HC Deb 05 May 1975 vol 891 cc316-7W
Mr. Trotter

asked the Lord President of the Council whether the arrangements for the holding of a referendum will include provision for Members of Parliament to attend the court for the area including their constituency; and what provision he intends to make for scrutineers and others persons to be present at the count.

Mr. Edward Short

The Order in Council to be made under the Referendum Bill will permit a Member of Parliament to attend both the preliminary verification of ballot paper accounts for areas which lie within his constituency and the counting of votes of such areas. The order will also empower the Secretary of State to arrange for persons to be appointed to observe these two stages, subject to a limit of one observer for each two counting clerks. My right hon. Friend proposes to invite Britain in Europe and the National Referendum Campaign to nominate observers for this purpose and an invitation has been sent to both organisations.

Mr. Sedgemore

asked the Lord President of the Council if a Government paper relating to the referendum has been leaked; and if he will set up an inquiry.

Mr. Edward Short

As I told the House last Thursday during the business statement]—[Vol. 891, c. 730]—copies of three pamphlets relating to the referendum including a popular version of Command 6003, reached a national newspaper before they were due to be issued. Investigations are proceeding.

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