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Second Reading

Volume 229: debated on Wednesday 17 May 1876

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Order for Second Reading read.

in rising to move that the Bill be now read a second time, said, that whereas at present the election of councillors in all municipal boroughs in England was established on a fair principle—namely, by the voting of the ratepayers in their separate wards—the aldermen were elected by the Town Council at large, and even the aldermen who were not outgoing voted for those who were to fill the vacant places. It thus happened that in the present system a majority of 1 among the councillors on the side of either party would carry the nomination of all the aldermen for that particular municipal borough. The result was, that in every borough where party politics were introduced, or in nearly all those cases—and unhappily these elections became every year more and more political in their character—there might be a total exclusion of the representation of the party of the minority in this matter. Both political parties were equally to blame for this result. Various propositions had been made to remedy the evil, but he thought the best remedy would be the introduction of the cumulative vote. It must be the object of every well-wisher of municipal institutions that the opinion of the ratepayers should be reflected in the election not only of councilmen, but of aldermen, though that was not the case under the present system.

And it being a quarter of an hour before Six of the clock, the further proceedings on Second Reading stood adjourned till To-morrow.

Then the other Business upon the Paper was taken; until it being ten minutes to Six of the clock—

The House adjourned at ten minutes before Six o'clock.