Front Page Titles (by Subject) February to November 1868 - 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 November 1868 - 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 November 1868
Proportional Representation and Redistribution
Morning Star, 2 March, 1868, p. 2. Headed: “The Redistribution of Seats. / Conference at the Reform League Rooms.” Reported also in the Daily News (in the third person); The Times and the Pall Mall Gazette summarize Mill’s remarks in one sentence. The conference, attended by about fifty people, with Beales in the Chair, was held on Saturday afternoon in the League’s rooms, Adelphi Terrace. The meeting was occasioned by a suggestion by Hare (in a letter to the Daily News) that the League engage in a discussion of his system (see Nos. 4, 60, and 71). Hare opened the discussion, which included several substantial speeches, as well as shorter comments and “conversational” exchanges. Mill was the last to comment.
i only wish, sir, that when I may have the good fortune to address another assembly1 on this subject I may have the further good fortune of hearing as intelligent a discussion on it as it has been my pleasure to listen to this afternoon. Although, judging from the past, I have not any great expectations on the subject, I cannot but think that if the question is discussed in that other assembly on as good grounds, and with as much knowledge of the subject as has been showed to-day, we shall be very near carrying Mr. Hare’s plan. (Cheers.) I should not have risen probably on this occasion but for the objections which have just been made by my friend Mr. Boyd Kinnear.2 Those objections are of a quality which render it imperative they should be met. The difficulties which Mr. Kinnear feels are difficulties that require to be faced, and they have been faced by Mr. Hare. With regard to Mr. Kinnear’s first objection, there has been much discussion as to the best mode of procedure in rejecting surplus votes given for a popular candidate, and several suggestions have been made with the view of securing fairness, and preventing a possibility of partiality being exercised. If there can be no better plan suggested, why not draw lots? That would secure fairness, and ensure a beneficial working of the plan. aMr. Hare himself has given an extremely long and careful attention to this part of the subject; so have many others who support the plan. Several different modes have been suggested, any one of which will probably suffice to prevent the difficulty being fatal to the plan. However, if nothing better can be found, fairness will at least be attained by a resort to the lot, and perhaps some mode may be invented which will meet the difficulty in a manner that will provide for a better representation of the general sense of the electors.a I apprehend that the communication between a member and his constituents, to which Mr. Kinnear attaches some importance, would take place under Mr. Hare’s plan in a somewhat different but still as effectual a manner as now. The majority of the members—the celebrities being the exceptions—would be returned from particular localities, and so far as regards them the difficulty would not existb, because if a member goes down to a place where he knows he has been voted for by a great number of persons, and holds a public meeting, he has the opportunity of discussion with a large portion of his constituents, can answer questions, and give publicity to his sentiments. But if a great number of persons scattered over the country vote for some candidate, it may be safely concluded that every one of them feels a special interest in that candidate, because they have selected him from the whole country, and not because of his fitness for representing or connexions with any particular neighbourhood. I, however, fear one of the difficulties will be the active correspondence that will go on between the candidate and the electors. (Laughter.) Although not, perhaps, in such a public way as we are accustomed to, mutual explanations will yet take place in a very close and perfect mannerb . Or a voter could write to one of the newspapers and request the member to reply through the same channel, by which means all the new member’s voters would be put into possession of his opinions upon particular points. The spirit of modern civilization is substituting more and more communication by writing for that which was the only mode of communication in former days—I mean word of mouth—and by this means a member’s responsibility to his constituents will be to the full as great as Mr. Boyd Kinnear so justly considers it desirable it should. (Hear, hear.) With regard to what Mr. Kinnear said in reference to Mr. Cobden’s plan,3 I don’t think Mr. Hare’s scheme requires more intelligence in the voter than we may reasonably presume will be possessed by the large body who are now called to be electors of this country. Nobody of ordinary intelligence would feel any difficulty after the first election or two. All that would have to be explained to him would be that his vote would only be recorded for one person, and that if the first person on his list did not require the vote it would be taken by the second, and so on. cIt is therefore desirable the voter should put down a few more names in order that somebody else may have the probability of being elected. When the voter has once seized this idea, which is not at all an obscure one, there will be no difficulty again.c
Mr. Kinnear: I did not mean intelligence so far as the mere sending in of the voting paper is concerned, but the intelligence that would be required to enable a man to make out a considerable list of persons.
Mr. Mill: No doubt in this, as in all systems of election now and always, whether the systems work well or ill, there must be some organisation; and wherever there is concert there is a certain amount of power given to wire-pullers, and I don’t think the power will be greater under this plan than under any other. There is no doubt that persons agreeing in any common set of opinions would send out lists of candidates holding those opinions; but it does not follow that the voter would blindly and implicitly follow those opinions. He would probably put down first on his list the names of the people he preferred, and follow them with the names selected from the list sent out by those with whom, as a party, he agreed most closely. Inasmuch as everybody agrees with a great many other people in most things, voters would vote for the candidate who in a general sense agrees with them, and by this means I apprehend that the influence of the wire-pullers would be less noxious than it would in any other way. The benefit of having leaders would be that they would try to find out good candidates, and it would be their interest to put on their list not merely the names of men who are the strongest party men, but those of men who would recommend themselves by their general character and knowledge of other things, because by this means they would secure some votes from people not members of their party. I look upon this as one of the ways in which Mr. Hare’s system would work most excellently. Some say that by this plan all the “isms,” all the crotchets of obstinate people, would be represented; and others say that the electors would implicitly follow the leaders of parties. I think these two objections might well pair off together. The suppositions on which the two rest are entirely opposite; but nevertheless they both deserve consideration, for the reason that, working against each other, they would produce a better House than we should otherwise get. Take, for instance, the teetotallers, who are a type of the sectarian sort of persons—they would be supposed to elect none but teetotallers; but the contrary would be the case, because, so anxious would they be to make their own opinions prevail, and knowing they are not in a majority themselves, they would have the strongest possible interest in putting on their list not only people who are teetotallers, but people who are so distinguished in other respects that they would on these other grounds be voted for by electors who are not teetotallers. Look how this would operate. The two great parties would, because they are in an enormous majority in the country, get—as indeed they would be entitled to—a large proportion of the votes, but they would have, in order to lay themselves out for votes, to put on their lists a number of people who, apart from party, would represent what I may describe as the various “isms.” (Hear, hear.) dNow, we know very well that only three or four candidates put up for the representation. Thed candidates are frequently such men as no reasonable man would care to vote for, but, being compelled to vote there, or leave it alone, a great number of the electors vote simply for the Liberal or the Conservative, without reference to anything else, the candidates being the greatest noodles, who, having offended nobody, are what is known as respectable men, and, in the majority of cases, possess plenty of money. (Hear, hear, and laughter.) eUnder Mr. Hare’s plan things will be different, because people’s interests will be different, and their object will be to put upon their lists not only the best party men, but those who best represent ability and virtue all over the country. Liberals and Conservatives will then be represented by their best men, instead of, as frequently now, by their silliest, or by men of mediocre order. (Cheers.) The suggestion of Mr. Morrison ,4 to introduce Mr. Hare’s plan on a small scale, such as in counties, or in a large district in the metropolis, will very likely be adopted some day, because things are never carried except by successive steps in this country; and a thing so new as this people will naturally wish to see tried on a small scale first. At the same time it is necessary to bear in mind that a trial like that will be by no means a fair trial of the scheme. Even if London were chosen, the whole merits of the plan would not be brought out as it is conceived by Mr. Hare, because the quota of votes of a candidate would be confined to London, instead of being spread all over the country. Nevertheless, it would be a trial to some extent of the practicability of the machinery, and as it will be a difficult thing to beget confidence in it without some such trial, it is very likely some day it will be attempted, and it will be an exceedingly good thing if it is.e (Cheers.)
[The conference was then adjourned until the next Saturday at 3 p.m.]
The Alabama Claims
PD, 3rd ser., Vol. 190, cols. 1190–5. Reported in The Times, 7 March, p. 7, from which the variant and responses are taken. In the debate on going into Committee, George John Shaw-Lefevre (1831–1928), M.P. for Reading, moved for “Papers Relative to the Negotiations with the United States Government for Arbitration of the Alabama Claims”
i think, sir, that no one can have listened to this debate without being ready to admit that it has elicited statements of a singularly gratifying and satisfactory nature, and it might have been hoped that we were approaching to a very great degree of unanimity upon the essentials of the question, had it not been for the two speeches of the honourable Gentlemen who have just preceded me, and who have revived points of International Law in connection with this dispute in a manner that would almost lead one to suppose they had not read very attentively the discussions which have previously taken place on the subject.1 I say this, with the more regret, because no fault can be found with the tone or feeling of either of those honourable Gentlemen; and in the case of the honourable Gentleman opposite (Mr. Sandford) an amount of good feeling towards America has been displayed which may perhaps surprise some who sit on this side of the House, but which does not surprise me. It seems to me that, in reviving these questions, those honourable Gentlemen have ignored the distinction which has been the fundamental and grand point on which the discussion has turned—I allude to the broad distinction which writers on International Law recognize between trade in contraband of war, and the use of a neutral country as a base of military and naval operations. (Hear, hear.) It is true, and has not been denied, that a ship-of-war might be exported from England to one of two belligerents with no more objection or violation of International Law than there would be in the case of exporting military stores; but in that case there was this condition—that the ship ought to go direct to the port of the belligerent for whom she is intended, without any intermediate hostile operations, and thence might go forth to carry devastation and destruction among the ships and commerce of the other belligerent. But what has been done in the case of the Alabama was very different from this. An emissary was sent by the Confederate States to make arrangements for the fitting out in this country of a naval expedition to levy war against the commerce of the North.2 The honourable and learned Member for Dundalk (Sir George Bowyer) appeared to think that that would be fair if both parties were allowed to be equally benefited;3 but practically both parties never can be equally benefited, for although the liberty may ostensibly be the same to each, the fact generally is that only one party needs it, and is benefited, while the other is not benefited. Again, if a neutral country allows its territory to be made the basis from which a hostile expedition can be fitted out, it permits this to be done in a place which the opposite party is not permitted to go to for the purpose of obstructing the operation. Suppose the Alabama had been fitted out in a Confederate port, it would have been in the power of the North, on receiving intelligence of this being the case, to have cut the vessel out of the harbour, or intercepted its departure, or to have bombarded and destroyed the dockyard in which it was under construction. But they could not do that in a neutral country, and consequently such a country, in permitting such a proceeding, would voluntarily have committed a breach of neutrality, by giving the benefit of its protection to a portion of the naval force of one belligerent against the other. (Hear.) As to the question whether this country can be required by a foreign country to enforce its own municipal laws, the honourable Member for Maldon (Mr. Sandford) has gone so far as to attach blame to the noble Lord the Secretary for Foreign Affairs for allowing that question to be referred to an arbitrator.4 But I apprehend the noble Lord has assented to nothing of the kind. The question is not whether we have permitted a violation of our municipal law—with which foreign countries have nothing to do; the question is, whether foreign countries have a right to require of us the fulfilment of our international duties? It is on the ground of international duty, and on that ground only, that they can bring any complaint against us. The question is simply this—are we bound by International Law to prevent certain things from being done, and being so bound, did we do all we could to fulfil that duty? It may have been that we were under obligations to make fresh municipal laws if those in existence were not sufficient to enable us to fulfil our international duties. Without going any further into this question of International Law, I congratulate the House and the country on the fact, now so obvious, that the point at issue is an extremely small one. But if a very small point prevents the settlement of a very great question, the smaller that point the greater the reason for lamentation, and possibly for blame. I do not think there is much room in the present case for blame in any quarter, because this discussion, as well as the correspondence—and especially this discussion—has brought out evidence that the two parties to the correspondence have not thoroughly understood one another.5 (Hear.) The noble Lord (Lord Stanley) aas it seems,a has not thoroughly understood what the United States demanded;6 and, on the other hand, the United States Government has not thoroughly understood what the noble Lord refused. I apprehend that the United States have never demanded that the question whether we were premature in recognizing the belligerent rights of the Confederates, should be referred to the arbitrator. I do not think they have ever claimed that, or possibly could claim it, because they have never maintained that our recognition, even if premature, was a violation of International Law. I have seen it admitted again and again in strongly written statements of American writers, and even, I believe, in the writings of Mr. Seward himself, that our recognition of belligerent rights was a thing about the time of which we had by International Law a right to decide for ourselves.7 It was urged that what we did was unfriendly, precipitate, and even unprecedented in its precipitation; but I am not aware that it has ever been contended that by our act, unfriendly, precipitate, and unprecedented though it might have been, we committed any violation of International Law for which we owed them reparation. It has been observed by my honourable Friend the Member for Reading (Mr. Shaw-Lefevre), in his very able and conclusive speech, and it has also been repeated in the very valuable remarks of my honourable Friend the Member for Bradford (Mr. W.E. Forster), that what the Americans claim is that they should be allowed to use this early recognition as an argument to convince the arbitrator that the depredations of the Alabama would probably not have taken place at all, or not to so great an extent, if it had not been for this unfriendly act on our part.8 They contend that, inasmuch as they have a right to reparation on different grounds, they have a right to show that this conduct on our part has made the evil worse than it would otherwise have been. Whether this would be a good argument or not I will not say; but if it is a relevant one, they ought to be allowed to use it; and, if it is not relevant, why should you stipulate for its exclusion? If you are to stipulate for the exclusion of every frivolous or irrelevant argument, I fear that you will have a very long list of such stipulations. Surely anyone who is competent to arbitrate between two great States is competent to decide also what are relevant and what are frivolous arguments. I cannot help thinking that no impartial person would have any difficulty in allowing either side full liberty to introduce what argument it pleased, and that we might safely allow him to listen to this or to anything else that might be urged in aggravation of the claim against us for damages. Would it be worth while to exclude one fallacious argument when we cannot exclude all? We must leave some latitude, limited only by the check which the good sense and forbearance of the disputants on either side would impose upon them. The United States might stipulate on their part that we should not use irrelevant arguments, but they have not done so. (Hear, hear.) This, however, is only a part of the case; and perhaps I should not have risen if I had not wished to say how cordially I welcome those hints which have been thrown out by the noble Lord (Lord Stanley), and the observations which have been made by my honourable Friend (Mr. W.E. Forster) as to the possibility of our settling this question in some other way than by arbitration.9 Indeed, I do not very clearly see what arbitration is specially required for. The case is this—I believe there are few in this country now, and but for the last two speakers,10 I might have said I should hope there were none in this House—whatever might have been the case formerly—who were disposed to deny that we owed reparation of some sort, or in some degree, to the United States—it is quite clear that the noble Lord thinks so—and therefore this is not a case where we want arbitration. If we owe anything we must pay it, and what we want is some one to say, not whether we ought to pay, but how much. This would be best decided, not by an arbitrator, but by a mixed Commission. (Hear, hear.) The principal duty which this mixed Commission would have to discharge would be to investigate each particular claim, and to say what might be rejected altogether, and what had nothing particular to do with the depredations of the Alabama. It would have in fact to ascertain the real damage which the commerce of the United States had received from this act of negligence on our part in letting the Alabama leave our ports. I cannot but think that there is a great increase of good and friendly feeling on both sides. The noble Lord admits that the Americans are coming to more reasonable views, and with the great change of opinion which has taken place in this country I venture to think that there are now few people who do not believe that the arbitrator would decide against us, and that it would be extremely for the interests of the country that he should so decide. (Hear, hear.) In this state of things if some person—I will not say my honourable Friend the Member for Birmingham (Mr. Bright), but if any person not unacceptable to the Americans, were sent to them, and negotiations re-opened, if those negotiations began with an admission that we owed them reparation, and that the object was merely to ascertain what was the amount that was reasonably due from us, I cannot believe that there would be any serious difficulty in arriving at a settlement without going beyond the two disputants. I most earnestly hope that something of this sort was intended in the hint which Mr. Seward has thrown out.11 It is, besides, not unworthy of consideration, that the grand point is the settlement of what is to be henceforth the law of nations; and that question is settled, so far as we are concerned, the moment we admit that reparation is due from us. If we admit that we owe reparation for the depredations which the Alabama, without any bad intention on our part, was enabled to commit, then I apprehend that a question of International Law which was much disputed, and which may again be the subject of quarrel, will, so far as this country and the United States are concerned, be for ever settled. (Cheers.)
[The motion was withdrawn (col. 1198).]
The State of Ireland
“Speech on Mr. Maguire’s Motion on the State of Ireland, March 12, 1868,” in Chapters and Speeches on the Irish Land Question (London: Longmans, et al., 1870), pp. 108–25. In PD, 3rd ser., Vol. 190, cols. 1516–32. Reported in The Times, 13 March, p. 7, from which variants and responses are taken. Writing to John Elliot Cairnes on 4 December, 1869, Mill mentions the impending publication of Chapters and Speeches, and says that the text is taken from Parliamentary Debates, but that “not being a written speech,” this one “could not be given so exactly [as No. 21, q.v.], but the newspaper report was carefully corrected for Hansard by myself, and is tolerably adequate” (CW, Vol. XVII, p. 1668). He nonetheless made some minor alterations, recorded here in the variant notes. On 10 March, John Francis Maguire had moved “That this House will immediately resolve itself into a Committee, with the view of taking into consideration the condition and circumstances of Ireland” (col. 1314), thus occasioning this debate.
it was with a feeling, I will not say of disappointment—because there can be no disappointment where there has not previously been hope—but of regret, that I witnessed the “beggarly account of empty boxes”1 which the Government has laid before us, instead of an Irish policy. My dissatisfaction was not so much with what they did, or what they refused to do, on the subject of the land—although I look upon that question as outweighing all the rest put together, and I believe that without a satisfactory dealing with it, nothing can be done which will be at all effectual. I am afraid the time is far distant when it would be fair to expect that a Government, and especially a Conservative Government, should be found in advance of public opinion—which I cannot deny that the present Government would be, if they were to propose such a measure on the Irish Land question as I conceive would alone be effectual to settle it. But what we have a right to expect even from a Conservative Government, at all events from a Conservative Government which professes a Liberal policy—even with the qualifying adjunct, “truly Liberal”—is that they shall be on a level with the opinion of the people: and this they most assuredly are not, on the subject of the Irish Church. If there ever was a question on which I might say the whole human race has made up its mind, it is this. I concur in every word that was said, and every feeling that was expressed, by my right honourable friend the Member for Calne (Mr. Lowe) on this subject:2 and I thank him from my heart for his manly and outspoken declaration in reference to that great scandal and iniquity, which was so well described by the right honourable gentleman now at the head of the Government (Mr. Disraeli), in a speech which, although last year he endeavoured to explain away, I am not aware that he has ever disavowed.3 It is an institution which could not be submitted to by any country, except at the point of the sword. Now, on this subject the Government have not shown themselves altogether inflexible. The noble Lord the Chief Secretary for Ireland has expressed his willingness in some degree to entertain the principle of religious equality,4 and I thank him for it; but, as has been remarked by my honourable friend the Member for Manchester (Mr. Jacob Bright), he proposed to do it—if at all—by levelling up instead of levelling down.5 The noble Lord is willing that every valley ashalla be exalted; but he does not go on to the succeeding clause, and say that every mountain and hill shall be laid low.6 (Hear, hear, and laughter.) So long as the national property which is administered by the Episcopal Church of Ireland is not diverted from its present purpose, the noble Lord has no objection at all to this country’s saddling itself with the endowment of another great hierarchy, which, if effected on the principle of religious equality, would be a great deal more costly than even that which now exists. (Hear, hear.) Does the noble Lord really think it possible that the people of England will submit to this? I may be permitted, as one who, in common with many of my betters, have been subjected to the charge of being Utopian, to congratulate the Government on having joined that goodly company. It is, perhaps, too complimentary to call them Utopians, they ought rather to be called dys-topians, or cacotopians. What is commonly called Utopian is something too good to be practicable; but what they appear to favour is too bad to be practicable. Not only would England and Scotland never submit to it, but the Roman Catholic clergy of Ireland refuse it. They will not take your bribe. (Hear, hear.) As in many other things I differ from the honourable and learned Member for Oxford (Mr. Neate), who moved the Amendment,7 so my opinion on the subject of Irish remedies is directly contrary to his. Whereas the honourable and learned Member thinks that the real obstacle to the peace and prosperity of Ireland is the proposal of extravagant and impossible remedies, my opinion, on the contrary, is that the real obstacle is not the proposal of extravagant and impossible remedies, but the persistent unwillingness of the House even to look at any remedy which they have pre-judged to be extravagant and impossible. (Hear, hear.) When a country has been so long in possession of full power over another, as this country has over Ireland, and still leaves it in the state of feeling which now exists in Ireland, there is a strong presumption that the remedy required must be much stronger and more drastic than any which has yet been applied. (Hear, hear.) All the presumption is in favour of the necessity of some great change. Great and obstinate evils require great remedies. If the House does not think so—if it still has faith in small remedies, I exhort it to make haste and adopt them. It has already lost a great deal of time. Counting from 1829, which was the time when this country first began to govern Ireland, or even to profess to govern Ireland, for the sake of Ireland,8 thirty-nine years have elapsed, and during that time, although there may have been some material progress, as there has been everywhere else, moral progress, in reconciling Ireland to our Government, and to the Union with us, has not been made, and does not seem likely soon to be made, unless we change our policy. Honourable gentlemen prefer to soothe themselves with statistics, flattering themselves with the idea that Ireland is improving, and that the evil was greater at some former time than it is now. My right honourable friend the Member for Calne has told us that we have no occasion to care for Fenianism, and that it is bnotb of any consequence.9 I do not suppose my right honourable friend thinks that the remedies proposed by me or any one else for the benefit of Ireland are intended to conciliate the Fenians. I know very little of the Fenians. I do not pretend to know what their opinions are, nor do I believe my right honourable friend knows them a bit better. (A laugh.) We do know, however, that they desire what I greatly deprecate—a violent separation of Ireland from this country; and they desire this with such bitterness and animosity that there is no chance of conciliating them cby any of the remedies proposed by himself or othersc . But the peculiar and growing danger in the state of Ireland is this—that there is nearly universal discontent, and very general disaffection. Honourable gentlemen need not flatter themselves that this is an evil which can be safely disregarded. Ireland has had rebellions before. As a rebellion this recent one is nothing—it is contemptible. A great deal has been said about the circumstance that no person of consequence, personally or socially, has put himself at the head of it. It was not likely that any one who had anything to lose would do so. Is it within the range of possibility that an insurrection could be successful in Ireland at this particular time? (Hear, hear, from the Ministerial benches.) What does Mitchel himself say of it?10 This is the reason why every one who has something to lose (and every one who is an occupant of land has something to lose) will not, until he sees a greater chance of success, countenance rebellion, or throw any other difficulty in the way of suppressing it than by sheltering from the police those who are involved in it. That is not the danger. The danger is one of which there is the strongest evidence. My own information is derived from many trustworthy persons, not of extreme opinions, persons whose idea of remedial measures for Ireland falls far short of mine, but who are unanimously of opinion that the state of Ireland is more dangerous at this moment than at any former period, and that the feeling of the people is one of general discontent and wide disaffection. (Cries of Name.) Gentlemen who hold land in Ireland do not think so; but they would be the last persons to find it out. Persons in possession of power are usually the last to find out what is thought of them by their inferiors. They d awake from their dream and find it out when they little expect it. There are two circumstances which make the disaffection more alarming at this time than at any former period since the rebellion of 1798. One is a circumstance which has never existed before. For the first time, the discontent in Ireland rests on a background of several millions of Irish across the Atlantic. This is a fact which is not likely to diminish. The number of Irish in America is constantly increasing. Their power to influence the political conduct of the United States is increasing, and will daily increase; and is there any probability that the American-Irish will come to hate this country less than they do at the present moment? The noble Lord the Chief Secretary for Ireland said truly that many Irish go to our colonies, and that they remain loyal.11 But why? The Irish who go to those colonies find everything ethere whiche they seek in vain here. (Hear.) They have the land; they have no fsectarianf church; they have even a separate Legislature. All this they have under the British Crown and the British flag. If you gave all this to Ireland the people would be tranquil enough there. They will be so with much less than that; but those who go to America, on the contrary, gassociate England with the deprivation of their rights, andg will be loyal only to the American Government, while their feeling towards England is, and must be, directly opposite to that of the Irish who go to Australia and the other English Colonies. That is one most serious cause of danger in Ireland. Another is that the disaffection has become, more than at any former period, one of nationality. The Irish were taught that feeling by Englishmen. England has only even professed to treat the Irish people as part of the same nation with ourselves, since 1800.12 How did we treat them before that time? I will not go into the subject of the penal laws, hbecause it may be said that those laws affected the Irish not as Irish but as Catholicsh .13 I will only mention the manner in which they were treated merely as Irish. I grant that, for these things, no man now living has any share of the blame; we are all ashamed of them; but “the evil that men do lives after them.”14 First of all, this House declared the importation of Irish cattle a public nuisance.15 When we refused to receive Irish cattle, the Irish thought they would slaughter and salt them, to try whether we would receive them in that shape. But that was not allowed.16 Then they thought that if they could not send the cattle or the flesh, they might send the hides in the form of leather. No; that was not allowed either.17 Being thus denied admission for cattle in any shape, they tried if they imighti be allowed to do anything with respect to sheep; and they commenced exporting wool to this country. No; we would not take their wool.18 Then they began to manufacture it, and tried if we would take the manufactured article. This was worst of all, and we compelled our deliverer, William III, of “pious and immortal memory,”19 to promise his Parliament that he would put down the Irish woollen manufacture.20 (Hear, hear.) This was not, I think, a brotherly course, or at all like treating Ireland as a part of the same nation. If we had been determined to impress upon Ireland in the strongest manner that she was regarded as a totally different and hostile nation, that was exactly the course to pursue. In fact, Ireland was treated in that thoroughly heathenish manner in which it was then customary for nations to treat other nations whom they had conquered jor were afraid ofj —with the feeling that the dependent nation had no rights which the superior nation was bound to respect. It is unjust, however, to call that feeling heathenish, since it belonged only to the worst times of heathenism, before the Stoic philosophy—before the great, the immortal Marcus Antoninus proclaimed the kinship of all mankind.21 From the year 1800, these things began to change; but down to 1829 it may be said that though in some sense we treated Ireland as a sister, it was as sister Cinderella. Dust and ashes were good enough for her; purple and fine linen were reserved for her sisters. (A laugh.) From 1829, however, we ceased to govern Ireland in that way. From that time there has been no feeling in this country with respect to Ireland, but a continuance of the really sisterly feeling which then commenced. Since that time it has been the sincere desire of all parties in England to govern Ireland for her good (hear); but we have grievously failed in knowing how to set about it, and kbeen very slow in learning the lessonk . Let me take a brief review of the things done for Ireland during that time. They may be easily counted. First, we made the landlord the tithe-proctor.22 That was a right thing to do; it prevented a great deal of bloodshed, and an enormous amount of annoyance and disaffection. I only wish it had been done before it had become practically impossible to collect the tithes in the old way. But, after all, this was merely changing the mode of taking something from the Irish people: it was not taking less. Next, we gave to Ireland a really unsectarian education.23 Ireland, long before England, received from us an elementary education which came down to the lowest grade of the people; and by degrees she also obtained unsectarian education in the higher branches. This is the most solid, and by far the greatest benefit we have yet conferred upon Ireland: and this, if the proposal of the Government is adopted, we are going in a great measure to give up.24 In your difficulties, this is what you are going to throw over. You are going, in a great measure, to sacrifice the best thing you have done for Ireland, to save the bad things. (Hear, hear.) The third thing did more credit to our kindness and generosity than to our wisdom. It was the £8,000,000—ultimately amounting to £10,000,000—that we gave at the time of the Irish famine, for the relief of the destitution in that country.25 Nobody will say that it was not right to give it; but I do not think that a people ever laid out £8,000,000 or £10,000,000 to meet an immediate emergency, in a manner calculated to do so very minute a quantity of permanent good. We were lavish in the amount that we expended. We certainly saved many lives—though there were probably a greater number that we could not save—and for that we are entitled to all credit. In a case of desperate distress there is in this country no grudging of money. All parties are united in that respect. But when circumstances obliged us to lay out this great sum, we had an opportunity of doing permanent good, by reclaiming the waste lands of Ireland for the benefit of the people of Ireland; and if we had done that, we should probably never have heard anything about fixity of tenure in the shape in which we hear of it now. At that time there was a sufficient quantity of waste land in Ireland to have enabled us to establish a large portion of the Irish population, by their own labour, in the condition of peasant proprietors of the land which they would themselves have reclaimed. We lost that opportunity, and we lost it for ever: because since that time fully one half of all the reclaimable waste land which existed at the time of Sir Richard Griffith’s survey has been reclaimed;26 that is, it has been got hold of by the landlords; it has been reclaimed for the landlords, mainly, or very largely, by the aid of public money lent to them for the purpose. Therefore, it is no longer possible to produce these great results in Ireland merely by reclaiming the waste lands. The opportunity lost never can be regained; and now, therefore, you are asked to do much larger, and, as it appears to you, much more revolutionary things. There is only one more thing that we have done which is worth mentioning, and that is the Encumbered Estates Act.27 The Encumbered Estates Act was a statesmanlike measure; it was a measure admirably conceived, and excellent, provided it had been combined with other measures. Even as it was, it was in many respects a very valuable measure. In the first place, it effected a very great simplification of title. In the next, it to a great extent liberated Ireland from the great evil of needy landlords. But there is another side to the matter. The Act has had another effect, which was not, I believe, anticipated by anybody, at least to the extent to which it has been realized. It has shown to Ireland that there might be a still greater evil than needy landlords—namely, grasping landlords. Those who have bought estates under the Act are, I believe, in the great majority of cases, much harder landlords than their predecessors; and naturally so, because they had no previous connexion with the localities in which the estates they have purchased are situated. They were strangers—I do not mean to Ireland—but to the neighbourhood of their new properties. Many of them came from the towns. At all events, they had no connexion with the tenants, and did not feel that the tenants had any moral claim upon them, beyond the claim—a claim they ought to have recognised—which all who are dependent on us have upon us. They bought the land as a mere pecuniary speculation, and have very generally administered it as a mere speculation. Not unfrequently the first step they took was to raise the rents to the utmost possible amount, and in many cases they have ejected tenants because they could not pay those rents. These, then, are the things that we have done, since we began to do the best we could, the best we knew how to do, for Ireland; and I do not think they are l well calculated to remove from the minds of the Irish people the bitterness which had been produced by our previous mode of government. If you say that there was nothing better to be done, you confess your incompetency to govern Ireland. I maintain that there is no country under heaven which it is not possible to govern, and to govern in such a way that it shall be contented. If there was anything better to be done, and you would not do it, your confession is still worse. But I do you more justice than you do yourselves. I believe that if msmallm measures would have sufficed you would have granted them; and it is because nsmalln measures will not suffice, because you must have large measures, because you must look at the thing on a much larger scale than you now do, because you must be willing to take into consideration what you think extravagant proposals—it is because of that, and not from any want of good intentions, that you have failed. The present state of Ireland is, I hope, gradually convincing you, if it does not do so all at once, that you must do something on a much larger scale than you have ever acted upon before, whether the particular things proposed to you are the right things or not. It is under this conviction that I have thought it my duty not to keep back three-fourths of what I believe to be the truth in regard to Ireland, for fear of prejudicing minor measures which the very people who propose them do not expect to produce any very large results. As to the plan which I have proposed—and whether honourable gentlemen think that it is right or wrong, surely they will admit that it is good to have it discussed—as to that plan, it seems necessary that I should in the first place state what it is; for it does not appear to have been at all correctly understood by most of those who have attacked it, and least of all by the noble Lord the Chief Secretary for Ireland.28 When I listened to his speech, I did not orecogniseo my own plan. It is evident that the arduous duties of his important position had not left him time to read my pamphlet,29 and that he had been compelled to trust to the representation of some one who had given him a very unfaithful account of it. The noble Lord seemed to think that my plan was that the State should buy the land from the present proprietors, and re-sell or re-let it to the tenants. Now, I have said nothing whatever about buying the land. I should think it extremely objectionable to make that a part of the plan. I do not want the rent-charge to be bought up by the tenants, because that would absorb the capital which I hope to see them employ in the improvement of the land. There is another mistake which seems to have been made pretty generally. Those who have objected to my proposal have always argued as if I was going to force perpetuity of tenure on unwilling tenants. I propose nothing of the sort. There are at present in Ireland a very great number of tenants who do not pay a full rent. The most improving landlords are precisely those who are the most moderate in their exactions. Now, it is an indispensable part of my plan that perpetuity should only be granted at a full rent—a fair rent, not an excessive, but still a full rent; and probably, therefore, many of these tenants will prefer to remain as they are. They might not do so if they were never to have another chance of gaining a perpetuity; but as according to my plan they would retain the power of claiming a perpetuity at any future time, on a valuation to be then made, I think it extremely likely that many would wish to go on as they are. Many landlords, too, might prefer to arrange amicably with their tenants at something less than a full rent, in order to retain the present relations with them: and these, I believe, would be the best landlords, the most improving landlords, those who are on the best terms with their tenants, and whom it is most important to retain in the country. Many practical objections have been raised to the plan, to all of which I believe that I have answers; but there is a preliminary question that I should like to ask. Does the House really wish that these difficulties should be met? Because it is very possible that in the minds of honourable gentlemen the question may be concluded and closed by pa preliminary objection; such, for instance, asp that it is an interference with the rights of property. If honourable gentlemen are determined by this single circumstance—if this is enough to make them absolutely resist and condemn the plan—it is probable that they would be rather sorry than glad if it is possible to answer the practical objections, and show that the plan would work; and in that case I cannot expect to have a very favourable or very unprejudiced audience when I attempt to answer them. And then there is another sort of preliminary objection: that which was made by my right honourable friend the Member for Calne, in the name of political economy.30 In my right honourable friend’s mind political economy appears to stand for a qparticularq set of practical maxims. To him it is not a science, it is not an exposition, not a theory of the manner in which causes produce effects: it is a set of practical rules, and these practical rules are indefeasible. My right honourable friend thinks that a maxim of political economy if good in England must be good in Ireland. (Hear, and a laugh.) But that is like saying that because there is but one science of astronomy, and the same law of gravitation holds for the earth and the planets, therefore the earth and the planets do not move in different orbits. So far from being a set of maxims and rules, to be applied without regard to times, places, and circumstances, the function of political economy is to enable us to find the rules which ought to govern any state of circumstances with which we have to deal—circumstances which are never the same in any two cases. I do not know in political economy more than I know in any other art ror sciencer , a single practical rule that must be applicable to all cases; and I am sure that no one is at all capable of determining what is the right political economy for any country until he knows its circumstances. My right honourable friend perhaps thinks that what is good political economy for England must be good for India—or perhaps for the savages in the back woods of America. My right honourable friend has been very plain spoken,31 and I will be plain spoken too. Political economy has a great many enemies; but its worst enemies are some of its friends, and I do not know that it has a more dangerous enemy than my right honourable friend. It is such modes of argument as he is in the habit of employing that have made political economy so thoroughly unpopular with a large and not the least philanthropic portion of the people of England. In my right honourable friend’s mind, political economy seems to exist as a bar even to the consideration of anything that is proposed for the benefit of the economic condition of any people in any but the old ways: as if science was a thing not to guide our judgment, but to stand in its place—a thing which scans dispense with the necessity of studying the particular case, and determining how a given cause will operate under its circumstances. Political economy has never in my eyes possessed this character. Political economy in my eyes is a science by means of which we are enabled to form a judgment as to what each particular case requires; but it does not supply us with a ready-made judgment upon any case, and there cannot be a greater enemy to political economy than he who represents it in that light. (The honourable member was here interrupted by expressions of impatience from several members.) tI presume that the House will not be unwilling to allow me to state my answer to the attack which has been made upon me by the right honourable gentleman. (Hear.) A good deal has been said about the sacredness of property. Now, this regard for the sacredness of property is connected witht a feeling which I respect. (Ironical cheers and laughter.) But the sacredness of property is not violated by taking away property for the public good, if full compensation is given; and the interference that I propose is not more an interference, it is not even so much an interference, with property, as taking land for public improvements. Then, too, a man’s right to his property is sacred uunless that property is required for public purposesu ; but is not a man’s right to his person still more sacred? And yet no man is allowed to dispose of his person—in marriage, for instance—except in such way as the law provides (great laughter); nor will it allow him to relieve himself from the contract, except on very special grounds, to be decided on by a Court of Justice. To those honourable gentlemen who are fond of applying the term confiscation to the plan that I propose,32 I will say that I recal them to the English language. I assure them that it is possible to argue against any proposition, if need be, and to refute what we think wrong, without altering the meaning of words, by doing which people only succeed in imposing upon themselves and others. How can that be confiscation in which the “fisc” instead of receiving anything, has only to pay; by which no individual will be the poorer, but many, I hope, a good deal richer? (Oh!) It may be objectionable, but that is a matter of argument; it may be undesirable, because the case may not be deemed strong enough to require it; but let us fight against opinions from which we differ without extending the war to the English language. I recommend to honourable gentlemen to be always strictly conservative of the English tongue. (Oh!) I will now come to arguments of a more practical kind. (Ironical cheers and laughter.) I will first mention the strongest argument I have ever heard, either in this House or elsewhere, against my plan—namely, that if we substitute the Government in the place of the present proprietors, we shall expose the Government to great difficulties, and make it still more unpopular than it has ever yet been.33 I have two answers to make to this objection, and if honourable gentlemen are not impressed by the one they may perhaps be convinced by the other. Undoubtedly, if the proposal is not received by the tenants as a great boon—if they do not think that perpetuity of tenure on the terms I have suggested is a gift worth accepting, then I admit that there is nothing to say in favour of my plan; it would be idle to propose it. If, when we offer to the tenantry of Ireland that which they desire more than anything else in the world—a perfect security of tenure—the certainty that they will never have more to pay than they pay at first—that everything which their industry produces shall belong to them alone—if they do not think that a boon worth having, I have nothing more to say. But this is a most improbable supposition. A similar prediction was made about the serfs of Russia. Many people said and believed that the emancipated serfs would never consent to pay rent, especially to the Government, for land which they had been accustomed to receive gratis when in their servile condition. That was the general prediction; but we do not hear that the prediction has been fulfilled. Everything seems to be going on smoothly, and the serfs, as far as is known, pay their rents regularly. This, then, is one answer. I have another which is more decisive. If it is thought that it will not do to make the Government a substitute for the landlord, I answer that this is an objection affecting only vthe smallestv part of my plan—an additional provision, not for the benefit of the tenant, but for the convenience and consolation of the landlords (laughter)—that they should be allowed to receive their rents from the public Treasury wor in Consolsw . If, after the rent is converted into a rent-charge, it be thought that the landlords should, like other rent-chargers, be left to the ordinary law of the country to collect their dues, by all means leave them to the ordinary legal remedies. If it be thought injurious to the public interest to give xthe proposedx consolation to the landlords, then do not give it. So falls to the ground a full half of the dissertation of the right honourable Member for Calne on the fatal consequences of the plan. But I must say that I do not believe the landlords as a body would wish to exchange their present condition for that of being mere receivers of dividends from the State. I observe that those who argue against any plan supposed to be contrary to the interest of landlords, invariably assume that the landlords are destitute of every spark of patriotic feeling. I do not think so. I believe that a large proportion of the landlords would prefer to retain their yconnexion with the landy ; that they would make private arrangements with their tenants on terms more favourable to them than my plan would give, and that so Ireland would retain a large proportion of the best class of landlordsz, while the tenants, knowing that if they choose they can obtain a perpetual tenure, will feel themselves in perfect securityz . Another objection made against my plan is, that many of the holdings are too small.34 But Lord Dufferin states in his pamphlet that the consolidation of small holdings has ceased—that the number of separate holdings has not diminished in the last fifteen years.35 We may conclude from this that the holdings, generally speaking, are as large as is required by the present state of the industry and capital of Ireland; because, if that were not so, I cannot but believe that the movement of consolidation would still be going on. I perfectly admit that a great many tenants hold smaller holdings than could be desired. But if the holdings are so small that the tenants cannot live on them, and, at the same time, pay the amount of rent that would be required, they will soon fall into arrears; and, if they fall into arrears, it is a necessary part of my plan that they should be ejected. (Hear, hear.) This would enable the landlord, if he thought fit, in every case of eviction, to consolidate farms; and whether he did so or not, the consequence would be the substitution of a better class of tenants. It is part of my plan that the landlord, if the holding were forfeited by non-payment of the rent-charge, should choose the tenant’s successor, and that the consent of the landlord should be necessary to any sale of the occupier’s interest. Another objection which has been urged is, that in Ireland lands held on long leases are always the worst farmed. Now, these are almost always old leases, granted to middlemen. These middlemen hold the farms at low rents; but I never heard that they granted leases at low rents to the sub-tenants; and who on earth would or could improve under competition rents? What interest has a man in improving, who has promised a rent he can never pay, and who therefore knows that, lease or no lease, he may be turned out at any moment? If the farmers have undertaken to pay a rent equal to double what they make from the land, is it likely that they will exert themselves to double the produce, merely for the benefit of the landlord? One of the most extraordinary circumstances connected with the attack made on my plan by my right honourable friend the Member for Calne, is that he went on ascribing all manner of evil effects to peasant proprietorship,36 and yet from the beginning to the end of his speech he never made allusion to any of the arguments in its favour. One would have thought that he had never heard the common and principal argument, that the sentiment of property, the certainty that athe fruits of a man’s labour are to be his owna is the most powerful of all incentives to labour and frugality. (Hear, hear.) This is the universal experience of every country where peasant proprietorship exists. And this brings me to the noble Lord the Chief Secretary for Ireland, who gave three reasons why peasant proprietorship is not desirable.37 These reasons were, that it does not prevent revolution, that it does not obviate famine, and that it leads to great indebtedness on the part of the holders. In regard to the first of these reasons, the case which the noble Lord appealed to, that of France, is certainly not in his favour; for in France the revolutions have not been made by the peasant proprietors, but by the artizans bin the townsb (hear, hear); all that the peasant proprietors have had to do with them being to put them down. (Hear, hear.) Whether it was right or wrong—whether it was for good or evil—to substitute the present Government of France for the Republic, it was the peasant proprietors who did it. As to the co-existence of great famines and small properties, the noble Lord was rather unhappy in the instance he gave of East Prussia, for it so happens that East Prussia is not a country of peasant proprietors, there being next to no small properties there. It is the Rhine Provinces of Prussia that are a country of small proprietors, and the noble Lord did not tell us of any famine there. With reference to the argument as to the indebtedness of the small proprietors, I rather think the noble Lord is indebted to me for one instance he gave—that of the canton of Zurich;38 but in adducing that instance he omitted to mention the testimony given, by the same author, to the “superhuman” industry of the peasant proprietors there.39 If we take the instance generally appealed to on this subject, that of France; M. Léonce de Lavergne stated some ten years ago that the mortgages on the landed property of France did not on the average exceed 10 per cent of its value, and on the rural property did not exceed 5 per cent; and he estimated the burthen of interest at 10 per cent of the income.40 He added that these burthens were not increasing, but diminishing. It is true that this average is taken from all the landed properties in France, and not solely from the small properties; but the large proprietors must be very unlike other large landed proprietors if their estates are not generally burthened to at least this extent, so that the average is probably fairly applicable to the small properties. With regard to the danger of sub-letting, what cshould a man who has received a perpetuity sub-let it forc ? He could only sub-let at the rent he himself paid, unless he had in the meantime improved his holding, and if he had done so he would have a good right to be allowed to realize his improvements, if he pleased, by sub-letting at an increased rent. dBut if he had not improved the land he would be no gainer by sub-letting.d It is thought that even if he did not sub-let, he would subdivide. But to suppose that subdivision would be general, is to ignore altogether one of the strongest motives that can operate on the mind. There is nothing like the possession of a property in the land by the actual cultivator, for inspiring him with industry and a desire to accumulate. It is not necessary to suppose that this influence would operate on the whole body of tenant proprietors. If it acted only on one-half, a great deal would be gained. Let honourable gentlemen consider what an accumulation of savings there is in the hands of Irish farmers. I must say that it reflects great credit on the landlords of Ireland, taken as a body, that the tenants should have been able to accumulate such almost incredible sums as it is admitted that they have. Well, what is done with these savings? The farmer carries them anywhere but to the farm. (Hear, hear.) They are invested in everything but the improvement of his holding; eand this is a most striking circumstance,e showing that the very landlords through whose forbearance these sums have been accumulated, are not trusted by the tenants; or, if they trust the landlord himself, they do not trust his heir, whom they do not know, or his creditor who may come into possession, or the stranger to whom he may be obliged to sell. But under the small proprietary system, these sums would be brought out and applied to the farms, and there is enough of them to make all Ireland blossom like the rose.41 Tenants who had given such proof of forethought would be more likely to provide for their younger sons by buying more land than by subdividing their own holdings. Moreover, it must be remembered that a bridge has now been built to America, over which the younger sons might cross. According to the testimony of Lord Dufferin, marriages are already less early in Ireland than they used to be, and many farmers have become sensible of the disadvantage of subdividing the small holdings.42 It may be thought that owing to the competition which exists for land,f those who hold at a full rent might g sub-let at an increase, heven if they could noth sell their interest for a large sum of money. But even if this worst result should happen, the purchaser would, even then, be in as good a condition as the Ulster tenant would be in, if the tenant right, which he enjoys by a precarious custom, were secured to him by law: and this tenant right, even while resting only on custom, has been found to give a considerable feeling of security, and some encouragement to improvement. Then I am asked, what my scheme would do for the agricultural labourers of Ireland?43 It would give to them what is found most valuable in all countries possessing peasant proprietors—the hope of acquiring landed property. This hope is what animates the wonderful industry of the peasantry of Flanders, most of whom have only short leases, but who, because they may hope, by exertion, to become owners of land, set an example of industry and thrift to all Europe. (Hear, hear.) My plan is called an extreme one, but if its principle were accepted, the extent of its application would be in the hands of the House. Let the House look at the question in a large way, and admit that rights of property, subject to just compensation, must give way to the public interest. If the Commission which I propose44 were appointed, it would soon find out what iconditions and limitationsi might be applied in practice. I could myself suggest many jsuchj . I would not undertake that I myself would support them, but the House might. For instance, if it were thought that the holdings were too small, the holders of all farms below a certain extent might receive, not a perpetuity at once, but only the hope of it. Leases might be given to them, and the claim to a perpetuity might be made dependent on their, in the meantime, improving the land. Again, such a change as I propose is less required in the case of grazing than of arable land: confine it then, if you choose, in the first instance, to arable land, dealing with the purely grazing farms on some other plan, such as that of buying up such of them as might advantageously be converted into arable, and re-selling them in smaller lots. It is not an essential part of the scheme that every tenant should have an actual perpetuity, but only that every tenant who actually tills the soil should have the power of obtaining a perpetuity on an impartial valuation. I believe that as the plan comes to be more considered, its difficulties will, in a great measure, disappear, and the House will be more inclined to view it with favour than at present. (Hear, hear.)
