29. Mr. Liddell
asked the Home Secretary whether any decision has been made as to the limits of the closed areas and the routes and hours for vehicular traffic in London on Coronation Day and on the other days in Coronation week; and whether this decision will be disclosed at an early date in order that vehicle owners and drivers and contractors who are now booking parties to see the Coronation procession or view the street decorations may know what routes and stopping places they will be able to use?
§ Sir J. Simon
Information as to the general traffic arrangements on Coronation Day, 12th May, has already been given through the Press. Similar announcements as to the operation of motor coaches during the period of the celebrations and as to the closing of streets during the hours of floodlighting will shortly be made by the Commissioner. The necessary arrangements have already been discussed by the Commissioner with the principal coach operators concerned.
§ 47 and 48. Major-General Sir Alfred Knox
asked the Lord President of the Council (1) whether, in the allocation of seats to view the Coronation procession, other organisations representative of retail traders will receive equal treatment with the co-operative societies proportional to the number of their shops and their commercial activities;
(2) why, in the allocation of seats to view the Coronation procession, the co-operative societies have been included in Group 12, organisations representative of labour, and not in Group 9, associations of persons engaged in commerce?
§ The Lord President of the Council (Mr. Ramsay MacDonald)
The cooperative movement has been included in Group 12 as being one of the largest organisations of the manual workers in this country. It has been the intention all along that the seats allotted to co-operative societies should be occupied by the ordinary members of the societies; these are very numerous and include a large number of housewives. It will, therefore, be obvious that it would be quite inappropriate to provide for these seats out of the allocation to Group 9, and that it would not be relevant to suggest that the allocation to organisations representative of retail traders should be on a proportional basis. I would like to add that my hon. and gallant Friend can rest assured that the claims of retailers have not been overlooked.
§ Sir A. Knox
Is the right hon. Gentleman aware of the report that the very large number of 1,700 seats has been allotted to the co-operative societies; and in view of the fact that half the price of those seats is borne by the taxpayers would it not be fairer, in the public interest, to publish the allocation of seats, so that everybody would know what the system is?
§ Mr. MacDonald
The price of these seats is the same to everybody, to my hon. and gallant Friend, to myself and to everybody who is entitled to apply for them. On the matter of publishing the figures, I am afraid that I have nothing to add to the answer which I gave to an unstarred question last week.
Will the right hon. Gentleman consider giving a proportionate number of seats to the employes of the big stores of the country?
§ Sir A. Knox
Will they get proportionately the same number, or are we to understand that some of the cooperative societies are allotted seats because of their political activities?
§ Mr. MacDonald
The answer to the second part of the question is certainly not. The rule not to take such considerations into account was laid down at the very beginning of our work, and I think I can say that it has been honestly and carefully observed wherever possible, although sometimes it was difficult to do so. But I can give an assurance that the Privy Council Committee which has been dealing with the matter has worked hard and done its best to be fair.
§ 59. Dr. Leech
asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer whether, having regard to the fact that during Coronation week many organisations and societies are having consideration shown to their members by way of increased allowances, he has considered the question of similar allowances being granted to old age pensioners whose only means of support is their pensions allowance?
§ The Chancellor of the Exchequer (Mr. Chamberlain)
I would refer my hon. Friend to the answer given on the irth March to my hon. Friend the Member for Central Newcastle-on-Tyne (Mr. Denville) and other hon. Members.
§ 81. Mr. Pickthorn
asked the Minister of Agriculture whether arrangements can be made for schoolchildren to receive milk when they are attending celebrations in connection with Their Majesties' Coronation, having regard to the fact that the children will not assemble in the schools on those days?
§ The Minister of Agriculture (Mr. W. S. Morrison)
Yes, Sit. Where "the necessary arrangements can be made locally for milk which would normally be consumed in the schools to be supplied to children assembled under proper supervision in connection with the Coronation celebrations, such arrangements will be regarded by the Milk Marketing Board and by my Department as coming within the scope of the Milk-in-Schools Scheme. In addition, I understand that the Milk Marketing Board are arranging to supply milk free of charge to some 40,000 London school children who will be assembled on the Embankment to witness the Coronation procession.
§ Lieut.-Colonel Heneage
Will my right hon. Friend send a copy of this answer to the hon. and learned Member for Argyll (Mr. Macquisten)?