HC Deb 24 February 1936 vol 309 cc27-8
42. Mr. DAY

asked the First Commissioner of Works whether his attention has been drawn to the bad acoustic properties of the House of Commons, and the difficulties experienced by Members sitting on the back benches in hearing the speeches of Ministers; will he consider having installed in the House microphones and loud speakers to remedy this; and what would be the cost of this installation?


I do not consider that the acoustics of this Chamber are unsatisfactory, and I know of no system of microphones and loud speakers which would be suitable for installation in this House, where it is the practice for hon. Members to speak from different places.


Will the Minister consider introducing the same system in this House—[HON. MEMBERS: "Speak up."]—as that which is installed in another place?


No, for the reason I have already given. The reason why the system referred to works in another place is, I gather, because the microphones are on the Table there, but as hon. Members in this House speak from many different parts of the House, it would not be practicable.


Although my right hon. Friend can be heard everywhere in the House when he replies at Question Time, would it not be desirable to have some installation of the kind mentioned, in the Press Gallery, so that the answers given by some other Ministers might be heard in the Press Gallery?


I remember Mr. Speaker once saying that anybody who was worth hearing could be heard in this House.

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