§ THE EARL OF DENBIGH
My Lords, this Bill, the Second Reading of which I now move, is one which is made necessary by the Irish Local Government Bill, which wall come up to your Lordships in due course. It is a Bill which should pass through Parliament as soon as possible, as it is necessary to make rules for carrying out registration before local government can be established, and it, is intended to issue the precepts with regard to these different rules by the 1st Juno. I will ask your Lordships to note that this Bill in no way prejudges the electorate which will elect the local government in Ireland. It merely provides the machinery whereby the persons whom the electors may decide upon will be elected when the time comes. The first clause provides that the lists of Parliamentary electors in Ireland shall be made up from poor-law electoral divisions, instead of from Parliamentary polling districts; and I would say no more about that, my Lords, except to note that under the Local Government Act, as introduced in another place, the poor-law electoral divisions will be the unit upon which the whole of the registration of the country wall be based. Then it provides that a supplementary list shall be prepared in addition to the Parliamentary register, and on this supplementary list will appear the names of the peers and women who are to be the voters, in addition to the Parliamentary 542 voters, to elect the members of the local government in Ireland. It is provided in one sub-section that such entry on the supplementary list shall not of itself confer any right to vote; but that, my Lords, is merely a protective proviso to indicate that this Registration Bill in no way confers any right to vote, which will, of course, be provided by the Local Government Bill. Sub-section 3 deals with the fact that at the present moment any alteration of a poor law electoral division made by the Local Government Board has to be an alteration made for all purposes, but it is not intended to alter the poor-law electoral division as a rating area until the Local Government Act comes into force. This Bill merely deals with the question of providing the electoral machinery. Subsection 4 provides that any additional expense beyond what is now provided out of the Consolidated Fund shall be raised upon the country as a whole, and sub-section 5 provides that the Lord Lieutenant in Council may make the rules for carrying out the registration machinery. I do not think, my Lords, that there is anything else to be said with regard to this Bill, which I believe passed through another place with very little comment being made upon it. I beg to move the Second Reading of this Bill.
My Lords, if I thought there would be anyone to go into the lobby with me I should be delighted to divide against this Bill for two reasons. The first reason is that this Bill is part and parcel of the last Act of destruction which is passing through another place, and the other reason is that it gives votes to women, which is a most pernicious practice. The principle of giving votes to women in Ireland is—
§ THE EARL OF DENBIGH
May I interrupt the noble Viscount, and point out that this Bill does not give any votes to women? It is expressly provided in the clauses that the entering of the names on the supplementary list does not confer any right to vote. This right will be given by the Local Government Bill.
What I protest against is that women should have votes at all, and I think the noble Earl's objection to what I said is somewhat captious. I object to women having votes anywhere, especially in Ireland, because a vote given to a woman in Ireland is a vote in the priest's pocket. I do not think that is a good thing for Ireland. They are going to have their own way a great deal more than is good for the country, and if I thought anybody would come into the Lobby with me I would divide against the Bill.
§ Motion agreed to.