Admiralty Building, The Mall

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 Philip Noel-Baker Mr Philip Noel-Baker , Derby South 12:00 am, 16th July 1963

asked the Minister of Public Building and Works whether the Admiralty building, constructed on The Mall during the Second World War, would resist the impact of nuclear bombs; and whether he will arrange on the grounds of amenity for its early removal.

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

It is expected that this building would give protection outside the immediate area of an explosion. As regards removal, I have nothing to add to my reply to the hon. Member for Dagenham (Mr. Parker) on 30th April.

Photo of Mr Philip Noel-Baker Mr Philip Noel-Baker , Derby South

Does not the Minister agree that this hideous pillbox would be useless in war time and that in peace time it gravely disfigures one of the few remaining unspoiled parts of London?

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

Whilst I certainly could not defend this building on aesthetic grounds, I could not agree that it would be useless in war time.

Photo of Mr Philip Noel-Baker Mr Philip Noel-Baker , Derby South

Would the hon. Gentleman look at this matter again and consider that the beauty of St. James's Park ought to rank very high as a Government priority?

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

I do not disagree with that, but it would be very expensive to remove this building and we should also have to find accommodation elsewhere for the civil servants displaced.