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Prohibited Demonstrations Jamaica (Proclamation)

Volume 438: debated on Wednesday 18 June 1947

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asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies, what were the reasons for the prohibition of demonstrations by the Governor of Jamaica; under what powers his proclamation was issued; and when it is proposed to restore freedom of assembly.

This action was taken solely in order to prevent breaches of the peace. The Governor issued his proclamation in the exercise of powers conferred upon him by the Jamaica Public Meetings Law No. 27 of 1939, as amended by No. 31 of 1940. The proclamation will be revoked as soon as it may safely be considered that the dangers against which it provides no longer exist.

Is it not unfortunate that the powers of this Act were only imposed when the demonstrations were against the party in power in the House of Representatives and not when there was such a demonstration in favour of this party which actually penetrated into the House of Representatives itself?

There has been notice of a further demonstration, and in the steps taken by the Governor he had the unanimous support of the Executive Council.

Is the right hon. Gentleman prepared to agree that this is a typical example of a police state?