HC Deb 02 July 1931 vol 254 cc1465-71
76. Mr. McGOVERN

asked the Secretary of State for Scotland if he is prepared to inquire into the case with a view to the release of the lay preachers who have been imprisoned for breach of by-laws in preaching the gospel on Glasgow Green?


I have made inquiries into this case and am informed that the facts are as follow: Four lay preachers were charged in Glasgow Central Police Court on 17th June with having contravened the Glasgow Public Parks By-laws by taking part in a meeting or demonstration without the written authority of the corporation or the Director of Parks. They pleaded guilty, and were fined £3 with the alternative of 20 days' imprisonment, 10 days being allowed for payment of the fine. On 21st June they again offended and appeared in Court on the following day, when three of them who admitted the offence charged were again fined £3 or 20 days' imprisonment, no time being allowed for payment in view of the recent previous conviction. The case against one of the four offenders, who pleaded "not guilty," was continued until 3rd July, and he is at present on bail. Another offender who appeared in Court on 22nd June for the first time was fined £3 or 20 days' imprisonment, 10 days being allowed for payment of the fine. I am in communication with the local authority with a view to ascertaining if there is any difficulty in the way of these persons getting permits to preach the gospel on Glasgow Green at any time they so desire.


Is he aware that these men, and others, have been refused permits at different times, and will he, in view of that, commute the rest of the sentence—a savage sentence—and release these men forthwith?


I have already stated that I am making inquiries and shall be in a position to reach a decision when the inquiry is completed.


Is not the right hon. Gentleman aware that the power to release these men lies with him and not with the Glasgow Corporation; and, while he is making his inquiries, will he release these men, as it is a public disgrace that men should be punished in these days for preaching Christianity, or anything else?


Will the right hon. Gentleman, when he is dealing with the Glasgow Corporation or the authorities in Scotland which deal with the gentlemen now in prison, find out whether or not Glasgow's success was based upon letting Glasgow live and proceed by the preaching of the Word, and, if that is so, how is it that men can be imprisoned for preaching the Word?


Cannot we have an undertaking from the Lord Advocate on this matter?


In view of the importance of this question, is the right hon. Gentleman prepared during the time that this discussion is taking place, to release these men and allow them freedom during that time—to release them at once?


I have already said, in reply to a supplementary question, that I am making inquiries, and as soon as the inquiries are completed I shall be in a position to answer.


We are not asking whether you are making inquiries, but whether you will let them out.


On a point of Order. [Interruption.] Surely I am entitled to say that I intend, at the earliest possible moment, to raise this question, and I give the right hon. Gentleman notice of that fact?


On a point of Order. The right hon. Gentleman has not replied to the demand for the release of these men. [Interruption.]


The hon. Member has had a reply.


I want an answer to the question. Is he prepared to release these men at present in prison? [Interruption.] I want to know if he is prepared to release these men. He has not given that undertaking. [An HON. MEMBER: "Sit down!"] You need not tell me to sit down. I will sit down when I like. I want to ask the right hon. Gentleman if he will answer the question.

[HON. MEMBERS: "Name!"] I must press for an answer to that question. [Interruption.] I ask the right hon. Gentleman to answer that question. I must demand an answer to a question which is agitating the minds of the public of Glasgow at the present time. [HON. MEMBERS: "Name!"] I must press for an answer to the question. [HON. MEMBERS: "Sit down!"] I will not sit down. The question has not been answered. [Interruption.]


I must name the hon. Member for disregarding the Ruling of the Chair.


I beg to move, "That Mr. McGovern be suspended from the service of the House."


That is about the only thing he can do.

Question put, "That Mr. McGovern be suspended from the service of the House."

The House divided: Ayes, 315; Noes, 16.

