HC Deb 23 March 1891 vol 351 c1668

I beg to ask the President of the Board of Trade whether he is aware of the occurrences which took place at the Charing Cross Railway Station upon the occasion of the departure, on Tuesday last, of the right honourable the Member for Mid Lothian (Mr. Gladstone) for Hastings, when the crowd broke down the frail barriers which had been erected, and two persons were thrown down between the saloon carriages forming part of the moving train, and narrowly escaped being crushed to death; and that again, on the same day, at the Tunbridge Wells Station, another crowd broke down the barriers, and gathered round the train there; and whether the Board of Trade have any power to prohibit the use of railway stations for political demonstrations; and, if so, if he is able to give the House an assurance that it will in future be exercised?


No, Sir; I have no official knowledge of the facts referred to, and the Board of Trade have no statutory authority to take any action in the matter. But I agree with my hon. Friend in thinking that it is most undesirable that the safety and convenience of those whose business compels them to use railway platforms should be interfered with by political or other demonstrations. If an accident resulted, those who permit such demonstrations will incur a grave responsibility.