HC Deb 25 April 1887 vol 313 cc1800-1
MR. CONYBEARE (Cornwall, Camborne)

asked the First Lord of the Treasury, Whether, having regard to the grave charges made in this House in respect of Boycotting and intimidation in connection with Parliamentary Elections, he intends to allow the appointment of a Select Committee to inquire into the truth of those charges?


asked whether, according to the information in Election Petitions relating to the Elections of 1885 and 1886, no cases of attempt at intimidation had been attempted to be proved in any of those Petitions; and, whether that was not the tribunal where cases of intimidation should be investigated?

THE FIRST LOED (Mr. W. H. SMITH) (Strand, Westminster)

In answer to the Question last asked, I have to say that I have no personal knowledge of the transactions before the Election Judges; and, as far as I remember, no cases of intimidation were sustained before the Judges in the course of the last two General Elections. With regard to the Question of the hon. Member for the Camborne Division of Cornwall (Mr. Conybeare), I am not able to admit the statement that grave charges have been made in this House, and with great respect to the intelligence of the hon. Member, I can hardly think it possible that he is really of that opinion. No; it is not the intention of the Government to appoint a Committee, holding, as I do, with my hon. Friend behind me (Sir Charles Lewis), that the law is amply strong enough to deal with any case of Boycotting or intimidation in England.

MR. COBB (Warwick, S.E., Rugby)

asked, Whether the right hon. Gentleman was not aware that the Boycotting and intimidation complained of in the counties would extend to preventing witnesses from giving evidence before the Election Judges?


No, Sir; I do not believe anything of the sort.