HC Deb 17 May 1928 vol 217 cc1188-9

asked the Home Secretary whether he is aware that the preparation of the new register of electors involved by the Representation of the People (Equal Franchise) Bill will increase the registration expenditure of the county and borough councils concerned by approximately 45 per cent. in the first year; and that in November last the County Councils Association unanimously expressed the view that, pending a material improvement in the financial position of the country, there should be some restriction of legislation which imposes upon local authorities duties involving new and substantial local expenditure; and whether, in view of the existing burden on the ratepayers, he is prepared to increase to 75 per cent. the Exchequer share of the cost of the first new register?


I am aware of the facts as stated, but I have no power to increase the Exchequer share of the cost of registration, which was fixed at 50 per cent. so recently as 1918, by the Representation of the People Act.


In view of the very disappointing answer which my right hon. Friend has given, may I ask him whether he would be prepared to accompany a deputation of the County Councils Association to the Chancellor of the Exchequer, in order to get justice on this very important point?


I think it is unusual to ask a Minister to go on a deputation to a colleague, but I shall be very glad to hear what luck my hon. Friend has with the Chancellor of the Exchequer.