House of Commons (Redistribution of Seats) Act 1949

JurisdictionUK Non-devolved
Citation1949 c. 66


House of Commons (Redistribution of Seats) Act , 1949

(12, 13 & 14 Geo. 6.) CHAPTER 66

An Act to consolidate the enactments which make permanent provision for the redistribution of seats at parliamentary elections and the provisions of the Representation of the People Act, 1948, interpreting statutory references to constituencies.

[24th November 1949]

Be it enacted by the King's most Excellent Majesty, by and with the advice and consent of the Lords Spiritual and Temporal, and Commons, in this present Parliament assembled, and by the authority of the same, as follows:—

S-1 Establishment of permanent Boundary Commissions.

1 Establishment of permanent Boundary Commissions.

(1) For the purpose of the continuous review of the distribution of seats at parliamentary elections, there shall be four permanent Boundary Commissions, namely a Boundary Commission for England, a Boundary Commission for Scotland, a Boundary Commission for Wales and a Boundary Commission for Northern Ireland.

(2) The Boundary Commissions shall be constituted in accordance with the provisions of Part I of the First Schedule to this Act, their assistant Commissioners and other officers shall be appointed and their expenses shall be defrayed in accordance with the provisions of Part II of that Schedule, and their procedure shall be regulated in accordance with Part III of that Schedule.

(3) For the purposes of this Act the administrative county of Monmouth shall be taken to be part of Wales and not part of England.

S-2 Periodical reports of Commissions as to redistribution.

2 Periodical reports of Commissions as to redistribution.

(1) Each Boundary Commission shall keep under review the representation in the House of Commons of the part of the United Kingdom with which they are concerned and shall, in accordance with the next following subsection, submit to the Secretary of State reports with respect to the whole of that part of the United Kingdom, either—

(a ) showing the constituencies into which they recommend that it should be divided in order to give effect to the rules set out in the Second Schedule to this Act; or

(b ) stating that, in the opinion of the Commission, no alteration is required to be made in respect of that part of the United Kingdom in order to give effect to the said rules.

(2) Reports under the last foregoing subsection shall be submitted by a Commission—

(a ) in the case of the first report, not less than three or more than seven years from the date of the passing of the Representation of the People Act, 1948; and

(b ) in the case of the second or any subsequent report, not less than three or more than seven years from the date of the submission of their last report under subsection (1) of this section:

Provided hat a report stating that no alteration is required to be made in respect of the part of the United Kingdom with which a Commission is concerned shall not be submitted less than six years from the date of the passing of the said Act, or the date of the submission of their last report under subsection (1) of this section, as the case may be.

(3) Any Boundary Commission may also from time to time submit to the Secretary of State reports with respect to the area comprised in any particular constituency or constituencies in the part of the United Kingdom with which they are concerned, showing the constituencies into which they recommend that that area should be divided in order to give effect to the rules set out in the said Second Schedule.

(4) Where a Commission intend to consider making a report under this Act, they shall, by notice in writing, inform the Secretary of State accordingly, and a copy of the said notice shall be published—

(a ) in a case where it was given by the Boundary Commission for England or the Boundary Commission for Wales, in the London Gazette; and

(b ) in a case where it was given by the Boundary Commission for Scotland, in the Edinburgh Gazette; and

(c ) in a case where it was given by the Boundary Commission for Northern Ireland, in the Belfast Gazette.

(5) As soon as may be after a Boundary Commission have submitted a report to the Secretary of State under this Act, he shall lay the report before Parliament together, except in a case where the report states that no alteration is required to be made in respect of the part of the United Kingdom with which the Commission are concerned, with the draft of an Order in Council for giving effect, whether with or without modifications, to the recommendations contained in the report.

S-3 General provisions as to reports and Orders in Council.

3 General provisions as to reports and Orders in Council.

(1) A report of a Boundary Commission under this Act showing the constituencies into which they recommend that any area should be divided shall state, as respects each constituency, the name by which they recommend that it should be known, and whether they recommend that it should be a county constituency or a borough constituency.

