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» Taunton Case.

culars were sent out from it ; that the association canvassed Liability of

candidate for actively and did all those things which would be commonly political assodone by a committee for promoting an election, and that ciations. they were done openly and over a considerable time; that at the time of the registration the agents of the respondent were aware of the association and acted in concert with it, and that both the respondent and his agents knew that the association was actively canvassing in the respondent's behalf. The acts of bribery suggested were, that about the first week in November and on the eve of the election, the association gave 5s. a piece to a number of voters who attended the registration in September, as a day's pay for their loss of time in so doing, and that these sums were practically paid to everyone who came forward and asked for them without precautions being taken that those who got the money had done anything to earn it. In these circumstances the learned judge (the present Lord Blackburn) held, that the association was the agent of the respondent, and the latter was unseated accordingly. “When things,

" said his lordship, "are thus openly done, which would not be done in the ordinary course of things, except with the cognizance of a candidate, who sanctioned them, the natural inference in the absence of proof to the contrary would be, that they were done by a person acting as agent for the candidate. The respondent and his agents might have shown that they had had no communication with that body, that they repudiated it, and if that repudiation was bonâ fide they Where bond would not have been responsible for its acts. The respon- tion,candidate dent might have shown that a body, acting in such a way as this body acted, was acting officiously for him, as I may call it, that it was not with his consent and against his will; but the presumption does arise, I think, that it was done in his favour, done for him, unless there be something to show the contrary. I think, in this case, such a degree of benefit was derived from their assistance, that their assistance was so important to the candidate that it fairly establishes this, that if he took their assistance and did not hold them off, or repudiate them, he must abide the consequences and be

not liable.


Wakefield Case.

Using rooms of association.

responsible for their malpractice.” Lord Blackburn must not be understood as laying down as a matter of law, that when an association is acting openly on behalf of a candidate he is necessarily liable, unless he publicly repudiates it. All he held was, that having regard to the facts of the case before him, and the very intimate connection which subsisted between the candidate and the association immediately prior to the election, that there was, in the absence of evidence of repudiation, in fact, a presumption that he sanctioned what was being done. So regarded, the decision is in full conformity with the more recent Harwich Case already quoted.

In the Wakefield Case (2 O'M. & H., 102) the facts were, that the respondent was a vice-president of a political association, that he spoke at meetings of the association, that many

of the members of the association were to his knowledge actively canvassing on his behalf, and that the committeerooms of the association were placarded with his election bills, and used for the purpose of promoting his election. Mr. Justice Grove held that these facts primâ facie brought the case within the law of agency and were (in the absence, of course, of evidence of bonâ fide repudiation) sufficient to satisfy the Court that the respondent “had put himself, or allowed himself to be in the hands of certain persons, or had made common cause with them.”

In the Londonderry Case (21 L.T., n.s., 709) the alleged briber was a principal official of the Liberal Registration Association. . It was proved that the respondent was the adopted candidate of the association, and had subscribed largely to its funds. The work of registration, with the respondent’s approval, had been conducted by the association, and when the revision was completed, the funds and staff of the society, with Peacock (the alleged briber) as the principal of the staff were, with the respondent's assent, used for the purpose of promoting the election. The learned Judge held upon these facts, that the respondent was clearly liable for the acts of the association.

In the Gravesend Case (44 L.T., n.s., 64), where it was


Gravesend Case.

proved that the respondent gave a political association a sum Liability of

candidate for of money, large in proportion to its normal funds, and this

political money was spent by the association in treating, Mr. Justice associations. Denman intimated that the agency of the association was established.

