Oldalképek
PDF
ePub

lodgers alike, the agents fill in all particulars, including the amount of rent, in the form of claim and declaration before it is sent to the claimant for signature. The result is, that the evidence afforded by the declaration is, in my opinion, highly unsatisfactory in the majority of cases.

14A. In case the Court should think fit to review my practice, as stated in paragraph 14 of my report, I desire to amplify the said paragraph (a).

The question is generally raised by the objector tendering hearsay evidence in support of his objection. For example, the objector says, "The claimant does not occupy solely, but jointly with his brother. I have seen his brother, who says so"; or again, "He does not pay 48. a week, but only 38., his landlord told me so." In all such cases I hold that the case of Dalgleish v. Dodds (b) precludes me from disallowing the claim on hearsay evidence, but I think I am justified in saying that the claimant must attend and prove his claim. I therefore adjourn the matter to the evening sitting, giving the claimant notice, as in the case under appeal, or summoning him to attend, pursuant to section 36 of the Parliamentary and Municipal Registration Act, 1878 (c), in most cases issuing a notice rather than a summons, as being less oppressive. Sub-sections 10 and 11 of section 28 of the same Act seem to render the giving of notice unnecessary, but I consider it fairer to give it.

15. The Liberal agent, though he made no objections on the ground of value, as already stated, called my attention to certain new lodger claims put forward by

(a) This para. was added subsequently to the granting of the rule nisi.-ED.

(b) (1894), 22 R. 198.

(e) 41 & 42 Vict. cap. 26.

1903.

JENKINS

V.

GROCOTT.

1903.

JENKINS

V.

GROCOTT.

the Conservative agent, which he alleged to be bad for want of value, basing his contention on the rateable value of the respective houses.

16. I ordered all the objections on the ground of value and all the claims so questioned by the Liberal agent to stand over to the evening sitting of my Court on the 18th September. The first part of the schedule hereto contains a statement respecting lodger claimants during the present year in South Hackney, considered in relation to the rateable value of the houses in which they respectively live. Such statement was prepared for my information by the Town Clerk, and was put in evidence before me.

17. On the 15th September, being of opinion that there were grave doubts as to value in the case of all the claims and objections referred to in paragraphs 15 and 16 of this report, I gave to each claimant a notice in writing, a copy of which forms the exhibit "W. J. 3” to the affidavit of the said William Jenkins, and is as follows:

"Take notice, that your claim to vote as a lodger has been objected to, on the ground that your lodgings are not of the clear yearly value of 107. if let unfurnished. Your claim will or may be disallowed unless you produce, or cause to be produced, to me, at the evening sitting of my Court, commencing at 6.30 p.m. on Friday, the 18th September, 1903, your rent-book or other sufficient evidence that your said lodgings are of the clear yearly value of 107. or upwards if let unfurnished."

I stated in Court that if such claimants respectively satisfied me that they paid rent amounting to 107. per annum, or that their lodgings were of the necessary value, I would allow their claims, but not otherwise.

18. At the evening sitting, held on the 18th September, some sixty claimants attended, and by production of their rent-books, or other sufficient evidence, satisfied me that they actually paid the rent stated in their claims or, at any rate, rent amounting to 107. per annum or upwards. A few other claimants who were unable to attend wrote letters to the same effect, which I accepted as evidence. I allowed the claims of all the above. William Jenkins and some hundreds of other claimants neither attended nor wrote, nor was any explanation of their absence given. I disallowed their claims, on the ground that they had respectively failed to satisfy me that they occupied lodgings of the necessary value.

19. The Liberal agent thereupon requested me to state a case by way of appeal in the case of William Jenkins alone, and handed me a written notice of appeal.

20. Having regard to the provisions of sections 42 and 65 of the Parliamentary Registration Act, 1843 (a), and to the remarks of the Court of Appeal in Ireland in Hanbidge v. Campbell (b), I thought I ought not to state a case.

21. Moreover, I was of opinion that by stating a case I should be throwing doubt upon the existence of the power of the Revising Barrister to require the personal attendance of the claimant in a case where the primâ facie evidence of the claimant is displaced, and where there is in addition reason to suspect, as I suspected, the prevalence of a wholesale manufacture of unqualified votes. The overseers do not exercise the same super

(a) 6 Vict. cap. 18.

(b) 1 Lawson's Notes, p. 348.

1903.

JENKINS

V.

GROCOTT.

1903.

JENKINS

V.

GROCOTT.

vision in the case of lodger claimants as they exercise in the case of other claimants, and, indeed, have been advised by counsel that they have no power to incur any expense in investigating lodger claims. Practically the only check upon such a manufacture as I have indicated is the power already referred to of the Revising Barrister, and I was unwilling to disparage it. I therefore declined to state a case, unless directed to do so by this Honourable Court.

THE SCHEDUle above referred to.

PART I.

South Hackney.

Number of houses in which there is one lodger for

each rateable value as under :

[blocks in formation]

53 houses in which there are two lodgers, rateable value £9 to £20.

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

Robson, K.C., and Lewis Thomas, for the appellant. In the absence of evidence amounting to primâ facie proof of the ground of objection, the claim as supported by the claimant's declaration was good, and the appellant was entitled to his vote. The question depends upon the construction of the following sections of

the Parliamentary and Municipal Registration Act, 1878 (a):

Sect. 23: "In the case of a person claiming to vote as a lodger, the declaration annexed to his notice of claim shall, for the purposes of revision, be primâ facie evidence of his qualification."

Sect. 28, sub-s. 9: "Subject as herein and otherwise by law provided, the Revising Barrister shall retain the name of every person not objected to, and also of every person objected to, unless the objector appears by himself, or by some person on his behalf, in support of his objection."

Sub-s. 10: "If the objector so appears the Revising

Barrister shall require him, unless he is an overseer,
to prove that he gave the notice or notices of objec-
tion required by law to be given by him, and to give
primâ facie proof of the ground of objection, and
for that purpose may himself examine and allow the
objector to examine the overseers or any other
person on oath touching the alleged ground of
objection, and unless such proof is given to his
satisfaction shall, subject as herein and otherwise
by law provided, retain the name of the person
objected to.

[ocr errors]

"The prima facie proof shall be deemed to be given by the objector, if it is shown to the satisfaction of the Revising Barrister by evidence, repute or otherwise, that there is reasonable ground for believing that the objection is well founded, and that by reason of the person objected to not being present for examination, or for some other reason, the objector is

(a) 41 & 42 Vict. cap. 26.

1903.

JENKINS

V.

GROCOTT.

« ElőzőTovább »