HC Deb 08 May 1891 vol 353 cc361-2

I beg to ask the Solicitor General for Scotland whether Section 3 of "The Representation of the People Act, 1884," is the authority for, and origin of, the Service Franchise; whether that Act has reference to males only; and whether, therefore, females are in any circumstance entitled to the Service Franchise?

THE SOLICITOR GENERAL FOR SCOTLAND (Sir C. PEARSON,) Edinburgh and St. Andrews Universities

The Service Franchise was first introduced by the Act referred to in the hon. Member's question. In so far as the Parliamentary Franchise is concerned, that Act has been held to refer to males only. I am by no means prepared to say that subsequent legislation has not extended the Service Franchise to women in regard to elections other than Parliamentary, for which they are otherwise qualified.