HC Deb 02 February 1979 vol 961 cc1930-1

Order read for resuming adjourned debate on Second Reading [19 January].

3.58 p.m.

Mr. Nicholas Edwards (Pembroke)

On a point of order, Mr. Deputy Speaker. The Minister was speaking when the Bill was talked out on the last occasion. I hesitate to rise because I do not know whether that speech is to be continued. If it is in order for me to continue, I shall do so, in the brief minute or so that is available.

The prime object of the Bill is to ensure that those who are on holiday have the opportunity to vote in elections. The Bill seeks to remove the obligation on those who are married to Service people to register as Service voters. That they should be recorded on the register as Service voters causes a certain amount of distress and objection.

These seem to be worthy and valid reasons for changing the law. A great deal of distress is caused at present because people who are away on holiday are not entitled to vote. I believe that the House should support this measure.

3.59 p.m.

The Under-Secretary of State for the Home Department (Dr. Shirley Summer-skill)

As the hon. Member for Pembroke (Mr. Edwards) said, my colleague the Minister of State was speaking to clause 1 of the Bill when the debate was adjourned. He was in the process of saying that the clause widened the criteria set out in the Representation—

It being Four o'clock, the debate stood adjourned.

Debate to be resumed on Friday next.