HC Deb 13 February 1934 vol 285 c1752

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department whether he is aware that unnecessary expense and waste of officials' time is often caused to local authorities by candidates standing in local authority elections who have no chance of being elected; and will he consider legislation to provide that a deposit of £10 shall be made by each candidate, such deposit to be forfeited as in the case of Parliamentary elections, if a candidate fails to poll a certain percentage of votes?

The UNDER-SECRETARY of STATE for the HOME DEPARTMENT (Mr. Douglas Hacking)

I am aware of the considerations mentioned by my hon. Friend, but I would call his attention to the provision which has been made in the Local Government Act, 1933, with a view to discouraging frivolous candidatures. My right hon. Friend is not prepared to consider any further legislation on the subject at present.


Is the hon. Gentleman aware that each of these futile elections costs the ratepayers between £100 and £150, and can he give any reason against a small deposit such as is suggested here that does not apply with equal force to the £150 deposit in Parliamentary elections?


The Chelmsford Committee considered this question, and they decided it was better to work along the lines of preventing a candidate from being nominated or from sitting for more than one seat or division. That is the line adopted in the Local Government Act of 1933 which has not had a chance of showing whether it will work satisfactorily. It does not come into operation until June this year and the hon. Member will then be able to see whether it solves the difficulty.