§ Mr. Arthur Lewis
On a point of order. May I draw your attention, Mr. Speaker, to the fact that, no doubt due to my bad writing, the figure of 25,000 has been included in my Question by the printers instead of the figure of 75,000—although I understand that it should now be 100,000.
§ 3. Mr. Arthur Lewis
asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department whether he is aware that on 21st February the Trades Union Congress is to bold a demonstration against the Industrial Relations Bill involving 25,000 workers marching through London; and whether he will ask the Metropolitan Police Commissioner to agree to its request to close Oxford Street and Regent Street for vehicular traffic during this demonstration.
§ 63. Sir G. Nabarro
asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department having regard to the proposed demonstration by 30,000 members of trades unions against the Industrial Relations Bill, taking place in London on 21st February, 1971, what special instructions he has given the Metropolitan Police Commissioner concerning security, safety of London residents and pedestrians using the streets on the route of the demonstration, and safeguarding free passage of vehicular traffic.
The Minister of State, Home Office (Mr. Richard Sharpies)
These are matters for the Commissioner of Police of the Metropolis. The police are in close touch with the organisers of the demonstration.
§ Sir G. Nabarro
Is it reasonable that the life of London should be totally disrupted by the incursion of these huge numbers of demonstrators? Would my hon. Friend tell the House, as he seems to disclaim responsibility, what special arrangements are being made to park the demonstrators' cars conveniently for them near the commencement of the route of the march and what special arrangements are being made to transport them back to their motor cars at the end of the march so that they shall not be incommoded in the process?
§ Mr. Sharples
I understand that a large number is coming by train. I understand that 34 special trains and 230 coaches are due to come into London. As to what my hon. Friend says, I do not think that anyone would wish to under-estimate the burden which a demonstration of this scale puts upon the police.