§ MR. LENG (Dundee)
I beg to ask the First Commissioner of Works whether, seeing the keen interest taken by ladies in the proceedings of this House, and the eager but often ineffectual attempts of Members, by the daily ballot, to obtain seats for them in the Ladies' Gallery, it is within the resources of architectural skill to enlarge the space within which the ladies are at present 679 encaged, so as to provide more equal accommodation for strangers of both sexes; and whether there is any good reason for caging off the Ladies' Gallery, and so obstructing the view which the ladies would otherwise have of the House and its proceedings?
§ THE FIRST COMMISSIONER OF WORKS (Mr. PLUNKET,) University of Dublin
I am sorry to say that, owing to the structural conditions of that part of the House wherein the Ladies' Gallery is situated, it is not possible to enlarge it as the hon. Member suggests. As to removing the grating, that is a burning question which has often been raised and debated, and has always been decided in the negative, very much, I believe, because it has been ascertained whenever inquiry has been made that, though some of the ladies who visit the Gallery complain of being "encaged" as the hon. Member puts it in his question, the feeling of the majority is decidedly against the removal of the grating.
§ DR. TANNER
As this is a burning question, is there any chance of its being melted down?
§ MR. PLUNKET
It is called a grill now.