HC Deb 20 June 1963 vol 679 cc639-40
Q2. Mr. Milne

asked the Prime Minister whether he will introduce legislation making it compulsory for political parties to issue annual balance sheets indicating their complete sources of income.

The Prime Minister

No, Sir.

Mr. Milne

Is the right hon. Gentleman aware how serious and detrimental is this method when unknown donations are received by political parties? Do they not definitely need examination and ought not the public to be aware of them?

The Prime Minister

I think that this is more a matter for debate than for Question and Answer.

Mr. G. Brown

Would the right hon. Gentleman reconsider his Answer? Does he not realise that there are two aspects to this matter? One is the right of the electors to know how the parties are being financed and the other is the right of shareholders to know how their money is being spent without their knowledge. Does he not owe it to both groups to introduce some legislation to get people some rights in this matter?

The Prime Minister

As the hon. Gentleman says, this is a wide question, but I do not think that I can deal with it in Question and Answer.

Sir Richard Pilkington

Is my right hon. Friend aware that in this business, as in others, a very large body of opinion in this country has full confidence in his leadership?