HC Deb 15 April 1958 vol 586 cc16-7
21. Mr. K. Robinson

asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies how many persons have been registered as entitled to vote in the Bermuda General Election; and what proportion of the adult population the figure represents.

Mr. Lennox-Boyd

The number is 5,675, which represents 23.76 per cent. of the adult population of the Colony. I am sorry for the discrepancy between this figure and the figure given by my hon. Friend the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State in reply to the hon. Member's Question on 27th February that 6,048 persons were registered on 22nd February. The latter figure did not take account of the fact that a number of persons are entitled, under local legislation, to more than one vote.

Mr. Robinson

Does the right hon. Gentleman not agree that a property qualification which disfranchises about three-quarters of the adult population is hardly in keeping with modern Commonwealth thinking? Does not the right hon. Gentleman's experience in the Bahamas suggest that there may be a case for introducing constitutional reform in advance of trouble breaking out?

Mr. Lennox-Boyd

This is a matter for Bermuda. I know of no widespread demand in Bermuda for a change in the franchise qualifications.

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