§ MR. THORNE (West Ham, S.)
I beg to ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department whether he is aware that the Russian delegates who are now holding a conference in London are being shadowed and their photographs taken by private detectives and police from Scotland Yard; and whether he intends taking any action in the matter.
§ *MR. CREMER (Shoreditch, Haggerston)
At the same time I wish to ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he can state whether the police have been and still are engaged in watching and following from their place of meeting to their residences the Russians who describe themselves as Social Democrats, and are now holding a Conference in London; whether he is aware that these men have repudiated any connection with Anarchists; if he will state at whose instigation and by whose authority the police are watching and following these men; and whether the information obtained by the police will be given to the Russian police or Russian Government.
§ MR. GLADSTONE
The Russian Social Democrats at present holding a Conference in London are not being and have not been shadowed by the Metropolitan police, nor have their photographs been taken by the police. His Majesty's Government never interferes with political freedom and is not doing so. The police have standing instructions to take all steps which may be necessary, without distinction of nationality, to prevent crimes of violence being prepared or carried out in this country or elsewhere.
§ *MR. CREMER
said the right hon. Gentleman had not answered the most important part of his Question, namely, at whose instigation and by whose authority these men were being watched, and whether the information obtained by them would be given to the Russian police or Government.
§ MR. GLADSTONE
said that he had already stated that the Russian Social Democrats now holding a Conference in London were not being shadowed by the Metropolitan Police, nor had their photographs been taken by the police.
§ MR. CROOKS (Woolwich)
Can the right hon. Gentleman assure the House that no foreign detectives are following these men, who are entitled to the protection of the British flag?