HC Deb 27 July 1965 vol 717 cc222-3
Q5. Mr. Hamling

asked the Prime Minister what official preparations are being made to commemorate the Battle of Peterloo.

The Prime Minister

None, Sir.

Mr. Hamling

Is my right hon. Friend aware that, inasmuch as recently we have been celebrating the Battle of Waterloo, in the opinion of many hon. Members on these benches the Battle of Peterloo is just as important, in view of the fact that this was the first Chartist demonstration?

The Prime Minister

I would not say that it was a Chartist demonstration. The Charter had not then been signed. In the Waterloo celebration we were celebrating a great victory by British and allied troops. I am not certain that it could be said that the actions of the 15th Hussars and the Cheshire Yeomanry in the Battle of Peterloo were quite such a glorious achievement.

Mr. Hastings

Would the Prime Minister consider appointing the hon. Member for Woolwich, West (Mr. Hamling) Minister for Technology, as this would assist a forward-look generally?

The Prime Minister

I think that the last word was said in the Peterloo Medal when quoting Verse 14 of Psalm 37. The medal said that The wicked have drawn out the sword, and have bent their bow, to cast down the poor and needy, and to slay such as be of upright conversation. For my part, while I am prepared to receive any representations from the Manchester City Council about any proposed celebration, I should prefer to leave it to Psalm 37.