HC Deb 21 April 1948 vol 449 cc1921-2

(1) For the purposes of Part III of this Act, the expression "local government area," shall include the City of London, the expression "local government election," shall include any municipal election in that City (that is to say, any election to which the local corrupt practices Act is applied by section thirty-five thereof) and the expression "corporate office," shall include any office mentioned in paragraph (1) of that section: Provided that in relation to municipal elections in the City of London the said Part III shall have effect subject to the modifications hereafter mentioned in this section.

(2) In relation to those elections—

  1. (a) in subsection (3) of section thirty-eight the reference to the day of election shall be taken as a reference to the day fixed for the election and (where a poll is taken) any day thereafter up to and including the day of the poll, but in relation to a meeting held with reference to an election other than an annual election that subsection shall not apply to an offence committed on or before the day on which the precept is issued;
  2. (b) the expression "vote" in sections forty-five and forty-six shall not include voting otherwise than on a poll, and in the said section forty-six sub-paragraph (ii) of paragraph (a) of subsection (2) shall not apply;
  3. (c) subsection (2) of section thirty-eight and subsection (2) of section forty-eight shall not apply.

(3) In relation to ward elections—

  1. (a) the expression "electoral area" means ward;
  2. (b) subsection (4) of section thirty-six shall not apply.

(4) In relation to elections other than ward elections—

  1. (a) the expression "electoral area" means the City of London;
  2. (b) sections thirty-six, forty and forty-two shall not apply, and accordingly—
    1. (i) section twenty-one of the local corrupt practices Act shall be modified as mentioned in subsection (2) of section thirty-seven of this Act, except that the form of declaration as to election expenses shall be such as may be prescribed by Act of Common Council; and
    2. (ii) in subsection (1) of section forty-eight of this Act, paragraph (b) shall not apply and references to subsection (1) and to subsection (7) of the said section twenty-one shall respectively be substituted for the references to subsection (2) or subsection (4) of section twenty-nine and to section thirty-four of the corrupt practices Act.—[Mr. Younger.]

Brought up, and read the First time.

Mr. Younger

I beg to move, "That the Clause be read a Second time."

Owing to the special position of the City of London in regard to its local elec- tions, Part II of the Bill, which applies to local government elections, does not apply to the City of London. When we come to Part III, which deals with corrupt and illegal practices, it seems clear that that part of the Bill should be made to apply to the City of London, subject of course to any technical modifications which may be needed in order to adapt it to the methods used in the City. By virtue of previous legislation the former rules regarding corrupt and illegal practices as they existed before this Bill were applied in this way to elections in the City of London, and what we are doing is to bring up to date what is quite an old practice.

There is no substantial change in the procedure involved in the City of London. It is a rather technical matter, caused of course by the peculiar provisions of the various Acts which are in force in the City of London. I do not know that I need go through every paragraph of the new Clause, but I should say that Subsection (1) merely makes necessary adjustments in terminology. The first two provisions of Subsection (2) are inserted because in the City of London there are still elections which take place by a show of hands, and not by a poll. Therefore, adaptation is needed. Subsection (2, c) is inserted to exclude certain earlier provisions of this Bill—Clause 38 (2) and Clause 48 (2)—as regards the City of London because there are corresponding provisions in force adapted to the position of the City which seem to be quite satisfactory.

Subsection (3) is instituted because in Clause 36 of this Bill, which is affected, the term "first ordinary election" is used, and "ordinary election" is not a phrase which is applicable in the City of London. Once again, a modification has to be made. Finally, Subsection (4) relates only to City elections other than those of aldermen and Common Council men, that is the election of the Mayor and Sheriffs. It refers to the appointment of election agents, and it really does not seem necessary to insist that election agents should be appointed in those particular elections for the Mayor and Sheriffs. Therefore, modification in the application of Part III of this Bill is made in that respect.

Clause added to the Bill.