HC Deb 22 June 1961 vol 642 cc1653-4
7. Mr. Brockway

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department on what grounds restrictions were placed on marchers past South Africa House and the residence of the South African High Commissioner, planned by the Anti-Apartheid Movement, on 28th May, 1961.

Mr. Renton

I am informed by the Commissioner of Police that the organisers of this march were warned that they would not be allowed to carry out their original plans because it was considered that serious public disorder might have been caused.

Mr. Brockway

Will the hon. and learned Gentleman consider this as a point of psychology? Is he aware that the organisers called off these marches because trey feared that the restrictions would lead to disorder? Is he further aware that, when the marchers were allowed to pass South Africa House, there was no violence whatever, and that violence is created only when crowds have a sense of frustration by being kept in side streets? Will he look at this from the point of view of psychology?

Mr. Renton

These are factors which the Commissioner of Police bears in mind, but there have been disorders at earlier demonstrations. It is the duty of the police to take steps to preserve public order, and they have a special duty to protect diplomatic premises.