HC Deb 01 August 1944 vol 402 cc1146-7
18. Mr. Sorensen

asked the Secretary of State for War whether, in view of pictorial poster methods used to encourage war savings, he will employ this method to encourage soldiers to sign the forms issued for the compilation of the election register.

Sir J. Grigg

This suggestion is being considered.

Mr. Sorensen

Could the right hon. Gentleman say when some decision will be made about this matter?

Sir J. Grigg

The consideration has gone a good long way, and I think that there are posters in proof already.

Mr. Cocks

Would not an effective film be one of the right hon. Gentleman saying to the soldier, "Now is your chance of saying what you think about the War Office"?

25. Mr. Turton

asked the Secretary of State for War, how many proxy application forms A.Fs.B. 76 were completed under A.C.I. 271 of 1943; whether these are at present valid; and whether the attention of all ranks has been specially drawn to the effect on these proxies of the Parliament (Elections and Meeting) Act, 1943.

Sir J. Grigg

I regret that I am unable to give my hon. Friend the number of Army Forms B. 76 completed under A.C.I. 271 of 1943 as no records are kept. Proxy appointments made on this form are valid and will remain so until the new register under the Parliament (Elections and Meeting) Act, 1943, comes into operation. The 1939 Register and all proxy appointments made on that register will then lapse. The attention of all ranks has been drawn to the necessity of making new proxy appointments on A.F.B. 2626 so that their vote can still be exercised on their behalf if they are overseas at the time of an election.

Mr. Turton

Is my right hon. Friend aware that many men who have completed Form AB 76 are not filling up AB 2626 under the delusion that the form already completed was valid?

Sir J. Grigg

I will consider including a reference to that fact in the reminder that I have to send out before very long.

38. Mr. Hugh Lawson

asked the Secretary of State for War if duplicate copies of completed electoral registration forms from any personnel are kept at stations overseas until the originals have been received by electoral registration officers in this country, so as to prevent persons being disenfranchised due to the loss of mails.

Sir J. Grigg

No, Sir. Nor would this ensure that the personnel concerned were duly registered. The only way to do this would be to institute a system of acknowledging every form received from overseas. The difficulties in attempting to do this would certainly be formidable and probably insuperable.

Mr. Hugh Lawson

Is the right hon. Gentleman not aware that at least one station overseas makes an extra copy of these forms to be kept until the originals have been safely received in this country? Is it not important to take that little extra trouble to see that Service men's rights are safeguarded?

Sir J. Grigg

It is not a question of taking extra trouble at that end, but all I can say is that if you take that extra trouble it will not do any good.