Yes, Sir. Official Victory celebrations will take place in London on Saturday, 8th June, which will be a Public-Holiday. They will consist of a Victory Parade in the morning, children's entertainment in the Royal Parks in the afternoon and a river, searchlight and firework display in the evening. I will circulate details in the OFFICIAL REPORT.
Is the Prime Minister aware that many of the newspapers are regarding the day as Whit Saturday, whereas, in point of fact, this day is a week later, and as this is an important point, especially where Lancashire is concerned, may I ask the Press to give publicity to this supplementary question?
Saturday, 8th June will be a public holiday and the last Victory holiday. In regard to the payment of wages the Government intends to treat its own employees (including industrial civil servants) in the same way as on the occasions of the previous Victory holidays; that is to say, wages will be paid to workers taking the holiday and, for those who are required to work on the holiday, the usual payments for working on public holidays will be made. Employers in general are invited to follow the Government's example in these respects.
In the morning there will be a Victory Parade comprising a Marching Column and a Motorised Column. The Marching Column will proceed through the West End and the Motorised Column through East and South East London. The Columns will unite in Westminster and proceed along the Mall past the saluting base.
The Marching Column will include small contingents from each of the fighting services of the belligerent Allies with larger contingents from each of the four major Allies. The main body of the Marching Column will consist of representatives of the Dominions, India, Burma and the Colonial Empire, the Royal Navy (including the Merchant Navy and Fishing Fleet), the Army (including the Home Guard), the R.A.F. (including the Royal Observer Corps), and of Police, N.F.S., the wide range of all the Civil Defence Services, together with an industrial contingent and representatives of organisations such as the Joint War Organisation of the Red Cross and St. John, N.A.A.F.I., etc., etc. The Motorised Column will include vehicles from the Royal Navy, Army, R.A.F., N.F.S., and Civil Defence.
In the afternoon there will be open air entertainments for the children in Hyde Park, Regent's Park, St. James's Park and Green Park and in the King's Park, Edinburgh. The space available in the four Royal Parks in London for this purpose will be very limited because some of them will be required as camps and assembly areas for the Parade, and consideration is, therefore, being given to the possibility of arranging a certain number of dispersed entertainments for children in the Metropolitan area during the week beginning 1oth June.
Owing to present manufacturing difficulties His Majesty's Government doubt whether the provision of any of the usual forms of souvenir would be practicable or justified. They therefore propose that a commemorative card bearing a message from His Majesty The King should be provided at the expense of the Exchequer and distributed to school children through the local Education Authorites.
Between the hours of 10 p.m. and midnight for the period 8th June to 15th June inclusive, the Ministry of Works will floodlight certain official buildings in London and elsewhere. No objection will be raised to local authorities and public bodies similarly lighting their buildings should they so desire; but other decorative lighting and lighting advertisements will not be allowed, in view of the continuing need for fuel economy.
On the evening of 8th June a search-light display will be arranged covering the Greater London area, and between 10 p.m. and midnight there will be fireworks and a display by the N.F.S. on the Thames in the neighbourhood of Westminster. It is hoped to berth some of His Majesty's ships at Greenwich in Woolwich Reach and in the Lower Pool beyond Tower Bridge, and to illuminate or floodlight them. Arrangements will probably be made for the public to visit them on Whit Sunday and Whit Monday.