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STANLEY AS BALAAM.

CITIZENSHIP.

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CITIZENSHIP. We hear a good deal at times about the rights of citizenship and the extension ot the franchise if the latter is so coveted a privilege it is astonishing how little trouble some people take to avail themselves of it. To acquire a vote, it is necessary to be placed upon the register of the constituency in which the qualification is situated, yet how few interest themselves in seeing that this is carried out. They, perhaps, pay a subscription to a political association, and wash their hands of all further anxiety, content to trust their rights as citizens to the care of a political agent. Agents, however active, are not ubiquitous it is impossible for one man, however careful and energetic, to make himself acquainted with the claims of every person who owns 40s. worth of land in a constituency numbering 10 or 15 thousand voters. If the would-be elector does not take the trouble to request the agent to claim his vote, and is not prepared to appear or send documentary evidence in support of it, he can hardly feel aggrieved if, when the list appears, his name is not visible. This applies particularly to the "Freehold, Leasehold, and Lodger classes, who are bound to claim their votes or be disenfranchised. A certain safe- guard exists as regards Occupation voters the overseers make up the lists; but even in small parishes errors are frequent, and the lists published by the overseers on the 1st August require careful examination, so that persons accidentally omitted may send in their claims before the 20th August. The political agent is usually a well-worked and well-abused individual. Few who have not entered into the business can realize the amount of hard labour that he has to undergo during the registration season, a period extending from the 20th July until the revising barrister puts him out of his misery. His labours are made none the more easy by the dilatory habits of district organisa- tions and individual claimants. These, instead of assisting by making up their reports in due time, delight in postponing the examination of lists, and then overwhelm the unfortunate agent with long returns of claims or objections, on perhaps the last day that legal service can be effected, regardless of the fact that each claim or objection lias to be written in duplicate, and that the latter entail the filling in of four forms. Hundreds of these forms have to be carefully drawn up. The slightest error invalidates them, and when it is remembered that provision has to be made for their service on the persons concerned, and for proof of that service, it may be understood that an agent requires a cool head, considerable physical strength, a thorough knowledge of an intricate and ill-defined law, and an insight into the idiosyncracies of individual barristers. Agents in the Radical interest have a far Z5 easier time. The unfortunate dissention from the Church gives them able and willing assistants in every parish. This should be the more reason for Unionists to pull themselves together and prepare to use their full strength in the day of trial, by giving their political organisations the local assistance that they have a right to claim, and without which the best efforts of their officials is unavailing.

Society atio personal.

TO OUR CORRESPONDENTS.

CARMARTHEN.

EAST CARMARTHENSHIRE.

LLANARTHNEY.

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