HC Deb 14 July 1942 vol 381 c1087
74. Mr. Higgs

asked the Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of Works and Planning whether he is aware of the improved acoustics in the Press Gallery since loud speakers were installed; and will he consider extending the system to the Chamber?

The Joint Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of Works and Planning (Mr. Hicks)

The answer to the first part of the Question is in the affirmative. In regard to the second part, I would remind my hon. Friend that, as I indicated in my reply of 22nd October to the hon. Member for Morpeth (Mr. R. J. Taylor), absorbent tiles have been fixed in the windows for the specific purpose of improving the acoustics on the Floor of the Chamber. This was done on the recommendation of officials of the National Physical Laboratory, who considered all possible alternatives. It is not at present considered that existing conditions are such as to call for the extension of loudspeakers to the Chamber.

Mr. Higgs

Is the hon. Gentleman aware that in this position it is almost impossible to hear half the replies of Ministers to Questions—[HON. MEMBERS: "Speak up"]—and that we often miss half the speeches, and would he give further consideration to the fitting of loudspeakers behind us at any rate?

Mr. Hicks

I heard what my hon. Friend said.