HC Deb 08 May 1906 vol 156 cc1164-5
MR. DALZIEL (Kirkcaldy Burghs)

I beg to ask the Solicitor-General, in the absence of the Attorney-General, a Question of which I have given private notice—;whether his attention has been drawn to the numerous cases of admitted bribery, fifteen in all, that occurred during the recent Parliamentary election at Yarmouth; what steps, if any, he proposes to take in connection with such admissions; and whether, having regard to the result of the election petition that has just been presented, he will consider the advisability of introducing a Bill to amend the Corrupt Practices Act.


The attention of the law officers has been drawn to the evidence as to cases of bribery at Yarmouth during last election. Most of those cases are covered by certificates exempting the bribed persons from prosecution owing to the fact that they have made a full disclosure in evidence of their misconduct, but in any case where there is no certificate the papers shall be laid before the Director of Public Prosecutions. On the second part of the Question the evidence at election petitions will of course be carefully considered with a view to seeing if it discloses any reason to believe that the existing law as to corrupt practices is not adequate for its purpose.


I hope that special attention will be given to the point whether there ought not to be three Judges instead of two for the trial of election petitions.