HC Deb 20 February 1924 vol 169 cc1747-9
57. Mr. HOGBIN

asked the Prime Minister whether he is prepared to intro- duce further legislation during this present Session to deal with the protection of public meetings from such organised opposition as prevents such meetings from being held?


I have been asked to reply. My right hon. Friend has considered this subject, but he does not see his way to make any proposals for legislation in regard to it.


Is the hon. Member aware that Members of this House had their meetings broken up by organised gangs during the last Election?


Before the hon. Gentleman replies, may I ask whether he is aware that, at the preceding Election, meetings of Labour and other organisations were broken up by organised mobs, paid for by hon. Members opposite?


Is it not a fact that, under the Public Meetings Act, 1908, any disturbance which takes place between the issue of the Writ in any Parliamentary Election and the date of polling comes under the Corrupt and Illegal Practices Act, by which the perpetrators may be liable to a fine of £100 and disfranchisement for five years, and whether any action has been taken on those lines in any case?

Viscount CURZON

is the hon. Gentleman aware that some of the people responsible for the occurrences to which my hon. Friend alludes came from Poplar?


Where all good things come from. On a point of Order. I understand the Noble Lord to say I organised them. I will give the Noble Lord the opportunity of withdrawing that statement; otherwise I shall characterise him in the language he deserves. [HoN. MEMBERS "Withdraw!"]


I did not understand the Noble Lord to say that.

Viscount CURZON

I did say it in the course of an interruption. I withdraw that portion, but they came from Poplar.


Will you, Sir, kindly inform me if I am in order this time in asking whether the Noble Lord has the right to get up in this House and speak as an expert on law?


I should like to raise a point of Order, which seems to me of some importance, namely, whether, when you are on your feet, an hon. Gentleman should not immediately give way, and whether your attention has been called to the fact that it is constantly the habit of the hon. Member for Bow and Bromley (Mr. Lansbury) to remain on his feet and refuse to sit down when you are on your feet, and whether he should not be called upon to conform to the ordinary rules of the House?


I must say I thought the hon. Member for Bow and Bromley was improving in that respect.

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