HC Deb 11 August 1947 vol 441 c227W
Mr. Bramall

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department whether it was at his direction that, when in the Metropolitan Police district, members of the League of Jewish ex-Servicemen demonstrated hostility against a meeting at which Fascism and anti-Semitism was being preached, they were arrested, but that when crowds demonstrated hostility at a meeting of the League the meeting was stopped by the police.

Mr. Ede

It is the duty of the police to endeavour to prevent a breach of the peace and the decision as to what steps are necessary for that purpose must vary with the circumstances of the case, and must be taken by the officers on the spot. I am not aware, and neither are the police, whether any of the persons arrested on 1st June, which appears to be the occasion referred to in the Question, were members of the Association of Jewish ex-Servicemen; they were arrested for offences against the Public Order Act, 1936. A meeting organised by the Association on 3rd August was closed by the chairman at the request of the police to prevent the speaker being manhandled by a substantial part of the audience and no objection was raised to the action of the police. Any suggestion that in carrying out this very difficult part of their duty the police are not acting impartially is unfounded.