HC Deb 06 July 1903 vol 124 cc1494-6

On the Motion for the Adjournment of the House,


called attention to the Sessional Order requiring the police of the Metropolis to take care that during the session of Parliament a passage through the streets be kept free and open, and no obstruction be permitted that would hinder their passage to the House. At three o'clock that afternoon he was stopped at the bottom of Berkeley Street, although he explained that he was a Member of Parliament. He then tried other streets, including Bond Street and Burlington Street, by direction of constables. Eventually he got out of his cab and walked to the top of St. James's Street, where he met with every assistance from the police, and eventually arrived at the House. He would be the last man in the world to attempt to add to the troubles of the police when they had special difficulties to cope with. All he asked was that it should be laid down for the information of Members how and by what means they were to be able to come down to the House to perform their duties if they left their homes at such time as they thought would not cause unnecessary inconvience to the police.


said he was precisely in the same predicament as his hon. friend, but reached the House by making a detour. He thought that on a special occasion like that it was hardly necessary to press this matter strictly. By taking a little extra trouble hon. Members might help the police and avoid adding to the duties which devolved upon them.


said he had been stopped by the police at Hyde Park corner, but on stating he was a Member he was allowed to pass.


said the police were most anxious to carry out the Sessional Order, and Members would admit that they usually met with the greatest courtesy and assistance from the force. It was a question how far the Sessional Order extended. He had always thought it referred to the neighbourhood of the House, and it certainly could not apply all over London, or to places where Members were not known. He hoped his hon. and gallant friend would not think it necessary to press the matter further. He, when he came down to the House, was allowed to pass, and having to repass from the House to meet M. Loubet he was enabled to do so with very little delay Some consideration must be shown to the police on such an occasion when men from other divisions were on duty to whom Members were not known.

MR. FLAVIN (Kerry, N.)

said he always received the greatest courtesy from the Metropolitan police.


said he had no desire to press anything; he simply mentioned the difficulty he had met with, and asked how he was to get to the House of Commons on such an occasion.


said it was quite clear that the Sessional Order ought to be carried out by the police, and that the access of Members to the House should be secured, and he knew from previous communications with the heads of the police that they were thoroughly aware of their duty and desirous of carrying it out. Probably the difficulty had arisen from men being drafted to duty near the House from other divisions, and therefore not discharging their duty in this particular with the intelligence that characterised the police usually on duty near the House. Every care was taken that the Standing Order should be duly enforced, and the Serjeant-at-Arms would again communicate with the police on the subject. He hoped it would not be considered necessary to pursue the matter any further.

Adjourned at seventeen minutes after Twelve o'clock.