HC Deb 11 March 1952 vol 497 cc1241-2
5. Mr. Nabarro

asked the Minister of Works the current annual rate of coal consumption of the Palace of Westminster, including the coal equivalent for gas and electricity consumed in the buildings and precincts of the Palace; how this figure for 1952 compares with earlier years; and what steps are in hand to improve heat, light and power arrangements at the Palace of Westminster, with a view to coal conservation and efficient utilisation.

Mr. Eccles

The total consumption of coal, and the equivalent in coal of gas and electricity and fuel oil in 1951 was 4,771 tons. This compares with an average of 2,849 tons for the five years before the new boiler house came into use in 1950.

The increased consumption is due to the additional accommodation, and amenities mostly in the new House of Commons.

The domestic hot water system will shortly be connected to the new plant, and the separate boiler closed down. Insulation of steam and hot water pipes is nearly complete. These measures should result in increased efficiency and the working of the system will be carefully watched to ensure all practicable economies.

Mr. Nabarro

Is my right hon. Friend seized of the importance of coal conservation and fuel efficiency in these matters, and should not the House of Commons set an example? Can he assure the House that he is looking to his boilers and his steam raisers?

Mr. Eccles

Yes, Sir. This boiler was installed before I came into office.

Mr. Walter Fletcher

Will my right hon. Friend take great care to see that the hon. Member for Kidderminster (Mr. Nabarro) does not set the Thames on fire?

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