Third Reform Act: Gladstone writes to the queen
PRO CAB 41/18/2


10, Downing Street,
Whitehall,
Jan 4. 1884
Mr Gladstone submits his humble duty to Your Majesty, and humbly reports that the Cabinet met this day to consider some leading points of Parliamentary business for the approaching Session.
They advise that the first great measure of the year should be a Bill for extending to the Counties the occupation franchise, and also the lodger franchise, now enjoyed in Boroughs, and for rendering it uniform as far as may be in town and country, and throughout the Three Kingdoms.
Certain limited franchises of a miscellaneous kind ought, as they conceive, to drop with the present holders: but they propose to have the whole substance of the property franchises, now subsisting in Counties, unaltered, only making provision against spurious votes by restraining subdivision and rent-charges.
The safe working of the household franchise in Boroughs has removed, in the judgement of Your Majesty's Advisers, all, even the most shadowy grounds for apprehension from the enfranchisement of what may be considered as even a safe class of the population.
The reasons formerly urged for combining redistribution of seats with the franchise lose nearly all their force in view of a large though not absolute assimilation; while the reasons against it subsist in still fuller force than heretofore, and the Cabinet conceive the severance of the two measures to be recommended in the highest degree by public reasons.

close window
image
back to top of page