Division No. 370.] AYES. [3.48 p.m.
Acland-Troyte, Lieut.-Colonel Bullock, Captain Malcolm Denman, Hon. R. D.
Adamson, Rt. Hon. W. (Fife, West) Burgess, F. G. Dugdale, Capt. T. L.
Adamson, W. M. (Staff., Cannock) Butler, R. A. Dukes, C.
Addison, Rt. Hon. Dr. Christopher Buxton, C. R. (Yorks, W. R. Elland) Duncan, Charles
Aitchison, Rt. Hon. Craigle M. Cadogan, Major Hon. Edward Ede, James Chuter
Alexander, Rt. Hon. A. V. (Hillsbro') Campbell, E. T. Eden, Captain Anthony
Allen, Sir J. Sandeman (Liverp'l., W.) Cape, Thomas Edmunds, J. E.
Alpass, J. H. Carter, W. (St. Pancras, S. W.) Elliot, Major Walter E.
Ammon, Charles George Castle Stewart, Earl of Elmley, Viscount
Arnott, John Cautley, Sir Henry S. Erskine, Lord (Somerset, Weston-s-M.)
Ashley, Lt.-Col. Rt. Hon. Wilfrid W. Cazalet, Captain Victor A. Everard, W. Lindsay
Attlee, Clement Richard Chamberlain Rt. Hn. Sir J. A. (Birm., W.) Ferguson, Sir John
Ayles, Walter Chamberlain, Rt. Hon. N. (Edgbaston) Foot, Isaac
Baker, John (Wolverhampton, Bilston) Charleton, H. C. Forestler-Walker, Sir L.
Baldwin, Rt. Hon. Stanley (Bewdley) Chater, Daniel Frece, Sir Walter de
Balfour, Captain H. H. (I. of Thanet) Christle, J. A. Fremantle, Lieut.-Colonel Francis E.
Barnes, Alfred John Churchill, Rt. Hon. Winston Spencer Gardner, B. W. (West Ham, Upton)
Barr, James Clarke, J. S. George, Rt. Hon. D. Lloyd (Car'vn)
Bellairs, Commander Carlyon Cluse, W. S. George, Major G. Lloyd (Pembroke)
Benn, Rt. Hon. Wedgwood Clydesdale, Marquess of Gibbins, Joseph
Bennett, Sir E. N. (Cardiff, Central) Cobb, Sir Cyril Gibson, H. M. (Lancs, Mossley)
Bennett, William (Battersea, South) Colfox, Major William Philip Gill, T. H.
Benson, G. Colville, Major D. J. Gillett, George M.
Blindell, James Compton, Joseph Glassey, A. E.
Bondfield, Rt. Hon. Margaret Conway, Sir W. Martin Glyn, Major R. G. C.
Bourne, Captain Robert Croft Cooper, A. Duff Gossling, A. G.
Bowater, Col. Sir T. Vansittart Courthope, Colonel Sir G. L. Gould, F.
Bowerman, Rt. Hon. Charles W. Cranborne, Viscount Graham, Rt. Hon. Wm. (Edin., Cent.)
Bowyer, Captain Sir George E. W. Cripps, Sir Stafford Grattan-Doyle, Sir N.
Boyce, Leslie Croft, Brigadier-General Sir H. Gray, Milner
Braithwaite, Major A. N. Culverwell, C. T. (Bristol, West) Greenwood, Rt. Hon. A. (Colne)
Briscoe, Richard George Cunliffe-Lister, Rt. Hon. Sir Philip Grenfell, D. R. (Glamorgan)
Broad, Francis Alfred Daggar, George Gretton, Colonel Rt. Hon. John
Broadbent, Colonel J. Dalrymple-White, Lt.-Col. Sir Godfrey Griffith, F. Kingsley (Middlesbro' W.)
Bromfield, William Dalton, Hugh Groves, Thomas E.
Brothers, M. Davidson, Rt. Hon. J. (Hertford) Grundy, Thomas W.
Brown, Ernest (Leith) Davies, D. L. (Pontypridd) Gunston, Captain D. W.
Brown, Brig.-Gen. H. C. (Berks, Newb'y) Davies, Maj. Geo. F. (Somerset, Yeovil) Hall, Lieut.-Col. Sir F. (Dulwich)
Brown, Rt. Hon. J. (South Ayrshire) Davies, Rhys John (Westhoughton) Hall, G. H. (Merthyr Tydvil)
