HC Deb 21 August 1945 vol 413 cc581-3
The Under-Secretary of State for the Home Department (Mr. Oliver)

I beg to move, in page 2, line 10, after "Kingdom," insert: or to the first anniversary of the day of the election, whichever is the earlier. This Amendment, which is in manuscript form, implements a promise which my right hon. Friend the Home Secretary gave to the right hon. Gentleman the Member for North Leeds (Mr. Peake) last week.

As the right hon. Member for North Leeds pointed out, as this Clause is at present drafted there is no time limit which would prevent a person coming from overseas from being away for all the years for which he has been elected to the local authority. By the inclusion of this Amendment he will be given in all 14 months in which to make his declaration and also deposit it-with the right authority.

Mr. Peake (Leeds, North)

I should like to thank my right hon. Friend opposite and the Under-Secretary of State for the concessions which they have made on this Clause in response to the point I made during the Second Reading. What they propose is perfectly reasonable and will ensure that the seats on the local authorities are duly filled although there may be some delay through the fact of the man who has been elected being in the Forces overseas. I would like also to offer my felicitations to the hon. Gentleman who moved the Amendment on his accession to the Treasury Bench and to an office which I had the honour to hold for a good many years.

Mr. Gallacher (Fife, West)

I understood there was to be something said about the position of men who are elected and who are serving abroad when elected. We discussed this matter on the Second Reading last night and I contemplated putting down an Amendment, but I heard from various sources that something would be said on this matter that would give at least some hope.

The Chairman

The hon. Member is not in Order. His remarks are quite outside the scope of the Amendment.

Amendment agreed to.

Motion made, and Question proposed, "That the Clause, as amended, stand part of the Bill."

Mr. Gallacher

Perhaps I am in Order in raising the point now. I understood something was to be said on this matter that would give some hope that measures would be taken to make allowance for those who are elected. I cannot under stand why the Minister is not prepared to say that something will be brought forward between now and the Report stage. There are many hon. Members who would like something to be inserted in this Clause——

The Chairman

I am sorry, but the hon. Member is not in Order. The matter to which he is referring has nothing to do with the Clause.

Mr. Gallacher

May I point out, Major Milner, that the Clause reads: (1) Where any person is elected to any of the following offices, that is to say—

  1. (a) chairman of a county council, county alderman or county councillor;
  2. (b) mayor, alderman or councillor of a borough;
  3. (c) chairman of a district council or district councillor."
There are many hon. Members who feel that when a person is elected to such an office, he should be given an opportunity of returning to this country in order to serve on the local authority to which he has been appointed, and that a provision should be inserted to that effect. We consider that this Clause should be amended to deal with that. I had expected that on this Clause the Minister would say something on that matter, which was raised in the Second Reading Debate.

The Chairman

The matter was raised last night and I permitted a certain amount of latitude on the Second Reading, which is quite different from the Committee stage. It is permissible on the Second Reading to raise cognate matters which might have been included in the Bill, but that is not permissible on the Committee stage when no Amendment has been put down.

Mr. Gallacher

I had an Amendment here and was going to put it down, but I was given to understand that the Minister was going to say something on this matter.

Question put, and agreed to.

Clause, as amended, ordered to stand part of the Bill.

Clauses 3 and 4 ordered to stand part of the Bill.