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Windward And Leeward Islands (Electoral Reform)

Volume 463: debated on Thursday 7 April 1949

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asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies what measures of political reform he has under consideration for the Windward Islands and Leeward Islands.

My right hon. Friend has informed the Governors of the Windward and Leeward Islands that he agrees that adult suffrage should be introduced at the next elections to the Legislative Councils of these two groups; that he considers that the right to vote should be subject to a simple literacy test; and that he also agrees to the removal of property qualifications for candidates, subject to further examination of the present arrangements for the deposits which candidates are required to make. He has indicated however that as yet he has been unable to give consideration to the establishment of wholly elected legislatures in the Windward and Leeward Islands and that for the present this must be deferred.