Pleasure Gardens

Oral Answers to Questions — Festival of Britain – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 1st May 1951.

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Photo of Mr Christopher Hollis Mr Christopher Hollis , Devizes 12:00 am, 1st May 1951

asked the Lord Privy Seal whether, in view of the fact that the Fun Fair at Battersea Park is in a condition to be opened to the public, he will allow it to be opened on the advertised date of 3rd May.

Photo of Mr Richard Stokes Mr Richard Stokes , Ipswich

No, Sir. The Fun Fair is not in a condition in which it can be operated, nor is it considered possible to open it in a finished condition by 3rd May. Arrangements have been made for it to open on Friday, 11th May.

Photo of Mr Christopher Hollis Mr Christopher Hollis , Devizes

When the right hon. Gentleman says "not in a condition in which it can be operated," does he mean that the things will not go round, or that certain decorations have to be put up, because I understand the things will go round and that it can be operated?

Photo of Mr Richard Stokes Mr Richard Stokes , Ipswich

No, of course it will all go round, but there has been a concatenation of circumstances which has not made completion speedy, and I think it better to wait until 11th May, rather than to have a poor opening event.

Photo of Lieut-Commander Joseph Braithwaite Lieut-Commander Joseph Braithwaite , Bristol North West

Is the greatest credit due to all concerned?

Photo of Mr Henry Hynd Mr Henry Hynd , Accrington

Has my right hon. Friend noticed the delight of hon. Members on the benches opposite at this disappointing delay as compared with their disappointment when they heard that the South Bank Exhibition would open on time?

Photo of Colonel Sir Alan Gomme-Duncan Colonel Sir Alan Gomme-Duncan , Perth and East Perthshire

Will the right hon. Gentleman say whether the concatenation of circumstances explains the picture, for which he has paid £500, called "Autumn Landscape"?

Photo of Mr Nigel Fisher Mr Nigel Fisher , Hitchin

asked the Lord Privy Seal if he can indicate the date on which the Festival of Britain Fun Fair in Battersea Park is now expected to open; and the extent of the financial loss incurred as a result of the postponement.

Photo of Mr Barnett Janner Mr Barnett Janner , Leicester North West

asked the Lord Privy Seal whether any decision has yet been arrived at following the deputation of showmen to the Board of Festival Gardens, Limited, urging the opening of the Fun Fair on the original date agreed.

Photo of Mr Richard Stokes Mr Richard Stokes , Ipswich

The Board of Festival Gardens, Limited, has decided that the Fun Fair cannot be opened on the original date, but that it can be opened before Whitsuntide on Friday, 11th May. I am informed that the financial loss to the Company incurred as a result of this postponement is expected to be about £5,000.

Photo of Mr Nigel Fisher Mr Nigel Fisher , Hitchin

To obviate this postponement, would it not have been possible and better to have started the work on that site a little earlier.

Photo of Mr Richard Stokes Mr Richard Stokes , Ipswich

I think it would be better to wait until I have made a full statement on the Second Reading of the Bill which is coming before the House. Under the circumstances, I think we are very lucky to get it open as early.

Photo of Mr Duncan Sandys Mr Duncan Sandys , Wandsworth Streatham

Does the last statement of the right hon. Gentleman—that he is to make a statement on the Second Reading of the Bill—mean that we are not to have the report he previously promised?

Photo of Mr Richard Stokes Mr Richard Stokes , Ipswich

I cannot answer that today, but I am hoping the report will be out soon; if possible, before the Second Reading.

Photo of Mr Nigel Fisher Mr Nigel Fisher , Hitchin

asked the Lord Privy Seal if all the constructions for the Festival of Britain in Battersea Park are British designed and built.

Photo of Mr Richard Stokes Mr Richard Stokes , Ipswich

Not all the constructions are British designed and built.

Photo of Mr Nigel Fisher Mr Nigel Fisher , Hitchin

In this Festival of Britain would it not have been more appropriate to have British designs and manufactures?

Photo of Mr Richard Stokes Mr Richard Stokes , Ipswich

We have not the same kind of fun here and it was thought advisable to have the maximum variety. All the purchases have been made through British companies. Some of them—I will not say all—have got concessionary rights as a consequence.