§ Mr. T. KENNEDY
(by Private Notice) asked the Secretary for Scotland if he is aware of the intense public indignation aroused in the mining districts of Fife-shire by the arrest and imprisonment of a number of persons who have been taking, part in meetings held in connection with the mining dispute; whether, as the action of the authorities is likely to provoke further civil disturbance, he will consider the expediency of releasing the men in question.
§ The SECRETARY for SCOTLAND (Mr. Munro)
I have no information regarding the arrest of persons who have taken part in meetings held in connection with the mining dispute referred to. I am, however, satisfied that arrests would not take place unless there was reasonable ground for believing that the persons arrested had been guilty of a breach of the law. Such action cannot be regarded by law-abiding citizens as in any way provocative, and I see no reason to intervene.
§ Major GLYN
Can the right hon. Gentleman say whether it is not a fact that a large proportion of those who are creating strife in Fife are Sinn Feiners who have been previously convicted for producing explosives for the destruction of property?
Is not this a matter entirely for the local police and in no way within the competence of the right hon. Gentleman?
§ Mr. SPENCER
Can the right hon. Gentleman say whether it is legal and right for these men to be arrested if they are merely addressing meetings and not doing any act of violence?
§ Mr. CLYNES
How can the right hon. Gentleman say that he has no right to intervene when he has intervened to the extent of expressing the opinion that the men must be in the wrong?
§ Mr. CLYNES
Is it not within the legal experience of the right hon. Gentleman that men have frequently been arrested without reasonable cause?
§ Sir H. BRITTAIN
Is there any other country in which the law is more fairly administered than here?