HC Deb 17 February 1949 vol 461 cc1323-5
18. Mr. Goronwy Roberts

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he is satisfied that sufficient publicity has been and is being given to the provisions of the Representation of the People Act, 1948, particularly those governing the conduct of elections; and what steps he is taking to ensure that all candidates at the forthcoming local elections will be aware of the obligations placed upon them by the Act.

Mr. Ede

Leaflets drawing attention to the new obligations of candidates at local government elections will be on sale from Tuesday next, and I am asking returning officers to bring their existence to the notice of all candidates at the forthcoming elections. I will consider what other suitable publicity can be arranged for the changes in election law as they come into force.

Mr. Roberts

Will my right hon. Friend consider the possibility of having a short speech broadcast between now and the local elections, because there is a general lack of knowledge of these provisions among prospective candidates and their agents?

Mr. Ede

I will consider whether a broadcast would be helpful. The pamphlets with regard to local elections will be on sale as from Tuesday next. The price is 1d. for the pamphlet on parish council elections and 2d. for the pamphlet dealing with other local government elections.

Mr. Thomas Reid

Does my right hon. Friend propose to consolidate the laws relating to elections?

Mr. Ede

That is not a matter strictly for me, but we are hoping to do something on that matter.

Mr. Wilson Harris

Can the right hon. Gentleman say when the Amending Measure providing for the continuance of university representation will be brought forward?

Mr. Ede

I have never heard of such a Measure.

Mr. Willis rose


Mr. Wilson Harris

In view of such a Measure being introduced before long by the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Woodford (Mr. Churchill)—[Interruption]——

Mr. Willis

Can my right hon. Friend say whether a similar pamphlet has been prepared for use in Scotland?

Mr. Ede

I think my hon. Friend should put that question to the Secretary of State for Scotland.

19. Mr. Sutcliffe

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department what steps he takes to see that candidates for Parliamentary and local government elections are British subjects.

Mr. Ede

The law provides machinery by means of an election petition for inquiring into a candidate's qualifications and it is not within my province, or that of a returning officer, to determine this question.

Mr. Sutcliffe

Is not this a most important question and should not the Home Secretary or somebody delegated by him be the authority for making the decision?

Mr. Ede

The matter was debated when the Representation of the People Act was before the House, and the power is not given to me.