HC Deb 09 May 1938 vol 335 cc1224-5
26. Mr. Day

asked the First Commissioner of Works whether, in view of the repeated representations that his Department has received in the past to the effect that the existing system of ventilation in the Chamber is prejudicial to health, he will now undertake to have the necessary alterations made for the improvement of the same?

The First Commissioner of Works (Sir Philip Sassoon)

Although, admittedly, the present system leaves something to be desired from the point of view of comfort during the summer months, the results of exhaustive study of the conditions in the Chamber, together with the advice which I have received from various expert authorities, point to the conclusion that the conditions are in no way prejudicial to health. Much careful study has been given to an improved ventilation scheme: but, in view of the heavy demands at present being made by the defence programme on the engineering industry, it is desirable to keep this scheme and others of a comparable character in reserve for consideration when the peak of the rearmament programme has been passed, and when it will be both more advantageous and more opportune for the industry to have ordinary civil works available for execution.

Mr. Day

Are we to understand from that answer that the Government are not going to take notice of the recommendations of the committee which has investigated this matter?

Sir William Davison

Is my right hon. Friend aware that it is some years since streptococci in this Chamber were supplied with broth, and does he not think that it is time the experiment was tried again?

Sir P. Sassoon

The rearmament programme puts great pressure on the engineering firms.

Mr. Acland

Are we to understand that the Government accept the arguments often used on these benches that a supply of public works schemes should be kept in reserve until the armaments programme is over?

Mr. Crossley

What has this really to do with rearmament? Why must hon. Members be kept for years longer in a thoroughly lethargic and dull atmosphere?