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MEMBE

MEMBERS RETURNED FOR TWO PLACES.

RETURNED FOR TWO PLAO

Members returned for two places.

elections was transferred by statute to the courts of law Chapter

XXIII. (see p. 654).

At the commencement of each session, the house agrees Sessional to resolutions dealing with the case of members who are pendix 1." returned for two or more places in any part of the United Kingdom. This order regulates the manner of choosing When mem

bers should for which place a member will sit when he has been withdrase, returned for more than one, and his withdrawal from the see p. 350. house, if debate arose upon the matter of his election. When the time limited for presenting petitions to the court against his return has expired, and no petition has been presented, he is required to make his election within a week, in order that his constituents may no longer be deprived of a representative. This election may either be made by the member in his place 2 or by a letter addressed to the Speaker. When a petition has been presented against his return for one place only, he cannot elect to serve for either. He cannot abandon the seat petitioned against, which may be proved to belong of right to another, and thus render void an election which may turn out to have been good in favour of some other candidate; neither can he abandon the other seat; because if it should be proved that he is only entitled to sit for one, he has no election to make, and cannot give up a seat without having incurred some legal disqualification, such as the acceptance of office, or bankruptcy. Upon this principle, on the 24th May, 1842, Mr. O'Connell, who had been chosen for the counties of Cork and Meath, elected to sit for the former, directly after the report of the election committee, by which he was declared to have been duly elected for that county.5 When there is a double return, there are two certificates Notice of

intention 103 C. J. 99. 100.

129 ib. 12; 135 ib. 128; also 141 ib. not to de-
2 Mr. O'Connell, 24th May, 1842, 9. 26. 318; 142 ib. 5; 147 ib. 413; fend, 9c:
97 ib. 302; Mr. Gathorne Hardy, 150 ib. 341; 151 ib. 4.
21st Feb. 1866, 121 ib. 104; also 141 Case of Mr. O'Connell, 1841, 96
ib. 28; 142 ib. 4.

ib. 564; 59 H. D. 3 s. 503 ; Mr.
3 Mr. C. Villiers, 8th Dec. 1847; Sexton's case, 1886, 308 ib. 168.
Mr. Callan, 19th March, 1874; Mr. 5 97 C. J. 302.
Parnell, 11th May, 1880, 103 ib. 99;

Double
returns.

see p. 656.

see

Chapter endorsed on the writ,' and both the names are entered in the
XXIII.

return books. Both members may therefore claim to be
sworn, and to take their seats : 2 but after the election of the

Speaker, neither of them can vote until the right to the seat
Return has been determined ; because both are, of course, precluded
amended,
P. 658. from voting where one only ought to vote; and neither of

them has a better claim than the other. The practice of
making such returns, though apparently prohibited in
England by the 7 & 8 Will. III. c. 7, was sanctioned by
the law and usage of Parliament. In Scotland the making
of double returns was directed by the Scotch Reform Act,
1832 (s. 33). In Ireland, on the other hand, a double
return was expressly prohibited. By sec. 2 of the Ballot
Act, 1872, 35 & 36 Vict. c. 33, the law of the United
Kingdom regarding double returns is assimilated,5 which
provides that where there is an equality of votes between
any candidates, and the addition of a vote would entitle a
candidate to be declared elected, the returning officer, if a
registered elector, may give such additional vote, but shall
not, in any other case, be entitled to vote at an election

for which he is returning officer. Sessional The house, also, agrees to resolutions in condemnation Inter

ference of orders, Ap- of irregular practices to influence the freedom of election peers and pendix I.

regarding the votes of peers, and the interference of

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1 The ancient form of an indenture was abolished by the Parliamentary and Municipal Elections Act, 1872, 1st sch. s. 44.

? Report, Oaths of Members, 1848, Q. 23-25. In 1852, three members were returned for Knaresborough. They were all sworn at the table, 8th Nov., and directed by Mr. Speaker to withdraw below the bar. In 1859, there were double returns for Knaresborough and Aylesbury, when the members were sworn in the same way. So also in May, 1878, when there was a double return for South Northumberland.

