Conspiracy (Amendment)

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 25th February 1975.

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Photo of Lieut-Colonel David Mather Lieut-Colonel David Mather , Esher 12:00 am, 25th February 1975

I confirm that what I was saying was absolutely on the topic of the discussion. The hon. Member for Preston, South referred specifically to the Shrewsbury pickets.

I deal with the Bill on three grounds—the ground of fact, the ground of law and the ground of motive. On the matter of fact, the offences of September 1972 are well known and hardly bear repeating. A brief repetition should be made on this occasion. This is what eye-witnesses saw: The men entered the sites in what was described as a mad swarm. They were shouting, 'Kill the bastards.' They also shouted, 'This is a revolution and not a strike'. One man was threatened to have his legs broken if he resisted. Another man was pulled off his ladder, hit his head and was in hospital for eight days with severe concussion. Others were attacked with bricks, were stoned—[Interruption.]—and hit with iron bars. Buildings were smashed, huts demolished and windows broken. Equipment was broken up and overturned and—