HC Deb 27 March 1906 vol 154 cc1073-5
SIR WILLIAM BULL (Hammersmith)

I beg to ask the First Commissioner of Works whether it has been decided to cease completing the towers on the new Government Offices in Whitehall; and, if so, whether, in view of the number of masons who would be thrown out of employment and the amount of stone that has been dressed and carved, he will consider the advisability of completing the original design


After consultation with the architects and the Advisory Committee, I have decided not to carry the towers on the Charles Street side of the new public offices to the full height, as originally designed. This decision was arrived at on two grounds; first, that owing to the narrowness of Charles Street there is hardly any point of view from which they would have been visible; and, second, if carried out as designed they would have obstructed so much of the light available for the India and Local Government Board Offices on the opposite side of the street as to render some of their already limited accommodation practically useless. With regard to the tower on the Great George Street side, no decision has been taken as to its ultimate completion, but it will not be carried up to its full height at present, as it must be some years before the remainder of the building towards St. James's Park can be completed or even commenced, and until this is done the erection of only one of a pair of high towers would be architecturally and structurally undesirable. Considerations of economy have not entered into the question.


Is it not the fact that there has been no work on these buildings for some weeks?


NO, Sir. There has been no stoppage of work except on the towers.


May I ask whether the right hon. Gentleman has communicated with the contractors with a view to getting the men who were employed on the towers employment on some other part of the building?


was understood to reply in the affirmative.

LORD BALCARRES (Lancashire, Chorley)

May I ask what is the estimated economy which the mutilation of the original design of these buildings will produce?


I did not consider the question of economy at all.