[The debate continued on Maguire’s motion on 13 and 16 March, when it was withdrawn (col. 1792).]
Election Petitions and Corrupt Practices at Elections 
PD, 3rd ser., Vol. 191, cols. 308–11. Reported in The Times, 27 March, p. 7, from which variants and responses are taken. In preparation for the debate on “A Bill for Amending the Laws Relating to Election Petitions, and Providing More Effectually for the Prevention of Corrupt Practices at Elections,” 31 Victoria (13 Feb., 1868), PP, 1867–68, II, 267–86, Mill wrote on 27 January to Edwin Chadwick asking him for a summary of his recommendations for a bill against electoral corruption. The debate in which he spoke was on the Bill as amended in Committee (ibid., pp. 291–307). After the debate, he wrote to William Dougal Christie to say that he had “broke[n] ground on the subject of the two or three most important of your [Christie’s] suggestions respecting a bribery bill”
(CW, Vol. XVII, pp. 1355, 1380).
sir, if the question were solely between the Bill of Her Majesty’s Government and the Amendment,1 I should have no hesitation in at once deciding for the Bill. Not that it corresponds or comes up in all respects to my notion of what such a Bill should be. Nor do I believe that by any one expedient—and there is only one expedient in this Bill—we can hope to put down corrupt practices. If the House are in earnest in their desire to put down corrupt practices at elections—and I am bound to believe that they are, however little credit they receive for such earnestness out of doors—I apprehend they will be obliged to have recourse, not to one, but to several expedients. Nevertheless, I think favourably of the Bill, because though it does in reality only one thing, that thing is a vigorous one, and shows an adequate sense of the emergency. It shows a sense that, in order to put down this great evil, it is necessary to go out of the common path. The truth is that, however possible it may be for Committees of this House to be impartial on the question to whom the seat shall be given—and I do not deny that they are often impartial in that respect, nor is it hopeless that they might be always so—nobody out of this House, and I think I may almost add in it, believes that so long as the jurisdiction remains in this House the penalties against the giver of the bribe will ever be seriously enforced. There are several reasons for this, some of which, perhaps, had better be understood than expressed. (A laugh.) To confine myself to what may be said with safety; any tribunal that acts only occasionally as a tribunal, still more any person called for the first time so to act, as is often the case with Members of Parliament, has naturally a very strong indisposition to convict: and still more is this the case when those who have to decide are men of the same class, and the same general cast of feelings, and subject to the same temptations as the accused, and men of whom it must be said that hitherto they have been disposed to consider a scrape of this sort as much more a misfortune than a crime. (Hear.) I think that there is, after all, something in the objection to the proposal for giving the ultimate decision to a Judge not appointed by the House. There is some reason against their handing over their jurisdiction at once and for ever to a functionary appointed solely by the Crown (hear); but there is an easy mode of getting rid of that objection—namely, by making the Act temporary. (Hear.) I am not sure that it should not be annual—that it ought not, like the Mutiny Act, to be renewed every year, so that there should never be any long time during which evil consequences need be suffered. And although I do not myself think that any evil consequences are likely to follow, still, as where there is a bare possibility there is always apprehension, I hope that, if the House adopts the Bill, the Government will see the propriety of introducing some limitation such as I have suggested. There is another point on which I wish to say something. Great objections appear to be felt to turning over these inquiries to the Judges of the land. Would it not be a suitable way of meeting these objections if this tribunal were to be only a tribunal of appeal? Indeed, even if the House should not choose to adopt this tribunal—if they should keep these matters in the hands of a Committee of their own Members presided over by a legal assessor—and few, I think, will now deny that there must at least be a legal assessor—whether the House adopt this way, or whether they adopt the proposal of the Government—there are very strong reasons for making the tribunal only a tribunal of appeal. It is only by inquiry diligently made on the spot, that the truth in such matters can be discovered. I will make one suggestion, which will be found in a pamphlet which has attracted a good deal of attention, and has been read, I know, by Members of the Government.2 It is written by Mr. W.D. Christie, formerly a Member of this House, and who I hope may be so again. (Hear.) It is that there should be a local inquiry by a person of competent legal qualifications after every Parliamentary election, whether there is a petition or not. (Laughter, and cries of Oh, oh!) Notwithstanding the dissent with which this proposition seems to be met, much may be said in its favour; for the very worst cases are invariably those in which petitions are either not presented (hear, hear), or, having been presented, are afterwards withdrawn aby a compromisea , because it is found that an inquiry would be equally damaging to the case of the petitioner, both parties being tarred with the same brushb, and, however certain it is that the seat has been obtained by bribery, the losing party are afraid to prosecute the petition for fear of the disclosures, which would bring discredit upon themselvesb . These are such flagrant cases that I am sure it must be admitted that, unless they are in some manner provided for, it will be impossible effectually to put down bribery. The officer whom I suppose to be appointed would proceed after every election to the spot, and there sit in public to receive any complaints that may be made. Of course it is a necessary consequence that this officer should have the power, where the complaints are frivolous, of throwing the expense on the complainant. And whatever expenses would not thus be met, should be defrayed by the locality—should be, in fact, a public charge. There is the more reason for appointing such an officer, as it is indispensably necessary that there should be an inquiry, not only into Parliamentary, but into municipal elections, which are the nurseries of Parliamentary bribery. (Hear.) Mr. Philip Rose, a Conservative solicitor, well known to many honourable Members opposite, has expressed an opinion on this subject which is well entitled to attention. Mr. Rose says, in his evidence before a Committee of the House of Lords, that in a vast number of places, illegal practices are carried on at municipal elections by a regular machinery, which is also made use of at Parliamentary elections.3 (Hear.) He adds that great pressure is brought to bear upon Members of Parliament to contribute towards the expenses of municipal contests (hear), because it is held out to them that £10 spent upon one of these is better than £100 spent in a Parliamentary contest (hear, hear); and that it is an axiom among agents—“We were able to return our municipal candidate, and we shall therefore be able to return our Parliamentary candidate.”4 After such testimony, coming from such a quarter, it is plain that, if you really wish to put down bribery and corruption at Parliamentary elections, you must extend your interference to municipal elections also. (Cheers.) In addition to the duties which I have suggested that the Commissioners of Inquiry should perform after each election, there are a number of other duties which might well be performed by those functionaries. They would naturally act as election auditors; and, in places from which no petition proceeds, their principal business will probably consist in scrutinizing the accounts which Members are already obliged to render, and which ought to be required from them with greater accuracy and completeness. Belonging to the same class from which revising barristers are taken, there will be an obvious propriety in their acting also in that capacity; and they might even fulfil the duties of returning officers. (Oh, oh!) Whatever functionaries of this description may be appointed, no fear need be entertained that there will be any want of work for them. If you feel that the control of all these matters ought not to pass out of your own hands, you might leave the nomination of these functionaries in the hands of the Speaker; but any difficulty on that score will best be got rid of by making the legal authority proposed by the Bill of Her Majesty’s Government the tribunal of appeal.5 These are the suggestions which I have felt it my duty to offer in reference to the measure brought forward by the right honourable Gentleman the Head of the Administration.6 The reasons in support of them will be found at length in the very able pamphlet to which I have referred. (Hear, hear.)
[Mitchell’s amendment was defeated (col. 321).]
Election Petitions and Corrupt Practices at Elections 
PD, 3rd ser., Vol. 191, col. 702. Reported in The Times, 3 April, p. 5. Writing the next day to William Dougal Christie, his close ally in this matter, Mill said, “Mr. Disraeli’s answer to my question was civil but in no degree satisfactory”
(CW, Vol. XVI, p. 1383).
mr. j. stuart mill said, he would beg to ask the First Lord of the Treasury, Whether it is his intention to propose any measure, either separately or as a provision in the Election Petitions and Corrupt Practices at Elections Bill,1 for the prevention of bribery at Municipal Elections?
Mr. Disraeli: Sir, the subject to which the Question of the honourable Member relates is one of very great importance, but I am not prepared to deal with it in the manner he suggests. I shall make every possible effort to carry the Bill which refers to Parliamentary Elections before the dissolution. I think that that is a matter of the greatest moment; but I do not contemplate mixing it up with the subject referred to by the honourable Member.
Procedure in the House: Amendments
PD, 3rd ser., Vol. 191, col. 1030. Reported (in one sentence) in The Times, 22 April, p. 6. Mill spoke during an extensive discussion in Committee of Supply on Ayrton’s motion to amend a resolution of the House dating from 1858, “That when it has been proposed to omit or reduce items in a Vote the Question shall be afterwards put upon the original Vote or upon the reduced Vote, as the case may be, without amendment,” by replacing the final two words with “unless an Amendment be moved for a reduction of the whole Vote”
mr. j. stuart mill said, that as it appeared likely that this matter would go back for re-consideration, he might be permitted to suggest a further point. The Motion of his honourable and learned Friend was on a very important and very valuable subject, and formed part of the largest questions. The rules which, in the course of centuries, had been elaborated in this House for the conduct of the Business had been most deservedly admired. But difficulties might arise when the House could only have one Amendment on the same point; because, as soon as one Amendment had been rejected, it had resolved that the original Motion should be put unamended. It might be well for the House to examine this point. According to the rule of the French Chamber, whatever number of Amendments there might be moved, the question of precedency was decided in this way:—The Amendment which was farthest from the original Motion was put first, and if this were lost, the others were put in succession. Might it not be as well to adopt the plan here?
[The matter was resolved by a Government resolution on 28 April that provided for a final vote on the original or amended motion (cols. 1464–6).]
PD, 3rd ser., Vol. 191, cols. 1047–55. Reported in The Times, 22 April, p. 6, from which the variant and responses are taken. Mill spoke during second reading of “A Bill to Provide for Carrying out of Capital Punishment within Prisons,” 31 Victoria (20 Feb., 1868), PP, 1867–68, I, 261–6 (enacted as 31 Victoria, c. 24 ). Mill (according to The Times) “rose amid loud cries of ‘Divide!’ ”
it would be a great satisfaction to me if I were able to support this Motion.1 It is always a matter of regret to me to find myself, on a public question, opposed to those who are called—sometimes in the way of honour, and sometimes in what is intended for ridicule—the philanthropists. (A laugh.) Of all persons who take part in public affairs, they are those for whom, on the whole, I feel the greatest amount of respect; for their characteristic is, that they devote their time, their labour, and much of their money to objects purely public, with a less admixture of either personal or class selfishness, than any other class of politicians whatever. On almost all the great questions, scarcely any politicians are so steadily and almost uniformly to be found on the side of right; and they seldom err, but by an exaggerated application of some just and highly important principle. On the very subject that is now occupying us we all know what signal service they have rendered. It is through their efforts that our criminal laws—which within my memory hanged people for stealing in a dwelling house to the value of 40s.2 —laws by virtue of which rows of human beings might be seen suspended in front of Newgate by those who ascended or descended Ludgate Hill—have so greatly relaxed their most revolting and most impolitic ferocity, that aggravated murder is now practically the only crime which is punished with death by any of our lawful tribunals; and we are even now deliberating whether the extreme penalty should be retained in that solitary case. This vast gain, not only to humanity, but to the ends of penal justice, we owe to the philanthropists; and if they are mistaken, as I cannot but think they are, in the present instance, it is only in not perceiving the right time and place for stopping in a career hitherto so eminently beneficial. (Hear, hear.) Sir, there is a point at which, I conceive, that career ought to stop. When there has been brought home to any one, by conclusive evidence, the greatest crime known to the law; and when the attendant circumstances suggest no palliation of the guilt, no hope that the culprit may even yet not be unworthy to live among mankind, nothing to make it probable that the crime was an exception to his general character rather than a consequence of it, then I confess it appears to me that to deprive the criminal of the life of which he has proved himself to be unworthy—solemnly to blot him out from the fellowship of mankind and from the catalogue of the living—is the most appropriate, as it is certainly the most impressive, mode in which society can attach to so great a crime the penal consequences which for the security of life it is indispensable to annex to it. I defend this penalty, when confined to atrocious cases, on the very ground on which it is commonly attacked—on that of humanity to the criminal; as beyond comparison the least cruel mode in which it is possible adequately to deter from the crime. If, in our horror of inflicting death, we endeavour to devise some punishment for the living criminal which shall act on the human mind with a deterrent force at all comparable to that of death, we are driven to inflictions less severe indeed in appearance, and therefore less efficacious, but far more cruel in reality. Few, I think, would venture to propose, as a punishment for aggravated murder, less than imprisonment with hard labour for life; that is the fate to which a murderer would be consigned by the mercy which shrinks from putting him to death. But has it been sufficiently considered what sort of a mercy this is, and what kind of life it leaves to him? If, indeed, the punishment is not really inflicted—if it becomes the sham which a few years ago such punishments were rapidly becoming—then, indeed, its adoption would be almost tantamount to giving up the attempt to repress murder altogether. But if it really is what it professes to be, and if it is realized in all its rigour by the popular imagination, as it very probably would not be, but as it must be if it is to be efficacious, it will be so shocking that when the memory of the crime is no longer fresh, there will be almost insuperable difficulty in executing it. What comparison can there really be, in point of severity, between consigning a man to the short pang of a rapid death, and immuring him in a living tomb, there to linger out what may be a long life in the hardest and most monotonous toil, without any of its alleviations or rewards—debarred from all pleasant sights and sounds, and cut off from all earthly hope, except a slight mitigation of bodily restraint, or a small improvement of diet? Yet even such a lot as this, because there is no one moment at which the suffering is of terrifying intensity, and, above all, because it does not contain the element, so imposing to the imagination, of the unknown, is universally reputed a milder punishment than death—stands in all codes as a mitigation of the capital penalty, and is thankfully accepted as such. For it is characteristic of all punishments which depend on duration for their efficacy—all, therefore, which are not corporal or pecuniary—that they are more rigorous than they seem; while it is, on the contrary, one of the strongest recommendations a punishment can have, that it should seem more rigorous than it is; for its practical power depends far less on what it is than on what it seems. There is not, I should think, any human infliction which makes an impression on the imagination so entirely out of proportion to its real severity as the punishment of death. The punishment must be mild indeed which does not add more to the sum of human misery than is necessarily or directly added by the execution of a criminal. As my honourable Friend the Member for Northampton (Mr. Gilpin) has himself remarked, the most that human laws can do to anyone in the matter of death is to hasten it;3 the man would have died at any rate; not so very much later, and on the average, I fear, with a considerably greater amount of bodily suffering. Society is asked, then, to denude itself of an instrument of punishment which, in the grave cases to which alone it is suitable, effects its purpose at a less cost of human suffering than any other; which, while it inspires more terror, is less cruel in actual fact than any punishment that we should think of substituting for it. My honourable Friend says that it does not inspire terror, and that experience proves it to be a failure.4 But the influence of a punishment is not to be estimated by its effect on hardened criminals. Those whose habitual way of life keeps them, so to speak, at all times within sight of the gallows, do grow to care less about it; as, to compare good things with bad, an old soldier is not much affected by the chance of dying in battle. I can afford to admit all that is often said about the indifference of professional criminals to the gallows. Though of that indifference one-third is probably bravado and another third confidence that they shall have the luck to escape, it is quite probable that the remaining third is real. But the efficacy of a punishment which acts principally through the imagination, is chiefly to be measured by the impression it makes on those who are still innocent: by the horror with which it surrounds the first promptings of guilt; the restraining influence it exercises over the beginning of the thought which, if indulged, would become a temptation; the check which it exerts over the gradual declension towards the state—never suddenly attained—in which crime no longer revolts, and punishment no longer terrifies. (Hear, hear.) As for what is called the failure of death punishment, who is able to judge of that? We partly know who those are whom it has not deterred; but who is there who knows whom it has deterred, or how many human beings it has saved who would have lived to be murderers if that awful association had not been thrown round the idea of murder from their earliest infancy? Let us not forget that the most imposing fact loses its power over the imagination if it is made too cheap. When a punishment fit only for the most atrocious crimes is lavished on small offences until human feeling recoils from it, then, indeed, it ceases to intimidate, because it ceases to be believed in. The failure of capital punishment in cases of theft is easily accounted for: the thief did not believe that it would be inflicted. He had learnt by experience that jurors would perjure themselves rather than find him guilty; that Judges would seize any excuse for not sentencing him to death, or for recommending him to mercy; and that if neither jurors nor Judges were merciful, there were still hopes from an authority above both. When things had come to this pass it was high time to give up the vain attempt. When it is impossible to inflict a punishment, or when its infliction becomes a public scandal, the idle threat cannot too soon disappear from the statute book. And in the case of the host of offences which were formerly capital, I heartily rejoice that it did become impracticable to execute the law. If the same state of public feeling comes to exist in the case of murder; if the time comes when jurors refuse to find a murderer guilty; when Judges will not sentence him to death, or will recommend him to mercy; or when, if juries and Judges do not flinch from their duty, Home Secretaries, under pressure of deputations and memorials, shrink from theirs, and the threat becomes, as it became in the other cases, a mere brutum fulmen;5 then, indeed, it may become necessary to do in this case what has been done in those—to abrogate the penalty. That time may come—my honourable Friend thinks that it has nearly come.6 I hardly know whether he lamented it or boasted of it; but he and his Friends are entitled to the boast: for if it comes it will be their doing, and they will have gained what I cannot but call a fatal victory, for they will have achieved it by bringing about, if they will forgive me for saying so, an enervation, an effeminacy, in the general mind of the country. (Hear, hear.) For what else than effeminacy is it to be so much more shocked by taking a man’s life than by depriving him of all that makes life desirable or valuable? Is death, then, the greatest of all earthly ills? Usque adeone mori miserum est?7 Is it, indeed, so dreadful a thing to die? Has it not been from of old one chief part of a manly education to make us despise death—teaching us to account it, if an evil at all, by no means high in the list of evils; at all events, as an inevitable one, and to hold, as it were, our lives in our hands, ready to be given or risked at any moment, for a sufficiently worthy object? I am sure that my honourable Friends know all this as well, and have as much of all these feelings as any of the rest of us; possibly more. But I cannot think that this is likely to be the effect of their teaching on the general mind. I cannot think that the cultivating of a peculiar sensitiveness of conscience on this one point, over and above what results from the general cultivation of the moral sentiments, is permanently consistent with assigning in our own minds to the fact of death no more than the degree of relative importance which belongs to it among the other incidents of our humanity. The men of old cared too little about death, and gave their own lives or took those of others awith equal recklessness. Our danger is of the opposite kind, lest we should be so much shocked by death, in general and in the abstract, as to care too much about it in individual cases, both those of other people and our own, which call for its being riskeda . And I am not putting things at the worst, for it is proved by the experience of other countries that horror of the executioner by no means necessarily implies horror of the assassin. The stronghold, as we all know, of hired assassination in the eighteenth century was Italy; yet it is said that in some of the Italian populations the infliction of death by sentence of law was in the highest degree offensive and revolting to popular feeling. Much has been said of the sanctity of human life, and the absurdity of supposing that we can teach respect for life by ourselves destroying it. But I am surprised at the employment of this argument, for it is one which might be brought against any punishment whatever. It is not human life only, not human life as such, that ought to be sacred to us, but human feelings. The human capacity of suffering is what we should cause to be respected, not the mere capacity of existing. And we may imagine somebody asking how we can teach people not to inflict suffering by ourselves inflicting it? But to this I should answer—all of us would answer—that to deter by suffering from inflicting suffering is not only possible, but the very purpose of penal justice. Does fining a criminal show want of respect for property, or imprisoning him, for personal freedom? Just as unreasonable is it to think that to take the life of a man who has taken that of another is to show want of regard for human life. We show, on the contrary, most emphatically our regard for it, by the adoption of a rule that he who violates that right in another forfeits it for himself, and that while no other crime that he can commit deprives him of his right to live, this shall. There is one argument against capital punishment, even in extreme cases, which I cannot deny to have weight—on which my honourable Friend justly laid great stress, and which never can be entirely got rid of. It is this—that if by an error of justice an innocent person is put to death, the mistake can never be corrected; all compensation, all reparation for the wrong is impossible. This would be indeed a serious objection if these miserable mistakes—among the most tragical occurrences in the whole round of human affairs—could not be made extremely rare. The argument is invincible where the mode of criminal procedure is dangerous to the innocent, or where the Courts of Justice are not trusted. And this probably is the reason why the objection to an irreparable punishment began (as I believe it did) earlier, and is more intense and more widely diffused, in some parts of the Continent of Europe than it is here. There are on the Continent great and enlightened countries, in which the criminal procedure is not so favourable to innocence, does not afford the same security against erroneous conviction, as it does among us; countries where the Courts of Justice seem to think they fail in their duty unless they find somebody guilty; and in their really laudable desire to hunt guilt from its hiding-places, expose themselves to a serious danger of condemning the innocent. If our own procedure and Courts of Justice afforded ground for similar apprehension, I should be the first to join in withdrawing the power of inflicting irreparable punishment from such tribunals. But we all know that the defects of our procedure are the very opposite. Our rules of evidence are even too favourable to the prisoner: and juries and Judges carry out the maxim. “It is better that ten guilty should escape than that one innocent person should suffer,”8 not only to the letter, but beyond the letter. Judges are most anxious to point out, and juries to allow for, the barest possibility of the prisoner’s innocence. No human judgment is infallible: such sad cases as my honourable Friend cited will sometimes occur;9 but in so grave a case as that of murder, the accused, in our system, has always the benefit of the merest shadow of a doubt. And this suggests another consideration very germane to the question. The very fact that death punishment is more shocking than any other to the imagination, necessarily renders the Courts of Justice more scrupulous in requiring the fullest evidence of guilt. Even that which is the greatest objection to capital punishment, the impossibility of correcting an error once committed, must make, and does make, juries and Judges more careful in forming their opinion, and more jealous in their scrutiny of the evidence. If the substitution or penal servitude for death in cases of murder should cause any relaxation in this conscientious scrupulosity, there would be a great evil to set against the real, but I hope rare, advantage of being able to make reparation to a condemned person who was afterwards discovered to be innocent. In order that the possibility of correction may be kept open wherever the chance of this sad contingency is more than infinitesimal, it is quite right that the Judge should recommend to the Crown a commutation of the sentence, not solely when the proof of guilt is open to the smallest suspicion, but whenever there remains anything unexplained and mysterious in the case, raising a desire for more light, or making it likely that further information may at some future time be obtained. I would also suggest that whenever the sentence is commuted the grounds of the commutation should, in some authentic form, be made known to the public. (Hear, hear.) Thus much I willingly concede to my honourable Friend; but on the question of total abolition I am inclined to hope that the feeling of the country is not with him (hear, hear), and that the limitation of death punishment to the cases referred to in the Bill of last year will be generally considered sufficient.10 The mania which existed a short time ago for paring down all our punishments seems to have reached its limits, and not before it was time. (Hear, hear.) We were in danger of being left without any effectual punishment, except for small offences. What was formerly our chief secondary punishment—transportation—before it was abolished,11 had become almost a reward. Penal servitude, the substitute for it, was becoming, to the classes who were principally subject to it, almost nominal, so comfortable did we make our prisons, and so easy had it become to get quickly out of them. Flogging—a most objectionable punishment in ordinary cases, but a particularly appropriate one for crimes of brutality, especially crimes against women (cheers)—we would not hear of, except, to be sure, in the case of garotters, for whose peculiar benefit we re-established it in a hurry, immediately after a Member of Parliament had been garotted.12 (Hear, and laughter.) With this exception, offences, even of an atrocious kind, against the person, as my honourable and learned Friend the Member for Oxford (Mr. Neate) well remarked, not only were, but still are, visited with penalties so ludicrously inadequate, as to be almost an encouragement to the crime.13 I think, Sir, that in the case of most offences, except those against property, there is more need of strengthening our punishments than of weakening them: and that severer sentences, with an apportionment of them to the different kinds of offences which shall approve itself better than at present to the moral sentiments of the community, are the kind of reform of which our penal system now stands in need. I shall therefore vote against the Amendment.
[The amendment was defeated.]
The Municipal Corporations (Metropolis) Bill 
PD, 3rd ser., Vol. 191, cols. 1859–63. Reported in The Times, 6 May, p. 10, from which the variants and responses are taken. Mill spoke in moving for leave to introduce both “A Bill for the Creation of a Corporation of London,” 31 Victoria (7 May, 1868), PP, 1867–68, I, 347–96, and “A Bill to Provide for the Establishment of Municipal Corporations within the Metropolis,” ibid., III, 515–36.
mr. j. stuart mill observed that both were substantially the same as those which the House permitted him last year to lay on the table.1 The alterations were extremely slight. He was quite aware that no private Member could expect to carry through such measures. In order that they might succeed Government must take them up; but the Government had not shown any disposition to take up the subject, and in the present year, considering all the circumstances of the case, he could not blame them. No Government was likely to embarrass itself with such a subject until much discussion had taken place, and public opinion had been called forth to give them a sufficient degree of support. The introduction of the Bills had already produced considerable effect. This was shown by the number of petitions, which were almost all in favour of the Bills.2 The opposition to the Bills had chiefly proceeded from persons connected with the present local administrative bodies, who were not likely to be wholly unprejudiced on the subject of their own mode of administration. The passing of the Reform Bill last Session had paved the way for such legislation.3 One marked feature of the political movement, of which the passing of the Reform Act was a part, is a demand on the part of the people, he would not say for more government, but for more administration. It is not only sanitary measures, properly so called, but control over the dwellings provided for the working classes, aarrangement of the streets in such a way as would promote the comfort, convenience, and health of the community,a and a hundred similar arrangements, which are now required at the hands of Government; and the effecting of these things has been again and again prevented by the want of any sufficient local authority. When much has to be done for society, it cannot be all done by the central Government, and there was in this country great jealousy of intrusting too much to that authority. It was a national principle that a great part of our administration should be local, and the constitutional mode of giving local government to different parts of the country, especially to towns, was by means of municipalities. Now, London had only the benefit of a municipality in that which was originally the whole of its extent—the City proper. With that exception the local government of the metropolis was a parish government. What other town in the kingdom would be satisfied with a parish administration extending over the greater portion of its area? (Hear, hear.) The government of London by means of vestries had endured long enough. To show the magnitude of the questions which were involved in the local administration of the metropolis, he might mention that in the year 1840 London was rated upon an annual value of £6,000,000 sterling. In 1861 the annual value of property had risen to £12,500,000, and in 1866 to nearly £14,500,000. The expenditure of the metropolis was growing, and now amounted to nearly £3,000,000 a year. The Metropolitan Board had during the twelve years of its existence raised by rates b£2,182,000b , and by loans £5,581,000. The vestries collectively expended £2,784,000 per annum, while to show the quantity of legislation required to deal with local questions arising within the metropolis, Lord Brougham, so long ago as 1837, stated that the Acts relating to the parish of Marylebone alone, passed since the year 1795, filled a volume of 480 pages,4 being much greater in size, he would not say than the Code Napoleon, but certainly than the Code Civil.5 Parliament had attempted, and did attempt, to provide for this local legislation; but Parliament could not possibly do it, and it only continued the attempt because there were no local authorities in whom Parliament or the country sufficiently confided to turn over to them this important business. What had occurred with reference to the Dwellings of Artizans and Labourers Bill, introduced by his honourable Friend the Member for Finsbury (Mr. M’Cullagh Torrens) was an illustration of the want of some more satisfactory authorities than at present existed in the metropolis. As originally introduced, the cduty it imposed of providing that such of these habitations as were not fit for human habitations should be removed and others substituted for them wasc entrusted to the vestries; but the Select Committee would not trust the vestries, and gave the powers to the Metropolitan Board of Works.6 The Metropolitan Board itself was, however, regarded with great distrust; and he had received many letters urging him to oppose that part of the measure which empowered that Board to levy any rates in addition to those which they were already authorized to raise. If there were municipalities in the different metropolitan boroughs, with a general central municipality, there would be authorities upon whom Parliament could confer the many powers of local administration and local regulation which at present it was necessary to provide for by separate Acts. The difference between London and other cities, arising mainly from the great size of the metropolis, was, that while for provincial cities a single corporation sufficed, in London it was necessary to have a double system. There would in London be too much for a single body to do; and any single body which was so constituted as to be able to do the work, would be so powerful that it would excite the jealousy of the other civil authorities of the country. What was proposed by the Bill which he had been requested to introduce, but of which he was not the author, although he approved of all its provisions, was, that there should be for all the Parliamentary boroughs of which the metropolis was composed, separate municipalities grouped round the City municipality, which would be the type of all; that these municipalities should discharge all such duties as did not require that the whole of London should be taken into consideration at once; and that in addition there should be a central municipality, which should deal with those questions in the decision of which the interests and wants of the whole metropolis were involved. The first of these proposals was strongly recommended by the Commission which was presided over by the late Sir George Lewis.7 But there was also a necessity for a general municipal government of the metropolis, and this necessity was so strongly felt that, without intending to create a municipality, Parliament had created one in the Metropolitan Board of Works.8 The purpose for which that Board had been called into existence—namely, the Main Drainage—was now nearly completed. But the necessity for a general government was such that, almost as soon as the Board was created, other new and important duties began to be intrusted to it. But when Parliament was creating this body, was it aware that it was establishing a municipal body for the whole of London? Did it take that large subject into consideration, and examine whether this was the best way of providing for the municipal government of a great capital? Certainly not. The Board was created for a limited and temporary purpose, and it had gradually become a central municipality, without due consideration whether it had been constituted in the way best calculated to perform the duties of such. He did not propose to supersede this body, but to leave it standing, and also to leave standing the Corporation of the City of London; but to make such changes in its constitution as would render it an adequate municipal constitution for the whole metropolis. The first Bill proposed to give municipal institutions to the different Parliamentary boroughs in London; and the second, to create a central body into which the Board of Works would be absorbed: to constitute this central body in such a way as Parliament might think best, and to define its duties and powers, marking them off from those of the municipal bodies. He would conclude with a saying of Lord Coke—that no good measure of legislation was ever proposed from which, in the end, some amount of good did not result.9 Though in the present Session he could not hope to carry the Bills, and though great modifications might be made in them before they were carried, still he was doing that from which, according to Lord Coke’s maxim, good must eventually result. (Hear, hear.) The honourable Gentleman moved for leave to introduce the first Bill.
