HC Deb 10 March 1881 vol 259 cc717-8

asked Mr. Attorney General, Whether it has occurred to him to consider the hardship that will be inflicted upon female householders in those boroughs were Bribery Commissions have been and are still sitting, by the levying of a rate to defray the expenses of such Commissions; and, if so, whether he intends to take any steps with the view of exempting such persons from the pecuniary fine which will otherwise be imposed on them in consequence of the delinquencies of their male neighbours, who have abused the electoral privileges which they possess, but which are denied to women?


, in reply, said, he quite admitted that a great hardship was inflicted upon female householders, and, he might add also, generally on persons who were not electors and those who had acted purely, in being compelled to contribute to the expense of the Bribery Commissions which had been sitting in some of the boroughs. In the case, for instance, of the comparatively pure borough of Knaresborough, every one of the electors would feel that he was bearing an expense that ought not to be forced upon him. In the Corrupt Practices Bill already before the House it was proposed to take power to cast the expenses consequent on corruption on those who were responsible for it; and, probably, when the Bill came on, he should have the hon. Gentleman's assistance in carrying it.