§ MR. GODFREY BARING (Isle of Wight)
I beg to ask the Prime Minister 1202 whether his attention has been called to a Return recently presented to Parliament in which the total amount of the expenses of candidates at the last general election is returned at £1,166,858, exclusive of expenses of uncontested elections, whether he is aware that the average cost per vote polled at the last general election, exclusive of expenses of uncontested elections, was 4s. 1½d.; and whether, having regard to these facts, and having regard to the Resolution unanimously passed by the House on the 6th March last,† he can hold out some hope that His Majesty's Government will, at an early date, introduce legislation to give effect to that Resolution.
§ Sir H. CAMPBELL-BANNERMAN
His Majesty's Government are fully alive to the evils of the present systems of defraying election expenses, It is, I think, a, most objectionable system, and, as my hon. friend reminds me, the House of Commons has passed a unanimous Resolution calling for a change in the law. But I am not in a position now to say the precise time when we anticipate undertaking legislation for the purpose.