The Bewdley Case ( 3 O’M. & H., 145; 44 L.T., n.s., 283.) Bowdley Case. is an important case on this subject. There it was proved: (1.) That an association had been formed before the election to promote the candidature of the respondent ; (2.) That it was in constant communication with the respondent's chief election agent; (3.) That the chief election agent supplied it with minute books and communicated with its secretary as to its progress, and reported the progress of the respondent's candidature to it; (4.) That during the progress of the contest he used in common with it a marked register containing an account of the favourable, adverse, and doubtful voters. The Court (Denman & Lopes JJ.) held that the agency of the association had been established and in giving judgment the latter learned judge made the following pertinent remarks. “I desire shortly to allude to one matter, Judgment of I mean the position of political associations and the liability Lopes, J. of candidates. There appear to be persons who think that a candidate may escape the responsibility attaching to the acts of an agent by the employment of the active members of a political association, instead of an individual or individual agents; if this could be done the Corrupt Practices Act would become a dead letter. There may be, doubtless, in a borough a political association existing for the purpose of a political party, advocating the cause of a particular candidate and largely contributing to his success, yet in no privity with the candidate or his agents-an independent agency, and acting in its own behalf. To say that the candidate should be responsible for the corrupt acts of any member of that association, however active, would be unjust, against common sense, and opposed to law. There may on the other hand be a political association in a borough advocating the views of a candidate of which that candidate is not a member, to the funds of which he does not subscribe, and with which

Result of the authorities.

he personally is not ostensibly connected, but at the same time in intimate relationship with his agents, utilised by them for the purpose of carrying out his election, interchanging communication and information with his agents respecting the canvassing of voters and the conduct of the election, and largely contributing to the result. To say that the candidate is not responsible for any corrupt acts done by an active member of such an association would be repealing the Corrupt Practices Act, and sanctioning a most effective system of corruption."

The result of the cases would seem to be this : The mere fact that a political association in sympathy with the respondent is actively working in his favour does not, taken by itself, establish agency; but, though there was no original request to the association to give its services, if the respondent or his principal agents, knowing what it is doing, approve and sanction its proceedings, then agency is made out. It is not necessary to show tħat the approval or sanction was ever given in so many words. The court will generally infer it from the fact that communications in relation to the election have passed between the respondent and the association during the contest; and where the connection between the two was very intimate immediately before the election, and the services rendered at the latter are real and public, it may even infer it without proof of actual communication after the contest began. On the other hand, it is open to the respondent to exonerate himself by showing that he never had any connection with the association, and that it was acting officiously, or that he bona fide repudiated its action at the

time. An organiza- The principles which have been laid down with reference tion of the clergy may be

to the responsibility, under certain conditions, of a candidate agents. for the acts of a political association in sympathy with him

apply equally to every other kind of association or combination which may espouse the cause of a candidate and render him active assistance which he accepts and adopts. In this connection the Limerick Case (21 L.T., n.s., 567; 1 O'M. & H., 262) is worth consulting. There Baron Fitzgerald intimated a strong opinion that if the clergy in a given constituency make the cause of a candidate their own, and if the latter represents that his cause is identical with that of the clergy, and publicly gives out that the question between him and his adversaries is whether the clergy shall be put down or raised up, and if he is accompanied in his canvass by certain of the clergy-in such a case the organisation of the clergy in the various districts of the constituency is an agency of the candidate.

Another question that presents itself is the extent to which, Agency in where two or more candidates coalesce and stand together, as

case of joint

candidature. it is called, the agents of the one candidate bind the other. The law on this point was laid down in the clearest terms by Lord Blackburn in the North Norfolk Case (1 O'M. & H., 240 ; 21 L.T., n.s., 264.) It happens that in this case the respondents have stood jointly. They have chosen to what we commonly call coalesce. They united in a canvass, and, in fact, have made each an agent for the other, and they have chosen to stand or fall together ; consequently if any corrupt act is shown to be done by an agent appointed by one member it will affect both. Such are the consequences of a coalition. If, therefore, a corrupt act is brought home to one, both are unable to hold their seats.” In a later case, the Norwich Case (2 O’M. & H., 39), it was suggested that in giving a particular bribe the agent of one of two candidates who had coalesced, gave the bribe exclusively in the interest of his immediate principal. Upon this contention Mr. Justice Keating observed : “I think if it were clearly established that Ray (the agent) had gone to a voter and, wishing to exclude the respondent, had said, 'I give you this bribe to vote for Sir W. R., but not to vote for T., because my object, is that you should not vote for T, it might be successfully argued that he was thereby determining the joint agency and no longer acting in the bribery as the respondent's agent. But that has not been proved.' It may be taken therefore, Agency where

joint candidathat during the continuance of a joint candidature, each can- ture. didate is liable to the fullest extent for the misdeeds of the duly-authorised agent of the other. But it is otherwise with respect to acts committed by agents prior to the commence

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