HC Deb 31 May 1962 vol 660 cc1567-8
13. Mr. Frank Allaun

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department what representations he has received about the need to raise the limit on election expenses; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. Fletcher-Cooke

My right hon. Friend has received very few representations. He is not aware of any widespread demand to change the existing arrangements.

Mr. Allaun

Did not the Minister see the resolutions from Conservative associations and the statement by the Leader of the House that the 1949 scale of expenses was quite unreal today? May we take it that this utterly unfair proposal, which would give still more power to the money-bags, has now been dropped, even if vast sums of money can still be spent in other ways?

Mr. Fletcher-Cooke

I am aware of the resolutions to the Conservative Central Council, which are, I think, what the hon. Gentleman has in mind I spoke against those resolutions myself, and I am glad to say that they were defeated.

Miss Bacon

Is the hon. and learned Gentleman aware that it is making a mockery of election law if, at the same time as there is a restriction on the spending of individual candidates, vast sums of money may be spent nationally by the national party organisations in the months preceding a General Election? Will he, far from increasing the amount which can be spent by candidates, restrict the amount which can be so spent nationally?

Mr. Fletcher-Cooke

That goes very much wider than the Question on the Order Paper.