HC Deb 03 March 1930 vol 236 cc22-4
61. Lieut.-Colonel Sir A. LAMBERT WARD

asked the First Commissioner of Works what is the arrangement by which a representative of his Department travels abroad to visit buildings occupied by British representatives and officials in overseas countries; whether any official of his Department has made an inspection since June last, and, if so, what countries he visited and what the cost was; and whether it is proposed to send a member of his staff to make a similar inspection during the coming 12 months, and to what countries?


The reply to the hon. Member's question is somewhat long, and I propose with his permission to circulate it in the OFFICIAL REPORT.

Following is the reply:

The arrangement by which officers of my Department visit public buildings overseas is designed to ensure that, as a general rule, all such buildings are inspected by an architect not less than once in seven years, the frequency of the vists being determined by the importance of the buildings, the larger Continental Embassies being inspected annually; Legations so far as possible every two years, and Consulates at less frequent intervals.

Since June last, inspections have been made by architects at Riga, Berne, Budapest, Prague, Vienna, Rome and Paris, at a cost of £138, Washington and Ottawa (£230), and a further visit to Paris and Rome at a cost of £60. Officers are at present visiting Moscow and Berlin, the cost being estimated at £70 or £80, and also various posts in South, Central and West Africa, at an estimated cost of £400.

It is proposed to make vists during the next financial year to The Hague, Brussels, Prague, Rome, Vienna, Riga, Washington, Lisbon, Madrid, and certain posts in North Africa.

In addition to visits by architects, visits are occasionally made by engineers, in connection with the heating and lighting installations, and by technical officers in connection with refurnishing schemes. An officer of the Supplies Division is about to make a tour of inspection to China and Japan in connection with the furnishing of the new Tokio Embassy, and the supply of furniture to various Consulates, and also to investigate various matters connected with Supplies services generally in the Far East.