[The Government indicated that it would not oppose the introduction of the Bill. Sir George Bowyer pointed to a major difficulty, the reconciliation of the powers of the Corporation of the City of London with those of the Metropolitan Board of Works. He opposed the abolition of the municipality of the City of London, the Lord Mayor and the Corporation being “the only representative body” existing that could “do the public honours on great occasions.”]
Mr. Mill, in moving for leave to introduce a Bill for the creation of a Corporation of London, said that on the second reading he would be prepared to meet the objections which had been taken to the measure by the honourable baronet.
Leave was given.d
The Established Church in Ireland
PD, 3rd ser., Vol. 191, cols. 1928–9. Reported in The Times, 8 May, p. 7, from which the response is taken. In Committee to discuss the Acts pertaining to the Established Church in Ireland, the House was considering a Resolution by Roger Sinclair Aytoun (b. 1823), M.P. for Kirkcaldy, that would have discontinued the Maynooth Grant and the Regium Donum if and when the Church was disestablished in Ireland, and would also have precluded the expenditure of any of the secularized funds thus obtained from being used for the Roman Catholic religion or Roman Catholic schools (cols. 1902–5). There being some question in the mind of the Chairman, John George Dodson (1825–97), about the jurisdiction of the House over the last matter (col. 1924), an amendment to delete it was proposed, whereupon Aytoun offered to alter his own resolution to make the last provision apply to any religious bodies and any denominational schools. It was ruled that he could not do so, as there was already an amendment on the floor. The vote referred to by Mill was on a motion to let the original wording stand; it failed. Just before Mill, Charles Newdigate Newdegate (1816–87), M.P. for North Warwickshire, said that by leaving out half of Aytoun’s resolution, they reserved a power of spending every shilling obtained by disendowment for Catholic purposes (col. 1928).
the honourable member for North Warwickshire (Mr. Newdegate) has stated that we, who sit on this side of the House, have by the vote we have just given, declared that we intend to retain the power of bestowing the whole or part of the property taken from the Irish Church upon the Roman Catholic body. For myself, and I know for a great portion of those who surround me, I utterly deny that statement. (Cheers.) I will resist to the utmost of my power any proposal for giving one farthing of the property to the Roman Catholic or to any other religious body in any shape whatever. I had no motive whatever in voting against the Motion of the honourable Member for Kirkcaldy (Mr. Aytoun), except that it had been declared by you, Sir, not properly to come within the spirit of the Reference to the Committee; and also because it had been declared to be contrary to the Orders of the House—very strangely, I think—for the honourable Gentleman to alter his Resolution from a form in which I could not vote for it, to one in which I could have done so.
[Eventually, after further refinement, the amendment to delete the resolution was accepted.]
Local Charges on Real Property
PD, 3rd ser., Vol. 192, cols. 152–4. Reported in The Times, 13 May, p. 7, from which the variant is taken. The debate, in Committee, was on a resolution by Lopes Massey Lopes (1818–1908), M.P. for Westbury: “That, inasmuch as the Local Charges on Real Property have of late years much increased and are annually increasing, it is neither just nor politic that all these burdens should be levied exclusively from this description of property”
mr. j. stuart mill said, the honourable Baronet who had introduced the Motion (Sir Massey Lopes) had rendered a real service to the House and the country, for no one who had considered the subject could doubt that it required a much more systematic and deliberate consideration than it had yet received, not only on account of its great importance and the amount of taxation it involved, but because its importance was constantly increasing. In the natural progress of things more and more duties were continually being imposed on the Government, which duties would be almost always best performed by the localities, and at the same time, as the taxation of localities must constantly increase in order to meet increasing expenses, if there was any injustice in this taxation it must be an increasing injustice. The honourable Baronet, and those who took his view, thought that the local taxation was entirely borne by real property; but he (Mr. Stuart Mill) conceived that although real property bore an extra proportion of that taxation, it by no means bore the whole. The local charges consisted of two parts, one of which was proportional to the rent of land, and was therefore equivalent to a tax on land, the other was proportional to the rent of houses, and equivalent to a house tax. Now, a house tax did not fall on the owner, but on the occupier, and within moderate bounds was one of the fairest of all possible taxes, and one of those that came nearest to a perfectly fair income tax. Indeed, the house rent a person was able to pay was probably a better measure of what he could afford to spend, than could be afforded by the mere numerical amount in pounds sterling of his income. So far as the house tax fell on the ground rent it was a charge on property; but the ground rent bore only a small proportion to the whole rent of a house, except in cases of peculiar eligibility of situation, which favourable situations were a kind of wealth having a constant tendency to increase without any labour or outlay on the part of the owner, and therefore a fair subject for some degree of special taxation. He admitted that in most of the rural districts the burden was mainly on the rent of land; but he did not think the grievance so great as had been represented, because the prescriptive, and what might almost be called the constitutional mode of levying local taxation was to levy it on rental, and property had generally been acquired by inheritance or purchase, subject to that peculiar burden. If the burdens on land had a tendency to increase by the progress of apopulation, wealth, and civilizationa , so had the income from land, and income derived from real property was nearly the only one which increased by the effects of the industry, outlay, privation, and frugality of other persons than the owners; and inasmuch as the value of land did constantly increase from generation to generation, and the income from it increased independently of exertion or outlay on the part of the owners, this made it fair to regard it as in some degree a proper subject for increasing taxation. No one could doubt that the time had come when the whole subject of local taxation must be more fully considered. If they considered that portion of taxation which he thought fair in principle—namely, the house tax—they would find that this had become so heavy in many localities that the difficulty of increasing it had become a serious obstacle to any new outlay for general improvements. How it was possible to raise the additional sums that might be required in a manner less burdensome, because more equal and just, would have to be more and more seriously considered, and the different modes by which this could be accomplished would have to be well meditated. One mode, which had been partially adopted in this country, deserved consideration as one of the possible modes—namely, that of placing a certain proportion of some of these burdens on the general taxation of the country; for when this was done in the way of a fixed proportion it did not destroy, although it might weaken, those motives to economical legislation which so strongly recommended making these expenses local rather than general. There were great difficulties in adjusting the amounts of taxation on the various descriptions of property, and these questions would probably occupy their minds for a long time to come. He was glad that the honourable Baronet had introduced this subject to the House, and no doubt it would be seriously considered by the new Parliament. In the excellent speech of the honourable Member for Edinburgh (Mr. M’Laren) there was one principle which, if adopted, would involve an injustice—it was that of taxing terminable incomes, he did not mean at a lower rate than permanent ones, for that he entirely approved of, but of taxing them only according to their capitalized value.1 That would be a great injustice; but this was not the time for further discussing that principle.
[The motion was withdrawn (col. 161).]
Election Petitions and Corrupt Practices at Elections 
PD, 3rd ser., Vol. 192, cols. 685–6, 691. Reported in The Times, 22 May, p. 8, from which the variants and response are taken. Mill was moving an amendment to Clause 5 of the Bill (see No. 89). He proposed to add “or of general or extensive prevalence of corrupt practices in an Election” after the words “to serve in Parliament” in the preamble to the Clause: “From and after the next Dissolution of Parliament a petition complaining of an undue Return or undue Election of a Member to serve in Parliament for a County or Borough may be presented to the Court of Common Pleas by any one or more of the following persons. . . .” After some discussion of the general question of corruption, Mill’s second speech closed the debate. For William Dougal Christie’s involvement in Mill’s tactics, see CW, Vol. XVI, pp. 1381, 1397–1400, 1403 (a specific reference to the fate of this amendment), 1403–4, 1421, and 1425.
mr. j. stuart mill said, he had to move an Amendment to the clause, which was the first of a series of Amendments, of which he had given Notice.1 The Bill, as it stood, was very incomplete; but, at the same time, he thought it, in the main, very creditable to the Government; and therefore he was glad that this Bill was not to be part of the baggage to be thrown overboard, for the purpose of lightening the ship on its last voyage. Incomplete as it was, the Bill was a bold attempt to grapple with an acknowledged political and moral evil; and the Government had not feared to ask the House to do what it greatly disliked—to make a sacrifice of its own jurisdiction. He now asked the Prime Minister to complete his own work—to help those who were trying to help him, and lend the aid of his ingenious and contriving mind, and the able legal assistance with which he was provided, to make this really an efficacious and complete measure. It was no party measure, and no party were interested in passing it, except the party of honesty. They desired to diminish the number of men in this House, who came in, not for the purpose of maintaining any political opinions whatever, but solely for the purpose, by a lavish expenditure, of acquiring the social position which attended a seat in this House, and which, perhaps, was not otherwise to be attained by them. They were not more attached to one side than to the other, except that they were generally to be found on the gaining side. They were the political counterparts of those who were contemptuously described by Dante as “neither for God nor the enemies of God, but for themselves only.”2 Unfortunately, it was not possible in this case to follow the poet’s advice, “Speak not of them, but look and pass on!”3aThey were men whom the House must endeavour to keep out from among them. (Hear.)a The Bill proceeded on the theory that the law was to be put in motion by the defeated candidate alone. This was contrary to the very idea of criminal lawb, and he wished to supply the deficiencyb . When the law intended to confer a pardoning power on an individual, it did not grant a criminal process at all, but only an action for damages. The immediate object of the present Amendment was the following: the Bill, if passed, would repeal the 5 & 6 Victoria, c. 102;4 but Section 4 of that Act contained an important provision—namely, that where a Petition complained of general or extensive bribery, and the Committee reported that there was reasonable and probable ground for the allegations, the Committee should have power to order that the costs of the petitioners should be borne by the public. If the House was in earnest such a provision was indispensable; and he therefore intended to propose Amendments, the effect of which would be to restore it in the present Bill.
Mr. J. Stuart Mill said, his object was that an inquiry into general corrupt practices should be instituted with the same promptitude and before the same tribunal as the inquiry concerning a claim to the seats. He did not mean, however, as the Solicitor General seemed to infer, that the sitting Member should be at the expense of eliciting such a general inquiry.5 That matter was provided for in his subsequent Amendments.
[The amendment was defeated (col. 691).]
Representation of the People (Scotland) 
PD, 3rd ser., Vol. 192, cols. 965–6, 979. Reported in The Times, 29 May, p. 7, from which the responses are taken. The House was in Committee on “A Bill for the Amendment of the Representation of the People in Scotland,” 31 Victoria (17 Feb., 1868), PP, 1867–68, IV, 583–616. During consideration of Clause 9 (as earlier amended), “the City of Glasgow, until otherwise directed by Parliament, shall comprise the Places mentioned in Schedule (A.) hereto annexed” (i.e., the city of Glasgow and the towns of Govan and Partick), giving three members to the combined constituency, William Graham (1817–85), M.P. for Glasgow, moved to insert after Glasgow, “shall be divided into three districts, each of which shall return one Member of Parliament”
mr. j. stuart mill said, the honourable Member for Nottingham (Mr. Osborne) had called on Gentlemen on that side to support the Motion of the honourable Member for Glasgow (Mr. Graham), holding out to them the inducement of getting rid of the principle of the representation of minorities.1 That was the strongest possible reason why those who were in favour of the representation of minorities—not as being a Conservative measure, but as a measure of justice (hear)—should vote against the present Motion. Nothing could be more unfair than to speak of the representation of those persons who happen to be in a minority, whatever might be their political opinions, in any constituency, as being in any exclusive sense a Conservative principle. On the contrary, it was not only the most democratic of all principles, but it was the only true democratic principle of representation, and they could not have a complete system of representation without it. (Hear, hear, and a laugh.) Man for man, those who happened to be in a minority had just as much claim to be represented as the majority.
[The amendment was lost, Mill voting with the majority. After some further discussion, a motion was made to replace from after “comprise the” to the end of the clause with “existing Parliamentary boundaries.” Mill spoke on this amendment.]
Mr. J. Stuart Mill said, Glasgow having grown to so great an extent, it was not unreasonable that its boundaries should be revised and extended, provided its representation were extended also. He apprehended that its fair proportion of Members, in reference to its population and wealth, would be not less than six. (Oh!) The arguments of the Government would be extremely good then; but as the vast population of Glasgow was represented by an inadequate number of Members, he could not admit that in order to admit an additional number of persons to share in that inadequate representation, a large proportion of them should be deprived of their county vote, which was really valuable to them.
[Finally the Chairman, breaking a tie, voted to leave the Clause unamended, so allowing further discussion on another occasion (col. 981).]
Representation of the People (Scotland) 
PD, 3rd ser., Vol. 192, cols. 1241, 1242, 1243, 1252. Reported in The Times, 9 June, p. 7, from which the variant is taken. In Committee on the Reform Bill for Scotland (see No. 97), consideration turned to Clause O (Clause S in the Bill as amended), into which Mill moved the addition of the italicized words: “All the Provisions of an Act passed in the 24th and 25th Years of the Reign of Her present Majesty, intituled ‘An Act to provide that Votes at Elections for the Universities may be recorded by means of Voting Papers,’ except so much of the said Act as requires that the voting paper shall be personally delivered by a Member of Council who shall make attestation of his personal acquaintance with the voter, and his knowledge of the signature, shall apply to every Election of a Member for the Universities of Edinburgh and Saint Andrews, and for the Universities of Glasgow and Aberdeen. . . .” His remarks followed immediately after his motion.
if the terms of the English Act upon this point were adopted in the Scotch Reform Bill, half, if not more than half, of those who formed the University constituency would be disfranchised. There was always a large number of residents at the English Universities who could authenticate the signatures to the voting papers; but in the Scotch Universities undergraduates did not form such intimate acquaintance with each other as in this country, and in most instances towards the end of the year they were scattered all over the British Empire. The voters would be virtually confined to a small number of residents, unless some such alteration as he proposed were made.
[The Lord Advocate, Edward Strathearn Gordon (1814–79), then M.P. for Thetford, in replying, said that while he was willing to give up the requirement of personal acquaintance, he thought voting papers should be personally delivered and attested by a Member of Council (col. 1241).]
Mr. J. Stuart Mill asked, whether the delivery of the voting paper by a Member of Council would not involve a considerable additional expense?
[Several Members pointed to the dangers of fraud if there were no means of attestation.]
Mr. J. Stuart Mill said, that many operations took place on the same security—namely, that if persons committed frauds they would be prosecuted.
[Mill then withdrew his amendment, and the following words, as suggested by the Lord Advocate, were inserted in the same place: “except so much of the saidAct as requires that the person delivering the voting paper shall make attestation of his personal acquaintance with the voter” (col. 1242), and the Clause was accepted. After other discussion, attention moved to Schedule A, concerning the boundaries of the city of Glasgow, and James Fergusson (1832–1907), M.P. for Ayrshire, asserted that the working people of Partick and Govan were eager to be annexed to Glasgow (col. 1252); other speakers denied this assertion.]
Mr. J. Stuart Mill said, that if this argument was correct the suburbs of Glasgow ought to have a representative to themselves. But because they did not choose to give to the population of these considerable places a representative in this House, to which they were justly entitled, were they to deprive those who were county electors of a vote which they valued aand be merged in a large constituencya in order to give to others a vote which would scarcely be of any value?
[Eventually Schedule A was defeated, so that the constituency of Glasgow was not enlarged to include Partick and Govan.]
Married Women’s Property
Speeches of Mr. Jacob Bright, M.P., Mr. Robert Lowe, M.P., Mr. J.S. Mill, M.P., and Mr. G. Shaw Lefevre, M.P., in the Debate on the Second Reading of “The Bill to Amend the Law with Respect to the Property of Married Women” (Manchester: Ireland, 1868), pp. 9–11. Based on PD, 3rd ser., Vol. 192, cols. 1370–2. Reported in The Times, 11 June, p. 6, from which the responses are taken. Mill presented petitions in favour of the Bill (31 Victoria [21 Apr., 1868], PP, 1867–68, III, 375–8) on 9 and 10 June. On the day he spoke, Mill wrote to a correspondent (possibly Isabella Tod, of Belfast) to say that the Bill had passed its second reading, “(after an interesting debate of which all the honours were on our side) by the casting vote of the Speaker, and is to be referred to a Select Committee”
(CW, Vol. XVI, p. 1413).
aperhaps, sir, thosea who, like myself, bthink that women can never hope that the laws and customs of society will do them full justice unless they are admitted to participate in political rights, ought, perhaps, to wish that the House would rejectb this Bill, because cit is quite certain thatc its rejection would give a most extraordinary impulse to the movement, which has lately made so much progress, for giving the suffrage to women. (Hear, hear.) I wish, however, that my sex should have the credit of giving up unjust dand impolitic privileges before they are brought under the influence of other motives than their own good feelingsd . The debate has produced many gratifying expressions of opinion—the able and persuasive speech of my honourable friend the member for Manchester for example, and the logical and high-principled address of my right honourable friend the member for Calne.1 (Hear, hear.) The honourable and learned member for Colchester2ehas very truly said that his honourable friend the member for Reading3 is not the author of the Bill, but has adopted it from others, who, he seems to think, must be persons strongly prejudiced against the existing institutions of societye. I regret that the learned gentleman has left the House, as I could have told him who some of those persons were. I do not think the learned gentleman can have been aware that among fthe persons whom he was condemningf were those eminent socialists and revolutionists the present Secretaries of State for Foreign Affairs and for War.4 The noble lord (Lord Stanley), along with that eminent judge Sir Lawrence Peel,5 was a member of the committee of the Social Science Association which drew up the Bill, similar to this, formerly introduced by Sir Erskine Perry;6 and the right honourable baronet (Sir J.S. Pakington) took the chair at a public meeting for the same purpose.7 The learned gentleman is aware that ghe has against him the right honourable Recorder of London ,8 but attributes his absence to not being hearty in the cause. I wonder the learned gentleman does not know that the recorder is prevented from being present by the discharge of his judicial duties. His feelings on the subject are very strong, and, had he been present, he would probably have given the House his experience of the manner in which the law affects the women of the humbler classes. That conscientious and feeling judge might also have given the Attorney-General9 an insight into the working of the provisions of the Divorce Act,10 and how unreal and nominal an amount of protection has been given by that Act to the women of the humbler class. It does, indeed, allow married women to apply to the magistrate for protection to their earnings, but only in cases of desertion. Cases are, however, constantly occurringgh, some within my own knowledge,h in which the husband just avoids the amount of desertion which would justify the magistrate in giving protection to the wife. He stays away for a sufficient time to enable her to accumulate a small sum, and then he lives with her just long enough to squander it. As, however, the Attorney-General has expressed a willingness to extend and improve the operation of that Act,11 I trust that he will himself introduce a Bill on the subject. (Hear, hear.) There has been, indeed, on the part of the Legislature a wonderful overlooking of the need of some similar protection. Even in cases where the words “to her separate use”12 are introduced by the Court of Chancery for the wife’s protection, the sole effect of the words is that the trustees cannot pay the income of the settled property except upon the wife’s receipt. That is a perfect protection if the wife be living away from her husband, but if she be living with him the money immediately becomes the husband’s income, and he has a right to take it from her the moment she receives it. (Hear, hear.) iA large portion of the inhabitants of this country are now in the anomalous position of having imposed on them, without their having done anything to deserve it, what we inflict as a penalty on the worst criminals. Like felons they are incapable of holding property. And the class of women who are in that position are married women, whom we profess a desire to surround with marks of honour and dignity.ijMany people seem to think it impossible that two persons can live together in harmonyj unless one of them has absolute power over the other. This kmay have been the case in savage times, but we are advanced beyond the savage state; and I believe it is not found that civilized men or women cannot live with their brothers or with their sisters except on such terms, or that business cannot be successfully carried on unless one partner has the absolute mastery over the other. The family offers a type and a school of the relation of superiors and inferiors, exemplified in parents and children; it should also offer a type and a school of the relation of equality, exemplified in husband and wife. I am not insensible to the evils which husbands suffer from bad and unprincipled wivesk . Happily, the levilsl of slavery m(and I do not use the word in an invidious sense)m extend to the slave-master as well as to the slave. But if we were endeavouring to invent a mode of giving to the wife the strongest possible motive to strain to the utmost her claims nagainst the property of her husband, what step more effectual for this object could be taken than to enact that she should have no rights of her own, and should be entirely dependent upon what she can extract from the husband?n It is only by doing justice to women that we can hope to give them any moral feeling against encroaching on the rights of others. oIt is by remedying the injustice that married women now suffer that real harmony is to be introduced into the married state.opWould the honourable Member for Colchester accept for himself exclusion from all rights of property, on condition that some one else should pay his debts, and make atonement for his wrongs?p The Attorney-General adverted to what is certainly the weakest part of the Bill when he pointed out that, if the rights of husband and wife are to be equal, their obligations ought also to be equal, and if the Bill should go into committee it will be necessary to alter the clauses so as to establish an obligation equally on both parties.13 The Bill will no doubt require a great deal of consideration in committee, not so much with a view to the omission of some clauses as to the addition of others. No doubt it is true that many other qalterations of the law will be necessary; for when the law is founded on a bad principle much re-adjustment is necessitated by the adoption of a good one. But if it should please the House to refer the Bill to a Select Committee, there are honourable and learned Gentlemen on both sides of the House quiteq capable of proposing such radditions as wouldr make the Bill work smoothly. (Hear.)
[The division on second reading was tied, and the Speaker voted “Aye” to allow further discussion (cols. 1376–8).]
Registration of Publication
PD, 3rd ser., Vol. 192, col. 1514. Reported in The Times, 13 June, p. 7, from which the variant and response are taken. During the debate on going into Committee, attention was called to the law requiring newspapers to give a deposit as security against blasphemous and seditious libels. It was pointed out by Thomas Milner Gibson (1806–84), M.P. for Ashton-under-Lyne (cols. 1512–14) that the fault lay not with the officials of the Board of Inland Revenue, but with the laws themselves.
mr. j. stuart mill said, he was glad the right honourable Gentleman had endeavoured to impress upon the Government the propriety of putting an end to all the difficulties to which reference had been made, by repealing the Acts in question, which inflicted a punishment upon the whole body of the Press because some of its members might possibly be guilty of a violation of the law.1 What would be said if every physician were bound to give security that he would not poison his patients? (Hear, hear, and a laugh.) Surely it was sufficient to punish him if he did poison thema, without placing restrictions like those complained of upon the innocenta . His purpose in rising was to express a hope that if the Government could not bring in a measure of the kind proposed this Session, they would at least suspend all prosecutions under these Acts, which were generally condemned by public opinion, which it had been found impossible to enforce impartially, and which, therefore, operated most unjustly upon those who were prosecuted under them; often by individuals without the concurrence of the Attorney General and of the Board of Inland Revenue.
Representation of the People (Ireland)
PD, 3rd ser., Vol. 192, col. 1592. Reported in The Times, 16 June, p. 7, from which the responses are taken. Mill spoke in Committee on “A Bill to Amend the Representation of the People in Ireland,” 31 Victoria (19 Mar., 1868), PP, 1867–68, IV, 549–64. Under consideration was Clause 18: “It shall not be lawful for any Candidate, or any One on his Behalf, at any Election for any City, Town, or Borough, to pay any Money on account of the Conveyance of any Voter to the Poll, either to the Voter himself or to any other Person; and if any such Candidate, or any Person on his Behalf, shall pay any Money on account of the Conveyance of any Voter to the Poll, such Payment shall be deemed to be an illegal Payment within the Meaning of ‘The Corrupt Practices Prevention Act, 1854.’ ” An amendment was proposed to exempt Carrickfergus, Cork, Drogheda, Galway, Kilkenny, Limerick, and Waterford, on the ground that these towns included rural districts where homes were far from the polling places. Mill spoke after some discussion of whether people would walk five miles to vote.
mr. j. stuart mill said, he thought that if the House was in earnest on this subject of Parliamentary Reform in Ireland there ought to be no hesitation in dealing with the question now before the Committee. (Hear, hear.) If they decided upon granting the suffrage to the Irish people, they ought to give all possible facilities for the exercise of the voting power. Those facilities ought not, however, to be provided at the expense of the candidates, but of the public; and even if carriages were necessary for the conveyance of voters to the poll, these also ought to be provided at the public cost. (Hear, hear.) Additional polling places were provided in the English Reform Bill,1 and if, being necessary in Ireland, they were not provided by the Legislature, what would the Irish Reform Bill be worth after all? There were numbers of places in England much larger than those in Ireland for which exemptions were now sought, and, in his opinion, exceptions ought only to be made in extreme cases.
[After Drogheda, Kilkenny, and Waterford had been deleted from the amendment, it was accepted.]
The Government of India Bill 
PD, 3rd ser., Vol. 192, col. 1599. Reported in The Times, 16 June, p. 7, from which the variant is taken. Mill spoke during the second reading of “A Bill to Amend in Certain Respects the Act for the Better Government of India,” 31 Victoria (23 Apr., 1868), PP, 1867–68, II, 479–82, following Ayrton, who suggested that twelve years was too long a term for members of the Council
mr. j. stuart mill said, he agreed with his honourable Friend in thinking that seven years was a sufficiently long period for the tenure of office in the case of members of the Council; but he would suggest that there should be a power of re-appointment, because, while it was desirable to bring in those whose information was fresh, it would often be a great disadvantage to the Council to lose the services of some particular Member. aThat condition might be satisfied by providing that, insteada of two members being obliged to retire every year, one of the two might be eligible for re-appointment.
[After further brief debate, the second reading was agreed.]
PD, 3rd ser., Vol. 192, cols. 1611–12. Reported in The Times, 16 June, p. 8. Mill spoke during the second reading of “A Bill to Amend the Law of Registration so far as Relates to the Year 1868, and for Other Purposes Relating Thereto,” 31 Victoria (11 June, 1868), PP, 1867–68, IV, 395–406. Reference had been made to the disabilities of lodgers who were not served notice of objections to their registration.
mr. j. stuart mill said, he thought the point relating to lodgers a very serious one. Unless the lodger franchise was to be merely nominal, the law ought to require that notices should be served upon them when their right to vote was objected to; for otherwise, though the greater portion of them would be poor men, they would have to attend the Court from the very beginning of the revision to the end, in order to know whether they were objected to or not. Knowing this, very few of them would register at all. The obstacles in the way of the lodger were much greater than in the way of any other class, for instead of being put on the register by the overseers he had to make his own claim, and to repeat it every year. He ought not, then, to be liable to unknown objections at an unknown time.
[After other objections had been raised, the Bill was given second reading.]
Public Schools 
PD, 3rd ser., Vol. 192, cols. 1650, 1655. Reported in The Times, 17 June, p. 9, from which the responses are taken. Mill spoke in Committee on the recommitted “Bill [as Amended in Committee and by the Select Committee] to Make Further Provision for the Good Government and Extension of Certain Public Schools in England,” 31 Victoria (22 May, 1868), PP, 1867–68, IV, 317–36. His first intervention concerned Clause 2, which, interalia, defined “school” as including, “in the Case of Eton and Winchester, Eton College and Winchester College.” On 31 March, Mill had written to Chadwick to say that, though he could not write or open a debate on the issue, he would probably speak on it
(CW, Vol. XVI, p. 1381).
mr. j. stuart mill said, he understood that the Fellows of Eton College had very little to do with the school, except to usurp to themselves the greater portion of the endowments. (Hear, hear.) He thought that the Head master rather than the Provost should be the head of the governing body. (Loud cheers.)
[The Clause was accepted.]
[To Clause 3, which defined the existing “Governing Body,” with particular mention of various public schools, Henry Du Pré Labouchere (1831–1912) had moved (col. 1654) to include the Head Masters in such bodies.]
Mr. J. Stuart Mill hoped the right honourable Gentleman who had charge of the Bill1 would take into serious consideration the Amendment of his honourable Friend the Member for Middlesex (Mr. Labouchere). The object which they all had in view was to improve the schools. The Provost and Head master had the most to do in the management of the schools, and as the good government of those institutions was what should be steadily aimed at, that object could not be better promoted than by including the Provost and Head master in the governing body.
[Labouchere withdrew his amendment after assurance that the matter would be attended to.]
The Municipal Corporations (Metropolis) Bill 
PD, 3rd ser., Vol. 192, cols. 1730–5. Reported in The Times, 18 June, p. 6, from which the variants and responses are taken. Mill was moving the second reading of one of the Bills he had introduced on 5 May (see No. 93). As he indicates, he had been prevented from proceeding with the other, establishing a Corporation of London.
the house is aware that this Bill is only one of two which have some claim to be considered as one, inasmuch as they are parts of a combined plan for the local government of the metropolis. The most important of them, as the House is also aware, I have been unexpectedly prevented from proceeding with. It has been decided to be a violation of the Standing Orders.1 It appears to me a subject well worthy the consideration of the House under what circumstances this difficulty has arisen, and that I should have been unable to propose to the House a plan for the general municipal government of the metropolis because due notice has not been given to the Corporation of the City of London. The Bill is not of private, but of public interest; the Corporation is solely interested in it by reason of the property it holds for public purposes; the City of London is perfectly aware of all that is proposed, and has made no complaint of not having received notice. The promoters of the measure do not expect to make money by it, but may have a great deal to spend in carrying out its objects; and it appears to me worthy of consideration whether the forms required by the Standing Orders were ever intended for such a case as this, and whether the promoters of the Bill ought to be required to spend several hundreds of pounds out of their own pockets to give formal notice to the Corporation. Since the House did me the honour of permitting me to introduce the former measure,2 a great change has taken place in the situation of this country as respects its institutions. aThe great measure of last Session has been passed ,3 and our Constitution has been materially altered in a democratic direction. This new state of things imposes new duties; it requires the House, on the one hand, to do more than it was previously obliged to do; and, on the other, to consider the inconveniences, whether great or small, that may be created by the new direction in which we are proceeding, and to guard against them as far as possible.a It is well understood what is the special danger of democratic institutions: it is the absence of skilled administration; and I strongly recommend to the consideration of the honourable Member for Whitehaven (Mr. Bentinck), who I believe intends to move the rejection of the Bill,4 that the great political problem of the future, not only for this country, but for all others, is to obtain the combination of democratic institutions with skilled administration. It is extremely desirable that this House without either idle regret for the past or vain confidence in the future should apply itself to find out how these two things may best be united. I am anxious to impress on the House the importance of reviewing our institutions in this particular point of view, and to induce the friends of democracy to appreciate the advantages of skilled administration, and the admirers of skilled administration to appreciate the merits of democratic institutions. As regards the general principle on which municipal institutions should be founded, the established practice with us is that all the ratepayers should have a voice in the expenditure. In the democratic direction, nothing further than this can be desired. But in the matter of skilled administration there is much to be altered. All the defects of democratic institutions are great in proportion as the area is small; and if you wish to work them well, I do not know any rule more important than that you should never have a popular representative assembly on a small area, for if you do, it will be impossible to have skilled administration. There will be much less choice of persons; a much smaller number, and those less competent for the task, will be willing to undertake the conduct of public affairs. And here I must direct attention to a principle of great importance. The value of a popular administrative body—I might say of any popular body—is measured by the value of the permanent officers. When a popular body knows what it is fit for and what it is unfit for, it will more and more understand that it is not its business to administer, but that it is its business to see that the administration is done by proper persons, and to keep them to their duties. I hope it will be more and more felt that the duty of this House is to put the right persons on that Bench opposite, and when there to keep them to their work. Even in legislative business it is the chief duty—it is most consistent with the capacity of a popular assembly to see that the business is transacted by the most competent persons; confining its own direct intervention to the enforcement of real discussion and publicity of the reasons offered pro and con; the offering of suggestions to those who do the work, and the imposition of a check upon them if they are disposed to do anything wrong. People will more value the importance of this principle the longer they have experience of it. This principle, when applied to local popular administration, shows itself in a very strong light indeed. A popular assembly that has only a little work to do in a little area, tries to do it itself, and to transact public business by making speeches—the most ineffective way in which public business can be done. In proportion as the local body approaches to the position of a great assembly like the present—though at a great distance—and has to represent a large area, and has a great deal of various work to do, in that proportion it will feel that its business is not to do the work itself; its business is to set the right people to do it, and to use for the purpose of controlling them all the lights which the collision of opinion amongst their own members may produce, but not to take the work out of the hands of the administrators. The adoption of that principle absolutely requires that the popular democratic representative bodies, such as those by which our local administration is carried on, should not be on the small scale of a local board, but should be on a larger scale—as large a scale as is consistent with unity of interest in the body whose affairs they have to administer. The local business of the metropolis is now divided, in kind, amongst a variety of administrative bodies, and is likewise divided, in a most minute manner, geographically. The various parishes carry on their business by means of vestries and local boards, and there are duties besides, that do not belong to the vestries, which are of the most multifarious description possible. There are 37 districts for the registration of births, 56 for the purposes of the Building Act, 19 divisions for police purposes, 30 County Court districts, and 15 Militia districts.5 There should be for the administration of all this business a consolidation of those very small districts. Among the advantages to be derived from consolidation would be greater efficiency and economy. Nothing can surprise me more than to find any petition presented against this Bill on the ground that its effects will be to raise the rates; that is not only impossible, but it must have the contrary effect, because in proportion as the present divisions approach the size they would all reach when combined under the plan I propose, economy has been effected. Compare the two districts, for example, of Marylebone and Westminster, which are about equal in population. Marylebone is all one parish under one local government, and is an approximation to the system I would establish, and its administrative expenses amount to £8,000 a year. Westminster is divided amongst five boards, and the five boards cost £20,000 a year. Probably not more than a third of the number of officers employed in Westminster is employed in Marylebone. In fact, the more an area is divided into independent districts, the more paid officers there must be, and the less skilled they will be. The small districts cannot afford to pay for the greatest skill, and the smallness of the districts prevents the officers from acquiring it. Add to this the expense now arising from quarrels and litigation, which, of course, would not exist if these boards were fused into one. I find that no less than 4,000 persons are engaged, in some capacity or other, in the local government of the metropolis. I cannot help asking, would any person now think of establishing the present system of administration in the metropolis if it did not already exist? Would it exist at all except for the accidental growing up of arrangements that have never been reviewed? In a great metropolis, who cares about his parish, except for its church? and, as we are going to get rid of church rates, the parish will have no common interest at all in future. If we are to have a body that can do the work well, the first condition must be unlimited publicity—publicity which must not be theoretic, but real. It is not only that the people should have a right to know what is done; but that they should really and actually know what is being done. You must get them to give their attention to it; and that is not accomplished on the present system, because the area of administration being on so small a scale, the public does not take sufficient interest in the subject to inquire into what is being done. bNo one troubles himself either to be a candidate for a seat in the vestry or to read the debates. But, while the ratepayers will not look after their own interests, the power of those who take a part in parish affairs from private and interested motives is increased, because they have an opportunity of promoting their ends by unseen modes.b Except in a large parish, no light is thrown on what is going on. I am far from undervaluing what the local institutions, imperfect as they are, have done; but they are doing much less every day, as the conditions on which they were established become less adapted to existing circumstances. It is very generally believed that it is an extremely frequent thing for persons who sit in vestries of the metropolis to be landlords of small tenements utterly unfit for human habitations (hear, hear), men whose interest—I do not say they always yield to that interest—is not to promote those sanitary arrangements for the improvement of the dwelling places of the great mass of the community which it should be our object to promote. (Hear.) In the Bill of my honourable Friend the Member for Finsbury (Mr. M’Cullagh Torrens)—the Labourers’ and Artizans’ Dwellings Bill—it was desired to give greater powers in dealing with that class of property,6 but no authority could be found that was deemed fit to exercise those powers. cThe Bill proposed to give powers to the vestries, but this was struck out in Committee, on the ground that they were not bodies of sufficient importance, and that they could not be trusted. But when the Metropolitan Board of Works was substituted7 and the Bill came on for discussion in the House, objection was taken to the Metropolitan Board as not being a sufficiently representative and popular bodyc;8 and I have received repeated applications to oppose the Bill on that ground. It may be said that, acting on the principles I have enunciated, I ought to have proposed one municipal government for the whole metropolis. There is a good deal to be said for such a course. But on the other hand, it might shock settled ideas to propose at once to entrust the whole local government of so vast an area, with about 3,000,000 of inhabitants, to one local body. The business to be intrusted to their management would, moreover, be too great, and it would give them the control of too large an amount of revenue; and it would have been useless to attempt to obtain the consent of the House to such a measure. Probably it is better to have local municipal bodies for the different Parliamentary boroughs, and that the central Board should not be troubled with any business but such as is common to the whole metropolis. The Parliamentary boroughs offer a medium between the contemptibly small size of an ordinary parish and the inordinate size of the whole metropolis; and in them there has grown up, from the circumstance of their being Parliamentary boroughs, a certain feeling of local connection amongst the whole of the inhabitants. This feeling exists in a very great degree in the old Parliamentary districts, the City of London, Westminster, and Southwark; and some amount of it has grown up even in those which were created by the Act of 1832.9 I therefore propose by the Bill which I ask you to read a second time, to create municipalities for the Parliamentary districts, which shall exercise the powers of the municipalities under the Municipal Corporations Act.10 and also those of the vestries and local boards of the metropolis, except so far as Parliament shall otherwise dispose. It may be said that the Metropolitan Board of Works meets the idea of a central Board. The Metropolitan Board is a clumsy creation, arising from the felt want of some body to represent the whole metropolis. It was at first called into existence to dexecute the great work of main drainaged which is now nearly completed, and its existence would in consequence have soon expired, but that Parliament in the meantime found out the necessity of some such central body, and threw upon it a great variety of duties, which originally were not contemplatede, down even to the naming of the streetse . It never was intended that the Board should be a municipality for the whole of London; and I cannot conceive that that body can continue to discharge those duties without its construction being at least greatly modified. (Hear, hear.) I could not expect that this Bill would pass at this period of the Session, even if the Government were to adopt it; but I think it is right to remind the House of this question, and to prepare the public mind for a more mature consideration of it. On these grounds I beg to move that the Bill be now read a second time. (Hear, hear.)
