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Electoral Reform

Volume 390: debated on Thursday 3 June 1943

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asked the Home Secretary whether he can now make a statement regarding electoral reform, especially with regard to by-elections in war-time?

I regret that I am still unable to add anything to the reply which my right hon. Friend the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State gave to the Question on this subject by my bon. Friend the Member for East Birkenhead (Mr. Graham White) on 12th May.

Does my right hon. Friend recollect that the Prime Minister said that a statement would probably be made before. Easter and that he himself a few weeks ago told me he hoped to make a statement before Whitsuntide?

What the Prime Minister said was that he might be able to make a statement before Easter, and I said that if I could not make a statement before Whitsuntide, I. should be very disappointed. I hasten to add that I am.

I think not. I propose to make a Parliamentary statement in answer to a Question or otherwise, but I cannot commit myself that legislation will be involved. I think that it probably will be, in which case there would be ample opportunity for the House to debate and examine the proposals.