§ MR. RAMSAY MACDONALD (Leicester)
I beg to ask the Prime Minister whether his attention has been drawn to the fact that several hundred canvassers and similar agents were sent to Wolverhamption during the recent contest to work on behalf of one of the candidates, but for whom the candidate is not held to be financially or otherwise responsible; and whether he proposes to abolish the Corrupt Practices Act so that candidates who desire to respect its spirit as well as its letter may not be hampered by its continued existence in its present form, or whether he has any intention of amending it so as to give effect to the desire of Parliament that the expenses of elections should be kept within reasonable and definite limits, and responsibility for all expenditure incurred placed upon the candidate and his accredited agent.
§ MR. ASQUITH
I have no information as to what happened at the contest referred to beyond what has appeared in the public Press. The impression left on my mind is that so far as by-elections are concerned the Corrupt Practices Act is being rapidly reduced to a dead-letter. I cannot at this moment promise legislation on the subject, but the matter is one that deserves, and will receive, grave consideration.
§ MR. LUPTON (Lincolnshire, Sleaford)
May I ask whether canvassing and urging 740 electors to vote in a certain direction is not the highest and noblest duty in which a man can engage?
[No Answer was returned.]