HC Deb 01 February 1934 vol 285 cc522-3

asked the Home Secretary if, in view of the past experience of disorder created on a similar occasion, he will, in the interest of the public and of the unemployed themselves, take steps to prevent the large-scale demonstration of unemployed from all parts of the country, organised by the National Unemployed Workers' Movement, to take place in London on 25th February?


I am not aware of any provisions in the existing law by which processions can be prevented from marching to London provided that they are orderly and well behaved. The right of holding peaceful meetings and processions is one of the most cherished rights, but, if this right were to be abused in such a way as to lead inevitably to grave disorder or public disturbance, the Government would have to ask Parliament for such further powers as experience might show to be necessary to deal with such demonstrations.


Is my right hon. Friend aware that this march is a cruel exploitation of the unemployed by the Communist party for their own purposes?