HC Deb 29 May 1945 vol 411 cc27-9
57. Sir G. Mander

asked the Prime Minister whether it is proposed to introduce legislation before the General Election to implement the recommendations of the Speaker's Conference with regard to the limitation of election expenses and other matters.

The Prime Minister

No, Sir.

Sir G. Mander

Is it not the case that there is general agreement on this subject, and that not much time would be occupied with the necessary legislation?

Mr. Glenvil Hall

In view of the shortage of paper might not one recommendation, namely, that a common poll card should be issued, be implemented?

The Prime Minister

It would be a very uncommon poll card that would meet the desires of all the different parties.

Mr. McGovern

Will the Prime Minister undertake that the General Election shall be held at some time during the last week in June to enable the electors of Clydeside to vote?

The Prime Minister

That does not arise on this Question.

Mr. Woodburn

Is the Prime Minister not aware that the Conference recommended that in view of the difficulty some people would have in finding their way to vote registration officers should issue a universal poll card?

The Prime Minister

There is no question of getting this Bill. These matters have to be gone through before the Election, and we have not even started on them.

Mr. Herbert Morrison

Are we to take it from the Prime Minister's answer that the labours through which the Speaker's Conference went, when they reached a large measure of unanimous agreement, are to be set aside, and that this Election is to be fought by means which the Speaker's Conference condemned as wrong, merely because the Government will not find the time to carry through these elementary reforms, including the poll card?

The Prime Minister

My right hon. Friend—perhaps it is my duty to say the right hon. Member—will find plenty of opportunities of descanting upon the topics he has just mentioned.

Mr. Bellenger

Is it not the case that if this election had not been brought on so quickly a Bill of this nature would have been introduced into the House during this Session, and passed?

The Prime Minister

If the sessions of the House are interrupted by a Dissolution, some rearrangement of Business is inevitable.

Sir Percy Harris

Was it not part of the recommendations of the Conference that, as there was complete agreement on this subject, people should all work together to facilitate such legislation?

Sir Joseph Nall

Is it not a fact that, according to the report of the Conference, matters relating to the conduct of elections were intended to be brought in after the next election?

Mr. McKinlay

Was it part of the recommendations of the Committee, Sir, that the whole of the police forces of Scotland should be deprived of their votes at this election?

Mr. Speaker

It is not in Order to ask me questions about the Report of the Select Committee.

Mr. McKinlay

I wanted to know whether that was one of the recommendations.

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