§ Mr. S. HERBERT
asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department if anything can be done to expedite the authority for payment of returning officers' charges, as at present considerable delay occurs in the settlement of these accounts, causing hardship to the individuals concerned?
Claims submitted by returning officers for expenses incurred in connection with General Election work are examined by the Treasury, as expeditiously as possible, in the order in which they are received. Very substantial advances, amounting in some cases to 80 per cent. and upwards of the total claim, are made, to enable returning officers to settle pressing accounts and to make immediate payment for services rendered1054W
1913 and in 1923, and the quantities of such goods of United Kingdom manufacture exported in 1921 and in 1923:—
by presiding officers, poll clerks, counting assistants, etc. The fee for the returning officers' personal services can only be made when their accounts have been finally examined and settled. The period in each case depends upon the date of the receipt of the claim and the number of points involving correspondence which arise thereon in the course of examination. But in every case the returning officer's fee is paid as soon as his claim is agreed; and I am not aware that any returning officers have complained of delay in such payments, which for obvious reasons cannot be made till their duties as returning officers in regard to such claims have been finally discharged.