HC Deb 24 March 1884 vol 286 c608

asked the Chief Secretary to the Lord Lieutenant of Ireland, If he is aware that the clerk of the Roscrea Union, acting as returning officer, refuses to permit the National candidates to be present at the examination of the voting papers at elections for Poor Law Guardians in his union, giving no reason to them for his so doing, but merely a point blank refusal; whether in accordance with Article 20 of the Local Government Board's Circular, dated 16th January 1863, which directs that clerks of unions, before excluding either candidates or their proposers from the examination of the voting papers, should be prepared to show some urgent reason for taking a step "which, generally speaking, would seem to be unnecessary and unreasonable," this gentleman has furnished the Local Government Board with any urgent or sufficient reason for his so excluding the National candidates; and, whether, in the absence of any such urgent reason for their exclusion, the Local Government Board will direct this returning officer to admit such of the candidates and their proposers as desire it to be present at the examination of the voting papers at the present and future elections?


Sir, the Local Government Board inform me that it is the case that the Returning Officer has expressed his intention not to have the candidates present at the casting up of the votes, and he says this practice has been followed for many years in Roscrea Union. It is discretionary with the Returning Officer to admit or exclude strangers, and the Board cannot give him absolute directions on this point; but they have drawn his special attention to the views expressed in the circular to which the hon. Member refers.