy of majorities, but this cannot be done unless minorities are represented. The majority in this House is got at by the elimination of two minorities. You first eliminate at the election the minority out of the House, and then upon a division you eliminate the minority in the House. Now, it may very well happen that those combined minorities would greatly out-number the majority which prevails in this House, and consequently that the majority does not now govern. The true majority can only be maintained if all minorities are counted; if they are counted there is only one process of elimination, and only one minority left out. Perhaps I may be allowed to answer one or two objections which have been made to the proposal of my right honourable Friend.3 The right honourable Gentleman the Under Secretary for the Colonies urged that, according to our constitution, representation should be by communities, and upon that subject he said several things with which it is impossible not to agree.4 But it seems to me that this is one of many remarkable proofs now offering themselves, that honourable Gentlemen opposite, not content with coming to our opinions, are now adopting our arguments. For instance, the right honourable Gentleman insisted upon the greatness of the mistake of supposing that the country was divided into a majority and a minority, instead of into majorities and minorities. I have said that myself I should think at least 500 times. The right honourable Gentleman said one thing that perfectly amazed me. He said, as we all admit, that it was wrong that the representative of any community should represent it only in a single aspect, should represent only one interest—only its Tory or its Liberal opinions; and he added that, at present, this was not the case, but that such a state of things would be produced by the adoption of this proposal. I apprehend that then, even more than now, each party would desire to be represented, and would feel the importance of getting itself represented by those men who would be most acceptable to the general body of the constituency; and therefore on all other points, except that of being Liberals or Tories, those Members would represent the constituencies fully as much, if not more, than they do now. The right honourable Gentleman thinks that the local communities ought to be represented as units,5 but that is not my opinion. For example, the right honourable Gentleman would contend that if a Member were elected by two-thirds of a constituency he ought to sit in that House as representing the whole. If that were the case they would evidently pass for what they are not. I have no idea of Members sitting in this House as the representatives of mere names of places, or bricks and mortar, or some particular part of the terrestrial globe, in different localities. What we want is the representation of the inhabitants of those places. If there should be a place in which two-thirds of the constituency are Conservative, and one-third Liberal, it is a falsehood to contend that the Conservative Member represents the Liberals of that place. On the other hand, if there were three Members for such a place, two of whom represented the majority, and the third the minority, there would be a full representation of the constituency, and certainly a far more accurate representation than if a man returned by a simple majority assumed to represent the whole constituency. Another objection made and insisted upon by my honourable Friend below me, in one of the most eloquent parts of his speech,6 and in the spirit of which I quite agree, is that the effect of this system will be to put an end to contests at elections, and to all the instruction they afford, and all the public spirit and interest in public affairs which they excite. This appears to me to be an opinion, which only the extreme dislike that my honourable Friend professes for everything new in politics prevents him from seeing to be an entire mistake. The fault which my honourable Friend and others find with the proposed mode of election is one that is in an eminent degree attributable to the existing system; because under that system wherever it is known from the state of the registration aor from previous electionsa that one side is able to return all the Members, the other side now take little or no interest in the election, and therefore it will be evident that if those persons who cannot be represented in their own locality cannot obtain a representation elsewhere, representation, so far as they are concerned, will be a perfectly effete institution. What is it that induces people when they are once beaten at an election to try again? Is it not the belief that possibly a change has taken place in the opinions of at least some of the electors, or that, at all events, there has been such a change in the general feeling of the constituency that there is some chance of their being returned, and therefore there is a sufficient motive to induce them to try again? But that motive never can exist under the present system where there is so great a discrepancy between the parties as two-thirds and one-third, because in no case can one-third of the constituency ever hope to convert itself into a majority. What motive, then, is there for trying? But under the new system, suppose the minority obtains one Member out of three, the minority can always try for the second seat, and precisely the same motive will exist if the parties should be nearly equal. Indeed, in such a case, the motive would be all the stronger, because then the majority will try to get all the members. What will be the case where there are three Members to be returned? The majority of two-thirds will only have two of the Members, and if any change in opinion takes place favourable to the minority they will always be in a position to bid for the third seat; so that I apprehend the healthy excitement of contest in an election, which follows from the existence of the motives which will induce persons to embark in the struggle, will be more certainly guaranteed by the more perfect representation of the constituency. It has been argued by my honourable Friend below me, and it has been several times insisted on by the Chancellor of the Exchequer, that the Executive will be rendered very weak by the adoption of this principle,7 and I must own that there is some truth and justice in that argument. But the House cannot fail to perceive that so long as you give to the minority the same power as is possessed by the majority, it is perfectly clear that there may be a large majority of the constituency in favour of the Government, while there may be no majority in the House. At the present moment we do not care what majority the Government may have in the country; all that we want is to prevent it having a large majority in the House. No one is more opposed to such a state of things than I am; but the practical application is, that we wish to prevent the Government having a large majority in the House, with a small majority in the country. That is the case in Australia, as was very strongly exemplified on the question of Free Trade and protection, and also in the United States, where there is a moderate difference in the constituencies between one party, and the other, but a very much greater difference in the House of Representatives. (Hear, hear.) When the right honourable Gentleman says that this system will make a weak Government, my answer is that it is not desirable that a Government should be a strong one, if it rests on a small majority of the constituencies; nor is it desirable that a Government should be lured on and deceived by a great majority in the House; because a very small change in the constituencies would be sufficient to deprive them of that majority, and it is not desirable that the policy of the Government should be tumbled about from one extreme to the other (hear, hear) when the opinion of the constituency is almost equally divided between the two parties. I quite agree with my honourable Friend the Member for Birmingham, that in revolutionary times it is necessary that a party should be as strong as possible while the fight lasts, since the sooner the fighting is over the better.8 But although in such a case there should be a decisive predominance, such times are exceptional, and circumstances do not apply which apply in ordinary and peaceful times. They are times for which we cannot legislate or adapt our ordinary institutions. Under such circumstances men may be obliged to dispense with all law, and, if necessary, to have a dictatorship in the hands of one man, but that is altogether an exceptional case. I am extremely anxious that the feeling should not get abroad, from the circumstance of the right honourable Member for Calne having brought forward this proposal, and from its being so largely supported by Gentlemen on the other side of the House, that this is essentially a Conservative “move,” and is intended solely for the purpose of doing away as far as possible with the effect of the Reform Bill now before us. I have always entertained these opinions, long before the introduction of this Reform Bill, and although I never supposed that I should see such a Reform as this adopted in my life, I have protested and reprobated oppression of this kind, on whichever side it has been practised. The only reason why it can be said that it is brought forward as a Conservative measure, and in aid of Conservatives, is that it really operates in favour of those who are likely to be weakest; it is those who are in danger of being outnumbered and subjected to the tyranny of a majority who are protected. I have always been afraid that the Conservative party would not see the necessity of these things until they actually saw that it is their interest, and that they would not see it until the power has passed away to the other side. Had they taken up the question four or five years ago they might by this time have made it the general opinion of the country, and have led the masses of the people to be more just when their time came than they have been to them. (Hear, hear.) Their eyes are not so soon opened to those things which appear to be against them as they are to those that are in their favour; but there are minds on the other side of the House quite capable of seeing the value and importance of the principle, and of representing it with such effect that ultimately the principle of the representation of minorities will be generally adopted. bUpon the understanding that it is not to be supposed that those opinions with reference to the proposed system of voting are not peculiarly applicable to the circumstances of the Reform Bill, no one will more heartily and cordially welcome the opinions of honourable Gentlemen opposite than I will.b
[Mill was a teller for the “Ayes,” who were defeated, 173 to 314.]
The Case of Fulford and Wellstead
PD, 3rd ser., Vol. 188, cols. 1157–8. Reported in The Times, 6 July, p. 10, from which variants and responses are taken. P.A. Taylor (1819–91), M.P. for Leicester, moved an address for a copy of the deposition that had led in the preceding March to the conviction by the Salisbury Bench of County Magistrates of Henry Fulford and Mark Wellstead for poaching. (See No. 66, n4, for details.) Taylor implied that their conviction, based on the evidence of a gamekeeper that was controverted by relatives and other witnesses, was unjust. Mill spoke immediately after Gathorne-Hardy (cols. 1153–7) had attacked Taylor’s views.
mr. j. stuart mill said, that since he had the honour of being a Member of that House he had never heard so unjustifiable an attack made upon any Member of it (loud cries of Oh!), as that which had been made on his honourable Friend by so high a functionary as the right honourable Gentleman. That right honourable Gentleman had not shaken a single word of the statement which had been made. The right honourable Gentleman had only misstated what his honourable Friend had said, being too angry to attend to him. (Oh, oh.) The right honourable Gentleman said the magistrates believed the evidence given before them to be true;1 but the whole strength of the case was that the tendency of magistrates was always to believe the evidence of gamekeepers. (Oh, oh.) Whether that was so or not, it was the general opinion, and this was an extraordinary and emphatic corroboration of that opinion. It was not denied that Pilgrim had made an unfortunate mistake as to identity before, and that on his evidence this person was found guilty, notwithstanding the other evidence and that the error was not corrected until evidence had been produced in addition—namely, the self-crimination of other persons. One would think it was the imperative duty of the magistrates to sift the matter to the very bottom, and to take care that the whole should be perfectly understood, so that they might be sure that they were not continuing to perpetrate a great injustice. As to appealing to Quarter Sessions, aour unfortunate labouring classesa in the rural districts were not likely to appeal from magistrates to magistrates; they were binfinitelyb too much afraid, and too much cowed to do that (Oh, oh!); and, besides, they had not the pecuniary means. The only other thing they had heard, was that one of these magistrates was likely to be appointed chairman of Quarter Sessions, in which office he would have to perform some of the most important judicial functions that could devolve on any person in these dominions, with the least amount of responsibility. They might be honourable men; but honourable men were sometimes singularly prejudiced, singularly unjudicial, and singularly disposed to believe con exceedingly insufficient evidence the particular acts charged against persons who had no means of defending themselvesc .
[Gathorne-Hardy replied that there was no formal deposition, as it had been a summary conviction. Taylor’s motion was then defeated (col. 1162).]
The Reform Bill 
PD, 3rd ser., Vol. 188, col. 1579. Not reported in The Times. The debate was now on the third reading of the Reform Bill (see No. 50) as amended in Committee, introduced on 9 July (PP, 1867, V, 547–80). Mill’s interjection was prompted by the attack on John Bright by Francis Wemyss-Charteris-Douglas (1818–1914), Lord Elcho, M.P. for Haddingtonshire, who had just said, “if the honourable Member were present . . . ” when Mill intervened.
he has spoken.1
[The riposte (col. 1579) was that Bright “has rather a habit of speaking and then leaving the House. . . .”]
Commodore Wiseman and the Turkish Navy 
PD, 3rd ser., Vol. 188, cols. 1621, 1622. Reported in The Times, 17 July, p. 6.
mr. j. stuart mill said, he would beg to ask the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs, Whether it is true that Commodore Sir William Wiseman1 has been appointed head of the Naval Council to the Turkish Government, for the purpose of re-organizing the Turkish navy; if so, whether that Officer has previously retired from Her Majesty’s service; and, if not, whether the lending of British Officers to the Porte for such a purpose, in the very crisis of the Cretan insurrection,2 is, in the opinion of Her Majesty’s Government, consistent with their declared principle of non-intervention?3
Lord Stanley: In answer to the Question of the honourable Member I beg to state that when the sanction of Her Majesty’s Government was given to a British officer being employed to assist in the re-organization of the Turkish navy—following a course for which there are various precedents—it was my belief that long before that appointment could take effect this Cretan business would have been settled one way or the other. As that is not the case, I have since that time agreed with my right honourable Friend at the head of the Admiralty and the Turkish Government that this appointment should not be cancelled, but suspended for a time.
