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Oral Answers to Questions — House of Commons – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 30th November 1966.

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Photo of David Winnick David Winnick , Croydon South 12:00 am, 30th November 1966

asked the Lord President of the Council what is now proposed to be done in regard to the preparations already made in regard to the televising of proceedings, in view of the vote of the House on 24th November.

Photo of Mr Richard Crossman Mr Richard Crossman , Coventry East

In accordance with the decision of the House, all preparatory work has been brought to a halt.

Photo of David Winnick David Winnick , Croydon South

Is the Lord President aware that many of us deeply regret the decision reached last week? [HON. MEMBERS: "No."] Could he say whether, if a private hon. Member is successful in the private ballot machinery, he would have any chance of finding time to debate this subject again?

Photo of Mr Richard Crossman Mr Richard Crossman , Coventry East

One may regret a decision, but one had better accept it, the decision having been taken. The second part of my hon. Friend's supplementary question raises a different matter.

Photo of Mr Willie Hamilton Mr Willie Hamilton , Fife West

Does my right hon. Friend regard this matter as finally closed for all time? Will he give an assurance that, if the other place decides to carry on with its experiment, the Government will not withhold the money?

Photo of Mr Richard Crossman Mr Richard Crossman , Coventry East

I think that it would be very unwise to consider this question as ever finally closed. This is something which the House can consider in due course, if it wishes. As for the other place, we had better await developments.

Photo of Sir John Hall Sir John Hall , Wycombe

Would the right hon. Gentleman say what preliminary preparations were made and on whose authority they were made?

Photo of Mr Richard Crossman Mr Richard Crossman , Coventry East

Very properly, the Officers of the House made certain investigations and officials of the Ministry of Public Building and Works and of the Department of the Serjeant at Arms were naturally concerned to see what might have to be done if a different decision were taken.

Photo of Mr Arthur Woodburn Mr Arthur Woodburn , Clackmannan and East Stirlingshire

Would my right hon. Friend consider allowing, perhaps not as a full experiment, the House to be televised during the moving and seconding of the Address, which is a rather spectacular occasion and which arouses great public interest?

Photo of Mr Richard Crossman Mr Richard Crossman , Coventry East

It is my view that the House came to a decision—[HON. MEMBERS: "Hear, hear."]—and that that is a fact. That decision can be reconsidered and there are opportunities for doing so. However, as long as that decision has been taken, one must accept it, whether or not one likes it.