THE TE AROHA ELECTION.
fB? TSLEGR4PH—OWN CORRESPONDENT.)
Auckland, April 4. I now give you the final particulars with regard to this oase, by way of addition to what has already been sent to you from other sources. When the case was closing at Te Aroha yesterday— Mr Hesketh contended that if the election of Mr Allen were declared invalid Colonel Eraser was entitled lo the seat, for it was not contended that any of the 609 votes polled for him were improperly obtained.
. Mr Justice Conolly said they would have to leave it to the House to determine who was elootod, If tho election was declared void, there was no au'hority for such interpretation being given lo the language of the statute as that c'aimed by Mr Hesketh,
The Chief Justice said that in a case where a candidate was disqualified the unsuccessful candidate must show that he had given notice beforehand to the electors, so that their votes should not be thrown away, befoie lie could claim the seat.
Mr Hesketh argued the point at some length, contending that it would only be the election of Mr Allen which would be declared void, and that could not interfere with Colonel Fraser's election,
The Chief Justice said it was open to Mr Hesketh to have a scrutiny, but no person would try to obtain a scrutiny i£ by merely proving one cfcse of bribery hecon'd fecure the seat,' If on a scrutiny it was proved that the majority was made up in consequence of bribery, tben tho petitioner would obtain the feat.
Mr Hesketh submitted that if the Court found the election void it would obliterate Mr Allen, and the only candidate then was Colonel Fraser. who polled 609 votea.
Mr Justice ConcHy pointed out what an absurdity might ariee if siich a ruling were held good. Mr Allen might have polled 1000 votes and Colonel Fraser 10, or oven one, and yet if Colonel Fraser proved that one man had been bribed the 999 voteß would be thrown away, and the man who obtained one vote would obtain the seat.
Mr Hesketh : One case of bribery would render the election void.
Mr Justice Conolly: Yes; but it would not give the seat to the other candidate.
Mr Hesketh proceeded to reply to Mr Cooper's arguments, contending that the employment of Hammond was an illegal and corrapt practice within the meaning of the Act, that his appointment was in writs ing, that he was an agent, and that he had done what was imputed to him.
Their Honours then retired to consider their decision, and when the Court resumed tho Chief Justice delivered judgment, He said that the consent of Mr Allen to be nominated was beyond question, but the petitioner asserted that that consent was not given in the mode prescribed by the Act. The returning officer did; receive a telegram from Wakapuaka which was despatched by a New Zealand telegraph officer who repeated it from a message which he reodved. Now assuming in favour of the petitioner that this was not a telegram within the meaning of tho Electric Lines Act, the Act did not provide that the consent might be only by ordinary telegram; it might be by letter which need not be subscribed, or he could by the hand of another give consent, and this was what Mr Allen had done by the hand of tho offioers who transmitted and received the tebgram, They were satisfied that there was consent signified within the meaning of the Act; As to the appointment of the Goru'.ineere their appointment or non appointment did not invalidate the elcc ion, but certain ac's such as bribery would render the election void. 'His. Honour thea referred to the aots of bribery allegod ogainst Edwards, and the evidence adduced in support of them. The bribery of Cook was not proved in any way. Maher and Comes were members oE Mr Allen's committee at Karangahake, one of i he districts controlled by the Paeroa committee, and if Edwards was a member of that committee he would be justified in giving small sums for expenses ; but he said the money which he sont to Maher und Comes was to bring votes to Paeroa to enable him to win wages which he had with 9ome of Colonel | Fraser's supporters, The evidence that therd had been bribery was not sa'iefaotory and it was therefore not necessary to decide whe her Edwards was known ■ to be Mr Bultle'a agent. As to Hammond's case, nothing could be clearer than that it was an illegal practioa to employ agents. It was oloar Hammond was appointed to represent Mr Allen aa a paid agent, and that was an illegal practice, and this rendered Mr Allen's eleotion void, and bo they would
report lo llie speaker, As several caßssof bribery an! corrupt practices had bcea*' alleged by the petitioner, and not proved lliey would order that each party should pay bis own
Mr Coopor quoted sec'ioo 4 n£ lbs amendment of 1881. He said tlia' technically nnder sub section B, section 18 of •he Corrupt Practices Act, Mr Allen would be incapacitated from standing for election again for three years He pointed out that (lie evidenco entirely failed to show any improper conduct on Mr Allen's part, and he submitted that lie shonld not be incapaci'Rted under that seotion,
Mr Jua'ice Conolly asked if Mr Cooper was seeking to know what their report lo ihe Speaker would b« ?
Mr Cooper slid that the Act. provided tlia' the party affected should hive notice of the report under section 25, and to be heard,
Mr Justico Conolly said that sorely that could not apply lo a man who was present during the whole proceedings, Mr Cooper said he certainly did nol require that, but be would ask their Honours to report that Mr Allen should not be subjected (o any incapuci'y. It wag no t a corrupt practice which Bhould deprive Mr Allen of his poli'ical .privileges, and the Court had the power to absolve him and relieve him of any disability. ' ' The Chief Justics said they would say no'bing than, but would consider it when making their report.
Mr Cooper applied under sorlion 3D for a eertifieale of indemnity for Messrs Buttle Allen, and Edwards, to relieve Ihe'ra of liability to prosecution in regard to any statements they had made, as they had give'n their evidence as provided in the Act. _ MrHesketh mide a similar application in regard lo the wlnssses Maherand Ham. mond, and their Honours granted and signed the indemnities asked for. This closed the proceedings and Ihe Court then rose.
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Thames Advertiser, Thames Advertiser, Volume XXIV, Issue 6883, 6 April 1891
THE TE AROHA ELECTION. Thames Advertiser, Volume XXIV, Issue 6883, 6 April 1891
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