Mr. J. Stuart Mill: Am I to understand from the noble Lord’s Answer that Sir William Wiseman will not proceed to Turkey and will not take any charge in this business as long as the hostilities continue?
Lord Stanley: At any rate he will not proceed at present. The appointment has been suspended.
Commodore Wiseman and the Turkish Navy 
PD, 3rd ser., Vol. 188, col. 1873. Reported in The Times, 23 July, p. 8. Mill had found unsatisfactory Stanley’s answer to his previous question
(see No. 74, and CW, Vol. XVI, p. 1290).
mr. j. stuart mill said, he would beg to ask the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs, Whether he will undertake that, unless in the event of a complete cessation of hostilities in Crete, Sir William Wiseman will not proceed to Turkey or take up his appointment until the House has had an opportunity of expressing an opinion on the subject?
Lord Stanley said, he had no objection to give the House the intimation to which the Question of the honourable Gentleman pointed. Indeed, he thought he had implied as much in the answer he had given on the same subject a few nights before.
Meetings in Royal Parks 
PD, 3rd ser., Vol. 188, cols. 1890–3. Reported in The Times, 23 July, p. 8, from which the response is taken. In the debate on the second reading of “A Bill for the Better and More Effectually Securing the Use of Certain Royal Parks and Gardens for the Enjoyment and Recreation of Her Majesty’s Subjects,” 30 Victoria (3 May, 1867), PP, 1867, IV, 63–6, Mill had seconded (col. 1888) P.A. Taylor’s amendment that would have had the effect of aborting the Bill.
mr. j. stuart mill said, among the many, to me, regrettable things which were said by my honourable and learned Friend the Member for Oxford (Mr. Neate),1 there was one with which I entirely agree: that this question is entirely a political question. It is only as a political question that I care about it. I see no reason why we should at present discuss all the purposes for which the Parks should or should not be allowed to be used. All I am anxious about is that political meetings should be allowed to be held there. And why do I desire this? Because it has been for centuries the pride of this country, and one of its most valued distinctions from the despotically-governed countries of the Continent, that a man has a right to speak his mind, on politics or on any other subject, to those who would listen to him, when and where he will. (Cries of No.) He has not a right to force himself upon anyone; he has not a right to intrude upon private property; but wheresoever he has a right to be, there, according to the Constitution of this country, he has a right to talk politics, to one, to fifty, or to 50,000 persons. I stand up for the right of doing this in the Parks. I am not going to discuss this matter as an affair of technical law. We are not here as lawyers, but as legislators. We are not now considering what is the interpretation of the existing law; we are considering what the law ought to be. We are told that the Parks belong to the Crown, but the Crown means Her Majesty’s Government. Her Majesty’s Government of course have power over the Parks; they have power over all thoroughfares, all public places, but they have it for purposes strictly defined. It is not, I believe, even pretended that the Parks are the property of the Sovereign in the same manner as Balmoral and Osborne are her property. They are part of the hereditary property of the Crown, which the Sovereign at her accession gave up to the nation in exchange for the Civil List;2 and the right honourable Gentleman would find some difficulty in showing that the surrender was accompanied with any condition as to the particular uses to which the Parks should be applied—any stipulation confining their use to walking and riding, or, as it is called, recreation. As long as the compact with Her Majesty exists, so long, I contend, the Parks are public property, to be managed for public uses at the public expense, and to be applied to all uses conducive to the public interest. If a technical right of exclusion has been allowed to be kept up, it is for police purposes—for the safety of the public property and the maintenance of the public peace—and not for the restriction of the freedom of public speaking. On what principle is the House asked to curtail this inherited freedom of speech, and make it penal for the people to use that freedom in large numbers, in the only places now left in the metropolis where large numbers can conveniently be assembled? On no principle can this be done, except that of the most repressive acts of the Governments most jealous of public freedom. The French Emperor says that twenty-one people shall not meet and talk politics in a drawing-room without his license.3 Her Majesty’s Government only says that 100,000 people shall not meet for a similar purpose in the Parks without theirs. This is a wide difference in degree. It is much better to have our lips sealed in the Parks than in our own houses—better that free speech should be limited to a few thousands or hundreds than to tens; but the principle is the same, and if once it is admitted, a violation has commenced of the traditional liberties of the country, and the extent to which such violation may afterwards be carried becomes a mere question of detail. But what is the justification alleged for introducing arbitrary restrictions by which the holding of a great open-air meeting in London without the previous consent of the Government will be made impossible? The excuses which profess to be founded on public convenience do not deserve an answer, even if they had not been already answered a hundred times; the fact is, no one believes them to be serious. There is no decent argument for the interdiction of political meetings in the Park, which does not proceed on the assumption that political meetings are not a legitimate purpose to apply a public place to, and that it is, on the whole, a desirable thing to discourage them. I wish honourable Gentlemen to be aware what it is they are asked to vote for; what doctrine respecting the constitutional liberties of this country they will give their adhesion to if they support the Bill. The opinion they will pledge themselves to is something like this—unfortunately the people of this country are so foolish that they will have the right of holding large political meetings, and it is impossible to take it from them by law; but that right, though necessary, is a necessary evil, and it is a point gained to render its exercise more rare by throwing impediments in its way. If honourable Gentlemen opposite would be candid, I am persuaded they would confess that this is a fair statement of what is really in their minds. It is proved by the arguments they use. They say that these multitudinous meetings are not held for the purpose of discussion, but for intimidation. Sir, I believe public meetings, multitudinous or not, seldom are intended for discussion. That is not their function. They are a public manifestation of the strength of those who are of a certain opinion. It is easy to give this a bad name; but it is one of the recognized springs of our Constitution. Let us not be intimidated by the word “intimidation.” Will any one say that the numbers and enthusiasm of those who join in asking anything from Parliament, are not one of the elements which a Statesman ought to have before him, and which a wise Statesman will take into consideration in deciding whether to grant or to refuse the request? We are told that threatening language is used at these meetings. In a time of excitement there are always persons who use threatening language. But we can bear a great deal of that sort of thing, without being the worse for it, in a country which has inherited from its ancestors the right of political demonstration. It cannot be borne quite so well by countries which do not possess this right. Then, the discontent, which cannot exhale itself in public meetings, bursts forth in insurrections, which, whether successful or repressed, always leave behind them a long train of calamitous consequences. But it is said that it is not meant to put down these public meetings, or to prevent them from being held. No; but you mean to render them more difficult; you mean to impose conditions on them, other than that of keeping the public peace. Now, any condition whatever imposed on political meetings, over and above those by which every transaction of any of Her Majesty’s subjects is necessarily bound—and any restriction of place or time imposed on political speech, which is not imposed on other speech—involves the same vicious and unconstitutional principle. Sir, I contend that all open spaces belonging to the public, in which large numbers can congregate without doing mischief, should be freely open for the purpose of public meetings, subject to the precautions necessary for the preservation of the peace. A great meeting cannot possibly be called together in London without the Government knowing of it beforehand, and having ample warning to have a sufficient force of police at hand to meet any exigency, however improbable. I must therefore oppose this Bill to the utmost.
[The amendment was lost, but the Bill was not enacted.]
PD, 3rd ser., Vol. 189, cols. 373–4. Reported in The Times, 30 July, p. 6. The variant is taken from the report in the St. Stephen’s Chronicle, Vol. IV, p. 749. Robert Montagu, in Committee of Supply, when moving the Education Vote, had surveyed the measures achieved and contemplated, including those for technical education
mr. j. stuart mill said, he wished to express a hope that the noble Lord (Lord Robert Montagu) might be able soon to lay before them the Minute of the Council of Education,1 laying down some definite rule for carrying into effect the very great—that inestimable improvement which he had announced in the educational arrangements. He meant not merely the introduction of technical education, which was in itself an important addition to our present arrangements, but above all the adoption of the plan which had been found so useful in many foreign countries—that of making the advantages of technical education a reward for the good use of the advantages of elementary education—holding out an inducement to the pupils of elementary education to distinguish themselves so as to obtain the benefits of technical education. He could not conceive anything more calculated to alleviate a great deficiency in our present system—namely, the strong inducement to take children away from the schools before there had been imparted to the pupils all that those schools were intended to teach. It was true that it was not only the clever and apt pupils who had to be thought of; but that it ought also to be a great object to retain those who did not attain such proficiency as would entitle them to the reward he had referred to. Consequently, the proposal could not be regarded as one that would remove the whole difficulty. But it was judicious and well judged, and, he believed, was likely to be an effectual measure for removing the difficulty in part. He congratulated the noble Lord aand his departmenta on what would be so important an improvement.
The Courts-Martial in Jamaica
PD, 3rd ser., Vol. 189, cols. 598–9. Reported in The Times, 2 August, p. 7.
mr. j. stuart mill said, he wished to ask Mr. Attorney General,1 Whether he has taken into consideration the evidence produced at the trials by Court-Martial lately held in Jamaica on Ensign Cullen and Staff Assistant-Surgeon Morris;2 and whether it is his intention to institute proceedings against those Officers in the ordinary tribunals of this country? He understood Mr. Morris was now in this country.
The Attorney General: In answer, Sir, to the Question of the honourable Member, I may say, that since this Question was put on the Paper, I have, as far as possible, mastered the details of the evidence and the proceedings of those courts-martial held in Jamaica, and it is not my intention to advise Her Majesty’s Government to take any proceedings against those officers before the ordinary tribunals of this country.
Meeting in the Tea-Room of the House of Commons
PD, 3rd ser., Vol. 189, cols. 768–9, 769. Reported in The Times, 3 August, p. 7, from which the variant and responses are taken. A series of questions had been put in the House concerning a meeting in the Tea-room on 29 July, attended by members of the public. It was reported that when the Deputy Sergeant-at-Arms had been informed of this irregularity, he had proceeded to the room, and the meeting terminated.
as one of the members who was present in the Tea-room on the occasion in question, I desire to express my regret for having unwittingly been guilty of an irregularity against the forms of this House, an irregularity of which I was not aware at the time. (Hear, hear.) In order to set one point right, I desire to say that the conference in question was not in the nature of a public meeting. It was really a deputation to consult with certain Members of Parliament, amost of us were seated,a and nothing in the way of speech-making was done which is not usually done at deputations. (Cries of Oh!)
Colonel Stuart Knox: I would ask the honourable Member whether it is not a fact that members of the Reform League at that meeting in the Tea-room held out a threat that unless honourable Members voted in support of their views those Members need not put themselves forward again as candidates for metropolitan constituencies?
Mr. J. Stuart Mill: I heard no such statement from any person present, whether a member of the Reform League or not.
