Sir, having carefully read the Amendments which the Chancellor of the Exchequer has laid upon the table with reference to the 34th clause of the Representation of the People Bill, I am still unable clearly to follow the intentions of the Government. I therefore wish to put some Questions to the right hon. Gentleman, and I will read them to him now, so that he may answer them at once or on Thursday as he thinks 95 fit. The first Question I put to the right hon. Gentleman yesterday; but, as he appeared to have some doubt about the point raised by it at that time, I will repeat it. The first Question, then, is as to whether, under the law as it will stand if the present proposals of the Government shall be adopted, the compound-householder at and above £10 will be enabled to come and continue upon the register without ceasing to be a compound-householder; then, whether, in the event of his paying, in pursuance of his claim, any rate due in respect of his premises, will he be entitled to deduct from the rent the sum so paid from the amount payable by him to his landlord? I am not quite clear, on examining the clause, whether the power given to the compound householder below £10 extends to those above. Then, I wish to know what is the meaning of the words in the fourth proposed Amendment to Clause 34—" rates due in respect of the premises;" and in cases where the owner has already paid the composition rate, will the occupier claiming to be enfranchised be liable to pay the difference between the composition and the full rate? I hope I have clearly expressed myself in these Questions, and I trust the right hon. Gentleman will candidly answer them. I will put another Question with reference to the point raised in the proceedings last night as to the effect of the vote at which the House arrived, and that is as to whether by the terms of the 3rd clause, requiring that the person to be registered shall have been a compound-occupier for twelve months, it is intended to require that he should have resided there during these twelve months. I presume that is the case; at any rate, there is some doubt about it; and as it should be made clear, I will put the Question on Thursday.
§ THE CHANCELLOR OF THE EXCHEQUER
was understood to intimate that he would prefer giving an answer on Thursday.