§ MR. TREVELYAN (Yorkshire, W.R., Elland)
I beg to ask the Prime Minister whether he is aware that the returning officer in the recent election in the Hex-ham Division postponed the election for nearly a week after the date desired by the representatives of both parties, 384 and that excessive excitement and some disturbance developed during that period of delay; whether he will consider the introduction of legislation for shortening the period between the issue of the writ and the election day, and for the limitation of the discretion of the returning officer, especially in the case of county elections.
MR. J. M. ROBEETSON
asked if the right hon. Gentleman was aware that the reason given by the High Sheriff' for the postponement was his determination to attend the Grand National, which he understood was a horse race.
SIR H. CAMPBELL-BANNEEMAN
I understand that the polling day was delayed at the recent election in the Hexham Division. The delay may have been undesirable and have led to unfortunate consequences, but we must presume that there were strong reasons for it, based upon public duty. I believe that returning officers are usually quite willing to fix the date of polling so as to meet the general convenience of all parties in the constituency, and that it would be undesirable to limit further the period elapsing before the election, as such limitations might work unfairly.