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 Reginald Manningham-Buller Mr Reginald Manningham-Buller , Northamptonshire South 12:00, 25 Gorffennaf 1955

The debate on Third Reading has so far been confined almost entirely to the question whether criticisms of the work of the Select Committee were justified or not. I must say that it seemed to me, on reading the Report of the Select Committee, that it had fully inquired into all relevant matters.

I am sure the House is grateful to all Members of the Select Committee for the expedition with which the Committee worked, and for the clarity and concise nature of its Report, which left very little room for argument as to any of the facts. There is only one correction that I should like to make. The hon. Member for Fulham (Mr. M. Stewart) referred in rather intriguing fashion to what he said was an invitation to luncheon by the Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of Works. I hope that no one will be discouraged from accepting any invitations which the Parliamentary Secretary may like to offer, though he has not so far offered one to me, nor did he offer one to Mr. George on that particular occasion.

There is one further matter that I should like to mention. In the Report of the Select Committee, mention was made of the desirability of Government Departments taking all possible steps within their power to help hon. Members to avoid getting into this kind of difficulty in the future. Of course, the difficulty arises in relation to those who are nominated to Parliament. Once they are elected, we must have a Bill of this kind. I should like to tell the House that the issue of a Treasury Circular to all Government Departments on the lines proposed by the Select Committee has been put in hand. I hope that that will, to some extent at least, reduce the risks to which all of us have been subject in the past, risks which, I hope, will be diminished, if not eliminated, when a Bill which is now before the House reaches the Statute Book.