HC Deb 13 March 1891 vol 351 cc913-4
MR. LAWSON (St. Pancras, W.)

I beg to ask the President of the Local Government Board, having regard to the fact that under existing statutes it is required in all counties and boroughs that all printed lists of persons entitled to vote, claiming to vote, and whoso names are objected to, shall be published at latest on 25th August of each year, whether it would be possible to allow the declarations of amendment under Section 6, Sub-section 1, of the County Electors Act, to be made at any time before the sitting of the Revision Court; to alter the date of commencing the work of revision from 8th September to 1st September; to require the Revising Baristers to sit de die in diem, and to complete the revision by 30th September, if necessary increasing the number; and thus give ample time to the authorities to print the Register of Electors both for Parliamentary and municipal purposes, and obviate the necessity of altering the existing dates of qualification for the franchise?


If the revision of the lists commenced on the 1st September, as suggested, and the lists of claimants and persons objected to were not published until the 25th August, sufficient time would not be allowed for persons to see the claims and objections and make the declarations. The result might be that many persons objected to might lose their votes; because, in practice, the objections are not sent until the last moment. It would not, I think, be right to allow the declarations to be made at any time before the sittings of the Court, as there would be no sufficient opportunity of inspecting them.


May I ask how the right hon. Gentleman proposes to meet the confusion that it is said will arise in certain counties in view of the Bill having been withdrawn?


The Government are considering the question, and I hope in a few days to be able to inform the House of the result of their investigations.