HC Deb 01 March 1945 vol 408 cc1551-2
38. Mr. Harry Thorneycroft

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he is aware that no provision has been made for members of His Majesty's Forces to allow their names to go forward as local government candidates at the forthcoming elections; and will he make such provision on the lines of those for prospective Parliamentary candidates.

Mr. H. Morrison

I am aware that no provision has been made in this matter. It is proposed in the Bill which will be required to implement the outstanding recommendations of the Speaker's Conference, to include provisions to ensure that persons standing as candidates at local elections will, if they are absent at the time, be able to conform to the procedure required of such candidates. The Service Ministers with whom I have been in consultation are considering to what extent existing Regulations as to participation in local government activities may be relaxed in their cases.

Mr. Thorneycroft

Is my right hon. Friend aware that men and women serving in the Forces have been encouraged to take an interest in local government by means of lectures and discussions, and that unless provision is made they will be precluded from taking their proper part in the making of the new world which they have been promised?

Mr. Morrison

I am aware of that, and I will draw the attention of my right hon. Friends to it, but my hon. Friend must appreciate their difficulties. The problem of providing for the vast number of local government candidates on the same basis as we have done for prospective Members of Parliament, would present the Service Departments with great difficulties, but we will do our best.