§ 6.55 p.m.
§ Lord HARRIS of GREENWICH rose to move, That the Elections (Welsh Forms) Regulations 1974, laid before the House on 28th November, be approved. The noble Lord said: My Lords, in commending these Regulations to your Lordships' House, I think I can safely say that they are uncontroversial. They bring up to date the Welsh versions of a number of forms for use in connection with elec- 1000 toral registration and Parliamentary elections. These versions have all been previously prescribed. The only reason for the new Regulations is to take account of minor amendments introduced into the English originals by the Representation of the People Regulations 1974, which your Lordships approved on 28th March this year. The versions are of two kinds. One category is of bilingual forms which are to be used in Wales in all circumstances in place of the English version. The second category is of simple translations the use of which in Wales is optional.
§ Schedule 1 to the Regulations sets out the four bilingual forms. These are the annual canvass form for electoral registration (Form A); the proxy paper (Form D); the elector's official poll card (Form E); and the proxy's official poll card (Form F). These are bilingual forms, because they are issued in circumstances in which the electoral registration officer cannot be certain whether the recipient is Welsh-speaking. Schedule 2 sets out the Welsh translations of seven other forms. These comprise two forms (O and P), for making claims and objections in respect of the electors' lists, three forms (Q, R and S) for applying for absent voting facilities on various grounds, and two forms (U and V) relating to proxy voting. If these Regulations are approved by your Lordships and in another place they will come into operation in the New Year for use in connection with the preparation of the 1975 and subsequent registers of electors and any future Parliamentary elections. My Lords, I beg to move.
§ Moved, That the Elections (Welsh Forms) Regulations 1974, laid before the House on 28th November, be approved.—(Lord Harris of Greenwich.)
§ Lord ABERDARE
My Lords, I should like to welcome the noble Lord into the fraternity of those of us who discuss Welsh affairs. There are few noble Lords present. I do not know whether my noble friend Lord Amory will join us on this occasion—he often "chips in" on Welsh matters. All I ought to say in bilingual form is, diolch yn fawr, thank you very much.
§ On Question, Motion agreed to.