Banqueting House, Whitehall

Oral Answers to Questions — Public Building and Works – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 16th July 1963.

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Photo of Mr John Parker Mr John Parker , Dagenham 12:00 am, 16th July 1963

asked the Minister of Public Building and Works when he hopes to complete the restoration of the Banqueting House, Whitehall, and open it to the public.

Photo of Sir Douglas Glover Sir Douglas Glover , Ormskirk

asked the Minister of Public Building and Works what progress he has made with the reinstatement of the interior of the Banqueting House, Whitehall; and when he plans to make it available for use.

Photo of Mr Geoffrey Rippon Mr Geoffrey Rippon , Norwich South

I am afraid that the Royal United Service Institution has still not been able to give me possession of the Banqueting House and so it has not been possible to start work on the reinstatement of the interior.

Photo of Mr John Parker Mr John Parker , Dagenham

When does the right hon. Gentleman expect that it will be free?

Photo of Mr Geoffrey Rippon Mr Geoffrey Rippon , Norwich South

The hon. Member knows what legal difficulties imply but the Institution is in consultation with the Charity Commissioners at the moment and they are working on a scheme which I hope will enable progress to be made.

Photo of Mr Victor Goodhew Mr Victor Goodhew , St Albans

asked the Minister of Public Building and Works whether he will consider the construction of a subway linking the Banqueting House with the Henry VIII wine cellar, thus providing improved access and a link between these two places of hospitality.

Photo of Mr Victor Goodhew Mr Victor Goodhew , St Albans

Is not the present approach to the cellar very poor and unattractive? Could not these two places be used very well together for official receptions and, perhaps, even for selected private ones?

Photo of Mr Richard Sharples Mr Richard Sharples , Sutton and Cheam

The Question relates to the construction of a subway. I am advised that the construction of a sub-way would be a very complex and difficult operation and would be very expensive, too.

Photo of Mr Kenneth Lewis Mr Kenneth Lewis , Rutland and Stamford

If my hon. Friend thinks that a subway would be too expensive, will he consider laying a pipeline?

Photo of Mr Richard Sharples Mr Richard Sharples , Sutton and Cheam

I think that that question would be better addressed by my right hon. Friend the Minister of Power.