HC Deb 29 October 1918 vol 110 cc1289-90

asked the President of the Local Government Board whether he is aware that a number of men on the new register of electors who have been and are being called up for naval and military service since the compilation of the register will be unable to vote at the forthcoming General Election, as their names are not on the absent voters' list; whether he is aware that registration officers are now receiving from these men the prescribed cards issued by the Naval, Army, and Air Forces, giving the particulars necessary for the insertion of their names on the absent voters' lists, but the registration officers have no authority to record their names thereon; and whether, in view of the fact that the absent voters' lists will be in process of correction in other respects up to a time immediately prior to the election, and that these men are already registered on the main register, the Government will take steps, by Order in Council or otherwise, to authorise registration officers to place their names on the absent voters' lists provided the necessary notifications relating to them are received in sufficient time before the election to enable this to be done?


Since the Debate on Thursday, in which this point was raised, my right hon. Friend has brought it before his Advisory Conference, and he hopes it may be possible to make some arrangements to meet the case of electors who have joined the forces since the absent voters' lists were printed.


Can the hon. Gentleman say whether this arrangement will be made before the General Election?


The arrangement will certainly be made as quickly as possible to take into account the case of all those who have joined the forces since 1st October.

73. Mr. HOLT

asked the President of the Local Government Board to what extent the estimate for expenses of returning officers at a General Election is increased by reason of the expense incurred in obtaining the votes of absent voters?


It is not practicable to form any reliable estimate of the expenditure to which the hon. Member refers. So far as England and Wales is concerned, the expenditure is on a scale provisionally approved by the Treasury, and will consist mainly of the extra remuneration for returning officers and assistants in connection with the issue of absent voters' ballot papers, declarations of identity, etc., and the dealing with these documents on return, but no definite figures can be stated at the present time.