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Record number: WCP1328

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Sent by:
[ Rutherford Alcock ]
Sent to:
Alfred Russel Wallace
On:
11 May 1871

Sent by [Rutherford Alcock], Piccadilly to Alfred Russel Wallace Holly House, Barking, E on 11 May 1871.

Record created:
23 May 2011 by NHM

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  • letter (1)

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LETTER (WCP1328.1107)

A typical letter handwritten  in English.

Held by:
Natural History Museum
Finding number:
NHM WP1/8/140
Copyright owner:
Copyright of the Rutherford Alcock Literary Estate.

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Transcript

[[1]]

21 Bolton Street.

Piccadilly, W[est].

May 11, 1871

Dear Sir

Mrs. Fawcett has been good enough to show me some [MS crossed out] letters from you on the subject of proportional Representation. I am rejoiced to find we have as distinguished an adherent, and I take the liberty of writing to you on what I consider to be by far the greatest of political questions, because it is desirable that the friends of the movement should know all which is going on. [[2]]

I abstain from any dissension[?] as to what may be abstractedly the best move of assigning alternative votes, as I feel that we can never hope to carry any measure unless we can devise some simple, rough get an average member of parlaiment to understand. My main object is to mention my own proposal which I have put into a drafted will, and which I expounded at the conferences on the subject in 1868 in the Reform League Rooms.[[3]]

Every one feels the difficulty of assigning a vote given say in Aberdeen to a candidate standing say for Dover; these may be fraud and it would be very difficult & get on the search of such a fraud, so I have come to the conclusion that we must make our first step in a more finished area.

My proposal then is that at each decennial census the number of members forming the House of Commons should be assigned safely according to population of each county, just as in the united states they are assigned to each state. That Borough and county voters [[4]] should be thrown into hot[MS illegible] pot and that Hare's system of voting with certain modifications should be applied in the case of all such constituencies where the number of members to be returned should amount to more than two. That, except perhaps in the case of London, care should be taken that not more than say 12 members should be returned for any one constituency, and to secure this end that all borough populations numerous enough to return 3 or more members should be treated as separate constituencies. Thus Sivenport would return some 10 members, Portsmouth 3, Sheffield 5, and so on.

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