§ MR. J. O'CONNOR (for Mr. P. O'BRIEN)
I beg to ask the First Commissioner of Works whether he is aware that the signal light on the House of Commons cannot be seen at all from some parts of London, and is very imperfectly visible from many points owing to its position on one side of the tower; and whether he proposes to remedy this defect by placing a powerful electric light on the summit of the tower so as to be visible from all points?
§ MR. PLUNKET
This is the first complaint I have received as to the insufficiency of the signal light on the Clock Tower, and I believe that under ordinary conditions of the atmosphere the light is well seen in those parts of the town to which it is at present directed. There are times when London fogs are very dense at which neither this light nor any other could be of much service. If I were satisfied that any considerable number of Members of Parliament are deprived of the advantage of seeing the light, or of the sometimes keener pleasure of seeing it extinguished, that would be a reason, if the expense were not thought too heavy by the Treasury, for endeavouring to spread the light more widely. As to whether that could best be done by gas or electric light is a question on which I believe a good deal can be said on both sides.
§ DR. TANNER
Is it not a fact that there would be very little increase in the cost if the light were put at the top of the Tower, so that it could be seen South as well as West?
§ MR. PLUNKET
I cannot answer that question without further investigation; but I think there would be a considerable increase of cost.