HL Deb 25 July 1988 vol 500 cc8-9

2.56 p.m.

Lord Sudeley asked Her Majesty's Government:

How many people are visiting the Parliament and the Glorious Revolution exhibition at the Banqueting House, Whitehall, and what steps, if any, are being taken to promote awareness of this exhibition amongst the public.

Lord Beaverbrook

My Lords, for the period 1st July to 19th July 1988 there were 6,150 visitors to the Parliament and the Glorious Revolution Exhibition at the Banqueting House, Whitehall. Various promotional activities have been undertaken to publicise the exhibition. These include direct mail campaigns, posters, distribution of information packs, press photographs, press advertising, a radio feature and facilities provided for national and regional television companies.

Lord Sudeley

My Lords, I thank the Minister for that Answer. Does he think that the front of the building should be marked with broad banners which could be seen from the other side of Whitehall on Horse Guards Parade? Secondly, bearing in mind that previous exhibitions organised by the COI were important occasions and have been provided with men dressed in costumes suitable to the period, does the Minister not think that one of these people should be stationed on the other side of the road, on Horse Guards Parade, on a rota system to distribute leaflets about the exhibition opposite?

Lord Beaverbrook

My Lords, with regard to my noble friend's first point, I understand that additional banners on the facade of the Banqueting House are being arranged. As to having a member of staff dressed in costume on the other side of the road, that is another matter. However, I shall draw my noble friend's remarks to the attention of those responsible for the running of the exhibition.

The Earl of Longford

My Lords, have Ministers had time to read an admirable article in the Sunday Times yesterday written by a brilliant academic writer, Mr. Clarke, in which the claims made on behalf of the so-called Glorious Revolution are revealed as a total nonsense?

Lord Beaverbrook

My Lords, I have seen the article but I suspect that it has not put many people off yet. After all, Sunday is rather recent history.

Lord Hailsham of Saint Marylebone

My Lords, while expressing great admiration for my colleague at All Souls, is my noble friend aware that academic lawyers never make their money by saying that the House of Lords is right in any particular judgment and that academic historians never make their money by saying that the established truth is true?

Lord Beaverbrook

My Lords, I am sure that my noble and learned friend has an important point.

Lord Annan

My Lords, is the noble Lord aware that Mr. Clarke has written a book in which the Old Pretender is referred to throughout as James III?

Lord Beaverbrook

My Lords, the noble Lord has made a good point, but perhaps we can continue with the history lessons outside the Chamber.

Baroness Strange

My Lords, is my noble friend the Minister aware that I have purchased several of the attractive Glorious Revolution tee shirts for some of my younger kinsmen? Further, would it not promote the exhibition if some of your Lordships were to wear these garments?

Lord Beaverbrook

My Lords, perhaps my noble friend would like to distribute further samples.

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