§ Mr. Buchanan-Smith
I beg to move Amendment No. 44, in page 4, line 11, leave out 'section' and insert 'Act'.
The amendment makes provision for the appointment of deputy returning officers at the first ordinary elections in 1974. The only provision in the Bill for 288 the appointment of deputy returning officers is in Clause 6(2) which confers the power to appoint on returning officers "appointed under this section". Returning officers at the first ordinary election in 1974, however, will be appointed under the provisions of paragraph 3(1) of Schedule 2. The amendment ensures that these returning officers, as well as the returning officers who will be appointed subsequently under the provisions of Clause 6, will be empowered to appoint deputies.
It is particularly important that this power should be available for the first ordinary elections in 1974 since it is intended that the regional and district elections will be held on the same day and in the same polling stations and with the same presiding officers and clerks. In this situation it is expected that the regional returning officer will wish to appoint the district returning officer as his deputy and to delegate to him such of his duties as are necessary to enable a simultaneous poll to be held.
§ Amendment agreed to.