HL Deb 10 March 1902 vol 104 cc840-1

My Lords, I beg to ask the Prime Minister whether His Majesty's Government have considered the advisability of proclaiming general holidays on the occasion of the Coronation and the day of the procession; and if so, whether he will state, for the convenience of the commercial community, the course which it is proposed to adopt. I believe it is the general wish of the mercantile community that day of the Coronation should be observed as a general holiday. As regards the following day, that of the procession, the streets will no doubt be very crowded, and the London banks are unanimously of opinion that it would be impossible for them to carry on their regular business. I believe that those engaged in commerce consider that, under all the circumstances, it would be desirable that both days should be proclaimed as holidays. At any rate, it would be a convenience to all concerned to know done the intentions of the Government.


I am afraid I must ask for a little delay. The measures which are proposed are taken under a, Statute which has the honour of popularly bearing the noble Lord's name, but it does not stand alone. There is another Statute which has to be interpreted at the same time, and that process, as the nobel Lord knows, does not always result in a lucid of the exposition of the law. I can only inform the noble Lord that we are quite conscious of the circumstances to which he has referred, and the considerations which have influenced so many important persons in the commercial community of London. There are certain legal questions which are under the consideration of the law officers at the present moment, and as soon as it is possible, it is, I believe, the intention that an Order in Council shall be issued dealing with the matter. No unnecessary time will be lost. I cannot, however at the present moment, give a more definite answer, without danger of misleading those whom I address.


I will repeat the Question at any time convenient to the noble Marquess.