HC Deb 08 December 1959 vol 615 cc197-8
5. Mrs. Castle

asked the Minister of Works which of the recommendations of the Select Committee on House of Commons Accommodation have so far been carried into effect.

Lord John Hope

Eleven principal recommendations have been or are being implemented. As the detailed list is a long one, I shall, with permission circulate it in the OFFICIAL REPORT.

Mrs. Castle

Is it not a fact that very little of a substantial and fundamental nature has been done to improve the accommodation of the House? Is it not also a fact that this will never be done until, as the Stokes Committee pointed out, there is some form of unified control over the administration of the whole Palace, a control with executive responsibility answerable to the House? Will the right hon. Gentleman give us his views on that?

Lord John Hope

My view about the hon. Lady's supplementary question is that it goes a good deal beyond her original Question. What she says is a matter of opinion. I think we have a great deal that we can discuss together before casting the net as widely as the hon. Lady seems to wish to do.

Mr. Chetwynd

What is the right hon. Gentleman doing to provide more telephones for hon. Members? It is a great inconvenience at the moment to hon. Members working in the Library when they have to walk along the corridors trying to find a telephone.

Lord John Hope

That is not really relevant to the Question, but the hon. Gentleman has made his views effectively known.

Following is the list: The principal recommendations of the Select Committees on House of Commons Accommodation appointed between 1953 and 1955, which have been, or are being carried into effect by my Department with the agreement of the Authorities of the House arc as follows:
  1. (i) Removal of the Kitchen to the Principal Floor.
  2. (ii) Improvement of rest room facilities for Refreshment Department staff and cleaners.
  3. (iii) Provision of a retiring room for Lady Members.
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  5. (iv) Release for use by Members of one Office-Keeper's flat.
  6. (v) Provision of Members' Cafeteria and improvement of Strangers' Bar and Cafeteria.
  7. (vi) Experiments to improve the small interview rooms—four have been converted into recesses.
  8. (vii) Installation of additional bookshelves on the Ministers' Floor.
  9. (viii) Supply of additional desks for Members in rooms off the Upper Committee Corridor and in Old Palace Yard.
  10. (ix) Installation of a second Annunciator in the Members' Tea Room.
  11. (x) Conversion of Serjeant at Arms' residence into flats.
  12. (xi) Installation of double glass windows in certain room.