HC Deb 01 July 1919 vol 117 c804W

asked the Secretary for Scotland whether he has received numerous representations from Scottish municipalities urging an Amendment of the Representation of the People Act, 1918, to provide for the issue of only one register of voters in each year; whether the provision of two registers is imposing a heavy financial burden on the ratepayers; and whether, in view of the need of national and municipal economy, as emphasised by members of the Government, he can make a statement on the matter?


The answer to the first part of the question is in the affirmative. The cost of preparing two registers in. each year is no doubt considerable, but I would remind my hon. Friend that the position has been abnormal since the Representation of the People Act came into force, both as regards the cost of preparation and in respect of the large number of absent voters. I would, however, point out that the State accepts liability for one-half of the approved expenditure. I think it is desirable that further experience of the present system should be gained before the question of amending-legislation is determined.