HC Deb 01 July 1952 vol 503 cc212-4
3. Mr. Dodds

asked the Minister of Works what sporting events authorised by his Department have in the past been staged in Hyde Park.

Mr. Eccles

Sporting events permitted in Hyde Park in the past have included sheep-dog trials, coaching and four-in-hand driving club meetings, motor car rallies, cross country and relay races, swimming races and a regatta on the Serpentine.

Mr. Dodds

Will the right hon. Gentleman give very sympathetic consideration to an application which will be made shortly to him for permission to hold a world title tight during Coronation week in Hyde Park, bearing in mind that with the new taxation on boxing it needs a place like that to make it an economic proposition and that the Chancellor, of course, would get a good deal of money out of it?

Mr. Eccles

No, Sir. Whilst I do not share the views of the right hon. Lady the Member for Fulham, West (Dr. Summerskill), I do not think that a major boxing event is suitable for Hyde Park. Even if I did, the law does not allow me to permit the promoter to charge for admission and so I do not think promoters would be interested in it.

4. Mr. Robert Allan

asked the Minister of Works if he will consider erecting on the north side of Hyde Park a children's playground, similar to that in use in Kensington Gardens.

Mr. Eccles

No, Sir. I do not think this area is suitable for a children's playground; it is closely bounded by roads carrying heavy traffic; and is already used by older children for unorganised games.

Mr. Allan

Is my right hon. Friend aware that the Americans have a site allocated to them for baseball in Hyde Park? Is he also aware that there are many children living in requisitioned premises neighbouring the north side of Hyde Park, and does he not consider that British children ought to have equal treatment to the Americans?

Mr. Eccles

My view is that if there is a demand for more children's playgrounds we had better increase the facilities in Kensington Gardens.

Mr. Anthony Greenwood

Will the right hon. Gentleman dissociate himself from the appalling anti-American sentiments expressed on the other side of the House?