Front Page Titles (by Subject) 82.: The Metropolitan Government Bill 7 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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82.: The Metropolitan Government Bill 7 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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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.
[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.