HC Deb 26 June 1911 vol 27 cc226-7

asked the Attorney-General whether he is aware that in the course of a trade dispute at Bilston, Staffordshire, the police have openly afforded protection to an organised body of strike-breakers whilst they attended a meeting held in support of the strikers for the purpose of breaking up such meeting by booing, singing, and stone-throwing; whether he is aware that, although appealed to, the police refused to remove such persons from the meeting, but openly escorted them to and from the place; and whether he can take action, through the Public Prosecutor or otherwise, with a view to preventing such incitements to a breach of the peace?

Mr. ILLINGWORTH (Lord of the Treasury, replying in the absence of the Attorney-General)

In answer to enquiries made I have ascertained that a number of open-air meetings have been held by the strikers and that the police have attended such meetings in order to prevent a breach of the peace, but I have been unable to discover any trace of the incidents referred to in the question. If my hon. Friend will supply me with more specific detail as to date, time and place, I will make further enquiries.


Is it not a fact that on the 23rd May and also on the 25th May several of these strikers were taken up because of interfering with workmen and that on the 23rd May five were fined and on the 25th two were also fined?


That is not in accordance with my information.


Are these employers allowed to employ men to break up public meetings held by strikers?


I have no information to that effect.


Will my hon. Friend make further enquiries and see whether the use of firearms is not resorted to by this particular employer?