HC Deb 20 November 1952 vol 507 cc2030-2
24. Miss Burton

asked the President of the Board of Trade to give details of the composition of the Coronation Accommodation Committee; how its members were selected, and their qualifications for the work; and how far the general consumer interest is represented thereon.

Mr. Mackeson

The Coronation Accommodation Committee has ten members, of which five were appointed by the British Travel and Holidays Association and five by the British Hotels and Restaurants Association. The special concern of the British Travel and Holidays Association is, of course, the welfare of visitors, while the members appointed by the British Hotels and Restaurants Association represent the hotel industry.

I am circulating in the OFFICIAL REPORT a list of the members of the Committee, from which it will be seen that they are well qualified to deal with the various problems which will arise in connection with the accommodation of visitors to the Coronation.

Miss Burton

Am I right in assuming from the hon. Gentleman's answer that there is not a member of the general public, as such, on this Committee? Has he seen a statement yesterday by the head of this Committee to the effect that the Coronation Accommodation Committee is not responsible for the accommodation provided by the hotels for viewing the procession? Does the Minister agree with that statement, and, if so, will he ask the Committee to accept that responsibility?

Mr. Mackeson

I should like to see the statement; I have not yet seen it.

Mr. Lewis

In view of the fact that the B.H.R.A. have their representatives, why are there no representatives from the trade unions, particularly from the appropriate industrial councils, on this Committee? Will he see that a representative of the T.U.C. is appointed to this Committee?

Mr. Mackeson

I think that this is a matter affecting the actual accommodation. We want a practical small working committee for which the Hotel Association provides free accommodation. The other Association to which I have referred has representatives of the whole of industry on it.

Mr. Lewis

Does the Minister appreciate that unless the workers are represented by their trade unions, he has not complete representation of those really concerned? May I ask him again to consider having a trade union representative from the T.U.C. on this Committee?

Mr. Mackeson

I am quite prepared to consider that suggestion, but these are not industrial negotiations.

Mr. Bottomley

Can the Minister say why the British Travel and Holidays Association, on which the trade unions and the Co-operative Society are already sitting as members, was not entrusted with this duty, particularly in view of the very efficient way in which it carried out the organisation in the case of the Festival of Britain?

Mr. Mackeson

It is necessary to get the co-operation of the hotels in this matter. The Clerk of the London County Council and the Director of the Wholesale Co-operative Society are on this Committee. If we start increasing the number, it will be a very big Committee. It has a lot of work to do, and it may have to be done fairly quickly.

Mr. Bottomley

The hotel industry is represented on the B.T.H.A., and that body has already done one job extremely well and should be able to do another.

Following is the list:


Chairman: Mr. Hugh Wontner, Chairman and Managing Director of the Savoy, director of the Berkeley Hotel and (New) Claridges.

Members appointed by the British Hotels and Restaurants Association

Mr. D. G. Russell, Chairman of the Executive Committee of B.H.R.A. (ex officio).

Mr. B. R. Franks, Managing Director of the Hyde Park Hotel.

Mr. C. R. Hinds Howell, Director of Kensington Close.

Mr. W. E. Lawless, Proprietor of the Ormonde Hotel.

Members appointed by the British Travel and Holidays Association

Sir Alexander Maxwell, Chairman of B.T.H.A. (ex officio).

Mr. E. L. Taylor, Deputy Chairman of B.T.H.A. and director of many companies.

Mr. Norman Wood, Director of the Co-operative Wholesale Society.

Sir Howard Roberts, Clerk to the Council of the L.C.C.

Mr. S. Plowden Roberts, Managing Director, Cox and Kings (Agents).