§ House in Committee (according to order.)
§ Clause 5.
* THE PAYMASTER GENERAL (The Earl of JERSEY)
I have one Amendment in this clause. I beg to move that the words in page 2, line 14, after the word "and" be inserted, "In the case of a dwelling-house in Wales or the County of Monmouth." This is to make it perfectly clear that the persons referred to as speaking Welsh are only those living in Wales and Monmouthshire.
§ Amendment agreed to.1723
§ Clause 14.
§ * THE EARL OF POWIS
My Lords, we have been told that this Bill goes exactly on the lines of the Bill of 1880, but in this clause there is an important difference. In the Census Bill of 1880 the phrase used is "constable or other police officer for every parish," which, of course, restricts the use of rural constables to the local constables, and does not make the County Constabulary liable to be called in in addition to their present duties, which are extensive enough, to assist as enumerators. Now, I think it is very desirable that this phrase should be maintained, because the County Constabulary are much fewer in point of numbers than they are in Ireland, for instance, where they do this and every other sort of work; and it will be especially burdensome in the smaller Welsh counties where the number of county constables is very small in comparison with the area. It would be very undesirable that they should be taken away to act as enumerators, which would, of course, employ them, not only during the two days when the Returns are given out and taken back, but would give them a good deal of other employment. This makes but a very small apparent change, but its consequences would be considerable. In accordance, therefore, with the Act of 1880, the word "for" is used, and in page 14, line 24, I move, therefore, that the word "in" be struck out, and the word "for" substituted. We shall, probably, be told that this is a power which is only intended to be used in special circumstances, but the convenience of using drilled men for this work would be so great to the Department that, no donbt, the cases of pressure and necessity will be found to be very numerous, and it will aid greatly in establishing a practice which is not now the law of employing the constabulary for the purpose of doing census work.
§ Moved, in line 24, to leave out the word ("in,") and insert the word ("for.") —(The Earl of Powis.)
* THE EARL OF JERSEY
There is no intention on the part of the Loeal Government Board to employ the County Constabulary as regular enumerators, but those words were put in in order to provide for emergencies or pressure, and to 1724 meet difficulties in certain cases in which the overseers or relieving officers could not be got to act as enumerators. I wish to assure the noble Lord that the Local Government Board intend to employ the latter in the first instance, and it would only be in very exceptional cases that they would be called upon to employ the parish constables. I believe there are some parishes in which parish constables are not now chosen. I hope the noble Lord will not press his Amendment.
§ Amendment put, and negatived.
§ Report of the Amendment to be received to-morrow.