HC Deb 14 October 1912 vol 42 cc779-80

asked the Home Secretary whether the enforcement of the prohibition of the distribution of leaflets in the London streets is intended to preclude the distribution of leaflets at open air meetings, at the doors of indoor meetings, or of leaflets which are distributed by being inserted in or under house doors, and, if not, will he communicate with the police accordingly?


The prohibition relates to the distribution in the streets of leaflets by way of advertisement. It will not apply ordinarily to political or social tracts, nor will it apply to the distribution of advertisements through letterboxes, etc. As a matter of practice, the Commissioner of Police proposes to instruct his officers not to interfere with any advertisements except those distributed for purposes of trade or profit, and with these only when the distribution leads either to the obstruction or annoyance of passengers or to the streets being littered with papers.


Have the police instructions from the right hon. Gentleman that they are not to enforce this prohibition in the case of leaflets delivered at political meetings, and is the word "ordinarily" taken from the Act of Parliament?


Yes, Sir, the answer which I have given to my hon. Friend is a statement of the law.