HC Deb 31 January 1940 vol 356 cc1125-6
15. Mr. Glenvil Hall

asked the First Commissioner of Works whether he will take steps to improve the lighting in the Central Lobby, when the House is sitting, during the black-out hours?

Mr. Ramsbotham

I regret that, owing to the very large area of the stained glass windows, it would be a matter of considerable difficulty and expense to provide more light while maintaining an effective black-out.

Mr. Hall

Does not the First Commissioner of Works think that it is worth the cost? Is he aware that it is impossible to recognise anyone in the Central Lobby; that it is undignified that people should have to go there, and very unfair to the officers on duty?

Mr. Ramsbotham

I have had conversations with the Air-Raid Precautions Committees of both Houses, and in view of the difficulty and expense, to which I have referred, it is not possible to come to any other arrangements. If the hon. Member has any suggestion to make I shall be glad to consider it.

Mr. Garro Jones

Can the First Commissioner say the total amount of cost which is held to offset the enormous advantage which would accrue to hon. Members and their visitors by making the Central Lobby a place where they can conveniently meet?

Mr. Ramsbotham

I cannot give the exact figure but I will go into it and let the hon. Member know.

Lieut.-Colonel Sir Thomas Moore

Cannot the lights be put about 12 feet higher than they are? That would give sufficient light for hon. Members to see who was coming to visit them.

Mr. Ramsbotham

I will have that point examined.

Mr. G. Strauss

Can the First Commissioner tell us what would be the total cost?