HC Deb 23 June 1953 vol 516 cc1675-6
39. Mr. Dodds

asked the Minister of Works on what date it was decided to make a charge to the public sitting in Government-erected stands to view ceremonial processions subsequent to the Coronation; what were the reasons for such a decision; and how the information was conveyed to the public.

The Minister of Works (Sir David Eccles)

On 21st May I decided the charges which were to be made for the use of the stands in the Mall on four ceremonial occasions after the Coronation. Full details of these charges and information as to how seats for the parade on 11th June might be purchased in advance were issued to the Press on 28th May.

I think it only reasonable that those who occupied the stands on these occasions should contribute to the cost of the stands and to the cost of the stewarding necessary if the stands were to be safely used to their maximum capacity.

Mr. Dodds

Is it not a fact that before that date the right hon. Gentleman explained to the House that the prices of the stand seats were to cover the cost to the Government for the Coronation ceremony? How, then, does he explain this second statement that further money was to be received for the use of the stands?

Sir D. Eccles

Unfortunately I had to fix the price of the seats in the stands early, because the Commonwealth Governments wished to get information out to the Commonwealth. It was fixed before the last tenders were in, and the last tenders were higher than the first tenders, with the result that I made a loss of a few shillings per seat.