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Maybole Town Council (Filling Of Vacancies)

Volume 389: debated on Tuesday 18 May 1943

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asked the Secretary of State for Scotland whether he is aware that Maybole Town Council has twice, within recent months, violated the political truce by declining to elect two Labour representatives to vacancies in the Town Council caused by the death of two Labour members; and what action does he intend taking to bring home to the Council the abuse they have perpetrated?

My right hon. Friend is informed that in recent months two vacancies have arisen on Maybole Town Council through the deaths of members who represented the Co-operative party and that the same gentleman was nominated on behalf of that party to fill each vacancy but did not secure election. The Secretary of State has no power to intervene in the filling of vacancies on town councils. He is, however, expressing to the Council his concern that, at a time when national unity is of the first importance, they should have failed to respect the Government's view, to which their attention has already been drawn, that the political balance in a local authority should not be disturbed.

Could my hon. Friend tell us whether it is the intention of the Secretary of State for Scotland, in the circumstances, to arrange for an election to enable this grievance to be rectified?

Is my hon. Friend aware that two seats have been stolen from the Cooperative party in Maybole? As these people are quite incapable of carrying out a gentlemen's agreement, will he ask his right hon. Friend to dismiss them?

Is it not rather strange that the hon. Member for South Ayrshire (Mr. Sloan), who so consistently breaks the political truce himself, should be concerned over this matter?

Is the hon. and gallant Gentleman aware that I have never at any time broken the political truce?