HL Deb 24 January 1980 vol 404 cc552-4

4.7 p.m.


My Lords, I beg to move that this Bill be now read a third time.

Moved, That the Bill be now read 3a.—(Lord Lloyd of Kilgerran.)

On Question, Bill read 3a.


My Lords, I beg to move that this Bill do now pass.

Moved, That the Bill do now pass.—(Lord Lloyd of Kilgerran.)


My Lords, on behalf of Her Majesty's Government, I am pleased to support the Motion that the noble Lord's Bill do pass. We have been most gratified at the progress of this Bill through all its stages in both Houses of Parliament. That has been due in no small measure to the assistance and support of the Opposition Benches, both here and in another place. We believe that the Bill makes two important and welcome changes to electoral laws, enabling Service wives resident in the United Kingdom to register as civilian voters, and permitting the electoral registration officer to correct the electoral register after it is published so that the names of electors accidentally omitted may be included.

As the House will appreciate, it will be necessary for those provisions to be brought into force by a commencement order after the regulations have been made by the Secretary of State to provide for some of the mechanics of the provisions in the Bill. The Government will now proceed with the preparation of the regulations and will, of course, make them available in draft to the political parties and to others interested, so that their comments can be taken into account. It is our intention to have these matters settled so that the new arrangements introduced by the Bill can take effect for the February 1981 register of electors.


My Lords, we on this Bench would like to join the noble Lord, Lord Sandys, in congratulating the noble Lord, Lord Lloyd of Kilgerran, on introducing this Bill, on conducting it through your Lordships' House and on commending it to your Lordships.


My Lords, I am very much obliged to both noble Lords for their kind words in this matter. I, too, would like to join the noble Lord, Lord Sandys, in thanking those in the other House, and particularly Mr. Onslow, for making such a great contribution during the initial stages of the Bill in the other place. I thank your Lordships very much indeed for your kind words.

On Question, Bill passed.