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Ancient Monuments And Historic Buildings (Opening Hours)

Volume 640: debated on Tuesday 9 May 1961

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29.

asked the Minister of Works whether he will arrange for all of his Department's buildings open to the public to be opened for the full period of summer time in April and October on both Sundays and weekdays for the same hours as during the period from May to September.

Opening hours at ancient monuments and historic buildings in my right hon. Friend's care are regularly reviewed in the light of demand. In most parts of the country the likely demand would not in my view warrant the extra cost of extending the hours of admission. There may, however, be a few cases where extension would be justified and I am considering this.

As we have extended British Summer Time in order to try to persuade tourists to come to this country, surely we should give the tourists the benefit of that extra time when they do come here?

I think that the hon. Gentleman is wrong in thinking that the hours of opening have in the past been related to British Summer Time. They have, in fact, been related to public demand which, I think, depends much more on the season of the year—holidays, and things of that kind.