HL Deb 26 April 1921 vol 45 cc10-1

My Lords, I have now, in accordance with the provisions of Section 8, subsection 3, of the Ministry of Health Act, 1919, to move to resolve, "That this House approves the Ministry of Health (Registration and Elections, Transfer of Powers) Draft Order, 1921." It is proposed to transfer under the Ministry of Health Act certain powers ill regard to the registration of elections from the Ministry of Health to the Home Office. The Ministry, as your Lordships know, inherited from the Local Government Board certain duties under the Representation of the People Act, 1918, but it is thought unsuitable that the Minister- of Health should be responsible for duties so entirely unrelated to matters of health, and accordingly it is proposed to transfer them to the Home Office.

The Draft Order has been prepared between the two Departments, and the transfer of the duties to the Home Office carries with it, of course, the general responsibility for advising the Government on questions concerning electoral reform, and kindred subjects, and a general responsibility for the proper working of the electoral machine. It will be observed that the Draft Order provides for the Registrar General to continue the administrative work which he has for some time past carried out in connection with electoral registration, as distinct front Franchise Law and the procedure and conduct of elections. The Registrar General in future will carry out this work under the direction of the Home Secretary. This provision is made in order to reduce the burden imposed on the Home Office by the transfer to it and to its staff of entirely new duties.

Moved, "That this House approves the said Draft Order." — (The Earl of Onslow.)

On Question, Motion agreed to.