HC Deb 16 April 1964 vol 693 cc585-6
28. Mr. Godman Irvine

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will introduce legislation to enable him to give directions to electoral registration officers regarding corrections to the Register of Electors.

Mr. Woodhouse

No, Sir. My right hon. Friend thinks it is important that the register, once published, should be final.

Mr. Godman Irvine

Is my hon. Friend aware that there is a case in my constituency where somebody has been excluded from the register entirely as a result of an error made in the offices of the local council? Would he not agree that in such cases some remedy should be afforded, and would he not further agree that this at least is something which should be on the list of things which he said were under consideration in the Home Office?

Mr. Woodhouse

I am aware of the case that my hon. Friend has mentioned. I am also aware that such cases arise from time to time, though fortunately they are extremely few. The fact is that my right hon. Friend has certain powers to make regulations and to give directions under the Representation of the People Act, 1949, but Home Secretaries have taken the view since that Act was passed that these powers should not be used and could not be used in cases of this kind and that the register once published should be treated as final.

Mr. H. Hynd

Is the hon. Gentleman aware that there is an opportunity to make corrections to the draft register? Would be consider giving greater publicity to that opportunity, perhaps by radio announcements, so that people would use that method of getting their names on if by any chance they had been missed out?

Mr. Woodhouse

The hon. Member is quite ht. That is a consideration to which I will certainly give attention.

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