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he find it correct he must stamp it with a stamp of verification in such manner as best to prevent fraud; and, in the case of a measure or of a weight of lb. or upwards, he must further stamp on it a name, number, or mark distinguishing the district for which he acts. He must enter in a book kept by him minutes of such verification, and if required give a certificate under his hand of such stamping. He may take such fees for stamping and verification as the Local Authority may fix, on a scale not higher than is shown by the fifth schedule to the Weights and Measures Act, 1878. He must, at such times as the Local Authority may fix, pay over to their Treasurer all such fees.
Every Inspector authorised in writing under the hand of a Justice of the Peace, as also every Justice of the Peace, may at all reasonable times inspect all weights, measures, scales, balances, steel-yards, and weighing machines which are used within his jurisdiction.
Yorkshire Registries Act, 1884.
Under this Act (47 & 48 Vict. c. 54), every assurance or will affecting lands in any of the three Ridings of Yorkshire (including any county borough therein) must be registered.
For this purpose the County Council of each Riding must maintain a registry office; that for the North Riding being at Northallerton, that for the East Riding (in which for this purpose Kingston-upon-Hull is included), at Beverley, and that for the West Riding at Wakefield. The business of each registry must be conducted by a Registrar, assisted by a staff of Clerks, &c.
On the occurrence of a vacancy in the office of Registrar, the County Council may appoint a barrister or solicitor in actual practice, and of not less than seven years' standing, or a person who has discharged the duties of Deputy Registrar for at least five years; but the appointment must be confirmed by the Lord Chancellor. A Registrar is (subject to savings for the rights of Registrars appointed before the 7th August, 1884) removable by the County Council in their discretion, or by the Lord Chancellor for misconduct.
The County Council may make rules for the conduct of business at a registry, which must however be confirmed by the Lord Chancellor.
QUALIFICATION AND REGISTRATION
WE have already explained in Chapter I. that County Councillors are elected one for each electoral division of the county, and that Town Councillors are elected either at one election for the whole borough or, should the borough be divided into wards, so many for each ward of the borough.
As a preparation for the election of County Councillors and Town Councillors, lists are annually prepared of persons qualified to vote for Councillors for each county and borough. Such a list of persons qualified to vote for County Councillors is known as the Register of Electors for the county, or the County Roll, and such a list of persons qualified to vote for Town Councillors is known as the Register of Electors for the borough, or the Burgess Roll.
Every person whose name is on the register of electors in force for a county or borough is, with certain exceptions, entitled to vote at an election of Councillors for the county or borough, whether he was in the first instance entitled to have his name put on the register or not. We must therefore inquire as to the preparation of the register of electors, and the first point is, what qualification entitles a person to be entered upon that register. The qualification is the same, whether for a county or borough.
The principal statutory provisions on the subject are contained in
The Municipal Corporations Act, 1882 (45 & 46 Vict. c. 50,) secs. 9, 31, 33, 63.
The Registration Act, 1885 (48 & 49 Vict. c. 15).
The County Electors Act, 1888 (51 Vict. c. 10).
A person on the register of electors for a borough is called a burgess, or, if the borough is a city, a citizen, and a person on the register of electors for a county who is not a
burgess, is called a county elector; but the term burgess is employed in most Acts and in this work to include citizen. The qualification which entitles a person to be registered as a burgess or county elector is complicated, and has been laid down in the County Electors Act, 1888, in the following way.
The "burgess qualification" which is given in the Municipal Corporations Act, 1882, is extended to the rest of the county, and in addition it is provided that the "£10 occupation qualification," obtaining for parliamentary purposes, slightly modified and made to include women and peers, shall entitle a person to be registered as a burgess or county elector.1
A person to be entitled to be registered as an elector (who may be either a man or a woman)2 must have the following qualifications:-3
I. He must be of full age.
The exact date on which the person must have reached the age of twenty-one is uncertain. He must clearly be of full age before the lists are finally revised by the Revising Barrister, but perhaps it is necessary that he should have been of full age on the preceding 15th July.*
II. He must on the 15th July be, and for the whole of the preceding twelve months, have been, in occupation in the county or borough of property of a nature to entitle him to be registered.
Such property is called "qualifying property." It must be either-
i. A house, warehouse, counting-house, shop or other building, in which case the occupation may be joint or several. Building has been held to include very slight and unimportant structures, such as a tool-house and a potatoshed. The structure, however, must have some permanence and value, and have been intended to be of some utility.5
ii. Part of a house separately occupied for the purpose of any trade, business, or profession, or as a dwelling. A person occupying part of a house separately will not be disqualified by reason of being entitled to the joint use of some other part."
1 This appears to be the effect of s. 3 of the County Electors Act; but the meaning of that section, which was added during the progress of the Act through Parliament, is obscure. It is very probable that the section will not be held to apply to women or peers. It is worthy of remark that the section professes to deal with the £10 occupation qualification within the meaning of the Registration Act, 1885, whereas that Act contains no definition of £10 occupation qualification, except incidentally in the course of the instructions to Overseers contained in the schedules.
2 See note I supra. We use the masculine pronoun throughout for simplicity. Municipal Corporations Act, 1882, sec. 9; The County Electors Act, 1888, secs. 2,3, and schedule.
