HC Deb 28 June 1962 vol 661 c1336
7. Mrs. Castle

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department (Central African Office) whether he will extend the period for the registration of voters in Northern Rhodesia till 31st July, 1962.

Mr. R. A. Butler

I see no reason to extend the period of registration, especially as to do so would jeopardise the date of the election.

Mrs. Castle

Has the right hon. Gentleman studied the representation which I sent to him recently from the United National Independence Party in which it said that registration, particularly of the lower roll voters, could not be adequately achieved by 30th June, partly owing to the complexity of the franchise—which even the registration officers themselves did not properly understand—and partly because registration could only effectively begin on 1st May because of the delay caused by the Federal elections? Is it not necessary that this party should be given the fullest possible opportunity to register its voters?

Mr. Butler

Yes, there is a lot to be said for that, but one or two arguments exist on the other side. First, with one week for registration still to go, some 35,000 upper roll and 68,000 lower roll voters have already been registered. That compares with the estimated figures of 30,000 and 70,000, so it is not too bad. On present plans registration ends on the 30th of this month and the lists must then be made up before considering delimitation. Bearing in mind the hon. Lady's representations, the greater evil would be to postpone the elections.

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