§ Order of the Day for the House to be put into Committee read.
§ THE PARLIAMENTARY UNDERSECRETARY OF STATE FOR THE HOME DEPARTMENT (THE EARL OF MUNSTER)
My Lords, before moving that the House be put into Committee on this Bill, I should like, if I may, to reply to a point which was raised by my noble friend Lord Jessel on the Second Reading. He asked whether co-opted members would retire under Section 67 or 68 of the Local Government Act, 1933. I have made inquiries and am informed that neither of these sections is applicable in this instance. All councillors, including those who have been co-opted, will retire in November, 1945, under Clause 5 (2) of this Bill. I beg to move.
§ Moved, That the House do now resolve itself into Committee.—(The Earl of Munster.)
§ LORD JESSEL
My Lords, I should like to thank the noble Earl very much for his explanation. It has settled a doubt which has arisen among the various experts in local government, and there has been a good deal of wagering on the question as to which interpretation is right. I believe the sums involved were not excessive, half a crown being the limit. Now, of course, the whole matter is off, because the decision given by the Government, 912 for which I am much obliged, is that neither the one nor the other section of the Act applies. I am afraid that the local government register will be rather complicated under this Bill, though it cannot be helped, because there are four different categories. There is the civilian voter, the Service voter—who, by the way, cannot vote by post, but has to vote by proxy—the business voter, and the noble Lords who belong to this Assembly. So it is rather complicated, but I have no doubt that the registration officers will do their best.
§ On Question, Motion agreed to.
§ House in Committee accordingly; Bill reported without amendment.