HC Deb 20 May 1887 vol 315 cc727-30

asked the First Lord of the Treasury, Whether it is intended to celebrate the Queen's Jubilee in London in any public manner?

MR. COBB (Warwick, S. E., Rugby)

asked, Whether the Government would reconsider their decision with regard to the display of fireworks in the public Parks, considering the pleasure they would give to hundreds of thousands of the people of the Metropolis?

THE FIRST LORD (Mr. W. H. SMITH) (Strand, Westminster)

In answer to the last Question, which has been put to me without Notice, I can only say this—that the Government regret that any portion of the community should be deprived of any pleasure of the kind to which the hon. Member refers; and if funds could be found which would not be a charge upon the public purse, the Government would be exceedingly happy to afford any facility for the purpose; but they have not thought it right to submit a Vote to Parliament in order that the inhabitants of the Metropolis might be provided with fireworks. If we were to make such provision for the Metropolis, it would at once be asked what are we going to do for the large Provincial towns. I may be asked what provision we desire to make in other respects. That is a difficulty which I am sure the House will feel could not be easily solved. A Proclamation has been issued declaring Tuesday, June 21, a public holiday. On that day Her Majesty will proceed to the Service at Westminster Abbey. Any other celebration of the day will be entirely of a spontaneous and local character, no provision having been proposed to Parliament for public rejoicings in any other way.

MR. DODDS (Stockton)

Will hon. Members have the opportunity of attending the Service at the Abbey on that day?

DR. TANNER (Cork Co., Mid)

Will the right hon. Gentleman say whether he will ask the Poet Laureate to prepare an ode on the Jubilee Coercion Bill for the occasion?


Order, order! The hon. Gentleman is trifling with the House.


I hope to make arrangements by which Members of Parliament who express a wish to be present will be able to attend.

MR. T. M. HEALY (Longford, N.)

Will that include the Irish Members?


Will each Member be allowed to take a lady?


The Lord Chamberlain is the proper officer to approach in regard to such matters.

MR. HENRY H. FOWLER (Wolverhampton, E.)

Mr. Speaker, may I ask you what arrangements you propose to make with reference to the attendance of the House on Sunday at St. Margaret's Church?


In reply to the right hon. Gentleman, I wish to inform the House that I propose to take my seat at that (the Clerk's) Table at a quarter to 11 on Sunday, and that I shall then go down the House to that door (under the clock). I hope that the Members of the Government, the Members of the Front Opposition Bench, Privy Councillors, and others who hap- pen to be in the House will form behind me, so as to constitute the head of the procession. The Mace will meet me at the folding doors. I shall then proceed through the Members' Lobby to the Central Lobby, during which time I hope Members will fall in and form the rest of the procession. I would earnestly entreat hon. Members to observe the formation of four abreast. The Volunteers will keep a line which will admit of that number walking side by side. It will be very important that order should be kept throughout. From the Central Lobby I propose to go down St. Stephen's Hall to the top of the stairs in Westminster Hall, and thence down the main stairs of Westminster Hall to the north door of that Hall. At that door I believe that the clergy of Westminster Abbey and St. Margaret's Church will meet the procession and form the head of it. I shall then go through Palace Yard, through Parliament Square, through the central portion of that Square, between the two flower beds, and on reaching the end of the walk I shall take a line diagonally to the west door of St. Margaret's Church. I may say, perhaps, that the Queen's Westminster Volunteers have undertaken to furnish a guard of honour, and to keep the line throughout the whole length of the route taken by the procession; and I think I may tender to that gallant corps, on behalf of the House, my thanks for their presence on the occasion, and especially to the hon. and gallant Member for Central Sheffield (Mr. Howard Vincent), the Colonel of that corps. If there is any other information which I can impart to the House I shall be very happy to give it.

SIR HENEY TYLER (Great Yarmouth)

What arrangements are there for meeting our ladies on this occasion? Ladies' tickets have been issued.


I am scarcely responsible for all the minor details; but to allay the natural anxiety of the hon. Member I would, if I may, strongly advise the ladies to be present in St. Margaret's Church before the procession leaves this House.


Is it in contemplation to take a Resolution of the House in the sense which you, Sir, have mentioned, according to the precedent when Mr. Speaker attended on behalf of the House at the Thanksgiving Service at St. Paul's?


The House has already passed a Resolution.

MR. RATHBONE (Carnarvonshire, Arfon)

asked, what arrangements had been made for the attendance of the House at the ceremony in Westminster Abbey on the 21st of June?


I understand that ample provision has been made by the Lord Chamberlain for the accommodation of the House on the 21st of June. But it is usual for a Committee of the House to be appointed to assist the Speaker in making the necessary arrangements for such an occasion; and if it is the pleasure of the House I will on Monday propose the appointment of such a Committee.


Will the House sit on the 21st of June?


It will be a public holiday, Sir; and I shall move the adjournment of the House over that day.


If the weather is unsatisfactory on Sunday, Mr. Speaker, will omnibuses be provided for Members?


I will not answer a Question which I regard as trivial and offensive.