§ MR. RITCHIE
asked the President of the Local Government Board, Whether, in parishes in the Metropolis having no paid vestry clerk, the churchwarden is not entitled to legal assistance in conducting the election of vestrymen and auditors under "The Metropolis Management Act, 1855;" and, whether, when the costs incurred by the churchwarden have been taxed and allowed by the clerk of the peace of the county, and the vestry have made an order for payment thereof, as the expenses of publishing notices and making the return at the election of vestrymen and auditors under the twenty-fourth section of that Act, the overseers paying the same are liable to have the amount disallowed in their accounts?
I presume that this Question has reference to the hamlet of Ratcliffe, in the Stepney Union, in the accounts of the overseers of which the auditorhasreeentlydisallowed£917s. 8d., part of a sum of £15 1s. 8d., on the ground that there is no legal authority for employing a solicitor to conduct the election of vestrymen under the 18 & 19 Vict. c. 120. The case is now before the Board on appeal, who are awaiting a further communication from the parochial authorities on the subject, and it would be premature to express any opinion upon the legal point before deciding the appeal. With regard to the second Question, the reply is that the Board have been advised by the Law Officers of the late Government that the 1081 taxation of the costs by the Clerk of the Peace and the order for payment by the Vestry do not deprive the auditor of his jurisdiction with respect to the allowance or disallowance of the expenditure when charged in the overseers' accounts.