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Public Servants (Political Activities)

Volume 437: debated on Tuesday 20 May 1947

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asked the Prime Minister whether he is now in a position to make a statement of the intention of His Majesty's Government to amend the conditions whereby Post Office workers, local government employees, those employed by the Government in the mining and other industries, and other public servants are debarred or prejudiced by standing as candidates or taking part in local or national elections, publicly supporting or opposing any political candidate, or speaking or writing on political questions.

This matter is still under consideration, and I have nothing to add to the reply which I gave my hon. Friend on 6th March.

In view of the growing number of men in Government service, will my right hon. Friend see that they will not suffer any undue civic or political disadvantages?

If any regulations are made, will the right hon. Gentleman give an assurance that any facilities or restriction of facilities applies equally to all grades of the Civil-Service?

No, Sir, I do not think that would be reasonable. There is a great deal of difference between the position of, say, someone in the manual group at the Post Office, and, say, the permanent secretary of a Department such as the Foreign Office.