asked the Chief Secretary to the Lord Lieutenant of Ireland, Whether it is a fact that Mr. J. A. Scott, solicitor, Gorey, and Mr. Dodd, solicitor, Wicklow, acting as the legal advisers of candidates at the election of Poor Law Guardians for the Carnew Division of the Shillelagh Union, were refused admission to the counting of votes by the returning officer on the ground that—He had no power under the direction of the Board of Guardians to admit any person except the candidates and their proposers;whether the brother of the returning officer in question was a successful candidate in the Carnew Division; whether Mr. Swan, a Conservative Guardian, was permitted to be present at the counting of votes in other divisions besides the division for which he was elected; and, whether the Board of Guardians or the returning officer have any power to order the exclusion of the legal advisers of candidates?
§ MR. TREVELYAN
Sir, it is a fact that the returning officer refused to admit the professional gentlemen named to the counting of the votes. The rules which govern the action of a returning officer on this point expressly leave it to his discretion whether or not strangers shall be admitted. In explanation of his decision in this case, the returning officer states that, in his opinion, the attendance of solicitors representing only one side would seriously interfere with the impartial discharge of his duties; and he, therefore, deemed it advisable to exclude them from the scrutiny. It is the case that the brother of the returning officer in question was a successful candidate in the Carnew division. With regard to the presence of Mr. Swan in the board-room, it appears that he went in towards the conclusion of the counting of the votes for the division immediately preceding that for the division for which he was a candidate. As already stated, the returning officer had power to exclude legal advisers; the Board of Guardians have no such 1824 power; and if, on this occasion, they endeavoured to influence the returning officer in the matter, they exceeded their jurisdiction, which the Local Government Board will point out to them.
asked the Chief Secretary to the Lord Lieutenant of Ireland, Whether his attention has been called to the circumstances of the recent election of Poor Law Guardians for the Bantry Union, and to the widespread system of threats used by certain landlords resident in the Union to their tenants to compel them to vote, or not to vote, in a particular way, or in consequence of having so voted; whether it is the case that Mr. John W. Payne, J. P., agent to the Earl of Bantry, has issued a number of notices to quit and ejectments against voters who refused to vote for the candidates favoured by him, and whether any Return could be obtained of the number of notices to quit and ejectments so issued; whether his attention has been called in particular to the case of Daniel Leary, of Crohingal, Whiddy Island, whom Mr. Payne threatened that he would make pay every penny of rent he owes (including the hanging half gale) the very day after the 25th March, and whom Mr. Payne also threatened that he (Leary) "would rue it" unless he voted in a particular manner;" and, whether, under the circumstances, the Government intend to prosecute Mr. Payne for intimidation under the Crimes Act?
§ MR. TREVELYAN
Sir, I have received no information as to a widespread system of threats such as is referred to; and I am informed by the special resident magistrate that he has heard no complaint of cases of the kind, and that he is personally satisfied that no such intimidation took place. However, I am making further local inquiry especially as to the particular cases mentioned in the latter part of the Question; but there has not been time for the replies to reach me as yet.