asked the Home Secretary by what authority, and for what reason, the police ordered the postponement of a peace procession for two hours in Barking on Saturday, 14th November, 1936, and why the person responsible for this order had not the courtesy to give adequate notice of his objection to the organisers instead of only intervening late on the previous night, when the police had had six weeks' notice of the proposed procession?
The Commissioner of Police of the Metropolis informs me that, after careful inquiries, he came to the conclusion that, on account of the traffic congestion in the main streets of Barking during shopping hours on Saturday nights, it would not be possible to provide facilities for the proposed procession until 9 p.m. He accordingly gave the necessary directions in pursuance of the powers conferred on him by Section 52 of the Metropolitan Police Act. The Commissioner much regrets that longer notice was not given of the police objection to the time at which it was proposed to hold the procession.
In view of the fact that the Commissioner of Police had six weeks' notice, is no reason to be given for his delay in not giving an intimation to the organisers of the procession until the previous night?
The fact is that he did not have six weeks' notice, but only three weeks', and the delay was caused by difficulty in getting into touch with the organisers of the procession.