Windsor Castle (Fire)

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 4:04 pm on 23rd November 1992.

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Photo of Patrick Cormack Patrick Cormack , South Staffordshire 4:04 pm, 23rd November 1992

Does my right hon. Friend accept that those who have been deeply distressed by the fire over the weekend have been almost as distressed by some of the mean-spirited comments that have been made following it? Will he emphasise that we are dealing with an official residence where people are entertained in the name of this country by our head of state, who represents much better value than most presidents, and that it is just as legitimate to spend money on this as it would be if a misfortune happened at Chequers, whoever was the occupant at the time?

Does my right hon. Friend agree that the treasures of the royal collection cannot be sold and are available to the public, who see them in their thousands, if not millions, every year? Does he further agree that we can be encouraged not only by the wonderful efforts of the firefighters in rescuing so many treasures but by the fact that we know from Hampton Court that we have brilliant British craftsmen who will be able to restore the building to its former glory?