47. Mr. AMNION
asked the Prime Minister whether, in considering representations made to him in favour of greater latitude being shown to certain officers and ratings of the Royal Navy in respect of political activity, he will take into consideration the claims of civil servants for greater freedom in the exercise of legitimate civil rights; and whether he will grant an inquiry into the whole position of Crown employés as affected by this issue?
§ The PRIME MINISTER
His Majesty's Government accept the general principle, which was endorsed by the right hon. Member for Colne Valley (Mr. Snowden) when he was Chancellor of the Exchequer, that civil servants should take no overt part in public political affairs; and the Order-in-Council of 25th July last laid down uniform rules concerning the Parliamentary candidature of members of the Civil Service and the three Fighting Services. I cannot agree that further consideration of these rules as applicable to officers on half-pay either necessitates or justifies further inquiry on the lines suggested in the hon. Member's question.
If in this particular case the right hon. Gentleman relies upon a previous decision of my right hon. Friend the Member for Colne Valley (Mr. Snowden), will he not in all matters, in the interests of the country generally, follow the same example?
§ Mr. HORE-BELISHA
Has the right hon. Gentleman's attention been drawn to the great indignation expressed in naval ports at the recent changes which have been made, and is he going to revise the decision in this matter?