§ MR. H. C. F. LUTTRELL (Devon, Tavistock)
I beg to ask the President of the Local Government Board whether he is aware that the effect of the new orders issued for the holding of parish council elections will be to render ineligible for election on 18th March all those who have entered into residence on 25th March 1896, 25th March being the day upon which most people in rural districts enter into residence; whether he will take steps to have this disqualification removed; and whether he will remove the new difficulty which the orders place in the way of electors who may desire a poll?
§ MR. T. W. RUSSELL
Having regard to the statutory provisions as to the first meeting of a parish council after their election and the notice required to be given of such meeting, the Local Government Board were obliged to fix a date earlier than 25th March for the meeting for the election of parish councillors, so as to admit of the requisite time being given for the different proceedings in the case of a poll being demanded. The difficulty to which the hon. Member alludes could only be removed by legislation. With respect to the question as to the demand of a poll, the position of the Board in this matter is that they have not themselves in their order made any provision on the subject, but have left the question to the operation of the statute itself.