HC Deb 02 August 1939 vol 350 cc2371-2
48. Major Stourton

asked the Prime Minister whether he is aware of the hostility of the general public to a General Election while international tension persists; and whether, in view of the repeated Ministerial appeals to lay aside party strife in the public interest to meet a common danger, and of the recent action of the French Government in this connection, he will consider introducing legislation to amend Section 7 of the Parliament Act of 1911 so as to extend the duration of the present Parliament for a further two years?

Mr. Benn

On a point of Order. In reference to this question, I understood that matters of argument were not to be introduced into questions. This question appears to consist of some ideas of the hon. Member of an argumentative and, I may add, a rather muddled kind, which I should have thought were unsuitable for a question.

Mr. Speaker

It does not appear to be more argumentative than a great many other questions which are put on the Paper.

The Prime Minister

I should not be prepared to consider such a suggestion as is contained in my hon. and gallant Friend's question without some evidence of a general desire for the postponement of a General Election beyond the statutory term. At present I see no evidence of this kind.

Major Stourton

Is my right hon. Friend aware that in the interest of the security of the State it would be better to postpone a General Election until the prospects of peace are much more assured than at present?

Mr. Dingle Foot

Is there any connection between the appearance of this question on the Paper, and the somewhat diminutive Conservative majority in South Salford at the last General Election?