HC Deb 12 February 1864 vol 173 cc494-5

said, he would beg to ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, Whether it is the intention of the Government to introduce any measure for the protection of Actresses and Actors from the danger of their dresses taking fire, to which they are now exposed at the Theatres?


, in reply, said, the attention of the Lord Chamberlain had been very carefully directed to the subject of affording protection against accidents by fire, owing to the inflammable nature of the dresses worn by the performers. He, at the beginning of last year, addressed a circular letter to the managers of Theatres on the subject, and, after the occurrence of the recent lamentable accident at the Pavilion Theatre, he called a meeting of managers, at which the matter was very fully gone into. The result was that, after the most careful consideration, the Lord Chamberlain felt satisfied that it would be inexpedient to attempt to enforce by Act of Parliament the use of any particular means for effecting the object to which his (Sir George Grey's) hon. Friend referred. The Lord Chamberlain, however, embodied his views upon the subject in a memorandum which he had sent, signed by himself, to the managers of Theatres, accompained by a series of regulations for the more effectual prevention of accidents, and which were required to be posted up in a conspicuous part of each theatre. If the hon. Member would move for the production of those documents he would be able to see exactly how the matter stood.

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