HC Deb 24 July 1933 vol 280 cc2222-3

asked the First Commissioner of Works if his attention has been called to an announcement by the Lord Provost of Edinburgh, of which a copy has been sent to him, that the great majority of the town council are convinced that the suggested Calton site is the only feasible proposition for the proposed new Government buildings; and will he take steps to definitely ascertain if this is the opinion of the corporation of Edinburgh?


The answer to the first part of the question is in the affirmative. I have no reason to doubt that the Lord Provost has correctly voiced the opinion of the corporation. '


asked the First Commissioner of Woks what has happened to the plans for the Scottish Government buildings prepared by the late Government; what was the total expenditure incurred in the preparation of the plans; why it has been decided to abandon those plans and to invite private architects to submit designs for the buildings; and what will be the cost involved in the payment of fees to the successful firm of architects?


The plans to which the hon. Member refers are still in my office, and they were abandoned because they did not commend themselves to the Royal Fine Art Commission for Scotland. It is not practicable to allocate the cost of office staff which was engaged on the preparation of these plans. It has been decided to entrust the work to an architect in private practice because the scheme is regarded as one of exceptional national importance; until the questions relating to the development of the site have been resolved I shall be unable to give an estimate of the fees that will be payable to the architect.

Lieut.-Commander AGNEW

Will a sketch plan of the proposed new buildings be made available to hon. Members before the House is asked to vote money for their erection


I will take that point into consideration when the time comes. I have given a public pledge that before the Government even consider the erection of the buldings they will have to be approved by the Royal Fine Art Commission in Scotland and the Edinburgh Corporation. By that time, I presume the designs and plans will be more or less public property, but, if it is then considered desirable to put something into the Tea Room for hon. Members, I will consider doing so.