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The Pamphlet Collection of Sir Robert Stout: Volume 37

Parliamentary Reform: What is it?

page 72

Parliamentary Reform: What is it?

[unclear: A] the mere representation is a matter in itself of the most vereign indifference, except to those who may get votes at they may sell them—or to those who desire to gain [unclear: p]portance by having theories to promulgate—or to the [unclear: a]akminded, who, feeling that things are mismanaged, con[unclear: -it] themselves with a generality.

Any reform of Parliament that does not include the restora[unclear: tion] of the old rule of the House—That every member must present during the sitting of the House must clearly be no form at all, but a fraud only.

The office of Re-presentative of the people was in our English constitution a service and a burden.

Having become a means of distinction and advancement, [unclear: pa]rliament, instead of being a check on malversation, has come its instrument.

It is not the less so, but the more so, the wider the basis extended. Every new borough added and every extension [unclear: a] existing boroughs is simply the expansion of bribery, [unclear: aud.] and perjury.

This is stopped from the moment that attendance of members is rendered compulsory; for then the service and the [unclear: bur]den would be re imposed.

Any reform to be effectual must reconvert the House from Club into a Re-presentative and Legislative Assembly, rich will confine the Government to its executive functions, [unclear: I] prevent its spending money by buying simple majorities.

(Urquhart, 1866.)