[After some debate the matter was adjourned until 30 June when, after more discussion, the Bill was lost.]
The Government of India Bill 
PD, 3rd ser., Vol. 192, cols. 1876–7. Reported in The Times, 23 June, p. 7, from which the variants and responses are taken. For the Bill, see No. 102. In the debate on going into Committee, Lord William Montagu Hay (1826–1911), M.P. for Taunton, had opened the discussion of the Bill’s main provision, that Council membership should be for twelve years rather than life, by suggesting that Council’s power of overruling the Secretary of State on matters of expenditure should be curtailed. He suggested that expenses should be submitted to Parliament in the estimates.
mr. j. stuart mill said, he agreed with the noble Lord that it was most important that India should be governed in India, and that there was a great tendency in the change of circumstances which had rendered communication with India so much easier to lead to over-interference on the part of the Home Government.1 But, after all, they could not altogether abdicate their control, though the best way in which that control could be exercised would be to send out men to represent us who could be relied upon to perform their duty well. (Hear, hear.) Since there must be a controlling power here, the question was between placing it in the Secretary of State alone or in the Secretary of State and the Council. On that point he did not think the noble Lord had said anything which tended to show that it was better to place that control in the Secretary of State alone rather than in the Secretary of State and a Council which had an effective power. The noble Lord had admitted the absolute necessity of the Secretary of State being assisted by persons who had acquired a knowledge of Indiaa, and who should hold a more responsible position than that of being a mere consultative bodya .2 About that there could be no difference of opinion between the noble Lord and himself. But if the Council did not possess some substantive power, if they were made a consultative body only, they never would have that degree of weight which they ought to possess; they would be ba mere superfluous wheel in the machineryb . If they had only the power of giving their opinions they would never be so powerful with the Secretary of State as his own subordinates in Office. (Hear, hear.) If the House did not think that the Council as at present constituted was the best controlling body, they could try to improve it; and various modes of doing so had been suggested, some of which he thought were improvements. Perhaps it would be an improvement if a portion of them were allowed to sit in that House. He confessed he was surprised, however, when the noble Lord said that if the present powers of the Council were continued he would be against its Members being admitted to seats in that House; but if their powers were taken away then he thought it would be of advantage that they should have seats.3 Now, such an expression of opinion appeared to him at variance with the whole course of the noble Lord’s argument, because he had contended that the Council were irresponsible, and that the Secretary of State was the only one who had any responsibility.4 But what responsibility had the Secretary of State? It was that he could be called to account in that House, and if he did not succeed in defending his measures he could be turned out of Office. But the same thing would happen to the Council. They could be turned out (No) after a period of trial, because the proposal of this Bill was to make the duration of Office as a matter of course shorter. But of all the surprising things in the speech of the noble Lord that which had surprised him most was that the noble Lord should have brought forward the tendency of this country to throw all expenditure, when any excuse could be found, on the people of India, as a reason for asking the consent of England, not India, when such expenditure was in question.5 (Hear.) If there was one thing which might be held absolutely certain, it was that the majority of a body constituted like the Council would in such matters be on the side of India. The Court of Directors had always been so, and many a battle to his knowledge had been fought by them with the Board of Control, in order to prevent such expenditure from being thrown upon India; and they often succeeded, but, he was sorry to say, still oftener failed. Now, if the power of sanctioning expenditure were taken away from the Council, which represented India, and given to that House, which did not represent India; and which seldom troubled itself about India at all, but which did care about England and its burthens, and if the noble Lord believed that the House would be actuated in such matters by a generous and chivalrous spirit and would take the burden from India to throw it upon their own constituents, he must say that the noble Lord had a far higher opinion of the virtue of that House than his (Mr. Stuart Mill’s) experience had taught him to have of that or perhaps any other public body in similar circumstances. (Hear.)
[The House went into Committee on the Bill.]
Public Schools 
PD, 3rd ser., Vol. 192, cols. 1928–9, 1931–2. Reported (first part) in The Times, 24 June, p. 6. For the Bill, see No. 104. Mill spoke in Committee on Clause 6, concerning the power of the governing bodies to make statutes under certain restrictions. James Lowther (1840–1904), M.P. for York, had proposed an amendment to leave out the section: “With respect to the privileges and number of boys who, under any Statute or Benefaction, may be entitled to any rights to education or maintenance”
mr. j. stuart mill earnestly hoped that the Committee would not adopt the Amendment proposed by the honourable Member for York. One of the most scandalous abuses connected with endowed schools was that the endowments intended for the education of children of parents who could not afford to pay for their education, had been in fact confiscated for the benefit of those who could afford to pay for it. Whether this was a case of the kind he did not know; but it appeared that the choristers and the sons of the tenants of the Dean and Chapter had some rights by virtue of the old endowment. The clause did not define their rights, or state whether such rights existed; it merely gave the governing body the power to consider whether such rights existed, and to take measures with respect to them. The subject had attracted the attention of the working classes themselves. To his own knowledge there had been formed in the North of England an association of the working classes to obtain a restoration of their rights—he would not say in Westminster School particularly—but in endowed schools generally. Unless means were taken to deal with this question by a measure of wider extent, the feeling amongst the working classes would grow much stronger, and the House might expect to hear a great deal more of it. It was not merely that there were rights, but the rights were known by the persons for whose benefit they were created. The House would do well to give to the authorities who were to make the new statutes the power of considering this matter amongst others.
[The amendment was defeated (col. 1930). Mill’s second intervention was on Clause 6 as a whole.]
Mr. J. Stuart Mill said, he wished to impress upon the right honourable Member for the University of Cambridge (Mr. Walpole), who had charge of the Bill, the importance of the suggestion that had been made by the honourable Member for North Devon (Mr. Acland).1 The schools whose case they were considering differed from schools generally, in that they were schools intended for the purpose of imparting the highest class of education; and no one supposed that this either ought to, or need be given to the whole of the children of the working or lower middle classes. But, on the other hand, the élite of those classes had a right to claim that that sort of education should be afforded to them. To those who are most proficient in the lower grades of education, the next highest ought to be opened at the expense of the magnificent endowments for educational purposes in this country. As this was a matter of great importance, requiring to be carefully considered, not so much by the House as by the body the House was about to create, he hoped the Committee would not predetermine that no part of those great endowments should be appropriated to the purpose of providing the higher kinds of education for such persons as those to which he had referred.
[Acland’s suggestion, not being an amendment, was not voted on; the Clause was accepted (col. 1932).]
The Sea-Fisheries (Ireland) Bill
PD, 3rd ser., Vol. 192, cols. 2021–2. Reported in The Times, 25 June, p. 6, from which the responses are taken. Mill spoke during the second reading of “A Bill to Amend the Laws Relative to the Coast and Deep Sea Fisheries of Ireland,” 31 Victoria (30 Apr., 1868), PP, 1867–68, V, 205–20, following Shaw-Lefevre
mr. j. stuart mill said, the main objection of his honourable Friend who had just sat down to the granting of loans to the Irish fishermen was that if this were done for Ireland it should be done for Scotland and England. His answer was that Ireland was a more backward country than either Scotland or England. Government might very properly undertake to do things for a country which was industrially backward, which no one could expect from them in the case of a country which was in a more advanced and prosperous condition. (Hear, hear.) This consideration was of all the more weight when it was remembered that the industrial backwardness of Ireland was, in a great measure, attributable to the past legislation of this country. For a long period English legislators, without distinction of party, employed themselves in crushing this and most other branches of Irish enterprize. It was therefore incumbent on us, now that we were wiser and able to look upon our past conduct with shame, to legislate in an opposite direction, and even to risk if necessary the loss of small sums of money to advance that industry which we had formerly endeavoured to retard. (Hear, hear.)
[The Bill was given a second reading.]
Election Petitions and Corrupt Practices at Elections 
PD, 3rd ser., Vol. 192, cols. 2180–1. Reported in The Times, 26 June, p. 9, from which the response is taken. For the Bill, see No. 89. Mill spoke in Committee on Clause 5: “From and after the next Dissolution of Parliament a Petition complaining of an undue Return or undue Election of a Member to serve in Parliament for a County or Borough may be presented to the Court of Common Pleas by any One or more” of certain designated people. Edward Henry John Crauford (1816–87), M.P. for Ayr, had moved an amendment to replace “Court of Common Pleas” by “House of Commons”
mr. j. stuart mill said, that, in the course of the rather severe criticisms which had been made upon the Bill, it seemed to have been forgotten that, whatever might be its defects, it provided one of the most important remedies for bribery and corruption—a local investigation. (Hear, hear.) His own opinion was that the worst plan which involved such an investigation would be better than the best plan without it. But if there were a local investigation the jurisdiction must be altered; and the question was whether a tribunal should be constituted composed of one of the Judges of the land as proposed in the Government plan, or of a Judge sitting with a jury as suggested by the right honourable Gentleman the Member for Kilmarnock (Mr. Bouverie)?1 However that might be he was anxious to impress on the House that any such tribunal would be only fit to be a tribunal of appeal, and that it would be necessary to have besides a tribunal of investigation. The best plan, therefore, to adopt, seemed to him that of which he had given Notice, and which he had drawn up with the assistance of Mr. Serjeant Pulling,2 providing that the Revising Barrister, an officer conversant with elections, and having a considerable acquaintance with the locality, should be the person to hold the investigation in the first instance. The investigation should take place before the return of the writ, and there should be a scrutiny. They must endeavour to put an end to excessive expenditure; and he thought the expense of the preliminary investigation should be borne by the public, either out of the borough rate or be charged on the Consolidated Fund. If the Amendment were pressed to a division he should vote for the provision in the Bill as against the Amendment.
[The amendment failed (col. 2189).]
The Municipal Corporations (Metropolis) Bill 
PD, 3rd ser., Vol. 193, col. 419. Reported in The Times, 1 July, p. 8. For the Bill, see No. 93. Mill opened the adjourned debate on the second reading.
mr. j. stuart mill appealed to the Secretary of State for India, by whom the adjournment of the debate had been moved on the former occasion,1 to proceed with his argument.
Sir Stafford Northcote said, that at that late hour he did not feel justified in launching the House upon a fresh discussion.
Mr. J. Stuart Mill then briefly replied to some of the arguments advanced in the course of the debate a few days since upon this Bill,2 expressing his regret that the measure, instead of being met with a direct negative by a private Member,3 had not been left for the consideration of the Government.
[The Bill was put off for three months, i.e., abandoned.]
Election Petitions and Corrupt Practices at Elections 
PD, 3rd ser., Vol. 193, cols. 734–5, 742, 744, 746. Reported in The Times, 7 July, p. 7, from which the responses are taken. For the Bill, see No. 89. Mill spoke in Committee again on Clause 5 (see No. 109), following a proposal by Bouverie (cols. 722–8) that jurisdiction be given to tribunals of Members of Parliament presided over by Judges from the Superior Courts. Writing to W.D. Christie on 7 July, Mill says: “When you read the Bribery debate of last night, do not suppose that I have abandoned, even temporarily, the advocacy of our plan of a jurisdiction. I told the House (though this is not reported) that I should bring that forward before Clause 10 is disposed of: and it will come on at the beginning of the next discussion.”
(CW, Vol. XVI, p. 1421.)
mr. j. stuart mill said, he thought it was desirable that the discussion should not be complicated by a reference to all the various plans which had been suggested; and he should therefore address himself to the Amendment of his right honourable Friend the Member for Kilmarnock (Mr. Bouverie) as compared with the provisions of the Bill. His right honourable Friend contended that Committees of the House, as at present constituted, gave their decisions in Election cases with great impartiality, and he was not prepared to deny that such was the fact as far as the decision with respect to the seat and the existence of corrupt practices was concerned. Did a Committee of that House, however, he should like to know, ever find a Member guilty of bribery? (Cries of Yes.) Not once in fifty years. But if it were proved that a candidate had deposited a large sum at his bankers, that he made no inquiry as to how it was expended, and that his recognized agents had laid out portions of it in bribing, would not any tribunal, except one composed of Members of the same class as himself, and who were liable to the same temptations, find him guilty of some kind of corruption? (Hear, hear.) What he desired to see was a tribunal which would consider bribery which was tolerated by a candidate as if it had been committed by him, and that would not be done, he believed, so long as the decision rested with the House itself. The Amendment of his right honourable Friend would be an improvement on the existing state of things, but it failed in the essential condition of providing a local inquiry, and one that could be pursued when Parliament was not sitting. By means of a local inquiry the commission of offences could be much more easily detected than if the investigation were conducted at a distance. If local inquiry was of no advantage, what was the use of the Judges going circuit? The cases were precisely analogous. Although he thought that the plan of the Government possessed a great advantage over that of his right honourable Friend, yet he was far from being disposed to place implicit confidence in the Judges. He could not forget that they had been politicians, and that they were sometimes thought to be politicians still. There was reason to believe that a recent charge in the Court of Queen’s Bench would cost the Government several votes on the present Bill, though it would not cost them his.1 If, however, the Bill were passed as it stood, it would not be in the power of the House—as they had been reminded at an earlier stage of the debate by the right honourable Member for Oxfordshire (Mr. Henley)2 —after trying the experiment, to discontinue it without the consent of the other branch of the Legislature. Now, he thought it very important that the House should be able to put a stop to the experiment without any consent but its own, and he should therefore suggest that the operation of the Act be limited to two years. Under ordinary circumstances he should say five years, but having regard to the experience which they would at once have of the working of the Act, he thought two years sufficient. In the meantime we should have a most important General Election, and there would, in all probability, be a sufficient number of Election Petitions to give an ample trial of the experiment. (Hear, hear.)
[The Clause was agreed, and discussion turned to Clause 6, dealing with regulations as to presentation of petitions. Karslake, the Attorney General, announced that he would introduce a clause (col. 741) which would meet all the objections made.]
Mr. J. Stuart Mill stated that as his three Amendments on this clause had been virtually disposed of, he did not propose to move them.3
[Clause 6 was agreed (col. 744). In the discussion of Clause 7, dealing with the manner in which a recognizance might be objected to, Mill proposed an amendment to add,] “And the respondent making any such objection shall be required to serve notice of it, precisely describing the ground of it, on the Petitioner, or on all the Petitioners, if more than one, within the said prescribed time, not exceeding five days.”
They ought not to discourage, but rather to facilitate the presentation of Petitions, and petitioners ought to have such warning of any objection taken to their sureties as would enable them, if any mistakes had been made, to rectify them.
[The Attorney General said, the present practice in that matter worked very well, and he thought the use of the word precisely in the Amendment would not add much to its efficacy, while it might raise numerous questions in regard to every one of the notices served.]
Mr. J. Stuart Mill said, he had no objection to omit from his Amendment the words “precisely describing the ground of it,” but he thought that notice of objection ought to be given.
[George Denman (1819–96), the chief commentator on Mill’s amendment, remarked on the number of vexatious petitioners who preyed on honest candidates (col. 745).]
Mr. J. Stuart Mill said, he was fully aware of the evil to which his honourable and learned Friend the Member for Tiverton (Mr. Denman) referred. He believed that there were nearly as many dishonest Petitions as there were corrupt elections. But the remedy for this evil must be taught independently, and not by rendering bonâ fide Petitions expensive and difficult.
[The amendment was lost, and the Clause agreed (col. 746).]
Public Schools 
PD, 3rd ser., Vol. 193, col. 823. Reported in The Times, 8 July, p. 7, from which the variants are taken. For the Bill, see No. 104. Mill spoke in Committee on a Clause introduced by Lowe: “That all boys educated at the seven Schools mentioned in this Act shall be examined once a year, by one of the Inspectors of the Committee of Council on Education, in reading, writing from dictation, arithmetic, including vulgar fractions, practice, and the rule of three, geography, English grammar and history, and the results of such examination and the Report of the examining Inspectors shall be laid before Parliament” (col. 819). Some speakers objected that outside examinations involved a degradation of the schools and some that government should not interfere; one suggested an entrance examination.
mr. j. stuart mill said, the remedy which was now proposed was that the scholars should be examined, not in athose higher branches of learning whicha the schools professed to teach, but in what every boy should know before he went. To examine them in what any boy should know at a National School might be an extremely good joke bagainst the schools; but he hoped no one would vote for it seriouslyb . The examination should be in those subjects the cultivation of which was the purpose of the schools. But he quite agreed that the examination provided by the clause might be applied as an entrance examination.
[Finally the Clause was withdrawn.]
PD, 3rd ser., Vol. 193, col. 833. Reported in The Times, 8 July, p. 7. In Committee of Supply, considering the Post Office estimates, McLaren had suggested that the Post Office could easily carry such printed materials as election circulars for 1/2d. instead of 1d.
mr. j. stuart mill said, that with reference to the matter so ably advocated by his honourable Friend, he could not help suggesting to the Chancellor of the Exchequer that it would be very proper to carry bonâ fide election circulars through the Post Office free.1 If that were done it might come to pass that candidates would address their constituents much more by circulars than by speeches. Election expenses were increased much more than honourable Gentlemen were aware by the charges for the delivery of election circulars.
The Government of India Bill 
PD, 3rd ser., Vol. 193, cols. 859–60, 861–2. Reported in The Times, 9 July, p. 6, from which the variant and responses are taken. For the Bill, see No. 102. Mill spoke in Committee on Clause 2, which provided yearly salaries for future Members of the India Council of £1500, but ruled out retiring pensions for them. An amendment had been offered that would have had the effect of treating continuing Members in the same way, and the debate turned on the issue of whether those appointed under the India Act of 1858 had legitimately expected a choice between continuing for life or retiring after ten years with a pension. Ayrton argued that Parliament had the right to reconsider the arrangements of the Act of 1858; it was better, he asserted, that such Members should serve another ten years at £1500 than to fix no limit at all, and in any case most of them already had a pension from their Indian service
mr. j. stuart mill said, that his honourable and learned Friend the Member for the Tower Hamlets (Mr. Ayrton) had forgotten one matter—namely, that the pensions from India were bought, being derived from stoppages from pay. He (Mr. Stuart Mill) quite agreed that an ample salary rendered a retiring pension unnecessary. But there would be a hardship if, when the expectation of pensions had been held out to the existing Councillors, they were deprived of pensions in the end. If an increase of salary were to be given instead, that increase should range over a fresh series of ten years. But the reason which induced the House to limit the service of future Councillors should prevent it from continuing the old for another ten years. He, therefore, recommended the Committee to agree to give the old members an opportunity of serving for another five years at the increased salary, or else to grant them a pension at the end of the ten years.
[After a short discussion, Stafford Northcote said that Mill’s suggestion could best be dealt with in a new clause, which he would consider carefully; he recommended that the amendment be withdrawn (col. 860).]
Mr. J. Stuart Mill said, he would be happy to bring up a new clause.
[The amendment was withdrawn, and another offered to reduce the salary to £1200.]
Mr. J. Stuart Mill said, that if it was not for the Council the Government of India would be left wholly to the Secretary of State—who before his appointment was agenerallya ignorant of Indian affairs—and to such irresponsible persons as he might choose to consult, who if he had a pre-conceived opinion would be likely to share it. The Secretary of State would be left with no regular assistance but that of the subordinates in his office. Of the latter, having himself been included in the number, he entertained, generally speaking, a very high opinion; but he did not think Parliament and the country would approve of handing over the government of India entirely to them. It was absolutely necessary that there should be associated with them some men of standing, of professional knowledge, and practical acquaintance with India, whose names and character were known to the public. (Hear, hear.) It was also necessary that such salaries should be given them as would induce them to continue in their offices. Although yielding to no one in his desire for economy, he did not think that retrenchment was judicious when it took the form of stinting the remuneration for the best and most difficult work. (Hear, hear.) It was possible they might get very much the same class of men for £1,200 as for £1,500; but, in the absence of a pension, he did not think the latter amount excessive.
[The Bill was withdrawn on 27 July because there was insufficient time for its discussion (col. 1871).]
Election Petitions and Corrupt Practices at Elections 
PD, 3rd ser., Vol. 193, cols. 1015–16, 1020. Reported in The Times, 11 July, p. 6. For the Bill, see No. 89. Mill spoke in Committee first on Clause 14, dealing with the trial of election petitions.
mr. j. stuart mill said, he had intended, before the clause was finally agreed to, to make some observations in vindication of a plan which was embodied in three pages of Amendments that stood on the Notice Paper in his name.1 As the Committee had, however, already virtually decided against his plan, he would not now press his Amendments.
[Mill’s second intervention came during the discussion of Clause 17, dealing with the judge’s report as to corrupt practices.]
Mr. J. Stuart Mill said, that as he had an important Amendment to propose,2 and there was not time for the discussion, he would beg to move that the Committee report Progress.
Election Petitions and Corrupt Practices at Elections 
PD, 3rd ser., Vol. 193, cols. 1166–8, 1169, 1176–7, 1177, 1178. Reported in The Times, 15 July, pp. 6–7. For the Bill, see No. 89. Mill spoke in Committee on discussion of Clause 17
(see No. 115).
the addition which I propose to this clause is one of great importance, since it raises the question of providing better security against corrupt practices in municipal, as well as Parliamentary elections. No one is likely to deny that bribery in municipal elections deserves repression as much, and is as unfit to be tolerated or indulged, as bribery in Parliamentary elections; and the special reason why it should be dealt with in this Bill is that, as we are told by all who know anything about the matter, municipal bribery is the great school of Parliamentary bribery. Honourable Members of this House have on a former occasion testified to this fact from their personal knowledge, and I shall quote only two authorities for it. One is that eminent Conservative solicitor, Mr. Philip Rose, formerly as intimately known to honourable Gentlemen opposite as his partner, Mr. Spofforth, now is.1 Mr. Rose, before the Select Committee of this House on Corrupt Practices, in 1860, expressed himself in these words—
My strong opinion is, that all the efforts which are now being made to check bribery at Parliamentary elections will fail, for this reason, that you do not attempt to strike at the root of the offence. The real nursery for the evil is the municipal contests; and those oft-recurring contests have led to the establishment of what I might almost term an organized system of corruption in the municipal boroughs throughout the kingdom, which provides a machinery ready made to hand, available when the Parliamentary contest arrives.2
My next authority is the Committee itself, before whom this evidence was given, and who reported—
That it has been proved to the satisfaction of your Committee, that an intimate connection exists between bribery at municipal and Parliamentary elections, and it is expedient that the provisions as to punishments and forfeitures for the offences of bribery at each such election should be assimilated as far as possible.3
Notwithstanding this recommendation of the Select Committee, which I hope that the next House of Commons will see the propriety of adopting in its integrity, I have not ventured to propose that the present Bill should provide a machinery for the investigation and punishment of corrupt practices at municipal elections. But I do propose, by the present Amendment, and by an additional clause which will follow in due course,4 that when the machinery which the Bill does provide for the investigation of corrupt practices at Parliamentary elections is actually set in motion, the inquiry may extend to municipal as well as to Parliamentary corruption. If the House adopt my Amendment, the Special Commission, which is already empowered to inquire into Parliamentary elections previous to that which caused the issue of the Commission, will have the power conferred on it of inquiring, to exactly the same extent, into previous municipal elections. By the additional clause, the Judge who tries an Election Petition, may take evidence to prove that an elector who voted at the Parliamentary election had been guilty of corrupt practices at any municipal election within two years previous, for the purpose, of course, of showing that his vote was corruptly influenced at the Parliamentary election. The period of two years is selected with reference to the term fixed by the 56th clause of the Municipal Corporations Act;5 and I confidently claim, both for the Amendment and for the new clause, the support of all honourable Members who really desire to lay the axe at the root of electoral corruption. The honourable Member moved to add at the end of the clause the following words—
And it shall be competent for any such Commission to inquire into corrupt practices at previous municipal Elections within the county or borough as fully as into corrupt practices at previous Parliamentary Elections.
[John George Dodson, Chairman of the Committee of Ways and Means, expressed opinion that the amendment, because it dealt with municipal elections, was not sufficiently relevant to be considered (col. 1168).]
Mr. J. Stuart Mill observed that he had so altered his Amendment as to obviate the difficulty started by the Chairman. He proposed it should run thus—
And it shall be competent for any such Commission to inquire how far corrupt practices at any previous municipal Election may have conduced to corrupt practices at the Parliamentary Election.
[Even in this form, the Chairman said, the amendment went beyond the proper limits of the Bill, and suggested that, at the Report stage, Mill bring up a clause to that effect (col. 1169).]
Mr. J. Stuart Mill said, he would avail himself of that suggestion.
[The amendment was withdrawn.]
[Mill’s third intervention came at the beginning of discussion of Clause 43, which was designed to throw costs of a petition fully on the petitioner or petitioners.]
Mr. J. Stuart Mill proposed, in page 14, line 11, to insert after “on the whole successful” the words—
And in the case of any such Petition where any corrupt practice is charged to have taken place, and where the court or judge has decided that any corrupt practice has been proved, the court or judge shall have power to order any portion or the whole of the costs, charges, and expenses to be defrayed by any party or parties who may have been proved guilty of corrupt practices, or by the county or borough, in the same manner as expenses incurred in the registration of voters for the county or borough, regard being had to the importance of securing the best efforts of the county or borough for repression of corrupt practices.
In the case of any Petition complaining of general or extensive prevalence of corrupt practices, if the court or judge shall be of opinion that there was reasonable and probable ground for its allegations, the petitioner or petitioners shall be relieved of all costs, charges, and expenses incurred in and about the inquiry, and it shall be in the power of the court or judge to distribute the said costs, charges, and expenses in such proportions as it or he may think fit between parties who shall have been found guilty of corrupt practices, or who shall have caused expense by vexatious conduct, unfounded allegations, or unfounded objections, and the county or borough, as the case may be, the expenses charged on the county or borough to be defrayed in the same manner as expenses incurred in the registration of voters for the county or borough.
The principle of this Amendment is that to bring to light, and prosecute to conviction, acts of bribery, or other corruption at elections, is a public service; and that, being a public service, those who are judicially decided to have performed that service ought not to be required to pay the expenses of it from their private purse. It is enough that they take upon themselves the risk of failing to establish the charge, which, we all know, may easily, and does frequently, happen when it is perfectly notorious that the charge is true. But when it has been proved true, and is judicially declared to be so proved, I maintain that the Petitioners have a clear moral right to be indemnified for the expense. Their first claim, no doubt, is upon the parties who, through their instrumentality, have been found guilty; but the Judge may not always think fit to inflict even upon proved corruption, so heavy a penalty as the entire expenses of the Petition; and it will often happen that the parties have not the means of paying it. I propose, therefore, that the Judge should have the power of apportioning the expense in whatever manner he deems most just, between the persons convicted of corrupt practices, and the county or borough.
[After some objections, Karslake, the Attorney General, asserted that the amendment would allow anyone to assert that a bribe had been offered, without the person accused having a chance of defence (col. 1177).]
Mr. J. Stuart Mill asked, whether since Judges could be trusted to decide cases of political importance, the Attorney General believed they could not be trusted to exercise proper caution in awarding costs?
[The amendment was defeated, and the clause agreed.]
[Mill proposed his last amendment to Clause 45, dealing with punishment of candidates found guilty of bribery: their election would be declared void, and they would be ineligible for reelection for seven years.]
Mr. J. Stuart Mill moved, in page 14, line 35, to leave out the word “bribery,” in order to insert the words “corrupt practice” in its stead. “Corrupt practice” were the words used generally throughout the Bill as a description of the offence with which the measure dealt. His object was to extend the operation of the clause to persons guilty of treating or of intimidation.
[It was argued that the amendment would place too heavy a punishment on mere treating or intimidation, and the amendment was lost (col. 1178).]
The Fenian Prisoners 
PD, 3rd ser., Vol. 193, cols. 1282–3. Reported in The Times, 17 July, p. 7.
mr. j. stuart mill said, he wished to ask the Chief Secretary for Ireland,1 If Her Majesty’s Government will take into favourable consideration the question whether the time is arrived when the very heavy sentences passed on Warren and Costello, the only two persons of the crew of the Jackmell who have not been released, may be remitted or mitigated?2
The Earl of Mayo, in reply, said, he was glad the honourable Member put the Question, because considerable misapprehension seemed to exist upon the subject. The two prisoners referred to were convicted for coming to Ireland in an armed vessel, and cruizing along the coast in order to raise an armed insurrection against the Queen. The only evidence given against them of their proceedings in the United States of America—was that they were members of the Fenian Brotherhood previous to the 5th of March, 1867, the date of overt acts connected with the rising in which their brother conspirators were engaged. That evidence was necessary to connect them with the Fenian society, and in accordance with the terms of the Treason Felony Act that brought them within the jurisdiction of this country, so that in reality their case did not differ in any considerable degree from those of the great mass of the Fenian prisoners tried and convicted in Ireland. He was afraid the time was hardly yet come when it would be possible to enter into anything like a general consideration of the sentences passed upon the Fenian prisoners with a view either to a commutation or a remission of their sentences, and, therefore, he did not see any exception in the case of these two prisoners.
Election Petitions and Corrupt Practices at Elections 
PD, 3rd ser., Vol. 193, cols. 1370, 1373, 1381. Reported in The Times, 18 July, p. 7. For the Bill, see No. 89. Mill spoke in Committee first on Clause 46, which voided election of anyone found guilty of employing corrupt agents. Amberley moved an amendment to add the penalty of disqualification from election for three years (col. 1370). Mill’s comment was prompted by an objection that an innocent might unwittingly fall into the hands of a corrupt agent.
mr. j. stuart mill said, the Amendment would only apply to a candidate who knowingly employed a corrupt agent.
[The amendment was defeated, and the clause agreed (col. 1373).]
[Mill’s second intervention came during discussion of Clause 47, providing that people, other than the candidate, found guilty of bribery should lose their votes.]
Mr. J. Stuart Mill moved, in page 15, line 16, after “voting at any,” insert “Parliamentary and municipal,” the object being to extend penalties to bribery at municipal Elections.
[Brett, the Solicitor General, argued that at this time in the session, and in this Bill, they should confine themselves to Parliamentary elections (col. 1373).]
Mr. J. Stuart Mill said, that his proposition was simply that a person convicted of bribery at a Parliamentary Election should be disqualified from voting at future municipal as well as Parliamentary Elections.
[Disraeli objected that municipal elections would have to be considered later; Mill withdrew his amendment, and the clause was agreed (col. 1373).]
[Mill’s third intervention followed the introduction of a new Clause by the Solicitor General, providing for Commissions of Inquiry into corrupt practices (col. 1380).]
Mr. J. Stuart Mill said, he wished to express his acknowledgments to the Government for the great improvement which had been effected in the Bill.
Poor Relief 
PD, 3rd ser., Vol. 193, cols. 1424–5. Reported in The Times, 18 July, p. 8, from which the response is taken. Mill spoke in Committee on “A Bill to Make Further Amendments in the Laws for the Relief of the Poor,” 31 Victoria (23 June, 1868), PP, 1867–68, IV, 167–78. The discussion was of Clause 3, which allowed the Poor Law Board to appoint officers if the Guardians failed to do so.
mr. j. stuart mill said, that the grand principle of improvement in Poor Law administration was not to strengthen the power of the guardians but of the Poor Law Board. (Hear.) The guardians frequently refused to perform their obvious local duties, to the injury of the sick, the poor, and the lunatics, and to the oppression of the medical profession, which performed the most important duties to these suffering and unprotected persons. In all these matters the central authority was more to be depended upon than the local Boards. He preferred the Amendment of his honourable Friend (Mr. P.A. Taylor),1 but, as the Committee had negatived it, he should give his strong support to the clause.
Election Petitions and Corrupt Practices at Elections 
PD, 3rd ser., Vol. 193, cols. 1449, 1451, 1456. Reported in The Times, 20 July, p. 6, from which the variants and response are taken. For the Bill, see No. 89 The discussion in Committee was on an additional Clause proposed by Fawcett, which provided that the expenses of returning officers be paid out of the rates, and required a deposit on behalf of every candidate of £100, such monies, in the case of candidates receiving less than 10% of the votes received by the least successful of the successful candidates, to be used to help defray expenses (cols. 1443–4). After some discussion, including the assertion that candidates’ paying of returning officers was not a corrupt practice, the case was raised of Members who, having accepted office, had to stand for re-election: Should the rates cover their expenses?
ais it fair or reasonable to take advantage of a technical difficulty in order to leave a question of this sort undecided until after the next election? If in a purely legal point of view it does not belong to the subject of corrupt practices, yet it belongs to a system of measures of which that relating to corrupt practices is the completion. Unless it be agreed to, the system will be left incomplete, and the Reform Act will, in some important respects, actually deteriorate the representation, for its practical effect will be to bring us nearer to a plutocracy than we ever have been before.a I would most earnestly appeal to the honourable Member for Suffolk (Mr. Corrance), who has made so excellent a speech in favour of the proposition,1 to put for the present in abeyance his objections to any additional burthen on the local rates—objections in which, as I have stated on a former occasion,2 I in part agree, and which will certainly, with the whole subject of the incidence of rates, come under the early consideration of the new Parliament. I beg him to trust the fairness and sense of justice of the future House of Commons, and not to resist a provision required for the beneficial working of our political institutions, because it involves a very small, and probably temporary, addition to the local expenditure. (Hear, hear.)
[There was still objection to the requirement that £100 be deposited.]
Mr. J. Stuart Mill said, the House would be glad to learn that anyone could be nominated and elected who was not in possession of £100, but whose friends were willing to put down £100 for him.
[Discussion continued on the question of the deposit, and that proviso was removed from the Clause, which was then approved. Then the debate turned to a further Clause that candidates be required to subscribe to a declaration of honesty. It was objected that such declarations would not prevent lying.]
Mr. J. Stuart Mill said, it was no great compliment to the House to represent that it consisted of persons whom a declaration upon honour would not bind. He himself thought a declaration on honour would bind the Members of the House, provided it was imposed with a serious intention of doing so. It had been too much the fashion to regard these declarations as mere forms; but they were so only when the engagement which they made was one which opinion did not really desire to enforce. The object should be to impress upon Members that the House was really in earnest and meant the declaration to be a sincere one. That object was sought to be obtained by the penalty of £500, and he thought this would be a means of enforcing the declaration.
[After further discussion,]
bMr. Mill said that many of the amendments undisposed of were of considerable importance. Four of them were at least as important as those which had been discussed already. He doubted whether it would not be better to go on with the discussion than postpone it till the fag end of the evening.b
[After Disraeli said that he would bring the Bill on as the first order of the day on Wednesday, the Clause was negatived.]
Imprisonment for Costs on a Dismissed Charge 
PD, 3rd ser., Vol. 193, cols. 1553–4. Reported in The Times, 22 July, p. 6. See No. 131 for a further question on the case.
mr. j. stuart mill said, he would beg to ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, If his attention has been called to the case of Mr. William Castle, of Melton Mowbray, recently sentenced by a bench of magistrates to fourteen days’ imprisonment with hard labour, for non-payment of twelve shillings imposed on him as costs on account of a dismissed charge, he being sixty-three years old, and, as he states, unable to pay that sum; and whether Her Majesty’s Government will adopt any measure to prevent imprisonment, imposed in lieu of a pecuniary payment, from being accompanied by the penal infliction of hard labour?
Mr. Gathorne-Hardy replied, that he had not heard of this case till it was mentioned by the honourable Gentleman yesterday;1but he had taken steps to obtain information. When he was fully informed on the subject he would state his impression as to whether there was any necessity for further legislation.
The Fenian Prisoners 
PD, 3rd ser., Vol. 193, cols. 1556–7. Reported in The Times, 22 July, p. 6, from which the variants are taken. See No. 117. John Vance (d. 1875), then M.P. for Armagh, asked Mill “Whether it is true, as reported in the Irishman newspaper, 14th July 1868, that he wrote a letter to Mr. Nevin, dated the 2nd July, in which he objected to ask a Question concerning the convicts Warren and Costello, because he ‘thought that asking the Question publicly could do the prisoners no good, and would only enable the Government to claim and obtain credit for clemency’ ” (The Times). Mill had written a letter on 2 July, 1868, to George Francis Train (1829–1904), a U.S. merchant and author, who was in the U.K. working on behalf of the imprisoned Fenians (CW, Vol. XVII, p. 2015). The letter, which contains the passage quoted by Vance, was published in “George Francis Train’s Levees,” The Irishman, 18 July, 1868, p. 37. “Mr. Nevin” was a fictitious character invented by Train.
i believe, Sir, I am under no obligation to answer the honourable Member’s Question, but I have not the smallest objection to do so. I have not seen the article in the Irishman, nor have I ever corresponded on any subject with that paper; nor, so far as I am aware, with Mr. Nevin. But I did write a letter to a friend of the two prisoners in question, which contained some words bearing some resemblance to those here quoted. Having been asked by a friend of the prisoners to put a Question concerning them, I thought it right before doing so to lay the case before the friends of the prisoners, in order that they might consider whether, from the point of view of the prisoners themselves, it was desirable or not that this Question should be aaskeda . What words I used I cannot exactly remember; but the statement quoted conveys in two important particulars an extremely inaccurate notion of my sentiments. In the first place, it represents me as having been unwilling to ask the Question. I never was in the smallest degree unwilling, and, as the House is aware, I did ask the Question. Secondly, it represents me as unwilling that the Government should claim or obtain any credit bfor clemencyb . I desire extremely that the Government should both claim and obtain credit for everything meritorious that they have done.
Election Petitions and Corrupt Practices at Elections 
PD, 3rd ser., Vol. 193, cols. 1623, 1639, 1640–1, 1643, 1646, 1647–8, 1650. Reported in The Times, 23 July, p. 4. For the Bill, see No. 89. Consideration was being given to the Bill as amended, with indignation being expressed at the Government’s now introducing new amendments and wishing to reconsider the Clause Fawcett had successfully moved on 18 July
(see No. 120).
mr. j. stuart mill said, the Solicitor General had misunderstood what it was the Opposition considered unfair conduct on the part of the Government.1 No one dreamt of imputing unfairness to the Government in proposing to re-consider the decision of Saturday last;2 but what was complained of was that so short a Notice should have been given of their intention to rescind that decision. It was utterly impossible, when it became known long after post hour, to communicate with absent Members in time for them to attend in their places. He thought, after the indignant display of virtue on the part of the right honourable Gentleman at the Head of the Government, when the question of his honourable Friend the Member for Bradford (Mr. W.E. Forster) was asked on Monday,3 they had a right to complain of the unfairness of the Notice given by the Government.
