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Parliamentary Elections—Declaration Of The Poll

Volume 217: debated on Tuesday 5 August 1873

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Question

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department, If he intends to take any steps with a view to accelerating ascertainment and declaration of the results of polling in Parliamentary Elections?

Sir, soon after the passing of the Ballot Act, the Home Department, with the assistance of my right hon. Friend the Vice President of the Council, drew up directions for the application of its provisions in a most expeditious way. I am not aware that any improvement can be made in the regulations. I shall be glad to receive any suggestions on the subject; but I would remind my hon. Friend that the casting up of the votes is a laborious task, and that the Secretary of State cannot annihilate space and time.

Army—Pensioners From Woolwich Arsenal—Question

asked, Why men at weekly wages, who are pensioned from the Arsenal at Woolwich, are not permitted to commute their pensions in the same manner as salaried officers?

Sir, when the measures for carrying out the Act of' 1869 for permitting the commutation of pensions were under consideration, it was determined that the plan should not be extended to the lower ranks of the service—such as labourers in the Government manufactories. Exception was made in favour of cases in which men of those classes were about to emigrate, and for them arrangements have been made by which their pensions may be commuted, the proceeds of such commutation being paid, not to the men, but to the Emigration Commissioners on their behalf. The Government have seen no reason to alter their views on this matter, but continue to hold the opinion that it would not be beneficial to men of these classes to be allowed to commute their pensions, except for the purposes of emigrating.