HC Deb 10 February 1915 vol 69 cc579-81

asked the Home Secretary why no public notice was given of the intention of the Welsh Commissioners to hold ballots in the border parishes?


The Commissioners considered that public notice was unnecessary. I would refer the hon. Member to my answer of 3rd February on this subject.


asked how the register of persons entitled to vote in the border parish elections under the Welsh Church Act was formed; by whom it was prepared; and to whom it was submitted for verification?

88 and 89. Mr. HARRIS

asked (1) how many persons were employed by the Welsh Commissioners in taking the ballot of the border parishes; whether they all had experience of conducting an election; what were their respective occupations; and what did they receive in payment for this business; and (2) by whom the distribution of the voting papers in the border parishes was carried out, and how the Welsh Commissioners selected these distributors?


I will answer these three questions, relating to the same matter, together. As regards the persons entitled to vote, I would refer the hon. Members to the answer which I gave to the hon. Member for Oswestry on the 4th February. As regards the other points raised, I am informed that by permission of the Registrar-General the machinery of the Census of 1911, in so far as it was applicable, was used by the Commissioners in ascertaining the wishes of parishioners, and that the local registrar of births and deaths undertook to distribute the voting papers among those qualified to vote. For this purpose the local registrars appointed enumerators to assist them and the fees paid the registrars and enumerators were fixed with reference to the scale of fees paid to those officers at the Census. The total number of registrars employed was nineteen, and of enumerators fifty-three.

90. Mr. MOUNT

asked what measures have been taken to have the votes in the border parishes taken under the Welsh Church Act counted by representatives selected by either party concerned?


I am informed that no such measures have been, or are intended to be, taken.

91. Mr. MOUNT

asked if Section 11 (4) of the Welsh Church Act imposes upon the Commissioners the necessity of drawing up rules to govern their procedure in taking a ballot of the border parishes and having such rules passed by His Majesty in Council; and why this Section has not been observed?


The answer to the first part of the question is in the negative; the second part therefore does not arise.

92. Mr. MOUNT

asked whether it is usual to arrange ballot papers with the names in alphabetical order; and why the Welsh Commissioners put Wales before England in the ballot papers issued in the border parishes under the Welsh Church Act?


I am informed by the Welsh Church Commissioners that it did not occur to them that any significance could attach to the order of the two words "Wales" and "England" in the voting papers, and that no affront to England was intended.


asked whether, in the parish of Saltney, the voting papers were entrusted by the Welsh Church Commissioners to one man only; what is his profession; what were his qualifications; and what notice was given to those entitled to vote that ballot papers could only be obtained from this gentleman?


The procedure in the parish of Saltney was the same as that followed elsewhere, and was as described in the reply which I have given to-day to previous questions.


Can the right hon. Gentleman tell me the profession of this gentleman?


I could not without notice, unless it is contained in the answer I have already given.


I beg to give notice that, in consequence of the very unsatisfactory replies to this and other questions, I shall raise this matter on the Adjournment of the House to-night.