3 See Helston Election Petition Report, 1866, 121 O. J. 436, 486.

* 35 Geo. III. c. 29, s. 13, and

4 Geo. IV. c. 55, s. 68, repealed by the Ballot Act, 1872.

3 Rogers on Elections, part i. p. 207 (16th ed.).

6 In the South Northumberland election, 1878, the sheriff declined to give his casting vote, and made a double return.

' See debates in the Lords, 27th June, 1853, 128 H. D. 3 s. 791 : 5th July, 1858, 151 ib. 926. 927. Opinion of attorney-general, 24th Nov. 1882, 275 ib. 121. In 1872, the legal question of the right of peers to vote, or to be entered upon the register of voters, was conclusively decided by the Court of Common Pleas. The Earl of Beauchamp and the Marquess of Salisbury, having had their

Chapter
XXIII

peers and lord-lieutenants 1 and bribery at parliamentary
elections.

On the 10th December, 1779, the Commons resolved that
it was “highly criminal in any minister or ministers, or
other servants under the Crown of Great Britain, directly
or indirectly to use the powers of office in the election of

representatives to serve in Parliament, &c." 2 Election By the Election Petitions and Corrupt Practices at Petitions, &c., Act, Elections Act, 1868, the Parliamentary Elections and

Corrupt Practices Act, 1879, and the statute 44 & 45 Vict. later Acts.

c. 68, the trial of controverted elections is confided to two
judges, selected, as regards England, from the King's
Bench Division of the High Court of Justice; as regards
Ireland, from the Court of Common Pleas at Dublin; and

1868, and

names struck off the register by the revising barrister, appealed to the Court of Common Pleas. The court unanimously decided that, in law, as derived from authorities and from the determination of election com. mittees, as well as by resolutions of the House of Commons, peers had no right to vote: and the appeal was accordingly dismissed with costs, 15th Nov. 1872, 8 L. R. C. P., pp. 245–255.

i In February, 1868, two bishops (one not being a lord of Parliament) were on the committee of one of the candidates for the University of Cambridge; but on notice being taken of the circumstance, they withdrew. (Question of Mr. Whitbread, and Sir W. Stirling Maxwell's answer, 18th Feb.) Doubts were raised whether the resolution em. braced a bishop not being a lord of Parliament: but it is clear that, having been agreed to in its present form in 1801 and 1802, it was intended to apply to the Irish peers and bishops not having seats in Parliament, under the Act of Union; and now extends to English bishops not yet summoned to the Lords, by later statutes, 56 C. J. 25; 57 ib. 376. See cases of Bishop of Carlisle, 16 ib. 548; of Duke of Leeds,

68 ib. 844; 26 H, D. 796. 989, &c. Debate, 14th Dec. 1847 (West Gloucester election), and precedents cited by the attorney-general in regard to proceedings of the house against peers who have interfered in elections, 95 H. D. 3 s. 1071 ; and Debate, 19th Feb. 1846, 83 ib. 1167 ; Stamford borough case, 1848, 98 ib. 932. 976; Earl of Cadogan, 23rd Feb. 1880, 250 ib. 1198; Lord Rosebery, 19th March 1894, 22 Parl. Deb. 4 s. 588; Duke of Bedford and Lord Carington, 14th Feb. 1899, 66 ib. 872; Lord Chancellor, 2nd May, 1899, 70 ib. 1125; Duke of Devonshire, 5th June, 1899, 72 ib. 311; Lord Alington, 14th Feb. 1905, 141 ib. 71. For complaints made of lord-lieutenants interfering in elections, see Duke of Chandos, Lord. Lieutenant of Southampton, 37 C. J. 507. 513. 538. 557; Duke of Bolton, a peer of Parliament, in the same election, 37 ib. 530. Use of peers' carriages at elections, 142 ib. 358; Report of Commons' Select Committee, Parl. Paper, sess. 1887, No. 50; of Lords' Committee, Parl. Paper, sess. 1888, No. 204; 11th and 20th July, 1887, 317 H. D. 3 s. 363. 1489.

