HC Deb 04 June 1942 vol 380 cc817-8
76. Mr. Bossom

asked the Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of Works and Buildings whether any action has yet been taken by the Government with the object of rebuilding the Chamber for the Commons; and what progress has been made?

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

As I informed the hon. and gallant Member for Lewes (Rear-Admiral Beamish) on 3rd December last, preliminary information is being collected by the Ministry with a view to the preparation of plans and the starting of the work of reconstruction when hostilities are over. As the Prime Minister has already announced, it would be premature, at this stage, to consider any proposals for setting up a Select Committee of the House to examine plans for rebuilding the destroyed parts of the House of Commons.

Mr. George Griffiths

On a point of Order. Why has Question 75 not been asked to-day? The hon. and gallant Member is present.

Mr. Speaker

I was informed that it had been withdrawn by the questioner.

Mr. Griffiths

Then he must have seen the red light.

Wing-Commander James

The Question was not withdrawn by me; it has been postponed by request.

Mr. Bossom

May I ask a Supplementary Question to my Question on the Order Paper? Would the hon. Gentleman consider getting a number of the Members who sat in the other Chamber for several years to give advice as to the defects which were there so that they will not be repeated in the new Chamber, whenever that is built?

Mr. MacLaren

Those men were the defects.

Mr. Hicks

I can assure the hon. Gentleman that Members of the House of Commons will not be neglected in the consideration of this matter, but I am sure it would be improper to try and press me to give a more extended answer than I have given now.

Mr. Buchanan

Will my hon. Friend give us a guarantee that Messrs. Wimpey will not build the new House of Commons?

Mr. Hicks

I think it would be unfair to exclude any competent firms.

Mr. Buchanan

Then will he give us a guarantee that if they do have the job they will not do it as badly as they have done almost every other job?