Imágenes de páginas
PDF
EPUB

In the course of the case :

A witness examined for the Petitioners proved treating at one of Any account the Respondent's public-houses.

Mr. Giffard called for the bill sent in to the Respondent. Mr. Overend, for the Respondent, objected to producing it. The Petitioners had no right to call for those bills which the Respondents held to be unfounded claims which he had resisted and upon which he denied his liability. The mere fact that a claim had been sent in and received by post or messenger by Respondent's agent did not make it binding against the Respondent.

Mr. Baron MARTIN said:-The Petitioners might call for any document in the possession of the Respondents; upon the document being produced, it became evidence in the cause as a document coming from the Respondent's possession and produced by him. The Respondent might give any explanation of it afterwards. It might be strong evidence or it might be worthless, but prima facie it was evidence.

A witness, Michael Moran, examined for the Petitioners, was asked as to the numbers of a committee which he had assisted in

forming, and answered vaguely.

sent in to Respondent may be called for. Prima facie evidence

against him, whether disputed or not.

37.

Witness not to examined until pronounced adverse by the

be cross

Q. Just remember how many the committee consisted of? judge.

A. Sometimes more, sometimes less.

Q. What was the maximum number ?-A. Perhaps twenty.

Q. Did you tell a Mr. Miles that it was thirty-five or forty? Mr. Overend, for the Respondent, objected. This was not evidence. He was not a hostile witness.

Mr. Baron MARTIN:-If the Petitioners call a witness, they must call him and deal with him as at Nisi Prius.

Mr. Giffard said :-In order to lay a foundation for asking to be allowed to treat witness in a different manner to ordinary evidence in the cause, he tendered the evidence for his Lordship to consider whether the witness was hostile.

Mr. Baron MARTIN said the question must not be asked. When he saw the witness was hostile he would deal with him accordingly. At present he saw nothing adverse in him.

A witness, Michael Coyne, examined for the Petitioners, proved

39.

Parties to
Petition.

Notice to pro

duce docu

ments in their

possession.

19.

Paid canvasser,
and one paid
to use influence.
Distinction.

17 & 18 Vict.
c. 102, s. 2.

Statement of expenses con

travening.

that at the request of one Kitcheman he had signed a document which Kitcheman had then taken away. He was about to state the substance of it when

Mr. Giffard called for the document, and said that notice to produce had been given.

Mr. Baron MARTIN said the parties were the four Petitioners and the Respondent, and there was notice to produce, which would affect any document in the possession of the Respondent, but not any document in the possession of Kitcheman, even if Kitcheman was proved to be an agent.

It having been proved that a number of persons who were known to have influence with the Irish voters-of whom there were many in the borough—were paid on behalf of the Respondent to use their influence with these voters to restrain them from voting against the Respondent,

Mr. Price, for the Respondent, contended that what was done was not distinguishable from paid canvassing—a thing which the statute clearly did not mean to forbid.

Mr. Baron MARTIN said :-There were a number of voters whose support it was deemed desirous to obtain, and money was given to a few persons to exercise their influence on those persons to induce them to refrain from voting. That seemed to him to come within the very words of the statute. It was quite different from canvassing, from paying a person for his labour, and for using such persuasions as were lawful when inducing a voter to vote.

It was proved that Respondent's agent had sent in to the returning officer what purported to be a detailed statement of 26 Vict. c. 29, Respondent's expenses, but that it consisted merely of heads of expenses, amounting in all to £7211 16s. 7d., amongst which were the following items:

8. 4.

Prima facie case against Respondent.

[merged small][merged small][ocr errors][merged small][merged small]

The whole on one sheet of paper, and without a single voucher accompanying it. It was also proved that the agent had done this, knowing at the time that he was acting contrary to 26 Vict. c. 29, s. 4.

Mr. Baron MARTIN said, as to this, in his judgment:-" My impression is, that if counsel for the Petitioners had rested their case simply upon this, and had put in this account, and had proved that no bills or vouchers had been delivered to the returning officer, I should have called upon the Respondent to prove the legality of every payment contained in this account from the beginning to the end of it. My impression is, that that alone would have made a prima facie case against any person, especially when I call attention to the amounts contained in that paper."

Mr. Baron MARTIN, in his judgment, declared the Respondent unseated on the ground of corrupt treating.

Commenting on the evidence of treating, he said: "I mean to give my judgment on what has been clearly established before me, viz., that the Respondent was by his agents guilty of treating within the meaning of 17 & 18 Vict. c. 102, s. 4. The material evidence is as short as possible. It is proved that there were open in this town, by persons for whom it is admitted Respondent was responsible, 158 public-houses, and that in 115 of these publichouses refreshments were supplied. Counsel for Respondent stated that these refreshments were supplied to people who had done work, but the evidence is directly to the contrary. The evidence is that persons were admitted to these committee-rooms; that the farce was gone through of putting down their names as committeemen; and that refreshments were supplied to them, whether they were voters or non-voters or messengers. It was proved by the Respondent's own witnesses that directions were given that at these public-houses refreshments were to be afforded to the persons who came there, and that they were afforded both to voters and nonvoters and to any person admitted to the room, with the caution that they should not be excessive, but reasonable. That is the evidence on the part of the Respondent. The statute enacts, 'That every candidate at an election who shall corruptly give, or be accessory

D

Treating, when

corrupt.

17 & 18 Vict. c. 102, s. 4.

Costs.

to giving, or shall pay any expenses incurred in eating, drinking, entertainment, or provision, in order to be elected, shall be deemed guilty of the offence of treating;' and it has been as clearly contravened by the Respondent as it possibly could be.”

Costs follow the event.

CASE VII.

BOROUGH OF BRADFORD.

BEFORE MR. BARON MARTIN, JANUARY 29, 1869.

Petitioners: Samuel Storey, Thomas Garnett.
Respondent: William Edward Forster.

Counsel for Petitioners: Mr. Price, Q.C., Mr. Waddy.
Agent: Mr. Mumford.

Counsel for Respondent: Mr. Serjeant Ballantine, Mr. Serjeant Sargood,
Mr. S. Pope.

Agent: Mr. John Henry Wade.

THE petition contained the usual allegations of bribery, treating, &c., but did not pray the seat.

It appeared that a considerable number of public-houses were made use of by committees acting for the Respondent, and that on the day of the election refreshment-tickets were issued to the members of these committees; but it was shown that the tickets were, as far as possible, distributed only among those who were bond fide carrying on the work of the election, and that in point of amount the expenditure thus incurred by the Respondent was not unreasonable.

Some attempt was made to prove bribery by gifts of money, but the evidence on this point was stated by the Judge to be beneath contempt.

In the course of the case,

It having been proved, in support of the charge of treating, that

« AnteriorContinuar »