Unemployed Demonstration, Glasgow (Arrests).

Oral Answers to Questions — Scotland. – in the House of Commons on 24th November 1931.

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Photo of Mr James Maxton Mr James Maxton , Glasgow Bridgeton

83.

asked the Secretary of State for Scotland if he can state the reasons for the delay in bringing to trial the persons arrested in connection with the unemployed demonstration in Glasgow on let October?

Photo of Mr Craigie Aitchison Mr Craigie Aitchison , Kilmarnock

Of 108 cases arising out of the demonstration referred to, 87 have already been brought to trial and finally disposed of. Of the remainder dates for trial have been fixed in nine cases, and as regards the rest instructions have been given for their disposal. There has, accordingly, been no delay.

Photo of Mr James Maxton Mr James Maxton , Glasgow Bridgeton

It is now seven or eight weeks since these men were arrested on what is either a very simple charge or no charge at all. Are the police having difficulty in finding evidence in these cases?

Photo of Mr Craigie Aitchison Mr Craigie Aitchison , Kilmarnock

No, the police have had no difficulty of any kind in finding evidence. The hon. Member should keep in view that there were 103 cases that had to be carefully investigated and reported upon before proceedings were instructed. He should further keep in view that cases can only be disposed of when Judges are able to find time for their disposal. I can assure him, taking the whole of the facts into consideration in the present cases, that there has been no delay of any kind.

Photo of Mr John McGovern Mr John McGovern , Glasgow Shettleston

If it is no breach of legal privilege, will the right hon. and learned Gentleman see that I am left at home at Christmas time or, if not, will he give the same consideration as was given to Lord Kylsant and send me to hospital?

Photo of Mr George Buchanan Mr George Buchanan , Glasgow Gorbals

Is the right hon. and learned Gentleman aware that there is a good deal of feeling in the matter and that the poorest people were proceeded against in some cases a month ago? In the case of more prominent Members, all this delay takes place while the very poorest people are proceeded against at once.

Photo of Mr Craigie Aitchison Mr Craigie Aitchison , Kilmarnock

My hon. Friend is quite misinformed as to the facts. There has been no discrimination of any kind, except that in order that the electoral activities of certain people might not be interfered with, I directed that their cases might stand over until the election was over.

Photo of Mr James Maxton Mr James Maxton , Glasgow Bridgeton

Will the right hon. and learned Gentleman or—

Photo of Lieut-General Edward Fitzroy Lieut-General Edward Fitzroy , Daventry

We really cannot have the matter debated.