I know of no sufficient reason in present circumstances for reversing the decision taken by Parliament and embodied in the Local Elections (Temporary Provisions) Acts of 1939, 1940 and 1941.
Does not my right hon. Friend agree that the new responsibilities which have been put on local authorities as a result of the war make it necessary that the electors should have some control over administration, and will he not give the matter further consideration?
I hardly think that new responsibilities are a good reason. Frankly, as one experienced in municipal elections, it is not too easy to see how the issues would shape themselves in wartime conditions, and I do not think it would be worth while, in view of all the other claims on people's energies, that we should precipitate these elections.
Will my right hon. Friend convey to the local authorities that they should give a broader interpretation in selecting persons to fill vacancies, and not take completely narrow party lines?
It was an understanding in the House when the legislation went through that the party representation should not be prejudiced. The only trouble I get is from local authorities who try to take what they call a broad line, which sometimes seems to be rather a crooked one.