Oral Answers to Questions — Foreign Service '(Franchise)

– in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 29th November 1945.

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Photo of Mr Quintin Hogg Mr Quintin Hogg , Oxford 12:00 am, 29th November 1945

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department why diplomats serving abroad are denied the vote while paying United Kingdom Income Tax

Photo of Mr James Ede Mr James Ede , South Shields

The payment of Income Tax is not a qualification for the franchise. The persons referred to by the hon. Member are not entitled to the franchise because they do not possess the residence qualification required by Statute.

Photo of Mr Quintin Hogg Mr Quintin Hogg , Oxford

Does not the right hon. Gentleman think that all servants of the Crown, like members of the Forces, ought to be given qualifications to vote in this country?

Photo of Mr James Ede Mr James Ede , South Shields

The difficulty is to associate them with a territorial constituency. That is difficult enough with regard to certain members of the Forces and would be quite impossible in some of these cases.

Photo of Sir Edward Keeling Sir Edward Keeling , Twickenham

Is not the only reason for refusing the vote to diplomatic servants of the Crown abroad the fact that they are few and silent?

Photo of Mr James Ede Mr James Ede , South Shields

No, Sir. If this were granted to diplomatic servants, it could not be refused to a large number of other people, and one would get involved, possibly,. in the end, in the creation of some extra- territorial constituencies.

Photo of Mr Henry Hynd Mr Henry Hynd , Hackney Central

If any of these people concerned could establish a constituency qualification, would they be given postal voting facilities?

Photo of Mr James Ede Mr James Ede , South Shields

If they were not on the register, certainly they would not get postal voting facilities.