§ 45. Mr. Storey
asked the Lord President of the Council why trees of the species zelcova acuminata are being planted on the Festival of Britain site.
§ Mr. Whiteley
I have been asked to reply. There will be one tree of the species among the 69 to be planted in the South Bank Exhibition. It has been chosen because of its horticultural interest and the suitability of its shape, and also because it is not deep-rooted and is, therefore, comparatively easy to transplant.
§ 49. Mr. Teeling
asked the Lord President of the Council why certain buyers for Festival Gardens Limited are being sent to the United States of America to purchase amusement machinery for the Festival of Britain; what dollar allocation has been allowed them; how often they have been in the United States of America previously for the purchase of such goods; and why those operators who operate in the large holiday resorts and who go each year to the United States of America have neither been consulted nor asked to do the purchasing on their regular visits to the United States of America.
§ Mr. Whiteley
I have been asked to reply. On the first two parts of the Question I would refer the hon. Member to my replies to Questions 47 and 48 in the House today. On the third part, Festival Gardens Ltd. will be represented for this purpose solely by one of its Directors who is also Chairman of the National Amusements Council and is himself an experienced and successful amusement park proprietor. I do not know whether he has been to America previously for the purchase of equipment but I feel I have every right to trust the judgment of the Board on its agent, and to rebut the unfair and unjustified implication that the fullest use is not being made of available experience and advice.130W All who were considered likely to be interested have actually been consulted and four operators (out of several invited) have agreed to go to America at their own expense and assist the Director in his choice. The Director will not purchase anything which, in his view, could be obtained in this country.
§ Mr. Robson-Brown
asked the Lord President of the Council how many people have been compelled to give up their homes to permit of the building of the Festival of Britain buildings; how many people have had to give up their businesses for the same reasons; and how far it is proposed to give the latter fair compensation.
§ Mr. H. Morrison
On the 27 acre site which is being temporarily used for the South Bank Exhibition before its redevelopment under the County of London plan 753 persons were displaced at the time of clearance and have either been rehoused or offered alternative accommodation, mostly of a higher standard.
On the Lansbury site at Poplar 533 persons were displaced to make room for the permanent redevelopment of the neighbourhood in time for the Festival, by the end of which it is estimated that 1,624 persons will have been provided with housing on this site in 444 new houses. All the persons displaced on this site have been or will be offered alternative accommodation.
Thirty-five persons have had to give up their businesses on account of the clearance of the South Bank area; compensation has been or will be paid in all cases where there is an acquirable interest and ex gratia payments have been or will be paid in appropriate cases and in cases of hardship. Of the 35 persons involved, eight have been offered alternative sites or premises.
At Lansbury, Poplar, 24 persons have had to give up their shops, 22 of whom have been or will be offered alternative premises.
All these operations are the responsibility of the London County Council. No persons have been displaced by any other buildings being built for the Festival of Britain Exhibitions.