6 MAY 1865, Page 1

Mr. Baines moved the second reading of his "one-barrelled" Bill

for reducing the franchise in English boroughs from 101. to 6/. on Wednesday morning. He stated that in England and Wales, with a population of twenty millions, less than 900,000 persons had votes, and that 4,000,000 adult males, all workmen, were totally unrepresented. He read a vast heap of figures to show that education was extending, and a very curious list of elections to prove that large constituencies were very apt to elect members from the governing families. Lord Elcho, who moved the amendment, contended that the interests of the working-classes were always specially looked after (one-fifth of them are officially admitted to have insufficient food, Lord Elcho !) and that blank re- duction tended directly to manhood suffrage. He read a number of letters from working-men, all tending to show that it was a habit among them to share large houses rather than live alone in cottages, and that they would reject any arrangement which dis- franchised them because they liked space and comfort. That is a real point, and will yet have to be discussed. Mr. Lowe's speech is analyzed in another place, and no one else of eminence spoke, the House breaking up in the greatest confusion at six o'clock without a formal adjournment. The Ministry wished to select Friday and the House Monday, and a good deal of pent-up temper found vent.