HC Deb 06 December 1950 vol 482 cc354-5
40. Mr. Gammans

asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies what deposit is required from the candidates standing at the forthcoming Gold Coast election; and how far there is forfeiture of deposit if a candidate fails to receive a certain percentage of votes cast.

67. Mr. Braine

asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies whether every candidate for election to the new Gold Coast Legislature will be required to put down a deposit to be forfeited if he does not obtain a certain percentage of the votes cast.

Mr. J. Griffiths

The amount proposed is £50, which will be forfeited if a candidate fails to obtain one-sixth of the total number of votes polled.

Mr. Gammans

Does the right hon. Gentleman realise that in a recent election in the Gold Coast one of the candidates received over 99 per cent. of the votes? As that seems likely to be repeated at the General Election, does the right hon. Gentleman not realise that this may mean that very few candidates will come forward to oppose the C.P.P., and that the whole General Election may, in effect, go by default?

Mr. Griffiths

The fact that one candidate received that percentage of votes shows that there is nothing wrong. If I may say so, my own party receives very nearly that percentage in South Wales.

Mr. Eden

What has led the right hon. Gentleman to put the percentage of votes required to avoid fortfeiture of deposit a little higher than it is here?

Mr. Griffiths

I did not put forward the figure. It was recommended by the Coussey Committee, and was accepted by the committee which they set up the other day to consider these details. All I have done is to approve the details.

Mr. Braine

Is it not highly desirable to encourage moderates to stand in this election, and will not the forfeiture of deposits discourage them?

Mr. Griffiths

I think it is very desirable that we should adopt this proposal, which have been agreed to in the Gold Coast.

Mr. Brockway

Can my right hon. Friend say whether he received a report from the Governor of the Gold Coast stating that the election to which the hon. Member for Hornsey (Mr. Gammans) referred was carried out in a completely fair and impartial manner?

Mr. Griffiths

My information is that it was carried out in a fair and impartial manner.

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