MR. JUSTIN M'CARTHY (Londonderry City)
asked the Chief Secretary to the Lord Lieutenant of Ireland, Whether his attention has been directed to any report of a discussion at the meeting of the Derry Board of Guardians last Saturday relating to the appointment of Mr. Samuel M'Dermott to assist the Clerk of the Union in the preparation of the voters' list for the registration; and, whether this Mr. Samuel M'Dermott is the same person who was employed as agent by the Conservative candidate at the last Derry election, and whom, on the trial of the Petition which followed, the Judges declared to have been guilty of illegal practices; and, if so, whether he will take any steps to prevent the employment of Mr. M'Dermott in the work of registration?
§ THE CHIEF SECRETARY (Mr. A. J. BALFOUR) (Manchester, E.)
I have no information as regards the alleged discussion at the meeting of the Board of Guardians of the Londonderry Union; but the Clerk of the Union explains that under circumstances of urgency he, at his own expense, employed Mr. M'Dermott, as having a thorough knowledge of the city, to assist him in defining and making out the different polling districts. Mr. M'Dermott acted, I understand, in the capacity alleged at the last election. I am not at present in a position to state whether he was declared by the Court to have been guilty of illegal practices; but I am making inquiry, and if I find such to have been the case I shall cause the clerk to be informed that it is not desirable that any person who has been found guilty of illegal practices at Parliamentary elections should be employed in connection with the preparation of voters' lists.