HC Deb 01 May 1884 vol 287 cc1047-8

asked the Chief Secretary to the Lord Lieutenant of Ireland, Whether he is aware that the successful National candidate for the Kilmeen Division of the Kanturk Union, at the recent Poor Law election, has received a letter from Mrs. Smith, of Blossom-fort, stating that she was obliged to break her promise to vote for him in consequence of receiving two letters from her landlord, Mr. Richard Long-field, Justice of the Peace and Deputy Lieutenant, directing her to vote for his opponent, a rent-warner on a neighbouring estate, who himself presented to her the second letter from Mr. Longfield; whether he is aware that a Mr. Horgan, who remained neutral in the same contest, notwithstanding a letter from Mr. Longfield directing him to support his candidate, was afterwards requested by Mr. Longfield to return his letter, and, on his replying that he had mislaid it, was informed that his services as gamekeeper in Mr. Longfield's service were dispensed with until the letter should be returned; whether there is any legal remedy for intimidation of this description; and, whether Mr. Longfield's conduct will be brought to the attention of the Lord Chancellor?


The facts appear to be that Mr. Longfield, junior, son of the gentleman mentioned in the Question, wrote two letters to Mrs. Smith, asking her to vote for the candidate whom he considered the more fitting of the two. This candidate was not, as stated, a rent-warner on a neighbouring estate; but his opponent, the successful candidate, did occupy such a position. Mrs. Smith emphatically denies that, in writing to the latter, she gave him the slightest grounds for saying that she was in any way intimidated by Mr. Longfield's letters. With regard to the case of Horgan, I am informed that Mr. Longfield, junior, wrote to him also on behalf of the same candidate, and that hearing, subsequently, that his letter was misrepresented, as conveying a threat, he asked Horgan to return it in order that he might see how it was open to such a construction. Horgan did not comply with the request, but he did not allege that he had mislaid the letter. Nothing was said to him about his being dismissed if he did not return it. His dismissal had no connection with this matter, but was on account of "extreme carelessness and neglect" of his duties as gamekeeper and bog ranger—on account of which he had been warned long before the election took place. He did not think there had been any intimidation for which there was a legal remedy, nor did he think that Mr. Longfield's conduct should be brought to the attention of the Lord Chancellor.


asked whether the right lion. Gentleman would consider the advisability of introducing a Corrupt Practices Bill in reference to Poor Law Elections?

[No reply.]