HC Deb 01 May 1951 vol 487 cc1001-3
49. Mr. Hollis

asked the Lord Privy Seal whether, in view of the fact that the Fun Fair at Battersea Park is in a condition to be opened to the public, he will allow it to be opened on the advertised date of 3rd May.

Mr. Stokes

No, Sir. The Fun Fair is not in a condition in which it can be operated, nor is it considered possible to open it in a finished condition by 3rd May. Arrangements have been made for it to open on Friday, 11th May.

Mr. Hollis

When the right hon. Gentleman says "not in a condition in which it can be operated," does he mean that the things will not go round, or that certain decorations have to be put up, because I understand the things will go round and that it can be operated?

Mr. Stokes

No, of course it will all go round, but there has been a concatenation of circumstances which has not made completion speedy, and I think it better to wait until 11th May, rather than to have a poor opening event.

Lieut.-Commander Braithwaite

Is the greatest credit due to all concerned?

Mr. Stokes

On the whole, yes.

Mr. H. Hynd

Has my right hon. Friend noticed the delight of hon. Members on the benches opposite at this disappointing delay as compared with their disappointment when they heard that the South Bank Exhibition would open on time?

Colonel Gomme-Duncan

Will the right hon. Gentleman say whether the concatenation of circumstances explains the picture, for which he has paid £500, called "Autumn Landscape"?

53. Mr. Fisher

asked the Lord Privy Seal if he can indicate the date on which the Festival of Britain Fun Fair in Battersea Park is now expected to open; and the extent of the financial loss incurred as a result of the postponement.

57. Mr. Janner

asked the Lord Privy Seal whether any decision has yet been arrived at following the deputation of showmen to the Board of Festival Gardens, Limited, urging the opening of the Fun Fair on the original date agreed.

Mr. Stokes

The Board of Festival Gardens, Limited, has decided that the Fun Fair cannot be opened on the original date, but that it can be opened before Whitsuntide on Friday, 11th May. I am informed that the financial loss to the Company incurred as a result of this postponement is expected to be about £5,000.

Mr. Fisher

To obviate this postponement, would it not have been possible and better to have started the work on that site a little earlier.

Mr. Stokes

I think it would be better to wait until I have made a full statement on the Second Reading of the Bill which is coming before the House. Under the circumstances, I think we are very lucky to get it open as early.

Mr. Duncan Sandys

Does the last statement of the right hon. Gentleman—that he is to make a statement on the Second Reading of the Bill—mean that we are not to have the report he previously promised?

Mr. Stokes

I cannot answer that today, but I am hoping the report will be out soon; if possible, before the Second Reading.

54. Mr. Fisher

asked the Lord Privy Seal if all the constructions for the Festival of Britain in Battersea Park are British designed and built.

Mr. Stokes

Not all the constructions are British designed and built.

Mr. Fisher

In this Festival of Britain would it not have been more appropriate to have British designs and manufactures?

Mr. Stokes

We have not the same kind of fun here and it was thought advisable to have the maximum variety. All the purchases have been made through British companies. Some of them—I will not say all—have got concessionary rights as a consequence.