General Election.

Oral Answers to Questions — Transport. – in the House of Commons on 2nd August 1939.

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Photo of Hon. John Stourton Hon. John Stourton , Salford South

asked the Prime Minister whether he is aware of the hostility of the general public to a General Election while international tension persists; and whether, in view of the repeated Ministerial appeals to lay aside party strife in the public interest to meet a common danger, and of the recent action of the French Government in this connection, he will consider introducing legislation to amend Section 7 of the Parliament Act of 1911 so as to extend the duration of the present Parliament for a further two years?

Photo of Captain William Benn Captain William Benn , Manchester, Gorton

On a point of Order. In reference to this question, I understood that matters of argument were not to be introduced into questions. This question appears to consist of some ideas of the hon. Member of an argumentative and, I may add, a rather muddled kind, which I should have thought were unsuitable for a question.

Photo of Lieut-General Edward Fitzroy Lieut-General Edward Fitzroy , Daventry

It does not appear to be more argumentative than a great many other questions which are put on the Paper.

Photo of Mr Neville Chamberlain Mr Neville Chamberlain , Birmingham, Edgbaston

I should not be prepared to consider such a suggestion as is contained in my hon. and gallant Friend's question without some evidence of a general desire for the postponement of a General Election beyond the statutory term. At present I see no evidence of this kind.

Photo of Hon. John Stourton Hon. John Stourton , Salford South

Is my right hon. Friend aware that in the interest of the security of the State it would be better to postpone a General Election until the prospects of peace are much more assured than at present?

Photo of Mr Dingle Foot Mr Dingle Foot , Dundee

Is there any connection between the appearance of this question on the Paper, and the somewhat diminutive Conservative majority in South Salford at the last General Election?