A public meeting in connection with the Aspatria  Liberal Association was
held in the New Schools, Aspatria, on Tuesday night  last, to hear a lecture
on "The County Franchise, and Re-distribution of Seats,"  by Mr. Joseph HOWES,
of the National Reform Union. Mr. Thomas STEPHENSON, of  Aspatria presided.
Mr. HOWES, on rising, was received with applause. The  lecturer said that the
extension of the county franchise, with re-distribution  of seats, had been
alluded to by the Premier in the Midlothian campaign, and was  therefore
foreshadowed as a question which would have ere long to come to the  front, now that
it was in the domain of practical politics. It was beyond all  question most
unfair that a person residing on one side of the river or even a  stream, should
possess the privilege of the franchise, whereas his neighbour had  no vote
simply because he dwelt on the opposite side of the river.

   The county franchise question would have been dealt  with ere now, but
"obstruction" blocked the way, and no legislation was possible  until it was
swept away by new rules. Even then extension of the county  franchise to
householders would only be an installment of what the working men  of Great Britain
demanded. Manhood suffrage would have to be conceded not as a  boon, but as a
right. Taxation without representation was neither more nor less  than tyranny.

   The lecturer entered into an elaborate and able  critique of past
legislation as compared with the present, dwelling eloquently  upon the anomalies of
our political institutions with reference to the franchise  and a
re-distribution of the seats. To ennoble a man with the franchise was to  begin his
political education, and when manhood suffrage was the law of the  land, he had no
fear whatever but that the people would select good, pure,  honest men to sit
as members of a reformed House of Commons, those would be  truly represntative
men, and exponents of the political views of their  constituents.

   The lecture occupied about an hour in delivery, and  was listened to with
marked interest throughout. Mr. BROCKBANK, of Heathfield,  proposed a vote of
thanks to Mr. HOWES, which was seconded by Mr. Joseph  CROTSHWAITE and passed
unanimously. Mr. HOWES, in responding, proposed that the  chairman should
receive a vote of thanks, which, having been duly seconded by  Mr. John GRAVES,
was passed. This closed the proceedings.