HC Deb 06 February 1913 vol 48 cc169-70

Lords Amendment: Leave out Subsection (1), and insert instead thereof, the following:—

"(1) The requisition for a poll shall be made upon a requisition paper which shall be in the form set out in Schedule I. of this Act, and shall be signed by not less than one-tenth of the electors in the area. On the written demand of ten electors made not earlier than the fifteenth day of August or later than the twenty-fifth day of August next preceding the date on which a poll can be taken under this Act a requisition paper shall be prepared by the clerk to the local authority who shall forthwith insert in not less than two newspapers circulating in the district a notice that such paper is being publicly exhibited at his office, or at such fit and convenient place within the area to which the requisition applies as he shall in such notice specify for signature and inspection until the thirtieth day of the next following month of September when it will be removed. If the requisition paper shall be found by the local authority to have been duly signed by not less than one-tenth of the electors in the area, the clerk to the local authority shall thereupon insert in not less than two newspapers circulating in the area a notice that such requisition has been duly signed."


I beg to move, "That this House doth disagree with the Lords in the said Amendment."

It is an Amendment providing that the requisition should be signed at the Public Office or at some convenient place. If the Public Office might. not be within the area, and it might be a considerable distance from the area which was to vote, I do not think it at all necessary that the electors, merely to sign a requisition, should have to go to the office or some other place. It must be remembered that the elector is not affected by the requisition, which only indicates that there is a demand for a poll, and before he can make his opinion effective in any way, he has to go to the poll in the usual way. The Government does not think it necessary that there should be such elaborate and difficult machinery, and certainly could not consent to having a notice exhibited at the office of the local authority which, in a rural district, might be a very long way from the actual area in which a vote is to be taken.


I regret that the right hon. Gentleman does not see his way to accept this Amendment, because it is intended to prevent polls from being taken unnecessarily and redundantly. The idea is that the people who are really and sincerely desirous of taking the trouble to vote, should have a requisition promoted asking that a poll should be taken. I think it is a very great pity that the right hon. Gentleman does not accept this proposal which is an immense improvement.

The House agreed with certain verbal Amendments of the Lords.

The House disagreed with further Lords (Consequential) Amendments.

Lords Amendment: After Clause insert the following new Clause:—