§ 29. Mr. KIRKWOOD
asked the First Commissioner of Works whether the Government plans for the building of new State offices in Edinburgh are completed; and when it is intended to proceed with 1528 the scheme, in view of the increase in unemployment among building workers in the area?
§ 31. Sir SAMUEL CHAPMAN
asked the First Commissioner of Works how far the inquiries, consultations and negotiations in which he has been engaged during the last six months with Scottish authorities representing public opinion in Edinburgh, with regard to the suggested new Government buildings, have progressed; and if he is now in a position to make a further pronouncement on the matter?
§ Mr. ORMSBY-GORE
As I have stated in reply to previous questions, the Royal Fine Art Commission for Scotland are being consulted on, and have still under consideration, various questions relating to the choice and method of development of the Calton site. I am awaiting their report, which I hope to receive at an early date. On the assumption that agreement is reached in regard to the use of the Calton site, the Government have decided that the design of the building should be entrusted to an architect in private practice. The architect will be selected by a special committee including the Secretary of State for Scotland and myself on which, among others, the Royal Fine Art Commission for Scotland and the Royal Incorporation of Architects in Scotland will be invited to be represented. The architect's design will, in due course, be submitted to the Royal Fine Art Commission for Scotland and the corporation of the city of Edinburgh. In order to avoid any misunderstanding, I should add that the Government have not taken, and will not take, any decision, as to whether they will or will not proceed with the actual construction of the building, until all these preliminaries are completed and they are in a position to consider final plans and estimates of cost.