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Hornsey By-Election (Incident)

Oral Answers to Questions — Home Department – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 6th June 1957.

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Photo of Mr Arthur Lewis Mr Arthur Lewis , West Ham North 12:00 am, 6th June 1957

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department whether he is aware that on Thursday, 30th May, 1957, the police on duty outside the Hornsey Town Hall, on the occasion of the by-election count, took no action to prevent a sports car, particulars of which have been sent to him, from speeding through a crowd of some 300–400 on-lookers; that this created a serious disturbance and injury to at least one person; why the police constable who spoke to the driver and took particulars did not caution or warn him; and whether he will charge this driver for driving without due care and attention and as a danger to the public.

Photo of Mr R.A. Butler Mr R.A. Butler , Saffron Walden

The enforcement of the law is for the Commissioner of Police and I am satisfied that it would not be proper for me to intervene or to make observations on the details of this case on which I have received a report from the Commissioner.

Photo of Mr Arthur Lewis Mr Arthur Lewis , West Ham North

Yes, but is the Home Secretary aware that whilst appreciating the natural disappointment of the Tory Party in almost losing that by-election, it should be no excuse for one of the Tories coming up in a sports car, trying to force his way through a crowd, and causing damage to one of the onlookers? Will he not, therefore, at least suggest to the Commissioner that he should make an investigation with a view to taking action against this individual?

Photo of Mr R.A. Butler Mr R.A. Butler , Saffron Walden

My account of the accident is not quite so lurid or recumbent as that of the lion. Gentleman.