§ MR. HOOPER (Cork, S.E.)
asked the Chief Secretary to the Lord Lieutenant of Ireland, Whether, under the 25 & 26 Vict. c. 83, s. 15, any ratepayer claiming to vote at; the election of Poor Law Guardians in respect of property not in his occupation, or in respect of a beneficial interest in property in his occupation, must first execute a claim to vote in presence of a Justice of the Peace; whether it is a portion of the duties of Justices of the Peace to take declarations necessary by law, and to permit documents of the nature in question to be executed before them, or whether it is in the power of Justices to disfranchise voters of different political opinions by refusing; whether it is the fact that the late Lord Chancellor of Ireland (Sir Edward Sullivan) on several occasions reprimanded Justices for refusing to permit claims to vote to be executed before them; whether, on the 19th day of February, 1887, Mr. John M'Donnell applied to Mr. Whitney, J.P., Nohoval Cove, Kinsale, to be permitted to execute a claim to vote in the Kinsale Union before him, and was refused, and whether Mr. Whitney, on the 21st of February, refused John Kiely under similar circumstances; and, whether Mr. Whitney was justified in so refusing?
§ THE CHIEF SECRETARY (Mr. A. J. BALFOUR) (Manchester, E.)
, in reply, 720 said, he was afraid it was scarcely in accordance with his duty to advise an hon. Member on an abstract question of law, such as that raised by the Question of the hon. Member. He was informed there was no record of any reprimand to magistrates on this matter by the late Sir Edward Sullivan. His predecessor, the late Mr. Law, when Lord Chancellor, did investigate such a complaint; but lie was satisfied with the explanation which was given by the magistrate concerned. No complaint had been made to the present Lord Chancellor of any such action as was attributed in the Question.