It was not necessary to make any special and detailed inquiries for the rally in question. The purposes were well known and had been publicised. I share the views of all hon. Members on this side that this was a nasty and squalid affair—[Interruption.]—but I am glad that my hon. Friend mentioned the right of free speech. In matters of this sort, clearly one has to allow such a rally to take place.
It is relevant to ask these questions in view of my responsibilities for racially-inspired meetings. It was the Conservative Government which made the decision to ban Fascist organisations following the grave disorders in Trafalgar Square in the summer of 1962. Since then, Fascist organisations have from time to time been banned from holding meetings. This is a relevant question.
Does my right hon. Friend agree, however, that what happened on 15th January, with the permission of his Ministry, was not simply a racialist rally but one which was wholly illegal in that it was designed to aid and comfort a treasonable régime?
The meeting was not illegal in terms of British law. It was a meeting for a deplorable purpose. [HON MEMBERS: "Why?"] It was encouraging an illegal régime abroad. For that reason, I deplore the decision to hold the rally. However, I think that it was right for the Government to permit it to take place.