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nearly doubled itself. I could however if it were necessary state the increase of the peerage within that time-it would astonish any one that is ignorant of it. Whilst, therefore, the power of the crown (or its influence, which is precisely the same thing) has received but little augmentation, for the number of peers created do not necessarily augment it; and whilst the number of the representatives of the people has been very slightly increased, the nobility of the kingdom have received a most wonderful accession of numbers. I will not say that events have not occurred which may give some appearance of justice to such an increase: but I do think that the representatives of the people should have been proportionably augmented. We all know that a bill, the intent of which was to restrain the king from creating peers beyond a certain number, was thrown out by the Commons though it had passed the upper house; and some uncharitable reasons were assigned for its rejection. But surely there was nothing unjust in the views of such a bill. The minister may always create, through the medium of the king, a majority in the upper house. Some instances of this are too flagrant. But by restricting the number of the peers, such a perversion of the constitution might be avoided. Should any one argue that a peerage is the crown to which so many aspire as a reward for their conduct; I would contend, that allowing this to be the fact, which I do not by any means, as I have a higher idea of the spirit which excites the sons of Britain to deeds of merit; but admitting this to be the case, some other reward, as a title with a reversion. of the peerage, would equally stimulate. But it is time to propose my hypothesis; it is time to describe the alteration which I conceive might be made for the better in both the houses of Parliament. I shall begin with considering the house of Commons, the representatives of the people.
The population of Great Britain amounts to about seventeen millions. When it is known that these are represented by but 658 members, it may reasonably be conceived that each member must have an amazing charge. The interests, the dearest interests of above twenty-five thou sands of men are entrusted to each individual member; if it be lawful so to divide them. But when it is considered that 11,075 people return 257 members, how must our wonder increase! How must we be astonished when we learn that an absolute majority of English and Welsh members is returned by so few people, while 9,527,752 can return but 256. But this is an evil which cannot well be removed but by the destruction of the stately fabric of our constitution; supports however may easily be supplied, and that without damaging its beauty. Let the number of the members be increased to 1000; and let the 342 new members be returned partly by counties, and partly by towns which long since ought in justice, or at least in equity, to have had representatives in the senate of the kingdom. Were this done, though the perpendicularity of the building would not be restored, yet, if I may use the metaphor, it would stand on a broader base, and therefore be in less danger of falling.
Now, taking the population of England as somewhat above 9 millions; that of Wales, above half a million; of Scotland, under 2 millions; and of Ireland, about 5 millions; it would follow that England ought to send, as representatives of her population, 559 members; Wales, 36; Scotland, 108; and Ireland, 297. But, as regard to the property possessed by such population ought in justice to be attended to, we shall find, that, according to property, England and Wales ought to return 694, Scotland 104, and
Hence a scale for the return of the United Kingdom might thus be easily constructed:
This being premised, as England and Wales now returns 513 members; Scotland, 45; and Ireland, 100; it will be necessary that 132 new representatives be elected for the first; 61 for the second; and 149 for the third.
With respect to the new members for England, I most humbly suggest that they may be thus returned, viz.
Cambridgeshire. The city of Ely 2
Cheshire.-1, additional for the county; Macclesfield, 2;
Derbyshire.-1 additional for the county; Belper, 2
Hampshire.-1 additional to Portsmouth
Lancashire.-2 additional for the county; 2 additional for
Monmouthshire.-1 additional to Monmouth
wich; Lynn Regis, 2
Nottinghamshire.-1 additional for Nottingham
2; Bilston, 2
Surrey.-1 additional for the county; 2 additional for South-
Warwick.-1 additional for the county; Birmingham, 4;
Increase for England
For Wales-add Dolgelly, 1; and let each county return 2 members; making an addition of
Yorkshire. Let each riding return 3, instead of 2 being returned for the county; Leeds, 3; Sheffield, 3; Wakefield, 2
Aberdeen, Argylle, Ayr, Dumfries, Edinburgh, Fife, Forfar, Inverness, Lanark, Perth, Renfrew, Ross, and Stirling, return 2 members each
The members now returned are
Making the whole number to be returned for England and Wales 645
Thus would one great defect of our blessed constitution be removed; and no town in England, possessing 10,000 inhabitants, would be without its representatives in Parliament.
With respect to Scotland, which requires an addition of 61, or which should return 106 members;-let the counties of
Let the other 20 counties each return 1
Let Edinburgh and Glasgow each return 4
Let the towns of Wick, Dornoch, Tain, Cromartie, Nairn,
Let Inverkeithing, Queensferry, Culross, and Rutherglen
In this scheme, again, every town in Scotland, possessing a population of 10,000 inhabitants, would be represented in Parliament by two members; and no one now enjoying the privilege of returning members, would lose that valuable right.
With respect to Ireland, I am unable to lay down any plan for its representation, as I am quite unacquainted with the population of the counties of that kingdom. I should, however, conceive, that each county, and each county-town, returning two members, the city of Dublin four, and the University two, the election of the remaining 117 may with ease be assigned to the most populous and most opulent of the towns and cities of Ireland; observing, that the aggre