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Clause 1 — Registration: provision of signature and date of birth

Part of Orders of the Day — Election Fraud (Northern Ireland) Bill – in the House of Commons at 7:30 pm on 31st October 2001.

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Photo of Frank Field Frank Field Labour, Birkenhead 7:30 pm, 31st October 2001

The hon. Gentleman is posing a puzzle to the House. He suggests that the Minister, when he was a Back Bencher, was a seeker after truth and that the burdens of office have borne down on him and he has changed his mind. Might it not be that he is still a seeker after truth and that, as a Minister, he sought the advice of his colleagues in the Government and they said, "Above all you must not concede this amendment; the national insurance scheme is in chaos, but you cannot admit that in the House because some English Members also hold that view, and would like to hear it expressed from the Treasury Bench so that they may use it in campaigning to secure the national insurance system so that it is a safeguard of people's identity and can be used in a way that people on both sides of the House tonight wish it to be used in Northern Ireland"?