§ MR. BYRON REED (Bradford, E.)
I beg to ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department whether he is aware that the Order of the House of 11th February 1896, which directs that the passages through the street leading to this House be kept free and open, and that no obstruction be permitted to hinder the passage of Members to and from this House, has of late been seriously infringed by the tearing up of the roadway immediately outside this House, causing grave obstruction to the passage of hon. Members to and from the House; whether he can inform the House as to what person or persons are responsible for this obstruction; and what steps he proposes to take to vindicate the authority of this House as declared by its Resolution as above set forth.
§ *THE SECRETARY OF STATE FOR THE HOME DEPARTMENT (Sir MATTHEW WHITE RIDLEY,) Lancashire, Blackpool
So far as I understand, the Order of the House is a direction to the Metropolitan Police to take care that the streets leading to the House are kept free and open and that the passage of Members is unobstructed. This, I conceive, refers to the regulation of the traffic over which the police have control, and does not exclude the right of the proper authorities (in this case the Westminster Vestry and the London County Council) to interfere with the roadway where necessary; at any rate I am not aware of any power, certainly the police had none, to prevent their exercising these rights. All that the police can do is under existing conditions to 1624 see that the roadways are kept clear in regard to traffic, and this I believe they have done successfully.