HC Deb 23 March 1896 vol 38 cc1598-9

On behalf of the hon. Member for East Belfast, I beg to ask the First Commissioner of Works, whether, considering the crowded state of the Smoking Room at certain times of the day, he will give his serious consideration to the advisability of covering in the space enclosed by the Cloisters, and turning it into a winter garden for the use of Members wishing to smoke?


Before he answers, may I ask the right hon. Gentleman whether he will seriously consider that the covering in of this space will deprive Members of the small amount of direct ventilation, and further vitiate an already enervating atmosphere? ["Oh, oh!"]


Yes, sir; I am giving my best consideration to this matter. As I have already said, in my reply to the Question of my hon. Friend the Member for North Paddington the other day, I am quite of opinion that the present accommodation for smoking is inadequate. The supplementary question is receiving my consideration too. If the hon. Member will look at the Report of the House of Commons Accommodation Committee he will see that there is all the necessary ventilation that can be provided.


Will the First Commissioner also consider the fact that the present Smoking Room is a long way off, and, as many Members are short and scant of breath—[laughter]—they may endanger their lives by running to the Division Lobbies to vote when the bell rings?


I think the hon. Member will see that his question suggests a change that is not practicable.

MR. JOHN ELLIS (Nottingham, Rushcliffe)

Will the right hon. Gentleman take care that none of the ancient historic architecture is interfered with?


intimated that such care would be taken.