HC Deb 05 June 1871 vol 206 cc1534-5

asked the First Lord of the Treasury, If he will be good enough to lay upon the Table of the House a Return of the Accounts in detail of the sums expended in connection with the Election inquiries at Beverley, Bridgwater, and Norwich; and, in case he should not feel justified in doing so, to ask the reason for such refusal?


Sir, the course which has been taken by the Treasury in the matter has been this—The Treasury having been intrusted with the responsibility of inquiring into the expenses of those proceedings, has decided that, in the first instance, the public should be reimbursed by the particular community affected by those proceedings. Applications have been made—local applications—to the Treasury for the production of particulars; but the Treasury has not thought it its duty—and they had been legally advised that their view was right—to comply with such applications, because the intention of Parliament being that these election inquiries should be final, it was thought it would be opening them to re-consideration if a claim to accounts of the expenses were recognized. For my own part, I think the Treasury has been quite right in the course it has taken. With regard to laying the particulars on the Table of the House, it would not be our view to comply with such a request; but if the desire of the House to have those particulars be general, I cannot say that the House would not be entitled to demand them.