HC Deb 10 June 1969 vol 784 c1210
9. Mr. Arnold Shaw

asked the Minister of Public Building and Works whether he will institute a regular system of guides for conducting parties round the Tower of London.

Mr. John Silkin

I believe that the present arrangements under which Yeoman Warders conduct parties round the Tower as part of their duties are generally favoured by visitors. Organised parties may bring in their own guides.

Mr. Shaw

Would my right hon. Friend agree that, in competing for the services of these Yeomen Warders, school parties particularly are at a disadvantage? Could he not do something special for them.

Mr. Silkin

This is a very real difficulty. It is, I suppose, a case of too many school parties chasing too few guides. But in the summer season as many as 22,000 visitors go to the Tower in one day. The idea of increasing the number of guides, all of whom would no doubt tell exactly the same story but in conflicting voices, might be a little difficult.

Mr. Whitaker

Would my right hon. Friend consider opening the Tower on winter Sundays, including mornings, since this is the only time when many working families have a chance to go there?

Mr. Silkin

I should have thought that the existing arrangements were good enough, but I will consider that.