HC Deb 15 October 1918 vol 110 cc17-8

asked the President of the Local Government Board whether he has seen the Report of the Debate in the Canadian Parliament concerning irregularities and doubts which arose in connection with the votes cast by Canadian soldiers abroad in the Canadian Parliamentary election; and whether he is prepared to take steps against the possibility of similar complaints arising if British soldiers are called on to vote in similar circumstances?


My right hon. Friend has seen the Report referred to. The system of absent voting in this country is very different from that under the Canadian Act, and does not lend itself to irregularities such as were alleged to have occurred in the Canadian election. Under the Canadian system the voter was allowed a discretion as to the constituency for which he voted, and many false declarations are alleged to have been made. It is alleged that persons other than the elector were allowed to fill in the name of the constituency, and even after the elector had voted the name of the constituency was altered upon the ballot envelope. Under our own method of voting the elector is entitled only because he is on the register of a particular constituency, and his vote cannot be recorded in any other constituency. Under these conditions the abuses alleged to have occurred in the Canadian election are not likely to arise.