(2) The draft of any Order in Council laid before Parliament by the Secretary of State under this Act for giving effect, whether with or without modifications, to the recommendations contained in the report of a Boundary Commission may make provision—

(a ) for any matters which appear to him to be incidental thereto or consequential thereon; and

(b ) in particular, where the draft makes any change affecting constituencies in the administrative county of London, for any modification of subsection (1) of section fifty-nine of the Representation of the People Act, 1948, (which relates to the electoral divisions and the number of councillors for L.C.C. elections).

(3) Where any such draft gives effect to any such recommendations with modifications, the Secretary of State shall lay before Parliament together with the draft a statement of the reasons for the modifications.

(4) If any such draft is approved by resolution of each House of Parliament, the Secretary of State shall submit it to His Majesty in Council.

(5) If a motion for the approval of any such draft is rejected by either House of Parliament or withdrawn by leave of the House, the Secretary of State may amend the draft and lay the amended draft before Parliament, and if the draft as so amended is approved by resolution of each House of Parliament, the Secretary of State shall submit it to His Majesty in Council.

(6) Where the draft of an Order in Council is submitted to His Majesty in Council under this Act, His Majesty in Council may make an Order in terms of the draft which shall come into force on such date as may be specified therein and shall have effect notwithstanding anything in any enactment:

Provided that the coming into force of any such Order shall not affect any parliamentary election until a proclamation is issued by His Majesty summoning a new Parliament, or affect the constitution of the House of Commons until the dissolution of the Parliament then in being.

(7) The validity of any Order in Council purporting to be made under this Act and reciting that a draft thereof has been approved by resolution of each House of Parliament shall not be called in question in any legal proceedings whatsoever.

S-4 Meaning of constituency in this Act and future Acts.

4 Meaning of constituency in this Act and future Acts.

4. In this Act, and, except where the context otherwise requires, in any other Act passed after the Representation of the People Act, 1948, the expression ‘constituency’ means an area having separate representation in the House of Commons.

S-5 Amendments of former Acts consequential on disappearance of parliamentary counties and boroughs.

5 Amendments of former Acts consequential on disappearance of parliamentary counties and boroughs.

(1) The constituencies for the time being established by the Representation of the People Act, 1948, and any Order in Council under this Act shall take the place of parliamentary counties and boroughs.

(2) Subject to the next following subsection—

(a ) any reference in any former Act to parliamentary counties and boroughs shall be construed as a reference to constituencies;

(b ) references in any former Act to a parliamentary county shall be construed as references to a county constituency, and those to a parliamentary borough as references to a borough constituency, and references to a county election or a borough election shall be construed accordingly;

(c ) references in any former Act to a district of boroughs or to a district borough shall have effect in relation only to Scotland and shall (subject to any Order in Council under this Act) be taken as referring to the following constituencies, namely, Dunfermline burghs, Kirkcaldy burghs and Stirling and Falkirk burghs.

(3) Any reference in any former Act to the authority having power to divide a county or borough into polling districts or to appoint polling places for a county or a borough for the purposes of parliamentary elections shall, where the context is such as to show that the last foregoing subsection ought not to apply, be taken as a reference to the county council or the borough council, as the case may be.

(4) The provisions of subsections (2) and (3) of this section shall apply to a reference to any of the matters mentioned therein, whatever the terms used in that reference; but those provisions may be excluded in whole or in part by an order of the Secretary of State in any particular case where they appear to him to be inappropriate.

(5) The power conferred by this section to make an order shall be exercisable by statutory instrument, and any such instrument shall be subject to annulment by resolution of either House of Parliament.

(6) In this section the expression ‘former Act’ means an Act passed before the ...

To continue reading

Request your trial

VLEX uses login cookies to provide you with a better browsing experience. If you click on 'Accept' or continue browsing this site we consider that you accept our cookie policy. ACCEPT