31 MARCH 1866, Page 2

There have been a great number of popular meetings in

favour of the Reform Bill,—two meetings of the Reform League and one of the Working Men's Franchise Society in London, one at Manchester, at Salford, at Leicester, at Norwich, at Bradford, at Stockport, at Birmingham, at Brighton, at Leeds, and at Carlisle, most of them inconsiderable enough, and apparently meetings of small enthusiasm. At Carlisle Mr. Edmund Potter, the member for the borough, said that Lord Cranborne bad discovered, to his horror, that the Bill if passed might give 130 members to the working class, and Mr. Potter stated that he had calculated that just that number were at present carried by corruption or intimidation, and he asked triumphantly which species of influence, corruption and intimidation, or working-class influence, would be best for the country. •M;, Potter unfortu- nately forgot that the two influences are not only not mutually exclusive, but by the special operation of the proposed' Bill must often be identical. The principal objection to it is that more than half the horoughs--almoat all, the small boroughs—supposed to be given to the working class, are really given to corrupt freemen and venal handicraftsmen.