Son et Lumière

Oral Answers to Questions — Public Building and Works – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 8th March 1965.

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Photo of Mr Clive Bossom Mr Clive Bossom , Leominster 12:00 am, 8th March 1965

asked the Minister of Public Building and Works (1) if he will be staging son et lunière again this year at Hampton Court and the Tower of London:

(2) what representations he has received for additional sites for son et lumière this year; and what replies he has sent.

Photo of Mr Charles Pannell Mr Charles Pannell , Leeds West

I have had to refuse permission for Hampton Court Palace, the Tower of London and Horse Guards' Parade chiefly because of the disturbance to residents in the vicinity. The sponsors withdrew their proposal for the Palace of Westminster. I have agreed in principle the proposal for Ashby-de-la-Zouch Castle. I have said in connection with a tentative approach about Conway Castle that a firm request will receive sympathetic consideration.

Photo of Mr Clive Bossom Mr Clive Bossom , Leominster

Is the Minister aware that 2½ million tourists are expected in this country this year and 90 per cent. of them will be coming to London? Could he persuade the London Tourist Board to sponsor many more of these events? Second, when control of the Palace of Westminster changes over, will he look into this question and see whether he can give permission for Westminster Hall to be used for son et lumière, as there is an organisation which wishes to do this and has continually asked to be allowed to do so?

Photo of Mr Charles Pannell Mr Charles Pannell , Leeds West

I cannot give any answer about Westminster Hall without anticipating another sort of reply. As regards the Palace of Westminster, the London Tourist Board decided that son et lumière here would be marred by the gantries and other equipment needed along the river front while the roof space scheme is in progress.

Photo of Mr Marcus Lipton Mr Marcus Lipton , Lambeth Brixton

Who are the residents in the vicinity of the Horse Guards whom it is not the Minister's wish to disturb with either sound or light?

Photo of Mr Charles Pannell Mr Charles Pannell , Leeds West

I do not know exactly who the residents are. [Laughter.] I represent a Leeds constituency. My hon. Friend may have canvassed them before and know them better than I do. The point is that I have tried to make a general rule, because there is undoubtedly a great deal of disturbance of residents, that we should not inflict son et lumière on any set of residents two years running

Photo of Mr John Boyd-Carpenter Mr John Boyd-Carpenter , Kingston upon Thames

With reference to the residents to whom the hon. Member for Brixton (Mr. Lipton) referred, is theirs not a case of too much son aid too little lumière?