HC Deb 04 August 1939 vol 350 cc2831-2
45. Mr. Gritten

asked the Prime Minister, whether he will introduce legislation to make it possible if war broke out during the progress of a General Election for the election to be suspended and postponed and the old Parliament recalled.

The Prime Minister

The Government have not overlooked this matter, but they do not at present see any necessity for the introduction of legislation.

Miss Wilkinson

Will the Prime Minister now give us the date of the General Election?

The Prime Minister

Yes, Sir, sometime before the Autumn of 1940.

Mr. Gritten

Is the Prime Minister not aware that the Government has no statutory authority for taking the steps mentioned in my Question, and that as the Act of 1797 applies only to the demise of the Crown special legislation would be necessary?

The Prime Minister

Yes, Sir, and as I said we have not overlooked it.

Mr. Lawson

Could the right hon. Gentleman say whether it is the war or the general election that is troubling the hon. Member?

Mr. Thurtle

Will the Prime Minister consider the possibility of introducing some legislation which will enable the old Parliament to be still in being until the new Parliament is actually elected?

The Prime Minister

I will think about that during the Recess.

Mr. Maxton

May we take it that the Prime Minister will not do anything in this matter which will give him an unfair advantage over his political opponents?

The Prime Minister

Yes, Sir.