HC Deb 10 June 1998 vol 313 c1059
1. Mr. Hilton Dawson (Lancaster and Wyre)

What involvement he has had in his official capacity with the city of Lancaster since May 1997.[43495]

The Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster (Dr. David Clark)

On 1 September last year, I visited Lancaster castle and magistrates courts and had discussions with the chairmen of the advisory sub-committees in Lancashire, lieutenancy staff and local magistrates. Last month, I was present at the installation of Eric Jones as the new constable of Lancaster castle, which was attended by many local dignitaries from the city of Lancaster and the county of Lancashire, and I was delighted to have the company of the two local Members of Parliament.

Mr. Dawson

I thank my right hon.—my thoroughly honourable—Friend for that answer, for the skill and dedication that he has brought to the public service and for the knowledge and commitment that he has demonstrated in his unique role in relation to the Crown, the state and Lancaster. As someone who knows the city well, he will share my delight that my right hon. Friend the Prime Minister has explicitly ruled out any change in the title and function of the post of Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster.

Does my right hon. Friend agree that Lancaster is a beautiful city, abundant in history, a cultural gem, and a superb place to visit and in which to invest and do business? Does he further agree. that, when the mayor of Lancaster, the constable of the castle and I plant the red rose of Lancaster—rosa officinalis—in the grounds of Her Majesty's chapel of the Savoy next week, we shall be celebrating not only Lancaster's history but its future as the centre of a vibrant north-west region?

Dr. Clark

My hon. Friend made sure that we are all aware of his pride, which I share, in the city that he represents and in which I worked for a number of years. I was delighted to be at the installation of Eric Jones who, as a soldier, a trade unionist, a city and county councillor, a magistrate and a freeman of the city, was an ideal candidate for the post of constable. I felt that we were giving a little bit of the castle back to the citizens.