HC Deb 22 March 1937 vol 321 cc2569-70W
Mr. Holdsworth

asked the Home Secretary whether any further information has come into his possession with regard to the alleged prohibition of street meetings in connection with the by-election at Tunbridge Wells?

Mr. Lloyd

My right hon. Friend has been in consultation with the Chief Constable and regrets that there has been a misunderstanding over this matter. It is true that a letter from the Chief Constable, of which my right hon. Friend has seen a copy, states that he was unable to give permission for open-air meetings to be held in the streets. Of course, no person has any right to authorise the holding of meetings in the public thoroughfares, but the Chief Constable tells me that what he meant to convey was that traffic conditions in the main thoroughfares would make it impossible for meetings to be held there; he did not intend to suggest that no open-air meetings would be possible and he followed his letter up by taking the earliest opportunity of meeting the election agents of the three parties two days later, when the whole matter was discussed with the result that agreement was reached as to suitable sites.