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High Treasurer, or Commissioners of the Treasury, Auditors, Tellers, or Chancellor of the Exchequer, Commissioners of the Admiralty, Paymasters of the Army or Navy, Principal Secretaries of State, or Commissioners of Salt, Stamps, Appeals, Wine Licences, Hackney Coaches, Hawkers and Pedlars; persons holding any office, civil or military, in the island of Minorca, or in Gibraltar, except officers holding commissions in any regiment there only, shall be capable of being elected, or sitting or voting as members of any Parliament.
This Act exempts the Treasurer and Comptroller of the Navy, the Secrctaries of the Treasury, Secretary to the Chancellor of the Exchequer, Secretary to the Admiralty, Under-Secretary to any of the Principal Secretaries of State, or the Deputy Paymaster of the Army, from the operations of this Act.
By Act 29th and 30th Victoriæ, cap. 55, 1866, the PostmasterGeneral is enabled to sit in the House of Commons.
NEW OFFICES of Profit under the Crown.-Act 6th Anne, cap. 7, s. 25. Persons holding any new office or place of profit whatsoever under the Crown, created since the year 1705, shall be incapable of sitting. But Members accepting any old office of profit, whilst members, their election to be void; such persons, however, may be re-elected.
Persons disabled, if returned as members, their election to be void, and to be liable to a penalty of 500l. Ib.
PENSIONERS OF THE CROWN.-Act 1st George I., cap. 56, s. 2. No person having a pension from the Crown shall be capable of being elected a Member of the House of Commons, under penalty of forfeiting 201. for each day's sitting.
CONTRACTORS.-Act 22nd George III., cap. 45, ss. 1, 2. All persons holding contracts for the public service are declared incapable of being elected or sitting, and any member accepting a contract, his seat shall be void.
CANDIDATES declared guilty of BRIBERY, treating, or undue influence, by himself or his agents, by any Election Committee, are incapable of being elected or sitting in Parliament for such county, city, or borough during the Parliament then in existence, 17th and 18th Victoriæ, cap. 102, s. 36.
A person who is elected to serve in the House of Commons by the people, may, by the law and custom of Parliament, be disabled, and declared incapable to sit as a member; as where a person has been guilty of any crime which renders him infamous and the like.
Members on double returns for the same place are incapable of sitting till the returns are determined by a Committee; and there is a resolution of the House to this effect, made at the commencement of every session; but they enjoy all the privileges of members of Parliament.
Members who have taken their seats are ineligible for any other place, until they have vacated their former seats; but persons elected for one place may, before they take their seats, be returned for any other place; in which case, by an order of the House, they are to make their election by that day three weeks, for which of the places they will serve, provided there be no question upon the return from that place.
Abolition of the requirement of a Property Qualification.
No property qualification is now required of Members of Parliament.
The Act of the ninth year of the reign of Queen Anne, and the several subsequent statutes, which required the possession of certain property qualifications by all candidates for seats in Parliament, are repealed by the 21st and 22nd Victoriæ, cap. 26.
Notice to Electors of Ineligibility of Candidates.
If the disqualification or ineligibility of candidates be within the knowledge of the electors, or they be previously made fully acquainted therewith, their votes, if given for such ineligible candidates, will be "thrown away." Voters polling for a candidate after due notice of his being ineligible, are to be considered as not voting at all, and, on petition, the next legal candidate on the poll would be declared duly elected. The notice to the electors should be in writing, or printed, signed by a candidate, or two or more electors, and every publicity given thereto.
RETURNING OFFICER'S EXPENSES.
A candidate is not legally liable for any other than his proper equal share of the following official expenses, unless by himself or his appointed agents he has authorised other expenses or charges to be incurred by the returning officer:
The expense of erecting the polling booths; such expense in counties not to exceed the sum of 401. in respect of any one principal place of election, or any one polling place, and in cities and boroughs the sum of 251. in respect of any parish, district, or part thereof.
2. The payment of "two guineas by the day" to each deputy returning officer.
3. The payment of "one guinea by the day" to each poll clerk. The items are to be discharged at the "joint and equal expense of the several candidates."
The booths may be erected "by contract with the candidates, if they shall think fit;" and "the Sheriff or other returning officer may, if he shall think fit, instead of erecting such booth or booths as aforesaid, procure or hire the use of any houses or other buildings, for the purpose of taking the poll therein." 2nd William IV., cap. 45, s. 71.
