HC Deb 20 November 1950 vol 481 cc22-3
46. Mr. Dodds

asked the Lord President of the Council if, in view of the several limitations on the revenue-raising aspect of the Festival of Britain and the desirability of getting back as much of the taxpayers' money as possible, consideration will be given to continuing the Exhibition at least in 1952.

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

I am ready to consider any reasonable suggestion, but I cannot break faith with those whom I persuaded to lend sites for the Exhibitions and Pleasure Gardens for the Festival of Britain in 1951. No doubt the net burden on taxpayers might be reduced by spreading over a second year of operation the capital costs which have been incurred. On the other hand, we cannot gauge such factors as traffic congestion or the extent of public demand at this stage. I think, therefore, that we must wait and see how things go and how public opinion feels about it.

Mr. Dodds

Is my right hon. Friend not aware that, owing to severe space limitations, many people will be prevented from seeing the South Bank Exhibition in 1951; and can he, in view of what he has said, give a really sensible reason as to why it should not be continued in 1952?

Mr. Morrison

I think there is force in what my hon. Friend says, and I will bear it in mind.

Air Commodore Harvey

If the right hon. Gentleman should consider extending the Exhibition to 1952, will he consult the House before doing so?