HC Deb 16 March 1885 vol 295 cc1239-40

asked the Chief Secretary to the Lord Lieutenant of Ireland, If it is a fact that, at the last Parliamentary revision, Mr. Michael Kilkelly, of Athlone, was objected to by the Conservatives on the ground that he held his premises jointly with several members of his family; whether it is true that the revising barrister disallowed the objection; whether Mr. Kilkelly has been nominated for Poor Law Guardian in Athlone Union; whether the Conservatives have raised the same objection to his qualification that they did before the revising barrister; and, what answer the returning officer intends to give?


I rise to a point of Order. I wish to submit to you, Sir, that the Question is altogether out of Order. It relates to no public matter whatsoever, but refers merely to the claim of a private individual to be placed upon the Parliamentary Register as a voter; to the decision given by the Revising Barrister; and to a further claim made on behalf of the same gentleman to be appointed a Poor Law Guardian. If such a Question is in Order, I fail to see what Question can be held to be irregular.


I also rise to a point of Order. I wish to ask, Sir, whether the hon. Gentleman, in asking you to give a decision on a point of Order, is at liberty to express his own opinion upon the matter?


I am submitting to you, Sir, as a point of Order, that this is simply a Question asking whether the qualification of a certain private individual has been objected to, and what course the Returning Officer intends to take in the matter? I maintain that such a Question violates everything in the nature of decency and Order.


I must certainly acknowledge that the last paragraph of the Question cannot come within the limits of a proper Question to a Minister of the Crown. It asks "what answer the Returning Officer intends to give;" and I must rule that that portion of the Question is irregular, and cannot be put.


Then I will put the Question down to the last line, which, after your ruling, Sir, I will omit.


Well, Sir, the last line is, I think, the only part of the Question I very much care to answer. The facts of the case are these. Mr. Kilkelly's nomination as a Poor Law Guardian has been before the Local Government Board, and they have advised that it should be allowed, which has accordingly been done.