PAYMENT OF ELECTION EXPENSES.
The several provisions of the " Corrupt Practices Prevention Act, 1854," as to the appointment of an election auditor, and the payment and publication of election expenses, are repealed by the 26th Vic., cap. 29, and the following enactments are substituted:
By Sec. 2, no payment, (except in respect of the personal expenses of a candidate,) advance, loan, or deposit, by or on behalf of any candidate, before, during, or after an election, is to be made otherwise than through an appointed agent of such candidate. Persons making any such prohibited payment, &c. shall be guilty of a misdemeanour.
The candidate is to declare in writing, to the Returning Officer, on or before the day of nomination, the name and address of his agent or agents; and it is the duty of the Returning Officer to publish the same.
By Sec. 3, all bills, charges, or claims upon any candidate shall be sent in within one month from the day of declaration of the election, to the appointed agent, or right to recover the same barred. Should there be no agent, the bills, &c. are then to be sent to the candidate.
By Sec. 4, a detailed statement of all election expenses incurred, shall, within two months after the election, be made out and signed by the agent who has paid the same, and delivered, with the bills and vouchers, to the returning officer. The returning officer, within fourteen days, is to publish an abstract of such statement, with the signature of the agent thereto, by advertisement in one of the local newspapers. Any agent or candidate making default in delivering such statement, shall incur a penalty not exceeding five pounds for every day during which he so makes default. Any agent or candidate who wilfully furnishes an untrue statement shall be guilty of a misdemeanour. The returning officer is to preserve the bills and vouchers during six months, and to permit any voter to inspect the same, on payment of a fee of one shilling.
Bribery, Treating, and Intimidation.
The laws relating to bribery and corrupt practices are "The Corrupt Practices Prevention Act, 1854," and "The Parliamentary Elections Act, 1868." Definitions of the offences of bribery, treating, and intimidation, with the several penalties and remedies attached thereto, will be found in the first fourteen sections of "The Corrupt Practices Prevention Act, 1854."
No person, who is called as a witness before any election committee, shall be excused from answering any question on the ground that the answer may tend to criminate himself. Committee may grant a certificate to any witness, which shall be a stay to any proceedings taken against him in respect of any matters concerning or relating to which the witness may have been examined. 26th Vic. cap. 29.
Favours, Bands of Music, &c.
Cockades, ribbons, and colours are prohibited, and payments for bands of music, flags, and banners illegal. S. 7.
Travelling Expenses of Voters.
"It shall not be lawful for any candidate, or any one on his behalf, at any election for any borough, except the several boroughs of East Retford, Shoreham, Cricklade, Much Wenlock, and Aylesbury, to pay any money on account of the conveyance of any voter to the poll, either to the voter himself, or to any other person; and if any such candidate, or any person on his behalf, shall pay any money on account of the conveyance of any voter to the poll, such payment shall be deemed to be an illegal payment within the meaning of "The Corrupt Practices Prevention Act, 1854." 30th and 31st Victoriæ, cap. 102, s. 36.
"THE CORRUPT PRACTICES PREVENTION ACT, 1854." Bribery at Elections and Payment of Election Expenses. (17th and 18th Victoria, cap. 102.)
An Act to consolidate and amend the Laws relating to Bribery, Treating, and undue Influence at Elections of Members of Parliament. [10th August, 1854.] WHEREAS the laws now in force for preventing corrupt practices in the election of members to serve in Parliament have been found in
sufficient; And whereas it is expedient to consolidate and amend such laws, and to make further provision for securing the freedom of such elections: Be it enacted by the Queen's most Excellent Majesty, by and with the advice and consent of the Lords Spiritual and Temporal, and Commons, in this present Parliament assembled, and by the authority of the same, as follows:
I. The several Acts of Parliament mentioned in the Schedule A. hereto annexed shall be repealed to the extent specified concerning the same Acts respectively in the third column of the said Schedule.
