HC Deb 27 June 1917 vol 95 cc421-3

(1) Two registers of electors shall be prepared in every year, of which one (in this Act referred to as the spring register) shall be made for the qualifying period ending on the fifteenth day of January and the other (in this Act referred to as the autumn register) shall be made for the qualifying period ending on the fifteenth day of July.

(2) The spring register shall come into force on the commencement of the fifteenth day of April and remain in force until the fifteenth day of October, and the autumn register shall come into force on the commencement of the fifteenth day of October and remain in force until the fifteenth day of April.

(3) If for any reason the registration officer fails to compile a fresh spring or autumn register for his area or any part of his area, the register in force at the time when the fresh register should have come into force shall continue to operate as the register for the area in respect of which default has been made.


I beg to move, at the end of the Clause, to insert the following new Sub-section: (4) This Section shall not apply to university constituencies. It is perfectly clear from reading the Bill that the provisions as to registration were never intended to apply in any way to the system of registration in any of the universities. Take the Universities of Oxford and Cambridge. Provision as to registration is made by a series of rules and Statutes in the two universities. The representation depends on an ancient charter granted by James I to the two universities in 1604. In Dublin the provisions depended originally on a charter granted nine years afterwards, also by James I., to the ancient Corporation of the Provost and Fellows and Scholars of Trinity College. Under the Reform Act of 1832 provision was made extending the electorate to all persons who took the degree of M.A. or any higher degree. Ever since these provisions have been regulated in the series of Statutes relating to Trinity College, Dublin, everyone of which is most carefully preserved in the Schedule of this Act. In London University provision is made by Statute for the register, and the members of convocation of the university are the electors. The provisions of these Statutes are not affected by this Bill. The case of the Scottish universities is also provided for by Statute, and the Scottish register is framed under Statute of 1868, modified by the amending Act of 1881. None of these Acts are affected by this Bill. All the university members have most carefully considered this matter. We understand that it would meet the wishes of His Majesty's Government, as being the best thing to do, to leave all these universities to their old systems, which will not cause any confusion. They are provided for by a series of different Statutes, and they will have no difficulty whatsoever in admitting to the register different gentlemen or ladies who may take degrees, and accordingly become qualified under this Act. This Amendment will also have to be extended through the whole series of Clauses down to 14, which would be introduced in a new form.


There is no difference between my hon. Friend and the Government as to what is intended. We do not intend this Clause to apply to universities, nor do we intend the other Clauses in this part of the Bill to apply to universities. That being so, it is better not to insert these words in all these Clauses, but we will undertake to bring in a new Clause that will cover the whole of Part II. With this explanation I hope that my hon. Friend will be satisfied.


Certainly. I desire to withdraw my Amendment.

Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.

Clause ordered to stand part of the Bill.