HC Deb 02 August 1944 vol 402 cc1400-1W

Qualifications for membership of the Legislative Council Women to be eligible for membership equally with men. Ministers of religion to be disqualified from membership. Qualifications for membership by residence or ownership of property within the electoral district for which the member proposes to stand to be removed (unanimous). Property qualification for membership and income qualification for membership to be considerably reduced (large majority).

Qualifications for voters for the Legislative Council. Age qualification for women voters to be reduced from 30 to 21 years. Period of residence in electoral district of voter to be reduced to six months. Abolition of property and income qualifications but intending voter should understand spoken English language (majority recommendation). The Secretary of State accepted the view of the majority save that he does not agree that voters shall be required to show that they can understand the spoken English language. The proposal which the Colonial Legislature will be invited to debate will therefore be universal adult suffrage for both men and women without language qualification.

Municipal Councils: Voters qualifications. Existing franchise conditions to be retained subject to extension of suffrage to tenant occupier and owner occupier of property irrespective of its assessed rateable value (majority recommendation).

Municipal Councils: Qualifications of Councillors. Existing property qualifications to be reduced. Abolition of existing legal disqualification which bars ministers of religion from qualifying for election as Councillors (majority).

County Councils: Voters' qualifications. Universal suffrage proposed for all British subjects of 21 and over subject to residence of six months in electoral district (majority).

County Councils: Members' qualifications. Ownership of immovable property proposed to the value of $500 or of the receipt of a clear annual income of not less than $240 or tenancy of house and land of an annual rental of not less than $60 (majority).

Constitution of County Councils. The Committee recommended a total of seven County Councils for the Colony as a whole and the Colonial Government will now put forward a practical scheme.

Functions of County Councils. The Local Government proposed that the County Councils as soon as they are well established shall be invited to submit proposals as to the nature and extent of the executive functions which might usefully be entrusted to them and "any reasonable suggestions to this end will be very carefully considered.