[After several amendments and new clauses were considered, Mill brought in his first motion.]
Mr. J. Stuart Mill moved the following clause:
At the trial of an Election Petition under this Act the judge shall have power to receive evidence of corrupt practices which any elector who shall have voted at the Parliamentary Election to which the Petition refers may have committed at any Municipal Election within the same county or borough within two years before the presentation of the Petition, with the object of proving that the voter was corruptly influenced in voting at the said Parliamentary Election; and any special Commission appointed to inquire into the existence of corrupt practices shall have power to inquire into corrupt practices at Municipal Elections to the same extent and in the same manner as into corrupt practices at Parliamentary Elections.
As he had expressed his sentiments on the subject of the clause on a former occasion he would not again trouble the House with any observations upon it.4
[The Solicitor General objected, as he and others had to Mill’s earlier amendments involving municipal elections (see Nos. 116 and 118), that they were a separate matter. The Clause was rejected.]
[Mill then introduced his second motion.]
Mr. J. Stuart Mill: Sir, I rise to move a clause declaring illegal the employment of paid canvassers, or paid agents other than the one appointed under the Corrupt Practices Prevention Act.5 The clause is directed against the greatest of all the sources of undue expense at elections, especially in counties and large towns. It is well-known that when a candidate presents himself to a large constituency, determined to carry all before him by dint of money, a great part of his outlay consists in hiring canvassers, and they are hired by hundreds, very often without any real intention that they should canvass, and many of them never do canvass. Up to last year, under pretence of payment for canvassing, any number of electors might, without any breach of law, be paid for their votes. A clause, however, in the Reform Act, which the country is indebted to an honourable Member near me for proposing, and to the Government for accepting, has struck a blow at this mode of bribery, by enacting that no one in the actual pay of a candidate shall be allowed to vote.6 Hereafter, therefore, a man can no longer be paid in this manner for his own vote. But he can still be paid for the vote of his father, or his brother, or his wife’s father or brother; and, besides, there is such a thing as collective bribery—bribery of a whole constituency, by spending money freely in the place. Every petty tradesman in the town is virtually bribed by a man who flings money about lavishly on all sides, most of which comes back almost immediately to be spent at their shops. All expenditure by which electors profit is a kind of bribery; and, though it may not be feasible to put a stop to all forms of it, still, if there be a form which answers no useful purpose whatever—unless confining the representation to millionaires be a useful purpose—this at least ought surely to be put a stop to. Now, what useful purpose, at this time of day, is promoted by personal canvassing? A seat in this House ought no more to be obtained by private solicitation than by money payment. The use of canvassing, when there was a use, was to make the candidate and his pretensions known to the constituency; but this is now done by addressing them in a body, through the Press or at public meetings. It is from the candidate’s public addresses, or from the newspapers, that the electors even now learn all that they ever do learn about the candidate; they do not want canvassers to tell them. If there is to be canvassing, it ought to be done by volunteers. Everybody who has any business to be a candidate has a sufficient number of zealous supporters to do all the canvassing that can be needful. Acquaintances may talk to acquaintances, and neighbours to neighbours, and win them over by persuasion and moral influence; but what moral influence has a man who is paid for his persuasiveness? And what would the electors lose if they could only be talked to by somebody who believes what he says, and cares enough about it to say it gratis?
[The Solicitor General replied that there was nothing corrupt about employing ordinary paid canvassers. After some expressions of agreement with Mill, the Clause was lost (col. 1643).]
Mr. J. Stuart Mill said, it would be useless, after the division which had just been taken, for him to move the next clause of which he had given Notice, which was a supplement to the one just rejected.7
[Ayrton moved a new Clause to allow the Speaker to appoint attorneys for the House of Commons (cols. 1644–5).]
Mr. J. Stuart Mill said, that the only fault which he found with the Amendment of his honourable and learned Friend the Member for the Tower Hamlets (Mr. Ayrton) was, that it did not go far enough. His (Mr. Stuart Mill’s) opinion was, that if they desired to put an end to corrupt practices they must provide a public prosecutor, and not rely upon the private interest of candidates and their supporters for proceeding against suspected individuals. They would never get rid of corrupt practices, unless they made it the duty of some particular person to inquire, not into compromises only, but into all matters connected with corrupt practices, and to institute prosecutions where evidences of corruption were found to exist. The proposed clause, however, was a good one as far as it went, and he should therefore give it his support. He hoped the Government would accept the clause.
[Ayrton’s Clause was rejected.]
Mr. J. Stuart Mill said, he rose to move the following clause:
(Provision for expenses of trials and inquiries.)
The expenses of all trials or inquiries held under the present Act, except such expenses as are hereinbefore provided for, and except such part as the court or judge shall impose by way of penalty upon either the Petitioner or the Respondent, shall be defrayed in the case of any county from the county rate, and in the case of any borough, out of the monies, and in the manner and proportions mentioned in the Act of the sixth year of the reign of Victoria, chapter eighteen, section fifty-five, with respect to the expenses of carrying into effect the provisions of that Act; and the account of such expenses shall be made, allowed, and paid in the manner provided in the said Act, unless the court or judge shall certify that there is reason to believe that corrupt practices do not generally or extensively prevail in the constituency, in which case the said expenses shall be charged upon the Consolidated Fund.
He desired to carry into effect what he considered was a true and sound principle—namely, to throw the expenses of all inquiries into corrupt practices upon the community who were implicated. He left to the tribunal to determine what portion of these expenses should in any case be laid, to the relief of the ratepayers, upon the persons who had been proved to be guilty of corrupt practices, or upon those who were shown to have brought frivolous and improper accusations.
[The Attorney General objected, saying that costs should fall on the defeated party. The Clause was lost.]
[After some further discussion, it was moved that the forthcoming municipal elections be postponed for a month, to prevent bribery during them from affecting the imminent parliamentary elections. It was argued that the motion would upset the extensive arrangements already made for the municipal elections, although it was admitted that municipal corruption sometimes affected parliamentary elections.]
Mr. J. Stuart Mill said, he could conceive nothing more stultifying than for the House, after having passed stringent measures for putting down corruption at Parliamentary Elections, to allow perfect freedom of corruption in the case of municipal Elections. There could be no greater facility given to bribery at the Parliamentary Elections than to have the municipal Elections taking place just before them.
[The motion was lost (col. 1650).]
The Westminster Election of 1868 
Morning Star, 23 July, 1868, p. 3. Headed: “The Members for Westminster and Their Constituents. / Meeting in St. James’s Hall Last Night.” In a letter to Edwin Chadwick of 28 July, Mill says: “The correct and complete report of my speech at St. James’s Hall is that of the Star” (CW, Vol. XVI, p. 1426). Reprinted in Addresses of the Hon. R.W. Grosvenor and J.S. Mill, Esq., Delivered at a Public Meeting of Their Constituents, Held at St. James’s Hall, on the 22nd July, 1868 (London: Grosvenor and Mill Committee, Sept., 1868), pp. 5–8. The full report in the Daily Telegraph (also in the first person) is so close in wording to that in the Morning Star as to suggest a common source; that in the Daily News is less full, and The Times merely summarizes Mill’s speech. At the evening meeting the Chair was taken by Brewer; a large number of non-electors, including many women, attended. Brewer introduced the Members, and (as usual) Grosvenor spoke first, summarizing the history of the parliament from 1865. Mill “was received with the most enthusiastic applause, the whole meeting rising and joining in prolonged cheers”
ladies and gentlemen, my honourable colleague in his able address has given you a very interesting review of the past, and no man was better entitled to do so, for during the three years in which he has been your representative his conduct has been in complete conformity with the opinions and sentiments which you have heard from his lips. (Cheers.) aWe have been fellow-soldiers in one cause, and although we may perhaps represent, in some degree, different shades of the great Liberal party, and although some electors might, if there were a question between us, like my honourable colleague best, and some perhaps would prefer to be represented by me, I hope there is no one calling himself a Liberal who would not prefer either of us to a Tory . b(Loud applause and laughter.)b I hope my friends, to whom alone I have a right to speak a few words, will consider the two Liberal candidates as one man.a (Cheers.) Ladies and gentlemen, as I have observed, my honourable colleague has dealt chiefly with the past, I will deal chiefly with the future. (Hear, hear.) We are assembled here under new circumstances. A great change has been made in our representative institutions, and the constituencies greatly enlarged in mere numbers, and still more improved by including in them portions of the community hitherto almost unrepresented, are now about to be asked what use they are going to make of their new power. Do they mean that the great addition which has been made to the strength of the popular element in our institutions shall bring forth fruit? Are they determined that the great alteration in the structure of our Government shall be attended with a corresponding improvement in its administration? The masses of the community have obtained, what they never had before, an influential voice in the conduct of the Legislature and of the executive. Is it their purpose that their interests, moral and material, shall be more and better attended to by the Legislature and the executive than has hitherto been the case? It depends on themselves. If they are indifferent to their own interests, they may be certain that other people will be indifferent too; but, if not—if they mean that the Government under which we are hereafter to live, shall be a good Government for the whole people, willing and able to cope with those great social difficulties which are pressing in upon us, and which we have got to conquer, or else they will conquer us—then it is time for them to bestir themselves, and as the first step in bestirring themselves, it is time for them to bethink themselves, and see how they can best use their electoral suffrage to bring this about. (Applause.) The nation has now to a considerable extent a new task before it, and one which demands different qualities in those who have it to perform. There are two kinds of improvements: one kind which, to enable them to be accomplished, only requires that the nation shall make up their mind that it shall be done. Nothing is wanted but the will; where there is the will there is no difficulty about the way. When once the nation had decided that the corn laws ought not to exist, it had only to say to the Parliament, “repeal them.” Anybody could do it. When it was once determined that it had to be done it only required a few lines of an Act of Parliament.1 In the same manner the Irish Church, when the nation has determined, as I believe it has determined—(loud applause)—that it will no longer commit the great injustice of endowing with national property the Church of a small minority, and when it has also recognised that, in getting rid of this old iniquity, respect ought to be paid to life interests, it has only to make known its determination. The thing can be done almost as easily as said. (Laughter.) But the statesmanship of the country has much more to do nowadays than merely to abolish bad institutions. It has to make good laws for a state of society which never existed in the world before. We have to deal with a richer, a more struggling, and a more overcrowded society than our ancestors could have formed any conception of. A vast manufacturing and commercial industry has built itself up—no, not built itself, for there has been no building capacity, no constructive talent or foresight in the whole affair; neither can I say it has grown up, for growth supposes an internal principle of organisation and order, and there has been nothing of the kind—I can only say a vast manufacturing and commercial industry has thrown itself up—(loud laughter and applause)—by great energies, of which accident has almost alone determined the application; and from the necessities of the case, a hundred evils have sprung up along with it, which philanthropists are toiling after, with some, but with very imperfect, success. Now those evils are not of the kind respecting which the nation can say to its rulers “Do this,” and they do it.2 There are now many things to be done which demand long and patient thought—more thought than the public of any rank or class are able to bestow. What the public have to do is to find men capable of doing these things—(applause)—and to send them to Parliament. (Loud cheers.) For instance, let us take the question which is in every one’s mind at present—the proper relations between capital and labour. (Applause.) As I said, this question is in everybody’s thoughts; yet how far has the public mind advanced on the subject? It has got thus far: that the old relation between workmen and employers is out of joint; that probably good laws would help to make things straight; but that there are many things which laws had better not attempt, as the result would probably be a break-down and a miscarriage. This, then, is not a case in which the people can tell Parliament what to do; it has got to be found out what to do; and the business of the public is to send men to Parliament who can find it out. c Next, let me speak of our pauperism and our system of poor relief. We know the vices of the system, we know that vast sums are levied, and that those who most deserve and most need public charity are badly relieved. We know that the nursing of the sick, the care of the aged and helpless, the education of the young, are often, we do not know how often, a cruel mockery. (Loud cheers.) But what is the cause of this? Because these things are not so organised that the persons concerned are compelled to do their duty. And we shall never cure the evil by merely crying out when some very flagrant case is found out and published. What is wanted is to put into the important positions men of organising minds, who know how to make people do their duty, and who know how to give due and adequate relief to destitution without encouraging those to claim it who can do without it. Then, as to the state of our town populations. The poorer quarters of our great cities are nests of disease and vice for want of proper sanitary arrangements, and from the bad construction and wretched overcrowding of the dwellings of the poor. (Applause.) How are these things to be remedied? For I do not suppose any of you think that it is to be done by rebuilding these quarters out of the taxes, and inviting the poor to come and live in them rent free. (Laughter.) It is a matter for thought and study, and one which will tax to the utmost the highest legislative and administrative ability. Next, as to education. We are all determined that a good education the people shall have, cost what it may. (Loud applause.) About that I think we are all agreed, and if it could be done by mere good will, we should not have long to wait. But look at the schools we already have. Those for the higher and middle classes, still more than the elementary schools. There are enough of them, and they have funds enough, to give a good education to the whole nation, yet all classes, from the highest to the lowest, are wretchedly ill-taught. (Hear, hear.) Why is this? Because the teachers are unfit for their work, or, at all events, do not do it. (Applause.) And why do they not? Because those whose duty it was to appoint good schoolmasters appointed bad ones; because those whose duty it was to look after the teaching left it to take care of itself; and because parents did not take the trouble to ascertain whether their children were taught anything or nothing. Well, then, how are good schoolmasters to be obtained? And how are they to be kept to their duty? Unless we place national education in the hands of men who can do both these things, the end will be that we shall spend a great deal more money, and be no better taught than we are at present. Now turn to the great subject of administrative reform—how to obtain the most effective government at the smallest cost. We might have our persons and property far better protected than at present, paying much less for protection, but paying to competent persons for good service what is now jobbed away or wasted. We might have a defensive force much more effective than at present, for a fraction of what our army and navy cost us; but can it be had by merely willing it? No; it requires men with planning heads, organising and contriving minds, who, with a large theoretical and practical knowledge of the particular subjects, have also the art of governing men, and of managing bodies of men. Unless the nation find out and lift into the posts of favour and command men of this quality, our military and naval systems will remain failures for national purposes, and successes only for those who profit by them. In every branch of our government the great want is of capable men; and in order that the most capable men may be in office, it is necessary that the House of Commons, which decides who shall be in office, should be rich in capable men. (Hear, hear.) The people of England have an opportunity such as they have not had since the days of the Commonwealth. The present leader of the popular party sincerely desires to do for the people in these and on many other subjects the best that can be done—(great cheering)—if they will only put it in his power. But if the electors want this done, they must not think it enough to send men to Parliament who will support Mr. Gladstone; they must send men who can help Mr. Gladstone. (Loud applause.) One man cannot suffice for everything; whatever Mr. Gladstone can do by himself is incomparably well done; but what has now to be performed requires many eminent men, instead of one. A vote for a member of Parliament is always a grave moral responsibility. When one has a voice in deciding whether the well-being of this empire, and all the great things thereon dependent, shall be entrusted to a man who is fit or to a man who is unfit, nothing can excuse the elector who, for purposes of his own, or from indifference to the public good, votes for the wrong man and against the right. (Applause.) But on this occasion there is a peculiar obligation on the electors to search the country for the very best men that can be found, for the course of history for a whole generation may depend on it. I am not advising them to discard their present members when these have served them faithfully and intelligently, but there are many members who retire; many seats may be gained from Tories; and there is a considerable number of new constituencies. d I hope we shall re-elect all our Liberal members who are good for anything; but I hope we shall reinforce them by others who will carry with them into the House of Commons some better furniture than money-bags and pledges. (Loud cheers.) I hope the electors will be wiser than to elect men of whom they have no opinion; whom they dare not trust to examine and think for themselves, and whom they therefore send to the House with tied hands, under promise to do exactly as they are bid. For my part, I am not ashamed to say that both in public and in private affairs I desire to be represented by somebody who can tell me what ought to be done instead of my telling him, for I well know that I shall never be able to instruct him in half the things which he will have to decide; so that, unless I choose somebody who can inquire and judge for himself, my affairs will be ill-managed. The electors are responsible to posterity; they are responsible to the unrepresented; they are responsible to the innumerable inhabitants of England’s foreign dependencies, and they are responsible to their own consciences for sending to the next Parliament thoughtful men, and men with talents for government; and unless they rise to the height of this duty, the great benefits which we are entitled to expect from the reform in our institutions will be reaped much more slowly, and for a long time more imperfectly, than we would willingly hope. (Mr. Mill resumed his seat amidst loud and continued cheering.)
An Elector wished to know what the honourable members thought about the question of equalization of poor rates in the metropolis. [Grosvenor said to cheers that he was in favour of equalization of rates.]
Mr. Mill thought that every community was entitled to one administration of the poor laws. (Cheers.)
In answer to another Elector,
Mr. Mill saidehe would induce guardians to perform their duties both by reorganisation and by means of a controlling authority. The principles of a good poor law are to give relief to unavoidable destitution in such a manner that those who can support themselves shall have no chance of obtaining, and no motive for claiming, ite . (Cheers.) He might be compelled to accept a division of the metropolis with reference to the administration of the poor law, but he thought the rates should be the same throughout the whole of the metropolis because its inhabitants suffered from each other’s sickness and poverty. (Cheers.)
Mr. Webber wished to know what steps the honourable members had taken to reduce our enormous national expenditure.
Captain Grosvenor said that, with the view of reducing that expenditure, he would endeavour to place Mr. Gladstone on the Treasury Bench. (Cheers.)
Mr. Mill said his honourable colleague had given exactly the answer which he himself should have given.
In answer to another Elector, [Grosvenor said he favoured opening museums on Sunday, but would not pledge himself; unquestionably he was not in favour of opening places of amusement on Sundays.]
Mr. Mill said he should be willing, without hesitation, to vote for the opening of any place of instructive amusement. As to theatres and similar places they might, he believed, be made places of instructive amusement, but he believed they were very seldom such. Whether they were or not, the opening of them in the present state of the public mind would shock the feelings of many good peoplef, and he advised those who wish to open such places as those referred to on Sunday, to limit themselves to the more useful kind (hear, hear)f .
In answer to another Elector, [Grosvenor said that probably some of the funds taken from the Church in Ireland would be applied to all the religions professed in Ireland.]
Mr. Millgsaid while there was agreement between himself and his honourable colleague on the great principle of religious equality, there was some difference between them in its application. He opposed the application of any of the property of the Irish Church to the support of any clergy or any sectarian denominationg . (Cheers, and cries of Bravo.)
[Probyn moved, Beal seconding, approbation of the Members, and full support of them jointly, sinking “all minor differences.” An amendment was moved by B.B. Sapwell, to “expressions of disapprobation,” that the unsatisfactory views expressed by the Members disqualified them as representatives for Westminster. “The speaker went on to make some remarks in support of his amendment, but the storm of groans, hisses, and other discordant sounds was so great that what he said was inaudible.” But “on the interposition of Mr. Mill, Mr. Mason Jones, and the chairman” (Daily Telegraph), he was allowed to complete his remarks, and Ross rose to second the amendment, bringing on another round of disturbance; the amendment was defeated. Harriet Law then spoke, to loud cheers, in favour of the motion and of suffrage for women. The motion being passed (the Chair having ruled against the proposal of a “lady near the platform” that the names of the Members be put separately), the customary vote of thanks to the Chair was moved; and then Fawcett arrived; in seconding the motion, he described Mill’s “assiduous attention to his duties, and remarked that his defeat—which he could not believe possible—would be an injury to the House of Commons, a loss to the Liberal party, and a blow from which the great cause of democracy throughout the world would not recover for years” (Daily Telegraph). The vote of thanks was carried, and the meeting ended.]
Election Petitions and Corrupt Practices at Elections 
PD, 3rd ser., Vol. 193, cols. 1676, 1678, 1685, 1691. Reported in The Times, 24 July, p. 6. For the Bill, see No. 89. The debate was on a new Clause: “Whenever any person or persons shall have been reported by the Judges to have been guilty of corrupt practices, the Attorney General shall institute against such persons or person such proceedings as the law will allow”
mr. j. stuart mill thought it very important that some official person should be charged with the duty of considering whether a prosecution was necessary or not.
[The Clause was negatived.]
[Then Lowther moved to amend Clause 43 (see No. 116) to make repeated corruption a misdemeanour. This modification the Attorney General thought too harsh: an agent who had already been punished for corruption, if he got another appointment within seven years, would be liable to two years’ imprisonment.]
Mr. J. Stuart Mill said, he hoped the House would divide, as the country would like to see the names of the honourable Members who thought it was too severe a course to punish an agent or canvasser who, having been guilty of corrupt practices in one election, procured similar employment in a subsequent election.
[The amendment was lost.]
[The debate then returned to Clause 53 (Fawcett’s clause; see No. 120). Various amendments were moved concerning a deposit to be used for election costs if the candidate failed to poll certain percentages of the vote: Wentworth Blackett Beaumont (1829–1907), M.P. for Northumberland, proposed that the percentage should be one-fifth of the votes cast, the failed candidate being liable for his share of the costs, and after some discussion added that the proposer and seconder of such a candidate should be liable for that share (cols. 1681–2). George Leeman (1809–82), M.P. for York, proposed an amendment retaining the one-fifth provision, but calling for a deposit of £100 in boroughs and £200 in counties.]
Mr. J. Stuart Mill thought the object which the honourable Member for York had in view would be sufficiently attained by the proposal of the honourable Member for Northumberland.
[Leeman withdrew his amendment, and then the proposal of Beaumont was defeated. The Government continued to try to subvert Fawcett’s Clause 53; the Solicitor General moved to leave it out (cols. 1687–8), saying in defence of his motion that the obscure and intricate machinery of rating would make the Clause impracticable.]
Mr. J. Stuart Mill: If the Government were aware of the profound feeling of satisfaction that went forth through the country on learning that the Amendment of the honourable Member for Brighton was carried, they would, instead of imposing any technical objection in the way of the passing of the clause, introduce a Bill, if necessary, for the purpose of giving it effect, and pass it through both Houses, as they could easily do, within a week. The representative of an extensive constituency remarked to me that the adoption of the clause marked the commencement of a purer era, and would bring forward more eligible candidates.
[In the event, Clause 53 was struck out of the Bill.]
Election Petitions and Corrupt Practices at Elections 
PD, 3rd ser., Vol. 193, cols. 1729–30. Reported in The Times, 25 July, p. 7, from which the response is taken. For the Bill, see No. 89. As the third reading began, Fawcett moved an amendment to recommit the Bill to consider the question of providing for election officers’ expenses out of the rates (col. 1716). Mill spoke after Clare Sewell Read (1826–1905), then M.P. for Norfolk East (col. 1729). Writing to W.D. Christie on 27 July, 1868, Mill says: “You will have seen that after many days and nights of hard fighting, all our efforts to improve the Bribery Bill have been defeated, even Fawcett’s clause being at last negatived. Good however has been done by the discussion, and a foundation laid for future success, as even the Saturday Review acknowledges. The Bill has, as you see, been extended to Scotland and Ireland. But its good effects, as it stands at present, will not be very great.” (CW, Vol. XVI, p. 1425.) For a later reference to the matter, see his letter to C.W. Dilke on 14 February, 1872
(CW, Vol. XVII, pp. 1871–2).
the honourable gentleman who has just sat down seems to think that unexpensiveness and purity of election is a matter which affects the electors only, and that the non-electors have no interest in the matter—a view in which I confess I do not share. I do not propose to revive the question of how far the Government has treated us fairly in regard to this matter. We must accept the statement of the First Minister of the Crown that at the time when he replied to the question of the honourable Member for Bradford (Mr. W.E. Forster) the Government had no intention of opposing this clause.1 But when the right honourable Gentleman proceeds to give a history—the correctness of which is countersigned by the right honourable Member for Oxfordshire (Mr. Henley)2 —of what has passed, and says that the House have rejected as ineffectual all propositions to reconcile the scheme of the honourable Member for Brighton (Mr. Fawcett)3 with the desirableness of giving security against vexatious contests, I cannot assent to the correctness of his statement. There was not one of the proposals made which would not, in the opinion of the supporters of the clause, have proved perfectly effectual. The objections did not turn on the efficacy of the proposals, but on which of them was most likely to pass the House. They were overthrown by the action of the Government, but the right honourable Gentleman has not shown that there would be any difficulty in working them. The course pursued fully illustrates the old proverb “None so deaf as those who won’t hear.” Does anyone think that if the right honourable Gentleman applied his mind to the subject every difficulty would not quickly vanish? We have an apt illustration of the mountain-like magnitude that molehill objections may assume, in the argument of one honourable Gentleman—that if a little more money than enough is taken from the county rate for the purpose of paying election expenses it will be impossible to know what to do with the balance.4 We have heard of lions in the path,5 but difficulties such as these are snails or earwigs in the path, and not lions. Were the Government aware of the feeling of satisfaction that went through the country along with the news that the clause of the honourable Member for Brighton was carried, they would, I think, instead of throwing technical difficulties in the way of its adoption, rather bring it in in the form of a separate Bill than lose the chance of its passing. I hope, therefore, that the Motion to re-commit the Bill will be carried. (Divide, divide!)
[Fawcett’s amendment was lost, and the Bill received its third reading (col. 1732).]
Smoking in Railway Carriages 
PD, 3rd ser., Vol. 193, col. 1736. Reported in The Times, 25 July, p. 7. In Committee on “A Bill Intituled An Act to Amend the Law Relating to Railways,” 31 Victoria (28 May, 1868), PP, 1867–68, IV, 513–30, the discussion was on a motion to insert after Clause 17 the following clause: “And all Railway Companies shall, from and after the passing of this Act, in every passenger train, provide smoking compartments for each class of passengers” (col. 1735). It being objected that some trains having so few carriages, or even only one, such a policy was impracticable, Mill made his first intervention.
mr. j. stuart mill suggested that the provision should be made to apply only to trains of a certain length. The abuse of smoking had become so great, and the violation of the companies’ by-laws so frequent, that the smoking in trains had become a positive nuisance. Scarcely a railway carriage could be entered in which smoking was not going on, or which was not tainted with stale tobacco.
[It was remarked that the issue should be settled by public opinion.]
Mr. J. Stuart Mill said, public opinion in this instance was swayed by a majority of smokers. It was a case of oppression by a majority of a minority.
The Westminster Election of 1868 
Daily Telegraph, 25 July, 1868, p. 5. Headed: “Election Intelligence. / Westminster.” The report of Mill’s speech in the Daily News agrees so closely with that in the Daily Telegraph as to suggest that they were taken from a single report, or that Mill supplied copy to both papers. The Times has only a brief summary of the proceedings; its account, however, provides an introductory topic linking Mill’s speech to the conclusion of Grosvenor’s, and gives more of the substance of the question period than does the Daily Telegraph. The Morning Star gives only Gladstone’s letter. This election speech, like No. 124, was delivered while Parliament was still in session. Mill and Grosvenor addressed their constituents in an evening public meeting, chaired by Dr. Brewer, in the Pimlico Rooms, Warwick Street. Brewer opened the proceedings by reading a letter from Gladstone which lightly touched on the undesirability of W.H. Smith’s representing Westminster, and then briefly praised Grosvenor before saying: “Of Mr. Mill, who has obtained a world-wide fame, it would almost be impertinent in me to speak the language of eulogy. Yet I will venture on two assertions, both having exclusive reference to his Parliamentary career. Firm in the maintenance of his own opinions, Mr. Mill has ever exhibited the largest indulgence for those of others; and with this liberal tolerance of differences he has shown, in the most remarkable manner, how to reconcile on the one hand a thorough independence, and on the other an enlightened sense of the value and power of that kind of union which is designated by the name of political party. More than this, Mr. Mill has set us all a rare example of forgiving temper, of forgetfulness of self, of absolute devotion to public duty; and I do not hesitate to express my deliberate opinion that his presence in the House of Commons has materially helped to raise and sustain its moral tone.” Grosvenor as usual spoke before Mill, alluding to Smith’s candidature (and thereby provoking an interruption that led, against Mill’s and the Chair’s wishes, to an ejection), and reviewing the Government’s record. He closed with an attack on the Metropolitan Cattle Market measure, and then Mill, who “met with an enthusiastic reception,” rose.
amr. mill then addressed the meeting. He spoke in strong terms against the Metropolitan Cattle Markets Bill, which he said would have his most strenuous opposition.a1 He said that during the last two or three weeks he and his colleague had been engaged several days in each week, and latterly two or three days in succession, in endeavouring to prevent the electors of Westminster and throughout the country being given over into the hands of millionaires, and they had failed. (A Voice: More’s the pity.) He said, more was the shame. (Hear, hear.) When the present Government introduced the Bribery Bill,2 he really was in hopes that there was something like an intention to suppress, if possible, the bad practices prevailing at our elections. The Government took one rather bold step—they asked the House of Commons, tenacious as that assembly was of its privileges, to give up the power of judging as to the extent to which corruption might have prevailed at elections. That power had hitherto been in the hands of the committees of the House of Commons, and the Government asked Parliament to transfer it to the judges of the land. They thought, and he thought, those judges were not so likely to sympathise with the offenders as the very class from which the offenders were drawn, and who were therefore placed in the same circumstances of temptation as themselves; and besides the change of tribunal, the Government proposed to increase the penalties upon the offenders. This gave him hopes. He thought there was coming from the Tories something substantial for the prevention of corruption. The meeting were not to think him credulous. It was very possible for Tories to be sincere in what might favour their cause at elections. (Laughter.) In the terrible struggle which had been going on for some weeks, almost from day to day, to endeavour to introduce into the bill precautions against corruption at elections, and to prevent that improper expense which made it impossible for any but rich men to gain a seat in Parliament, no persons stood more consistently by those who promoted the effort, and more honourably, than ten or a dozen Tories—high-minded honourable men, who would not owe a seat in Parliament to corruption. (Cheers.) That very day he had listened to a speech which had done his heart good—he meant the speech of Mr. Corrance, the Tory member for Suffolk.3 Mr. Corrance complained of the great increase of rates, and the disproportionate degree in which, in his opinion, those rates would fall upon landed property; but notwithstanding, when he was told that purity of election, inexpensiveness of election, would be secured by so much as even a farthing or half a farthing increase of rates, he scorned the circumstance, and said that he and all the best agriculturists would much rather pay higher rates, if by that they could obtain better and more capable members of Parliament. (Cheers.) This was said in the language and tone which was irresistibly and unmistakeably characteristic of an honest man. He could name several other Tories who, not only by their votes, but by motions and speeches did what they could. But it was all in vain. After the Ministers had carried their own original proposition for a change of jurisdiction, not one single improvement would they allow to be made in the bill. One after another, Liberal and honest Tory members moved resolution after resolution, and amendment after amendment, and pressed these to a division, every one of which had for its object to make elections purer and cheaper. But not one of them would the Government suffer to be carried. Many Liberal members had gone into the country, to which they generally rushed at this period of the session—and he was sorry to say it was the period at which all tricks were perpetrated—(hear, hear)—and by this combination of causes those who promoted improvement had been defeated. As far as concerned the present Government, electors were now delivered into the hands of millionaires. Two instances he would mention as peculiarly remarkable in this way. He then referred to the result of Professor Fawcett’s amendment and that of Mr. Schreiber.4 Continuing, he said he gave credit to the Government for a slight preference for honesty when they introduced the bill, but he had no doubt bthatb Mr. Spofforth, who managed the elections for the Tory party, who knew all that was going on everywhere, and in every constituency in the Tory camp as well as any man living—he had no doubt this individual told his friends in the Cabinet they must not, at this election at least, put these practices at an end; if they acted too rigidly it was very much to be feared some of their members would not get in. (Laughter.)
The honourable gentleman resumed his seat amid loud applause, excusing himself for not further detaining the meeting by his anxiety to be present at the division on the Foreign Cattle Markets Bill. Both he and Captain Grosvenor were catechised as usual.cIn reply to an Elector, he said that he had been in favour of the ballot, but was not in favour of it now. He thought that it rested with the electors themselves, who, if they were to band together after the manner of trades unions, might check electoral bribery and intimidation.c
dAnother Elector asked what the opinions of the members for Westminster were as to the reform of the House of Lords, and whether Bishops would not be better turned out. [Grosvenor said he had not thought about the matter, but such a change was not imminent.]
Mr. Mill, in reply, said that he had his opinions on the matter, and they could be obtained by any elector for 18d. in the form of a book.5 He thought that the better House of Commons they got the better Bishops they would have.d
An Elector having put a question as to the duration of Parliaments, the Honourable Mr. Grosvenor said that the average duration of Parliaments at present was three, four, and five years, and he thought that quite short enough.
Mr. Mill said that that was also his opinion.
In reply to another Elector, Mr. Mill expressed himself favourable to the Abyssinian war. It had been treated as a necessary evil, and carried out with every sentiment of honour and of justice.7
A resolution was then passed, pledging the meeting to support the two speakers in the forthcoming contest; and a vote of thanks to the chairman brought the proceedings to a close.e
The Metropolitan Foreign Cattle Market
PD, 3rd ser., Vol. 193, col. 1780. Reported in The Times, 27 July, p. 6, from which the variant is taken. The Government had announced the previous night that it was withdrawing the Bill (for which, see No. 128), so on the order for Committee on its re-commitment, Montagu moved that the order be discharged (col. 1775). Nonetheless Members, including Mill, offered opinions on the measure.
mr. j. stuart mill wished only to make one suggestion, which he was sure the noble Lord (Lord Robert Montagu) would take in good part—that if he drew up a new Bill, its provisions should be confined anot to cattle from infected countries, which should be entirely excluded, buta to cattle from suspected countries. If this were done there would very soon be no suspected countries. The two principal countries suspected were Holland and Prussia, both of which had a very valuable trade with us in their own cattle; and if they found that this trade was stopped because they allowed cattle from infected countries to pass through them, they would soon see the expediency of ceasing to do so. The proposed new market would then be superfluous, or could be made supplementary to the present market.
Smoking in Railway Carriages 
PD, 3rd ser., Vol. 193, cols. 1789–90. Reported in The Times, 27 July, p. 6. On consideration of the Regulation of Railways Bill (see No. 127), Mill spoke during the discussion of a proposed Clause: “And all Railway Companies shall, from and after the passing of this Act, in every passenger train where there are more carriages than one of each class, provide smoking compartments for each class of passengers”
mr. j. stuart mill thought that the permission sought to be given to smokers travelling by railways, by the proposal before the House, was right and proper; and, for the reasons which had been already urged by honourable Members who had preceded him, he thought that the permission was especially desirous in the case of passengers going long journeys; but he thought that smoking compartments should be in connection with the hindermost carriages.
[The Clause in slightly amended form was accepted, and the Bill was approved.]
Imprisonment for Costs on a Dismissed Charge 
PD, 3rd ser., Vol. 193, col. 1826. Not reported in The Times. See No. 121.
mr. j. stuart mill said, he would beg to ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, Whether he is now in possession of any information respecting the circumstances under which Mr. Castle, of Melton Mowbray, was sentenced to imprisonment and hard labour for non-payment of costs?
Mr. Gathorne-Hardy: Sir, I have received some information on the subject, from which it appears that Mr. Castle had taken proceedings against a man for using threatening and abusive language. The summons was dismissed, and Mr. Castle was ordered to pay the costs, or to be imprisoned with hard labour. I may mention that the Act, commonly known as Jervis’s Act,1gives the magistrate discretionary power to impose imprisonment with or without hard labour. Mr. Castle, it further appears, has been several times imprisoned for non-payment of costs, or things of that sort. On this occasion, however, somebody, to prevent his going to prison, came forward and paid the costs for him, and therefore he was notimprisoned at all, nor was he put to the slightest inconvenience, though he protested loudly against the interference of his friends, and professed himself very desirous of undergoing imprisonment.
Poor Relief 
PD, 3rd ser., Vol. 193, cols. 1885–6. Reported in The Times, 28 July, p. 6, from which the variant is taken. In Committee on the Poor Relief Bill (see No. 119), discussion was on a Clause proposed by John Harvey Lewis to the effect that lands and buildings acquired and used under the Poor Law Acts be exempted from increased assessment
mr. j. stuart mill said, he had given Notice of a clause of similar effect, though not going so far as that proposed by the honourable Member for Marylebone (Mr. Harvey Lewis). No injustice would be done to any locality by the adoption of the clause of which he had given notice.1 Its principle was that asylums, hospitals, and other buildings, and all land used or occupied therewith for the purposes of the Metropolis Poor Act, 1867,2 should be assessed for rates upon the annual value of the site, and any buildings on it at the time of the purchase.
[The Clause was negatived (col. 1886).]
[The Clause was negatived without a division, and after two more clauses were negatived,] Mr. Mill again brought up the proposal which had been negatived in an altered form, which he contended made a new clause of it, but it was negatived without a discussion.a
The Westminster Election of 1868 
Daily Telegraph, 3 November, 1868, p. 2. Headed: “Election Movements. / Westminster.” Reported in slightly less full form in The Times and the Morning Star (both in the third person); the report of Mill’s remarks in the Daily News is shorter. In a letter to Edwin Chadwick on 7 November, Mill says, “the papers have given only the most trumpery reports of any of my speeches except the first [on 2 November], which was comparatively commonplace; and of that, the only good report that I saw was in the Telegraph. All have been immensely successful.” (CW, Vol. XVI, p. 1481.) The meeting of Mill and Grosvenor with their constituents was held at 8 p.m. in the Regent Music Hall, Regent Street, Vauxhall Bridge Road, with Dr. Lankester in the chair. The large room was densely crowded, many women being in attendance. Lankester, in introducing the Members, reminded the audience that he had presided over the meeting when Mill had first addressed the electors in 1865 (5 July; see No. 6). Grosvenor again spoke first. Mill rose “amid the loud cheers of the audience.”
electors of westminster—I need hardly now add non-electors, for I believe and hope that by far the greater part of those whom I have now the honour to address, if they were not electors formerly, are so now. If they are not electors now, they will be as soon as the obstacles thrown in the way shall have been removed as far as possible, as I trust they will be, by the new Parliament. I therefore need not say electors and non-electors—but I will say old electors and new electors of Westminster—the question, the issue, which is presented to you at this general election I take to be as simple an issue as ever came before an electoral body. You have not got to decide between one Liberal and another, or between one school or one shade of Liberalism and another. There are constituencies that have this choice to make, and I can conceive that when they have this choice to make there may be difficulties and grounds for much discussion and difference of opinion; and I hope that the constituencies that may find themselves in this position will come to some clear decision and understanding before it comes to the day of pollinga, and thereby destroy all hope of Tory candidates being returned at the head of the polla —(hear, hear)—and I speak this disinterestedly. The example which has just now been set in the great new borough of Chelsea—that example is well worthy of imitation by Liberals of all shades. I deeply regret that Mr. Odger—(cheers)—has been under the necessity—as a man of honour, and as a man who preferred his cause to himself, Liberalism and the good of his country to his personal feelings or vanity, or even his own opinions—to retire from the candidature for the representation of Chelsea.1 I applaud Mr. Odger. I highly appreciate his conduct, and I deeply regret that he is the candidate who has had to retire. (Interruption.) I hope that those who supported him in his candidature will support the Liberal causeb, and that they will be united, Liberals of all shades of opinion, in the grand and paramount object of keeping out a Toryb . In this city you have no such choice to make. It is not between Liberal and Liberal, or even between professed Liberal and professed Liberal. It is between Liberals and Tories, or rather a Tory. aI am not aware that the gentleman who has presented himself—as he did before—to oppose your present members claims your suffrages on any other grounds than that of being a Tory.c2 I am not aware that he gives you any other reason to support him, excepting that he will support a Tory Ministry. The question before you is the simplest possible. It is whether you, who have got a Reform Bill, will have as the fruits of that Reform Bill a Tory Administration? (No, no.) Will you have a popular and Liberal representative system and a Tory Government? (No, no.) It would be peculiarly out of place if you were to have any hesitation on this subject. (Interruption.)
