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Clause 21—(Inerpreation)

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."

I would ask for enlightenment on the following interpretation in this Clause:

"war worker's declaration 'means a declaration which is a war worker's declaration."
There is reference to it also in Clause 3 (2). It seems to me that we are getting away from the war and although a war worker's declaration may be valuable enough during war time, is it likely to be of any value in this Bill?

War workers are people who were displaced in order to perform certain work during the war. That is as clear a definition as any, I think, ever found in an Act of Parliament. The Act under which they were allowed to claim to be registered remains in existence, and we desire that these people should still be allowed to exercise the franchise, although they cannot do so under the ordinary law of the land. I think it would be very wrong to deprive these people of the franchise, merely because the definition —happily—now begins to sound a little ridiculous. I hope that when we have the permanent legislation, it will be possible to make some arrangement whereby people who are working abroad and in similar circumstances may be admitted to the franchise, if they can be associated with a residential qualification in this country.

Question put, and agreed to.

Clause ordered to stand part of the Bill.