HL Deb 30 July 1934 vol 93 cc1185-8

My Lords, before the adjournment I should like to ask the noble and learned Viscount the Leader of the House whether he is now in a position to make any statement to your Lordships in regard to the arrangements for the celebration of the twenty-fifth anniversary of His Majesty's Accession to the Throne.


My Lords, I am obliged to the noble Lord for asking me the question and giving me an opportunity of informing your Lordships of the statement which is about to be made in another place by my right honourable friend the Lord President of the Council. I propose, with your Lordships' permission, to read the actual statement which my right honourable friend will make so as to be quite sure that there is no discrepancy or divergence between them.

The King has been graciously pleased to approve a recommendation of the Prime Minister that the twenty-fifth anniversary of His Majesty's Accession to the Throne, which falls on Monday, May 6, 1935, shall be recognised in a fitting manner, and the Government are making the necessary arrangements. The title "Silver Jubilee" has, with His Majesty's approval, been officially adopted for the year 1935. The Secretary of State for the Home Department has it in command from the King to intimate His Majesty's desire that the celebrations should be on a local basis, and that His Majesty's subjects should, wherever practicable, have the opportunity of observing the occasion near their homes. It is His Majesty's express wish that the celebrations should be as simple as possible, and that all undue; expenditure should be avoided.

The official celebrations in London will extend over the period May 6 to May 18. Accession Day, Monday, May 6, will be a Bank Holiday and a public holiday throughout the United Kingdom. The celebrations will be inaugurated on that day by a Thanksgiving Service at St. Paul's' Cathedral, which will be attended by their Majesties the King and Queen, and members of the Royal Family. Services of a similar character will be held throughout the country either on that day or on the Sunday following, May 12. A programme in outline of such celebrations as will take place in London has been drawn up by the Government. It has been submitted to the King and has received His Majesty's approval. Details will be published at a later date.

My right honourable friend has been in communication with the Prime Ministers of Canada, the Commonwealth of Australia, New Zealand and the Union of South Africa and the President of the Executive Council of the Irish Free State, and has informed them that it would give His Majesty's Government in the United Kingdom much satisfaction if it were possible for His Majesty's other Prime Ministers to take part in the celebrations in London. All the replies have now been received, and I am happy to say that the suggestion has been warmly welcomed by the four Prime Ministers, though, owing to political circumstances, it is not possible at present to say in every case whether it will be practicable for the Prime Minister to come. The President of the Executive Council of the Irish Free State has, however, intimated that in existing conditions it will not be possible for the Irish Free State Government to send a representative. A similar invitation to take part in the celebrations has been extended to, and cordially accepted by, the Prime Minister of Southern Rhodesia, provided that he is able to leave the Colony next year. It is hoped to take advantage of the presence in London of the Dominion Prime Ministers to discuss personally and informally any questions of particular importance outstanding. The arrange- ments to be made for the representation of India have been discussed with Lord Willingdon in London; they will be completed after his return to India, and an announcement will be made later.