England’s Danger through the Suppression of Her Maritime Power
Views of Mr. John Stuart Mill on England’s Danger through the Suppression of Her Maritime Power. Speech Delivered at the House of Commons, August 5, 1867 (London: Diplomatic Review Office, 1874). This version is identified as “From the revised copy communicated by Mr. John Stuart Mill to the Diplomatic Review of February 5, 1868” (p. 2). In PD, 3rd ser., Vol. 189, cols. 876–84. Reported in The Times, 6 August, p. 7, from which some variants and responses are taken. The report in the St. Stephen’s Chronicle, Vol. IV, pp. 796–800, has been used as a check. For other comments by him on the issues, see CW, Vol. XVI, pp. 1199, and 1315. Mill was speaking on the motion to go into Committee of Supply.
i rise, sir, to ask the attention of the House to a subject more germane to the business of a Committee of Supply, than most of those which the Motion to go into committee gives occasion for bringing before the House. The immense burthen of our naval and military expenditure would of itself give ample reason for reconsidering the position in which this country has been placed by the abandonment of its maritime rights eleven years ago.1 Of these eleven nearly ten have been years of profound peace, in which international commerce, which we had always believed to be our truest guarantee against war, has increased to an extent previously unexampled; while the doctrines and practice of free trade have been spreading through the different countries of Europe, and those protectionist theories which have so often made commerce a provocative to war instead of a deterrent from it, have lost their hold on all the leading minds of the Continent. Yet, during this period, we have been engaged, not as might have been expected, in diminishing, but in enormously increasing our naval and military establishments, until our total expenses exceed by about twenty millions a year, not what economists like Mr. Hume used to maintain that they ought to be,2 but what they actually have been in the life of the present generation. Why has this happened? What has been our inducement for maintaining those “bloated armaments”?3 To protect ourselves against the bloated armaments of our European neighbours. Other Powers, as much perhaps for internal as for external purposes, are keeping up gigantic and ruinous military establishments, the existence of which we justly feel to be a danger to us. But why is it a danger? What obliges us, an insular people, to measure our necessities by the wild extravagances of the military rulers of the Continent?—extravagances which, let us do as we will, we cannot compete with; for if our wealth is equal to the effort, the numbers of our population are not. Why, then, do we find ourselves engaging deeper a in this bmeanb rivalry? Because we have put away the natural weapon of a maritime nation, because we have abandoned the right recognised by international law, and legitimated, as much as the consent of nations can legitimate anything, of warring against the commerce of our enemies. We have made this sacrifice, receiving a merely nominal equivalent. We have given up our main defence; but the other Powers who are parties to the transaction have not given up theirs; they have divested themselves not of their special means of warfare, but of ours; they have with a good grace, consented not to use the weapons in which they are inferior, but to confine themselves to those in which the advantage is on their side. The greatest naval Power after ourselves4 has been far too wise to join in so unequal a compact. Unless by resuming our natural and indispensable weapon we place ourselves again on an equality with our possible enemies, we shall be burthened with these enormous establishments and these onerous budgets for a permanency; and, in spite of it all, we shall be for ever in danger, for ever in alarm, cowed before any Power, or combination of Powers, capable of invading any part of our widely-spread possessions. We shall be condemned to see, what we have seen, and worse than we have yet seen, great international iniquities perpetrated before our eyes, and our expressions of deprecation, even of reprobation, passed over with civil, or scarcely civil contempt—(hear, hear)—until our most patriotic advisers feel obliged to recommend to us, as the only rule for our conduct, that which despots prescribe to their subjects, “Hold your peace. Keep your moral disapprobation within your own breasts: for as you cannot back it by the only argument which the wicked and the oppressor can cputc , you only bring yourselves and your just indignation into contempt.” Thus it will be while we abstain from that which once made a war with England a formidable thing, even to the united strength of all Europe. Sir, I venture to call the renunciation of the right of seizing enemy’s property at sea a national blunder. Happily it is not an irretrievable one. The Declaration of 1856 is not a Treaty, dit has never been ratifiedd . The authority on which it was entered into was but the private letter of a Minister.5 It is not a permanent engagement between nations, it is but a joint declaration of present intention; binding us, I admit, until we finally withdraw from it; for a nation is bound by all things done in its name, unless by a national act it disowns them. Why did not the Parliament and people of the country protest at the time? Some of them did; among the rest several of the most important members of the present Government.6eThe bulk of the Liberal party acquiesced silently or approvingly; and therein, I confess, we showed less knowledge of the subject, less understanding of the situation, than the Conservative Leaders.e (Hear, hear.) There is much to be said in excuse for us. Nearly the whole world shared fin ourf error. The world was fresh from the recent triumph of free trade, fresh from the great Exhibition of 1851, which was to unite all nations, and inaugurate the universal gsubstitutiong of commerce for war. The first enthusiastic days of peace congresses had scarcely passed; the short episode of the Crimean war had not shaken the belief that great European wars were drawing to a close. We were mistaken; but the light which led us astray was light from heaven.7 (Cheers.) We have since had opportunities of learning a sadder wisdom. We had not then seen wars of conquest and annexation renewed on a great scale, and fresh wars of the kind continually impending over Europe; we had not seen the Continental Powers outvying one another in converting all the flower of their youth into standing armies, ready at any moment to draw the sword, not only in defence, but in aggression. We had not seen what is to my mind a still more warning sight. Some twenty years ago a great French thinker, by way of showing how alien a thing war is to the modern spirit, remarked that though destruction is incomparably the easiest of the works to which human ingenuity applies itself, the science and art of destruction had remained greatly in arrear of the arts of production, and might almost be said to have been passed over by the inventive genius of later generations.8 What would this philosopher see now? He would see inventive genius, with all the lights of modern science, and all the resources of modern hindustryh , girding itself to the work of destruction as its principal task, and bringing forth every year more and more terrific engines for blasting hosts of human beings into atoms, together with the defences by which they vainly seek to shelter themselves. While this work is going on all around us, is there nothing for us to do but to exhaust our invention and our finances in striving to provide ourselves with engines still more destructive—engines which other nations will instantly adopt, when their superiority has been proved, unless they in the meanwhile contrive for themselves others yet more murderous? Sir, we have a better resource; to shake off the chains which we have forged for ourselves, and resume that natural weapon which has been the main bulwark of our power and safety in past national emergencies, and without which neither ironclads nor fortified harbours will suffice for our security in those which may be yet to come. Sir, great almost beyond calculation as are the British interests depending on this issue, it is on no narrow grounds of ipurelyi British patriotism that I now raise it. I should be ashamed to claim anything for my country which I believed to be a damage and an injury to the common interests of civilisation and of mankind. I will not even urge, though the feelings of the élite of Europe would bear me out if I did, that the safety, and even the power of England, are valuable to the freedom of the world, and therefore to the greatest and most permanent interests of every civilised people. No, Sir; my argument shall not have even a tinge of nationality about it. It is on the broadest cosmopolitan and humanitarian principles that I rest the case. I maintain it to be for the general interest of the world, if there is to be fighting, that every Power should fight with its natural weapons, and with its best strength, that so there may be the greatest possible division of force, and no one Power may be able to jdisturbj the world, nor any two or three Powers to divide it among them. Above all it is for the interests of the world that the naval Powers should not be weakened, for whatever is taken from them is given to the great military Powers, and it is from these alone that the freedom and independence of nations has anything to fear. Naval power is as essentially defensive as military is aggressive. It is by armies, not by fleets, that wars of conquest can be carried on; and naval Powers, both in ancient and in modern times, have ever been the cradle and the home of liberty. Take away the naval Powers of the world at this moment, and where would be the main defence of the minor European States? Two or three military monarchies could, in a few years, parcel out all Europe, and everything else on this side of the Atlantic, among them; and after they had done so, would probably desolate the earth by fighting for a re-division. Happily, the naval Powers exist, and long may they exist; but short will be the duration of their existence if they disarm themselves of their most powerful weapon; if they leave the entire navies of their enemies free to convey troops to their shores, being no longer required to protect the enemy’s commerce; if they, who can be invaded, but who cannot successfully invade, abandon the chief means they possess of doing their enemies substantial damage, and wearying them of the war. There is another consideration of vital importance to the subject. Those who approve of the Declaration of Paris mostly think that we ought to go still further; that private property at sea (except contraband of war) should be exempt from seizure in all cases, not only in the ships of neutral but in those of the belligerent nations. This doctrine was maintained with ability and earnestness in this House during the last session of Parliament,9 and it will probably be brought forward again, for there is great force in the arguments on which it rests. Suppose that we were at war with any Power which is a party to the Declaration of Paris: if our cargoes would be safe in neutral bottoms, kbut unsafe in our own,k then, if the war was of any duration, our whole import and export trade would pass to the neutral flags—(hear, hear)—most of our merchant shipping would be thrown out of employment, and would be sold to neutral countries, as happened to so much of the shipping of the United States from the pressure of two or three—it might almost be said of a single cruiser. Our sailors would naturally follow our ships, and it is by no means certain we should regain them even after the war was over. Where would then be your naval reserve? Where your means of recruiting the royal navy? A protracted war on such terms must end in national disaster. It will thus become an actual necessity for us to take the second step, and obtain the exemption of all private property at sea from the contingencies of war. But are we sure that we shall be able to do so? Our own consent is not all that is required. Will other Powers, having got us at this disadvantage, consent to relieve us from it? And if they would, what a spectacle should we then behold? Nations at war with nations, but their merchants and shipowners at peace; our own merchants driving a roaring trade with the enemies whose resources we were endeavouring to cripple, and contributing, perhaps, a great part of their revenue. Some persons think that this would be a great improvement, that it would be a gain to humanity if war were confined to what they call a duel between Governments—(hear, hear)—a strange gain to humanity if the merchants, manufacturers, and agriculturists of the world lost nothing by a state of war, and had no pecuniary interest in preventing it except the increase of their taxes—a motive which never yet kept a prosperous people out of war—a burthen which such a people is often but too ready to take upon itself for mere excitement, much more from the smallest motive of national self-assertion or desire of aggrandisement. How war is to be humanised by shooting at men’s bodies instead of taking their property, I confess surprises me. (Hear, hear, and a laugh.) lThe result of such a system would be that the merchants, the manufacturers, and even agriculturists would have nothing to lose by a state of war, and therefore would have no motive to abstain from it except an increase of taxation, a burden which people were often only too ready to inflict upon themselves from the smallest motive of national self-assertion.l The result would be, that as long as the taxpayers were willing, or could be compelled by their Governments to pay the cost of the game, nations would go on massacring one another until the carnage was stopped by sheer impossibility of getting any more soldiers to enlist, or of enforcing a conscription. That would be the amount of gain to humanity. Those fine notions of making war by deputy may go down for a while, so long as a nation fancies itself safe from invasion; but let an enemy ever touch our shores, and I think we should regret that we had not, by making war on his imports and exports, kept him at a distance from our hearths—that we had not mpreparedm to defend ourselves by our cruisers rather than by our rifle volunteers. Many who do not like to secede from the Declaration of Paris are quite aware of its dangersn; but they think that the evil is irreparably done, and that we cannot withdraw from it, for fear of embroiling ourselvesn with France and America. Sir, if the Declaration of Paris has brought us to such a pass that we can neither stand still nor move, our national independence is as good as gone; our being yoked to the car of some great military potentate is a mere question of time. But this oapprehendedo danger from France and America seems to me to have little reality in it. France, though a great military, is also a naval Power, and is historically identified almost as much as ourselves with what is called the Right of Search.10 She has always asserted it for herself, except when she has waived it during a particular war by express engagement with some particular country. The first Napoleon, it is true, while carrying on the war against British commerce to extremities never before practised or justified, thought it suited his purpose of the moment to declaim pompously against what he called our tyranny of the seas.11pBut the interests of France in this matter are greatly changed. The immunity of neutral bottoms could be of service to her, if at all, only if her enemy were England or the United States, and even then the benefit would not be without alloy; but if the calamity should occur, of a war between France and any other great Power, it is more likely that her antagonistqwillqbe either Germany or Russia, and against either of these the right of seizure would be so important to France, would be so powerful a weapon in her hands, that she could not dispense with it for herself.p The noble Lord the Foreign Secretary must think so; for, in the important correspondence which has gained for him the distinguished honour of averting a European war (hear, hear), the noble Lord urged upon the Prussian Government the certain extinction of the maritime commerce of Germany in case of a war with France, exactly as if the Declaration of Paris had never existed.12 (Hear.) As for America, she is not even a party to the Declaration of Paris; and I greatly doubt if she ever will be. She is herself one of the great Powers of the sea, and in case of war the destruction of her enemy’s commerce will be her most potent weapon. Many are misled by vague and inaccurate notions of the American war of 1812. It is asserted far too positively that the war was provoked by our stoppage of the neutral navigation. People forget that the United States had a far more serious quarrel with us through our unjustifiable pretension to impress American citizens on board American ships, when they were, or even were falsely said to be, natives of any British possession—(hear, hear)—a pretension which we did not even renounce at the peace, but which it is earnestly to be hoped we shall never revive; if we were wise, we should even come forward unasked and surrender it. Such a grievance is quite sufficient to account for the war, even had there been no other subject of quarrel. But there was another equally independent of the right now under consideration—our paper blockades, which were a new practice, not authorised, as the Right of Search was so fully authorised, by the law and practice of nations. I believe it will be found, by examining the diplomatic correspondence of the time,13 that our differences with America about the Right of Search were capable of being made up, and would almost rcertainlyr have been made up, but for those additional grievances. Before I conclude I am obliged to speak of a notion which I am afraid is rather common among us, but which I am almost ashamed to mention—that, dangerous as is the position we should be placed in by adhering to the Declaration of Paris, it is of no practical consequence, because if war comes the Declaration is sure to be treated as waste paper. Sir, I should indeed be humiliated in my feelings as an Englishman if I thought that these were the maxims by which my countrymen were content to guide themselves, or on which they would allow their rulers to act. (Hear, hear.) No, Sir; let us either disown this obligation or fulfil it. (Cheers.) Let us disclaim it like honest men in the face of the world, openly and on principle, and not hypocritically profess one doctrine up to the very moment when an immediate interest would be promoted by exchanging it for another. If England should choose that moment for announcing a change of opinion, she would justify the most prejudiced of her foreign revilers in the accusation which they are sin the habits of bringing against her of national selfishness and perfidy. It is not when the emergency has come, but before it comes, that we have to form our resolution on this most momentous subject, and not only to form our resolution but to declare it. And I implore every honourable member, and especially those who have now or may have hereafter a share in the direction of public affairs, to consider these things well before they commit themselves any deeper than they may be already committed, to persistence in a course to which they are so likely to repent that they ever, even by their silence, allowed themselves to be committed at all. (Cheers.)
