HC Deb 14 May 1970 vol 801 cc1429-30
6. Mr. Winnick

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department what further representations have been made to him regarding demonstrations in connection with the South African cricket tour in Great Britain.

Mr. Callaghan

About 250 letters have been received from individuals and organisations on the subject of the South African tour.

Mr. Winnick

Although I realise that we shall be debating this subject later, may I ask whether my right hon. Friend would agree that for the M.C.C. to hire so-called vigilantes is both wrong and an incitement to violence? Is my right hon. Friend aware that, while many of us would like the tour called off as quickly as possible if, nevertheless, the South Africans come over we believe that there should be peaceful demonstrations and that there can be no excuse for violence from either side? As a dedicated antiapartheiddemonstrator and campaigner I would not wish to associate myself in any way with violence.

Mr. Callaghan

What the M.C.C. does in this matter is of concern to the police in so far as it might provoke a breach of the peace. That is the responsibility of the police in all these matters. I certainly echo my hon. Friend's sentiments about violence. We will all have to bear in mind that there will be a certain number of hooligans who exist in every city and who will want to take advantage of what is intended to be the peaceful protest.

Mr. Biggs-Davison

Despite what the right hon. Gentleman's hon. Friend has said, has the Home Secretary noted the statement of Mr. Peter Haine about the success he claims to have achieved so far for his movement being due to the introduction of direct action? Will the Home Office take careful note of this gentleman's activities and statements and movements to make sure that he acts within the law?

Mr. Callaghan

As long as everyone acts within the law there will be no need for anyone to take note of their active- ties. I hope that will go both for the hooligans on the Left and anyone on the Right who wants to stir up trouble. I hope the hon. Gentleman will not overlook the possibility that there may be a tiny, fractional organisation on the Right which would attempt to make disturbances.

25. Mr. Hooley

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department what estimate he has now made of the additional cost to public funds of providing police surveillance of the South African touring cricket team this year.

Mr. Callaghan

It is too early to make an estimate.

Mr. Hooky

Would my right hon. Friend say what justification there is in paying anything at all from public funds to enable this tour to take place since it is offensive to our laws and to millions of people in this country?

Mr. Callaghan

I would not want—nor I am sure would my hon. Friend—individuals who come to this country to be personally harassed and embarrassed if a little police protection could prevent physical intimidation of that sort. I would not want to suggest that they should be left without the normal protection and courtesy afforded to all visitors to this country.