HC Deb 20 April 1964 vol 693 cc859-60
27. Sir L. Thomas

asked the Minister of Public Building and Works what progress has been made towards increasing the sales of guide books and postcards at the ancient monuments and historic buildings in his care.

Mr. Rippon

Between 1959 and 1963 receipts for sales at ancient monuments and historic buildings in my care rose from some £65,000 to about £150,000, an increase of 130 per cent.

Sir L. Thomas

I thank my right hon. Friend for that Answer. Do the improvements reflect an increase in the number of visitors actually visiting the monuments and historic buildings and, if so, how big is the increase?

Mr. Rippon

Yes, sir. The improvement is partly due to an increase of admissions, which rose between 1959 and 1963 from 6½ million to over 7½ million. It is also due to the fact that the range of guides and, I think, their standard, has been rising steadily.

Mr. Lipton

Would not sales be substantially increased if No. 10, Downing Street were thrown open to the public? Would not more postcards and guide books then be sold relating to No. 10? After all, the Prime Minister is away so often that it could easily be opened to the general public on two or three days a week.

Mr. Rippon

No, Sir.