Palace of Westminster

Oral Answers to Questions — Public Building and Works – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 1st August 1966.

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Photo of Mr Kenneth Lewis Mr Kenneth Lewis , Rutland and Stamford 12:00 am, 1st August 1966

asked the Minister of Public Building and Works what works he contemplates completing within the Palace of Westminster during the Summer Adjournment.

Photo of Mr Reginald Prentice Mr Reginald Prentice , East Ham North

As the reply is rather long, I will, with permission, circulate the answer in the OFFICIAL REPORT.

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

Can the right hon. Gentleman say what effect the Prime Minister's announcement the other day will have on the long-term developments of extra accommodation for Members?

Photo of Mr Reginald Prentice Mr Reginald Prentice , East Ham North

The Question deals with the coming Recess. In that connection, we have dropped two schemes for panelling work which would have cost about £10,000 altogether. Other schemes directly related to accommodation are going ahead during this Recess. With regard to the longer term, I would need more notice of the question.

Following are the details:

Main Works to be completed during the Summer Recess 1966

House of Commons

  1. 1. Completion of new accommodation in the Upper Committee Corridor (Central) and the Upper Committee Corridor (South) (Roof Space scheme).
  2. 2. Construction of a mezzanine floor above the Committee Office.
  3. 3. Construction of a new staircase from the Whips Office to the Cloisters and new partitions to form Members' Writing Rooms.
  4. 4. Partitioning Desk Rooms A and B in the Upper Committee Corridor (North).

House of Lords

  1. 5. Installation of air-conditioning in the Chamber.
  2. 6. Alterations to kitchen for Refreshment Department.

Mr. Gresham Cooke:

asked the Minister of Public Building and Works how old is the carpet in the corridor outside the Strangers Dining Room of the House of Commons; and whether, having regard to its present condition, he will renew it during the Summer Recess.

Photo of Mr James Boyden Mr James Boyden , Bishop Auckland

Four years old. Its condition does not justify replacement, but it will be cleaned during the Summer Recess.

Mr. Gresham Cooke:

Is the hon. Gentleman aware that I asked a Question about this a couple of year ago, when it was very dirty and tattered, and it has got considerably worse? Cleaning will not repair it, and it is not up to the standard of what we ought to have in this Parliament compared with other Parliaments throughout the world.

Photo of Mr James Boyden Mr James Boyden , Bishop Auckland

It is cleaned three or four times a year. It is not in very good condition, but it is in a very vulnerable spot. Replacement would cost about £450, and I am sure that the hon. Gentleman would not want that sort of expenditure now.

The following Question stood upon the Order Paper:

Photo of Mr Robert Cooke Mr Robert Cooke , Bristol West

To ask the Minister of Public Building and Works, what has been the expenditure on facilities for hon Members' wives in the Palace of Westminster since October, 1964; and what expenditure is planned in the year 1966–67.

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

On a point of order. As my hon. Friend the Member for Bristol, West (Mr. Robert Cooke) has just got married and is not here to ask his Question, may a Written Answer be sent to him on his honeymoon?

Photo of Dr Horace King Dr Horace King , Southampton, Itchen

That is not a point of order.