The Extradition Treaties Act 
PD, 3rd ser., Vol. 189, cols. 983–6, 991. Reported in The Times, 7 August, p. 3, from which the variant and response are taken. During the debate on going into Committee on “A Bill to Continue Various Expiring Laws,” 30 & 31 Victoria (26 July, 1867), PP, 1867, II, 733–6, discussion had turned to the Extradition Treaties Act (see No. 36). Mill spoke after Edward William Watkin (1819–1901), M.P. for Stockport, had asserted (cols. 982–3) the importance to society of malefactors receiving their proper punishment, even if a few might be given up under cover of criminal accusations when they really were political dissidents.
mr. j. stuart mill said, that the argument of his honourable Friend (Mr. Watkin) carried out to its logical conclusion would carry him much farther than to giving up mere criminals; it would induce the House to connive at the most tyrannical exercise of power on the part of a Government. It was very important, no doubt, that malefactors should be given up, and that peaceably disposed persons should be able to walk about in security; but he did not think that anybody in that House would be found to agree in such an argument as that made use of by the honourable Member for Stockport, which was an argument that had always been made use of in defence of tyranny. If they restrained tyranny, if they restricted the abuse of power, if they did anything which had a tendency to weaken the hands of those who conducted the administration of the country, it did not follow that they were disposed to throw aside all the advantages which society derived from the existence of law and government. That argument, therefore, might be put out of the question. No doubt it was very important that malefactors should not be able to fly from one country to another. Other countries as well as this felt the importance of delivering up ordinary malefactors. But every country did not think it right to surrender persons who were only charged as criminals, because they were deemed to be political offenders; and to make such a concession would stamp any free country with disgrace. Was the House prepared to entertain the doctrine that we ought to have such unbounded confidence in every Government with which we had diplomatic relations that we ought to rely upon the honour of that Government that it would not demand the extradition of political offenders, instead of taking proper precautions against the abuse of the treaty by foreign Governments? The honourable Member had referred to the circumstances of the Lamirande case.1 Everyone was aware that the extradition of that person had been obtained by a fraudulent proceeding, but at the same time everyone was aware that Lamirande was a scoundrel, and probably the consciousness of that fact went far to prevent any prolonged discussion upon the subject of the treaty, such as would have taken place had it been the case of the extradition of a political offender. The honourable Member for Southwark (Mr. Layard) had alluded to the difference between the French and English procedure in criminal cases, stating that here we always presumed a man to be innocent till he was proved guilty, whereas in France a man was presumed to be guilty till he had proved himself to be innocent.2 No doubt this did not necessarily imply a failure of justice in foreign countries; because the tribunals were bound to act precisely on the same abstract principles of truth and justice as were presumed to be acted upon by our Courts of Justice. It was true, however, that in this country the tribunals considered themselves simply bound to hear the case, and if justice was defeated the fault was with the parties, the Judge being impartial; while abroad—in France for instance—the Judge acted to a certain extent as an officer of police as well as of justice; he thought it his business to hold an inquisition—not, of course, of the nature of the Spanish Inquisition—into the case, and felt bound to discover by whom the offence had been committed. He was as little disposed as any Member of the House to flatter his countrymen at the expense of other nations; but in this respect the feelings and opinions of our Courts were much better than those of most foreign countries, and in his opinion we ought not to give up any portion of the advantage which we derived from that difference. With their feelings in this respect, it was exceedingly natural that the French tribunals, and still more the subordinates of the French tribunals, should take very much the same view as the honourable Member for Stockport, and should think that everything was fair by means of which a person accused of a crime could be brought before a tribunal. This it was that was so strikingly illustrated by the case of Lamirande, which placed in a very strong light indeed the impolicy and injustice of that confidence which his honourable and learned Friend the Member for Oxford was willing to place in the Governments and officers of foreign countries.3 It showed that it would not do for us to abandon the right that we had always exercised, of examining, before we delivered up an alleged criminal, whether there was such evidence as appeared to our tribunals to be sufficient to justify his being placed upon his trial. When, last year, the noble Lord (Lord Stanley), ayielding to their arguments and not to their numbers, consented to limit the duration of this measure tilla the 1st of September,4 the general expectation was that the interval would be employed in placing the matter upon a more satisfactory footing, either by means of negotiation, or, as he (Mr. Mill) should prefer, by laying down some principle which should apply to all extradition treaties. They left the matter willingly in the hands of the noble Lord. He hoped that the noble Lord would be able to say that something of the sort had been done. Unless the noble Lord could make out some very strong case as to the extreme difficulty of dealing with this subject, he did not see how he could ask for a longer prolongation of the statute than that which was granted last year. The demand indeed reminded him of the story of Hiero and Simonides.5 Hiero asked Simonides to define the Godhead. Simonides asked for a day; at the expiration of that time he asked for two, and at the expiration of the two he asked for four, explaining that the more he considered the subject the more difficult he found it. The Government first asked them for a year and now, having had it, for what amounted to two years. An honourable and learned Friend of his,6 who was not in his place, contemplated proposing that, instead of prolonging the Act until the end of the Session of 1869, the endurance of the measure should be limited till the 15th July next, in order that the question might be thoroughly discussed in a full House. If the noble Lord was not prepared to assent to that Amendment he hoped that the noble Lord, when he rose to reply, would be able to assure the House that the time that had elapsed had been usefully employed, and that some plan had been drawn up, or that negotiations had been entered into with foreign Governments that would lead to a satisfactory result being arrived at with reference to this important question. (Hear, hear.)
[Following Mill, Stanley said, inter alia, that Mill had mistaken him if he thought a specific pledge had been given that a general inquiry should be made following passage of the Extradition Treaties Act; the Government would not object if someone wanted to move a Committee on the matter (cols. 986–9). He then reiterated the latter statement.]
Mr. J. Stuart Mill said, he had never intended to say that the noble Lord had broken any pledge. If the noble Lord had given any pledge, doubtless he would have kept it. He had only said that there had been an expectation and a hope in the House that the question would be discussed.
[Stanley again indicated the Government’s willingness to have a Committee (col. 991).]
The Metropolitan Government Bill
PD, 3rd ser., Vol. 189, cols. 1040–1. Not reported in The Times. Mill here brings forward “A Bill for the Better Government of the Metropolis,” 30 & 31 Victoria (6 Aug., 1867), PP, 1867, IV, 215–56.
mr. j. stuart mill said, he moved for leave to introduce a Bill for the better Municipal Government of the Metropolis. The Bill embodied the remainder of the plan, part of which he had introduced in another Bill at an earlier period of the Session.1 It could not be expected that the Bill could pass into law this Session, and his object was simply to have it printed so that it might be laid before the public with a view to its being considered next Session. It provided for a central municipal government, as the other Bill provided local district municipalities. The Bill borrowed from a variety of sources; from the recommendations of a Royal Commission some years ago;2 from those of the Committee recently presided over by his honourable and learned Friend the Member for the Tower Hamlets (Mr. Ayrton);3 and from the views which had been brought before the House on various occasions by the honourable and learned Member for Southwark (Mr. Locke).4 The Bill did not make a tabula rasa5 of the old system, but made use of the existing materials. The Bill proposed that the present corporation of the City of London should be enlarged by absorbing the Board of Works. The object of the Bill was to enlarge the corporation into a municipality for the whole of London, leaving behind in the City as much power as was necessary for purely local administration, which under the other Bill all the other districts of the municipality would also have. The Lord Mayor, under this Bill, would grow into a Lord Mayor for all London, and the Common Council would be converted into a Common Council for all London. That Common Council would consist of the Lord Mayor, aldermen, and common councilmen, but the aldermen would not be a separate body, but, with the Common Council, would be elected by the ratepayers. It was proposed by the Bill that the present aldermen of the City should retain their offices for life, but that no vacancy amongst them should be filled up until their number was reduced to six, which would be double the number of aldermen for other districts of the Metropolis. There would be two aldermen in the Common Council for each district, they being those among the successful candidates for the district councillorships who had obtained the greatest number of votes. The corporation property would pass into the possession of this larger municipality. The City, it was right to say, had not given its assent to this transfer, but from what was known of the state of opinion in the City, there was ground to hope that there would be no corporate opposition to it. In consideration of the surrender of the corporation property, it was proposed to make certain concessions to the City in return, which he thought would not be considered more than a fair equivalent. It was proposed that the City should have twice the number of representatives in the Common Council that its population would justify. It was further proposed that the Deputy Mayor, who would represent the Lord Mayor in his absence or fill his place in case of his dying in office, should always be one of the aldermen of the City. There were a few other arrangements which would be sufficiently shown by the Bill itself. The county of the City of London would become the county of all London, and would have one Commission of Peace, of which all the aldermen would be members. As a temporary measure it was proposed that the Board of Works and all the present aldermen should be added to the Council, Sir John Thwaites6 being appointed Chairman of the standing Committees at his present salary, provided that he was willing to accept the office.
