LETTERS TO THE EDITOR
THE NEED FOR TORY REFORM
Sm,—I have been most interested to read the correspondence of Mr. Rawlinson in your excellent paper on the subject of the encouragement of working-class members to stand for Parliament in the Tory interest. I am particularly concerned about this, and perhaps I have reason to be so. When I became Conservative candidate, and indeed in my fight against Mr. Attlee, I wanted to prove one thing above all else, and that was that a Conservative candidate without private means had similar opportunities to those who were otherwise privileged. I say I feel very deeply about this, because at the moment there is no getting away front the fact that the Conservative Party is represented in the House of Commons largely by members of the " privileged " classes. To fight in the General Election, I had considerable financial help from the party, but by no means sufficient, and I was compelled to sell even my most precious belongings in order to raise enough funds to pay my expenses. This I did not mind doing, because I was determined to prove that money would not prevent me from being of service in the way I con- sidered I ought to be.
Later I was adopted at North Bucks by the unanimous vote of a public meeting, but not before I had appeared before a selection com- mittee, who asked me if I would be prepared to subscribe £100 a year and half my election expenses. My answer was " Yes," because I knew, first, that I should not have been adopted otherwise, and, secondly, I was determined to show up this gross injustice within the Conservative Party. And now what has happened? After nine months as Conserva- tive candidate, I recently appealed to the Association Committee for financial assistance because I could not afford to go on, and was living far beyond my means. As a result of my appeal, and only as a result of putting myself in their hands, I have been compelled to resign from North Bucks, and, remarkable as it may seem, have done so for " health reasons." The local associations must support their candidate fully and loyally, and indeed pay all his expenses ; otherwise the privileged few will continue to represent the cause in Parliament.
Sir, if this scandal is allowed to continue, then never will working men be represented by the Tory Party, and the Tory Party is doomed to extinction.—Yours faithfully, The Green, Newport Pagnall, Bucks.