HC Deb 05 December 1935 vol 307 cc277-8

asked the Prime Minister whether, in view of the persistent attempts in industrial areas to deny free speech to National candidates throughout the General Election campaign, it is proposed to take any legislative action?

The PRIME MINISTER (Mr. Baldwin)

I am not satisfied that the existing law contained in the Public Meetings Act, 1908, is inadequate if full advantage is taken of its provisions. I am advised by my right hon. Friend the Home Secretary that the police are fully aware of their duties relating to the maintenance of order at public meetings, but of course it is no part of the duties of the police to act as stewards. The sole function of the police in this matter is to deal with violent conduct and breaches of the peace.


Is it not a fact that the united front formed by the Socialist and Communist parties was largely responsible for the intensified rowdyism indulged in throughout the General Election campaign?