HC Deb 30 May 1951 vol 488 cc211-2
45. Brigadier Rayner

asked the Prime Minister what official recognition is given to St. George's Day.

The Prime Minister (Mr. Attlee)

It is the practice for St. George's Cross to be flown from many parish churches on St. George's Day, and there is nothing to prevent private persons flying flags if they so wish.

Brigadier Rayner

In view of the fact that we can fairly deduce from our history that St. George as the patron Saint is far more representative of the British character than St. Andrew, St. David or St. Patrick—[HON. MEMBERS: "Oh!"]—would it not be quite proper for the Government to play a greater part in celebrating St. George's Day, and at least might not flags be flown from Government buildings?

The Prime Minister

That might be done. I gather that the adherence to particular saints is not universal in the British Islands. Much more importance is given, I think, to the question in Wales and in Scotland. There is no really great demand for celebrating St. George's Day, but there is no objection whatever to the flag being flown, although I should not wish to enter into any discussion on the valuation placed on saints by different sections of the population.

Mr. Emrys Hughes

Is my right hon. Friend aware that the most popular saint amongst Scots people in London is St. Pancras? Can my right hon. Friend not do something for him?

Mr. Peter Freeman

Will my right hon. Friend consider taking advantage of the availability of the Welsh dragon to enter the contest on this occasion?

Brigadier Rayner

Seriously, is not the right hon. Gentleman aware that St. Andrew's flag is flown on public buildings in Scotland and, as far as I know, St. David's flag is flown on public buildings in Wales? Cannot we do the same in this country?

The Prime Minister

I think there is no objection if there is any great demand for it. I have not up to the present been told of any great demand, and I do not think there is.

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