HC Deb 14 June 1937 vol 325 cc18-9
36. Mr. Bossom

asked the First Commissioner of Works what is the total estimate of his departmental engineers for doing all that is desirable to improve the ventilation of the Chamber, including the reconditioning of the air?

Sir P. Sassoon

As I explained in the answer which I gave to my hon. Friend on 2nd June, investigations are at present proceeding into the best methods of improving the ventilation of this Chamber. It has not accordingly been possible yet to prepare a detailed scheme, and I am afraid, therefore, that I am not in a position at this stage to furnish an estimate of cost. In the printed note, which was circulated to Members in July of last year, and of which I sent a copy to my hon. Friend, very rough and approximate figures were given as follow:

Provision of local heating to enable air to be brought in at a lower temperature 6,000
Alteration of method of admission and distribution of air 5,000
Complete conditioning plant, including control of humidity 20,000

Mr. Bossom

While thanking my right hon. Friend for his answer, may I ask him whether, when the detailed estimate is made, some individual will decide whether Members of the House shall have decent air to breathe, or whether the House will be consulted on the subject?

Sir P. Sassoon

I should like to have a little further time to investigate the matter. We want to do everything we possibly can to ensure that hon. Members will do their work under comfortable conditions.

Mr. Thorne

Has the right hon. Gentleman any means of ascertaining the number of days on which Members are away from the House on account of sickness?

Sir W. Davison

Has any information of value been obtained from the mechanical appliances on the walls, which have been here for some months?

Sir P. Sassoon

I think they are of some value.

Mr. Lansbury

Has there been any report from the Departmental Committee which was set up to investigate this question somewhere about 1930 or 1931? I have not seen any copy of the report.

Sir P. Sassoon

I do not think that anything very specific was recommended by that committee, but we have been in touch with the Medical Research Council, and their view is that there is no chemical impurity in the air of the Chamber.

Mr. Thorne

Can I have an answer to my question?

Forward to