HC Deb 17 April 1928 vol 216 cc123-5

Motion made, and Question proposed, "That the Clause stand part of the Bill."


This Clause empowers the Postmaster-General to construct a subway under Mount Street Gardens. Mount Street Gardens form an open space and are very much appreciated as such. They contain very fine trees, very fine specimens of timber, and I should like to know that in the construction of the subway nothing is to be done to spoil the amenities of these gardens, for although they are quite close to Hyde Park and in a district well supplied with open spaces, they are extremely popular. If the Noble Lord would go there any afternoon in spring or summer he would see the gardens almost crowded. Another interesting feature of Mount Street Gardens is the fact that there is a very varied bird population there. For some reason, birds which come to London appear to prefer these gardens in Mount Street to the wider area of Hyde Park. Therefore, I hope that nothing will be done to spoil the amenities of the gardens

Viscount WOLMER

I can reassure my hon. and gallant Friend on that point. All that we are seeking to do is to get permission to run a subway under this disused burial ground. The subway will be not less than 16 feet below the surface of the ground. The surface of the ground will not be disturbed at all during the operations, and I do not think the roots of the trees will be affected in any way. The Westminster City Council have taken a very keen interest in this matter, and the Post Office has been in close touch with them over it. At their request we have inserted a Clause in the Bill during the Select Committee stage, Clause 7 (3) of which reads: At least one month before commencing the construction of the subway the Postmaster-General shall submit to the Council plans, drawings, sections and specifications describing the position and manner in which and the level at which the subway is proposed to be constructed and in constructing the subway shall comply with the reasonable requirements of the Council. My hon. and gallant Friend knows the Westminster City Council, and he may be sure that they will insist, and we will agree, that we shall do nothing that will inflict serious injury on any important timber or open space.

Clauses 3 (Power to deviate), 4 (Use of subway and application of Telegraph Acts, 1863 to 1926), 5 (Incorporation of Lands Clauses Acts), 6 (Restriction on. taking surface of certain property and power to require owners to grant easements only), 7 (For protection of Westminster City Council), 8 (Compensation in case of recently altered buildings), 9 (Power to enter lands for purpose of surveying), 10 (Power to erect buildings and form roads), 11 (Power to make agreements with local authorities), 12 (Correction, of errors in deposited plans or books of reference), 13 (As to taking parts of certain properties), 14 (Land tax), 15 (Power to erect buildings on land at Leeds), 16 (Removal of human remains), and 17 (Short title and interpretation) ordered to stand part of the Bill.

Schedule agreed to.

Preamble agreed to.

Bill reported, without Amendment; read the Third time, and passed.