HC Deb 03 February 1953 vol 510 cc1628-9
5. Mr. K. Robinson

asked the Minister of Works if he will remove the sham log fire recently installed in the Lower Waiting Hall.

The Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of Works (Mr. Hugh Molson)

No, Sir. This fire was placed in position in response to a request from the Authorities of the House.

Mr. Robinson

Does the hon. Gentleman not agree that a fire should generate heat as well as light, and does he not think that this object is better suited to a mock Tudor tea room than the Palace of Westminster?

Mr. Molson

The Palace of Westminster is now heated by central heating. It is part of the scheme for doing away with all open fires. At the present time there are only about six open fires left, whereas the extraction plant was put in at a time when there were 1,000 fires in the Palace. The actual cost of running the extraction plant is now £2,000 a year. It is for that reason that we are intending to do away with all open fires as a matter of urgency.

Viscount Hinchingbrooke

Is it not the duty of all hon. Members, particularly those on this side of the House, to see that nutty slack is burned?