§ 9. Mr. Kilfedder
asked the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what is the number of Members he proposes to allocate to each Westminster Parliamentary constituency for the new Ulster Assembly; and what will be the proposed date of the election to that Assembly.
§ Mr. Kilfedder
My hon. Friend will no doubt be disappointed to hear that I am disappointed with his reply. It is important in Northern Ireland that people should know how many candidates there will be and how many seats there will be for each Westminster constituency. We should also like to know as soon as possible when we are likely to have the elections. Is my hon. Friend aware of the widespread complaints of many electors in Northern Ireland who have suddenly been disfranchised because of the incompetent method of compiling the latest register, which was demonstrated in the border poll? It is no good saying that the register is no worse and no better than on previous occasions, because that is not so. Why are democratic rights being taken away from certain people 596 who have been on the register for some years and who were on the provisional register which was displayed in post offices? Have the mistakes been due to computer faults, or is there some other reason for them? Will my hon. Friend undertake to publish a supplementary register?
§ 10. Mr. Biggs-Davison
asked the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland whether, in preparing the Bill providing for a Northern Ireland Legislative Assembly, he will consider the inclusion of clauses to allow of dissolution before the elapse of its four-year term, and for the replacement of any elected candidate who fails to take his seat and to serve.
§ Mr. Biggs-Davison
Meanwhile, will my hon. Friend, together with my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State, consider that the possibility of a dissolution could be conducive to a sense of parliamentary responsibility? Secondly, has not abstentionism been the curse of Irish politics, and is not the suggestion in my Question a way of dealing with that?
§ Mr. van Straubenzee
I am sure that my right hon. Friend will wish to consider any matters of this kind which bear upon the Bill. My hon. Friend's points will be considered carefully.