§ MR. CALEB WRIGHT (Lancashire, S.W., Leigh)
I beg to ask the President of the Local Government Board whether he is aware that at the recent election of the members of the Local Board for the township of Ashton-in-Makerfield, Lancashire, the voting papers were deliberately taken out of the tin boxes in which they had been collected and locked, by the direction of the returning officer, by a member and certain officials of the Board; and that this extraction of voting papers took place on Friday night, 3rd April, 1891, previous to their being counted on the next day by the returning officer; and, if so, whether such conduct by paid officials of the Board is a breach of the Act of Parliament?
§ MR. RITCHIE
My attention has not been called to any of the proceedings in connection with the election of members of the Local Board for the district of Ashton-in-Makerfield, and the Local Government Board have no jurisdiction whatever with regard to the election. If it is alleged that there have been any illegal practices which constitute an offence under the Public Health Act, 1875, in connection with this election, I may point out that provision is made by that Act for the punishment of the offence.