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Private docu- proofs contained in the documents which are withholden.
As where the lord objected to the production of court rolls, a copy of the voter's admission to his copyhold voluntarily given by him to the witness for the purpose, was received to impeach his right of voting. (a) So where a voter refused to produce his title deeds, the memorial of a conveyance to him was received to destroy a presumption, that the estate for which he voted was in a third person. (6) But the copy of a voter's admission produced by another who had no interest in the copyhold in question, though a tenant of the manor (C) was rejected, though he was allowed to prove that he had seen the voter admitted to some premises in the manor. (d) Voters having refused to produce their title deeds to burgage tenements, parol evidence was received of their contents. (e) When Irish Committees are appointed to take evidence in Ireland under an order of a Select Committee, “ and documentary evidence is received by them,” an authentic copy of original evidence tendered to the Commissioners, returned by them to the Committee, is evidence before the Committee. (f)
It has been frequently disputed before Committees, whether in order to affect a candidate with an act of bribery committed by another person, it is necessary first to prove such other the agent of the candidate; or whether evidence of the bribery may be adduced before the agency is established.
If the judgments of men were never biassed by considerations foreign to the question in dispute, it would be a matter of indifference, whether the agency or the bribery were first established. But as few men would be able to examine with unbiassed minds, whether A. were the agent of B. for the purpose of bribery, after it was once established that A. had been bribing voters to poll
© Middx. 2 Peck, 124.
(d) Ibid. 131.
for B., the order in which these facts shall be proved is Agency. often a matter of great practical importance.
And accordingly upon questions of bribery, this point has almost invariably been raised, and Committees have come to opposite decisions; some admitting evidence of bribery in the first instance, (") others requiring that agency should be previously established.(6)
But supposing it to be decided, that agency must first be proved, the next question is, what facts will amount to proof of agency. Where an agent is employed for an unlawful purpose, it is obvious, that care will be taken to avoid furnishing evidence of the engagement. The relation therefore must commonly be inferred from a variety of minute circumstances; and as the slightest shades of difference may lead the mind to opposite conclusions, it is not always possible to reconcile the decisions upon this subject.
In the Mitchel petition, proof that A. was the steward of Lord F. on whose interest the petitioner stood, that A. and the petitioner resided in the same house during the Election, and that they canvassed the town together, was held insufficient to establish the fact of agency. (C)
A particular authority to pay for the subsistence of nonresident voters, was holden not sufficient proof of a general agency, so as to let in evidence of the employment and payment of resident voters. ($) Yet where a man was agent for all lawful purposes of the Election, and gave general directions, that the orders of a sub-agent should be complied with, the orders of the sub-agent as to an unlawful purpose, viz. the treating the voters, were held to affect the principal. (8)
Where an attorney of the town had attended the candidate before and during the Election, had accompanied him in bis canvass and solicited votes for him, and was described by a witness as appearing to be his agent, and had afterwards paid the expense which had been incurred by
(%) Bristol, 1. Doug. 279. Ivelches- (©) Mitchel, 1 Lud. 89. Vide ter, 3 Doug. 159. Ibid. 1 Lud. 470. Petrie, 509, referring to p. 77. Corb. Ibid. 1 Peck, 303. Dumfernling, 1 Dan. 62. Peck, 15. Bridgwater, Ibid. 102. (1) Durham, 2 Peck, 185.
(6) Norwich, 3 Lud. 451. Hindon, (8) Middx. 2 Peck, 31. 1 Doug. 175. Shatts. 2 Doug. 309. Worcester, 3 Doug. 262. Durham, 2 Peck, 185.
opening a house where the voters were entertained, thu
A candidate who declined in favour of the sitting mem-
Upon an indictment for conspiracy, proof of concert and connection must, in general, be given before the defendant can be affected by the acts of others. (d)
But where the petitioners' counsel opened a case of conspiracy between the sitting members and certain electors and others, evidence of the acts of the latter was received before any proof given of their connection with the sitting
member. (e) Confidential
There are certain confidential relations which the law communica- recognizes, and forbids persons who are within them from
disclosing matters which they know in consequence of
A Committee, however, has decided, that an avowed
But an attorney professionally employed, was compelled to disclose acts done by him, not necessarily within his
N. Windsor, 2 Peck, 194. (6) E. Retford, 1 Peck, 479.
) Middx. 2 Peck, 33. (d) Starkie, 401.
Corb, Dan. 256.
(1) See Starkie, E. 396.
professional duty, such as going to the candidate's Petitions fri.
volous, and bankers for some tickets to be distributed to the voters costs. during the Election. (a)
And bankers have been called upon by Committees to produce drafts in their possession for the payment of money, and their account books, for the purpose of allowing inspection of such particular items only as relate to the question before the Committee, (b) or sufficient extracts from those books which the party requiring their production shall specify.
Of the Report of the Select Committee.
Ist. Of petitions reported to be frivolous, or vexatious, and the effect as to costs.
2nd. Of reports as to the right of Election, &c.
1. Of Petitions Frivolous or Vexatious, and Costs. When the Committee report to the House their final determination on the merits of a petition, (except in the case of a petition against the right of Election, or of appointing returning officers,) they are to report whether it was frivolous or vexatious, or if no party opposes the petition, whether the Election, &c, complained of was vexatious or corrupt. (d) And if amongst the objections to voters, stated in the lists delivered to the clerk of the House, there are any, to support which no evidence is produced, and the Committee consider the objection frivolous, or vexatious, they shall so report it. (°) The effect of such report is to entitle the opposite party to costs. (f)
Where a petitioner has declined entering into evidence before the Committee, () or his evidence fails altogether to support the allegations,(M) or the petition is groundless, being
R 1 Peck, 209.
53 G. 3, c. 71, s. 2.
Hereford, 2 Peck, 257. Ilchester, 2 Peck, 274. Sutherland, 2 Fras. 177. Malden, 2 Peck, 255. Midhurst, 2 Peck, 147; but see Shafton, Penryn, Inverness, 1 Peck, 18 and 251, 109. Minehead, 2 Peck, 257. Ibid. 273.
(h) E. Grinstead, 1 Peck, 335.
Petitions fri- presented under a misapprehension of the law, the petitions
have been reported frivolous and vexatious. But where
Whenever the petition, or the opposition, (f) shall be
So where no person appears to oppose, and the Election, &c. is reported vexatious or corrupt, the sitting members are answerable in costs to the petitioners, (h) unless they give notice that they shall not defend.
Costs are not only allowed to the parties, but the expenses of witnesses summoned for the petitioners, and the fees of the officers of the House, are to be paid by the petitioners, if the petition is not duly proceeded on, or is reported frivolous or vexatious. (i) The amount of these costs, &c.' is to be ascertained by the taxation of two persons appointed by the speaker out of certain persons specified in the statutes. (k) And the speaker will certify the amount of costs to be received according to their report, (1) which certificate will have the effect of a warrant of attorney to
© Bodmin, 2 Fras. 238.
© Flintshire, 1 Peck, 526.
c. 71, s. 3.
(6) 53 G. 3, c. 71, s. 2.
(k) 28 G. 3, c. 52, s. 22. 53 G. 3, c. 71, ss. 7, 10, 11.
( 28 G. 3, c. 52, S. 22. 53 G. %, c. 71, s. 7.