§ 11. Mr. DAY
asked the Home Secretary whether he has now received the Report from the Commissioner of Police upon the incidents which happened with regard to the disturbances at the meeting of the British Union for the Abolition of Vivisection at Caxton Hall on the 20th June; whether he has considered this Report; and can he now make a statement upon it?
§ 36. Mr. BOYCE
asked the Home Secretary whether he has received representations in regard to the disturbances at the meeting of the British Union for the Abolition of Vivisection, at Caxton Hall, on 20th June, and the alleged refusal of the police officers present to turn out the organised disturbers of the meeting unless the entire hall was emptied; whether any instructions were given to the police officers in question by his Department; and will he consider taking some steps whereby pubic meetings called for lawful purposes shall receive the necessary police protection to carry out the purpose for which such meetings are convened?
§ Mr. CLYNES
I have now received a Report from the Commissioner of Police regarding the meeting in question. The duty of police who may be present at public meetings is to prevent so far as possible any breach of the peace, and no special instructions were required or given on this occasion. It must be recognised that the task of the officer in charge in such cases is often a difficult one, as precipitate action is just as Likely to provoke complaint as undue delay. The Commissioner of Police is satisfied, however, after considering a large number of statements made by persons who were present, 597 that the officer in charge of the detachments sent to this meeting committed an error of judgment in not acting sooner. The Commissioner has taken appropriate action with respect to the officer concerned, and has communicated fully with the union named in the question.
§ Mr. THURTLE
Will the right hon. Gentleman make known to the police his desire that the utmost rigour of the law may be applied to these unruly students?