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Essential Supplies (Picketing)

Volume 961: debated on Tuesday 30 January 1979

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asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will issue instructions to the Commissioner of Police for the Metropolis to ensure that essential supplies are enabled to pass through the picket lines.

The police have the responsibility of upholding the criminal law and preserving the peace. In particular, in industrial disputes, they have a duty to prevent obstruction of anyone minded to cross a picket line. I have no power to instruct chief officers of police on how they should discharge their responsibilities.