War Workers.

Oral Answers to Questions — Voting Facilities. – in the House of Commons on 6th August 1942.

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Photo of Mr Tom Driberg Mr Tom Driberg , Maldon

asked the Home Secretary whether he is aware that many workers in war factories have difficulty, by reason of their long hours of work, in recording their votes in parliamentary elections; and whether he will consider the installation of polling-booths near the main gates of such factories?

Photo of Mr Herbert Morrison Mr Herbert Morrison , Hackney South

There will be general agreement that everything practicable should be done to minimise any such difficulties as those to which the hon. Member refers. I am, however, afraid that the hon. Member's suggestion is impracticable.

Photo of Mr Tom Driberg Mr Tom Driberg , Maldon

Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that in one recent case some dozen war workers were prevented from recording their votes, although they had been waiting actually in the polling station for about 20 minutes before the poll closed, and is it not possible to avoid this kind of disfranchisement by a better disposition of polling stations in accordance with the working places of the population?

Photo of Mr Herbert Morrison Mr Herbert Morrison , Hackney South

I have had experience of precisely similar difficulties in peace-time elections, both general elections and by-elections, and it would be impossible to take the polling booths and try to find where every voter worked, because a large number of factories would still be at considerable distances.