HC Deb 21 January 1937 vol 319 cc334-5
34. Lieut.-Commander Fletcher

asked the Minister of Health whether he is satisfied regarding the accommodation of the staff at the Ministry; how many of the staff work in basement rooms and for what periods of time; whether there is overcrowding in any of the rooms; whether all rooms occupied by staff have direct communication with the air; whether any of the rooms necessitate the use of artificial light throughout the working day; and what representations regarding the office accommodation have been received from the staff associations?

Sir K. Wood

I have from time to time received representations from the Departmental Whitley Council about the accommodation provided for the staff of my Department. All such representations are carefully considered and, where necessary, brought to the notice of the Office of Works. In general the accommodation in the Ministry is satisfactory. About 50 to 55 clerks spend a normal working day of about six hours for three months at a time in the basement courts, which are large, light and well-ventilated rooms. About 30 other clerks work in a basement court about one hour every morning. There is no overcrowding in any part of my Department; the only staff rooms not in direct communication with the open air are five messenger boxes—

Mr. MacLaren

And the Minister's office?

Sir K. Wood

Natural lighting in the rooms is generally good and in only a very small proportion of cases is it necessary for any officer to resort to artificial light all day under normal weather conditions.

Lieut.-Commander Fletcher

Are there any complaints outstanding at the present moment?

Sir K. Wood

I am not aware that there are, but I will inquire and inform the hon. and gallant Member.