§ MR. R. MCGHEE (Louth, S.)
I beg to ask the Chief Secretary to the Lord Lieutenant of Ireland, whether his attention has been called to a letter of Mr. Robert Wilson, dated the 3rd inst., addressed to the Belfast Board of Guardians; whether he is aware that Mr. Wilson, who was a candidate for the Dock Ward at the late Poor Law election, alleges in his letter that from the time the voting papers were put into the hands of the police who collected them until they were seen at the recount, tampering and manipulating were indulged in to a huge extent; and, whether, considering the very serious nature of the charge laid by Mr. Wilson, he will direct a Local Government Board Inquiry to be held without delay?
§ MR. GERALD BALFOUR
It appears that a letter containing allegations to the effect stated in the Question has been addressed to the Belfast Board of Guardians, who, by resolution, ordered that Mr. Wilson should be given every facility to examine the papers he states were tampered with, but I am not aware that he has availed himself of this permission. The returning officer repudiates the charges made in the letter, and denies that any irregularities whatever took place on the occasion, and as Mr. Wilson has not submitted any evidence in support of his allegations, the Local Government Board, in accordance with their usual practice, see no reason for holding an Inquiry into the matter.