§ MR. KILBRIDE (Kerry, S.)
I beg to ask the Chief Secretary to the Lord Lieutenant of Ireland whether he is aware that at the election of Guardians for the Kenmare Electoral Division, hold on the 24th March, the returning officer declared one of the candidates duly elected by a majority of five votes; notwithstanding this decision the returning officer held a re-scrutiny on the 26th ultimo, and then allowed seven votes to the defeated candidate, which he had rejected at the previous scrutiny on the ground that the voting papers were improperly filled; whether the returning officer refused to have the voting papers in question referred to the Local Government Board for decision as to their validity; and if he will direct the Local Government Board to hold a full inquiry into the circumstances which induced the returning officer to act in this manner, and, pending their decision, direct that the Guardian returned on the re-scrutiny will be prevented from exercising his functions as member of the Board?
§ THE CHIEF SECRETARY FOR IRELAND (Mr. J. MORLEY,) Newcastle-upon-Tyne
The Local Government Board are in communication with the unsuccessful candidates as to the several decisions of the returning officer to which they object, and on receipt of full particulars will take such steps as may be necessary for ascertaining whether the decisions were correct or otherwise. The returning officer is required by law to make a Return of the election according to the best of his judgment and ability, and I am informed he is under no obliga- 1510 tion to submit the voting papers referred to for the opinion of the Local Government Board in the first instance. Pending the decision of the Board, there is no power to prevent the persons who have been returned from acting as Guardians.