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Church Bell Ringing (Removal Of Restrictions)

Volume 389: debated on Thursday 27 May 1943

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17.

asked the Home Secretary whether he is now in a position to make any further statement as to the operation of the Order relating to the ringing of church bells?

45.

asked the Prime Minister whether, in view of misunderstanding in regard to the ringing of church. bells on 3rd June, being Ascension Day, he will now regularise the position by allowing those responsible for the ringing of such bells discretion in the use of them on week-days?

The Government have now decided that the present restrictions on the use of church bells shall be removed. I have, therefore, made an Order revoking the Control of Noise (Defence) (No. 2) Order, 1943, which prohibited the sounding of any church bell except for the purpose of summoning persons to public worship on a Sunday, Christmas Day or Good Friday. The effect of this revocation is that church bells may be rung for any purpose at any time provided that their sound is not liable to be mistaken for a signal in connection with an air raid or a gas attack. The Government must, of course, be free to review the position in the light of changing circumstances.

I take it that the local authorities still have the power to prevent boys and girls going about with hand bells?

Yes; if the handbell is likely to be confused with a warning connected with an air raid or gas attack, they have the power to stop them.