HC Deb 08 December 1955 vol 547 cc534-5
12. Mr. Hyde

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department the present Government policy in regard to the gypsy population of this country; and what circulars on this matter have been sent to chief constables in recent years.

Major Lloyd-George

I understand that this Question relates to suggestions which have appeared in the Press about police action against gypsies. Chief officers of police are responsible for enforcing the law, which applies to gypsies in the same way as to other people, and no circulars have been issued to them by my Department in recent years.

Mr. Hyde

Is my right hon. and gallant Friend aware that this small and defenceless community of approximately 20,000 people is in danger of having its spirit broken and of dying out in consequence of the harrying police methods to which its members have been subjected, especially in Kent? Will he therefore take steps, before it is too late, to save the remnants of a distinguished people who have been a characteristic feature of the English countryside since Elizabethan times?

Major Lloyd-George

I have made inquiries and cannot find any evidence whatever that the action taken against gypsies is any different from the action taken against other people in similar circumstances.

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