§ 2.47 p.m.
§ [The Question was as follows:
§ To ask Her Majesty's Government in how many instances acts of assault and violence are known to have been committed in furtherance of the bus strike and in how many instances prosecutions have been instituted.]
§ THE MINISTER OF EDUCATION (VISCOUNT HAILSHAM)
My Lords, I am sorry to say that this information is not available. Responsibility for enforcement of the law in any area rests with the chief officer of police concerned. My right honourable friend the Home Secretary received reports during the course of the strike of a number of incidents which led to prosecutions and of others which the police were following up with a view to prosecutions, but it is not possible to give comprehensive information. 401 I should say, however, that my right honourable friend is satisfied that the police in all parts of the country were well aware of their duty to exact compliance with the law, and acted accordingly.
§ LORD ELTON
My Lords, I thank the noble and learned Viscount very much for his Answer. I think he will agree that the overall picture which it suggests, both of the conduct of the strikers and the enforcement of the law, is more reassuring than might have been gathered from the Press accounts during the first day or two of the strike.
§ VISCOUNT HAILSHAM
My Lords, I think that it is also right to say that unlawful conduct on the part of strikers was not at all widespread, and I do not think that I should give the impression that it was. One always sees reported the things which go wrong, but never very much the greater number of things which go right.
§ VISCOUNT ALEXANDER OF HILLSBOROUGH
My Lords, I am much obliged to the noble and learned Viscount. Would he agree that there is no industrial country in the world in which there is less disturbance at times of industrial strife than this country?