HC Deb 14 November 1955 vol 546 cc1-2
1. Mr. E. Johnson

asked the Attorney-General how many persons were prosecuted for conveying voters to polling stations in unregistered cars in the 1955 General Election; and what are the corresponding figures in the 1950 and 1951 General Elections, respectively.

The Solicitor-General (Sir Harry Hylton-Foster)

The number of persons prosecuted for offences against Sections 88 and 89 of the Representation of the People Act, 1949, was 15 in 1955, eight in 1950 and two in 1951. These figures relate only to proceedings instituted by the Director of Public Prosecutions; the right to prosecute for these offences is not restricted, but so far as is known no proceedings were instituted by any other person.

Mr. Johnson

Would not my hon. and learned Friend agree that the fact that the law regarding the use of cars for General Elections is different from that in the case of local government elections leads to confusion and infringements of the law? Would it not be desirable to make the law regarding General Elections the same as that for local government elections?

The Solicitor-General

I must ask my hon. Friend to address any Question relating to the amendment of the law to my right hon. and gallant Friend the Secretary of State for the Home Department.

Mr. H. Hynd

As the unrestricted use of motor cars gives the Conservative Party an unfair advantage in elections, will the Government maintain the restrictions?

The Solicitor-General

The hon. Gentleman would be unwise to assume that, on a calculation relating to persons who were prosecuted in respect of these matters, the balance in favour of one party would necessarily be favourable to his own.