HC Deb 10 April 1975 vol 889 cc1394-5
8. Dr. Glyn

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department what progress he has made in his consideration of alternative national sites for a free pop festival in view of the representations made to him about the fear of a breakdown of law and order by residents in the Windsor area.

Mr. Roy Jenkins

I regret that so far no alternative site acceptable to all concerned has been found.

Dr. Glyn

I am grateful to the Home Secretary for his efforts to find an alternative site. One can blame Home Secretaries for a lot of things, but I cannot blame the right hon. Gentleman for the organisers having turned down the most recent suggested site on the ground that it might be offensive to their unclothed devotees. It was called Bramshott, not Brambles, Common, which was very appropriate. On a more serious note, is the Home Secretary aware of the deep feelings which would be aroused should this festival be held again in Windsor? Would it not be better to make sure that it was dealt with on the first day rather than allow an illegal act to continue until 6,000 people were present, when there would be no chance of the police taking appropriate action?

Mr. Jenkins

Although I have endeavoured to use my good offices to see whether a site can be found which would avoid the likelihood of difficulties similar to those which took place at the end of August last year, as Home Secretary I am not in the pop festival organisation business. It is no part of my duty to provide a site, and I have no legal authority to say where pop festivals should or should not be held. If there is an attempt for it to take place again on Cavalry Ground in Windsor Great Park, the question of dealing with it would be for the Crown Estates Commission, which is the landlord there, and for the Chief Constable of the Thames Valley Police. The Home Secretary has specifically no authority to give any chief constable directions on matters of law enforcement.

Mr. Alan Lee Williams

In view of the obvious difficulty here, with which we sympathise, would it not be a good idea to suggest to the pop organisers that they should hold these festivals in a remote island somewhere, perhaps off the the coast of Scotland?

An Hon. Member

The Scilly Isles.

Mr. Jenkins

There might be a certain problem over selecting a particular remote island. As the organisers have so far indicated that for some reason they wish to keep fairly close to Windsor, I am not sure that that would be very acceptable.

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