HC Deb 02 August 1951 vol 491 cc1594-5
6. Mr. Russell

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many political meetings have been held in Trafalgar Square during the past year; and the number organised by each political party.

Mr. Ede

According to police records 29 meetings which might be described as being of a political nature were held in Trafalgar Square between 1st August, 1950, and 31st July, 1951. Eighteen different organisations sponsored meetings and I will, with permission, circulate the detailed list in the OFFICIAL REPORT.

Mr. Russell

Could the right hon. Gentleman say whether most of the organisations responsible for these meetings were dominated by the Communist Party, and does he not think it quite wrong that political banners, no matter what party they belong to, should be displayed from the face of the Nelson statue?

Mr. Ede

It is very difficult to determine which of these bodies may have some affiliation with the Communist Party. Some of them certainly had not, I should think. I do not think that the London Housewives' Association is connected with them, nor the Sinn Fein Party. There are other bodies called "The Britons" and "Tottenham Nationalists." They do not seem to be Stalinist organisations, but I have no doubt some of the others are more or less Communist inspired. With regard to the banners, I do not think that it would be possible to disturb what is a well-established practice.

Details are as follow:

The following meetings of a political nature were held in Trafalgar Square between 1st August, 1950, and 31st July, 1951:

Organisers. No. of Meetings.
United Irishmen 3
London District Committee, Communist Party 3
London Housewives' Association. 3
Peace Pledge Union 2
Anti-Partition of Ireland League 2
Christian and Gentiles Front 2
British Peace Committee 2
Coloured Workers' Association 2
British Empire Party 1
London Peace Council 1
Union Movement 1
Ex-Service Movement for Peace 1
Joint Trade Union Defence Committee 1
London Trades Council 1
Sinn Fein Party 1
Equal Pay Campaign Committee 1
National Federation of Old Age Pensioners Associations 1
"The Britons" and "Tottenham Nationalists" 1