HC Deb 28 February 1949 vol 462 cc8-9
18. Mr. Beswick

asked the Minister of Works if he will have the present electric lighting in the Commons Chamber examined by a qualified person to determine the extent of eye-strain which it causes.

Mr. Key

Yes, Sir. I am asking the Medical Research Council and the Building Research Station to examine the lighting in consultation with my own experts and advise whether it causes eyestrain.

19. Mr. Beswick

asked the Minister of Works what changes in type of electric lamp used in the Commons Chamber have been made since 1906; and if the present type is the most modern available.

Mr. Key

Since 1906 various changes have been made in the type of lamps used, the last change being in January, 1944, when 40 watt vacuum type lamps were installed. This is not the most modern type of lamp, but is the most satisfactory for the fittings in the Chamber.

Mr. Beswick

Is it not the case that these particular lamps have to be specially made and that it is most uneconomic? If the holders are out of date, why not have the holders themselves changed?

Mr. Key

They are not specially made. The difficulty about lighting in the House is that at the present time we are dependent on D.C. supply instead of A.C. When we get the supply changed over, an alteration will be made.

Mr. Keeling

If any increased provision of current is involved, will the right hon. Gentleman consider further whether current cannot be spared to light two or three of the best pictures in the Dining Room?

Mr. Key

I have told the hon. Gentleman that as soon as we can get the new system of supply into operation, I will give very careful consideration to the lighting of the pictures.

Mr. Cobb

Is it not true that the present arrangement is antiquated, and that if a bulb has to be changed some kind of scaffolding like a fire escape has to be brought into operation which costs about 16s.? As this is an invention of the Tories, is it not about time that it was replaced by something more up to date?

Mr. Key

The opportunity of bringing in a modern system of lighting will not arise until the new supply system is installed.

Captain Crookshank

Is it not a fact that we are indebted to the other place for the use of this Chamber, and that it is hardly up to us to change their arrangements?

Mr. Key

The arrangements would not be changed without consultation with the authorities concerned.