HC Deb 24 July 1950 vol 478 cc27-8
48. Mr. Bossom

asked the Lord President of the Council if he has personally visited the site of the 1951 Exhibition on the South Bank of the Thames, accompanied by a traffic expert; and if he is satisfied that adequate arrangements have been made to receive the number of visitors expected without undue congestion.

The Lord President of the Council (Mr. Herbert Morrison)

I am well aware through my visits to the South Bank Exhibition site of the many problems of transport and traffic control and of circulation inside the Exhibition itself which will arise. Under instructions which I gave a long time ago, these problems have been exhaustively studied by the transport, traffic and Exhibition authorities with the best available advice, and I can assure the House that no means of reducing congestion is being neglected. I cannot, however, promise that some congestion will not occur. Obviously, with an event on this scale, some congestion is inevitable.

Mr. Bossom

Does not the Lord President realise that if the congestion becomes serious it might really become quite a catastrophe for the Exhibition? Will he look into it again, as people who are informed about this matter are very agitated about it?

Mr. Morrison

We cannot have great events without some degree of disturbance which, I am sure, the people of London and others, will stand. I can assure the hon. Member that I am fully aware of all the possibilities, and that I am watching the matter day by day.

Mr. W. Robson-Brown

Will the Lord President have prepared for the consideration of the House either a small-scale model or a plan, so that we can see how these traffic arrangements are to be carried out? We are all anxious that the Festival should be a success, and interruption by traffic would be a serious matter.

Mr. Morrison

I will consider that.

Sir H. Williams

Will the Lord President say what we shall see when we get to the Exhibition?

Mr. Morrison

That is a new, irrelevant and typically irresponsible question.

Mr. W. Fletcher

Has the right hon. Gentleman sent anybody to France to study how the French handle the problem at their great exhibitions?

Mr. Morrison

If I may say so, the Metropolitan Police are not inexperienced in this matter.

Sir H. Williams

As certain industries have not the faintest idea what they have to supply to the Exhibition, would the right hon. Gentleman still say that what I asked him was irrelevant?

Mr. Speaker

I understood that the hon. Gentleman's supplementary question asked what was to be seen at the Exhibition. The main Question applied only to traffic, I thought.