HL Deb 29 May 1963 vol 250 cc851-2

My Lords, I beg leave to ask the first Question which stands in my name on the Order Paper.

[The Question was as follows:

To ask Her Majesty's Government—

  1. (1)how long it takes to erect the stands upon the Horse Guards Parade for the benefit of those who wish to watch the ceremony of Trooping the Colour;
  2. (2)when work started upon the erection of these stands this year;
  3. (3)when will the stands be dismantled and removed.]


My Lords, the answer to the first part of the noble Lord's Question is that the erection of the stands normally takes some six weeks. Work on the War Office balcony stands started on April 8, and on the other stands on the Parade Ground on April 25. Dismantling will begin on Monday, June 10, and is due to be completed in about a month.


My Lords, I thank the noble Earl for his reply, but I wonder whether he would look into the question of whether that work could not be done rather more quickly. It means that this fine Parade is obscured by scaffolding and stands for a longer time than is necessary. Could the noble Earl look into that question?


My Lords, I will, of course, bring the noble Lord's observations to the attention of my right honourable friend and his Department. Anticipating the noble Lord's supplementary question to a certain extent, I have already looked into it and find that there are a number of practical difficulties, such as the uneven terrain, which make it difficult to speed up this particular work. But I will certainly see that his point of view receives further attention.


My Lords, I wonder whether the noble Earl could induce his Department to devise a system for this work, which is done every year. He says that the terrain is difficult. But it seems to me that it would be possible to have permanent holes to take the points of the scaffolding. This is a procedure—and I ask the noble Earl to look at it—which ought by now, surely, to be done absolutely automatically.


My Lords, as I have already said I will have this particular point looked into again, and I will also have the possibility which the noble Lord mentioned examined.