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1921 census release

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1921 census release

Postby phsvm » Mon Jan 22, 2018 7:38 pm

The latest online newsletter from Lost Cousins has just landed in my Inbox and the lead article is about the release of the 1921 census.

https://www.lostcousins.com/newsletters ... htm#Census

If you haven't already signed up for the regular update from Lost Cousins I'd recommend it as he does gives many useful tips and hints as well as just general chit chat (some to be taken with a pinch of salt!)
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Re: 1921 census release

Postby junkers » Tue Jan 23, 2018 11:47 pm

Thanks for the link, I notice that The National Archives (TNA) didn't put anything on their website!. I find it strange that TNA are sticking to the release in 2022 (why not release after the 100 years has elapsed and not wait another 6 months?), whereas last time Scotland released after 100 years and one day, so the effect is that Scotland releases first. I couldn't find anything about transcription accuracy (ancestry and FMP are not that great, one is poor and the other doesn't index Leicestershire electoral registers). From a technical point of view as the Census will have ages in years and months will the technology cope?, previously attempts at this have ended with the age being returned as '0' as in the case of the Secretary of the Suffragist Movement who was about 26 years and a few months and transcribed as being aged '0' years, let alone ancestry listing people who were stated to be dead!.
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Re: 1921 census release

Postby AdrianB38 » Wed Jan 24, 2018 7:45 am

Hm. If the census lists dead people in defiance of its own instructions, I think that I would rather like Ancestry to index them! The more data the merrier!

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Re: 1921 census release

Postby Guy » Wed Jan 24, 2018 8:34 am

Having looked at the legislation (repeals and additions) it seems that the 1921 Census (England & Wales) release is because it will be transferred to the National Archives from the GRO/ONS.
If it stays at the ONS it would be illegal to release the “private” information from it but if it is transferred to the National Archives

Freedom of Information Act 2000
(1)Section 44 of the Freedom of Information Act 2000 (c. 36) (prohibitions on disclosure) does not, by virtue of section 39 above, apply to personal information which—

(a)is held by a public authority who has received it directly or indirectly from the Board, and

(b)is not held by that authority on behalf of the Board.

In other words it is as I have been saying since 2009 that the 1921 Census and in fact all census could have been opened at any time if the ONS had followed the laws of the land.
Instead they have disregarded the law or at the very least disregarded the spirit of the law for political purposes.

There is no 100 year rule in law, the ONS had no operational reason for not transferring the 1921 Census to the National Archives earlier but refused to do so for political reasons rather than operational reasons.
In other words the ONS were simply playing games with the records rather than doing their duty under law and transferring the records when they no longer needed to access them for operational reasons.

This shows that the Governments in power since 2000 and the ONS could not and cannot be trusted to uphold the laws of the land and should be ashamed of themselves.

Cheers
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Re: 1921 census release

Postby Mick Loney » Wed Jan 24, 2018 12:24 pm

I agree with Guy. There is likely to be more people alive on the 1939 register than in the 1921 census, yet they released the former but withold the latter!

What’s the logic behind that?
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Re: 1921 census release

Postby AdrianB38 » Wed Jan 24, 2018 1:29 pm

ONS were simply playing games with the records rather than doing their duty under law and transferring the records when they no longer needed to access them for operational reasons.


I find that a dodgy line of argument. Presumably they have finished with the 2001 census - are we really suggesting that ONS are playing games by not releasing that? The fact is that England expects (however erroneously) compliance with the spirit of a 100y closure period - which has been done as far as is feasible on the 1939 by the redaction process.
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Re: 1921 census release

Postby Guy » Wed Jan 24, 2018 2:51 pm

AdrianB38 wrote:
ONS were simply playing games with the records rather than doing their duty under law and transferring the records when they no longer needed to access them for operational reasons.


I find that a dodgy line of argument. Presumably they have finished with the 2001 census - are we really suggesting that ONS are playing games by not releasing that? The fact is that England expects (however erroneously) compliance with the spirit of a 100y closure period - which has been done as far as is feasible on the 1939 by the redaction process.


What about the fact that England believed that the Freedom of Information Act was designed to make all Government records available to the public with no exemptions based on class of records.

As the very first section of the Freedom of Information Act 2000 states :

“1 General right of access to information held by public authorities.

(1)Any person making a request for information to a public authority is entitled—

(a)to be informed in writing by the public authority whether it holds information of the description specified in the request, and

(b)if that is the case, to have that information communicated to him.”

The 100 year closure period was imposed in 1966 by the Lord Chancellor's Instrument no. 12 of 1966 which was repealed in 2000 by the Freedom of information Act.
The repeal means it is no longer part of law.

So what you are saying is something that was brought in under secondary legislation (without being debated in parliament) and has since been repealed, takes precedent over a current Act of Parliament debated at length by both houses of Parliament and passed into law which still exists today.

Sorry but such dodgy dealing is why the population has no trust in governments no matter what party they represent.
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Re: 1921 census release

Postby AdrianB38 » Wed Jan 24, 2018 3:16 pm

And what about the Census Act that you yourself have talked about?

It seems to me that the untrustworthy bit is that the 1921 is being released without the sort of statutory (?) change that you have previously said would be necessary. I would agree that is bad.

However, pardon me if I misunderstand, but you now seem to be complaining not about a bad release but that all the other censuses haven't been released. Certainly the release of one but not the others is profoundly contradictory.



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Re: 1921 census release

Postby phsvm » Wed Jan 24, 2018 4:09 pm

Going back to Mick Loney's comment about the 1939 Register being released -

"There is likely to be more people alive on the 1939 register than in the 1921 census, yet they released the former but withold the latter!"

If you look at it anyone who is currently under the age of 100 has their entry blacked out. There are exceptions but for these to be applied there has to be evidence that the individual is deceased. My mother's entry is hidden because, if she were still alive she'd be 97. I could send them a copy of her death certificate to confirm her death and the entry would then be visible but if that doesn't happen her entry will remain hidden until the end of 2020 by which time she would, if still alive be over 100 so her entry would be visible.
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Re: 1921 census release

Postby Guy » Wed Jan 24, 2018 5:43 pm

AdrianB38 wrote:And what about the Census Act that you yourself have talked about?

It seems to me that the untrustworthy bit is that the 1921 is being released without the sort of statutory (?) change that you have previously said would be necessary. I would agree that is bad.

However, pardon me if I misunderstand, but you now seem to be complaining not about a bad release but that all the other censuses haven't been released. Certainly the release of one but not the others is profoundly contradictory.



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From what I understand the Census (Confidentiality) Act 1991 has been rendered redundant by transferring the 1921 census from the GRO to the National Archives by the Statistics and Registration Service Board, this circumvents the legislation which prohibited the Registrar General (who previously controlled the census) from releasing it and allows it to be opened under Section 40 of the Statistics and Registration Service Act 2007 which I missed earlier as it was not brought in with the main part of the Act in 2007, but in 2008 I believe.

However now they (Statistics and Registration Service Board) have shown their hand by doing this once, they created a precedent which now opens the way to allow virtually all later census to be transferred to the National Archives and therefore open to release.
This includes the 1951, 1961, 1971 census.
I would expect a case could be construed to claim the 2001 and the 2011 census were still being compared with each other and in use by the Statistics and Registration Service Board and the notices on the 1981 and 1991 of being withheld for 100 years might also be observed.

Having said that I have no doubt the Statistics and Registration Service Board would think of a reason not to transfer the 1951 and later census even though they could.
Cheers
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