HC Deb 21 August 1945 vol 413 cc584-5

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

Mr. Peake

I raised a question on the Second Reading Debate whether it was necessary for this Bill to remain in force until December, 1947, and the right hon. Gentleman the Secretary of State for Scotland promised to look into the matter and see whether the period could not be shortened. I wonder whether the Home Secretary has any statement to make.

The Secretary of State for the Home Department (Mr. Ede)

I admit that probably we did err from excess of caution in this matter, but at the present time, so soon after the end of the Japanese war, when nothing is known about what the ultimate forces of occupation will be and how long they may be occupied in distant parts of the world, it is desirable that we should stick to this particular year. If there is no man serving in the Forces at that time who is a candidate no one will be hurt. But let us assume that there is some young man who is in the Far East and knows that he is nearly due for demobilisation at that time, it would be very hard luck for him to find he was debarred from being a candidate, whereas a year before someone, a year nearer demobilisation, had managed to slip through. If, as we all hope, there is no need for the Bill to operate in the year 1947, no one will be hurt, but if it should, for any reason, be necessary, I am sure that hon. Members in all parts of the House would desire that a man should not be debarred on these technicalities we are trying to remove.

Question put, and agreed to.

Clause ordered to stand part of the Bill.

Bill reported, with Amendments; as amended, considered; read the Third time and passed.