§ [The Question was as follows:
§ To ask Her Majesty's Government whether it is the case that they propose to place jumps for the riders in Rotten Row, and what arrangements are proposed for management.]
EARL ST. ALDWYN
My Lords, my right honourable friend the Minister of Works is hoping, with the support of interested persons and organisations, to provide a horse-jumping enclosure in Hyde Park on a disused section of Rotten Row. The jumps would be available to all members of the public, at an appropriate charge, and it is hoped that it will be possible to have them 703 ready for use before the end of the year. Management will be undertaken by the Ministry of Works, who will provide an attendant to control admission, keep the enclosure tidy and generally supervise the use of the jumps.
My Lords, I thank the noble Earl for his Answer. May I ask him three questions? First, may I ask whether Her Majesty's Government are of the opinion, which we received from our fathers, that "larking" generally leads to accidents? And, if that is so, would they consider the provision of surgeons to deal with accidents and of "vets." to deal with sore backs— particularly the "vets."? Thirdly, would they see that whoever is in charge of the ring is himself a horseman fit to be in charge, more or less like a man running a riding school, and not just a man who takes the money at the gate?
EARL ST. ALDWYN
My Lords, I am sure that the Government do not approve of "larking". On the second point, the provision of surgeons to attend those who fall by the wayside or of "vets." to attend horses is, I think, a matter for those taking part. I am sure that the riding stables, who will provide the majority of these horses, will wish to see that their animals do not suffer from sore backs as a result of the provision of these jumps and will take the necessary precautions. As regards the attendant, I will draw the attention of my right honourable friend to the noble Lord's suggestion that the attendant should be someone who has some knowledge of horses. But, of course, this enclosure is being made with the cooperation of the riding stables and the various organisations. I should not have thought it was essential to have a horseman in attendance, but I will certainly put forward the noble Lord's suggestion.
§ EARL WINTERTON
My Lords, may I ask the noble Earl whether he would give consideration to this point?— I do not ask that he should give a reply now. Would it not be a good thing to have a ceremonial and symbolic opening of these jumps, and to send a Minister round on a safe police horse? And if the Minister could be Mr. Macleod, and 704 the jumps could be labelled, "Nyasaland", "Kenya", and "Northern Rhodesia", would it not have a valuable effect in Africa, where they like portents and omens?