HC Deb 19 July 1966 vol 732 c364
15. Mr. Prior

asked the Minister of Housing and Local Government when his attention was first officially drawn to the fact that the prospective rent officer for Lowestoft was standing as a party political candidate in the local municipal election; and who drew his attention to this fact.

Mr. Crossman

The Secretary of the Pakefield Ward Labour Party wrote on 13th April drawing my attention to this fact.

Mr. Prior

Is not the right hon. Gentleman aware that before standing as a local candidate this man sought the advice of the county council, which told him to go ahead, and that for the Minister to intervene in this sort of local affair is much below what ought to be the dignity of his office?

Mr. Crossman

I am not aware of that. What happened was that the clerk allowed him at first. The matter was then referred to me and I drew the attention of the clerk to the undesirability of this happening. I suggest that that undesirability was best expressed in the words of the right hon. Member for Kingston -upon-Thames (Mr. Boyd-Carpenter), who in Committee remarked that it would plainly be an unhappy state of affairs if one of these rent officers ever engaged in political activities for any party in his area