HC Deb 20 April 1939 vol 346 cc499-500
53. Mr. Gallacher

asked the Home Secretary why two converging marches of the British Union of Fascists were allowed to take place through the banned area of East London on Sunday, 16th April; and whether this means that this area is now open for similar marches on the part of other organisations?

Sir S. Hoare

I have obtained a report from the Commissioner of Police. The question of proceedings in respect of this incident is under consideration, and I am, therefore, not in a position to make any statement. The answer to the last part of the question is in the negative.

Mr. Attlee

Is the right hon. Gentleman aware of the great indignation caused in East London, owing to this provocative march taking place and the fact that it appears that the march was conducted under the supervision of the Metropolitan Police, whereas, in fact, they should have broken it up?

Sir S. Hoare

I would prefer not to accept those statements until the investigation is completed. I said that the Commissioner is looking into the question, in order to see whether proceedings could not be taken.

Mr. Gallacher

Is the Minister not aware that there are very strong feelings in that area that consideration is shown to these Fascist gangs that would never be shown to the ordinary demonstrations of the working classes?

Sir S. Hoare

If that feeling does exist, it is completely without foundation. There is complete impartiality on the part of the police.