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Clause 22—(Application To Scotland)

Volume 416: debated on Thursday 12 April 1945

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Motion made, and Question proposed, "That the Clause stand part of the Bill."

If an earlier Amendment had been accepted the Amendment which my hon. Friend and I have on the Paper to leave out Subsection (3) of this Clause would have been consequential and in Order, but as it is it does give notice to the right hon. Gentleman of the point which we wish to raise. Clause 22 (3) takes out, with regard to Scotland, all references to the rural parishes and so on, and inserts a reference instead to an electoral division of a county. I rather think that an electoral division is a constituency. I do not think it is a polling district. If I am wrong, perhaps I shall be corrected. If it is a constituency, then this is quite out of line with the policy expressed by the right hon. Gentleman with regard to England. It is far too big a division. Quite obviously one constituency stretching from Inverness burgh to the other end of the Isle of Skye—

That means within a Parliamentary constituency of a county. I am not sure what happens to those who are in the remoter rural districts. It is all right in the more closely populated districts, but I wonder whether the hon. Gentleman can tell us what the position will be in a rural parish when we come to deal with the more scattered populations of the North and West.

10.0 p.m.

The county council electoral division is, invariably, a lesser area than the parish in the most sparsely populated parts of Scotland, and I think hon. Members who live in those sparsely populated parts will agree that the area within which the provision of the postal vote would not apply, is a lesser area than the actual parish.

Question put, and agreed to.

Clause ordered to stand part of the Bill.

Clauses 23, 24 and 25 ordered to stand part of the Bill.

First Schedule agreed to.