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Civilian Demonstrations, Padua

Volume 433: debated on Tuesday 18 February 1947

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asked the Secretary of State for War if he will make a statement on the recent rioting and anti-British feeling in Padua; and to what extent it was due to excessive speeding by G.H.Q. military vehicles.

There is little that I can at this date usefully add to the communique issued at the time of the incidents to the Press, of which I am sending the hon. and gallant Member a copy. I would like, however, to emphasise that I am satisfied that there is no evidence whatever to indicate that the incident in Padua on 10th December which gave rise to the demonstrations was due to exces- sive speeding or careless driving. The demonstrations arose from a variety of causes, in which economic and political factors were included. Stringent instructions about careful driving have always been in force in Italy, and the Supreme Allied Commander has made all commanding officers personally responsible for the maintenance of the highest standard of driving and road courtesy in their units.