asked the Minister of Works which persons are authorised to park their cars on the Horse Guards Parade, and under what circumstances.
A limited number of the occupants of the surrounding buildings and of visitors to them, are authorised to park on the edges of the Parade when it is not required for ceremonial purposes. The selection of those to whom permits are issued is the responsibility of the Departments concerned.
Will not my right hon. Friend agree that the Horse Guards Parade is not in any sense an adjunct to any of these Departments which surround it, and that the result has been that we have a parade pockmarked with over 100 cars stretching 40 or 50 yards into the middle of the parade ground, and if this is a suitable place for parking 100 cars should it not be a case of "first come, first served"?
I do not think I could accept my hon. Friend's statement that this cannot be said to be an adjunct to the Departments concerned. It borders on them.
It may be bordering on them, but is it not a fact that it is not an adjunct to the Departments in the sense that the courtyard of the Foreign Office is an adjunct of the Foreign Office or that Downing Street is an adjunct to these Departments, in so far as they are not public thoroughfares?
I think it is a very near thing.
Is the Minister aware that the police always say that any space outside a hereditament or building is perfectly free for parking of the public unless there are ceremonial parades? If at a special time like Christmas this whole area can be used for parking cars, would it not be a more sensible arrangement merely to give notice that the parade ground is needed for ceremonial purposes?
I do not think so. So far as special periods like Christmas are concerned, I try to help as far as I can with the properties which come under my control, whatever the precedents may be.