HC Deb 12 February 1951 vol 484 cc30-1
55. Mr. A. R. W. Low

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs what information he has as to what places in the United Kingdom were considered by officials of the United Nations as possible meeting places for the Assembly in 1951; and why it has been found impossible to arrange for a meeting of the Assembly in the United Kingdom this year.

59. Mr. Wyatt

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs on what grounds it was decided that Britain could not receive the United Nations Assembly this year.

60. Mr. Roland Robinson

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs on what grounds it was decided to notify the United Nations Secretariat that it was not possible to offer facilities for the holding of the September Session of the General Assembly in the United Kingdom.

Mr. Ernest Davies

United Nations officials visited London, Edinburgh and Blackpool. The possibility of using other towns in the United Kingdom was also brought to their notice. The final decision as to the Assembly meeting place rests, of course, with the United Nations, but His Majesty's Government reluctantly came to the conclusion that in no town available in Festival year could the very extensive requirements of the United Nations be provided without unacceptable expenditure and dislocation of existing arrangements.

Mr. Low

Is it clear from the hon. Gentleman's answer that it was His Majesty's Government which came to the decision that Blackpool was not suitable, and not the United Nations officials?

Mr. Davies

No, Sir. We should be very careful before reaching such a decision. The United Nations officials never approached us as to using Blackpool after they had visited Blackpool.

Mr. Robinson

Is it not true that the United Nations could have been well housed in Blackpool if the same licensing facilities had been given as have been granted to London for the Festival of Britain?

Mr. Davies

I do not think that the question of licensing is the only thing which concerns the United Nations.

Mr. Walter Fletcher

Is the phrase "Festival year" a phrase of well-known international usage and understanding?

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