Page:English Caricaturists and Graphic Humourists of the nineteenth century.djvu/324

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ENGLISH CARICATURISTS.

ately to act on this report, and to relieve all such places from the burthen of sending members to parliament in future, and the vacancies were to be supplied by towns which had hitherto been, unrepresented. All parliamentary representatives were to be elected by persons "paying scot and lot." He further proposed to extend the right of voting to all copyholders and leaseholders, and to place the representation of Scotland on an equal footing with that of England. The members were to be chosen from the inhabitants of the places for which they were returned, and were to be paid for their services according as they were borough or county members. The former were to receive two guineas a day each, and county members four guineas; why the latter were to be estimated at double the value of the former does not seem clear. Mr. Brougham, although ready to vote for this somewhat extraordinary measure, "because much of what it proposed to do was good," recommended that a merely general resolution that reform was necessary should be substituted in its place. Lord Althorp moved an amendment accordingly on the terms suggested; but both the amendment and the original motion were negatived.

On the third reading of what was then known as the "East Retford" bill, the first attempt was made in parliament by O'Connell to introduce a new principle into the representative system of the country, viz., that the votes of the electors should be taken by ballot. Only twenty-one members voted for O'Connell's motion, among whom the names now most familiar to us are those of Lord Althorp, Sir Francis Burdett, and Mr. Hume.

The most ultra-Conservative, however, of our day, who thinks that the representation of the people has already been carried far enough, will scarcely credit the fact, that in those days constituencies such as Leeds, Manchester, and Birmingham were absolutely unrepresented. Yet such was the case. The motion for transferring the franchise of East Retford to Birmingham having been lost, Lord John Russell, on the 23rd of February, brought the matter of the great unrepresented constituencies before