HC Deb 02 March 1903 vol 118 cc1149-50
MR. WHITLEY (Halifax)

said that this was the third or the fourth piece in which the estimate for work at Marlborough House had been given to them. He thought it was time that they had a full account of the whole of the expenditure, and he hoped they had now seen the end of it. He understood that some great fault was committed in regard to the original estimate, and he should like to know whose fault it was that this particular work was not done with the main part of the work, it was a most unfortunate thing that this matter should be presented to the House in three pieces. He hoped the hon. Gentleman would not think him unreasonable in asking these questions, because the total amount made up a good round sum.

MR. KEARLEY (Devonport)

asked if he should be in order in referring to Hampton Court Palace.


No, that item comes under another Vote.

MR. AILWYN FELLOWES (Huntingdonshire, Ramsey)

When His Majesty gave up residence last March it was determined by the Office of Works to thoroughly overhaul the whole drainage at Marlborough House. The drains in the house were put in something like twenty-five or twenty-six years ago. The Office of Works were unable to begin the work at once, for the reason that there were certain guests expected at the Coronation, and after that event the Shah had to take up his residence there, and therefore nothing could be done up to that time. In addition to that, the Sanitary Inspector of the Board of Works was taken ill and had to leave on the 1st of August, and he was therefore unable to go over and make a thorough report of the drainage until something like the 10th or the 11th of November. When he came back he issued his report, and it is on that report that the Board of Works have acted. I may say now that the whole of the work is almost completed, and the house be ready for occupation in the course of a very short time. I hope that there is an end to expenditure at Marlborough House now, but at the same time the hon. Member will agree with me that it is not easy to find out all that may be required, because there is nearly always something else that requires to be done. The Board of Works have had the thing thoroughly well done, and I hope it will be satisfactory to the occupants of Marlborough House.

MR. CALDWELL (Lanarkshire, Mid)

agreed that this was the proper time to have the repairs at Marlborough House done. The only question he wished to ask was whether there had been a contract or not. He thought work of this description ought to be done by contract in order to have it done at a reasonable price.

MR. AILWYN FELLOWES said this work had been carried out by the Board of Works under the supervision of their own foreman.

Vote agreed to.

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