HC Deb 16 February 1977 vol 926 cc219-20W
Mr. Weetch

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services what progress has been made in implementing the recommendation of Mr. Speaker's Conference in regard to the electoral registration of patients in mental hospitals.

Mr. Ennals

The Speaker's Conference on Electoral Law recommended that the Representation of the People Act 1949 should be amended to place patients in mental hospitals on the same footing as those in general hospitals, and that an interdepartmental working party should be set up to consider the arrangements which would be necessary to implement this recommendation. In May last year the Government announced their acceptance of the recommendation in principle; and the working party has prepared a discussion paper setting out the practical problems identified so far and possible ways of tackling them, and this is being circulated widely for comment. Copies of the discussion paper are available in the Vote Office and a copy has been placed in the Library.