HC Deb 23 February 1872 vol 209 cc948-50

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department, If his attention has been drawn to the insecure nature of some of the private structures that are being erected for persons viewing the Royal procession on Tuesday next; and, if so, whether he proposes to order any official inspection of these structures?


said, he had received no statement as to the insecurity of those structures. The whole matter, however, was under the special charge of the Metropolitan Board of Works, who, under the Metropolitan Buildings Act, had power to instruct their district surveyors to inspect the structures, and if any should be reported by them as insecure or in a dangerous condition, steps would be taken to have them removed, or put into a proper state at the expense of the owners. The Board had, accordingly, directed all the district surveyors to make a careful inspection of all the structures erected along the line of route, and they had asked for and obtained the assistance of the police in doing so.


asked the First Lord of the Treasury, Whether it is true, as reported, that the State Procession to Saint Paul's on Tuesday next will consist only of the Royal carriages; or whether, seeing the preparations everywhere making to witness it, it is intended to invite the attendance of the Chief State Officials to accompany the procession?


Sir, I Lave, in pursuance of the Notice given me by the hon. Member for East Devon (Mr. Kennaway) yesterday, made inquiries of the Lord Chamberlain as to the arrangements which have actually been made, and they are, as I understand, as follows:—The procession will be in two principal portions, divided by a certain number of the military; and in the first of those portions there will be the carriages which convey and which will form the suite of the Speaker of the House of Commons, the Lord Chancellor, and the Duke of Cambridge. In the second, and principal portion of the procession, there will be nine State carriages, conveying the Sovereign, the Members of the Royal Family, and all those who will be in attendance upon them. That is all the information I can give upon the subject.


asked the First Lord of the Treasury, If Her Majesty's Government will, on the 27th instant, make such arrangements in the Public Offices as will enable as many of the servants of the Crown as possible to participate in the general Thanksgiving?


Sir, in reply to the Question of the noble Lord the Member for Middlesex (Lord George Hamilton), which I think is framed in very reasonable and considerate terms, I have to state that authority will be given to the heads of the respective offices and departments to make such arrangements as are described in the Question.


asked the hon. and gallant Member for Truro, the Chairman of the Metropolitan Board of Works, Whether his attention has been called to the serious inconvenience that will be occasioned to the inhabitants of the upper part of Park Lane, by the erection of a booth by the Board of Works, by which their view of the procession will be totally obstructed?


said, in reply to the Question of the hon. Member for Westminster (Mr. W. H. Smith), that the structures now being put up in Hyde Park, through the kind permission of the Ranger, by the Metropolitan Board of Works, although they were intended for the accommodation of the vestrymen and the Local Boards—["Oh, oh!"]—yes, of the vestrymen and local boards who devoted so much time to their pub- lic duties—notwithstanding that, the Board, taking into consideration the fact that these structures would entirely obstruct the view from a certain number of houses, had determined to send the inhabitants of these houses tickets of admission to the booth, as far as was practicable.


, as a ratepayer, wished to ask the Chairman of the Metropolitan Board of Works who was to pay for these erections by the Board of Works? ["Oh, oh!"] He was perfectly justified in asking whether the expense was to be paid out of the rates, or were the vestrymen to take tickets for the booth, and pay for them?


said, whenever any person had the honour to occupy a public position, it was always better that Notice of a Question like this should be given him. He should, however, give an explanation to the noble Lord. The cost of the erections in Hyde Park and on the Holborn Viaduct would come out of the rates of the Metropolis. Perhaps the House would allow him to add that of late these rates had been gradually decreasing.


said, it had come to his knowledge that there was to be a national Thanksgiving service on Tuesday next in St. Patrick's Cathedral, Dublin, at which his Excellency the Lord Lieutenant of Ireland was to be present in State, and he desired to know, Whether the Irish Executive intended making such arrangements in the public service as would enable as many of the Irish civil servants of the Crown as possible to participate in the general Thanksgiving?


said, he should have been glad to give the hon. and learned Gentleman the information he sought for had he possessed any on the subject of his Question; but he had heard nothing with reference to it, and therefore he was quite unable to give him an answer. He would, however, inquire what could be done before the Thanksgiving Day, and would forward any attempts that might be made to secure its due celebration in the City of Dublin.