HC Deb 10 December 1957 vol 579 cc1047-8
7. Mr. Gibson

asked the Minister of Works if he will make a statement as to the progress being made in dealing with the unsightly deep shelter entrances in London.

The Minister of Works (Mr. Hugh Molson)

Progress is being made on the work of improving the appearance of these shelter entrances. Work has been completed at The Avenue, Clapham South, and at Stockwell Green, and a start has been made on the two entrances to the Goodge Street shelter in Tottenham Court Road and Chenies Street. The rest will be dealt with as quickly as circumstances allow.

Mr. Gibson

The Minister's Answer only proves the necessity for asking the Question. The work that he describes as having been completed does not consist of anything really worth while, except that some colour wash has been put over the sides of the very ugly buildings that are there. Will he reconsider this? Is he aware that when the Bill was passed that gave these buildings into the control of the Ministry of Works, we were given an undertaking that they would be quickly looked at with a view to removing their unsightliness; and that, so far, nothing really has been done in that direction except to chop off a few hoods at the top? Will he look again at the matter and really get something going?

Mr. Molson

I will certainly look at the point which the hon. Member makes. I cannot hold out any prospect of spending a great deal of money on this.

Mr. Anthony Greenwood

Will the Minister show a greater sense of urgency about this problem? Will he bear in mind that, as my hon. Friend the Member for Clapham (Mr. Gibson) says, when we agreed to the Bill going through many did so very reluctantly indeed, and then only on the assurance of his right hon. predecessor that the work would be done to improve the shelters, and that it would be done quickly; and that unless he makes rather more rapid progress than there has so far been, we shall feel we have been seriously let down by the right hon. Gentleman himself.

Mr. Molson

I am very sorry to hear that. I thought that I was showing a sense of urgency. I have undertaken to look again at the point raised by the hon. Member for Clapham (Mr. Gibson). I cannot hold out a prospect of spending a large sum of money on this at the present time.