Electoral Registers.

Oral Answers to Questions — National Expenditure. – in the House of Commons on 1st March 1922.

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Photo of Lieut-Colonel Sir Assheton Pownall Lieut-Colonel Sir Assheton Pownall , Lewisham East

28.

asked the Minister of Health what is the estimated cost to the national and local authorities of making two electoral registers per annum; whether one was considered necessary before the War; and what would be the saving if the pre-War plan was adopted?

Photo of Mr Edward Shortt Mr Edward Shortt , Newcastle upon Tyne West

My right hon. Friend has asked me to reply to this question. The total cost per annum to national and local authorities of the two six-monthly electoral registers for Great Britain is approximately £1,000,000. A single annual register was in force prior to the Representation of the People Act, 1918, when the change was made in pursuance of the recommendations of the Speaker's Conference on electoral reform. It is estimated that the yearly saving that would result from having only an annual register would probably not exceed £250,000 in all.

Photo of Lieut-Colonel Sir Assheton Pownall Lieut-Colonel Sir Assheton Pownall , Lewisham East

Will the right hon. Gentleman consider the advisability of making this saving of a quarter of a million pounds?

Photo of Mr Edward Shortt Mr Edward Shortt , Newcastle upon Tyne West

That is at present under consideration.

Photo of Lieut-Colonel Sir Assheton Pownall Lieut-Colonel Sir Assheton Pownall , Lewisham East

When will a decision be arrived at? It has been under consideration for 18 months.

Photo of Mr Edward Shortt Mr Edward Shortt , Newcastle upon Tyne West

I can assure my hon. and gallant Friend that it has not been under consideration for anything like that time. It has been under mine for only a very short time.