§ 25. Mr. Keeling
asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department whether he will introduce legislation to alter the law which enables a person absent from home because of detention in prison to vote by post but does not allow a person absent from home on holiday to do so.
§ Mr. Keeling
Does the right hon. Gentleman remember what he said on Tuesday night, when he held out hope that this matter would be put right? Would he bear in mind the absurdity in the present law whereby if one goes to prison in one's own borough one has no vote, while if one goes to prison outside one's borough one has a vote?
§ 26. Mr. Marlowe
asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department what recommendation has been made by the electoral committee at his Department regarding the question of perforating instead of embossing the voting paper with the official mark; and whether he is giving effect to this recommendation.
§ Mr. Marlowe
Can the right hon. Gentleman form any estimate of the expense? If so, how much would it be? Does the right hon. Gentleman recollect how many votes were spoiled at the last election through the embossed stamp not appearing on the voting paper?
§ 27. Mr. Marlowe
asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department whether he has considered the proposal that a reminder be sent to householders and others who do not complete electoral registration form A, warning them that a fine may be imposed for failure to complete the form; and what conclusion he has reached.
§ 28. Mr. Marlowe
asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department whether his Department's electoral committee has now arrived at any conclusion with regard to the proposal to re-open the electoral register for a limited period to allow late application for registration by persons qualified for inclusion on the present register but inadvertently omitted.
§ Mr. Marlowe
Would the right hon. Gentleman not reconsider the matter in view of the fact that the October Register will not be prepared this year owing to the mishandling of our financial situation by the Government? Does he not think that he ought to take this step in order to allow people to get on the Register?
§ 29. Mr. Erroll
asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department what recommendations were made by the electoral conference at the Home Office regarding the need that the two envelopes used in postal voting should be more clearly distinguished; and whether he is giving effect to this recommendation.
§ Mr. Erroll
While thanking the Minister for taking action in this matter, may I ask whether he could not substitute two alternative letters, since "A" and "B" are very much overworked in all official communications?
§ 30. Mr. Sutcliffe
asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department what conclusion he has reached with regard to the proposal that the electoral regulations should provide for each candidate's agent to be supplied with a copy of the list of absent voters.
§ Mr. Ede
I have not felt able to make this obligatory, because I am advised that some electoral registration officers would find it impossible to produce enough copies for the purpose in the short time available for preparing the list for an election. I propose, however, to ask registration officers to have the lists duplicated and supply copies to candidates wherever practicable.
§ Mr. Sutcliffe
Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that this does not really meet the position? Would he reconsider the matter with a view to including the provision in the regulations, if possible, because some returning officers are not complying?
§ 31. Mr. John Hay
asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department whether he has considered the proposal made to him that electoral registration officers should be required to send electors' lists to citizen's advice bureaux and libraries for exhibition; and what conclusion he has reached.
§ 35. Mr. Keeling
asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department whether he will arrange for special constables of the Metropolitan Police to be called up on polling day, so that so far as possible a regular or special constable may be on duty at every polling station throughout the poll.
§ Mr. Ede
The arrangements for attendance of police at polling stations must have regard to the manpower available, which may not permit a constable to be posted throughout the poll at every polling station. The Commissioner of Police has no power to call up special constables for this purpose, but at the last General Election volunteers were called for and 50 per cent. of the total strength of the Metropolitan Special Constabulary did duty.
§ Mr. Keeling
Would the Home Secretary consider sending out a circular to all police forces suggesting—I know he has no power—a similar course, which would certainly reduce the risk of personation, of which, judging by the number of cases that were caught, there was quite a lot at the last General Election?
§ 41. Mr. Sutcliffe
asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department whether he has considered the proposal made to him that the electors' lists and register for every town should have an index of streets; and what instructions he has issued.
§ 42. Mr. Sutcliffe
asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department what arrangements he has made for fuller 678 publicity to be given by the British Broadcasting Corporation to the principles and requirements of electoral registration.
§ Mr. Sutcliffe
Will the right hon. Gentleman bear in mind that a good deal more can be done in this way than was done at the last election?