HC Deb 24 November 1949 vol 470 cc521-2
44. Mr. Keeling

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department whether he will substitute the heading "Christian or other fore names" for the heading "Forenames" when reprinting the electoral registration form.

71. Sir Jocelyn Lucas

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he is aware of the offence given to a large number of persons by reason of the substitution of the word "Forenames" instead of "Christian Names" on the voting registers; and whether, in future, the words "Christian or Forenames" can be used rather than "Forenames" only.

Mr. Ede

The answer is, "Yes, Sir."

Mr. Keeling

Does the Home Secretary agree that in this country the feelings and susceptibilities of Christians deserve consideration at least as much as the feelings of non-Christians; and that it was unfortunate that the heading "Forenames" was ever adopted, perhaps without his knowledge.

Mr. Ede

I think that the susceptibilities of all sections of the community should be considered in these matters. There is no doubt that "Forenames" is a correct legal description, but I am aware that some people, who would deny me, for instance, the use of Christian names, do feel very strongly about the matter, and I have arranged that in future all susceptibilities shall be met.