asked the Lord President of the Council whether he is aware of the danger that the present restrictions on materials available for the construction of buildings connected with the Festival of Britain may result in this exhibition being unworthy of the country with little benefit to its trade and prosperity; and whether, in view of the new economic circumstances, consideration can be given to the whole matter with a view to ensuring that the exhibition will provide a worthy successor to the Great Exhibition of 1851.
The Government have given the fullest consideration to the importance of making the Festival of Britain a worthy successor of the Great Exhibition of 1851, and are satisfied that notwithstanding current restrictions this will be achieved.
In view of the fact that this is an extremely important exhibition, is my right hon. Friend aware that there is dissatisfaction at the restrictions that are being imposed regarding materials, and will he reconsider the matter in order to meet these criticisms?
I was not aware of that. I thought that on the whole we were not being treated too badly by the authorities in these matters. As I informed the House on an earlier occasion, we are preparing plans for the South Bank. I have promised the House an opportunity of seeing those plans, in which case my hon. Friend will no doubt be interested to look at them; and I hope he will find that the situation is somewhat better than he apprehends.
Is my right hon. Friend aware that one of the ways of making this exhibition a worthy repeat of the one last century is to arrange for an extension of the exhibition in the grounds of Chiswick House, and that this would not involve a very great expenditure of material?
Can the right hon. Gentleman recall whether 1851 was in a period of Tory or Liberal misrule?
I have not the least idea—it was either one or the other.