HC Deb 24 June 1886 vol 307 cc258-9
MR. ISAACS (Newington, Walworth)

asked the First Commissioner of Works, Whether a report has been received from an independent professional expert who has been consulted as to the drainage of the Palace of Westminster; whether such report approves the recommendations of the Select Committee on the Ventilation of the House as to the remedial measures to be undertaken in regard to such drainage; and, whether the works involved will be carried out during the forthcoming Recess?


(who replied) said: The First Commissioner of Works yesterday received a long Report from Mr. Shone on the manner in which his system of drainage, which was recommended by the Select Committee, could be applied to the Houses of Parliament. After a conference this morning, Mr. Shone has undertaken to supply further details, more especially on the point of the practicability of carrying out these works in a short time. Of course, the time that will be available will very much depend on whether the House meets next month or in October. The First Commissioner of Works sees reason to hope that plans may be prepared which would give effect to the main recommendations of the Committee—namely, that the sewage of the House should no longer be carried away by gravitation only. I may assure the House that every exertion will be made to carry out any works that can be completed at the earliest possible moment.


said, he would like to have some assurance from the Secretary to the Treasury that the works would for a certainty be commenced and carried out during the Recess. They had suffered very much during the present Session, and they should be anxious that the new House of Parliament should, at any rate, have to thank this House of Parliament for having, to the best of their power and ability, insisted on some proper drainage being carried out. He, therefore, asked the Secretary to the Treasury whether he would give an assurance that works would be carried out to effect the object which they had in view?


said that, so far as the Treasury was concerned, there should be no lack of zeal in the matter. The Treasury only had to find the money, but the First Commissioner had to decide on the works; and when he had satisfied himself as to the proper course to be adopted in order to make the House sanitarily safe he could assure his hon. Friend that the authorities at the Treasury would do their best not to oppose any technical or financial obstacle to the carrying out of the works.