HC Deb 11 February 1947 vol 433 cc190-1
58. Mr. Pargiter

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer whether he is now in a position to make a statement on the plans for the enlargement of Parliament Square.

Mr. Dalton

Yes, Sir. The Middlesex County Council have offered to the Ministry of Works, for the permanent enlargement of Parliament Square, a site on the west side which they acquired in 1935. Contributions towards the cost incurred by the Middlesex County Council have been offered by the London County Council, the Westminster City Council, the Pilgrim Trust and the Chartered Surveyors Institution, and I am prepared to add, subject to the approval of Parliament, an Exchequer contribution of £100,000. This enlargement will make possible a great improvement in the layout of the roads in Parliament Square and will notably increase the beauty and dignity of the Square. In addition to the direct Exchequer contribution, there will be a 75 per cent. grant from the Minister of Transport towards the cost of the road improvement. I would like to express the Government's appreciation of the public spirit shown by the Middlesex County Council and by the other bodies who are making contributions.

Mr. Pargiter

Is my right hon. Friend aware that this statement will be received with considerable satisfaction by the ratepayers of Middlesex, who have been carrying a very heavy financial burden for many years in preventing this site from being built on, and also by the other contributing authorities who will agree that we have at last found a Chancellor of the Exchequer who has a more generous sense of responsibility than previous Chancellors?

Mr. Nicholson

When the area is redesigned and laid out, can the right hon. Gentleman assure the House that the Royal Fine Art Commission will be consulted?

Mr. Dalton

I could not say whether the Royal Fine Art Commission will be consulted. It will all be done very carefully, having regard to the amenities involved. I would not say "No," but without notice I would not say "Yes."