§ This Act shall apply to Ireland subject to the following modifications:1960
§ (1) References to the Lord Chancellor shall be construed references to the Lord Chancellor of Ireland.
§ The Lord Chancellor of Ireland shall not sit as a member of the Court of Appeal on the hearing of appeals hum the County Court under this Act.
§ (3) The Clerk of the Crown and Peace for an administrative county shall be the registration officer for any registration area which is coterminous with, or the whole or greater part of which is contained in, the administrative county, and the council of that county shall be the council by which the registration expenses of that registration officer are to be paid subject in cases where the registration area is not coterminous with or wholly contained in the administrative county to such contribution by the council of any other administrative county as the Local Government Board for Ireland may direct: Provided that the registration expenses to be paid by a council shall not include any charges for trouble, care, and attention, in the performance of duties which arc performed by the registration officer in person.
§ The registration expenses shall be paid in the case of the council of a county borough out of the rate or fund out of which the general expenses of the council are paid, or out of any other rate or fund which the Local Government Board may on the application of the council approve, and in the case of a council of any other administrative county out of the poor rate as a county at. large charge, except in cases to which Section twelve of the Parliamentary Registration (Ireland) Act, 1885, applies:
§ (5) For the purposes of appeals from the registration officer, and also for the purpose of the revision of jurors' lists, the powers and jurisdiction of the County Court shall, unless and until the Lord Lieutenant otherwise direct, be exercised, as respects the Parliamentary borough of Dublin, by the persons who are at the time of the passing of this Act Dublin revising barristers, and as respects the Parliamentary county of Dublin by the person who is at the time of the passing of this Act revising barrister for that county; but while those powers are so exercised the provisions of this Act as to County Courts shall apply to them as they apply to County Courts.1961
§ (7) The expression "administrative county" includes a county borough, and the expression "overseer" means a town clerk, secretary of a county council, clerk of an urban district council, an existing clerk of the union, within the meaning of the Local Government (Ireland) Act, 1898, and a collector of poor rate.
§ (8) Notwithstanding the limit imposed in Sub-section (2) of Section twenty-seven of the County Officers and Courts (Ireland) Act, 1877, the salaries of Clerks of the Crown and Peace may be increased by orders made under that Subsection to such extent as appears to the Lord Lieutenant and Council, with the concurrence of the Treasury, to be proper, having regard to the additional duties imposed on those officers by this Act.
§ (9) The reference to the local authority having power to divide any Parliamentary county or Parliamentary borough into polling districts shall be construed in the case of a Parliamentary borough as a reference to the council of the municipal borough, and in the case of a Parliamentary county as a reference to the council of the administrative county which is coterminous with, or includes the whole or greater part of the Parliamentary county, and any existing powers in that behalf of a municipal borough council or county council shall be extended accordingly and shall be exercisable as respects the whole of the Parliamentary borough or the Parliamentary county a-s the case may be.
§ (10) Part IV. of this Act, and the provisions with respect to an urban district which is coterminous with, or wholly contained in, a registration area, or with respect to the persons who are to be returning officers, or with respect to the discharge of returning officers' duties by an acting returning officer or with respect to the right to the use of elementary schools, shall not apply.
§ (11) (a) The qualifying period shall be a period of six months ending on the fifteenth day of July and including that day:
§ Provided that one month shall be substituted for six months in the application of this provision to a person who has been serving as a member of the naval or military forces of the Crown at any time during the said six months;1962
§ (b) One register of electors shall only be made in each year, and all provisions applicable to the autumn register shall apply as respects the yearly register (except that the yearly register shall remain in force until the fifteenth day of October in the next following year), and the provisions as to the preparation of two registers in each year and as to the spring register shall not apply.
§ (12) The yearly value of premises shall be taken to be the rateable value where these premises are separately valued, and in any other case shall be deemed to be the amount which would, in the opinion of the registration officer, be the rateable value if they were separately valued.
§ Lords Amendments:
§ In Sub-section (1), leave out the words "of Ireland."—Agreed to.
§ In Sub-section (3), after the word "county" ["The Clerk of the Crown and Peace for an administrative county"], insert the words "not being a county borough."—Agreed to.
§ Leave out the words "registration area" ["registration area which is coterminous with"], and insert instead thereof the words "Parliamentary county."—Agreed to.
§ After the word "county" ["greater part of which is contained in the administrative county"], insert the words "and for any Parliamentary borough of which the whole or greater part is contained in the administrative county and no part is contained in a county borough, and the Clerk of the Crown and Peace for a county borough shall be the registration officer for any Parliamentary borough which is coterminous with or the whole or any part of which is contained in the county borough."
§ Lords Amendment read a second time.
§ Mr. BOLAND
I beg to move, as an Amendment to the Lords Amendment, at the end, to add the words,
"Provided also that the person who, at the passing of this Act, is town clerk for the county borough of Dublin shall, so long as he holds that office, be the registration officer for the Parliamentary borough of Dublin, and that the last preceding proviso shall not apply in his case."
