Oral Answers to Questions — History of Parliament Exhibition

– in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 24th July 1951.

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Photo of Viscount  Turnour Viscount Turnour , Horsham 12:00 am, 24th July 1951

(by Private Notice) asked the Minister of Works what are the proposed arrangements for the opening of the Parliamentary Exhibition in the Grand Committee Room.

Photo of Mr George Brown Mr George Brown , Belper

The House will remember that on 21st November last, you, Sir, announced that the Parliamentary Supervisory Committee on the Festival of Britain, presided over by the noble Lord, the right hon. Member for Horsham (Earl Winterton), had recommended the acceptance of a number of suggestions for enabling a full part to be played by our Parliamentary institutions in the Festival of Britain. The main recommendation was that an Exhibition on the history of Parliament should be held in the Grand Committee Room.

I am glad to be able to say that the Lord Chancellor and you, Sir, will open the Exhibition at 11 a.m. on Wednesday, 1st August, and all Members of both Houses are invited to attend. An opportunity will be given to Members to visit the Exhibition from after the opening ceremony until 8 p.m. The public will not be admitted on that day.

On the two following days, 2nd August and 30th August, admission to the Exhibition will be confined to Members of the two Houses and to their friends. If the House has by then risen for the Summer Recess, the Exhibition will be open to the public without charge, between the hours of 10 a.m. and 8 p.m. on Saturday, 4th August, and daily thereafter, Sundays excepted, until the House re-assembles.

I hope that everyone who can will visit the Exhibition. It is Parliament's own contribution to the Festival of Britain: and its purpose is to illustrate the history, development and achievements of Parliament, and the influence of our idea of Parliamentary Government on institutions overseas.

Photo of Viscount  Turnour Viscount Turnour , Horsham

Will the right hon. Gentleman give favourable consideration to the proposal which has been made in some quarters that this Exhibition should go on tour, on loan so to speak, to provincial centres, provided that muncipalities are prepared to pay for it, in view of the fact that we all hope that this Exhibition, which owes so much to you. Mr. Speaker, and also to the Foreign Secretary and to the very admirable Executive Committee presided over by a high official of this House, will prove a lasting success?

Photo of Mr George Brown Mr George Brown , Belper

I should like to associate myself with the tributes which the noble Lord has paid, and to say that I hope that public interest will result in requests being made for this Exhibition to be shown in provincial cities. I shall certainly do all I can to enable that to be done.

Photo of Mr Emrys Hughes Mr Emrys Hughes , South Ayrshire

Is the House of Lords to be included in this Exhibition?

Photo of Mr George Brown Mr George Brown , Belper

It is, of course, part of our historic Parliament and certainly will be included.