HC Deb 17 May 1895 vol 33 cc1442-3

I beg to ask the Chief Secretary to the Lord Lieutenant of Ireland whether his attention has been called to the conduct of a crowd of persons, who on recent Sunday evenings have mobbed and maltreated the speakers at the Independent Labour Party meetings at the Custom House Steps, Belfast and whether he will ensure that adequate police protection is given to maintain freedom of speech?


For some weeks past my attention has been directed to the proceedings at the meetings referred to in the hon. Member's question, and I am aware that some hostility has been shown by the large numbers of persons attracted to these meetings. It is the paramount duty of the Constabulary to preserve the peace, and they have so far, I am informed, been successful in preventing any attack either on the particular member of the party in question who organised the meetings, or upon his supporters at these meetings. The police will continue to preserve the peace on such occasions and to afford every protection to the parties referred to in the discharge of this duty.