The Reform Bill 
PD, 3rd ser., Vol. 189, col. 1192. Reported in The Times, 9 August, p. 8, from which variants and responses are taken. One variant is taken from the report in the St. Stephen’s Chronicle, Vol. IV, pp. 843–4. The discussion is on a new Clause C introduced into the Reform Bill (see No. 50) by the Lords: “Any Voter for a County or Borough may, in compliance with the Provisions herein-after contained, give his Vote by a Voting Paper instead of personally.”
itais scarcely possible that the House will be induced to pass, or that the Government will attempt to force upon the House, this really monstrous proposala . (Oh! and laughter.) The vast mass of fraud to which it would give birth has been shown, but it will produce effects worse than even that mass of fraud. If the House have the smallest desire to diminish bribery and intimidation—if they do not wish to increase it to an enormous extent, they will refuse to assent to this Amendment. If it passes, every tenant may be taken to the drawing-room of his landlord and there compelled to sign his voting paper bin accordance with the party interest of his landlordb . (Oh! and laughter.) Do not we know what electioneering agents will do? Will they not take the voter before the magistrate who has the greatest power over him? This will become the general rule of the country. (Oh! oh!) I do not say that bribery will be as universal as intimidation. But the voting papers are to be signed before a magistrate, and, recollect, Mr. Churchward is a magistrate.1 (Oh! oh! and laughter.) When I heard that the Upper House had adopted this cin principle but not in detail,c2 I did expect something decent would be done to place checks and restraints on its consequences. I could not have believed that any serious person pretending to the character of a politician would have brought forward such a set of rules, which are apparently constructed to aggravate instead of diminishing the mischievous operation of the system. (Loud cries of Oh! and Divide.) I should prefer that no Reform Bill should be passed, rather than that this monstrous scheme should be carried into effect. (Oh! and laughter.)
[The Clause was rejected.]
East India Revenue
PD, 3rd ser., Vol. 189, cols. 1382–7. Reported in The Times, 13 August, p. 5, from which variants and responses are taken. In the debate on going into Committee, Ayrton moved as an amendment resolutions on conducting business in India
mr. j. stuart mill said, that as the House, notwithstanding the deprecation of the Minister for India,1 had drifted into a debate on general policy, and as the right honourable Gentleman would be expected next year to bring forward a measure which might effect changes in the machinery of government, he could not help expressing his fear lest some of the changes which had been recommended would make the administration of India worse than it was at present. The use and importance of Councils had, in particular, been undervalued. No doubt it was a most important principle of representation that responsibility should rest as far as possible on one person, and that that person should not be screened by a Board or Council.2 But he apprehended that this principle applied only to one department of the Government—the Executive. Now, the work of Government was twofold; it was executive and deliberative: and in the Indian Government the deliberative was quite as extensive as the executive work, and even more important. As was stated by the honourable Member for Wick, there was no place in the world where so much depended on the personal qualities of the particular officer who was intrusted with power in all the important appointments.3 Upon the person who was at the head of the administration in any one district of India the prosperity of that district, to a very large extent, depended. But it did not follow that you had only to choose the best man, and then leave him to do as he liked. You should not rely solely upon the policy of one man, and that a man who filled office only for a brief period. Before any important act was done in India, there should be a full and complete statement, as far as possible, of the different sides of the question; the pros and cons should be brought forward by different people, and not solely by the particular officer concerned. Especially should this be so in the case of the Governor General. He perfectly agreed in the opinion that those who were entrusted with the chief power in India should not in general be persons who had passed their lives there. India ought to furnish knowledge of detail; but knowledge of principles and general statesmanship should be found more easily and in greater abundance in England, and here it should be sought. But when this officer went out to India, however able he might be, he rarely knew anything of his business. No doubt an able man would learn his business quicker than another man; but meanwhile he must be more or less dependent on the opinion of other people. That opinion, if he had not a well-chosen and sufficiently numerous Council, must be the opinion of the executive officers under him. Such opinions were often very valuable, but those who gave them were under no responsibility for the advice thus given. Now, if there was one thing more than another to which the great success of our Indian administration was due—for notwithstanding many defects it was on the whole a successful administration—it was to the fact that the Government had, to so large an extent, been carried on in writing; that no important act had been done the reasons for which had not been fully stated on paper, so that those at a distance were able to study them, and to decide upon the validity of the arguments by which the responsible officers justified their acts. It was not enough to trust to one despatch from the one officer who was so responsible; there should be a substantial discussion in the place itself, so that if different opinions were held on the subject, all of them should be placed before the functionary who was to decide in the last resort. It was this necessity which justified not only the existence of Councils, but of numerous Councils. He did not agree with his honourable and learned Friend (Mr. Ayrton) that the Government of Bengal had been a Government of inefficient, superannuated people.4 He did not wish to say anything of Sir Cecil Beadon,5 whose conduct had been so much canvassed of late, because he did not know much of that gentleman; but those who preceded him were, first, Mr. Halliday, and then Sir J.P. Grant,6 and two more efficient, enlightened administrators than those gentlemen were, it would be difficult to find in any service. Like all the great officers in India, these men were over-worked; and this was the great excuse for their shortcomings. The Governor of Bengal had never had the benefit of a Council. He (Mr. Stuart Mill) thought it was desirable that he should have one. If that Governor had had the benefit of an efficient Council, perhaps that great calamity which had lately occurred in a particular district of India would have been averted.7 One reason the more for a Council in Bengal would be supplied if it were determined that a member of the Civil Service should not be at the head of this Government, and that Bengal should be put on the same footing in this respect as Bombay and Madras. In that case it would be all the more necessary that the Governor should have some members of the Civil Service to assist him. He believed that such a Council would have been created in Bengal if it had not been for the expense. It was from motives of economy that a Council had not hitherto been appointed. As the Governor General and his Council were nearer to the Lieutenant Governor of Bengal than to the Governments of Bombay and Madras, it was thought that in Bengal a local Council could be dispensed with. But he was afraid that this would be found, and had, indeed, been found, a mistake. In appointing to the great office of Governor General or Viceroy, it might be said with truth that every Government had, as a general rule, chosen one of the best of themselves—a man who might aspire to a high or even to the highest office in this country. In that respect there had been no failure of duty, though mistakes had now and then been made. But his experience did not tell him that the same care and conscientiousness had been shown in England in choosing men to be the Governors of the minor Presidencies.8 He had known stupid men, careless, frivolous men, idle men, appointed to both the minor Presidencies (hear)—men so little fitted for the business of government that if it had not been for their Councils he did not know how the government of those Presidencies would have gone on. (Hear, hear.) It seemed to him, therefore, that if instead of a Lieutenant Governor there was to be a Governor of Bengal and a Governor of the North-Western Provinces, it was more important than ever that each of them should have a Council. One word now as to the Council of India in this country. The difficulty raised by the noble Lord opposite was real, and required serious consideration.9 On the one hand, it was of the highest importance to have a Council which should be a check upon the Secretary of State in matters of expense. On the other hand, it was true, as the noble Lord said, that the Secretary of State was in some degree compelled to bear a responsibility which might not be his own. How this difficulty should be overcome—if it could be overcome—was a matter well deserving the consideration of the House. But with regard to the necessity of a Council, and even of a numerous Council, not only to prevent the waste of the money of India, but also for the purpose of enlightening the Secretary of State on the general affairs of India, it appeared to him (Mr. Stuart Mill) to be clearer than many honourable Gentlemen seemed to think. He believed that many persons looked at it as if the question was, whether the Secretary of State should prevail or the Council, overlooking the fact that the Council would most probably not be all of one mind. The great advantage of a Council was that it represented many minds, that it embodied many of the opinions existing among public men. This was the case in the Court of Directors of the East India Company. They comprised permanent settlement men, village settlement men, and Ryotwar men: and again, in judicial matters, men who were for the regulation system, men who were for the non-regulation system, and men who were for the Native system. Indeed, every variety of Indian policy was there represented. There was no leading variety of Indian policy, the reasons for and against which were not certain to be stated very strongly by persons who had studied the subject, and were capable of urging the best arguments in favour of the views they advocated. It was surely an advantage to the Secretary of State, who could seldom know much about India when he took office for the first time, to obtain on the best authority that various knowledge which the great diversities of people and civilization rendered necessary. When he (Mr. Stuart Mill) was concerned, in a subordinate capacity, in the administration of India, he found that those who were at the centre of government in England really knew India, as a whole, better than those who were in India. Gentlemen knew their own Presidencies, and those who were concerned in the administration of one had more or less of prejudice against the system which prevailed in another. Those who were resident in Bengal knew less of Madras and Bombay, and vice versâ, than those who had access to the records of all the Presidencies and were accustomed to deliberate upon and discuss them, and to write about them; and so with regard to each of the Presidencies. He believed that a alarger view of Indian affairs, less coloured by imperfect information and prejudice,a would be found in a Council than in any one of the local Governments, or even in the Governor General, if he were not acting with a Central Board. He thought that no Secretary of State who was aware of the imperfection of his own knowledge when he entered office, would wish to deprive himself of the advantage which he was likely to derive from an experienced Council. It was, however, another question whether the members of that Council should hold their office for life. It would be better, in his opinion, that they should give up office at intervals; but, nevertheless, he thought that they should be eligible for re-election; bnot in order that they might habitually be re-elected, but in order that, by the votes of the other members and the Secretary of State, the department might still retain the services ofb any member who was still in the vigour of his intellect and capable of rendering good service to the country. Those were the observations he was desirous of making.
[Shortly after Mill’s speech, the amendment was withdrawn.]
Meetings in Royal Parks 
PD, 3rd ser., Vol. 189, cols. 1482–4. Reported in The Times, 14 August, p. 7, from which the variants and the response are taken. The Bill on the use of Royal Parks (see No. 76), now recommitted, was to be considered in Committee. P.A. Taylor moved that the Chairman leave the chair—i.e., that the Committee not sit
mr. j. stuart mill,who spoke amid much confusion and cries for a division, said, he was anxious to state to the House what he and those who agreed with him claimed, and what they thought the working classes of London were entitled to, on this subject. They had heard a great deal about the necessity of legislating for the Parks. Well, he had no objection to any legislation which could properly partake of the nature of police. He did not suppose that any of them would have the least objection to the suppression in the Parks of anything, the toleration of which in any public place was a questionable matter, such as the gaming and betting of which they had heard so much. What they stood up for was that there should be some place open for the purpose of holding great public meetings. He had no objection to preventing meetings being held in such of the Parks as were manifestly unfit for that purpose. No one would think of claiming the right of holding a public meeting in St. James’ Park, because, in the first place, there was not room for such a meeting, and, in the second place, it could not be attempted without adestroying the ornamental character of the placea . (Hear.) The question at issue concerned none of the parks except Hyde Park, and the reason why it concerned Hyde Park was that it was the only great open space in the neighbourhood of London on which it was possible to hold a multitudinous open-air meeting. He could perfectly understand those Gentlemen who said that there ought to be no public meeting of that character at all; but such was not the opinion of the Chancellor of the Exchequer, and he should be surprised if the right honourable Gentleman continued to give his support to this Bill, because in his speech on the second reading of the Bill—a speech that was most moderate in its tone, although not equally so in substance—he admitted that there were cases in which it might be desirable that a multitudinous meeting, a meeting larger than could be contained in any public building, should be held.1 But if such a meeting were to be held, he (Mr. Stuart Mill) did not know any place except Hyde Park, in which it could be held with so little disturbance to the convenience of any class. It was true that the right honourable Gentleman did tell the working classes of London that they might meet on Primrose Hill or on Hampstead Heath,2 and he was sure that this advice must have been accompanied with a twinkle of the right honourable Gentleman’s eye, which he (Mr. Stuart Mill) wished he had been near enough to have seen. He thought that nobody who had ever seen Hampstead Heath or Primrose Hill would say that they were places in any way suitable for the holding of public meetings. There was scarcely a spot of level ground on either of them, and no place could possibly be less convenient. Did anybody who had seen these public meetings in Hyde Park think that they had been accompanied with inconvenience to any class? It might, indeed, be said that inconvenience was caused, not by the meeting itself, but by the processions to and from the meeting. That was an argument for those who thought there ought to be no great public meetings at all; but, unfortunately, it was an argument which, if applicable to Hyde Park, was quite as applicable to a meeting held at any of the places where the Chancellor of the Exchequer had said that they might be held. It seemed to him that no person who admitted, as the Chancellor of the Exchequer had done, that there may be certain cases in which it was desirable and right that great multitudinous meetings should take place, could contend that they ought to be held in a corner or at a great distance. He did not think it was in the interest of either order or liberty to choose this time—at the close of the Session—with only a small number of Members present—for carrying a measure of which no opportunity had been given for discussion at a proper period. (Cries for a division.) Assent had been given to a second reading of the Bill, because many honourable Members on that side of the House were not unfavourable to the principle of legislating in some way upon this matter. The Bill had been since much altered, and it appeared to him an unjustifiable exercise of power to proceed at this period of the Session with the Bill, in the absence of so many Members. There were other most important Bills on the Paper, which could not be passed if the Government persisted in going on with this Bill. One of these was the Hours of Labour Regulation Bill,3 than which there was no measure more creditable to the Government, and it was most important that it should be passed this Sessionb, and another was the Artisans’ and Labourers’ Dwelling Billb ;4 but if the Government were determined to press on the Parks Bill,5 the House would not have made one step nearer to the useful legislation involved in the measure of which he spoke. (Divide, divide.) cHe hoped the Bill would be withdrawn.c
[The honourable Member resumed his seat amid continued interruption and cries for a division. These manifestations of impatience were continued to the end of the debate, which was, consequently, very little heard.]