II. The following persons shall be deemed guilty of Bribery, and shall be punishable accordingly:
1. Every person who shall, directly or indirectly, by himself, or by any other person on his behalf, give, lend, or agree to give or lend, or shall offer, promise, or promise to procure or to endeavour to procure, any money, or valuable consideration, to or for any voter, or to or for any person on behalf of any voter, or to or for any other person in order to induce any voter to vote, or refrain from voting, or shall corruptly do any such act as aforesaid, on account of such voter having voted or refrained from voting at any election:
2. Every person who shall, directly or indirectly, by himself, or by any other person on his behalf, give or procure, or agree to give or procure, or offer, promise, or promise to procure or to endeavour to procure, any office, place, or employment to or for any voter, or to or for any person on behalf of any voter, or to or for any other person, in order to induce such voter to vote, or refrain from voting, or shall corruptly do any such act as aforesaid, on account of any voter having voted or refrained from voting at any election:
3. Every person who shall, directly or indirectly, by himself, or by any other person on his behalf, make any such gift, loan, offer, promise, procurement, or agreement as aforesaid, to or for any person, in order to induce such person to procure, or endeavour to procure, the return of any person to serve in Parliament, or the vote of any voter at any election :
4. Every person who shall, upon or in consequence of any such gift, loan, offer, promise, procurement, or agreement, procure or engage, promise, or endeavour to procure the return of any person to serve in Parliament, or the vote of any voter at any election: 5. Every person who shall advance or pay, or cause to be paid, any money to, or to the use of any other person, with the intent that such money, or any part thereof, shall be expended in bribery at any election, or who shall knowingly pay, or cause to be paid, any money to any person in discharge or repayment of any money wholly or in part expended in bribery at any election:
And any person so offending shall be guilty of a misdemeanor, and in Scotland of an offence punishable by fine and imprisonment, and shall also be liable to forfeit the sum of one hundred pounds to any person who shall sue for the same, together with full costs of suit: Provided always, that the aforesaid enactment shall not extend or be construed to
extend to any money paid or agreed to be paid for or on account of any legal expenses bona fide incurred at or concerning any election.
III. The following persons shall also be deemed guilty of bribery, and shall be punishable accordingly
1. Every voter who shall, before or during any election, directly or indirectly, by himself, or by any other person on his behalf, receive, agree, or contract for any money, gift, loan, or valuable consideration, office, place, or employment, for himself or for any other person, for voting or agreeing to vote, or for refraining or agreeing to refrain from voting at any election:
2. Every person who shall, after any election, directly or indirectly, by himself, or by any other person on his behalf, receive any money or valuable consideration on account of any person having voted or refrained from voting, or having induced any other person to vote or to refrain from voting, at any election:
And any person so offending shall be guilty of a misdemeanor, and in Scotland, of an offence punishable by fine and imprisonment, and shall also be liable to forfeit the sum of ten pounds to any person who shall sue for the same, together with full costs of suit.
IV. Every candidate at an election, who shall corruptly by himself, or by or with any person, or by any other ways or means on his behalf, at any time, either before, during, or after any election, directly or indirectly give or provide, or cause to be given or provided, or shall be accessory to the giving or providing, or shall pay, wholly or in part, any expenses incurred for any meat, drink, entertainment, or provision to or for any person, in order to be elected, or for being elected, or for the purpose of corruptly influencing such person or any other person to give or refrain from giving his vote at such election, or on account of such person having voted or refrained from voting, or being about to vote or refrain from voting, at such election shall be deemed guilty of the offence of treating, and shall forfeit the sum of fifty pounds to any person who shall sue for the same, with full costs of suit; and every voter who shall corruptly accept or take any such meat, drink, entertainment, or provision, shall be incapable of voting at such election, and his vote, if given, shall be utterly void and of none effect.
V. Every person who shall, directly or indirectly, by himself, or by any other person on his behalf, make use of, or threaten to make use of, any force, violence, or restraint, or inflict or threaten the infliction, by himself, or by or through any other person, of any injury, damage, harm or loss, or in any other manner practise intimidation upon or against any person in order to induce or compel such person to vote or refrain from voting, or on account of such person having voted or refrained from voting, at any election, or who shall, by abduction, duress, or any fraudulent device or contrivance, impede, prevent, or otherwise interfere with the free exercise of the franchise of any voter, or shall thereby compel, induce, or prevail upon any voter, either to give or to refrain from giving his vote at any election, shall be deemed to have committed the offence of undue influence, and shall be guilty of a misdemeanor, and in Scotland, of an offence punishable by fine or imprisonment, and shall also be liable to forfeit the sum of fifty pounds to any person who shall sue for the same, together with full costs of suit.
VI. Whenever it shall be proved before the Revising Barrister that