§ MR. ASHMEAD-BARTLETT
asked Mr. Attorney General, Whether his attention has been called to the evidence given by an agent of the Birmingham Liberal Association on the hearing of a recent Municipal Election Petition, when that agent stated that, when he was aware a Petition would be presented, he had burnt his original canvass books and documents; and had also, whilst under cross-examination, during the adjournment of the Court, burnt his cash-book; and, whether he will consider the advisability of inserting a clause in his Bill "for the better prevention of Corrupt Practices at Parliamentary Elections" requiring candidates and their agents at Municipal Elections to preserve their original books and accounts for a period of, say, six months?
§ THE ATTORNEY GENERAL (Sir HENRY JAMES)
My attention has not been in any way called to the evidence mentioned in the first part of the hon. Member's Question. Such a matter would not come before me officially. In reply to his second Question, I may repeat what I have already stated more than once—that I am sensible of the desirability of dealing with corrupt practices at municipal as well as at Parliamentary elections. I did at first under- 1144 take to deal with both classes of corrupt practices in one measure; but I found that the peculiar circumstances attending them were such as to render it impossible to deal with them simultaneously in a single measure. If the House will lend me its assistance to deal with corrupt practices at Parliamentary elections, I shall do my best to prepare a measure dealing with those at municipal elections.