HC Deb 29 April 1937 vol 323 cc511-2
14. Mr. James Hall

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department whether his attention has been called to the provocative character of the speeches made at a Fascist meeting held in Glasshouse Street, Whitechapel, on 14th April, and the Jew-baiting carried on by the marchers during the demonstration which followed; and whether he will take steps to prevent an increase of disorder because of the renewal of this method of propaganda?

The Secretary of State for the Home Department (Sir John Simon)

Only one speech was made at the meeting referred to. A shorthand note was taken of it, and the Commissioner of Police informs me that, on consideration of the report, he decided, in all the circumstances, not to institute proceedings, but that he has given instructions that special attention should be paid to future speeches by this individual, and prompt action will be taken if he offends against the law. After the meeting a clash took place between Fascists and their opponents, who appear to have sung their rival songs at each other, and some isolated fights occurred, as a result of which six arrests were made. I am satisfied that the Commissioner is taking, and will continue to take, every possible step to maintain order and to prevent any recurrence of the troubles which occurred last year.

Mr. Hall

Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that, following the meeting, the procession which takes place is responsible for an amount of Jew-baiting and provocative utterances which leads to more trouble than the things said at the meeting; and will he be prepared to see that provocative conduct is put an end to, in accordance with the terms of the Act which was passed last year?

Sir J. Simon

I certainly have every intention, and so has the Commissioner, of enforcing the law.

Forward to