Lighting, Trafalgar Square and Kingsway

Oral Answers to Questions — Fuel and Power – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 11 November 1948.

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Photo of Mr Ellis Smith Mr Ellis Smith , Stoke-on-Trent Stoke 12:00, 11 November 1948

asked the Minister of Fuel and Power why he sanctioned the floodlighting in Trafalgar Square and the use of neon-lighting tubes on the General Electric Building in Kingsway, London.

Photo of Mr Alfred Robens Mr Alfred Robens , Wansbeck

The floodlighting in Trafalgar Square was sanctioned in connection with the unveiling of the Jellicoe-Beatty memorial. It is being continued twice a week outside peak hours as an exception to the general restriction on floodlighting which must be maintained for the sake of fuel economy.

As regards the use of neon-lighting tubes on the General Electric Building in Kingsway, the question of sanction does not arise. I understand that the neon-tubes on this building arc merely a replacement and not for use whilst present restrictions continue.

Photo of Mr Ellis Smith Mr Ellis Smith , Stoke-on-Trent Stoke

Now that these decisions have been arrived at and applied in London, will the Minister give an undertaking that if similar applications are made by other cities, they will receive the same consideration?

Photo of Mr Alfred Robens Mr Alfred Robens , Wansbeck

I want my hon. Friend to realise that Trafalgar Square, being in the capital, is in a unique position. I would go so far as to say, however, that if civic authorities find that they have a case for the temporary use of floodlighting for some specific purpose, we should be very pleased to look at each case and judge it on its merits.

Photo of Sir Gifford Fox Sir Gifford Fox , Henley

Has the Minister considered the electricity which would be saved if these lights were on every night by the fact that a large number of people would be out looking at them, and not using their electric fires and lights at home?

Photo of Mr Alfred Robens Mr Alfred Robens , Wansbeck

I can assure the hon. and gallant Gentleman that every consideration has been given to facts of that kind.

Mr. Wilson Harris:

With regard to Trafalgar Square, would the hon. Gentleman consider the superiority of white floodlighting over the garish colours which make Trafalgar Square look like what I suppose a Butlin's Camp to be?

Photo of Mr Alfred Robens Mr Alfred Robens , Wansbeck

Surely, that is a matter of opinion.