Buchan, John Davison, Sir W. H. (Kensington, S.) Hall, Capt. W. G. (Portsmouth, C.)
Buchan-Hepburn, P. G. T. Day, Harry Hamilton, Mary Agnes (Blackburn)
Hamilton, Sir R. (Orkney & Zetland) Mathers, George Smith, Frank (Nuneaton)
Hammersley, S. S. Millar, J. D. Smith, Lees-, Rt. Hon. H. B. (Keighley)
Hannon, Patrick Joseph Henry Milne, Wardlaw-, J. S. Smith, Rennle (Penistone)
Hartington, Marquess of Milner, Major J. Smith, Tom (Pontefract)
Harvey, Major S. E. (Devon, Totnes) Monsell, Eyres, Com. Rt. Hon. Sir B. Smith, W. R. (Norwich)
Haslam, Henry C. Montague, Frederick Smith-Carington, Neville W.
Hayday, Arthur Morley, Ralph Smithers, Waldron
Henderson, Right Hon. A, (Burnley) Morrison, Robert C. (Tottenham, N.) Snowden, Rt. Hon. Philip
Henderson, Capt. R. R. (Oxf'd, Henley) Muff, G. Snowden, Thomas (Accrington)
Henderson, Thomas (Glasgow) Muirhead, A. J. Somerville, A. A. (Windsor)
Henderson, W. W. (Middx., Enfield) Murnin, Hugh Southby, Commander A. R. J.
Hennessy, Major Sir G. R. J. Nali-Cain, A. R. N. Spender-Clay, Colonel H.
Herriotts, J. Naylor, T. E. Stamford, Thomas W.
Hirst, G. H. (York W. R. Wentworth) Newton, Sir D. G. C. (Cambridge) Stanley, Lord (Fylde)
Hirst, W. (Bradford, South) Nicholson, Col. Rt. Hn. W. G. (Ptrsf'ld) Steel-Maitland, Rt. Hon. Sir Arthur
Hoare, Lt.-Col. Rt. Hon. Sir S. J. G. Noel Buxton, Baroness (Norfolk, N.) Strauss, G. R.
Hollins, A. Oliver, P. M. (Man., Blackley) Sueter, Rear-Admiral M. F.
Hope, Sir Harry (Forfar) Oman, Sir Charles William C. Sutton, J. E.
Hopkin, Daniel Owen, Major G. (Carnarvon) Taylor, Vice-Admiral E. A.
Howard-Bury, Colonel C. K. Palin, John Henry Taylor, R. A. (Lincoln)
Hudson, Capt. A. U. M. (Hackney, N.) Paling, Wilfrid Thomas, Rt. Hon. J. H. (Derby)
Hudson, James H. (Huddersfield) Palmer, E. T. Thompson, Luke
Hurd, Percy A Parkinson, John Allen (Wigan) Thomson, Sir F.
Isaacs, George Penny, Sir George Thomson, Mitchell-, Rt. Hon. Sir W.
Jones, Rt. Hon Lalf (Camborne) Perry, S. F. Thurtle, Ernest
Jones, Morgan (Caerphilly) Pethick-Lawrence, F. W. Tiliett, Ben
Jowitt, Rt. Hon. Sir W. A. (Preston) Peto, Sir Basil E. (Devon, Barnstaple) Tinker, John Joseph
Kennedy, Rt. Hon. Thomas Phillips, Dr. Marlon Titchfield, Major the Marquess of
Knight, Holford Pole, Major D. G. Tout, W. J.
Lamb, Sir J. Q. Potts, John S. Townend, A. E.
Lambert, Rt. Hon. George (S. Molton) Pownall, Sir Assheton Train, J.
Lang, Gordon Price, M. P. Vaughan, David
Lansbury, Rt. Hon. George Pybus, Percy John Viant, S. P.
Latham, H. P. (Scarboro' & Whitby) Ramsay, T. B. Wilson Walkden, A. G.
Lathan, G. (Sheffield, Park) Ramsbotham, H. Walker, J.
Law, Sir Alfred (Derby, High Peak) Rawson, Sir Cooper Wallace, Capt. D. E (Hornsey)
Law, Albert (Bolton) Raynes, W. R. Ward, Lieut.-Col. Sir A. Lambert
Law, A. (Rossendale) Remer, John R. Warrender, Sir Victor
Lawrence, Susan Reynolds, Col. Sir James Watkins, F. C.
Leach, W. Richardson, R. (Houghton-le-Spring) Welsh, James (Paisley)
