§ Order of the Day for the Second Reading, read.
THE LORD PRIVY SEAL (Lord TWEEDMOUTH)
My Lords, this Bill is introduced by the Local Government Board in order to give effect to the provisions with regard to the elections required under the Local Government (England) Act which received your Lordships' assent in the early part of this Session. Those elections are for District and Parish Councillors, for Guardians, and for London Vestrymen and auditors. The Bill when in the House of Commons 335 was referred after Second Reading to a Select Committee, and was passed without further objection. The date named in the Local Government Bill for the first elections this year was the 8th of November, or such later date as the Local Government Board might determine. If the law remained unaltered, at present the period for revising the rolls would be from the 8th of September to the 10th October, and the new Register would not come into force until the 1st January next year. This Bill proposes that the period of revision should be from the 3rd of September to the 22nd of September, and that the new Register should come into force on the 30th of November this year. This, of course, would require some increase of machinery, and the Bill, therefore, makes arrangements for the appointment of an additional number of revising barristers, the expense of which addition will fall not on the local authorities, but will be borne by the State. I ask your Lordships now to read the Bill a second time.
§ Moved, "That the Bill be now read 2a."—(The Lord Tweedmouth.)
§ LORD HALSBURY
My Lords, I rise not in the least for the purpose of opposing this Bill, because I presume your Lordships on both sides of the House desire to see the object for which it is introduced carried out. I only wish to suggest to the noble Lord who is in charge of the Bill that whoever drafted the Bill was apparently not practically familiar with registration; and, if he will permit me, I will endeavour to point out the difficulties and suggest amendments which will make the measure workable. I do not think it is in a workable form at present. I mention that to the noble Lord in order that he may consult his draftsman, and see whether the Bill cannot be put into such a shape in Committee as will make it workable.
§ Motion agreed to; Bill read 2a accordingly, and committed to a Committee of the Whole House To-morrow.