HC Deb 06 April 1955 vol 539 cc1170-1
53. Mr. Awbery

asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies if a person born in Singapore who has spent three years or more as a student in Great Britain is eligible under the electoral regulations to vote there and stand as a candidate at the coming elections; and what effect his residence in this country will have on his rights through the operation of the 10 years' residence qualification.

Mr. Lennox-Boyd

Anyone issued with an identity card on or before the 1st April, 1954, has been regarded as qualified to vote on residence grounds. A candidate for election must have resided in the Colony for a period of at least seven out of the last 10 years immediately before the date of his nomination for election and be resident in the Colony on that date. I cannot express an opinion on the legal interpretation of this provision, which is a matter for the courts of the Colony.

Mr. Awbery

Is the Minister aware that there was a general feeling of dissatisfaction in Singapore before the election took place last Saturday, because candidates who had been in this country for three years during the previous 10 years were threatened with disqualification if they had been elected? Could the Minister now make it clear that men who have been in this country for three years out of the past 10 will be eligible to sit in the Legislature in Singapore?

Mr. Lennox-Boyd

I think that everyone, including the hon. Gentleman, might profit by reading my answer, which was very carefully considered.