HC Deb 30 May 1945 vol 411 cc214-5
48. Mr. McNeil

asked the Prime Minister if, where 5th July is a public holiday as in such Scottish constituencies as at Greenock, he will take the necessary steps to permit polling taking place not later than 12th July, providing always that no party involved in the Election objects to the proposed change.

The Prime Minister

I am in favour of this sort of suggestion, and not only as regards Scotland, and propose to arrange for it to be discussed—in fact I think it it going to be discussed to-day—through the usual channels, as soon as the necessary information has been obtained as to what constituencies are affected.

Mr. McNeil

While we are all grateful for this most generous and reasonable attitude, will the Prime Minister do everything he can to speed a decision, because so many other arrangements depend upon it?

The Prime Minister

Yes, Sir, I was, until a late hour last night, talking about it. Having regard to the altogether abnormal and undue length of this Election, there will be plenty of time to deal with this very point.

Sir Ronald Ross

Will the Prime Minister remember that 12th July is a much more important holiday?

The Prime Minister

No solution to which I shall be a party will involve an Election in Northern Ireland on 12th July.

Sir H. Williams

As the matter involves legislation in any case, will the Prime Minister consider the alternative which has been suggested on several occasions of a wide extension of absent voting on the basis of a person being an absent voter up to ten days before the poll? That would solve a vastly greater number of problems than voting on different days.

The Prime Minister

I should have thought, after some consideration of this matter, that that would plunge us all into hopeless chaos.

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