The Chairman hoped that the meeting would keep quiet, as they would then be able to hear Mr. Mill.
It would be peculiarly out of place if any Liberal—more especially any advanced Liberal—were to have any hesitation on this subject, when the Liberal party has such a chief as I venture to say it has not had for centuries. (Cheers.) I do not believe that any one here will contradict me when I say that the one statesman in this country who, perhaps, more than any other within living memory has the confidence of the people, is Mr. Gladstone—(loud cheers)—who has the confidence of the mass of the people. The public believe that he is one who plans measures for the public good, who invites public support, who does not wait until there is a cry raised outside, not merely for something, but for the precise measure he brings forward; but he employs his own mind, his time, and thought to devise measures for the public good, and endeavours to put in practice the means of successfully carrying them. (Cheers.) With such a man at the head of the Liberal party, dwho is, in my opinion, the only possible chief of the Liberal party at the present day,d I think any Liberal, of any shade whatever, would prove himself to be false to his principles if he were—I won’t say to vote for a Tory against persons who would support Mr. Gladstone, but if he failed to vote for those who would support Mr. Gladstone. When the choice is between persons who would support Mr. Gladstone and those who would vote against him, the choice, as I say, is extremely simple. (Cheers.) There are some persons, whose Liberalism is not insincere, ewho flatter themselves with what appears to me an extremely false and misapplied notion,e who fancy it is not of much importance who is Minister, and who think there is perhaps some advantage in having the Tories in place, because when they are in place you can force them to pass Liberal measures, which, if they were out of place, they would oppose. (Oh.) According to this you are to give them place and office in order that you may make them the instruments of carrying things against their convictions. Now, I do not mean to say anything about the morality of this. Your own minds will say whether it is a good thing to hold out inducements to make people, in the greatest of matters, act against their convictions? (Hear, hear.) I won’t enter into this at all, but what I will say is this—you have no occasion to do it. If you return a sufficient majority to the House of Commons you are sure to carry any measure which you deliberately say you ought to have. (Cheers.) We are told you can carry measures through the House of Commons, but that the Tories are masters of the House of Lords, and that if you turn out the Tories they won’t let Mr. Gladstone’s measures pass through the House of Lords. (A cry,—Do away with them, then.) We will see what this comes to. This would be making the House of Lords determine who should form the Government of this country. (Hear, hear.) That was a power which the House of Lords never had before, and which they never claimed. The House of Lords has the power to prevent the passing of laws, or rather, I should say, of delaying them for some years. (A laugh.) The power of refusing to pass laws has gone by, or you would never have had the Reform Bill. (Hear, hear.) Of all the great measures which have made this country so improved as it is from what it was in Tory times, there is not one which the House of Lords has not resisted as long as it could. If they had succeeded, you would neither have had Parliamentary Reform nor measures so comparatively unimportant as the abolition of church rates3 or the admission of Jews to equal power with other people.4 Great or small, the House of Lords has shown its desire to prevent good legislation. In order to bribe them to get laws passed a little sooner than you could by a strong administration of your own, you are to give them the power of framing those bills and drawing them up. You know that their drawing up would be as far from your wishes as the Reform Bill brought in by the present Government was like the Reform Bill that passed the House. (Hear, hear.) You are asked to give them the power of framing bills in order that effect may be given to your political purposes. You are to give them a power of enjoying a government which was not their right even under the old constitution before the constitution was reformed. The House of Lords never claimed the power to say what should be the Government. Now you are to give the Lords power to cover the bench with Tory justices. They have covered half the bench with Tories during the two years they have been in power already. You are to give them power to cover the bench of bishops with Tories. You are to give them the power to appoint governors and viceroys. They are not so bad as to make all Tories, for they have done something better than that; their power in that direction is limited, but unlimited is the evil of holding out a prospect to ambitious people throughout the country to induce them to become Tories in order to gratify their ambition. The wavering man, the active lawyer, the active and rising clergyman, and the military man, or the civil servant of the Crown, who would like to have a governorship—all these are things to tempt a Tory Government to remain in power. But if these principles were acted upon, personal interest would be so placed against public duty that you could only rely on those few who would prefer their duty to their interest. I do not think we can do without people who used, during the time of Oliver Cromwell, to be called self-seekers.5 It would not do to put them against us. There are always enemies enough to good. Let us suppose that you really would get better measures from the Tories than you could by displacing them for Mr. Gladstone and the Liberal party. I am far from thinking it is so; but supposing it is, how do you get them? It will be by compulsion. Their business will be to get into Parliament people who will not compel them. Your business is to get in people who will. If we want to get in a Tory Government for the purpose of extracting Radical measures from them, as has been sometimes done before now—(cheers)—the way to do it is to put in as many men as you can who won’t let them stay there unless they do pass these measures. (Cheers.) So that, whether you expect to get good measures from a Liberal Government or a Tory Government, your course must be to send Liberal men to Parliament. The more supporters you send to Mr. Gladstone the better measures he will give. Mr. Disraeli will give better measures the more opponents you send. I do not think that the gentleman started in the Tory interest in this great city is likely to compel Mr. Disraeli to grant Liberal measures. It is possible that he might be willing to follow him. (Laughter.) That is not what we want. That is not what Mr. Disraeli wants. He wants people who will be Tories with him; or, if he turns Radical, will be Radical with him. (Laughter.) If you want him to turn Liberal you must send Liberals there. (Hear, hear.) I do not like to charge anybody with, or to suspect anybody of insincerity. Suppose the Tories, from Mr. Disraeli through the Cabinet down to those who voted with him on Reform, are perfectly sincere, and that they are glad they passed it—I do not think this true of them all—(laughter)—I am not sure it is true of any—(laughter)—but suppose it is—suppose they really rejoiced in the Reform Bill, and thought it would be a good thing. If they thought it would be a good thing—why, it must be because they thought it would bring forth fruits for them. Now what sort of fruits must it produce for them to be pleased at? (Laughter.) I like to believe what people say whenever I can. I think there is no time when we can more believe what a man says of himself than when it is to his own disadvantage; and when Mr. Disraeli says he is a Tory I believe him. (Laughter.) If Mr. Disraeli be a Tory and supports Tories, and they think the Reform Bill an excellent measure, what must be the consequence? They must expect the consequence to be Tory measures and Tory administration. If they do think so I do not think you would thank them for it. (Laughter.) If they are sincere they must think that you, who are new electors below ten pounds, are Tories at heart; but, unless you are so, I hope you will show them the contrary. (Hear, hear.) That is one thing they may say; or they may think you are not Tories, but that you are more subject than other electors to intimidation—that you can be forced to vote against your convictions. Well, I hope you will show them you won’t do that. I dare say there are some who are good enough to think you are more bribeable than others. I am quite certain you will fling that imputation in their faces, at all events. (Hear, hear.) Did they give you a Reform Bill because they were afraid of Hyde Park meetings, or did they believe it to be a good measure? If they thought so, they must think the new electors would vote for them, and that the new electors want Tory measures and a Government more Tory than it is. The people who think that, think that you are bribeable, or can be forced into voting against your consciences. Europe and America have their eyes on this country at this moment. They want to see whether the masses of this country who have received the franchise are worthy of it or not. They want to see whether the working classes of this country, who have never before had any participation in the franchise, have got opinions of their own, and will insist upon having such men as they believe will exercise their minds upon such legislation as will give them a full share of the social advantages which they think, and to a great degree reasonably, that they have not yet had. (Cheers.) I do not think that is what the Tories mean. It is a simple question you have to decide. You have to decide whether your interests are better served by the Liberals than by the Tories. If by the Liberals, then vote for the Liberals. If you can get a better Liberal than I am, I will give way to him at once. (Hear, hear.) Only I think it is not fair to ask you to dismiss me for a Tory. I do not think he will serve you better. I have nothing further to say, except that I shall be happy to answer any question and to listen to any gentleman who has any remarks to make or any objections to offer, or suggestions for the future. Such meetings as these are the proper occasions for putting questions to representatives or candidates, and for asking them to explain anything that requires explanation. I shall be happy to listen to any objections, and to answer to the best of my ability.
[The Chair announced a question about the candidates’ willingness to admit local decisions in parishes and townships to prohibit by a 2/3 majority the sale of intoxicating liquors.]
The Honourable Mr. Grosvenor: The only answer I can give is this, that if 999 people out of 1,000 were to combine to prevent the other unit from doing the thing which he had a perfect right to do, they should have no assistance from me. (Loud cheers.)
Mr. Mill: My colleague has expressly stated my views. (Cheers.) I will not weaken his words, but will simply give my adhesion. (Cheers.)
[Mr. Anderson, a City Missionary, expressed great regret at these answers, and asked, amidst much interruption, whether the Members would vote for the Permissive Bill.6 ]
Mr. Grosvenor said that the gentleman who had put the question had stated that the poor man ought to have the same law as the rich man. He would ask how that was to be, if the rich man could enter his place of refreshment and amusement, if need be, at any time on the Sunday, and yet the poor man was not to have any similar privilege. (Cheers.)
Mr. Mill thought it might be said further, that one effect of closing these places on Sundays would be to increase houses for “tippling”—(hear, hear)—and intoxication would be much less under control than it was at present.7
An Elector: It is reported that Mr. Mill is opposed to the equalisation of rates.
Mr. Mill: I am in favour of the equalisation of poor-rates in one town or city, however large, but not for the nation.
[A question was asked about the funds of the Irish Church; Grosvenor indicated no answer was as yet possible.]
Mr. Mill: Without being able to say with precision exactly the way in which the funds should be distributed, I think there are certain facts which must be observed.8 They must be used for Irish purposes. They are Irish. They come from Irish land and Irish produce. They must not be given for the endowment, wholly or partially, of any religious body whatever—(cheers)—nor to any exclusive denominational system of education; but that they shall be applied to the more pressing social needs of Ireland—by preference, perhaps, to unsectarian and undenominational education.
In answer to other questions,
fAs regarded the ballot he (Mill) desired to say that he was as much against it as ever—(hear, hear)—because he considered that what was a trust for the public ought to be exercised in the eye of the public, and if the working classes would only stand by one another as in the case of trades unions, he felt they would be able to prevent their being compelled to vote against their consciences. (Cheers.)f
Respecting the bill for giving legal security to the funds of trades’ unions,9 [Grosvenor said while some protection should be given, he could not pledge himself to the details of any present measure.]
Mr. Mill could not pretend that he had examined the provisions of the bill drawn up on behalf of trades’ unions, but he was perfectly clear about two things—that it ought not to be in the power of any one to rob them, and, as long as people were members, they should be liable for their subscriptions.
[Lyulph Stanley moved approval of the two Members, attacking Smith, referring to rumours that had “passed in Mr. Mill’s absence,” and declaring his own adherence to Mill’s position concerning Governor Eyre. Mr. B. White referred favourably to Mill’s correspondence with Bouverie. “Some people said that this correspondence would cost Mr. Mill hundreds of votes, and even his seat. (Loud cries of No, no.) He was sure that, so far from this being the case, the constituency would rally round Mr. Mill, and support him the more.” The resolution was passed unanimously, and Grosvenor and Mill moved thanks to the Chair, and the meeting concluded.]
The Westminster Election of 1868 
Morning Star, 5 November, 1868, p. 2. Headed: “Election Intelligence. Westminster.” The report in the Daily Telegraph, though shorter, contains some details not in the Morning Star. The brief account in the Daily News contains no additional matter. In a letter to John Plummer on 5 November, Mill commented that he had said “a good deal at the meeting yesterday” about “the expense of elections and the difficulty of getting working men’s candidates into Parliament,” but “it was not reported” in the newspapers (LL, CW, Vol. XVI, p. 1479; cf. ibid., p. 1484). Mill and Grosvenor again addressed their constituents in an evening public meeting, chaired by J.F. Pratt, in Caldwell’s Assembly Rooms, Dean Street, Soho, where in “the gallery and front seats were a good many ladies.” Grosvenor, speaking first, alluded to his record and attacked that of the Government, saying it would be necessary to reform the Reform Bill in the next Parliament. Mentioning that he favoured the ballot, he referred to Mill’s dissent on this issue, the only point of discord between them, and said (to applause) that the electors should not turn from Mill on this one point. After dealing with other questions of the day, Grosvenor concluded, and Mill rose, and was “accorded a reception of quite a remarkable character. All present stood up and for some time waved their hats and handkerchiefs, and cheered with much genuine enthusiasm.”
mr. mill remarked that it was now three years since the electors of Westminster were last called upon to select their representatives in the House of Commons. He was one of those in whom they reposed their confidence on that occasion, and he came now before them to seek for their verdict as to the manner in which he had discharged that trust; and, if they approved of his conduct, to ask for a renewal of their confidence. (Cheers.) But they had something more important to do than to express their judgment on the merits or demerits of any one individual. They had important public issues to effect. An expression of opinion by a large and important place like the city of Westminster exercised a good deal of influence, and it therefore depended upon them, to a great extent, as to how other districts would vote and decide. They had to decide, to some extent, whether the new Parliament should be under a Liberal or a Tory Administration. (Cries of Liberal, and cheers.) That was to say, whether the important work that remained to be done was to be accomplished by persons whose hearts were in the work—(hear, hear)—or whether it was to be continued to be entrusted to persons who would do it only by compulsion. (Hear, hear.) He did not mean to say that the Tories were opposed to all sorts of improvement—indeed, in the present day no political body of men could exist for any length of time that would be entirely opposed to improvement; but he thought he was justified in saying that the Tories were not in general distinguished by having the spirit of improvement exceedingly strong in them. (Laughter.) He therefore thought that they would not be satisfied to entrust the important work that remained to be accomplished in the hands of people who would not perform it unless they were driven to it. (Hear, hear, Hyde Park, and cheers.) He had heard a good deal about intimidation. (Hear, hear.) Carrying on the business of the country by intimidating the Government was a thing he was not fond of. That was the strange system by which legislation on the Reform question had been accomplished. aThe adhesion of the Tories to change was only to be got by persuading them that it was more dangerous to refuse than to make improvements. (Hear, hear.) These were not the qualities of the rulers of the country; and he did not think the electors would entrust improvements to those who had to be frightened into making them. (Loud cheers.) He was no more favourable to government by intimidation than to voting by intimidation; but he thought, like Burke, that such acts of pressure were the occasional medicine of the Constitution, and ought not to be its daily bread. (Hear, hear.)a1 Such a system was troublesome and expensive, and was, besides, not creditable to the country. (Hear, hear.) On the whole, he thought it was much better to put the work into the hands of those who did not want to be whipped into doing it. (Hear, hear.) Mr. Mill then proceeded to touch upon the proceedings in Parliament during the past session, particularly the efforts that were made to reduce election expenses, and to take them out of the public purse of the district in which the election takes place instead of out of the purses of the candidates. It had been said that this would be shabby. He asked would it be shabby to defray the election expenses of such a man as Mr. Odger—(cheers)—who had come forward for Chelsea, and had conducted his candidature with an amount of straightforwardness and honour that might well be emulated by some of his betters; or the election expenses of Mr. Edmond Beales—(great cheering)—who had been mulcted some thousands of pounds on account of openly expressing his views on political affairs?2 (Hear, hear, and cheers.) On the contrary, he thought it would be shabby to ask these gentlemen to defray the cost of their election. (Hear, hear.) bIn support of his opinion, Mr. Mill referred to the action of the Tory party on Professor Fawcett’s proposal3 to throw the expenses of the returning officers at elections on the public, and Mr. Schreiber’s motion to postpone the municipal elections till after the Parliamentary elections, which were made during last session.4b As for bribery at elections, the attempt made to do away with that disgraceful practice he attached little importance to. He believed that before they could successfully put an end to bribery at parliamentary elections they must first of all check effectually bribery at municipal elections. He fully agreed with the evidence given on this point by the solicitor of the late Governor Eyre.5 (Hisses, cries of Hang him, and general commotion.) That evidence was, in effect, that the corruption at municipal elections was the school and nursery of the bribery at parliamentary elections. (Hear, hear, and cheers.) It happened that municipal elections occurred this year immediately before the parliamentary elections, so that the opportunities and inducements for corruption became much enhanced. An endeavour was made to have the municipal elections this year postponed until after the general election; but notwithstanding what had been stated by the Tory authority to whom he had alluded, the postponement would not be granted. What object the Government had in opposing the postponement of the municipal elections he would leave to his hearers to judge. He would not undertake to say that the majority of the Tory party thought it would be serviceable to them to have a little corruption this one time more—(a laugh)—but they at all events opposed the separation of the two elections. (Shame.) Whatever the motives of the Tories were, he thought the carrying out of the Reform Bill and those other great questions in which they were all alike interested, ought not to be left in such hands. (We don’t mean it, and Hear, hear.) After repeating some matters in connection with his conduct inParliament, which have been already published, Mr. Mill went on to say that he was ready and desirous to answer any questions which they wished to have answered. cHe said that, being anxious to give opportunity for the asking of questions, he would not allude to other subjects, except that of which Captain Grosvenor had spoken. He regretted to find himself conscientiously opposed to many of the Liberal party, though not in principle, upon the ballot question. He abominated intimidation even more than bribery. Of two bad things, he disliked less the inducing people to do wrong by doing good for them than compelling them to do wrong by taking something from them. (Laughter and cheers.) He would not sacrifice permanent principles to temporary advantage; and the ballot would give a temporary advantage, because the cause of democracy was growing too strong to tolerate intimidation much longer—if all men would stand by each other as the members of the trades’ unions did—while it was a permanent principle that a public duty should be performed in public. (Cheers.) He stood by his opinions. (Loud cheers.) If he was wrong, he would be beaten in the end; so they could afford to let him have his way. (Laughter and cheers.)c
An Elector wished to know the candidates’ opinions on the Permissive Bill.6
Captain Grosvenor: I am against the Permissive Bill. (Cheers.)
Mr. Mill: I am against allowing the majority in any place to make laws regulating the tastes and morality of the minority. (Cheers.)
[Following the question period after Mill’s speech, a resolution of support for the Members was spoken to by Fawcett, who also received enthusiastic applause; he described Mill as “that great statesman, that good man, that illustrious thinker, and that eminent philosopher.” The meeting ended with “Cheers for Gladstone and the two sitting members for Westminster and Professor Fawcett,” the proceedings being “throughout of a remarkably earnest and enthusiastic character.”]
The Westminster Election of 1868 
Morning Star, 7 November, 1868, p. 2. Headed: “Election Intelligence. / Westminster.” Reported also in summary in the Daily Telegraph; the Daily News has only a one-sentence comment. In a letter to Chadwick of 7 November, Mill says: “I had already addressed one of my meetings on election expenses [see No. 134], and in compliance with your suggestion I did so again last evening” (CW, Vol. XVI, p. 1481), but, as he goes on to complain, the newspapers were not reporting his remarks in full. He repeats the complaint in a letter to Chadwick on 10 November, saying: “The newspapers have not reported what I said about election expenses and I have no note of it” (ibid., p. 1484). The public meeting of the electors of St. George’s Without and Knightsbridge was held in the evening in the Pimlico Rooms, Warwick Street, Mr. West in the Chair. Most of the “leading inhabitants of Pimlico” were on the platform. Grosvenor spoke first; being interrupted by the Chair with the warning that pickpockets were about, he commented that he did not see the connection between pickpockets and the Irish Church. Mill was greeted with enthusiastic cheers.
mr. mill impressed on the electors the fact that they had something more important to decide than the merits of their representatives. As a part of the electoral body of the United Kingdom, they had to decide whether they would be governed by a Conservative Administration or not. a“Conservative” was an extremely pleasant term; and it would be time for a Conservative Government when there was nothing else to be done. (Laughter and cheers.) When everybody was perfectly happy and comfortable, there would be a state of things worth conserving; but the world was not just yet happy enough for anybody to be conservative in it. (Loud laughter.) If they wanted it made better they had better trust to earnest Liberals. (Cheers.) It would be unjust to say all Tories were the enemies of improvement; but it was so uncommonly difficult to make them perceive that there was anything to improve, or that anything could be safely improved. (Laughter.) When an improvement was made, and evidently successful, they very often would accept it and be glad of it; but, on the whole, they were not people who could be expected to do much in that way of their own accord. (Hear, hear.)abThis had been, and was likely to continue to be, the character of the Tory party, because if any man arose amongst them possessed by the spirit of improvement, he was sure to become a Liberal and to throw off the Tory party, as Mr. Gladstone had done; or the Tory party would throw him off, as they did with Sir Robert Peel. (Cheers.) Thereforeb there could be no surprise that the residuum of that party should not be depended upon for making great improvements—(hear, hear)—and there could also be no surprise that the remaining members of that party should require a great deal of educating. (Laughter.) The Tory party had now got a very able man to lead them who would make us believe that he had educated the party to which he was supposed to be attached. cMr. Disraeli had professed to educate his party,1 as the Irishman did his pig when he tied a string to its hind leg, and took it into Limerickc backwards. The Irishman was asked the meaning of his getting his pig to walk backwards, and replied in what is known in Ireland as a “pig’s whisper:” “Hush! The pig must not suspect where I’m taking it to; walking this way it does not see where I’m taking it to; the pig thinks it’s going home; I couldn’t get it into Limerick otherwise.” (Laughter.) Mr. Disraeli had also taken his party into Limerick. There was, however, this difference between the Irishman and his pig, and Mr. Disraeli and his party. The Irishman made his pig go forward by making it fancy it was going backward, but Mr. Disraeli made his party believe they were going backward when they were really going forward. (Laughter.) But this was a thing that could happen only once. Mr. Disraeli could not make his party go into Limerick a second time in a similar way. (Hear, hear, and laughter.) But he (Mr. Mill) did not believe that Mr. Disraeli was entitled to the credit which that gentleman took to himself of educating his party. Besides, he believed that even Mr. Disraeli himself had undergone a process of education. (Laughter.) dHe believed that Mr. Edmond Beales—(cheers)—had had much more to do with the educating of the Tory party than Mr. Disraeli, and he believed also that the same popular gentleman had a hand in educating Mr. Disraeli himself.d But he (Mr. Mill) did not think that this educating of the leaders of the great parties was a thing that could answer in the long run. (Hear, hear.) eBut driving one’s leader was uphill work, and the country had better send men to Parliament to support the most earnest Minister of the day in doing these things. (Cheers.) To get rid of the ratepaying clauses of the Reform Act, to secure purity and freedom of election, to remove the real and heavy grievances of Ireland, to secure a fair and equal management of charities for the welfare of the poor, and to accomplish similar needed reforms, Mr. Gladstone and a Liberal Government must be substituted for Mr. Disraeli and a Tory Government. (Loud cheers.)e
[Grosvenor answered questions about the Prince of Wales’s allowance, primogeniture, working-class representation, and payment of members.]
Mr. Mill, replying to questions, thought that £60,000 a year ought to be enough for the Prince of Wales2 —(Hear, hear, and cheers)—but he thought the question might be left in the hands of Mr. Gladstone. He should vote for the abolition of the law of primogeniture.3 (Cheers.) He thought it was of great importance that working men, who could be considered good representative men, should be in Parliament. (Cheers.) He was not in favour of paying members of Parliament. He would vote against the three-cornered constituencies.4 He did not think, however, that those constituencies would injure the Liberal cause at the forthcoming elections. On the contrary, he believed that the Liberals would gain in the counties, and in Liverpool. It was a question to him whether they would lose anywhere by the introduction of that principle.
[A resolution supporting Grosvenor and Mill was moved, seconded, and passed with three dissenting votes, and the meeting concluded.]
The Westminster Election of 1868 
Morning Star, 10 November, 1868, p. 3. Headed: “Election Intelligence. / Westminster.” A summary report also appeared in the Daily Telegraph. The evening meeting of the electors of St. Margaret’s was held in the Regent Music Hall, Regent Street, Vauxhall Bridge Road, Serjeant Tozer in the Chair. The meeting was well attended, with the stage boxes being “filled with ladies.” Grosvenor, speaking first, was enthusiastically received. He referred to his difference of opinion with Mill over the ballot, saying that every time he heard Mill express his views he was “horribly afraid” that Mill might be right, but having read W.H. Smith and being reminded of how Tory employers treated their employees, he would stick with his views. Mill, “on rising to address the meeting, was greeted with several rounds of enthusiastic cheering.”
he said that he was present, like his honourable colleague, for the purpose of giving an account of his political opinions; but it would be more agreeable to himself if, before addressing them, any person present who might have reason to find fault with him or his conduct as the representative of Westminster would get up and give his reasons for doing so. (Cheers.) He thought that persons who entertained unfavourable opinions respecting him should not content themselves with merely calling out something in the body of a large meeting like this, and in such a way that nobody could understand them. (Hear, hear.) If anybody present had anything to say against him he therefore hoped that they would get up at once like men and Englishmen, and tell what was the cause of complaint. aA man, attired in a white smock, at the back of the gallery, here called out, in a stentorianvoice, that he was a working man and a Constitutional man, and came forward to ask the candidates why they had not done as much as the “Constitutional candidate,” Mr. Smith?
This question elicited loud groans from the meeting and considerable uproar. The Chairman in vain tried to obtain a hearing, but in a few minutes the “Constitution man” disappeared, and silence was restored.a
Mr. Mill went on to say that his friends would render him a great service if they would allow any person who wished to question him to do so. He had heard that plenty of things had already been said against him, and many more things which he dared say he had never heard. (Laughter.) It was of importance that he should fully know all that his opponents had to say of him. He had been told, for instance, that Mr. Smith’s committee had put forth numerous placards with reference to him (Mr. Mill), but he had not seen them—not from any disregard of them, but because he did not reside in Westminster, and therefore they had not met his eye. Whatever those persons desired to say against him, he wished they would say it at a meeting like this. (Hear, hear.) bIt was very little use talking with those who agreed with one; he liked to talk to those who differed from him, in order that he might hear them, and say what he could in reply. And so strongly did he feel this, that it would give him the greatest pleasure if the Westminster Conservatives would call a meeting of their own—they might pack it by tickets if they liked, so long as they admitted reporters—and although he went without a single friend, he was ready to go among them, and tob answer every question they might choose to bring forward—(great cheering)—and he trusted that such an opportunity would be afforded him; but he felt that here, where he had so many friends, no proper opportunity was given his opponents to criticise his conduct, and he was anxious that they should have fair play. (Enthusiastic cheers.) He would be better able to speak if gentlemen would point out to him any particular points upon which they desired information. (Hear, hear.) If there were any gentlemen present who desired to at once put to him any questions respecting his political conduct or his political opinions, he begged they would now at once come forward.
The honourable gentleman then proceeded to state his opinions on the leading topics of the day, the substance of which have been several times before the public within the past eight or ten days. He particularly dwelt upon the questions of education and taxation. With regard to the former he reiterated the statement he made on previous occasions, to the effect that there existed enormous funds which were intended originally for the promotion of popular education, and which, if properly applied, were sufficient, in the opinion of those knowing most of the matter, to go very near giving education to every one in the community who needed it. (Cheers.) It was not advisable that the education should be given absolutely gratuitously to all. Those who could afford to pay for it ought to be obliged to pay for it; but education should be provided for all. (Hear, hear.) This need not at all interfere with individual action or Government assistance. Individual action might be made available to supply the religious education desired by the several denominations, and the secular education could be left until the other general means would be available. And it was not merely elementary education that could be given by means of these funds, but deducation of a higher and less immediately necessary characterd . (Hear, hear.) He thought they would admit that they had had quite enough of the present mode of giving public assistance for education. The system seemed to be to give to those who had got some assistance already and were becoming well to do, and to withhold from those who had nothing in the way of assistance, and were therefore in a state of helplessness. (Hear, hear.) But now that persons of position were beginning to take the matter into consideration, he had hopes that some more satisfactory system would soon be established in England. He believed that they were nearer the improved state of things which he desired than they were aware of. It, he believed, only remained for the people to back up Mr. Gladstone. (Cheers.) If they did so, he believed that before many years were over their heads they would see the beginning of a new and much better system of education in this country. (Cheers.) Respecting the questions affecting the inhabitants of London, in his opinion the whole of the metropolis ought to be one union for the purpose of rating, particularly for the purpose of rating for the relief of the poor. eThis would remedy the injustice to the poor under the present arrangement, which naturally arose from the tendency of the rich to live in parts of the town entirely distinct from those occupied by the poor. With one management for the metropolis in respect to rating, something effectual might be done with regard to the extreme poverty in the East-end.e He should like to see something done for the poor of the East-end of London, similar to what was done for Lancashire during the cotton famine.1fIn this way useful public works would be executed, and the country would not lose a valuable part of its population by emigration.f (Hear, hear, and cheers.) He also thought that the metropolis should be governed by municipalities such as were sketched in the bill which he introduced into Parliament last session,2 and which, if returned, he would again bring in next session. He hoped the new Parliament would give his propositions on that head a more favourable consideration than the one just dying out. (Cheers.) After again expressing his desire to be questioned on any point on which there was a difference of opinion, Mr. Mill resumed his seat amid much cheering.
The candidates were asked no questions.
[It was moved that the meeting approve the Members, and pledge continued support. A working man supported the resolution, talking of the “schoolmaster of the House of Commons,” who was at the moment indulging in the “characteristic twaddle” he had uttered at the Mansion House;3the motion was passed and the meeting concluded.]
Fawcett for Brighton
Brighton Guardian, 11 November, 1868, p. 8. Headed: “Great Meeting of Liberals,—Last Night.” The Brighton Examiner, a weekly, also covered the meeting at length on 17 November, while The Times gave a shorter report, including only Mill’s speech in abbreviated form, on 13 November. James White (1809–83) and Henry Fawcett, the two sitting Liberal members for Brighton, met their constituents in an evening public meeting at the Corn Exchange, Brighton. In opening the meeting the Chair called special attention to Mill’s presence. White spoke first, followed by Fawcett, and then Mill was called upon.
he said that some advanced Liberals who live in other parts of the kingdom and who either have no contested election of their own or are not completely absorbed in it, so as to prevent them from looking round and watching with the deepest interest the prospects of the general election at this crisis of our history, had been startled from their propriety by hearing that there is an opposition made here to the re-election of his friend, Professor Fawcett. (Hear, hear.) Not by the Tories only. It is nothing new for the Tories to court defeat; they are now courting it in several hundred constituencies throughout the country; and the electors of Brighton might have been safely left to deal with them at this juncture. But what had astonished the advanced Liberals of whom he spoke was that the opposition to Mr. Fawcett’s re-election was made by a gentleman of the very same political opinions, speaking in a general way, and who can only recommend himself by the same opinions to the electors who had hitherto preferred, and it was to be hoped would still prefer, Mr. Fawcett.1 (Cheers.) If there was any member of the late Parliament who should not have been opposed by any man who calls himself an advanced Liberal it is Mr. Fawcett. (Cheers.) They were accustomed in the House of Commons to consider Mr. Fawcett as about the most rising man on the whole Liberal side of the house. Entering the house under disadvantages which to many men would have been insuperable,2 —and which must have been so to any one of less courage, consistency, and energy than Mr. Fawcett possessed,—he had succeeded not only in gaining the ear of the House, whether of his political friends or of his political opponents, but he had established a position in the House such as had rarely been acquired by a young man in so short a space of time after his election. (Loud cheers.) Mr. Fawcett had been found on all occasions ready not only to give his vote and his attendance, but also his speech in support of any cause which needed his help. He had also had the gift of not pressing himself forward when he was not wanted. (Cheers.) Mr. Fawcett had to overcome difficulties of a moral kind, greater than any physical one,—the difficulty of the moral atmosphere of the House of Commons. (Applause.) Many a young man enters that House with all good intention, but, when there, comes under the influence of that atmosphere which, stifling to the moral feeling as an atmosphere is stifling to the physical senses, takes all the fealty out of a man. He comes among a number of persons of Lord Palmerston’s school of Liberalism, who have no particular intentions. What little intention they do have is good, but the only thing that affrights them is whether people should do it. Whenever anything is proposed they are always afraid that it will make mischief; or disturb the party; or prevent things from going on smoothly; or make somebody or other vote against them; or, perhaps, make the Liberals go out, or, perhaps, prevent them from coming in. (Laughter.) Mr. Fawcett had been as much exposed to their influence as anybody else. He (Mr. Mill) knew there had been people going round Mr. Fawcett and saying “For God’s sake don’t do this;” or, “For heaven’s sake don’t do that. You will offend this man and that, and you won’t do any good.” There never is any good to be done in the opinion of those men. (Laughter and cheers.) Mr. Fawcett had been assailed in that way, but he just told them in all boldness that he thought it right and therefore must do it. That would not be a safe course to take if a man was wrong-headed or obstinate; but he (Mr. Mill) had watched Mr. Fawcett from his first entrance into Parliament (which exactly coincided with his own); he had watched Mr. Fawcett with the deep interest inspired by a knowledge of him and with the great hope he entertained of him, he had watched Mr. Fawcett with the anxiety he felt for a young man in his position, and he had deliberately formed the opinion that Mr. Fawcett’s parliamentary conduct had been as much distinguished by judgment as by courage. (Loud cheers.) When Mr. Fawcett speaks it is always on something he has studied and which he understands; and when he does, what he has done oftener than any man of his standing in Parliament,—when he has come forward and taken up a question for himself, he has not only done so as well but better than most other people. (Loud cheers.) He touched upon three instances,—the reform of the Universities;3 the cost of elections;4 thirdly, the subject on which Mr. Fawcett has distinguished himself as much as any member of Parliament, and that he had made his own during the greater part of his parliamentary life, the condition, the lamentable, deplorable condition—a condition which cries out to the whole people of England for remedy,—the condition of the agricultural labourer.5 (Cheers.) These were some of the reasons which make all lovers of improvement who have attended to what Mr. Fawcett has done, anxious that he should be re-elected. And it was very natural that those friends of improvement, when they found such a man going to be opposed, should wonder very much and should be desirous of knowing the reason for such opposition. He (Mr. Mill) tried to find out by reading all the accounts he could get of what was said; but he had entirely failed to find any other reason than that a gentleman who lives in this place, and who is very much respected by his fellow-townsmen, and who once represented Brighton (Voices: Never any more), would like to represent it again.6 Well, that is a legitimate object of ambition when a man can show he deserves it; but unfortunately it was only to be gratified in this instance by turning out one of the honourable members who now sit for the Borough. He (Mr. Mill) had not yet mentioned his worthy and honourable friend the senior member for the Borough, for the opposition had not been expressly directed against him, and he was almost tempted, after what we read in Scripture,7 to condole with his friend Mr. White, for nobody speaks any harm of that honourable gentleman. (Cheers and laughter.) He supposed the fact was Mr. White was thought to be so deeply rooted in the affections of the people of Brighton that it is no use attempting to dislodge him. (Cheers.) But Mr. Fawcett, being a more recent acquaintance, not residing amongst us,—they say that is very invidious,—they think they have a chance of decreasing the good opinion formed of Mr. Fawcett; but that good opinion having been formed would be found much harder to snake than some people imagine. (Cheers.) With respect to the gentleman who is endeavouring, at the expense of Mr. Fawcett, to regain the seat he once held for Brighton, he (Mr. Mill) was tempted to ask, “If he wishes you to elect him in preference to Mr. Fawcett, what does he offer you as his inducement to do so?” (Cheers.) During the time that gentleman served Brighton in parliament he conducted himself as a good and faithful Radical; but what did he do during that time for the advancement of the Radical cause, or any other great cause, that could be compared with what Mr. Fawcett, although a young man, had already done during the three years,—for it was no longer,—he had represented this borough in Parliament? (Loud cheers.) If it was said that Lord Palmerston’s parliament was not a good place for such exertions, or that the time was not favourable,—granting this candidate such allowance,—what did he say for the future? (Cheers.) What good things did the gentleman opposing Mr. Fawcett say he would do that would not be equally well done by Mr. Fawcett if re-elected? (Cheers.) Indeed, he could not yet find out that Mr. Fawcett had been attacked for anything which was not amongst his merits, and he could prove that if he went through the list of them. He would not say anything of the Tories who would split with that gentleman; though he thought they would not give him a vote because they thought him a surer, a better, a more determined Radical than Mr. Fawcett (cheers); but he might give one piece of advice to Liberal electors. If there is any Liberal candidate that the Tories split their votes with, don’t let the Liberals split their votes with him, and if there is any Liberal candidate that the Tories are particularly anxious to get out of the way, that is the man for the Liberals and let them vote for him. Mr. Mill then most elaborately and at great length defended Mr. Fawcett from the charges made against him by his opponents. Mr. Coningham was reported to have blamed Mr. Fawcett because he desired that persons who took a bribe for their votes should be severely punished. Was the condemnation of that sentiment Radicalism, Liberalism, public morality, or even common honesty? (Cheers.) He thought the William Coningham he once knew could never have said so. It must be a misreport. One of Mr. Coningham’s supporters said Mr. Fawcett never came here to confer a favour; only to ask one. As to asking for favours that was simple nonsense. What Mr. Fawcett asked was to do the work of this constituency—to devote days of study and nights of expression for the interest of this borough; to expose himself to all sorts of obloquy; and to do so with nothing whatever to gain by it. As to conferring favours—what favours was he to confer? He (Mr. Mill) did not think this constituency wanted favours from their representatives. (Cheers.) The gentleman could hardly mean bribes. Did he mean that it was a shame Mr. Fawcett did not job for them; or did he mean that he should hold out that very slight inducement of subscribing to the local charities? Mr. Fawcett was opposed, too, because he was the friend of co-operation. He (Mr. Mill) did not believe the tradesmen of Brighton would refuse to vote for Mr. Fawcett on that ground, for co-operation was simply a movement that would greatly benefit the working classes without injuring the tradesmen, or, if at all, in a very slight degree. Besides, even if it did injure the tradesmen a little they must be told what the working men had often been told in relation to the introduction of machinery, that they must suffer a little for a time in order to further the general well-being in the end. If a shopkeeper supplies goods as pure, as unadulterated, as honestly measured, and of as good quality as the co-operative stores, his custom would not be injured; and if he could not do that, did he deserve to keep his custom? (Hear, hear.) Then there was the lucrative custom of the rich which they were always sure to have. In fact, shopkeepers need not suffer much from the most extended and rapid advance of the co-operative principle. (Cheers.) Another thing Mr. Fawcett was opposed for was because he had said that the necessary expenses of elections, which should in fairness be borne by the constituencies, ought to be placed on the constituencies. His clause to carry out that opinion8 was supported by Mr. Gladstone9 and all the best Liberals in the house. That would, if carried out, give the constituencies a greater choice of candidates, and would prevent the representation being monopolised by rich men, who often went into Parliament with the hope of getting back their money with great interest. What did they think of those capable of selling their birthright for such a miserable mess of pottage as these expenses would amount to?10 He hoped the electors of Brighton would fling it back in their faces. (Cheers.) Another one of Mr. Fawcett’s alleged demerits,—in his (Mr. Mill’s) eyes they were great merits,—was that he had voted for compulsory education.11 He would just ask those who condemned him for that if they thought that any man had a right to exclude his own children from the benefit of the education they could get. That was all compulsory education amounted to,—the making parents recognise the duty incumbent upon them to educate their children. If parents could not exclude their children from the advantages of education, then the state had the right to compel all parents to allow their children to be educated. Even parents would not lose anything in the long run. Their children would work better while at work, and in future years they would be able to take advantage of their position and improve themselves and help their parents all the more. (Cheers.) He had now gone through all the allegations made against Mr. Fawcett which were worthy of being touched upon, and he thought he had shown that the so-called demerits were really conspicuous merits. He supposed that, as Mr. Fawcett was opposed for doing those things, the candidate who opposed him would not do them, but would strive to do exactly the opposite. The candidate would, therefore, be against co-operation; he would be for expensive elections; and he would be against compulsory education. He (Mr. Mill) wanted the electors to realise what they were doing, and, as one means of their doing so, he would suppose that these things were put on a placard. How would Coningham like to see these things,—“Coningham and Jobbery!” “Coningham and Expensive Elections!” “Coningham and Ignorance!”—for that would be the result if nobody wanted compulsory education. “Coningham and No Co-operation!” or perhaps as one of the very greatest and surest effects of co-operation would be to do away with the system of credit and substitute a system of paying ready money, he would put it “Coningham and Tick!” (Great laughter.) If Mr. Coningham would like a placard so drawn up well and good. In any case, he thought he might now commend Mr. Coningham to the consideration of the Tories and leave him in the hands of the Liberal Electors. (Mr. Mill sat down amid vehement and continued cheering.)
