HC Deb 30 July 1934 vol 292 cc2293-5

(by Private Notice) asked the Lord President of the Council whether he is now in a position to make any statement in regard to the arrangements for the celebration of the twenty-fifth anniversary of His Majesty's Accession to the Throne?


The King has been graciously pleased to approve a recommendation of the Prime Minister that the Twenty-fifth Anniversary of His Majesty's Accession to the Throne, which falls on Monday, the 6th May, 1935, shall be recognised in a fitting manner, and the Government are making the necessary arrangements. The title "Silver Jubilee" has, with His Majesty's approval, been officially adopted for the year 1935.

The Secretary of State for the Home Department has it in command from The King to intimate His Majesty's desire that the celebrations should be on a local basis, and that His Majesty's subjects should, wherever practicable, have the opportunity of observing the occasion near their homes. It is His Majesty's express wish that the celebrations should be as simple as possible, and that all undue expenditure should be avoided.

The official celebrations in London will extend over the period the 6th May to the 18th May. Accession Day, Monday, the 6th May, will be a Bank Holiday and a public holiday throughout the United Kingdom. The celebrations will be inaugurated on that day by a thanksgiving service at St. Paul's Cathedral, which will be attended by their Majesties the King and Queen and members of the Royal Family. Services of a similar character, will be held throughout the country either on that day or on the Sunday following, the 12th May.

A programme in outline of such celebrations as will take place in London has been drawn up by the Government. It has been submitted to the King and has received His Majesty's approval. Details will be published at a later date.

I have been in communication with the Prime Ministers of Canada, the Commonwealth of Australia, New Zealand, and the Union of South Africa, and the President of the Executive Council of the Irish Free State, and have informed them that it would give His Majesty's Government in the United Kingdom much satisfaction if it were possible for His Majesty's other Prime Ministers to take part in the celebrations in London.

All the replies have now been received, and I am happy to say that the suggestion has been warmly welcomed by the four Prime Ministers, though, owing to political circumstances, it is not possible at present to say in every case whether it will be practicable for the Prime Minister to come. The President of the Executive Council of the Irish Free State has, however, intimated that in existing conditions it will not be possible for the Irish Free State Government to send a representative. A similar invitation to take part in the celebrations has been extended to, and cordially accepted by, the Prime Minister of Southern Rhodesia, provided that he is able to leave the colony next year.

It is hoped to take advantage of the presence in London of the Dominion Prime Ministers to discuss personally and informally any questions of particular importance outstanding.

The arrangements to be made for the representation of India have been discussed with Lord Willingdon in London; they will be completed after his return to India, and an announcement will be made later.


May I ask the Lord President of the Council whether he thinks he will be able to persuade employers of labour in all parts of the country where factories are going to be shutdown during these celebrations to pay their employés for the lost time and especially for the Bank Holiday? Thousands of employés will he affected and, if he can use his good offices to persuade the employers, including his own firm, to pay for the lost time we shall be very grateful.


Has there been any consultation with the Board of Education in regard to arranging for the active participation of the schools and the school children in these celebrations?


I have nothing to add to-day to the statement which I have made, but doubtless many details will be considered in the course of the winter.