HC Deb 09 June 1953 vol 516 cc12-4
20. Sir I. Fraser

asked the Minister of Works if, having regard to the visit to London on 5th July of large numbers of ex-Service men and their wives on the occasion of the Royal Review by Her Majesty the Queen, he will arrange for the Coronation decorations to remain until at least this date so that as many as possible may see them.

21. Lieut.-Colonel Lipton

asked the Minister of Works whether he will reconsider his decision to remove the Coronation decorations on 22nd June next, in view of the increase in the number of visitors.

Sir D. Eccles

Certain minor decorations obstruct the light and air in offices in Whitehall. These will be taken down as soon as possible. Arrangements have been made to begin the removal of the main decorations on 22nd June. I will, however, reconsider this date in 10 days' time when the wear and tear can be seen. In any case, the arches and standards in the Mall and the poles in Hyde Park will be the last to go. Some of the stands in Hyde Park will be kept for the ex-Service men's Review on 5th July.

Sir I. Fraser

Is my right hon. Friend aware that many of these people have written to me saying that they cannot afford to come to London twice, and, as they are coming at this relatively early date, will he do his very best to show them as much as possible?

Sir D. Eccles

Yes, Sir; I will, but I do not wish to show them shabby decorations, and I have no money for the replacement of either the decorations or the flowers.

Lieut.-Colonel Lipton

Is the Minister aware that, with reasonable weather, the more durable decorations in the Mall, Whitehall and elsewhere will still be worth seeing even in July, and that there is a vast popular desire to have a look at these decorations which cannot possibly be satisfied within the next two weeks?

Sir D. Eccles

The hon. and gallant Gentleman seems optimistic about the weather, but I can assure him that the Ministry of Works has often been disappointed.

Commander Scott-Miller

Is my right hon. Friend aware that concern is being felt among already hard-hit seaside resorts that, if his excellent decorations in the capital are left up too long, they may adversely affect the number of visitors to those resorts?

Dr. King

May I ask the Minister not to be advised by the hon. and gallant Member for King's Lynn (Commander Scott-Miller)? Will he remember that this is a unique occasion in the history of London and that there are many people in the provinces who want to come to London to see the decorations?

Sir D. Eccles

Yes, Sir; I have that in mind.