HC Deb 14 May 1953 vol 515 cc1408-9
41. Sir Edward Keeling

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department whether he will give an assurance that the police will help persons holding tickets for seats on the route of the Coronation procession to get to them even after the hour by which the police have recommended them to arrive.

The Joint Under-Secretary of State for the Home Department (Sir Hugh Lucas-Tooth)

Yes, Sir. The police will give ticket holders all the help they can, but late-comers cannot be guaranteed access to their seats.

Sir E. Keeling

While thanking my hon. and learned Friend for that answer, may I ask whether he is aware that the times of arrival recommended by the police involve a wait of from four to eight hours before Her Majesty passes, and that the advice, if not qualified, will reduce the number of people who turn out to line the route? Will he, therefore, give as much publicity as possible to the reply which he has just given?

Sir H. Lucas-Tooth

No doubt my answer will get due publicity. Perhaps I can reassure my hon. Friend by saying that there will be plenty to occupy the attention of seatholders and others before the expiry of the four to eight hours.

Mr. H. Morrison

Will the hon. and learned Gentleman be good enough to go into this matter again? It is becoming an annoying practice on such occasions for people to have to arrive hours before. There may be an explanation, a good reason, but the public ought to know it, and there is another place that ought to know it as well. I ask the hon. and learned Member to take the matter seriously, because it is sometimes annoying and rather provocative for people to have to sit around for hours and hours, with a great deal of personal inconvenience before a function is to begin.

Sir H. Lucas-Tooth

My right hon. and learned Friend will, of course, give careful consideration to all that the right hon. Gentleman has said. I should repeat that the police will do all that they can to get late-comers in, even if they come after the time stated.

Lieut.-Colonel Lipton

Is it not clear that the police and other authorities concerned have grossly under-estimated the extent to which people will take advantage of television facilities to see the procession, and have over-estimated the crowds likely to gather on the Coronation route in view of the times at which people have been asked to be in their seats?