HC Deb 16 May 1918 vol 106 cc506-7

asked the Home Secretary for what reason the May-Day labour demonstration proposed to be held in Finsbury Park on Sunday, 5th May, was proclaimed; whether he is aware that eight trades councils and over 100 trade union branches were to be represented at the demonstration; and who was responsible for the action taken?

The SECRETARY of STATE for the HOME DEPARTMENT (Sir George Cave)

This meeting was prohibited by an Order made by me under No. 9 A of the Defence of the Realm Regulations because I was satisfied from the information before me that if held it would give rise to grave disorder, and cause undue demands to be made on the police, and that the holding of certain processions which were being arranged in connection with the meeting would conduce to a breach of the peace.

The answer to the second part of the question is in the negative. I am, of course, responsible for the action taken.


May I ask the right hon. Gentleman if it is the policy of his Department, whenever any organisation, for its own purpose, publishes a scheme for a meeting, to say that it will create a disturbance?


The hon. Gentleman is asking a general question, of which he must give notice.


May I ask whether there was from any quarter any manifestations of hostility to this meeting, apart from one newspaper, owned by the Director of Information, and edited by a gentleman named Blumenfeld?


I acted on the reports from the police, and not on what appeared in any newspaper.