There are two Amendments upon the Order Paper in the names of my hon. Friend the Member for North Dublin 1963 (Mr. Clancy) and myself. I understand that the Government cannot see their way to accept the first, but are willing to accept the second, which I therefore move. We had thought, when this matter had gone through another place, that the objections which had been put forward in this House would have been met. I regret very much that they have not been met, but under the circumstances, and seeing that the Government are willing to accept the second Amendment, I beg to move it, and express the hope that it will be carried.
§ Mr. DUKE
This Amendment arises out of a question which has given rise to a very disproportionate amount of discussion in the House and of controversy outside. If there had been agreement among the representatives in the boroughs, I should have been content to have accepted the result, but there was no such agreement, and it is therefore quite impossible to accept the proposal that in each of the county boroughs the town clerk shall be the registration officer. As I promised, I inquired most carefully into the wishes of the various communities concerned, and I am satisfied now, as I was then, that it would not be proper on my part to assent to that course. So far as the city of Dublin is concerned, all the members for the city support this proposal. I gather that in Dublin there is a very considerable degree of local feeling that it would be in the interests of effective registration there and the cheerful co-operation of the body of officials in the work of registration, which might be hindered by a different course, if I were to assent to the proposal that the present town clerk of Dublin should be the registration officer of Dublin while he holds that office. I may say that I should not have been content to go that length if I had not known, as, indeed, I have said on former occasions, that no man could more efficiently discharge these duties than the town clerk of Dublin. In view of the state of local feeling, and of the desire to promote efficiency by getting the cheerful co-operation of everybody concerned, whereas otherwise it might be a grudging co-operation, I am ready to accept the proposal of my hon. Friend. But this must be clearly understood, that the acceptance of this Amendment throws 1964 no sort of reflection on the capacity, or the fitness of the Clerk of the Crown and Peace, who would otherwise have discharged these duties. It is a mere concession to the desire, for local and personal reasons, of the citizens of Dublin. I would point out to the hon. Member that the point at which the Amendment should come is at the end of the first paragraph of Sub-section (3).
§ Mr. SPEAKER
Perhaps the hon. Member (Mr. Boland) will withdraw the Amendment now and bring it up at the right place.
§ Amendment to the Lords Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.
§ Lords Amendment agreed to.
§ Lords Amendments:
§ In Sub-section (3), leave out the word "county" ["and the council of that. county shall be"], and insert instead thereof the words "administrative county or county borough, as the case may be."—Agreed to.
§ Leave out the words "registration. area" ["in cases where the registration. area is not coterminous"], and insert instead thereof the words "Parliamentary county or "Parliamentary borough.''—Agreed to.
§ After the word "county" ["or wholly contained in the administrative county"], insert the words "or county borough, as the case may be."—Agreed to.
§ After the word "county" ["other administrative county as the Local Government Board"], insert the words "or county borough."—Agreed to.
§ Leave out the words "for Ireland" ["Local Government Board for Ireland."]—Agreed to.
§ Mr. BOLAND
I beg to move, in Subsection (3), after the word "person" ["which are performed by the registration officer in person"], to insert the words.
"Provided also that the person who, at the passing of this Act, is town clerk for the county borough of Dublin shall, so long as he holds that office, be the registration officer for the Parliamentary borough of Dublin, and that the List preceding proviso shall not apply in his case."
§ Amendment agreed to.
§ Lords Amendments:
§ At the end of Sub—section (3), insert as separate paragraphs,1965
§ "(c) In the event of any vacancy in the office of registration officer or in the event of the registration officer's incapacity to act, the powers and duties of the registration officer may be exercised and performed by any person temporarily appointed in that behalf by the Lord Chancellor.
§ (d) The power of advancing sums to a registration officer on account of registration expenses shall be exercisable by the council by which those expenses are to be paid.
§ (e) This Section, in its application to the county of Tipperary, shall have effect as if each Parliamentary division of the county were a separate Parliamentary county, and as if the Clerk of the Crown and Peace for the entire county were Clerk of the Crown and Peace for the administrative counties of the North Riding and the South Riding respectively."—Agreed to.
§ In Sub-section (5), leave out the word "them" ["shall apply to them as they apply"], and insert instead thereof the words "those persons."—Agreed to.
§ At the end of Sub-section (5), insert the words "with the necessary modifications and in particular with the modification that assistant judges may be appointed to assist those persons if, in the opinion of the Lord Chancellor, such appointment is necessary in order to enable the appeals to be disposed of with proper dispatch."—Agreed to.
§ In Sub-section (7), leave out the words, "The expression 'the administrative county' includes a county borough, and."—Agreed to.
§ After the word "expression" ["and the expression overseer' "], insert the word "assistant."—Agreed to.
