HC Deb 08 February 1944 vol 396 c1610
24. Mr. Driberg

asked the Secretary of State for War on what grounds the Marquess of Hartington was recently granted special leave to attend an emergency meeting of the council of the West Derbyshire Unionist League, before the resignation of the former hon. and gallant Member for West Derbyshire had been announced to the council or to the public.

Sir J. Grigg

An officer's leave is a matter between himself and his commanding officer so long as the regulations governing leave generally are observed. As no application for an exception to the regulations has been made to the War Office I can only assume that the leave was normal and not special.

Mr. Driberg

Are we to take it, then, that any serving soldier who happens to hear privately that a by-election may be pending near his home can obtain leave to go home and try to persuade a group of people to nominate him as a candidate?

Sir J. Grigg

I should certainly take very great care, and the military authorities will take great care, before refusing an application for an officer to appear before a selection committee.

Commander Locker-Lampson

Has a candidate for Parliament the same rights as a Member of Parliament?

Sir J. Grigg

Not quite.