HC Deb 30 March 1914 vol 60 c865

I rise to a point of Order. I beg, Mr. Speaker, to ask your decision as to an incident which occurred on Friday last after the conclusion of questions, when a demonstration was made against certain visitors and strangers who were present in the Gallery, and which was described in a Radical newspaper in these terms:— At this point several Noble Lords who had been seated in the Peers' Gallery rose and left the chamber. Their departure was greeted by loud mocking cheers by Members on the Nationalist benches. What I wish to ask is whether it is permitted by the unwritten rules which govern our proceedings in this House to make party demonstrations, either friendly or hostile, in regard to strangers or visitors leaving the galleries of the House?


In answer to the hon. Gentleman, I have to say that no such demonstrations are permitted. At the same time, it did not occur to me that what took place on Friday was in the nature of a demonstration. The hon. Member will remember that the whole House practically rose to leave when it appeared that the Prime Minister was not in a position to make his statement. The hon. Member for Bradford rose, and I am sorry to say that the greater part of those here left, and those up in the Gallery rose at the same time. So far as I could see, that was the only reason of the so-called demonstration. There were a large number of strangers in the Gallery, and on their departure from the House a large number of Members who had been sitting below rose and looked up to ascertain what was the cause of the commotion.