Public Meetings (Soldiers' Attendance).

Oral Answers to Questions — British Army. – in the House of Commons on 28th July 1942.

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Photo of Mr William Gallacher Mr William Gallacher , Fife Western

asked the Secretary of State for War whether he has considered the letter sent to him by the hon. Member for West Fife drawing attention to the standing orders at Woolwich Royal Artillery depot which forbid soldiers to attend public meetings, with a view to the avoidance of disorder, and threaten men with severe punishment for lying about on grass in public parks when in uniform; and what steps he is taking in the matter?

Photo of Sir James Grigg Sir James Grigg , Cardiff East

I am looking into this matter, and will communicate with the hon. Member.

Photo of Mr William Gallacher Mr William Gallacher , Fife Western

Will the Minister make certain that nothing is allowed to inferiere with the right of a soldier to attend public meetings?

Photo of Sir James Grigg Sir James Grigg , Cardiff East

The right is not unqualified.

Photo of Mr William Gallacher Mr William Gallacher , Fife Western

The right to attend public meetings is unqualified. The only point is that they are not allowed to speak at public meetings.

Photo of Sir James Grigg Sir James Grigg , Cardiff East

That is what I meant.

Photo of Mr William Thorne Mr William Thorne , West Ham Plaistow

Would a soldier attending a town council meeting be regarded as attending a public meeting?