[a-a]DN,MS] MET To
[c-c]DN,MS ; these are the antecedents
[d-d]DN,MS] MET often try
[e-e]DN,MS they would
[g-g]DN,MS] MET asserts
[h-h]DN,MS] MET all the history of all principles together combines
[j-j]DN,MS and mental indolence
[k-k]DN,MS And we have declined to those things. We have declined either in material prosperity, or in mental and moral culture, and with that decline
[l-l]DN,MS] MET now
[m-m]DN,MS owing to our
[n-n]DN,MS Free States that is not now
[o-o]DN an invasion or encroachment] MS any invasion or encroachment
[p-p]DN,MS] MET but not in any cause in which their interest is not concerned—
[q-q]DN,MS have shewn
[1 ]See, e.g., his “England and America,” Daily News, 27 Nov., 1862, p. 5.
[2 ]I.e., in this lecture series. For reports, see The Times, 16 Jan., p. 12, 22 Jan., p. 9, 29 Jan., p. 7, and 5 Feb., p. 6.
[3 ]Marie Joseph Gilbert du Motier, marquis de Lafayette (1757–1834), French aristocrat who distinguished himself in the U.S. War of Independence and then on the popular side in the French Revolution.
[4 ]George Charles Brodrick (1831–1903), a lawyer and leader writer for The Times, and a Fellow of Merton College, had spoken before Mill.
[5 ]In addition to Brodrick, Charles Saville Roundell (1827–1906), a lawyer who had been Secretary to the Jamaica Inquiry, was a Fellow of Merton.
[1 ]Frederic Harrison (1831–1923), positivist man of letters, known as friendly to working-class aspirations.
[1 ]See The Times, 6 Feb., 1867, p. 8, quoting from the London Gazette of 5 February.
[1 ]4 & 5 William IV, c. 76 (1834).
[2 ]Gathorne-Hardy spoke on introducing the Bill on 8 February (PD, 3rd ser., Vol. 185, cols. 150–75), and on moving its second reading on 21 February (ibid., cols. 771–80).
[3 ]By Clause 29 of the Bill as amended.
[4 ]William Torrens McCullagh Torrens (1813–94), M.P. for Finsbury, Speech on the Metropolitan Poor Bill (8 Mar.), PD, 3rd ser., Vol. 185, cols. 1615–16.
[5 ]By Clause 79 of the Bill as amended.
[1 ]For Mill’s speech, see No. 47; it was received courteously by Gathorne-Hardy, Speech on the Metropolitan Poor Bill (8 Mar.), PD, 3rd ser., Vol. 185, cols. 1610–11.
[2 ]“Report from His Majesty’s Commissioners for Inquiring into the Administration and Practical Operation of the Poor Laws” (21 Feb., 1834), PP, 1834, XXVII, 1–263; the brief reference to education is on p. 209. The Report resulted in 4 & 5 William IV, c. 76 (1834) See also No. 147, n8.
[3 ]“Report on the Sanitary Condition of the Labouring Population of Great Britain,” PP, 1843, XII, 602.
[4 ]Ibid., pp. 590, 592.
[5 ]Clause 59, which provided for the Poor Law Board’s determining and varying as necessary existing contracts with resident workhouse medical officers.
[6 ]Clause 79, which provided for the addition of nominated members to the Boards of Guardians.
[1 ]By Clause 6 of the Bill.
[2 ]See, e.g., “The Metropolitan Poor Bill,” The Times, 7 Mar., 1867, p. 6, which reports the views of the deputation from the vestry of St. James in Mill’s constituency.
[a-a]TT] PD administration of the law concerning
[3 ]See Gathorne-Hardy’s speech of 8 Mar., cols. 1610–11.
[4 ]See “The Distress of East London,” The Times, 21 Jan., 1867, p. 4.
[1 ]See No. 55.
[1 ]Resulting in “Reports of the Commissioners Appointed to Inquire into the Organization and Rules of Trades Unions and Other Associations,” PP, 1867, XXXII, 1–396.
[2 ]18 & 19 Victoria, c. 63 (1855).
[3 ]Hornby v. Close, 2 Queen’s B 153–60 (1867), ruling that Trades’ Unions did not fall under the provisions of Sect. 24 of 18 & 19 Victoria, c. 63, which gave protection to Friendly Societies, because such associations acted in restraint of trade.
[a-a]SSC] PD for these societies to have punished their officers criminally, than to put the societies themselves out of the protection of the law
[a]TT (proposing to give the franchise to women)
[1 ]Gladstone’s amendment proposed the elimination of the distinction in Clause 3 between direct rate payers and compounders (PD, 3rd ser., Vol. 186, cols. 1509–25).
[1 ]John Tomlinson Hibbert (1824–1908), M.P. for Oldham, Speech on the Representation of the People Bill (9 May), PD, 3rd ser., Vol. 187, col. 267.
[2 ]Ibid., cols. 270–1.
[a-a]TT,SSC the proposal would have, also, quite a contrary effect.
[3 ]Shakespeare, Othello, V, ii, 344; in The Riverside Shakespeare, p. 1240.
[4 ]Disraeli, Speech on the Representation of the People Bill (6 May), cols. 43–5.
[5 ]5 & 6 Victoria, c. 102 (1842), and 17 & 18 Victoria, c. 102 (1854).
[6 ]By Clause 36 of the Reform Bill (PP, 1867, V, 536).
[7 ]“A Bill to Provide for the More Effectual Prevention of Corrupt Practices and Undue Influence at Parliamentary Elections,” 30 Victoria (9 Apr., 1867), PP, 1867, II, 213–32.
[8 ]William Balliol Brett (1817–99), Conservative M.P. for Helston, Speech on the Representation of the People Bill (9 May), PD, 3rd ser., Vol. 187, col. 280.
[b-b]TT,SSC] PD any
[1 ]Disraeli, cols. 720–6.
[2 ]Francis Sharp Powell (1827–1911), M.P. for Cambridge (cols. 730–2); John Rolt (1804–71), the Attorney General, M.P. for West Gloucestershire (cols. 735–6); and Brett (cols. 737–8).
[3 ]Ayrton referred to the enormous complexity of the matter, necessitating, if a bill were contemplated, a select committee and its attendant delay (cols. 727–9).
[4 ]Brett argued that the views of parishes and towns should be consulted, and that a select committee was needed (cols. 737–8).
[a-a]TT,SSC member of the community
[1 ]Gladstone, speech of 11 May, 1864, cols. 312–27, specifically, col. 324.
[2 ]For the phrase, see William Windham (1750–1810), Speech on Defence of the Country (22 July, 1807; Commons), PD, 1st ser., Vol. 9, col. 897.
[3 ]For the former, see Nos. 27, 29, 31, 32, and 34; for the latter, No. 32.
[c-c]TT,SSC social and
[4 ]Cicero (106–43 ), Letters to Atticus (Latin and English), trans. E.O. Winstedt, 3 vols. (London: Heinemann; New York: Macmillan,1912), Vol. I, p. 108 (II, i): “the dregs of humanity collected by Romulus” rather than the inhabitants of Plato’s Republic (Arcadia).
[5 ]Sarah Emily Davies (1830–1921), On the Application of Funds to the Education of Girls (London: Longman, et al., 1865).(Originally a paper read before the Education Department of the National Association for the Promotion of Social Science, 3 May, 1865.)
[6 ]Elizabeth Garrett (1836–1917), later Anderson.
[7 ]Three young women had followed Elizabeth Garrett’s path, but they and any further potential candidates were made ineligible for certification by a ruling that public lectures (from which women were barred) were a requirement. See “Female Candidates at Apothecaries’ Hall,” Medical Times and Gazette, 2 Mar., 1867, p. 229, and “Ladies Not Admitted,” British Medical Journal, 9 Mar., 1867, p. 269.
[8 ]Pliny the Elder (ca. 23–79 ), Natural History (Latin and English), trans. H. Rackham, et al., 10 vols. (London: Heinemann; Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 1938–62), Vol. IV, p. 64 (XII, 87).
[9 ]The reference to Associates of the Royal Academy is puzzling. When the Academy was founded in 1768, two women, Angelica Kauffmann and Mary Moser, had been made Associates, but no more were elected until the twentieth century. Women had regularly, however, been exhibitors at the annual exhibitions, and since 1861 had been admitted in limited numbers as students, the first, Laura Anne Herford, perhaps being allowed entry because she signed her submission only with her initials. Some of these students, including Louisa Starr, distinguished themselves, and consequently there was an effective limit placed on their numbers.
[10 ]George Edward Arundell Monckton-Arundell, Viscount Galway (1805–76), M.P. for East Retford, cols. 841–2.
[11 ]Samuel Laing (1812–97), col. 840.
[12 ]John Burgess Karslake (1821–81), M.P. for Andover, cols. 829–30.
[1 ]“First” and “Second Reports from the Select Committee on Metropolitan Local Government” (16 Apr. and 30 July, 1866), PP, 1866, XIII, 171–628. For Mill’s part in the Committee, see App. B.
[2 ]By Sect. 31 of 18 & 19 Victoria, c. 120 (1855).
[3 ]Eventually brought in as “A Bill for the Better Government of the Metropolis,” 30 & 31 Victoria (6 Aug., 1867), PP, 1867, IV, 215–56 (see No. 82).
[4 ]See “Memorial to the Home Secretary, from the Vestry of St. James,” App. 1 in “Second Report from the Select Committee on Metropolis Local Taxation” (24 June, 1861), PP, 1861, VIII, 321–2; and “A Bill Intituled ‘An Act for the Establishment of Municipal Corporations within the Metropolis,’ ” App. 9 in “Second Report from the Select Committee on Metropolitan Government,” pp. 619–28.
[5 ]For such views, see “Third Report from the Select Committee on Metropolis Local Taxation with the Proceedings of the Committee” (26 July, 1861), PP, 1861, VIII, 383. From the context, it would seem that Mill is referring to the two Reports on Metropolitan Local Government cited in n1 above; though neither contains such statements by the Committee, Mill himself voices them in his questions (see below, App. B, Questions 1866–71 and 2163 ff.)
