§ 43. Mr. W. H. Green
asked the Minister of Transport whether he is aware of the recent decision of the London Passenger Transport Board only to grant consents for motor-coach proprietors to operate tours of the decorations and illuminations during May on condition that a protective fare of 5s. per person is charged; and, as coach proprietors have indicated that they would be prepared to run such tours at 2s. 6d. per head and the fixing of 5s. will preclude a large number of Londoners of limited means from participating in such tours, will he ask the London Passenger Transport Board to reconsider their decision in this matter?
The Minister of Transport (Mr. HoreBelisha)
This is a problem which affects not the board alone but such matters as street capacity, police control, safety and larger issues all of which I understand will be taken into account. Incidentally it should be borne in mind that the London Passenger Transport Act, 1933, places an obligation on the board to provide adequate services.
§ 58. Mr. Brooke
asked the Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of Health, as representing the First Commissioner of Works, why it has been considered necessary to close Westminster Abbey to the public and to disfigure Parliament Square and other parts of the 1594 Coronation route by the erection of stands four months before the Coronation: whether such a long period was necessary for the purpose; and whether he can state the estimated cost of these preparations?
§ The Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of Health (Mr. R. S. Hudson)
(for the First Commissioner of Works): The fitting up of Westminster Abbey and the provision of stands along the Coronation route necessitate great demands on labour and materials, particularly in respect of steel and timber. Work in connection with the Coronation will also be carried out by local and other bodies, and it is inevitable that a shortage, which is already in evidence, of both labour and certain materials, would become acute if undue restrictions of time were enforced on the contractors engaged. For these reasons it has not been possible to concentrate the work in the Abbey and on the stands within a shorter period of time. An estimate of the total cost will be laid before this House in due course.
§ 27. Mr. Ede (for Lieut.-Commander Fletcher)
asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies whether he can now announce a decision regarding the presence of African chiefs at the Coronation ceremonies; and if chiefs, in addition to native official representatives of colonies, will be invited?
§ Mr. Ormsby-Gore
Yes, Sir. His Highness the Kabaka of Buganda and Yeta III, the paramount chief of Barotseland, have been invited to the Coronation. The Kabaka accepted, but I am sorry to say that he has since been advised on medical grounds not to undertake the journey to England this year. I very much hope that the paramount chief will attend.