HC Deb 11 November 1948 vol 457 cc1726-7
65. Mr. Ellis Smith

asked the Minister of Fuel and Power why he sanctioned the floodlighting in Trafalgar Square and the use of neon-lighting tubes on the General Electric Building in Kingsway, London.

Mr. Robens

The floodlighting in Trafalgar Square was sanctioned in connection with the unveiling of the Jellicoe-Beatty memorial. It is being continued twice a week outside peak hours as an exception to the general restriction on floodlighting which must be maintained for the sake of fuel economy.

As regards the use of neon-lighting tubes on the General Electric Building in Kingsway, the question of sanction does not arise. I understand that the neon-tubes on this building arc merely a replacement and not for use whilst present restrictions continue.

Mr. Ellis Smith

Now that these decisions have been arrived at and applied in London, will the Minister give an undertaking that if similar applications are made by other cities, they will receive the same consideration?

Mr. Robens

I want my hon. Friend to realise that Trafalgar Square, being in the capital, is in a unique position. I would go so far as to say, however, that if civic authorities find that they have a case for the temporary use of floodlighting for some specific purpose, we should be very pleased to look at each case and judge it on its merits.

Sir G. Fox

Has the Minister considered the electricity which would be saved if these lights were on every night by the fact that a large number of people would be out looking at them, and not using their electric fires and lights at home?

Mr. Robens

I can assure the hon. and gallant Gentleman that every consideration has been given to facts of that kind.

Mr. Wilson Harris

With regard to Trafalgar Square, would the hon. Gentleman consider the superiority of white floodlighting over the garish colours which make Trafalgar Square look like what I suppose a Butlin's Camp to be?

Mr. Robens

Surely, that is a matter of opinion.