HC Deb 28 February 1917 vol 90 c2030

asked the Home Secretary whether he will explain the scope of the recent Regulation under the Defence of the Realm Act permitting the competent military or naval authority or superior officer of police to authorise in writing a police constable or other person to attend any meeting or assembly at which, in the opinion of the authority, some offence against the Regulations might be committed; whether this Regulation extends to meetings in a private house or to trade union meetings in their branch rooms; whether it is to be left to the police constable to decide as to whether some breach of the Regulations has been committed; and whether the police constable can stop or disband such meeting?


The Regulation relates only to meetings of such a character that offences against the Regulations made for securing the public safety and the defence of the realm may be committed thereat. It does not, therefore, contemplate interference with trade unions or other lawful organisations. No power to stop or disband a meeting is created by the Regulation.