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which term not less than thirteen years shall be at the time of his election unexpired, such estate being of the clear yearly value of not less than six hundred pounds over and above all incumbrances affecting the same; or unless he shall be possessed or entitled, for his own use and benefit, at law or in equity, for his own life or for the life or lives of any other person or persons then living, or for any term of years, either absolute or determinable on his own life or on the life or lives of any other person or persons then living, of which term not less than thirteen years shall be at the time of his election unexpired, of or to personal estate or effects of any nature or kind whatsoever within the said United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland, or the interest, dividends, or annual proceeds of any such personal estate or effects, such personal estate or effects, interest, dividends, or annual proceeds actually producing the clear yearly income of not less than six hundred pounds over and above all incumbrances affecting the same; or unless he shall possess more than one of the several kinds of qualification hereinbefore mentioned, the several qualifications of or to which he shall be so seised, possessed, or entitled being jointly of sufficient value to qualify a person as a member to serve in Parliament for any county according to the provisions herein contained, although each of such qualifications may, according to the same provisions, be separately insufficient for that purpose; nor shall any person be capable of being elected a Member of the House of Commons for any city, borough, or cinque port with

any other

in that part of Great Britain called England, the dominion of Wales, the town of Berwickupon-Tweed, or Ireland, unless he shall be seised or entitled, for his own use and benefit, of and to an estate, legal or equitable, in lands, tenements, or hereditaments, of any tenure whatever, situate, lying, or being within the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland, or in the rents and profits thereof, for his own life or for the life or lives of

person or persons then living, or for a term of years, either absolute or determinable on his own life or on the life or lives of any other person or persons then living, of which term not less than thirteen years shall be at the time of his election unexpired, such estate being of the clear yearly value of not less than three hundred pounds over and above all Incumbrances affecting the same; or unless he shall be possessed or entitled for his own use and benefit, at law or in equity, for his own life or for the life or lives of any other person or persons then living, or for any term of years, either absolute or determinable on his own life or for the life or lives of any other person or persons then living, of which term not less than thirteen years shall be at the time of his election unexpired, of or to personal estate or effects of any nature or kind whatsoever, situate within the said United Kingdom, or the interest, dividends, or annual proceeds of any such personal estate or effects, such personal estate or effects, interest, dividends, or annual proceeds, actually producing the clear yearly income of not less than three hundred pounds

over and above all Incumbrances affecting the same; or unless he shall possess more than one of the several kinds of qualification hereinbefore mentioned, the several qualifications of or to which he shall be so seised, possessed, or entitled being jointly of sufficient value to qualify a person as a member to serve in Parliament for any borough, according to the provisions herein contained, although each of such qualifications may, according to the same provisions, be separately insufficient for that purpose ; and if any person who shall be elected or returned to serve in any Parliament for any county, riding, part, or division of a county, city, borough, or cinque port as aforesaid, shall not at the time of such election and return be qualified in manner above mentioned, such election and return shall be void."

The enactment amounts to this, that every candidate must have either an unincumbered interest for a life or for thirteen years certain in property, the net proceeds of which amount to 6001. a year for candidates for counties, or 3001. a year for candidates for boroughs.

These are the eight positive and negative qualifications requisite to eligibility as a member of the House of Commons.

I may add here that a candidate is not privileged from arrest while going to or returning from the hustings.

Thus much for the candidate.

CHAPTER IV.

THE RETURNING OFFICER.

In county elections the sheriff is the returning officer, for it is in his court that the election proceedings are had.

The returning officer in boroughs is the chief officer of the borough, and his designation depends upon the charter or upon prescriptive usage.

Special provision was, however, required to constitute returning officers for the new boroughs created by the Reform Act. By the second section of that act the sheriff of the county was directed to appoint, every year, in the month of March, returning officers for every new borough which was not specifically provided with a returning officer by the schedules of that act. . Out of forty-two boroughs named in schedules C and D, in only thirteen are returning officers provided, so that the sheriff appointed in thirty-one boroughs. But there is a proviso that his nomination shall cease if the Crown should grant a charter of incorporation; and since that time several such charters have been granted.

When the sheriff appoints, no person can be compelled to act as returning officer more than once : persons in holy orders, and churchwardens and overseers, are disqualified; and persons qualified to be returned as members may claim exemption within one week after notice of their appointment.

By the 6 and 7 W. IV. c. 101., if the office of returning officer shall be vacant at the time when any act ought to be done by or with regard to the returning officer of a borough, the sheriff, or his deputy, shall act as returning officer.

By the 17 and 18 Vic. c. 57., every writ for making any election of a member for a borough shall be directed to the returning officer, or his deputy, and, in their absence, to the sheriff of the county; and in all cases whatever, whenever there shall be, either from temporary vacancy, or from some other cause, no person duly qualified in the borough to perform the duties of returning officer, the sheriff of the county shall be charged with the execution of the writ.

The earliest duty of the returning officer is the appointment of election auditors. The 15th section of the Corrupt Practices Prevention Act, 1854, enacts that, once in every year, in the month of August, the returning officer of every county, city, and borough shall appoint a fit and proper person to be an election officer, to be called Election Auditor or Auditor of Election Expenses,' to act at any election or elections for and during the year then next ensuing, and until another appointment of election auditor shall be made; and such returning officer shall, in such way as he shall think best, give public notice of such appointment in such county, city, or borough; provided that any person appointed an election auditor may be re-appointed as often as the returning officer for the time being shall think fit; and that every person who shall be an election auditor on the day appointed for any election shall con

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