HC Deb 06 November 1940 vol 365 c1332
45. Lieut.-Colonel Sir Thomas Moore

asked the Prime Minister whether, in view of the extension of the life of the present Parliament recently agreed to by this House without consulting the electorate, he will take steps to ensure that, where the electorate in the constituency wish to terminate the five-year contract entered into with their Member at the last general election they can do so at the end of the five-year period by petition, or memorial to Mr. Speaker, who could be then authorised to declare the seat vacant?

Mr. Wedgwood

Before this Question is answered, may I ask whether it is correct to say that there is a five-year contract between a Member of this House and his constituents?

The Lord Privy Seal (Mr. Attlee)

To speak of the election of a Member as a "five-year contract" between the Member and his constituents is not, I think, an apt description of the constitutional position. Parliament for reasons which are well known and were discussed in the recent Debate decided to prolong the life of the present Parliament and I do not think it would be practicable or desirable to graft on to that decision the proposal put forward in the Question.

Sir T. Moore

With great reluctance, Mr. Speaker, I must say that I do not consider this reply satisfactory, and I propose at an early date to raise the matter on the Adjournment.