Electoral Law (MR. Speaker's Conference)

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 24th July 1968.

Alert me about debates like this

Photo of Mr James Callaghan Mr James Callaghan The Secretary of State for the Home Department, Member, Labour Party National Executive Committee, Treasurer, Labour Party 12:00 am, 24th July 1968

This is surely a matter which will need to be developed during the debate. It is quite true that the Conference voted by 24 votes to 1, on the question that the age should be 20 years, but the Motion that the minimum age should be 18 years was rejected by only 22 votes to 3.

The basic conclusions springs from the fact that the Latey Commission examined the situation very carefully, and decided, and the Government accepted, and the House has been informed, that the age of majority should be 18. This was for a number of reasons: the growing maturity of young people—the fact that they are growing older earlier than we used to, and the fact that it would be a little inconsistent to have an age of majority at 18 for all purposes, including the right to enter into contracts, the right to purchase property, the right even to marry, but not the right to vote for elective representatives.