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European Community Membership (Referendum)

Volume 890: debated on Monday 21 April 1975

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39.

asked the Lord President of the Council why he will not include with the White Paper to be supplied to voters on matters connected with the EEC referendum a copy of the Rome Treaty and a summary of all the rules, directives and orders, etc., that have been issued since Great Britain's entry into the EEC.

asked the Lord President of the Council whether, in the forthcoming referendum, provision will be made for the supply, free of charge, to each of the umbrella organisations at local level of two copies of the register of electors in each constituency, as provided for at parliamentary elections under Regulation 22(1)(c) of the Representation of the People Regulations 1974.

I would refer the hon. Member to the answer I gave the hon. Member for Ravensbourne (Mr. Hunt) on 21st March.

asked the Lord President of the Council what conditions he proposes to attach to the grants to be made to the two campaigning organisations under Clause 3 of the Referendum Bill.

The grant to each organisation—Britain in Europe and the National Referendum Campaign—will be made subject to the following conditions, which they have both accepted:

  • (a) The grant may be used only for purposes connected with the referendum and not for purposes connected with other political objectives.
  • (b) In accordance with Clause 3(2) the organisation will keep accounts of all sums received or spent for the purpose of the referendum since 26th March 1975, and these accounts will show the persons from whom any such sums were received and the persons to whom any such sums were paid. Receipts and payments of less than £100 need not be separately identified, except when two or more such receipts from a person or organisation together exceed £100.
  • (c) Accounts for audit for this period will be made available within two months of the date of the referendum.
  • (d) The accounts will be subject to audit by the Comptroller and Auditor General, who must for this purpose be given all reasonable access he may require to the books of the organisations; and the accounts will be available for publication by the Lord President of the Council.
  • (e) Any portion of the grant remaining unspent will be repaid to the Privy Council Office.
  • (f) The grant may be drawn upon as needed as soon as Clause 3 of the Bill has been approved by the House of Commons in Committee. To draw upon the grant the organisation should submit an application signed by Sir Con O'Neill/the hon. Member for Banbury (Mr. Neil Marten) to the effect that it has at least £X of bills or immediate commitments awaiting payment and wishes to draw upon the grant to that amount.