[The usual motion of support of the candidates was made, questions were put and answered, a special motion of thanks to Mill was passed, and the meeting concluded with thanks to the Chair.]
The Westminster Election of 1868 
Daily Telegraph, 12 November, 1868, p. 2. Headed: “Election Movements. / Westminster.” Also reported in the Morning Star, and the Daily News. The evening meeting of the electors of St. Martin’s-in-the-Fields and St. Mary-le-Strand was held in the Polygraphic Hall, King William Street, James Beal in the Chair (the Morning Star says the Rev. D. Bailey chaired). Grosvenor spoke first. Mill was greeted with “immense cheering” (Morning Star) by the large audience.
mr. mill began,amid some cheering, by saying it was very gratifying to see what is going on in the country just now when the Reform Bill has been given to the people. While Mr. Disraeli held out the Reform Bill in his hand to them, they would persist in saying, “Thank you, Mr. Gladstone!” (Laughter.) All his talking could not alter their opinion. Had the Tories said that the bill which Mr. Gladstone brought in1 did not go far enough, and that no invidious distinctions should be made, what a pleasant time the Commons would have had, what a happy family they would have been! (Laughter.) They would have carried the Amendment Bill, would have saved a vast deal of time, a good many broken palings, and perhaps a few broken heads. (Laughter and cheers.) Perhaps Mr. Disraeli might say he had not then educated his party.2 He did not think Mr. Disraeli intended to educate his party at that time, but he could not help thinking that Mr. Disraeli and Lord Derby, being religious men, as shown by their wish to preserve the Irish Church, intended to carry out a text of Scripture, but had forgotten what it was. (A laugh.) Christ said, if a man wants you to go with him a mile, go with him twain.3 Lord Derby and Mr. Disraeli evidently thought that in order to get their party to go with them a mile one way, they must take them two miles in another. aNo man or body of men who desired to stand well with the people of England could succeed by saying one thing and meaning another, the very suspicion of anything of the kind being enough to destroy such persons in popular estimation (hear, hear).a They had in Mr. Gladstone a statesman whose yea is yea and whose nay is nayb. (Cheers.) When he made up his mind he followed it out and therefore the people reposed a confidence in him which they could not do in a man whose policy, feelings, and intentions were not as they should be in order to be popular with what was called the multitude, namely, transparent as the day. (Cheers.)b If they wanted to know the truth about a man they should hear what his enemies said of him. They could not say he was an hypocrite. They said he was precipitate and rash in divulging his opinions. He (Mr. Mill) denied that Mr. Gladstone spoke his mind too freely or without due consideration. It was Mr. Gladstone who, in Lord Palmerston’s Government, spoke out, and said that Reform had been promised and must be given.4cWhen he (Mr. Mill) read that in a foreign country he predicted that Mr. Gladstone would be the best abused man in England by a certain class.c And had not that been so? (Yes.) Did they believe one word of the aspersions cast on him? (No.) The move the Liberal party was making related to no grievance to England, but to the injury done to Ireland by the maintenance of the Irish Church.5 Englishmen knew that to be a source of irritation to a people with whom they wish to be in close friendship, therefore they wished to get rid of it. They could not make the English Church an Irish Church. If the English Church wanted a branch there, let them endow it from their own funds, without taking anything of the lands or tithes of Ireland. (Hear, hear.) He related many instances of the severity practised under English rule in Ireland for centuries, remarking that the Irish Church is the one relic left of the system which treated the Irish as a conquered and alien people. dHe entered at some length on the question of the tenure of land in Irelandd , recommending the establishment of a tenant right similar to that which has worked so well under the 30 years’ lease system in some parts of India. If this security, not to be turned out, were given to the Irishman, he would know that any improvement he might make would be for the benefit of himself and his family, and that he was safe in his possession so long as he paid his rent. That, however, was a question which was much more likely to be properly dealt with by a Liberal than by a Tory Government, inasmuch as the latter would be entirely bound up in the landlordse; and he hoped that in the approaching election they would send the Liberal party to power, and that that party would approach these questions in a sincere spirite . If the Irish Church were abolished, and the land question were settled on some such basis as he had sketched, the Irishman would give his hand to the Englishman, and the two nations would be as they had never yet been before—an united people. (Cheers.)
fAn elector in the body of the room said he had heard it stated that Mr. Mill had been guilty of forging an order for some theatre. (Laughter.) He wanted to give Mr. Mill an opportunity of denying it .
Mr. Mill: I am much obliged to the gentleman for giving this new instance of what length the Tories will go to, which justifies what I have said in another place, that they stick at nothing. I need hardly say I never heard one word of this charge before, and if it ever happened to anybody there must be some mistake about the name.
Another elector asked if the honourable candidates were in favour of closing the public houses on Sunday. [Grosvenor would not pledge himself to the view that the public houses should be closed altogether.]
Mr. Mill: It would not be just, while the rich are able to get access to wine and other intoxicating drinks on Sundays at their clubs, to pass a law that would make it impossible for the poor to obtain refreshment of a similar character on that day.f
Captain Grosvenor was against the law; as was Mr. Mill, who criticised the present law as an abominable one.
Another elector asked respecting bankruptcy and imprisonment for debt.
Mr. Mill said he did not think there should be any punishment—which imprisonment was—for debtors who were blameless. But there should be punishment for debtors who were not blameless.gMr. Mill, in answer to another question, said that no law could be too strong to enforce the education of the community.
In reply to questions, Captain Grosvenor declined to say anything as to the disunion of Church and State.
Mr. Mill believed all connection between Church and State to be an injury to both; but as the State was more liberal than the Church, and might exercise an influence on clergymen, he thought the question might be allowed to sleep for a time.
A middle-aged man in the meeting asked the honourable candidates if they were against the separation of married couples in workhouses. The querist seemed to be so likely to have a direct interest in the matter, that the audience laughed loudly at his question.
Captain Grosvenor: I am very much against married couples going into workhouses at all. (Great laughter arose at the pointed application of this reply to the able-bodied man who had introduced the subject.) I do not see what they should marry for if they go to a workhouse; but if unfortunate circumstances reduce them to poverty, they will have become so sick of one another that in the workhouse they will be very glad to be separated. (Hisses. That will not do, Grosvenor!)
Mr. Mill: Then see if this will do. I think that for old people and for infirm people the workhouse should be made a place of comfort (hear, hear), but I think that for young people and for able-bodied people the workhouse should be a place of discomfort. (Cheers.) They ought not to be able to enjoy all the advantages of self-support while receiving support from others. I would separate married people if young and able-bodied; but I would not separate them if old. (Hear, hear.)
[The customary vote of confidence in the candidates was moved, seconded, and carried unanimously amid great cheering, and a vote of thanks to the Chair concluded the meeting.]
The Westminster Election of 1868 
Daily Telegraph, 14 November, 1868, p. 4. Headed: “The General Election. / Westminster.” Also reported fully in the Daily News; Mill’s speech appeared in less full form on 16 November in The Times and the Morning Star. The Friday evening meeting of Mill and Grosvenor with the electors was held in St. James’s Hall. The huge room was overflowing long before the hour of the meeting. Thomas Hughes, who had intended to take the Chair, was detained by the contest in his own constituency, Frome, and Serjeant Parry was elected to his place. Grosvenor spoke first, quoting a version of Mill’s remark in No. 138: “the people, while accepting a household bill from Mr. Disraeli, seemed to say mechanically ‘Thank you, Mr. Gladstone.’ (Cheers and laughter.)” Mill’s “reception was enthusiastic, the audience rising en masse . . . waving hats and handkerchiefs for several minutes” (Daily Telegraph), and “cheering at the top of their voices”
silencehaving been with some difficulty restored, the honourable gentleman said every person he was addressing must be aware of the issue which was going to be decided by the constituencies of the country. What they had to decide was whether the Reform Bill should have any consequences. Every one who voted to return a Tory must mean that the Reform Bill should have no consequences. (Hear, hear.) If the Tories had intended that the people should have the consequences of Reform, they would not have opposed Reform as long as possible, and then only have granted it on compulsion—the compulsion being that they would not have been allowed to remain in office if they had not. The very best thing that could be said in their excuse—no one believing in the sudden conversion of a whole party—was that they thought, as they saw that the poison would be sure to be administered to the patient whether they did it or not, they might as well administer it in a double dose, and so preserve for a short time longer the advantage of being the patient’s physician. (Cheers.) As sensible men they would not entrust particular work to people who disliked it, and who would rather it should miscarry than succeed. They were told that the Conservatives were the fittest people to be Reformers, because they would hold the people back when they were going too fast. Though horses did, now and then, need to be held back, it was not usual to choose those to be harnessed which were the best hands at pulling back. (Hear, hear.) When people wished to be held back they applied a drag, and that was what the Tories were good for. (Cheers.) Their place was not in harness, but to be a drag on the wheel, or to hang on behind and pull back the carriage when it was going down hill. (Hear, hear.) If that was their proper function it was now known that it was not a function that they would perform unless they were out of office; for when they were in office they were ready and eager to gallop down hill twice as fast as the others. The Tories were too fond of the old era to be fit to inaugurate the new. A different kind of Parliament and a different kind of Government were wanted from what the country had been used to heretofore. They did not want either a Tory Government or a Palmerstonian Government. It had often been said that Lord Palmerston had demoralised the House of Commons. He did not think Lord Palmerston was responsible for the demoralisation, if it was to be so called, into which the House of Commons had fallen, but he had proved an extremely suitable leader for the House of Commons which had fallen into that state; for, instead of meeting earnestness with earnestness, Lord Palmerston knew how, with serene good humour, to laugh and joke earnestness away. Men often failed to fulfil the hopes of those who returned them; but sufficient allowance was not made for the atmosphere they entered and the company they found themselves in in the House of Commons. They found themselves amongst hundreds of gentlemen who did not belong to the classes who suffered by the evils which at present afflicted society. (Hear, hear.) They were comfortable, and did not like to have their comfort interfered with; accordingly they very much disliked those who disturbed them, by meddling with great questions; because such questions were difficult, and required a great deal of thinking, which was very troublesome to men who did not always feel confident that they should think to much purpose, and who did not know whom they could trust to think for them. aComfortable people did not much like those who would not let a sleeping dog lie. (Laughter and cheers.) He had observed throughout life that when a man has made up his mind not to do any good, he soon persuaded himself that there was no good to be done.a If a young man came into Parliament with high hopes, and really wished to do something, he was btold, “For God’s sake don’t meddle with this or that, the party would not be so safe in office, or would not get into office so soon;” and what was worse, if anyone raised new questions and voted on them, they were sure to offend some of their constituents. In the old Palmerstonian days there had grown up a general feeling in favour of letting thingsb alone. To that system of letting things alone there was one remarkable exception in Mr. Gladstone—(loud cheers)—who, in his department, over which he alone had control, constantly busied himself to do something good for the nation, which the nation had not the wit to ask him for. (Cheers.) Nobody had forced Mr. Gladstone to give the Post-office Savings’ Banks and Life Assurance,1 to take off taxes year after year by means of retrenchment, or to repeal the paper duties.2 (Hear, hear.) Mr. Gladstone, however, had done something more, for in 1864 he had broken out of harness, and disturbed the sleep of many in the House of Commons by proclaiming that Reform had been promised, and that Reform must be granted.3 He cagain had raised the question of the Irish Church in 1864 or ’65 ,4 and again practically last year,5c so suddenly, as the Tories said, though Ireland had only been waiting for it for three centuries. (Cheers.) These were the sort of things which made some people call Mr. Gladstone an unsafe Minister; but he called upon the electors to support Mr. Gladstone for the very reason for which he was called unsafe. They wanted a Minister who would do things merely because they were right, and who would not mind risking a few votes for his party, if by that risk he could do right and effect a great object. (Cheers.) He hoped from the elections that were about to commence there would go forth a sound which would proclaim in thunder to the whole world that the Palmerstonian period was at an end. (Cheers.) Mr. Gladstone, and those who were sent to his support, would have to apply their minds in the next Parliament to great questions. But first they would have to begin with clean hands, by removing from themselves the reproach of oppression. For seven hundred years, up to a very late period, we had been tyrannising over Ireland. We repented it now, even the Tories repented it; but repentance was not worth much without atonement and reparation—(cheers)—and until that atonement and reparation were made the memory of the past would not be extinguished. The Irish required some tangible proof that we felt very differently from our predecessors, and they had a right to expect not only that we should remove that miserable last vestige of our past tyranny which still existed in the shape of a foreign and intrusive Church Establishment, but that for a generation at least Ireland should be the spoilt child of this country. Means also must be found to put an end to the miserable relations now existing in that country between the owners and the cultivators of the land. dThey must put an end to a system of tenure the like of which had not existed in England since the people were serfs. (Cheers.) They would have to consider the same things by and bye with respect to the tenure of land in England. (Hear, hear.) He did not wish to conceal the difficulties of the question . eIt was not very easy to find landlords in the House of Commons without prejudice; but the land question must be put into the hands of people who would not, because there was a seeming resemblance between the systems of the two countries, refuse to apply to Ireland remedies which might appear too strong for England.e With respect to education, all admitted that it was necessary, except a few who said that they hated this question of education, because there would soon be no labourers or servants. Better say that they would soon have no more slaves, because a man who was not educated must necessarily be a slave. Education was opposed by what was termed the church party as long as they could. When the Bell and Lancaster system was first started,6 that party cried down the movement for teaching the people to read; but when they found that the people would be taught in schools in which, though the Bible was read, the church catechism was not, they founded what was termed the national schools. He admitted that the Tories did now make great sacrifices to promote education, both by giving and begging money for it; but the church party always confounded the interest of the establishment with that of religion, and were not fit to have the control of education. fHe then alluded, with caustic sarcasm, to the conduct of the Duke of Beaufort regarding the support of schools on his Grace’s property .7f Clergymen were deplorably ignorant. Kings, great noblemen, great ladies, and clergymen were generally profoundly ignorant of men and the world; and 200 years ago Lord Clarendon said that clergymen understood the least and took the worst views of human affairs of all men who could read and write.8 (Cheers.) He did not mean that there were not numerous admirable exceptions among the clergy, but he felt bound to say that they were not fit to be trusted with education, especially at the present time, when all the bigotry and prejudice had come to the front. (Hear, hear.) They had a vast population and wealth, but with them terrible poverty and enormous taxes. They had a right to expect that government should try to alleviate that poverty. First of all, the health of great cities, towns, and dwellings should be considered. There was no objection on the part of the Tories to make improvements of this kind, but it wanted bolder men to form large plans to benefit the peopled—men who would have bold, well-considered plans, and carry them partially into operation at every opportunity, and into complete operation as soon as possible. (Cheers.) With regard to the two tremendous subjects of crime and pauperism, any Parliament and Government that was fit to exist in this country would place before itself no less grand an object than gtheir extinction. He did not suppose they would succeed; but Christ had said, “Be ye perfect as your Father is perfect .”9 Christ did not suppose that we could be perfect, but His words implied that we should endeavour to attain that perfection which humanity was capable of. Education would do something, and improvements of all sorts would effect moreg. hThese great evils should be grappled with by the great minds of the country—minds accustomed to look on public affairs in a comprehensive light. Mr. Gladstone was eminently distinguished for his broad and enlightened views. That gentleman was inspired by a spirit that would not brook the existence of an evil if he found that he had the power to redress it. Let Mr. Gladstone obtain the support of the country, and a Government animated by his sentiments would inaugurate a policy which would redound to the prosperity of the nation.h Mr. Gladstone was the one statesman in his recollection whom he could follow as a leader, and he believed he was the leader for the English people. (Loud cheers.)
On the conclusion of the honourable gentleman’s speech he was greeted with a second most flattering demonstration of respect and admiration.
After a few questions had been put and replied to by the candidates, [Fawcett moved a vote of confidence and support, which was carried unanimously; the “proceedings, which were protracted to an unusually late hour” (The Times), concluded with a vote of thanks to the Chair.]
W.E. Gladstone 
Daily Telegraph, 16 November, 1868, p. 3. Headed: “The General Election. / Greenwich.” Abbreviated versions of the same report appeared in The Times and the Daily News. The Saturday evening meeting of the electors of Deptford was held in the hall of the Mechanics’ Institute, High Street, the purpose being to hear Mill’s speech. A letter was read from Alderman David Salomons (1797–1873), the sitting Liberal M.P. for the borough, now running with Gladstone, in favour of his candidature. The densely crowded meeting greeted Mill with loud cheers.
after a few prefatory remarks, he observed, in reference to Mr. Gladstone not taking an active part in the contest in that borough, that he had heard there were some few among the electors who thought that gentleman should have given his assent to become their representative if elected; but although he was not surprised that they should regret the loss of those splendid specimens of oratory which they would have heard from Mr. Gladstone had he been present among them, yet they knew how impossible it was that Mr. Gladstone should have taken any other than a passive part, seeing the immense importance of the contest then taking place in South-West Lancashire, where, had Mr. Gladstone shown any sign of taking part in the contest for Greenwich, his enemies in Lancashire would at once have put the falsehood forward that he despaired of success in that division of their county; for no falsehood was too false to be taken up and spread by his enemies. (Hear, hear.) That was the reason why the electors of Greenwich had not the pleasure of receiving from Mr. Gladstone an expression of his adhesion in their borough contest. (Hear.) But Mr. Gladstone was entitled not only to the warmest support from the constituency of Greenwich, but to the warmest support of all Liberal constituencies. (Loud cheers.) He was entitled to that support on many grounds. (Hear, hear.) It was not necessary that he should dilate on that occasion at length upon all the claims that Mr. Gladstone had to the support of every Liberal constituency—(cheers)—and therefore he would pass a few only in review. (Hear, hear.) The first claim he had was, that he was the only possible leader of the Liberal party. (Loud cheers.) They all knew how difficult it was, and it had often been found most difficult, to induce the Liberal and the Radical party to act together. (Hear, hear.) They had had experience at times of how one class would not trust those who were trusted by other classes; but there was no such state of things when they had seriously determined that their cause should be led by Mr. Gladstone, who was more popular with, and had more the confidence of, the middle and working classes of the country, than any other statesman. (Loud cheers.) They had in Mr. Gladstone a statesman whom they all trusted. (Cheers.) He would be a Minister who knew his business well, and would do it for the good of the country, without being forced to do it. (Cheers.) Mr. Gladstone possessed the friendly connection and co-operation of the old Liberal party; and even those who were lukewarm accepted him as the best man—not that there was no rival to him, but because they knew that, however much Mr. Gladstone wished to do, he would not consent to do anything unjust to any class. (Hear, hear.) No class wished for injustice. (Hear, hear.) He (Mr. Mill) did not think the Tories wished for anything unjust, knowingly. (Hear, hear.) But they had in Mr. Gladstone a leader in whom they could all confide. (Cheers.) These were not all the points upon which Mr. Gladstone ought to receive their support. Mr. Gladstone was the only statesman within their own time who knew properly the duties of leader of a party; and he was distinguished by that characteristic, that he did not stand still and wait to be summoned by the loud voice of people out of doors, by the thundering demands of the people for some measures of public good. (Hear, hear.) Mr. Gladstone asought fora , arduously and continuously, things which had not been thought of before. (Hear, hear.) When Chancellor of the Exchequer, so soon as it was seen anything was wanting, he was not for leaving things alone, but he was a singular exception to all others, and there was scarcely a year during which he did not bring some plan forward, from his own knowledge and ability, and important for the benefit of the poor and labouring classes. (Cheers.) It was not from compulsion that Mr. Gladstone introduced the Post Office Savings Bank Bill.1 (Hear.) It was not from compulsion that he introduced, also, the Post Office Life Insurance system2 —(hear, hear)—and it was not from compulsion that he succeeded in making reductions in the expenditure of the country, by means of which to pay off some portion of their National Debt. (Cheers.) Neither was it from compulsion that Mr. Gladstone took the duty off paper,3 thus securing the spread of knowledge among the people. (Loud cheers.) Mr. Gladstone was not content with making those improvements in departments only, but he sought improvement in Parliamentary Government. (Cheers.) He (Mr. Mill) would venture to say that there was no other member in Lord Palmerston’s Government but Mr. Gladstone who would have dared to have got up and raised the signal for Parliamentary Reform. (Cheers.) No one knew that he was going to do it; and although he would not vote against a measure of Reform as then proposed, he gave warning that Parliamentary Reform had been solemnly promised, and the people expected that promise to be kept.4 (Loud cheers.) That was the beginning of the Reform which they now had. (Hear, hear.) It was Mr. Gladstone who had given them the power they now possessed, and not Mr. Disraeli—(loud cheers)—for the moment Mr. Gladstone was in power he kept to his word, and tried to do it; but the Tories opposed, and, in succeeding to power, had kept office for two years by granting that, and more than they had before denied to the people. (Hear, and cheers.) That which he had named did not make Mr. Gladstone popular with the Palmerston party. (Hear.) It was a sort of thing which made them say, “Gladstone is not a safe man”—(laughter)—that was, a man who would not give himself the trouble of doing anything—(hear, hear)—or a man who would leave questions alone. An unsafe man was a Minister in whom it was high treason to bring forward good measures, or who threw out ideas for good measures. (Cheers.) He hoped that in the future, with Mr. Gladstone, they would not be without such a man. (Hear.) It was Mr. Gladstone who had brought forward the great Irish Church question, when he reminded the House it was a question which would have to be taken up, for it could not be permitted to wait much longer5 —(cheers)—and as soon as the question of Reform was settled he took the question up of the Irish Church,6 and in which they were now called upon to support him. (Loud cheers.) If they did not support him, what would be the consequences? (Hear, hear.) To act wisely would be to give reparation to Ireland for the many wrong laws which had existed for many centuries; for until a recent period they had not treated Ireland like a sister, but more like a slave—(cheers)—and even worse than many slaves; for there were such things as petted slaves, but Ireland had been trampled on. (Hear, hear.) Having referred to the tenure of land in Ireland, where no man was safe from being turned out of possession at the end of six months without compensation, Mr. Mill said it was a difficult question, what exact system of legislation was required to meet it; but Mr. Gladstone was the man who had the mind to solve it, and he was the man to do it. (Hear, hear.) If they did not answer the appeal made to them at the coming elections, and place the right man in the right place, the opportunity for reconciliation with Ireland would be lost. (Hear, hear.) If they did not choose this opportunity to be lost, they would return Mr. Gladstone with a triumphant majority. (Loud cheers.) But there was still a great deal more depending upon what they might do. There was a vast deal to be done, not only in England, but Ireland also. (Hear.) They had to turn over an entire life of half a century, and to undo what former Governments had done. (Hear.) In a country where there existed so much wealth with so much poverty, there were difficulties to be got over by the help of brain, energy, and earnestness—(hear)—and if they wanted either brain, energy, or earnestness, they would not lay their claim for them on those who had opposed them. (Hear, hear.) There were also the questions of national education, and capital, and labour, which required the same brain, energy, and earnestness; and it was for the constituencies to say whom they would have for their leader. (Cries of Gladstone!) It was very much to be hoped that Mr. Gladstone would be returned for South-West Lancashire, and that he would not need to take his seat for Greenwich. (Hear, hear.) But he might require the seat. If he did not need it, they would have done honour to themselves and bgivenb valuable support, showing to other great constituencies that they had given their adhesion in supporting the most illustrious Liberal representative they could select. (Cheers.) If Mr. Gladstone should not succeed, and should require their suffrages—and it was said that Lord Derby had consented to spend £20,000 to prevent his election—(Shame)—but if only £10,000, or £5,000, he (Mr. Mill) believed they would agree with him that the money might be more wisely spent—(hear, hear)—if, as he had said, Mr. Gladstone should require their suffrages, it would be a joy of triumph to the constituency that they had provided a harbour of refuge for him, to enable him to take his seat at the assembling of the new Parliament, as the head of the Liberal party. (Cheers.) In conclusion, Mr. Mill called on all the Liberal electors in the borough to be early at the poll on Tuesday morning, and to split their votes by voting for Salomons and Gladstone, resuming his seat amid considerable applause.
[A motion was unanimously accepted pledging support to Salomons and Gladstone, and the meeting concluded.]
The Westminster Election of 1868 
Daily Telegraph, 17 November, 1868, p. 2. Headed: “The General Election. / Nominations. / Westminster.” Reports (in the third person) appeared in the Morning Star, the Daily News, and The Times. The nomination of candidates took place at noon on the hustings in front of Nelson’s Column, Trafalgar Square (the location also being referred to as Charing Cross). The “arrangements were an immense improvement over the old regime of dirt and disturbance at Covent Garden Market, where a candidate and his friends seldom escaped without making acquaintance with the flavour of decaying turnips and cabbagestalks” (Morning Star). Smith arrived first, and then Grosvenor and Mill, with a large group of supporters, who had walked in procession from their committee rooms. After the proclamation and the writ had been read, Erskine Perry, seconded by N.N. Seymour, proposed Grosvenor. Mill was nominated by Malleson, who said in part: “Three years ago you did yourself the honour to solicit Mr. Mill to leave his study, where he had already acquired a world-wide reputation—(cheers)—and, what he values more, a world-wide usefulness—to represent you in the House of Commons, and there with wonderful rapidity he achieved an astonishing success. (Cheers.) As an argumentative debater he is second to none in the House of Commons; and, more than that, the people respect and admire him for his pure courage, his straightforwardness, his simplicity, and his intense devotion to the popular cause. (Cheers.) It may be said of him that he has a double title—that he is not only one of the greatest, but one of the best-loved of living Englishmen. (Cheers, and counter cries of Oh.) He has been assailed on the occasion of this election with abuse, insult, and calumny of every kind; but the gentlemen who have thus assailed him do not dare to accept the challenge to be present at one of their public meetings, and there defend himself. (Hear, hear; and a voice, What about Bradlaugh?)” Beal, who seconded the nomination, summed “up Mill’s qualifications by saying that the rancorous hatred of that honourable gentleman’s opponents was the best guarantee of the value of his services. (Cheers.)” Up to this point the speeches had been quite well heard, but when Smith’s supporters began to speak, “there was a surging movement . . . by the rougher element immediately beneath the hustings” which produced “reaction and uproar, and the clamour thus initiated continued without abatement till the end of the proceedings, and little more than a few stray expressions could be caught here and there from the different speakers” (The Times). George Cubitt, “in the midst of a deafening uproar,” proposed W.H. Smith, interjecting the comment that while the Tories had no complaint to make of Grosvenor, “they did complain that Mr. Mill had indulged in abuse, and had charged the Tories with sticking at nothing. Mr. Mill,” he continued, “had been asked to retract, and had declined to do so; and he . . . now asked him to do so that day, or when he went to his retirement at Avignon he would regret it.” Tavener Miller (who also could barely be heard) seconded Smith’s nomination, and then Grosvenor addressed the crowd. Next Mill rose, to be greeted with “a tumult of applause” and “considerable hooting”
gentlemen—This is not the time or the place for many words, and, if it were, you could not possibly hear them; so I will only say this, you and the people of this country generally have got to decide something more important than the particular merit or demerit of candidates that present themselves for your suffrages. You have got to decide whether this country shall have a Tory Government or a Gladstone Government. (Cheers, cries of Gladstone, and interruption.) aIf the new electors who have supported Reform care nothing about the rights that have been acquired, and desire things should go on after the Reform Act exactly as they went on before it, they will do quite right to vote for the Tory candidate; but if the old electors are as much attached to Reform as ever—if the new electors desire that their newly-acquired rights should be exercised to the best advantage—and if both new and old electors wish the Reform Bill to bring forth abundant fruits, then they will, I have no doubt, vote for the two Liberal candidates. (Cheers.)a
[The noise constantly increased, and Smith, like Mill, could not be heard easily. On the show of hands, the High Bailiff declared the election to have fallen on Mill and Smith, though the Morning Star thought the vote had clearly gone to Mill and Grosvenor; a poll was demanded on behalf of Grosvenor, which was announced to begin at 8 a.m. and continue until 4 p.m. on the 17th, with the result to be declared at 2 p.m. on the 18th. The meeting (which had lasted less than an hour) ended after “some confusion about the customary vote of thanks to the returning officer. A message was sent to Mr. Mill on the part of Mr. Smith, offering to second the vote if he would propose it, but no move to that effect being made, Mr. Smith himself proposed the motion, and in the absence of a Liberal seconder this duty was discharged by the Hon. R. Grimston [Smith’s agent]” (The Times). “Upon leaving the hustings Mr. Mill with his friends returned to the Liberal committee-room in Cockspur-street, and presenting himself upon the balcony bowed his acknowledgments to his supporters” (The Times).]
The Westminster Election of 1868 
Daily Telegraph, 19 November, 1868, p. 8. Headed: “The General Election. / Declarations. / Westminster.” Similar reports (also in the first person) appeared in the Morning Star and the Daily News; The Times had a third-person report. Though the declaration of the poll was scheduled for 2 p.m., the number of voters and the consequent difficulty of making up the lists delayed the High Bailiff until 4 p.m. When he appeared on the hustings, the front was occupied by “a number of roughs of the worst type” who, annoyed at the delay, “held high carnival,” with the result that “any decently-clad individual wearing a chimney-pot hat had good reason to remember his imprudence.” “The principal speaker in the crowd was a little boy whose age could not have been more than ten or twelve years”—The Times guesses fourteen—“whose platform was the shoulders of a young man. This youthful political orator expatiated very intelligently upon all the prominent questions of the day, gave the Liberal party full credit for all they had done and intend doing, criticised the Tories rather severely, even going as far as to wish to see the distinguished educator of that party well hung; accused the successful Tory candidate for Westminster of all sorts of bribery and corruption, and prophesied that gentleman’s speedy rejection from the seat for Westminster.” (Morning Star.) Mill and Grosvenor, with their supporters, had arrived before 2 o’clock, to enthusiastic cheers. After waiting an hour, however, Mill, “who was indisposed,” rose, whereupon “the little fellow on the man’s shoulders called for ‘Cheers for Mr. Mill,’ a cry which was readily responded to; and, addressing Mr. Mill, said, ‘Don’t mind, Mr. Mill, we’ll pop you in for Greenwich.’
gentlemen—So much unexpected delay having occurred, and as I have a bad cold, I will take the opportunity of saying at once the few words I have to say. To be defeated in a contested election is so common an occurrence that there is no reason why any sensible man should be much moved by it—and least of all is that any reason in my case, who, as you know, did not seek the honour which you conferred on me; but, on the contrary, the acceptance was and has been throughout a sacrifice to me. (Hear, hear.) Whatever regret I feel, therefore, at the result of yesterday’s election is solely on public grounds. (Cheers.) I regret the loss of a vote to Mr. Gladstone and the Liberal party. (Great cheering.) I regret that Westminster, which was so long at the head of the Liberal interest, should have had the unenviable distinction of being the only metropolitan constituency which has at this election sent a Tory to the House of Commons by the vote of the majority. (Hisses.) And I am sorry for one reason more. I think it was an encouragement to young men ambitious of parliamentary distinction—it was a good lesson to them when they found that a great constituency like this was willing to be represented by a man who always told you plainly when he differed in opinion from you—who told you that he differed on a few important points, though he agreed on more, and that he should maintain his opinion by his vote, and who never, for the sake of preserving his seat, ever said or did anything which he would not have thought it his duty to if he had not been your representative. (Cheers.) It only remains for me to make my warmest acknowledgments to those who have laboured on my behalf, awhich I do most heartily,a and to the electors who have not only given me their support, but an amount of bsupport, favour, and countenanceb very far above my deserts. (Cries of No, and cheers.)
[As he left the hustings with his friends, Mill was again warmly cheered, and was joined by a large crowd in walking back to the Liberal committee rooms in Cockspur Street. The display of a Tory placard offended some in the crowd, and a rush on the hustings resulted in the reporters being “walked over” (Morning Star), and the police were required to restore order. An hour later, William James Farrer, the High Bailiff, appeared, accompanied by Smith, who was greeted by “a storm of mingled cheers and groans.” The poll was announced: Smith, 7,648; Grosvenor, 6,584; Mill, 6,284; and Smith and Grosvenor were declared elected. Smith spoke amidst an uproar, and then Grosvenor, who was heard with much greater ease, expressed his thanks, mixed with regret at the loss of Mill as a colleague. A vote of thanks to the High Bailiff terminated the proceedings more peacefully than had been earlier feared.]
Illustrated London News, 22 July, 1865, p. 56
Metropolitan Toronto Library
[1 ]I.e., the House of Commons.
[2 ]John Boyd Kinnear (1828–1920), a radical barrister and author, had spoken at length earlier in the meeting.
[a-a]DN [in past tense MS There have, as I said, been many suggestions made, any one of which would probably prevent the difficulty which Mr. Kinnear feels from being fatal to the plan.]]
[b-b]DN [in third person, past tense MS ;while with reference to the others the communication could be by epistolarly correspondence]]
[3 ]Richard Cobden outlined his plan to divide large boroughs into electoral wards, with one member to a ward, so as to represent the different classes more accurately, in a speech at Rochdale on 18 August, 1859 (The Times, 19 Aug., p. 7).
[c-c]+DN [in past tense]
[d-d]DN [in past tense MS Under the present system, the]]
[e-e]DN [in past tense MS All this would be reversed by Mr. Hare’s plan, which would give the elector an opportunity of voting for the best men in the whole of the country. I think Mr. Morrison’s suggestion, or something of the kind, will probably be adopted, because things are never carried except by degrees, and with a proposal so novel as this of Mr. Hare, the Government and the people would be naturally desirous to see it tried on a small scale before making it universal.]]
[4 ]Walter Morrison (1836–1921), M.P. for Plymouth, had made the suggestion in a speech preceding Mill’s.
[1 ]George Bowyer (1811–83), M.P. for Dundalk, cols. 1183–8, and George Montagu Warren Sandford (1821–79), M.P. for Maldon, cols. 1188–90.
[2 ]James Dunwoody Bulloch (1823–1901) had the responsibility for equipping and dispatching the Confederate cruising ships from Britain.
[3 ]Cols. 1184–5.
[4 ]For Sandford’s criticism of Stanley, see col. 1189.
[5 ]“Correspondence Respecting British and American Claims Arising out of the Late Civil War in the United States,” PP, 1867, LXXIV, 1–48, and “Further Correspondence,” PP, 1867–68, LXXIII, 1–10.
[6 ]Cf. Stanley, cols. 1168–78.
[7 ]William Henry Seward (1801–72), then U.S. Secretary of State, “Despatch to Mr. Adams” (27 Aug., 1866), in “Correspondence Respecting British and American Claims,” p. 4.
[8 ]Shaw-Lefevre, cols. 1163–5, and Forster, ibid., col. 1182.
