HC Deb 29 May 1956 vol 553 cc7-8
2. Mr. K. Thompson

asked the Minister of Works what recent steps he has taken to introduce modern cleaning devices into the Palace of West-minister.

The Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of Works (Mr. J. R. Bevins)

Responsibility for cleaning the Palace of Westminster is divided between various authorities. In those areas which are under the control of my right hon. Friend up-to-date machines are used wherever possible, but he will be happy to consider any other suggestions from the hon. Member for improving the methods used

Mr. Thompson

Is my hon. Friend not aware that in this age it is an anachronism to have scores of people sloshing round with mops and buckets, and will he not get together these various authorities with a view to seeing how the introduction of modern devices can save a lot of the labour at present expended on the job and which is not doing it terribly well?

Mr. Bevins

Of course, as my hon. Friend knows, the division of responsibility in this matter is rather an old English custom, but I assure him that, so far as my right hon. Friend is concerned, we use a considerable number of modern machines, even though they are not much in evidence after 10 o'clock in the morning.

Mr. Hayman

Will the Minister consider introducing hand trucks so that the men collecting heavy bags of waste paper in the morning can at least have some twentieth century devices to help them?

Mr. Bevins

Yes, we will consider anything.