§ LORD BALCARRES (Lancashire, Chorley)
I beg to ask the President of the Local Government Board, whether his attention has been drawn to the fact that the Register of Voters used at the Wrightington Parish Council Election, 1896, was incomplete; whether he can state the number of Voters disfranchised in consequence and their proportion to the total number of voters who polled, and who was responsible for the non-supply of the proper register; and, whether it is customary for petitioners who are successful to pay for the Inquiry held by a County Council into the conduct of any election, or whether the latter can order an Inquiry on their own account, paying the expenses thereof, if there is reason to doubt the validity of such election?
§ THE SECRETARY TO THE LOCAL GOVERNMENT BOARD (Mr. T. W. RUSSELL,) Tyrone, S.
I am informed in reply to the inquiries which have been made that the Register of Voters at the election in question was incomplete; that the number of persons who applied to vote and whose names were not on the Register was about 15; that the total number of the electors who recorded their votes was 146; and that the list of parochial electors for the township are included in the lists for two polling districts, and one list only was furnished by the Clerk of the County Council and the omission of the second list was not detected. I presume that the question of the cost of the Inquiry referred to applies to an Inquiry for the purpose of the Local Government (Elections) Act of the present Session. The Local Government Board has no 996 authority to determine questions of this character, but I am advised that that Act does not authorise petitioners being required to pay the costs.