See Hargreaves v. Hopper, 1 C.P.D., 195.
5 See Morish v. Harris, L. R., 1 C.P. 155.
Municipal Corporations Act, 1882, sec. 31; Grenaway v. Batchelor (Aldridge's case) 12 Q.B.D., 381.
iii. Land or a tenement of a clear yearly value of not less than £10; where such property is occupied jointly the yearly value must be sufficient to give £10 for each occupier, in order to confer the qualification. Qualification in respect of such property is called a £10 occupation qualification.1 The same property may, of course, serve to qualify in two ways, as conferring the 10 occupation qualification and also as coming within one of the first two heads. Thus, if a man occupy a warehouse of the clear yearly value of £10 or more, he may claim to be registered either simply as the occupier of a warehouse or as the occupier of a tenement of the clear yearly value of £10. The other conditions necessary to entitle him to be registered are, however, different in the two cases, so that he might succeed in his claim to be registered as the occupier of a warehouse and fail in respect of his £10 occupation qualification, or vice versa.
Where a person succeeds to qualifying property by descent, marriage, marriage settlement, devise, or promotion to a benefice or office, the occupancy of the property by a predecessor in title is equivalent to the occupancy of the successor.2
The qualifying property need not be, throughout the twelve months constituting the period of qualification, the same property, nor in the same parish." It may be pointed out that if a person occupy qualifying property within a county during part of the period of qualification and subsequently occupy property in a borough in the county for the rest of the period, or vice-ver så, he will be qualified neither as a burgess nor as a county elector.
If a person permits his qualifying property to be occupied as a furnished dwelling-house by some other person, by letting it or otherwise, for a period not exceeding four months, he will not ose his qualification.
III. He must, during the whole of the twelve months which constitute the period of qualification, or, if the qualification is the £10 occupation qualification, during the last six months thereof, have resided in the county or borough, or within seven miles thereof.
It has been said that a man's residence is the sleeps, or where his servants eat drink or sleep. one residence.+
place where he eats, drinks, or And a man may have more than
Although, in order to be qualified to vote, a person need not reside uninterruptedly in the county, &c., yet if he goes away and abandons the power or intention to return when it suits him, he will lose his residence there. For example, a soldier who is away with his regiment is under orders, and cannot return at his pleasure, and so loses his residence."
The seven miles must be measured in a straight line from the nearest point in the county or borough, and for determining it recourse may be had to the ordnance map.6 In the case of a person letting his qualifying property as a furnished house, as above-mentioned, he does not lose his qualification by residing beyond the seven miles during such letting.7
Here we may point out that, if a person occupying qualifying property in a borough, reside more than seven miles from the borough, he will have no vote for the county in which the borough is situated, even although he may reside in the county.
IV. He must have been rated in respect of the qualifying property to all poor rates made, during the twelve months constituting the qualifying period, for the parish wherein the property is situated.
To constitute such rating it is necessary, subject to what appears below, that the occupier's name should actually appear on the rate book. Where, however, a person succeeds to qualifying property as mentioned above, his name need not appear on the rate book, except in respect of any rate made after the date of his succession.2
Where, again, the owner of qualifying property is liable to be rated instead of the occupier, provisions are made that the Overseers shall insert the occupier's name in the rate book, but such rating is considered the rating of the occupier, and the omission of his name in such a case will not disqualify him.3
Again, if an occupier of qualifying property, whether the landlord is or is not liable to be rated to the poor rate in respect thereof, claims to be rated to the poor rate in respect thereof, and pays or tenders to the Overseers of the parish in which the property is situated, the full amount of the poor rate last made in respect of the property, the Overseers must put the occupier's name on the rate book, in respect of that rate. And if they fail to do so, the occupier is nevertheless deemed to be rated to that rate.1
A rate is considered to have been made on the date at which it is allowed by the Justices.5
V. He must, on or before the 20th July, have paid all poor rates, including county or borough rates, that have become payable by him in respect of the qualifying property up to the preceding 5th January.
If his qualification is a £10 occupation qualification, it does not matter whether he pays the rates himself or whether some other person pays them for him, so long as the rates are paid. But in other cases, though payment by the owner of the property, under an agreement with the occupier, or under any other agreement or obligation, is considered payment by the occupier, yet, if some person with no interest in the property pays the rates gratuitously, that will not be such payment by the occupier as to entitle him to be registered. It may be observed that if a person pays a rate on behalf of any ratepayer to enable him to be registered and thereby to influence his vote, both he and the ratepayer are guilty of bribery.
1 Moss v. St. Michael, Lichfield, 7 Man. & G., 72.
2 Municipal Corporations Act, 1882, sec. 33.
3 Poor Rate Assessment and Collection Act, 1869 (32 & 33 Vict. c. 41), sec. 19. Parliamentary and Municipal Registration Act, 1878, s. 14.
4 Municipal Corporations Act, 1882, sec. 32.
5 Poor Rate Assessment and Collection Act, 1869 (32 & 33 Vict. c. 41), sec. 17. 6 R. v. Bridgnorth 10 A. & E. 66.
7 Representation of the People Act, 1867 (30 & 31 Vict. c. 102), sec. 49, which is quoted in the 3rd schedule to the Municipal Elections (Corrupt and Illegal Practices) Act, 1884, post, p. 370.