§ 37. Sir W. Darling
asked the Secretary of State for Scotland if he is aware that some thousand votes were spoilt in the last Election by the failure of the presiding officer to put the official stamp on the ballot paper; and if he will take steps to prevent such irregularities in future Elections.
I am informed that the total number of ballot papers rejected for want of the official franking in Scottish constituencies at the recent General Election was 1,849. In no case was the number sufficient to affect the result. I have no doubt that returning officers, who are responsible for conducting the Elections, are fully alive to the importance of securing that ballot papers are properly stamped, but my Department will be discussing with them shortly the general experience of the Election and will certainly discuss this point with them.
§ Sir W. Darling
Will the right hon. Gentleman bear in mind that nine votes in the House of Commons are just as important as nine in the constituencies?