Oral Answers to Questions — India – in the House of Commons on 20th April 1944.
asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will explain how, in view of the passing of the Local Elections and Register of Electors (Temporary Provisions) Act, 1939, and the injunction that the strength of the respective political parties on local authorities should remain as it was prior to the passing of that Act, the minority on the Gateshead Town Council has recently become the majority party.
This position has resulted from maintaining a local pre-war practice, which defeats the spirit of the electoral truce, whereby the party with a majority, of councillors takes all alder-manic vacancies for its nominees, while it has this majority. For the rest, the circumstances are too complex to explain within the limits of a Parliamentary Answer; but I may say that one of the factors apparently was a weakening of party discipline, which happens at times on local councils as it does in Parliament.
Will the right hon. Gentleman consider giving some award such as a medal to every member of the Tory Party on Gateshead Town Council for their sharp practices in this connection?