HC Deb 10 July 1950 vol 477 cc930-1
2. Mr. Russell

asked the Minister of Works when he expects to be able to remove the temporary boarding in the passages between St. Stephen's Hall and Westminster Hall.

Mr. Stokes

The boarding between St. Stephen's Hall and Westminster Hall covers the Bailey bridge supporting the war-damaged vault of St. Stephen's Porch. Repairs to the vault are in progress and it is hoped, if sufficient stonemasons can be obtained, to complete the work by May, 1951.

Mr. Russell

Can anything be done to widen the passage in the meantime? When the steps in Westminster Hall are repaired, would it be possible to make a one-way traffic system?

Mr. Stokes

I do not know about one-way traffic, but I have looked into the question of widening the passages and we are proposing at least to consider an adaptation for the period when the House of Commons is opened on 26th October.

Mr. Bossom

Can the Minister explain why it should take such a very long time to do this? A job of this sort should be done easily in about two months.

Mr. Stokes

I think the hon. Gentleman is not well informed. There is a considerable amount of repair to be done to the southern window and that will take the best part of next year. Sanction for expenditure has only just been granted, and an enormous amount of dust and mess will result during the repairs until the barrier is removed.

Wing-Commander Bullus

Will the Minister consider having everything removed from Westminster Hall, including the temporary cloakroom, in time for the Festival of Britain?

Mr. Stokes

I can assure the hon. and gallant Gentleman that that will be done.

Mr. Martin Lindsay

Does the Minister appreciate that these repairs have been going on for very nearly five years? I am horrified to think that they are to continue all through next year.

Mr. Stokes

If the hon. Gentleman will look at the window repairs which are required he will see why they will take a considerable period.

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