HC Deb 26 March 1885 vol 296 cc662-3

asked Mr. Attorney General, If he will be good enough to state what provisions exist either to enable or to compel High Sheriffs to appoint deputy returning officers for the several Parliamentary Divisions of their respective counties, which will be called into existence by the passing of the Redistribution Bill?


Section 8 of the Ballot Act, 1872, provides that where the Sheriff is Returning Officer for more than one county, as defined for the purposes of Parliamentary elections, he may by writing under his hand appoint a deputy for any of the purposes relating to an election in any such county, and may by such deputy do anything which the Returning Officer is authorized or required to do in relation to such election. The provisions of this section are applied to the new divisions of counties under the Redistribution Bill by Clause 9, sub-section 3, of that Bill, which is in these terms— Subject to the provisions of this Act, the members for each such division of a county shall be elected by persons qualified in the same manner, and the nomination and other proceedings at Parliamentary elections for such division shall be conducted in the same manner, as if such division were a separate constituency, and the law relating to Parliamentary elections shall apply to each such division as if it were a separate county. The effect of this clause was intended to be, and, in our opinion, clearly is, to empower the Sheriff to appoint a deputy to act as Returning Officer in each of the Parliamentary divisions of the county.