HC Deb 25 February 1936 vol 309 cc356-7

Motion made, and Question proposed, That a Supplementary sum, not exceeding £8,000, be granted to His Majesty, to defray the charge which will come in course of payment during the year ending on the 31st day of March, 1936, for expenditure in respect of Houses of Parliament Buildings.

7.46 p.m.


This Supplementary Estimate is entirely due to the increased cost of the work on Mr. Speaker's house. The completion of the work on Mr. Speaker's residence was included in the programme which had been drawn up last January year, but as the work progressed it became apparent that the condition of the stone in this part of the building was considerably worse than that in similar portions of the Houses of Parliament previously dealt with. We also found that the front of the residence overlooking Mr. Speaker's court, which is the most elaborate of the inner courts, proved to be exceptionally difficult to deal with. We found that the large oriel window in the centre, over the front door, was completely unsafe. It had to be taken out and entirely rebuilt, the stone being rotten throughout. These difficulties resulted in the postponing of the date for the completion of the work on Mr. Speaker's residence from December, 1934, to the Easter Recess, that is, in a few weeks time. On this occasion I may say that it will be possible for Mr. Speaker at last to resume occupation during the coming Easter Recess. The work could only have been deferred or slowed down for the next financial year and so have avoided a Supplementary Estimate, by inflicting further inconvenience upon Mr. Speaker and by interfering unduly with the economic progress of the work as a whole. I hope the Committee will give me this additional Vote.

Resolutions to be reported upon Thursday; Committee to sit again Tomorrow.