§ At the end of Sub-section (8), insert the words, "Provided that the liability of a clerk of the Crown and Peace to account for sums other than registration expenses received by him as registration officer shall not extend to any such increase of salary."—Agreed to.
§ Leave out Sub-section (9), and insert instead thereof as a new Sub-section,
§ "(9) The provisions with respect to the division of a constituency into polling districts and provision of polling places shall have effect with the following modifications:
- (a) A reference to the council by which the registration expenses of the registration officer for any constituency are to be paid shall be substituted for the reference to the council whose clerk the registration officer for any constituency is, or by whom the registration officer is appointed.
- (b) The powers of a council under the said provisions shall be exercised in accordance with rules made by the Local Government Board, and any exercise of the powers shall be subject to confirmation by that Board who may confirm the proposed division, appointment, or alteration either with or without modifications, or may withhold confirmation.
- (c) The Board may cause a local inquiry to be held as respects any questions arising in connection with the said provisions, and Article thirty-two of the Schedule to the Local Government (Application of Enactments) Order, 1898, shall apply to any such inquiry."—Agreed to.
§ In Sub-section (10), after the word "officer" ["duties by an acting returning officer"], insert the words "or with respect to place of election."—Agreed to.
§ Mr. M. HEALY
I beg to move, in Subsection (10), after the word "schools," to insert the words "or with respect to freemen in boroughs."
I hope the right hon. Gentleman will see his way to accept this Amendment, which is consequential on an Amendment which this House made last night practically reviving in England the freeman franchise. The only effect of applying this to Ireland would be to apply it to boroughs. No one wants that. It is a quite unnecessary expense. English boroughs may desire something of this kind, but in Ireland nothing of the kind is necessary. There has not been a Freeman's List in Cork City prepared for thirty-five years. The remnants of the old list is brought forward year after year, and it is a dwindling list, and a new edition of it is practically never made. I should imagine that in Dublin there has not been such a list for six or seven years. On the question of machinery there is this to be said, that a freeman in order to vote need not live in the borough; he may live in it or within seven miles of it. Consequently when you are preparing a list you have to 1967 make special provision as to the freemen who are not resident in the borough. Take a divided borough. When a freeman does not live in the borough it is quite obvious that ha is a voter at large. The result of this Schedule will be that we have further Amendments reviving this antiquated provision in the franchise.
§ Mr. HEALY
I regard that as an additional objection. I thought the one thing we might hope for when the Bill was passed was uniformity of franchise. This Clause necessarily creates non-uniformity between county and borough, and the particular part of it to which the right hon. Gentleman points has the effect of creating a want of uniformity in different boroughs. I cannot but think it most objectionable that the right to the Parliamentary franchise should depend on anything but the Statute law. It is an entirely new principle in our legislation that a man's right to vote shall be decided otherwise than by law irrespective of any local determination. Before the Reform Act every borough' had its own franchise dependent on its charter. I cannot but think that the revival of that state of things is owing to the gentlemen who shed tears over the liverymen. I wonder they did riot put up a plea for the potwalloper, and seek to move our feelings on behalf of that estimable class of person who no longer figure in our electoral system. The. Government has not at all scrupled to make exceptions in the case of Ireland where it was thought necessary or desirable. In England you have under this Bill the right to hold your election meetings in schools, but. that right does not. extend to Ireland. This is a matter which has been sprung upon everyone. It was not. until late last night that I saw that there had been super-added to this livery proposal a general freeman's franchise. The thing has not been published. The Lords Amendments have not been generally set up in the newspapers. No one is aware of what is being done. This is a remnant of an obsolete past, and it is revived not. for any useful purpose, but simply because there is a cry raised in 1968 London about the liveryman. That is the root of the whole thing. Until the livery question was raised no one in England wanted the freemen's vote. Certainly no one in Ireland wanted it. Accordingly I take this opportunity of moving that this be one of the provisions of the Bill which shall not extend to Ireland.
§ Motion not seconded. Lords Amendments:
§ In Sub-section (11), after the word "person" ["a person who has been serving"], insert the words "who is a naval or military voter."—Agreed to.
§ Leave out the words "or military" ["naval or military forces"], and insert instead thereof the words "military or air."—Agreed to.
§ At the end of paragraph (a), insert the words "and has ceased so to serve."—Agreed to.
§ At the end of the Clause, insert as new Sub-sections,
§ "(13) A person shall not be entitled to be registered or vote for a Parliamentary county constituency in respect of a qualification in a Parliamentary borough constituency.
§ (14) The following proviso shall be substituted for the proviso at the end of Sub-section (2) of Section eight: 'Nothing in this provision shall prevent a person voting at an election to fill a casual vacancy in a borough council in any ward for which he is registered.' "—Agreed to.
§ After Clause 40, insert new Clause (Temporary Provision as to Revision of Constituencies and Registration).—Disagreed with.