HC Deb 31 March 1953 vol 513 cc1006-7
1. Major Markham

asked the Minister of Works at what temperature and humidity he keeps the atmosphere of the Chamber and the remainder of the new building.

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

The air conditioning plant enables us to maintain the air in the Chamber, the immediately adjoining Lobbies and in the two floors below at a fairly steady temperature. Normally we maintain a temperature of 66 degrees and a relative humidity of 55 per cent. In the course of late sittings the temperature is gradually raised so that it probably reaches 70 degrees by about 6 a.m.

The air in the Chamber is completely changed six times each hour. As soon as a Division is called, the influx of air is directed into the Aye and No Lobbies. It is difficult to avoid a substantial increase in temperature if several Divisions follow immediately as 10 human bodies have the same heating effect as a 1 kilowatt electric fire.

2. Major Markham

asked the Minister of Works what complaints he has received that the Chamber and adjacent rooms are usually too hot.

Mr. Molson

From time to time I receive complaints that the Chamber is either too hot or too cold, but since the investigation made at my request last Whitsuntide by Dr. Bedford of the Council of Medical Research they have been fewer. I hope that we have now arrived by trial and error at a temperature, humidity and circulation of the air in the Chamber which is agreeable to the majority of Members.

Major Markham

Is my hon. Friend aware that the present conditions of heating and ventilation give almost universal satisfaction, and would he convey this message to his staff?

Mr. Molson

I am very much obliged to my hon. and gallant Friend and, as the engineers have given a great deal of time and thought to this matter, I am sure they will be much gratified when I convey his message to them.