§ 84. Sir WILLIAM BYLES
asked the Home Secretary whether he will lay upon the Table of the House the Home Office Order prohibiting meetings in Hyde Park and elsewhere; and will he say how long it is since any similar interference with the right of public meeting has been found necessary on this side of the Irish Channel?
§ Mr. McKENNA
There is no such Order. The meetings were stopped because, without this being done, the police could not carry out their duty of preserving the peace. The letter which the Commissioner of Police wrote to those concerned, warning them of the action which would have to be taken for this purpose, was published in the newspapers on the 18th, and was read by me the same day in this House. Action has been taken by the police on previous occasions when the same necessity existed—for instance, at Liverpool in 1901, and two years ago at Streatham Common.
§ Sir W. BYLES
Has not experience shown that the proclaiming of meetings has exactly the opposite effect to that desired, that it never prevents the meetings being held, and that the more repression there is, the more that which is repressed manifests itself?
§ Mr. McKENNA
I dare say that the general argument of my hon. Friend may be true, but, in the circumstances of this particular case, I have no doubt that the measures taken will be effective.
§ Mr. W. THORNE
Has the right hon. Gentleman received any resolutions of protest from various organisations against this action?