[6 ]30 & 31 Victoria, c. 102, in Sect. 19 provided that Chelsea should return two members (under Schedule B, Kensington was included as a parish of Chelsea), and in Sect. 21 Tower Hamlets was given two members for each of the two divisions.
[1 ]In fact the cases of John McCafferty and John McClure, the other accused Fenians, were not yet under consideration. Their sentences were eventually commuted to life imprisonment, and they were deported in 1871 after four years in jail.
[2 ]Robert Emmett (1778–1803) was hanged for his part in an uprising in 1803 that aimed at the capture of Dublin Castle and resulted in the death of Lord Kilwarden. Edward Fitzgerald (1763–98) died from a wound received in the United Irishmen rebellion of 1798.
[3 ]On 1 June, 1866, 800 Fenians crossed the Niagara River and captured Fort Erie. They were defeated at Ridgeway by the Canadians, and the remainder surrendered to U.S. forces on 3 June.
[1 ]I.e., after Disraeli’s Speech on the Representation of the People Bill (17 May), PD, 3rd ser., Vol. 187, cols. 720–6, which gave the impression that the Government would accept the abolition of compounding householders as proposed in the amendment of Hodgkinson on the same day (ibid., cols. 708–12).
[b-b]DT] DN It is a government that has forced this upon us because it would not quite do to say there was no principle at all in their bill—(a laugh)—and as they did not feel that they had got a very firm hold of any other, they seem to have attached all their self-consequence to sticking to their little principle—I am very glad it is not a greater—which it seems they will insist upon] MS as DT . . . Government who has . . . us—(hear, hear)—because . . . did not feel they had got a . . . other—they somehow . . . to this. (A laugh.) This little principle—I am . . . greater—but this little principle they would insist upon
[c-c]DT,MS] DN We want every householder to have a vote,] MP as DT,MS . . . vote,
[d-d]MS] DN but that is not all.] DT but see what would happen
[2 ]Disraeli, in his Answer to a Question on the Business of the House (23 May), ibid., cols. 941–2, had said the Government would bring forward a Clause amending Clause 34 to allow compounding with the joint consent of the owner and occupier (see ibid., col. 1180).
[e-e]DN of all the important people about] MS of the rich and important people about] S,MP church-wardens
[f-f]DT] DN should make it worth the landlord’s while to secure the votes, the tenants will find their names on the register] MS as DN . . . while to want their vote for political purposes, they will register, and . . . as DT
[g-g]+MS] DN,DT so] MP as MS . . . faith
[h-h]MS] DN indeed] DT,S,MP and guarded
[i-i]DT (Loud cheers.)] MS —(groans and hisses)—] MP —(hear, hear)—
[3 ]Disraeli, speech of 17 May, cols. 720 and 724.
[k-k]DT] DN,MP , but so it looks to some of our friends, some of the liberal members who] MS as DT . . . looks. There are some of ... as DN
[l-l]DT,MS House of Commons
[4 ]Ibid., col. 726.
[5 ]For the measure, see No. 15.
[n-n]DT] DN,MS,MP off
[o-o]DT] DN Bill; and
[p-p]DT] DN,MP Today I had the gratification of being with a] MS as DT . . . another which was referred to by . . . right, one . . . House. (Cheers.) I . . . as DT
[6 ]Charles Gilpin (1815–74), M.P. for Northampton, the only other M.P. on the platform, had spoken before Mill.
[7 ]Thomas Francis Bourke (see No. 57), in the event, had his death sentence commuted to penal servitude for life, but he was released after seven years.
[s-s]DT,MS] DN,MP this poor man was
[8 ]For the others, see No. 57.
[t-t]DT] DN Under the circumstances it is a wonder that we were able to get] MS We got together as many members of Parliament as we could. Many members had gone out of town, and under the circumstances it is a wonder that we got
[w-w]DT,MS,S,MP] DN finally
[9 ]In England and Ireland Mill refers to this meeting and quotes from this passage: “The question was put, some six months ago, to one of the largestand most enthusiastic public meetings ever assembled in London under one roof—‘Do you think that England has a right to rule over Ireland if she cannot make the Irish people content with her rule?’ and the shouts of ‘No!’ which burst from every part of that great assemblage, will not soon be forgotten by those who heard them” (CW, Vol. VI, p. 521). Cf. his letter of 16 November, 1867, to J.H. Bridges, where he again gives the circumstances and the quotation, saying in this case that the audience was “composed in great part of working men,” and that the “enthusiastic shout of ‘No’ . . . might have been heard, I think, outside the building” (CW, Vol. XVI, p. 1328).
[x-x]+MS] DT (Loud and unanimous cries of Yes.)
[10 ]Questioned by G.W. Sharp as to the accuracy of the report of this passage, Mill said it was correct, adding: “And I do not know how anyone could express himself otherwise who believes, as all Englishmen do, that insurrections and revolutions are sometimes justifiable.” He mentions the cases of the English Civil War and Glorious Revolution, the Polish insurrections, and Garibaldi’s revolutions, and continues: “I did not mean that all insurrections, if successful, stand exculpated; the rebellion of the American slaveholders would have been equally guilty and even more detestable if it had succeeded. What I was arguing for wasthat even those revolutionists who deserve our sympathy, ought yet for the general good, to be subject to legal punishment if they fail.” (CW, Vol. XVI, p. 1275 [1 June, 1867].)
[a-a]MP perilous resort to arms
[b-b]MP] DN,S (A voice:
[11 ]Ramon Maria Narvaez (1800–68), duque de Valencia, field marshall, and at that time authoritarian prime minister of Spain, and Mikhail Nikolaevich Mouravieff (1796–1866), military governor, who savagely repressed uprisings in Lithuania and Belorussia in 1863.
[c-c]+MS] MP,S (A Voice: Is this a Fenian meeting?)
[e-e]DT , if I do not feel,
[1 ]Hugh Culling Eardley Childers (1827–96), anticipating that Hodgkinson’s amendment (see No. 54) would be defeated, had intimated that he would move an amendment to make compounding optional in all boroughs; when Disraeli had apparently accepted Hodgkinson’s proposal, Childers (20 May, col. 780) declared he would not proceed.
[1 ]At the end of his speech, Mill moved that “From and after the passing of the present bill, every local constituency shall, subject to the provisions hereinafter contained, return one member for every quota of its registered electors actually voting at that election, such quota being a number equal to the quotient obtained by dividing by 658 the total number of votes polled throughout the kingdom at the same election, and if such quotient be fractional, the integral number next less. Provided always, that where the number of votes given by the constituency shall not be equal to such quota, the quota may be completed by means of votes given by persons duly qualified as electors in any other part of the United Kingdom; and the candidate who shall have obtained such quota may notwithstanding be returned as member for the said constituency if he shall have obtained a majority of the votes given therein as hereinafter mentioned.” For the remainder of his amendments on the Order Paper, see PD, 3rd ser., Vol. 187, cols. 1343–4.
[d-d]P1 as a rule. The [printer’s error?]
[f-f]P1 members the gentlemen
[2 ]In his Treatise on the Election of Representatives (1859); see No. 4.
[h-h]P1 party. Yes
[j-j]PD,P1 they only need to have it shown to them
[l-l]TT,SSC although they were in a considerable majority in the nation
[3 ]L’Association Réformiste of Geneva, founded in 1865, was headed by Jules Ernest Naville (1816–1909), Christian philosopher and prolific author.
[4 ]Mountstuart Elphinstone Grant Duff (1829–1906), M.P. for Elgin Burghs, cols. 1361–2.
[5 ]Cecil (Lord Cranbourne), cols. 1357–9.
[6 ]Disraeli, col. 1362.
[1 ]Mill’s Notice of Motion appears on the Order Paper on 10 May and 25 June, 1866, Journals of the House of Commons, 1866, pp. 602, 1075.
[2 ]“A Bill to Amend and Consolidate the Law Relating to Bankruptcy in England, and to Abolish Imprisonment for Debt in Final Process,” 29 Victoria (16 Apr., 1866), PP, 1866, I, 103–236.
[3 ]Charles Jasper Selwyn (1813–69), M.P. for Cambridge, cols. 1565–6, proposed that after-acquired property of insolvents be chargeable for debts.
[1 ]Charles Forster (1815–91), M.P. for Walsall, pointed out that the Committee on Petitions had no power to object to a petition on the grounds of substance.
[a-a]+TT [in third person, past tense]
[b-b]TT [in past tense PD England and all the world entertain]]
[2 ]John Bright, Speech on Presenting a Petition on Fenianism (3 May, 1867), PD, 3rd ser., Vol. 186, cols. 1929–31.
[3 ]William Edward Forster (1818–86), M.P. for Bradford, cols. 1891–2, defended Perronet Thompson (1783–1869), formerly M.P. for Bradford, for the remarks in Thompson’s Speech on India (16 Feb., 1858), ibid., Vol. 148, cols. 1539–42.
[d-d]TT] PD relating to
[e-e]TT] PD of which men of honour might have been capable
[4 ]Theobald Wolfe Tone (1763–98), a founder of the United Irish Society, who joined in the French invasion of Ireland in 1798, was captured, condemned to death, and committed suicide. For Emmett and Fitzgerald, see No. 57.
[f-f]TT [in third person, past tense PD I know nothing of those particular men which can enable me to judge whether this be the case with them or not; but the conduct by which they have made themselves amenable to the law, and for which they must be punished, does not stamp them as objects of detestation, but rather of pity.]]
[1 ]I.e., Amberley’s.
[2 ]John Abel Smith, Motion on the Sale of Liquors on Sunday Bill (27 March, 1867), PD, Vol. 186, col. 666.
[b-b]+TT [in past tense]
[c-c]+TT [in third person, past tense]
[3 ]Arthur Fitzgerald Kinnaird (1814–87), moved the rejection of the Bill, col. 96.
[4 ]Gathorne-Hardy, Speech on the Uniformity Act Amendment Bill (29 May, 1867), ibid., Vol. 187, col. 1275.
[5 ]Kinnaird, col. 96.
[1 ]Cols. 633–4.
[2 ]Cols. 630–1.
[3 ]Beaumont Hotham (1794–1870), an Irish peer, M.P. for the East Riding of Yorkshire, col. 632.
[4 ]Col. 635.
[a-a]+TT [in past tense]
[a-a]+TT [in the past tense]
[1 ]Clauses 8–16 of the Reform Bill (for which see No. 50).
[b-b]TT , even upon the single ground of population, were entitled to a large increase in representation. But all the large towns were entitled to an increased representation, not only upon the principles advocated by the Liberals but upon the principles even of their opponents, for
[2 ]E.g., in his Speech on the Representation of the People Bill (24 June), PD, 3rd ser., Vol. 188, cols. 467–8.
[3 ]Mill uses the higher figure for easy calculation; he then uses 11,000,000 as a rounded lower figure for what was calculated to be a county population of 11,428,632.
[e-e]TT] MS they
[f-f]TT [in the past tense MS the]]
[g-g]+TT [in the past tense]
[h-h]+TT [in the third person, past tense]
[4 ]Richard Payne (1810–90), Vicar of Downton and Rural Dean of Wilton, wrote a letter to the Daily News, published on 11 June, 1867, in which he outlined the case. George Pilgrim, a gamekeeper, had accused Henry Fulford and Mark Wellstead of poaching, before Edward Hinxman (b. 1810), a Wiltshire magistrate. The two who later confessed were Stephen Deer and Charles Moody. See “The Game Laws and County Representation,” Spectator, 15 June, 1867, pp. 658–9. See also No. 72.
