Now let us look at the ballot. We are told that this is an innovation, an unjust and an un-English measure. Much, I confess, is to be said on both sides, and I have not formed my opinion without deliberation, and I can see in the great constitution of my country a glorious and admirable structure, to which I would fain add two wings. Under the old system of representation I should not have thought ballot necessary,
because that system was anomalous, and ballot could be of little use in a borough that had no electors. But if you will change, if you will give a constituency to every town returning members to Parliament, and if you will give to that constituency the legitimate right which the constitution contemplates, and which is a freeman's claim, you must add to the elective franchise vote by ballot. My gallant opponent, the breath of whose overpowering and convincing eloquence still hovers about the atmosphere of Wycombe, paused long before he indulged in the tirade which lately obtained so much notoriety through the medium of the 'Times' newspaper, I say to the son of the Prime Minister, that if the Whig ministry had not altered the representative system of the country, we should not have called for ballot ; but I now say, that in proportion as the electors increase in number, so does the necessity for the ballot. I am a Conservative to preserve all that is good in our constitution, a Radical to remove all that is bad. I seek to preserve property and to respect order, and I equally decry the appeal to the passions of the many or the prejudices of the few. I alike detest the despotism of an oligarchy and the pre-eminence of a mob. I shall ever seek to confer the greatest happiness upon the greatest numbers, and I conscientiously believe that in advocating triennial Parliaments and vote by ballot, I am labouring to promote this desirable end. As a statesman I should say that it is impossible to refuse popular demands well matured and energetically supported. If so, let the people be fitted to discharge the functions reposed in them ; and, as the means to this great end, I would unflinchingly advocate the repeal of the taxes on knowledge, because, though we admire and enjoy the liberty of the press, yet we feel its tyranny. Now, taxed as it is, it requires a large capital to carry on a newspaper, and its interests once established by a large circle of readers, and by an immense supply of advertisements, it bids defiance to the small capitalists who would embark in an untaxed competition, but are now overwhelmed by the oppressive impost laid on by Government.