33. Mr. David Adams
asked the First Commissioner of Works whether his attention has been called to the rapidly blackening surfaces of the recently cleaned stonework of the Parliament buildings from smoke pollution, and what steps he is taking, in co-operation with other Government Departments in Whitehall, to mitigate or to end this public waste?
§ The First Commissioner of Works (Sir Philip Sassoon)
I regret that I cannot altogether accept the hon. Member's suggestion. The works now in course of execution are not cleaning operations necessitated by smoke pollution, but repairs due to defects in the original stone and in the method of construction employed originally. As regards the last part of the question, I am taking all reasonable steps to reduce smoke pollution so far as it is under my control.
May I point out that in the question I did not make the statement that the work done on the Houses of Parliament was necessitated by smoke pollution? What I am asking is whether the Minister does not think it intolerable that smoke pollution should emanate from Government Departments at the same time as the Department of Industrial and Scientific Research are pressing local authorities throughout the country to get rid of smoke pollution?
§ Sir P. Sassoon
I thought the hon. Member was suggesting that the work done on the Houses of Parliament was due to smoke pollution. Personally, I welcome the fact that the new stone is toning in with the old stone. With regard to the second part of the question, I am taking all reasonable steps. In a great many of the Whitehall institutions, coke is used for the boilers, and in the House of Commons we use Welsh steam coal, which minimises the dirt and grit.