HC Deb 28 October 1919 vol 120 cc500-1W

asked the Minister of Health whether local authorities were requested to form citizen guards on the occasion of the recent railway strike; whether local authorities have any statutory powers to establish new forces of this kind; whether the cost of publicity, organisation, etc., in connection with the citizen guards will be defrayed from the rates; and, if so, on what authority?


I have been asked to reply to this question. An appeal was addressed to magistrates and local authorities to form Citizen Guards for the maintenance of order. It is by the common law the duty of all citizens to assist in the maintenance of order, and no statutory authority was therefore necessary; but in this case it was proposed to attest the guards as special constables, so that the statutory provisions as to the control and organisation of the special constabulary would apply to them, and their expenses would be payable in the same way as those of the regular police.