§ 40. Mr. T. JOHNSTON
asked the Secretary for Scotland why the rolls of electors for the county of Stirling differ from the rolls of other Scotch counties, inasmuch as there has been no insertion of the words Mrs. or Miss before the names of women electors on the rolls; if he is aware that every political organisation in the county has petitioned for the insertion of the missing designation; and if, in order to avoid the confusion and annoyance which at present obtains, he will give instructions to have the Stirlingshire rolls brought into conformity with the rolls of other counties?
The reason for the difference to which my hon. Friend refers probably is that previous practice has been followed. There is no rule on the subject. As regards the second part of the question, a representation by the party agents in East Stirlingshire urging that the designations referred to should be inserted in the register was brought to the notice of the Secretary for Scotland last year; but, in view of the additional expense which would be involved, and the 1996 fact that the insertion of these designations did not appear to be necessary for registration and election purposes, he was not prepared to move in the matter. If my hon. Friend will give some information as to the confusion and annoyance alleged to be caused by the present practice, my right hon. Friend will consider further whether he can properly take the matter up in connection with the expiry of the present printing contracts.
§ Mr. JOHNSTON
Why was it considered necessary in every other county in Scotland to insert the designation?
This is a matter that is not a practice, but if the hon. Member will supply further information, I have no doubt the Secretary for Scotland will consider the matter further.