: 37 C. J. 507.

tions
e tried

itions.

Chapter as regards Scotland, from the Court of Session. Petitions Election
XXIII.

complaining of undue elections and returns are presented to
to these courts instead of to the House of Commons, as by two

judges.
formerly, within twenty-one days after the returns to whicho
they relate, and are tried by two judges of those courts,
within the county or borough concerned. The house has Trial of

election no cognizance of these proceedings until their termination : petiti when the judges certify their determination, in writing, to the Speaker, which is final to all intents and purposes." The judges are also to report whether any corrupt practices have been committed with the knowledge and consent of any candidate; the names of any persons proved guilty of corrupt practices; and whether corrupt practices have extensively prevailed at the election. They may also make a special report as to other matters which, in their judgment, ought to be submitted to the house. Provision is also made for the trial of a special case, when required, by the court itself, which is to certify its determination to the Speaker. By sec. 5 of the Corrupt and Illegal Practices Prevention Act, 1883, the election court is directed also to report to the Speaker whether candidates at elections have been guilty by their agents of corrupt practices.

The judges are also to report the withdrawal of an election petition to the Speaker, with their opinion whether the withdrawal was the result of any corrupt arrangement. All such certificates and reports are communicated to the house by the Speaker, and are treated like the reports of election committees under the former system. They are entered in the journals; and orders are made for carrying the determinations of the judges into execution. A report that

ment.

i On the 1st June, 1874, Mr. O'Donnell (lately member for Gal. way) appeared at the bar and claimed to make a statement before the certificate of the judge, by which he was unseated, was read: but the Speaker informed him that it appeared from the judge's certificate that he was disqualified from sitting, and that he therefore was not en. titled to be heard, 129 C. J. 184.

: The Election Petitions Act, Shorthand 1868, s. 24, directs that notes of writer of evidence given at an election trial Parliashall be taken by the shorthand

la see p. 199. writer of the House of Commons, whose transcript shall be sent to the Speaker with the judge's certificate. The shorthand writer does not report proceedings on the withdrawal of a petition,

election,

corrupt practices have extensively prevailed is equivalent Chapter
to the like report from an election committee, for all the
purposes of the 15 & 16 Vict. c. 57, for further inquiry into
such corrupt practices. Where there is a double return (see
p. 652), and notice is given by one of the parties that he
does not intend to defend his return, a report is made to the
Speaker, and the return is amended accordingly. This Act
also makes further provision for the punishment of corrupt

practices at elections.
Commis. In addition to these inquiries by election judges, if upon
sions.

a petition to the House of Commons, presented within
twenty-one days after the return, alleging the prevalence of
corrupt practices at an election, an address of both houses
for inquiry is presented, a commission is appointed under

the 15 & 16 Vict. c. 57. Proceed.

A few words will suffice to explain the proceedings of the ings of the house house in

te house, so far as its judicature is still exercised in matters of matters of election. It being enacted by sec. 50 of the Election Petitions,

&c., Act, 1868, that “no election or return to Parliament shall
be questioned except in accordance with the provisions of this
Act,” doubts were expressed whether this provision would
not supersede the jurisdiction of the house, in determining
questions affecting the seats of its own members, not arising
out of controverted elections. It is plain, however, that
this section applied to the questioning of returns by election
petitions only. Under the procedure in force before the
Election Petition Act, 1868, when returns were questioned,
by petition, the matter was determined by the statutory
tribunal; otherwise the house uniformly exercised its con-
stitutional jurisdiction. And such continues to be the position
of the house, after the judicature of its election committees
had been transferred to the judges.

In the autumn of 1868, an election petition had been pre-
sented to the Court of Session in Scotland, complaining of
the election of Sir Sydney Waterlow for the county of Dum-
fries, on the ground of his holding a government contract.
In the ensuing session, however, the petition having been
withdrawn, a select committee was appointed to " consider

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