HC Deb 07 February 1945 vol 407 cc2068-9
39. Mr. Charles White

asked the Minister of Works the number of man hours used to provide his private dining room and kitchen in Room 423 at the Ministry of Works.

Mr. Sandys

About 500.

Mr. W. J. Brown

Can the Minister assure us that the grub he gets from that kitchen is better than the grub we get here?

Mr. Sandys

Since hon. Members have raised this somewhat domestic and personal issue, perhaps the House will allow me to explain, very briefly, exactly what work was done. It consisted of removing a radiator, fitting one sink, two electric points, a table and two shelves. In addition, owing to a mistake, some distempering work was done, contrary to instructions.

Mr. Charles White

May I disclaim any personal motive in this matter, and ask the Minister if these 500 hours could not have been spent on the much more urgently important need in the East End of London?

Mr. Sandys

May I say that the sole purpose of these very modest arrangements was to enable my staff and myself to work rather longer hours without interruption? I have no doubt that this will increase the output of work and efficiency of my office at a time when we are working under considerable pressure. I am perfectly satisfied that this small amount of work is fully justified in the public interest.

Mr. Gallacher

Can the Minister tell us how it took 10 weeks to make "these modest arrangements"?

Mr. Sandys

I must say that I was a little surprised myself, and I am inquiring into it. I am told that this figure includes about 100 hours of travelling and standing time, and that extra time was taken owing to the use of second-hand salvaged material.