§ Sir KINGSLEY WOOD (by Private Notice)
asked the Home Secretary whether he can make any statement concerning the conflict yesterday between the police and the deputation of ex-service men from Woolwich?
§ Mr. SHORTT
The procession was attended by a Superintendent of Police and a number of officers. The leaders of the procession were warned that they could not cross Westminster Bridge. They, however, attempted to rush the bridge. The police blocked the rush. At about 5.45 p.m. a deputation of the men came from Downing Street and informed the Chief Constable on duty that they had seen the Premier's Private Secretary, with satisfactory results. This was communicated to the men and the mounted police were sent into reserve. As it got dark there was some throwing of bottles and glasses from two public-houses, and several of the police were more or less serious injured. The "New Inn" was cleared by the police, and this led to the smashing of its windows. At about 6.30 p.m. the Chief Constable decided to withdraw the bulk of the police, as the crowd that was left were mostly waiting to see if anything further would happen, and by 7.45 p.m. all reserves were dismissed.
Would the right hon. Gentleman consent to a full inquiry being made into all the circumstances of this occurrence?
§ Brigadier-General CROFT
Should the inquiry be extended to the whole principle of the trade union movement?
§ Mr. ADAMSON
In view of the unsatisfactory answer, I ask leave to move the Adjournment of the House to call attention to a definite matter of urgent public importance, namely, "the action of the authorities in connection with a deputation and procession of ex-service men which resulted in disorder and many casualties."
§ Mr. SPEAKER
No suggestion is or has been made that the police acted in any way contrary to orders. As far as I can judge, they acted according to the Order passed by this House that processions of this character should not approach the precincts.