HC Deb 06 July 1905 vol 148 cc1340-1

I beg to ask the Lord-Advocate whether his attention has been called to the recent religious disturbances in Glasgow, as a result of which prosecutions have taken place in the Glasgow Police Courts; whether he is aware that the disturbance at Glasgow Green on June 11th was caused by the language and conduct of a man named Boal, who appealed to the crowd to turn their faces to the Catholics, and said that if they would drag them in he would hammer them himself and show them the way these things were done in Belfast, whereupon a Catholic was seized, the seizure marking the beginning of the disturbance; whether he is aware that the attention of the chief constable was called to this incident at the time, and that the incident took place in the presence of police officials; whether he will state why Boal has not been prosecuted; and whether he will order that such lecturers' addresses shall not be permitted at Glasgow Green in future.


My attention has been called to the disturbances referred to. They were due to disputes between the followers of the Protestant speaker Boal and of two Roman Catholic speakers. A few police constables were present and complaints were made to the police by both parties. The chief constable inquired very fully into the matter at once, and the results were submitted to the Procurator-Fiscal and the magistrates, but there was no sufficient evidence to establish that Boal had used the language attributed to him in the Question or to justify his prosecution. Measures have since been taken which have prevented any repetition of the disturbances. The lecturers were speaking on the portion of the Green set aside by the corporation for speaking and holding meetings, and I have no power to interfere with the corporation's action in the matter, and I have no desire to do so.


Does not this man Boal, who is the cause of these disturbances, come from Belfast? Is there not a revival in Scotland of religious animosities, thanks to him, and will the right hon. Gentleman take steps to deal with him as an alien immigrant?


I have no information on that point.