Lee, Frank (Derby, N. E.) Roberts, Rt. Hon. F. O. (W. Bromwich) Welsh, James C. (Coatbridge)
Leighton, Major B. E. P. Rodd, Rt. Hon. Sir James Rennell Westwood, Joseph
Lewis, Oswald (Colchester) Romeril, H. G. White, H. G.
Locker-Lampson, Rt. Hon. Godfrey Rosbotham, D. S. T. Whiteley, Wilfrid (Birm., Ladywood)
Locker-Lampson, Com. O. (Handsw'th) Salter, Dr. Alfred Whiteley, William (Blaydon)
Lockwood, Captain J. H. Samuel, A. M. (Surrey, Farnham) Williams, Charles (Devon, Torquay)
Long, Major Hon. Eric Samuel, Rt. Hon. Sir H. (Darwen) Williams, David (Swansea, East)
Longbottom, A. W. Sandeman, Sir N. Stewart Williams, E. J. (Ogmore)
Lunn, William Sanders, W. S. Williams, Dr. J. H. (Llanelly)
Macdonald, Gordon (Ince) Savery, S. S. Williams, T. (York, Don Valley)
Mac Donald, Rt. Hon. J. R. (Seaham) Sawyer, G. F. Wilson, C. H. (Sheffield, Attercliffe)
MacDonald, Malcolm (Bassetlaw) Scott, James Wilson, G. H. A. (Cambridge U.)
Macdonald, Capt. P. D. (I. of W.) Shaw, Rt. Hon. Thomas (Preston) Wilson, J. (Oldham)
McElwee, A. Shepperson, Sir Ernest Whittome Wilson, R. J. (Jarrow)
McEntee, V. L. Sherwood, G. H. Windsor-Clive, Lieut.-Colonel George
MacNeill-Weir, L. Shield, George William Winterton, Rt. Hon. Earl
Maitland, A. (Kent, Faversham) Shiels, Dr. Drummond Wolmer, Rt. Hon. Viscount
Makins, Brigadier-General E. Shillaker, J. F. Womersley, W. J.
Malone, C. L.'Estrange (N'thampton) Shinwell, E. Wood, Rt. Hon. Sir Kingsley
Mander, Geoffrey le M. Short, Alfred (Wednesbury) Wood, Major McKenzie (Banff)
Mansfield, W. Sinclair, Sir A. (Caithness) Wright, Brig.-Gen. W. D. (Tavlst'k)
Margesson, Captain H. D. Sinkinson, George Young, Rt. Hon. Sir Hilton
Marjorlbanks, Edward Sitch, Charles H.
Markham, S. F. Skelton, A. N. TELLERS FOR THE AYES.—
Marshall, Fred Smith, Ben (Bermondsey, Rotherhithe) Mr. Hayes and Mr. Charles Edwards.
Baldwin, Oliver (Dudley) Gardner, J. P. (Hammersmith, N.) Maxton, James
Beckett, John (Camberwell, Peckham) Hardie, G. D. (Springburn) Sandham, E.
Bevan, Aneurin (Ebbw Vale) Kedward, R. M. (Kent, Ashtord) Simmons, C. J.
Brockway, A. Fenner Kelly, W. T. Stephen, Campbell
Brooke, W. Kirkwood, D.
Dudgeon, Major C. R. Lee, Jennie (Lanark, Northern) TELLERS FOR THE NOES.—
Mr. Buchanan and Mr. Kinley.

The hon. Member for Shettleston must leave the House forthwith.

The hon. Member refused to withdraw.


then directed the SERJEANT-AT-ARMS to cause Mr. MCGOVERN to be removed from the House, and stated that grave disorder having arisen he suspended the Sitting of the House till a quarter-past Four.

The hon. Member was then removed by force.

Sitting suspended at Two Minutes be-fore Four of the Clock.

MR. SPEAKER resumed the Chair at Seventeen Minutes after Four o'Clock.


I have to inform the House that recourse to force having been necessary to remove the hon. Member for Shettleston he is therefore suspended from the service of the House for the remainder of the Session.