said, he need hardly inform the House that this Motion was suggested by what took place two days since in the issuing of a New Writ for Wakefield. Hon. Members had been a good deal surprised on reading the Votes on Tuesday morning, to find that immediately on the Judges' Report being laid before the House, the Government "Whip had moved for the Issue of a New Writ, and by this dexterous celerity the House had been precluded from commenting on the Report, and taking any action in regard to the flagrant bribery of which the Judge reported. This led to his (Mr. Anderson's) asking a Question in the House as to whether it was in Order to move for a New Writ without giving the House some time for consideration; and the Speaker's reply having been that the proceeding was not out of Order under present Rules, but that under former Rules Notice was required; he had examined the old Rules, and he found that there was a Resolution of the House on the 5th April, 1848, that where an Election Committee declared a seat void for bribery and treating, the Now Writ should not he moved for without Notice. And again, in 1853–4, and up to 1860, seven days' Notice was required in such cases. In 1866, only two days' Notice was required, and it would appear that this very wholesome Rule dropped out of sight when the Parliamentary Elections Act of 1868 took the jurisdiction in Petitions away from Committees of the House and gave it to Election Petition Judges. He thought, however, that it was high time this Rule should be restored, for the want of it had caused the dealing with the Wakefield election to be little better than a farce; for what had been done under it? We punished the innocent and rewarded the guilty. The Judge reported that the candidate was not guilty, and yet he lost his seat. The givers of the bribes had not been found out, and so escaped punishment; and though the Judge named twelve men who had received bribes and who might be punished, yet every one knew that where twelve were found out, there were probably ten times as many guilty, and we rewarded these people by instantly giving them a fresh opportunity of getting another bribe, as would no doubt happen next Monday. It might be that there was not sufficient ground for disfranchising Wakefield altogether but he was of opinion that a borough, in which so much corruption had been proved to exist, should at least be left for a year or two without a Member, that it might learn the expediency of becoming more virtuous in the future, and he would have moved for some such censure if he had not been precluded by the undue haste with which the Writ had been moved. If the House adopted his present Motion, it would prevent the occurrence of such a surprise again,—he moved it as a Sessional Resolution, but he hoped next year to see it adopted as a Standing Order, so that it could not again drop out of sight, as a Sessional Resolution was apt to do."That, where any Election has been declared void, under the Parliamentary Elections Act of 1868, and the Judge has reported that any person has been guilty of bribery and corrupt practices, no Motion for the issuing of a new Writ shall be made without two days' previous notice being given in the Votes,"
Motion agreed to.
Ordered, That, where any Election has been declared void, under the Parliamentary Elections Act of 1868, and the Judge has reported that any person has been guilty of bribery and corrupt practices, no Motion for the issuing of a new Writ shall be made without two days' previous notice being given in the Votes.—(MR. Anderson.)