Validation of Elections' Bill

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons am 12:00 am ar 25 Gorffennaf 1955.

Danfonwch hysbysiad imi am ddadleuon fel hyn

Photo of Mr Charles Williams Mr Charles Williams , Torquay 12:00, 25 Gorffennaf 1955

I wish briefly to make two points. First, as far as the remarks of the hon. and gallant Member for Brixton (Lieut.-Colonel Lipton) are concerned, I wish to say that everyone in this House knows that if we appoint a Select Committee, it is open to any Members of Parliament to criticise its work, and it is also open to Parliament as a whole to accept or reject its recommendations. I accept the remarks of the hon. and gallant Gentleman on that matter in that spirit, and I only hope that as time goes on some of the wisdom of his hon. Friends who sat on the Select Committee may come to him in due course.

I would point out that the Select Committee was asked to do certain things. We found, first of all, that both elections were invalid, and, when we had done that, we had to make recommendations, if we so desired, and we did. We did so unanimously, and agreed that the two hon. Members should be indemnified, as is being done in this Bill, and we did it for this reason. There are three cases at this time, two of which we are dealing with here, and another one is to come. Some years ago, there were five cases, which were dealt with on almost exactly the same lines, and those constituted the precedents.

I should like to say that one point that has always puzzled me is how it happens that in this Bill we are dealing with two Conservative Members, supporters of the Government, and in 1946 we were dealing only with Socialist Members—supporters of the Labour Government of that time. How it happens that supporters of the Government are caught and have to be covered by Bills of this kind, while their opponents never do, I do not know.