HC Deb 05 June 1940 vol 361 cc830-1
10. Captain Alan Graham

asked the Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of Home Security, as representing the First Commissioner of Works, whether he can assure the House that, in view of its unique value as a national historical monument, every practicable step has been taken to safeguard, as far as possible from the risks of air-raid attack, the six-century-old wooden roof of Westminster Hall?

The Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of Home Security (Mr. Mabane)

There are no practical protective measures which could be taken to safeguard the roof of Westminster Hall from the risk of damage by air-raid attack. There are adequate fire-fighting appliances in the immediate vicinity and, in the event of damage, such aid as is possible would be given by the fire-fighting staff, pending the arrival of the fire brigade.

Captain Graham

Has the Minister considered the use of non-inflammable paint and also a metal trellis-work which would deflect bombs from the roof?

Mr. Mabane

I am informed that non-inflammable paint would not impregnate the wood effectively. In any case, the oak of which the roof is constructed is not easily inflammable.

Mr. Glenvil Hall

Who will be available for this work?

Mr. Mabane

Those available will be the normal fire-fighting staffs of the Houses of Parliament.

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