HC Deb 20 June 1939 vol 348 c2033W
Mr. Errington

asked the Secretary of State for War what disabilities there are affecting serving officers and men in regard to speaking in connection with, or standing at, Parliamentary or municipal elections; and to what extent will the said disabilities affect Members of Parliament who are called for service under the Reserve and Auxiliary Forces Act during the period of service required thereunder?

Mr. Hore-Belisha

An officer or man of the Regular Army is not permitted to issue an address to electors, or in any other manner publicly announce himself or allow himself to be announced as a candidate or prospective candidate for Parliament. Similar disabilities attach to officers of the Territorial Army holding certain appointments, such as brigade commander and adjutant, who are engaged to give continuous paid service to the Crown. Furthermore, officers and men of the Regular Army are not permitted to take any active part in the affairs of any political organisation or party whether by speaking in public or in any other manner.

An officer of the Regular Army on full pay, or a soldier, may not accept office in any municipal corporation or other local government council, or allow him-self to be nominated for election, without the sanction of the Army Council.

These disabilities will apply also to all persons called out for military service under the Reserve and Auxiliary Forces Act, 1939.

I am considering what steps are necessary to safeguard the interests of hon. Members.

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