HC Deb 15 February 1867 vol 185 cc404-5

asked the President of the Poor Law Board, Whether his attention has been called to the effect of the Small Tenements Rating Act in disqualifying the occupiers of tenements, the rates of which are paid by the landlords, from voting in the election of Guardians of the Poor and other officers, and to its bearing in connection with the enactments giving plurality of votes to those who occupy premises rated at the higher amount; and, whether it is his intention to propose any alteration in the law?


said, that since the hon. Member had given notice of his Question he had made inquiries upon the subject, and, upon consideration, it was not his intention to propose any alteration of the law. As he understood by the operation of the Small Tenements Rating Act, occupiers rated at only three quarters of their rent, the rate being paid by the landlord, were not themselves qualified to vote, but the owners, under certain conditions, voted as if they were occupiers. What he understood the hon. Member to mean by the last part of his Question was, that where these owners were in occupation of houses of their own at the same place, they voted in respect of them, and so got a plurality of votes through their ownership of small tenements. That did not seem to him to be an unfair principle, and therefore he could not propose an alteration of the law.