HC Deb 26 April 1955 vol 540 cc757-8
48. Mr. G. Darling

asked the Minister of Works when the basement of the Ministry of Education building in Curzon Street, S.W.1, will be restored to its use as a public garage.

The Minister of Works (Mr. Nigel Birch)

The basement of this building has never been used as a public garage, and I cannot make it available for this purpose.

Mr. Darling

Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that I have visited this garage and that it is being used as a garage at the moment, even though it is not a public garage? Is he aware that in it there are quite a number of Ministry of Education vehicles? They are covered with dust, having been there for months and months waiting to be sold. Is he aware that this building could be used as a public garage to ease the congestion in Central London very quickly?

Mr. Birch

I am not responsible for the dust on Ministry of Education vehicles. I have written very fully to the hon. Member about the use to which this garage is being put, and I am convinced that it is being put to good use.

Mr. Darling

I have had information from the right hon. Gentleman and I have also visited the garage. Is he aware that the facts he has given to me in his letter are very largely incorrect, both as to the use to which the garage is being put and as to the area available for use as a public garage? Would the right hon. Gentleman or his Parliamentary Secretary visit the garage with me so that we can see for ourselves whether the facts he has given are correct or not?

Mr. Birch

I will certainly go into the matter again, but I have no reason at all to suppose that the facts I gave to the hon. Member are wrong.

Mr. Manuel

Is the right hon. Gentleman going into the garage?