[9 ]Stanley, col. 1178; Forster, cols. 1182–3.
[10 ]Bowyer and Sandford.
[11 ]“Despatch,” pp. 3–4.
[1 ]Shakespeare, Romeo and Juliet, V, i, 46; in The Riverside Shakespeare, p. 1088.
[2 ]Lowe, cols. 1501–3.
[3 ]On 26 July, 1867, Disraeli, in a speech on Ireland (PD, 3rd ser., Vol. 189, cols. 201–9), attempted to explain his remarks on Ireland on 16 February, 1844 (ibid., Vol. 72, cols. 1007–17).
[4 ]Richard Southwell Bourke (1822–72), Lord Naas, M.P. for Cockermouth, Speech on the State of Ireland (10 Mar., 1868), ibid., Vol. 190, cols. 1387–91.
[5 ]Jacob Bright (1821–99), M.P. for Manchester, and brother of John Bright, col. 1514.
[a-a]PD] CS,TT should
[6 ]Isaiah, 40:4.
[7 ]Neate, Motion on the State of Ireland (10 Mar., 1868), PD, 3rd ser., Vol. 190, col. 1323.
[8 ]I.e., after Catholic Emancipation (by 10 George IV, c. 7 ).
[9 ]Lowe, cols. 1484–5.
[10 ]The History of Ireland, from the Treaty of Limerick to the Present Time (New York: Sadlier, 1868), p. 609, by John Mitchel (1815–75), Fenian leader, at this time publishing the Irish Citizen in New York,
[d]PD , however,
[11 ]Bourke (Lord Naas), col. 1354.
[g-g]+TT [in past tense]
[12 ]By the Act of Union, 39 & 40 George III, c. 67 (1800).
[h-h]TT or the horrible oppression exercised towards the Roman Catholics
[13 ]E.g., by the two Test Acts, 25 Charles II, c. 2 (1672) and 30 Charles II, Second Session, c. 1 (1677), and by 7 & 8 William III, c. 27 (1696).
[14 ]Shakespeare, Julius Caesar, III, ii, 75; in The Riverside Shakespeare, p. 1121.
[15 ]18 Charles II, c. 2 (1666), Sect. 2.
[17 ]Mill may be thinking of the duty imposed by 8 & 9 William III, c. 21 (1697).
[18 ]By 1 William and Mary, c. 32 (1688), Parliament had made it difficult, but not impossible, for the Irish to export wool to Britain.
[19 ]Part of the traditional Whig toast, celebrating William III (1650–1702), called from Holland to replace James II at the time of the English Revolution; cf. Whig Club, Instituted in May, 1784, by John Bellamy (London: n.p., 1786).
[20 ]As was done by 10 & 11 William III, c. 10 (1699).
[21 ]Marcus Aurelius Antoninus (121–180), Roman Emperor and philosopher, Communings with Himself [Meditations] (Greek and English), trans. C.R. Haines (London: Heinemann; New York: Putnam’s Sons, 1930), pp. 70–1 (IV, 4).
[22 ]By 1 & 2 Victoria, c. 109 (1838), which substituted charges on rent for composition for tithes.
[23 ]In 1831; see “Copy of a Letter from the Chief Secretary for Ireland, to His Grace the Duke of Leinster, on the Formation of a Board of Commissioners for Education in Ireland,” PP, 1831–32, XXIX, 757–60.
[24 ]Bourke, in his Speech on the State of Ireland (10 Mar., 1868), PD, 3rd ser., Vol. 190, cols. 1384–6, had proposed the founding of a Catholic university in Ireland.
[25 ]See “An Account of Loans Advanced by the Imperial Treasury for Public Works in Ireland” (which includes other expenditures since 1800), PP, 1847, LIV, 91–282.
[26 ]Richard Griffith (1784–1878), “Return of the Probable Extent of Waste Lands in Each County in Ireland,” in “Report from Her Majesty’s Commissioners of Inquiry into the State of the Law and Practice in Respect to the Occupation of Land in Ireland,” PP, 1845, XIX, 48–52.
[27 ]12 & 13 Victoria, c. 77 (1849).
[28 ]Bourke, col. 1369.
[29 ]England and Ireland (London: Longmans, et al., 1868); in CW, Vol. VI, pp. 505–32.
[p-p]TT the primary objection
[30 ]Lowe, cols. 1494–7.
[31 ]Ibid., esp. col. 1493.
[t-t]TT [in third person, past tense CS,PD I will presume, therefore, that the House will not be unwilling to allow me to state what answer I can make to the practical objections to my plan. First, there is the objection founded upon the sacredness of property. That is]]
[u-u]+TT [in past tense]
[32 ]E.g., Frederick Snowdon Corrance (1822–1906), M.P. for East Suffolk, col. 1479, and Lowe, col. 1497.
[33 ]Again Corrance, col. 1479, and Lowe, cols. 1494–6.
[y-y]PD present position
[z-z]+TT [in past tense]
[34 ]Horsman, col. 1475, and Lowe, col. 1494.
[35 ]Frederick Temple Hamilton Temple Blackwood (1826–1902), Lord Dufferin, Mr. Mill’s Plan for the Pacification of Ireland Examined (London: Murray, 1868), p. 32.
[36 ]Lowe, cols. 1489–99.
[a-a]TT [in past tense CS,PD that they are working for themselves]]
[37 ]Bourke, cols. 1370–4.
[38 ]Bourke referred to the citation in Mill’s Principles of Political Economy, II, vi, 2, of the description by Gerold Meyer von Knonau (see CW, Vol. II, p. 258n).
[39 ]The reference is actually to Eduard Im Thurn, another Swiss author; see ibid., II, vii, 1 (Vol. II, p. 278).
[40 ]Louis Gabriel Léonce Guilhaud de Lavergne (1809–80), Economie rurale de la France depuis 1789 (1860), 2nd ed. (Paris: Guillaumin, 1861), pp. 453–4 (cf. CW, Vol. II, p. 436).
[c-c]TT [in past tense CS,PD motive would a tenant have to sub-let]]
[e-e]+TT [in past tense]
[41 ]Cf. Isaiah, 35:1.
[42 ]Blackwood, p. 27.
[g]PD be able to
[43 ]Neate, cols. 1317–18.
[44 ]England and Ireland, CW, Vol. VI, p. 527.
[i-i]TT] CS,PD temperaments
[1 ]Alexander Mitchell (1831–73), M.P. for Berwick, moved an amendment to reserve the trial of election petitions to the Commons (cols. 296–8).
[2 ]Electoral Corruption and Its Remedies (London: National Association for the Promotion of Social Science, 1864), by William Dougal Christie, who had been M.P. for Weymouth 1842–47, and failed in attempts at election in 1865 and 1868.
[b-b]+TT [in past tense]
[3 ]See the evidence of Philip Rose (1816–83), “Report from the Select Committee of the Lords,” Sessional Papers, 1860, I, 129.
[4 ]Ibid., p. 130.
[5 ]By Clause 10.
[6 ]Disraeli introduced the Bill on 13 February (PD, 3rd ser., Vol. 190, cols. 693–702).
[1 ]See No. 89.
[1 ]Gilpin had moved an amendment to abolish capital punishment (col. 1041).
[2 ]Until the enactment of 2 & 3 William IV, c. 62 (1832), though in fact the death penalty was seldom applied in such cases, as Mill indicates below.
[3 ]Gilpin, cols. 1040–1.
[4 ]Ibid., col. 1034.
[5 ]This term for a vain menace comes from Pliny, Natural History, Vol. I, p. 254 (II, xliii, 113).
[6 ]Gilpin, cols. 1037–8.
[7 ]Virgil, Aeneid, Vol. II, p. 342 (XII, 646).
[a-a]TT without adequate reason; but, on the other hand, many persons of the present day appeared likely to fall into the other extreme, and be ready to deprive the law of its last punishment
[8 ]William Blackstone (1723–80), Commentaries on the Laws of England, 4 vols. (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1765–69), Vol. IV, p. 352.
[9 ]Gilpin, cols. 1037–9.
[10 ]“A Bill to Provide for the Carrying into Effect Capital Punishments within Prisons,” 30 Victoria (14 Feb., 1867), PP, 1867, I, 521–4 (not enacted).
[11 ]By 16 & 17 Victoria, c. 99 (1853).
[12 ]Flogging for garotters, abolished by 24 & 25 Victoria, c. 100 (1861), Sect. 43, had been reinstituted by 26 & 27 Victoria, c. 44 (1863), Sect. 1, consequent upon the non-fatal garotting of James Pilkington (1804–90), M.P. for Blackburn, in London on 16 July, 1862 (see The Times, 18 July, p. 5).
[13 ]Cf. Neate, col. 1047.
[1 ]See Nos. 56 and 82.
[2 ]Mill himself brought a large number of petitions before the House on that day (see The Times, 6 May, p. 8), having brought in others on 23 and 24 April (see App. C).
[3 ]Enacted on 15 August, 1867, as 30 & 31 Victoria, c. 102.
[4 ]Henry Peter, Lord Brougham (1778–1868), Speech on the Business of Parliament (5 June, 1837), PD, 3rd ser., Vol. 38, col. 1176.
[5 ]The Code civil des Français (Paris: Imprimerie de la république, 1804) was incorporated into the even larger Code Napoléon (3 Sept., 1807), Bulletin des lois de l’empire français, 4th ser., Numéros bis.
[c-c]TT] PD powers conferred by that Bill were
[6 ]The provision in Sect. 4 of “A Bill to Provide Better Dwellings for Artizans and Labourers,” 29 Victoria (20 Feb., 1866), PP, 1866, I, 43–52, was removed in the version amended by the Select Committee (see its First Schedule, Table A), ibid., pp. 53–72.
[7 ]“Report of the Commissioners Appointed to Inquire into the Existing State of the Corporation of the City of London,” PP, 1854, XXVI, 35. The Commission was presided over by George Cornewall Lewis (1806–63), author and politician.
[8 ]By Sect. 31 of 18 & 19 Victoria, c. 120 (1855).
[9 ]This comment by Edward Coke (1552–1634), parliamentarian, judge, and legal authority, has not been located.
[a-a]TT] PD society
[1 ]Duncan McLaren (1800–86), M.P. for Edinburgh, col. 147.
[1 ]The proposed amendments are in Notices of Motion, and Orders of the Day for 7, 11, and 19 May, pp. 733, 739–40, 754–5, 759–60, and 882–4.
[2 ]Dante Alighieri, Inferno, Canto III, ll. 37–9; cf. the prose translation by John A. Carlyle, Dante’s Divine Comedy: The Inferno (Italian and English) (London: Chapman and Hall, 1849), p. 28.
[3 ]Ibid., Canto III, l. 51 (p. 29).
[4 ]Of 1842.
[5 ]Brett, col. 690.
[1 ]Ralph Bernal Osborne (1811–82), col. 964.
[a-a]PD] P Those
[b-b]PD support the extension of political rights to women, should desire the rejection of
[d-d]PD] P privileges voluntarily
[1 ]Jacob Bright, cols. 1360–4, and Robert Lowe, cols. 1364–7.
[2 ]Edward Kent Karslake (1820–92), cols. 1355–8.
[e-e]PD said with great truth that the real authors of the Bill are not present, and he seemed to think they must be persons in whose eyes any change in existing institutions must be an improvement
[3 ]Shaw-Lefevre, who had introduced the Bill, and later (cols. 1373–6) spoke to it.
[f-f]PD] P them
[4 ]Stanley and Pakington.
[5 ]Lawrence Peel (1799–1884) had been Chief Justice of Calcutta (1842–55) and a Director of the East India Company (from 1857) when Mill was Chief Examiner.
[6 ]Thomas Erskine Perry (1806–82), then M.P. for Devonport, Speech on the Married Women’s Property Bill (14 May, 1857), PD, 3rd ser., Vol. 145, cols. 266–74, introducing “A Bill to Amend the Law with Respect to the Property of Married Women,” 20 Victoria (14 May, 1857), PP, 1857, III.ii, 243–8 (not enacted).
[7 ]On 31 May, 1856; see “Property of Married Women,” The Times, 2 June, p. 5.
[g-g]PD the right honourable Recorder of London (Mr. Russell Gurney) is a supporter of the Bill, because his name is on the back of it; but he seems to think that Gentleman’s absence intentional, though, as a lawyer, it is strange he should not have known that the Recorder’s absence is caused by his presiding in his Court. That conscientious and feeling judge was very desirous of being present, and would, from his judicial experience, have put the House in possession of the real effects of the present law, and afforded to the Attorney General and the honourable Member for Colchester some information as to the true working of that power in the Divorce Act to which allusion has been made. It is only in cases of desertion that this power comes into exercise, and that the magistrate has power to make orders of protection; but cases are continually happening,
[8 ]Russell Gurney, like Mill, was a sponsor of the Bill.
[9 ]John Burgess Karslake.
[10 ]20 & 21 Victoria, c. 85 (1857).
[11 ]Karslake, col. 1369.
[12 ]See Sect. 25 of 20 & 21 Victoria, c. 85.
[j-j]PD It seems to be the opinion of those who oppose the measure that it is impossible for society to exist on a harmonious footing between two persons
[k-k]PD] P might be true whilst people were savages; but civilized men are able to live with their brothers, women with their sisters, and men with their sisters, without any such absolute power, and why not men with their wives? I am quite aware that men may suffer from bad wives, as well as women from bad husbands
[n-n]PD] P over her husband, it would be by giving her no rights of her own.
[13 ]Karslake, col. 1369.
[q-q]PD] P parts of the law, having been adjusted to a bad principle, will require modification, in order to accommodate them to a good one. But a select committee, comprising able lawyers, will be perfectly
[r-r]PD alterations as will
[1 ]See particularly 60 George III and 1 George IV, c. 9 (1819).
[1 ]I.e., the Reform Act, 30 & 31 Victoria, c. 102 (1867).
[a-a]TT] PD Instead
[1 ]Spencer Walpole, then Minister without Portfolio.
[1 ]The Bill had been referred to the Examiners of Petitions for Private Bills, who passed it on to the Committee on Standing Orders, noting that it violated Standing Orders because insufficient attention had been paid to publicity of its provisions to all affected by it. The Committee then ruled that the Standing Orders should not be dispensed with, and so the Bill could not proceed. (Journals of the House of Commons, Vol. 123 [1867–68], pp. 158, 188, and 211.)
[2 ]In its earlier form; see No. 56.
[a-a]TT By passing the Reform Act the House had given a pledge that it would inquire into and revise all the local institutions of the country.
[3 ]The Reform Act, 30 & 31 Victoria, c. 102 (1867).
[4 ]George Augustus Frederick Cavendish Bentinck (1821–91) spoke against the Bill after Mill’s speech (cols. 1735–7).
[5 ]For statutes bearing on these matters, see, respectively, 6 & 7 William IV, c. 86 (1836) (registration); 18 & 19 Victoria, c. 122 (1855) (building); 10 George IV, c. 44 (1829) (police; the divisions were an administrative responsibility); 9 & 10 Victoria, c. 95 (1846) (county courts); and 15 Victoria, c. 50 (1852) (militia).
[b-b]+TT [in past tense]
[6 ]Torrens introduced the latest version of his “Bill to Provide Better Dwellings for Artizans and Labourers,” 31 Victoria, PP, 1867–68, I, 21–42, on 20 November (PD, 3rd ser., Vol. 190, col. 103). The first version, to which Mill here refers, is 29 Victoria (20 Feb., 1866), PP, 1866, I, 43–52; see Clause 4 for the powers of the vestries. (Cf. No. 93.)
[c-c]TT] PD At first the Bill intrusted those powers to the vestries; but the vestries were not trusted, and the Select Committee preferred intrusting them to the Metropolitan Board of Works: and then it appeared that the Board of Works was not trusted either
[7 ]See the second version of the Bill, as amended by the Select Committee, ibid., pp. 53–72 (18 June, 1866), First Schedule, Table A. The Bill was withdrawn on 31 July without debate. As reintroduced in the next session, 30 Victoria (12 Feb., 1867), PP, 1867, I, 109–28, this third version retains the provision of the second version. It was withdrawn on 4 August. For the Board of Works, see 18 & 19 Victoria, c. 120 (1855).
[8 ]The objection came in the debate on the second reading, from John Harvey Lewis (1814–88), M.P. for Marylebone, Speech on the Artizans’ and Labourers’ Dwellings Bill (27 Mar., 1867), PD, 3rd ser., Vol. 186, cols. 697–8.
[9 ]The constituencies of Finsbury, Greenwich, Lambeth, Marylebone, and Tower Hamlets were created by the first Reform Act, 2 & 3 William IV, c. 45 (1832).
[10 ]5 & 6 William IV, c. 76 (1835).
[d-d]TT] PD carry out a great sanitary improvement
[1 ]Hay, cols. 1870–1.
[2 ]Hay, col. 1872.
[b-b]TT mere superfoetation
[3 ]Hay, col. 1875.
[4 ]Hay, col. 1873.
[5 ]Hay, cols. 1874–5.
[1 ]Cols. 1929–30.
[1 ]Edward Pleydell Bouverie (1818–89), Speech on the Election Petitions and Corrupt Practices at Elections Bill (21 May, 1868), PD, 3rd ser., Vol. 192, cols. 682–5.
[2 ]Alexander Pulling (1813–95), legal author, municipal reformer, an active member of the National Association for the Promotion of Social Science.
[1 ]Northcote, Motion on the Municipal Corporations (Metropolis) Bill (17 June, 1868), PD, 3rd ser., Vol. 192, col. 1740.
[2 ]E.g., by John Harvey Lewis (ibid., cols. 1737–8), and James Macnaughton McGaul Hogg (1823–90), then M.P. for Bath (ibid., cols. 1738–9).
[3 ]I.e., Bentinck, who spoke against the Bill and moved that it be put off for three months (ibid., cols. 1735–7).
[1 ]Colin Blackburn (1813–96), Charge to the Westminster Grand Jury in the Case of Governor Eyre, in “Ex-Governor Eyre,” The Times, 3 June, 1868, pp. 9–10. Blackburn’s Charge found that the proclamation of martial law in Jamaica by Governor Eyre had been consistent with statutes previously adopted by the Jamaican assembly. Mill’s allusion implies that the response of several anti-Eyre members of the House to the central provisions of the Elections Bill might be adversely affected by Blackburn’s handling of the case.
[2 ]Henley, Speech on the Election Petitions and Corrupt Practices at Elections Bill (13 Feb., 1868), PD, 3rd ser., Vol. 190, cols. 714–15.
[3 ]For Mill’s amendments, notice of which was given on 7 May, see Notices of Motions, and Orders of the Day, 1868, p. 739.
[a-a]TT] PD what
[b-b]TT at the expense of Harrow and Eton, but he hoped it was not meant seriously to press it to a division
[1 ]George Ward Hunt (1825–77), M.P. for Northamptonshire, the Chancellor, replied to both McLaren and Mill at col. 834.
[a-a]TT , perhaps,
[1 ]For the amendments, notice of which was given on 19 May, see Notices of Motions, and Orders of the Day, 1868, pp. 882–4.
[2 ]See No. 116.
[1 ]For Philip Rose, see No. 89. Markham Spofforth (b. ca. 1824), a lawyer, assisted Rose as a Conservative party agent, and then took over the position of Principal Agent in 1859.
[2 ]“Evidence Taken before the Select Committee on the Corrupt Practices Prevention Act,” PP, 1860, X, 112.
[3 ]“Report from the Select Committee on the Corrupt Practices Prevention Act,” ibid., p. 6.
[4 ]See No. 123.
[5 ]5 & 6 William IV, c. 76 (1835).
[1 ]Richard Southwell Bourke, 6th Earl of Mayo.
[2 ]The Jackmell (renamed Erin’s Hope) had sailed from the U.S.A. with forty-eight Fenians, to support the rebellion in Ireland of March 1867. Arriving after it had ended, they cruised the coast until 1 June, when in desperation they landed and were arrested, arms being discovered on board. They were tried in November 1867, and convicted, but most were released on 6 May, 1868. John Warren and Augustine Costello, both Irish-born U.S. citizens, were released in 1869, when they lectured in Ireland against the government, and then returned to the U.S.A.
[1 ]Taylor’s amendment (col. 1421) provided that the Board should not insist on the appointment of a chaplain if the duties of that officer could be secured without payment. For its defeat, see col. 1423.
[a-a]TT Even supposing that logically or properly this clause has nothing to do with corrupt practices, would the House make use of a technical difficulty in the way of inserting in what might be called the completion of the measures of Reform a clause which would go far to show the people that Parliament did not mean, under the guise of a wide scheme of enfranchisement, to impose on the country a scheme which would enable parties to make the representation a plutocracy?
[1 ]Cols. 1445–6.
[2 ]See No. 95 (12 May, 1868).
[1 ]I.e., when he saw Mill’s Notice of Motion (reported in The Times, 21 July, p. 9).
[a-a]TT] PD answered
[1 ]Brett, cols. 1622–3.
[2 ]I.e., the approval of Fawcett’s amendment (PD, 3rd ser., Vol. 193, col. 1554).
[3 ]For Forster’s question on 20 July, 1868, concerning the Government’s intentions with reference to Fawcett’s amendment, and Disraeli’s reply, see The Times, 21 July, p. 7 (PD does not report the exchange).
[4 ]See No. 116 (14 July, 1868).
[5 ]17 & 18 Victoria, c. 102 (1854).
[6 ]Sect. 11 of 30 & 31 Victoria, c. 102 (1867), proposed by John Candlish (1816–74), M.P. for Sunderland, on 1 July, 1867 (PD, 3rd ser., Vol. 188, cols. 795–8), and accepted (ibid., col. 811).
[7 ]For the amendment, see Notices of Motions, and Orders of the Day, 1868, pp. 2089–90.
[a-a]P [in italic]
[b-b]DT] MS,P (Loud cheers.)
[1 ]By 9 & 10 Victoria, c. 22 (1846).
[2 ]Cf. Luke, 7:8, and Matthew, 8:9.
[e-e]DT] MS the principles of a good poor law were the giving of relief to unavoidable destitution in such a manner that those should have no chance of obtaining relief who could support themselves by their labour
[g-g]DT] MS objected to any portion of those funds being appropriated to the support of any clergy or sectarian body
[1 ]For Forster’s question and Disraeli’s response on 20 July, 1868, see The Times, 21 July, p. 7.
[2 ]Cols. 1727–8.
[3 ]Fawcett, motion of 18 July, cols. 1443–4.
[4 ]John Floyer (1811–87), M.P. for Dorset, col. 1723.
[5 ]Proverbs, 26:13.
[1 ]“A Bill for the Establishment of a Foreign Cattle Market for the Metropolis,” 31 Victoria (5 Dec., 1867), PP, 1867–68, III, 387–94 (not enacted).
[2 ]See No. 89.
[3 ]PD, 3rd ser., Vol. 193, cols. 1730–2.
[4 ]For Fawcett’s amendment, see Nos. 120, 123, and 125. Charles Schreiber (1826–84), M.P. for Cheltenham and Poole, on 22 July moved that municipal elections be postponed until after the parliamentary elections (PD, 3rd ser., Vol. 193, cols. 1649–50).
[d-d]TT] DT In reply to one question as to the propriety of bishops having seats in the Lords, Mr. Mill said he did not think they were a very valuable element in that assembly. But until we took the whole subject of the proper constitution and proper position of the Church of England into consideration, as he supposed we some day should—laying sarcastic emphasis upon the words—he did not suppose we should get better bishops unless we got better ministers.
[5 ]The People’s Edition of Considerations on Representative Government (London: Longman, et al., 1865), pp. 100–1 (CW, Vol. XIX, pp. 517–19).
[e-e]TT] DT,DN A vote, pledging the meeting to support the honourable candidates, closed the proceedings.
[6 ]The Game Law of 1831 (1 & 2 William IV, c. 32) allowed all to hunt who possessed a licence, but trespass was forbidden; the abiding dispute was over the right to hunt on leased land.
[7 ]In December of 1863, Theodore, King of Abyssinia, unhappy with the refusal of the British government to respond favourably to his diplomatic overtures, took captive the British Consul and a number of missionaries. Non-military efforts to secure their release having failed, an expedition was launched in the summer of 1867 under Robert Cornelis Napier (1810–90); it was quickly successful in freeing the captives, and Theodore committed suicide. When Napier was created Baron Napier of Magdala in recognition of his triumph, Mill submitted a petition in objection from a group in Macclesfield; he explained his action as being simply in accord with his view that citizens’ positions should be known. The questioner here was undoubtedly prompted by Conservative efforts to portray Mill as unpatriotic.
[1 ]11 & 12 Victoria, c. 43 (1848), associated with John Jervis (1802–56), M.P. for Chester until he became Lord Chief Justice of Common Pleas in 1850.
[1 ]For the proposed amendment, see Notices of Motions, and Orders of the Day, 1868, p. 2007.
[2 ]30 Victoria, c. 6 (1867), Sects. 31, 32, and 55.
[1 ]George Odger (1820–77), trade unionist, Secretary of the London Trades Council, having failed to gain election in Staffordshire, had put his name forward in Chelsea, but had retired to avoid splitting the left-Liberal vote (Dilke was elected).
[b-b]+TT [in past tense]
[c-c]DN The gentleman who was now before them as a supporter of the present government did not base his claims upon anything other than the fact that he would vote with Mr. Disraeli, and it was well known that no measures of reform were proposed by that right honourable gentleman of his own free will. (Cheers.)] MS The more opponents Mr. Disraeli had the better measures he would give. He (Mr. Mill) did not think the Tory candidate would compel Mr. Disraeli; he possibly might follow him.
[2 ]W.H. Smith, who had been defeated by Grosvenor and Mill in 1865.
[d-d]+TT [in third person, past tense]
[e-e]+TT [in third person, past tense]
[3 ]By 31 & 32 Victoria, c. 109 (1868).
[4 ]Initially by 21 & 22 Victoria, c. 49 (1858), and then by 29 Victoria, c. 19 (1866).
[5 ]Oliver Cromwell (1599–1658), a member of parliament from 1628, and Lord Protector 1653–58. For the term, see Edward Symmons (fl. 1640s), Royalist divine, The First Sermon, Entitled “The Ecclesiastical Selfe-seeking” (1632), in Four Sermons (London: Crooke, 1642).
[6 ]A constantly reintroduced measure, the next version of which was “A Bill to Enable Owners and Occupiers of Property in Certain Districts to Prevent the Common Sale of Intoxicating Liquors within Such Districts,” 32 Victoria (22 Feb., 1869), PP, 1868–69, IV, 285–90.
[7 ]For Mill’s response to an elector who objected to these answers, see CW, Vol. XVI, p. 1480.
[8 ]The reference is to the Liberal proposals that would eventually be incorporated in “A Bill to Put an End to the Establishment of the Church of Ireland, and to Make Provision in Respect of the Temporalities Thereof, and in Respect of the Royal College of Maynooth” (1 Mar., 1869), PP, 1868–69, III, 85–116; enacted as 32 & 33 Victoria, c. 42 (1869).
[f-f]DN] DT Mr. Mill stated his reasons for disliking the ballot. He thought a public trust should be exercised in a public manner.
[9 ]It was known that in the next session there would be introduced “A Bill to Amend the Law Relating to Trade Combinations and Trade Unions,” 32 Victoria (9 Apr., 1869), PP, 1868–69, V, 323–8.
[1 ]Reflections on the Revolution in France (1790), in Works, Vol. III, p. 95.
[2 ]Beales had been a Revising Barrister in Middlesex from 1862 to 1866 when, because of his political agitation, he was refused reappointment.
[3 ]See No. 120.
[4 ]See No. 128.
[5 ]Mill apparently confuses Philip Rose, the Conservative agent who gave the evidence referred to (see No. 116), with James Anderson Rose (1819–90), Eyre’s solicitor.
[c-c]DT] MS (A voice: The ballot.) As he had before fully explained, he was on principle opposed to the ballot, and he was not prepared to give up that principle. By that principle he meant to stand. If, however, he was wrong, he was sure to be beaten in the end, so that they need not be afraid to let him have his way in this particular.
[6 ]See No. 133, n6.
[b-b]DT] MS As the Tory party was constantly losing its best and greatest men, either because it rejected them or they rejected it,
[c-c]DT] MS Mr. Disraeli’s education of the Tory party reminded him (Mr. Mill) of the story of the Irishman who managed to get his pig into the town of Limerick by making it walk
[1 ]Disraeli, Speech at the Corn Exchange, Edinburgh (29 Oct., 1867), reported in The Times, 30 Oct., p. 5.
[d-d]DT Mr. Disraeli had not been so clever or so unprincipled as he represented; for he had been himself educated, with his party, by the ancient goddess Necessity, whose high priest on this occasion had been Mr. Beales. (Cheers.)
[e-e]DT] MS Mr. Mill then proceeded to review the various measures—among them the settlement of the Reform, Church and land, and trade-union questions—which he considered necessary to be passed as soon as possible, so as to improve the physical and moral condition of the working classes, and which he believed would never be done by the Tory party unless the people of London and Mr. Beales did as they had done before. (Cheers.) Mr. Gladstone was, he believed, the most likely person to be able to carry those measures. (Loud cheering.)
[2 ]Albert Edward (1841–1910), Prince of Wales, later Edward VII.
[3 ]“A Bill for the Better Settling the Real Estates of Intestates,” 29 Victoria (13 Mar., 1866), PP, 1866, V, 29–32, had been defeated; a bill with the same title was to be introduced in the next session, 32 Victoria (11 Mar., 1869), PP, 1868–69, V, 29–30.
[4 ]The Reform Act of 1867 had given some boroughs three members, the electors voting for only two, with the intention of facilitating representation of minorities.
[a-a]DT] MS (Cheers; some noisy demonstrations in the gallery, and a cry, “Some of Smith’s lambs.”) [paragraph] The Chairman said he was quite sure that the request of Mr. Mill would not be disregarded. (More interruptions and symptoms of opposition in the gallery.)
[b-b]DT] MS It was very easy to talk to people who agreed with one, but he wished to speak to those who differed from him. It would therefore give him great pleasure if the Conservatives of Westminster would call a meeting of their friends and invite him to it. He should be most happy to respond to such an invitation, provided the representatives of the press were allowed to be present at such a meeting. (Cheers.) He was ready to go among the Conservatives of Westminster, and
[c-c]DT] MS (Mr. Mill then sat down, and remained so for a short time, but there was no response to his invitation.) [no paragraph]
[d-d]DT a much higher education for those scholars who showed great efficiency in particular branches while in the elementary schools
[1 ]By 25 & 26 Victoria, c. 110 (1862).
[2 ]See No. 93.
[3 ]The reference is evidently to Disraeli’s Speech at the Mansion House (29 July, 1868), reported in The Times, 30 July, p. 7.
[1 ]William Coningham (1815–84), a Liberal who had represented Brighton 1857–64 (and had unsuccessfully stood for Westminster in 1852).
[2 ]He had been blinded in a shooting accident.
[3 ]See, e.g., PD, 3rd ser., Vol. 186, cols. 1431–2 (10 Apr., 1867); Vol. 187, cols. 1630–2 (5 June, 1867); Vol. 188, cols. 55–8 (18 June, 1867); and Vol. 193, cols. 1054–8 (10 July, 1868).
[4 ]See No. 120.
[5 ]See, e.g., PD, 3rd ser., Vol. 186, cols. 1011–14 (2 Apr., 1867); Vol. 187, cols. 559–61 (14 May, 1867); and Fawcett, “What Can Be Done for the Agricultural Labourers?” Macmillan’s Magazine, XVIII (Oct. 1868), 515–25.
[6 ]I.e., Coningham.
[7 ]Though the phrasing of the final clause echoes Acts, 28:21, Mill appears to allude to the Beatitudes: “Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake. Rejoice, and be exceedingly glad: for great is your reward in heaven: for so persecuted they the prophets which were before you.” (Matthew, 5:11–12; cf. Luke, 6:22–3.)
[8 ]Moved on 18 July, 1868; see No. 120.
[9 ]Gladstone, Speech on Election Petitions and Corrupt Practices at Elections Bill (18 July, 1868), PD, 3rd ser., Vol. 193, cols. 1447–8.
[10 ]Cf. Genesis, 25: 29–34.
[11 ]On 29 March, 1867, Fawcett had asked the Home Secretary, Walpole, whether it was the Government’s intention to introduce compulsory education clauses into “A Bill for Regulating the Hours of Labour for Children, Young Persons, and Women Employed in Workshops”; the provisions appeared in Clauses B, C, and D of the Bill as amended by the Select Committee on which Fawcett served (16 July, 1867; PP, 1867, III, 133–47). It was accepted on 14 August without debate, and enacted as 30 & 31 Victoria, c. 146 (1867).
[1 ]In 1866; see No. 15.
[2 ]In his speech at Edinburgh on 29 October, 1867; cf. No. 135.
[3 ]Matthew, 5:41.
[a-a]+MS] DN No man who wished to . . . as MS . . . England would . . . as MS . . . another. (Hear, hear.) The very suspicion of that was enough to destroy a man in the popular estimation. (Hear, hear.)
[b-b]DN] DT , and to that he attributed the placing in Mr. Gladstone of a degree of confidence which had been rare indeed in England of late years.] MS , and who, when he had made up his mind upon a subject, was not to be swerved away from carrying out the intentions he had formed.
[4 ]E.g., speech of 11 May, 1864, PD, 3rd ser., Vol. 175, cols. 312–27.
[c-c]MS Mr. Gladstone could boast of being the best abused man in England, but the time had come when the people of England found how base were those inventions, as the result of the elections would sufficiently show.
[5 ]Gladstone gave notice of his intended resolutions in his Speech on the Irish Church Establishment (23 Mar., 1868), ibid., Vol. 191, cols. 32–3.
[d-d]DN As to the land question, he said a government, whig, tory, or liberal, must soon turn its attention to this great sore
[g-g]MS] DT Both candidates agreed that a tenant ought not to be liable for the debts of his landlord. Mr. Mill was of opinion that in some cases bankrupts should be liable to more severe punishment than can be inflicted under the present laws.
[6 ]4 George II, c. 28 (1731) had extended the landlord’s right under common law to seize the personal chattels of a tenant to include the goods of lodgers. (Lodgers were protected later by 34 & 35 Victoria, c. 79 .) In the text the questioner uses “landlord” to signify a tenant who leases from the primary landlord, and himself lets to lodgers.
[b-b]DN] DT assailed in every sort of way to desist from action; so that in the old Palmerstonian state of things there had grown up a general feeling not to meddle with anything which could possibly be left
[1 ]By 24 Victoria, c. 14 (1861) and 27 & 28 Victoria, c. 43 (1864).
[2 ]By 24 Victoria, c. 20 (1861).
[3 ]Speech of 11 May, 1864, cols. 312–27.
[c-c]DN it was who had conceived the propriety of giving justice to Ireland—
[4 ]Speech on the Church Establishment (Ireland) (28 Mar., 1865), PD, 3rd ser., Vol. 178, cols. 420–34.
[5 ]Speech on the Established Church (Ireland) (7 May, 1867), ibid., Vol. 187, cols. 121–31.
[d-d]DN] DT They must be prepared to see very different laws enacted for Ireland than would commend themselves to English landlords. That must be done to enable Englishmen to stand erect before the world, and when matters were set right in Ireland they might think of themselves. The honourable member then referred to national education, which he said, emphatically, was not to be trusted to the “Church party,” whom he defined to be those laymen and clergymen who took their stand on being peculiarly for the Church and against the Nonconformists. The great sanitary questions of the health of great cities and towns and the state of the dwellings of the mass of the people required bolder men to deal with them than the Tories
[e-e]TT Inasmuch as Irish landlords and Irish tenants differed widely from the same class in England a different method of legislation should be adopted in their regard.
[6 ]Andrew Bell (1753–1832) had used the monitorial system in the infant school in the Madras Male Orphan Asylum; he became Superintendent of the National Society (Church of England) to promote the system. His ideas were closely paralleled by those of Joseph Lancaster (1778–1838), promoted by the dissenting British and Foreign School Society. Proponents of the two systems were at odds in the early years of the nineteenth century over religious issues.
[7 ]Henry Charles Fitzroy Somerset (1824–99), 8th Duke of Beaufort, had just refused to contribute towards the national school in Winterbourn (where he owned land) because the incumbent had worked against his interest in a by-election for West Gloucester in July 1867. (See The Times, 4 Nov., 1868, p. 4.)
[8 ]Edward Hyde, Lord Clarendon (1609–74), The Life of Edward, Earl of Clarendon (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1759), Vol. I, p. 34.
[g-g]DN] DT the extinction of both; not that such a result could be attained, but because if we placed before ourselves as our aim anything less than perfection, we should fall far short in practice of even the degree of improvement that we were perfectly capable of attaining
[9 ]Matthew, 5:48.
[h-h]TT] DT For such work they wanted men accustomed to look at things on a large scale. Where would they find such men amongst statesmen unless they found it in Mr. Gladstone—(cheers)—who must have plans, and who, if supported, would go on from one thing to another?] DN But there must be minds to direct the state sufficiently powerful to grasp these great things, and he knew of no other man capable of the work than Mr. Gladstone, who would never allow a great evil to exist without attempting to alleviate it. (Cheers.) The more supporters they sent to parliament for Mr. Gladstone the more good he would do; and if they made him sufficiently powerful they would never repent it.
[a-a]DN] DT thought of] TT thought for
[1 ]“A Bill to Grant Additional Facilities for Depositing Small Savings at Interest,” 24 Victoria (11 Feb., 1861), PP, 1861, III, 781–8 (enacted as 24 Victoria, c. 14 ).
[2 ]By 27 & 28 Victoria, c. 43 (1864).
[3 ]By 24 Victoria, c. 20 (1861).
[4 ]E.g., in his speech of 11 May, 1864.
[5 ]E.g., in his speeches of 28 Mar., 1865, and 7 May, 1867.
[6 ]In his speech of 23 Mar., 1868.
[a-a]MS If the electors regretted the support they had given to the Reform Bill, they might show their feeling properly by returning a Conservative; but if they felt with him, that the destiny of the country depended upon maintaining a policy of progress, and if they did not expect the Legislature to go on after the passing of a new Reform Bill exactly as it had done before, but to pass measures for the moral and social improvement of the community, then he trusted he and his colleague might again represent them. (Loud cheers.)
[b-b]DN] DT kindness and favour