[j-j]TT [in the third person, past tense MS The honourable gentleman then briefly spoke of the unsatisfactory character of the redistribution bill of the Government, and concluded amidst great cheering.] DT As for the redistribution, there are many towns where one member has been returned by the patron and one by the town. Which of these two is to be given up? (Cheers.) I am afraid the people will lose theirs and the patron retain his. (Cheers.)]]
[6 ]Richard Dyott (1808–91), M.P. for Lichfield, Speech on the Representation of the People Bill (25 June, 1867), PD, 3rd ser., Vol. 188, col. 532.
[a-a]MS Let the world sneer or censure as it will, do not pare down your endeavours to the level of those who would seek to disparage them.
[b-b]MS] P or of fanaticism; but after
[c-c]MS He did all his work at great odds, with none to help but a small though heroic-minded
[d-d]MS gather round the frame of society like rust
[1 ]Abraham Lincoln (1809–65), Emancipation Proclamation (Washington: n.p., 1863); it came into effect on 1 January, 1863.
[e-e]MS have raised up the faculties of the people to corresponding activity, so that they have been freed
[1 ]Alexander James Edmund Cockburn (1802–80), Charge of the Lord Chief Justice of England to the Grand Jury at the Central Criminal Court, in the Case of the Queen against Nelson and Brand, ed. Frederick Cockburn (London: Ridgway, 1867).
[2 ]Gathorne-Hardy, col. 910.
[d-d]TT] PD do this
[3 ]Ibid., col. 909.
[1 ]Lord Robert Montagu.
[1 ]“Personal Representation” (30 May), No. 60 above.
[2 ]E.g., Robert Montagu, Speech on the Representation of the People Bill (13 Apr., 1866), PD, 3rd ser., Vol. 182, cols. 1282–93, and Samuel Laing, ibid., cols. 1306–21.
[3 ]I.e., Lowe (cols. 1036–42).
[4 ]Charles Adderley, cols. 1082–5.
[5 ]Adderley, col. 1083.
[6 ]Bright, col. 1094.
[7 ]Bright, col. 1093; Disraeli, Speech on the Representation of the People Bill (31 May, 1867), Vol. 187, cols. 1419–20.
[8 ]Bright, col. 1093.
[1 ]Gathorne-Hardy, col. 1155.
[a-a]TT] PD persons in the labouring class
[c-c]TT] PD in the sufficiency of evidence in a particular kind of charge
[1 ]For Bright’s speech, see cols. 1550–4.
[1 ]William Saltonstall Wiseman (1814–74), K.C.B., had spent his full career in the Royal Navy.
[2 ]In 1866 an insurrection in Crete against the Turkish rulers had broken out over long-standing issues of equality between Christians and Muslims. The Turks were engaged in a prolonged attempt to put down the rebellion, and the Sultan had arrived in England on 12 July, presumably seeking British support.
[3 ]See Stanley, Speech on Turkey and Crete (28 Mar., 1867), PD, 3rd ser., Vol. 186, col. 724.
[1 ]Charles Neate, cols. 1882–4.
[2 ]By 1 Victoria, c. 2 (1837).
[3 ]By the Code pénal, Bull. 277 bis, Nos. 1–7 (1810), Bulletin des lois de l’empire français, 4th ser., numéros bis, Art. 291.
[1 ]See “Copy of the Minutes of the Lords of the Committee of Council on Education Relating to Scientific Instruction,” PP, 1867–68, LIV, 17–22.
[1 ]John Burgess Karslake.
[2 ]See “Copy of the Proceedings of the Courts Martial Recently Held in Jamaica upon Ensign Cullen and Assistant-Surgeon Morris of Her Majesty’s Service” (29 Mar., 1867), PP, 1867, XLII, 31–342.
[1 ]See the “Declaration of Paris,” an agreement amongst Great Britain, Austria, France, Prussia, Russia, Sardinia, and Turkey, printed as “Declaration Respecting Maritime Law” (16 Apr., 1856), PP, 1856, LXI, 153–8.
[2 ]Joseph Hume (1777–1855), radical politician and advocate of financial retrenchment; see, e.g., his Speech on Spain—Report on the Address (5 Feb., 1836), PD, 3rd ser., Vol. 31, col. 127.
[3 ]Disraeli, Speech on the Customs and Inland Revenue Bill (8 May, 1862), PD, 3rd ser., Vol. 166, col. 1426.
[a]PD,SSC and deeper
[b-b]PD mad] SSC man [printer’s error for either mean or mad]
[4 ]The United States of America.
[c-c]PD feel] SSC as P
[d-d]TT which we had no power to revoke] SSC as P
[5 ]Lord Clarendon drafted the principles in a letter to Lord Palmerston of 6 April, 1856; the letter was circulated to Cabinet, but was not published, and there was no official approval.
[6 ]Most notably the Prime Minister, Lord Derby, Speech on the Treaty of Paris (22 May, 1856), PD, 3rd ser., Vol. 142, cols. 521–39.
[e-e]PD,SSC [not in italics]
[f-f]SSC] P in an] PD our
[g-g]PD] P,SSC institution
[7 ]Robert Burns (1759–96), The Vision (1786), Duan Second, xviii, in Works, new ed., 2 pts. (London: Tegg, et al., 1824), Vol. II, p. 56.
[8 ]Mill probably has in mind Auguste Comte (1798–1857): cf. Cours de philosophie positive, 6 vols. (Paris: Bachelier, 1830–42), Vol. IV (1839), pp. 569–70 (Leçon 51).
[h-h]PD] P,SSC history
[j-j]PD bestride] SSC as P
[9 ]E.g., by William Henry Gregory (1817–92), M.P. for Galway County, Speech on International Maritime Law (2 Mar., 1866), PD, 3rd ser., Vol. 181, cols. 1407–20, and in the same debate by McCullagh Torrens, cols. 1433–7, Charles Buxton, cols. 1437–43, and Samuel Laing, cols. 1448–55.
[k-k]+PD] TT and not in our own] SSC as P
[m-m]PD preferred] SSC as P
[o-o]PD,TT] P,SSC approaching
[10 ]The much disputed view that a belligerent had the right to stop all vessels in international waters to search for enemy goods or contraband.
[11 ]Décret impérial (17 Dec., 1807), Gazette Nationale, ou Le Moniteur Universel, 25 Dec., 1807, p. 1387.
[p-p]PD,SSC [not in italics]
[q-q]SSC [not in italics PD,TT,P would]]
[12 ]See especially Stanley’s letter to Lord Loftus (17 Apr., 1867), in “Correspondence Respecting the Grand Duchy of Luxemburg,” PP, 1867, LXXIV, 457.
[13 ]See “Papers, Presented to the House of Commons, Relating to the Correspondence with America, on Certain Orders in Council” (1 Feb., 1809), PP, 1809, IX, 375–430.
[r-r]PD] P,SSC entirely
[s-s]PD never tired] SSC as P
[1 ]Sureau Lamirande, a cashier of the Bank of France, accused of forgery, had been committed to jail in Montreal in August 1866, and then handed over to a French inspector of police, and taken back to France. In fact a judge, believing the transaction was contrary to law, issued a writ of habeas corpus on 25 August, but the prisoner had already sailed. (See “Extraordinary Case of Extradition,” The Times, 17 Sept., 1866, p. 10.)
[2 ]Austen Henry Layard (1817–94), col. 978.
[3 ]Charles Neate, cols. 978–80.
[a-a]TT , as he understood, last year to the voice of the majority of the House, had only asked for the extension of the Bill until
[4 ]Edward Henry Stanley, Speech on the Extradition Treaties Act Amendment Bill (6 Aug., 1866), PD, 3rd ser., Vol. 184, col. 2124.
[5 ]Cicero, De natura deorum (I, xxii), in De natura deorum, Academica (Latin and English), trans. H. Rackham (London: Heinemann; New York: Putnam’s Sons, 1933), p. 58. The story concerns Heiron I, tyrant of Syracuse 478–467/6 , and Simonides of Ceos (ca. 557–468/7 ), poet and man of learning.
[6 ]Not identified.
[1 ]“A Bill for the Establishment of Municipal Corporations within the Metropolis” (see No. 56).
[2 ]“Report of the Commissioners Appointed to Inquire into the Existing State of the Corporation of the City of London,” PP, 1854, XXVI, 1–1098.
[3 ]“Reports from the Select Committee on Metropolitan Local Government,” PP, 1866, XIII, 171–628.
[4 ]E.g., John Locke, Speech on the Metropolis Local Management Acts Amendment Bill (26 Feb., 1862), PD, 3rd ser., Vol. 165, cols. 747–9.
[5 ]The phrase evidently originated with Robert South (1634–1716), A Sermon Preached at the Cathedral Church of St. Paul (Oxford: Robinson, 1663), p. 10.
[6 ]John Thwaites (1815–70) was Chairman of the Metropolitan Board of Works from 1855 until his death.
[a-a]TT appeared to him almost incredible that the House of Lords could have adopted this monstrous proposition
[1 ]Joseph George Churchward, a magistrate for Dover, in 1853 had been convicted of election bribery by a Committee of the House of Commons, and had been scrutinized by another Committee in 1859 for his role in the Dover election. On 19 March, 1867, P.A. Taylor had moved to have Churchward removed from his office.
[c-c]SSC] PD,TT principle
[2 ]On 5 August (PD, 3rd ser., Vol. 189, cols. 638–42). In the current debate Disraeli had signalled the Government’s favourable view of the amendment (cols. 1111–12).
[1 ]Stafford Northcote, col. 1358.
[2 ]For the image, see Jeremy Bentham, Letters to Lord Grenville (1807), in Works, ed. John Bowring, 11 vols. (Edinburgh: Tait, 1838–43), Vol. V, p. 17.
[3 ]Samuel Laing, col. 1370.
[4 ]Ayrton, cols. 1349–50.
[5 ]Cecil Beadon (1816–81), Lieutenant-Governor of Bengal 1862–67.
[6 ]Frederick James Halliday (1806–91), Lieutenant-Governor of Bengal 1854–59, and his successor 1859–62, John Peter Grant (1807–93).
[7 ]The Orissa famine of 1866, in which one-quarter of the population perished. Beadon’s failure to take decisive action led to the questioning of his competence. Writing to John Plummer on 15 August, Mill referred to the present speech, but said he had not taken part in the debate on Orissa (2 August) because he thought it “a good rule not to speak where there are other people capable and desirous of saying what one wishes should be said” (CW, Vol. XVI, p. 1307).
[8 ]I.e., those of Bombay and Madras.
[9 ]Robert Cecil, Lord Cranborne, cols. 1380–2.
[a-a]TT] PD much more unprejudiced view of Indian affairs
[b-b]TT] PD and therefore power should be given to the Council to re-elect and to the Crown to re-appoint
[a-a]TT the destruction of a great deal of public property
[1 ]Disraeli, Speech on the Parks Regulation Bill (29 July, 1867), PD, 3rd ser., Vol. 189, col. 396.
[2 ]Ibid., col. 397.
[3 ]“A Bill for Regulating the Hours of Labour for Children, Young Persons, and Women Employed in Workshops,” 30 Victoria (1 Mar., 1867), PP, 1867, III, 121–32 (enacted as 30 & 31 Victoria, c. 146 ).
[4 ]“A Bill to Provide Better Dwellings for Artizans and Labourers,” 31 Victoria (20 Nov., 1867), PP, 1867–68, I, 21–42.
[5 ]The Bill continued in Committee on 15 August, but, that being the final day of the session, it died on the order paper.