HC Deb 13 May 1948 vol 450 c249W
Mr. N. Macpherson

asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies what is the estimated percentage of literacy among the adult population of Mauritius qualifying for a vote under the recently-approved constitutional recommendations of the Governor, Command Paper No. 7228, on condition of passing a literacy test; what is the nature of the literacy test contemplated; and by whom it will be applied to the different religions and racial sections of the potential electorate.

Mr. Rees-Williams

As regards the first part of the Question, I regret that I am not in a position to supply the information required by the hon. Member, but I am asking the Governor for a report. With reference to the second and third parts of the Question, under Section 16 (1) (a) of the Mauritius (Legislative Council) Order-in-Council of 1947 an applicant for registration as an elector must be able, to the satisfaction of the officer charged with the duty of registering electors in the district, to speak, read and write simple sentences in, and sign his or her name in one of the following nine languages: English, French, Gujerati, Hindustani, Tamil, Telegu, Urdu, Chinese, Creole patois. The registering officer may exempt a person from the requirements of the literacy tests to the extent that such person is unable to satisfy such requirements on account of blindness or other physical cause.