HC Deb 12 May 1864 vol 175 cc366-7

said, he would beg to ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, with reference to the Instructions to the Police as to Public Meetings in the Parks, Whether he considers such Instructions justify the suppression of Public Meetings other than such as may be held on a Sunday?


I do not think, Sir, that the letter of the Instructions issued to the Police authorizes them, I without having recourse to the Commis- sioner or an Assistant Commissioner, in dispersing public meetings in the Parks, other than such as may be held on a Sunday. These Instructions had reference to an evil which had arisen, and which the public generally felt—that of meetings held in the Parks on Sundays, attended by large numbers of people, and followed by considerable tumult and disorder. But the public notice which was issued distinctly pointed to such meetings being held in the Parks on any day, and it is obvious that meetings of a political character, where different opinions are expressed, and where great disorder may arise, are equally objectionable on any day, interfering as they must with the object for which the Parks were designed —namely, the enjoyment and recreation of all classes of people.