HC Deb 24 July 1946 vol 426 cc24-5
35. Mr. Skinnard

asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies whether he has considered the criticism in the Gold Coast of the regulation that a municipal candidate should deposit the sum of £10 with his nomination papers, on the ground that the deposit is not returnable; and if he will take steps to have this regulation withdrawn.

Mr. George Hall

Apart from the one Press conference, which suggested that the deposit might be larger, I understand that there has been almost no local criticism of this regulation. The regulation can only be amended by an ordinance and if there should be general dissatisfaction about its terms the remedy would lie in the hands of the unofficial majority on the new Legislative Council.

Mr. Hector Hughes

Surely it is unjust that these deposits should not be returnable, and does the right hon. Gentleman know any reason why there should be discrimination against municipal candidates there which is not imposed on municipal candidates here?

Mr. Hall

It is an exception to the normal Colonial practice and I am taking the matter up with the Governor.

Mr. Oliver Stanley

Is not the whole point of constitutional advances such as have taken place in the Gold Coast that they should be enabled to settle points of this kind for themselves?

Mr. Hall

Yes, Sir.

Mr. Sydney Silverman

Can the right hon. Gentleman say, in view of the fact that this money is described as a deposit, what becomes of the money if it is not returned?

Mr. Hall

It is paid into the Treasury.

Mr. Silverman

A new kind of democracy?