HC Deb 21 April 1964 vol 693 cc1093-4
Q7. Mr. Speir

asked the Prime Minister in view of the fact that the 700th anniversary of the summoning by Simon de Montfort of the first representative English Parliament to meet at Westminster will occur in 1965, if he will consider special ways of celebrating this occasion.

The Prime Minister

I will consider this suggestion.

Mr. Speir

Does my right hon. Friend realise that this Question has been on the Order Paper for some considerable time, and that his reply is rather discouraging? Would it not be a great pity if, at a time when democracy is under attack all over the world, this opportunity were missed for advertising and broadcasting the fact that representative Government has been flourishing at Westminster for some hundreds of years?

The Prime Minister

Perhaps my hon. Friend will I have further consultation with me or the Leader of the House. I think that the matter would need consultation with the Leader of the Opposition.

Mr. Grimond

Does not the Prime Minister think that the best way of celebrating this anniversary would be to reform Parliament, which is in many ways still too medieval?

Sir T. Beamish

As my right hon. Friend knows, it was at de Montfort's Parliament in 1265 that the boroughs and shires were represented for the first time in an English Parliament. In view of the great significance of this in our constitutional history, will the Prime Minister, as one possibility, consider the issue of a commemorative postage stamp to mark this occasion?

The Prime Minister

I am beginning to regret that I said I would consider this matter; nevertheless, I will.